It's been a crazy year. Since the world didn't end last Friday, you're probably reading this on Christmas Eve, 2012 -- a year in which blinding technological advancement confronted willful technological ignorance and legislative dementia yet again. This yin and yang has ruled the past several years, it seems.
Thus, I've decided that all I really want for Christmas is a soupcon of logic and sanity. You can drag those notions around to every party in town and find a different application, but since this is InfoWorld, where the topic is always technology, I'll settle for technological and scientific sanity. There are hordes of items on that list alone, but some are more important than others. Feel free to add your own.
An end to the big ISP cartel
The sins of the ISPs have been the theme here for three weeks, so I might as well start there. We need something to dispense with the status quo of lagging broadband development in the United States. Kick the bums out, incentivize competition, or regulate -- any mix or match of those actions may do the trick. We can't wait any longer, hoping that Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T, and the rest are going to step up to the plate. It's time to hold their feet to the fire.
Rational thinking on the copyright infringement mess
The RIAA and MPAA have been suing the bejeesus out of file sharing services and other online properties over perceived losses due to copyright infringement for a decade now, but it hasn't really changed anything. The recent rise in calls for ISPs to become traffic cops on the Internet is a tremendously slippery slope and yet another example of the hubris displayed by these entities as they continue their quest to buy enough legislation to prop up their ancient business models. It hasn't worked, and it won't work. They're even starting to eat their own. Case in point: the noise surrounding Dish Network's commercial-skipping Hopper device.
It's as if the TiVo were never invented, and we haven't been abandoning scheduled TV shows in favor of on-demand or time-shifted television for the past 10 years. That ship has already sailed, and companies that actively attempt to force their viewers to go backward in time will find themselves in rough shape in the coming years. It's long past the point of losing the schedule and embracing the anywhere-anytime format of the future.
An end to software patents
A while ago I said (in jest) that some company should patent the act of filing patents and the act of filing infringement lawsuits, then sue every other company out of existence. Never has that seemed to be more possible than now. These patent battles are so ridiculous, and they're hamstringing innovation all over the world. The world came together and figured out how to play nice with the likes of date and time standards, not to mention chemical and nuclear weapons. Maybe we can figure this one out too. How hard could it be? [Cue eye roll.]