Monthly Archives: August 2009

Free software, fairness and scientists

I have just posted my final blog posts to my Sun blog, including one called Free, the right price for software. (Now republished on this blog,as Free, the right price for software.) This uses a Welfare Economics approach to argue that the correct price for software is free. This is designed to be an abstract for an essay I have promised myself, which will also be the basis for my evidence to the UK Government Consultation on regulating and restricting file sharers. This article briefly looks at economic equity, efficiency and academic publication regimes.

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Free, the right price for software

Economic systems are about how to use scarce resources and the Price Mechanism is the way in which a optimal resource allocation occurs. Economists use a branch of theory called “Welfare Economics” to analyse and model the efficiency of the productive economy, and a theoretically maximally efficient set of states can be defined within a model, known as the Pareto-efficiency frontier. A perfectly competitive market meets the efficiency requirements, imperfect or distorted markets do not. Distortions can be caused by the existence of monopolistic markets, taxation, externalities or missing markets.

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Three dimensions of Virtualisation

Another piece of, what I hope is wisdom, coming from my last three months of customer conversations is that virtualisation has three dimensions, Atomisation, Aggregation and Longevity.

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How new is Cloud Computing?

I have spoken to several of Sun’s customers over the last 3 months about Cloud Computing and have often used the following quote, to show the commonality in distributed computing architectures.

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Are blogs losing their infuence?

Richard Morgan sent me this article, “Are Blogs Losing Their Authority To The Statusphere?” dated March 10th 2009, which argues that while blog authority ranking according to Technorati remains fairly static, the scores of the various blogs are declining. Technorati uses an inlist scoring algorithm which may be part of the problem, but it would seem to me that micro-blogging is impacting the strength of the voice of blogs as a communications tool, which is what the article argued. In some way’s not just micro-blogging, but the various places where people can and do record what they do and think.

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Monopoly and prices

Monopolies restrict supply and offer their goods at prices above equilibrium price, the opportunity cost of the resources used to make the goods. I am writing a short paper about this since it is a piece of thinking I revisited while developing my thoughts on free software, but is not central to those thoughts. There remain those who still think that monopolistic domination of markets is a legitimate business goal and that public policy and regulation should not inhibit this “free” market tendency. A review of the theory of the firm shows that monopolies restrict supply, raise prices and make super-profits.

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Back Online with BT Boadband

Since I need a new broadband connection, I have been struggling with BT’s home hub since last Wednesday, which is why this blog has been unavailable. I finally discovered that I had not correctly configured the bliki host’s gateway and dns server addresses. So despite being exceptionally cross with BT because no-one would help me, it turns out that it was all my fault, particularly since I ignored at least two people’s advice to check it. I used this site to organise my notes and asked for help at BT’s forums on a thread called port forwarding/http service.

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Little Big Adventure

I have been struggling to get VRDP from Virtual Box working on my home network, of which more maybe later, but I took a break to install one of the greatest games ever on the home machines with the help of my younger son. We finally found a copy of Little Big Adventure that’ll run on modern machines. This is hosted at LBA HQ. It runs native but recommends running under DosBox. So that is what I did…

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