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Lobbyists Attack UK Open Standards Policy

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the big-surprise-there dept.

Government 168

superglaze writes "The Business Software Alliance, a lobbying organisation representing the likes of Microsoft, Adobe and Apple, has laid into the UK's recently-adopted policy of mandating the use of open standards wherever possible in government IT systems.The policy describes open standards as being "publicly available at zero or low cost" and having "intellectual property made irrevocably available on a royalty-free basis" The BSA said this would "inadvertently reduce choice [and] hinder innovation", and even went so far as to claim open standards would lead to higher e-government costs, but open-source advocates say the policy reflects how much the European Interoperability Framework is weighted in favour of the proprietary software companies."

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Free Software in Government (3, Insightful)

Pricetx (1986510) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352160)

I'm personally full supporting a move away from proprietary software in government, it can only be a move for the good.

Re:Free Software in Government (3, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352340)

It has been tried in a few South American countries, with some success and some failure.

The problem is all about training people on how to use the new software. Using OO Writer instead of Word for example. Sure, sounds simple, the nerds can probably fgure it out without blinking, but it is all the NON-NERDS who make it a very expensive idea to test. They all have to be trained, they lose some productivity for a while, they have to learn how to do new tricks that might be application specific and the like.

The problem with government is that they rarely want to engage in a project that has a longer return on investment than the next election date. They don't want to be the government that lost 20% productivity during a financially difficult time for the net benefit of saving the next government a bunch of cash. Sad, but true.

Re:Free Software in Government (5, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352496)

The problem is all about training people on how to use the new software. Using OO Writer instead of Word for example. Sure, sounds simple, the nerds can probably fgure it out without blinking, but it is all the NON-NERDS who make it a very expensive idea to test. They all have to be trained, they lose some productivity for a while, they have to learn how to do new tricks that might be application specific and the like.

How do you think the cost of cross-training from Word 2003 to OpenOffice.Org (or LibreOffice) Writer would compare to cross-training from Word 2003 to Word 2007?

Re:Free Software in Government (5, Interesting)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352734)

In my experience, no one trains anyone on shit, which may be your point.

New computer, new OS, new office suite. It looks different? Tough shit, get back to work. Whether it was XP to Vista or 7. Or from Office03 to Office07 or Office2010... It may as well be OpenOffice, the same grumbling about menu items and behaviors that gradually subsides as people get back to work.

Hell, I deployed a bunch of ubuntu boxes in elementary schools for student use and purposely didn't tell anyone anything more than the logins just to see what would happen. They just figured it out, teachers and students alike. Not like they are doing VBA programming or something.

The "training" thing is a red herring MOST of the time.

Re:Free Software in Government (1, Interesting)

atomicbutterfly (1979388) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353390)

How do you think the cost of cross-training from Word 2003 to OpenOffice.Org (or LibreOffice) Writer would compare to cross-training from Word 2003 to Word 2007?

Apart from the fact no-one is trained to use a word processor anymore, keep in mind that the transition from Word 2003 -> 2007 would be easier as well on the file format. Open/LibreOffice parses .doc files more accurately in every new release, but nothing compares to the real thing. No-one uses .odt in the real world, except for perhaps a newer company who uses Open/LibreOffice and can use the format for internal documents which aren't designed to be sent to MS Office users.

Re:Free Software in Government (1, Informative)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353662)

No-one uses .odt in the real world, except for perhaps a newer company who uses Open/LibreOffice and can use the format for internal documents which aren't designed to be sent to MS Office users.

Yeah, that little upstart IBM is a nobody that exists in the fake-world.

Re:Free Software in Government (2)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353878)

And just who is sending all these word documents around anyway?

I never get emailed documents, I get emailed links to web pages, and occasionally pdfs, but 'doc' ?

Can't think of the last tim I had to deal with it.

Re:Free Software in Government (4, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352498)

>The problem is all about training people on how to use the new software. Using OO Writer instead of Word for example. Sure, sounds simple, the nerds can probably fgure it out without blinking, but it is all the NON-NERDS who make it a very expensive idea to test.

It's a freakin' word processor. That's all it is. A word processor isn't some esoteric specialized piece of software.

If you can't figure out a random word processor and use it, you should just be given an old Underwood manual typewriter and an OCR document scanner instead (do I hear cheers for this from some people?).

It's not rocket surgery, people. Word is not the be-all/end-all of document creation software. And the people who claim "but Writer doesn't have $ESOTERICFEATURE" don't realize (or deliberately ignore the fact) that 99 percent of people who use word processors use them as glorified typewriters with spell and grammar check and $ESOTERICFEATURE gets used *maybe* once a year, if that. (I asked people at work how often they used pivot tables, and the answer was "twice a year, maybe" and pivot tables was supposed to be /the/ defining feature of Word97)

People today aren't any different from people 25 years ago using DOS based Word Perfect without any GUI whatsoever. We didn't have all this bitching and moaning about training when companies migrated from WP to Word. They just did it. Sure the WP users bitched, but that's because Word is (and shall always be) inferior to WP, but "training" was never an issue.

What a bunch of crybabies the anti-OO people are.

--
BMO

Re:Free Software in Government (0)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353006)

Your forgetting one little fact. Some users, for lack of a better way to say it, are REALLY dumb. They want something that is as familiar as possible. They want the name to also be the same as possible. And if something is different, they will find a reason to bitch, moan and complain.

