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Competition Fosters Next Generation Of Linux Talent

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the script-kiddies dept.

Programming 209

gollum123 writes "Yahoo reports that about 3,000 students from 75 countries registered for the 2004 IBM Linux Scholar Challenge before registration closed Oct. 31, the largest turnout in the competition's history. This year's winners will be revealed in January at LinuxWorld in Boston. Each entry consists of a 1,200-word essay that can describe the solution to one of 29 Linux-related challenges IBM poses as part of the competition. Entrants, who must be enrolled full time at an accredited university, aren't limited to these challenges and can suggest and solve their own problems. The IBM-provided challenges include asking entrants to identify deficiencies in Linux and propose solutions, describe how to build a high-availability application that would provide failover capability across multiple IBM servers, and improve boot time on a Linux-based IBM ThinkPad."

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GNAA / Google confirms: Linux is dying. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751628)

GNAA / Google confirms: Linux is dying.
By GNAA Staff

Here you have it: it's official; Google confirms: Desktop Linux is dying.

Now, you might be thinking this is just another cut & paste troll based on the typical *BSD is dying bullshit.
It isn't.
As you might have know, your favorite search engine, Google [google.com] , has been running a little statistics service, called "Zeitgeist [google.com] ".
Since about a year ago, they started providing statistics of the operating systems used to access their search engine worldwide.
I will let the numbers speak for themselves:

Operating Systems Accessing Google in January 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in March 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in April 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in May 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in June 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in July 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in August 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in September 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in November 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in December 2002 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in January 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in February 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in April 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in May 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in June 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in July 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in August 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in September 2003 [google.com]
Operating Systems Accessing Google in November 2003 [google.com]

If you've looked at even a few of these links, you don't need to be a Kreskin [amdest.com] to predict Desktop Linux's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Desktop Linux faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Linux on Desktop because Linux is dying. Things are looking very bad for Linux on Desktop. As many of us are already aware, Linux on Desktop continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

According to Google Zeitgeist [google.com] , there are about 80% of Internet Explorer 6 [microsoft.com] users. The only platform supporting Internet Explorer 6 is, of course, Microsoft Windows. These statistics are consistent with the earlier presented graphs of the operating systems used to access Google, with the Windows family consistently taking the top 3 ranks. Out of remaining 20%, the split is even between MSIE 5.5, MSIE 5.0, both Windows-only browsers. Netscape 5.x (including Mozilla) counts for only a measly 5% of browsers used to access Google. As you can see from the graph, this sample was calculated starting from March 2001 until September 2003.

Linux "leaders" will have you believe that Linux is gaining market share. However, according to Google [google.com] , "Linux" was never a top 10 search word at *any time* since Google began tracking search statistics. This can only mean one thing: Linux is dying.

All major surveys show that Linux on Desktop is something never meant to happen. Repeatedly, reputable organizations review Desktop Linux offerings, and consistently [osnews.com] give [com.com] it [com.com] unacceptable [yahoo.com] scores, compared to even Apple [apple.com] 's MacOS X [apple.com] , which is actually based on the "claimed to by dying long time ago" *BSD. If you paid attention to the operating systems used to access Google graphs earlier, you will notice that MacOS has consistently scored higher percentages than Linux. Infact, the obscure "other" category, which we assume is embedded systems, PDA's, cellular phones, etc, has at times ranked Higher [google.com] than even Mac OS - and of course, Linux.

In almost 2 years worth of statistics, Linux [linux.com] has NEVER outranked even such a truly "dying" OS as Mac OS, and infact, never raised above the 1% mark. When Windows XP [microsoft.com] was released, Google searches for Linux drastically decreased [google.com] . This clearly demonstrates that Linux on Desktop is, for all practical purposes, dead.

Fact: Desktop Linux is dead.

This commentary brought to you by a proud GNAA member.

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.
By moderating this post as "Underrated", you cannot be Meta-Moderated! Please consider this.

________________________________________________
| ______________________________________._a,____ |
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ |
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ |
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ |
| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ |
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ |
| _________#1__________?________________________ |
| _________j1___________________________________ |
| ____a,___jk_GAY_NIGGER_ASSOCIATION_OF_AMERICA_ |
| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ |
| ______-"!^____________________________________ |
` _______________________________________________'

First Post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751632)

First Post! 1265

Requirements are lame (4, Insightful)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751652)

"full time at an accredited university"

That's just wrong. Some of the best programmers and computer folks I ever met, didn't even go to colleges.

