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South Africa Appeals ISO Decision On OOXML

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the first-of-the-dominos dept.

Software 79

mauritzhansen sends us a blog post by Steve Pepper, former chairman of the Norwegian standards committee responsible for evaluating OOXML, reporting that the South African national standards body, SABS, has appealed against the result of the OOXML DIS 29500 ballot in ISO. From the blog: "In a letter sent to the General Secretary of the IEC (co-sponsor with ISO of JTC1), the SABS expresses its 'deep concern over the increasing tendency of international organizations to use the JTC 1 process to circumvent the consensus-building process that is the cornerstone to the success and international acceptance of ISO and IEC standards.' Having resigned as Chairman of the Norwegian committee responsible for considering OOXML for exactly this reason, I congratulate South Africa on its willingness to stand up for the principles on which standardization work should be based."

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I appeal first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23517734)

who farted?

They can't do that (2, Interesting)

overshoot (39700) | more than 6 years ago | (#23517788)

Aside from the fact that they're protesting other NBs' votes (or so the Secretariat will rule) there's the little matter of there not being any IS-29500 text to object to. No standard, no objections.

Think of it as creative interpretation of the Directives.

Re:They can't do that (3, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518044)

Maybe not according to the rules. But, rules can be ignored. Organizations can be ignored. This type of thing will continue, and it will kill ISO because there will be no perception of either trust or authority.

Re:They can't do that (2, Interesting)

uucp2 (731567) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519068)

Unfortunately, this is probably exactly what Microsoft wants.

Re:They can't do that (2, Interesting)

gunnk (463227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519880)

No central standards body? Oh dear! I guess we'll have to decentralize the process and make it transparent... an open standards process!

Nah, I think Microsoft actually likes ISO because they've found ways to distort it. However, the gp post is spot on: ISO will either clean up its act or lose credibility -- and for an organization whose existence relies on credibility that means extinction.

Kinda ironic (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23518396)

It's kind of ironic how teh FOSSies and Stallmanistas whined and cried for years that MS wasn't following standards... but now that MS is submitting standards for approval, teh FOSSies and Stallmanistas are crying about the standards.

Any bets that now FOSSies and Stallmanistas will start rejecting standards, and do their own thing? That's the thing- when you stand for nothing, you fall for anything. It was never about "ZOMG TEH STANDERDZ!!11!"... it was always about having a bat to beat Microsoft with. Just like OLPC: it was never about providing learning tools to kids in the third world, it's about having a bat to beat Microsoft with.

I have a dream that one day FOSS stands for something besides attacking Microsoft.

Re:Kinda ironic (3, Insightful)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518546)

I don't think anyone would complain about Microsoft submitting standards for approval. The objections come when the spec for the standard submitted is 6000 pages long and includes some nuggets as "implement this as it's implemented in Windows 95" and associated garbage.

The objections become bellows when the same company, impatient with the approval process, sets out to buy votes to get the "standard" approved with minimal change.

I for one have a great deal of distaste for fanatics of all stripes, and I'm afraid Stallman and his more opinionated supporters do qualify as fanatics, but the process to date of getting OOXML qualified as an ISO standard has been a farce, and no amount of whinging on slashdot by AC fanbois (or MS sockpuppets) is going to change that.

Re:Kinda ironic (4, Insightful)

g2devi (898503) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519268)

> I don't think anyone would complain about Microsoft submitting standards for approval.

Why not? The ISO mandate is to have one standard per task and ensure that any new standard should reuse other ISO standards and not try to reinvent the wheel.

Any company submits a duplicate standard and reinvents ISO standardized from the date stamp to graphics files for no other reason than to get government contracts and ensure vendor lock-in, it's right to complain no matter who is doing the submission.

> I for one have a great deal of distaste for fanatics of all stripes, and I'm afraid Stallman and his more opinionated supporters do qualify as fanatics

Actually, even though I don't subscribe to Stallman's rigid views, I don't see a problem of them.

He and his followers are equivalent to the Amish. The want to live in a world with certain constraints so that they can live in a society with certain rewards.