In fact, something like this happened last year with Facebook. Facebook changed its login screen and so http://www.readwriteweb.com/ [readwriteweb.com] made an article about it here. [readwriteweb.com] What was the shocking part was the comments down below, and I'll quote some: (make sure on the site to tell it to sort comments by oldest first:

Gladys Ok If I have to I will comment,I love facebook so right now just want to log in if thats ok with you..lol Keep up the good work...

fuccinwayne ok cool now can I get to facebook

John The new facebook sucks> NOW LET ME IN.

kathy when can we log in?

Nicole I WANT THE OLD FAFEBOOK BACK THIS SHIT IS WACK!!!!!

cassandra james just want to get on facebook

They all thought that the news article was the Facebook Login site. Not one of these people could do something as basic as type in www.facebook.com or have it bookmarked (its guessed they all Google searched Facebook Login) or even do the ultimate basic of checking the web address in the URL bar. There are over 100 comments like this on that page. And these are just the people who weren't too lazy to pipe up about it. They would have no doubt already been using their web browser that they are familiar with. Imagine what would happen if you change their software so it was unfamiliar? And you think it won't be hard to change from Word now? I like OO myself as well, but.... well after that, I would question.

Re:Free Software in Government (1)

WorBlux (1751716) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353284)

The solution is not to hire 8-year olds or 80-year olds for serious government work.

Re:Free Software in Government (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353314)

Guessing you've never worked for the government, have you? Most don't get their jobs because they are qualified, they got it because they knew the right people.

Re:Free Software in Government (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353896)

I've seen that before and it *is* hilarious, and a testament to human stupidity.

OTOH, if you're that stupid or ill-equipped to deal with a computer, maybe you shouldn't be using one in a professional capacity to start with.

Re:Free Software in Government (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#35354100)

And if anyone pulled that at work, they'd be out the door by Friday.

I've never had a job where management gave in because I'm incompetent in something.

--
BMO

Re:Free Software in Government (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35354204)

I have when I worked with the government. I got written up for expecting a fellow worker to be able to keep up when I pointed out he had no problems doing the same amount of work when he was alone, but it somehow takes 3 times as long when he knew he'd get help.

Re:Free Software in Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35353212)

Give that man a cigar. If training is needed for you to use a computer, your already in trouble. I mean, if you have to call tech support to get the damn thing pluged into the wall..... How did a jackwagon like that ever figure on running a program? For crist sakes people get real. You make your money working with microsoft and might lose your job, Say it will hurt "YOUR" livelyhood. Don't make excuses unless you have the facts to back your claim. Mabe you'll find out that oss is better that M$. Instead of being a fuckwad, why don't you look at the other options. They might not be as bad as you think.

Re:Free Software in Government (0)

rossjudson (97786) | more than 3 years ago | (#35354130)

If you think OO is as "good" as MS Office 2010, you're on crack. Have you ever actually used these various word processors to create documents? Maybe documents that involve a lot of structure, embedded graphics of various types, and size?

My personal rank of word processors:

1. Lyx (good for me)
2. MS Word
3. Pages

OO doesn't even make the list, and isn't likely to. No polish, awkward UI...

Oh look! MS Word lets me save as ODT! I guess I could use that...never. It makes nice PDFs. Oooo, but then the person who receives it might accidentally use an evil non-free PDF viewer, from Adobe!

There's such a thing as good software, and there's bad software. Somewhere in the middle there's lots of indifferent. OO falls squarely into the middle category.

I don't think government should be expressing a preference for or against open source, or similarly against commercial software. Make decisions, but don't skew the process from the outset. Past the software used to create them, there's nothing wrong with mandating open formats, of course.

Re:Free Software in Government (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35354396)

Actually I have used open office to create structured documents. Since you mentioned LyX let me just point out that OO has a great export to LaTeX feature which allows for very structured documents, and in fact makes it easy to import into LyX.

That being said I agree with your basic point that MS software is quite a bit ahead.

Re:Free Software in Government (0)

janisozaur (1465907) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352630)

Using OO Writer instead of Word for example. Sure, sounds simple, the nerds can probably fgure it out without blinking, but it is all the NON-NERDS who make it a very expensive idea to test.

You may consider me a nerd and yet I have absolutely no idea how to use word. I 'outsource' my work that has to be done in word to friends who are actually capable of operating this software. Writer is no better, it somehow manages to always hide the toolbars that I actually need at the moment and show them immediately after I find a workaround.

The only sane "word processor" I know of is LaTeX. It creates beautiful documents, has easily editable source and it works great with SCMs.

Re:Free Software in Government (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352640)

retraining is inevitable with proprietary software, too, only it`s perceived as inevitable. Office07 and vista needed retraining. Changing laptop brand means a different crop of preinstalled utilities. win8 has an announced new GUI.
Once in FOSS land, the personalization of user experience is almost never a goal.

Re:Free Software in Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352782)

win8 has an announced new GUI

Source please. Previous /. post had nothing about that being for Windows 8, or anything other than an embedded system just like every other UI shown in the video.

Re:Free Software in Government (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352936)

The problem is all about training people on how to use the new software. Using OO Writer instead of Word for example. Sure, sounds simple, the nerds can probably fgure it out without blinking, but it is all the NON-NERDS who make it a very expensive idea to test. They all have to be trained, they lose some productivity for a while, they have to learn how to do new tricks that might be application specific and the like.

That is the problem with migrating to any new software, regardless of whether it's open or proprietary.

Unless we're really suggesting that UK government (and the rest) should never consider changing to a new software package, even a far cheaper and superior one, ever again (which I'm guessing is not what a business lobby group like the BSA wants) then that line of argument is moot.

Re:Free Software in Government (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352978)

It can be even simpler than this. Ie, store documents in PDF format for instance instead of Word format. You can still use proprietary tools if you want to create them. It doesn't cut Adobe or Microsoft out of the picture as long as they use open and interoperable standards.

