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Stallman Attacks Gates, Microsoft, & Charity Foundation

CowboyNeal posted more than 5 years ago | from the business-as-usual dept.

United Kingdom 976

An anonymous reader writes "Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, has an article in the BBC in which he maintains that Gates' departure from Microsoft doesn't mean the end of proprietary software and that the free software community needs to stand strong to undo the damages Bill Gates, Microsoft, and other proprietary software vendors (explicitly naming Apple & Adobe amongst them) have done. And he slips in a claim that the Bill and Melinda Gates charity foundation doesn't really help the poor; it just pretends to while actually subjecting them to greater harm."

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976 comments

Richard Marx Stalin (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065377)

fucking commie bastard

capitalism forever!

GOD BLESS AMERICA

Re:Richard Marx Stalin (4, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065417)

fucking commie bastard

capitalism forever!

Yeah!! Because lowering barriers-to-entry into the market and encouraging businesses to be competitive are so communistic.

Oh wait...

Re:Richard Marx Stalin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065431)

YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Re:Richard Marx Stalin (2, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065499)

Free software is ironically both communist-ic (yay collective good) and free-market-istic (the price of the software is the marginal cost of production of one copy, or, um, zero!) It's rather fun. Not too many markets work out that way.

Re:Richard Marx Stalin (0, Troll)

novakyu (636495) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065653)

Free software is ironically both communist-ic (yay collective good) and free-market-istic (the price of the software is the marginal cost of production of one copy, or, um, zero!) It's rather fun. Not too many markets work out that way.

What "collective good"? That might be the case if rms (or FSF) is proposing that software need to be released into the public domain, but even with copyleft, copyright is still individual property*.

Just because something benefits the society as a whole doesn't make it communistic---if it were, Soviet Russia must've been a paradise.

* for imaginary values of property.

Re:Richard Marx Stalin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065639)

capitalism forever!

GOD BLESS AMERICA

Do you really hate your country so much that you would wish to inflict upon it both economic oppression and removal of freedoms by arbitrary members of society as well as a bizzare and contradictory religious dogma?

You sir are un-American.

Too far (4, Interesting)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065383)

I'm one of the biggest GPL zealots around here, and RMS is high on my list of respected people, but come on. There are whole medical labs dedicated to fighting TB and AIDS in southern Africa that wouldn't exist without the Bill&Melinda foundation. How is that hurting anything?

Re:Too far (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065425)

There are whole medical labs dedicated to fighting TB and AIDS in southern Africa that wouldn't exist without the Bill&Melinda foundation. How is that hurting anything?

Careful. Ask that around here and you're bound to get a few hopelessly ignorant responses from people who honestly believe Gates has done more harm than Hitler, and his giving away of billions in charity is all a ruse to solidify his ill-gotten position of power.

I've heard RMS when he's come to give talks at my university. I admire his dedication, sure, but anyone who tries to claim that he's done more good in the world than Bill and Melinda Gates is just painfully out of touch. There are more pressing concerns in the world than software, and no, getting rid of proprietary software won't magically fix disease, starvation, etc (cue the "but we empower nations to fix their own problems with free software!!!" responses)

Re:Too far (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065473)

giving away of billions in charity is all a ruse to solidify his ill-gotten position of power.

So you're saying, that it isn't? [informatio...house.info]

Re:Too far (5, Insightful)

spymagician (1303515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065567)

giving away of billions in charity is all a ruse to solidify his ill-gotten position of power.

So you're saying, that it isn't? [informatio...house.info]

Citations. Desperately. Needed.

Re:Too far (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065687)

Newspaper articles don't carry citations, that was an article written in 2003 by Greg Palast. [gregpalast.com] Hardly J. Random Conspiracy Nut Job or an orator of the contrived fictions presented in Fox news!

You see, there's this thing called economics (1, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065517)

and no, getting rid of proprietary software won't magically fix disease, starvation, etc

Oh be creative! Free software is, as far as the whole of society is concerned, much cheaper than proprietary software, because society only has to pay to solve (the software portion of) a particular problem once. Therefore, if problems are solved using free software instead of proprietary software, society will have a lot of money left over to spend on fixing disease, starvation, etc.

But we don't even have to argue about free vs. proprietary software in general. This discussion is about free software versus Microsoft software, and it's fairly well-established that Microsoft software has a much higher TCO than best-of-breed free software.

When you consider how much money Microsoft drains from various countries' economies, it's easy to see how the money could be put to better use.

You're a blind idiot (-1, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065447)

The only reason he wants healthy people in Africa is so that he can make money locking them into paying for Windows.

Invest a few million to ensure the good health of the population, reap a few billion in licensing fees. It's no more difficult than that.

Re:You're a blind idiot (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065497)

The only reason he wants healthy people in Africa is so that he can make money locking them into paying for Windows.

Invest a few million to ensure the good health of the population, reap a few billion in licensing fees. It's no more difficult than that.

If that's his plan then someone should tell him that it's very, very flawed.

Regardless of how much money is thrown into the dark continent, it will be two or three generations at least before it's up to the standards of a first world economy. And by then Billy-Boy will be dead and as such likely unable to reap the untold billions in licensing fees that you assume he's after.

Unless of course you think Gates is an immortal demon intent on stealing all men's souls, which frankly is a belief that wouldn't surprise me on slashdot.

Re:You're a blind idiot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065529)

BadAnalogyGuy here, posting anonymously to avoid Karma suicide.

A few years ago, while browsing around the library downtown, I had to take a piss. As I entered the john, a big beautiful all-American football hero type, about twenty five, came out of one of the booths. I stood at the urinal looking at him out of the corner of my eye as he washed his hands. He didn't once look at me. He was "straight" and married -- and in any case I was sure I wouldn't have a chance with him.

