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Ubuntu One Gets iPhone App For Contact Sync

kdawson posted about 4 years ago | from the plays-nicely-with-others dept.

Handhelds 115

oneone writes "Canonical is bringing its Ubuntu One cloud service (which we discussed last month) to handheld devices with a new mobile contact synchronization feature that is powered by Funambol. Canonical's Ubuntu One application for the iPhone is now available from the iTunes Music Store. Android and other mobile operating systems will be supported with Funambol's standard client application. The mobile sync feature is currently in the beta testing stage but will be generally available to Ubuntu One subscribers when Ubuntu 10.04 is released later this month. Canonical says that it is boosting its Ubuntu One server infrastructure in order to support what it anticipates will be record loads."

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115 comments

but... (-1, Redundant)

overcaffein8d (1101951) | about 4 years ago | (#31742750)

but not for Android? open source much?

Re:but... (3, Informative)

nazariuskappertaal (1666797) | about 4 years ago | (#31742808)

but not for Android? open source much?

?

Android and other mobile operating systems will be supported with Funambol's standard client application.

Re:but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31742814)

Why would anyone want to sync their iphone to their android phone?

Re:but... (3, Informative)

Skreems (598317) | about 4 years ago | (#31742950)

If you bothered to read past the first sentence of the summary, you'd notice that Android is mentioned as already being supported.

Re:but... (0, Offtopic)

trapnest (1608791) | about 4 years ago | (#31743534)

Slashdot needs a "-1, Wrong" moderation option.

Disagree, because then we'd have people getting modded wrong all the time simply because the mod is wrong.

Re:but... (1)

Haymaker (1664103) | about 4 years ago | (#31744322)

Disagree, mod points are given to people with good Karma and therefore are obviously less likely to be wrong.

Re:but... (2, Insightful)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 4 years ago | (#31744692)

less likely to be wrong.

ROFL, having good karma is all about saying what other Slashdotters will agree with, and absolutely nothing to do with being right.

I have Excellent karma, so I should know... :P

Re:but... (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 4 years ago | (#31746556)

I guess that's where I'm going wrong - I have excellent Karma, and get mod points about once a year :/

You just need to look at the moderation on an Apple story, to see how bad an idea a "-1 Wrong" moderation would be, although I suppose it's already the case that people use Flamebait/Troll/Off-topic to mod down anything they don't like (in this case, doesn't support Apple). I have to browse these stories at -1.

Re:but... (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#31746868)

How about a "-1, didn't read the article" and more importantly "-2, didn't read the summary"?

It's OK, mods, I know this will be -1 offtopic in 3... 2... 1... Do what you gotta do.

Re:but... (1)

beakerMeep (716990) | about 4 years ago | (#31744244)

Well the summary is kind of badly worded to make it seem like Funambol only has one app. So instead of snarking at him for what seems like an honest (but mistaken) comment, here's a link to Funambol's Android client: http://www.funambol.com/solutions/android.php [funambol.com]

The whole thing make very little sense really. Funambol has had an iPhone app since 2008, so I am unsure why Ubuntu is writing their own. Maybe to get some press? Maybe for some unknown technical reason? Hard to say. The Ars link makes it sound like they did it for marketing/branding reasons. Still a very cool platform though.

Re:but... (0, Offtopic)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 4 years ago | (#31745854)

And where was the Slashdot story for that?

He may not have RTFS, but this is a perfect example of how people end up being misled that things are only available on the Iphone, because anything "On The Iphone" gets pulled up for the daily Slashdot Iphone story, whilst other platforms are ignored. I did RTFS, and I ask what are these "other mobile operating systems"? Does it include the remainder 95% of the market, e.g., support for Symbian?

Prediction: It'll be the same for the Ipad.

Re:but... (0, Troll)

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Contacts good, Calendars would be better (1)

rsborg (111459) | about 4 years ago | (#31742760)

Good for Canonical... a major pain in modern consumer electronics is data/metadata sync, and one that's worth paying to have solved properly.

Re:Contacts good, Calendars would be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31742968)

Last time I tried Funambol (about 1-2 years ago), it was mediocre at best at doing its job of syncing calendars and contacts.