Re:Free Software in Government (3, Insightful)

ancientt (569920) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353032)

I did read the article, but I haven't read much more on the subject, still, I think there may be a misunderstanding here. If we're talking about open standards, we're not necessarily talking about training people to use different software, just different standards. You don't have to use Writer, just make sure that your people are saving their Word documents in ODT, XML, HTML or RTF. I know there is some argument over some forms of that and differing success rates, but when you move large numbers of people to an open standard, it makes the implementation tend to be better.

We have some of this in our own office, though without the government push, which I am grateful for even if it does make my job a little harder. We are currently allowing people to submit documentation only through the primary CMS system, but supporting files include HTML, XLS and PDF because it makes it easy to expect anybody in the future to be able to access them. It has been against the grain for some people but with the flood of emails being resent because they sent the first one with a DOCX attachment, the case has gotten easier with the passing of time. Nothing makes it easier to sell "use a format everyone can use" than Microsoft Word not being able to open something somebody else created with Microsoft Word.

I love my Linux distro's free software that I can use to do nearly anything, but I can sympathize with people who just want to keep doing the job they've been doing. It would simplify my life tremendously if Microsoft started offering an option to set the default file format to an open one, something that could come out of discussions like this.

Re:Free Software in Government (1)

Windowser (191974) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353068)

The problem is all about training people on how to use the new software. Using OO Writer instead of Word for example. Sure, sounds simple, the nerds can probably fgure it out without blinking, but it is all the NON-NERDS who make it a very expensive idea to test. They all have to be trained, they lose some productivity for a while, they have to learn how to do new tricks that might be application specific and the like.

Every time somebody serves me the "training" bullshit, I ask them that simple question :
When you drive a new car, do you need to go re-take your driving lessons ?

The issue is NOT training, cost, or difficulty. (5, Insightful)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353912)

The problem is all about training people on how to use the new software.

The issue is NOT cost of the software, cost or difficulty of the training, or difficulty of operation.

The issue is whether bureaucrats, for their own convenience (or pocket-lining), can be allowed to lock up government documents and government interactions in the proprietary format of a US corporation.

Doing so puts the government and the people, from then on, at the mercy of the corporation. The entire population is faced with the choice of paying ongoing tribute to the corporation or suffering a severe impediment and competitive disadvantage when dealing with their own government or attempting to access its records. (They call certain licensing fees "royalties" for a reason.)

With open formats and FOSS tools there might be a learning curve and (if the corporations are to be believed) some reduced functionality or slightly increased difficulty of operation. But nobody is excluded or unnecessarily handicapped and all records stay accessible to all forever.

Re:Free Software in Government (1)

jbolden (176878) | more than 3 years ago | (#35354378)

Governments have longer time frames than industry. And certainly longer than consumers. They aren't so bad on this criteria.

Logical (5, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352198)

Leave it to lobbyists to come up with their own unique and twisted logic....

Proprietary = choice
Openness = restricted
Freedom = anti-competitive
Free cost = expensive
Closed = innovation

I am sure the governments will do the "right" thing, and do whatever the lobbyist push on them, as has been seen time and time again.

Re:Logical (5, Informative)

pieterh (196118) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352252)

The fight over what this goes back ages and is intensely political, given the sums of money involved. Internet, open standards. GSM, captive standards. No argument which generated more value, but which was more profitable for the people controlling the technology?

Here is an analysis [digistan.org] of why firms like those the BSA represents want to capture computing standards, and how they do it.

Re:Logical (1)

_merlin (160982) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353204)

I don't know what you're trying to say there. From my perspective, GSM has been awesome. It meant that I could use one mobile handset in most of the world. There are standard codes for controlling network features (call waiting, forwarding, call restrictions, etc.). Roaming and swapping in a local SIM are both simple. GSM was a huge success for consumers.

Re:Logical (2)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352276)

Closed = innovation

That's about the only one that kind of makes sense on some level, i mean it's much easier to secure funding to develop IP when that IP itself has value.

Re:Logical (2)

markdavis (642305) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352374)

And yet, you can build innovative products that still incorporate open standards and even open code.

And you can build innovative closed products that run on open systems.

And you can build profitable support and customization businesses on completely open products.

And you can incorporate open concepts and interoperability into closed products.

There are lots of options in today's world that can bring openness and standards into play. But one wouldn't know that listening to only what big corporations and lobbyist say and push.

Re:Logical (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352764)

And yet, you can build innovative products that still incorporate open standards and even open code.

So what's your point?

Re:Logical (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353026)

That's right. There's no reason you couldn't have a hundred word processors that write ODF files. I mean, there must be thousands of text editors out there that all right ASCII or Unicode. Advanced programming IDEs are filled with tons of extra features, but they all puke out text files.

The industry wants government to protect their proprietary business models, and, probably, the UK government will back down, because a) politicians by and large are fucking retards and b) are easily bought off by the industry.

Frankly, if I was a government, I'd gladly concede to their request, providing each company who planned on selling proprietary format-based software to the government must put in 100 million dollars a year into a contigency/insurance fund to make sure that documents and other files can be opened in fifty years, and to pay coders in that distant time to reverse engineer the proprietary formats.

Re:Logical (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352964)

But ogg theora, a clean room implementation of a video codec, is just 10-20% less efficient than the closed h264. Are we sure that the barriers erected with excessive IP protection (silly patents) are worth the differential in innovation?
Internet explorer was good when fighting netscape, frozen when dominant, better adhering to standards when competition started defeating it...

Re:Logical (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353116)

But ogg theora, a clean room implementation of a video codec, is just 10-20% less efficient than the closed h264. Are we sure that the barriers erected with excessive IP protection (silly patents) are worth the differential in innovation?

