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Free Software As Nigerian Scam

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the this-is-satire-right dept.

GNU is Not Unix 685

djeaux writes "In the November 4 issue of Syllabus, Howard Strauss, manager of technology strategy and outreach at Princeton University, presents 'The FREE, 0% APR, Better Sex, No Effort Diet' in which he scattershoots at open source software. The Nigerian scam is part of his imagery, leading to a great quote: 'While you are installing your free open source software you may want to write Mrs. Ahmed a check. Her $8.5 million will help pay for the real cost of that free software.' Elsewhere, Strauss describes the open source community as 'a smattering of teenagers too young to work at Redmond, hackers, virus creators, and a menagerie of others with whom you will feel great pride in entrusting your IT infrastructure.'" Not everyone at Princeton agrees.

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685 comments

Article in case of /.'ing (0, Informative)

Coulter, Ann (720298) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393147)


The FREE, 0% APR, Better Sex, No Effort Diet

Howard Strauss

I AM MRS. HAJIAH HASSAN AHMED, THE WIFE OF LATE CHIEF ALHAJI HASSAN AHMED...I SEEK IN CONFIDENCE THAT YOU ASSIST ME TO INVEST THIS US$34,000,000 FUND. I HAVE RESOLVED TO DEPART 25% OF THE TOTAL SUM TO YOU FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE IN THIS TRANSACTION SECURED BY YOUR GOOD FAITH DEPOSIT OF US$5,000.

Few of us would rush to send Mrs. Ahmed the $5,000 she asks for in return for a promised $8.5 million. This is clearly the mythical free lunch; a scam; a pitch that promises something for nothing; a special deal only for us. We are all much too sophisticated to believe that millions of dollars will fall into our laps with no effort on our part--or are we? Many of us buy the following scams where perhaps the lack of all caps serves to disguise them.

Free Software

Why buy expensive software or spend millions to develop it yourself? You can get complex systems at absolutely NO COST! Yes, instead of having highly paid programmers at Microsoft, IBM, Sun, or even Blackboard build your critical university systems, you can have scores of software gurus scattered around the globe working completely independently build them for you FOR FREE. These folks are some of the same great people who are supposed to be working for you anyway, plus a smattering of teenagers too young to work at Redmond, hackers, virus creators, and a menagerie of others with whom you will feel great pride in entrusting your IT infrastructure.

This is the alluring pitch of open source software. We may have to give up project planning, quality control, coding standards, accountability, version control, and support, but it's FREE and we get the ability to modify the source code ourselves, something that is extremely dangerous to do, was discredited decades ago, and few people do anyway.

Yes, PeopleSoft is very expensive and those greedy folks at WebCT expect to make a profit, but they have to pay for quality software to be developed and so do we! We either pay commercial software developers, pay to build it ourselves, or pay the even higher price to manage and maintain FREE open source software. Who cares how much we have to spend as long as they say it's free--or nearly so. While you are installing your free open source software you may want to write Mrs. Ahmed a check. Her $8.5 million will help pay for the real cost of that free software.

Free Labor

Another way to get free software is to have students develop our critical systems. We all know how clever students are and how being born in the computer age they have bypassed a million years of evolution to become cyber sapiens. Software development is instinctive to them. While your aging, over-21 staff demands high salaries and benefits, and fusses with security, documentation, and project planning, cyber sapiens work for a few dollars an hour and can manage several projects in their heads without writing a single thing down. They also write bug-free code, work during exams and vacations, and are not distracted by alcohol, sports, or the acquisition of potential mates. Best of all, students do not tie up your expensive equipment. They can develop and run your systems on their own dorm computers where their cyber sapien friends can do quality assurance with your confidential data. It is no wonder that we are so sad to see 25 percent of our students leave each year, abandoning their superbly crafted systems. Your IT staff will let you know that as geriatric non-cyber sapiens they can't manage these orphaned student-developed systems so they must be passed on to the next class of cyber sapiens.

Free Market

You can also get free software developed by having your users develop it for you. Really, users are no dummies and if they are there are books just for them on every imaginable subject. Buying users copies of SQL for Dummies ($17.49 at Amazon.com) is a lot cheaper than having your expensive IT staff write a whole bunch of reports for them in SQL. Empower your users! Give them control of their own raw data! You thought users wanted information, not data, but they're never happy with your idea of information. Why try to figure out what users want? It's a hopeless task. You might as well just give users raw data and let them deal with it the way they think is best. Amazon.com has 2,014 entries for Dummies books. Think how smart your users will be once they've read them all. You'll never have to do expensive software development again.

Schools often provide free food for you and your staff for working meetings during lunch. Assuming that you eat about $8 worth of food during the extra hour of work, that turns out to be about $16,000 per year. This may be a good deal for cyber sapiens but not for staff. Would your staff work a vacation day in return for three free meals? Your staff needs a break during the day. You cannot buy that time for only $8 per hour. What looks like a gain is really a loss in productivity and creativity. If you can only schedule meetings during meal times you don't have an overworked staff, you have a dysfunctional organization.

We all complain about spam and junk mail, but the pitches they make deliberately strike at some place deep inside us that longs for a FREE ride; a silver bullet to solve our every problem with no effort. People do send Mrs. Ahmed money. IT planning is difficult and risky and results in decisions that may be very expensive. We cannot avoid the high cost of high-quality IT no matter how temptingly Mrs. Ahmed beckons us with her siren song.

Howard Strauss is the manager of technology strategy and outreach at Princeton University.
howard@princeton.edu

This article originally appeared in the 11/1/2003 Issue of Syllabus

Re:Article in case of /.'ing (4, Funny)

nutznboltz (473437) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393362)

Is there a special prize for 1st post and karma whore in one?

