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The Software Politics Of 2004's Presidential Race

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the which-skull-and-bones-member-do-you-prefer dept.

United States 417

mjamil writes "The NYT(free registration required) has an article talking about the polarized use of OSS in the building of campaign Web sites. Specifically, it states that the sites for John Kerry (Democratic candidate for President) and the Democratic National Committee are built using OSS, while the site for President Bush's re-election campaign uses IIS. Linus and ESR are quoted. It's an interesting look at how even presidential politics are no longer immune to the free software war (free as in beer)." (David Brunton, pictured in the article, wrote to say "Now I'm going to go call my mom... won't she be proud? For all those girl geeks and gay geeks out there, I'm already taken, but it is an awful nice picture, isn't it?")

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soggy toast! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612092)

for all my negro babies?!

Re:soggy toast! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612107)

Good for you, but make sure the toast isn't too soggy, or the weight of the baby might cause it to break through the slice of toast and land on your foot.

OR IT COULD BE COINCIDENCE. (5, Insightful)

hfis (624045) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612093)

I dont know, maybe i'm wrong? It just seems to me that most politicians wouldnt really *care* about what platforms their websites are hosted on..

Re:OR IT COULD BE COINCIDENCE. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612120)

Computers and websites are tools, nothing more. ./ readers tend to beleive there is a conspiracy around many things - which is **always true** if M$ is involved, but not very likely for everything else. There is no reason any normal candidate would care which is used between OSS or non-published source software.

Full Disclosure: I'm an independent/libertarian - most likely to vote for Bush (it's the war on terrosism stupid!), and wouldn't touch any software from M$ unless forced to do so to keep my job; which does happen almost daily.

Re:OR IT COULD BE COINCIDENCE. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612146)

Full Disclosure: I'm an independent/libertarian - most likely to vote for Bush (it's the war on terrosism stupid!), and wouldn't touch any software from M$ unless forced to do so to keep my job; which does happen almost daily.


as a fellow libertarian/independent, i also must post anonymously to protect my identity from the terrorists.

Re:OR IT COULD BE COINCIDENCE. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612219)

Agreed!

Leaders, keep taking the fight to them!
4 out of 5 terrorist want Kerry to win! That's enough reason not to vote for him for me. That and how many countries where terrorist are open about their political views were Republics when all this started? When was the last free election in {insert terrorist supporting country here}?

Re:OR IT COULD BE COINCIDENCE. (-1, Offtopic)

Dehumanizer (31435) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612214)

most likely to vote for Bush (it's the war on terrosism stupid!)

Right. Which is why Bin Laden is free and still making threats and, yet, thousands died in Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11.

"War on terrorism", my a**.

Re:OR IT COULD BE COINCIDENCE. (2, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612148)

I am not american but I don't think its a coincidence.

They are working with world's best PR companies right?

Redundant - RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612154)

It's obvious that the parent hasn't read the article. Read the second part of page 2.

Why was that comment moderated up?

Re:Redundant - RTFA (0)

hfis (624045) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612212)

Perhaps I'm not a fucking subscriber to the New York Times, and couldnt view the fucking article? All i had was what slashdot gave me.

Oh, and how the fuck is the SECOND POST in the discussion redundant?

MOD PARENT UP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612241)

Funny and truthful....or some shit like that.

MOD PARENT UP (3, Interesting)

linc_s (653782) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612257)

Guy has a good point.. how can one RTFA when /. keeps posting links that require registration? not everone wants to cop spam for a stupid NYT article.. should be compulsory to have a google news link in there or something.

Redundant? (1)

chegosaurus (98703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612237)

This is only redundant in that what the poster says should be blindingly obvious to anyone smart enough to turn on a computer and navigate to slashdot.

Re:OR IT COULD BE COINCIDENCE. (1)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612247)

I think it would be more accurate to say that most politicians don't even know what software is running on their web sites. It's more a question of who they've hired to build the web site. Bush's people probably hired someone that they've known since IIS was a popular choice. Kerry's web site is newer and so OSS was a more likely choice.

Re:OR IT COULD BE COINCIDENCE. (5, Informative)

m.corum (661762) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612290)

That's spot on. NPR did a story on this about a month ago, and as it turns out, Kerry's site was only using OSS because the people (either hired or volunteer) that designed and implemented the site were fans and users of OSS themselves. Kerry himself had no direct input into the matter.

Gah. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612094)

Someone please post a no-reg linq, I really want to see that picture but I'm too stupid to get through without handholding.

I'm English you insensitive clod! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612099)

So I don't care.

free as in beer (1, Interesting)

CameronWolf (676326) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612100)

Could someone please explain what this means. It comes up often and I don't get it.

Re:free as in beer (5, Funny)

MikeDX (560598) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612113)

1. "Free as in beer" - The same as if you were given a beer to drink and you didnt pay for it.

2. "Free as in speech" - This is when you pay for the beer, but its priceless to hear you talk when drunk :)

Re:free as in beer (1)

terriblekarmanow tm (592883) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612218)

So, is it free speech to publish someone's email address [mailto] mangled to prevent spam, only to be unmangled by the first troll to come along?

dbrunton@plusthree.com [mailto]

Re:free as in beer (2)

Paleomacus (666999) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612114)

Free as in beer. [c2.com]

HTH

Re:free as in beer (2, Informative)

Loonacy (459630) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612121)

Free as in beer = Free stuff! Take it! Use it! Don't PAY for it.

