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Linus Responds To Mundie

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the destroying-intellectual-property-since-1991 dept.

Linux 497

Thanks to Dan Gillmor for pointing out Linus' reply to the comments that Mundie from Microsoft made this week. The response is vintage Linus - but the points he raises regarding openness vis a vis science & learning and open source is very cogent.

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Wrong way to look at it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#246063)

You're assuming that the massive investment companies made in R&D with the patent system in place still would have been there without that system. That's obviously wrong--many, many inventions and advancements would not have been made, including many in the medical field, where drug research is hideously expensive, without the chance to recoup those expenses provided by IPL.

Re:quote (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#246064)

Actually If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants in those times was nothing more but a phrase and Newton by itself was quite an asshole.

Get your history straight, not meant to be trolling, but if Newton would be alive today he'd beat Bill Gates hands down, really. He later became head of the Royal Mint and responsible for some people ending on the gallows.

Oh and it was him, too who said to be glad about having broken Leibniz's heart.

Alan Cox also replied (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#246066)

You can find his remarks here: http://www2.usermagnet.com/cox/index.html

Re:Newton was being sarcastic (1)

Paul Crowley (837) | more than 13 years ago | (#246070)

Furthermore, the person that Newton was speaking to at the time was unusually short.
--

Re:The nature of the GPL virus (1)

Chemical Serenity (1324) | more than 13 years ago | (#246074)

Not necessarily true. As I understand the GPL (my understanding of which may be flawed, but...) you could also give a copy of the code you personally made to that other group under a different license. You couldn't take back your GPLed version, of course, but you are free to hand out your personal endeavours in any manner and under any license restrictions you see fit.

You could NOT, however, hand out the entire original code that you'd patched as a non-gpl'd product.

--
rickf@transpect.SPAM-B-GONE.net (remove the SPAM-B-GONE bit)

Open source is bad... for large companies. (1)

SiliconJesus (1407) | more than 13 years ago | (#246075)

Here's a quick analogy, and it almost ties in to the earlier slashdot article about the car that runs on rotten cabbage. If the Oil community could purchace the patent on that engine and keep it from the general consumer, it would effectively keep potential users from weening ourselves off of our Oil dependencies, thus keeping them happily in business selling us fossil fuels. Conversely, if Microsoft were able to purchace the patent on Linux, they would be able to keep it from the general consumer, and maintain our dependance on Windows products. Since the GPL prevents Microsoft from doing such a thing, the next best thing they can do is try to discredit it to such a point that people don't see it as a viable option. Ergo, open source is bad, because they can't control what they can't buy.
Secret windows code

Re:Disappointed w/ Linus (1)

SiliconJesus (1407) | more than 13 years ago | (#246076)

Apparently you haven't read much from Linus. This is pretty much par for the course, in fact he's usually more blatently obnoxious regarding things of this nature. Its actually refreshing in my humble opinion to have a head figure that "tells it like it is" instead of using the doublespeek of the Marketing department.

Secret windows code

Re:Newton was being sarcastic (1)

kulmala (3852) | more than 13 years ago | (#246083)

Sarcastic? Not necessarily. See this essay by Andrew McNab [newton.org.uk] for a discussion on the quote, its background and possible meaning(s).


--

Re:Who else is tired of capitalism? (1)

doomicon (5310) | more than 13 years ago | (#246087)

"we'd have light bulbs that laste(d) for 30 years" If you visit the Edison Museum you will find that the lightbulbs he created still function. So just to elaborate your point further, we'd actually have lightbulbs that NEVER burnt out until physically broken.

Re:We must protect them ! (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 13 years ago | (#246103)

Is savemstrex.org still available ?

According to whois, yes :-)

Cheers,

Tim

pointing out the obvious (1)

aerobee (15844) | more than 13 years ago | (#246104)

it's interesting that microsoft is fighting so hard to protect it's right to sell, distribute, and control trash while the open-source community is fighting so hard to give away software that works so well. There's a certain irony here.

As for standing on the backs of giants, we are. Linux et al. is simply extending on the works of others over the past thirty years or so. If one of us learns it, the rest learn it as well. It's the scientific way and it works well enough to eventually displace the rest.

Socialistic darwinism at it's finest.

Personal Attack Needed (1)

Zaxo (60646) | more than 13 years ago | (#246124)

I don't believe Mundie/Microsoft made any such direct remarks about Linus...

Read it again, then.

Allchin destroyed his intellectual reputation and public character by saying this script. Mundie just did the same. That needs to happen to every Microsoft mouthpiece who does. Their managers may become reluctant to fall on their swords.

This is an attempt to get politicians to enshrine Microsoft's business practices, and to convert them from crimes to duties. It must be stopped. Microsoft wants to be the Government of the Internet -- including taxation.

Zax

not what I meant (1)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 13 years ago | (#246134)

When I said they call us hippies I didn't mean that being a hippy was a bad thing. But when they have made those statements, they meant for them to be insulting.

That's all.

I myself am not a hippy, but I'm closer to that than a corporate whore like all those asses as MS.

It makes us look bad, though... (1)

Rexifer (81021) | more than 13 years ago | (#246136)

If this were a personal matter, I would agree. But, personal attacks in a public forum make us look bad to the average joe. Righteous indignation just makes us the "linux crowd" look like a bunch o' wingnuts...

Re:This got me thinking .... (1)

javilon (99157) | more than 13 years ago | (#246157)

The microserf says:
"This effectively makes it impossible for commercial software companies to include source code that is licensed under the GPL into their products, since by doing so, they are constrained to give away the fruits of their labor. As we think about technology, IP rights, and the public sector of knowledge, we need an intellectual model that encourages interaction, not a model that drives them apart. We believe that a shared source model, coupled with continuing contributions to public standards, provides a path that is preferable to the open source approach founded on the GPL."

I aggree with it, but would add that the problem is on the actual "intellectual model" rather than the GPL. If the IP laws were adequate, the GPL would not be needed.
In my mind, the problem is that laws have been bought that keep knowlege for ever (in software terms 30 years is forever) in corporate hands.

Most Major Contributions by Govt Projects (1)

JeffRC (103922) | more than 13 years ago | (#246162)

Linus has hit the nail on the head. Most businesses' intellectual properties are built on the work of others, those in academia and government whose work is in the public domain. If you look at the bulk of the technological advances in the U.S. in the latter half of the 20th Century, you find the the core technology was enabled by Government investment in R&D, that was then "leveraged" by industry for commercial use. The entire computing industry is the result of initial investments by the DoD in WWII on computing machines for number crunching projects like artillery ballistics and the Manhattan Project. The Internet is the result of DARPA's R&D investment in a robust, redundant communications infrastructure. Almost everything these companies claim as corporate intellectual properties are exploitations of core technologies developed by Government or Academia (typically under Government funding).

