Yet another discussion of Linux and how open source is taking over the world.

This can in from a reader who’s been a long-time contributor and it’s a very good thing to keep up on:

“My 16 year old reports that he and friends are migrating to Linux distros that mimic earlier commercial software – for free. No annual ding. For example, most folks thought the Snow Leopard versions of iTunes and OS were Apple’s best, graphically and intuitively. Like the Corvette Stingray and ’57 TBird were the best looking iterations of their respective genres for decades.

So high school kids have cloned them and you can get free Linux programs for them. You can, btw, run Linux on a $20 smartphone from the dollar store, if you are a high school kid.

And you can get a secure Linux distro that needs no antivirus software. Free.

As a businessman who uses computer software and hardware constantly, the idea of not having to relearn where they shuffled the menus every year or so appeals to me. Not to mention the inevitable hardware interface nightmares, etc. time, stress, money, and uncertainty are not things businessmen have a surplus of these days. Microsoft even removed functions I used daily from recent Word versions. Their engineers, when queried, sneered that nobody would want to use those features anyway.

Features like columnating things. Then we get to needless expenditures of money. I love my iPhone, but since iPhone 3, the improvements have been underwhelming. Now there are secure Linux versions for other phones that outperform iPhones. Free.

The mistake that the kids see is getting stuck in a proprietary vortex, like iTunes. Since they have little money, open source is their World. Mine too, soon enough.

And not because of cost, so much as the endless hassle of endless unnecessary redesign of functional systems, not always even retaining key features. Manufactured obsolescence for its own sake killed Detroit.

Observe what happens next to Silicon Valley.

Our generation played with cars. This one writes code and builds hardware. They can bypass Microsoft and Apple today. What happens in 10 years? This is why they all are betting the farm on VR. Which apparently will be mainly virtual sex apps with no child support issues.

As the economy descends, this trend must increase. The economics of zero income activities is where we are headed. Not necessarily bad, but our paradigms are not tuned to it and it self reinforces.”

Wow!

Sobering stuff, indeed!

I for one can hardly wait for VR, but not for the reasons you might think.

There will be an incredible opportunity for whoever gets there first putting experiential deals like acrobatic flying on 360 displays.

Or, imagine being able to visit any tourism destination in the world with a click!

That will change our world.

But it’s not here just yet. Maybe Dr. Pete (long time reader and grand pubah in Calif. VR) will keep us apprised of where it goes.

Dr. Pete?

TBTF

Can’t say enough good things about the Minneapolis Fed. They are hosting a series of public meetings on the whole notion of Too Big Too Fail. I don’t think they would mind my sharing this with you:

We are pleased to announce the agenda for the second Ending TBTF symposium on May 16, 2016. 

Similar to the first symposium held on April 4, the day will consist of two panels and one keynote speech. 

· John H. Cochrane, Senior Fellow at Hoover Institution, Stanford University, will present a proposal on taxing leverage in the financial system.

· John Bovenzi, Co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Failure Resolution Task Force, will present a proposal that explores alternatives to the Dodd-Frank Act’s resolution framework.

· Luigi Zingales, Robert C. McCormack Distinguished Service Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and Charles M. Harper Faculty Fellow at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, will present a keynote luncheon speech titled: “Why I changed my mind on Glass Steagall.”

Please find the symposium’s agenda here on our website.

In the evening, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari will participate in a public forum hosted by The Heller-Hurwicz Economics Institute, a global initiative in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota.  If you would like to attend this event, please RSVP here.  If you are unable to attend in person, the public event will also be live-streamed through our public website. We invite you to follow along!

Thank you for your interest in the Ending TBTF initiative.  We will be sending out real-time updates on Twitter @MinneapolisFed and with the hashtag #EndingTBTF.

Like I said, this is terribly important to follow along and it could be needed sooner than later – like in 2017 if our guesstimates work out. So yeah, it goes on the streaming list for the 16th.

Eyes Have It

Off to the Eye Docs this morning: Will get a preliminary on how far back from the abyss we will get. Meantime, though, asking price of the airplane is down in the Trade-A-Plane ad.

It was sure fun while it lasted – and if I can still see well enough to drive and fly, well, maybe the price won’t drop more…

More Monday – Ya’ll come on back, y’hear?

Write when you get rich,

George@ure.net