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Chinese Gov't Pushing Linux In Rural China With Subsidies

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the stamp-of-approval dept.

Linux Business 127

nerdyH writes "The Chinese government's 'Go Rural' program offers subsidies up to 13 percent for rural residents who purchase approved nettops or netbooks. The systems come with a version of Red Flag Linux built on the Moblin stack. Along with Internet access, the software is said to provide apps for crop and livestock management, farm production marketing, remote office access/automation, and even online tour and hotel booking systems. Of course, Windows dominates the China market, and if traditional patterns hold, about 30 percent of these subsidized systems could ultimately wind up re-installed with Windows."

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127 comments

Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843043)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

13 percent? (1)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843055)

the Chinese government began offering subsidies of up to 13 percent for residents in rural areas who purchase qualifying computers.

Is this really even a story? Having to buy a "qualifying" computer just to get 13% off doesn't seem like a deal.

Re:13 percent? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843089)

Having to buy a "qualifying" computer just to get 13% off doesn't seem like a deal.

Computers are still expensive. Those 13% translate to some visible savings to a Chinese peasant.

Re:13 percent? (2, Insightful)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843125)

Computers are still expensive. Those 13% translate to some visible savings to a Chinese peasant.

Not if they weren't the cheapest to begin with. Wouldn't you be skeptical of a USA Go Rural! computer being the best deal? I'm not quite sure what value to assign to an oppressive government's software either.

Re:13 percent? (1)

Shadowruni (929010) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843149)

Are they in a position to:

A: buy ANYTHING? (being a rural Chinese peasant doesn't pay too well I hear)

B: *KNOW* that it's a bad deal and go to the China equivalent of NewEgg and build a better machine (being a rural Chinese peasant doesn't pay too well I hear)

Re:13 percent? (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 4 years ago | (#29845167)

Consider more from a Chinese government perspective. They wish to distribute computers to regional areas, rather than pay the full cost, they are getting rural farmer to pay a substantive portion of the price. Now because the government is distributing the computers to keep the copy-rightists happy they can not exactly distribute them with pirated copies of windows. So distributing them at a further discount with Linux means a substantive saving for the government and if those units end up with pirated software, meh, so what.

Of course as with most users, the real truth is is they will simply use the computers with what ever software comes with it.

Now from a security stand point with a range of governments all with windows source code, all looking for unknown or undeclared security holes in the windows with which to hack each other systems, having a growing base of more secure open source software, where governments also look for holes but actually fix them and incorporate those fixes back into the code, to keep themselves secure with default installs.

Re:13 percent? (3, Interesting)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843193)

I'm not quite sure what value to assign to an oppressive government's software either

Assign a lot of value and you won't be wrong. Apple's iPhone is a shining example of a computer that doesn't allow execution of anything that is not approved by authorities. China, with all its oppression, is not there yet. Now look at Apple's profits.

Re:13 percent? (1)

Nested (981630) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843225)

At least Apple does not (yet) dictate how many children I may have.

Re:13 percent? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843269)

They prefer 0, gay anal sex doesn't make children.

Re:13 percent? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843341)

Are you implying straight anal does? I didn't realize human women had Cloaca, I better go back and re-read those high school biology textbooks I suppose...

Re:13 percent? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843533)

It is possible if the man pulls his dick out before he cums, and exedentaly hits "the region".

Re:13 percent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29844401)

In all fairness I'll just say that China has a resource and population problem beyond anything the west has experienced.
Wait until (if ever) the population of the U.S. reaches into the billions, and if Congress doesn't pass some kind of family planning bill by the time that happens you, along with the rest of the western world, may then criticize China.

Re:13 percent? (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 4 years ago | (#29845341)

China was having overpopulation issues when the roman legions were still roaming the Earth.

This isn't something that you can casually extract from one country and bolt onto another (like 150 years of democracy).

Re:13 percent? (1, Troll)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844441)

I AM VERY GLAD that the Chinese government dictates how many children they can have. It may suck for the Chinese people, but it's very good for the rest of us that they stopped the gigantic population growth they were having before these measures were in effect.

It's very nice to have opinions when we're in the First World, sitting in our leather couch, watching our plasma TV, sipping 12 year scotch.

See here [wikipedia.org]

Re:13 percent? (1)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843301)

Assign a lot of value and you won't be wrong. Apple's iPhone is a shining example of a computer that doesn't allow execution of anything that is not approved by authorities.

Commercial quality assurance and government obedience assurance aren't exactly the same thing.