I let this particular parody get to me .... (5, Insightful)

tehdely (690619) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393151)


These folks are some of the same great people who are supposed to be working for you anyway, plus a smattering of teenagers too young to work at Redmond, hackers, virus creators, and a menagerie of others with whom you will feel great pride in entrusting your IT infrastructure.


Though it's a parody and I generally try to take those lightly, he's made one critical error that really stands out in his assertion that free software is the domain of hackers/tinkerers/students, etc. I think Howard Strauss ought to be informed of the billions of dollars being invested in free software development by major corporations, many of whom have salaried and talented employees developing such applications. His condescending attitude towards the talented programmers who have created so much of the infrastructure the Internet depends on (Linux, BSD, Apache, MySQL anyone?) is a bit infuriating, to say the least.

On another note, what is responsible for the recent surge of anti-free software propaganda? I'm sure that some could present a viable argument that nefarious sources (SCO/Microsoft/whoever) are essentially astroturfing on a media-wide scale (not like they haven't done it before), but things like this, plus the Forbes article and other critiqued rants that have been posted on Slashdot before, have me a bit worried about how the worldwide computer-using community is perceiving free software, especially when peoples' critiques contain such glaring factual errors as this particular one does.

You are one fast typist . (0, Offtopic)

zymano (581466) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393217)

and you got 1st post too and a 5 insightful.

You make the bonus round.

Re:You are one fast typist . (0, Offtopic)

bobthemuse (574400) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393242)

Heh. See what happens when you're a subscriber?

Disclaimer: I do not work for /.

Re:You are one fast typist . (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393308)

and you got 1st post too and a 5 insightful.

Looks like you are wrong. Ann Coulter got first post.

Re:I let this particular parody get to me .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393324)

For the most part he's right.
There's a ton of bad open sourced software out there simply
because anyone and everyone can submit code.

Bad Software (3, Insightful)

temojen (678985) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393378)

There's a ton of bad closed source software too. For the most part it ends up in the $4.99 bin, if it ever gets into stores at all.

Re:I let this particular parody get to me .... (5, Insightful)

DeltaSigma (583342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393338)

Well, from what I've been reading, these kinds of disparaging comparisons seem to be doing more good than harm. Remember what companies and foreign governments were experiencing when they switched to open-source? They were being bombarded with critcism, lies, and fantastic discounts on closed-source software. But they had looked at the facts, and decided open-source was the solution they desired. They had hardened themselves against this FUD, and went on in spite of it. So now we have a collection of organizations which rightly ignore such comments.

And this is what seems to be driving adoption now. It used to be a bunch of us zealots, fanboys, hackers, admins, the list goes on... It used to be these types making promise after promise about open source software. We knew its capabilities and we'd be damned if we didn't know a perfect fit for OSS when we saw one. It's not that way anymore. Now my manager's coming to me, and my co-workers. More and more often we find him consulting us about equivalent open-source software solutions to proprietary products he's considering purchasing. Thanks to our honesty (no, sir, I'm afraid we don't have anything to compete with Macromedia Flash... yet...), adoption is higher than ever.

I guess what I'm getting at is this:
We've all seen this FUD before. It's old news, it's an old battle. They're bringing it up again. But this time isn't like the last time. It just FEELS like, this time, somethings different. Like they're losing... They're not losing their castle, but the little provinces on the edge of their kingdom. Open source is slowly encroaching on their land, and they know it. This minor FUD is nothing. These guys are pawns. The big counter-attacks we can look forward to are more things along the scale of SCO. Not just misrepresentation of the facts, but real major threats to users of open source software. True attempts to stab at the heart of our force. ...but I'm the ecclectic type that equates everything to battle, even though I'm just a 20 year old that's never seen war. So feel free to ignore me. Just my unobjective observation.

Re:I let this particular parody get to me .... (5, Interesting)

randyest (589159) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393379)

Worse, that -1 Flamebait drivel included this nonsense:

This is the alluring pitch of open source software. We may have to give up project planning, quality control, coding standards, accountability, version control, and support, but it's FREE and we get the ability to modify the source code ourselves, something that is extremely dangerous to do, was discredited decades ago, and few people do anyway.

Funny, I've seen varying levels of QC, coding standards, accountability, version control, and support offerings from both open source and commercial software, with an overall slight lead by open source. But that's not the most annoying or perplexing part.

That award goes to "[modifying the source code] was discredited decades ago". WTF? How, by whom, and most importantly why was "modifying source code" discredited? I mean, the whole article is full of completely unsubstantiated nonsense and mudslinging, but this little comment grabbed my attention.

Does anyone know what he's talking about? Some decades-old study that somehow could be interpreted as "discrediting" souce-code mods, perhaps? I don't even have a guess.

Of course, taken to the extreme, that silly idea would mean no program would ever get new features or bug fixes except by being completely re-written from scratch, which would no doubt defeat the purpose in most cases.

What a maroon.

Re:I let this particular parody get to me .... (4, Informative)

beacher (82033) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393386)

Take a look at his previous work... (1998 and talking about portals) here [syllabus.com] , 2002 and more portals [ucdavis.edu] . How many damn classes can you teach about web portals? Those who cannot do, teach. [boss.ethz.ch] . .. Here's a debrief from EduCAUSE [colorado.edu] that summarizes some of his ideas -

  • No more institution centric home page
  • There should only be one portal. (don't want the students using Yahoo! or Excite - we want them to use our portal)
  • There must exist -complete- customization available to the user. Otherwise, they will continue to use another portal that allows them to do what they want.
  • Replaces your desktop
Some of the neat terminology Howard creates: Cameos: Small pieces of data from larger data set and most important, the most important challenge isn't technical, it is requiring all data owners to work together.

Congrats Howard, get your closed source, proprietary formats working together. GOD this guy is listed as a futurist! Here's another damn article about portals in 2015 [elibrary.com] . JEEZ give it a break.

lp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393153)

last post in newest first order!

mu (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393154)

moo

Well now... (5, Funny)

kid-noodle (669957) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393157)

That sounds like a fair minded, well reasoned and educated comment entirely lacking in FUD...