You could dual licence it (1)

sonny (112620) | more than 13 years ago | (#246166)

However, if someone sees the piece of code that I wrote, and decided they liked it, they can't use it unless they place their code under the GPL. I wrote the patch, and probably wouldn't object to this, but they can't simply because of a licencing irregularity.

Nothing stops you from releasing it under a dual license, if you do not mind that somebody takes your patch and uses it in a closed source project.

Of course the patch has to be useful in itself whithout the code the patch is against. And you should propably not assign the copyright to the project or the FSF. I do not think that you can dual license it when you do not hold the copyright anymore.

Free Scientific Research (1)

nlvp (115149) | more than 13 years ago | (#246174)

I agree, I think the answer to this is to go back to a slightly older model of universities, where people went there to study because they could be in close proximity to so much knowledge and breaking-edge research. At some point they just because teaching institutions, with more funding they could become the academic playground and free-thinkers paradise they once were.

But we still have people spending silly amounts building particle accelerators, and throwing atoms together at ridiculous velocities just to see what happens, so I guess there's still hope!

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (1)

nlvp (115149) | more than 13 years ago | (#246175)

These people design computers? In the same way as Dell, Compaq, IBM and Sony? Where can I buy one, and will they be at a competitive price?

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (1)

nlvp (115149) | more than 13 years ago | (#246176)

And in the field of software, the free software movement is a fine example of people creating "consumer goods for the love of discovery" (or at least without serios financial expectations).

I agree entirely with this - I don't disagree with a spirited defence of the Open Source Movement or the Free Software Movement. I do, however, believe that Patents have a role in certain areas where they provide a reason to develop something that would otherwise never receive the necessary investment to get developed at all.

I don't think there are enough people who have all three of - 1) a day job, 2) significant expertise in a certain area, 3) the desire to use the expertise without financial reward - to provide us with the consumer goods we desire to enhance our standard of living.

If the pharmaceuticals weren't over-exploiting this system quite so ruthlessly, they would be a good example, as things stand, I'd be on pretty shaky ground defending their recent actions. But if you took away all protection for any of their discoveries, their business model would fold overnight as people (like myself) bailed out of their shares as fast as the markets would allow us.

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (1)

nlvp (115149) | more than 13 years ago | (#246177)

Certainly it took millions of man-hours to produce something like Linux

I agree, but I don't think you're going to find the same community spirit willing to purchase the factory space necessary to mass-produce an open-source car. Partly because such a community doesn't have the cash, and partly because the Open Source movement is (and this is a very personal opinion which could well be wrong) quite specific to computer scientists, ex-geeks and uber-coders.

Something that interests me is these new 3D printers, that overlay sheets of plastic to build things. If technology like that were ever to become cheap and ubiqutous, and were also capable of printing circuitry and LCD displays, then I bet you'd see something similar to open source, with a lot of consumer electronics companies complaining about unfair competition.

This is quite interesting - it would start to break down the difference between software and manufacturing by making manufacturing more accessible to smaller entrepreneurs / free-goods designers. It could create a paradigm shift and kick some of the incumbents out of the top positions in the supply of small, personal devices.

Re:If Einstein was r&d'ing under a business model. (1)

nlvp (115149) | more than 13 years ago | (#246178)

Just off the top of my head, I agree - the business model of running r&d has proven itself to be a pain and a dinosaur. What we need to do is present an environment where more people would express what they know and come up with new discoveries. And these discoveries don't really have to come from scientists or researchers.

Need to get rid of scarcity - it is, after all, the root of all evil. Without scarcity, no more need to get rich, because seeing as wealth is a comparative measure and without scarcity everyone has everything they could possibly want, we would be free of the rat race and the need for self-promotion and could focus on discovery for the pleasure of discovery.

Ok - so I read too much Iain M Banks...

Inventors throughout history (1)

mikeage (119105) | more than 13 years ago | (#246179)

Let's think about this for one minute. Science is never cheap, in fact, most of the scientists prior to the Industrial Revolution were either the sons of extremely wealthy individuals, who had no need for more money, or were being financed by a King, who expected some tangable return in the form of "practical" research.

The scientists themselves often either had everything they could possibly want anyway, or were so poor that they'd have no chance of ever selling anything practical, since the first thug (back then, it was a punch-and-grab thug, now it would be a cut-and-paste thug) that came along would just easily take their stuff... there goes business.

Until food wants to be free, why should we care what information wants?

Re:This got me thinking .... (1)

jaf (121858) | more than 13 years ago | (#246180)

What if a AIDS medicine company stumbled over a
perfect sure for AIDS.. Being commercial they would be faced with a dilemma - release the medicine for free and save the world from AIDS or
continue making money??

Okay, for fetched.. better example: Someone in an
oil company stumbles over the design for an
engine that will run on water.. what does he do?

Re:Leonardo (1)

Darth Turbogeek (142348) | more than 13 years ago | (#246202)

Bill Gates owns the RIGHTS to Lenonardo's work? WTF? I thought all rights to any work of a certain person ceased to have any protection under copyright or whatever 50 years after the author's death, case being Shakesphere and the fact anyone can use his work without hinderance, as long as you work off the original scrits (I think).

Are you saying Mr Gates owns the original works, because that's the only way I could see that possibly happening and if that is the case.... that sucks. Shouldnt such important works be placed in the hands of someone who will allow us all to use them?

Re:Disappointed w/ Linus (1)

Chiasmus_ (171285) | more than 13 years ago | (#246218)

I don't believe Mundie/Microsoft made any such direct remarks about Linus...

I don't think it's in the nature of a giant multinational corporation to give raw, emotional statements about a spokesman's personal opinion on a competitor's character.

I think it's a two-sided coin. In an open, free environment, you run the risk of violating logic and reason with ad hominem, emotional statement. In a cloistered, corporate environment, you run the rik of violating logic and reason with sterile corporate drivel written by committee.

My personal political philosophy is "The answer is always somewhere in the middle." Abortion, gun control, welfare, environmentalism, capitalism, you name it - a middle ground always, in my mind, is a saner policy than a "pro" or "anti" stance. Perhaps the very existence of two polar extremes proves this point.

Is there some way to create a workforce that represents a combination of "sterile corporation" and "chaotice open-source"? Is there some way that spokesmen can speak their mind and be honest, while at the same time being vigilant against senseless name-calling and pointless segways? You tell me.

Re:Disappointed w/ Linus (1)

Chiasmus_ (171285) | more than 13 years ago | (#246219)

is that more or less of a personal attack then mundie bashing free software

Well, let me think about that. Mundie is a person, and free software is not. So the answer is therefore... more of a personal attack.

Re:This got me thinking .... (1)

Chiasmus_ (171285) | more than 13 years ago | (#246220)

Okay, for fetched.. better example: Someone in an oil company stumbles over the design for an engine that will run on water.. what does he do?