Syncing with Google is much easier and is free, depending on the apps you get. But wait, this is slashdot. Nobody in their right mind would trust Google on here!

Re:Contacts good, Calendars would be better (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 4 years ago | (#31743662)

I've also tried Funambol, but it uses too much memory for my P3 "server". Trying SyncEvolution now, the last betas include HTTP server support, although it's experimental.

But besides "trusting" Google, doesn't it require special apps? I thought Google services didn't support SyncML. My Nokia comes with integrated an SyncML "client", I'm not installing yet another client just for syncing. Might as well sign up for a real syncml service.

Re:Contacts good, Calendars would be better (2, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about 4 years ago | (#31744966)

Google is "free" so to speak, but not exactly. I recently got a Google MyTouch and while entering all my contact information, I got to thinking what google has with this -- it has the ability to cross reference and correlate the contacts of millions of people, even with mug shots of them. And there is nothing you can really do about it if someone you know puts you in their contact list. A person can try to protect their own privacy online, but that person has no control over what their acquaintances do with that person's personal information.

So Cannonical probably wants a piece of that action. It'll have access to the interconnections between a lot of people skewed toward those in a certain technological niche. Anyway, nothing is free and sometimes you can't even stop others from costing you privacy.

Android Support (0, Redundant)

thrift24 (683443) | about 4 years ago | (#31742762)

How about an Android app please?

Re:Android Support (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about 4 years ago | (#31742778)

Android and other mobile operating systems will be supported with Funambol's standard client application.

That was right there in the summary.

Re:Android Support (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | about 4 years ago | (#31746762)

How about a Symbian app, then?

Anyone know what "other mobile operating systems" are? (I'm presuming it's not Symbian yet, as surely that would be the main story, not the Iphone...right?)

What about a non- iTunes method? (1)

nappingcracker (700750) | about 4 years ago | (#31742826)

What about the people who own an iPhone, run Ubuntu, but don't use iTunes?

Is there going to be a way for them to install the application? Keep it up to date?

Re:What about a non- iTunes method? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31742902)

What about the people who own an iPhone, run Ubuntu, but don't use iTunes?

Is there going to be a way for them to install the application? Keep it up to date?

The app store is built in to the iPhone, so such a user could buy the app directly on the device. Those who have jailbroken their iPhones, however...

On an somewhat unrelated note, it hasn't been called the iTunes Music Store in quite some time.

Re:What about a non- iTunes method? (1)

ElKry (1544795) | about 4 years ago | (#31743026)

Those who have jailbroken their iPhones, however...

... can still do everything non-jailbroken iPhones can? I'm not sure what your point is.

Re:What about a non- iTunes method? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31743068)

Those who have jailbroken their iPhones, however...

are fucked

Re:What about a non- iTunes method? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31743336)

Those who have jailbroken their iPhones, however...

... can't use Apple's App Store, and will have to go elsewhere to get this Ubuntu One app. If they can find it anywhere else.

... can still do everything non-jailbroken iPhones can? I'm not sure what your point is.

I'm not saying people shouldn't jailbreak, but try not to be so naive as to assume there are no drawbacks to doing so.

Re:What about a non- iTunes method? (3, Informative)

trapnest (1608791) | about 4 years ago | (#31743562)

There -are- no drawbacks that I know of. The iTunes App/Music stores both work fine on jailbroken iPhones. Way to spread FUD.

Re:What about a non- iTunes method? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31743856)

that's funny, my iphone is jailbroken and works just fine with the app store. perhaps you shouldnt make comments that are a dead giveaway you've never even seen a jailbroken iphone if you're going to try and claim you're some sort of authority on what they can and cant do.

Re:What about a non- iTunes method? (1)

bain_online (580036) | about 4 years ago | (#31745592)

perhaps you shouldnt make comments that are a dead giveaway you've never even seen a jailbroken iphone if you're going to try and claim you're some sort of authority on what they can and cant do.

Right!! what did you think this is? slashdot?... wait a minute!. Errr!! never mind, just mod parent -1 irrelevant.

