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Linus Shares the Millennium Technology Prize

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the tied-for-first dept.

Linux 111

udas writes "The Millennium Technology Prize is awarded every two years for a technological innovation that significantly improves the quality of human life, today and in the future. This year, Linus Torvalds, Linux's creator, and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, maker of a new way to create stem cells without the use of embryonic stem cells, are both laureates for the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize. This prize, which is determined by the Technology Academy of Finland, is one of the world's largest such prizes with candidates sought from across the world and from all fields of technology. The two innovators will share over a million Euros. The final winner will be announced by the President of the Republic of Finland in a special ceremony on June 13, 2012."

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Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (5, Funny)

xzvf (924443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740761)

I think the fix was on.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (5, Insightful)

xzvf (924443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740845)

And before I get jumped on, Linus deserves it. Linux and open source in general, created more opportunity and employment than all the politicians combined. While the wealth wasn't concentrated in his hands like the Ellison's and Gates' of the world, what he started created a lot of income for many others. Stallman deserves credit too, for the creation of the GPL and the GNU tools Linus used, but his ideology would have prevented the operating system's success and effected the ecosystem that grew around Linux. We're lucky that the balance of technical savvy and tame ego of Linus allowed this revolution to happen.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (5, Insightful)

openfrog (897716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741261)

Stallman deserves credit too, for the creation of the GPL and the GNU tools Linus used, but his ideology would have prevented the operating system's success and effected the ecosystem that grew around Linux.

You say one thing and its opposite in the same sentence. Linux could exist upon the principles and roots that were the vision of Stallman. You then want to speak about the attitude of Stallman, which some finds not to their taste, but this very attitude, and its concrete fruits in the continuing evolution of the GPL, has been a determining factor in the preservation and growth of this whole open source/free ecosystem.

I find it short-sighted of the jury to have ignored this aspect of things and if I were Linus Torvald, I would share the prize with Stallman in a very public gesture. THIS would do wonders to advance open source/free software in the minds of many.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (5, Insightful)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741353)

You say one thing and its opposite in the same sentence.

He says the truth. Stallman's "You're either with us, or against us." ideology would be completely toxic in a leader of a project like Linux.

Linus didn't set out to spread a philosophy, he set out to make something useful. He found a particular philosophy useful in the creation of this thing. Stallman is out to spread a religion.

Note that I say this with no intention to imply anything Stallman says or believes is wrong.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (5, Interesting)

openfrog (897716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741645)

Stallman's "You're either with us, or against us." ideology would be completely toxic in a leader of a project like Linux.

That's your mistake right there. First, your mis-characterization of Stallman's attitude does not reflect the spirit, and the very practical effect, of the GPL, at all. And second, Stallman's role and influence is not one of a leader of project like Linux. Different roles, different attitudes. You simply reaffirm old saws like "oh he just set out to do something useful without caring about such a nasty thing as ideology". My point is, and I re-assert it: without Stallman and his founding principles (call it what you want, I don't care), there would be no Linux, and without his dogged persistence and his very active and pro-active role as maintainer of the GPL, Linux, and the whole free software eco-system, would not have survived.

I should have said it better: Linux, by sharing his prize with Stallman, would multiply the value of that prize, for both of them, by a factor of one or two magnitudes. He would make history.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (5, Interesting)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741797)

That's your mistake right there. First, your mis-characterization of Stallman's attitude does not reflect the spirit, and the very practical effect, of the GPL, at all.

I never mentioned the GPL in my post. I said his ideology. The GPL is a (very good) product of Stallman's ideology, but his ideology is much larger than the GPL. And it very much is an ideology that refuses to compromise and refuses to work with others who do not agree with the ideology. There's nothing wrong with that, it just prevents a person from successfully leading a project like Linux.

And second, Stallman's role and influence is not one of a leader of project like Linux.

And that's what I said, as well, but when the GP said:

... but his ideology would have prevented the operating system's success and effected the ecosystem that grew around Linux.

I assume that's also what they meant, that Stallman could create the GPL and champion the cause of free software, but he could not successfully be in charge of Linux. And you said they were wrong, which led to me saying you were wrong... So who exactly is wrong here? :)

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1, Funny)

cupantae (1304123) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742505)

Richard, is that you?

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (4, Insightful)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741675)

Stallman is out to spread a religion.

I've always found Stallman's approach to be totally practical, and requiring no leap of faith or belief in intangible entities at all. In fact, there is a huge body of evidence that the tools he has created (Gnu, GPL, etc) are well-designed and effective.

I'd see him more as a very focussed craftsman or artisan than a preacher.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39742357)

Hurd, GPL3....