I don't know, in terms of time-to-market i would say probably yes. The main problem as i see it is that technological patents seem to have too long of a life.

Re:Logical (1)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353090)

That's about the only one that kind of makes sense on some level, i mean it's much easier to secure funding to develop IP when that IP itself has value.

Your implicit assumption is that open source software has no value. Which is, of course, false.

Plus, it's easier to create something better than what exists when you don't have to start from scratch, e.g. LibreOffice from OpenOffice, Firefox from Netscape, Chromium from WebKit, all the various BSDs from the original Berkeley version, all the various Linux distributions plus Android from the underlying platform, etc.

Re:Logical (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353534)

Your implicit assumption is that open source software has no value. Which is, of course, false.

Wrong, that's not at all what i implied, in fact i didn't mention open source software in there implicitly or explicitly. Go back and read what i wrote since it's obvious you have derived something that clearly is not there.

Plus, it's easier to create something better than what exists when you don't have to start from scratch

Of course, i didn't say nor imply that it wasn't.

Re:Logical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35354320)

You cannot say that it is easier to fund something when it has value because that begs the question.

Closed does not add any value to software, so closed does not as you imply help secure funding to develop IP. People cannot evaluate and therefore value software when it is closed, so one could in fact argue that closed devalues software.

What is the value of software? Since it is is tool, its value would be related to how useful it is (which, again, has little value added when software is closed). Ultimately, the intrinsic value (utility) of one type of tool is no different than another type of tool that does the same thing. Political forces that may effect markets to not alter this fact, and therefore to not spur innovation.

How has closed source spearheaded innovation in the tech sector? What innovation has, say, a Microsoft (the model closed source company) provided over, say, a Bell Labs (which developed Unix as an open system a decade before MS existed) in technology? Why would innovative companies like Facebook and Google adopting and producing open source tools and standards if they could instead embrace closed standards?

Re:Logical (2)

nethenson (1093205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352300)

They are simply very good at implementing the open standard "ISO-1984: Newspeak terminology".

Re:Logical (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352980)

double plus LOL

Re:Logical (3, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352382)

It's really very simple. Any lobbyist for a business or industry has one message for their politician targets: "We want more money, and we'll make it worth your while to give us more money."

Any other message coming from lobbyists or corporate spokespeople is basically nonsense used to create a false explanation for the politician's actions which just so happen to benefit the lobbyist's industries.

Re:Logical (1, Interesting)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353128)

It's really very simple. Any lobbyist for a business or industry has one message for their politician targets: "We want more money, and we'll make it worth your while to give us more money."

Any other message coming from lobbyists or corporate spokespeople is basically nonsense used to create a false explanation for the politician's actions which just so happen to benefit the lobbyist's industries.

That's not true at all. There's at least one other kind of message that comes from, in particular, media companies: "Do what we want or we'll publish unfavorable things about you to media consumers in your constituency."

Re:Logical (4, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352400)

Note that they didn't actually say that. You have interpreted it that way, but this is slashdot. Microsoft open sourcing windows would be met with "it's a trap!".

They said the policy would reduce choice and hinder innovation, because it *does* place restrictions on choice. "Open only" is more restrictive than "Open or Closed, whatever works best for the task at hand".

Ideally for all public-accessible document and interchange formats, open is clearly strongly preferred, but whatever happened to "best tool for the job"?

Disclaimer: playing devil's advocate here but saying anything perceived to be "against" open software or supporting an "enemy" is dangerous around here.

Re:Logical (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352788)

This doesn't take into account the actual /guidelines/ which state that open is clearly strongly preferred, but closed is fine if there is no equal open alternative.

Looks like the lobbyists are playing snake to the government's apple.

Re:Logical (2)

gmueckl (950314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352874)

If the processes involved are similar to what they are here (different country, so not sure), it is entirely possible to circumvent such guidelines by postulating requirements that only a single preferred vendor can meet. It's just the art of being specific enough. So if there is a "best tool for the job" it must have some properties that other don't and that you can simply require without alternative and even without decent explanation.

Simple example: want to buy only nVidia GPUs for some reason? Just state that you need CUDA support and you're set.

Re:Logical (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353040)

The whole point of open formats is to assure the long-term access to file formats. If you allowed proprietary data formats through, the whole point of assuring the longevity of a viable file is discarded, all in the name of short-term profit.

Any government that had the public good at heart would tell these bastards to go fuck off. If they want to do proprietary formats, they don't get to sell to the government, period.

Re:Logical (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35353422)

but whatever happened to "best tool for the job"?

Standards aren't tools. Standards are what tools are built upon. If the restriction was "open-sourced software only," then that would indeed be a restriction on choice. Governments would be forbidden from using Word with such a policy in place. However, the policy only requires documents adhere to an open standard. This can only result in more choice as an open standard can, by definition, be implemented by anyone. If we standardize to the .DOCX format we can only use Microsoft Word because it is the only product that can guarantee full compliance to the standard. If we standardize to the .ODF format we can still use Microsoft Word provided that they release a version of Word with .ODF support. Since that standard is open Microsoft can guarantee full compliance in their implementation. The difference, of course, is that we could also use OpenOffice, LibreOffice, or Joe Blow's Document Editor.

Conflating "open source" and "open standard" is exactly what Microsoft and company are trying to do, but they are very different things.

Re:Logical (0)

korean.ian (1264578) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353950)

Mod parent up.
Why write that anon? An insightful comment that deserves to be read.

