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Interesting (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34855678)

I've also noticed that at the same we're getting much better quality open source software.

Re:Interesting (2)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856226)

And back doors in proprietary software. Of course countries like Russia and Iran don't want to use software that has the NSA spy stuff built-in [google.com] . Neither do I!

Re:Interesting (1, Troll)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856730)

Have you ever looked at average open-source code ? While the kernel's code quality might be called "passable" (though it could adhere to stricter standards), the same cannot be said for most open source projects. It would not be hard, at all, to hide a backdoor in one of a dozen projects, especially GNOME and KDE are utter disasters when it comes to some of the code they run. For projects that are tested, a steady stream of exploits is available, from mozilla, the kernel, apache, tomcat, and gnome and kde (but these last 2 are barely tested at all, yet still quite a few exploits are found on a regular basis).

In commercial projects the NSA needs to infiltrate the company (I doubt anyone just lets this happen, and it would be better if they didn't for the NSA, no-one knows, that means no-one can betray you), and then commit something into it. Before outsourcing it was probably hard for the Chinese government to get backdoors into American software (though there have been incidents with japanese military vessels software suddenly refusing to target things when some Chinese boats were nearby and not behaving all that well). Today, there's little doubt the Chinese government has backdoors in many open and close source software projects.

So this is just a bogus argument. Let's get real : both commercial and open source projects are bugged and contain planted exploits. Both contain backdoors for multiple governments. Besides, software is vulnerable even without planted backdoors. The one attack that was probably government originated (though despite all sorts of predictions still no firm proof exactly which government did it, and since nobody likes Iran's govt, not even Iran's own scientists (ahmadinnerjacket had a few hundred of a run-ins with ... well everybody ... at pretty much every iranian university before becoming "there's no gays in Iran" laughing stock of the world), needless to say, the very people who would obviously be in the best possible position to pull this off)), Stuxnet, didn't need any unpublished holes. Not in the used closed-source software, not in the used open source software, not in the used hardware, not ... It was so basic a commercial company could probably have written it, yet it was capable of introducing sabotage actions in what is arguably Iran's best guarded facility, it's nuclear weapons factory.

Could an equally basic process be used to subtly sabotage an American weapons production plant ? Good question.

Then there's the fact that the Chinese have been caught bugging hardware for espionage. What exactly do you hope to do about that ?

And, yes, the US spies. So does every other country on the planet. So would I if I controlled the government of any particular country. Inside and outside of the country. But the purpose of the American govt is to change the world into America. Great plan ! The purpose of the Chinese government is to change the world into China. Frankly I really, really don't like that plan. I hear the public buses are killers [usatoday.com] . Similar things go for just about any other government (except perhaps - perhaps western Europe - perhaps, maybe if the EU was anywhere near democratic)

Re:Interesting (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856786)

Open source code is generally considered tighter and superior than closed source. But alas, how do you know when the source code is closed? What's your point of reference, or are you just using FUD as an astroturfer for one of those close source companies?

Re:Interesting (1)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856760)

As far as I am concerned--I see open source everywhere, I use it everywhere--it is mainstream.

Stallman Would Be So Proud! (0, Troll)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855766)

Free as in Beer
and
Free as in Free to Oppress!

Re:Stallman Would Be So Proud! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34855934)

Stallman is also very proud when he manages to take a shower... which isn't very often. My point is that the bar is set pretty low.

Re:Stallman Would Be So Proud! (3, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856066)

It's sadly true. The technology for implementing fascism is getting better every day, and the US is sadly headed very rapidly in that direction.

Re:Stallman Would Be So Proud! (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856754)

So Obama's implementing fascism then ? Because that's kinda what you're saying.

I doubt it : He's not that much of a lefty.

Re:Stallman Would Be So Proud! (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856792)

Let's see...buying a controlling interest in GM...check...attempting to take over health care...check...proposals for universal Government provided ID's for Internet use...check.

He's quite lefty enough, and he's taken great strides towards that end.

It's ironic how China and US are both moving towards becoming corporate fascist states from opposite directions.