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (2)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742875)

Actually in hindsight, much of Hurd looks remarkably prescient, especially in light of the current malware epidemics. Substantial parts of its design have found their way into other OSs:

The GNU Hurd, by contrast, is designed to make the area of system code as limited as possible. Programs are required to communicate only with a few essential parts of the kernel; the rest of the system is replaceable dynamically. Users can use whatever parts of the remainder of the system they want, and can easily add components themselves for other users to take advantage of. No mutual trust need exist in advance for users to use each other's services, nor does the system become vulnerable by trusting the services of arbitrary users.

http://www.gnu.org/software/hurd/hurd-paper.html [gnu.org]

And again, GPL3 is a solid practical response to the issue of software as a service. It's not essential in every instance, and like all other Free licenses, it's the author's right to decide how much freedom they want to grant their users,

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39743019)

Problem is that the FSF/GNU has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that they are incapable of producing a kernel on their own. If Hurd has moved anywhere today, it's thanks to the likes of Debian and Arch, who are doing their own ports. Otherwise, most recently, FSF LA has taken Linux 3.3 and re-branded it 'Libre-Linux [fsfla.org] ' after removing all 'non-free' software. Likely reason for it was Linus making it clear that his kernel is not going to go GPL3, so they decided to fork it to this and make it GPL3, and all the famous FSF distros - Blag, Dynebolic, Trisquel et al will at some point or other be using it, if they don't already.

Speaking of GPL3, it's the reason that organizations which previously didn't have problems w/ GPL2 are now discarding software that has 'upgraded' the license to GPL3 - best example being LLVM/Clang replacing GCC for that reason alone. The 'issue' of software as a service is actually not addressed - even the FSF concedes that it's impossible to address it, even while it thinks of it as an 'issue'.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39743175)

Problem is that the FSF/GNU has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that they are incapable of producing a kernel on their own.

GNU needed a free kernel. They started to (slowly...) work on that and called it Hurd. Then Linux, also a free kernel, just like Hurd, came along. Unlike Hurd, Linux was ready to ship. What that means to Hurd? It means Hurd was not vital anymore, resources could be allocated to other, more pressing, problems.
Linux made Hurd unnecessary.

If you think I'm bullshitting, RMS said in an interview:
"The work that is needed is at the driver and firmware level. That's why our high priority task list includes items relating to free drivers, but not the HURD."

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (2)

aloniv (1972020) | more than 2 years ago | (#39743301)

Problem is that the FSF/GNU has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that they are incapable of producing a kernel on their own. If Hurd has moved anywhere today, it's thanks to the likes of Debian and Arch, who are doing their own ports. Otherwise, most recently, FSF LA has taken Linux 3.3 and re-branded it 'Libre-Linux [fsfla.org] ' after removing all 'non-free' software. Likely reason for it was Linus making it clear that his kernel is not going to go GPL3, so they decided to fork it to this and make it GPL3, and all the famous FSF distros - Blag, Dynebolic, Trisquel et al will at some point or other be using it, if they don't already.

Speaking of GPL3, it's the reason that organizations which previously didn't have problems w/ GPL2 are now discarding software that has 'upgraded' the license to GPL3 - best example being LLVM/Clang replacing GCC for that reason alone. The 'issue' of software as a service is actually not addressed - even the FSF concedes that it's impossible to address it, even while it thinks of it as an 'issue'.

Linux-libre addresses the problem of non-free firmware (which is incompatible with the GPL license) creeping into the kernel Linux over the years. Linux-libre cannot be relicensed under GPLv3 since Linux is licensed under GPLv2 (without or later) and changing the license to version 3 would require the consent of all the developers (and Torvalds is known to prefer version 2 so it won't happen).

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39743159)

I'd see him as focused craftsman or artisan if he had spent some time actually on hurd..

stallmans biggest fallacy is that he thinks nobody else would have cloned the unix tools to free to share versions if he hadn't done it. and that is just bullshit.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (2)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742725)

Linus didn't set out to spread a philosophy, he set out to make something useful. He found a particular philosophy useful in the creation of this thing. Stallman is out to spread a religion.

Ah, you exaggerate methinks. RMS is also responsible for many practical things, including GCC. His failure to produce a viable operating system kernel says more about his technical aptitude for that particular design problem than anything else.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39744773)

Stallman is out to spread a religion.

Note that I say this with no intention to imply anything Stallman says or believes is wrong.

How does that work?

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746009)

My view here is that Linux needed Linus, and RMS. Linus for his practical approach and willingness to compromise to get a viable working project, and RMS to keep the focus on the ideology. Compromise is always needed, and ideologues like RMS don't always agree that a working product is better than a barely functional but ideologically pure product. That is why HURD failed, and continues to flail in obscurity. Linus' practicality is what makes Linux so great, that he is willing to compromise .. just a bit, to get something functional.

However, we do need BOTH, the practical and the ideologues, to make great FOSS products. The ideologue to keep pressure on to free up the code and the practical to just make it work. In fact, I say the tension between the two is what makes it work so well, as it provides the fulcrum on which to balance the extremes. Should either side start to have more influence the balance will be upset and we will lose the advantage.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

galanom (1021665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745323)

Stallman is out to spread a religion

Stallman is indeed an ideologist but he has written also way too much no-nonsense software.
His ideological organization, what you call religion, has created many tools, indeed they could make up an entire system, if there was a decent kernel.
Actually, without either his ideology or his organizations tools, Linus might had not managed to build Linux so efficiently and so free.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39746597)

and by "us" I mean the troooops - Britney

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (0)

countach (534280) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741481)

While Stallman and Linus shared the same license, Stallman insisted on the copyrights being assigned to the FSF. One could argue that Linux wouldn't have really thrived the way it did if Linus had had the same attitude. (Although Stallman did have good reasons for his stance).