Free as in speech = Freedom. You have the right to do this.

Re:free as in beer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612122)

It means that we aren`t talking about free in a monetary sense ...

Re:free as in beer (4, Informative)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612126)

Its in the slashdot FAQ, but basically there are 2 types of "free" in the english language - free as in beer and freedom - the debate is always on as to the meaning of "free" software:

Free as in beer - costs no money
Freedom - no (or not many) restrictions on it. I.e. opensource software may be thought of as "free" because you are (usually) entitled to modify and redistribute the software to suit your purposes, so long as you follow some basic rules.

Re:free as in beer (1)

matthew.thompson (44814) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612128)

It's come from a joke.

There are two types of people - those who want stuff for free and those who want to be free to use different stuff.

The first type want free beer. The second want the right to make the beer.

So Linux may be or may not Free as in Beer depending on where you get it but it's always Free in licensing due to the GPL.

Microsoft offer much that is Free as in Beer but little which allows you freedom in using it.

You may find a better description at http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html [gnu.org] or http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?FreeAsInBeer [c2.com]

Hope that clears it up a little.

Re:free as in beer (4, Funny)

scorilo (654174) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612139)

Get a beer first, only THEN will you understand :)

Re:free as in beer (1)

sosume (680416) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612182)

compare

"Hey people, I'll tell you how to make your own beer!"

to

"Hey, people, FREE BEER!"

and you will soon see the difference..

Re:free as in beer (5, Informative)

Big Nothing (229456) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612234)

"Free as in beer. Could someone please explain what this means. It comes up often and I don't get it."

The word "free" can mean more than one thing in the english language. In order to explain the meaning of the word "free" you can append a short explanaition, such as "as in beer" or "as in speech".

Free (as in beer) means that the product/service in question can be obtained/used without you having to pay money for it. This is perhaps the most common use of the word in the daily language.

Free (as in speech) is a phrase only valid when discussing information. Free (as in speech) means that the information in question doesn't have a copyright restriction appended it (or similar).

  • A car can be free (as in beer). It cannot be free (as in speech).
  • A recorded song (for example an MP3-file) can be either free-as-in-beer (meaning that you don't have to pay any money for it) or free-as-in-speech (you are free to spread the song, to re-record the song, to perform the song, to play the song in public, etc).

On slashdot, the most common subject of discussion is software. Just like a song, a software program can be free-as-in-beer, free-as-in-speech or both. The idea of OSS is that software should be free (as in speech), so that you are legally allowed to modify, complement, extend, etc. it.

Just because a piece of software is free (as in speech) does not mean that it has no restrictions in how it can be handled. Examples of restrictions are:

  • The software can be freely spread, but not profited from (i.e. you have to give it away, or only charge for the cost you have for spreading it - say the cost of a CD-R and post stamp).
  • The software can be freely spread, but the original licence and creator information must always be spread with the software.
  • You are free to modify and sell the software for profit but you must always include the original source code.
  • You are free to modify and extend the software but any modifications you make must be publicly available under the same rules as the original code.

Re:free as in beer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612245)

> even presidential politics are no longer immune to the free software war (free as in beer).

The beer software war! When was that again?

Homer goes: mmmm... Beer!

Re:free as in beer (1)

VernonNemitz (581327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612271)

Free beer is beer that starts out confined in a cask or can or stein or mug or whatever, but due to inadequate attention on the part of a Beer Handling Person, has escaped.

I AM NOW VIOLATING COPYRIGHT (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612104)

In a campaign season of polarization, when Republicans and Democrats seem far apart on issues like Iraq, the economy and leadership style, it is perhaps not surprising that the parties find themselves on different sides in the politics of software as well.

The Web sites of Senator John Kerry and the Democratic National Committee run mainly on the technology of the computing counterculture: open-source software that is distributed free, and improved and debugged by far-flung networks of programmers.

In the other corner, the Web sites of President Bush and the Republican National Committee run on software supplied by the corporate embodiment of big business - Microsoft.

The two sides are defined largely by their approach to intellectual property. Fans of open-source computing regard its software as a model for the future of business, saying that its underlying principle of collaboration will eventually be used in pharmaceuticals, entertainment and other industries whose products are tightly protected by patents or copyrights.

Many of them propose rewriting intellectual property laws worldwide to limit their scope and duration. The open-source path, they insist, should accelerate the pace of innovation and promote long-term economic growth. Theirs is an argument of efficiency, but also of a reshuffling of corporate wealth.

Microsoft and other American companies, by contrast, have long argued that intellectual property is responsible for any edge the United States has in an increasingly competitive global economy. Craig Mundie, chief technical officer and a senior strategist at Microsoft, observed, "Whether copyrights, patents or trade secrets, it was this foundation in law that made it possible for companies to raise capital, take risks, focus on the long term and create sustainable business models."

The dispute can take on a political flavor at times. David Brunton, who is a founder of Plus Three, a technology and marketing consulting company that has done much of the work on the Democratic and Kerry Web sites, regards open-source software as a technological expression of his political beliefs. Mr. Brunton, 28, a Harvard graduate, describes himself as a "very left-leaning Democrat." He met his wife, Lina, through politics; she is a staff member at the Democratic National Committee.

His company's client list includes state Democratic parties in Ohio and Missouri, and union groups including the United Federation of Teachers and the parent A.F.L.-C.I.O. "The ethic of open source has pervaded progressive organizations," Mr. Brunton said.

