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Linux & Microsoft as a Cold War?

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the now-thats-serious-flamebait-1 dept.

News 443

I confirm writes "The BBC's Bill Thompson summarises the GNU/Linux vs. Microsoft struggle as a "cold war", and in one choice quote says:"It is rather ironic that Microsoft and other closed model companies rather resemble the Stalinist or Maoist model of a command economy with complete centralised control." I'm not sure I accept Thompson's conclusions, however: "So now would be a good time to start thinking about how we persuade governments that market in software may eventually need to be regulated, just as the market in electricity, water and food is, and that that regulation may well include a statutory duty to disclose source code and allow it to be used elsewhere." "

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GNAA frist pist (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490561)

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This GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) post has been brought to you by A Spineless Liberal Commie, a true nigger fag.

For your viewing pleasure (and to defeat the lameness filter), we bring you part of Socrates' Apology: How you have felt, O men of Athens, at hearing the speeches of my accusers, I cannot tell; but I know that their persuasive words almost made me forget who I was - such was the effect of them; and yet they have hardly spoken a word of truth. But many as their falsehoods were, there was one of them which quite amazed me; - I mean when they told you to be upon your guard, and not to let yourselves be deceived by the force of my eloquence. They ought to have been ashamed of saying this, because they were sure to be detected as soon as I opened my lips and displayed my deficiency; they certainly did appear to be most shameless in saying this, unless by the force of eloquence they mean the force of truth; for then I do indeed admit that I am eloquent. But in how different a way from theirs! Well, as I was saying, they have hardly uttered a word, or not more than a word, of truth; but you shall hear from me the whole truth: not, however, delivered after their manner, in a set oration duly ornamented with words and phrases. No indeed! but I shall use the words and arguments which occur to me at the moment; for I am certain that this is right, and that at my time of life I ought not to be appearing before you, O men of Athens, in the character of a juvenile orator - let no one expect this of me. And I must beg of you to grant me one favor, which is this - If you hear me using the same words in my defence which I have been in the habit of using, and which most of you may have heard in the agora, and at the tables of the money-changers, or anywhere else, I would ask you not to be surprised at this, and not to interrupt me. For I am more than seventy years of age, and this is the first time that I have ever appeared in a court of law, and I am quite a stranger to the ways of the place; and therefore I would have you regard me as if I were really a stranger, whom you would excuse if he spoke in his native tongue, and after the fashion of his country; - that I think is not an unfair request. Never mind the manner, which may or may not be good; but think only of the justice of my cause, and give heed to that: let the judge decide justly and the speaker speak truly.
And first, I have to reply to the older charges and to my first accusers, and then I will go to the later ones. For I have had many accusers, who accused me of old, and their false charges have continued during many years; and I am more afraid of them than of Anytus and his associates, who are dangerous, too, in their own way. But far more dangerous are these, who began when you were children, and took possession of your minds with their falsehoods, telling of one Socrates, a wise man, who speculated about the heaven above, and searched into the earth beneath, and made the worse appear the better cause. These are the accusers whom I dread; for they are the circulators of this rumor, and their hearers are too apt to fancy that speculators of this sort do not believe in the gods. And they are many, and their charges against me are of ancient date, and they made them in days when you were impressible - in childhood, or perhaps in youth - and the cause when heard went by default, for there was none to answer. And, hardest of all, their names I do not know and cannot tell; unless in the chance of a comic poet. But the main body of these slanderers who from envy and malice have wrought upon you - and there are some of them who are convinced themselves, and impart their convictions to others - all these, I say, are most difficult to deal with; for I cannot have them up here, and examine them, and therefore I must simply fight with shadows in my own defence, and examine when there is no one who answers. I will ask you then to assume with me, as I was saying, that my opponents are of two kinds - one recent, the other ancient; and I hope that you will see the propriety of my answering the latter first, for these accusations you heard long before the others, and much oftener.
Well, then, I will make my defence, and I will endeavor in the short time which is allowed to do away with this evil opinion of me which you have held for such a long time; and I hope I may succeed, if this be well for you and me, and that my words may find favor with you. But I know that to accomplish this is not easy - I quite see the nature of the task. Let the event be as God wills: in obedience to the law I make my defence.
I will begin at the beginning, and ask what the accusation is which has given rise to this slander of me, and which has encouraged Meletus to proceed against me. What do the slanderers say? They shall be my prosecutors, and I will sum up their words in an affidavit. "Socrates is an evil-doer, and a curious person, who searches into things under the earth and in heaven, and he makes the worse appear the better cause; and he teaches the aforesaid doctrines to others." That is the nature of the accusation, and that is what you have seen yourselves in the comedy of Aristophanes; who has introduced a man whom he calls Socrates, going about and saying that he can walk in the air, and talking a deal of nonsense concerning matters of which I do not pretend to know either much or little - not that I mean to say anything disparaging of anyone who is a student of natural philosophy. I should be very sorry if Meletus could lay that to my charge. But the simple truth is, O Athenians, that I have nothing to do with these studies. Very many of those here present are witnesses to the truth of this, and to them I appeal. Speak then, you who have heard me, and tell your neighbors whether any of you have ever known me hold forth in few words or in many upon matters of this sort. ... You hear their answer. And from what they say of this you will be able to judge of the truth of the rest.
As little foundation is there for the report that I am a teacher, and take money; that is no more true than the other. Although, if a man is able to teach, I honor him for being paid. There is Gorgias of Leontium, and Prodicus of Ceos, and Hippias of Elis, who go the round of the cities, and are able to persuade the young men to leave their own citizens, by whom they might be taught for nothing, and come to them, whom they not only pay, but are thankful if they may be allowed to pay them. There is actually a Parian philosopher residing in Athens, of whom I have heard; and I came to hear of him in this way: - I met a man who has spent a world of money on the Sophists, Callias the son of Hipponicus, and knowing that he had sons, I asked him: "Callias," I said, "if your two sons were foals or calves, there would be no difficulty in finding someone to put over them; we should hire a trainer of horses or a farmer probably who would improve and perfect them in their own proper virtue and excellence; but as they are human beings, whom are you thinking of placing over them? Is there anyone who understands human and political virtue? You must have thought about this as you have sons; is there anyone?" "There is," he said. "Who is he?" said I, "and of what country? and what does he charge?" "Evenus the Parian," he replied; "he is the man, and his charge is five minae." Happy is Evenus, I said to myself, if he really has this wisdom, and teaches at such a modest charge. Had I the same, I should have been very proud and conceited; but the truth is that I have no knowledge of the kind.
I dare say, Athenians, that someone among you will reply, "Why is this, Socrates, and what is the origin of these accusations of you: for there must have been something strange which you have been doing? All this great fame and talk about you would never have arisen if you had been like other men: tell us, then, why this is, as we should be sorry to judge hastily of you." Now I regard this as a fair challenge, and I will endeavor to explain to you the origin of this name of "wise," and of this evil fame. Please to attend then. And although some of you may think I am joking, I declare that I will tell you the entire truth. Men of Athens, this reputation of mine has come of a certain sort of wisdom which I possess. If you ask me what kind of wisdom, I reply, such wisdom as is attainable by man, for to that extent I am inclined to believe that I am wise; whereas the persons of whom I was speaking have a superhuman wisdom, which I may fail to describe, because I have it not myself; and he who says that I have, speaks falsely, and is taking away my character. And here, O men of Athens, I must beg you not to interrupt me, even if I seem to say something extravagant. For the word which I will speak is not mine. I will refer you to a witness who is worthy of credit, and will tell you about my wisdom - whether I have any, and of what sort - and that witness shall be the god of Delphi. You must have known Chaerephon; he was early a friend of mine, and also a friend of yours, for he shared in the exile of the people, and returned with you. Well, Chaerephon, as you know, was very impetuous in all his doings, and he went to Delphi and boldly asked the oracle to tell him whether - as I was saying, I must beg you not to interrupt - he asked the oracle to tell him whether there was anyone wiser than I was, and the Pythian prophetess answered that there was no man wiser. Chaerephon is dead himself, but his brother, who is in court, will confirm the truth of this story.
Why do I mention this? Because I am going to explain to you why I have such an evil name. When I heard the answer, I said to myself, What can the god mean? and what is the interpretation of this riddle? for I know that I have no wisdom, small or great. What can he mean when he says that I am the wisest of men? And yet he is a god and cannot lie; that would be against his nature. After a long consideration, I at last thought of a method of trying the question. I reflected that if I could only find a man wiser than myself, then I might go to the god with a refutation in my hand. I should say to him, "Here is a man who is wiser than I am; but you said that I was the wisest." Accordingly I went to one who had the reputation of wisdom, and observed to him - his name I need not mention; he was a politician whom I selected for examination - and the result was as follows: When I began to talk with him, I could not help thinking that he was not really wise, although he was thought wise by many, and wiser still by himself; and I went and tried to explain to him that he thought himself wise, but was not really wise; and the consequence was that he hated me, and his enmity was shared by several who were present and heard me. So I left him, saying to myself, as I went away: Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is - for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him. Then I went to another, who had still higher philosophical pretensions, and my conclusion was exactly the same. I made another enemy of him, and of many others besides him.