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (5, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741681)

Sharing is good. The utilities that Stallman rewrote are historic, and have their origins in BSD, which is a version of Unix. The leadership in making the Linux kernel evolve stands on the shoulders of many, but riding several thousand elephants at once stands out for Linus. Stallman: somewhat solo. Linus: lasso'd a hurricane.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39741599)

Richard now wants all references to either him or Linus to be "Stallman-Torvalds".

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39744291)

It's not Linux, it's GNU/Linux. You heretics !

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (2)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741671)

No, it's perfectly valid. RMS laid the foundation for copyleft and Linus utilized it in the best way for the project. Linux is still only licensed under the GPLv2. A lot of tech companies which provide major support for the kernel would be more likely to shy away from it if they had to deal with the v3 license. If RMS had maintained copyrights to the software, he probably would have never hesitated to impose stronger copyrights on it and my feeling is that this would have hurt Linux and free software, not helped it.

On the other hand, I still think RMS played a more fundamental role in the success of the Linux kernel. There are other open source UNIX kernels out there as we all know, whether they're licensed under the GPL or not, and a few have also reached that critical mass of community support. We would have other kernels, but without gcc and the GPL, free software wouldn't be a fraction of what it is today.

Nevertheless, kudos to Linus and the entire Linux community. Like GP mentioned, they've made the world a much better place supporting projects like OLPC, Raspberry Pi, Android, Arduino and all the other embedded systems where Linux has found itself and more. And there are many more great years to come - we can only keep going up from here.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (2)

openfrog (897716) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741837)

You say that the comment I criticize is perfectly valid, while the way you formulate your comment, stating quite well the founding role of Stallman, demonstrates that you perfectly understood the gross injustice to Stallman perpetrated by the comment in question. So the comment, now moderated +5 insightful, go figure, is far from valid.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742773)

Linux is still only licensed under the GPLv2.

Linus says that is because there are too many copyright holders involved to change that now.

A lot of tech companies which provide major support for the kernel would be more likely to shy away from it if they had to deal with the v3 license.

You don't know that. Apple (read: Steve Jobs) made a big show of dropping Samba over v3, but then they also made a big show of using FreeBSD instead of Linux so I don't read much into that. Actually, GPL v3 is more compatible with other licenses than v2, for example it is compatible with the Apache license favored by all of Google and Apple, and Oracle.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

bolthole (122186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39751055)

On the other hand, I still think RMS played a more fundamental role in the success of the Linux kernel. There are other open source UNIX kernels out there as we all know, whether they're licensed under the GPL or not, and a few have also reached that critical mass of community support. We would have other kernels, but without gcc and the GPL, free software wouldn't be a fraction of what it is today.

Without gcc, sure. But without the GPL.... not that big a deal.

The big difference in what Linus did, vs what other people (*BSD) did before him, was NOT the license. The license was *NOT* what made linux popular. The difference was in choice of management over what stuff gets included, and what doesnt. etc, etc.

Linus could just have easily have chosen the BSD license, or the apache license, or (insert reasonably "free-to-use" license here), and things would have progressed pretty much the same way.

The more user-friendly atmosphere of linux , is what then drove the boom of free software development. So that also, happened to be GPL. But really, most people care about "free to use" more than the GNU religious points.

case in point: many people may CLAIM they care about that stuff, but when push comes to shove... most will take closed-source vendor drivers and use them, if its the difference between usin the hardware they have, vs having it be a brick to them.

It so *happened* that Linus chose GPL. The GPL zealots out there want to claim the license as the reason why it succeeded, and that it couldnt possibly have gone anywhere with a difference license. But that is simply not true.

Of course (-1, Troll)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742121)

So many Christians, so few followers of the teachings of Jezus Christ.

For that matter, so many mormons, so few followers of the teachings of the mormons. The original founders had a LOT to say about capitalism, the book has its own Soddom and Gomorra and you might find more then a passsing resemblance to the world of Wall Street that Romney worships so much. Gosh, a leader advocating a system that his religious leaders condemned as deserving of total destruction by their god? How unexpected. Mind you, there are Christian bankers who talk shop in church. If that doesn't just tell you all.

People with real believes are just so damned inconvenient, better to just go with the flow then bitch how nobody takes a stand for anything anymore.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742675)

I find it short-sighted of the jury to have ignored this aspect of things and if I were Linus Torvald, I would share the prize with Stallman in a very public gesture.

Patience, there's always next year's prize.