Re:13 percent? (2, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843329)

My point is just that most people in the world (and in the USA) can't care less about their freedoms, in software and elsewhere. iPhone is just a test case. It is not hard to imagine this approach spreading to PCs. Windows already has the means built in. Simply require a valid signature on all .exe files - and guess who has the signing keys? You can sell this "for the children" or to fight viruses or to offer a guaranteed quality... the end result is the same - you lose.

Re:13 percent? (2, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843351)

Assign a lot of value and you won't be wrong. Apple's iPhone is a shining example of a computer that doesn't allow execution of anything that is not approved by authorities. China, with all its oppression, is not there yet. Now look at Apple's profits.

That is the problem with geeks. They see the iPhone, they step back, and they compare it's features to that of a netbook, notebook, or a full-blown desktop computer and start bitching about what they can't do with the device.

The general public does no such thing. For most people, the iPhone is their introduction to a smartphone, and they compare it to their previous phone, something like a Razr. Which also can be called a computer, except for its thinness, was pretty retarded in capabilities. When they compare the iPhone to the Razr, there is no contest. This device suddenly does what 90% everything they do on the computer, but fits in their pocket and is actually more capable at somethings and their are apps they never even thought of because it's just doesn't make sense on a PC. The App Store is perfect for them, because they'll likely get no malware through it, and it overall "just works". If not, they can take it to a friendly "genius" at the Apple store that will fix it for them.

The geek, otoh, wonders if it can run linux, compares it to a computer, and inevitably complains about the restrictions that the PC doesn't present. The geeks are necessary and oftentimes beneficial for greater humanity, but their viewpoint on what is good vs what is bad does not necessarily translate into the viewpoint of the masses, and therefore what will be and what won't be market success.

Now, if the future iPhone is on the way to becoming a Star Trek like computer and capabilities, with perfect voice recognitions and the capability to project big-enough holograms in lieu of screens, where-upon most people won't have a notebook/desktop anymore, the particular criticism of the closed eco-system becomes more biting.

Re:13 percent? (4, Insightful)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843739)

That is the problem with geeks. They see the iPhone, they step back, and they compare it's features to that of a netbook, notebook, or a full-blown desktop computer and start bitching about what they can't do with the device.

Oh fuck off. We saw the iPhone and said, ok so will it support MMS? No? 3G? No? Application market not dictated by a single entity? No? What about battery, can I change my own battery at least? No? I have a shitty symbian phone that is worth about as much as the lint in my pocket, which supports multitask, what about the iPhone? No??? Then what the fuck am I paying for? Touchscreen? No sir, the iPhone is ignored by the geeks for the same reason that Fiat is ignored by the car enthusiasts. It is simply a poor product.

Re:13 percent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29844919)

The iphone is ignored by geeks? You seriously need to leave the basement.

Every "geek" and IT person I know has an iphone.

Re:13 percent? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29845893)

There are multiple kinds of geeks. Actually, if you over analyze it the word geek pretty much loses all meaning.

Re:13 percent? (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#29846117)

The iphone is ignored by geeks? You seriously need to leave the basement.

Every "geek" and IT person I know has an iphone.

Well this will end in a war of semantics, but I'll explain why you misunderstand me. My definition of geek in this sense is a person with good technological understanding. Your definition of geek is somebody who "uses computers 'n' stuff". Just because you touch technology it doesn't mean you understand it. The only arguments I have heard for purchasing an iPhone which are based on truth are: "I like it", "I think it's nice", "I want to have one, stop trying to fucking tell me what to do". There is not one single technical advantage in that phone, not even one. And no, the touchscreen is poorly executed and I understand that multitouch is a "young" technology, but if it's poor -- it's poor -- no matter if it's the best version around. I'd pick keys over the iPhone touchscreen any day.

Re:13 percent? (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 4 years ago | (#29846269)

Application market not dictated by a single entity?

This is pretty much what I'm talking about.

No sir, the iPhone is ignored by the geeks for the same reason that Fiat is ignored by the car enthusiasts. It is simply a poor product.

I doubt it is "ignored." Last I looked, Kevin Rose had an iPhone, but that was a while back.

Re:13 percent? (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843769)

Well, *this* geek looks at the iPhone and compares its feature to pretty much every other phone on the market and wonders why the iPhone can't do the same thing. At least, he did with the first iPhone...kind of lost interest after that.

Re:13 percent? (3, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844187)

That is the problem with geeks...

Sup, dawg. We heard you have problems with geeks.

GET THE FUCK OFF OUR LAWN.

Re:13 percent? (4, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844467)

You are so wrong, you make people feel like you're right again.

