What would it take to offer a demand video service based on local cable TV? Let’s consider how to build a bank of computers that would record and save the last week of video on each of sixty cable TV channels, then deliver any part of the recorded video on a demand basis.
In his best seller “The World is Flat”, Thomas Friedman identifies ten “flatteners” that are leveling the global economy; forces such as outsourcing, offshoring, supply chaining, and the collapse of the Soviet empire. His fourth flattener is open source software. None of his issues are particularly new, but it is Friedman’s treatment of them, notably both his and Bill Gates’s shocking misunderstanding of free software, that raises some of the most provocative questions of a provocative book.