This week's The Weekly Standard has a Microsoft paid ad wherein Microsoft argues how terrible it is for business, the nation, our culture and the universe that a handful of people pirate Microsoft's crummy software.
Microsoft — Bill Gates — says, "software piracy drains an estimated $12 billion each year from the economy and from thousands of businesses large and small."
The first thing that comes to mind when I read sweeping statements like this from some ultra-wealthy peddler of junk like this is that he assumes that every person who illegally copies his trash would buy an authorized copy if the person were unable to obtain it illegally. That's baloney!
With the enormous size of software applications today, only those with high-speed Internet connections and lots of time would likely download such items. Those with CD burners might try to make illegal copies and share them but somehow I doubt people want copies of Microsoft junk because Gates' software doesn't work.
Along the lines of Gates' sniveling, the IFPI, which represents the international recording industry, just released a report purportedly showing that music piracy increased by 50 percent from 2001. Of course, they have zero proof of what they say, and in their 12-page report they make sweeping statements, none of which are proven.
They claim we are all victims of music piracy.
"The greatest victim of piracy is local culture … piracy nurtures organized crime … and piracy acts as a brake on investment, growth and jobs."
I never realized how awful this minimal act of listening to a few songs for free before going out and buying the whole album is destroying the world's economy.
My reaction — in light of all the baloney being spewed by Gates, the IFPI and the Recording Industry Association of America — was to visit boycott-riaa.com, read some of their common sense articles and buy a golf shirt that has the letter RIAA encircled in red with a slash through it. I've decided to boycott the RIAA and will not buy another music CD for at least a year.
I couldn't write about technology without giving out a tip on how to make your online experience better. If you would like to completely turn off all images, and only pull up text, here's how you do it. In Internet Explorer, click "tools," click "Internet options," go to the "advanced" tab, scroll down to "multimedia," and deselect "play animation," "play sounds," "play videos" and "show pictures." Try different combinations of these to achieve the results you want.
The most important thing I can tell you for cruising the Internet is how to download those files, text or image, that will not let you when you right-click your mouse. If that happens, use Netscape to deselect the above-mentioned items, then right-click the mouse and you will be able to download the file.
Web sites that do not want you to copy certain files use the Java software language to prevent you from doing so. By disabling Java, you can copy whatever file you want. I have not figured out how to do the same with Internet Explorer, but I rarely use that junk anyway.