3rd Era of computing ?

I was at the session Tim refers to during the executive briefing at OSCON, it’s good to see a well reasoned post from Tim on what happened but I’m not overly interested in that aspect, what did catch my eye is the summing up of computer ‘eras’ at the end of the post and what appears to be a call to action:

My Tongue-Lashing from Eben Moglen:
Meanwhile, I continue to feel that the focus of the free software movement on “software” rather than on “freedom” is the real lost opportunity. In the first era of the computer industry, lock-in was provided by hardware; in the second era, it was provided by software; today, it is provided by centralized databases driven by winner-takes-all network effects. Focusing only on free software is as limiting as focusing on free hardware. It’s freedom that matters. I would have thought that Eben and I could have found common cause there, and would love to have a real conversation about these issues.

I wonder in which era we will see truly free data that belongs to the people that create it no matter what they do, and software that is not dependant on an OS for that matter…


1 comment so far

  1. Dazza Joe Greenwood on

    I’m curious – what is the working definition here about the first, second and third era for the computer industry? I’m about to craft a post on the topic and noticed this reference from a google search… thanks,
    – Dazza

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