From the: this made my day department and on why I think porn is good for you
How bad does your code have to be if it runs faster on Linux via WINE than in it’s native environment I wonder – probably a lot. Regardless that’s an article I’ll definately be setting to my cousin Erik who just happens to be employed by those money grubbing bastards (and if their legal department read this I, of course, meant admirable and honest businessmen).
Lately I’ve been wondering a lot about certain trends in Linux and GNOME, the accomidation of what I call the .evil formats. How much freedom should we sagrifice for convience, should we e.g. bend over backwards to allow the user to use the Fluendo codec packs.
Well being a somewhat free software hardened person I’m starting to think that we are chasing our own tails when it comes to some formats like Flash. We’d be better off creating an open standard to compete with flash as they continue to produce it under very closed condition and reverse engineering it is a major task – not to mention at least borderline illegal in many places thanks largely to those lawyers and lobbists who sell their soul for money when pushing DRM, TCPA and laws like the DMCA.
Afterall, historically, no closed standard has ever held it’s ground on the net when in competition when a completely open format. Sure they have a headstart but what good is playing catch up doing us, we still don’t have reliable flash playback using free technology and I bet the legal status of such projects is highly contested.
I set forth a challenge, try living for a month with only the support that is legally allowable out of the box in say Ubuntu or Fedora – see how much there is to miss. I’ve tried hard and what I do when encountering a problem – like my favorite netradio station only streaming in mp3 I either mail them politely requesting an Ogg Vorbis stream or go search for streams in Ogg Vorbis. People seem to respond favorably to such requests, I e.g. already got MuggleCast the biggest Harry Potter podcast out there to put out Ogg Vorbis files – the stream can be found here I don’t believe the website has been update yet.
Now who do we target for maximal impact, easy.. the internet is for porn. The way internet porn works is fairly simple – you have a company like Naughty America who runs several sub sites based on fetish (yes I know disturbingly much about this I know – it’s called research, field research * fap fap*). This means that they can have many smaller businesses running at virtually the same cost, to the free software advocates this also means that a relative few companies run the majority of the pornsites out there, ego fewer people to convince that it’s a good idea, meaning hopefully an easier task.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that porn is popular. it accounts for quite the majority of google searches and to make any kind of money on the price schemes these sites run on they require a great number of customers.
This means that adding a feature like a the java based Ogg Theora viewer from Fluendo would open up for a new kind of income for them and as they don’t have to pay Microsoft (.wmv seems the most used format on these sites) license fees it’s money directly in their pockets – little capitalists love the sound of that. Making it not about your freedom first but their income first and your freedom second is a good way to go about convincing business that it would be a good idea.
The porn industry puts out more materiale than hollywood each year, they determined the succes of VHS and the DVD – people like smut, the porn industry weights heavily on the outcome of such format wars. The industry also helps make .wmv the preferred streaming format and they will decide the blu-ray vs. HD-DVD format war.
We have the option to play prudes and not try to sell open standards to them, but we have to remember that regardless of wheither or not we like what they do, they make out the majority for real world users and getting them on the bandwagon would practically ensure that we get to play a role from now on. Keeping the current system means Microsoft gets to call the shots when it comes to streaming standards.