The corporate proponents of strong intellectual property rights say, in essence, that what is good for Microsoft, Merck and Disney is good for America. But they argue as well that the laws that protect them also protect the ideas of upstart innovators. They have made their case forcefully in Washington and before international groups, notably the World Intellectual Property Organization, a United Nations specialized agency.

"This is a huge ideological debate and it goes way beyond software," said James Love, director of the Consumer Project on Technology, a nonprofit group affiliated with Ralph Nader that advocates less restrictive intellectual property rules.

But the politics surrounding open-source software do not always fit neatly into party categories. The people who work on software like the Linux operating system, the Apache Web server and others are an eclectic bunch of technologists. "You'll find gun nuts along with total lefties," Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, said in an e-mail message.

Still, those who find the cooperative, open-source ethos appealing tend most often to be libertarians, populists and progressives. Not surprisingly, open-source software was well represented in Howard Dean's Democratic presidential primary campaign, which so effectively used the Internet and Web logs in grass-roots organizing.

Those open-source advocates will presumably find Senator Kerry more appealing than President Bush, according to Daniel Weitzner, technology and society director at the World Wide Web Consortium, an Internet standards-setting organization.

"It may be that the populist-versus-establishment dynamic plays out as Democrat versus Republican in this election," Mr. Weitzner said. "But the open-source movement is a populist phenomenon, enabled by the Internet, and not a partisan force in any traditional sense of politics."

The lone trait common to open-source supporters, according to Mr. Torvalds, is individualism. Politically, he said, that can manifest itself as independence from either political party. "But it also shows up as a distrust of big companies," Mr. Torvalds wrote, "so it's not like the individualism is just about politics."

Eric Raymond, a leading open-source advocate, writing in his online "Jargon File," described the politics of the archetypal open-source programmer, whom he calls J. Random Hacker, as "vaguely liberal-moderate, except for the strong libertarian contingent, which rejects conventional left-right politics entirely."

Mr. Raymond, for one, shoots pistols for relaxation (a favorite is "the classic 1911 pattern .45 semiautomatic") and he supported the invasion of Iraq.

So was the software for the Republican and Democratic Web sites selected according to politics?

Economics and politics and software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612222)

The right wing favors the economic theory that says that everything would be better looked after if it were privately owned. The government should get out of everything according to that theory. The profit motive will (according to them) look after the public good much better.

Open source software puts the lie to the theory that everything must be driven by the profit motive. Its mere existance should be a thorn in the Republicans' side because it proves that their favorite theory is a crock.

one is /. and the other not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612106)

http://www.johnkerry.ccom/ seems to be /.

Re:one is /. and the other not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612123)

Try http://www.kerry-04.com/ [kerry-04.com] instead.

Re:one is /. and the other not? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612127)

http://www.johnkerry.ccom/ seems to be /.

Could be that /.er are not interested in Bush link... for some reason.

Re:one is /. and the other not? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612158)

Try http://georgewbush.org/ [georgewbush.org] instead.

Re:one is /. and the other not? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612150)

omg so is the fbi.ggov

stupid NYT registration.. (-1, Offtopic)

manavendra (688020) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612111)

Anyone got a subscription to it? Would be nice if someone could post the text here..

Or maybe I should just wait... usually someone DOES post the text on /. :-)

Re:stupid NYT registration.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612130)

hey dickhead, perhaps you should read the rest of the comments before laying your own turd of a comment?

Re:stupid NYT registration.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612145)

Already posted [slashdot.org]

Re:stupid NYT registration.. (1)

illuvata (677144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612162)

use bugmenot [texturizer.net] . you are using firefox, right?
if not, you can go to the site [bugmenot.com] and get a login.

JUST LOOK UP!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612165)

I think you have the best sense of timing as far as making yourself look like an idiot. Look up, buddy!

Re:stupid NYT registration.. (3, Insightful)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612166)

You will die if you register? They pay to hosting, the guy /gal wrote the article, admins running that mega site, staff...

So, if you register, they will mail "make your xxx 5 inch bigger"? NY Times? What happens if they show you a damn gif file to cover costs, you will die?

Karma whoring at its best...

Re:stupid NYT registration.. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612291)

Of course (s)he'll die if (s)he registers. I bet every single person who registered at NYT will be dead in at most 130 years.

Michael Badnarik (4, Interesting)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612117)

The Libertarian presidential candidate's websites are running FreeBSD [netcraft.com] and Windows 2003 [netcraft.com] . Interesting. :>

Re:Michael Badnarik (1)

chegosaurus (98703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612185)

He's a libertarian. He can use whatever he likes.

Re:Michael Badnarik (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612198)

Not really. Who cares about those hicks?

Google Link (reg free) (1, Informative)

levell (538346) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612124)

If you don't want to register at the Times you can go via this page [google.com] .

WARNING GOATSE REDIRECT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612144)

EXTREMELY DISGUSTING

Re:WARNING GOATSE REDIRECT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612174)

grow up, or at least try harder.
if you desperatly need to troll like that, do it for links where it's not obvious where the link goes to (say, tinyurl links). with a google link it's obvious what the keywords are, and thus that it has something to do with open source, kerry, bush, and new york times

Re:Google Link (reg free) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612167)

Parent post redirects to goatse about 1 in a 100 times.. be careful. It's listed on the front page of anti-slash.org, I recommend modding him down as soon as possible.

mod him down? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612189)

are you crazy? this is a discussion about the upcoming US presidential election. the mods will be far too busy modding down people they disagree with to have time for a 1/100 goatse link.