Re:Requirements are lame (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751660)

... and that's just wrong for so many reasons. You learn so much more at college where you're taught and learn from others about alternatives, formal methodology, etc. The days of high school IT men/women making any significant money is rapidly disappearing.

Re:Requirements are lame (2, Insightful)

JPriest (547211) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751725)

Actually once you get in the door it is more about what you can do and less about what is on your resume.

Re:Requirements are lame (1)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751763)

That is true enough. However, a lot of really nice corporate doors are closed to those without a college degree. I see a lot of jobs in the paper and online where a college degree is required to apply. I don't know if that is fair or not. I imagine this policy keeps some good people out, but, in the long wrong, it seems to meet their needs.

Re:Requirements are lame (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10752066)

A lot of these doors aren't really closed to those without degrees. They're just closed to those without enough confidence in their skills and experience to apply anyway.

I've been at a number of companies that, in an effort to cut down on the massive flood of resumes they receive, put their requirements fairly high. They usually listed a college degree in CS or something similar. However, when it came time to review the resumes, they didn't really care about the education listings -- just the experience, work examples, demonstration of skills, etc. Quite a few of those hired were without degrees.

I would suggest anytime someone sees a job listing and they think they'd be great for, but it says "college degree required", read it as "college degree or equivalent experience required". Everything is negotiable. In the end they're looking for the right person for the job, and the job listing is just the wishlist of everything at the company that could use doing.

Re:Requirements are lame (1)

netsrek (76063) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752278)

This is so true.

I've gotten jobs that described a Comp Sci degree as mandatory, and yet my undergraduate is in Philosophy.

If your resume is up to scratch, quite a lot of these places will accept you for an interview anyway.

(some of my worst tech support staff have been Comp Sci graduates, and some of the best have been artists...)

Re:Requirements are lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10752309)

Yup, sometimes any ol' janitor will do in a pinch, even an uneducated slouch that just happens to come along at the right time.

Re:Requirements are lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751869)

Ummm, actually you are sooooo wrong. You might get in the door, but contracts are negotiated and won with customers based on the reputation of employees, and it sounds a whole lot better to say you have a staff representated by PhD graduates of Stanford and MIT than MSCE's or even Linux/MS 'wannabe' experts.

Re:Requirements are lame (4, Interesting)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751960)

You learn so much more at college where you're taught and learn from others about alternatives, formal methodology, etc.

you're both wrong.

what the i.t. world really needs is an apprenticeship programme.

an apprenticeship system would create a common, impartial body to set standards of skill and competence and provide a structured yet flexible on the job learning path to get i.t. people from basement geek to enterprise administrator.

it's not like the industry doesn't already run on this type of system in an informal way already. you get your degree, and then spend a year working as a "night operator" changing tapes. only once you've proven diligent enough to not screw up the back ups do you move on deployment, then troubleshooting, then planning and, finally, administration.

we should formalize the process so that real experience translates directly to accredation.

Re:Requirements are lame (2, Funny)

davew2040 (300953) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752193)

Judging from my experience with network admins, I think there would be a serious problem with mentors scaring off the entire next generation of talented IT candidates.

Re:Requirements are lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751664)

What's with that comma near, the end?

Re:Requirements are lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751702)

Ssssh. Communication skills aren't important! You don't need college!

Re:Requirements are lame (2, Insightful)

Omniscientist (806841) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751667)

You are probably correct, I can see no harm in IBM accepting people who have little or no college experience but are damn good at Linux hacking and proposing some good new ideas. IBM is just limiting itself there.

Re:Requirements are lame (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751720)

It's for a scholarship, you dolt.

A. College. Scholarship.

Re:Requirements are lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751781)

Spoken like someone who has not availed himself of a good formal education past high school. You can't know what you are missing because you didn't go. My resume gets me into a lot more doors than one without a college degree. These days, it's even better to have some graduate degrees as well. Some I.T. jobs require a Masters. Why limit yourself like that??

Re:Requirements are lame (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751890)

My guess would be that the group they're trying to exclude isn't "people who have little or no college experience" but rather experienced developers.

Re:Requirements are lame (2, Interesting)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751670)

Guess what - if you're not at an accredited university, you don't count as a scholar! Maybe you learnt stuff in your spare time, but if you are hands-on rather than making a habit of it, it doesn't count. :-)

(OK, so people at high school get excluded, too, but I suspect if they managed to produce an adequate answer I suspect they'd let it slide, and probably sponsor him/her through univerersity as well)

Re:Requirements are lame (2, Interesting)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751734)

. . .if you're not at an accredited university, you don't count as a scholar!

scholar n.

