23 January 2007

Microsoft's Eternal Cheek

This is rich:

In this culture of instant information, some Microsoft Corp. researchers are pursuing a radical notion -- the concept of saving messages for delivery in decades, centuries or more.

The project, dubbed "immortal computing," would let people store digital information in physical artifacts and other forms to be preserved and revealed to future generations, and maybe even to future civilizations.

So, the company that more than anyone has tried to lock people into opaque, closed formats that will be unreadable in a few decades, let alone a few millennia, and which even now is trying to foist more of the same on people, suddenly discovers the virtue of unconstrained accessibility.

But to add insult to injury, it then tries to patent the idea. Earth to Microsoft: this is called openness, it's what you've been fighting for the last thirty years. There's a fair amount of prior art for the basic technique, actually.

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