Where's the Money in Free Software?


Free as in freedom, not free as in cost, but part of the deal is that the software code is released, so if there's always the ability to get the source code, where's the money in free software?

Don't Replace Facebook, Disrupt It

November 11, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci - LocalOrg) - Facebook is a problem. It is undoubtedly being used by special interests to manipulate and monitor entire populations both within the United States and well beyond. It represents a tool that in no way serves the people actually using it, and instead allows special interests to use the users. It is a dream global panopticon for the abusive dictators that run Western society and presume dominion over what they call an "international order."

But in order to counter this threat, Facebook cannot simply be "replaced." It specifically, and what it represents, must be disrupted entirely.

Facebook is a Skinner Box for Humans 

Facebook has been at the center of several recent controversies that are increasingly leaving users disillusioned and in search of alternatives. At the center of these controversies is Facebook's "news feed" feature. Ideally, news feed would work by showing on your timeline updates from those individuals and organizations you follow. There are two options for news feed - "most recent" and "top stories." Facebook has decided to upend this feature by insidiously controlling what appears on your news feed regardless of which option you select. 

Now, you will no longer receive regular updates from accounts you follow, and instead will see a "filtered" version determined by Facebook's algorithms. Many Facebook users are unaware of this fact and are perplexed as to why they are no longer receiving regular updates from accounts they follow.

Facebook's own explanation as to why they've implemented this policy is as follows:

Rather than showing people all possible content, News Feed is designed to show each person on Facebook the content that’s most relevant to them. Of the 1,500+ stories a person might see whenever they log onto Facebook, News Feed displays approximately 300. To choose which stories to show, News Feed ranks each possible story (from more to less important) by looking at thousands of factors relative to each person.
Facebook's real motivation is more likely a combination of implementing soft-censorship and an effort to monetize news feeds by forcing content makers to pay in order to access people already following them. What's left is wealthy content makers like large corporate media outfits monopolizing the public's attention whether the public wants it or not. 

3D Printing and the Age of Disruption

November 2, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci - LocalOrg) - Disruptive technology is that which overturns an industry unable to adapt or evolve to meet competition enabled by a technological edge. This has occurred across various media industries - from the newspaper to large network news channels, to music and movie producers - the dropping cost of entering the market and competing either directly or by undermining previously monopolized channels of distribution have challenged special interests' grip on information.

Many have predicted such a disruption across other industries beyond the digital world and within the physical, tangible world.

3D printing, more than any other technology, has served as the bridge between digital and physical disruption. The ability to turn digital files into physical objects allows people to design, scan, share, and send digital representations of physical objects just as they can images or text online. With 3D printers, these objects can be printed out in an increasingly larger number of materials and with ever improving resolution. They can also, at times, be printed out for far cheaper than it would be to buy them from a traditional manufacturer.

Image; 3D printing has begun disrupting businesses in the physical world just as file sharing has disrupted media businesses in the digital world. Here, a user printed out their own tabletop game pieces, saving hundreds of dollars in the process. 

It appears the first industry to be hit by the disruptive power of 3D printing are those that produce small plastic objects. This includes British-based tabletop game company, Games Workshop (GW). GW produces miniature plastic game pieces for strategic games that could be compared to very elaborate chess. These pieces can be prohibitively expense to collect in the large numbers necessary to play a game - and it should be remembered that at least two sets are required.