I've got a major question...

Jerry jerry at seibercom.net
Fri Jun 28 12:47:14 UTC 2019

On Fri, 28 Jun 2019 13:17:11 +0200, Polytropon stated:
>On Fri, 28 Jun 2019 06:42:43 -0400, Jerry wrote:
>> On Fri, 28 Jun 2019 07:27:16 +0200, Polytropon stated:  
>> >On Thu, 27 Jun 2019 22:16:04 +0200, Ralf Mardorf via
>> >freebsd-questions wrote:  
>> >> Software to rent for artists could be a serious problem. I don't
>> >> want the software for free as in beer. I want to buy (pay for it
>> >> and then own) the software I want to use, since there are times
>> >> when I have money and there are times all I've got to eat, are
>> >> the wallpapers from my walls. To do some work, the software to do
>> >> the work is needed. If an artist can't pay the rent for the
>> >> software, the artist can't do the artwork to earn money.    
>> >
>> >And even if you buy a book, the book will stop working.
>> >Repeat: The books will stop working.
>> >
>> >https://twitter.com/rdonoghue/status/1144011630197522432
>> >
>> >The "always online & for rent" doesn't just add financial problems
>> >as expressed above, but can also introduce new security pitfalls,
>> >plus the "extra pay" you (as the user) provide by allowing the
>> >vendor to harvest your usage behaviour and sell that to what I
>> >often call their real clients: the advertising industry. And if
>> >you don't pay, your data - the art _you_ created - is held hostage
>> >until you pay. Or it is "accidentally" lost in which case, as per
>> >the EULA, you don't have any rights for compensation.
>> >
>> >And remember: The books will stop working. :-)  
>> Your analogy is seriously flawed on so many levels. For instance, I
>> purchased 5.25” floppy discs 30 years ago with programs that I cannot
>> now get to run on any modern OS, and that is assuming I locate a
>> 5.25” drive.  I won’t even bother discussing 8-inch (203 mm) media.
>> Times change, you must learn to accept it.  
>You're comparing physical to nonphysical items, as well as short-term
>and long-term. This is flawed twice. Additionally, you're refering
>to OS environments that do no longer exist.
>If you have the urgent need to "keep alive" hardware and software
>from many decades ago, there probably is a good reason for it, maybe
>some software that costed $$$$$ and needs to interface with some
>specific old hardware that still runs and needs to keep running.
>I'm saying this because I have a few of those "museum cases" where
>things just need to be "kept alive", because there simply is no
>alternative that is technically or financially viable. Because
>_some_ things do _not_ change.
>> Documents created with either Adobe due not suddenly “stop” working
>> if you cancel your lease. They are fully available with either a
>> stand-alone version of Adobe or with a program capable of open PDFs.
>> I know because I have done it; plus, it states so on Adobe’s web
>> site. Nothing created by the user ceases to work.  
>You have probably misinterpreted what I tried to say: With the
>"lease model", non-local storage can be the key problem if you
>fail to pay. Creation and output is only possible through the
>program itself, be it a stand-alone installation or an online
>version. As long as someone else is involved, and you do not
>store your stuff locally (with _any_ program being able to get
>access to it), the moment you fail to pay can be the moment
>your works are gone.

That is just plain BS, Poly. "ALL" the documents I create, whether with
Adobe, or some program from MS Office "ARE" stored locally. I have the
option to store them on my own cloud service, such as DropBox, or  a
vendor supplied one. In my case, I back up my locally stored documents
to a cloud service. You are trying to make it sound as if you are being
forced to use a vendor supplied location. That is completely false and
extremely misleading. In addition, the services I have used allow a
"grace" period to unload files from their storage facilities should you
decide to cancel the lease. In my case, OneDrive comes with Windows, so
I can store stuff there anytime I want.

PLEASE, stop trying to scare the children. (FUD)

>> In Adobe, you have the option of opting out of allowing Adobe to
>> harvest your data. There are two options, one to collect your usage
>> data and another to collect program data should it crash. I see no
>> legitimate reason to opt out of the latter, but that is an individual
>> decision to make.  
>It is. Reality shows that such decision making isn't always easy,
>because the corresponding controls are hidden, buried on some
>sub-dialog or preference page. The default, in my opinion, should
>be to make the decision at the first run of the software, with
>the standard value being "no data transmitted". Giving away your
>data for free (!) should be an active decision, not something you
>need to express your dissent later on.

When I agreed to the lease agreement, that was one of the first items
that appeared on the screen. While I cannot recall at this moment, I
believe the default was to not exchange data.

Changing you mind is not a major problem either. In Adobe, simply log
in at Adobe.com with your Adobe ID. From the Overview Page select
"Security & Privacy". Now click the "manage" link associated with the
"Privacy" heading. There are two check boxes that have to do with
collecting information. Uncheck them if you don't want to share your
files with Adobe.

In MS Products, simply open the application, <Account> <Account
Privacy> <Manage Settings>. MS should do a better job of hiding this
Privacy> stuff.