Re:Well now... (1)

hayden (9724) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393351)

And we all know what up to the minute, industry aware fast movers lecturers are and how they managed to bypass their obvious talent and business nouse to end up teaching these snot nosed students they all despise.

Microsoft (1)

56ker (566853) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393161)

It sounds like the kind of article an anti-Linux Microsoft employee would write - lol. Lets just hope nobody takes it seriously....

Re:Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393267)

No more seriously than we should take the anti-Microsoft Linux trolls we have posting here every day.

Re:Microsoft (1)

DeltaSigma (583342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393357)

What? Where?

Free software as Nigger scam! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393177)

Captain's Log: My Anus is too Fucking Tight

One day Captain Kirk was maiming his cock with a horseshoe when suddenly Mr. Spock ran up to him and shoved his pointy ear up his butt. "What is this for!" the fag captain said. "FAGS FOR YOU AALL!L!!!" the ancient alien howled as suddenly he farted and Captain Kirk twirled around in a daze and his foreskin twisted and his kidney stones turned into wooden beads. He pulled out his pistol and shot lasers at his chastity belt and suddenly he hurdled his dick into Captain Kirk"s bellybutton and it tore his flesh while Spock fucked his stomach. Kirk hollered out loud and Mr. Spock threw his shoes to the floor and wrinkled his penis until Kirk bellowed out to make it stop. A maelstom of shit whizzed around the ship and suddenly a giant fag appeared out side and the U.S.S. Enterprise went up his butt. "Oh what the hell have you gotten us into NOW!" Captain Kirk said as he oozed a condom back on his dick and put his panties back on. "OOH!H!!!!!!" Mr. Spock started fucking him again and shoved his phazer up his butt. He dissolved his glands and exploded his turds and finally a queer klingon hurdled through the door and smashed Kirk with his butt hairs. A maniac sucked his dick and suddenly Mr. Spock fagged Kirk so hard that his intestines burst open and he died.

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*
g_______________________________________________g
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>_\___|_____o
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>_|__/_____a
t_______/\_|___C_____)/______\_(_____>_|_/______t
s______/_/\|___C_____)_KIRK!_|_(___>_/__\_______s
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___e
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*


I hate you, I hate your niggers, and I hate your niggers.

JIHAD LOOMS! [anti-slash.org]

Brought to you by: KIRK TROLL

Fuck GNAA, TROLLKORE, AND CLIT. You all massivly fail it, you gay homofags.

Is it just me... (4, Insightful)

setzman (541053) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393178)

Or does that article site seem like a scam in itself? I counted 5 ads from doubleclick (all blocked by privoxy) and another set of sponsored links at the bottom. With all the rhetoric designed to inflame linux users, it is sure to make money for them if it gets enough hits (thus getting put on /. benefits them greatly...).

So stupid, it's not even wrong.. (4, Funny)

k98sven (324383) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393179)

Is there anyway I can moderate this entire story -1: Flamebait?

Re:So stupid, it's not even wrong.. (5, Funny)

GammaTau (636807) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393272)

Is there anyway I can moderate this entire story -1: Flamebait?

I'm not sure if it's a flamebait. Maybe it was intended as a flamebait but failed? At least I don't even understand what was the point he was trying to make. Yeah, he doesn't seem to like free software but it was more like random mindless babbling than anything like a good parody or a flamebait.

Now that I look what the article says about the author, "Howard Strauss is the manager of technology strategy", I'm thinking just what the heck is that kind of a job title? Is it a somewhat humorous AI experiment some Princeton students have submitted to Slashdot? Or is this one of the cases where one just has to say "60 lines of LISP can hardly be called an AI"?

Re:So stupid, it's not even wrong..hmmm (2, Funny)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393337)

(Score: -2 AttemptedFlamebait)

Let the fire of Jihad burn inside you (-1, Troll)

jihadi_31341 (721472) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393181)

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yeesh, talk about article -1troll (1)

atlasheavy (169115) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393186)

Let's get something straight here: I'm not exactly impressed by Linux on a regular basis. I think that the UIs you find on it typically suck. I think that the lack of It Just Works kind of sucks. But... This is ridiculous. I don't get the idea that Howard has the slightest idea what he's talking about. I can only assume that he was personally burned, or something, by some open source project. Maybe some MIS or IT underling pushed an OSS solution that burned his department... Weird. In any case, I think he needs to take a chill-pill. I'm amazed that something that vitriolic would be published in a mag. associated with such an august institution.

Re:yeesh, talk about article -1troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393306)

I think that the UIs you find on it typically suck.

Funny, I think the Windows GUI is the one that sucks. I understand that everyone has different needs, but for me KDE fits my usage better than Windows.

Re:yeesh, talk about article -1troll (1)

DeltaSigma (583342) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393402)

And I'm a GNOME whore... that also happens to be a web designer.

Like it or not, the people behind the Linux Interfaces are no longer programmers. There's some very real, very talented, design coming out of the UI projects... KDE, GNOME, XFce, etc. are all learning... Learning not to just present their user with widgets, but learning how to make a program talk to its user. It's very enjoyable.

timothy is an evil man (5, Funny)

NotAnotherReboot (262125) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393195)

I see the plan, post four links to Princeton servers and watch them suffer. Make them pay for their insolence!

Attitude (5, Insightful)

hendridm (302246) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393196)

That guys animosity towards students reflects the level of customer service that most Universities provide today.

Nobody said most college students are masters of project management or the big picture, but they are a talented group of programmers. To dismiss them as worthless is to ignore a valuable and cheap source of labor. You may not want to make them PM just yet, but I gaurentee they'll work their asses off, with a little direction, more than that 30-year veteran who has become acustomed to the University's indiference towards laziness. Union YES!