Some GNAA member tell me... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490690)

Don't afroamericans feel offended by calling them "niggers"?

I mean,
Fag Nigger Americunt Association would beat everyone equally.
Gay AfroAmerican Association wouldb't be rude.

Putting "Nigger" like that is plain discriminating.

No, I'm not black.

No such thing as a free lunch (4, Insightful)

nokilli (759129) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490563)

Regulation is the worst possible scenario for OSS, regardless of any pretense towards open sourcing software. Regulation means bureaucrats, who wield great power, and who will be attractive places for people like Microsoft, who possess vast fortunes, to spend it. For instance, imagine that they mandate open source, but then throw in a requirement that the programmer assume responsibility for its performance, or become liable in other ways. Then, the only people who would be able to participate would be companies with deep pockets. Like Microsoft.

This is not the cold war (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490598)

I think you people really need to get overyourself and stop listening to every moron who is trying to make a buck by gaining fame by stating some irrational position.

Regardless, if the metaphor is to hold up, Linux is the cold, heartless communist regime killing people and imprisoning them, while Microsoft is Rambo, the Wolverines, and Chuck Norris.

At least it isn't another SCO story.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (4, Insightful)

Apreche (239272) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490623)

You're right and wrong. Regulation is bad for OSS. It is also terrible for MS too. Nobody involved with software wants it to be regulated. Regulation stifles innovation. Imagine there was a regulation that said all software needed to be at least X secure. Both MS and OSS are screwed. Being held liable for how secure your software is would ruin everybody. That's just one example of a regulation that would mess everything up, but just about anything would be terrible. Keep it free.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (5, Insightful)

CeleronXL (726844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490652)

Microsoft however, with it's deep pockets, would be able to fairly easily maneuver around this regulation with little-to-no hassle, paying people to overlook it or otherwise passing laws to alleviate the weight of the law on companies such as themselves.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (5, Interesting)

El Volio (40489) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490701)

Being held liable for how secure your software is would ruin everybody.

Well, all the developers, anyway. Users would benefit from such a regulation, and if handled properly, this could work. Whether it's a "cap" or just related to disclaimers about intended uses of products, limits could be placed on the liability. There are problems to be solved (how do you handle the case of an individual developer vs. someone like Computer Associates?), but claiming that requiring developers to be liable for damages caused by flaws in their products is the same sort of protectionism we decry in large corporations in other industries. No one seriously suggests that automobile manufacturers shouldn't be liable for certain flaws in their products it may cost them a bundle but the result is safer cars.

That said, a source code disclosure requirement is not that distant from current copyright regulation. Currently, rights holders are legally required to deposit two copies with the Library of Congress. Note that this is not a requirement to have a copyright on your works in general, there are just penalties associated. Interpreting or amending the law to include source code is not that far of a reach.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (5, Interesting)

ratsnapple tea (686697) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490761)

Yeah, regulation can stifle innovation, but at the risk of sounding glib... it can enable innovation too. Depends how great the need for regulation is and if it's the "right" sort of regulation. One example is splitting up the radio spectrum early last century so that radio, TV, etc. could be developed without worrying about stations stomping on each other.

So maybe a little regulation might help. Maybe not. Who really knows?

yours

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (5, Insightful)

probbka (308168) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490630)

Regulation of software is just asinine. This suggestion stems from a basic misunderstanding of economics.

The reason power and water are regulated is that they are industries wherein the cash flows and flows after an initial huge investment in infrastructure, and little else is needed. Also, they are industries wherein a monopoly is very easily attained, as 3 or 4 sets of power lines and water mains for an area from various companies is just asinine. This is called a natural monopoly. So, the government steps in to keep these natural monopolies from strangling customers and holding power hostage for exorbitant fees.

Software is so totally different though. Multiple versions of software are far from redundant, and actual R&D is necessary in order to stay current. Software is not a NATURAL monopoly business.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (2, Insightful)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490638)


For instance, imagine that they mandate open source, but then throw in a requirement that the programmer assume responsibility for its performance, or become liable in other ways. To some extent I agree but I disagree at the same time. I think it is the responsibility of the programmer/corp/* to ensure proper patching, fixes should something happen. That's something that should be common sense. What you're stating from what I'm reading is you want to be able to throw out whatever program you like without responsibility. Sure you should be able to throw out whatever you like, but you as a developer/coder/corp.* whatever other title you wanna throw out, should be responsible for certain things such as fixes when needed.

Then, the only people who would be able to participate would be companies with deep pockets. False, IBM has taken a huge leap within the past few years into the Linux market moving away from MS, look at Redhat once upon a time. Eventually after all is said and done with the whole "I'd like to teach the world to sing..." free free free rant... Know what? Tell your landlord you want to live rent free. Sad reality is sometimes money does have to come into the equation you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490670)

Umn. IBM doesn't have deep pockets? I don't think the parent poster was saying that *only* Microsoft does...

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (4, Insightful)

SlamMan (221834) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490678)

How so? If I develop something for free because I'm a nice guy, how does that suddenly become something I need to support until the end of time?

