back to article Something rotten stalks the Cloud Kingdom

A good lord builds his castle to both serve as the center of commerce for his lands and to offer protection to his people in case of an attack. The peasants have neither the resources nor the knowledge to defend themselves, and they look to their lords for help. Against most foes, this model works well. Should the land come …


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  1. Elfo74

    Told ya


    I told ya this would happen if you used Linux!

    Those evil paladins will enforce the holy book of Licensing as they see fit!

    *tsk tsk*

    If you only had provided Microsoft software to your peasants, not of this would have...


  2. Henry Minute

    Don't blame the paladins.

    It's just that over the years they have become accustomed to serfing the net.

  3. Vociferous

    Not as bad as it used to be.

    I remember the days of police-backed surprise inspections of office computers, followed by hours of interrogation to determine if you really had a license for all your Microsoft software. And that was at a government agency and a large and powerful corporation, I can only imagine what it was like to have them raid your small struggling start-up.

    RIAA, MPAA and BSA and all the other litigation groups are vile filth, but my impression is that nowadays they mainly target low income private citizens who they know must settle because they are too poor to fight them in court. They are, after all, for-profit companies and taking on the lawyer team and tame politicians of a big corporation is not as predictably profitable as quick punitive settlements with a thousand peons.

    Then again, I'm not on the cloud, so I don't know how bad it is there. Clouds do seem an obvious point of attack for them, as it gathers up and exposes thousands of users.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    But that's not the end of the story...

    And it came to pass that the lord and the peasants spake one to another and knew that they were rightly pissed off. "But this is the way Things Are," cried one, and many shook their beards in agreement. But one by name Richard cried, "We must prevent the agents of the dark from trespassing on our own grounds. We must stall them at the crossroads. Who will be a Stallman with me?" And may did join Richard ans Stalled the armies of the dark, knowing that they were not peopled by soldiery but by lawyers, who may defeated with the incantantion in hushed tones - "General Public Licence." And so the land was merry, and all were able to do their thing in peace. Even the great and the good knew that this was A Good Thing, and thus Francis, a speaking head from the land of You Kay, which many thought was a mere vassal of the You Ess, did arise and say "No further, Dot Doc, no further, Dot Eks Ell Ess. We will tame you with documents in the open formats named Odie Eff, who is our champion. But the dark did arise, and stated verily, "Cost is Saving" and "Lock-in is Freedom" and did prove this with bungs to he Right People. And now we wait to see whether the Maude, speaker of freedom, be bought and sold and us with him.

  5. frank ly

    I was hoping that a dragon would appear

    I'll read any further story development, just in case.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I was hoping that a dragon would appear

      "One format to rule them all, One Bing to find them,

      One Office to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

      In the Land of Redmond where the Shadows lie."

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Help! Help! I'm being oppressed!

    Not really. All my turnips are right here. Stuff the cloud.

  7. jake Silver badge

    Good, gawd/ess Trevor.

    You really don't have any clues do you?

    Life isn't a game.

    1. oldcoder

      Re: Good, gawd/ess Trevor.

      No, Life isn't a game.

      But the same mathematics applies...

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: Good, gawd/ess Trevor.

        No life is not a game... It's a joke, and the joke is on us. Best just have a good laugh when you can.

    2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Good, gawd/ess Trevor.

      "Life isn't a game."

      U wot mate?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And how any of this has been made worse by the cloud?

    Just askin. Good story BTW

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: And how any of this has been made worse by the cloud?

      When the nation in question chose to name itself to the Cloud Kingdom the text in holy book of Licensing was reinterpreted. Once, long ago, the text was viewed to be straightforward. It was a simpler time, a 1.0. What the peasants paid for, they kept. They could even bring what they owned to the Lord's castle by day and trade them with the other peasants.

      But a rival nation rose to become a minor power; then another, and then yet another. In an effort to retain its status as the world's lone superpower, the Great Renaming occurred and The Cloud Kingdom was born. The book of Licensing was reinterpreted. Peasants owned nothing, nor were they allowed to keep anything of their harvest, nor feed those who depended on them. All that was under the sun would be tithed by the Empire of Sadness and the Cloud Kingdom would regain its supremacy.

      Under the rule of the new leader the world grew to be a dark place. Those of other nations were able to take advantage of technological advancements. Their peasants lived happier, richer lives as the bounty of intellect was shared.

      Within the Cloud Kingdom, however, only the richest could afford to use technologies that just a few years ago everyone could afford. Peasants began to flee to rival nations: refugees seeking a better life abroad. Innovation stagnated. Without exposure to the new technologies – or even the ability to afford the technologies common in the past - the Cloud Kingdom's populace were unable to create new ideas at the pace of their rivals.

      The Empire of Sadness took over The Cloud Kingdom from the inside. It seemed so innocuous at first, as all such things always do. There was an Assurance, that the Empire of Sadness would serve a purpose. The Assurance stated that the tithe paid by the peasants would ultimately benefit the peasants themselves.