In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34855796)

In Soviet Russia, big corporations work for government!

Wait, that's not a joke...

Re:In Soviet Russia (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855838)

xIn Capitalist America, government works for big business.

Wait, that's still not a joke.

Re:In Soviet Russia (2)

endymion.nz (1093595) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856060)

They are both jokes, but unfortunately they are also true.

Re:In Soviet Russia (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856780)

How about we just say that in both countries big corporations and the government are ... 2 names for the exact same group of people ?

Re:In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34856478)

I know! It's shocking how business people also get representation in government. Aren't they aware that their place in life is to work to supply the rest of us with the lifestyle we're entitled to?

Re:In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34856742)

I know! It's shocking how business people also get representation in government. Aren't they aware that their place in life is to work to supply the rest of us with the lifestyle we're entitled to?

I don't recall anyone claiming we have a government "of the shareholders, by the shareholders, for the shareholders," do you?

Re:In Soviet Russia (1)

Galestar (1473827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855888)

In Soviet Russia, source opens YOU!

Thanks for the compliment (5, Insightful)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855802)

At the end of 2010, the "open-source" software movement, whose activists tend to be fringe academics and ponytailed computer geeks...

Here are some opening lines from previous Wall Street Journal articles:

- At the end of 2010, the "global financial" traders, who tend to be morally crippled and calloused egomaniacs...
- At the end of 2010, the "journalistic reporting" newspapers, whose employees tend to be hypocritical parasites and star-struck airheads...
- At the end of 2010, the "United States", whose elected representatives tend to be greedy lawyers and ignorant blowhards...

How fun!

Re:Thanks for the compliment (5, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855884)

I like how he mentioned computer geeks and academics, but not Google, Red Hat, IBM or hundreds of other examples of open source in mainstream life.

Like most of the WSJ this article is full of FUD and written to agree with their readers pre-conceived notions.

Re:Thanks for the compliment (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856190)

Neither Google nor IBM are particulary open source activists, tough some of their employees might be. The whole activism part really is entirely a geek thing, much like caring about DRM still is (unfortunately).

Re:Thanks for the compliment (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856266)

He did not have to mention activists, he could have mentioned users instead. This article is written this way on purpose. It is because it fits the pre-conceived notions of WSJ readers. The WSJ has become just another part of the Murdoch echo chamber.

Re:Thanks for the compliment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34856282)

I also like how they seem to be implying that being a 'computer geek' is somehow a negative trait. Who the hell do they think invents the hardware and writes the software they take for granted on a daily basis?

Re:Thanks for the compliment (3, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856336)

Mangers and Executives via "Corporate Visions" of course, those other folks just do that trivial crap called actual work.

Re:Thanks for the compliment (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856030)

Hmm. You think WSJ articles are written by a bot?
And what's with open-source being in "scare quotes"?

FUD as in FUD (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855816)

Open Source, by its very nature, can't be "taken over". It is open for everyone to examine, and for anyone to fix if they find problems.

I do not doubt that governments may try to control the internet and other information access. But if they try to "take over" the software, then it is no longer Open Source, by definition.

I think muddling the issues of control and Open Source together will lead to little but confusion.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

high_rolla (1068540) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855920)

It may no longer be open source but that won't really stop them will it.

Interesting times ahead indeed.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856082)

And it will still be Open Source. Just as we have always been at war with Eurasia. Authoritarian regimes tell you what words mean, and what reality is.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856170)

Nonsense. There is a pretty clear definition of Open Source, and it does not mean software that your government (or anybody else) locks you into using.

Re:FUD as in FUD (3, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856412)

There is a pretty clear definition of Open Source, and it does not mean software that your government (or anybody else) locks you into using.

