An Interesting Dichotomy:Phone Barons & Extensions

Christopher Riggs (
Fri, 10 May 1996 07:01:07 GMT

Just playing Devil's Advocate here, but as I was going through my 41
E-Mails today I noticed something interesting. It seems there is a general
consensus (and rightly so) that extending the evaluation period on the White
Pine software would be somewhere between dishonest and stealing, while at
the same time in the 'phone barons' discussion everyone seems to be outraged
at the fact that we won't be able to make long-distance phone calls for FREE
anymore (minus ISP charges which are irrelevant in this case) and are busy
discussing ways to get around whatever changes are made. Technology has
opened a back door to what was once a secure business, can you blame the
phone companies for being pissed? From their perspective we are making a
local call but talking anywhere in the world on our big desktop telephone.
Aren't WE stealing when we do this? Why is it okay to cheat the phone
companies out of money (maybe not so much today, but who would EVER use a
telephone 20 years from now) but cheating White Pine is unthinkable? Is it
a computers vs. them thing, like it's okay to cheat a stranger but never
betray a friend? or is it a small company (who needs our support) vs. a
large corporation (who's trying to bleed us dry), or what? It seems to me
that morality isn't something you can turn on and off at your convenience,
it's a responsibility that demands consistency.

Anyway, like I said, just playing Devil's Advocate :)