Most computer science students I know haven't been corrupted yet and still have a high work ethic, they just need a little direction and be brought down a level to reality. Once they get past thinking they can change the place overnight, they make some excellent, hard working individuals.

But alas, the University I attended didn't hire any of its graduates either. While I was working there, not one of my supervisors had any sort of degree and they weren't eager to give anyone from the inside a chance upon graduation (again, I'm not talking about management positions, but I've seen plenty of entry level jobs that turned down countless grads from the Uni. I guess they don't have faith in what they teach.)

Re:Attitude (1)

Hanji (626246) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393231)

Most computer science students I know haven't been corrupted yet and still have a high work ethic

I should introduce you to some of my friends ...

Re:Attitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393293)

It's all relative. It takes a certain level of work ethic to graduate from a decent University. Make all the jokes about modern Uni's you want, not everyone can do it...

Re:Attitude (3, Informative)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393368)

Actually, at my school [wit.edu] , one of the database professors [boston.com] has her students do service learning projects for non-profit agencies. The one I did last year [giftdrive-thehome.org] turned out pretty well, was a phenomenal success for the agency, and I continued working on it for the non-profit in question as part of my co-op.

this article should be score +5 insightful (-1)

Coulter, Ann (720298) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393199)

hahaha, it is so good to see informed experts prove that software is not free, and that
there are costs to everything. so you free software freak liberals need to wake up and smell
the coffee. microsoft and president bush know best, so you need to invest in them before they
put you away for disobedience to your masters.

hahahahahahahahahaha

liberals are so stupid!!!!

Nice slides, Dick (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393202)

http://www.princeton.edu/~howard/slides/portals
o ptimized for internet explorer, wanker.
How's that css working out

Mr. Howard Strauss... (4, Insightful)

FFFish (7567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393203)

...ex-manager of technology strategy and outreach at Princeton University, one should hope. That kind of stupidity can't go unrewarded, can it?

Blackboard!!?? (5, Funny)

illogic (52099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393206)

"instead of having highly paid programmers at... Blackboard build your critical university systems, you can have scores of software gurus scattered around the globe working completely independently build them for you FOR FREE."

Oh, you didn't. You mean free vending machines for life Blackboard? [slashdot.org]

Wow (5, Insightful)

jmt9581 (554192) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393212)

I just read the article posted, and it doesn't appear to have a single relevant statistics. I feel like I gained three pieces of information from this article:
  • There are people out there whose minds are so closed off to change that they don't even know how ridiculous they sound.
  • Howard Strauss could use an education in deductive logic. This article totally failed to substantiate any of the claims that it made. I've heard more coherent arguments from Rush Limbaugh [rushlimbaughonline.com] .
  • Strauss could also stand to learn a thing or two about the way that the software industry works. How does gaining the source code to an application give up the "project planning, quality control, coding standards, accountability, version control, and support" of proprietary software? Does he really think that proprietary software companies are willing to employ best practices at the expense of their bottom line?
  • I am extremely grateful to the Princeton financial aid department for not matching the offers that I received from other colleges. I could have ended up taking a class from this tool.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393367)

I just read the article posted, and it doesn't appear to have a single relevant statistics.

Offer up statistics that counter his arguments.

Otherwise, you're just saying his arguments are wrong, and basically doing the same thing he is...

Is he talking about Nautilus? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393214)

Nautilus the start-up who spend millions of dollars to develop?

I did not read the article. Just posting and having fun with all you guys!

My IP? Why do you care? Is this post really anonymous?

whoah, don't tell anyone.... (1, Redundant)

Malor (3658) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393216)

Wow. I guess 2/3 of the Web *IS* wrong. I'm sorry, Microsoft. I should have listened.

Reply.... (3, Insightful)

Tsali (594389) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393220)

So can we have some competition against Redmond then? If it takes free software to produce some competition (think PBS versus the entire broadcasting spectrum), I think its indicative of other darker factors.

I work on OSS in my spare time, and I don't fit the stereotype... and I don't call every pro-MS a money-scrounging heartless profit-driven capitalist. Just Bill Gates.

Bill and Howard. Yeah... them two.

"Too young", good trick! (2, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393222)

a smattering of teenagers too young to work at Redmond

Since Microsoft tries to hire them right out of school, "too young" must be young indeed! I'd rate that article as definitely either a Troll or Flamebait, certainly Overrated.

MIT's response (1)

bstadil (7110) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393226)

He is just pissed that Princeston got scooped by MIT [mit.edu]

Does it matter what anyone says about open source? (2, Insightful)

deathcloset (626704) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393236)

Naysay all you like, and for that matter Ayesay as well.

But in the end, won't results speak louder than allegorical assertations?

Re:Does it matter what anyone says about open sour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393370)

If there's anything I've learned from the Bush administration it's that nothing speaks more loudly or more accurately represents reality than endlessly shouted allegorical assertions.

Obligatory SCO referernce (1, Offtopic)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393237)

'While you are installing your free open source software you may want to write Mrs. Ahmed a check. Her $8.5 million will help pay for the real cost of that free software.'

Should read:

While you are installing your free open source software, you may want to write SCO a cheque, to help pay for the real cost of defending their "stolen" intellectual property which they cannot disclose and will not show to you without an NDA giving SCO exclusive rights to your first born offspring.

Great article! (2, Funny)

msgregory@earthlink. (98641) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393240)

That article really makes me think. It makes me wonder about the value of a FREE article.

So, what does he recommend? (4, Funny)

sharkey (16670) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393241)

We may have to give up project planning, quality control, coding standards, accountability, version control, and support

Sounds like he's bitching about moving to Windows.