Re:Google Link (reg free) (-1, Offtopic)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612193)

"Parent post redirects to goatse about 1 in a 100 times.. be careful. It's listed on the front page of anti-slash.org, I recommend modding him down as soon as possible."

IMHO , maybe I am tired of karma whores but... I think even it worked, its abuse of Google's agreement with NY Times.

Maybe surprise for you but I guess Google actually pays money to NY Times for that privilege and its own news.google.com users.

posted with karma bonus to show alert of AC...

Re:Google Link (reg free) (-1, Redundant)

levell (538346) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612201)

My karma has been maxed out for ages, I posted the link because I thought it would be useful (it was to me). It doesn't redirect to any nasty site, it's a link to a google page as ./ even tells you.

already read it. (1)

Justabit (651314) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612129)

someone (anon) posted an interesting, if not on topic, piece with all the same stuff as in this story (slightly skewed) but in the Eye transplant thing below. It made more sence than the current posts so far.

What Microsoft gives (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612132)

I guess it's good time to keep our eyes on what Microsoft gives [opensecrets.org] to political parties.

Re:What Microsoft gives (4, Informative)

zhenlin (722930) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612180)

1998: 64% to the Republicans.
2000: 53% to the Republicans.
2002: 60% to the Republicans.
2004: 42% to the Republicans.

Hmm. General trend, downwards.

Re:What Microsoft gives (1)

!the!bad!fish! (704825) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612236)

1998: $874,618 to the Republicans.
2000: $2,468,793 to the Republicans.
2002: $2,526,731 to the Republicans.
2004: $708,910 to the Republicans.

I guess the rest of their 2004 money went to those Europeans. [computerweekly.com]

Free as in what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612133)

Been reading slashdot for some time now and this expression 'free as in beer' often comes up when it is about free and open software. What does it mean? Beer is not usually free where I come from.

Re:Free as in what? (1)

sploxx (622853) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612261)

*SIGH* :)
No, it's about "free as in _free_ beer". If you go to a festival and get free beer, e.g. because a company is advertising that particular sort of beer.
Compare free beer to software which is free in the sense that you can download it for no cost, but probably without source code or no right to do something useful with the source code. Many small windows utilities were (are?) distributed in this form.
The whole thing about free (beer)/free (freedom) came from 'RMS' Richard M. Stallman, the hated and loved head of the GNU project.

To read about his definition of 'free software', look here [gnu.org] .

No mail for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612134)

That garbage is worse than no link. You don't have to make every name a link, you know?

even for linux fanboys and MS haters (4, Insightful)

chegosaurus (98703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612136)

this has to be the single most unimportant issue in world politics today. I really struggle to believe that anyone would read anything into, or make any kind of an issue over what webserver hosts a politician's website.

What's the reasoning here? "Kerry's webserver runs teh linux, so if he wins he will destroy MS and the world will be happy and live as one with no more wars or fighting."

Re:even for linux fanboys and MS haters (0, Troll)

Loonacy (459630) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612194)

Because of Big Business... We have laws like DMCA that limit our freedoms.

Because of Big Business... We have companies like Microsoft who are holding back an entire industry.

Because of Big Business... We are at war in Iraq.

Because of Big Business... Because of Big Business... Because of Big Business...
Are you getting the pattern here? People who support OSS generally are against Big Business. Open source software preserves our freedoms, nobody can take our Linux away from us.

Re:even for linux fanboys and MS haters (1)

chegosaurus (98703) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612220)

i) DMCA doesn't really limit your freedom does it? Draconian "homeland security" laws limit your freedom. Your government's paranoia limits your freedom. Go and tell people in Burma how the DMCA limits your freedom.

ii) How can MS hold back an entire industry when your OSS people are free to innovate all they want?

iii) fair point. But I feel you are being a little naive if you don't believe Kerry will be *almost* as subservient to big business as Bush.

Linux does *not* preserve my freedom. If linux disappeared tomorrow, the world would not blink. 95% of the world's population have never heard of it, and if someone told them about it, they wouldn't care. IT'S JUST A COMPUTER PROGRAM and it WILL NOT change the world.

And another thing: IBM and Sun are pretty big businesses, and they support OSS.

Re:even for linux fanboys and MS haters (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612227)

Are you getting the pattern here? People who support OSS generally are against Big Business.


Yeah, people like IBM, Apple, Sun, Walmart, no friends of big business there. And we all know about John Kerry's strong anti-corporate agenda. (for those who can't take a joke, i'm being sarcastic)

Re:even for linux fanboys and MS haters (-1, Flamebait)

Detritus (11846) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612253)

Because of the Illuminati... We have laws like DMCA that limit our freedoms.

Because of the Illuminati... We have companies like Microsoft who are holding back an entire industry.

Because of the Illuminati... We are at war in Iraq.

Because of the Illuminati... Because of the Illuminati... Because of the Illuminati...

Are you getting the pattern here? People who support OSS generally are against the Illuminati.

Open source software preserves our freedoms, nobody can take our Linux away from us.

fnord

Re:even for linux fanboys and MS haters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612200)

maybe people in EU will see things differently. Especially those judges whom are involved in MS Anti-trust case, don't you think?