You are the only one, assuming your assumptions. Everybody else compares the iPhone to simple run-off-the-mill smartphones from Nokia, Samsung, etc. And it simply can't hold a candle to any of them. That's a cold hard fact. Maybe you have only seen, what companies like Verizon offer you. But that is not, what you can actually buy in countries with working markets. Look at Germany. Look at Japan, dammit! Our phones are technical MONSTERS with functions that the iPhone can't even begin to dream of. PLUS total freedom. Hell, Nokia's N900 smartphone even offers you Linux with full root access right from the factory! No unlocking, to tricks, nothing. And on top of all the normal features.

The simplest way to know that you have never used a recent smartphone: You think the iPhone is in any one aspect better than other smartphones.

Apple is trying to play catch-up. That's all. The rest is pure and raw hype and a whole load of monopolism from US phone companies.

Re:13 percent? (2, Funny)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29845923)

I don't want to look at what Germany, Japan and others have available. It makes me angry we don't get the same. Thanks a lot for telling me about the N900. I want to be ignorant now. LA LA LA LA LA finger in ears LA LA LA LA

Re:13 percent? (1)

trickyD1ck (1313117) | more than 4 years ago | (#29846155)

you are delusional. i am in germany and having had a win mobile and blackberry phones i cat tell you that iphone is light-years ahead of competition.

Re:13 percent? (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29845871)

Sounds more like a failing in the general public than a problem with geeks to me. It's not our fault if most people lack knowledge and imagination.

Truth is we could have a cellphone which replaces at least our netbooks if not our laptops today if the manufacturers would produce it and carriers were willing to let it on their networks. All we need are two features, a USB host port and an OS open enough to allow the community to write drivers.

OK, the screen would still be small and I don't think a projector is likely to be small enough to fit in the phone for a couple more years (not very far off). There are small pocket sized external projectors available today and rollup USB keyboards have been around forever. There's plenty of ways to do this. Personally I would like a Netbook sized device with extra storage, a netbook sized keyboard and either a netbook sized screen or a built in projector. There would be no processor, rather it would be a docking station for my phone. Ports for VGA, Keyboard and USB host would be in the back. Of course, the phone itself would have a USB port too. This would be an interim solution until we have nice rollup touch displays that allow my phone sized device to become a decent size tablet and then phone sized again. Even then I'll still want that USB host or better yet a faster, daisy-chainable equivalent. (like Firewire but with devices available to actually use it)

The real reason we don't have this is the carriers have grown accustomed to being able to charge for the same thing multiple times. You want "unlimitted" data to your cellphone? Sure, it's yours for somewhere between $45-80/month. You want to use the data on a larger screen? Same or similar price again plus you buy a USB or PCMCIA card.

authorities?.. (was: Re: 13 percent?) (1)

mi (197448) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844761)

Apple's iPhone is a shining example of a computer that doesn't allow execution of anything that is not approved by authorities.

"Authorities" is government. Apple is not government.

The distinction is significant, because Apple's device was made by them — it is not attributable to a dime of taxpayer's money, and is not handed out by a government as part of any policy. Maybe, you should've used government-sponsored school and library computers for your example — those are, indeed, very limited by their government-related owners in what one is allowed to do with them.

Perhaps, bashing private corporations rather than government schools and libraries is part of a bigger fight For The Greater Good(TM), that is not immediately obvious? Or is it?

Re:authorities?.. (was: Re: 13 percent?) (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29845979)

Bad comparison. The school or library own those computers. They are just allowing you to use them. Apple doesn't own your iPhone. That's why you paid for it! What's with this idea that companies that make stuff own it even after selling. It seems to be a generational thing, did a generation of parents fail to teach their kids the concepts of ownership, money and purchasing? If I loan you my car I have every right to put limitations on how you use it. If I sell you the car then tell you where you can and cannot go you have every right to tell me to STFU. It's really a simple concept, why don't people get it?

Re:13 percent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29845749)

I find iPhone and take it as a smartphone just a phone with advance version of software but no additional features. iPhone is not 3G phone, just a showpiece! In developed countries like Japan, Germany phones with all advance functions, which supports multitask.

Re:13 percent? (1)

razvan784 (1389375) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843321)

I'm not quite sure what value to assign to an oppressive government's software either.

Does the computer allow one to erase said software and install a clean distribution? If so, I see no fundamental problem. True, I don't expect many peasants to do that, if not because of the necessary technical skills, then because of their having better things to do such as caring for their crops. On the other hand, does its BIOS include a hidden hypervisor/backdoor? Is monitoring software included, that once erased, ceases to report the user's activities to the government, prompting repressive action? If not, again, I see no fundamental problem, but I see how this can help people manage their business better and also promote free software.