Patent water, of course.

philosophy/methodology (1)

dalinian (177437) | more than 13 years ago | (#246226)

The difference lies in the fact that Stallman has a complete philosophy, while Linus is concerned with just the methodological matters.

Something sinister (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 13 years ago | (#246238)

Either the evil empire lost it completely, since it's acting currently like a 4 year old child that can't get a popsicle in the supermarket, or there's something far more sinister in the woodworks.

Microsoft, throughout it's history, made very few dumb moves. Two of their hot shots within a timespan of a month behaving like spoiled brats in public must be linked to some strategy that they have cooked up.

That said, I'm not only not paranoid. I wouldn't give a shit if they're out there to get me...

Well, of course (1)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 13 years ago | (#246239)

They also didn't quite grasp this "internet thing" and then had to crash in with full force. And I'm sure there are a helluva lot of other mistakes they made (I'd add WinCE to that list, too).

When you run a business you're bound to make mistakes. Two top-executives behaving like that in public is a bad strategic mistake however and those are rare throught M$' history.

This is something either really rotten, or this whole thing will hurt them to the core.

destroying IP? (1)

superdk (184900) | more than 13 years ago | (#246244)

from the destroying-intellectual-property-since-1991 dept.

Isn't open source about keeping IP intact? just open?


Re:Is Linus a hypocrite ? (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 13 years ago | (#246245)

Transmeta aren't the one's bitching about OSS are they?

Open Source - Open Music - Open Pharmaceuticals (1)

t482 (193197) | more than 13 years ago | (#246247)

I often explain the idea of open source to my friends through examples.

For the artistic:
Music scores are generally open - if Mozart had not written his down and shared it we would not only not be able to listen to his works today, but other musicians would have had more difficulty building on what he did.

For the more business minded:
Pharmaceutical companies publish their work, generally in the form of patents - but other companies can build on those patents. With programming there is no building. IBM cannot build and expand upon the works of M$ or they will be sued.

Computer science is a relatively new science. As it progresses, each step in progression takes more work. More work than any one company will be able to handle. Operating Systems will become filled with verticle suppliers, much like the auto industry. Ford is the final assembler, but they source engines from Mitsubishi, bumpers from Magna etc... Linux will take off because of competition within the Open Source movement. Multiple suppliers of Interfaces, multiple suppliers of command lines and multiple final distributors. Open Source is what will keep them tied together and will ensure that there is never a monopoly.

Disappointed w/ Linus (1)

COBOL/MVS (196516) | more than 13 years ago | (#246250)

To quote Linus: I'd rather listen to Newton than to Mundie. He may have been dead for almost three hundred years, but despite that he stinks up the room less.

This is a rather personal attack. I would concede that the rest of Linus' remarks were fine since he was responding to Microsoft's attitude towards open source development, but the last remark was at best childish. Stick with the issues. I don't believe Mundie/Microsoft made any such direct remarks about Linus...

Hahahahahahah!!! (1)

Placido (209939) | more than 13 years ago | (#246257)

omfg! rotflmao! Ohhh my sides hurt!

I'd rather listen to Newton than to Mundie. He may have been dead for almost three hundred years, but despite that he stinks up the room less.

That has got to go in a hall of fame somewhere!


Pinky: "What are we going to do tomorrow night Brain?"

Go Newton (1)

morie (227571) | more than 13 years ago | (#246274)

If Linus can only produce such a catchy quote on his own achievement, he will remembered in another 100 years as one of the great Philosophers of computer science. He'll be right up there with Einstein and Newton, also people who understood and produced great quotes.

Unfortunately, there have been many people who were as insightfull but could not produce these great oneliners. Ask the general public about the achievements of Fermi, Van der Waals, Ehrenfest and many others to see what impact a good line has.

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (1)

lars_stefan_axelsson (236283) | more than 13 years ago | (#246278)

But where discoveries require significant investment to bring them to a consumer-ready stage, compensation must be guaranteed for that investment, otherwise there is no incentive other than charity to undertake the work, and the most intelligent minds may not have the funds to obtain the necessary equipment and assistance to leverage their genius - they will need to leverage a future asset to borrow those funds in the present.
The degree to which that is true today is a debatable question. Even in the manufacturing industry (I have personal experience from the bearing industry) patents have become less important over the past ten years, even there the battle cry is "short time to market."

As I had it explained to me; "today applying for patents is only interesting as a way to block competitors, and for barter" not actually protecting our investements.

We are of course sidestepping the issue of software here, where the design cost is the only production cost (a good enough approximation). Where indeed the effort required to "bring them to a consumer ready stage" is a totally different animal than in the manufacturing industry. Witness for example Linux, which is already "consumer ready" for many interesting applications, and the success of which would only have been hindered by patent protection.

Stefan,

Microsoft vs. GPL (1)

necrognome (236545) | more than 13 years ago | (#246279)

See what Andrew Leonard [salon.com] has to say over at Salon:
Meanwhile, Microsoft's plaintive wail over the future of innovation is just a smoke screen. What Microsoft really wants are new markets to dominate, whether they be overseas or on the Net. And apparently the company sees the GPL as standing in the way. But each attempt to demonize the GPL as the enemy of Microsoft-style capitalism risks making the free-software movement stronger instead.

Re:Leonardo (1)

barrym (237612) | more than 13 years ago | (#246281)

guess M$ must be branching out to toiletries now ...

maybe Windows XP stands for eXtra Protection ?

Re:Disappointed w/ Linus - let's sue!! (1)

kipple (244681) | more than 13 years ago | (#246284)

This is a rather personal attack. I would concede that the rest of Linus' remarks were fine since he was responding to Microsoft's attitude towards open source development, but the last remark was at best childish.

Perhaps Microsoft could sue him. And patent the insult, so we'll be forced to check a 'patent-free' insult dictionary when we want to say something nasty to somebody. ...open source is the only way to avoid wasting resources in reinventing the wheel..

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (1)

rampant poodle (258173) | more than 13 years ago | (#246290)

Actually Thomas Edison's business model was pretty much: 1. Identify a need. 2. Invent/develop a product. 3. Patent it. 4. Sell it. (Hated competition too as evidenced by his bizzare fight to stick with DC power transmission) One of the smartest of American inventors but hardly an Open Sorcerer of the RMS mold.

Newton was being sarcastic (1)

bzcpcfj (308756) | more than 13 years ago | (#246302)

I certainly agree with Linus Torvald's comments in general, but his use of Newton's quote as an example of humility and appreciation of what has gone before is misplaced.

Newton was, in fact, responding sarcastically to claims that he had stolen ideas from either Leibnitz or Hooke (I forget which).