Re:Logical (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352482)

Freedom = anti-competitive

Ubiquitous Vendor Lock-in = Competitive

Exorbitant Software License Fees = Lower e-government costs

Re:Logical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352844)

Exorbitant Software License Fees = Lower e-government costs

Buying an off-the-shelf product is almost always cheaper than building it yourself.

Re:Logical (1)

youngone (975102) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352556)

You forgot the most important one Bribes = Political Donations

Re:Logical (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352862)

Or worse they may switch from close to open and back every few years, for the vendors` and consultants` joy.
The argument about choice is the coolest: you want a wider choice of targets so you shoot yourself in the foot, right?

Re:Logical (2)

srobert (4099) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352884)

Now you're getting it: War is peace, freedom is slavery, and ignorance is strength. Welcome to the party brother.

along those lines: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35353944)

war is peace
freedom is slavery
ignorance is strength

Re:Logical (1)

Ltap (1572175) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353982)

I'm not sure if this was said before, but...

WAR IS PEACE
FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

Is that really so different?

long term security? (0)

bezpredel6 (1796620) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352200)

So what happens then if a particular "open" standard is abandoned and the existing viewers for the content grow insecure?

Re:long term security? (5, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352212)

So what happens then if a particular "open" standard is abandoned and the existing viewers for the content grow insecure?

The same thing that happens when a proprietary standard is abandoned, except that the source code is freely available so the government can hire someone to maintain it.

Re:long term security? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352852)

The same thing that happens when a proprietary standard is abandoned, except that the source code is freely available so the government can hire someone to maintain it.

Sounds like you're confusing open standard with open source software. A standard has no source code that needs to be maintained.

Re:long term security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352272)

Then, if you need a tool that can read it, the party using the standard can just as easily hire another company to develop some new software that implements the standards in question. That's why open standards matter, as well as companies sticking to them.

IOW, (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352210)

the otherwise good policy means some of the BSA's members will lose their monopolies, and opportunities to create new ones in the future.

We can't have the public interest taking precedence over someone's profits, can we?

corepirate nazis continue life0cidal attacks on US (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352236)

where ever we are. scary crowd to say the least

By Carl Teichrib:

â€The Georgia Guidestones, a massive granite edifice planted in the Georgia countryside, contains a list of ten new commandments for Earthâ€s citizens. The first commandment, and the one which concerns this article, simply states; â€Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.â€

Robert Walker, former chair of PepsiCo and Proctor & Gamble on water:

Water is a gift of nature. Its delivery is not. It must be priced to insure it is used sustainably.

Mikhail Gorbachev:

â€We must speak more clearly about sexuality, contraception, about abortion, about values that control population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90% and there arenâ€t enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage.â€

Jacques Cousteau UNESCO Courier 1991:

â€In order to save the planet it would be necessary to kill 350,000 people per day.â€

Jacques Cousteau, Population: Opposing Viewpoints:

â€If we want our precarious endeavor to succeed, we must convince all human beings to participate in our adventure, and we must urgently find solutions to curb the population explosion that has a direct influence on the impoverishment of the less-favoured communities. Otherwise, generalized resentment will beget hatred, and the ugliest genocide imaginable, involving billions of people, will become unavoidable.â€

â€Uncontrolled population growth and poverty must not be fought from inside, from Europe, from North America, or any nation or group of nations; it must be attacked from the outside – by international agencies helped in the formidable job by competent and totally non-governmental organizations.â€

David Rockefeller: Memoirs 2002 Founder of the CFR:

â€We wield over American political and economical institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as â€internationalists†and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political structure, one world, if you will. If thatâ€s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.â€
David Rockefeller, Co-founder of the Trilateral Commission:

â€We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine & other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promise of discretion for almost 40 years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plans for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. Thomas Ferguson, the Latin American Case Officer for the State Departmentâ€s Office of Population Affairs (OPA) (now the US State Dept. Office of Population Affairs, est. by Henry Kissinger in 1975): â€There is a single theme behind all our work -we must reduce population levels,†said Thomas Ferguson, the Latin American case officer for the State Departmentâ€s Office of Population Affairs (OPA). â€Either they [governments] do it our way, through nice clean methods or they will get the kind of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran, or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it. â€The professionals,†said Ferguson, â€arenâ€t interested in lowering population for humanitarian reasons. That sounds nice. We look at resources and environmental constraints. We look at our strategic needs, and we say that this country must lower its population -or else we will have trouble.

â€So steps are taken. El Salvador is an example where our failure to lower population by simple means has created the basis for a national security crisis. The government of El Salvador failed to use our programs to lower their population. Now they get a civil war because of it…. There will be dislocation and food shortages. They still have too many people there.†(1981)

Aldous Huxley, Lecture named Population Explosion 1959:

â€â€¦Let us ask ourselves what the practical alternatives are as we confront this problem of population growth. One alternative is to do nothing in particular about it and just let things go on as they are…The question is: Are we going to restore the balance in the natural way, which is a brutal and entirely anti-human way, or are we going to restore it in some intelligent, rational, and humane way…Try to increase production as much as possible and at the same time try to re-establish the balance between the birth rate by means less gruesome than those which are used by nature – by intelligent and human methods?…There are colossal difficulties in the way of implementing any large-scale policy of limitation of population; whereas death control is extremely easy under modern circumstances, birth control is extremely difficult. The reason is very simple: death control – the control, for example, of infectious diseases – can be accomplished by a handful of experts and quite a small labour force of unskilled persons and requires a very small capital expenditure.â€

Barry Commoner, Making Peace with the Planet:

