Subject: Re: Debian GNU/Linux project's model a good starting point for fsb
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 08:55:03 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Brian" == Brian Bartholomew <> writes:

    >> I think you just don't have a coherent definition of "planned
    >> obsolescence."  First, "obsolete" implies that a better
    >> replacement is _on hand_, which your "definition" doesn't deal
    >> with at all.

    Brian> I don't think the replacement has to be on hand yet, just
    Brian> scheduled to exist.  The obsolescence is planned to occur
    Brian> in the future.

Where did you learn your English skills?  "Obsolete," the word I was
defining, is _present tense_.  Sheesh.

    >> FSBs that actually produce free software _can_ intentionally
    >> make it bad so that they can sell service.  They will be
    >> limited by the fact that other people can read the code
    >> ... maybe

    Brian> Slowly, slowly, catchee free software user.  If anything,
    Brian> ABIsource will succeed in making a niche for themselves
    Brian> because users will convince themselves they could make
    Brian> modifications if they wanted to, but very few people
    Brian> actually will because it's complex and boring.  Then by
    Brian> charging for support, they can collect per-user rent
    Brian> without the availability of source code eliminating their
    Brian> revenue stream.

Yes, there are few multimode geniuses around.  Your point might be?

    Brian> Why don't you do your own doctoring and lawyering?

Nice analogy.  Economists don't much like lawyers, precisely because
they have a strong incentive to obfuscate, and many succumb (though
not necessarily for pocketbook reasons; most just like the feeling of
being necessary and do it unconsciously).

Still, the law is complex because clients are complex.

    Brian> I think we all recognize a lot of planned obsolescence when
    Brian> we see it.

Speak for yourself.  I don't.

    Brian> Or was it planned obsolescence to milk the public for n
    Brian> upgrades when they could have produced an ultimate player
    Brian> in the first or second generation?

"Never ascribe to malice what can be fully explained by incompetence."
I dunno about the US/European manufacturers, but there is no design in
Japan.[1]  They do design by gosh and by golly.  That's why Toyota and
Sony both have big labs in California; they recognize the domestic
corporate culture is too stifling.

    Brian> The problem is making rigorous criteria for planned
    Brian> obsolescence, and the best indication is probably
    Brian> documented businessperson intentions.

A business person who wastes any effort documenting intentions other
than to prevent anti-trust actions should be fired.

[1]  Please, if you want to contest this, let's do it elsewhere.  It's 
not relevant to the FSB.

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