Apple slowly becomes Microsoft
Sure I *should* upgrade my computer because (Lord Forbid!) it is over 5 years old. (Many things I own were cheaper than this and have lasted a lifetime). But it is not so easy to do that. Why is it that in the world of computers we assume upgrade inconvenience and relatively rapid obsolescence is supposed to be the way it is......will it ever change? Are all technologies destined to be short term? Is it just a function of the instability of software systems? Or is it because the software and hardware vendors are lazy and greedy?
Here is a comment from Karl Auerbach on a discussion thread. I think he is correct.......and I think it starts at this mundane level where products are built that require people to constantly upgrade.
"Today Intuit's Quickbooks web application is dead. Their payroll systems may be offline as well. Small business by the thousands are unable to run their accounts, issue or process purchase orders, or pay their bills. My own small company has already seen sales that may been lost because we can not issue timely invoices. The cumulative impact across the small business community could easily be in the $billons.
Earlier this week AT&T/Apple had the iPhone registration fiasco.
These kinds of things are becoming increasingly common.
Last week Stewart Baker wrote about dangers to the internet from actors with evil intent.
I would submit that the internet more at risk from ourselves than it is from any terrorist or "cyber warrior".
It is appearing as if the BP oil blowout was caused by shoddy procedures and corners cut to save money.
When it comes to taking shortcuts BP is not alone.
In the internet software business we have far too many providers who create weak products that are under-tested and for which users have neither adequate means to detect or isolate failures nor backup procedures in case of failure.
And it is rare to find anyone who has looked at the cross-linkage between our technologies and wondered "how do we bring it all back if something fails?"
Walt Kelly said "We have met the enemy and it is us". I suggest that when we look at the vulnerability of the technical machinery of our society that we are more at risk from our own foibles than from active attack by evil doers.
We really ought to look at the net and our net applications not so much with an eye to protecting them against evil people as with an eye to protect them against ourselves and Murphy's Law.
We ought to begin changing the architecture of the internet to build-in many of the tools that old Ma Bell found useful - from easy things like remote loopbacks, clear test points, and clearly defined demarcations of authority to more complex things like the creation of a information base in which the pathology of the internet can be described - particularly in terms of symptoms indicating possible causations and procedures to resolve among those possible causations.
If we had things like that we would not only be better prepared against future failures, human mistakes, and the often destructive resonance of old devices when they meet the new, but we would also be better prepared against actual attacks.
I believe that in our national planning, such as our National Broadband Plan, that we need to give a lot more attention than we have to matters of maintenance, testing, troubleshooting, repair, and recovery from failures."