2012, The Year Android Passes Microsoft Windows As Top OS

May 17, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Posted in Operating Systems, Technology | Leave a comment

Tomi Ahomen has another great blog article that does the math, adding smartphone and PC sales to show that 2012 is the first year where Android (and thus Linux) passes Microsoft in operating system sales.

I hope the future follows his prediction path…but I see a risk he doesn’t mention.  Tomi acknowledges the telecom carriers view Skype (and so VOIP in general) as an existential threat, and this is a reason that they aren’t cooperating with Microsoft.

Although I hope the carriers can help squeeze Microsoft dry, can they really win the battle against the progress of technology, of which the much more efficient VOIP phone calls should be the future?  Put me in the category of pro-VOIP, not pro-Skype or Microsoft.

Tech aware consumers would be much happier with a data only phone plan, where they could just use a VOIP phone with no meaningful loss in functionality, but a reduction of perceived excessive cellphone bills.  Some people already do this and have zero call and text minutes, as VOIP calls and texts don’t count.  If Microsoft were to somehow survive in the phone business for another decade, then I would presume that VOIP technology finally became the disruptive technology that broke the telecom system.

The good news is that even if that happens, Google and Android seem equally well prepared for a VOIP future without having to purchase Skype or suffer the negative fallout from doing so.

[Confession: Although my wife has a Samsung Galaxy S2 on a Sprint plan, I still refuse to have any cellphone plan. I just use her old EVO 4G as a Wifi device.  We won’t renew her contract when it ends and will likely switch to Republic Wireless or Ting. Those at least represent an improved direction for carriers (MVNOs in their case) that don’t overcharge customers.]

The Irony of Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists

May 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm | Posted in Decentralism, History, Political theory | 6 Comments

Given that Federalism and Antifederalism are 220 year old ideologies, I’m surprised I have never run across the observation I’m about to make. If someone knows who else pointed this out, please let me know.  Pay attention to when I capitalize “federalism” as when lower case I refer to the concept, but when capitalized refers to the group of people calling themselves by that name, whether accurate or not.

The Federalists named themselves that. It was wrong. Most Federalists were really nationalists. They named themselves such because of the Colonial public’s distrust of nationalism.  In Lincoln’s era, and sympathetic historians after him, the Unionists could point to acts and quotes of many Federalists that clearly had nationalist leanings and statements, as this was what the Federalists desired.  The Southern secessionists could likewise point to acts and quotes against nationalism because this is what the Federalists had to say to gain power.

Anti-Federalists did not name themselves.  This was a term applied to them by their opponents who called themselves Federalists.  So it is more ironic that the so called Anti-Federalists were actually the federalists, just as the Articles of Confederation were federalist while the Constitution was only superficially so.

So it is true that the Constitution, created by the “Framers” who were mostly Federalists who weren’t federalists with just enough Anti-Federalist federalist wording to get passed, was a combination of apparent federalism but hidden nationalism.  So the Constitution as applied became increasingly nationalist, and permanently so after the so called Civil War.

If anyone has read the constitution of the former USSR, freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion are enumerated. However, like the Constitution of the USA, there was insufficient protections to stop centralization of power into nationalism which provides no means to protect those freedoms.

Lysander Spooner would write it best:

The practical difficulty with our government has been, that most of those who have administered it, have taken it for granted that the Constitution, as it is written was a thing of no importance; that it neither said what it meant, nor meant what it said; that it was gotten up by swindlers, (as many of its authors doubtless were,) who said a great many good things, which they did not mean, and meant a great many bad things, which they dared not say; that these men, under the false pretence of a government resting on the consent of the whole people, designed to entrap them into a government of a part, who should be powerful and fraudulent enough to cheat the weaker portion out of all the good things that were said, but not meant, and subject them to all the bad things that were meant, but not said. And most of those who have administered the government, have assumed that all these swindling intentions were to be carried into effect, in the place of the written Constitution.

And again another Spooner nugget of genius:

But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain—that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.

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