Re:13 percent? (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843355)

I think the whole issue of spying on barely literate peasants is overengineered by /. I could even agree that spying on city intellectuals would make at least some sense. But peasants? Forget it. If there is anything brewing in a remote village it won't be done on Internet, it will be done in tea houses, and that's where informers come into play.

So IMO the risk of spying on peasants through this 13% program is minimal. Peasants do not matter, and there are too many of them to watch each and every one personally. There will be no wasted thoughts of hypervisors in BIOS. Chinese authorities may be ruthless to political opponents, but in general they want to develop the country, and these computers would be used just for that - to help farmers to run their business better, become richer, and ultimately buy Chinese factory products. The latter is very important because currently Chinese industry depends on foreign orders too much, and if anything happens in the world China may be hit hard. So far it managed to squeak through the financial troubles, but it was a good lesson for Chinese rulers. They want to develop internal market for Chinese-made factory products.

hii (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843079)

I like the above thought and glad to be the part of it.
Carrol spncr
socialpark [socialpark.net]
       

It must be Red Dam now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843091)

Because the name of the o/s is Red Flag, I guess that makes sense for the reds.

I'd re-build my kernel from scratch... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843099)

Would you use a binary of Firefox from a Chinese website?

Re:I'd re-build my kernel from scratch... (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843133)

People have been using IE5 for years. Don't underestimate the peasants.

Re:I'd re-build my kernel from scratch... (1)

True Grit (739797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843969)

Don't underestimate the peasants.

Yes, *especially* if you're a queen who thinks cakes are easier and cheaper to make than bread.

Re:I'd re-build my kernel from scratch... (1)

Shadowruni (929010) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843159)

...a quote from HHGTTG fits this very well: "to Arthur's embarrassment he found himself curled in a ball on the floor"

Re:I'd re-build my kernel from scratch... (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29846025)

Hmmm... That could be kind of fun. Next I'd write a script to make it load Falun Gong sites all day just to keep some Chinese internet cop busy. Of course, I'd only do that while I'm here at home in the USA. If I were visiting I'd probably just stay offline for a while.

So Simple Chinese Farmers Can Use it (2, Funny)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843115)

So these Chinese farmers can use Linux... but can their grandmothers?

Re:So Simple Chinese Farmers Can Use it (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843233)

As an American living in China, I believe that people in rural China, as well as the elderly, could really surprise many westerners. For example, it is very common for the elderly here to trade stocks as a hobby, and community English classes are often full of retired people who are eager to learn, and who race to raise their hands when it is time for questions. Many people here really value knowledge and love to learn, and they are very often not the youngest, most educated, or most privileged.
 
I often wish that English and Chinese were not among the most difficult languages to learn, because it would be a much more interesting world if Chinese culture was more open to us.

Re:So Simple Chinese Farmers Can Use it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843359)

You seem to be a little confused. I would not be surprised if an old Chinese grandmother could use Linux, but I would be amazed if an American could.

Re:So Simple Chinese Farmers Can Use it (1)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 4 years ago | (#29846049)

I dunno, given the choice between an american grandmother and an average american 20-something I'll bet on the grandmother any day.

Re:So Simple Chinese Farmers Can Use it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843373)

I often wish that English and Chinese were not among the most difficult languages to learn

What you mean is that it's difficult for an English speaker to learn Chinese, and vice-versa, right?
If you mean that English is particularly difficult, then you're wrong.

Re:So Simple Chinese Farmers Can Use it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843493)

English is really a big mutt language, really, cobbled together from Germanic languages, Old French, Latin, and Greek. The writer of the first comprehensive English dictionary and grammar rules, for example, saw it as a confusing mess of contradictions when compared to the more formalized languages such as Latin and Greek. Even with his great deal of education in languages, he struggled for years trying to describe its grammar. Now nobody even uses the formal grammar rules for English because they are so complex, and have so many exceptions and special cases.
 
For those of us who are lucky enough to be native English speakers or who also speak a related European language, its structure and grammar may not seem particularly difficult. However, if we add to this the fact that English has the largest vocabulary of any language, and words that seem similar often have subtle connotations or shades of different meaning, it really becomes clear that mastering English is a very difficult process if one does not live in an English-speaking country.
 
Of course, how "difficult" it seems depends on the person, but for people who speak unrelated languages (who I teach), even some things that we consider very simple are actually quite difficult to communicate and teach. Often, the only reasonable way is by demonstrating example usage, because there is no simple or logical explanation.

Re:So Simple Chinese Farmers Can Use it (1)

gerddie (173963) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844021)

One might add that compared to most European languages English rules for pronunciation are not easy to grasp, to say the least: e.g., compare "creature/creation", "corpse/corps", "horse/worse", "head/heat". [ucl.ac.uk]

Re:So Simple Chinese Farmers Can Use it (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844497)

Spelling, too, is a nightmare, even for native speakers. Not only do we have crazy spellings like "knight," we also have regional differences in some of our crazy spellings, such as "color" and "colour."
Some of the European languages (and probably others) do have a handful of things that are more complex, such as gender rules, that have mostly died out in English.