Furthermore, Linus' science analogy is not the best one to use because the history of scientific research is filled with examples of closed-mindedness, hoarding of information, and general nastiness.

The classic example, of course, is Watson and Cricke (sp?) celebrating the error of another Linus, Pauling in this case, when he announced that the structure of DNA was a triple helix. Pauling had made a simple calculation mistake, which thanks to Pauling's son they were aware of. Rather than notify Pauling prior to his publishing his information, they kept quiet and continued on their own researches.

Hopefully, the Open Source movement won't stoop to such levels.

ding-ding...yes, folks, its... (1)

BabylonMink (320466) | more than 13 years ago | (#246332)

Celebrity Death Match! In the copyright corner we have Craig Mundie and in the copyleft corner we have Linus Torvalds.

Oooh, Mundie attacks Torvalds with the ingenuity and proprietry ideas of the 25000 Microsoft employees. Oooh, Torvalds counters with the toughts, ideas, code and dedication of hundreds of thousands of talented people the world over. Thats gotta hurt, Fred.

game over.

He could be a lot richer... (1)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 13 years ago | (#246343)

If Linus really wanted to, he could make himself a bundle off the phenomenon that he triggered in a way. But he chooses not to. You cannot blame the guy for taking a very decent position with Transmeta, for example.

Interesting between the lines message. (1)

Lethyos (408045) | more than 13 years ago | (#246344)

Linus' response itself is an icon of the open source ideology. Mundie's argument was clearly a myopic fabrication, drawing only from Microsoft's own reality. A limited, unsubstantiated view, lacking in a foundation.

Linus does not even try to sound like any of his argument is even his 'own'. No-no, it's simply a continuation of the principles created by former great thinkers.

Linus himself, a giant to us, stands upon many others. His response is genuine in every sense. Its elegance, hopefully, will generate more thought amongst the masses than Microsoft's tiring, confused argument.

Re:I thought it would be Stallman to respond first (1)

dinivin (444905) | more than 13 years ago | (#246356)


Why is it out of line? It's true. In fact, it's true about both RMS and ESR (though for different reasons). RMS is way too militant in his beliefs, and though he has every right to be, that's not the kind of person most people want to speak on their behalf (IMHO).

Dinivin

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 13 years ago | (#246358)

...or a new, nicer design of personal computer for pure creative self-actualising joy.

how can you not belive that? let me point you to this [gnome.org] and this [debian.org] or this [gnu.org] . people do it all the time, and I am supprised that you, a /. reader, haven't atleast picked up on that.

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 13 years ago | (#246359)

no, they don't design the computer, however, they do make it nicer. and since the post was in responce to Linus's responce to M$, you must assume that software is included in the statment. that said, my post does make sence.

We must protect them ! (1)

Otto Normal (448605) | more than 13 years ago | (#246363)

MS FUD outbursts are really entertaining, you can feel the "Titanic hit iceberg" desperation comming thru.
But ... what will we all rant and laugh about in 3/4 years time when it's all over ? What will Slashdot an The Reg do without them ? Hell, we need MS FUD ! It's time to initiate a think tank to stage a "Save the MS T-Rex" campaign". Is savemstrex.org still available ?

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (2)

Stephan Schulz (948) | more than 13 years ago | (#246381)

But there are very few examples of scientists creating consumer goods for the love of discovery. One or two perhaps - I'm not sure what the intention behind invention of the lightbulb was.

But nobody creates a passenger aircraft, or an automobile, or a new, nicer design of personal computer for pure creative self-actualising joy.

Well, Thomas Edison was rather a sharp fellow, in particular as far as money was involved. However, he would probably have developed the light bulb nevertheless. Moreover, this is a typical innovation that was in the air at that time - Edison was by no means the only one to work on it, nor even the first one to get a working model. He was just the first to make it to the patent office - ironic, isn't it?

And early PCs have been build witout any patent protection for the machine. Even today, patented components, like IBMs microchannel architecture, do not play a major role in PC design.

Consider e.g. Intel. They have a lot of patents, but their real advantages are name recognition and first-mover status. Without patent protection, they would be forced to move even faster.

And in the field of software, the free software movement is a fine example of people creating "consumer goods for the love of discovery" (or at least without serios financial expectations).

Re:I thought it would be Stallman to respond first (2)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 13 years ago | (#246385)

I don't think RMS usualy sounds like a total loon, However Linus is much better at puting the same argument into words that are easer to understand by someone who is not a computer person. RMS tends to say Free software for free software sake and leave it there. I like Linus's comment about Sir Issac Newton etc. It puts a nice spin on the argument and puts in a broader context.

Re:Open source is bad... for large companies. (2)

Tet (2721) | more than 13 years ago | (#246391)

If the Oil community could purchace the patent on that engine and keep it from the general consumer, it would effectively keep potential users from weening ourselves off of our Oil dependencies

Sadly, this stuff has been going on for years. Philips bought up the patent on an everlasting lightbulb, for example, but you don't see it for sale, because it would hurt sales of their traditional bulbs. There are numerous other examples that are happening right now. Heinlein wrote about this in one of his books (Expanded Universe, I think).

Re:Newton was being sarcastic (2)

MouseR (3264) | more than 13 years ago | (#246392)

both essentially came up with calculus at the same time

2000 years after Archimedes [st-andrews.ac.uk] did.

Karma karma karma karma karmeleon: it comes and goes, it comes and goes.

Re:Newton was being sarcastic (2)

Lars Arvestad (5049) | more than 13 years ago | (#246396)

The classic example, of course, is Watson and Cricke (sp?) celebrating the error of another Linus, Pauling in this case, when he announced that the structure of DNA was a triple helix. Pauling had made a simple calculation mistake, which thanks to Pauling's son they were aware of. Rather than notify Pauling prior to his publishing his information, they kept quiet and continued on their own researches.

Really? I have never heard this one. Got a reference?

In any case, while a lot of actions and behaviour in science is selfish, it works on the openess principle. If you want people to believe you, you have to tell them how you did it. These methods can then be verified and refined, much like how we want to see open source work. I think the analogy is quite valid.


Lars
__

Re:destroying IP? (2)

Cardinal Biggles (6685) | more than 13 years ago | (#246398)

Isn't open source about keeping IP intact? just open?

Open Source may be - Free Software certainly is not. Actually, this may be the most accurate way to describe the difference between the two terms in one short sentence.

Re:Open source is bad... for large companies. (2)

clifyt (11768) | more than 13 years ago | (#246407)

Sure they do. It costs about $15 a bulb and folks don't want to front that kind of money for a lightbulb when you can get 8 bulbs in a package for $3. I live in an old house where the circuitry means I get about 4 weeks on average before any bulb goes out...Its a chore just running around changing these things. I found one of these with a buy one get one free sale a year or two back and picked them up. They are the only bulbs in the house that haven't burned out.