The definition of open source is orthogonal to being required to use the software. If your government (or anyone else, such as your employer) says "you will use Linux," you're locked in; it has no effect on the open-source-ness of Linux itself. OSS has the advantage of being less prone to vendor lock-in than proprietary software does, but that's a separate issue.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856674)

True, but I disagree about "less prone", and I am thinking back to my very recent experience [slashdot.org] with a Verizon phone. A robust Free software license is the only way to make lock-in more difficult. OSS is just, like you say, orthogonal.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856518)

The definition of Open Source is as malleable as any other definition to the authoritarian/fascist state.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856526)

BTW, if you haven't read 1984 you may not have fully understood my comment.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856196)

That is exactly my point. If they do it, and it isn't (any longer) Open Source, then why was the subject of Open Source broached at all? They could do that with any software they chose. Open Source is only a red herring here, and its inclusion is bound to muddle the issue.

Can OSS take over governments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34856290)

Well, maybe the governments can be taken over by open source. [wikipedia.org] Its hard to stop a movement that has no leaders, no location, and no assets.

Re:Can OSS take over governments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34856602)

Sure, maybe in like 20 or 50 years. China is repressing people now, douchebag.

Re:FUD as in FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34855956)

Sure it can. Keep an eye on your compiler. At first these guys will do it for "open source" and their own security, but once they get familiar with it, they will get ambitious and crack our build servers and sneak true back doors in.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856086)

Technically, that wouldn't really be opensource anymore. That would be apparently open source. It's definitely possible, there was that case back in the 80s with the BSD code, but in terms of the GPL, that would be a violation presumably.

Re:FUD as in FUD (2)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856178)

No need to crack anything if you own the cloud.
You can easily use OSS without giving away your source. You can even contribute and give back to the OSS community and STILL you have all the info you need. You just don't give back YOUR code.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856222)

You can USE Open Source software without giving away the source... but other people will have already given it away. If you modify it and distribute your changes, then (in almost all cases), you are required to distribute the source as well. If you don't, then it isn't open source anymore. That's what Open Source means.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856316)

If you modify it and distribute your changes, then (in almost all cases), you are required to distribute the source as well.

Wrong. Only a very small subset (GPL and its derivatives) of the Open Source licenses actually require you to share your source with your binaries. Most (BSD, MIT, Apache, MPL, zlib) don't.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856348)

You are correct about being able to distribute, but you have missed the point that those aren't open source anymore. So you're still wrong. Open Source requires the source to be... wait for it... open!

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856532)

You're arguing about a grain of sand and missing the larger point.

A government takes something like Linux or Apache, a piece of open-source software. They're using open-source software. They have programmers that make a few changes to it, and send it out to wherever it's going. You can argue all you want that the software is no longer considered "Open Source Software", in capital letters and everything. And yeah, don't worry, they're not going to abide by the licensing terms so they aren't going to be considered a part of your community anyway. But give it a rest, they're using open-source software, for the same reasons that anyone else does.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856676)

And yeah, don't worry, they're not going to abide by the licensing terms so they aren't going to be considered a part of your community anyway.

You're missing a point here, actually. To use the GPL as an example, those who modify the code are not required to make those changes public unless they're distributing the code outside their organization. For large government entities, well, those are very large organizations. It doesn't mean they're violating the terms of the license at all.

Additionally, I've been a direct observer of code produced within a government agency being contributed back upstream. You're probably going to want to split hairs by replying with something like "oh but some governments will still find ways to break the license," but that would just make you guilty of the same behavior you just accused the GP of displaying.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856724)

I am not the one missing the point here. You are.

With a name like AmicusNYCL, you should know that Open Source software, just like proprietary software, comes with legal obligations. If a government can do what you say, i.e., usurp the rights behind a piece of Open Source software (many of which have the clout of large corporations behind them), then they can do that to proprietary software just as easily. At which point whether it is Open Source or not becomes completely irrelevant to the issue, which was the point I made originally.

Thank you for making my point for me. Although I already had.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856656)

Wrong. Only a very small subset (GPL and its derivatives) of the Open Source licenses actually require you to share your source with your binaries. Most (BSD, MIT, Apache, MPL, zlib) don't.

That's a very misleading statement. While there are tons of OSI-approved licenses [opensource.org] , and many others that haven't been subjected to any formal review criteria, I'd love to see statistics on how many projects use licenses that require code sharing versus those that don't. Given the enormous growth in popularity of the GPL alone over the last decade alone, and my personal memory of over 20 years of open source and free software, I strongly suspect the number of projects that require sharing code will dwarf the alternative.