It's not like I'm getting paid to do this, and if you choose to run my buggy software that I released rather than just sit on, thats your choice. Not my responsibility.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (1, Flamebait)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490721)


See this is one of the problems Ive always thought about the whole open source community. Looking at sites like Freshmeat, Sourceforge and so many others, too many developers come out with some really neat tools that make it into the production environment, they become detrimental to some point and a developer drops patches, fixes. Sure it should be the responsibility of the end user, but what happens when you've built a company around using these tools because you "wanted to support to OSS movement"? Your comment reeks of the same "controlling", gestapoish tactics as those of non OSS developers. At least with a company whether its IBM, MS, Redhat, Sun, you pay for the support behind it which is why I can't see Sun, IBM, or MS going anywhere or even *Nix becoming the "de-facto" standard in the near future. For all the arguments of "nix taking over the desktop market, server market, developers should take a quick second look at thoughts like these and see how counterproductive they are. The entire world isn't filled with geeks ready to open up emacs, vi, notepads to code fixes, patches, etc.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (4, Insightful)

dossen (306388) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490724)

On the issue of liability, how would you make that work? If I create a program and you choose to use it, you want me to be responsible for fixing any problems with the program for as long as you use it? Or can I declare it "end of life"? If so, what prevents me from putting it out there, freely distributable, and then declaring it obsolete/"end of life" right away? Or if I cannot decide when to stop supporting it, what happens when my program develops a problem (or rather, the problem is discovered) years after I released it? I might have moved on, died, forgotten how it worked, or some other reason might make it impossible for me to fix it. How about my expenses? What if I'm employed and cannot fix the problem in the time I have (or perhaps I'm not even allowed, for contractual reasons).
If you want some kind of liability, that's fine by me, but you will have to pay me an amount that reasonably covers my expenses with regard to this liability. So if you get a program from me for free, or even for a small fee, don't expect me to fix problems that require much time or cost money to fix (I might do so anyway, but that's a different matter).
And if you need me to be liable for problems, why are you using software that does not come with a warranty?

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (0, Flamebait)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490753)


You know what you're absolutely right you should not be liable for anything you create. If holes come out down the line, whether security related, or it's just broken I would know never to use your program again. I hope other OSS developers don't think like this, what you're telling me you don't care what gets thrown out. Hey if it works it does if it doesn't who gives a rats ass. If you're a company using this, you're on your own because me as a developer I don't give a shit. This is what I'm seeing too much of not saying you in general, but take a good look at what you posted. Why should any company want to move away from some company no matter how bad their code sucks. Eventually they know that a patch is coming out regardless if it comes out late, it still is coming.

Too many developers don't take this into consideration. Imagine if the Apache team decided to just call it a day and not release any fixes, more releases, etc., and other OSS httpd developers decided to follow suit. All because "hey it's been fun" how responsible would that be. Do you see the dual standard via way of control.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (5, Insightful)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490659)

Regulation bites. I work in the banking industry - very, very, very regulated (which is fine from a safety and soundness standpoint - we don't want to revisit the bank failures of the depression).

The worst part of government regulation is when the regulators have to "have something for the report" - that is when they start creeping past the scope of what they're supposed to be trying to do.

For example, with the Year 2000 deal, the government thought that it would be a good idea to mandate that all banks be ready, and then to regulate them as such. For our small bank, my project was more than 50% work for the government in documenting stuff instead of working to make sure that everything was good to go.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (1)

AsparagusChallenge (611475) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490679)

And while they are on regulating a hobbist's work they may as well set rules about playing football in your backyard.

"No warranties" for Free Software means something like "I'm doing this on my own; if you like it take it - just don't complain later if it's not good enough". On the football example, it'd be like people watching a game between friends complained if they decided to leave the game at the middle. The players had no compromise to end the game; the programmer releasing code on good will has not any compromise with the end user either.

free lunch-you made your tradeoff, shut up (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490719)

WordPerfect was the premier word processor for lawyers until early 1993 when Attorney General Janet Reno declared all Justice Dept computers will use MS Word and no other.

In exchange, Bill Clinton supported a woman's obligation to choose abortion, in case one of you greasy palmed MS employees/geeks ever mates with something better than a dog.

And that's how our gov't standardized on MS Office. Don't like it? Tuff, the truth hurts.

Re:No such thing as a free lunch (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490744)

'...then throw in a requirement that the programmer assume responsibility for its performance, or become liable in other ways.'

You mean like professional engineers, medical doctors, lawyers, architects, or accountants, for example?

duh (0, Troll)

TexasDex (709519) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490564)

Microsoft = Totalitarian Dictatorship? As if we didn't know that already

da comrades (-1, Flamebait)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490575)

Finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes, eh comrades, eh?

FIFTH POST (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490576)

I sure do hope I do not FAIL IT!

OH MY GOD, YOU DIDN'T FAIL IT! CONGRATULATIONS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490586)

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, I URINATE WILDLY WITH GLEE! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490596)

Government Requlation? (0, Troll)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490578)

Sounds like hes on the socalist side of the fence ( to use his analogies )..

Free people dont want ( or need ) government intervention...

Re:Government Requlation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490595)

Sounds like hes on the socalist side of the fence ( to use his analogies )..

Ummmm maybe he is. And?

Re:Government Requlation? (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490640)

Free people dont want ( or need ) government intervention...

So you're against copyrights and patents?

sure ! (1)

kinsoa (550794) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490675)

Free people dont want ( or need ) government intervention...

free people don' need roads, hospitals or schools. Free people are enough rich to pay for that, and don't have to pay for people not enough rich to be "free", hey ?

I don't agree with a gouvernment regulation for software. Not because I'm a rich anarchist, but just because free softwares are already what a social thinking would ask for : software reachable and usable by all.

Re:Government Requlation? (4, Insightful)

probbka (308168) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490676)

The reason that regulation of power and water in a free society is that they are what's called natural monopolies. Multiple infrastructures for power, water etc. are just redundant, so there tends to be only one utilities company for a given area. The government regulates them to make sure that they don't charge exorbitant fees and hold vital utilities hostage.

This of course does not apply to software, where competition is a good thing and is necessary for growth. There is no real R&D in the utilities industry, but just imagine if MS hadn't done R&D since Windows 3.1... they'd be left in the dust by Linux. Not that they haven't been anyhow, though :)...

Re:Government Requlation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490693)

The government regulates them to make sure that they don't charge exorbitant fees and hold vital utilities hostage.

Pff, this is a red herring. This has never happened, nor is there any evidence to suggest that it really might happen.

MOD PARENT UP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490738)

who the hell modded this "troll"? see, once we have socialists in power, all anti-socialist speech will be censored. thanks for proving the parent's point:

"Free people dont want ( or need ) government intervention..."

Just change copyright laws (5, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490587)

To get everyone to release source code, just make the copyright laws do what they were intended to do in the first place: no binary files should have copyrights, only human-understandable information should be copyrighted. The same goes for encrypted or otherwise copy-protected information. Those are protected by trade secrets. The purpose of copyrights is to ensure that the ideas embodied by those works would be available for future generations, which doesn't happen if only the executable binaries are publicly available.