Personally, I would rate RMS's contribution even more influential than Linus's, being fundamental to both GCC and Linux for starters, but it's a close call.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39744635)

I think you are wrong and here is why: RMS has made it pretty clear that as far as he is concerned the GPL V2 is completely broken and therefor only GPL V3 should be used, yet Linus won't license the kernel under GPL V3 nor will any of the devices mentioned like phones, TVs, and the bazillion other embedded devices that use Linux be using it right now if it had been under GPL V3.

The problem is when it comes to RMS like a lot of groups that were also originally started with good intentions such as PETA and Greenpeace as time goes along and he doesn't see the world adopt his beliefs he is becoming more and more militant. Read the man's own words in for instance the GPL VS LGPL debates and its quite clear that all those that say "The GPL is an infection" frankly would have a supporter in RMS because that is what he wants. For him its no longer about making good software that you are free to modify but about pushing an agenda and while i'll get hate for saying this frankly in the last 5 years his anti-corporation stance has become IMHO almost Marxist in his hatred of corporations. Read the man's writings and you'll see a progression from optimism to a lot darker vision, even going so far as to refuse interviews unless you use HIS language the way HE declares it to be which if that isn't the height of arrogance and self importance i don't know what is.

So I'm sorry but Linus would have gotten along just fine without RMS and in fact if it would have continued to follow RMS instead of refusing to go GPL V3 like he did then I have no doubt Linux as we know it today would be all but dead as the corps simply would have went with BSD or some other OS that didn't actively fight them at every turn. Linus could have easily used the existing BSD tools and I doubt Linux would be all that different than it is today and I'd argue the simple fact that so few of the mainstream projects are adopting GPL V3 just shows that RMS no longer speaks for the majority, if he ever did.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39744893)

I fully agree w/ this. Had GPL not existed, Torvalds might have released Linux under a BSD, MIT or one of the many myriad licenses out there, or written his own (just like Apache, Mozilla, Sun, et al had done), and Linux may have been none the worse for it. In fact, I daresay that if he could have easily moved Linux to a non-GPL license like Apache to make it more attractive to businesses, he might have - it's not a trivial exercise for him to do any more than the FSF could pull Linux under GPL3.

For someone who's a Marxist w/o - typically for Marxists - admitting as much, this man is too paranoid about anything electronic gathering data about you and feeding it to Big Brother, or whoever, even while he backs leaders like Chavez. Despite his support for something as nebulous as 'software freedom', there is not one company that he has deemed worth supporting - not Netscape, not Red Hat, not Tivo. In fact, one of the reasons for GPL3 was to prevent an issue he calls 'Tivoization' - which company in its right mind will want to deal w/ him when it gets that in return for its support? Don't be surprised if and when he does a GPL4 to get around the problem of 'Androidization'. Even among Linux distros, he blacklists all the distros anyone would have heard of, and instead promotes fringe distros like Blag. In fact, he personifies the reason that most companies dread touching the GPL - and as Red Hat's Bob Young once put it, to paraphrase him, Stallman has this knack of treating his friends as his enemies.

Your last paragraph is dead on, and no better exhibition of how it is software kryptonite than GCC - in the past, non GNU projects, particularly BSD, were only too happy to use GCC for their projects. Not anymore - w/ all the GNU software becoming GPL3, Apple and BSD have moved to LLVM/Clang, Apple has dropped Samba, and so on. Ironically, the very opposite of what Stallman aims for is achieved by the GPL3 - in an attempt to gain maximum 'software freedom' (whatever that is), GPL3 only assures that whatever software, no matter how excellent or useful, that happens to be infected w/ it, will be treated like SARS. I'd argue that open source software would have been better off without the FSF, GPL and Stallman, with some rare exceptions.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746111)

Dude,

You cannot be a marxist without controlling everything, including information. Marxism cannot exist except under authoritarian rule, and people like Chavez make extensive use of controlling information to maintain their dictatorial control over the populace. Chavez isn't doing any favors for his people, and for people like you to think he is is just proof that you can't reason the cause and effect the nature of governance.

In other words ... Chavez is Big Brother. The very thing you extol as virtuous is the very thing you fear.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39748629)

You might want to tell that to RMS, who extols Chavez in his website stallman.org

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39751993)

Here is what turned me off of anything that RMS touches, the simple fact that you are "free" to do as he says, and that is it. you read his blogs and he makes it quite clear that anyway other than the GPL way should be openly attacked and banned, and uses the classic Dubya "You're with me or against me" language all over his writings. The word compromise simply doesn't exist in RMS land and he is so blinded by his desire for Communism that he blathers on and on about Chavez and Castro while at the same time railing against the "Evil corporations being big brother" when the entire regimes of both Castro and Chavez are nothing BUT big brother spying on their people!

And i'm a socialist, i believe that nobody should go to bed hungry, or without a place to sleep or clothes on their back or should have to walk around sick because they can't afford medicine but even i know that so far the only way to get to such a state is with a regulated market like what many in the EU have. But RMS has made it clear that making money is evil, he says he isn't anti-capitalism yet he goes out of his way to make sure that you can't make a dime on FOSS unless you use the services model which has already proven to be a failure beyond a few tiny niches.