Anyone who's been the victim of vendor lock-in or abandon-ware or forced obsolescence or had to support software where you don't have access to the source (so you don't even know what's going on) or has had to deal with security (e.g. Sony CDs) or has had to deal with paternalistic vendors that say "You don't need to now that" or "You can only run this software on hardware the vendor decides when the vendor decides for how long the vendor decides in which way the vendor decides and the vendor has the right to change terms whenever he feels like it", should feel sympathetic.

I (or my family or my work) been burned by all the above, and I can understand why someone would want to build all the tools necessary so that they can become self sufficient.
OOXML violates pretty much every one of these issues raised.

I think your distaste has more to do with the evangelicalism within the Stallman camp. There's nothing wrong with evangelicalism per say. How are people supposed to know that there is a better way if they're not informed. The problem comes when the evangelical education and invitation turns pushiness and forced choice. As Sir Winston Churchill once stated, "A [bad] fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.".

Re:Kinda ironic (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 6 years ago | (#23520132)

For the most part, I agree with your post. I would say that yes, we should have one standard. I don't think that means that ISO should be restricted to looking at one standard. Clearly, in this specific case, the OOXML standard is a steaming pile of...well anyway. That doesn't mean someone else won't come up with a much better idea in the future.

I would take Winston Churchill a step further and say that a bad fanatic is one who can't change his mind, but essentially your point is correct.

About fanatics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526360)

Well would I be a fanatic if I REFUSED to be killed in a satanic ritual and won't change my mind? When your parents told you time and time again, were they fanatics?

How come RMS gets the fanatic label but dancing monkey boy doesn't? Y'know, the one going on about 272 MS IP in Linux, time and time again. Or Bill Gates, always yibbering on about how MS is innovative and OSS isn't without letup?

And IS fanatacism wrong? Without it, what would change? Without it, the biggest and strongest would always win, because "fanacical support" cares not the cost, so is more willing to risk losing to win.

Re:Kinda ironic (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23520148)

He and his followers are equivalent to the Amish. The want to live in a world with certain constraints so that they can live in a society with certain rewards.

Except the Amish aren't trying to tell everyone how to live, and force them to do what the Amish dictate.

If the Stallmanistas had their druthers, everyone would have to ask Stallman to get permission to run a piece of software... or even have the right to create new software. That's what the GPLv3 is all about... and each new revision brings them closer and closer to that goal.

Re:Kinda ironic (3, Insightful)

firefly4f4 (1233902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23521246)

Why not? The ISO mandate is to have one standard per task and ensure that any new standard should reuse other ISO standards and not try to reinvent the wheel.
I believe the grandparent was referring to to standards *in general*. That is, if they don't:

1) duplicate large parts of an existing standard
2) have an extremely large standard go through the fast track process instead of a more thorough review.

Grandparent does make one mistake, though: the "works like XX application" have been deprecated, and *supposedly* they have been defined in that deprecated section -- IE, use only for interpreting older documents, not new ones, as I understand MS's definition.

Still, this is about the third time I've asked: could someone PLEASE post a link to where those are fully fleshed out in documentation. I've had people tell me time and again that they are fully defined, but I would appreciate being able to see it and read it. Thank you in advance to anyone who does.

This post represents my own thoughts, and not those of my employer.

Re:Kinda ironic (2, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23522486)

Grandparent does make one mistake, though: the "works like XX application" have been deprecated, and *supposedly* they have been defined in that deprecated section -- IE, use only for interpreting older documents, not new ones, as I understand MS's definition.

The last I heard these were in "optional" sections, not in deprecated ones. That is to say, MS can and probably will use them in new documents they create, but others won't be required to implement them to meet the spec. Of course this still means documents will slightly "break" when switching between applications and as such still undermines the ability of OOXML to bring all the benefits of a truly open standard. For that matter, since OOXML has not yet been fully implemented by anyone, there is no reason for such a clause to be in the spec if it won't be in newly created documents.

Re:Kinda ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23524548)

Still, this is about the third time I've asked: could someone PLEASE post a link to where those are fully fleshed out in documentation. I've had people tell me time and again that they are fully defined, but I would appreciate being able to see it and read it. Thank you in advance to anyone who does.
Here's the proposed solution (click on the 'proposed disposition' tab) to autoSpaceLikeWord95 [dis29500.org] .

Proposal != standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526160)

Not until it's gone through review.