Re:What about a non- iTunes method? (1)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about 4 years ago | (#31744612)

With iPhone/iPodTouch OS v1 you had to use the desktop iTunes to install apps. Since v2 (or maybe v3... I can't remember), you can install apps directly onto the iPhone/Touch.

Re:What about a non- iTunes method? (1)

nappingcracker (700750) | about 4 years ago | (#31745672)

So, basically I'll need an iTunes account. No way around this huh? I wonder if there are app store licence issues with publishing to the iTunes app store and Cydia.
I just don't want an itunes account :(

Always-on lifestyle (0, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 4 years ago | (#31742828)

Other than teenage girls, and self-important geeks, is the market ready for, and does it demand, an always-on, always synchronized lifestyle? Is it no longer possible/acceptable to be unplugged?

Re:Always-on lifestyle (2, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | about 4 years ago | (#31742942)

And what does contact syncing between devices has to do with always-on lifestyle?

Re:Always-on lifestyle (4, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 4 years ago | (#31742962)

Are you asking about the market finding it acceptable or about it being socially acceptable? Your post isn't very, and maybe it's because, and in some cases, and in some places, this is acceptable, your comma use is, and I mean no offense, confusing, clear.

Re:Always-on lifestyle (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 4 years ago | (#31746896)

I think GP was going for the William Shatner style of speech, and confused the comma and the exclamation point.

Re:Always-on lifestyle (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#31743522)

"Always-on" is still substantially a feature of teenagers, girls especially, twitter enthusiasts, and the poor bastards responsible for keeping uptimes up; but I'd say that "always synchronized" is, if anything, an underserved demand.

At present, if you want your data to be there when you need it to be, you pretty much have to be a bit of a gearhead(not a huge gearhead by any means; knowing about dropbox is way less techy than having your own git repo or secure WebDAV share, or whatever) or you have to engage in frankly infuriating amounts of error-prone manual labour.

File propagation among the people generally is still(even among the youth) at the level of "emailing it to myself", with all the version errors and minor fuckups that that occasions. Synchronizing bookmarks? Pretty much doesn't happen. Cell contacts? unless you can swap the SIM, or have them do it for you at the store, people pretty much just retype them. Bloody dark ages stuff. Even the cases that should work by now(DLNA media sharing in a closed LAN, all devices trusted, is still rather rough around the edges). Even the trivial case of somebody who has a desktop and a notebook/netbook still isn't really there yet. You either sign up for something like Dropbox, which is easy and cheap/free; but depends on an internet connection and is potentially privacy problematic, or you drop fairly big money(Windows Home Server/Small Business Server), or you do it the gearhead way(any one of dozens of permutations of NFS or SMB, or webDAV, or a revision control mechanism, plus a helping of Linux Fu), or you basically just let the two drift apart, occasionally using a flash drive or emailing something to yourself. Pitiful.

Not everybody wants to be connected all the time; but I'm not sure I can think of anybody who wouldn't like having their data and files and bookmarks and whatnot there when they want them, wherever "there" happens to be(within the limits of privacy and security, of course, for the few people who think about that stuff).

Re:Always-on lifestyle (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 4 years ago | (#31743690)

It provides online/realtime backups. If you don't see the advantages of that, turn over your geek card.

This has nothing to do with "socializing" or whatever you're rating about, it's syncing between your apps/devices.

Re:Always-on lifestyle (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 4 years ago | (#31744328)

This has nothing to do with "socializing" or whatever you're rating about, it's syncing between your apps/devices.

I think he just hates Facebook because his HS girlfriend wouldn't agree to be his friend there a decade later.

Boosting is still on-going :) (5, Informative)

Beuno (740018) | about 4 years ago | (#31742834)

Just so everybody is aware, the servers are quite overloaded at the moment, so expect all kinds of timeouts. We didn't expect so many testers :)
We will be slowly bringing it back in it's feet, so patience is welcomed.

Re:Boosting is still on-going :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31746884)

Just so everybody is aware, the servers are quite overloaded at the moment, so expect all kinds of timeouts. We didn't expect so many testers :)
We will be slowly bringing it back in it's feet, so patience is welcomed.

http://www.e-castig.com/index.php?r=K1kwg read more

the cloud? (1)

fluffernutter (1411889) | about 4 years ago | (#31742860)

How about being able to sync with machines in my house without having to go OUT of my house? Surely the average Linux user isn't so sold on 'the cloud' ?