1.
a. A learned person.

KFG

Re:Requirements are lame (2, Insightful)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751752)

. . .
2. One who attends school or studies with a teacher; a student.

IBM is using this definition. Which seems obvious when you regard how the competition is targeted - the article even mentions "to drum up enthusiasm among students"

Re:Requirements are lame (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751823)

The definition I posted was suffcient to rebut the claim that one must be matriculated at an accredited university to be a scholar.

Some scholars are college students, some are not (one would hope, for instance, that college instructors were scholars).

Any other claims or definitions are irrelevant to the point addressed.

Furthermore, there is nothing in your profered definition that mentions accredited universities.

However, the fact that this is a contest restricted to college students is selfevident, hence the parent post, which would be meaningless otherwise, but I did not address his point.

KFG

Re:Requirements are lame (1)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751849)

Not in IBM's eyes. I kinda thought that this context was obvious given the fact that the whole post was about IBM's competition. You're technically right that a scholar in general doesn't have to be, but so what? :-)

IBM would be unlikely to accept such a person into their competition, and that was my point - in their view, your definition of scholarship does not apply.

As for the accreditedness stuff, I would assume that's because they don't want people in your category saying "Oh, I'm from the University of DeFry" when they're really moonlighting as a programmer while working full-time at the local McDonalds. ;-)

Re:Requirements are lame (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751895)

You're technically right that a scholar in general doesn't have to be, but so what? :-)

. . .if you're not at an accredited university, you don't count as a scholar!

So it was the claim. You have now retracted the claim and I can go do something interesting.

KFG

Re:Requirements are lame (1)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751931)

Well, you missed/ignored the bit about assumed context (add "to IBM" to the end of that sentance). Now, if you assume that all posts exist in isolation, that's right, but given that we were talking about . . .

. . . but what the heck, it's not worth arguing it, is it? You go do interesting stuff, and I can go to bed! (5am != good_time_to_sleep)

Sorry, pal (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751692)

This is a contest that involves writing. Absolutely none of the one-dimensional, high-school-dipolma-only computer geeks I know can write for shit. It's appalling. A college education doesn't necessarily improve writing skills (just look at the people who post to Slashdot) because not everyone chooses to take advantage of the broad spectrum of educational options available at college, but for those who do, they are head and shoulders above people whose sole talent in life is programming.

Furthermore, I don't think it makes much sense to award a scholarship to someone who's not in college. Is that so unreasonable?

Re:Sorry, pal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10752250)

Maybe I'm not in college because I can't afford it? And BTW, I CAN write "for shit". I've had two short stories published.

Re:Sorry, pal (1)

luvirini (753157) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752298)

Well, unfortunately it seems that the skill of being able to write in a clear manner is a lost art even among college graduates. One would think that atleast for something as simple as a CV a college graduate would succeed in actually expressing him/herself in a manner that is atleast somewhat gramatically correct and read through.

To quote one CV we got towards the end after the education and personal detail bulletpoints the person had actually managed to get quite well:
"Other intrests and activities:
Was involved with. Other intrests are, to read, jogging, do pottery. We do amateyr theater"

Re:Requirements are lame (5, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751698)

It's a scollarship challenge.

If you don't go to school, you don't need a scollarship.

If you want to complain that it shouldn't be a scollarship challenge, that's one thing. But don't complain about a scollarship challenge requiring people to be students.

Re:Requirements are lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751788)

I don't know many students looking for "scollarships"...

Re:Requirements are lame (3, Insightful)

zurab (188064) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751836)

If you don't go to school, you don't need a scollarship.

Unless you can't go to college because you cannot afford it, or you were forced to drop out for financial reasons - then scholarship would be a lot of help.

Re:Requirements are lame (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752219)


Unless you can't go to college because you cannot afford it, or you were forced to drop out for financial reasons - then scholarship would be a lot of help.


No kidding. I dropped out 7 years ago because I couldn't afford it. Now that I'm married and kids are a very real prospect, I can't afford to finish my degree even though I'm making much more money now.

I'd like to finish my degree someday, but I can't justify the expense. (That and since I've already reached senior programmer at my work, the lack of degree isn't really holding me back.)

