Thursday, August 23, 2007
Lock in is a term that denotes where a customer is dependent on a vendor for products and services and cannot move to another vendor without substantial switching costs, real and/or perceived. Lock in is exercised in any and every kind of product for better profits by extending the lock-in cycle by trapping the customer in a deep net of expenses the are not evidently clear in the first transaction. So, the computer and software market is also not free from the lock-in phenomena. The question here is lock-in can be the survival kit for the sellers but to what extent can they exploit the buyers?
Microsoft the software giant as everyone knows it as, is undoubtedly one of the best practitioners of lock-in to grip its customers. Its software carries a high level of vendor lock-in, based on its extensive set of proprietary Application Programming Interface (API). Their degree of lock-in combined with their market share has made them subject to a number of antitrust lawsuits. Without making it technical, if you are using a windows operating system, you further use Microsoft’s Office in addition to it you tend to use the Microsoft’s mail client. If you are a web developer they even provide MS Frontpage, you have visual basic for programming and the recent dot net also has been incorporated in Microsoft’s products. There by, if you get fully dependent on Microsoft and say as they are fully proprietary and without doubts profit oriented, they try to charge even for running their application then one will have no place to hide!
Another fact to consider is, Microsoft's application software also exhibits lock-in through the use of proprietary file formats. Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook both, for example, use proprietary datastore files and interfaces which are impossible to read without being parsed, and such parsers may in turn not be able to exist legally without performing reverse engineering. For example, to access data contained in Outlook's '.PST' files, the application must process the request through Outlook instead of directly handling the file. Present versions of Microsoft Word have introduced a new more open format MS-OOXML. This may make it easier for competitors to write documents compatible with Microsoft Office in the future by reducing lock-in, but as a competitor to the OpenDocument format, it may instead increase lock-in through an Embrace, extend and extinguish effect. Thus, how can we ensure that Microsoft will not charge us one day even for opening their file format. As only they know how to open the files we may be in a risk of paying them just to view our files we ourselves made.
All in all, I’m not trying to prove Microsoft bad but we should ourselves be aware of the hard possibilities in future. It may be their way to carry on their business but we should also be aware of the alternative ways rather than getting firmly locked in with a sole vendor. The intellectual property rights will make sure that we have to pay what the giant asks for in the future, therefore act now to be safe later.
Around 525 Words
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
The album kicks off with the title track “Heyy Babyy” stylishly vocalized by Niraj Shridhar, Raman, Prevez Quadir and Loy. This is a full on dance track with techno beats and sultry lyrics to accompany the overall feel of the movie of the three out of control guys. Next is “Dholna” magnificently crooned by the deadly duo of Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghosal. Its great to hear Sonu after a long time and Shreya was also out of lime light after Leja Leja. The song has earthy instrumentation and that first love feel written all over it. Sameer has penned down commendable lyrics for this song and for the whole album except of the variation of the title track by Girl Band. After that soothing track, we come across “Mast Kalandar” which is sung by Salim Shehzada, Rehan Khan, Shankar Mahadevan and Sajid Khan. The instrument selection is unsophisticated and gives you the wedding song feel from the first Shenai hear. Singers have done full justice with the compilation and the lyric goes in sync with the melody. This song provokes you to put on your dance shoes. Subsequenly, “Heyy Babyy” vocalized by Girl band featuring DJ Akbar Sami enchants our ears. Girl Band comprises of Renee Armstrong, Patrice Tipaki, Renee Bargh & Jessica Smith. Pakistani singers have had been featured in bollywood movie albums but now its time for the singers from the west. It is a typical Akbar Sami dance track with high tempo and addictive 4/4 beats. The English lyric is provided by Anvita Dutt Guptan and Girl Band. Consequently “Jane Bhi De” reaches our ears which is sung by Shankar Mahadevan and Loy Mendosa, I can’t figure our why they missed Ehasan. Well the duo from the terrific trio has done a fine job of singing their own composition. The song has the apologetic lyric and the rhythm is one you start humming from the first listen.
