Guest Post by Mara Zebest

Stick with me… the road gets complex and takes many turns.

This story begins with a recent announcement from Adobe that they will be killing the ability for all customers to own a perpetual software license moving into future versions of Adobe software. Instead, millions of very unhappy customers (Hitler included via the parody below – NSFW Language) will be forced to purchase a monthly subscription to the Cloud should anyone want to use future releases of Adobe software. Just read the comments on the links provided in this article to get a sense of the outrage brewing over this decision.

What will the Cloud model look like? Instead of paying a one time fee to own the software, you will be forced to pay a monthly subscription to rent the software. Adobe tries to make this sound attractive by saying the software costs $1500 for a full suite. Therefore, the $50 monthly fee is more cost effective.  First, the software suite for an educational discount does not cost $1500, but ranges in price (depending on the suite) from $199.99 to $359.99 on average. The master collection (everything under the sun)… could be found for $599.99.  A typical cycle between software versions is around 18 months, thus if you do the math, renting at $50 a month is not cheaper than owning. And like the cable TV model, once you’re a subscriber, the price can be jacked up and you’ve got no where to go (if fully invested in the cloud software). Should you decide to cancel the subscription, the software ceases to function and the files dependent on that software will no longer open or function as well. The cloud model also forces you to upgrade whether you want to or not.

Beware of those with stock in Adobe who are trying to tell you this is a great thing, and everyone loves it. Scott Kelby comes to mind and Jeff Schewe feels no shame in insulting anyone who fails to embrace the Cloud concept.

Thankfully, Corel has already responded with an announcement that they will continue to provide a choice for their customers. Hopefully, this will be an opportunity for capitalism to thrive and there will be many other competitors who will step up to the plate… as they should.

When digging further into this issue, a forum run by diglloyd came up with some very disturbing information on Adobe’s new cloud model. Starting with a date of birth requirement for Cloud subscribers, diglloyd writes the following:

A date of birth requirement is patently offensive and yet another risk factor in identity theft. I think it shows extremely poor judgment and a contempt for customers.

And there is no explanation given as to why Adobe deems this necessary (if it’s a minimum age thing, a checkbox suffices for that).

Is this even compliant with European Union regulations? How will it be used or shared? Why promote identity theft? (Adobe has no guarantee of not having a security breach).

OK, so you raise your risk of identity theft as per above (lying about the date is the best approach).

Except that it is a violation of the license agreement section 7.1 to do so (“account info will always be complete and accurate”). Hence Adobe can keep your money and terminate your service if you lie about your date of birth (see section 6.5c on non-refundable fees).

Wait… it gets worse…. diglloyd goes on to explain that all creative work created via the cloud is NOT YOUR PROPERTY. You didn’t build that. It becomes the property of Adobe to use as they wish. Diglloyd describes a complex terms agreement—something akin to the complexity of the Affordable Care Act.

7.2 As part of registering for a Service, Adobe may require you to create a unique URL, such as your_name_here.adobe.com. Such unique URL may be used solely with the Service, only for so long as you maintain a valid account and shall not be used for any other purpose. Adobe may revoke your right to use that URL for any reason deemed appropriate by Adobe in its sole discretion by giving you at least thirty days prior notice of such revocation, except in the event that your URL, or content therein, is determined by Adobe in its sole discretion to contain infringing or illegal content or content that otherwise violates the Terms.

Flashback now to a story around Obama’s 2008 election in which shortly after Obama was inaugurated, the Feds raided an Obama technology office. Two Obama IT appointees [Muslim born] were arrested as reported here by GatewayPunditYusuf Acar and Vivek Kundra.

This tidbit from a Washington Post report was especially interesting:

Yusuf Acar, 40, who has worked in the technology office since 2004, was charged with bribery, conspiracy, money laundering and conflict of interest. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Hibarger told a federal judge that Acar is a flight risk because agents seized $70,000 in cash in his house and because in recorded conversations, he boasted that he could easily flee to his native Turkey. Acar also told the informant that he could use computers to create fake D.C. birth certificates, Hibarger said.

It should be noted that both men are back at work under Obama and according to page 5 of this Court document, these men are being given large sums of taxpayer money and most of it is being funneled back to Kenya. How odd.

Fast forward to March 2010 and this headline: White House CIO Vivek Kundra Touts Cloud Computing. Vivek Kundra is still actively on our taxpayer payroll despite his criminal offenses. The article states the following:

Well, it’s the notion that Vivek Kundra, appointed U.S. Chief Information Officer by President Obama, has “$79 billion to spend on technology,” in the words of a recent BW article.

Whoa. Dude. Slow this down for me, please. The $79 billion figure is taken from Obama’s proposed 2011 budget, and covers all Federal IT spending, 70 percent of which is spent “just to keep the lights on” according to one report. In fact, that number is probably closer to 90 percent.

Fast forward to this year and we see tech companies pushing for immigration and against conservative principles.

Wired also notes that a biometric database on all adult Americans is hidden in the immigration reform. And what better way to start accumulating information on all of us? The Cloud maybe?

Biometric-IT-reform-Obama-style

And a little more digging shows that Adobe’s old CEO, Bruce Chizen stepped down in 2007. And around the time of Obama’s election Shantanu Narayen became “The TopGun CEO” via wikipedia:

On November 12, 2007, Adobe Systems announced in a press release that Bruce Chizen would step down from his role as Chief Executive Officer effective December 1, to be replaced by Shantanu Narayen.

Shantanu Narayen is paid an annual salary of $875,000 for his role as chief executive.

In 2009, Mr. Narayen was considered one of “The TopGun CEOs” by Brendan Wood International, an advisory agency.

In 2011, US President Barack Obama has appointed Shantanu Narayen, President and CEO of Adobe Systems, as a member of his Management Advisory Board. PMAB was established by an Executive Order in April 2010 to advise on how to implement best business practices on matters related to Federal Government management and operation focusing on productivity, the application of technology and customer service.

Crony Capitalism or Coincidence? You decide. Personally, I’ll pass on the Cloud.

 

 

 

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