Help Desk

Playing It Down The Middle

Comic Transcript

COMPUTER INDUSTRY EXPERT: You see Jim, back when the industry discovered the Internet, its openness was generally considered to be a good thing.

COMPUTER INDUSTRY EXPERT: At the time, the “online” experience was dominated by “closed system,” bulletin-board model services like CompuServe or AmericaOnline. The lure of free, unrestricted access allowed scrappy young ISPs to siphon off customers from these giants in massive numbers, and there was no way to fight it.

COMPUTER INDUSTRY EXPERT: But now these companies are established giants in their own right, and they want to make more money. What better way than to adopt the closed-system practices of the competitors they once brought down?

COMPUTER INDUSTRY EXPERT: That’s why you’ll often hear them saying that the Internet should be open! And free!

COMPUTER INDUSTRY EXPERT: While at the same time they hire lobbyists and consultants and PR flacks to tout how much better the world would be if those Net-neutrality hippies weren’t always whining about equal access.

JIM WASHINGTON: (Whispering) Have you been taking your medication?

COMPUTER INDUSTRY EXPERT: (Whispering) I had to stop. It’s the only way any of this could make sense.

NEWS TICKERTAPE: Breaking: Ubersoft to Open Source Developers: “Stop using cost as a benchmark of success — focus on value” :: Open Source Developers to Ubersoft: “cost is a measure of value — cheap software is valuable” — Ubersoft to Open Source Developers: “Shut Up”

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