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Countries Ponder: GNU/Linux vs. Microsoft

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the you-mean-this-stuff-is-free dept.

GNU is Not Unix 437

koody writes: "IDG has an overview of how many countries are getting drawn into the debate over the relative merits of using open source software rather than Microsoft Corp.'s Windows applications. Seems like many countries would be slowly moving towards the open source community, while a few still pledge allegiance to Microsoft."

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high their (-1)

trollercoaster (250101) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680409)

ponder a beowulf cluster.

Re:high their (-1)

Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680492)

nice touch.

touch me again.

Re:high their (-1)

Cryptopotamus (460702) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680633)

Now Beowulf bode in the burg of the Scyldings,
leader beloved, and long he ruled
in fame with all folk, since his father had gone
away from the world, till awoke an heir,
haughty Healfdene, who held through life,
sage and sturdy, the Scyldings glad.
Then, one after one, there woke to him,
to the chieftain of clansmen, children four:

Heorogar, then Hrothgar, then Halga brave;
and I heard that -- was -- 's queen,
the Heathoscylfing's helpmate dear.
To Hrothgar was given such glory of war,
such honor of combat, that all his kin
obeyed him gladly till great grew his band
of youthful comrades. It came in his mind
to bid his henchmen a hall uprear,
ia master mead-house, mightier far
than ever was seen by the sons of earth,
and within it, then, to old and young
he would all allot that the Lord had sent him,
save only the land and the lives of his men.
Wide, I heard, was the work commanded,
for many a tribe this mid-earth round,
to fashion the folkstead. It fell, as he ordered,
in rapid achievement that ready it stood there,
of halls the noblest: Heorot he named it
whose message had might in many a land.
Not reckless of promise, the rings he dealt,
treasure at banquet: there towered the hall,
high, gabled wide, the hot surge waiting
of furious flame. Nor far was that day
when father and son-in-law stood in feud
for warfare and hatred that woke again.3
With envy and anger an evil spirit
endured the dole in his dark abode,

that he heard each day the din of revel
high in the hall: there harps rang out,
clear song of the singer. He sang who knew4
tales of the early time of man,
how the Almighty made the earth,
fairest fields enfolded by water,
set, triumphant, sun and moon
for a light to lighten the land-dwellers,
and braided bright the breast of earth
with limbs and leaves, made life for all
of mortal beings that breathe and move.
So lived the clansmen in cheer and revel
a winsome life, till one began
to fashion evils, that field of hell.
Grendel this monster grim was called,
march-riever5 mighty, in moorland living,
in fen and fastness; fief of the giants
the hapless wight a while had kept
since the Creator his exile doomed.
On kin of Cain was the killing avenged
by sovran God for slaughtered Abel.
Ill fared his feud, and far was he driven,
for the slaughter's sake, from sight of men.
Of Cain awoke all that woful breed,
Etins and elves and evil-spirits,
as well as the giants that warred with God
weary while: but their wage was paid them!

hahahaha (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680410)

fuck y'all, CLIT sux my ass

fp (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680417)

fp, motherfuckers. is the shit, son.

Denmark! (2, Funny)

casio282 (468834) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680418)

I knew something smelled fishy in Denmark...

Re:Denmark! (1)

unicron (20286) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680547)

I fail to see how that deserved a troll rating. Oh wait, that's right, slashdotters don't read anything literature besides things that are about robots and hackers. Silly me.

Many countries are poor (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680419)

And Microsoft is expensive. If they don't want to get in trouble with Microsoft (and their friends in the US Government), then really it becomes their only choice. If they have some tech-savvy people who know linux and such, it's an even easier choice. In some cases, it's cheaper to pay local people to learn the open source stuff than it is to pay Microsoft or other companies for software and support.

Even for richer countries, open source is attractive because it means the money that would've gone into software purchases can go into other projects.

I pledge allegiance to Microsoft. . . (3, Funny)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680426)

and its mighty state of Hysteria

and to the FUDness for which it stands

once workstation, under Bill, with bloat and BSOD for all

Re:I pledge allegiance to Microsoft. . . (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680438)

sheer brilliance

Re:I pledge allegiance to Microsoft. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680630)

this is probably by the guy who wrote the pledge of allegence parody

Re:I pledge allegiance to Microsoft. . . (5, Funny)

og_sh0x (520297) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680459)

You forgot "indivisible." Windows isn't modular, remember? :)

Re:I pledge allegiance to Microsoft. . . (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680595)

That is supposed to be funny? Good job moderators....

Story makes me a little nostalgic... (2, Interesting)

writermike (57327) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680427)

When Linux first debuted and the world-tide started to turn a bit anti-Microsoft, I felt very angry. I mean, who cares what operating system one uses as long as it works, right?

Well, after reading through this article, I think I am glad that the computing world really offers OS choices as it once did so many years ago. It allows people and countries that can't pay large fees to become part of the modern computing age. They'll be able to do things that, maybe, they couldn't possibly afford going with a more expensive O.S. -- especially if it were the only solution.

And really, allowing more and more people the fun and efficiency of computers is a very noteworthy goal.

This Is Not A War (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680428)

no matter how many dirty long-haired nerd hippies think it might be.. Pledge allegiance to microsoft? I'm sorry, but how many people pray to the church of MS?

this is so stupid. People will use whatever software that best fits their needs..choosing one thing simply because of some set belief that one is superior is dumb and p0intless.

This Is A War (-1)

GafTheHorseInTears (565684) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680468)

As you may have noticed, we are at war with terrorists and nations that harbor terrorists. Since GNU/Linux is a terrorist-friendly OS [] , any countries considering switching to GNU/Linux had better build some GNU/bomb-shelters first.

Always remember kids! (-1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680549)

If you buy gasoline, you support international terrorism [] !

Buy American! []

A hysterical public service message from your friends at the ministry of truth.
-- Yes, we do think you're that stupid.

Re:This Is Not A War (2, Insightful)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680487)

God I wish your statement were true. But alas most decisions in corporate America have nothing to do with the best technology. They have a lot to do with back door politics. Some unfortunately even involve illegal practices.

I do agree that to compare this to a real war is a bit extreem.

Re:This Is Not A War (1)

Fembot (442827) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680606)

In case you havent noticed the use of the word "war" in the context of OS wars is purely metaphorical. There are no soilders or bombs so to speak.

Re:This Is Not A War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680634)

> In case you havent noticed the use of the word "war" in the context of OS wars is purely metaphorical. There are no soilders or bombs so to speak.

"Soilders" -- I like that. It describes how things are after an artillery barrage quite well.

Re:This Is Not A War (-1, Troll)

unicron (20286) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680636)

I agree completely. The funniest thing on this entire site is that in all honesty, probably close to 90% of these so called Linux users don't run it because of it's stability or reliability. They run it out of some pathetic attempt and self-righteousness(sp?) thinking that in their small little way they've stuck it to the man and got their blown in for the little guy. And the minute after the post their stupid little windows haikus which get modded up to 7-Most Briliant Damn Thing I've ever heard, it's right back to EQ for the script kiddies.

Kids, seriously, shut the fuck up. No one cares what you run. Mod this down all you like, I'd rather be an honest troll than a self-delusional karma whore.

Few? Many? (3, Interesting)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680429)

What are the numbers there? How many use Linux? How many use MS Windows? I would guess that, for now, Linux == few and MS == many. But, I would like to see real numbers.