In fact, the GPL seems to have become the "default" license for free software in many respects, even though many people who license their code under the GPL honestly don't understand the license at all (that comes directly from my personal interactions with lots of developers). This is an unfortunate state of affairs from some perspectives, but it's reality. I license the majority of my code [palegray.net] under BSD-style licenses, but I freely (haha, I'll be here all week, tip your waiter, try the veal) admit that I'm most likely in the minority these days.

Re:FUD as in FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34856662)

With the exception of the minority of licenses that are copyleft, most opensource licenses don't require anything from the user or distributer about keeping the source code for your modifications open or distributing it with the binaries.

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856124)

Bam. And I am tired of hearing about governments or corporation "walling off" the Web or Internet. To make a car analogy, these doomsayers are just like people who predict that evil governments and corporations will all of a sudden start building walls across existing roads in order to prevent people from traveling across the world. Of course, there are walls—we call them "state borders"— and sometimes we build more, but it is pretty damn clear that overall, traveling is becoming cheaper and easier for almost everyone. If we can transport physical goods more freely than ever in history, what are the chances that anyone will make it harder to traffic bits? FUD, nothing but FUD. Internet is here to stay, and to gradually become more widespread, more accessible, more democratic. We have to work to make it happen, of course, but it's a downhill battle from here.

Re:FUD as in FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34856242)

traveling is becoming cheaper and easier for almost everyone.

Paying more (for things like checked luggage and fuel surcharges) for less (no more meals on flights, etc.) is not my idea of "cheaper" and getting my naked picture taken (or alternatively being molested) is definitely not my idea of "easier."

Re:FUD as in FUD (1)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856400)

I am talking about long-term, worldwide trends. The world is a lot more open and traversable than it used to be. Realize that traveling even a few hundred kilometers used to be a real hazard to one's life just a few centuries ago, and even if one could reach the destination in one piece, there was little guarantee of welcome. On the short run we may see the price of travel rise a bit as we are transitioning away from fossil fuels. We may see some political reaction too: terrorists attack US because of how it conducts its oil business. But eventually (and it looks like pretty soon) we will run out of cheap things to burn and switch to a fusion reactor conveniently located 8 lightminutes into our backyard, and the price of energy will stabilize and start going down again, just as the efficiency goes up.

Re:FUD as in FUD (2)

grcumb (781340) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856208)

Open Source, by its very nature, can't be "taken over". It is open for everyone to examine, and for anyone to fix if they find problems.

Until they outlaw compilers.... 8^)

I think muddling the issues of control and Open Source together will lead to little but confusion.

Seriously, I think this analysis is a pretty overt attempt to sully FOSS' reputation by characterising it as a tool of autocrats, yet ignoring the very characteristics that make it resistant to abuse. The unspoken comparison here is that commercial, proprietary software represents Freedom and the American Way while FOSS is the product of greasy hippies who have once again sold out democracy in pursuit of their Leftist ideals.

Yes, I'm overstating the case, but just because the author used genteel language doesn't make his point any more subtle or accurate.

There are a number of things that Morozov might have fit into the space provided that would have made a more nuanced point. Not the least of which is the ability to, uh, view the source, meaning that even if you are using State-sponsored software, at very least you can see what they're doing. The prospect of removing the nasty bits is also left untouched.

It's possible, even likely, that Russia and others actually do think that they can keep the source open for themselves and closed to others. But that's only because they too haven't thought it all the way through.

Lastly, Morozov's point about a 'walled' web is not fundamentally wrong, but he neglects to mention that there's more movement toward a 'walled garden' vision of the Net from the commercial actors than from state actors.

more secure? (1)

bdrees (1015815) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855820)

FTA: "Beijing and Moscow see American information technology as a threat. They want systems of their own" and "especially programs sold by foreign vendors, has immense implications for the country's national security. "
How does open source help fight security in the short term? wouldn't open source make it easier?

Sounds to me more like a cost savings move than a security move....