As soon as he left, I darted into the booth he'd vacated, hoping there might be a lingering smell of shit and even a seat still warm from his sturdy young ass. I found not only the smell but the shit itself. He'd forgotten to flush. And what a treasure he had left behind. Three or four beautiful specimens floated in the bowl. It apparently had been a fairly dry, constipated shit, for all were fat, stiff, and ruggedly textured. The real prize was a great feast of turd -- a nine inch gastrointestinal triumph as thick as a man's wrist. I knelt before the bowl, inhaling the rich brown fragrance and wondered if I should obey the impulse building up inside me. I'd always been a heavy rimmer and had lapped up more than one little clump of shit, but that had been just an inevitable part of eating ass and not an end in itself.

Of course I'd had jerkoff fantasies of devouring great loads of it (what rimmer hasn't?), but I had never done it. Now, here I was, confronted with the most beautiful five-pound turd I'd ever feasted my eyes on, a sausage fit to star in any fantasy and one I knew to have been hatched from the asshole of the world's handsomest young stud.

Why not? I plucked it from the bowl, holding it with both hands to keep it from breaking.

I lifted it to my nose. It smelled like rich, ripe limburger (horrid, but thrilling), yet had the consistency of cheddar. What is cheese anyway but milk turning to shit without the benefit of a digestive tract? I gave it a lick and found that it tasted better then it smelled. I've found since then that shit nearly almost does. I hesitated no longer. I shoved the fucking thing as far into my mouth as I could get it and sucked on it like a big brown cock, beating my meat like a madman. I wanted to completely engulf it and bit off a large chunk, flooding my mouth with the intense, bittersweet flavor. To my delight I found that while the water in the bowl had chilled the outside of the turd, it was still warm inside. As I chewed I discovered that it was filled with hard little bits of something I soon identified as peanuts. He hadn't chewed them carefully and they'd passed through his body virtually unchanged. I ate it greedily, sending lump after peanutty lump sliding scratchily down my throat. My only regret was the donor of this feast wasn't there to wash it down with his piss. I soon reached a terrific climax. I caught my cum in the cupped palm of my hand and drank it down. Believe me, there is no more delightful combination of flavors than the hot sweetness of cum with the rich bitterness of shit. Afterwards I was sorry that I hadn't made it last longer. But then I realized that I still had a lot of fun in store for me. There was still a clutch of virile turds left in the bowl. I tenderly fished them out, rolled them into my hankercheif, and stashed them in my briefcase.

In the week to come I found all kinds of ways to eat the shit without bolting it right down. Once eaten it's gone forever unless you want to filch it third hand out of your own asshole -- not an unreasonable recourse in moments of desperation or simple boredom.

I stored the turds in the refrigerator when I was not using them but within a week they were all gone.

The last one I held in my mouth without chewing, letting it slowly dissolve. I had liquid shit trickling down my throat for nearly four hours. I must have had six orgasms in the process. I often think of that lovely young guy dropping solid gold out of his sweet, pink asshole every day, never knowing what joy it could, and at least once did,bring to a grateful shiteater.

Re:You're a blind idiot (0, Troll)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065563)

Gimme a fucking break, Taco.

It was you and JonP, not some "all-American football type".

Maybe if you stopped sucking your own cock every now and then, you'd have a better self-image.

Re:Too far (0, Flamebait)

smack.addict (116174) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065453)

If RMS is high on your list of respected people, you have never actually listened to what he says.

Re:Too far (4, Informative)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065669)

If RMS is high on your list of respected people, you have never actually listened to what he says.

Please. What do you suggest as the reason why someone would respect RMS? His good looks? His impeccable cleanliness? His tact? His unmatched skill at singing and songwriting?

RMS is respect-worthy for two reasons: What he says, and perhaps more importantly, what he has done. RMS pretty much single-handedly and deliberately created the free software ecosystem. Like it or not, without RMS, Linux would never have been anything but a 386 assembly-language pet project, the Mozilla project would never have happened, "Open Source" would never have happened, and Microsoft might even have a full-blown monopoly on web technologies by now.

Agree or disagree with him, if you can't imagine why anyone would respect RMS, then you need to research what's happened over the last 25 years.

Re:Too far (3, Insightful)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065455)

There are whole medical labs dedicated to fighting TB and AIDS in southern Africa that wouldn't exist without the Bill&Melinda foundation. How is that hurting anything?

How about a look at the big picture? Gates & co. are robbing the rich, and giving a fraction of this money to the poor. The alternative could be that we used Free software, and instead of the money going to Microsoft, it could go more directly towards helping the poor.

Re:Too far (5, Insightful)

OSXCPA (805476) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065509)

So you propose some sort of tax on free software to pay to the poor? Or, Microsoft keeps charging for Windows but makes it GPL and gives whatever money they get to the poor?

How does your proposal work - specifically, how does the money get to the poor, and from whom?

I'm not a MS fan at all, but given we can all use free software if we choose to and donate money to the poor, unless your plan calls for mandating Microsoft give money to charity, that company has nothing to do with the aims you espouse.

PS - The Gates foundation may only give 'a fraction' of what it 'robs' (how does one rob by soliciting donations, again?) from the rich to the poor, but it is still donating more than you or I ever will, and therefore, has done more good than you or I will likely do in this context.

Re:Too far (3, Insightful)

dvice_null (981029) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065615)

> how does the money get to the poor, and from whom

Consider governments. They buy Microsoft products and the money comes from the national budgets. If they wouldn't buy the products, they could spend the money e.g. to health care (usually direct benefit for the poor) or they could even donate some of it to the countries that are more need of money.

The point is that the money could be spend on something more important. And usually at least some of it helps the poor also.

Re:Too far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065633)

People wouldn't give the money to the poor if they didn't pay for software, they would jut eat out at a better restaurant or use the money to buy gas. It is not like if software is free people are suddenly going to become good people. People want to spend money on themselves and will always want to spend money on themselves.

Re:Too far (5, Informative)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065465)

We've had articles [slashdot.org] on this before.

Scientists who were once open with their research are now 'locked up in a cartel' and are financially motivated to support other scientists backed by the Foundation. Diversity of views is 'stifled,' dominance is bought, and Foundation views are pushed with 'intense and aggressive opposition.'"

Re:Too far (4, Informative)

vertinox (846076) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065483)

There are whole medical labs dedicated to fighting TB and AIDS in southern Africa that wouldn't exist without the Bill&Melinda foundation. How is that hurting anything?