Will I buy any more? Probably not, because I'm cheaper than I am lazy. I'm sure if they were the same price as standard bulbs, I'd buy them in a heart beat but they ain't

clif

Re:Newton was being sarcastic (2)

Tim C (15259) | more than 13 years ago | (#246411)

Newton was, in fact, responding sarcastically to claims that he had stolen ideas from either Leibnitz or Hooke (I forget which).

That would probably be Leibnitz; if I remember my Maths classes correctly, they both essentially came up with calculus at the same time, but it was Newton's "version" that ended up being adopted.

(Of course, I am dredging long-term memory now, so I may be way off :-) )

Cheers,

Tim

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (2)

Vryl (31994) | more than 13 years ago | (#246415)

I do believe that there are probs with Newton.

I seem to remember that he was a bit of a 'closed source' kinda guy. He basically (iirc) sat on a lot of his discoveries and did not share them. This is why he is listed as the co-discover of Calculus, because it was unpublished for so long.

Mind you, I could have this mixed up or just plain wrong ... anyone care to back me up, or refute this ??

Re:I thought it would be Stallman to respond first (2)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 13 years ago | (#246423)

The 'Total loon' comment reflects how the 'interested public' would percieve Stallmans (and RMS's!) comments on this sort of issue.

Mundie was not speaking to us (people who are experienced in a technical sense), he was speaking to investors, legislators, CEO's etc.. not stupid, but lacking full exposure to all the arguments.

Linus was speaking to exactly the same audience, in language and concepts they understand and are familiar with. He made a bloody good job of it too.

I severely doubt if either ESR or RMS could have written anything so accessible to the same audience

EZ

whatever (2)

Ender Ryan (79406) | more than 13 years ago | (#246435)

Yeah, maybe not personal attacks against Linus, but they sure do make personal attacks against us as a whole, calling us hippies and stuff.

Besides, who are you to be disappointed with Linus? Let him speak his mind, he's entitled to it. MS has done nothing but spread FUD about all the work that he's done, I think that deserves some personal attacks.

OS hatred wars (2)

skrowl (100307) | more than 13 years ago | (#246446)

Why can't Linux users just let Windows users use Windows, and Windows users just let Linux users use Linux?
People have the right to choose their OS!
All of this hatred and "I'm not wrong, you're wrong" type stuff does nothing for either side.
____________________
Remember, not all /. users hate Windows or think Microsoft is out to get them!

Re:Disappointed w/ Linus (2)

OmegaDan (101255) | more than 13 years ago | (#246447)

is that more or less of a personal attack then mundie bashing free software with arguments he surely dosen't believe -- to benifit (sp?) himself ??

not completely convinced (2)

luke_ (134634) | more than 13 years ago | (#246459)

One thing about Linus's argument is that not all of science is done according to open-source ideals. Many of the greatest scientific developments of the past 50 years have come out of industry because there are certain things only industry can do. I work in biological research and my examples will reflect that, but take things like the development of viagra, for example. Most of the work figuring out the pathways of nitric oxide in penile erection, etc. was done in basic science labs in universities. But there reached a certain point where the large-scale high throughput screens for interacting molecules had to be done in industry because they've got the money to throw at a problem like that (this is kind of a poor example, I guess, since viagra had already been developed as a blood pressure medication prior to people figuring out the erection thing). In any case, even discoveries made with public funds lead to patenting of genes and that kind of thing. While I personally agree with Linus's argument, I don't find it entirely convincing. Open source may make better software, but I'm not sure it makes more money, and that's microsoft's goal.

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (2)

The Pim (140414) | more than 13 years ago | (#246460)

it takes a profit incentive to push discovery into the final phases of development, manufacture, distribution and sale.

As you say yourself: commercialization is very different from discovery. And as the constitution says clearly, patent protection may be awarded only for the second. So while profit incentive may be necessary for commercialization, it will have to be found without the help of patents. Fortunately, as the history of capitalizm has amply demonstrated, entrepreneurs and businesses have many other means of making profits. (I think that's a good thing, on balance.)

I think linus' reply is a bit out of focus (2)

nandix (150739) | more than 13 years ago | (#246462)

I agree with you on that one, but also think that linus
missed a few more important points in relation to the
original article.
For instance, Mundie presents arguments against the
business model followed by many internet startups during
what ms (gates, actually) calles the "internet gold rush".
However, it was Microsoft who bought (and at a very
high price, indeed) Hotmail, a company that provided
their service for free. The most important fact about
this contradiction is, i think, that Mundie admits that
Microsofts endorses said business model if is used
on a company which might be useful for MS.

Another important issue that i found on the article
is the remark about OSS being the cause for
"incompatible versions of programs, weakened interoperability,
product instability , ..."
I may be wrong, but i think that issues have
nothing to do with a software being Open Source.
I think that the success of a software projects
depends on a good development group, a good
management (things such as a properly administered
CVS tree, for example), a good relationship with
the customer and proper gathering of requirements
(be it business customers or the user base of an
open source and free operating system) ; but not
on the software being open source or propietary.

Anyway, that's my view, sorry for the long rant.

Re:Leonardo (2)

HiQ (159108) | more than 13 years ago | (#246468)

including the Cotex

Ehrm, that would be Codex. Cotex is a brand of sanitary towels, at least in my country...;-)

Re:Free Scientific Research (2)

HiQ (159108) | more than 13 years ago | (#246469)

Granted, but the funding of what was to be the biggest accelerator (LEP???) was cancelled; it's was getting a bit too expensive.

Re:Leonardo (2)

HiQ (159108) | more than 13 years ago | (#246470)

Yep, it all makes sense now, every time my system bluescreens, I'm swearing: "Bloody Windows..."

Newton, daVinci ... Linus (2)

wytcld (179112) | more than 13 years ago | (#246484)

Newton spent more time working on alchemy than on what we'd consider science, including dosing himself with a variety of substances in search of knowledge and insights. Can Linus be serious that _this_ should be the exemplar? The guy didn't care about profits because he was a druggie with an inheritance.

Meanwhile daVinci was engaged in expensive defense boondogles involving diversion of rivers and fantastical weapons. Monies from this allowed him to do a few paintings on the side. Now _there_ is a model for the modern technologist!

Edison spent years trying to build a machine to talk to the dead, while Tesla, who has a lot more to do with modern electrical use than Edison, was suckered by the profit motive into getting totally screwed and impoverished by the corporations who commercialized his inventions.

And then we have Linus. 'nough said.

Re:whatever (2)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 13 years ago | (#246485)

hippies and stuff

Why is being a hippy a bad thing? Hippies are some of the most beautiful, accepting, honest and trustworthy people I know... self-styled hippies are generally terrific people - it takes a solid person to live your life without falling into the Big Trap that saps most peoples life away for nothing...

