Dear Helena Bonham Carter,
Even though you don't know me, we do in fact share at least two things in common. Like you, I also have a double-barrelled surname, and as you live in the UK, there's a good chance you're also a British Telecom customer, and probably have an Internet subscription (although not necessarily with BT).
The reason I'm writing you this open letter, is to enquire whether you pay your BT bill online, and if so then how? You see, I've discovered a rather annoying feature of BT: They seem to be biased against us double-barrellers.
I've long been a critic of those sorts of "Linux" distributions that feverishly struggle to implement a very condescending type of simplicity, and forsake more fundamental qualities, such as security and freedom, in an oddly desperate but illogical attempt to attain some elusive mark of "popularity". Ubuntu is probably the most stereotypical example, but I'm sure there are others.
For years I'd clung to the hope that common sense would prevail over the propaganda-fuelled hysteria of the masses, and that distributions with more "traditional" values, like Red Hat (or it's non-commercial counterpart, Fedora) would lead by example, ultimately swaying the opinions of those masses towards common sense.
It seems my hope was in vain.
Fedora has just become another "buntu".
After discovering that the BBC is considering implementing DRM for its forthcoming HD service, I felt compelled to write yet another letter of complaint, this time to OFCOM:
Subject: BBC's HD Service Encryption
With reference to your request for comments regarding the BBC's proposal to encrypt the programme information stream of their forthcoming HD broadcasts, I wish to register my concerns.
I find it wholly unacceptable (and quite ironic) that a service I am forced to pay for, simply because I own a television set, is now proposing to limit my ability to view their broadcasts.
Apparently, that melodramatic proclaimer of outrageously twisted opinion, Linus Torvalds, thinks anyone who criticises Microsoft for their unethical (and even criminal) behaviour, is suffering some kind of "disease" (although he fails to specify). I, however, will specify the disease that fuels Torvalds' hatred of Microsoft critics ... it's called "pragmatism".
Scenario: Millions of people are suffering from [some arbitrary disease], most of whom are poor people living in the Third World. A pharmaceutical company spends billions on R&D to find a cure, and eventually makes a breakthrough. The company calculates that, in order to recover its investment, and make a reasonable profit, it must guarantee the sale of X number of units of the drug, at Y cost per unit - anything less, and they cannot justify the investment. However, this necessity presents two problems:
a) The price (Y) is prohibitively high for Third World patients
b) The company must use the exclusivity of patents to ensure sufficient sales (X), so cheaper alternatives cannot be made available to the poor by other companies