Re:Just change copyright laws (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490666)

Heh, you beat me to making a similar comment, but I definitely agree. Compilable code written in a recognized programming language should be provided for all software protected by copyright, just as the details of an invention are provided before one is granted a patent. It would actually help legitimate developers because it would be far easier to see if someone is violating their copyright, and you wouldn't end up with the silly SCO situation where they are claiming infringement without showing what code is being infringed.

Re:Just change copyright laws (3, Insightful)

cpghost (719344) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490696)

Are copyright laws really a good idea for software? Remember, copyright protection lasts for at least 70 (but up to 95) years after the death of the author. Moreover, copyright renewals would extend this period even more. Now tell me any kind of software that would not be utterly obsoleted in, say, 100 to 150 years from now! Software-Copyrights effectively eliminate public dissemination forever. Is this the purpose of copyright, as intended when it was invented?

Re:Just change copyright laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490760)

I program in machine code you insensitive clod!

Cold War Parallels (5, Interesting)

MacEnvy (549188) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490588)

I think that while MS may be somewhat totalitarian in their practices, a better parallel to the Cold War would be capitalist versus socialist ideals. In this scenario, it is obvious that MS is the pinnacle of capitalist practices, while the Linux community is much closer to socialism - shared effort for shared gain, group ownership, etc. Think about that one ...

Re:Cold War Parallels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490621)

Amen to that one. But why compare? It's better to explain what open source is to people that don't know about it. It says enough about the other party. :)

ACK (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490639)

thats true. [lycos.de]

Re:Cold War Parallels (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490645)

a better parallel to the Cold War would be capitalist versus socialist ideals. In this scenario, it is obvious that MS is the pinnacle of capitalist practices

Microsoft might be "the pinnacle of capitalist practicesM/b>" but it very definitely is not the pinnacle of capitalist ideals. Your comment seems to confuse the two.

Re:Cold War Parallels (2, Insightful)

Clinoti (696723) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490703)

Well in consideration your argument is precise in relation to socalism vs. capitalism; a caveat remains that through this process we in the OS/Gnu community endeavour to show And prove that virtual idealism and accountability is the true future of development.

The OS community and those who contribute to it are simply the natural evolution of software (or works) in the arena of the marketplace. This allows for innovation and invention which are not limited to the scope of dedicated control of the product but rather the drive for sucess with the solutions that further the drive.

Re:Cold War Parallels (4, Insightful)

Daytona955i (448665) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490757)

I don't think you can really compare M$ vs. Linux as capitalism vs. communism/socialism or any other ism. It's really not the same thing.

Sure Microsoft has the monopolistic dictatorship qualities. They don't care about the people, only about themselves. Security is an afterthought and they run things. No one is going to take them down. However, they are capitolistic in some sense because they are a company providing a service. However, if you look at their practices, they are anything but competitive. If someone releases a better product, they release theirs as free and tightly integrate it into their OS. They then send some goons to muscle suppliers (like dell, compaq, etc...) to not install the competitors product. This is very anti-competitive.

Now let's look at linux. Aside from being free (as in speech... something this country was founded upon) it is all about choice. It is also all about producing a better product. It's also about choices. If you don't like the way a product is going, you can take the source and code it the way you want. (or hire someone to do it for you) There are also many companies that use linux to make money (in a very capitolistic sense). RedHat is the perfect example of this. They use their reputation and hard work to get where they are.

However the biggest fact is that software developers have no control over what you do in terms of religion, and every other aspect of life. Americans have it ingrained in them that communism is a bad thing so everyone tried to relate what they don't like to communism. In fact most people that say this, don't even know what communism is. I'm also not supporting communism... I don't think it would ever work and it's more of a throwback to a dictatorship but that's besides the point. I don't think communism is necessarily "evil" but rather what people choose to do with is could be evil.

I'm just tired of people trying to use the "all (linux|Microsoft) users are just like communists." I think there is room for both to survive. I've been a Linux user for about 9-10 years now so I know how to use it. I haven't used a M$ product in about 2-3 years now. (Not word, office, that crappy media player, etc...) So I must be against closed source right? Wrong... I have an apple PowerBook G4 with OS X. Sure it's got an open source component (and I have open office, emacs and a bunch of otherr free GNU tools from fink) but it also has a very closed proprietary part which is definately not free.

Should all software be open source? It doesn't matter because it never will. There will always be a niche that needs customized software for their needs and people always like choice and if you can offer something better than open source can offer, you stand to make a lot of money. I think they can live side by side but M$ needs to stop their anti-competitive practices!

To fight the Staninist and Maoist model... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490590)

...we impose one with government regulation? This guy sounds likes a Republican.

Re:To fight the Staninist and Maoist model... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490603)

Actually sounds more like a Democrat to me.

Re:To fight the Staninist and Maoist model... (2, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490697)

Could be either side. They both use goverment regs to help what they like and punish what they don't.

Re:To fight the Staninist and Maoist model... (1)

Spetiam (671180) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490751)

i wish i had mod point to mod grandparent down and parent up the grandparent is obviously a partisan troll (modded up by partisan mods) the parent is pointing out reality

Media Desperation (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490593)

Sounds like a BBC writer had a deadline to fill with sensational pap. If he wanted controversy, perhaps Microsoft=Catholicism and Linux=Scientology would have made for a more interesting read.

Cold war proxy wars... (0, Redundant)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490601)

I just submitted this as a story, but it's relevant. A leaked email from SCO shows that SCO received around $100m from Mircosoft. The Register [theregister.co.uk] has the details.
The war is cold only because Microsoft is unsure of how an overt war would be seen by regulators and clients. But cold wars can be damaging - just look at Africa and South America in the last decades.

Re:Cold war proxy wars... (1)

Helvick (657730) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490650)

This is older news covered here on Slashdot [slashdot.org] a few days ago. The Register has also posted an updated analysis [theregister.co.uk] and are now of the opinion that the memo in question doesn't reveal anything new about the SCO\Microsoft financial entanglement.

Re:Cold war proxy wars... (1)

heironymouscoward (683461) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490689)

Damn. I sank to the level of the Slashdot editors. Submitted a dupe and then boasted about it... oh, the shame of it.

On the bright side, my six-month old daughter just learnt to say "blehsughhx" and stick her tongue out. I bet that wasn't posted to Slashdot yet.

Re:Cold war proxy wars... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490654)

Dupe. You're late by several days. Search recent SCO stories.

ok so how will... (2, Interesting)

Professor Cool Linux (759581) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490605)

.. MAD factor in?

MAD = Mutually Assured Destruction [nuclearfiles.org]

I personally don't want to run BSD, do you?

Re:ok so how will... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490756)

Yep. I just finished converting 5 systems over. Freebsd was easy to install, great documentation and nice ports/pkg system. Makes me regret wasting time on a gazillion distros and rpm hell.

Shut Up And Show Them The Code! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490609)

RMS has always distanced himself from the Open Source movement because (he says) we avoid talking about "freedom, about principle, about the rights that computer users are entitled to".