Re:So, what does he recommend? (2, Funny)

KD5YPT (714783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393346)

Yep...
Counter questioning to an idiot named Howard.
"Windows? What project planning? Do you mean the hotbed for hacking? What quality control? Do you know how many holes Windows have? What code standards? Do you even know what the f*** the codes are? What accountability? Do Microsfot admit their idiocracy and their greed makes for a buggy windows? What version control? I got so many security updates from Microsoft that I don't know what version I'm on. And What support? I asked for support, they say 'talk to your computer manufacturer'. And you're paying them how much for it?"

Empty (5, Insightful)

Asprin (545477) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393247)


This article wouldn't bother me as much if it presented a single independently verifiable fact. Since it doesn't, it's a rant and nothing more. The real queston is "Why did Syllabus choose to publish it?" This guy isn't even a professor, is he? With the title of "manager of technology strategy and outreach", it sounds like he's just a department employee. Not that that invalidates his opinion, mind you! That is discredited by his vacant non-awareness of facts.

Humor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393364)

Because it's funny as all hell.

analogies substituted for evidence (2, Insightful)

sashang (608223) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393249)

I hate people who susbtitute analogies for evidence or proof. Analogies help illustrate the point but they don't make the point. This writer pretty much set the scene from the opening line by linking open source with spam mail. It's a pretty far-fetched analogy. The entity we are comparing with is spam mail, the link betweeen spam and open source is that they're both free. I bet someone could think up another evil entity and associate it via some property common to closed source development and then discredit closed source software that way.

Mirror in case of /.'ing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393250)

mirror [ackbar.org]

I smell astroturf (1, Interesting)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393251)

First Szulik promotes Windows, now some unknown Princeton professor pans free software and gets enormous media attention. I wonder whether Microsoft has been doing more to discredit open source than just financing SCO's lawsuits; have they been spreading cash around trying to fake a grass roots campaign?

Too young to work at Redmond? (4, Insightful)

Trogre (513942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393253)

a smattering of teenagers too young to work at Redmond

... or just too ethical. Or sensible, take your pick.

Calling all Teabaggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393256)

anyone want to smoke some cocks?

Two negative Linux stories on Slash in one day ? (1)

zymano (581466) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393259)

Commander Taco must be on vacation in Silicon Valley.

well (1, Offtopic)

slobarnuts (666254) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393261)

looks like strauss gets a -1 troll. I also believe they should yank his tenure, failing that, Princeton should remove all Linux partitions from their computers, stop teaching anythng about Linux. Whichever Linux oriented companies hired Princeton law grads should fire them.

maybe then he will reconsider how much spitting fud cost the economy as compared to open source software.

Re:well (1, Offtopic)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393335)

That sounds suspiciously like you want to "take your ball and go home" -- something that would be expected from a group of immature teenagers rather than respectable software developers.

Fortunately, most of us don't feel like we have to try to punish everyone in sight when somebody says something we don't like.

Message for Mr. Strauss (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393262)

May you live in interesting times...

Sd-
The Open Source Community

Re:Message for Mr. Strauss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393385)

The Open Source Community

Oi! You don't speak for me!

Where's the... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393266)

Where's the foot icon?

Solaris? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393276)

You'd think after having to work with Solaris [netcraft.com] he'd be overjoyed to switch to something like Linux.

an object lesson in argumentation (5, Insightful)

drfireman (101623) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393277)

Here's a shocker: Strauss's mode of argumentation is sarcasm. He's an astonishingly inept writer, so it's not even particularly well crafted sarcasm. I don't know if this is because his understanding of the subject matter is negligible or if it's because he thought this would be the best way to make his nebulous point, but it seems sort of wasteful to engage him in any sort of debate (with or without his participation). There may be smarter and more articulate people who share his views, and it would be much more worthwhile to find them and have an intelligent discussion than it would be to waste time debunking the content implied by his article.

Re:an object lesson in argumentation (1)

jmors (682994) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393417)

it seems sort of wasteful to engage him in any sort of debate (with or without his participation)

I agree completely, it would be incredibly unfair to engage in a battle of wits with such an obviously unarmed man!

What Mr.Strauss forgot to mention (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393280)

was that the offer from Mrs. Ahmed was brought to you by thousands of co-opted machines doing spam mailing, all running that first-class commercial OS made in Redmond by highly paid, first-class professional programmers!

Give Me a Break (1)

Alan Hicks (660661) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393282)

This thing appears to smack of parody, though it isn't specifically mentioned as satire anywhere. If this truelly represents his beliefs, this guy is off his rocker. He repeatedly equates OSS with the Nigerian scam, but gets his facts all wrong. He claims that they are both scams, attempts to get people to fall for the "something for nothing" desire in us all. This specifically forgets that the Nigerian scam is not "something for nothing", but rather "nothing for your money". This scam asks you to send in a good faith deposit to procure a much larger sum of money in the future. OSS gives you the software, and then only asks that you obey it's license, which typically does not require any fee at all.

Any relation to Enderle? (1)

eddy (18759) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393286)

Maybe a also-dropped-on-the-floor brother or something?

That sound you hear is my doing a double take. (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393295)

Elsewhere, Strauss describes the open source community as 'a smattering of teenagers too young to work at Redmond, hackers, virus creators, and a menagerie of others with whom you will feel great pride in entrusting your IT infrastructure.'

And a hell of a lot more intelligent and insightful than he is. Who let this asshole work at Princeton?

Oh, and where does Linus fit in the above list? Alan Cox? The multitude of other major kernel hackers (to my knowledge, none of them that young or unsavory)? And that's just the kernel...

Someone, quick, break out the 2x4 of Enlightenment!

All I Hear... (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393296)

... is the death rattle of another of the priests in the cathedral.

Trust is right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393299)

He claims that you are entrusting your network to hackers! Of course, in reality, since you get the source code, there is no trust required. Whereas, with closed source software, you *really* must put trust in somebody.

heh heh heh... (3, Interesting)

jpellino (202698) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393305)

I mean, jeez -this guy could piss off Mary Worth. Maybe he thinks since the open source movement is just as he characterizes it, then it can't gice him a cosmic IT wedgie - guess someone hasn'ty bee following the SCO badminton game.

