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Indian President Advises Open Source Approach

simoniker posted more than 9 years ago | from the with-arms-wide-open dept.

Security 257

geo_2677 writes "The Indian President Dr. A Kalam has advised defense scientists to go for open-source software for software security, rather than be stuck with insecure proprietary software. Being a scientist himself, he surely knows what's good for his country." Speaking at the Indian Navy's Weapons and Electronic System Engineering Establishment, Kalam argued: "Open source codes can easily introduce the users to build security algorithms in the system without the dependence of proprietary platforms", though continues: "We should take maximum care to ensure that our solution is unique to protect our own defence security solutions implemented on open platforms." We previously reported on Richard Stallman's meeting with Dr. Kalam earlier this year.

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257 comments

FRIST PSOT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594652)

Oh yeah.

Maybe... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594657)

They'll spend so much time coding and modifying open source that we can have our OUTsourced jobs back :)

Whoopie! (-1, Troll)

Klerck (213193) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594658)

I bet he also advises more curry-smelling Indians take jobs away from hard-working Americans.

Marlon Brando dead at 80 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594663)

After going for fourths at the all-you-can-eat buffet, Mr Brando chocked on a whole chicken.

Truly a great American icon.

Re:Marlon Brando dead at 80 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594897)

chocked on a whole chicken?

Some open source projects in India... (5, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594669)

...can be found on sarovar.org [sarovar.org] ... it's one of the biggest [gforge.org] public GForge [gforge.org] sites out there.

Re:Some open source projects in India... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594813)

Absolutely and incredibly off-topic:

Does anybody else think that the Prime Minister looks an awful lot like Chris Kattan (especially Mango on SNL)?

The grin does it for me

Re:Some open source projects in India... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594839)

Most of the highest rated user names do not sound Indian!

Stallman a traitor ? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594670)

Stallman a traitor ?

I am not trolling .. I believe it's a legitimate question to ask when you have him running around advising other countries on moves they can make to counter what we may need to do.

Um (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594694)

Shut up and fuck off, you complete, complete fucking moron.

Thank you.

Mmmmmppphhhhh (4, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594697)

Being a scientist himself, he surely knows what's good for his country.

Being a scientist myself, I had to control my laughter and climb back into my chair before posting this.

Perhaps geo_2677 could explain to the researchers with whom I used to share an equipment room why a) you need to close the lid of a refrigerated centrifuge and b) why, if you're too freaking lazy to do a) at least don't run the goddamn thing with a foot of condensed water in it.

Yeah, if you want good, pragmatic common sense, ask a scientist.

Condensed water? (5, Funny)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594778)

Okay, I just have to ask... what is condensed water? Is it like condensed milk; Water with most of the water taken out?

Re:Condensed water? (5, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594818)

Sort of -- it's water with most of the air taken out.

Subtle! (1)

raygundan (16760) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594858)

That is the funniest thing I've read all day.

Perhaps TOO subtle. (1)

raygundan (16760) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594931)

The "+3, informative" on your post makes me wonder if anybody else is getting it.

"Condensed Water," guys. As in, "it condensed out of the air." Which our lab-rat friend pointed out could be looked at as having had most of the air removed from it.

Re:Condensed water? (1)

gosand (234100) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594890)

Sort of -- it's water with most of the air taken out.


So instead of H2O it would be more like HO? Or H?

Re:Condensed water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594827)

Reminds me of a Stephen Wright line:

I bought some powdered water... don't know what to add to it.

Re:Condensed water? (5, Funny)

Fearless Freep (94727) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594834)

Water with most of the water taken out?

That's de-hydrated water

It stores and ships easier that way

Re:Mmmmmppphhhhh (1)

delibes (303485) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594794)

Reading the link, it seems he's a bit of a rocket scientist in hte literally meaning. That's not something to be disrespected. However it's vague as to what his exact contribution to India's rocket programme was. I expect that these days he's much more of a politician than an engineer. The two professions can overlap a little bit, but I'm sure engineers reading this have plenty of anecdotes about managers making political decisions counter to the engineering recommendation (NASA perhaps?).

