The Technological Progressives have struck again.

Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to provide content protection for so-called “premium content”, typically HD data from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sources. Providing this protection incurs considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical support overhead, and hardware and software cost. These issues affect not only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever come into contact with Vista, even if it’s not used directly with Vista (for example hardware in a Macintosh computer or on a Linux server). This document analyses the cost involved in Vista’s content protection, and the collateral damage that this incurs throughout the computer industry.

That’s the Executive Summary of A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection, written by Peter Gutmann of University of Aukland. Technological Progressives are a more irritating strand of the cursed and destructive breed, for the most part because Technological Progressives are capitalists. Like all Progressives they reach forward and outward to develop based on a self-driven need to develop with a broad justification that any change must be better than the status quo, without heed to unanticipated consequences. You know the Hammond character from Jurassic Park? The book, not really the movie. He was a fictional Technological Progressive (as Michael Crichton’s books are crawling with that sort of character). He anticipated all sorts of possible consequences, headed them off quite successfully and then something he didn’t anticipate occurred and his guests started getting eaten by dinosaurs. In real life most Technological Progressives work for the major software companies. They create more powerful software and more complicated software without much heed for how this will actually effect how previously constructed (and standard) software works, or if it works. This is generally done to sell more stuff, regardless of how it hurts the people who have purchased stuff already; these capitalists don’t need to take heed of how it will hurt their loyal customers, because ultimately computer users are slaves who need to purchase new software to heal these old wounds.

As for Progressivism in a broader context, Hillary Clinton claims to be a “Modern American Progressive“. Woodrow Wilson is one od this century’s founders of Progressivism as a movement and to some extent is historically the most famous Progressive. Historically I would put forth that Franklin Delano Roosevelt is the most destructive Progressive, as far as government, economics and public policy goes. Your mileage may vary.

also: Slashdot reported in August that playing music on your Windows Vista system slows it down. The basic pillar of Microsoft Windows’ promises: multi-tasking, has now been violated.