He's right. We do avoid that. But not because we don't care about "freedom", "principle" or "rights". Speaking for myself, I trust that anybody who's ever heard me speak or read my writings on the First or Second Amendments knows that I am quite passionate and vocal about freedom and rights; like RMS, I defend them even when they are unpopular with my audience. Other Open Source advocates don't seem to me to be any slower than I to speak the language of "freedom" and "rights" when they judge it is appropriate.

But "when they judge it is appropriate" is a very important qualifier. There are two different kinds of reasons an open-source advocate might avoid speaking about RMS's `freedom'; either disagreement with his goals, or a judgment that doing so is ineffective, is bad tactics.

The difference is important, and this is where RMS misrepresents what we are about. He would have you believe that the FSF and OSI have diverged over vast matters of principle, when in fact the OSI (and the Open Source movement as a whole) is carefully designed to be able to include people with beliefs like RMS's.

The Open Source Initiative does not have a position for or against RMS's goals. Please don't take my word for this; go look at our advocacy materials on the Open Source website, especially the part in the FAQ where it says "Open Source is a marketing program for free software".

Now it is true that some individuals associated with OSI occasionally argue with some of RMS's goals and principles (and one of those individuals is me). But the OSI is a big-tent organization; we have never condemned RMS's principles, and never will -- because we don't need to!

The real disagreement between OSI and FSF, the real axis of discord between those who speak of "open source" and "free software", is not over principles. It's over tactics and rhetoric. The open-source movement is largely composed not of people who reject RMS's ideals, but rather of people who reject his rhetoric.

Is this justified? Well -- consider the 180-degree turnaround in press and mainstream perception that has taken place in the last fourteen months, since many people in our tribe started pushing the same licenses and the same code we used to call "free software" under the "open source" banner.

Where we used to be ignored and dismissed, we are now praised and respected. The same press that used to dismiss "free software" as a crackpot idea now falls over itself writing laudatory articles about "open source". And the same corporate titans who dismissed RMS as a `communist' are lining up to pour money and effort into open-source development. Our market share and mind share have both zoomed to a level that would have seemed the stuff of delirious fancy as recently as January of last year.

Have all the opinion leaders and executives who have turned around suddenly seen the pure light of the GNU manifesto? No; instead, they point to the work of Open Source advocates to explain their conversion.

OSI's tactics work. That's the easy part of the lesson. The hard part is that the FSF's tactics don't work, and never did. If RMS's rhetoric had been effective outside the hacker community, we'd have gotten where we are now five or ten years sooner and OSI would have been completely unnecessary (and I could be writing code, which I'd much rather be doing than this...).

None of this takes anything away from RMS's prowess as a programmer or his remarkable effectiveness at mobilizing other hackers to do good work. Emacs and gcc and the GNU code base are an absolutely essential part of our toolkit and our cultural inheritance, for which RMS deserves every praise (which is why I led a standing ovation to him at last LinuxWorld after observing that "without RMS, none of us would be here today"). But as an evangelist to the mainstream, he's been one fifteen-year long continuous disaster.

It's important for all of us hackers to be clear about that, because RMS's rhetoric is very seductive to the kind of people we are. We hackers are thinkers and idealists who readily resonate with appeals to "principle" and "freedom" and "rights". Even when we disagree with bits of his program, we want RMS's rhetorical style to work; we think it ought to work; we tend to be puzzled and disbelieving when it fails on the 95% of people who aren't wired like we are.

So when RMS insists that we talk about "computer users' rights", he's issuing a dangerously attractive invitation to us to repeat old failures. It's one we should reject -- not because his principles are wrong, but because that kind of language, applied to software, simply does not persuade anybody but us. In fact, it confuses and repels most people outside our culture.

RMS's best propaganda has always been his hacking. So it is for all of us; to the rest of the world outside our little tribe, the excellence of our software is a far more persuasive argument for openness and freedom than any amount of highfalutin appeal to abstract principles. So he next time RMS, or anybody else, urges you to "talk about freedom", I urge you to reply "Shut up and show them the code."

Re:Shut Up And Show Them The Code! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490674)

He would have you believe that the FSF and OSI have diverged over vast matters of principle, when in fact the OSI (and the Open Source movement as a whole) is carefully designed to be able to include people with beliefs like RMS's.

Yes, ESR, the problem is that you do this by never actually revealing what it is that the OSI supports or believes in. You tell us how much better you are achieving your goals that RMS is achieving his but you don't tell us what your goals are, only that they may not be wholly incompatible with his, through careful design. What do YOU believe in (leaving guns out of it for now please)?

Keep politics out of it! (5, Insightful)

cpghost (719344) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490614)

Calling for legislation to step in, is almost always a bad idea. We may be dreaming of an open source friendly regulation, but this is unlikely to happen. We simply don't have the purchasing power that Microsoft and others have with our politicians, so we'll end up having a heavily regulated market with anti-competitive, pro closed-source rules. Remember DMCA?

Re:Keep politics out of it! (2, Insightful)

say (191220) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490741)

Jesus Christ, do you Americans even elect your politicians? Here, in Norway, our politicians are elected and claim to serve the people. Why don't you start a revolution, and ditch your fascist and corrupt two-party system?

Been said before (0, Redundant)

djupedal (584558) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490618)

...and it isn't simply MS bashing.

Investing in Microsoft is risking having your own money used against you in the marketplace.

Compilable source code should be provided (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490619)

...for every product that wishes to receive copyright protection, just as the details of an invention are provided before giving a patent. It would be far easier to catch copyright violations and find security flaws, and the code could actually be used as a basis for further software advancement rather than as a black box that lives and dies with the publisher.

analogies suck (3, Insightful)

cft (715198) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490622)

nux is a feudal state with Linus as their King, he dictates what people do and has executive powers over the direction linux
goes. sure, you could fork your own state, but the food (developers) and land (users) is limited, and you're likely to be screw
ed over by another state (sco).

yeah, cause analogies are always correct.

btw is slashdot broken, i post like once per week and keep getting 'call it a night cowboy!'

Yeah, simple confusion. (3, Interesting)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490635)

Soviet Union was communism in economy, totalitarism in politics.
US is capitalism in economy, democracy in politics.

Microsoft is capitalism in economy, totalitarism in politics.
Free Software is communism in economy, democracy in politics.

Communism is a good thing, unfortunately it appears way too often accompanied by totalitarism which wastes all profit communism could provide, and gives otherwise very good ideals a really bad name.

Re:Yeah, simple confusion. (2, Interesting)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490673)

Err, let me correct myself before a flame war emerges.
US is [b]supposed to be[/b] capitalism in economy, democracy in politics.
What it really is, due to all patent issues, corporate influences, lobbies, hidden powers etc is beyond me. Certainly not democracy or capitalism as dictionaries defines them.

Re:Yeah, simple confusion. (1)

bj8rn (583532) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490730)

You know, if you look at all the democracies throughout the history, then what it all comes down to is that all that democracy is is something that is called democracy. Just as East Germany was democratic and the Soviet Union was democratic...