â€There have been â€triage†proposals that would condemn whole nations to death through some species of global â€benign neglectâ€. There have been schemes for coercing people to curtail their fertility, by physical and legal means that are ominously left unspecified. Now we are told that we must curtail rather than extend our efforts to feed the hungry peoples of the world. Where will it end?†Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, April 28, 1997, Testimony before Congressional Committee: â€There are some reports, for example, that some countries have been trying to construct something like an Ebola Virus, and that would be a very dangerous phenomenon, to say the least. Alvin Toeffler has written about this in terms of some scientists in their laboratories trying to devise certain types of pathogens that would be ethnic specific so that they could just eliminate certain ethnic groups and races; and others are designing some sort of engineering, some sort of insects that can destroy specific crops. Others are engaging even in an eco-type of terrorism whereby they can alter the climate, set off earthquakes, volcanoes remotely through the use of electromagnetic waves. So there are plenty of ingenious minds out there that are at work finding ways in which they can wreak terror upon other nations. Itâ€s real, and thatâ€s the reason why we have to intensify our efforts, and thatâ€s why this is so important.â€

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen, April 28, 1997; Testimony before Congressional Committee:

â€And advanced forms of biological warfare that can target specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.â€

Sir Julian Huxley, UNESCO: its Purpose and its Philosophy:

â€Political unification in some sort of world government will be required… Even though… any radical eugenic policy will be for many years politically and psychologically impossible, it will be important for UNESCO to see that the eugenic problem is examined with the greatest care, and that the public mind is informed of the issues at stake so that much that now is unthinkable may at least become thinkable.†In the early 1950â€s, former Communist Joseph Z. Kornfeder expressed the opinion that UNESCO was comparable to a Communist Party agitation and propaganda department. He stated that such a party apparatus â€handles the strategy and method of getting at the public mind, young and old.†Huxley would lard the agency with a motley collection of Communists and fellow travelers.

President Richard Nixon believed abortion was necessary as a form of eugenics to prevent interracial breeding

Theodore Roosevelt to Charles B. Davenport, January 3, 1913, Charles B. Davenport Papers, Department of Genetics, Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.:

â€I wish very much that the wrong people could be prevented entirely from breeding; and when the evil nature of these people is sufficiently flagrant, this should be done. Criminals should be sterilized and feebleminded persons forbidden to leave offspring behind them…The emphasis should be laid on getting desirable people to breed…â€

Ted Turner makes the radical statement that, â€A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal,â€

Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood, funded by the Rockefellers) said in her proposed â€The American Baby Codeâ€, intended to become law:

â€The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it.â€

**This is the woman (Margaret Sanger) whom Hillary Clinton publicly declared she looked up to, during the 2008 presidential debates.**

Here is a short list of some advocates of eugenics; Alexander Graham Bell, George Bernard Shaw H. G. Wells, Sidney Webb, William Beveridge, John Maynard Keynes, Margaret Sanger, Marie Stopes, Woodrow Wilson, Theodore Roosevelt, Emile Zola, George Bernard Shaw, John Maynard Keynes, John Harvey Kellogg, Winston Churchill, Linus Pauling, Sidney Webb, Sir Francis Galton, Charles B. Davenport Futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard (who wanted to create a Dept. of Peace)...

â€Out of the full spectrum of human personality, one-fourth is electing to transcend…One-fourth is ready to so choose, given the example of one other…One-fourth is resistant to election. They are unattracted by life ever evolving. One-fourth is destructive. They are born angry with God…They are defective seeds…There have always been defective seeds. In the past they were permitted to die a â€natural deathâ€â€¦we, the elders, have been patiently waiting until the very last moment before the quantum transformation, to take action to cut out this corrupted and corrupting element in the body of humanity. It is like watching a cancer grow…Now, as we approach the quantum shift from creature-human to co-creative human—the human who is an inheritor of god-like powers—the destructive one-fourth must be eliminated from the social body. We have no choice, dearly beloveds. Fortunately you, dearly beloveds, are not responsible for this act. We are. We are in charge of Godâ€s selection process for planet Earth. He selects, we destroy. We are the riders of the pale horse, Death. We come to bring death to those who are unable to know God…the riders of the pale horse are about to pass among you. Grim reapers, they will separate the wheat from the chaff. This is the most painful period in the history of humanity…â€

Alexander Haig is quoted referring to the US State Department Office of Population Affairs, which was established by Henry Kissinger in 1975. The title has since been changed to The Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs:

â€Accordingly, the Bureau of Oceans, International Environmental and Scientific Affairs has consistently blocked industrialization policies in the Third World, denying developing nationâ€s access to nuclear energy technology–the policies that would enable countries to sustain a growing population. According to State Department sources, and Ferguson himself, Alexander Haig is a â€firm believer†in population control.

Extended warranties (3, Interesting)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352256)

Sounds a bit like extended warranties on consumer electronics. If the deal is really a benefit to you and not some money-grubbing scheme, then why do they try SOO hard to sell them to you?

Re:Extended warranties (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352360)

And if their products are so solid and reliable why does it cost so much for a warranty?

Shareholders Upset!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352258)

The shareholders can't be pleased about the open standards policy. Where's the lock in? Wheres the high profits? Where's the barrier to competition? With an open standards policy, you can't lock out competition! Its an open playing field! You can't make money like the Borgias with policies like that! Customers have choice! The BSA has to SCREAM at governments and scare them into reversing its decision! Otherwise, anyone can offer the government services, and at a competitive price! It could even be that even if you win a contract and deliver, if the customer doesn't like your service, they could switch mid stream, if a competitor has a lower price and lock you out! 3rd party outfits could disrupt profit channels!!! You have to expense people to provide quality service all the time! ALL THE TIME!!! Think how that could eat into profits. This is a black day for shareholders, a black day!

