web services & generation wahhmbulance
The point is this: the more our products contain software – and increasingly, code is integral to the things we buy – the more likely it will be that these products are not really ours anymore. The companies that sell them (or, in the case of web services, allow us to use them) will increasingly make decisions that they can change at a whim, or a court order. Probably the most infamous example to date took place whenAmazon reached into its customers' Kindle book readers in 2009 to delete copies of – irony alert – George Orwell's 1984, which, it turned out, were being sold illegally by one of its online vendors.
My reaction to editorials like this is torn between a cry to "open the web" and a cynical "stfu generation wahhmbulance."
I'm sick of people approaching the Zuckerbergs as indignantly entitled supplicants--"please oh please give us the openness we deserve." Look at Freedom Box. Look at Diaspora.
If we can do better, we can do better.