Re:Requirements are lame (1)

KingPunk (800195) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752071)

the issue is, somebody like me who cant be a student until next year is bound.
or what about high school kids?
im sure many high school kids could use a scholarship! if you're in school, kinda passes off the need for a scholarship, does it not?
...
also the other thing is, if they're trying to keep experienced
devlopers and stuff away from something like this,
what if they're in graduate school or something, doesn't that qualify too?
or do they have a list of schools that you must be in in order to "qualify" ?
--kingpunk

Re:Requirements are lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10752114)

"It's a scollarship challenge.

If you don't go to school, you don't need a scollarship."

I don't go to school, but thats because I dont have the money. By the way, arent scollarships by definition designed to help people overcome financial difficulties such as mine?

how about this one, "think before you post"

i say, if you are *already* in school, then you don't need a scollarship as bad as I do, because i can't afford to go in the first place.

Re:Requirements are lame (1)

DarkMantle (784415) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752165)

If you don't go to school, you don't need a scollarship.

What if I need a scollarship to be able to afford to go to school? Such is the case with me. I want to go back to upgrade (update) My programming skills, and also take some 3D animation. But can't afford to.

Re:Requirements are lame (2, Insightful)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751742)

It's not wrong because you don't like it. You may wish they had done it differently but it is their game and their money. Besides, it seems to be an academically oriented competition.

Re:Requirements are lame (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751803)

It's not wrong because you don't like it. You may wish they had done it differently but it is their game and their money. Besides, it seems to be an academically oriented competition.

Yep, especially since it's an essay competition. How often does the self-trained student write essays?

Besides which, considering how many CS graduates are almost illiterate in English even after college, I shudder to think of what violations of the language programmers without any college would come up with.

Misread... (4, Funny)

HitByASquirrel (710289) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751666)

Hah, at first glance all I picked up was "Fosters Linux" and I thought "huh, what will the Aussies do next?"

Re:Misread... (1)

virgil_attack (744501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751981)

That's not a bad idea. A linux distro based around beer would succesfully combine two of my favorite things!

Although if it was created by and Aussie it would more likely be called "VB Linux" or "XXXX Linux" as most Aussies actually don't drink Fosters (well none that I know).

Re:Misread... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10752005)

Linuxxxx, shirly.

Re:Misread... (1)

TheShadowHawk (789754) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752027)

Yes you are correct, Fosters is the usual cat piss in Australia. But is apparently brewed better overseas (go figure)...

XXXX is only marginally better than Fosters mate. :)

Cascade or Boags Linux would have my vote. ;)

Re:Misread... (1)

virgil_attack (744501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752053)

I normally drink Carlton Draught (I can't afford all those fancy beers) but I was trying to appeal to the masses with the VB and XXXX.

Re:Misread... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10752151)

I can't believe that this was modded "offtopic"!

What could go together more than coding, Linux, beer and University?

You all have obviously never been to the Software Engineering department at a major Austalian university.

who must be enrolled full time.. (1, Flamebait)

[cx] (181186) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751707)

"who must be enrolled full time at an accredited university"

what a load of crap, i cant believe they would limit so many great linux programmers/enthusiasts from entering this competition. im sure there are lots employed in ibm that never went to an "accredited university".

[cx]

Re:who must be enrolled full time.. (-1, Redundant)

MBCook (132727) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751753)

It's a scollarship challenge.

If you don't go to school, you don't need a scolarship.

If you want to complain that it shouldn't be a scolarship challenge, that's one thing. But don't complain about a scolarship challenge requiring people to be students.

(Yes, I posted this elsewhere in this thread)

Re:who must be enrolled full time.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10752146)

and its still an invalid point.

Re:who must be enrolled full time.. (1)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752279)

I think it should be opened to people who *want* to go to college but need the $$ first. I'm sitting out of college now, (over a year) because I can't afford it and the best job I can find around here is $5.15. Not trolling, but if it's a scholarship, they should make it a rule that rewards are for now or future college use.

Re:who must be enrolled full time.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751793)

I've seen too many good programmers shut out because they didn't go to college. These guys didn't seem to understand that they would get some necessary skills in college (such as technical writing) that they need to be competitive. I would not encourage a young person to skip college.

Sample Problems (4, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751732)

After a little searching, I found a list of 29 possible challenges for the students to solve. It's a PDF: Linux Challenge Options [ibm.com] .

Second, I can't wait to see the results of this. Should be interesting to see how some of these are solved, and what other interesting challenges people come up with to try to solve.