Well this is what he said according to TFA:

Gates' philanthropy for health care for poor countries has won some people's good opinion. The LA Times reported that his foundation spends five to 10% of its money annually and invests the rest, sometimes in companies it suggests cause environmental degradation and illness in the same poor countries.

So basically, he being outed as a Charity basher because he is citing the LA times article [latimes.com] that the foundation only spends 10% of its money on actual helping the poor. He doesn't say the organization shouldn't exist... He's pointing out that they aren't doing their best job of giving to the poor because they are investing for a return.

Read the LA Times article and decide for yourself though.

Re:Too far (4, Insightful)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065611)

The reason they 'only spend 10%' is because they have a endowment to maintain. It's far better for them to use 10% of their endowment yearly, recouping that money through investment, and then being able to sustain that level of spending indefinitely (rather than spending everything in one go!)

For anybody wishing to bash the foundation though, the 'only spending 10%' figure provides a useful point as many people will jump to a negative conclusion without actually thinking about it.

Re:Too far (5, Informative)

IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065707)

The reason they 'only spend 10%' is because they have a endowment to maintain.

I'm not sure anyone is criticising the foundation's financial model, but the LA Times has questioned the nature of the investments that the foundation makes to sustain itself.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gatesx07jan07,0,6827615.story?coll=la-home-headlines [latimes.com]

I believe the assertion being made is that the foundation's charitable efforts are being sabotaged by its unethical investments.

Re:Too far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065619)

My hate Microsoft just as much as the next guy however I really believe Bill Gates is a genius when it comes to running a Business, so even if he is using 10% to actually help the poor, I will just trust his judgment, he is wiser than you and I when it comes to money.

Re:Too far (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065635)

So basically, he being outed as a Charity basher because he is citing the LA times article [latimes.com] that the foundation only spends 10% of its money on actual helping the poor.

This is how all long-term charities work. You invest enough so that the gains allow you to consistantly give.

They could give away 100% of their money this year. But then what would they give next year?

It's the same when someone sets up a scholarship; the money donated for the scholarship is not given away - it's invested and the investment gains are given away. That way the scholarships can last for as long as the investment market allows.

Re:Too far (5, Insightful)

Shihar (153932) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065649)

The point of a charity investing a hunk of its money is so that it can exist beyond its initial contributions. If the charity just blows all of its money, its life will last as long as people contribute to it and die the day that stops. On the other hand, if you dump a shit-ton of money into it, have that money start making a healthy interest rate, and just spend the interest, the charity continues on basically forever with its supply of cash always building, or at least remaining the same.

Re:Too far (5, Informative)

IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065521)

Have a read of this article from the LA times:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gatesx07jan07,0,6827615.story?coll=la-home-headlines [latimes.com]

I think that's what Stallman is referring to.

Don't know how much is true, but it makes depressing reading.

Re:Too far (2, Interesting)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065705)

Holy cow, it's just like his strategy for software: break stuff so that you increase the market for fixes!

  • Invest in oil -> cause prostitution and mosquitoes -> give out more treatments for HIV and malaria
  • Write a crappy OS-> cause hacking and malware -> sell new OS versions and add-on security programs

Between that and this [informatio...house.info], Gates really does sound evil!

Re:Too far (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065597)

Your argument proceeds from a false assumption, as it's not at all clear that the organisations wouldn't exist without Bill. Considering that the money Bill has came from countries like Africa amongst others, and that he kept some of the profits for himself, it's doubly wrong-headed.

Re:Too far (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065603)

Well there's a lot of debate, if you look into alternative health, ppl like Dr. Mercola [mercola.com] and Dr. Tim O'Shea [thedoctorwithin.com] and do a bit of searching on the AIDS conspiracy/medical conspiracies you'll get some insight into the controversy.

I know slashdot whole heartedly embraces main stream medical science and believes everything their doctors tell them because it's science right? no corruption or greed or agendas right? Nobody ever falsifies data for ego reasons, research funding, or to get published etc etc... and that can be applied to anyone really. Look at the data and make up your own mind.

I think the two big things regarding the Gate's foundation is related to vaccination and AIDS. These are two topics that are full of conspiracy. Is HIV == AIDS? Some ppl think it is all based on shoddy research, and that AIDS is BS. In Africa supposedly a lot of deaths just get filed under AIDS, no proper testing or methodology. never mind the extreme poverty, starvation, war, lack of sanitation, and other minor things like that. And from what I've read on vaccination I don't ever want to be vaccinated again. You can believe it's good for you, personally I think it's poison.

So if you have that view that the multi-billion dollar sick industry, big drug companies and their doctors are in it for the money and power, and make things up in order to deceive a gullible public, and then you see Bill Gate's foundation pushing those things around the world, the cynics might see it as an extension of imperialism and not some altruistic good for humanity effort although that works well for public relations. "Don't hate on Bill and Microsoft, they took billions of your dollars but see? They're doing so much good in the world..... shame on you for questioning their intentions..."

Re:Too far (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065695)

There are whole medical labs dedicated to fighting TB and AIDS in southern Africa that wouldn't exist without the Bill&Melinda foundation.

i wonder, who will hold the patents on the stuff developed in those labs?

RMS does more damage than good (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065387)

he needs to STFU
no wonder Open Source isnt being taken seriously when you have self appointed beardie weirdy "leaders" who see FOSS as more of a religion than a solution
take a long look at him and tell us if he speaks for you, Microsoft are at least "professional" thats why they win in the boardroom

get a suit, get your hair cut and be a professional, dress and act like the natives even you are faking

Oh God, (4, Funny)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065397)

My mind is screwed. It immediatly thought of RMS wielding a big a big katana running like a madman towards Gates and a legion of MS employees.

Re:Oh God, (1, Troll)

PakProtector (115173) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065575)

And when Security and the police shot him to death, it would be a net gain for the Free/Open Software Movements and for the world in General.

RMS is to Free/Open Source Movements as Jack Thompson is to the Anti-gaming Crusade

Re:Oh God, (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065605)

My mind is screwed. It immediatly thought of RMS wielding a big a big katana running like a madman through a sky darkening volley of flying chairs towards Gates and a legion of MS employees.