Re:So Simple Chinese Farmers Can Use it (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844041)

Learning to speak English well is difficult. Most native speakers can't do it, and writing it is even harder. The spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules are inherited not just from several different languages, but from at least three distinct language families. The advantage English has is that the language contains a lot of redundancy (which advocates of the Saphir-Wharf hypothesis believe encourages flexibly thought, but I digress) which means that it is very easy to speak English badly, but comprehensibly.

Compare it to another popular world language, like Spanish (or Portuguese) and you'll see something that is a lot easier to learn. A few years ago I came across a study in relative difficulty of learning languages. It ranked all of the world's major languages on a difficulty scale, measuring things like regularity and similarity to other languages. This gave every language two scores, one an absolute difficulty and one a difficulty for people already familiar with some other language. English consistently ranked as one of the most difficult (although it wasn't the most difficult), both in absolute terms and relative to other languages. I can't find a reference to the study at the moment, but if someone else can then please post it.

Re:So Simple Chinese Farmers Can Use it (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844741)

A few years ago I came across a study in relative difficulty of learning languages. It ranked all of the world's major languages on a difficulty scale, measuring things like regularity and similarity to other languages.

This isn't that study, but I did find it interesting. http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Language_Learning_Difficulty_for_English_Speakers [wikibooks.org]

Re:So Simple Chinese Farmers Can Use it (1)

ianare (1132971) | more than 4 years ago | (#29846101)

French and Italian easier to learn than German for an English speaker? No way!

How many of the Windows PCs in China are legal? (1, Redundant)

bezenek (958723) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843117)

What percentage of the Windows PCs in China are running a licensed copy of Windows?

The reason I ask is someone can buy one of these and "repurpose" it to a non-legal copy of Windows, ending up with a 13% + (the price of Windows on the same machine) savings.

-Todd

Re:How many of the Windows PCs in China are legal? (3, Informative)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843157)

someone can buy one of these and "repurpose" it to a non-legal copy of Windows, ending up with a 13% + (the price of Windows on the same machine) savings.

It's something that only a geek would do; and even if a geek does this, it doesn't matter. There aren't too many geeks in rural China, and it could be that there is more software available for Red Flag Linux in those remote areas than for Windows. Why? Because warez, even on CDs, need to be delivered and sold, and they need to be localized, and they need to be pre-cracked, and everything should work so that a rice farmer can just plug it in and use. But how many warez are like that? But RFL software can be distributed by the government, legally of course, and there is already so much of it that you need some advice on what to use (which one out of hundred text editors, for example?) IMO, a farmer would be better off getting a cheaper computer *and* a supported OS + applications. There is even no viable reason for a farmer to need Windows. You or me may need Windows to run some specific apps; but what apps a farmer needs? A Web browser, mostly. If there is no Internet link then he needs OpenOffice and a printer. His children need some programming language (which Linux distributions are not short of.) And perhaps a few thousand ebooks in the local language. Windows doesn't come with most of that, except the browser (and the browser is IE, to make things worse.)

Re:How many of the Windows PCs in China are legal? (3, Informative)

dwater (72834) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843785)

> It's something that only a geek would do

In my experience, there are plenty of geeks in PRC, rural or otherwise. People would just take it to their nearest one who is likely making a nice profit from providing the service.

Re:How many of the Windows PCs in China are legal? (1)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843841)

> but what apps a farmer needs?

I hope this is not the old GNOME vs. KDE apps flame again! Do farmer need Kow 0.9.2 or GCow 0.11.3? Do farmer need Kattle or GCattle? Would he will be happier with SheepKounter or GSheepCounter? Who knows, but please, do not start again with that Links "I-am-a-farmar-and-I-want-count-my-stock-in-text-mode" nonsense.

Re:How many of the Windows PCs in China are legal? (1)

hairyfish (1653411) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843987)

Dude have you been to China? Everything in your posts says you haven't. Farmers will want Windows for the same reasons the rest of the world (outside the rabid fundamentalist creationist linux types) wants it. Most other people use it, and it does what they need out of it.

Re:How many of the Windows PCs in China are legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29844027)

How did this get modded insightful? In China, the local computer store geek will happily install pirated Windows for a small sum. There is localized and packaged warez sold everywhere.

Every time Slashdoters say something about "average joe" it seems to be just wrong.