All I care about is the research (5, Insightful)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680430)

I really don't care what government decides to waste its money on (after all, if it wasn't software, it would be gold toilet seats).

But I do care when government sponsored research into software is used by companies to make money. Last I checked, I didn't give Sun/MS/et all my tax dollars to make them richer. I want that research GPL'ed so that I know its available, that I, as a tax payer who paid for the R&D gets the benifits, and that it can be made even better by the world (and thus can help my government/business/etc).

Actually, quite the opposite is true. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680599)

But I do care when government sponsored research into software is used by companies to make money.

Actually, quite the opposite is true. In the real world, real people have to charge real money for the products they peddle. Most GPL'ed software comes out of government labs [like JPL], or educational institutions [like MIT, or CMU] that are heavily subsidized by the taxpayer. If Dubyah and Congress really gave a rat's ass, they'd require all government funded software to be released under the BSD license, not the GPL.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680602)

I hate it when I hear this line of reasoning. What do you think happens when gov't funded software is used my commercial companies? They sell products, which means they employ people to do more development, ship packages, provide online support, etc., and those people pay taxes.

My guess is that every dollar spent by the gov't on software development that gets used commercially (as opposed to all software expenditures) returns many times that in the long run in taxes, not to mention the general benefit of improving employment.

But, no, that would be too open minded and long term a view for the slashdot crowd, so instead we'll just sit around mommy's and daddy's house, using their computer to surf the net, and bitching about the big old nasty gov't that's always doing the wrong thing with our tax dollars.

Re:GMAFB (2, Insightful)

Dark Paladin (116525) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680617)

Or I can take the software and use it in my business instead of paying the $$$ for development, I can contribute to it to make it better (and use other people's contributions for the same).

Now that $$$ I'm *not* spending on development can be spent on more employees, admins, maybe even a developer just to get in the pieces I need.

IT Depts usually do not *make* money, they *save* companies money, increase efficiency, and safeguard/provide data. Just because I don't *sell* a product doesn't mean that my *service* isn't just as valuable - or just as marketable.

As long as DUBYA and his RIGHT WING WACKOS (0)

Left Wing Troll (584687) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680442)

are in control, Microsoft will always own the market, and OSS will never get anywhere. The right wing believes in BIG CORPORATIONS who can also pay BIG BUCKS to BIG CAMPAIGNS that end with the BIG SUPREME COURT deciding the BIG ELECTION.

Supreme Court and electionb (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680489)

The Supreme Court did not elect Bush. The country did through the rather ancient process of the election and electoral college following the results. All the Supreme Court did was shut down a left-wing attempt to tamper with the ballots.

Look at how Bush won all the later counts after the Supreme Court decision.

Re:Supreme Court and electionb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680503)

Democracy = Rule By the People United States = Democracy More people vote for gore than bush in the US Bush wins Anyone else confused?

Re:Supreme Court and electionb (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680533)

instead of a single organization declared to be a monopoly by the U.S. DOJ.

Read the Constitution. It's called an Electoral College. It ensures equal representation among the seperate states.
Did you notice how much won states by something like 2-1?
Remove your head from your ass and stop listening to Dan Rather. You fucking idiot.

You are confused (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680539)

Democracy = Rule By the People United States = Democracy More people vote for gore than bush in the US Bush wins Anyone else confused?

The US is not actually a democracy. It is a constitutional republic. Gore even agreed: he campaigned with the electoral system in mind. Want to change it? Fine. Just don't do it to undo the results of an election that did not go the way you want it to. Change the system before the next election if you want to. Only losers play the game under the rules and then whine to change the rules after they lose.

Re:Supreme Court and electionb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680542)

Sorry, you got one point wrong.. United States != Democracy... United States = Representative Republic.

All the people do is decide who makes the decisions, and if those people do not make the decisions you like, all you can do is not vote for them next election.

As long as DUBYA and his RIGHT WING WACKOS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680513)

are in control, Microsoft will always own the market, and OSS will never get anywhere. The right wing believes in BIG MASTURBATIONS who can also pay BIG SUCKS to BIG MAN-TRAINS that end with the BIG SERENE GOAT(se) deciding the BIG ERECTION

Re:As long as DUBYA and his RIGHT WING WACKOS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680576)

People all over the world... join hands... start a man-train, man-train!

Re:As long as DUBYA and his RIGHT WING WACKOS (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680563)

I make fun of you post.

Hee hee! Much fun!

Re:As long as DUBYA and his RIGHT WING WACKOS (3, Insightful)

FatherOfONe (515801) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680578)

Don't hold back. Tell us what you really think Mr. Gore...

In all seriousness it is true that the Republicans do favor business more than the Democrats. But that does NOT mean that they don't like open source software. How Bush decided to influence the Microsoft case has nothing to do with his opinion on Open Source Software. Nor is the inverse true, Democrates don't all use Open Source Software...

Now if you believe that any political party doesn't listen strongly to their big political backers then you are a fool. Every party does! The Republicans are no different with this issue.

As far as BIG CAMPAIGNS... anyone who runs for President is going to have a huge campaign.

As far as the SUPREME COURT... they really didn't decide the election, Gore just took their decision and gave up. The outcome would have been the same no matter which way the decision came down. It just would have taken longer.

They should pick something and go with it (2, Troll)

User 956 (568564) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680443)

They should pick an OS and go with it, preferably what's best for the person that has to use it every day, regardless of cost (or in some cases, taking total end cost into consideration) I'm all for standards. Standards solve issues ranging from product compatibility to addressing consumer safety and health concerns. Standards also simplify product development and reduce non-value-adding costs thereby increasing a user's ability to compare competing products. They also are fundamental building blocks for international trade. Only through the use of standards can the requirements of interconnectivity and interoperability be assured and the credibility of new products and new markets verified enabling the rapid implementation of technology. It's too bad so many of you bearded linux hippies insist on doing things your own kludged-together way.

Re:They should pick something and go with it (2)

DunbarTheInept (764) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680558)

Standards also simplify product development and reduce non-value-adding costs thereby increasing a user's ability to compare competing products.
But apparently you only care about that goal when the product in question is an application on top of the OS. You don't seem to want it when the product in question is the OS itself.

First nigger (-1)

First Nigger (460412) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680444)

Strate up dogs, I be the first nigger to reply to this here thread up in this bitch!! Course, I ain't got much compitition but that be okey by me! Peace!

Iraq (2, Funny)

Bouncings (55215) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680445)

I think we should definitly lift the trade embargo on Iraq, but only for Microsoft products. ;-) For obvious reasons. Just put something about billions of barrels of oil in the EULA.

Re:Iraq (2)

Boulder Geek (137307) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680483)

You've got that backwards: let them buy all of the MSFT products they want. The impact on productivity will topple Saddam in no time ;-).

Re:Iraq (2)

DunbarTheInept (764) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680518)

You got it backward. "Lift the trade embargo..., but only for foo" *means* allowing trade for foo.

No mention of the US? (1)

diatonic (318560) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680446)

I thought it was a little odd that there is no mention of the status of Linux/Microsoft in the US. I would be interested to see what is being done with Linux at a federal level here in the US.


Re:No mention of the US? (2, Informative)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680480)

I hear the carnivore stuff runs linux, the FBI says they dont trust microsoft for secure operations, also most governmetn websites seem to be running on linux/unix servers, go search around

Re:No mention of the US? (2)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680639)

We know a good bit--we know that the NSA develops there own version of linux. We also know that DARPA gives funding to FreeBSD for the same sort of thing--secure computing. These are just two examples I can think of off the top of my head--I'm sure there are plenty more.