There, fixed that for you. How could you possibly forget the obligatory reference to flying chairs?

nothing "low" or "desparate" about it (5, Insightful)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065401)

Is Stallman so desperate to make Mr. Gates out to be the bad guy that heâ(TM)d sink this low?

I don't see any "low sinking" about it. First of all, the money Gates is so charitably donating, is money he acquired from an illegal monopoly, so it is reasonable to follow where it is going.

Second, there is a good argument to be made that foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are harmful and are mainly entertainment vehicles and tax shelters for the rich.

Third, why shouldn't Stallman comment on this stuff? He started the Free Software Foundation out of social consciousness and civic concern; of course, he would comment on other social issues and may well take action, even if they have nothing to do with software.

And why should Stallman be "desparate"? Free software is doing better than ever before, while Microsoft just keeps failing in everything they do.

The rest of the NeoSmart files contains more bullshit. For example:

Stallman somehow neglects to mention that â" regardless of whether morally acceptable or not â" Microsoft had the legal right to demand payment in exchange for their software.

There is no "neglect" about it. It is not at all clear that Gates had that legal right at the time; in a sense, Gates helped establish that right, to the deteriment of us all, according to Stallman's reading.

I don't agree with what Stallman says, but he is at least consistent and logical. NeoSmart is a bunch of bullshit and FUD.

Is Microsoft getting so desperate that they have to step up their bullshit and FUD machine another notch? I guess it's a good sign.

Re:nothing "low" or "desparate" about it (1)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065411)

>>There is no "neglect" about it. It is not at all clear that Gates had that legal right at the time; in a sense, Gates helped establish that right, to the deteriment of us all, according to Stallman's reading.

Yet another fails to grasp the fundemental concept that free software and free beer are not the same.

Re:nothing "low" or "desparate" about it (0)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065489)

Yet another fails to grasp the fundemental concept that free software and free beer are not the same.

What I said is correct. The faulty understanding is with you.

Re:nothing "low" or "desparate" about it (5, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065437)

Second, there is a good argument to be made that foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are harmful and are mainly entertainment vehicles and tax shelters for the rich.

When I read how charities are a 'tax shelter', I realize how stupid the writer is. And in this case, how dumb the moderators are.

Give away a dollar to save 40 cents. Brilliant strategy. Especially when you consider the wealthy can probably reduce their tax liability to 20 cents or less per dollar.

Tell you what... give me $10,000 and I will give you back $4,000. Then you to can do the same brilliant 'tax shelter' strategy.

Re:nothing "low" or "desparate" about it (-1, Troll)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065515)

I'm sorry you don't understand tax law and the way that charities are used by for-profits, but you can, in fact, give away $10k and get back $20k.

Re:nothing "low" or "desparate" about it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065583)

I'm sorry you don't know enough about what you are talking about to communicate any sentiment other than, "I'm an ignorant clown, but I will make unjustified claims and posture boldly on the Internets."

Re:nothing "low" or "desparate" about it (2, Insightful)

OSXCPA (805476) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065531)

Come on, this is /. not the AICPA [aicpa.org]. Give a nerd a break on bad math skills!

Seriously, you would not believe how often accountants hear 'laypeople' talk about how much of a 'scam' charitable donations are for the rich. It is a popular meme that just will not die, mores the pity.

Re:nothing "low" or "desparate" about it (1)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065599)

It's not a bad deal when you're giving a dollar to yourself and getting back an addition 40 cents, though.

You arent helping either. (3, Insightful)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065445)

You see, many of you try to define Microsoft by YOUR rules. That is stupid.

To suggest that "Microsoft is failing at everything they do" is just ridiculous. Microsoft is concerned about the generation of DOLLARS. Their rules are about making MONEY. In that sense, they are spectacularly successful at what they do, whether you or I agree with their motivation, ethics or whatever.

Its like trying to say that China sucks because they are not a Democracy. Sure, they may suck indeed to you and me, but to China, they are doing just fine.

Stallman is a horrible spokesperson, in the sense that he allows himself through his own words to be defined as a kook, allowing his goals to be written of as the rantings of a madman.

Re:You arent helping either. (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065573)

To suggest that "Microsoft is failing at everything they do" is just ridiculous.

It's not ridiculous, it's true.

Microsoft is concerned about the generation of DOLLARS. Their rules are about making MONEY.

Yes. That includes current revenues and expected future revenues. Microsoft is still doing OK on current revenues. If they keep flopping, they will be doing poorly on future revenues, and their lackluster performance shows that that's what people expect.

Stallman is a horrible spokesperson, in the sense that he allows himself through his own words to be defined as a kook, allowing his goals to be written of as the rantings of a madman.

Stallman isn't a "spokesperson", he's an individual, and one that has accomplished a lot.

Gates is as much of a kook as Stallman, but Stallman is honest, while Gates is also a crook.

Re:nothing "low" or "desparate" about it (1)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065513)

you know I had this huge story counting most if not all of your claims, but you know what, I just realized it would be falling on deaf ears with you. Being militaristic about OSS is just not helping the cause, and just makes us OSS users look like hippies and activists, and not professionals.

Re:nothing "low" or "desparate" about it (2, Interesting)

Coneasfast (690509) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065565)

First of all, the money Gates is so charitably donating, is money he acquired from an illegal monopoly, so it is reasonable to follow where it is going.

This is not RMS' argument. His argument is that the charity invests some of their money into companies like oil plants which pollute the air, see this article [latimes.com].

If you're going to defend RMS, at least get it right.

From the article:

Monica Harrington, a senior policy officer at the foundation, said the investment managers had one goal: returns "that will allow for the continued funding of foundation programs and grant making." Bill and Melinda Gates require the managers to keep a highly diversified portfolio, but make no specific directives.

I don't think they're specifically looking for investment in oil and gas companies, this just happened to be one of their investments (I'm not saying that it's OK, but RMS can blow things way out of proportion).

