Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Protection Racket

I'm not a big fan of SAAS. It has its place, I'm sure. Enterprise solutions are, for example a good application for SAAS. It makes sense from a business standpoint to more easily budget for IT expenditures. I just want no part of it. SAAS has no place in personal virus scanners! For those unaware, SAAS stands for Software As A Service. In essence, you don't own the software, you rent it. Much like a lawn service where you pay in intervals for them to come mow and edge your lawn, SAAS allows access to software as long as you pay for it. Norton Antivirus, otherwise one of the best antiviruses out there, used to sell you the program and gave you virus updates for one year after installation. When the year was over, it stopped downloading definitions for new viruses and asked that you renew or upgrade, at your earliest convenience. Now once your year's subscription is over, it stops working! That's right folks, not only does it not download new virus definitions - it completely stops working. No virus protection, online backup, phishing blocking or nothing. I understand wanting to keep the revenue coming in, but seriously, if the customer doesn't pay you right away that's no reason to cut him off at the knees!
I may be old fashioned in my preference to 'buy' (pay for and own) my stuff. The rights afforded the customer used to be grand. Now you better watch your step and toe the line. If what you do doesn't earn the corporation money - they might sue you. Mix tapes were awesome! Buy the albums you like, then copy the songs in the order you wanted onto a new tape (like a playlist.) Now they say copying songs is illegal. What about fair use? I learned to program by changing the code in other's programs like the game Sammy Snake. That's frowned upon now too. How much longer until you can't even mod your car for fear of 'infringing' on someone's IP?
Sorry for the downer. I'll post something happier next time.