Re:more secure? (1)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855982)

How does open source help fight security in the short term? wouldn't open source make it easier? ... Sounds to me more like a cost savings move than a security move....

Easy. They can inspect the code and and see if any backdoors have been written in and take them out.

Re:more secure? (2)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856022)

How does open source help fight security in the short term?

Fight security? Did you mean improve security or fight vulnerabilities? In the short term it allows them to audit and improve the code, especially if they believe (as many do) that there are backdoors built into commercial, closed source OS's and applications.

Sounds to me more like a cost savings move than a security move....

It sounds to me like both. Also, open source allows them to move development to their own country and build up a strategic reserve of programming talent versed in the software the government uses and able to make security improvements and fixes, rather than being reliant upon foreign programmers that may or may not be available and may or may not be agents of a foreign power.

Short version (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855844)

Basically, the world's Internet has largely been boot-strapped by the USA and supplemented further by other western nations (EU for example). But the history of nations and their government span much much longer in time. As such, expect the rest of the world to shard off and look inward to support, innovate and replace most if not all vestiges of outside influence and replaced with a government command and control form of national IT rules and regulations.

A Shadowrun dystopia? Might not be far off in the distant future.

Re:Short version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34855898)

"A Shadowrun dystopia? Might not be far off in the distant future." ... except the magic bits, I assume...

It already is... (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855846)

Open Source is already mainstream. Android has made Linux mainstream, most browsers other than IE and Opera are mostly open source, etc.

Re:It already is... (2)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856120)

Open Source is already mainstream. Android has made Linux mainstream

2011 the year of Linux on the cellphone.

Re:It already is... (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856188)

Try 2010.
Heck, between RIM switching to something based on QNX, iPhone, Android and webOS the only one not running a grown up OS is WP7.

Re:It already is... (4, Interesting)

melikamp (631205) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856632)

Android is open-source, but it did not make open-source software mainstream. I would say, it's almost doing as much damage as any iPhone I've seen, directly as a result of Google not giving a rat's ass about what proprietary crap vendors screw on top of it. What we are looking at here is exactly the difference between Apache license and GPLv3. I rooted a new Verizon Android for a friend the other day, and it was like pulling teeth. It was a dirty hack [xda-developers.com] done, I can only assume, by a dirty hacker, bless his heart, and there is no guarantee that it will survive the next big update. If ordinary users are not trusted with full access to their devices, and have a locked (for most practical purposes) computer with proprietary top and zero documentation, talking about the licensing of some software components is moot, and "open-source" is just a feel-good word.

The way the article opens: (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855854)

"the "open-source" software movement, whose activists tend to be fringe academics and ponytailed computer geeks" might as well read, "hackers and terrorists".

Answer: They will laugh their ass off. (4, Funny)

lalena (1221394) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855856)

Question:

FTA: How will officials in Washington react when China's Tencent (with a market capitalization of $42 billion, almost twice that of Yahoo) or Russia's Yandex makes a bid for AOL?

Re:Answer: They will laugh their ass off. (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855872)

Wow, if we lost such a vital national asset as AOL, I don't know what we'd do.

Re:Answer: They will laugh their ass off. (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855976)

It's okay. I had enough coasters saved up in the 90's to last me till Doomsday.

Re:Answer: They will laugh their ass off. (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856018)

Would they have to change the name to ROL (Russion On Line)?

Re:Answer: They will laugh their ass off. (1)

FSWKU (551325) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856354)

Would they have to change the name to ROL (Russion On Line)?

Most likely it would be Russian Online Federated Link (ROFL).

Linux user since 1996 here (-1, Offtopic)

ticketswapz (1974628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855866)

I remember getting my official Debian CD-ROM that had 2.0.36 kernel on it, dselect was a pain in the butt to use and Winmodems were driving me nuts with the drivers!

Re:Linux user since 1996 here (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856216)

Winmodems where not the hardware I bought. There were plenty of good cheap alternatives available.

Proof! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34855868)

Finally! Proof that open source is a Communist front! Where's McCarthy when you need him?

Microsoft is the shining light that will lead us out of this abyss!