Tax dollars should not buy Microsoft products (3, Insightful)

restive (542491) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680450)

Microsoft probably loves the idea, but I cringe at the statement about "taxpayer dollars".

If an Open Source option is available, tax money would be better spent using/improving those products, that benefit all, instead of a single organization declared to be a monopoly by the U.S. DOJ.

Re:Tax dollars should not buy Microsoft products (1)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680509)

...instead of a single organization declared to be a monopoly by the U.S. DOJ.

Just wondering, but does the DOJ have a Monopoly on declaring who is a Monopoly?

Re:Tax dollars should not buy Microsoft products (2)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680529)

Amen, im ready for a candidate who strongly says:

"No more proprietary software!"

Unfortunately, theyd probably end up eating those words later to

Mozilla 1.0 Turns the Tide (3, Insightful)

Titusdot Groan (468949) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680452)

As much as I despise Microsoft I have been unwilling to recommend anything other than Windows or MacOS to my friends and family.

I honestly feel that I may be able to recommend open source software to non-geeks in the near future. I'm using OpenOffice and Mozilla and both are holding up well -- indeed OpenOffice is less annoying than MSOffice 2000.

I think if UnitedLinux and Red Hat can just make that final turn into providing MacOSX like reliability then I will start recommending Linux and Macs and tell everybody to avoid Windows like the plague it is.

Sooooooo close ...

Don't recommend Macs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680470)

I will start recommending Linux and Macs and tell everybody to avoid Windows like the plague it is.

Don't recommend Macs. Not worth wasting government resources, except for niche applications: Macs cost much more than PC's and are harder to support and expand. PCs with Linux are much more cost effective, because they aren't shackled to limited overpriced Mac hardware (and don't have to rely on the problem of hard-to-find Mac experts and resources)

Re:Mozilla 1.0 Turns the Tide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680574)

MacOSX reliability???

i would say MacOSX usability

linux and open office are already reliable. just not always the easiest to use

Re:Mozilla 1.0 Turns the Tide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680587)

MacOSX reliability? You are an idiot if you think any Mac is more reliable than a proper Linux. You should not be recommending anything to anyone in my estimation.

Re:Mozilla 1.0 Turns the Tide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680613)

The problem is, you use Office 2000. Word 2.0 is the word processor of kings.

Word 2.0 is Processor of Kings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680641)

By the time I had Word 2.0 all figured out, I'd gone through as many wives as Larry King, my hair looked like Don King, and I was as articulate as the Scorpion King.

Options. (3, Insightful)

saintlupus (227599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680453)

the relative merits of using open source software rather than Microsoft Corp.'s Windows applications

Uh, there are more than two options in the world of operating systems. I'm assuming that everyone here has heard of small companies like Apple and Sun, who seem pretty effective at marketing their own OSes.

(Yeah, I know, they both fund some open source efforts too. But this whole "everything is either Microsoft or free-as-in-lint" dichotomy is too simple for anyone but retarded schoolchildren.)


Apple not effective, Sun is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680508)

Apple and Sun, who seem pretty effective at marketing their own OSes.

Two very different companies, with very different results. Apple isn't even trying to market its OS: they are a hardware company FIRST, and they sell the OS only to run on their hardware. Want to run Mac OS? Forget it if you have PC, forget it if you have a clone. Apple fights to LIMIT marketing of its OS. In contrast, Sun's JAVA is intended to run everywhere.

Re:Options. (2, Interesting)

Throatwarbler Mangro (584565) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680538)

(Yeah, I know, they both fund some open source efforts too. But this whole "everything is either Microsoft or free-as-in-lint" dichotomy is too simple for anyone but retarded schoolchildren.)

In the context of the article, I think it's rather more of a Closed Source vs. Open Source debate. When we're talking about using taxpayer money, there's a very real question of what sort of Return On Investment that we as taxpayers receive.

When using Microsoft (or any closed source provider)products, the end result is that the software fulfills it's function and the government agency (whatever it may be) provides the service it is charged to carry out. By using an open source alternative (one that is equally as effective as it's closed-source counterpart, to be fair) the taxpayers not only receive the government service but also the code that now becomes part of the public domain. It's a Value Added purchase, and makes better sense socially and financially.

Re:Options. (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680544)

The cost for Both those product would be difficult to justify. You would have to replace software AND hardware.

Just goes to show... (2)

PepsiProgrammer (545828) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680454)

This just goes to show how monopolistic MS is, Intentionally and blatantly making it hard for governments to switch from Proprietary software. But even the US has started making some strides toward Open Source, last i checked both and are running linux/unix based OS's, must have gotten tired of script kiddies.

Re:Just goes to show... (2)

nhavar (115351) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680550)

last I remember reading most of the machines being taken by script kiddies were Linux/Unix machines that admins had left open to attack because of bad security implementations. Being on a *nix based OS does not in anyway free you from being hacked.
Additionally what were FBI and whitehouse running prior to the last time you checked? Just because they are running *nix now doesn't mean they were running NT at some point in the past.

germany (3, Informative)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680455)

There was a lengthy debate (took about a year) about the usage of Linux vs. Windows in the german parliament. They ended up using Linux for Servers and Win2k for Desktops, which was interpreted as a loss for microsoft by the media. Microsoft actually offered to let a government agency review the windows source code. They paid $$$ - lobbyists but didn't succeed. Actually, this has been seen as a sign for other government agencies and open source is 'in' right now. Let's see how long it lasts...

I wonder. (1, Flamebait)

brain-in-a-box (168001) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680456)

Do they it 'cos they see the benefits of open source or are they just anti-USian ?
Like the "evil NSA key windows backdoor" rubbish.
I doubt they would ditch Windows if it was produced by a company of their own.

Re:I wonder. (5, Informative)

anshil (302405) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680624)

> Do they it 'cos they see the benefits of open source or are they just anti-USian ?
> Like the "evil NSA key windows backdoor" rubbish.
> I doubt they would ditch Windows if it was produced by a company of their own.

And what if it would be that way?

As an european country I would find it hard to rely internal security soly on an american company. What if there is a bug, country XYZ can't do anything about it until some guy in the USA fixes it. Now what if the software would be used for something important? And what if we just would have diplomatic problems because of a embargo of product X? (maybe about cars, fuel, meat, who know what...)

It should be the same reason why we europeans or any other country can't use the GPS for anything important. (like i.e. steering the trains with it)
Here the situation is quite obvious. GPS can be turned of with a switch in the USA. Yes GPS is useable as comfortable add-on but non USA countries can never rely on it. Thats why the EU is planning to do it's own positing system, not because it's better than GPS, but we will be able to rely on it.

Same goes for software, a non USA country can not safely use unexchangeable parts like microsoft products for anything important. It's always important to have at least two possible sources for a product, if not more. And windows fills this requirement not.

Okay for the non-geeks, why does OpenSource software fill this need? You still don't have more than one source, _but_ you get all the construction plans with the software, plus the right to actually use them. As a country in time of need you are able to fix possible problems yourself.