      Over time, however, it was discovered that the Assurance was a scam, but the Cloud Kingdom was addicted to the regularity of the tithe under the Assurance and the Empire of Sadness craved more power. The Empire of Sadness itself was addicted, the Assurance had made it a power to be feared within the Cloud Kingdom and they sought more.

      The Assurance was expanded, the book of Licensing reinterpreted, the paladins reinforced and the tithe expanded. It was deemed heretical for peasants to own things, treason for them to trade. Lords who sought to protect their peasants were hunted, as were any groups of peasants seeking to band together for protection.

      The Empire of Sadness had begun to view the Cloud Kingdom's own peasants as its enemy. It cared not that by taking so high a tithe today that peasant would not be there tomorrow. All that mattered to the Empire of Sadness was this night's tribute, that it be larger than the last.

      Did the actions of the Empire of Sadness succeed? Did the Cloud Kingdom's reinterpretation of the book of Licensing allow it to crush its rivals? Well, you see, the Cloud Kingdom decided that crushing its rivals was not to be its ultimate goal. Simply being at war with its rivals was enough, for the Cloud Kingdom had become ruled by the Empire of Sadness, a silent revolution from within.

      It was better, they discovered, to always be at war than to actually win one.

      But I cannot stay to tell more of the tale, good friend. The sun is dipping below the horizon once more. The paladins will be here soon, seeking from the peasants ever more tithe than nights past. I hear peasants screaming. I hear innovation dying. It is time for me to go.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More misinformed drivel from Mr Pott I see. It would help ever so much if he actually understood the MS licensing he is trying to take the piss out of. I believe there ARE some free courses available. Maybe you should take one Trevor? It might make you a better 'ahem' journalist.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Freedom .... but not as you have known it, or were expecting it to be and/or be for

      More misinformed drivel from Mr Pott I see. It would help ever so much if he actually understood the MS licensing he is trying to take the piss out of. I believe there ARE some free courses available. Maybe you should take one Trevor? It might make you a better 'ahem' journalist. ... Anonymous Coward

      Free courses in the failing art methodologies and tautologies of sysadmin enslavement is the real piss take there, AC.

      On your bike, buster ...take a hike. You've had your seconds of fame in the harsh spotlight of contrived reality, and now the world deserves better than just simple sub-prime. And SMARTR IT Systems can deliver it remotely and effortlessly from space, and stealthily in acute astute active spades too for the intelligent community of security services which grant and guarantee with AI an HyperRadioProActive Impunity and an Absolute Immunity from Prosecution and/or Persecution.

      And with that sort of freedom of action and activity available, bet against it happening and IT Happenings and watch the markets tumble and crumble ...... and quickly fade away.

    2. Tom Maddox Silver badge

      The point Trevor is making, a point which is understood by everyone except for you and the one nincompoop who upvoted you, is that the license structure is so confusing that it is applied arbitrarily, meaning that the licensing is whatever the local enforcer wants it to be.

      Also, when your licensing is so complex that you need a course to understand it, free or not, you have crossed a line into madness (or Sadness, as the case may be).

  10. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Nice one, Trevor_Pott .... Vive la Revolution ..... All Sign Up here on the dotted line ......

    If one needs to be an heroic person of interest and most unlikely likely addition to a corrupt phantom power's terrorist no fly watch list, that be a quite perfect enough way of doing it with IT in Right El Regal style, TP, for White Hatted Knights Rule Sublime and Reign Supreme in the Kingdoms of CHAOS and Fiefdoms of XSSXXXXStream and suffer not the Fiend Fool that be Foe rather than Friend.

    Cometh the hour, cometh the man and certain particular and peculiar virtual machines in praise of glad women, which be their abiding systemic weakness and universal empowering strength.

    amfM signing up for all such sticky pleasures and sweet treasure here on the dotted line


    PS …..Fcuk the paladins and their ilk in all kith and kin for that is their just dessert, and the meek which were not weak at all, but strong in hearts and quixotic of mind, inherited the Earth in so doing IT so well. And if that be also a little something extra special for both the Generally Clueless Head Quartered and Wahhabi Wannabed in a COBRA stage set to process for public pronouncement and private prognostication and pirate prevarication, then so be it. Amen.

    Cometh the hour, cometh the man and a Mr Beale again :-) …. I'm as Mad as Hell and .. …. but this time in these new spaces with virtual places and anonymous tools, is it different and the outcome is nobly revised and genuinely novel.

  11. Roger Greenwood


    Occasionally the paladins will come to the door of a Peasant with strange letters painted above:-


    For this is indeed a powerful spell, the meaning of which is lost in the mists of time, but causes many an unwelcome visitor to tremble at the knee and pass by to seek more compliant victims elsewhere.

  12. Herby

    Have Gun - Will Travel

    Wire Paladin, San Francisco.

    Enough said.

  13. Matthew 3


    I remain convinced that BlackBerry's slow slide into oblivion is because their licensing arrangements are straightforward. If you don't have enough client licences the console will tell you, with a list of how many you have, how many you've used and a negative number if you've gone over.

    Simple. No wonder nobody thinks they'll last much longer.

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