If i wasnt a coward - id drop out too.

Re:This got me thinking .... (2)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 13 years ago | (#246486)

Could it be that information monopolies retard technological advancement by sequestering knowledge?

Yes - Welcome to The Economic Domination of Everything(TM).

Re:Something sinister (2)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 13 years ago | (#246487)

Two of their hot shots within a timespan of a month behaving like spoiled brats in public must be linked to some strategy that they have cooked up.
Hey, they're just follow old Bill's lead. Maybe they just caught the video from the anti-trust trial?

Re:Be fair... (2)

Paladin128 (203968) | more than 13 years ago | (#246490)

I'll agree that MS contributed, but saying thier contributions were even on par with Newton would be bordering on heresy in my book.

Re:The nature of the GPL virus (2)

Paladin128 (203968) | more than 13 years ago | (#246491)

(Please see the parent to this... It's currently modded 0 as was posted by an AC)

Why is that a problem? The GPL is a Good Thing(TM). Every piece of code that I've written for the past four years I have GPL'd... including programs I've done for school. My university claims ownership of anything I write while attending, so I make sure they can't profit off my hard work without granting others' freedom.

You make it sound like the viral nature of the GPL is accidental... it's not! It's 100% intentional. Every developer knows what the GPL means when they start a GPL'd product. They want to make sure that NO fork of thier code can be used in non-free (as in speech) software.

If you don't like the concept of GPL'd software, then don't develop for it. Period. There are plenty of other open-source liscence alternatives. Or you can ask MS for the source code to *thier* products and see how they will feel about you commercially distributing a patch to thier code.

quote (2)

IanA (260196) | more than 13 years ago | (#246499)

"If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants".

Linus never ceases to amaze.
Perfect quote from Isaac Newton to counter all that Microsoft has been saying.
Great reply

ESR's response (3)

wiredog (43288) | more than 13 years ago | (#246512)

Actually written before the speech. At Linux Today [linuxtoday.com] .

And ,from the Times, this story [nytimes.com] . Favorite quote, on the "threat" of the GPL:"an I.B.M. vice president, said, "If we thought this was a trap, we wouldn't be doing it, and as you know, we have a lot of lawyers.""

This got me thinking .... (3)

OmegaDan (101255) | more than 13 years ago | (#246514)

If the last 100 - 200 years of technological development hadn't been driven by IP such as patents / copyright ... If all the things discovered by companies were free for other people to learn and use -- where COULD we be on the technology timeline ?

Could it be that information monopolies retard technological advancement by sequestering knowledge?

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (3)

HiQ (159108) | more than 13 years ago | (#246516)

Yep, nowadays science is more and more driven by what there is to gain. Science per se is out of the question; those projects / studies will unlikely get the necessary fundings. All too often people will ask for the direct benefits of some research, thereby disregarding the fact that most great discoveries are mere side effects of some other research (and all too often you don't exactly know where research will lead you).

Re:Disappointed w/ Linus (3)

RedOregon (161027) | more than 13 years ago | (#246517)

Call a spade a spade. I prefer the direct honesty to a roundabout attack, not mentioning names, but implying snidely without coming right out and saying what you feel.

Re:not completely convinced (3)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 13 years ago | (#246521)

Many of the greatest scientific developments of the past 50 years have come out of industry because there are certain things only industry can do.
Nope. You only have to look at NASA and high energy physics research to see that there isn't anything that only industry can do.

Is Linus a hypocrite ? (3)

tmark (230091) | more than 13 years ago | (#246522)

One one hand he seems to be eschewing patents and protection of intellectual property. On the other hand, he is collecting a big fat paycheque from, and probably owns a stake in, a company which I assume has oodles of patents on its code-morphing technology and almost certainly plans to defend them vigorously. I am not necessarily taking a stand one side or another, but is it too much to expect some consistency on the part of advocates ??

Who else is tired of capitalism? (4)

neo (4625) | more than 13 years ago | (#246527)

Linus brings up an interesting problem with society, although he doesn't go into length about it. That problem is the reliance of capitalism in our society for intellectual advancement.

Attempting to equate success with having capital (and hence property) has created some obvious paradoxes. Take the example of designed obsolescence. Because corporations only live if they can sustain an income, products are created that will fail to function in a timely manner. This creates a revenue stream and keeps the corporation "alive". However, the products that are created are not the best possible products.

Competition is supposed to push better products to the fore. If that worked, we'd have light bulbs that laster for 30 years, cars you bought for a lifetime, and software for life. Ask yourself this question: How much better is Word 2000 from Word 5.1? We upgrade because it is forced upon us by file protocals, not because there's any innovation in word processing.

Until we can divorce the pursuit of capital from advances in science, we are doomed to have any advance kepted restained by the barriers of the a accumulation of that wealth. If at any point, an advancement is deemed to be a money killer, it will be abandoned. [Napster being a slightly trollish example]

I don't have the answers to these problems, but from what I've read on Slashdot, I'm not the only one thinking about them.

Re:I thought it would be Stallman to respond first (4)

Cardinal Biggles (6685) | more than 13 years ago | (#246528)

I'm very grateful for Stallman's contribution to the software field, but in speaking and writing he often sounds like a total loon. Linus' writings are always so relaxed, eloquent, and poingent, even when he's basically calling someone an idiot.

Torvalds certainly has a very readable writing style. Stallman tends to be more thoughtful, and that may make his writing less accessible to the casual reader, but he never sounds like a "total loon". The fact that you think so says more about you than about RMS.

Many, if not most, people here on Slashdot seem to prefer ESR-style 'Open Source' over RMS-style 'Free Software'. That's fine, I like to think we can "agree to disagree" about the details.

But please, show each other some respect. Calling RMS a 'total loon' (or, like ESR, making vicious remarks about his personal hygiene) is way out of line, IMHO.

Re:quote (4)

TomV (138637) | more than 13 years ago | (#246534)

"If I have been able to see further, it was only because I stood on the shoulders of giants".

Linus never ceases to amaze.
Perfect quote from Isaac Newton to counter all that Microsoft has been saying.
Great reply

Except...

This quote is often used to illustrate the humility of Newton. In these cases, it's a misquote.

Newton claimed to have discovered that white light was made up of mixed colours. Robert Hooke claimed that Newton had stolen the idea from his own Micrographia. Hooke is generally described as 'crooked and low of stature' and Newton and Hooke were long-standing rivals for primacy at The Royal Society (we're talking big money prizes here). The quote is from Newton's rebuttal of this accusation.

So basically the standard Newton quote was a typically nasty, snide put-down to Hooke, saying "even if I did steal these ideas, I certainly didn't steal them from a dwarf like you"

Maybe Linus is saying if he wants commercial ideas he'd rather get them from Bell Labs than from M$?

The man was a genius, certainly. But an angel he was not.