In the end if GPL hadn't existed not only would I doubt it would have affected Linus in the least in many ways it would have probably made Linux stronger as he could have used a dual license which would have made it more business friendly. The simple fact is not only as you say that RMS treats friends like enemies (along with pretty much everyone that doesn't agree 100% with everything he says) but as he becomes more and more militant he insures that many wouldn't touch Linux with a 50 foot pole for fear of GPL infection!

Read his essay on GPL VS LGPL and he makes it quite clear the whole "GPL is an infection" sounds like a great idea to him anything that will force everyone into a corner and make them behave as he desires is a-ok by him, even if it hurts FOSS in general. For someone who says the word "freedom" so much its ironic that the only freedom he supports is your right to do things his way, the man truly believes that if everyone were forced to behave the GPL way he could create some communist paradise. Too bad nearly a century of history proves that don't work, and even in Linux itself many show stopping bugs won't get fixed because it will cost money that a company can never recoup. Linus could have used the BSD toolset and frankly nobody would have known the difference but without Linus old RMS would just be "The GCC and Emacs guy" and wouldn't even be given a second thought.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39741385)

Stallman would argue the open source movement has actually held us back and I think Stallman is right. Certain industries (largely commercial software operations and hardware manufacturers) have used proprietary software in ways that harm our community. Our software is harder to use today than it needs to be. Not because free software is hard to use. it is because of the proprietary software we have let in. This can be attributed to the open source proponents. I'm not going to put down the open source proponents as I think there is some middle ground. However Richard Stallman and the free software foundation recognise some middle ground as well. This is why we have licenses other than the GPL which are promoted by the free software foundation in certain circumstances.

While my company doesn't follow the wishes of Stallman perfectly we do hold up to scrutiny by him and the foundation for the most part. We have been rewarded financially and succeed in ways that hundreds of companies which have come before us have failed or moved on. You may not know this company yet... although there is a lot more awareness of our existence today than I could have ever imagined a few months ago. We have done almost zero marketing. In any case you will know us in the coming months and years. We are the next Redhat. We are literally creating a competing the foundation for free software to prosper through company policies. This is making it possible for GNU/Linux to compete on a more level playing field with the likes of Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe.

If I sound like a pompous self righteous ass hole keep in mind I have been fighting for a long time and am not someone who gets recognised / appreciated like RMS or Linus. That isn't to say the results of my efforts are not appreciated. It is just few know who I am or what I've done. My work is uninteresting and largely of a less technical nature. There are a lot of people like myself who are not well known making a difference. Both technical (developers) and less technical (business, art, translation, promoters, etc). Part of what I do is find ways to fund the less known projects that have no good means of generating funding.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (2)

xzvf (924443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741735)

Wouldn't it be easier to recognize and appreciate you if you didn't post AC?

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (4, Informative)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39743085)

The Open Source movement, rather than the FSF, is the reason we have such major open source software such as Open Office, Firefox, Chromium, Apache, Android, and so on - if you notice, most of them are not GPL, and even Linus has decided not to make his kernel GPL3. If anything, companies like Sun went for things like the CDDL because it is not GPL. Oh, and before anyone says 'Android is Linux', Android is released under an Apache license and not GPL 2 nor 3.

I'd credit the likes of the OSI in helping popularize the Open Source model and bringing it to where it is. Unlike the FSF, it is not hostile to corporate interests and prefers to promote the advantages of this development model, rather than moralizing about the 'ethics' of 'Free Software'. Speaking of which, what is this 'community' that RMS, and you are talking of? People typically buy/download for free/copy software that they want to use, and use it. Most people don't, and won't, tinker w/ source code, nor pay someone else to tinker w/ them - if a software doesn't work the way they need, they either look for alternatives or workarounds.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741913)

Do we really need a computer genius getting together with a DNA specialist, creating some freaky thing from a Terminator movie?

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (2)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742693)

Linux and open source in general, created more opportunity and employment than all the politicians combined. While the wealth wasn't concentrated in his hands like the Ellison's and Gates' of the world, what he started created a lot of income for many others.

Wow, that's a perspective I never considered. Linus and RMS gave to the world more in terms of absolute dollars than the combined greed of Larry Ellison and Bill Gates managed to take away. Now, who is greater?

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (4, Funny)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742709)

...and tame ego of Linus...

And whatever gave you the idea that Linus's ego is tame? Linus himself would be happy to disabuse you of that misaprehension. [google.com]

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742821)

Had Stallman actually produced good software (since Emacs), I would have agreed that he deserves credit here. But if it's only going to be about licenses, I'd put ESR ahead of RMS in this one - at least, the former isn't a sanctimonious fanatic moralizing about every aspect of software usage. His latest - dinging Saas [gnu.org] , and continuing w/ his tinfoil theories on how services abuse you by getting you to voluntarily hand over your data. But hey - neither he nor his guys can write an OS - having failed to do HURD (it's now being done only by Debian and Arch) but seeing that Linus will never make Linux GPL3, the FSF in Latin America has forked Linux to one 'Libre-Linux', where they can continue to take the kernel from kernel.org, presumably replace its license w/ GPL3, bundle it w/ their 'Free' software, and continue selling it.