Re:How many of the Windows PCs in China are legal? (2, Interesting)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844697)

I bet 50% of the machine (or resources) will end up in official's hands, instead of farmers. And then their kids and relatives definitely needs Windows to run whatsoever software.

The most popular IM in China, QQ, only has client for windows. Well, Pidgin also support the basic of the protocol, but lacking a whole lot of features, and I doubt how many people know Pidgin.

The online banking requires the use of Windows software (although it's an IE wrapper) to do transaction/wire-transfer. The web accessible version is a strip-down which allows query only.

The debit/credit card here usually support a local network called YinLian, optionally along with Visa/Master, and local e-commence usually go through the local payment network. Each bank requires to built a Internet payment gateway for that, and the interface of the payment gateway of most banks require the use of Active-X.

So for a computer to be useful in China, you really need Windows and Internet Explorer.

Re:How many of the Windows PCs in China are legal? (3, Interesting)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843167)

What percentage of the Windows PCs in China are running a licensed copy of Windows?

If Hungary can be used as a base of estimate, I'd say somewhere between 0 and 1.

We just don't give a shit about your licencing issues. I'm not even sure fair use doesn't cover it for personal use, and I have certainly never seen anyone who didn't run a business and cared. And for the people who do, it's just a drop in the bucket in case of an audit (tax evasion is a national sport here: the alternative is bankruptcy).

Re:How many of the Windows PCs in China are legal? (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843227)

What percentage of the Windows PCs in China are running a licensed copy of Windows?

If Hungary can be used as a base of estimate, I'd say somewhere between 0 and 1.

We just don't give a shit about your licencing issues. I'm not even sure fair use doesn't cover it for personal use, and I have certainly never seen anyone who didn't run a business and cared. And for the people who do, it's just a drop in the bucket in case of an audit (tax evasion is a national sport here: the alternative is bankruptcy).

I see Hungary is in no better state than Croatia.
Do you think we could push tax evasion as the next Olympic sport? I hear the Swedes are great at it, too...

Re:How many of the Windows PCs in China are legal? (1)

demachina (71715) | more than 4 years ago | (#29846113)

"someone can buy one of these and "repurpose" it to a non-legal copy of Windows"

Chances are the Chinese government is doing this for precisely this reason...

The thing they don't want is anyone buying Windows or a Windows PC and sending ANY money to the U.S. I wager all the "qualifying" netbooks are probably manufactured in China as well, they aren't paying the Microsoft tax on them and there is a 13% discount to boot so no one in China buys anything U.S. They can't openly promote pirating Windows without causing WTO issues so they do the next best thing. They promote computers with Linux and look the other way at the massive pirating of Windows. If people actually run Linux that's OK too. The one thing they DON'T want is for someone to actually buy anything from the U.S. and cut in to their massive trade surplus.

Their long term strategy is to destroy the U.S. and to a lesser extent Europe by maintaining a massive and unsustainable trade surplus and by undercutting and destroying all manufacturing and business in the West. This is why they peg their currency to the dollar. If it weren't pegged it would have gone way up in the face of the huge trade imbalance. If their currency was floating the U.S. would be competitive again and all our jobs would stop flowing to China. China wants to prevent that at all costs. Japan was killing the U.S. economically in the 80's but they let their currency float, the Yen soared, Japanese competitiveness declined and the Japanese ended in two decades of stagnation and are deeper in debt than the U.S. percentage wise. The Chinese learned that lesson so they won't let their currency float until they finish off the U.S.

They don't want to destroy the U.S. immediately, they want to suck every last dime out of it they can, and when there isn't any more to take then they start dumping all their dollars, stop pegging their currency, and watch the U.S. go down and down hard. In a lot of ways this is how they win the cold war. They couldn't win militarily so they just opted for somewhat slower economic warfare and the retarded political and business leaders in the West are falling for it hook, line and sinker.

Arrr Matey! Here there be Market Share?! (4, Interesting)

Shadowruni (929010) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843135)

Seriously, where do people get these numbers? My thing about this is this. We know many small companies don't pay for their software HERE in the states (one of my biggest challenges as a small biz IT consultant/freelancer). We also know that Chinese piracy is considered an art form in some places. Taken together, the market share statement makes little sense. How can you know what the share is, if you've no legit data? One other thing, to someone who NEVER USED a computer and just want web, email, and simple things like YouTube or word processing(most people don't use even a tenth the total capabilities of Word or Excel). They will see nothing special about Windows, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD as they all can do that with no real issue. Let me preface this with, I'm writing this on my Ubuntu powered notebook, that's authed against my 2008 AD that also auths my kid's Gallery running on another Linux server. Most people will cry, "But those other OSes have hardware issues please help us", and I'll whisper, "No." .... and then remember that these machines came with Linux and thus should already work fine since it's 2009 and not 1999.