Re:the cloud? (1)

trapnest (1608791) | about 4 years ago | (#31743586)

Do you not have network access at home?

Re:the cloud? (2, Insightful)

fluffernutter (1411889) | about 4 years ago | (#31744354)

Yeah I didn't word that well.. I meant: I have this network all through my house, why should I use a server 1000 miles away to sync something with my basement.

Re:the cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31745120)

Because it's got rounded corners and 140-character limits. Stop worrying about your privacy and go update your facebook or something. Oh, and leave your passport on the table, we'll make it shiny for you and protect it.

Re:the cloud? (1)

earnest murderer (888716) | about 4 years ago | (#31745614)

Because it's easier than getting Apple to port iTunes to Linux?

Re:the cloud? (3, Interesting)

raju1kabir (251972) | about 4 years ago | (#31746386)

His question is, why can't he configure the app to sync directly with the Ubuntu machine in his own house, rather than passing the data through a remote intermediary? It's a good question.

Re:the cloud? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31745078)

Yes, most of the time. However, the network *within* my home works more often - and I trust the administrator more.

Re:the cloud? (1)

VoltageX (845249) | about 4 years ago | (#31743634)

If I remember correctly, this is a layer on top of a SyncML server - install one on a local box and you'll have the syncing you want.

Re:the cloud? (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | about 4 years ago | (#31743850)

Not that I give a rat's ass about anything mobile. Why would I want to put anything into a "cloud" that I don't own or control? I didn't see anything about encryption, and without a high level of encryption that only I own the keys to, it would be not for me.

Re:the cloud? (1)

fluffernutter (1411889) | about 4 years ago | (#31744336)

This is exactly my point. As far as I am concerned, until there are standards restricting these guys on how they lock everything down when you upload your stuff to the cloud you might as well be posting it on YouTube

Available only to subscribers (3, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 years ago | (#31743030)

Is this the beginning of their move to (mostly) pay product model, like Red Hat did after they used the OSS community for all they could?

Re:Available only to subscribers (5, Informative)

Beuno (740018) | about 4 years ago | (#31743160)

No. We partnered with Funambol to provide this service, and it carries a significant cost to both develop and maintain and scale this specific service, as the announcement says.
Supporting hundreds of different mobile phones is an incredibly expensive task, and on top of that we've added a layer that saves those contacts to couchdb and replicates them locally for you, to be used with any application you wish.
While we all love and use free software, it's completely unreasonable to demand that services be provided for free. The service also provides a 30 day free trial, where you can perform a one-time sync if you wish to have a backup of your contacts.

I personally believe that allowing people to sync their contacts from almost any mobile phone into a Linux desktop is a huge step forward.

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 4 years ago | (#31743740)

Supporting hundreds of different mobile phones is an incredibly expensive task

It is? Why? Aren't they supposed to use all SyncML? Even if they don't support it natively (for shame!), there are usually apps for it.

There are some SyncML servers, like https://www.mobical.net/ [mobical.net] . They seem to be able to provide the services for free.

Re:Available only to subscribers (5, Informative)

Macka (9388) | about 4 years ago | (#31743986)

There are some SyncML servers, like https://www.mobical.net/ [mobical.net] [mobical.net] . They seem to be able to provide the services for free

Free to you, but not because it doesn't cost them. Their business model allows them to offer you a free service because you're their Guinea Pig. What they learn from servicing you, they sell on to other people. It took me about 30 seconds to find this explanation on their web site:

"The purpose of Mobical.net is to introduce people all over the world to the benefits of using Tactel’s product Mobical for mobile synchronization. Tactel doesn't make any profit from this service; we only use it to develop, test and market new mobile synchronization technology that we sell to our customers: network operators, handset vendors, service providers, etc. That is how we can offer a free service and still make a business, and that is why we are committed to ensuring the privacy, integrity and security of your data."