They better hurry up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751822)

Webdav support in the Kernel needed to be implimented a year+ ago.

Re:They better hurry up (1)

simcop2387 (703011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752119)

Webdav support in the Kernel needed to be implimented a year+ ago.

for those that don't know, [WebDAV stands for "Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning". It is a set of extensions to the HTTP protocol which allows users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote web servers. (shamelessly taken from http://www.webdav.org/)].

there is a tool that will deal with this, and let you use one, its a bit out of date (dang close to a year now) but i had some mixed success (didn't have a use for it then), http://dav.sourceforge.net/

Re:Sample Problems (4, Interesting)

stoborrobots (577882) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751877)

Another interesting point - IBM actually runs Lotus WordPro internally. (The source file name for that PDF is LinuxChallenge-final 07.21.04.lwp)... While in an of itself that may not seem surprising, as IBM owns Lotus, it is interesting to not that this is a giant organisation which needs interoperability with thousands of other organisations, and they can still run an alternate office-suite...

Re:Sample Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751968)

as IBM owns Lotus, it is interesting to not that this is a giant organisation which needs interoperability with thousands of other organisations, and they can still run an alternate office-suite...

... and yet still haven't ported it to Linux. Maybe this can be the next challenge for students...

Re:Sample Problems (5, Informative)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752184)

Don't get too excited about that. I've worked at IBM for a number of years. First, everyone who uses WordPro hates it. Second, the only people who use it don't depend on interoperability with outside groups. Third, WordPro is being phased out for MS Word across the entire company, it's just taking a lot longer than it should.

High School Students? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751768)

Im a full time jr in high school and I know more then most about Linux. I probably could of solved at least the thinkpad problem(im writing this on a T40). I will soon be going into college and I could use some extra help from big blue.

Re:High School Students? (4, Insightful)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751977)

When I was in high school, I also felt I knew a lot about computers. Now I realize I knew shit. I still believe I still know shit, just a lot more shit than I used to.

One of the main reasons for college is to teach you how to learn. High school won't do that, so they make college a requirement because you'll keep building on that.

I'm not saying college is required or you won't do well if you don't go to college. Certainly not, but there are benefits to college besides what your teacher tests you on.

Re:High School Students? (2)

Iluvatar (89773) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752189)

"When you finish college, you think you know everything.
When you finish your MS, you realize you don't know anything.
When you finish your PhD, you realize you don't know anything, but neither does your advisor."
-- popular wisdom

Solution: (2)

SHEENmaster (581283) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752063)

Study a bit more grammar, tell your principal to fuck off in front of several hundred witnesses, and enter college rather than waste a fourth year in high school.

It worked for me. I ended up with a PowerBook and a free ride while my high school friends were being taught history by Bill and Ted.

I cant beleive this (0, Troll)

mboverload (657893) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751771)

Alot of the smartest people in history didn't even go to college.

I know, becuase I didn't.

Re:I cant beleive this (3, Interesting)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751815)

I don't see how that attitude and position would help the typical young person who wants a rewarding career. I have two boys that will finish their secondary education in the next few years and I could never tell them that some of the brightest people never went to college so don't worry too much about going. My college and graduate degrees have opened doors for me that would have otherwise been closed.

Re:I cant beleive this (2, Insightful)

whiteranger99x (235024) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751876)

I too believe that you don't always need a college degree to have commanding intelligence. However, I am aware of the real world expectations of the "job market", among other things, and having that degree determines whether artificial barriers are lifted or fortified.

And sometimes it's a shame that someone who can otherwise think on their feet and do the job 10 times around without faltering are constricted, but that's how it goes.

Re:I cant beleive this (1)

ICA (237194) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751900)

In most cases I think the people who were able to succeed without secondary education did so by forging their own path. They went out, started their own business, and pursued a dream.

If your boys end up with the same desires and skills, they will likely go the same route and not need their secondary education. However, I think you are doing right in directing them to that education until the stroke of genius occurs.

Re:I cant beleive this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751973)

Very well put.

Re:I cant beleive this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10751871)

well you can beleive what ever you want.

I on the other hand will believe that it is for a scholarship.

Re:I cant beleive this (0, Flamebait)

erick99 (743982) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751993)

Alot is not a word. The correct usage is "a lot."

