Free is too expensive (Economist)
Posted Apr 2, 2012 23:18 UTC (Mon) by khim
In reply to: Free is too expensive (Economist)
Parent article: Free is too expensive (Economist)
Navit or tangoGPS?
Still no good. The first thing you need to have good navigation is to have raw data. Not just maps (OpenStreetMap slowly becomes better here), but traffic data (including historical traffic data), photos of complex interchanges, etc.
This data is rarely available for free: either it needs to be sold for money or it may be supported via ads.
Which basically excludes distros out of the equation immediately.
As Cyberax said: I might use a free program for the sake of freeness, but normal users would cry and run away in horror from something like gpsdrive.
Not because the program is not any good, but because the lack of data makes it sub-standard.
The same with QR-codes, NFC, etc: it's trivial to write program which parses QR code, read NFC or does something like this. And, again, I might use a free program for the sake of freeness, but normal users would cry and run away in horror because they don't need to just read the QR code. They expect that program will do “something sensible” with data (if it's URL it must be opened, if it's a vCard it must be added to address book, etc). If I touch phone with my metro ticket Simple? Yes. Boring? Sure. But this makes it actually useful for Joe Average! Similarly with NFC: yes, I can probably find program which will read data from card, but will it show number of trips you have left on subway ticket like “useless” Android's app?
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