I believe that Open Source deserves credit, but I'd give that to ESR, for working w/ companies and helping popularize the open source development model in ways in which companies don't have to go bankrupt while chasing utopian dreams. He, rather than RMS, is the reason that companies like Netscape, Sun and many others made available open source versions of their popular software, like Mozilla, Libre Office and so on. 'Software freedom' ain't what brought us there - Open Source is.

Lower down the pecking order, I'd credit Tanenbaum, whose Minix provided the foundation ideas behind Linux.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

capteutrino (2261584) | more than 2 years ago | (#39743417)

tame ego of Linus

I'm not sure if the openBSD/openSUSE guys would agree.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

helix2301 (1105613) | more than 2 years ago | (#39744945)

I agree Linus does deserve it the guy gave away an idea that was worth billions. The guy is all class. Plus his open source innovation paved the way for all the open source products of today congrats Linus.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745277)

I agree Linus does deserve it the guy gave away an idea that was worth billions.

What idea was that? I respect Linus and Linux, but there really aren't many novel ideas in the kernel, and what novel ideas are there didn't come from Linus. Linus' achievement was primarily figuring out how to get first tens, then hundreds, then thousands of other developers to pitch in and help him out -- and for creating a process that allows him to manage such an enormous flow of contributions without sacrificing code quality, losing control of the project, or pissing people off so much they stopped helping him.

His achievement is about hard work, good coding chops and superb cat-herding, not any "idea that was worth billions". Perspiration, not inspiration.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745207)

Stallman deserves credit too, for the creation of the GPL and the GNU tools Linus used

I don't think so.

I'm not knocking Stallman, but this is a prize for contributions to technology, not for contributions to the philosophy of technology. Stallman's contributions to technology are not insignificant, but he would have to get the prize for his work on EMACS, gcc, etc. And while those aren't trivial, his technical contributions to them is, at this point, far less significant than Linus Torvalds' technical contributions to Linux. They also suffer from a lack of visibility, which admittedly isn't relevant to a true evaluation of technical merit, but definitely influences selection for big prizes. Linux, as the kernel that powers most of the Internet, half of the world's smartphones, and a huge majority of modern embedded systems has a visible effect on the world that GCC does not.

Stallman definitely deserves credit for what he has done, but I don't think this prize is the right place to give it to him. That said, it would be entirely appropriate for Torvalds to give Stallman a nod in the acceptance speech, though I also wouldn't fault Torvalds for focusing his thanks on all of the people who worked on Linux with him.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740857)

Besides, we all know it should go posthumously to Steve Jobs for his technological innovation in...well...nothing really. But STEVE JOBS!

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740985)

Don't forget his mother—she created Jobs for a lot of us.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39741287)

No, he invented the rounded corners. Don't forget that. And all those thousands of Apple employees, none of them could do anything at all without Steve Jobs showing them how. And Wozniak? He never took a calligraphy class so there's no way he could possibly have designed anything useful.

(anonymous to avoid the inquisition)

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39744563)

Stanley Kubrick invented the flat, black tablet with rounded corners.

Apple just pulled the same stunt they did on that Xerox PARC tour.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740911)

Actually, what really happened is that Tove threatened to kick the butt of everybody on the committee if they didn't pick Linus, because she's just that awesome.

But seriously, well-deserved, as the guy has had a huge impact on the future of operating systems and project management.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39742381)

I think it worked against Linus, who was an obvious candidate from the beginning. Thing is, the Millennium prize seeks to promote not technology but Finland. Giving prizes to Finns could spoil the prestige and advertising value of the prize.

Finally, they had to give it to Linus but they diluted it by splitting it up between two winners.

Re:Tech Acadamy of FINLAND!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39746215)

Knowing Finns, you are probably right. The weird part is that the fix is probably the other way. If Linus were not Finnish, there would not have been any sharing. Linus definitely deserves the prize.

s/ever/every (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740783)

in the summary

Re:s/ever/every (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39742015)

Substitution replacement not terminated

Innovation (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740849)

The first to write a Unix like operating system?
The first to write a free Unix like operating system?
The first to use a penguin as a mascot for an operating system.

Innovation.

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740861)

Don't forget, first to write a distributed version control system. That's at least as important as the Linux kernel.

Re:Innovation (3, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740913)

Don't forget, first to write a distributed version control system. That's at least as important as the Linux kernel.

No. Here is an obscure reference [wikipedia.org] explaining otherwise.

git is a fine tool, but not first or even second.

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39741321)

Yep. Thomas Lord has got to have some mention in relation to distributed revision control. I wonder what happened to him? Last I heard of him were some posts on technocrat.net, then he seemed to disappear from view on the net.

Re:Innovation (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742803)

But Bazaar didn't disappear, it was rewritten from Bash to Python and is now used by a number of high profile projects including MySQL, Inkscape and Ubuntu.