Newton was also an alchemist, who learned his stuff from one Thomas Vaughan (alias 'Eugenius Philalethes')

TomV

Re:On the issue of security (4)

sallen (143567) | more than 13 years ago | (#246536)

MS simply shoot itself in the foot.

Mundie shot himself in the foot numerous times in that speech. It can be torn apart. An example:

The OSS development model leads to a strong possibility of unhealthy "forking" of a code base, resulting in the development of multiple incompatible versions of programs, weakened interoperability, product instability, and hindering businesses' ability to strategically plan for the future. Furthermore, it has inherent security risks and can force intellectual property into the public domain.

In a word. kerberos. MS took instead of PUBLIC standard, 'forked' it (so to speak, but modifying it and making the change any but part of the original open standard). This lead to 'incompatible versions of programs', 'product instability' of other products, and 'hindering businesses' ability to strategically plan for the future'...all but their own of course, the public/and therefore the customers/be damned. Did it also not come out that in the trial that there were times code was changed to intentionally 'break' competitor software (applications)? Again, see above. If anything, I feel this actually supports the breakup of MS. They use the proprietary standards to thwart competition in the app area. It's good from the OS/app vertical market, of which they are the monopoly. And that's just one paragraph. What they've done is NOT good for the software market (EXCEPT for MS itself) in the applications area, which is 99.99 percent of the software companies. Hell, and that's only one paragraph. Of course he mentioned the bad business model of 'free expecting to be paid later' hmm...Explorer comes to mind. What his speech does day, if one reads between the lines, is that MS must thing Linux is ready for prime time. That's quite an endorsement. It's a little like announcing vaporware a year before you have a product because someone announces a product you think is a good idea. You keep the competitor at bay while you write it or buy it (never having thought about it in the first place).

My feeling of the positive aspect of the open source model is it means applications will compete on MERIT, not be shoved down your throat. If an app vendor enahnces/corrects an OS under GPL, then every vendor, once that's included, will have the same benefit for their application products. (And applications can remain proprietary, if they like. But they'll have to be good. no BSOD every other keystroke and service/support, knowing a customer DOES have the option of going elsewhere.) It's all about control... MS wants it 100%. OSS give the control back to the customer/consumer/business client... the place it belongs. Even those that are strictly the profit driven software houses, it's sill a BIG plus for them IF they have a product that people want to purchase and IF someone doesn't invent a better mousetrap and put it under GPL, at which point they probably failed on that innovation, research, or service that MS seems to speak of so frequently.

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (4)

lamasquerade (172547) | more than 13 years ago | (#246537)

but nobody creats ... a new nicer design of a personal computer for pure creative self-actualising joy.

Steve Wozniak - Apple 1 and ][

Re:quote (4)

Phillip2 (203612) | more than 13 years ago | (#246538)

"Perfect quote from Isaac Newton to counter all that Microsoft has been saying. "

Its sad actually that this quote is frequently produced to show what a nice guy Newton was. Newton was actually refering to another quote when he made this, which was "we are but dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants". The "dwarfs" bit is the relevant point, because he was actually being extremely rude to Robert Boyle (him of the gas law), who actually rather on the short side.

Newton was actually a very nasty piece of work. He was massively anti-semitic. Although he hated catholics ever more. He only took a seat in parliament because someone came up with the nasty idea of admitting catholics to the Cambridge college that Newton was a member of.

His only recorded contribution to debate in parliament was on a motion to open the window. It is believed that his speech was "Mr Speaker, it is rather hot in here."

The thing with the apples was good though.

Phil

I thought it would be Stallman to respond first... (4)

Paladin128 (203968) | more than 13 years ago | (#246539)

But I'm glad Linus beat him to the punch. I'm very grateful for Stallman's contribution to the software field, but in speaking and writing he often sounds like a total loon. Linus' writings are always so relaxed, eloquent, and poingent, even when he's basically calling someone an idiot.

Does Linus do bar mitzvah's? (4)

Idylwyld (324288) | more than 13 years ago | (#246541)

Damn he's good. That last line about stinking up the room is one of the harshest direct responses I've seen in a couple of years. I just hope M$ doesn't sick the lawyers on him for libel against Mundie. Illegal we do immediately. Unconstitutional takes a little longer.

Leonardo (5)

clifyt (11768) | more than 13 years ago | (#246544)

The strength of open source is not the source, but the intellectual property that goes with it - exactly the part that Mundie seems to hate so much. The fact that when you get involved in open source, you get equal rights to be involved. You can be another Leonardo da Vinci, you aren't relegated to just paying for viewing his works.
The sad fact of this is that Bill Gates OWNS all the rights to most of Leonardo's works today including the Cotex. This was bought through his digital media / stock photography group last year.

If someone has more info on this please post it...I just remember seeing the announcement in one of the Adobe Photodisc type thingies and don't have much else.

clif

Re:Leonardo (5)

Gihadrah (13265) | more than 13 years ago | (#246545)

The Betteman Archives was a collection of Photographs (and drawings?) that was availible online for free. Way back when... I used to grab free pic's of famous people off of thier site. A perfect example was Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin at Teran. A rather famous photograph.

Corbis [corbis.com] now owns the rights and these pics can only be had for a price. Corbis is owned by Bill Gates.

THIS is probably the #1 reason I dislike the man.

Giants (5)

heikkile (111814) | more than 13 years ago | (#246549)

If Microsoft has not got further, it must be beacuse of all the giants standing on its shoulders: DoJ, Linux, IBM, Gnu, Netscape, Word Perfect, Lotus, Borlans, Apple, Corel,

Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (5)

nlvp (115149) | more than 13 years ago | (#246550)

I agree wholeheartedly with Linus when he says that Newton, Einstein and countless others have done more for mankind and todays level of scientific achievement than any modern company - theirs are the shoulders that modern scientists stand on.

But there are very few examples of scientists creating consumer goods for the love of discovery. One or two perhaps - I'm not sure what the intention behind invention of the lightbulb was.

But nobody creates a passenger aircraft, or an automobile, or a new, nicer design of personal computer for pure creative self-actualising joy.

I think that whilst the great discoveries of our time and times gone by will more often be found by scientists and visionaries of the academic kind, it takes a profit incentive to push discovery into the final phases of development, manufacture, distribution and sale.

So I think that governments should be extremely careful when they give patents away, and the more general the patent, the more value it ties up by preventing the development of those ideas by third parties.

But where discoveries require significant investment to bring them to a consumer-ready stage, compensation must be guaranteed for that investment, otherwise there is no incentive other than charity to undertake the work, and the most intelligent minds may not have the funds to obtain the necessary equipment and assistance to leverage their genius - they will need to leverage a future asset to borrow those funds in the present.

