Wednesday, December 6, 19:27 CST
Well, the third and final installment of the Dune miniseries was last night.

Some day, someone will create the definitive film rendition of Dune, a production that will, somehow, encompass the sheer coolness that is the novel, and do so with a visual power that is awe inspiring.

This, pretty obviously, was not that production... But still, all in all... Not bad. It veered between Really Cheesy and Genuinely Cool from time to time, and there were some questionable decisions made, but in the end I'm far happier with this version than I ever expected to be. And the last half hour or so was carried off about as well as I could've hoped for.

(There's a bit of Dune commentary over on Lake Effect, along with a link to piece about an earlier failed movie attempt that would probably have been as bizarre as any film ever made.)

Wow. Opera's going to an advertising driven model - use the software no charge, and put up with ads, or register and get rid of them. I'm torn on how practically workable an idea this is - as far as I can tell, banner ads *just don't work* - but regardless, it does seem to indicate that they're having a hard time making money with their current shareware model. Not surprising - how many people are really willing to pay for a better browser? And of course they're sort of shooting themselves in the foot, expecting people who've registered once to pay again for major upgrades... There's a good chance I'll wind up paying for the Linux port, simply because it's good software I use a *lot*, but I've got to be in the minority here.

The way I see it, of course, the best revenue model would be one that opened up the code and somehow generated profit, but I'm not sure what that would be. How much money can you possibly make doing support for a web browser?

The one complaint I most often see levelled against free software (which, in point of fact is very nearly all the software I ever use, and the only kind I can ever see creating) is that you can't make money doing it. This is pretty obviously false (well, it seems obvious from where I sit), but it is a vast oversimplification / restatement of the simple fact that it's harder to make money on something that people don't have to pay for (something which, in point of fact, discourages people from paying for it in the traditional sense). Of course, since it's also pretty obvious from where I sit that commercial software costs too damn much and that the vast bulk of the consumer software industry is built upon an artificial, self perpetuating scarcity, this isn't really a *bad* thing. It's just that people creating (good, useful) software need and deserve compensation for what they're doing ("The spice must flow!"), and it's not always easy to see how to make that happen.

Not like I have a clue what to do about it. Here's hoping that a lot of people smarter than I am figure things out sooner or later...