Re:Proof! (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855954)

Finally! Proof that open source is a Communist front! Where's McCarthy when you need him?

Thankfully dead.

Microsoft is the shining light that will lead us out of this abyss!

And right into another deeper, moar horrible MS branded one!

Re:Proof! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34855966)

You had an opportunity to make a funny first post and instead posted a bunch of garbage like a gas-passing negro. Christ will not judge you kindly. In short, you and your entire family can fuck off.

Peer-to-Peer? (4, Interesting)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855914)

This article is very well composed, but does not mention peer-to-peer solutions, which avoid the big-brother problem. Projects like Diaspora [joindiaspora.com] are working on systems that implement this kind of P2P-based web using web-of-trust [wikipedia.org] . I assume that Diaspora apps will be able to facilitate various services, hopefully including things like communication.

The Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corporation (Fox News), which is probably why it didn't mention things like MySpace being owned by Murdock's political powerhouse, which is clearly along a similar (if not identical) line. Free Software best combats this with the Affero General Public License [wikipedia.org] , which closes the "ASP loophole" by marking an implementation of the software as the same as its distribution (thus modifications must be made public). Examples include Diaspora (social media), Gitorious [wikipedia.org] (software forge), and Identi.ca [wikipedia.org] (micro-blogging) among others [wikipedia.org] .

I like Puppy Linux (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855926)

Especially now that they switched to Lucid as their base and can run the same programs as Ubuntu 10.0 uses.
Other cool free/liberated/open apps:
VLC Media Player
Firefox
SeaMonkey (firefox/thunderbird/chatzilla/composer merged)
jEdit
uTorrent

Re:I like Puppy Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34856044)

uTorrent is closed source, hate to break it to you.

Re:I like Puppy Linux (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856076)

There is also no linux version.

Re:I like Puppy Linux (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856366)

Oh. Well it's free.

Re:I like Puppy Linux (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856422)

It is indeed no cost. That has nothing to do with this topic though.

The future of the future World Wide Web? (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855932)

The author, Evgeny Morozov, paints a bleak future of the future World Wide Web

Well, at least the future World Wide Web isn't so bleak, just the future future World Wide Web.

Re:The future of the future World Wide Web? (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856074)

Those damn C pointers will get you everytime...

**futureWorldWideWeb = bleak;

"Finally?" (3, Informative)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855944)

Open Source might "finally" become mainstream? It hasn't been mainstream for quite some time? What strange alternate universe is this?

Re:"Finally?" (4, Informative)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855990)

Clearly the fact that Google and Facebook are built largely on open source software is meaningless. Who's ever heard of those? No, it's when foreign governments start using open source software that people will pay attention ;)

Re:"Finally?" (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855994)

No, its not mainstream. It's the popular alternative, like that Radio station that plays a lot of Nirvana and Foo Fighters.

Re:"Finally?" (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856064)

like that Radio station that plays a lot of Nirvana and Foo Fighters.

Thanks for that analogy grandpa. Do you know any bands from this millennium?

Re:"Finally?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34856174)

None worth listening to. Especially in the 'mainstream'.

Re:"Finally?" (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856588)

None played on stations that declare themselves alternative.

For desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34856370)

A popular alternative for desktop systems. For servers and mobile devices, it's nothing less than the norm.

Re:"Finally?" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34856794)

The one that starts at the top of the basement stairs, often called the real world, the one where 99% of its inhabitants have never heard of open source.

Oh it will, (1)

fleeped (1945926) | more than 3 years ago | (#34855986)

.. on the Year of the Linux!

Re:Oh it will, (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856102)

.. on the Year of the Linux!

It's been the year of the Linux for a generation now just not year of Linux on the desktop.

Open source is a good thing all around (4, Insightful)

C3ntaur (642283) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856080)

I'm encouraged to hear that major organizations are finally seeing the light.