301 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352286)

Can't wait until Britain is put on the US's "Special 301 Report Watchlist" [wikipedia.org] for using FOSS. I hope Britain tells the US to fuck off, but they'll probably cave.

Tax Payers (2)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352322)

Ultimately, the BSA should just STFU and go away. Open Source reduces costs to the tax payer because the software plus licenses do not have to be purchased. In these economic times, it makes sense to cut costs in this way. Additionally, open source takes fewer people to support because it is generally more reliable. If Windows XP and Server families are any indication, it takes a veritable army of support personnel to keep it operational. Save money, ditch Microsoft!

Re:Tax Payers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352682)

Spoken like someone who's never been involved in IT procurement. 70-80% of costs for new systems and upgrades goes on user training.
Save money, do nothing!

Re:Tax Payers (1)

westyvw (653833) | more than 3 years ago | (#35354234)

You know what? I challenge this assumption:
First that cost is often associated with the training programs that the vendors themselves charge, and will not let you copy or distribute the training materials.

Second, and most importantly, if others join in this movement, we effectively have increased our knowledge and support base. Here the emphasis is on getting work done, contributions to the software, manuals, etc, are shared.

Third, and most important: If I am cutting costs, I would be willing to say to my employees, either help me save some money and learn to do things differently, or I will find someone who will. But dont be shy about it, be up front with cost savings, the bottom line, and how their contribution is saving all of our positions.

Re:Tax Payers (2)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352856)

While I support you in ideological sense, the problem is that politicians are not judged on how many money they can save by slicing but by how many jobs they are able to generate.
Slicing money and jobs is not being perceived as a positive trait by the general public, also these unsafe Windows XP and Server families do generate an army of support personnel, which is seen as something positive.
I hope you see that reality in politics is often counter intuitive to what ideological makes sense.

b.t.w. I am a long time Linux user and would not use anything MS even if I were paid for it.

BSA = Bull Shit Association? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352330)

BSA = Bull Shit Association?

Irony? (-1, Troll)

slasher158 (2006666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352404)

Its known that BSA actually uses open-source quite heavily. About a year ago, there was an article [tinyurl.com] about a switch of about 1000 computers in their offices to open source software (however, I think they didn't install Linux, but only started using OO/Firefox/....).

Re:Irony? (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352546)

And what's wrong with that? They advocate on behalf of their members, but they don't say that their members' software and formats are the only option. Use whatever works!

The beauty of choice!

Re:Irony? (2)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352572)

<SARCASM>
Have they confirmed that all that FLOSS was properly licensed? Do they have the receipts as well as the COA's?
</SARCASM>

Parent is goatse, please mod down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35353058)

Goatse, please mod parent into oblivion...

Re:Parent is goatse, please mod down (0)

slasher158 (2006666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353102)

Goatse, please mod parent into oblivion...

Sorry, goatse guy is on vacation....

Minority? (1)

SIR_Taco (467460) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352478)

Maybe I'm a little bit in the minority here, but can you blame them?

If you owned a company, and one of your major clients was thinking about moving to another company, would you not try everything in your power to keep them?

Re:Minority? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352500)

If you owned a company, and one of your major clients was thinking about moving to another company, would you not try everything in your power to keep them?

No, I wouldn't lie. Maybe that's why I don't own a company.

Re:Minority? (2)

amanicdroid (1822516) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352542)

Can I blame them for blatantly lying?

Yup.

Can I charge them for ethics violations?

no.. :(

Re:Minority? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352590)

By that logic Muammar Gadaffi is a jolly fine guy, after all he's just trying to "keep his clients" with everything in his power.

Re:Minority? (3, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352608)

Including lie?

You assume your clients are, and always will be, uninformed. But if this isn't the case, you'll just poison the relationship and most likely lose future business that you could have had.

Re:Minority? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352924)

Maybe I'm a little bit in the minority here, but can you blame them?

If you owned a company, and one of your major clients was thinking about moving to another company, would you not try everything in your power to keep them?

Yes. Instead of spreading FUD, they should be innovating and improving their product. Of course, this would mean that what they are saying about open source stifling innovation would be false.

But, let's turn your question around. If you are a major client of a company, wouldn't you expect the company to open and upfront with you instead of trying to manipulate you with falsehoods? Besides, nothing in what the UK is proposing would eliminate Microsoft or Adobe or whomever. They can supply open standards, it's just that they chose not to.

If Office 2012 supported ODF, does Microsoft think that eveybody would quit buying Office? What supporting open standards would mean is that large software companies would need to keep innovating and improving their products to keep the public interested. That would be good for everybody.

Re:Minority? (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353046)

But they don't try everything in their power. They don't try to make their product the best possible thing for the consumer at the most appropriate price. If they did, very few people would have ever considered to choose the FOSS path. They tried with FUD and who knows what other deals, instead.

Re:Minority? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353200)

Maybe I'm a little bit in the minority here, but can you blame them?

On the same moral stands they use to spread FUD, I am allowed to (thus I can) blame them: it is called freedom of speech.

Keyword speak !! (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352522)

Notice how keywords appear in corporations' or their lobbyists', or their lackey politicians speeches : "jobs, innovation, choice, market, consumer, economy"

sprinkle a few keywords in roundspeak, and you can issue a corporate statement portraying you as the innovator, despite you are doing everything in your power to feudalize intellectual activity on the planet through patents and make everyone pay to you as overlords.

gotta love roundspeak.

it is possible to crap in the middle of your granny's living room and then defend the action as an act of choice, liberty and act of cleanliness. (because you didnt crap in the fridge, instead of crapping in the middle of living room. that could be much worse - so, see, your better off !! )

Embrace the Reality and Logic of Choice (2)

Palestrina (715471) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352536)

This is standard operating procedure for Microsoft. They use BSA or CompTIA to attack any open standards policy that is worthy of the name "open".