Oh, that's right, there's no review!

So not a standard.

Re:Kinda ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23526576)

"As Sir Winston Churchill once stated.."

Winston S Churchill is good, ain't he! I suggest we take him from the Brits and make him an American!!

Re:Kinda ironic (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23520194)

The problem was not so much that their proposed standard was flawed, but the fact they tried to fast track an unfinished standard of that size...
The text is huge, much bigger than most other standards, so there wasn't enough time to review it thoroughly enough, and even then the first vote generated far too many comments to address in the time given before the resolution meeting.
Also the fact the text was written by a single company, without any input from other interested parties.

Instead, it should have been submitted through the normal ISO process, so that the standard could have been brought to a usable state (however long that took) before it was submitted for voting.

Re:Kinda ironic (1)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 6 years ago | (#23520396)

Please read my original post in this thread.

Re:Kinda ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23520754)

We *HAVE* to be fanatics. The global dictatorship of Microsoft is bent on keeping the world under it's sadistic rule forever in the name of power and money. What do we have to back up our side? Should we just fly in the face of a greed and lust, which is powerful enough to genocide races if need be, while weakly mumbling, "Uh, you kinda shouldn't do that..."?

Re:Kinda ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23523966)

EMACS, EMACS, EMACS!!! (sorry, what were you on about?)

Cuttin it close (1)

mathimus1863 (1120437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23517942)

Wasn't the deadline for appeals two months after the original decision? Which I believe was end of March. I'm thrilled to see that someone finally stood up before the deadline. I have hope once again (despite the fact we all know MS will come up with a way to quash it).

Re:Cuttin it close (1)

purpleraison (1042004) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518788)

Wasn't the deadline for appeals two months after the original decision?

Eh, he was sleeping.

Re:Cuttin it close (1)

jriding (1076733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23521952)

Everyone stated we are looking in to this but it is about damn time someone actually appealed it.

Re:Cuttin it close (1)

PeterKraus (1244558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23522718)

The decision was announced on 2.4.2008. There have been some appeals on national levels already, this is the first one appealing to ISO itself.

Fatasses (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23517990)

You big fat blubbery lardass fatass piece of shit bags of entropy. I am so fucking tired of seeing big fat lardass fuckers everywhere I go every single time I go outside. Try having some self-respect you fucking corpulent flabby rolls-a-danglin' pieces of pitiful powerless shit! Don't give me this "big boned" or "plus size" or "more to love" bullshit either.

Re:Fatasses (1)

dfiguero (324827) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519332)

Yeah I told that to MS too but they insisted they needed those 6000 pages! All of them!

Word is... (-1, Flamebait)

Goliath (101288) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518002)

Their next tactic will be to necklace Steve Ballmer.

Re:Word is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23518266)

Unfortunately he is not Zimbabwean or Mozambican....

Re:Word is... (2, Insightful)

rossendryv (740305) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518606)

Sorry, but I find this thread extremely distasteful! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Necklacing [wikipedia.org] is a horrible thing and to wish it on anyone!!! And imply that it is OK to do it to poor disfranchised Zimbabweans or Mozambicans is just sickening to me.

Re:Word is... (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519014)

Such is the state of "modern" society that concepts like this are acceptable fare for potential humor. I too, am sickened.

Re:Word is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23521418)

I agree. (See also "prison rape").

Re:Word is... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23519036)

Actually, as a (not very proud at the moment) South African, I am familiar with the term.

It just seem that you are not aware of recent news [news24.com] ....

I was making an observation not a recommendation...

Re:Word is... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23519506)

Unfortunately he is not Zimbabwean or Mozambican....
Doesn't matter.

His tits are big enough for a good pearl necklace. You should go for it.

Look like MS doesn't understand South Africa ... (4, Informative)

sillyxone (955341) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518098)

"Despite having an open source strategy the South African government doesn't really understand how to benefit from OSS. This is according to Microsoft director of corporate standards, Jason Matusow." http://www.tectonic.co.za/?p=2432 [tectonic.co.za]

No, he's right. (2, Informative)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518150)

He managed to keep South Africa from using ODF [slashdot.org] . He thinks they have a problem benefiting from free software and he'd like to keep it that way.

