OS News Makes You Stupid

 Eric Williams | 9 September, 2007

I like reading OSNews for some reason. I think I like to catch the geeky news about SkyOS, or the occasional retro curmudgeonry that rolls by about Lotus 1-2-3 or OS/2. Being the old-timer that I am, it's hard to resist a paean from my youth about 10-finger productivity.

Unfortunately, they've become the epicenter of stupid for the tech press. Check out this article, which explodes the myths about competition being good: "Competition is not Good"

'It gives consumers more choice'

Choice is good when there's one agreed base standard, and a number of compatible approaches. For example, there are many Linux distributions, but they are all Linux, and they can all run the same software. They are 'flavours' of the same thing, that is a good choice. People like different flavours.

Competition does not produce easier choices for consumers. All they get is added un-interoperability and complexity with competitive choices.

Now, if you go read that article, which I do not recommend, you'll slowly come to the realization that this moron is just annoyed that he has to make the effort to choose between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray. He's willing to surrender his entire free will to some (hopefully) benevolent dictator, abolish brand names, and forsake the free market economy because choosing which format to buy the Firefly special edition box set in is hard. What a hopeless, whiny-assed sissy.

Of course, things don't get better when they start tossing political analysis at you. "Net Neutrality" is one monikers that has overshadowed the thing named. The discussion is often framed in a way that an uninformed listener would assume there was lobbying going on to abolish some sort of laws that are now protecting consumers from big, bad tiered-Internet ninjas.

But: There is no net neutrality legislation, there never was, and hopefully, there never will be. The argument over "Net Neutrality" is about whether or not the U.S. government should introduce legislation forbidding bandwidth throttling by ISPs. It's the "have you stopped beating your wife?" straw man for the Slashdot crowd. You'll notice that this article calls the Supreme Court's decision that the U.S. government shouldn't step in and configure the ISPs' Cisco routers for them, "Backing for Two-Tier Internet":

The US Justice Department has said that internet service providers should be allowed to charge for priority traffic. The agency said it was opposed to 'network neutrality', the idea that all data on the net is treated equally. The comments put the agency at odds with companies such as Microsoft and Google, who have called for legislation to guarantee equal access to the net.

Of course, this would also mean that an enforcement infrastructure would also have to be put in place, making sure that everyone got their "fair share" of said bandwidth, as if backbone routers and POPs just fell off a tree somewhere. God forbid ISPs be allowed to tune the services that they developed and paid for as they wish. Let's let the government decides who gets bandwidth, and how much is enough! That will make it all fair and neutral-like. Whenever a politician uses the word "fair", hang on to your wallet.