One way to point out the absurdity of their logic is to replace the reference to standards with references to any other useful technology that a government might adopt, like electrical standards.

For example:

http://www.robweir.com/blog/2008/04/embrace-reality-and-logic-of-choice.html [robweir.com]

To be fair... (2)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352550)

Are open-source advocates somehow NOT "lobbyists"?

Let's not pretend there's not money to be made by open source supporters. Windows admins might be replaced by Linux admins, but the money would still be spent. It's just going to someone else, and I'm not going to accept for one second that Linux admins somehow "deserve" to have a job more than Windows admins. As for licensing... just about any IT department can tell you that the license cost of a major software system is by no means the biggest cost of deploying and maintaining that software, particularly when scaled to the levels being discussed.

I'm not saying open source is "better" or "worse"... there are completely valid philosophical arguments in both directions, as well as completely valid financial arguments. What I am saying is that the automatic knee-jerk demonizing of any and all proprietary commercial software has no place in policy-making, particularly when the money you're trying to tell people how to spend is taken by threat of force from everyone around you. You do what works best, not what feels fuzziest.

Re:To be fair... (5, Insightful)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352606)

Learn your terminology. An advocate is somebody who speaks in favor of something. A lobbyist is somebody who bribes politicians so they vote in favor of something.

Re:To be fair... (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352618)

In government FREE and open are needed so I the citizen is not forced to spend money I may not have just to interact with my government.

You should do what is cheapest, and what is best for your country.

Re:To be fair... (3, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352752)

Are open-source advocates somehow NOT "lobbyists"?

Let's not pretend there's not money to be made by open source supporters. Windows admins might be replaced by Linux admins, but the money would still be spent. It's just going to someone else, and I'm not going to accept for one second that Linux admins somehow "deserve" to have a job more than Windows admins. As for licensing... just about any IT department can tell you that the license cost of a major software system is by no means the biggest cost of deploying and maintaining that software, particularly when scaled to the levels being discussed.

I'm not saying open source is "better" or "worse"... there are completely valid philosophical arguments in both directions, as well as completely valid financial arguments. What I am saying is that the automatic knee-jerk demonizing of any and all proprietary commercial software has no place in policy-making, particularly when the money you're trying to tell people how to spend is taken by threat of force from everyone around you. You do what works best, not what feels fuzziest.

But, why should I have to purchase Office 2010 because my state government is now sending out informational requests in docx format? I believe that is what the UK is wanting to prevent on that side of the pond. To use government services, you should not be forced to purchase commercial products. If my bank requires me to have Windows for online banking, I can chose another bank. If my government requires it, it's kind of hard to switch that.

Re:To be fair... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353016)

But, why should I have to purchase Office 2010 because my state government is now sending out informational requests in docx format?

Is there a government doing that? I don't think any government body could mandate such a thing, there would always have to be another option.

Re:To be fair... (1)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353302)

Our state standardized on MS Office years ago. Now, everything comes out in docx format (used to be doc). Do they specify that you must use Office, no. But if you want to do business with the state, you must have full docx capability and that requires MS Office.

Re:To be fair... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353614)

Our state standardized on MS Office years ago. Now, everything comes out in docx format (used to be doc). Do they specify that you must use Office, no. But if you want to do business with the state, you must have full docx capability and that requires MS Office.

Which state?

Re:To be fair... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35353198)

No, only the bad guys are lobbyists, don't you know?

Re:To be fair... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35354180)

You can't discount licensing completely though. In any system where it's worth it, you'll likely be paying $50-$100k in licenses alone. That's a huge savings when you can do the same job with FOSS.

How Politics Works in Three Easy Steps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35352636)

1. Publish some idea that would benefit the general public but not various companies.

2. Wait for contributions from said companies.

3. Profit!

Yeah, right (3, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352722)

The BSA said this would "inadvertently reduce choice [and] hinder innovation",

You mean the choice for big companies to gouge others on the price of royalties? You mean like hinder the innovative ways that big companies come up with ways to gouge others on the price of royalties?

Corporate C*O welfare lobbyest (1)

OldHawk777 (19923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352850)

Corporate C*O welfare lobbyist creating the global corporate-socialism state. Eliminate the unknowns of innovation and competition from the economy to provide a market with greater corporate-stability. May the godddds help them, not US or EU.

Why is this posted as an Apple story?... (3, Interesting)

kwolf22 (825499) | more than 3 years ago | (#35352880)

Sure Apple's consumer software is all closed up & proprietary, but come on most of OS X is Open Source & relies on open standards - that's one of the reasons that my government employer bought into Apple's enterprise offerings. Heck, even the text editor that is built into OS X supports the OpenDocument Text format (.odt).

Considering all of the other BSA members, this seems to me like it should have been posted in a different category...

They accidentally the whole acronym (2)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#35353808)

The BSA said this would "inadvertently reduce choice [and] hinder innovation", and even went so far as to claim open standards would lead to higher e-government costs, but open-source advocates say the policy reflects how much the European Interoperability Framework is weighted in favour of the proprietary software companies."

The BSA inadvertently choose the right letters for Bull Shit Association. Was it on purpose or just a coincidence? You decide!

Internet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35353934)

What we see today as the Internet, it's only possible because of the Open Standards. I'm not even talking about Free Software, I'm talking about real open standards which provides intercomunication between different systems, different worlds. There is no reasonable reason to governments avoid open standards, when them do this you can be sure that 'someone' are profiting.

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