Doubts & Hopes

This post is a follow-up of yesterday’s piece, Predictions & Resolutions. Today I will list many things that do not relate to I.T. , some others that do. But in general, I’ll share what I’m mostly uncertain with for the year 2009.Doubts

  •  Israël has the right to exist, live in peace. Palestinians do as well. That’s why a terrorist movement like the Hamas has no right to send missiles on Israeli cities. But Israel’s counter-attack will be ineffective against the Hamas, I’m afraid. The reason for this is the very structure of the Hamas. It’s a distributed group, and so is Al-Quaeda and in general, terrorist movements. You cannot fight against those structures with the usual means of warfare. Another thing I was at pain understanding for years was the seemingly anti-Israeli bias public opinions have all around the world. Some are outrightly manipulated for religious reasons. But some are not, and have nothing in the way of antisemitic views. In short the whole perception is the one of a reverse David vs. Goliath fight. There are several reasons for this. But something need to be done to come back to a more balanced view and more balanced ambitions from both sides. I hope, in this doubt section, that the Obama presidency could help.
  • I don’t think governments in general are taking the whole measure of the crisis (perhaps except the upcoming Obama administration). This is why 2009 will be painful. In several European countries, the political and generational gap, not to speak of the social inequalities that have been growing in a way this continent was accustomed to will sparkle riots, and lots of instability. It has already started in Greece.
  • European governments all buy into the too worn-off free market ideology. As we have come to understand, this is an ideology (and thus is a factor of danger) that has proven to be a failure, in the same way communism was a failure, allowing some happy few to benefit the system and generating lots of noise. Now don’t get me wrong: free market is a beautiful idea, (perhaps, some might argue, just like communism in the book was) but it is merely just this, an idea, and an economist’s traditional cornucopia of sorts. Now these governments seem to be too busy with exerting pressure on their own citizens by trying to control medias and the Internet than actually addressing people’s problems. They might actually be powerless in front of such a crisis, but they’re also unwilling to bring change to our societies, change that would make their own mental horizon change itself. The power of habits and customs….
  • On a different level, OOXML will continue to be pushed by Microsoft and marketed to everyone, governments included. That’s a trap many will fall into, but as you know there’s a way out: ODF. Meanwhile, the deception OOXML is should be fully advertised so that all can be warned.
  • Will Apple ever include ODF support in iWork? iWork 09 doesn’t seem to support it, but I might be wrong. TextEdit is not enough. 
  • Software Patents will be pushed again and again in Europe. Contrary to my friend Trond Arne Undheim, I don’t think that ex-ante disclosure is that of a good thing: it is merely a much welcome, yet minimal, hygienic measure to an insane situation affecting the I.T. market and innovation.


  • will go out of traditional desktop application.  Perhaps not in 2009, but very likely later. I’ll go back on this in another future post, but you can check this out
  • I have been a strong critic of Novell’s agreement of Microsoft, but there is one thing I have never denied and that would be how great OpenSuse is for a distribution. Now what’s both interesting and unfortunate with OpenSuse is that the Novell’s agreement with Microsoft does explicitely not apply to OpenSuse, and that the distribution really opened itself, as a project and as a platform on which to build on. So my legal question here is to check how much legally chaotic OpenSuse got. By welcoming everyone to contribute code, it might have created a situation where neither Novell, nor Microsoft could  exert any kind of pressure or FUD, as their own intellectual property (whatever that means) is now strongly diluted in packaged mess. 
  • I love SecondLife, I really do. But sim crossing and avatar limits? Come on, get real, Linden Labs. Despite those shortcomings, I’m spending more and more times there. 
  • ODF has already been adopted by 16 governments. My hope is to see that number double by the end of 2009.
  • All in all, I expect 2009 to be a year of crisis, but to be a year of positive change in the world. Or perhaps it will be a year of full-blown crisis. But even then, let’s all remember that the hour before dawn is the darkest time of the night…

Happy new year to everyone!

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