FOSS worst enemy (0, Troll)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065413)

Way to garner positive attention, Stallman!

Way to insure that people continue to believe (in numbers greater than anyone wants to admit) that the whole FOSS thang is nothing but an expression of Socialism.

Do us all a favor, Stallman? The next time you want to go off half-cocked like that, you stuff your favorite Che Guevera t-shirt in your mouth and bite down until the thought goes away?

Bitch!

Re:FOSS worst enemy (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065559)

It is you, sir, that your comment shoudl be directed to. Indeed, sir your own half-cocked reply should have been tempered with the perusal of The Fellatious Article, as so noble and well-informedly as the gentleman referenced at the top was when he posted this: http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=604653&cid=24065483 [slashdot.org]

(just read the link 'cos the summary's b*ll*cks as usual).

Re:FOSS worst enemy (1)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065625)

This is interesting:

LibertineR (591918) says:

the whole FOSS thang is nothing but an expression of Socialism.

While I, too, don't know whether to give Stallman my spare change or my ears, you seem to be making this a clash of ideology. I would kill to see your browser's user-agent, no doubt it won't be some stinking FOSS thing like Firefox. Good for you! Stay true to your ideology. Use IE or somesuch.

Besides, FOSS isn't so much like Socialism as it is charity for the greater good.

Oh and also (I'm sorry I forgot this), some of us are from socialist countries, you insensitive clod!
In Soviet Russia, Socialiasm is an expression of FOSS
Yes but do you run Linux?

Fair points (0, Troll)

commandlinegamer (1046764) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065415)

Gates' legacy is that you don't have control of the PC (whether hardware or software) you paid for.

Re:Fair points (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065441)

Gates' legacy is that you don't have control of the PC (whether hardware or software) you paid for.

Say what?

I can turn my PC on and off at will, add and remove files, wipe Windows off the hard drive completely and install Linux if I choose... hell I can even toss the whole thing in the dumpster and buy a Mac if I really want to.

How am I not in control?

Re:Fair points (1)

MouseR (3264) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065587)

How am I not in control?

Nope. Because the hardware designers are bound to follow the direction of MS in order to have financially viable offerings.

Eg, DirectX over OpenGL.

Re:Fair points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065699)

Eg, DirectX over OpenGL.

And what's that got to do with the price of fish? The fact that one 3D graphics API is more popular doesn't limit the control that I as a consumer have over hardware that I paid for.

The OP was claiming that Gates has denied me control of my machine. Now if he'd been talking about Microsoft distorting the market through anti-competitive practises then he'd have had a point.

Sour grapes? (2, Insightful)

blahbooboo (839709) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065419)

Wow, he really comes across bitter. One may dislike Bill and MS, but the foundation Bill started has really done some great things. At least he is doing something with his money AND has made other extremely rich people start to do similar charity activities.

I think while MS has done some awful things, the industry has still moved forward as a whole. Bill saw a business model and moved to make it successful. Stallman's idea has caught on too, just not as well YET as the Microsoft one.

Instead of focusing on criticizing Microsoft how about focus on making open source software that is not "as good" but rather "MUCH BETTER" than closed sourced equivalents? How about make OpenOffice or Koffice not "good enough for most users" to be so awesome that it surpasses MS Office? That's why Firefox caught on, it was significantly better than IE 6 in terms of functionality and SECURITY that it was able to become a contender.

Re:Sour grapes? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065533)

But you're missing the point. He's rich because of his anti-competitive and down right evil business practices.

And the net result is plain to see, the folding [or decimation] of competitors such as Corel, Wordperfect, Borland/Inprise, and so on.

So yay, he gives out money, money that he got by taking advantage of the market and basically being a prick.

If I prey'ed on drug addicts by pushing drugs, then used some of my money to buy books for a school, am I good person?

He basically led a company designed to lock people into one track of software, make it very hard/expensive to switch tracks, and then charge whatever they want for it.

You might say, oh why use Word? Use OO.o and you're done. Problem is when you have a million documents in Word/Excel/etc dating back to say the early 90s it's really hard to just say, oh let's move them all to OO.o.

Now if, for example, they weren't anti-competitive, their file format would be documented (so the customer knows what they are getting) and other office suites would be able to read them.

I mean disregard the "helping competitors" line for a second. When you rush off and buy a $100 copy of Word, they're not even telling you what the damn file format is! You're stuck using their software and have no choice about the matter.

Re:Sour grapes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065561)

That's why Firefox caught on, it was significantly better than IE 6 in terms of functionality and SECURITY that it was able to become a contender.

I'll concede the point on security, Firefox has Phishing protection, but it wasn't until Firefox 3 that it could hold a candle to Safari in terms of functionality/usability. The only reason I use Firefox at work because, firstly some web interfaces I use are certified only for Firefox or IE and secondly because Firefox has a built in XML viewer which is nice when dealing with things like web services. Firefox 3 was a major improvement but if Firefox 2 was superior to IE 6 I don't even want to know what IE 6 was like.

Re:Sour grapes? (1)

rve (4436) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065579)

...I think while MS has done some awful things, the industry has still moved forward as a whole. Bill saw a business model and moved to make it successful. Stallman's idea has caught on too, just not as well YET as the Microsoft one.

Gates and Allen were pioneers in the field of software for 'microcomputers', the things that eventually evolved into the PCs and Macs we use today.

Stallman is from the same generation, and could have come up with a free software for microcomputers movement at the time, but he snubbed the whole field, and felt at the time, as I'm sure he still does privately, that microcomputers were pointless and only scientists should be using computers in the first place.

There's no reason to continue his crusade any way. Noone is forced to use proprietary software for anything any more. You can build you own PC, install your own Linux and GNU on it, or even buy a machine with linux pre installed. The only thing one really needs Windows or OSX is for running other proprietary software they like.

If people still choose to pay money to a company like Apple or Microsoft or IBM for software and services, and really have no interest in access to the sources and the right to redistribute the software, please let them. They don't need pity or condescending preaching.

There is a choice now, between Free and Proprietary software, and things in between. Surely that is good. Continuing the struggle until proprietary software is destroyed is futile, and even if it wasn't, it would actually decrease choice and therefor freedom, wouldn't it?