Re:even for linux fanboys and MS haters (3, Informative)

gilroy (155262) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612226)

Blockquoth the poster:

What's the reasoning here? "Kerry's webserver runs teh linux, so if he wins he will destroy MS and the world will be happy and live as one with no more wars or fighting."

It's a metaphor, son. One side in this race believes in unquestioned authority, tight control, sacrosanct wealth, and operation through secrets. Care to guess which? Hint: It runs as deep as the software they choose.

Is this the sort of thing that makes a person vote one way or another? No, but it's all part of the gestalt.

no registration link (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612138)

No registration link [nytimes.com]

Kerry and Democrat race baiting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612142)

Al Sharpton is Kerry's newest best friend. Forgotten is the Tawana Brawley hoax, in which Sharpton accused an assistant district attorney named Steven Pagones of raping and mutilating that girl. (No one had.) Sharpton proudly refuses to apologize for his defamation.

Forgotten is Freddy's Fashion Mart, the incident in which Sharpton merely incited a mob to murder. (Seven people died; Sharpton had denounced 'white interlopers' in Harlem.) Forgotten is all the other race-baiting, all the poison that Sharpton has emitted in the course of his glorious career. The press turns away; the Democratic Party turns away, and embraces.

It says something unpleasant about America that one of our major presidential nominees could link arms with such a man -- and suffer no penalty whatsoever. No, the Democrats have decided that Sharpton is an asset. And the horrible truth is that they're probably right.

And this is the difference. (-1, Flamebait)

91degrees (207121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612149)

Bush believes in supporting hard working American workers. Even if he has topay for it, he knows that it's worth it to put food on the plates of his citizens and subjects. He probably also eats American grown food, flies in an American buiolt plane and drives an American car

Kerry on the other hand uses foreign imported free software. He thinks that cost is the only area that matters. He probably drives an imported car and flies using foreign airlines such as Quantas and Aeroflot.

Re:And this is the difference. (1, Funny)

gefafwysp (707762) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612171)

I believe that Bush also fills up his American car with American fuel such as Exxon, instead of giving money to terrorists by buying that cheap, imported, oil-based stuff.

Your written correspondence is currently broadcasting a postal address. With this, someone can begin attacking your house!

Re:And this is the difference. (4, Insightful)

foidulus (743482) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612172)

Bush believes in supporting hard working American workers. Even if he has topay for it, he knows that it's worth it to put food on the plates of his citizens and subjects. He probably also eats American grown food, flies in an American buiolt plane and drives an American car Kerry on the other hand uses foreign imported free software. He thinks that cost is the only area that matters. He probably drives an imported car and flies using foreign airlines such as Quantas and Aeroflot.
I know, I know, don't feed the trolls, but this one is too good. My bet is that you are typing this on a computer that has large chunks of the hardware manufactured in Taiwan and assembled in mainland China(China actually doesn't do much high tech manufacturing...yet). Probably on Microsoft software, Microsoft has had large development centers in India(thus foriegn) for a while.
And while linux may have originated in Finland, a very large chunk of the code was written in the US.
So I find it hard to believe that Kerry's platform is any less American than yours...

Re:And this is the difference. (1)

secondsun (195377) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612258)

Extending upon your arguments we can also note that the global economy puts us in a bind against foreign competitors where the country with the lowest cost of living (think of it as a large scale TCO) is the best choice to make a product. A U.S. company can come in and pay the workers there peanuts but still beat the average sallary by 200-300% easy. Plus with the increasing political stability of places such as Japan, China, India, and Pakastan there is little to no reason for companies to stay in the U.S. if the government were to begin cracking down on outsourcing in bulk. The solution is not to force jobs that can be done elsewhere to be done here, but to create jobs avaliable nowhere else here.

Essentially the trend for U.S. based products has been 1)develop in us 2) market in US 3) market elsewhere 4)develop elsewhere 5) sell new products back to US. Now what our government should do is examine what technologies will be the most benefit to mankind/corp-kind in the next 20 years and encourage development on that. Then as phase 3 begins to kick in we begin new development.

Re:And this is the difference. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612175)

He probably also eats American grown food, flies in an American buiolt plane and drives an American car

Ahh and don't forget, he probably smokes american pot too.

Noooo ... Not American pot ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612267)

Bush only smokes the "good stuff" imported
from his buddies in Mexico. How else to
explain greater trafficing in illegal aliens
AFTER 9-11, and Mexican trucks passing thru
US Customs unchecked (a Bush policy)?

OTOH, Cheney has definitely been smoking
"crack", (since cocaine production makes
extensive use of his "his" oil).

Re:And this is the difference. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612228)

I thought IBM was an American company. They're pushing hard to sell Linux and related services aren't they?

Funny how your focus is on Kerry being "guilty" of driving the wrong brand of car and somehow ignoring how Bush Jr. is screwing hard working American workers by not repealing tax incentives for big corporations to send jobs overseas. Free market is good but having our govt pay for outsourcing is ridiculous.

Remember how often the term "draft dodger" was applied to Clinton and "war hero" was attributed to Bush Sr. by the so-called liberal media? I suppose you think all of us Americans are stupid enough to believe the media is liberal if the media keeps telling us they're biased liberals 20 times a day. We heard more about Monica this year than the Whitehouse scandals such as INTENTIONALLY LEAKING IDENTITY OF OUR CIA OPERATIVE or VP REFUSING TO DISCLOSE HOW NATIONAL ENERGY POLICY WAS SHAPED BY CROOKS--and that was before Clinton's self-serving book came out.