Hackers (1995) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680457)

Hackers (1995)


It si about a L33T hax0r namd DADE but he goze by teh name ZERO COOL when he si just a script kiddie but tehn later by teh name CRASH BANDICOOT or sometihng lkie that (I wuzznt paying too good attenzhun cuz my stoopid cat kipt buging me I told him to git away but he kipt bugging me so I shots him acroos teh room tehn he hissed an runned away stoopid cat). Dade si cool and vary smart he hax0rs stuff. In teh beginning he hax0rs some TV stashun becuz tehy R pl@ying crap on teh TV and he wants to watch OUTAR LIMITS (A VARY QALITY SHOW) but tehn some othar hax0r gets in his face and hez like GO AWAY I AM HAX0RING TIHS STOOPID TV STASHUN and teh othar hax0r is like NO TIHS IS MY HAX0RING PLACE U GO AWAY so tehn they fight and watch othar qality shows like LAND OF TEH LOST tehn CRASH gets thrown out of teh sistem by teh othar hax0r naed ACID BURN who turns out to be a VARY HOT CHIX0R but CRASH duzzent know tihs yet so he is like "SHOOTS I WILL GIT TAHT HAX0R!"

Tehn DAde goes to skool but I hates skool so I wont talks about taht part of teh moovie and it was not vary good anyway but he meets the VARY HOT HAX0R but duzznt know it STOOPID CRASH SHE WANTS YOU STUDMOOFIN!!

Tehn Dade meets othar hax0rs with reely cool handals like LORD NIKON (likes teh CAMERA) and CEREAL KILLER (LOOK OUT CAP'N CRUNCH HERE COMES CEREAL KILLER!) and some othars taht I don't remembar and were not vary cool like teh othars.

ANYway teh goes to tihs place that I thinks they owns becuz they skates around inside and there are no adults and tehre are vary big viddeo gamez and it si vary cool but I don't remembars what happens there so I wont talks about it too much excapt that DADE beets the HOT CHIX0R AT A VIDEEO GAEM!!!!!!1 U SI STOOPID CRASH U DON'T BEET CHIX0RS OR TEHY WILL HATE U!!!

Tihs KID namd JOey wants to git a handal but he haz to score a RIGHTEOUS HACK first B4 HE can be 733t. So he goes home and hacks into sum big computar and steels tehir garbage which is NOT ACTUALL GARBAGE BUT SUM VIRUS OR SNAIL OR SOMETHING I wuzznt sure bcuz my cat came back and starts to bothar me again and startid biting my leg so I kicked hims again and he runs off STOOPID CAT I'M WACHING A LEET MOOVIE GOES AWAY!

But it si VARY COOL when teh hax0r things bcuz they have tihs VARY 733t GOOEY INTARFACE taht lets them fly around insides the computar in 3D and theys shots tihns at the kernal and blows stuffs up. I wisshes I had taht gooey bcuz whenevar I boots my LUNUX macheen it duzznt have taht and I haves to types commands and that SI NOT 733t!!! MAybee I just needs to git an appal computar with a P6 chip liks they hads in teh moovie I gess tehy come with taht 733t gooey.

Tehn JOEY gets cot by the SECRAT SERVACE!!! He goes to jail and all teh other 733t peepul are like OH NOS HE SI IN JAIL TEH WILL GETs US ALL! But tehn nothing happens so tehy have a contast to bug sum secrat servace guy but then things happen and teh hax0rs have to hax0r teh place joey hax0red so tehy can gets teh rest of teh GARBAGE taht joey gots so tehy can saves teh world. Tihs part wuz vary cool and was a vary qality piece of moovie making bcuz it was VARY TRUE. Tehy HAX0R into teh bad gys place and HIT TEHM WITH TEH DREEDED COOKEI MONSTAR VIRUS but teh bad guys are sortr fo 733t 2 tehy no to jist type "COOKIE" and teh viras gos away!! TEhn tehy send RABBITS and othar animals to kills teh bad guys but teh bad guy si like "HA HA I AM WAY 733t U CANT HAX0RS ME!" But tehn they send tha CANCAR and it EETS TEH FILAS OH NO U CANT HAVE A SYSTAM WITHOUT FIALS!! But teh bad guys TRIX0R tehm again and it looks like teh bad guy is goin to WIN OH NO!! But suddanly all teh hax0rs in teh world BRAKE INTO TEH SYSTAM and teh bad guys are like OH NO TEH ARE COMING IN FROM REMOTE NOSE! TEHY ARE IN TEH KERNAL!!! (Teh kernal si a VARY IMPORTANT part of teh computar and you have to be SUPA 733t to hax0r teh kernal it si vary hard and there are MANY GUNS PROTECTING THE KERNAL!! ITs not loke Kernal Clink tho he was stoopid Hogan gots away frum him all teh time THE TUNNEL IS UNDER TEH BED U IDIAT!!)

BUt finally teh shots their way in wiht their VIRAS BULLITS and teh GET TEH GARBAGE!!! BUT TEHN THE SECRAT SERVACE CATCHES TEHM!!! Teh secrat servace si not vary 733t and tehy tihnk teh HAX0RS ARE EVAL (STOOPID SECRAT SERVACE HAX0RS ARE G00D PEEPUL!!) Tehy arrest teh haxors but BANDICOOT throws teh disk in teh trash as they are walking out. HE shouts "HAX TEH PLANAT!" as he si beeing put into teh copper car and his 733t frends here him. HAX TEH PLANAT si hax0r speek for "WE GOTS TEH GARBAGE FILE AND PUTS IT ON A DISK BUT THE SECRAT SERVACE COT US SO I SHOTS TEH DISK SI IN TEH GARBAGE CAN ON TEH SECOND FLOOR!!" and teh 733t guy finds the disk and EVARYONE SI SAVED!!!

I wuz jumping ups and downs in my living room wehn teh hax0rs won but tehn my cat came back in so I whacked it with my reemote controol and it lade down for awhile STOOPID CAT.

IN conclushun tihs si a vary 733t moovie and u shood go watch it with othar 733t frends and LEARN TO LUV IT bcuz it si SO TRUE!! And gets an appal with a P6 im getting one so i can hax0r with taht 733t GOOEY!!!!!!!1111

Scene to watch for: Penn Jillette as teh 733t securaty gard

Best Line: "Oh, it's Leopard boy. AND the Decepticons."

Things that make you go "Huh?": TEH L33T G00EY!!!

Re:Hackers (1995) (1)

Ironfist_ironmined (554123) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680527)

The comment that just... |3p7 g01/\/g...

Re:Hackers (1995) (0)

hatrisc (555862) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680553)

very crappy movie, very crappy acting. according to hackers (1995) i could hack the government with a series of commands like this:

$ hack gov't
Welcome to the Government!
Authorized, proceed...
# be root
Welcome root. You have new mail.
# put my h4x0r3d site up
# get me out of here

and then the government website is cracked, and a new "I cracked you" page is up.


hatrisc (555862) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680476)

gessh, even Linux himself doesn't believe it should be called GNU/LINUX.. (Revolution OS) and besides where in the GPL does it say anything about putting GNU/ in front of anything released under the gpl??? i'm not sure if mozilla is released under the gpl, but if it is, we don't call it GNU/Mozilla, or is that what we're doing now? i do realize that it's GNU/Linux, because without GNU Linux would just be a kernel. correct. but, this is why we have distro's such as RedHat, Caldera, Debian, Turbo, SuSE, etc. It's called RedHat Linux or Caldera openLinux, or whatever. Therefore if this trend continues, RMS will have to 1. Change the GPL -- Which would put him on the $hitlist w/ other people/incs. like M$, and UNISYS, or 2. STOP WITH THE GNU/ PREFIX!