Re:Arrr Matey! Here there be Market Share?! (4, Funny)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843171)

How can you know what the share is, if you've no legit data?

It's simple math. So you've got 1.3 billion people in China, we sold 244 [google.ca] copies, so that's a 99.9999812% piracy rate. It's obvious.

Re:Arrr Matey! Here there be Market Share?! (1)

Shadowruni (929010) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843195)

Just think, somewhere right now, Ballmer is kicking a Chinese pirate in the nads right now.

Re:Arrr Matey! Here there be Market Share?! (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843283)

I can't find it but didn't Ballmer make a statement about piracy of Windows in China saying it was a good thing because it brought mindshare or locked-down-ness or something like that.

Re:Arrr Matey! Here there be Market Share?! (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844465)

"If you're going to be a software counterfeiter, then please copy and illegally use Microsoft products. The above plea isn't from a posting on a hacker forum. Rather, it's how Microsoft business group president Jeff Raikes feels about software counterfeiters. "If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else," Raikes said.

From here [informationweek.com] .

Ballmer might also have said something to that effect, though I didn't see it. The logic is pretty obvious. Pirates cost MS little or nothing(directly, that is, "lost sales" claims can give you just about any number you want) and the tendency to keep using whatever you are already using is quite strong with complex IT systems. Far better to simply have to tighten the licensing screws later, rather than try to push wholesale migration from somebody else' platform later.

Source Code - open to scrutiny and fixes (2, Interesting)

imrehg (1187617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843173)

This can be a very useful thing, if they keep their legal responsibilities according to GPL: They have to distribute the source code for it as well. Thus it should be much easier to spot every code that does not really belong there and aimed at spying on/restric/keeping in line the population.... as well as fixing these if one needs to. There's a future project for an NGO....

Re:Source Code - open to scrutiny and fixes (1, Flamebait)

tftp (111690) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843253)

They have to distribute the source code for it as well. Thus it should be much easier to spot every code that does not really belong there and aimed at spying on/restric/keeping in line the population

Chinese authorities don't need to do a thing. Just bundle a browser (IE on Windows, FF on Linux) and preconfigure its phishing checker to report all URLs to a server that is ran by the government. Preconfigure the checker to be ON by default. 99.999% of the intended audience will never realize what's happening. Those who know what it is will turn it off, but they are too smart anyway for *this level* of monitoring.

Re:Source Code - open to scrutiny and fixes (2, Insightful)

True Grit (739797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844129)

They have to distribute the source code for it as well. Thus it should be much easier to spot every code that does not really belong there and aimed at spying on/restric/keeping in line the population

Chinese authorities don't need to do a thing. Just bundle a browser (IE on Windows, FF on Linux) and preconfigure its phishing checker to report all URLs to a server that is ran by the government. Preconfigure the checker to be ON by default. 99.999% of the intended audience will never realize what's happening. Those who know what it is will turn it off, but they are too smart anyway for *this level* of monitoring.

Do they even need to do that much?

Doesn't their 'Great Chinese Firewall' already give them enough oversight of the net internal to China to control their own population?

If you control the pipe, then you can control, or at least know, what goes through it.

Re:Source Code - open to scrutiny and fixes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843353)

This can be a very useful thing, if they keep their legal responsibilities according to GPL:

You're assuming they will. I personally don't think they will.

In any case lets assume they don't go along with legalities: who among us has the power to force China to follow the GPL? No one. They can probably pretty much get away with violating the GPL all over the place. So no, they don't have to show the code.

Re:Source Code - open to scrutiny and fixes (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843395)

``This can be a very useful thing, if they keep their legal responsibilities according to GPL: They have to distribute the source code for it as well.''

Hahahaha! Thanks, man. I needed a good joke to start the day with.

Copyright is a government grant anyway (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29844115)

Copyright is a government grant anyway as is private property (they can just take it), so this isn't a problem.

Compared to the restrictions the chinese populate work under, not having the source code to Linux rates REAL low down.

Re:Source Code - open to scrutiny and fixes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29843501)

You seem to forget that China is a nation, not a state of the USA. Ergo, the Chinese government gets to write their own copyright law which just needs to say "these rules don't apply to anything the government does" and presto, problem solved.

Slashdot falls in a faint (1)

superyanthrax (835242) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843543)

A governmental agency is supporting and distributing Linux and using subsidies to get people to buy it. But it's the Evil Communist Chinese. Oh no, what is a good China-hating Linux-loving Slashdot denizen to do?