Thanks to assholes like you, its gotten so fucking embarrassing to be a conservative that I don't tell anyone I'm a conservative Republican anymore because they'll mistakenly assume I want to lie and rape the US constitution to fatten my bank accounts or bloat the national deficit for short-term profits so our children can get royally screwed with 80% taxe rates 10-20 years from now.

see http://www.fair.org

mo3 dowN (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612155)

Of business and OF AMERICA) today, partner. And if Nrecent article put startling turn before playing to tossers, went out me if you;'d like,

You say girl geeks (4, Funny)

dysprosia (661648) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612159)

But not all girl geeks are straight, dammit!

Mod Parent UP (1)

T-Kir (597145) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612187)

-1 redundant!!!

Since it was a response to part of the news summary... dysproia is making a VALID comment.

Re:You say girl geeks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612268)

Good point. Post some pictures please. :-)

What OS does Kerry or Bush use? (4, Interesting)

tritone (189506) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612178)

That would be more revealing than what their websites run on. To the best of my recollection, Kerry didn't answer the question "Mac or PC?" at a debate among the democratic contenders (Al Sharpton was the only Mac user). I also recall reading that Bush used a Mac, and that he used to be an enthusiastic emailer until he was informed that records would be kept of all his email. I may be wrong about all this. Maybe someone could provide better info.

Re:What OS does Kerry or Bush use? (0, Troll)

irokie (697424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612221)

of course bush uses a mac... they're so pretty!

hehe, reminded of that show on VH1 where dubya "sent his first email" by taping a letter to the screen of a suspiciously iMac looking puter.

It used to be the other way around (3, Interesting)

phr2 (545169) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612197)

In 2000, I remember noticing that GWB's site used Apache and Gore's used IIS.

Re:It used to be the other way around (3, Insightful)

davejenkins (99111) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612233)

In 2000, I remember noticing that GWB's site used Apache and Gore's used IIS

This is an important point to make. I'm neither trying to be a Bush apologist nor a conspiracy theorist, but it would seem to me that MS put its money where it thought the winner would be (when it made the donations). Certainly Bush has let MS off the hook from their previous trial, but I wouldn't read a cabal in that, rather just a "let's get the govt off of big business' back" appeal to core right-wingers.

If MS handed a campaign a bunch of software with hints of donations to go along with it, any campaign manager would quickly overrule the IT guy who wanted to use Apache "on principle". I wouldn't doubt that the Kerry people would do the same if the same carrots were held out to them (like they were to Gore in 2000).

The sad part is that Open-Source is actually closer to the heart of what used to be core rep[ublican values: openness of information, openness of commerce, libertarian leizzes-faire approach to the market.

*sigh* where are you Ike?

Re:It used to be the other way around (5, Informative)

nevets (39138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612240)

Hmmm, I actually remember it being the other way as you state it. GWB with IIS and Gore with Apache. Gore was the one to support the anti-trust case against MS while talking to the people at MS.

Re:It used to be the other way around (1)

puppetluva (46903) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612286)

mod parent up. This is correct.

Hey, what about me?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612205)

For all those girl geeks and gay geeks out there

What happened to the heterosexual guy geeks?

I can see the news title now.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612207)

Hacker terrorists attack George Bush's website causing it to go down.....

News, Timothy? (4, Insightful)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612210)

I have to wonder if Timothy would have posted this story had it been the other way round? Same as the Greenpeace story earlier. Ooo, political organizations that Timothy personally likes use technology too!

This is not news, Timothy.

Re:News, Timothy? (2, Insightful)

gilroy (155262) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612248)

Blockquoth the poster:

This is not news, Timothy.

Well, the editors of a world-class newspaper see it differently, so at least there's room for doubt. I don't understand the hostility: If you don't like it, don't read it. On the other hand, it's something I didn't know, something that has (allegorical) meaning in the race, and it relates to tech. I think that brings it under the banner of "News for Nerds".

Nerdism Explained (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612229)

The phenomenon of nerdism can be boiled down to the human impulse to tinker. Ever since primates [msu.edu] first began to triumphantly wield tools to make their lives easier, there have been nerdy primates who have derived personal satisfaction from deconstructing, refining, and in some cases recreating those tools. While the prehistoric nerd would have had a dismally unfulfilled life, and probably would have flung himself into a chasm [cancer.org] in dejection [virginia.edu] , the modern nerd frequently lives a long and marginally happy, albeit somewhat pathetic life.

In order to understand what causes nerdism, we must first look to the nerds themselves [slashdot.org] . The most obvious observation one could make is that nerds are statistically nearly always male [b3ta.com] . While nerds routinely come in a splendid variety of shapes and sizes and hues, it is rare to see a nerd of the fairer sex. Since we know that nerdism is the fascination with tools [antiquehardware.com] and systems, and we know that nerds are predominantly male, we would likely gain insight in asking ourselves why females [gsusa.org] are not so driven to tinker.