This should in now way be construed as an entre for Eric (/Bruce/Linus/Richard) to launch a salvo. Really,

Not to mention where else should you embrace open source but in academia.

And here's the punchline, from netcraft:

The site www.princeton.edu is running Apache/1.3.4 (Unix) mod_ssl/2.1.8 SSLeay/0.9.0b on Solaris.

dammit pellino, learn to type! (1)

jpellino (202698) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393356)

figured i'd do it myself and save you all the trouble... ;-)

what kind of crack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393307)

is that idiot smoking. The majority of the serious developers on mature open source projects aren't 18yrs olds. There are brilliant young programmers contributing, but the majority of them are guys like me in their 30's. I program for a living as a consultant, but often it's more painful to ask for a piece of software to get the job done. so instead I use open source software when appropriate and I submit patches to make the software better. I am the user of the software and I am also an active contributor. The code that I have submitted to open source projects often are higher quality than code I produce at work. Not because I can't. It's because I'm told not to. I choose to only submit patches and fixes when i feel the quality of the code I am contributing is solid and well document.

someone should fire the ass wipe, since the idiot isn't qualified for the position.

Yeech (5, Insightful)

starseeker (141897) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393311)

Article feels like one large Flamebait, but in these days of SCO lawsuits I'm never quite sure which viewpoints are satire and which are just out and out stupidity.

In any case, it does make a point that the "establishment" has a very hard time coming to terms with - Free Software can and does work. For some fraction of people, this seems to somehow represent a personal insult. Probably the same people who get upset at anyone who questions whether our current economic system is absolute perfection suggest regulation might serve some purpose after all.

Commercial software provides only two things open source software can't provide - software that is extrememly difficult to create and has a small target audience (think very high end engineering CAD software or exteremely complex movie rendering) and someone to sue if the product doesn't work as specified. That doesn't sit well with people who think capitalism is the One True Way, and just for more fun people compare open source with Communism(?!). As if the spirit of goodwill is somehow corruptive to our way of life.

So, whether the author set out to write satire, troll all of slashdot, or actually denies the evidence right in front of him, this article is quite childish and silly. The evidence that free software does work is right in front of him, if he's interested in looking. Whether he WANTS it to work might be the real issue.

Ever notice that, that some people are personally interested in the failure of open source? It seems to be an affront to them, for no reason I can discover. No one has the RIGHT to make money, and open source taking away commerical markets for software is something they'll just have to grow up and deal with. If they can't make a more compelling product that people are willing to pay for and stay ahead of volunteers, tough.

Linux/Free Software is for real. I've used it exclusively on my own machines for four years, with great success. Community spirit is powerful and can accomplish great things, and if our social system has forgotten/doesn't want to accept that then we're in some deeper trouble than just questions of software.

4/1 Already? (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393312)

This article is so trollish that I can only hope it was written as a parody/joke. Otherwise, this guy has no idea and hasn't bothered to research about the subject he is talking about.

since i am a public school teacher (5, Insightful)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393317)

I have to post this every now and then, but for those of you not in education, you have no idea the lengths microsoft will go to push their products. Let me give yo a few examples:

1) I am finishing a Master's in Ed Technology. We are required to submit our work, etc. in either .doc, .xls or .ppt. Because the profs get lots of perks from Microsoft. (hint: they get whatever software they like for, well, um, free)

2) Everyone in the Master's program, and I think in the credential program, canget Office for $20.

3) In my district, the district technidiots (the same ones who didn't understand how my linux box could get internet access on the school network, and had no idea what TCP/IP was) get thrown all sorts of freebies at the tech conferences. The tech at my school laughed about getting XP Pro, VS .NET, etc., all no reg key type.

Those are a few examples. I could go on. Microsoft has gotten the Ed. crowd the way Apple did years ago. Worse is the way technology is used in schools. PowerPoint has become the favorite tool of choice for projects. Plus Microsoft gives lots of money to schools, and has VERY long tentacles. They get involved in many ways. You can be sure, this guy is not on Microsoft's payroll directly, but he is certainly the recipient of much Microsoft "benevolence". Teachers are just like everyone else really, just a few freebies, and we're yours.

But here's the biggest rub. The truth is that it takes far more techs to maintain a windows network, then say, a *nix network. Which means the tech department get more jobs, money, etc. And if something breaks, and they fix it, it only reinforces their importance. F***ed up? You bet. And the sad truth is that most school personell are not the best qualified. So, you try to give them linux, which requires more "expertise", they're gonna reject it. Simple really. You'd think that schools would care about cost, security, etc. But they don't.

Re:since i am a public school teacher (1)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393396)

Tell me where you are getting your master's so I can not go there.

Strategies (1)

SendBot (29932) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393319)

I can see how his style of reasoning by backing his claims with assumptions might be a useful skill for a leafblower salesman, but for the manager of technology strategy and outreach at Princeton University?

Check out some of these brilliant quotes:
We may have to give up project planning, quality control, coding standards, accountability, version control, and support, but it's FREE and we get the ability to modify the source code ourselves, something that is extremely dangerous to do, was discredited decades ago, and few people do anyway.

And as an argument dispelling the "myth" of free labor: You can also get free software developed by having your users develop it for you.
It really goes downhill from there trying to comparatively illustrate the "ridiculousness" of open source developers as a concept.

how wrong is he? (0)

Mondain98 (562481) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393330)

a smattering of teenagers too young to work at Redmond, hackers, virus creators, and a menagerie of others with whom you will feel great pride in entrusting your IT infrastructure.

Skipping the alarmist "virus creators" and the generalized "too young" parts, how wrong is he?