As for scientists lacking common sense... well I have to agree based on some of my friends (and myself I guess)! But then I also think people are stupid when they open another virus infected e-mail attachment called "harmless-flash-game.exe.vbs"...

Huh? (3, Funny)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594698)

Being a scientist himself, he surely knows what's good for his country.

Please explain.

Re:Huh? (5, Insightful)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594760)

With respect to logical reasoning maybe? With repsect to scientific methods? taking the sentence out of context opens up a can of worms. leave it in context.

Take a look at our (U.S.) president. "Being a former oil tycoon and son of a former president, surely he knows what's good for his country."

I'd much rather trust a scientist, almost regardless of what type of scientist.

but seriously, to get back on topic, what would you rather use to chain your bike up. a chain that you can inspect only the links that lock together, or all of the links to make sure the chain is strong enough?

Re:Huh? (2, Insightful)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594847)

I'd much rather trust a scientist, almost regardless of what type of scientist.

Being a scientist and working with scientists for the past 15 years, I can tell you there are many, many scientists that I would not want to run the country. Scientists very often live in the world of theory, not reality. And when you live in a theortical world, concepts which, in theory, are very sound, will never work in reality. Not to troll here, but a lot of scientists I know are Kucinich supporters. He has a lot of ideas that make a lot of sense, but in reality they just wouldn't work. I heard something once that I think is pretty true. It went something like, "I'd rather have 2000 average joes run the country rather than the smartest person alive."

Re:Huh? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594848)

The point is that being a scientist doesn't automatically make him know what is good for his country. Yes, he may; but the fact that he is a scientist is not, without other evidence, much proof of his worthiness to make decisions outside his field. Yes, a scientist may be more trustworthy, on average; but there is no surety.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594950)

"but seriously, to get back on topic, what would you rather use to chain your bike up. a chain that you can inspect only the links that lock together, or all of the links to make sure the chain is strong enough? "


Inspect? For what? With what? If I felt a burning need to 'test' it I'd test it by trying to rip it in half with a suitable test tool or try to cut it with bolt cutters. I wouldn't care what the exact alloy used to make the chain was.

Come on - OSS and Linux and all are great, but that was stupid.

Re:Huh? (here's an unexhaustive list...) (2, Insightful)

gosand (234100) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594969)

I'd much rather trust a scientist, almost regardless of what type of scientist.

I can think of several I wouldn't trust....

pseudo-scientist

Christian Scientist

Computer Scientist

Marine Biologist

Botanist

Archaeologist

Food Scientist

Paranormal Scientist

In fact, can you name a type of scientist that you would trust with knowing what is best for a country?

Again? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594699)

He already said this months ago.

Could someone explain... (2)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594700)

...Indian's political structure? I seem to remember that a woman was just elected as Prime Minister (a big leap for India!). How does the Prime Minister relate to the President? What is their area of power? Is there a Parliament or Congress?

AFAIK, Prime Ministers have always been used in Monarchies instead of democracies. So I'm a bit confused here... :-/

Re:Could someone explain... (3, Insightful)

alphan (774661) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594732)

I am not an Indian, but as a friend of mine told me, presidency is more like a symbolic thing, hence does not have any power.

As the title says he can advise though :)

Re:Could someone explain... (5, Informative)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594734)

..Indian's political structure? I seem to remember that a woman was just elected as Prime Minister (a big leap for India!).

Where have you been [wikipedia.org] ? For that matter, hit Google News--she decided not to take up the position after heavy pressure from nationalist parties, who pointed out that Sonia Gandhi was, in fact, born in Italy.