Canonical's business model is different and so they need to charge for the infrastructure (servers, disks, network, etc) required to provide this service. As they said, they have no problem with free software, but free services are a different beast all together. Don't be a tight arse. If you want them to succeed, then support them !!

Re:Available only to subscribers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31745544)

FYI, it costs very little to host a SyncML service. After the initial slow sync the amount of data exchanged is relatively low per sync and, with the exception for extremely social people, the address book is for all intents and purposes a read-only database on your device.

And, people who use Linux are almost by definition not social people.

--
So, no, if you're already hosting a web server, hosting a SyncML server on the same infrastructure is pretty low cost.

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 4 years ago | (#31745878)

Actually, I'm planning to do self hosting on my pentium III laptop that's running as a server.

But my point was not that mobical was doing it from the kindness of the hearts, it's: if there are companies who offer the service for free, why does Canonical think they can get people to pay for it? I think most people will prefer to be mobical's guinea pig or better yet, they'll use Google's service [google.com]*

* btw, isn't it odd that Google's own service supports every mobile except Android?

Re:Available only to subscribers (2, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | about 4 years ago | (#31743938)

I personally believe that allowing people to sync their contacts from almost any mobile phone into a Linux desktop is a huge step forward.

Not really. gmail or syncml could already do this, and do it for free (at least, the synchronization worked fine between my Nokia E71, my Droid, and my linux boxes). Your service apparently can't do it for free, and can't even stay up right now. May be, you just meant to say "a huge step backward", so if that's the case, I'd say yes, this service is taking at least a couple of little steps backwards.

Re:Available only to subscribers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31745606)

How on Earth can you compare the resources of Canonical with the juggernaut that is Google? They don't have the revenue to provide the world with free storage. They could have just adhered to the OSS philosophy and simply told you how to go buy and make your own cloud sevice. Be happy they're running one for you. They're having to charge for a small portion of the otherwise-free service. It's ok.

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

CharlieThePilot (1721810) | about 4 years ago | (#31745460)

Parent is correct.

I'll be happy to cough up some dough for quality services that integrate well with my free Ubuntu desktop. PIM-syncing type operations have been a headache for me, and I am sure other users, and it's excellent to see the need being addressed. Although I won's need this, as I'm all Googly now, I look forward to trying out the music store.

Charlie

Re:Available only to subscribers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31747350)

lmao give them the 30 day trial and than lock them in, hmmmmm where else have we seen this

Open Source using corporations as their crutch, one handed extended out to accept and the other has a knife in its hand.

Re:Available only to subscribers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31743178)

They give away Ubuntu Desktop and Server editions for free, they need to make money some way to pay their developers and keep releasing Ubuntu for free. You dont have to use it if you dont wish to pay. You have the choice.

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 years ago | (#31743422)

They give away Ubuntu Desktop and Server editions for free,

Today, but what about tomorrow? This does not instill confidence was my point.

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

Techman83 (949264) | about 4 years ago | (#31743718)

Today, but what about tomorrow? This does not instill confidence was my point.

Then you get the CentOS of the Ubuntu world. They can't just lock it up and put $$ in front of it, that's the beauty of open source. No confidence lost here, just perception on your behalf.

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

mrsurb (1484303) | about 4 years ago | (#31743818)

From the www.ubuntu.com front page: "Ubuntu will always be free of charge, along with its regular enterprise releases and security updates." Plus, as another poster noted, the beauty of open source means that you can fork (see CentOS).

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | about 4 years ago | (#31743188)

When you find a better way for a company to make money than by having people pay them for a product, let me know. (And counterfeiting does not count.) Besides, they've already promised [ubuntu.com] that "Ubuntu will always be free of charge," so I don't know what you're concerned about.

Re:Available only to subscribers (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#31743450)

When you find a better way for a company to make money than by having people pay them for a product, let me know.

OK, you asked...

Lots of companies make money by selling us a "license" to use the products they provide, rather than letting us buy the product itself. It's becoming more common, so apparently, someone out there has found a "better way for a company to make money than by having people pay them for a product".

Who uses software? (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | about 4 years ago | (#31746130)

Lots of companies make money by selling us a "license" to use the products they provide, rather than letting us buy the product itself. It's becoming more common, so apparently, someone out there has found a "better way for a company to make money than by having people pay them for a product".