Timothy got it wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680477)

It is not GNU/Linux, it is the "GNU operating system mistakenly called Linux by Linus Torvalds"

That quote is from RMS. Get the interview at

A good start. (3, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680478)

Well to help get a wider accecptance it is a good thing that governments are deciding to look at alternitives to MS stuff. And this helps to push more MS People to understanding and even perhaps liking to use Linux. With more people using it more software will be made (Open Sourse and Closed Source). Thus helping of actually giving people a choice in OSes. We long got away from the Idea of the Right Tool for the Right Job. I think it is time that we come back to that Idea.

MS is like the Quizno's Ads (2, Funny)

mssymrvn (15684) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680482)

For those countries sticking with MS products:

Would you like to try this great, flexible, free software? Or how about this closed, expensive buggy software with 'lettuce'?

Subject obviously prefers software with 'lettuce'.

Microsoft sees the writing on the wall (3, Insightful)

Ma$$acre (537893) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680484)

It's under attack for it's business practices here and abroad. It's FUD is not swaying many decision makers anymore and their "terrorist gambit" is not panning out as planned.

Because M$ has never been known as a service company it really has no model to fit into the Open Source idea. Since it has no direct way of benefiting, other than stealing code for use in their own products, they have to fight against it's upsurgence

M$ will move into the arena of small commercial packages, proprietary embedded systems and OS's and will fight tooth and nail the entire way. Of course the argument that they stabalized and helped build the current computer industry is partially correct, but had open standards been used to begin with (and not the embrace and extend crap) we might have a much more competetive landscape.

The Real Issue.... (2, Insightful)

echucker (570962) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680486)

.... isn't one of supporting open source because it's good for your life-long karma, but having someone to hold the end-user's hand when something goes tits-up.

Microsoft comes in a pretty package, and is so widely used, that someone in a given setting is bound to have experience with it.

It's not that open source is or isn't better than MS, but which one gives the user (not the IT guys) a warm fuzzy.

The Peruvian Correspondence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680488)

The letters [] between Microsoft and Congressman Villanueva give an excellent clarification of what Microsoft is about in software, and what it is like to truly look at software as a tool of the users, not as one of the vendor.

Damn, sounsd like a world war... (2)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680495)

Haha... this is like the axis and alliance. One hand we have denmark, austria and mexico. On the other side is germany, france (who thought they'd ever be on the same side), china and a bunch more. I'm surprised Microsoft just hasn't bought a country yet. No i don't mean lobbying and free software packages or whatever. I mean legitmatly going into a nation saying "hey we got $40 billion and we want to buy you" and doing it. I think that would be more impressive than 30% market share for iis. Then again as my supervisor at the helpdesk showed me the corporate structure of Microsoft... you have your ceo and board, followed by some software groups, etc. Then in the marketing department towards the basement... you find the US DOJ. Guess thats going to help dictate whos side we'll be on.

Government administrators: It is your duty. (4, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680497)

Government administrators should note that it is their duty to insure that all government work be done on completely open systems. The citizens and taxpayers of a democracy must have full access to all documents, even 40 or a hundred years from now. There is NO room in a democracy for proprietary, hidden ways of doing things.

Re:Government administrators: It is your duty. (1)

ealar dlanvuli (523604) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680546)

yes, this is the only argument that matters. It's silly to even argue in any other terms when speaking of a democracy.

Sure papers get destroyed over time, but purpously trying to make public data unreadable is illegal last time I checked. And only supporting M$ formats is a good way to destroy data on purpouse, unless your willing to let MS control your country

Re:Government administrators: It is your duty. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680564)

And while your at it, please declasify the top secret military documents including plans for building our most high tech equipment and bombs. Remember, no room for hidding things!

Secrecy is a BIG problem: See this link. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680637)

If you look at stories from the best news sources that are collected at this link, I think you will agree that secrets cause more harm than good: What Should be the Response to Violence? []

The stories say, basically, that if there were less secrecy, there would be far fewer reasons to have bombs.

Re:Government administrators: It is your duty. (2, Interesting)

imta11 (129979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680569)

You make the mistake of assuming that Government workers are making these programs. Almost all government work is done by contractors i.e. GE, Lockhead Martin etc... There is in fact a movement to use open standards, so that the code is easier to support when the contracts end.

However, there is no need for you to ask for all documents, and there are such things ass business practices, even in the "not for profit" government sector. What if some of these documents were about you? Do I have the right to view those things about your person just because my government found it prudent to take records? Clearly no. My rights end where your rights begin.

As taxpayers we get services. If you want to dictate those services run for office.

Indonesia (4, Informative)

empereur (579068) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680500)

The government of Indonesia has funded a development of a free operating system fully in Indonesian language, which is actually a KDE-based Linux distro.


Amusingly, it's called WinBI -- a shortened form of 'Indonesian-Language Windows'

Anyone else notice.... (2, Insightful)

echucker (570962) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680501)

... that the US is not on the list?

Freudian slip? (2)

Eryq (313869) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680504)

(From the section on Finland):

It cited compatibility problems, namely among users trying to receive Microsoft World documents.

Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Format? (shudder...)

No monoculture is a good thing. (4, Insightful)

Fished (574624) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680505)

The article makes an assumption that I don't think is very good - specifically, it assumes that a government should pick one OS and stick with it. In fact, that's the WORST thing a government can do. If one picks a single OS/Office combo, then you're stuck with it and you create an environment of increasing incompatibility with the rest of the world.

What we need is not a better monoculture, but a polyculture (is that a word?) In a polyculture, one company (MS) can't create a format that's impossible for anyone else to implement properly and expect it to be widely used, because users will EXPECT interoperability. They'd be shooting themselves in the foot. By the same token, in a polyculture you have many different products that foster true innovation. I mean ... as much as office sucks, some parts of it have been truly innovative (some parts of Outlook, Excel.)

Hell, in a monoculture half the time software isn't compatible with its previous version (think Office 95 vs. office 97.)

I wouldn't want any government to mandate *one* operating system. Instead, I think that governments should mandate operating system diversity. That's the way to get true, robust reliability and ultimately save money.

Re:No monoculture is a good thing. (3, Informative)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680629)

I believe Clinton did this in the US with Windows. He basically mandataed that Windows was the OS of the government. I could be wrong it was something someone (a goverment employee) had told me at some point. When I worked there most of the desktop computers were being converted to windows NT 4.0 (its been a while). Yes there are some offices that still use other OSes and there are some that are moving their servers to Linux or experimenting and using Linux (NASA && NSA for instance). But the majority of US goverment offices are 'supposed' to use Windows. My friend works for the DOD and he was upset when he heard this. However it seems that it did not last that long as they ended up using QNX cause windows did not do their real time stuff as needed and now they are moving to Linux and saving money (they are using the Linux kernel real time patch).

I agree though that they should not pass laws like I think the article said Peru is doing. I do think that governments should look for cheaper ways of running thier computers. Think of it this way. If there are 1,000,000 employees and they all use MS office (about $300 per user), exchange (about ? per user), and Windows OS (about $300 per user) that is about 500-1000 per user, plus possiblly other software, that turns out to be about 500 million to 1 billion dollars to Billy Gates, and software. This is of course TAX dollars that could be spent elsewhere. Linux or BSD's could be an alternative to this where people could spend the cost of the cdrom plus office and use Evolution without the connector. It could mean that 1/2 to 3/4 of the money spend on software could be channeled to other things like health care. Granted most goverments do not spend this much each year on software but they do upgrade every 2 to 3 years (in the US at least many offices do). 1/2 billion dollars in some of these countries is a lot of money that could be spent on schools and feeding its people.