Back on topic... enjoy [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Could someone explain... (4, Informative)

teetam (584150) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594742)

India's first women prime minister (Indira Gandhi) was elected back in the 60's/70's, so it is NOT a big leap. In fact, all the countries in the subcontinent have had women heads of state (Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh). And recently, Sonia Gandhi's party won the elections, but she was not elected PM.

In the Indian system (similar to the British), the PM is the head of government and the President is a figurehead, like the queen of England. He has some, limited powers. The PM is elected by people's representatives (not directly like in US, though), usually from the largest elected party.

Actually, the presidential system is more similar to monarchies than the Indian system. Look at how much Bush can do without having to answer anyone in any parliament!

Re:Could someone explain... (1, Offtopic)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594810)

Except that most of what Bush has done should have been illegal i.e. hiding folks in Guantanamo so the courts can't rule as to the legitamacy of their detention. Nominally, though, he did get congressional consent before going to war.

Re:Could someone explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594919)

I'm pretty sure if he didn't need Congress' money, he would have gladly done it all without them...
/cynic

Re:Could someone explain... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594746)

Boy, are you a condescending fuck. How many countries in the world have women leaders right now? How would this make it a big leap for India. I hope you don't pull the "I'm a lazy ignorant fucking American" card to excuse your lack of knowledge - as a matter of fact, that woman could have been Prime Minister but chose not to, choosing someone less controversial. Try Google, you ignorant fuck.

And yes, I am an American, and I manage to read the news outside of Slashdot. Again, you are a condescnding, ignorant fuck(stick).

Re:Could someone explain... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594809)

Aren't you nice? It just so happens that I was standing next to a young Indian woman as the news was on CNN. (The place of business is a Financial Institute, so we actually have a TV.) She confirmed that it was indeed a big step for India, so I'm not exactly pulling this out of my rear. It's too bad she changed jobs recently or I'd simply ask her questions about India's political structure instead of dealing with the idiots on Slashdot.

Re:Could someone explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594862)

That indian lady you were standing next to must be really uninformed since it's common knowledge that Indira Ghandi was the PM for most of the 60s and 70s and as such it is not that unusual for a woman to be elected PM.

Re:Could someone explain... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594911)

It's quite possible she was, or it's possible I simply misinterpreted her. (i.e. Maybe she was referring to the fact that the Prime Minister was from Italy.) If I knew a lot about the Indian political structure, I wouldn't be asking, now would I?

Re:Could someone explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594991)

See, you have to realize how others feel before calling them idiots. Saying it's a big step for India clearly sounds offensive, as India elected one of the first female prime ministers in the world. (The first female head of state was elected in Sri Lanka, I believe) I'm not asking you to apologize or anything, so there's no need to get touchy. Some don't like the way India is often portrayed as a backward, pathetic nation and of course, others get antsy about misstated facts, so please, think about what you say before you say it.

Re:Could someone explain... (1)

philbert26 (705644) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594930)

Aren't you nice? It just so happens that I was standing next to a young Indian woman as the news was on CNN. (The place of business is a Financial Institute, so we actually have a TV.) She confirmed that it was indeed a big step for India, so I'm not exactly pulling this out of my rear.

Maybe the big step forward was getting rid of the hardcore nationalist BJP, rather than electing a party led by a woman.

Re:Could someone explain... (1)

Frohan (736729) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594758)

... you're way off on what you know about history and government.. India has had a female prime minister before... more than once I believe. Also, in India.. Prime Minister is basically what the president is in the United States.. in terms of power. In India the President is more of a figurehead and doesn't really do much. With that said the Prime Minister is the leader of the party that is voted to majority in Parliament (so they don't use a Congress to answer your question). And about Prime Ministers being used in Monarchies... I don't know where you got that from. The British use the Parliamentary system (and I don't think you can really say the Queen does much) and most other democratic nations that use systems based on more direct representation than the US system use a parliament. Also... India has the largest democracy in the world.. so calling them Monarchist is hardly fair.