At track 6 we have “Meri Duniya Tu Hi Re” which is crooned by three shining S of the bollywood music scenario Sonu, Shaan and Shankar. This is by far the best slow song in the album, I think its shot on the baby and her three fathers. The song has amazing lyric with the slow pace that builds up as the song passes by. Then there are three remixes, first remix is “Dholna Remix” by DJ WhoSane. It is a slow mix of the orginal song without the dance type heavy beats but the DJ has done enough to keep the soul of the song intact. The English rap adds the needed zing to this remix but Sonu’s voice stands out even in the RnB type music. After that we have “Heyy Babyy Big O Mix” which is also re-arranged by DJ WhoSane. This remix unlike the above one is fast paced and can be called a dance mix with amplifying the heat of the original. The out of the box experiments in sound should have been avoided it will stop the song from being a big club hit. Last but not the least is “Jane Bhi De Hiccup Remix” by DJ WhoSane which is a proper Rap Mix of the original. With the increased tempo, good beat-matching and extra voices being mixed up this song can become a disco burner in near future.
All in all, this album is a good one from the trio who has given big hits. It is not as good as the other compilations they have put their hands in but ok for collecting one SEL album.
Around 750 Words
Monday, August 13, 2007
Commons is almost synonymous to public domain. So what is public domain then, public domain comprises of body of knowledge and innovation in relation to which no person or other legal entity can establish or maintain proprietary interests within a particular legal jurisdiction. The good and the bad side of public domain resource is, in general anyone may use or exploit the resource whether for commercial or non-commercial purposes. In general understanding, an item of work is not is public domain it may be result of a proprietary interest such as copyright, patent or other rights. So a resource in a public domain is very important to the commoner who is interested to use the resource in any form. The figure below attempts to explain the commons in a better way.
Commons or common resource is beneficial to the commoners. But on the negative side if the common resource has probability to be depleted mainly on following grounds:
- Privatization of resource (Mainly via use of intellectual property rights IPR)
- Over Consumption
- No way to replenish the commons
Let’s analyze how intellectual property rights like copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret help growth reduction. The validity of a copyright for a book is life of author plus 70 years in current context. So after lets say about 140 years the resource comes back to the public domain. But core businessmen are trying to make the validity infinity minus 1 day which is bound to create problems. For further information please see www.copyright.gov on how copyright is certain to create troubles.
On a technical base let’s try to define digital commons. Digital commons are those intellectual properties specifically in digital form and in the public domain. Digital commons tries to define in concrete terms that everyone is able to enjoy the digital revolution. It mainly advocates about the free and open source software, open source software and creative commons. The figure below tries to clarify the commons concept with copyright and copyleft.
An amazing fact about copyright © is that we don’t even have to mention copyright © Name and year to mark that we have the copyright of the creation or resource it is implicit by law. So if nothing is mentioned then it means copyright automatically. It is the restriction to copy or use the resource in any form. But commons is a transparent concept there by in the software world people like Richard Stallman and others advocated the concept of free software, free not as in cost but the freedom to use and modify. Free software is a software which is in the public domain for eternity. The free software foundation germinated licenses like GNU GPL (GNU Not Unix General Public License) and GNU FDL (GNU Not Unix Free Document License) that made it possible to use the software, distribute or redistribute it and make modifications to the existing software and as per condition sell it as well.
Other that the GNU licenses there is another license called Creative Commons (CC) it mainly talks of following things, which are
- Attribution : Attribute the original author of the content
- Derivative : Allow derivative work of the resource
- Commercial : Allow or not allow commercial use of the resource
- Share Alike: The resource can be modified but should be given back in the same license it is take from the commons.
There by rather than going towards the conventional copyright we must break the barrier by collaborative work that gives rise to the age old and proven concept of commons.
Around 850 Words