Re:Sour grapes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065709)

Wow, he really comes across bitter.

I don't think it's so much that he's bitter.
Rather, I think that after 26 years or so without showering, he's built up a crusty layer of insensitivity and indifference that doesn't really pass the sniff test for being a well-adjusted, mature adult in our society.

The NeoSmart article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065423)

deserves to be modded -1 Troll.

Stop spreading this kind of FUD (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065429)

Stallman did not claim that the foundation doesn't really help the poor. He simply referenced some well known LA Times articles critical of the foundation.

That's all, nothing to get upset about.

Unless of course god awful sides like neosmart try to take it out of context and sensationalize it. And as usual, /. editors think it's worthwhile to lend them a hand in this endeavor.

Well done!

GNAA Penis Rocket To The Moon Project (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065449)

GNAA Penis Rocket To The Moon Project

Sat Jul 5, 2008 (GNAA Wire):

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As we celebrate the rising of a communist super power with the Chinese Olympics, turn a blind eye to Tibet and the peace loving people who were viciously attacked, and continue to support companies like Wal-Mart who fund communist China, let us remember our freedom as our rights continue to be stripped away, DEA's funding increases and drones begin to fly more and more over our homes, with FLIR scanning our homes for evil marijuana grow ops, while the television shows good Americans waving flags and dancing instead of coffins coming home during an illegal war.

Happy Fourth of July, America! You fat, disgusting piece of shit group of zombies who pay taxes to fund illegal wars like the war on nature (drugs?) and the war in Iraq. Pray to your war-god of Israel at the pump all you want, do you think he really cares? He loves war, look at all of the people who follow him, war mongers on each side, Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Why, even today Christians who can't convert by violence have to convert by bribes.

To celebrate your decline, your present dictatorship, and your future masters in China, please purchase GNAA Bozo the Clown Love Gloves, and enjoy fisting each other in friendship and love while the face of Larry darkens with your feces.

All profits go to our Penis Rocket To The Moon Project [www.gnaa.us].

Common decency (2, Insightful)

msgmonkey (599753) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065457)

would atleast dictate that he refers to Bill Gates as Mr Gates rather than "Gates", I find it offensive and I'm not the one even being attacked.

I once read something along the lines that presentation is90% of the arugument or something along those lines.

Re:Common decency (1)

OSXCPA (805476) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065549)

I'm a consultant, and I can personally attest, presentation is 98% of the argument when selling ERP systems to C-level executives. Another 1% is your golf score, and the last 1% is the free T-shirts you bring along for the propellerheads at the client who will have to babysit the behemoth after you leave. :)

Article focus (5, Insightful)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065463)

As someone who doesn't really follow the free software movement, I think he should have focused on promoting the advantages of open-source, rather than bashing those that are free to license their software whichever way they choose.

Gates didn't invent proprietary software, and thousands of other companies do the same thing. It's wrong, no matter who does it.

Utter nonsense - and it reflects badly on the FSF. How exactly are you going to persuade these companies to become more open-source friendly, if all you do is bash them?

Re:Article focus (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065557)

With Stallman at the helm, the FSF is at risk of becoming the PETA of open-source advocacy organizations.

Wow! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065471)

But Gates didn't invent proprietary software, and thousands of other companies do the same thing. It's wrong, no matter who does it.

That's your opinion and I don't agree with it.

Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, and the rest, offer you software that gives them power over you.

No, it doesn't. As a matter of fact, if all of my computers were to vanish right now, my life wouldn't change that much. It might even be better. You want to talk about power over people? Have a look at the banking industry.

A change in executives or companies is not important. What we need to change is this system.

The system will change. That's just the nature of things. Whether or not it needs to be changed is irrelevant.

I disagree with most of what this guy has to say. If anyone creates a piece of software or anything else, it's their right to do as they please with their creation.

Here's an incredibly intelligent person who has the emotional development of a 15 year old.

Harm? (3, Interesting)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065477)

Ugh I know this is flame bait but I have to say it as it's on topic.

I still don't see the harm that Gates brought to the computing industry with Microsoft. They brought a unification to the desktop and IT that simply didn't exist before, and pushed for standards that made it easier.

And even now there are still problems with all of this. Look at the browser market. Even if IE were not involved, you still have the problem that Firefox, Opera, and Safari render pages differently. Their performance is also very different. So say, a website that you write for one may be great on performance but when launched in another browser be completely and utterly poor.

Even setting "standards" for rendering don't resolve that, as exactly "how" those standards are implemented are left up to the developers. Then you still have the issue that Safari is the most common browser used on Macs, and that's certainly going to heat up as Safari 4 makes its rounds.

Either way, Microsoft tried to reduce this as much as possible. And they succeeded. Despite the fact that millions of people don't know how to use the computers they use every day, they still use them and have access to them. You can still get an education with them.

There are points where IT nerds don't want to learn anything new anymore--it's just at a much higher point than the average person, but still exists...

Re:Harm? (3, Interesting)

grizdog (1224414) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065637)

I disagree with your point that it was Microsoft that brought "unification to the desktop", a point that is often repeated.

It was IBM, not least through there open hardware policy, that wiped out any significant competition and brought a single platform to the desktop. Microsoft, very shrewdly, hung on for the ride and then jumped off at just the right time. It was a brilliant business plan, maybe the most perfectly executed business plan ever, but they were not the ones that created the common platform. Nor did MSOffice, et al, accomplish anything in that department other than bring most of the desktop under the auspices of the same company. Heck, they completely blew it in the database department, after acquiring the most promising company out there, Fox. IE did nothing for "unification", quite the contrary, and the list goes on with malware protection, email clients, and all the other standard stuff on the desktop. People were sharing documents and spreadsheets before Word Or Excel came on the scene.

What Microsoft accomplished was to replace other products with their own, not so much with better engineering as better marketing, and get their name out there as the most ubiquitous --> preeminent name in desktop computing.