Re:Yeah, simple confusion. (0)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490688)

A citizen of USA will cross the ocean to fight for democracy, but won't cross the street to vote in a national elections

OT I know, but this is one of the stupidest sigs I've seen on slashdot. You may as well say "A citizen of France will cross the street for a good wine, but won't stand up to the Germans".

Re:Yeah, simple confusion. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490702)

'cause German beer is quite good already!

Re:Yeah, simple confusion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490722)

OT I know, but this is one of the stupidest sigs I've seen on slashdot. You may as well say "A citizen of France will cross the street for a good wine, but won't stand up to the Germans".

You might very well say that and I wouldn't argue. Why does that make his sig "stupid"? It's not like your comment even disagrees with his.

Re:Yeah, simple confusion. (1)

rmohr02 (208447) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490732)

Communism is a good thing, unfortunately it appears way too often accompanied by totalitarism which wastes all profit communism could provide, and gives otherwise very good ideals a really bad name.
To help prevent a flame war, I'll say that Communism is not a good thing, but it is infinitely better than the government of the USSR.

Communism is a good thing??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490764)

Yeah sure.

"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs", is such a wonderfully accurate and applicable model of human nature.

That and Marx basing his entire model on the assumption that economics is a zero-sum game - in other words, no one can get rich without "stealing" from someone - usually the "workers".

So, except for utterly ignoring human nature and being founded on completely incorrect assumptions, I guess you could say communism is a "good thing" (You related to Martha Stewart in any way?)

You might have a problem convincing the Kulaks Uncle Joe killed of that, or maybe the victims of the Khmer Rouge, or the protesters of Tiannamen Square or those that starved to death in Mao's "Great Leap Forward", or the victims of biological and chemical experimentation on humans in North Korea, or thise living in a stagnant economy and repression in Cuba.

Possible regulation (3, Interesting)

nenya (557317) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490637)

I am strongly opposed to the idea of regulating software for the general market. Even though certain things like power, water, and transportation may need some kind of regulation, the price we pay for uniformity is inefficiency, bloat, and increased cost. Regulation tends to involve tax advantages for companies in compliance, which tends to stifle innovation by advantaging the status quo.

However, I am not entirely opposed to regulating software for government use. This makes a lot of sense to me, actually. If you want to get the government contract, you should have to meet certain standards, especially security standards. A business could do this, so there's no reason the government couldn't. The possible advantages would be an optional but well recognized standard that companies could meet if they wanted but are capable of declining if they so choose. I do think a open-source clause could be a good thing.

The drawback here is that powerful (read "rich") parties would probably be able to write the regulations so that they are biased towards particular kinds of software, if not particular brands. They could also probably prevent an OSS clause from being adopted, if not actually requiring close source.

Any time we experiment with giving the government more control over anything, we need to be very careful. Governments do not relinquish their powers. They always and only expand them. Regulating software, even in a limited capacity, sounds to me a lot like the proverbial foot in the door.

Re:Possible regulation (2, Insightful)

cpghost (719344) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490671)

I am not entirely opposed to regulating software for government use.

See FIPS requirements.

Governments do not relinquish their powers. They always and only expand them.

Sad, but true. And that's exactly the reason why we need to be extra careful when we call for Government's "help."

Frankly, I believe that software is also a way to express opinions, both technical and political. Government control of software would be in direct contradiction of free speech, wouldn't it?

Excellent article (4, Interesting)

pieterh (196118) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490643)

Fair and balanced.

But it's not really a war between opposing sides. It's a war between the furture and the past. And the past is doomed to failure, simply because the technology curve has progressed to the point where large chunks of the software ecology are essentially free. Microsoft and Oracle unhappily sit right in the middle of this territory. Apple, IBM do not. I wrote about this in an editorial last year. [imatix.com]

Re:Excellent article (1)

0xB00F (655017) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490731)

Fair and balanced.

Watch your tone boy! Unless you want this guy [foxnews.com] to come over to your house and talk some sense into you :D
Great editorial btw.
--
Spread the word: talk about the blubbering idiot [enderlegroup.com] everyday.

As a closed source developer (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490648)

I feel threatened by open source. People talk about how open source is good for the job market, but I've yet to see how that could be.

I use Linux, I like Linux, but I recognize open source for the threat to my livelihood that it is.

And that is why I hope SCO crushes Linux and does irreparable harm to the GPL.

Re:As a closed source developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490694)

As a professional opinion writer I feel threatened by people like you who give their opinions away for nothing. I read views like yours but I recognize them for the threat to my lievelihood that they are.

And that is why I hope a crazed axeman hacks you to pieces.

This opinion is shareware. If you use it then please BUY it. Thank you.

Re:As a closed source developer (1)

Treacle Treatment (681828) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490763)

My employer pays me to work on software used in open source operating systems like Linux. It keeps me employed so you can count me as one on the side of "good for the job market". Face it. If it wasn't Linux it would be BSD or something else. There are lots of people who believe that one (Microsoft) size does not fit all. If you want Linux to be crushed start thinking of alternatives.

Really... (1)

CrowScape (659629) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490657)

It is rather ironic that Microsoft and other closed model companies rather resemble the Stalinist or Maoist model of a command economy with complete centralised control.

Yes, and so does the human nervous system. So that must mean that we are all Stalinists! I wonder why Fascist/Hitlerian was left out, as the command structure there is exactly the same as in a Communist system.

Re:Really... (1)

t0y (700664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490740)

Stalinist!=Communist complete centralised control!=communist You are making the common mistake of not knowing the difference between totalitarianism and communism. Others have said it, but I guess you missed it.

Your hatred of Microsoft blinds you (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490661)

When you say you don't like Microsoft, you really don't like the choices millions of people make. I've been in this business long enough to know an analogy to war is ridiculous. You seem to believe that any choice of Microsoft is illegitimate and that open source can't fight fair in a free market, which is the big joke. Linux is doing great without the government, thank you.

And this committee for patriotic software, should it ever be enacted, will be the downfall of open source. It will be just another control point for power and allow the morality police a central point of control. It will become a do-nothing political body like all the rest.

I never liked the idea of regulation. (3, Informative)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490665)

start thinking about how we persuade governments that market in software may eventually need to be regulated

Bad idea. If it needs to be regulated then I believe that your product is inadequate. If your product is the best, then the market will decide. Think about it for a minute. You have a free operating system with free applications that you claim to be superior to everything else yet, you then want/need government regulation and mandates to require people to use your "better product"? That just doesn't make sense.

I don't care what monopolistic practices Microsoft pulls, short of government mandates requiring Microsoft's use. If the product is truely better it will be chosen over others. The price is already right.

If this were a cold war... (5, Funny)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490669)

Microsoft would have thousands of nuclear weapons, except they would constantly explode in their own silos. Everyone would have an easy to use rifle (with baby blue color theme), but only a handfull of people will be able to keep the rifle out of enemy hands, everyone else will just leave it lying around outside cause they're too lazy (or stupid) to secure it anywhere.

Linux would have some great weapons but only 20 people would know how to use them, 12 of these people would have them loaded correctly, 5 will accidentally shoot themselves in the face, 2 would use the guns of the people who shot themselves in the face, and continue to shoot those people in the face, and the last person would develop a new loading mechanism and distribute it to everyone so they now have to figure out how to load it all over again.

