This is not a Brave New World. The world is shaping up to be Greedy, Fearful and Partisan. This could be a golden age for the human race, when technology is used to help people and improve the quality of life, reduce the digital divide, yada yada yada. But really, it's all about money, isn't it?
Just picking a few articles from the news in the last day or two, we have:
- International Students in the US may need to obtain licenses to "export" certain types of knowledge
- A lecturer at a university in Spain was fired for giving a conference on the legal use of P2P networks
- Several libraries in the US will require patrons to provide a fingerprint scan to use the public computers
- A US company is working on "anti-piracy" technology that would use RFID tags on DVDs and require a fingerprint or iris scan to play the disc Not long after Microsoft filed patents on treating an email address as an object and the ISNOT operator in BASIC-like languages, they are now leading the charge to overthrow a patent held by Australias's CSIRO on wireless networking
- A patent has prevented a free software project from providing a feature to make it easier for disabled people to type
I could go on - there is no end to the list of stories like those listed above. Stories that make you think "but - why?".