There is no basic mental difference between men and women, and so there is no reason to believe that women would be mentally any less tinker-inclined than men. Therefore, in order to determine the reason why there are so few female nerds [area.com] , we must turn our attentions to the ways in which men and women are known to differ: the physical ways [mybodyhistemple.com] . Immediately, the answer becomes plain. Women do not need to glut their tendencies by tinkering with computers or cars or guns because of their reproductive systems, which require a great deal more attention and maintenance than those of their male counterparts. Simply put, women tinker with their parts, and so have no interest in tinkering with electronic substitutes [007-vibrators.com] .

Penises and testicles [my-penis.org] , despite their initial lustre, grow boring early on. They do not exhibit quirky, moody [valleywomens.com] , fixable behavior. Rather, they hang loosely and idly in a man's crotch and rarely get more attention than any other body part, and at those times that they do, tinkering is not foremost on the subject's mind. Particularly in the case of an circumsized penis, very little extra maintenance is ever needed. Contrast this, then, to the vagina, which must be carefully wiped [wallstreetandtech.com] after every use, and regularly cleaned [medicalfetishes.com] to preserve womanly freshness. Females learn early in life that the vagina must be treated with respect, and in return they have the incomparable, primal joy of upkeep.

Women may contentedly seek non-nerdy sources of entertainment [bondage-domination.com] , safe in their knowledge that every month will bring them more new and exciting vaginal adventures. While some men profess to be unnerved or even disgusted by menstruation, their true feelings are probably closer to envy. Women, lucky women, may peruse those exotic aisles at the supermarket in search of feminine hygiene products, products that they need, they absolutely need, in order to keep their systems fully operational. Men never know the intimate thrill of personally dealing with menstruation by applying a tampon just in the nick of time, or the sense of deep personal satisfaction that comes with regularly eating yogurt [generalmills.com] and so having a yeast-infection-free vagina for months or even years.

No, healthy men have no physical equivalents to the vagina, and so they have to settle for substitutes [pleasureplay.com] . These substitutes [pricewatch.com] generally grow more and more complex the less interaction the man has with well-groomed vaginas, for even second-hand a vagina provides like nothing else can. So, while for the average, vaginally supplemented male, simply obtaining and having nifty gadgets [toonopedia.com] will suffice, those who have little or no vaginal interaction will need more total surrogate vaginas. In terms of requiring regular attention and meticulous maintenance, only a computer system can match a vagina. And, for those suffereing from truly dire cases of vaginal deprivation, it is necessary to run an unstable, exotic operating system like the Linux.

Linux is designed with the abject nerdist in mind. All of its code [latech.edu] is open, so every nerd may feel that each line of code is part of him, an extension of his body; in reality, of course, almost no nerdists can actually understand computer code of any variety, and certainly would not be able to make anything of its intentionally obfuscated tangles [perl.com] . In addition, for most nerdists, it is not simply enough to have the toy and play with it. Just as women may knowingly giggle with each other and swap vagina stories and products, nerdist men may delight in swapping stories of their epic rescues of their corrupt, unjournaled filesystems [iu.edu] , or of their ingenuity in using thermal paste to sooth their burning AMD [intel.com] microprocessors.

Over time, the Linux computer will grow to be more to its nerdist than just a substitute for the tinkering rush that comes with vaginal contact. The nerdist, knowing that his chances of conventional procreation are limited to the illegal [lec.org] , will begin to channel his frustrated sexual energies into feverish futzing with his computer system. He will aspire to know everything about his computer. He will probably even acquire several computers in order to play a technologically enhanced, sexually charged version of the children's game "house," frequently referred to as "networking." He will bloat his computer cases by inserting loads of foreign hardware, hoping for his computer to reject his transplants so that he might lose himself in fixing it for hours on end, and for those few hours have the burden of his maddeningly functional penis lifted from his mind. In short, he'll be a hopeless, drooling nerd.

And now we know why it is unlikely that he will ever find a computer-obsessed female with whom to share his torment.

From the PoliTech Mailing list and comments (5, Informative)

Hungus (585181) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612249)

Subject: Rating the Bush and Kerry Web sites on security
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2004 17:43:44 -0400
From: Richard M. Smith <rms@computerbytesman.com>
To: 'Declan McCullagh' <declan@well.com>

Hi,

To rate George Bush and John Kerry on the Homeland Security issue, I just
completed two quick security audits of the official Bush
(http://www.georgewbush.com/) and Kerry (http://www.johnkerry.com/) campaign
Web sites. Unfortunately, I found problems at both Web sites.

Here are the results of my testing so far:

1. Both the Bush and the Kerry Web sites have cross-site scripting errors
(XSS). These errors can allow a prankster to create fake Web pages which
load from the Bush or Kerry Web sites but additional content can be supplied
from a different Web server belonging to a prankster. A prankster could
then say anything they want on a Bush or Kerry Web page using a XSS error.
Examples include fake news stories, slogans telling visitors to vote for the
other candidate, and doctored photos of a candidate.

2. Error trapping at the Kerry Web site isn't very good. Typing unusual
characters into Web forms at the Kerry Web site causes Web server
applications to fail and a visitor is shown very cryptic error pages. These
problems might be a sign of SQL injection errors which can be quite serious.
An SQL injection error can sometimes be used by an outsider to break into a
backend database at a Web site and then to make off with private information
from the database.

3. The Bush Web site has hired a company called Omniture to track users at
the Bush Web site. Omniture uses hidden Web bugs to do this tracking.
Perhaps this Web site feature was requested by John Ashcroft? ;-) This
relationship with Omniture is not spelled out in the Bush Web site privacy
policy. For more about information about Omniture, check out their Web site
at http://www.omniture.com/company.html.