To use a (yet another, sorry) car analogy: Open source is like being able to buy a service manual and replacement parts at your local auto shop, and then doing the work yourself -- or paying a mechanic of your choice to do it for you. Closed source is more like buying the car with the hood welded shut, and any attempt to modify or service it yourself not only voids the warranty, but is actually criminal in some situations and jurisdictions. Moreover, the manufacturer is under no obligation to disclose or repair defects or "undocumented features" -- such as logging your travels and selling it to the highest bidder.

Trolling Finally becoming mainstream (0)

RaymondKurzweil (1506023) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856090)

After seeing that Amy Chua satire-that-really-isn't piece about not letting her kids go outside and now this that worries about the fate of the US once AOL(!!) is in foreign hands the US media is finally trying to beat the forums and blogs at their own game. It's not so much extremism to promote buzz, its just putting so much garbage that people can't look away, so it's a little different than what they usually do.

Obama kill switch imminent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34856110)

Obama kill switch imminent

Autocrazies? (1)

omems (1869410) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856138)

I thought TFA was going to talk about automotive enthusiasts reprogramming their cars' chips and the lack of cheap hardware/software for doing so.

Guess I need new glasses.

BIND, Apache, Firefox.. (4, Insightful)

19061969 (939279) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856140)

Good grief! Open source becoming mainstream? Have these people not heard of BIND? Apache? Firefox? PHP? Perl? Since when have these been marginal? Anyway, the article is mostly complaining that open source software might be put to bad purposes but that can happen with any software. Quoth: "The embrace of open-source technology by governments may result in more intuitive software applications," I wonder if the writer has ever used govt mandated software. Intuitive it ain't. The writer's other point about (eg) skype failing because of different systems being used - how many non-Chinese people here have ever heard of QQ? These differences exist already.

Re:BIND, Apache, Firefox.. (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856318)

Good grief! Open source becoming mainstream? Have these people not heard of BIND? Apache? Firefox? PHP? Perl?

Yes, they have not.

Re:BIND, Apache, Firefox.. (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856340)

Consider the source. This is the WSJ. They know tech savvy like your grandma knows Katy Perry tunes. Which is, not fucking much. They can't see the "This is Open Source, you frickin' dolts" when they use their Android phone to get a Google search.

Reminds me of the jackasses who say they've never used Unix... Which I beat them down with; you've never picked up a phone? Every central office ESS5 switch is running Unix, and now the phones themselves are running Linuxy kernels to prop up the silly GUIs. The WSJ can't see the forest for the trees are all in the way! 8^) OH NOES!!1!

Logic fail (3, Insightful)

starfishsystems (834319) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856304)

"The embrace of open-source technology by governments may result in ... domestic alternatives that would provide secret back-door access"

Oh really? And how exactly is that going to work, given that open source is by definition not secret?

(I get that in a complex code base it may be possible to insert malicious code. But this is true of any code base, hardly a defining characteristic of open source.)

Missed the big point (2)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856384)

How will officials in Washington or Brussels react when China's Tencent (with a market capitalization of $42 billion, almost twice that of Yahoo) or Russia's Yandex makes a bid for AOL or Skype?

What will happen once Russian or Chinese firms seek to purchase a stake in companies like Google (a contractor to the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency) or Amazon (which caters to nearly 20 U.S. government agencies through its Web hosting services)?

The real problem here is not software, it's money.

Re:Missed the big point (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856542)

In deed, while blaming open source the real culprits of this problem are being hidden.

They are the big bonus grabbing traitors that outsourced or jobs and have been enabling the economies of dictatorships.

But the press is scared to death of that group, that is why open source is being blamed.

too bad democratic politicians aren't as nervous (4, Insightful)

t2t10 (1909766) | more than 3 years ago | (#34856670)

It's just too bad that democratic politicians aren't also nervous about wasting tax payer dollars on proprietary software, becoming dependent on the capricious whims of software companies, and become concerned about backdoors in their software.

Perhaps this difference in nervousness can be explained by the fact that democratic politicians are more susceptible to the financial and political pressures of corporations, while autocrats don't have to give a damn?

In any case, the whole article sounds like a smear campaign, trying to associate open source software with communism and "autocrats"; in fact, a number of democracies have also seen the light on open source software and also mandated its use there.

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