Microsoft World (4, Funny)

Disoriented (202908) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680525)

It cited compatibility problems, namely among users trying to receive Microsoft World documents. Microsoft World Documents?? Has Microsoft taken over the World format already? Otto Schily, the German Federal Minister of the Interior, announced last Monday a deal with IBM to promote, for the pubic sector, hardware and software products that support Linux. The pubic sector?? I thought that was my private business! Oh wait, an "L" accidentally got moved. Calming down now.

Monoculture counter-argument compelling (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680528)

Regardless of the quality of the solution, there is an argument for avoiding closed solutions from *any* single vendor. Large organizations not only expose themselves to security threats, but also economic fluctuations affecting the single vendor.

Security problems of Linux-only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680552)

Didn't Internet worms taking advantage of *nix servers actually come way before all those nasty Microsoft Outlook worms?

Linux Myths Explained (-1)

Metrollica (552191) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680537)

With all the recent attention around Linux as an operating system, it's important to step back from the hype and look at the reality. First, it's worth noting that Linux is a UNIX-like operating system. Linux fundamentally relies on 30-year-old operating system technology and architecture. Linux was not designed from the ground-up to support symmetrical multiprocessing (SMP), graphical user interfaces (GUI), asynchronous I/O, fine-grained security model, and many other important characteristics of a modern operating system. These architectural limitations mean that as customers look for a platform to cost effectively deploy scalable, secure, and robust applications, Linux simply cannot deliver on the hype.

Myth: Linux performs better than Windows NT
Reality: Windows NT 4.0 Outperforms Linux On Common Customer Workloads

The Linux community claims to have improved performance and scalability in the latest versions of the Linux Kernel (2.2), however it's clear that Linux remains inferior to the Windows NT® 4.0 operating system.

For File and Print services, according to independent tests conducted by PC Week Labs , the Windows NT 4.0 operating system delivers 52 percent better performance on a single processor system and 110 percent better performance on a 4-way system than similarly configured single processor and 4-way Linux/SAMBA systems.

For Web servers, the same PC Week tests showed Windows NT 4.0 with Internet Information Server 4.0 delivers 41 percent better performance on a single processor system and 125 percent better performance on a 4-way system than Linux and Apache. For e-commerce workloads using secure sockets (SSL), recent PC Magazine tests showed Windows NT 4.0 with Internet Information Server 4.0 delivers approximately five times the performance provided by Linux and Stronghold.

For transaction-orientated Line of Business applications, Windows NT 4.0 has achieved a result of 40,368 tpmC at a cost of $18.46 per transaction on a Compaq 8-Way Pentium III XEON processor-based system. This industry leading price/performance result from the Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) clearly shows how Windows NT can deliver world-class performance for heavy duty transaction processing. It's interesting to note that there is not a single TPC result on any database running on Linux, and therefore Linux has yet to demonstrate their capabilities as a database server.

Linux performance and scalability is architecturally limited in the 2.2 Kernel. Linux only supports 2 gigabytes (GB) of RAM on the x86 architecture,1 compared to 4 GB for Windows NT 4.0. The largest file size Linux supports is 2 GB versus 16 terabytes (TB) for Windows NT 4.0. The Linux SWAP file is limited to 128 MB. In addition, Linux does not support many of the modern operating system features that Windows NT 4.0 has pioneered such as asynchronous I/O, completion ports, and fine-grained kernel locks. These architecture constraints limit the ability of Linux to scale well past two processors.

The Linux community continues to promise major SMP and performance improvements. They have been promising these since the development of the 2.0 Kernel in 1996. Delivering a scalable system is a complex task and it's not clear that the Linux community can solve these issues easily or quickly. As D. H. Brown Associates noted in a recent technical report,2 the Linux 2.2 Kernel remains in the early stages of providing a tuned SMP kernel.

Myth: Linux is more reliable than Windows NT
Reality: Linux Needs Real World Proof Points Rather than Anecdotal Stories

The Linux community likes to talk about Linux as a stable and reliable operating system, yet there are no real world data or metrics and very limited customer evidence to back up these claims.

Windows NT 4.0 has been proven in demanding customer environments to be a reliable operating system. Customers such as Barnes and Noble, The Boeing Company, Chicago Stock Exchange, Dell Computer, Nasdaq and many others run mission-critical applications on Windows NT 4.0.

Linux lacks a commercial quality Journaling File System. This means that in the event of a system failure (such as a power outage) data loss or corruption is possible. In any event, the system must check the integrity of the file system during system restart, a process that will likely consume an extended amount of time, especially on large volumes and may require manual intervention to reconstruct the file system.

There are no commercially proven clustering technologies to provide High Availability for Linux. The Linux community may point to numerous projects and small companies that are aiming to deliver High Availability functionality. D. H. Brown recently noted that these offerings remain immature and largely unproven in the demanding business world.

There are no OEMs that provide uptime guarantees for Linux, unlike Windows NT where Compaq, Data General, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Unisys provide 99.9 percent system-level uptime guarantees for Windows NT-based servers.

Myth: Linux is Free
Reality: Free Operating System Does Not Mean Low Total Cost of Ownership

The Linux community will talk about the free or low-cost nature of Linux. It's important to understand that licensing cost is only a small part of the overall decision-making process for customers.

The cost of the operating system is only a small percentage of the overall total cost of ownership (TCO). In general Windows NT has proven to have a lower cost of ownership than UNIX. Previous studies have shown that Windows NT has 37 percent lower TCO than UNIX. There is no reason to believe that Linux is significantly different than other versions of UNIX when it comes to TCO.

The very definition of Linux as an Open Software effort means that commercial companies like Red Hat will make money by charging for services. Therefore, commercial support services for Linux will be fee-based and will likely be priced at a premium. These costs have to be factored into the total cost model.

Linux is a UNIX-like operating system and is therefore complex to configure and manage. Existing UNIX users may find the transition to Linux easier but administrators for existing Windows®-based or Novell environments will find it more difficult to handle the complexity of Linux. This retraining will add significant costs to Linux deployments. Linux is a higher risk option than Windows NT. For example how many certified engineers are there for Linux? How easy is it to find skilled development and support people for Linux? Who performs end-to-end testing for Linux-based solutions? These factors and more need to be taken into account when choosing a platform for your business.

Myth: Linux is more secure than Windows NT
Reality: Linux Security Model Is Weak

All systems are vulnerable to security issues, however it's important to note that Linux uses the same security model as the original UNIX implementations--a model that was not designed from the ground up to be secure.

Linux only provides access controls for files and directories. In contrast, every object in Windows NT, from files to operating system data structures, has an access control list and its use can be regulated as appropriate.

Linux security is all-or-nothing. Administrators cannot delegate administrative privileges: a user who needs any administrative capability must be made a full administrator, which compromises best security practices. In contrast, Windows NT allows an administrator to delegate privileges at an exceptionally fine-grained level. Linux has not supported key security accreditation standards. Every member of the Windows NT family since Windows NT 3.5 has been evaluated at either a C2 level under the U.S. Government's evaluation process or at a C2-equivalent level under the British Government's ITSEC process. In contrast, no Linux products are listed on the U.S. Government's evaluated product list.