4. Both the Bush and Kerry Web sites encourage visitors to add banner ads
for the candidates to their own Web pages. The Bush banner ad uses
JavaScript supplied from the Bush Web server (See
http://www.georgewbush.com/WStuff/BPAdFeed.a spx). The Kerry banner ads use
an embedded IFRAME (See http://www.johnkerry.com/download/promos.html).
B oth banner ad schemes allow the campaigns to track visitors to any Web
pages where the banner ads appear. In addition, the Bush JavaScript scheme
allows the Bush Web server to run any script code inside of other people's
Web pages. This scheme doesn't strike me as a very good idea from a
security standpoint.

5. Both candidates have good Web site privacy policies. For some odd
reason, the Kerry Web site privacy policy is also certified by Truste and
BBBOnline.

6. It appears that the open source vs. closed source debate has also
entered the presidential campaign. The Kerry home page comes from an Apache
Web server running on a Red Hat Linux box. The Bush Web site on the other
hand is hosted on a more corporate Microsoft-powered IIS 5.0 server and uses
ASP.NET. I did not check to see if this IIS server is up to date with
Microsoft security patches.

If anyone else runs across anything interesting at these two Web sites,
please let me know.

Richard M. Smith
http://www.ComputerBytesMan.com

________ _______________________________________
Politech mailing list
Archived at http://www.politechbot.com/
Moderated by Declan McCullagh (http://www.mccullagh.org/)
Now when it comes down to who uses what tools and software let me ask this as my own comment. Do you think either politician even knows what their site is running on? Further do you think they care? Most likely someone on the IT staff at each party knows someone who works at or owns a hosting company and whatever they have as default is what the candidate is using. I would personally be far more interested in what they use personally compared to this, and of course far more than that in their policies and practices.

link to the article on another site (1)

dominux (731134) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612251)

the article [starbanner.com]

Call me crazy... (2, Insightful)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612254)

Call me crazy, but I think really this has as much or more to do with their web designers and/or sysadmins as it does with their political stance. I mean, I guess their webservers do somewhat match their political standing, but I doubt it was really a concious decision. Bush could have just as easily hired some Unix heavy group who would probably run Apache or John Kerry could have just as easily hired some sort of ASP.net dream team for his site. If I recall correctly in 2000 Gore DID run IIS and Bush DID run Apache.

I would bet that if you were to look at political websites beyond those of the Democratic and Republican candidates the division would be far less clear (although I would bet you would still see some of the same division).

SCO to sue democrats? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9612256)

Does this mean SCO is going to go after democrats now?

Outsourcing and open sourcing (3, Interesting)

ChrisWong (17493) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612270)

  • Open source lowers the cost of doing business by substituting free labor for expensive developers.
  • Offshore outsourcing lowers the costs of doing business by substituting cheap labor for expensive developers.
  • Open source creates a few losers -- Microsoft, SCO -- but benefits many more by lowering costs and making stuff cheaper in general. "So let's screw the losers."
  • Offshore outsourcing creates a few losers -- some US workers -- but benefits many more by lowering costs and making stuff cheaper in general. "So let's screw the losers."

As one who rather likes open source, but whose job can potentially be offshored, I am having trouble making up my mind about this offshore outsourcing thing. I know there are other differences and complexities. The "free software" advocates want code to be free-as-in-speech, but the momentum is really behind the free-as-in-beer motive. Also, there are some who argue that offshore outsourcing will be detrimental to the US economy as a whole, but those who argue otherwise -- and back their arguments with data -- seem to have the better argument. So the above paragraphs distill the state of my reasoning at the moment. I have trouble seeing how I can favor one and oppose the other.

Please, argue with me.

(Pardon this repost ... didn't get any response last time).

Likewise in Australia (2, Interesting)

kieronb (780769) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612272)

The incumbent Liberal [liberal.org.au] party (which is actually very conservative) uses IIS. The opposition Labor [alp.org.au] party (which is slightly less conservative) uses Apache.

The Greens [greens.org.au] (progressive) use Apache on Linux for all their websites (including the one I built [andrewwilkie.org.au] ) and have a pro-F/OSS policy in general.

Yes, this is shameless self-promotion.

Anyone going to change their vote? (2, Interesting)

Chanc_Gorkon (94133) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612273)

I sure as heck ain't changing my vote because of this issue. Anyone who is voting for any person because of only one reason is not thinking about the whole picture. So what? Bush probably is hosting their site and their host uses Windows and IIS. Bush uses Movable Type on his Blog too. Does that mean he's a worse candidate then Kerry is JUST because he paid for his software? Again, this is just probably how it worked out and neither candidate probably has a clue WHAT software their web site runs on.

Practical not Political (2, Funny)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9612288)

I find it more likely that the Kerry organisation chose OSS simply to lower their running costs. The Bush camp has more cash to burn ($200m) and so can afford to go for a more user friendly OS(I'm not trolling,Windows IS more user friendly). I wouldn't have put it past MS to have 'donated' serveral hundred licences and server software to the current administartion.

Though the situation in the Bush camp does seem to compliment their politics, I doubt Kerry and his followers give a danm about the OSS/CLSS debate. They just went with the cheapest option.

Of course they will benefit from ability to handle higher email loads and site requests. If the bush site is an aspx, then .NET will probobly crumble at the first YRO slashdot headline.
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