Re:Slashdot falls in a faint (1)

Odinlake (1057938) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843657)

A governmental agency is supporting and distributing Linux and using subsidies to get people to buy it. But it's the Evil Communist Chinese. Oh no, what is a good China-hating Linux-loving Slashdot denizen to do?

Whine and bitch about how stupid the world is, of course. Maybe put in a little clever self-irony, a witticism or two - always keep an eye out for a "you insensitive clod" opportunity. Then click refresh repeatedly, fervently hope to be modded up to get illusions of being socially accepted.

Re:Slashdot falls in a faint (1)

True Grit (739797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844089)

Oh no, what is a good China-hating Linux-loving Slashdot denizen to do?

Whine and bitch about how stupid the world is, of course.

China-hating, Linux-loving Slashdot denizens aren't the only ones doing that.

Its a popular, global pastime.

:)

Re:Slashdot falls in a faint (1)

turing_m (1030530) | more than 4 years ago | (#29845023)

Maybe put in a little clever self-irony, a witticism or two - always keep an eye out for a "you insensitive clod" opportunity

I never keep an eye out for "insensitive clod" opportunities, you insensitive clod!

Re:Slashdot falls in a faint (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843675)

Yeah, I wonder what the more Libertarian FOSS advocates think of this. On the one hand, it's providing liberty, on the other hand, it's evil government intervention in the holy Free Market!

Re:Slashdot falls in a faint (2, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844169)

As a libertarian, I think it's a perfectly legitimate action - using Windows harms everyone by encouraging people to develop only for MS, strengthening their monopoly and allowing them to implement even worse pricing/EULAs/lockin. So the government has to step in and encourage some competition.

Re:Slashdot falls in a faint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29844461)

As a libertarian, I think it's a perfectly legitimate action - using Windows harms everyone by encouraging people to develop only for MS, strengthening their monopoly and allowing them to implement even worse pricing/EULAs/lockin. So the government has to step in and encourage some competition.

No, no, no, NO!

Re:Slashdot falls in a faint (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844255)

My own (Australian) government only makes it's online tax reporting software available as windows only, making windows just short of compulsory. I would see the Chinese government offering a subsidy and some apps for a FOSS OS to it's people as a lower level of market intervention than requiring the use of a proprietary OS for taxation reporting.

So I would regard it as not ideal, but significantly better than is being done in at least one of the "politically free", "free market" countries.

Re:Slashdot falls in a faint (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29844125)

Consider the alternative: a repressive government subsidising a closed source product from an evil company.

Though that does sound a lot like the US...

Now with one less evil thing happening, even though it's relatively small in evil, means less evil.

Surely you're not going to demand that the chinese government change completely before they can use GPL code?

I wish Microsoft tried to do something about it. (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#29843673)

Now that would be an even battle. Possibly ending with some bitch-slapping of Microsoft.

Re:I wish Microsoft tried to do something about it (1)

True Grit (739797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29844175)

Now that would be an even battle.

How would it be even? They only power MS has inside of China's borders is whatever the Chinese government choses to give them (and could take away at any time). MS isn't a government: no citizens, no army, no nukes.

Although, giving them enough time, and Ballmer enough chairs, then anything may be possible, I suppose...

Re:I wish Microsoft tried to do something about it (1)

sowth (748135) | more than 4 years ago | (#29845059)

Yes, give Ballmer some nuclear chairs! That should do it.

Might help if they fixed China Telecomm first (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29844481)

I'm here in Shanghai right now.
Just got ADSL hooked up through China Telecom.
Unfortunately I couldn't get the ADSL to initialize, even though I had 2 different routers (both types suggested by the tech), 2 different linux boxes and windows server 2000 running their provided client.

The tech used his XP laptop to kick start the ADSL. It ran for a day and then I totally lost connection.
After getting the 4th phone number I got a hold of a higher tech guy.
Apparently you have to use a windows XP box to initiate the DSL because they're using some MS specific stuff in PPPOE. His claim was "linux doesn't support this". Apparently nothing else does either. I think I have a workaround in place, it's been working for a few days but I don't think I can ever shut down the modem or the router.

Point being, they have to take their infrastructure seriously if they even want to begin supporting anything else.

Livestock and crop software (1)

chord.wav (599850) | more than 4 years ago | (#29845569)

Can any of you please tell me which applications they are talking about? Or can you point me some OS livestock/crop management applications for Linux?
Thanks!

more like 99% will have windows (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29845639)

As soon as they discover their favorite QQ program on Linux is crap... bam, hello windows.

Linux is having a bad moment in Rural China (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29846261)

Am I the only one who thought that the article title was "Chinese Gov't Punishing Linux In Rural China With Subsidies"?

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