Linux system administrators must spend huge amounts of time understanding the latest Linux bugs and determining what to do about them. This is made complex due to the fact that there isn't a central location for security issues to be reported and fixed. In contrast Microsoft provides a single security repository for notification and fixes of security related issues. Configuring Linux security requires an administrator to be an expert in the intricacies of the operating system and how components interact. Misconfigure any part of the operating system and the system could be vulnerable to attack. Windows NT security is easy to set up and administer with tools such as the Security Configuration Editor.

Myth: Linux can replace Windows on the desktop
Reality: Linux Makes No Sense at the Desktop

Linux as a desktop operating system makes no sense. A user would end up with a system that has fewer applications, is more complex to use and manage, and is less intuitive.

Linux does not provide support for the broad range of hardware in use today; Windows NT 4.0 currently supports over 39,000 systems and devices on the Hardware Compatibility List. Linux does not support important ease-of-use technologies such as Plug and Play, USB, and Power Management

The complexity of the Linux operating system and cumbersome nature of the existing GUIs would make retraining end-users a huge undertaking and would add significant cost Linux application support is very limited, meaning that customers end up having to build their own horizontal and vertical applications. A recent report from Forrester Research highlighted the fact that today 93 percent of enterprise ISVs develop applications for Windows NT, while only 13 percent develop for Linux.3 Summary

The Linux operating system is not suitable for mainstream usage by business or home users. Today with Windows NT 4.0, customers can be confident in delivering applications that are scalable, secure, and reliable--yet cost effective to deploy and manage. Linux clearly has a long way to go to be competitive with Windows NT 4.0. With the release of the Windows 2000 operating system, Microsoft extends the technical superiority of the platform even further ensuring that customers can deliver the next generation applications to solve their business challenges.

IBM (3, Interesting)

SLot (82781) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680541)

Seems like IBM is making out like gangbusters in
these deals.

Perhaps there was something to that slashback article
last night....

Microsoft's response... (4, Funny)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680545)

Meanwhile, deep in the heart of Redmond, Cheif Software Architect Gates addresses his staff.

"As my first act as Software Architect, I will create a grand army to counter the increasing threat of the Open Source seperatists"

War ensues...

Developing countries? (3, Insightful)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680568)

I am surprised at the low number of developing countries especially African countries. They are the countries which really NEED to use free software. But in my experience they are the ones least likely to. Too bad the big companies have already targetted these countries and the free software movement has no real marketing marketing strategy for these countries.

Re:Developing countries? (1, Troll)

WildBeast (189336) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680640)

That's probably because developpers in poor countries can't afford to work for free.

Freudian slip (2)

xant (99438) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680570)

From the article (about a study in Finland): "It cited compatibility problems, namely among users trying to receive Microsoft World documents." [emphasis mine]

Snapshots from the OS front (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680575)

Government officials the world over are getting drawn into the debate over the relative merits of using open source software rather than Microsoft Corp.'s Windows applications and other software developed by vendors who closely guard the intellectual property of their source code. Some countries, such as Germany, have decided to replace Windows and other commercial software products with open source applications. Other countries remain committed to commercial software, and yet others are straddling the fence. Here are examples of how some countries are dealing with the debate.

Nations wading in the Linux waters:


Homeland of Linux creator Linus Torvalds, Finland has embarked on a government test of open source software. Twenty-eight employees from 13 government agencies (out of 100 total) completed a project in April to test the free Open Office open-source desktop productivity suite and its commercially available version, called Star Office, from Sun Microsystems Inc. The project coordinators determined that it would recommend use of the suite, mainly for users who do not exchange documents on a regular basis with users of competing software. It cited compatibility problems, namely among users trying to receive Microsoft World documents. The government has also begun hosting seminars for employees to introduce them to Linux and other open source software. About 13 percent of government servers are running Linux, but the country has no policies that mandate what software government agencies use, according to Arja Terho, a counsellor in Finland's Ministry of Finance.


A bill currently under debate by PerFA's Congress would require government agencies to use open source software. Proprietary or commercial applications, such as those from Microsoft or IBM Corp.'s Lotus Development Corp., could only be used when no open source alternative was available, the bill proposes. Proponents of the bill, which include several congressman who have introduced follow-on legislation, say it will save the country money on IT expenditures and reduce software piracy, which in 2000 accounted for about 60 percent of all the software in use at public institutions in Peru, according to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), an industry trade group. The issue has drawn opposition from critics, who say the government has no business mandating what type of software should be used, and that the law would be counterproductive for the country's indigenous developers.


Korea's HancomLinux Inc. signed a deal in January with Korea's Central Procurement Office to supply the government with 120,000 copies of its Linux desktop office productivity software, HancomOffice. The open source software, which is compatible with Microsoft's Office applications, including Word and Excel, is expected to save the government money in t he long run and stimulate business for local companies competing against Microsoft in the software industry.


A government-subsidized technology development group, known as the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre, or Nactec, announced in Apr il that it has developed its own package of open source software for use o n government desktop computers and servers. Linux-SIS (School Internet Server) for servers and Linux TLE (Thai Linux Extension) for desktops are based on the version of the Linux operating system from Red Hat Inc, a Raleigh, North Carolina, software company. Nactec has made the software freely available to government groups and small businesses. The project , government officials said, aims to narrow the gap between pirated software and legal software use, and promote local business development.


Similar to Thailand, the Philippines government has an effort to develop a package of open source software products for government agencies. The Advanced Science and Technology Institute, which falls under the Philippines' Department of Science and Technology (DOST), said in February that it will release a Linux sampler to users. It will include an operating system and desktop productivity applications on a single install disk. A separate effort by DOST led to the development of an open source database that is being used by the country's National Computer Center. So far, there are no government mandates to use Linux or other open source products.


In February 2000, the French Ministry of Culture and Communications decided to replace software on some of the government's servers, which were running Windows NT and AIX, a version of Unix from IBM Corp., with Red Hat Linux. It has already made the change on 50 of the 300 targeted servers, according to Bruno Mannoni, head of the agency's information systems. Software it has adopted include the Apache Web server and Zope, an open source application server. Mannoni said the effort has saved money and the new software is more reliable than what was used previously.


Otto Schily, the German Federal Minister of the Interior, announced last Monday a deal with IBM to promote, for the pubic sector, hardware and software products that support Linux. IBM has agreed to sell the country products at a discounted rate. IBM said that it will use the version of the operating system from SuSE Linux AG in NFCrnberg, Germany. Germany's lower house of Parliament, the Bundestag, also considered a switch to Linux in October 2001, but managed to work a revised deal with Microsoft that lowered the cost of its software acquisitions.


Motivated by Taiwan's Fair Trade Commission investigation of Microsoft's pricing practices in that country, legislators are seeking ways to rein in Microsoft's dominance of the software market. Some officials advocate funding development of open-source software, including Linux. Discussions within the government are still at a preliminary stage.