Ok, you guessed wrong.

Sure, Google, Volkswagen, Boeing, 7-Eleven, Ace Hardware, Sherwin-Williams, and countless others write or customize software. Some even return improvements back to the FOSS community. However, these companies use software to make their money. The list goes on and together they make up the GDP.

Lots of companies, perhaps in absolute numbers 'sell' software. But compared to the companies that make their money in other ways, those that sell a license are functionally zero percent of any county's GDP. So stop yapping about business models that 'sell' licenses and let that meme die.

Re:Who uses software? (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 4 years ago | (#31746452)

functionally zero percent

Microsoft, Apple, the game industry and the entire music and movie industry would disagree with you.

So stop yapping about business models that 'sell' licenses and let that meme die.

No.

Re:Who uses software? (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | about 4 years ago | (#31746764)

Those examples support the point I made that software is a means to the end and that 'selling' it is largely irrelevant to the GDP.

Apple sells hardware with software as an enabler, some nasty blobs on top of FOSS. The music and games [wikipedia.org] industries sell data, not software. So let that meme about 'selling' software die. It's done. Stick a fork in it.

No one 'buys' software or 'licenses', that's 1980's talk. Software is a tool that you download to get your real money-making work done.

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 years ago | (#31743476)

When you find a better way for a company to make money than by having people pay them for a product, let me know. (And counterfeiting does not count.) Besides, they've already promised [ubuntu.com] that "Ubuntu will always be free of charge," so I don't know what you're concerned about.

1 - Ever hear of support? Product for free, support for $. Lots of companies solely thrive on this concept of support ( of others products ). They often call it 'professional services'. I suggest you look it up sometime. There is no reason it cant work if you support your own products that you give away.

2 - Promises from companies have been broken before. Quite often actually. You might want to trust some corporate entity who's directors can change and thus the direction of the company, but i dont.

Re:Available only to subscribers (3, Informative)

laughingcoyote (762272) | about 4 years ago | (#31743624)

Promises from companies have been broken before. Quite often actually. You might want to trust some corporate entity who's directors can change and thus the direction of the company, but i dont.

And the moment that Ubuntu becomes nonfree and/or pay-to-play (either in a de jure or de facto sense), I have my data backed up. I'll move away without a regret or a second thought. And yes, free (free as in beer AND speech) software has existed for quite some time. No one needs a company for it. If you can figure a way to make money off it, great. If you can't, then to be honest, fuck yourself. It's not there for that purpose, it just allows for that purpose if you can pull it off.

That, however, is the exact reason that I absolutely insist on local storage of my data. If you control the data that I generate using my software, you control my use of it. I will not concede that control to even an entity that is now entirelty benevolent. That data is mine. If I wish to migrate it away, for any reason from malevolence to a simple wish to experiment, that's my right to do as well. I will not allow external storage or control of critical data.

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

stickystyle (799509) | about 4 years ago | (#31743764)

1 - Ever hear of support? Product for free, support for $. Lots of companies solely thrive on this concept of support ( of others products ). They often call it 'professional services'. I suggest you look it up sometime. There is no reason it cant work if you support your own products that you give away.

And Canonical offers that, if fact IIRC it was the first commercial offering Canonical did. But they are not a 'professional services' company, they are a software company with more than a handful of (320+ according to wikipedia I just checked) employees which means they need to, just like every other company, try many avenues to make money to keep those people employed. And quite frankly as a linux admin myself I have (like many of us) a superiority complex that tells me I would never need to purchase support and since I bet we are a no insignificant portion of their user base I'll bet they don't get much money from it. However their music store that is coming, I could spend a few dollars there; or this sync tool so I don't have to screw around with my personal server all the time to make sure my phone sync is working, I could spend a few dollars on that; mainly since I work 8 hours a day on servers and I hate having to come home and waste time fixing servers that could be spent with my children.

2 - Promises from companies have been broken before. Quite often actually. You might want to trust some corporate entity who's directors can change and thus the direction of the company, but i dont.