Re:Innovation (1)

mike.rimov (1148959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742441)

Correct. I was using something called "Code Co-op" released back in something like 96-97 era. It used email as its back end for communication.

http://relisoft.com/ [relisoft.com]

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39743955)

Git is first. Fuck you.

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39748613)

Now was that nice??? March right upstairs from the basement and tell your momma to wash your mouth out with soap!!

And git off my lawn!!

Linus will be back in 2014 for git (1)

spage (73271) | more than 2 years ago | (#39751403)

Linux wasn't the first free and open Unix workalike but is hugely significant. git wasn't the first DVCS but is hugely significant. By 2014 "fork me with Git!" will be the banner on every digital artifact with a permissive license. That's more significant than even Linux and Linus will be deservedly back collecting more prizes.

One programmer creating both a product and a tool is just spectacular, but it's not unheard of. Andrew Tridgell (Australia's smartest human [slashdot.org] ) created Samba and co-created rsync, and in interviews he's said the latter is more significant. And Bill Joy wrote much of BSD Unix and the vi editor. The trifecta would be inventing program, tool, and language, won by James Gosling for NeWS (the under-appreciated PostScript client-server "Network extensible Window System"), Gosling Emacs (with its mockLisp extension language) and of course Java.

Re:Innovation (4, Insightful)

moranar (632206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740875)

Get bent. Digging deep enough, and being enough of a smartass, nothing is actually innovative. Meanwhile, other people are writing world-class operating systems for the love of the game.

Re:Innovation (1, Funny)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741061)

digging deep enough? really? OK lets see how far we have to dig, Linux, Minix, Unix.

Holy shit! someone call the archeologists, historians, and philosophers, its a real damn mystery

Re:Innovation (-1, Troll)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741087)

Hero worshippers are not very accepting of inconvenient facts. That does not make the facts go away.

Re:Innovation (1)

moranar (632206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741115)

Go on, please. The only reason I could defend Linus Torvalds is because I worship him. More so, that he hasn't innovated is hard fact, just because you made a quip.

Re:Innovation (-1, Troll)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741205)

The only reason I could defend Linus Torvalds is because I worship him.

Only a hero worshipper would believe Linux Torvalds need defending.

More so, that he hasn't innovated is hard fact, just because you made a quip.

Not because I made a quip, but because what he has done has been done by others before him. He has done commendable hard work used by many people, but I don't see the Linux kernel or git as innovation.

Re:Innovation (1)

moranar (632206) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741277)

The only reason I could defend Linus Torvalds is because I worship him.

Only a hero worshipper would believe Linux Torvalds need defending.

I'm not defending him because I believe he needs it, I'm defending him because your comment pissed me off. That you still consider only one possible cause for my comment is cute. Sad, and cute.

More so, that he hasn't innovated is hard fact, just because you made a quip.

Not because I made a quip, but because what he has done has been done by others before him. He has done commendable hard work used by many people, but I don't see the Linux kernel or git as innovation.

I did say that's your problem, not mine, and exactly why. Sorry, but I have to choose between the judgment of someone giving more than 1.000.000 Euros, and a random slashdot poster. I choose the former. Of course, you have the same right.

Re:Innovation (-1, Troll)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741345)

I'm defending him because your comment pissed me off.

Yes, I understand. You clearly have more emotional investment in this story than I do, so worship away.

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39746071)

And still, after all this "winning" discussions on /. you are light years away from making something like Linux happen.

Oh nevermind, you rock anyway :-)

Re:Innovation (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39740943)

And your contribution is?

Thought so.

Re:Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39744273)

You really showed him.

Re:Innovation (3, Interesting)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741113)

If you were around before Linux had a mascot, you'd remember that there was a lot of criticism for choosing a penguin as the mascot. For a variety of reasons.

Re:Innovation (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39741373)

The first develop an operating system in the open and build a successful development community around that operating system. To encourage everyone - from hobbyist to multinational corporation to participate in its development and benefit from it without looking for personal compensation.

Re:Innovation (2)

unixisc (2429386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742737)

For the first 2, doesn't the credit belong at least partially to Tanenbaum, whose Minix provided the model on which to build this OS? I think that Torvalds' organizational skills are what won him this award - after all, Tanenbaum hasn't been able to make Minix even close to successful to the extent that Torvalds has for Linux.

Re:Innovation (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39743195)

how many supercomputers run minix? not too many.

being first or latest isn't the point, that it's useful and popular is the point.

Congratulations (2)

wirelesslayers (2014486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740947)

Congratulations Mr. Torvalds and Mr. Yamanaka, well done!

Re:Congratulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39741587)

Now, let's start cloning penguin stem cells...

Congratulations Linus (2)

spatterson (1879890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39740959)

Well deserved.

Um (-1, Troll)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741027)

"technological innovation that significantly improves the quality of human life, today and in the future."

the people awarding this have apparently never used linux, which on another note is a clone of another system ... sigh

Re:Um (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39741125)

You're using slashdot, aren't you? What you think it runs on?

Wait. Maybe the "improves quality of human life" needs to be rethought...

