Of Responsabilities

Yesterday, Mozilla Foundation announced that future versions of Firefox will have support for a DRM scheme called EME. By their own blog post — and by several news outlets around — it is not a decision they are happy with and feel they had to add to not force anyone to switch browsers.

(Just small note here: Yes, they don’t want people to switch browsers because that would mean less revenue for them, but at the same time, Firefox is one of the only major browsers that really cares about privacy and not just how their icon looks better in this version. Anyway…)

After the announcement, a lot of people start claiming some stuff like “hey, last CEO was called out for a lot less than this” and “we need a new ‘pure’ browser”.

Yeah, yeah, I get why you are angry. I just think your anger is misdirected.

Imagine this: there is this kid. The kid is bullied non-stop by richer kids, but he’s stoic. He takes the punchs like nothing. You root for the kid, because he never returns violence with violence. Then, one day, the kid kills himself. What happens?

1. You call the kid stupid for killing himself?

2. You go after the rich kids and show them what they did?

The right, moral answer is 2. The kid suffered enough and just saw no other exit. It was not a noble option (or smart, let’s say), but it was the only option he saw.

Now, that’s the same thing: Mozilla had to kill one of its morals because richer kids pushed something made to reduce your freedom just so you wouldn’t need to give up your other freedoms (privacy, for example).

And then people want full rampage on Mozilla for taking this decision.

A decision forced on them by richer kids.

Richer kids like Google, Microsoft, BBC and Netflix.

Now, there is absolutely no one going after Google for backing EME; there is no one saying “Microsoft, always fucking up with the user”; there is no one telling BBC to stick to news and stop messing with IT; there is no one willing to lose watching The Next Generation for the 11th time instead of supporting Netflix. Nope, everyone is against Mozilla decision.

Mozilla is not resposible for DRM on Firefox; Google, Microsoft, BBC and Netflix are.

So, if you’re pissed, go cancel your Microsoft account; delete your Gmail; forget about YouTube; stop getting your BBC news; cancel your Netflix account. Show the rich kids that you don’t accept their actions and don’t want to be around them anymore.

(But, in the end, it’s a lot easier to switch browsers than stop watching cat videos on the internet thanks to YouTube or watching your old series on Netflix. And, thus, it is easier to go after Mozilla than doing what’s right.)

Speaking Seriously About the iPad

In January this year, I wrote about why the iPad matters. There, I pointed that a lot of changes would come to the digital world since it appeared.

Recently, the iPad was officially launched in Brazil. Now you don’t need to import it and pay huge taxes for it; you can go to a local shop and buy it, paying the huge taxes for it.

There is only one problem with it: All reviews that people post here about it are translations of American articles, saying how awesome the new iBook Store is, how now you don’t need to carry books around, how you can easily watch your favourite TV series on Hulu and get movies from Netflix, buy the soundtrack of the movie or the new album of your favourite artist on iTunes Store… In short, all the good things about having a slim notebook where you won’t type much.

The problem is: Nothing of this is available here in Brazil. So, in the end, the iPad is nothing but a huge iPod Touch. And when you point that, people get pissed.

I mentioned that on Twitter to someone that posted a translated article from IT World (I think, can’t really remember right now) which mentioned all those good services you can access but are only available in very selected places of the planet. Their answer? “The iPad is an awesome device and people that say it’s a huge iPod never used it or don’t like it ;)” (yes, smiley face and all.)

First of all, I used it already. My aunt have one and I’m still trying to figure out how she uses it. I like the bigger virtual keyboard compared to the iPod Touch, and the huge screen to check websites, but that’s it — exactly what a bigger iPod Touch would do. Second, if you read my original post, yes, I do like the iPad because what it means. So neither points were valid, to start with. But this guy had to defend how awesome the device was, doesn’t he?

That’s when I pointed that a small netbook would do the same, for much less money ’cause, in the end, all you have is internet access to read the local newspaper online. And any device with connectivity would suffice, including a recent iPod Touch (as long as you have a wifi around) or even an iPone 3GS, which would do much more than the iPad for around the same price.

So no, it’s not that I don’t like the iPad or never used it. The problem is the tiny minded people with money that don’t want to share their things with the world and put geological barriers on a bondariless technology. And while those barriers are still up, the iPad would be just a huge iPod Touch on everywhere except the USA.

PS: Just one thing: I used the iTunes Store in Australia and as a digital distribution system, it’s awesome. The problem is that you get crippled versions of most albums instead of the full thing. One example is the soundtrack of “Across the Universe”. I bought it from iTunes Store Australia, only to find a few minutes later that the American version have 5 or 6 tracks more. So the barrier is still there.