Good for South Africa to nail M$XML. They might be learning faster than he can bribe his way out of it.

Re:No, he's right. (2, Interesting)

mckorr (1274964) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518566)

Isn't Shuttleworth South African? More likely he is getting to the politicos first in order to keep Ubuntu growing.

Re:No, he's right. (1)

nickname29 (1240104) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519678)

Isn't Shuttleworth South African?

Depends on what your definition is. He does not live in South Africa (he lives in London), but he does like the image.

Re:No, he's right. (1)

PeterKraus (1244558) | more than 6 years ago | (#23522766)

Theo de Raadt was South African as well..

Re:No, he's right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23518912)

M$XML... are you serious?

Re:No, he's right. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23522346)

M$XML... are you serious?

The term makes me smile. It is actually much more descriptive and less confusing than the one MS invented.

Re:No, he's right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23523354)

> The term makes me smile.

No doubt.

Re:Look like MS doesn't understand South Africa .. (1)

Wymsey (952708) | more than 6 years ago | (#23523316)

He would say that.

Another reason to hate OOXML (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23518244)

OOXML is willing to play Sun City.

Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23518264)

I wonder if Mr Shuttleworth had a hand in helping this?

Ubuntu (3, Insightful)

DaveInAustin (549058) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518284)

Have to think that this might be some good work that Shuttleworth's folks are doing. A lot of the original votes are determined by a lot of lobbying (just like in Congress).

Re:Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23518622)

Especially the votes in favour of OOXML.

3 cheers (5, Informative)

ianare (1132971) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518400)

Thank you South Africa!
Hip Hip Hurray!!

BTW, the pdf letter linked in TFA is a great read, perfect summary of all the problems that were so apparent to anyone actually looking into the whole mess.

SA has bigger problems than OOXML (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23518596)

Its a pity the SA government refuses to face the real problems, like unemployment, AIDS, corruption, crime and the refugee crisis caused by that maniac Mugabe running Zimbabwe into the ground. They need a little less solidarity with thier "Brothers in the Struggle" and a little more "Brother, what the hell do you think you are doing?".

Re:SA has bigger problems than OOXML (1)

eean (177028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518842)

Does SABS have bigger problems though? I wouldn't think so.

Way to not even read the article summary. :)

Re:SA has bigger problems than OOXML (0, Offtopic)

jaguth (1067484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23520446)

I agree 100%, Africa has bigger fish to fry than OOXML, MUCH bigger. Its a wonder that someone in Africa is complaining about OOXML in the midst of a billion gajillion other problems they face. There are priorities people! OOXML is the least of your worries! Mod-Up this parent, please. It doesn't deserve a -1 off topic score when it obviously is very much on topic.

Re:SA has bigger problems than OOXML (2, Insightful)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 6 years ago | (#23525172)

But TFA isn't talking about Africa as a continent. TFA is talking about SABS - the South African Body of Standards. As such, it has a concern for standards.

Take this analogy - quirky, but perhaps appropriate - say you have a high tech company and you find a serious flaw in your software. You throw all of your developers on this issue. It takes weeks. Yet, Thursday night, the janitorial staff come by and vacuum the floors and clean the washrooms. Surely there are more important things to be worried about than the floors and the washrooms, but fixing the flaw is NOT THE JOB OF THE JANITOR.

So, sure, they have big issues there, but standards bodies have to deal with standards.

South Africans... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23518708)

Have computers?

Re:South Africans... (1)

David Deharbe (1150399) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518800)

AC... has brains?

Re:South Africans... (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518982)

bad bad bad AC. Learn to discriminate between 1st, 2nd and 3rd world countries before you discriminate.

Re:South Africans... (2, Interesting)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519236)

First World countries are NATO-aligned, Second World countries are Soviet-aligned, and Third World countries are up for grabs...

Who has filled the Soviet void? And since the ANC was always backed by the USSR, is "democratic" SA a 2nd World country?

see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_World [wikipedia.org]
http://www.libertyfilmfestival.com/libertas/wp-content/pMandela1.jpg [libertyfilmfestival.com]

Re:South Africans... (1)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 6 years ago | (#23522582)

Having recently visited San Francisco, I must say that I could not wrestle from the impression that the US is starting to look like a second world country. Prices for food, clothing and public transport were far cheaper than in Europe. Also, the number of people you can find (living) on the streets who have not changed their clothes the last year is staggering. Beggars and outcasts on almost every street corner. Labour seems very cheap.