Re:Could someone explain... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594860)

Thanks for your response. You provided some useful information. It's sounds like the "President's recommendation" is likely to be headed about as well as the EFFs. i.e. Some people will listen, some people will ignore him.

Also... India has the largest democracy in the world.. so calling them Monarchist is hardly fair.

I didn't call them Monarchist, I said that Prime Ministers usually went hand in hand with a Monarchy, thus my confusion. While the modern day Prime Minister of Britian is elected (and actually plays the role of a President), he used to be appointed to the position to carry out the rather general goals of the Monarchy.

Re:Could someone explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594966)

I think the President/Prime Minister split is a post-Britishism. Israel has the same thing, as do several Caribbean countries.

Re:Could someone explain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594777)

Get your facts straight, pal!

India has had first prime minister in 1974. She's been elected twice.

Currently, India's PM is a man, Dr. Manmohan Singh. The woman you're referring to is head of the elected party who's in charge of government.

India has Parliamentary democracy, in which PM has almost all executive power. President is chief of all armed force, and need his/her permission to go to war etc.

Re:Could someone explain... (2, Funny)

kyknos.org (643709) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594831)

"AFAIK, Prime Ministers have always been used in Monarchies instead of democracies. So I'm a bit confused here..." :-/ ---- huh??? I am from czech REPUBLIC (not monarchy) and WE have prime minister. well we do not have just now because the government resigned this week but we usually have.

Re:Could someone explain... (1)

Razor Blades are Not (636247) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594854)

Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, 1966-77 and 1980-84

That's hardly "just elected".

The current prime minister of India is a man, Atal Behari VAJPAYEE.

Prime Minister is the head of government in those states which are closely descended from British Commonwealth systems (which are democracies, actually). Constitutional Monarchies (such as Britain) reserve the head of state for the Queen, but the actual government is done by the people. The Monarch has very limited powers in the Westminster system.
In India, the head of state is their President, since they no longer have even nominal ties back to the commonwealth.
In Australia, by contrast, the head of state is the Governor-General (the Queens representative), but his powers are very limited and rarely exercised. The Prime Minister is the head of the government and is considered the elected leader of the nation.

Now if only... (5, Interesting)

TaintedPastry (790856) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594706)

...now if only we could get Cowboy George to follow suit.

Unfortunately I doubt this will heavily impact any nations/businesses tech policies outside of India. But at least it's a step in the right direction

Re:Now if only... (4, Funny)

PsiPsiStar (95676) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594842)

Contribute a million dollars to his campaign fund and he'll give Richard Stallman a lapdance, if you ask him to.

Wow. (2, Insightful)

downbad (793562) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594708)

Microsoft has been getting hit from all sides these past few days. I almost feel bad for them.

Almost.

Re:Wow. (2, Insightful)

oroshana (588230) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594749)

Let's save up out sympathies for them Microsoft really IS the underdog. I'll totally be back on Billy's side when he's got small market share

Re:Wow. (1)

mgoss (790921) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594957)

I'll totally be back on Billy's side when he's got small market
Perhaps Billy should take that as advice and aim for becoming the underdog to gain back all the sympathy from those who dislike Microsoft so much. :)

Re:Wow. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594774)

Jimmie: I can't believe this is the same car.
The Wolf: Well, let's not start sucking each other's dicks just yet.

Bad for Microsoft? I feel bad for the users. Atleast, this is a breath of fresh air.

Re:Wow. (Microsoft in trouble?) (2)

mgoss (790921) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594867)

Yeah, there's been so much open source activity that I think Microsoft is actually getting more worried. All those patents they're trying to get seem to be one way they think they'll be able to beat open source.

Until just recently I thought open source / linux would be hopelessly lost to Microsoft, but as each new thing like this comes out, I'm beginning to think open source may put Microsoft out of the monopoly business.

I would feel sorry for Microsoft, except... what did they ever do for the open source community??