Makes Sense at First Glance (3, Interesting)

ricegf (1059658) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065485)

When I first read rms' potification, it made a certain sort of sense. If you've ever been threatened by the BSA, as I have - twice - you begin to recognise that many software vendors use EULAs to give themselves ridiculously expansive rights, far beyond the government's constitutional limits (at least in the USA). Enter my house to audit my computers? In your dreams.

After a great deal of thought, however, I realize that his view on free software and society actually do make a lot of sense. Free-as-in-liberty software is worth supporting IMHO. So this former Microsoft enthusiast does. Still use a Microsoft mouse, though - they make great hardware. :-)

I have no opinion on the Gates' foundation - I favour charity, obviously, but I'm not up to speed on the details of their goals & policies.

--
Written on the best-selling N800 GNU and Linux tablet.

Re:Makes Sense at First Glance (1)

AmaranthineNight (1005185) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065657)

On the Gates foundation:

The Gates Foundation has poured $218 million into polio and measles immunization and research worldwide, including in the Niger Delta. At the same time that the foundation is funding inoculations to protect health, The Times found, it has invested $423 million in Eni, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Total of France â" the companies responsible for most of the flares blanketing the delta with pollution, beyond anything permitted in the United States or Europe.

The pollution it talks about is contributing to the poor health of the locals that the foundation is supposed to be helping.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-gatesx07jan07,0,4205044,full.story [latimes.com]

Why to be naked? (1)

Gundamdriver (1288510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065501)

I still don't understand why he wants everyone to be naked. Isn't the right of author of program to choose either let the product to be open source or not? BTW, I think donating money and writing software is two different things, I can't see any reason to mix them up.

Re:Why to be naked? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065555)

"I still don't understand why he wants everyone to be naked."

Fuck you you stupid piece of shit. Anyone who sends dollars to Microsoft is a traitor and supports the rise of Communist China. Fuck you! Being naked is being assfucked by proprietary masters, Stallman makes valid points and all the typical pieces of donkey shit consumers can do is install more Windows software, knowing nothing about freedom and the values of open source.

Fuck you!

no, sorry you are wrong stallman. (0)

Alterion (925335) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065503)

The B&M foundation is a brilliant and incomparable gesture of philanthropy by someone with nothing to gain and everything to lose by such actions; whatever you say about him here i have no doubt bill g would have been a slashdot reading lovable geek had he been born 10 years later. The ridiculous assertions thus far made are a stupid "everyone is either good or evil" step too far. Those who say otherwise ignore every historical example and basic economics to make a point at the expense of a fundamental social cause. Like every social leader stallmann finds himself in a position where he essentially has (bizarrely) to lie in order to maintain his media integrity, we saw in with mandela, we are seeing now with obama on fisa, now it seems we are seeing it with stallman. But there is a fundamental difference here, a the issues that the B&G foundation are addressing are some of THE most important that humanity has ever faced, in those examples, the war had been won and we were conceding minor points, here we are conceding the war for the sake of a battle, ( and fsf is undoubtedly a battle not a war, see lessig). We cannot afford this ridiculous and vindictive charade and it we continue it i fear it will tear us apart just as creationism is tearing apart the christians

More of the same from Stallman (5, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065505)

Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, and the rest, offer you software that gives them power over you. A change in executives or companies is not important. What we need to change is this system. That's what the free software movement is all about. "Free" refers to freedom: we write and publish software that users are free to share and modify.

In other words, "Do as I tell you, or you are a dumb slave"

Don't get me wrong, I love free software, but more than that I enjoy software that just works. If its free, I'll use that first, but Stallman has always seemed to say that, "Freedom is what I say freedom is, and if you don't do what I tell you to do, then you are not free" Give me a break.....

Wrong summary. Try reading the article next time. (5, Insightful)

b0rsuk (1109751) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065511)

From the article: "To pay so much attention to Bill Gates' retirement is missing the point. What really matters is not Gates, nor Microsoft, but the unethical system of restrictions that Microsoft, like many other software companies, imposes on its customers."

Kinda low ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065519)

The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation is one of the largest charitable organizations in the world, and manages those assets earmarked for charitable contribution by Gates as well as Warren Buffett.

The foundation currently donates hundreds of millions of dollars per year across a portfolio of (I think) worthy causes -- HIV research, education, feeding the poor.

For RMS to insinuate that these contributions are "merely pretending to help" and that they "do more harm" than good is ridiculous.

What then, should the foundation do? Should the foundation -- and by extension, all of us -- simply stop making donations to disease research, the building of libraries, feeding the poor, and improving universities? Does RMS believe that there will be some sort of grassroots "open source" movement to research vaccines and build libraries? Of course that won't happen, and if this is what he believes, then he's flipped his lid. The world doesn't work this way, and the B&M Gates foundation looks like it's doing its best in an imperfect world.

RMS problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065525)

stallman's problem is that he has seveere diarrhea of the mouth.

Is GPL free software really free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065545)

RMS' Free Software Foundation develops GPL and LGP covered ***FREE*** software.

Quote from the BBC article: ""Free" refers to freedom: we write and publish software that users are free to share and modify."

I have two questions about GPL free software:
1. Does "software" in the quote refer to GPL and LGP covered ***FREE*** software?

2. Do I have the ***Freedom*** to copy parts of GPL/LGPL free software into BSD-covered open-source software of FreeBSD, OpenBSD and NetBSD projects?

3. "users are free to share and modify" means users are free to share or not to share. Its the user's choice. If I distribute GPL/LGPL binaries, so do I have the ***Freedom*** to not to share the changes?

Anybody remember Andrew Carnegie (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065553)

Andrew Carnegie gave the money to build libraries all over the continent. He got the money by being a ruthless capitalist. Nobody remembers how he treated his workers, they just see the library building and think he must have been a good guy.

The motivation for Bill Gates' charitable activities is known only to him but there is a good chance that he wants to leave a legacy that will make future generations think he is a good guy. Anybody involved with a business that was screwed by Microsoft knows better.

Shameful.. (4, Insightful)

kiwioddBall (646813) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065569)

Its one thing to be passionate about free software, but you can go too far. In the real world, If he held any position of importance at all, Stallman would have to resign his position after a comment like that. Stallman obviously thinks software is more important than people. He is dead wrong. Something wholly good is coming out of the software that he is criticises. Is free software going to feed people and cure disease?