And at the Moscone Center (JavaOne) they had at least 6 employees telling everybody in the lunchqueue (which was moving quite rapitly) to take out their lunch coupons. 6 empoyees. I would have thought that 1 big sign would do the trick...

And the only countries besides the US I know of that are in some sort of state of war are 2nd and third world countries.

Re:South Africans... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23522628)

Yes, I know -- its highly depressing. However, San Francisco is hardly representative of America. People out there think communism is cool.

Re:South Africans... (1)

nickname29 (1240104) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519834)

Learn to discriminate between 1st, 2nd and 3rd world countries before you discriminate.
South Africa is a 3rd world country with a small 1st world portion - but overall the description of a 3rd world would be 100% correct. As for the South African Buro of Standards (SABS), there competency has been highly suspect the past few years.

Re:South Africans... (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519404)

George W. Bush? Is that you?

another cornerstone: having an implementation (3, Insightful)

eean (177028) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518796)

It seems outrageous to me that OOXML was approved as a standard despite not having more then one implementation to prove that it's possible for it to be a common format.

However it's freakin' hilarious/sad/odd that there actually isn't even ONE implementation of OOXML and it was approved. Doesn't the ISO have any standards for standards? Or is it just a matter of gaming the process? Maybe the ISO itself should be reconsidered...

Re:another cornerstone: having an implementation (1)

denis-The-menace (471988) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519100)

I think the infamous osi networking protocol from the 80's was done the same way.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSI_model [wikipedia.org]

Re:another cornerstone: having an implementation (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519408)

It seems outrageous to me that OOXML was approved as a standard despite not having more then one implementation to prove that it's possible for it to be a common format.

Why? What is wrong with that? Perhaps you're thinking of fast track standards (what OOXML was in). They're designed to codify something that is widespread, has multiple implementation/manufacturers.

Something like C++ never has any conformant (or nearly) implementations at the time of standardisation. So, it takes a long time to thrash out as various vendors and experts try do decide what to put in.

Re:another cornerstone: having an implementation (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 6 years ago | (#23521184)

ISO has lost all meaning since its just a place to buy an approval stamp without really conforming to anything. I think the ISO will disappear and be replaced with another entity because a standards organisation nobody takes serious has lost all value both to the ones getting the standards and for those using them.

Re:another cornerstone: having an implementation (3, Insightful)

Bananenrepublik (49759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23522388)

There was no implementation of standard C++ when C++ was standardized. There was no implementation of standard C when C was standardized. There was no implementation of Fortran 90 / 95 / 2003 when Fortran 90 / 95 / 2003 were standardized. This is fairly common for standards: after all one of the reasons for having standards is to have diverging impementations converge again. Not standardizing one of the existing implementations puts no vendor at an advantage and is therefore bound to happen if different vendors sit at the table negotiating.

NB I'm not saying that OOXML is a good standard.

Re:another cornerstone: having an implementation (1)

firefly4f4 (1233902) | more than 6 years ago | (#23524870)

Yes, but I don't believe C/C++/etc were fasttracked standards. In those cases, defining the standard was necessary to work out the kinks before implementations were produced. That *should* be the way things normally are done.

However, OOXML *was* fasttracked, and as I understand the purpose of fasttracking, it *IS* for standards that are already in wide use. If you go with the proposition that the Ecma standard which eventually became ISO OOXML was the standard that was submitted, then there was exactly ONE implementation (not sure how complete) of that standard: MSWORD. So it had a fairly market penetration, but not industry, and I'm not sure by which (market or industry) ISO defines a standard as "in wide use".

I'm not trying to defend OOXML, just pointing out that the "these weren't in use" argument doesn't apply in this case.

Again, this is my opinion, and not necessarily that of my employer.

Re:another cornerstone: having an implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23525524)

At the same time, I'm somehow doubting that C/C++ was fast tracked.

were those other standards "fast tracked?" (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23527014)

My understanding is: the fast-track process is designed for existing de-facto standards. Since OOXML is not implemented anywhere, it is hard for me to understand how OOXML would qualify for the fast-track process.