Soon, I think Microsoft is going to reap what it has sown.

Security by obscurity? (5, Funny)

delibes (303485) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594709)

"We should take maximum care to ensure that our solution is unique to protect our own defence security solutions implemented on open platforms."

Uh oh. Somebody needs to get a visit from Bruce Schneier next! I suspect that his proposed unique solution would be better off if it was Open Sourced for peer review.

Re:Security by obscurity? (0, Troll)

cOdEgUru (181536) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594740)

Are you on weed?

Expect Indians to open up their defence security solutions the day after West does the same. He is asking to implement them on an open platform, not necessarily calling the actual implementation to be an inherently open one.

The former makes sense, the latter is just moronic, in the matters of national defense. The last thing you want to do is to have public access to boolean launchmissile(...)

Re:Security by obscurity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594814)

You must be kidding right....You are expecting India to open up the defense implementation. God damn it!!! Get off your "Open source every damn code written" wagon and apply some thought into what you post

For a moment there ... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594715)

I thought that said Indianan predident. I was about to start planning my campaign for Viceroy of Georgia.

Re:For a moment there ... (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594753)

I was about to start planning my campaign for Viceroy of Georgia.

Except that Viceroys are appointed [wikipedia.org] , not elected. Doh!

Re:For a moment there ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594805)

Wow, you finally managed to figue out how to use teh intarweb to do research - a little too late, after your last stupid, condescending post, you ignorant fuckstick! http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=113278&cid=959 4700

Re:For a moment there ... (1)

raygundan (16760) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594956)

I thought that said Indianan predident.

And people from Indiana are called "Hoosiers."

Let's play "ruin his joke!" It's fun!

Arrgh! This means that Pakistan will want Windows (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594724)

At the very least, he should have publicly decried open source as an anti-Hindu plot. Pakistan would jump on the bandwagon immediately.

Re:Arrgh! This means that Pakistan will want Windo (2, Informative)

Charvak (97898) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594770)

Perhaps you didnt noticed but the president of india is a moslem.

Re:Arrgh! This means that Pakistan will want Windo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594793)

I believe he himself is a Muslim.

Re:Arrgh! This means that Pakistan will want Windo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594920)

>> Perhaps you didnt noticed but the president of india is a moslem. ...

> I believe he himself is a Muslim.

I'm sure he's Mislim, as in:

Yo bizzle. Lets go smizzle that wizzle Mislim at my hizzouse.

Is offtopic but... (-1, Offtopic)

Deflagro (187160) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594738)

Do you lose karma for being modded funny? I haven't been trolling and yet my karma goes down. I guess i just don't understand "the system".
Can someone explain?

Re:Is offtopic but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594765)

no you gain karma by being modded funny just not as much as being modded insightful

Re:Is offtopic but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594843)

You do not gain any karma by beind modded funny. You must be modded Interesting, Insightful or Informative. Overrated, Underrated and Funny, although will boost the score on your post, have no affect on your karma. Offtopic + trolling, however, will have a negative affect.

Re:Is offtopic but... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594927)

and you forgot flamebait. you retard.

Re:Is offtopic but... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594828)

Essentially, yes.

Being modded +1 funny will not increase your karma

if someone then mods you down, your karma WILL decrease

so if you post a comment that gets marked up +1 funny 3 times, then down -1 troll twice, then +1 funny 3 more times for, you don't end up with a sum gain in karma

you lose -1 for the troll

if you post a comment that half the moderating population think is -1 troll but the other half think is +1 funny and keep jumping between +4 and +5 funny, for example, then you end up just losing and losing more karma the more you are moderated down, despite also being moderated up

Re:Is offtopic but... (1)

Deflagro (187160) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594921)

THANK YOU!

That makes sense then since my one post was at +5 funny then went down to +3 funny and just that hurt me. That explains it very well.