Stallman would also be wrong if he thought that all the money that the Gates foundation plays with is sourced from Microsoft. Warren Buffett has given most of his fortune to the foundation also. To even imply that such philanthropy is harming the thirld world is nothing less than criminal.

This is fair, more or less... (2, Insightful)

ActusReus (1162583) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065577)

RMS pointed out that the bulk of the Gates Foundation's money is parked in investments (so the philanthropy can live off the interest). This is a true statement. However, it's a bit silly to imply that a philanthropy is disingenuous for not spending its entire balance sheet in a single year... because if philanthropies did that, they mostly wouldn't be around longer than a year. Pretty much EVERY philanthropy keeps most of its money in investments, and does it philanthropic work with the annual proceeds.

Stallman's second criticism is that some of the particular investments the Foundation keeps its money in are not socially-conscious companies. I don't know the details of the Gates Foundation's portfolio, but that's a fair criticism of a philanthropy in general. If you donate money to a gun control policy foundation, you expect that they won't invest it in gun manufacturers, etc. A foundation that works with disease and living conditions in third-world countries probably shouldn't invest in companies with poor track records of worker and environmental exploitation in third-world countries. Indeed, applying pressure through the use of its investment decisions might be the most effective power that a foundation of that size could wield.

In sum, the quote was probably a bit less than fair in that it has nothing to do with software, and was thrown in just to be spiteful. Still, the quote was just ONE SENTENCE... buried in an article that dealt exclusively with software otherwise.

Self-Publicizing Gadfly..... (0)

IHC Navistar (967161) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065585)

The tactic of going after a charitable organization with extreme claims is getting old. Someone as smart as Stallman claims to be should be able to recognize this as the hallmark of a desperate individual trying to "make their mark on the world".

Funny, I noticed this at the bottom of his personal page:

"copyright (c) 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Richard Stallman
Verbatim copying and redistribution of this entire page are permitted provided this notice is preserved.
Verbatim copying and redistribution of any of the photos in the photos subdirectory is permitted under the Creative Commons Noderivs license version 3.0 or later. You can copy and redistribute the photo of me playing music to the butterfly under the Creative Commons Noderivs Nocommercial license version 3.0 or later. Any other photos of me in this directory may be copied and redistributed under the Creative Commons Noderivs license version 3.0 or later."

If Stallman is so damn benevolent and charitable, he should spend his time giving money to people, and not making extreme claims to get his face or name mentioned. The is a fine line between activism and self-glorification/self-publicization, and Stallman crossed it long ago.

Stallman is just a "techie" version of Michael Crook.

Re:Self-Publicizing Gadfly..... (1)

edalytical (671270) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065697)

What's wrong with the copyright notice and Creative Commons licensing? I don't get the point you are trying to make.

That does it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065589)

Now, when I forget to say GNU/Linux, it's on PURPOSE!!!

Open Source unprofitable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065641)

If Stallman himself needs to work as (according to TFA) an "expert food manipulator".

Oh, wait, it says 'FUD'. My bad.

Bill's argument (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24065659)

I ask this out of genuine curiosity and ignorance.
As I recall, Gates's main argument is that programmers must make money for their work, as there is no incentive for them to produce software otherwise.
Apart from a few benevolent souls who produce software in their spare time, how exactly is completely free software a sustainable model? Or is the argument that you make your software open source but not free? Does this mean someone else can copy your hard work and produce a customized version?

I still haven't really grasped what incentive a business would have of producing software without protecting their work. Or is Stallman advocating a Red-Hat/Suse sort of thing, where you produce software and charge for consultancy? Meaning the more obscure your software is, the better?

How can you produce desktop software using such a model?

Overpopulation...Anyone....Anyone? (3, Interesting)

MadMartigan2001 (766552) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065671)

"feeding the poor" sounds really warm and fuzzy, but without a reversal in global population growth what are you "really" achieving? How about spending some of that money on weekly radio and TV spots that counteract the religious propaganda that we see and hear every day. I've love to see that, a syndicated radio network that examines sermons from famous religious leaders and exposes the fear and hate mongers that they really are. Now THAT would be charitable.

In an ideal world, RMS is correct (-1, Troll)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#24065675)

I have had discussions with people that support the claim that Gates has done more to harm than to help, but only assuming that most people are not woefully illogical and ignorant. Alas that is a false assumption. I have actually had people tell me that they prefer to buy Windows rather than use Linux for free, because "a portion of my money goes to charity when I buy Windows." It actually never occurs to these people to use Linux and donate the entire cost of Windows to charity!

So in an ideal world, everyone would use Linux, or one of the *BSDs, and donate the money they would have spent on an OS to a worthy cause. In that ideal world every purchase of Windows would be a drain on charity funds. In that ideal world, people would not be illogical sheep lead to the proprietary slaughter. But we don't live in an ideal world.

As far as Gates giving to charity ... that is certainly to a large degree for show, and he is giving back very little of what he stole. He is no Robin Hood, to be certain. If you calculate what percentage of his ill gotten gains he has returned, it is parallel to me offering to give to charity and then asking that charity if they have change for a penny. Gates is no great philanthropist. He is a skilled opportunist, who knows how to leverage peoples ignorance and lack of logical facility, and so that is why we have people today purchasing Windows so that a couple of dollars goes tro charity rather than using Linux and sending a couple of hundred dollars to charity.

RMS is an idealist. Anyone who doesn't respect him far more than they do Gates is merely ignorant. Unfortunately, RMS is also a bit of a nut, while Gates is pure criminal. Nuts are obviously nuts. Good criminals know how to avoid looking like criminals. So we have a world where ignorant people prefer the fine upstanding looking criminal to the obvious, but well meaning, nut.

Does any of this mean I wish Gates wasn't giving to charity? No. But lets not be so quick to call him a great guy. If he was a great guy, it wouldn't be so obvious who was donating the money, and the charity organization certainly wouldn't be called the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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