And who really cares from a Linux vendor? If Shuttleworth comes out tomorrow and says "hey, Ubuntu super pro business edition is now $299.95", the project just forks and carries on with those who disagree.

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

tepples (727027) | about 4 years ago | (#31744472)

Ever hear of support?

How would you charge for support for, say, a video game that isn't massively multiplayer?

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

ottothecow (600101) | about 4 years ago | (#31744860)

And how do you charge for support when it is a rather simple and small app (on the user side) that is written well enough to be essentially support free (with community support that answers any questions faster than you could pick up the phone and read in your credit card info for paid support)?

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 years ago | (#31746244)

1 - Ever hear of support? Product for free, support for $. Lots of companies solely thrive on this concept of support ( of others products ). They often call it 'professional services'. I suggest you look it up sometime. There is no reason it cant work if you support your own products that you give away.

Congratulations, now a company has to create two enticing products instead of one.

Re:Available only to subscribers (2)

spikeb (966663) | about 4 years ago | (#31743340)

RH still contributes MIGHTILY to the OSS community. we were not, and are not being used by them.

Re:Available only to subscribers (0, Flamebait)

nurb432 (527695) | about 4 years ago | (#31743498)

we were not, and are not being used by them.

Having been around the community since before they existed, I disagree.

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

maeka (518272) | about 4 years ago | (#31744112)

we were not, and are not being used by them.

Having been around the community since before they existed, I disagree.

I'm all ears.

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

daffmeister (602502) | about 4 years ago | (#31745686)

I think you are mis-understanding "free" in "free software" (or OSS for that matter, which is strictly speaking less "free" than "free software"). Hint: it's not referring to money.

The GPL even explicitly allows you to charge for the software (it's just that the source must then be available).

Pretty much no-one objects to charging for a service.

Re:Available only to subscribers (1)

selven (1556643) | about 4 years ago | (#31746048)

Yes, this is the beginning of their move to being a strong, profitable business instead of just the charity arm of Mark Shuttleworth.

i do not want (-1, Troll)

drolli (522659) | about 4 years ago | (#31743180)

Sorry guys. Please. I think the address book in your phone is among the most personal information you possibly could have. Much more personal than any CV you write, and more personal than your porn collection should you own one. How can anybody assume that i would willingly upload all my contacts? Other syncml services exist and i dont use them. There should be *no systematic* way to figure out who my friends are - or whom i talked to at the phone. Right now phone calls are quite well protected by the laws in comparison to emails. Please do it old-school and just provide a sync application which syncs it to my computer without a legal cloud in between. Please enable me to choose to synchronize my private phone with my private computer without the data leaving my private home. The same ideas apply to businesses; there its maybe not their porn collection, but the plans for the newest product. And yes, the list of the most current customers of your biggest competitor may be worth some money. I dont even go as far as to speculate what happes if medical doctors, lawyers, the police or journalists use it.

Re:i do not want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31743318)

Ok, you don't buy it, then.

I have none of those fears and I would prefer could sync for my address stuff.

They should do a deal with NuevaSync (1)

ldapboy (946366) | about 4 years ago | (#31743816)

Then users could sync all their data (calendar, email push, tasks to phones that have that) as well as contacts.

AGPLv3? (1)

fracai (796392) | about 4 years ago | (#31744026)

I thought the GPLv3 was incompatible with App Store distribution.
I haven't seen anything in the Affero addition that would clear the Tivoization, DRM, etc. clauses.

http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewEula?id=365281620 [apple.com]

Re:AGPLv3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31745186)

If you can't compile and distribute it yourself then GPLv2 is incompatible with AppStore distribution.

Keep it local/secure (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31747328)

I gotta say, this is one area Microsoft excels in (no pun intended.) Outlook/Exchange works brilliantly for contact/calendar/email sync across users and devices. Encryption, web front-ends, etc... and it works with every smartphone out there.

Exchange is a pain in the ass to administer and its expensive. I found that I could run Zarafa (www.zarafa.com) on a Debian box with Z-push for no cost, and it works just as well as exchange. Three users for free with outlook support (but if you don't use outlook, you can have as many users as you want.) It's worth looking into.

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