Guess i'll have to say something worthwhile to get my little bonus back ;)

Obligatory Simpson's Reference (5, Funny)

brysnot (573631) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594748)

Bill Gates: I am here to let you know that we are prepared to slash prices to keep you as a customer.
President Dr. A Kalam: Thank you! Come again!
Bill Gates: But you haven't bought anything?
President Dr. A Kalam: Thank you! Come again!

Re:Obligatory Simpson's Reference (2, Insightful)

downbad (793562) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594795)

I wonder what will happen when Microsoft can't slash their prices any further.

Think they'd go so far as to start paying governments to use their software?

Re:Obligatory Simpson's Reference (3, Informative)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594895)

Think they'd go so far as to start paying governments to use their software?

Yes [opensecrets.org]

Fixed. (1)

Spaceman40 (565797) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594767)

"The Indian President Dr. A Kalam has advised defense scientists to go for open-source software for software security, rather than be stuck with insecure proprietary software...."

Re:Fixed. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594945)

Defence is the British (English) spelling, Defense is the American spelling. /. has a strong American slant, but it doesn't make the British spelling incorrect!

I think.. (4, Informative)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594775)

...geeks make better politicians, because they're more inclined to think rationally/logically. I know this is a broad statement, but I've seen it hold true in most occassions.

Incidentally his official website [presidentofindia.nic.in] runs Apache/2.0.42 (Unix) PHP/4.2.3. A couple of brief excerpts from his bio here [hindustantimes.com] :

After a fairly secure childhood, during which he is said to have read as much as he could, he studied at the Madras Institute of Technology, where he specialised in Aero Engineering.

He has worked in leading defence and space organisations in research and managerial capacities. He contributed in a major way to the development of the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) III, which put the Rohini Satellite into orbit. He has also been chairperson to Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC).

A vegetarian, his interests include playing the veena and writing poetry. He has written two books, Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India and India 2020: Vision for the New Millennium.

Till now, Abdul Kalam has been best known for his key role in the nuclear tests at Pokharan in the Rajasthan desert on May 11 and 13, 1997. With most parties choosing him as their presidential candidate, he has become the 11th Indian to join a very select group.

E-mail to President saves student's career (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594825)

Read this story [rediff.com] a few days back. In brief:

Apparently, a 17 year old student got very bad results in Physics, while he expected a high score. He sent an email to the prez, who read the email among hundreds/thousands and instructed people to investigate the matter. The matter was resolved in favor of the student - there'd been a glitch in the calculations.

Re:E-mail to President saves student's career (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594958)

I read that and had this vision of GWB looking over some kid's physics exam...

Re:I think.. (5, Insightful)

GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594961)

You should see "Fog of War" [imdb.com] and go read some more about Robert MacNamara. He was considered a technocrat who's arrogance led to some mistakes. Many of the Italian and German fascists were also technocrats. I will entirely agree that technocrats are alluring and we should look for some of those qualities in our politicians, but there is also an arrogance in putting complete faith in technocracy.

I would say that just because someone is not arrogant when confronted by facts and figures, that does not make them a wise leader. They can be just as arrogant and blinded with facts and statistics as their justification.

Seek balance and understanding (empathy) in politicians, those qualities will let them listen to technocrats. Of course, I do want to point out the irony here on /. that technocrat is really just a modern term for bureaucrat. In fact, the modern technocracy has all of the same problems as turn of the century republics like France and Italy, where the problems were blamed on the failing of the bureaucrat.

Just my .02 on your statement

His scientific affiliations (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594776)


From the article --


Even today Kalam is in huge demand. He is Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, Vice-President of Astronautical Society of India, Fellow of National Academy of Medical Sciences (India), Honorary Fellow of Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers and an ISRO Distinguished Professor!


Wow, that's just too good. I'm quite speechless.

Re:His scientific affiliations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594901)

Maybe we could outsource government positions?