Re:another cornerstone: having an implementation (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 6 years ago | (#23535629)

These were fully standardized, through the complete exacting process, which allowed the opportunity to ensure consistency of the standard.

Also, while there was no implementation of "standard C", there were implementations of "C", pre-standard C implementations.

Demonstrated the feasibility of having a "C standard".

There is no reference implementation of MSOOXML to demonstrate the consistency/feasibility of a standardized OOXML implementation.

Cyberpunk (4, Insightful)

bill_kress (99356) | more than 6 years ago | (#23518984)

A cyberpunk common theme is multinational industrial concerns having equal or more power than the governments. In fact, the governments seem to have been broken of most power and now are nothing more than location-based unions.

The first time I saw this was actually Max Headroom (I suppose that show could be called the grandfather of cyberpunk).

It always seemed like fantasy to me (a pretty horrifying one), but nothing that could come true.

What's going on these days though feels like the first battles. Industries placing people in top government positions, controlling votes, manipulating laws and standards, Chevron killing villagers who are protesting, all the private police forces protecting industrial concerns in Iraq (and being better equipped than the solders to do so)...

I'm surprised they were as accurate as they were, and I trust their predictions for our future in a corporate-run world if we let it go on--not that I know what to do about it...

We've always been able to overthrow governments that became too problematic. How do you overthrow a multinational conglomerate that is in control of multiple governments? How do you even know who to fight?

Re:Cyberpunk (1)

Whyte Wolf (149388) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519258)

A cyberpunk common theme is multinational industrial concerns having equal or more power than the governments.
SO common a theme I'd call it a trope.

That said, you're right--these are the first battles, and I fear we the people are losing.

Sean

Re:Cyberpunk (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519704)

The first time I saw this was actually Max Headroom (I suppose that show could be called the grandfather of cyberpunk).

I think Blade Runner, Neuromancer and Brazil might have been a bit more influential.

I loved the 20 Minutes Into the Future/Max Headroom series, but they always stood on the shoulders of some fairly large giants.

Re:Cyberpunk (2, Informative)

dcollins (135727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23520936)

In general I agree with your observations.

Only quibble is how far back "cyberpunk" goes, any grandfather is certainly older than Max Headroom. Check out Larry McCaffery's anthology "Storming the Reality Studio" and its Cyberpunk 101: A Schematic Guide. It starts with 1818's Frankenstein and goes up from there. Viewable at Google Book Search:

http://books.google.com/books?id=qcd-pFFEtHIC&dq=storming+the+reality+studio&pg=PP1&ots=M6Iri6TXg6&sig=PV88FEsDxjZROKv_Xl9yQJv5vdw&hl=en&prev=http://www.google.com/search%3Fhl%3Den%26q%3Dstorming%2Bthe%2Breality%2Bstudio&sa=X&oi=print&ct=title&cad=one-book-with-thumbnail [google.com]

P.S. This is on my mind because I just recently finished Burrough's "The Soft Machine" from 1961 which is also listed as a grandfather of cyberpunk, and provides the name to that anthology:

http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=65175992&blogID=398162984 [myspace.com]

Re:Cyberpunk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23524046)

How do you overthrow a multinational conglomerate that is in control of multiple governments? How do you even know who to fight?
Ask Clippy?

Hmm (-1, Redundant)

UNKN (1225066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519306)

I think South Africa has more pressing issues at the moment than to worry about this.

Re:Hmm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23519698)

Ah, the "still no cure for cancer" argument. A classic fallacy to discredit any unwanted human activity.

Re:Hmm (1)

UNKN (1225066) | more than 6 years ago | (#23520206)

Has nothing to do with the topic at hand and if I agree with it, just saying there's some pretty bad stuff going on there.

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23520538)

And how much of that is down to CIA agents-provocateurs? Quite a bit i'd say. The USA does *not* like freethinking independent nations - they've funded terrorism even in europe (Ireland!), and all over south america, asia, and africa to induce dependency on the USA.

As support sign the Hague Declaration (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23519422)

In the meanwhile, you can sign The Hague declaration [digistan.org] in support for free and open digital standards
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