That is definitely the majority corporate feeling towards open source solutions, the "My app patches are hinged on a 14-year-old in Korea? No 24/7/365 telephone support? No promises in writing that he'll timely fix problems? I'll pass." stigma that is stamped across anything open source. No, I'm not picking on Korea, and no, I'm not referring to the top 5% of the corporate world that has their own uber-programmers and OSI zealots already in-house.

Perhaps its the overwhelmingly condescending attitude of said community towards any newcomer digging into open source who didnt come out of the womb with the intrinsic knowledge of absolutely everything. God help them if they used Windows all their lives and are looking to change but dont know all the "lingo" necessary to obtain simple answers to mundane questions.

And while I know this will get moderated as a troll post, most users (including this one) couldnt physically care less.

PHB (0)

xanthines-R-yummy (635710) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393332)

I bet this guy is a pointy-haired boss. He is a MANAGER!!!(~gasp!)!!! Dilbert reference for the 3 people who don't get it ;)

Why else would he be bashing good tools for IT? (open source, teenagers, etc etc) Sure they're not the best solutions by themselves, but they play important parts of an overall strategy. I mean, would you have the same Dell Optiplexes (Optiplexi?) running Word, crunching astrophysics data, serving webpages, and predicting protein folding? NO! You use the right tool for the right job!

No cost humor (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393336)

Great. A humor piece (I hope) based on the common confusion of "free" meaning "no cost".

Lame (1)

Bistronaut (267467) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393341)

Biggest. Troll. Ever.

Seriously though, I'm sure that a lot of people think the way this guy thinks. It's an easy mistake to make, especially if you look at software as being analogous to physical property. The analogy breaks down pretty quickly if you look at it. I like to use the example of the "magic hammer".

If I attach a rock to the end of a stick to make a real-life hammer, and I give it to you, now I don't have a hammer anymore. With software, I can sell the hammer to you, and I still somehow have an identical hammer (that's how Microsoft makes the big bucks). With open source software, I give you the hammer with instructions on how to make it. I haven't really lost anything by giving you the hammer - I still have my copy, and copying it took about 3 seconds. You are encouraged to share the hammer with your friends (and you don't loose anything by doing so either). You can also make improvements to the hammer. Only an enterprising few will do this, but the effect is cumulative. When someone forges a brass head for the hammer, poof! Everyone's hammers are now better. Steel head? Poof! Claw on the back for pulling nails? Poof! It doesn't take long before everybody has a really good hammer.

Well, I'm preaching to the choir here, so I'll stop. The only outrageous thing about this article is that this guy somehow became the "manager of technology strategy and outreach at Princeton University" without learning how open source software works. He should catch a clue. Personally, I don't think that the Open Source model is right for all types of programs, but there is a wide swath of IT purposes where it can't be touched by closed source.

Direct link to Reader Response forum: (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393343)

link [syllabus.com]

funny... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393348)

Princeton runs apache [netcraft.com]

What a clown. (1)

Dr. Photo (640363) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393358)

Howard Strauss is the manager of technology strategy and outreach at Princeton University. (Emph. mine)

It would appear that "outreach" is the only thing this guy does worse than "technology strategy".

I suspect the article is one of those stroke-your-ego-by-increasing-your-budget trips that bureaucrats are so fond of.

Fear, Stupidity and Doubt, I say.

+5 Inciteful (1)

s-orbital (598727) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393360)

Like I said, quite inciteful of Mr. Howard

modfiying source dangerous (1)

sashang (608223) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393371)

but it's FREE and we get the ability to modify the source code ourselves, something that is extremely dangerous to do, was discredited decades ago, and few people do anyway.
Idiot doesn't realize that the danger of modifying source doesn't depend on whether it's an open source model or closed source model. When people working in closed source organization modify their products code the level of danger depends entirely on the competence of the programmer working on that source code base.

he has a good point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393382)

Despite being able to look at the code, business is built upon 2 things:
1. Profit
2. Management of risk to maximize #1

Open Source software has no 'go-to' entity if something is wrong.

He has a point, some consider it a major point, some will not.

Weenie's page (0, Redundant)

jayrtfm (148260) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393383)

this page [princeton.edu] has Howard Strauss's [mailto] email address

Peoplesoft...quality software? HA (1)

Cramit (609487) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393384)

Yes, PeopleSoft is very expensive and those greedy folks at WebCT expect to make a profit, but they have to pay for quality software to be developed and so do we! My School has just switched to the dreaded PeopleSoft academic software...It is horrible; for example some Seniors had their enrollment appointment (to apply for classes next semester) moved on them randomly...so much for quality...

You can get complex systems at absolutely NO COST! (1)

psifishdot (699920) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393388)

You can get complex systems at absolutely NO COST!

Remember, it's free as in freedom.

[Insert standard Debian zealot message here]

Free software doesn't pay the advertisers... (1)

howlatthemoon (718490) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393398)

or get you on those gravy-train corporate boards. There should be a disclosure statement of who he and the publication's beholding to. To be fair, he is right, free software may not cost anything is not free, but his own example, webct, costs a hell of a lot in internal support, that's on top of a 3 fold cost increase in licensing fees in recent years. I wonder if he is trying to justify why he and his group are not participating in open source CMS (course management systems) efforts and ponying up a 6 or 7 figure license fee, and then finding internal funds for running and supporting it. That money would pay a lot of professional programmers' salaries. There are dangers of relying on free software, especially it is a fragile project, but who says the WebCT will be around in a few years. And, do you think if that happens you will have a choice between changing products or trying to maintain the product yourself? I doubt it. It's an interesting piece, but will do more harm them good, but maybe that is what he wanted. I can see those board offers rolling in.