I wonder (0, Offtopic)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594779)

If he plans on outsourcing the development work? LOL

No, he's smart. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594838)

He knows that countries have to protect their markets and target key industries. India is out the dominate the tech industry and George Bush is out to help him. Tech used to be an export growth sector in the USA but now it's considered a cost item and the Republicans are out to cut costs for business; that means outsourcing and more H1-B visas to create lower labor costs. Supposedly this is "good for the USA". India knows that Bush is bent on this path and is totally out to exploit it.

Re:I wonder (1)

sakyamuni (528502) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594891)

This might not be as much of a joke as we think. In this particular case probably not, given the sensitive nature of the project, but in general I don't see why not.

Remember the furore about the medical data processor in India or Pakistan who threatened to publicize confidential patient data if not paid? That shed light on the practice of multiple levels of sub-contracting in that industry.

It would not surprise me that (if not now, then soon) Indian software houses in turn outsource some of their less challenging work to cheaper locales. That's how the "next India" will get its start.

this is situational, not necessarily general.... (4, Insightful)

rbird76 (688731) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594806)

1) India has less income that the Europe and US per capita, but lots more people. If India has a choice, it makes sense for them to go with OS (which requires more labor but less money) than with proprietary solutions such as MS (which require more money but (perhaps?) less labor).

2) Using nonproprietary solutions allows countries to develop indigenous software industries; for now, and for awhile, this will probably foster OS in lots of ways. In the pharmaceutical industry, India has started out making lots of generics, but are now looking at developing and selling their own blockbuster drugs. If a similar path is followed by India in software, at some point they will have their own MS; at that point, the continued use and nurturing of OS is not assured - as the relative cost of labor increases, commercial solutions might become more attractive.

While it might be best for India to follow an open source pathway, this is not because it is always right to do so, but because it best fits their current circumstances.

Score one for the Good Guys! (4, Interesting)

MooseByte (751829) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594808)

Woohoo!

What really shocks me is why so many countries are still using MS at all in their gov't infrastructure. I've always wondered about the following scenario. (Note: Tinfoil hat required.)

MS is closed-source and rife with a constant stream of what are effectively root exploits being stumbled upon. What if some agency wanted to cozy up to MS and carefully craft backdoors and such, inject them into the OS and have them released into the world? Windows is so ubiquitous that your task has now become that much easier.

Furthermore only the random stumbling of a security researcher/hacker has a chance of discovering it. Probability == low in most cases. In which case "Oops, release patch (add new backdoor)".

Then there's the less nefarious scenario - an agency just sitting on little-known accidental root exploits and keeping them in their classified root kit.

Either way it strikes me that linux in particular (and open source in general) would give sovereign nations some peace of mind. Not bulletproof, but having a global community reviewing the source and tracking exploits openly would sure seem to me to be a better way to safeguard my country's secrets than relying on a huge foreign company with a crappy track record for security.

(You can now remove your tinfoil hats. No, wait, NEVER remove your tinfoil hat...)

Scientists are the best leaders? (2, Insightful)

Strudelkugel (594414) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594812)


Being a scientist himself, he surely knows what's good for his country.

If this is the case, I guess non-scientists can all remove themselves from politics. But would the world really be better off if William Shockley were president? If Edward Teller were in charge of arms control?

What does he mean exactly? (1)

James Turpin (789479) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594830)

Does he mean that they will take open source software and modify it to meet their needs, or that they will make their own software open source?

Who will have access to the source, the general public, or just those with a "need to know".

A scientist who is in politics? (1, Interesting)

cmdrwhitewolf (580710) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594845)

Hmm, when was the last time I remember seing something like that -
uh, Einstein. Uh oh, this can't be good - I certainly hope they both share the same views about *not* using WMD...

Why we should outsource the government to India (4, Insightful)

GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594866)

Is it me, or does India continue to make LOGICAL political decisions?

They invested in education and social programs and created a workforce capable of doing our high-paying jobs. They then set up an economic environment where those jobs would come over, including investments in infrastructure and utilities.