Re:Um (2)

pyronide (2440046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741161)

...and may I ask, from what OS is linux cloned from? as far as I new, he wrote it -based- on the minix kernel...

Re:Um (1)

pyronide (2440046) | more than 2 years ago | (#39741173)

sorry, "knew"

Re:Um (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39741349)

So the logical extension to that is that if he hadn't have written Linux, then the operating system he just simply cloned would be the one currently in use in all the places Linux is, right? Because Linus didn't actually do anything innovative, so nothing about Linux and the decisions Linus made had anything to do with it's success.

Congratulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39741043)

Well deserved *slowclap*

Best wishes to you and your family, and Linux! :)

Misnomer? (4, Insightful)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742051)

The Millennium Technology Prize is awarded ever two years

Wouldn't that make it "The Biennial Technology Prize?"

Give me more stem cell research, any day (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39742227)

Next time you're try to fix your blue videos [askubuntu.com] or wondering why X didn't start today, remember that that's apparently just as important as stem cell research.

Re:Give me more stem cell research, any day (2)

pijokela (462279) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742745)

Hello?

I'm willing to bet the stem cell researcher has used Linux on her research. The myriad things Linux is used for is what makes it so important. The fact that Flash does not work on your computer is just one of the many good things Linux has brought us.

Re:Give me more stem cell research, any day (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39750993)

None of the things you describe have anything to do with Linux.

A million Euros? (-1, Troll)

PPH (736903) | more than 2 years ago | (#39742791)

Exchange it for real money. Fast.

Deutsche Marks [seekingalpha.com] would be a good choice.

Innovation... (0, Troll)

Anonymousslashdot (2601035) | more than 2 years ago | (#39743735)

And how is Linux a "technology innovation" ? I could barely even install it a few times (and probably could not install it or get it to work more than a few times). I propose that the next award should go to Bill Gates for the Windows Installer (which I probably used a thousand times to install and deploy a working Windows OS).

Am I getting it right, that plug&play and other features of Windows which simplify users' lives are NOT innovation, but editing config files, compiling drivers (after editing the source to include that certain device id) and whatnot, ARE innovations ?

Re:Innovation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39743971)

Fuck off troll.

Re:Innovation... (1)

galanom (1021665) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745399)

You can't install a linux distro? Damn, you must be such an idiot!
And I thought Linux distros were being too idiot friendly.
Guess you can never make a piece of software entirely idiot-friendly or idiot-proof.
There always will be an idiot to find a way to mess it up.

Re:Innovation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39745607)

Congratulations sir, you just got award the Innovation Grand Prix for you working time travel system.

You may now happily go back to your 1999 living.

The Innovation Grand Prix Jury

Re:Innovation... (1)

Barbara, not Barbie (721478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39746479)

And how is Linux a "technology innovation" ? I could barely even install it a few times (and probably could not install it or get it to work more than a few times). I propose that the next award should go to Bill Gates for the Windows Installer (which I probably used a thousand times to install and deploy a working Windows OS).

You ran the Windows Installer 1,000 times to get a working Windows OS? No wonder you had a problem installing Linux. I'd give you the "Purple Flavor-Aid" award for persistence, but you've obviously already imbibed.

Re:Innovation... (1)

Tarlus (1000874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39750947)

First of all, Linux is a kernel, not an OS. Torvalds started a piece of software that is employed by countless personal computers, tablets, smartphones, servers and other devices. This software powers more technology than you are probably aware, that you probably use every day, and that is impressive for a pet project that was submitted to the public domain (and not capitalized for financial gain). Combined with his skills in managing the project over all these years, he has made quite an accomplishment.

Second of all, most modern Linux distributions support plug & play, software installation and configuration without ever having to touch a terminal or config file. For many years, I have seen better out-of-the-box hardware support with Linux than I have with Windows. The only time I touch a compiler is for my own code, in which case if things break, it's my own fault.

Third of all, this is about the Linux kernel, not OS installation routines. (But while we're at it, I will point out that most distributions are easier and faster to install than Windows XP. There are exceptions, but only because different distributions are tailored for different needs.)

Linux is obviously not for you, and is better suited for people who know how to use it. Choose the tool that best suits your needs, but don't be such a harsh critic of something you clearly have a limited understanding of.

Does this mean... (1)

awshidahak (1282256) | more than 2 years ago | (#39745189)

Does this mean that it's finally the year of Linux on the stem cell?

A Kernel with No System (1)

Niscenus (267969) | more than 2 years ago | (#39748233)

Why wouldn't Stallman, who kept software as the open, available and academic exercise that is modeled on the principles of Science not get any recognition at the same time as Linus? Are you all on Minix/Linux or BSD/Linux? Is there some punch-bowl turd not using Linux on anything that wants to chime in knowing that portion of the comment wasn't directed at them?

And, of course...HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Re:A Kernel with No System (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39748661)

"Why wouldn't Stallman, who kept software as the open, available and academic exercise that is modeled on the principles of Science not get any recognition at the same time as Linus?"

Because he's an insufferable cockwad??

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