AT&T’s Scare Tactic Advertising

AT&T is running radio commercials that basically say “if the power goes out and you have VoIP, your phone service won’t work” and suggesting that landline service is the safest and most reliable service because it works when the power goes out. I find these kinds of ads deplorable for a couple of reasons, but mostly just because they stink of desperation driven by the increasing stream of customers leaving AT&T.

First of all, AT&T is also selling VoIP so it’s a little disingenuous to suggest that the service is unreliable or could cause a safety lapse in one’s home. Secondly, I have two words for AT&T: cell phones

Lastly, the suggestion that landline service remains functional in power outages is technically accurate but I can’t remember the last time I have seen one of those old basic phones that doesn’t require external power. So if you have a modern telephone that plugs into the wall, well that ain’t gonna work when the power goes out whether your have a POTS landline or not. While not across that line of deceptive advertising, the AT&T ads get real close… maybe they should focus their time and energy on rolling out new and innovative services that are also lower in cost.

The Slippery Slope of Foolish Good Intentions

This seriously violates the intent and purpose of open source software, namely freedom from onerous restrictions imposed by the publisher. The slippery slope of telling organizations they can use open source software for some purposes but not others has no limits. What’s next, Wal-Mart can’t use GPU or pharmaceutical companies that animal test, or the NRA… maybe people who smoke cigarettes are prohibited or companies that don’t broadcast prayers over the PA five times a day? As ridiculous as it sounds, it’s one big step closer to telling anyone you don’t agree with they can’t use the software you are supposedly providing to the entire community.

Tiziano Mengotti is very much mistaken to codify his personal ideological views into the license and he should remove this clause immediately to restore integrity to the purpose of open source.

UPDATE: JD makes a really good point, if “military use” is prohibited does that mean Mengotti is also prohibiting terrorists from using it? It’s not a point clarified in the license… need another patch.

NewsForge | Open source project adds “no military use” clause to the GPL:

GPU is a Gnutella client that creates ad-hoc supercomputers by allowing individual PCs on the network to share CPU resources with each other. That’s intriguing enough, but the really interesting thing about GPU is the license its developers have given it. They call it a “no military use” modified version of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

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