Next the middle class over there starts to take off, and they make a national effort to help make sure that the benefit of the boom is extended to the less fortunate, so they can make more of the country self-sufficient.

They've managed to stay out of international conflicts and have sent peace ovetures to Pakistan. Now they're jumping all over Open Source as a way to improve their own efficiency and self-sufficiency.

All this, and I doubt India's federal gov costs anywhere near what these asshats over here who seem to actively work against us cost.

Between Colin Powell telling the Indians that there will be no attempt to curb outsourcing by American companies on the part of the Bush Administration and the following account of Tom Donohue's (CEO of US Chamber of Commerce, really good friend of Bush Administration, kind of like Ken Lay) speech in San Francisco:

Donohue acknowledged the pain for people who have lost jobs to offshoring - an estimated 250,000 a year, according to government estimates. But pockets of unemployment shouldn't lead to "anecdotal politics and policies," he said, and people affected by offshoring should "stop whining." - AP Newswire [forbes.com]

Personally, I say we go build a freaking guillotine, cause as far as I'm concerned, he might as well have said, "let them eat cake".

Anyway good luck to India and how much to run our Federal government?

Hmmm, Microskank (1)

Pizentios (772582) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594878)

Microsoft is sure taking a beating. Seems to me that their more afraid then their letting on. I mean take a look at all the patents that have tooken out in the last while. Bill and his army of unholy ghouls are reaching for a branch to hold onto in my opinon. Just my thought.

How is this going to help? (2, Interesting)

TheTXLibra (781128) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594882)

Okay, once again, I'm failing to see the benefit the article claims.

How exactly does open-source code make for a more secure government? It would seem to me that giving the source-code to your encryption away, that you are practically begging others to learn how to hack it. At least proprietary software has a tiny measure of defense. It would also spread your possible leak-sources from the responsibility of one entity, the corporation that made it, to pretty much the entire world.

I believe, in the interests of National Defense, it would be best to have any sort of security source code until very tight lock and key.

Am I wrong here? Can someone tell me why?

Re:How is this going to help? (2, Insightful)

BranMan (29917) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594963)


Absolutely wrong - encryption code is like good wine - it gets better over time. The only way any encryption code is approved for use is to have the best and the brightest in the world beat on it for years. Good encryption code generates unbreakable encrypted data - having the source code does not help. When it is this good, then you can trust it. Anything developed by a small group and not shared WILL fail - security through obscurity is no security at all

Scientists automatically know what's good? (3, Insightful)

character_assassin (773327) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594889)

Being a scientist himself, he surely knows what's good for his country

Yeah, like CalTech physics Ph.D. John Poindexter, who obviously knows what's best for America, e.g. Iran-Contra, Total Information Awareness...

Weapons manufacturers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9594944)

Now they'll have to open source. I can just see their slogan:

"Nothing kills like Open Source..."

Doesn't sound very good (2, Interesting)

sakyamuni (528502) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594993)

Either the paper's "Special Correspondent" took poor notes from Dr. Kalam's speech or Dr. Kalam doesn't know WTF he's talking about. Or maybe there's a language problem...

"Open source codes can easily introduce the users to build security algorithms in the system without the dependence of proprietary platforms"

Roll-your-own security algorithms are a very bad idea, as most of us know. Get a professional to do it. Don't design your own ultra-secure AES alternative based on an "introduction" gained from looking at open-source code.

"We should take maximum care to ensure that our solution is unique to protect our own defence security solutions implemented on open platforms."

"Ensure a unique solution... to protect security" sounds like a euphemism for "security through obscurity" if I've ever heard one.

Nice logical fallacy in the article blurb. (3, Insightful)

Etone (627948) | more than 9 years ago | (#9594997)

"has advised defense scientists to go for open-source software for software security, rather than be stuck with insecure proprietary software" Because open-source always is secure and proprietary always is insecure, right? -E-
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