Was considering purchasing the Kindle version of the new book by Chris Anderson, Free: The Future of a Radical Price and looked for reviews (An ironic note is that I fully understood that I would have to pay for the digital version of the book). In my search of reviews, I did find the "free" review by Malcolm Gladwell at The New Yorker.
Gladwell discusses that Lewis Strauss, the former head of the Atomic Energy Commission, famously predicted in the mid-nineteen-fifties, due to the advent of nuclear energy, that “our children will enjoy in their homes electrical energy too cheap to meter.” Gladwell then states, "It is pointless to wonder what would have happened if Strauss’s prediction had come true while rushing past the reasons that it could not have come true."
Strauss appeared not to consider the cost of the infrastructure of energy distribution. In a similar way, with the phenomenum of YouTube, "A recent report by Credit Suisse estimates that YouTube’s bandwidth costs in 2009 will be three hundred and sixty million dollars."
Time will tell but the Achilles' heel, at least for now, that I see for a Digital Utopia of "Free" is the "cost" of distribution. Bandwidth, batteries, e-readers all cost money.
Monday, August 03, 2009
@Erlanger911 offers a nice twitter service for Erlanger, KY residents in that it provides traffic and emergency service based tweets.