Beijing government officials in January awarded local Chinese software vendors software contracts, passing over bids from Microsoft. One such deal was with Beijing-based Red Flag Software Co. Ltd. to outfit government computers with its version of Linux. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong government has installed more than 100 Linux servers in various departments in the past three years. Public pressure to avoid dependence on single-vendor products has prompted government interest in open source. According to government statistics about half of the US$23.2 million spent on software during the 2000-2001 fiscal year went to Microsoft Hong Kong Ltd. President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Flag, Liu Bo, said in January that by using open source software, the government would strengthen security, have ownership of the intellectual property that is the foundation for its technology, increase competence of local software vendors and cut down on software piracy, which in 2000 reached 97 percent, according to the BSA.

Nations with renewed support for Microsoft


An ambitious government project to build out the country's IT infrastructure and move its 100 million citizens online passed over open source software after Microsoft agreed to pump an estimated $100 million into the effort if the country adopted its software products. Through a series of deals, the software maker is donating training for tens of thousands of teachers, technicians and professionals. The project, dubbed e-Mexico, was first introduced by the government of Vicente Fox shortly after Fox took over the presidency in December of 2000.


One of Microsoft's flagship government customers, the Federal Ministry of the Interior in Austria, is the first government body in Europe to become a member of Microsoft's Shared Source Initiative. As part of the program, the Austrian government is allowed access to the Windows XP source code. Program benefits, according to Microsoft, include better understanding of the technical underpinnings of the operating system, better protection against security vulnerabilities and a resource for writing custom applications.


Despite some efforts to investigate open source software for use in the Danish public sector, the country has maintained close ties to Microsoft, according to Niels Svennakjaer, president of Commercial Linux Association of Demark. Apparently, the country's job retraining agency, called the AMU, experimented with Linux at its offices in Copenhagen, and they like what they saw, Svennakjaer said. A switch, however, was shot down by government IT decision makers, he noted.

Playing both sides of the fence


New software subscription fees that Microsoft has imposed on its customers has fed interest among Norway's government agencies and schools in open source software. Few tests of the Linux operating system or other open source products have taken place. However, there is talk among public agencies and school officials to investigate ways it could use such software, said Fred Arne Odegaard, assistant IT consultant with Norway's Department for Trade and Industry. The country is also waiting for more direction from the European Union, which is set to present what it calls the eEurope plan later this month, which will include discussions on open source, Odegaard said. Some issues that could stand in the way of open source adoption in Norway include security and vendor-level support, he said.


An increase in licensing fees for Microsoft software pushed the U.K.'s Office of Government Commerce (OGC) into negotiations with the software maker to lower the cost of desktop software used by nearly 500,000 government employees. Microsoft agreed to new terms with the U.K, which is expected to save tax payers there a reported $150 million over three years. Still, the government is allowing individual departments to acquire open source software in place of Microsoft products, according to an OGC spokesman. Separately, the U.K. police force embarked on a study in January to test Linux for use on its 60,000 desktops used by police officers in England and Wales.

I pledge allegiance (1)

freerangegeek (451133) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680593)

I pledge allegiance to the OS of the Corporation of Microsoft, and to the monopoly for which it stands. One corporation, under Bill, with proprietary injustice for all.


Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680594)

I *really* don't care what government decides to waste its money on (after all, if it wasn't Java applets, it would be platinum toilet seats or silver cigars).

But I do care when government sponsored research into software is used by companies to make >hella money. Last I fucking checked, I didn't give Sun/MS/etc all my damn tax dollars to make them richer. The fags. I want that research GPL'ed so that I know its available, that I, as a tax payer who paid for the R&D gets the benifits, and that it can be made even better by the world (and thus can help my government/business/whore house/drug house,etc).

well considering (0)

OklaKid (552472) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680601)

that the cost of WinXP & OfficeXP is more than most people make in a year in *some of these countrys can you blame them... plus who want to locked in to a propriatory OS & applications that do not play well with other platforms and be dependant on one company for any patches & updates, M$FT & other propriatory OSs & software is just not worth it... OpenSource is the only way to go, it is the future of computing...

MS fees in United Kingdom excessive?! (1)

fortunatus (445210) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680615)

in general i support _both_ MS and open source OS choices - i feel that Microsoft's level of integration in their products is well worth a maintenance fee. but the article mentioned that the UK negotiated a savings of $150,000,000 over three years for 500,000 seats: that's $100 a year per seat savings, which means the fee was well over $100/year! that seems like a HUGE fee!! $5, or even $20 a seat/year would be more like it!

at that rate they won't keep me on their good side...

Enough with GNU/Linux (2, Offtopic)

mcspock (252093) | more than 12 years ago | (#3680628)

I'm sorry, i can't stand it when people call Linux GNU/Linux. I fail to see why people feel the need to bow to RMS's ego; the GNU utilities are primarily rewrites of existing utilities, not innovative new technologies. All the comparisons of lines of code are pointless - the kernel is one single chunk, making it much much more complex to work with than any of the hundreds of GNU utilities packages in the standard distro.

Seriously, if you are going to start referring to it as GNU/Linux, you should change your website's name to Apache/Slashdot; maybe you should start telling people who use slashcode that they have to have 'Slash/' at the beginning of their website name. It's just as retarded.

Penguin Prostitutes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3680638)

Practitioners of the oldest profession have been found at work on the icy shores of Antarctica plying their trade in a dress of black and white feathers - they are penguin prostitutes.

The first recorded examples of bird prostitution have been observed in colonies of Adelie penguins on Ross Island, about 800 miles from the South Pole, by Dr Fiona Hunter of Cambridge University and Dr Lloyd Davis of the University of Otago, supported by the New Zealand Antarctic Programme.

They observed how male Adelies pay for sexual favours with rocks and stones, a limited resource that can prove crucial for the survival of broods. In no other bird have such extra-marital exchanges been recorded, said Dr Hunter, a post-doctoral researcher who has made annual visits to Antarctica to study their sex life.

She described how, at the start of the breeding season, the penguins hunt for stones. Once all the loose rocks have been collected, they attempt to peck them out of the frozen mud to construct a nest platform, crucial to keep eggs high and dry above mud and chilly melt water.

Stones are so valuable that they will steal them from each other, though they risk being attacked by the owners of the hard currency. In the journal Auk, Drs Hunter and Davis describe how females have developed another strategy: they lure nearby male penguins for sex in exchange for the rocks. "Females have figured out that one way to steal the stones without being attacked is to swap copulations for them," said Dr Hunter.

They slip away from their partner and wander over to the nest of an unpaired male. Standard courtship follows, with a dip of the head and a coy look from the corner of her eye. If he shows interest, she will lie prone which, in the language of penguin love, is an invitation to mate or carry out what the scientists call "extra-pair copulation".

Once mating is over, the female picks up her payment, a stone, and carries it to her nesting platform. Sometimes their customers are so satisfied that the females can return for second helpings of stones, without having to offer more sex. Other females found that a little courtship was enough to persuade a male to allow them to play with a rock, then cart it away. One especially teasing female managed to collect 62 stones this way, said Dr Hunter. "The males were probably duped into thinking that she was a possible partner."

The zoologists are now analysing the benefits of penguin whoredom. While the male may lose some of his rocks, he gains the possibility of fathering extra chicks. The benefits to the females are less clear. "I don't think that she is just after his stones," said Dr Hunter. "Perhaps the female mates with an extra male for another reason, say to increase the quality or genetic variability of her offspring. This seems reasonable given that not all males actually father the chicks they help to rear."

Another reason for seeking male company could be to form a relationship with a potential mate for the next season if her partner dies. The team is now planning another trip to the frozen continent to uncover more details of the penguin's complicated love life.
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