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (5)

Chiasmus_ (171285) | more than 13 years ago | (#246551)

If the pharmaceuticals weren't over-exploiting this system quite so ruthlessly, they would be a good example, as things stand, I'd be on pretty shaky ground defending their recent actions. But if you took away all protection for any of their discoveries, their business model would fold overnight as people (like myself) bailed out of their shares as fast as the markets would allow us.

Bingo. You've hit it exactly.

If IP reigns supreme, companies will ignore what's best for humanity in favor of the bottom line. If freedom of information reigns supreme, companies will simply not develop products.

What I believe the world discovered during the cold war was that neither pure capitalism or pure communism was a viable system. In retrospect, that seems pretty obvious. The only viable system is to take away between 25% and 75% of every person's income and redistribute it. The U.S., right now, is going with a figure of something like 45%, I believe. Yet we still call ourselves "capitalist". Ha.

What the information age will teach us, I believe is that neither IP nor OSS are viable systems, alone. One leads to the stifling of information and technological progess; the other damages incentive and introduces a fair deal of entropy.

If I believed for a minute that Mundy was serious about adopting a "shared source" vision for Microsoft, I would hop out of my chair and cheer. A system where Windows, like Debian, was reviewed and updated constantly, where feedback from the community was instantaneous, and yet where applications tended to be mature, user-friendly, and compatble with each other (as they're developed by a large team of well-compensated designers) sounds almost too good to be true. Eventually, I believe, we will discover the beauty of the "middle ground". It's my prediction that, at some point in the not-too-distant future, we will finally start seeing a business model that practices what Mundy preaches: incorporating the benefits of open source (review, speed, innovation) with those of IP (incentive, compatibility, coherence).

Re:Disappointed w/ Linus (5)

SubtleNuance (184325) | more than 13 years ago | (#246553)

This is a rather personal attack...but the last remark was at best childish. Stick with the issues. I don't believe Mundie/Microsoft made any such direct remarks about Linus...

I completely disagree. Humanity has cloaked itself in a thick layer of Bullshit and PR speak. This is cased by the palm-pusher corporate types who seek to maintain a fine 'artificially constructed' reality that is suitable to their Marketing Plan(TM).

I say fuck it all - if Mundie is a jackass - I say we openly SAY IT! This is reality - not a fucking Game Show.

Mundie is really just a talking head - paid for his white teeth and quick wit - why should some dishonest puppet be given respect? Because of his Job Title? I would assert that Mr. Mundie has done nothing to earn our respect (in spite of his impressive jobtitle - which i say is irrelevant). Mr. Mundie is a blatant liar and a despicable person, his very character is soiled by this display of shallowness and greed.

The people cited in Linus' email are people deserving of respect - they have made contributions to humanity, and by most accounts did so with passion and vigour. Mr. Mundie is a lap-dog, deserving of only ire and loathing.

This is not flaimbait. I am suggesting that people start re-evaluating who is regarded well in public - lets re-asses how we choose our 'leaders' - and most certainly; lets call a spade a spade.

If Einstein was r&d'ing under a business model... (5)

glebite (206150) | more than 13 years ago | (#246554)

Doing my best Bob Newhart, I imagine that a conversation over the phone between Einstein and PhysicsX Inc product managers:

Ah, good morning Albert - how are the wife, the kids? Did you catch the game last night?

Oh - you don't watch football - well, that's just swell there. Say, we here in Product Management want to talk to you about that project you've been working on.

Uhuh - yeah - that whole grand unification project and all that. Yeah, we need to know if we can patent any of this stuff?

Oh - it's really prior art then eh? Okay - listen, we've put a lot of money your way and Susan from Marketing would like to know what would people get from moving near the speed of light...

More mass, length shortened? Wow - listen Al, we've got idea down - we'd just like you to downplay the more mass thing. We're kind of looking towards changing some of the text such as shortened length to "slimming".

I can see how you're upset about this one Al, I'd be too, but heck, they're just words, and we are trying to sell this stuff...

Okay I'll talk to Susan about that. Listen, packaging is wondering how we could fit this whole Theory of Relativity thing for home use...

Ah - yes Al, I did get that memo about impossibility of approaching the speed of light. Listen, I've got Frank from Advertising here - he's concerned that your paper has too much math - could you trim it back?

Al? Al? Funny - I seemed to have been disconnected.

Just off the top of my head, I agree - the business model of running r&d has proven itself to be a pain and a dinosaur. What we need to do is present an environment where more people would express what they know and come up with new discoveries. And these discoveries don't really have to come from scientists or researchers.

Have you ever had one of those neighbours who could fix anything? Go spend some time with them and see their workshop - inspiration beyond belief! No corporate sponsership, a true love of whatever it is they are working on.

Re:Does Linus do bar mitzvah's? (5)

Zero Sum (209324) | more than 13 years ago | (#246555)

It can't be Libel. It's true. Anybody who has been dead for 300 years is going to be well past the smelly stage. Mundie, however, is still alive and will therefore smell more. Case closed.

Be fair... (5)

Kragg (300602) | more than 13 years ago | (#246556)

To be honest, Microsoft have contributed massively to the modern world.

I mean, where would we all be without minesweeper. lost...
"God is dead." - Nietszche

Re:Discoveries are not the same as consumer goods (5)

dachshund (300733) | more than 13 years ago | (#246557)

But nobody creates a passenger aircraft, or an automobile, or a new, nicer design of personal computer for pure creative self-actualising joy.

Well, not to point out the obvious... But the open source movement seems to be doing exactly that. I think the problem with your argument is simply that it's not generally possible to design aircraft or cars for the joy of it. It's just too specialized, and when you've completed the design, you don't have access to the specialized tools necessary to make it real. It's a situation we've lived with so long that we simply take it for granted that only a corporation could ever produce a useful product.

I would even go so far as to state that open source has a sort of darwinian marketing advantage over corporate products; only products that the market needs will ever survive. Think how many corporate products have, after millions in R&D and thousands of hours of market research, tanked miserably. Companies can't afford to suffer too many failures like that, so consequently they limit their experimentation. Open source has no such restrictions.

But where discoveries require significant investment to bring them to a consumer-ready stage

You have to be careful how you define the 'significant investment' required to get something from concept to market. Certainly it took millions of man-hours to produce something like Linux. If you accept what MS would have you believe, that's multi-millions of development and marketing dollars that only a large software company could ever afford to spend. In reality, it's nothing of the sort-- open source is just a more efficient way to aggregate programmers' spare cycles. The same might be true of a lot of industries, if manufacturing and distribution were ever to become simple and inexpensive.

Something that interests me is these new 3D printers, that overlay sheets of plastic to build things. If technology like that were ever to become cheap and ubiqutous, and were also capable of printing circuitry and LCD displays, then I bet you'd see something similar to open source, with a lot of consumer electronics companies complaining about unfair competition.

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