Who is Linux & Open Source? (5, Informative)

thisissilly (676875) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393401)

From a 1999 survey published in Linux Journal [linuxjournal.com] of kernel hackers:
  • 1 had completed just basic public education (high school)
  • 15 had attended college or technical school
  • 23 had an undergraduate degree (B.S., B.A., etc.)
  • 19 had attended graduate school
  • 15 had a graduate degree (M.S., M.A., etc.)
  • 9 had done further graduate work
  • 19 had a terminal degree (Ph.D., M.D., etc.)

and as for programming experience
  • 4 had 1 year
  • 10 had 2-4 years
  • 31 had 5-9 years
  • 40 had 10-20 years
  • 16 had 20+ years
Then there is the Boston Consulting Group's Hacker Survey [osdn.com] , which found
"Contrary to popular belief about hackers, the open source community is mostly comprised of highly skilled IT professionals who have on average over 10 years of programming experience."
Occupation Chart [osdn.com]
Hardly what Howard Strauss's article portrays.

My response to howard@princeton.edu (4, Interesting)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393404)

Congratulations, that was one of the most brilliant pieces of flamebait I've ever seen or read. It had everything:

1) blatant factual inaccuracies:

> We may have to give up project planning, quality control, coding
> standards, accountability, version control, and support, but it's FREE > and we get the ability to modify the source code ourselves, something
> that is extremely dangerous to do, was discredited decades ago, and
> few people do anyway.

I don't know of a single open-source / free software project that doesn't use version control. In fact, what might easily be the
most popular version control system in the world, CVS, is itself
an open source project.

Coding Standards? True, not every open-source project has written guidelines for that. However, many do ( The Jakarta sub-project
group at the ASF comes to mind, as does the Mozilla project) and
all are subject to the most rigorous coding standard of all... review and inspection by an unlimited number of peers, at any time of day or night, 24 x 7, 365 days a year. Let a snippet of bad code get checked into the repository (see above) for a large open source project with
numerous active committers, and see how long it takes for it to get rolled-back, and the author mercilessly flamed.

Quality Control? Maybe you've heard the expression "all bugs are shallow, given enough eyeballs?" Open Source by it's very nature has
the ultimate form of quality control... and unlike closed source
proprietary software, the end user generally has relatively easy
access to the engineers working on the code, to report defects,
whether it be via Bugzilla, Sourceforge, e-mail, newsgroups or
what have you.

Support? JBoss Corp. provides support for the JBoss application server,
Red Hat, SuSE, Mandrake and many others provide supported distributions of Linux, and Mozilla.org provides support for Mozilla. And that's just
paid support I'm referring to. Never mind the aforementioned channels of e-mail, newsgroups, forums, etc., for interacting directly with the authors (and fellow users) of the code.

As for modifying code being dangerous... that's just ignorant. Cutting towards yourself with a sharp knife is dangerous... crossing a busy highway without looking is dangerous... modifying source code is about as NON dangerous an activity as you could dream up.

2) unwarranted and inaccurate personal attacks

> These folks are some of the same great people
> who are supposed to be working for you anyway,
> plus a smattering of teenagers too young to work
> at Redmond, hackers, virus creators, and a
> menagerie of others with whom you will feel
> great pride in entrusting your IT
> infrastructure.

Wow, you just managed to insult the entire open source community in one
drop of the hat... a community which happens to include many professional software engineers, working for respected firms such as IBM, Red Hat, SGI, Novell, Mandrakesoft, Sun Microsystems, etc.

I suppose you believe Linus Torvalds and Alan Cox to be "others with whom you will feel great pride in entrusting your IT infrastructure," eh?

Oh, and you make look around the Princeton campus sometime... I'm pretty sure you'll find quite a number of members of the open source community there, both students and faculty / staff members.

3) red herrings and unrelated rambling galore...

no quote necessary... this bullet basically summarizes your entire article.

In short, you sir, are either a flaming idiot, or the first Slashdot troll to get hired by Princeton and allowed to publish obvious flamebait in Syllabus. If this was an intentional troll, I must say, it was a masterful one. If you actually meant any of that drivel however, I would suggest you leave the IT industry and take up something you are competent at.

Please help me (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393405)

I am Surangus Aboogi, Finance minister for King tutako of Nigeria. I have recently been ordered to flee the country with our nation's riches to protect them from the rebels. I need your help to hold these funds. if you could please provide me with our account information, I will be depositing 1 million dollars in it as soon as I receive your reply. please hurry.

yeah, who would ever use open source software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7393408)

certainly not microsoft.

i mean all of their serves MUST run windows.

why else would they have all of those highly paid programmers?!

er... hmmm.... [netcraft.com]

So ridiculous I have to wonder if he's serious (1)

plaisted (449711) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393412)

This is so ridiculous I find it hard to believe that "the manager of technology strategy and outreach at Princeton University" is serious. I almost think it could be a parody of a parody, showing just how ridiculous arguments against open source etc can be.

Bleah, bleah, a thousand times BLEAH. (1)

Snowdrake (139057) | more than 10 years ago | (#7393414)

Okay, I posted this comment at root level because it addresses a lot of threads:
  • He's not a prof (thank god). As someone pointed out, he's probably not even the head of IT. Whether he teaches or not I don't know (I've heard of IT grunts teaching the odd class here and there, albeit not in any institution this reputable), but it doesn't require anything quite as sticky as revocation of tenure; if the department or university administration really finds this dodgy little article to be a problem, they can fire him (though really a good lesson on OSS history would probably serve better).
  • It may or may not be satire. It's rather unfortunate either way, because just as some people actually take Rush Limbaugh seriously, so will someone take this article seriously.
  • Syllabus isn't associated with Princeton; rather, it's operated by 101communications LLC [101com.com] , whose business seems primarily to be buzzword-laden magazines and conferences. Unfortunately, that doesn't necessarily mean it's got a small readership, but it does tend to say something of its credibility.
  • He's not a prof.
  • He's not a prof.
  • He's not a prof. HALLELUJAH!


(can I get an AMEN!)
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"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
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