Re:If this were a cold war... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490755)

Damn,

And my foot was already lost when I first used C++; What will this lead to?

Pig iron [2002 Gates memo calls for security] (5, Informative)

NZheretic (23872) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490677)

The suggestion has been made before ...

Subject: Pig iron [Was: Article: Gates memo calls for security focus] [google.com]

On Fri, 18 Jan 2002 15:16:08 GMT, Alun Jones <alun@texis.com> wrote:


>In article <u0O18.81315$Sj1.32399626@typhoon.ne.mediaone.net> , Simon Chang
><schang@quantumslipstream.net> wrote:
>>It remains to be seen whether Gates & Co. continues to treat inadequate
>>security policy and implementation as just public relations issues.
>

>In Microsoft's favour, look what happened when Gates wrote a memo suggesting
>that the company should get with the Internet. Complete U-turn on the part of
>the whole company, with a huge emphasis on Internet development. What Gates
>says, goes. Just maybe those doomsayers within Microsoft who have been saying
>yes, but what about the security angle? (I presume there are some) will now
>be listened to, and their recommendations acted on. I certainly hope so.
>

I fully admit, it is a Great Leap Forward, just like another one in history...

http://www.asiaweek.com/asiaweek/magazine/99/0924/ cn_economy.html [asiaweek.com]
+Mao launched the Great Leap Forward program in 1958, arguably the greatest
+economic folly of the 20th century. To help China surpass the economies of
+Britain and the U.S. in 15 years, he decreed that every Chinese should
+produce smelt iron. Hundreds of millions of citizens neglected farms to make
+low-grade pig iron. Beijing did not know that grain was rotting in the fields

Why the above quote? Check out the language Mr Gates uses in his letter
( see the register
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/23715.html [theregister.co.uk]
). Remind you of the announcements of the old five year plans from
the old Soviet and Maoist regimes? Even down to the use of catch phrases!

If Microsoft's Management is serous ( and given their past pronouncements
on the security of their products - thats a very big if ) , it is a
Herculean but not impossible task ahead. It will not happen overnight.


Microsoft Makes Software Safety a Top Goal - January 17, 2002
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/17/technology/17SEC U.html [nytimes.com]
+Every developer is going to be told not to write any new line of code, Mr.
+Allchin said, until they have thought out the security implications for the
+product.

YES !!! Finally, but a little too late since almost all of the core OS and
application code has already been written.

Microsoft should have started this process three years ago.
The attempt to turn their current inherently designed insecure products
into a trusted system is like that of turning a sows ear into a silk
purse. The result is more likely to be pots and pans into useless,
unsaleable pig iron. A lot of the core design for many of the products
is going to have to be rewritten.

As for Trustworthy computing See

Avoiding bogus encryption products: Snake Oil FAQ ...
http://www.faqs.org/faqs/cryptography-faq/snake-oi l/ [faqs.org]
... the warning principals apply as much to secure software
products as it does to cryptographic products.

For software to be Trustworthy it requires that both the source and
build processes be verifiable by public inspection by peers in the
industry. That *requires* an unrestrictive license such as open
source ( http://www.opensource.org/docs/definition.html [opensource.org] ), where
everybody can download the source and rebuild the code to compare
the result with the offical distributed binaries.
Microsoft's Shared Source like license, which requires the user agree
to non-competition clauses, prevents real peers from examing the source.

So do the Microsoft executives really have the guts to do what it
takes to get the job done?

David Mohring - Trust Microsoft Sung to the Southpark tune of Blame Canada

Flamebait? (1, Troll)

bj8rn (583532) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490680)

from the now-thats-serious-flamebait-1 dept.

Oh yeah? Well, fuck you too! And don't say you weren't asking for this!

Open-Source 0wns (2, Interesting)

SphericalCrusher (739397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490681)

Good, strong point. There is nothing wrong with making your software's source code public to the world, unless you're Microsoft. It'll tag a lot of coders to fix that shit. =/

Just as he said; it's still possible to sell your software and have it open-source. It's actually better for business... because there is always just someone out there who is better than you -- Even if you're God.

"But once we see an open source alternative to Quark Express running on those Linux boxes, or Postgres databases replacing Oracle, and an open source digital music store that challenges iTunes, we can expect to see Adobe, Apple and the rest of the software industry piling in too."

What? iTunes is free. Maybe we can't mess with the code for it, but I don't think a lot of people care. And if it's free music, we have KaZaA of course.

talk is cheap, free speech isn't (1)

stonebeat.org (562495) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490692)

software is cheap, free (open-source) software isn't.
When you try to write an opensource software you will many hurdles, but you should be willing to face them.

Limited Capitalism is Key... (5, Interesting)

valence (164639) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490699)

I disagree strongly that government regulation mandating open-sourcing is the key to solving the issues related to SCO/Linux/Microsoft, and although I agree with the basic points about FUD being the primary weapon of SCO/Microsoft, as well as the potential benefits of open sourcing for large corporations, I find very little in his article to support his assertion that this sort of regulation is the right direction.

Frankly, if open sourcing is going to be key for economic viability in the marketplace, the correct capitalist response would be to let market pressure bury those companies that don't do it, not to impose regulation. I can see regulation protecting open-source companies from FUD assaults, which are inherantly detrimental to a free and open marketplace... but not regulating the production and distribution of software.

Utilities like water and power require regulation because they are infrastructural supplies that aren't optional, nor does there exist (or can there, really) much of a competitive market in them to control excesses. With software, this is not really the case. Even for fundamental software like word processors and database tools, there is a robust marketplace with tons of options.

Fundamentally, Marx's critique of unconstrained capitalism wasn't wholly off base. But America isn't unconstrained... consumer protection laws and so forth counter the excesses of capitalism here. The government's role here should be protection laws that preserve an open marketplace (no FUD attacks) and regulation where infrastructure is privatized.

This is what I think, anyway.

Freakin' IT media. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490709)

The joke of Linux being a communist virus is an old dead one. The nature of open source frees you from the binary code being forced and imposed upon you.

The IT media use any obscure metaphor they can lay their hands on.

Funny (0)

JoeBaldwin (727345) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490711)

I always thought F/OSS was the communist side :)

Regulation Obsession (5, Interesting)

Brian Blessed (258910) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490712)

If you read some of Bill Thompson's back catalogue, it seems that the man is obsessed with regulation as a cure-all solution (see here [bbc.co.uk] , here [bbc.co.uk] , or here [bbc.co.uk] ).

It is a widely-held British viewpoint. Whenever there is some new perceived problem with the internet (a global network), politicans here start publicly calling for new government regulations. They know how pointless it is but want to be seen aligning themselves with the popular stance.

- Brian.

Re:Regulation Obsession (0, Troll)

say (191220) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490733)

Yeah. And the UK is a much worse country to live in than America(TM). Because a lot less people are poor, they are more educated and they do not have a huge federal deficit?

Come on, the British viewpoint may not be that wrong. American liberalism has proven a bad strategy for fighting poverty.