>> Both Adobe’s and Microsoft’s new business model of leasing software
>> has proven successful. Customers like the fact that the software is
>> kept up-to-date, and the cost of the product has declined
>> dramatically.  
>For example, most of my customers are complaining that updates
>break their workflow, slow down operations, and cause hardware
>to stop working ("Scanner has stopped working after update,
>please help!" or "My screen looks all funny, right after the
>reboot the update caused."). Some of them even do not perform
>those updates in fear something would break. This is of course
>a problem from a security point of view. But you probably know
>this from corporate installations where updates are not performed
>in an O(n) manner on individual PCs running home version of
>"Windows", but instead the whole process is controlled by the
>IT department. Even in such cases, important updates are _not_
>done because they need some internal review and excessive testing,
>and if someone says, "This will break the functionality of our
>software module X version Y, we can't do this update.", the
>update is also _not_ done. Don't get me started about corporate
>IT security... ;-)

Why would I inquire about IT security? From your description, it sounds
to me like you are talking about an OS update or modification. I am
referring to applications, not entire OSs. I belong to both the Adobe
and MS Office forums, and have never heard your stated complaints
regarding an application update. I am also on the beta team for MS
Office, and while I would expect to heard those problems, I don't. In
addition, most software problems I have encountered first hand are
usually due to the PEBCAK phenomenon.

>Regarding costs: Recently I had a client complain about the
>software they were using. They changed from a yearly fee, let's
>just pretend $200, to a quarterly fee of $80. And $80 is less
>than $200, right? Plus, there is no installation media anymore,
>you need to download the software at your own costs (time and
>transfer volume, because that particular customer only has slow
>Internet, which hasn't been a problem before). So: No, it's not
>always cheaper.

No you are just playing at being stupid, or at least I assume you are
playing at it. Of course, a quarterly purchase would be more than a
yearly purchase. We buy office supplies in bulk. One ream of paper
costs us more per item than lets say 100 reams. That is just plan
business economics, taught in Business 101.

Assume, they don't download it. Instead they drive to a location to
purchase it. Now we have incurred gas/diesel charges, depreciation on
the vehicle uses for the transportation, etcetera. Or perhaps they get
a friend to secure the necessary software for them. In any case, they
obviously have to secure the item. Your analogy is seriously flawed.

>But I completely agree with your statement regarding home users.
>As they don't control their smartphones and tables, why should
>they control their computers which are no longer PCs (_their_
>personal computers)? Smartphone OS updates come in automatically,
>are installed without much interaction; tablet software gets its
>updates, new version is available without big trouble. Security
>holes are dealt with in a quick manner, as it should be. Given
>that a significant amount of spam, DDoS trouble etc. is generated
>from home PCs running "Windows" versions which aren't patched
>properly, automated (and let me just say "forced") updates are
>a good solution. And nothing requires the user to have any kind
>of knowledge about how a computer works, what an operating system
>is or why security matters to everyone.

On an Android system, you can delay or stop the auto-update function or
request that you be given the options of refusing it. The same goes for
MS operating systems; at least the ones I have used. I have no idea
what you are playing with.

>> In
>> the case of Microsoft, their Office 365 HOME offers six products,
>> Word, Excel, PowerPoint, One Note, Outlook, Publisher, Access,
>> 60-minutes of Skype, and 1TB Cloud Storage. At $99.99 for five
>> separate installations with up to 6 users, that works out to less
>> than $20 per install for over, at retail, a $1000 of software.  
>And you get almost the same for free with LibreOffice, plus it
>will open files that "Office 365" has stopped supporting many
>years ago, plus you can store in standardized document formats,
>plus you can output to PDF directly, and so on, and you can use
>the same program on any platform and OS. ;-)

I have tried LibreOffice. It doesn't integrate the various products any
where as seamlessly as MS Office does. Plus, you can output to PDF
directly from MS Office, whether or no Adobe is installed. In addition,
MS office will save a document in most commonly used formats. You are
just spreading more FUD.

>> Leasing software is not
>> the perfect business plan for all users; however, in many cases, it
>> fits into their business model perfectly. In some cases, like mine,
>> it works out as a nice tax deduction, although a small one.  
>I won't disagree here. In the past, renting both hardware and
>software has been a typical construct, and of benefit for the
>users. This changed with the age of personal computers, and
>changed back with the dawn of mobile computing, I would say.
>Of course there is no "one size fits all".

Now, just to clarify things, I use many FOSS applications, including
Postfix/Dovecot for my mail server, in addition to MySQL, openLDAP, and
other useful products. I don't have a desktop environment on my FreeBSD
PC because I have always found the X implementation rather juvenile, to
say the least. When FreeBSD can actually support better hardware,
printers, scanners, WI-FI devices without the end user having to go
through hoops and hacks just to get some functionality from their
device, assuming they can get it to work at all, then I might revisit
that issue. At the present time time, it is a non-starter.

Again, the lease business model is obviously not suitable for everyone,
however, I find it to be an extremely useful tool. I agree with you,
"One size does not fit all." Never-the-less, the feedback that the big
players have been getting is favorable, so I think the trend will
continue. As in any successful business model, it is subject to change.


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