Where did the "right to source" come from? (2, Interesting)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490714)

"[..] that regulation may well include a statutory duty to disclose source code and allow it to be used elsewhere."

Where does this assumption that anyone has a right to source code come from? If somebody doesn't provide source code, your right is to not use it, don't buy it! It's as simple as that. If open source can't win economically, then using goverment power to force a win is no win at all. (Using OSS to create closed source in violation of licence is a seperate issue.)

Re:Where did the "right to source" come from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490734)

"[..] that regulation may well include a statutory duty to disclose source code and allow it to be used elsewhere."

Where does this assumption that anyone has a right to source code come from?


It hasn't come from anywhere yet. If the statute he suggested were enacted then the right would come from that statute, obviously, that would be the whole point. I don't support such a statute myself but your question is just silly.

Because the DoJ has been so effective before... (4, Interesting)

newdamage (753043) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490717)

Last time the DoJ stepped in to deal with Microsoft being a monopoly and engaged in anti-competitive activities ...hmm, yeah, that worked out real well. Glad to see Microsoft no longer has a stranglehold on the market and doesn't have restrictive deals with other players in the tech industry.

Quite frankly, right now this is just a war of attrition, and I think Microsoft realizes they can't win with their current market strategies. If Linux was run by a single company responsible to shareholders, then Microsoft would probably have things back to business as usual, but I still don't think Bill & Steve have figured out just how to really deal with Linux as a competitive force.

The Open Source community has shown the ability to organize and get things done (yes, I know, this isn't the case in all projects, but it has gotten substantially better). And as long as the Open Source movement stays on the current track that it's on it's only a matter of time before the average consumer begins to recognize projects as Mozilla, Open Office, and the Linux OS as something they should look into using over Windows.

The fact that I can get my Mom to recognize how cool Mozilla is compared to IE/Outlook is and that she can get everything done on an install of Mandrake 9.2 is proof that progress is being made.

Why regulation would be good (2, Insightful)

say (191220) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490720)

While government and legislation power can be wielded in a bad way, most modern democratic states would be able to wield it in the favour of the people - at least a lot more in favour of the people than the board of Microsoft would! I think the slashdot crowd is extremely black or white on this one: Either you have extreme liberalism (as of today), or you have complete stalinist regulation (as of.. soviet russia). What about regulations like "every government system has to be open source" or "government funded schools have to use open source" or "every government-funded computer program has to be released under the GPL" or even "the government does not trust any closed source app"? That's also regulation. And it is good (tm).

Fix copyright first. (4, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490728)

Copyright, along with patents, was intended to advance the sciences and useful arts. The way this was accomplished is to allow a period of protection, after which the work was available to the public. Therefore, patents require an explanation of the patented device. Copyrights in the past ensured that the work was available because text is human readable. However, modern copyright is being applied to software in binary form, which is not human readable. After the software enters the public domain, new programmers may still be unable to use it for anything for lack of source code. Therefore, copyright on software should require the disclosure of the source code. The creators are still afforded protection for their work through copyright, but now society gets the benefit that the copyright bargain was supposed to provide -- the later use of the work.

Of course, for this to work, copyright terms need to be returned to something reasonable, but that's a different problem.

Command Economies are everywhere (3, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490729)

As much as the US would want to malign command economies, they are in fact the way that much, if not most of the money and productivity is managed. Corporations are not free markets. They do have some aspects of the early USA, such as the ability to vote by the landed gentry, but the leaders are as autonomous and shielded as any dictator, as can be seen by Disney. They tend to decide products and strategies independently. They are also as ruthless and difficult to force the rule of law upon, the apparent example being Stewert.

The problem with OSS, like the free market, is that it it requires inefficiencies. In a free market we may have 10 companies producing a product that only requires 2, or things being produced that are of no value at all. Sure, eventually the free market will sort out the inefficiencies, but the command economy tends to not have them at all. We see this now with companies refusing to hire anyone. New employees are sort of needed, but they would still represent an inefficiency. So no one is hiring. With MS and SCO, they can control development and focus efforts and consumer attention on a single product. Closed source companies do not have four competing GUIs and three competing APIs.

I personally find the free market, and by extension OSS, to be exciting and wonderfully innovative. However, it is easy to see how the Mr. Tators of the corporations would find such a free for all of ideas and strategies to be as disturbing as a bunch of upstart, uneducated, uncultured colonialist believing they were anything other than agents to be used a the King wished.

A little political science would be nice (3, Insightful)

smchris (464899) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490735)

It is rather ironic that Microsoft and other closed model companies rather resemble the Stalinist or Maoist model of a command economy with complete centralised control."

Centralized control is not so unique to communist political structures. Fascism has a pyramidal hierarchy. And when legislators listen to corporations first, that is also a command economy.

So it is not ironic at all.

I think it is already being practiced in the US (5, Interesting)

nemaispuke (624303) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490736)

This not only affects Linux, but any Open Source application. The last Government contract I worked on, we wanted to deploy an Open Source monitoring agent since the deployment of a "major vendor" product was not going to happen for some time. The response from IA (Information Assurance) basically was "has it passed Common Criteria evaluation and can you show us proof?" The answer was no, so the app was not deployed. We even provided the source code for "review".

I think the tools are already in place within segments of the US Government to stop the deployment of OSS by simply pointing to http://niap.nist.gov and saying "It's not on the Approved List". Most OSS does not have the deep pockets of IBM and Oracle to afford CC evaluation (SuSe and RedHat respectively). Now whether Microsoft had anything to do with this I cannot say, but I think it is not simply a matter of development models, but security models as well. And even in the case of a OSS product sucessfully passing CC evaluation, some agencies are not happy. Read the latest version of the DISA Unix STIG and see what they say about SuSe Linux (they complained that no US (NSA) Protection Profiles were used in the evaluation. So does that mean it is less secure and should not be used?

Some Governments could simply point to the US and say "we won't adopt OSS because the US doesn't". Just a thought

In other news.... (0, Flamebait)

confuse(issue) (750477) | more than 10 years ago | (#8490747)

The BBCs Bill Thompson is suspected of being RMS

analogy (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490758)

whats interesting to me is

"It is rather ironic that Microsoft and other closed model companies rather resemble the Stalinist or Maoist model of a command economy with complete centralised control."

yet

Allchin has previously stated the opposite analogy about linux and other open source software. That open source is somehow anti-american, anti-capitalistic and in general a socialist form of software.

The conflict.

It's as if you can't have capitalism and democracy at the same time. The conflict arises because capitalism relies on "property", in this case, intellectual property. Democracy relies on free speech. So what happens when free speech is at the same time intellectual property? Then its not really free, nor is it really someone elses property. So how can you have free speech and intellectual property at the same time? Ingeniously, by making the owners of the free speech the public.

The BBC is socialist in general... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8490765)

...and they just see Open Source as something to promote on the basis of the political aspect. Doesn't everyone think that the quality of the software is what's important not the philosophy behind writing it? Either way the consumer pays for it and they couldn't care less whether it's open or closed source. The press has latched onto Linux and open source as the only alternative to Microsoft products but that's plainly not true. There's definitely room in the market for a closed source Windows competitor, IMHO.

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