Lets split a few small hairs.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10752197)

"Alot is not a word. The correct usage is "a lot.""(sic)

Actually, the word "usage" as used in the statement above is incorrect, because it refers to the mispelled word "Alot" that appears in the previous sentance. There is no correct usage of "Alot" because it is mispelled, therefor your usage of the word usage, is incorrect. If you had use the word "term" instead of "usage" your sentance would be more correct.

If you are going to nitpick on spelling, get your grammar right or STFU.

(btw, dont bother continuing this thread by pointing out any errors that I may have made, because honestly i dont care, i just wanted to put this prick in his place.)

Mods, i only ask that i recieve equil karma to the parent of this post.

Re:Lets split a few small hairs.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10752247)

You want to correct but not be corrected? I think that makes YOU a prick. Here is something for your prison cell wall: It is better to remain quiet and be thought a fool, then to speak up and remove all doubt."

Re:I cant beleive this (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10752012)

"I cant beleive this"

Alot of the smartest people in history didn't even go to college.

I know, becuase I didn't.

No kidding...

alot = a lot

beleive = believe

cant = can't or cannot

becuase = because

That is a lot of errors for such a brief post.

Re:I cant beleive this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10752031)

I'd mod this up as funny if I could; however, at the same time it's so true and consequently, sad.

ooh I got it (2, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751775)

Each entry consists of a 1,200-word essay that can describe the solution to one of 29 Linux-related challenges IBM poses as part of the competition...d to these challenges and can suggest and solve their own problems. The IBM-provided challenges include asking entrants to identify deficiencies in Linux and propose solutions

Uninstall Linux and install FreeBSD.

Oops, wait, that's only 5 words. Need another 1,195 to pad it out. Any suggestions?

Re:ooh I got it (1)

whiteranger99x (235024) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751800)

Uninstall Linux and install FreeBSD.

Oops, wait, that's only 5 words. Need another 1,195 to pad it out. Any suggestions?


Try copying and pasting a "BSD is dead" post, but replace references of BSD with Linux. That'll add enough words to your paper :P

Bad choice (1)

xbsd (814561) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751899)

and can suggest and solve their own problems

Uninstall Linux and install FreeBSD.
Oops, wait, that's only 5 words. Need another 1,195 to pad it out. Any suggestions?


Well, seems like you chose option b: "suggest your own problem". Unfortunately that one needs more than 1,195 words to solve it.

Free Labor (3, Interesting)

slinky259 (827395) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751783)

Improving boot time on a ThinkPad...

Does IBM own the essays, though? This was mentioned with Google's CodeJam thing too - Google stated that they pretty much owned whatever code was submitted and used to solve the problems. ~stephen

Cheap labor? (5, Interesting)

discontinuity (792010) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751813)

Funny thought: isn't this a great way for IBM to get students to do work for free?

Seriously though, the project list reads very much like a wish list of the things they'd like to have but don't want to spend the money on doing themselves.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing (espectially if it leads to some students landing jobs with them). Just struck me as humorus in that "everything's a conspiracy / everyone has a hidden agenda" sort of way.

Re:Cheap labor? (1)

Tufriast (824996) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751867)

While it is cheap labor, it does give a student a step up in the real world. Suppose one student proposes an idea that changes the face of Linux so that it can take the Redmond Beast to the cleaners? If IBM wanted to grab ideas for free, there are certainly less philanthropic ways of doing so. Regardless, the person who wins will get a lot more than just a scholarship from other universities and respect. His career could be pole vaulted into the history books. And to boot, this isn't the first time they have done it. It's a contest held each year. I'm hoping some brainchild of the likes of Ben Goodger drops a bomb.

Re:Cheap labor? (1)

PrettyGoodPersonage (829092) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752000)

How should/do we come to grips with the fact that XYZ entity has $$$ to give, to encourage this kind of student activity? In a perfectly open-sourced society, people will have to work due to internal incentive (e.g., make the world a better place); so what do we do with people who are lazy or unmotivated to contribute (e.g., parasites)? Or are people only selectively parasitic? Would a total tech n00b be an expert surgeon or cook?

Re:Cheap labor? (1)

ICA (237194) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751884)

Things like this are actually already commonplace in many internships, especially those in technology fields such as Engineering.

I know specifically, that many of my classmates in Engineering college worked for IBM on projects. It is actually beneficial to both sides in my opinion. IBM gets a task accomplished, and the individual learns and gets to pad their resume.

IBM is going with a trade-off in the internship case. They are getting relatively cheap labor, but at the potential cost of having the final product not be of the highest quality.

I agree the tinfoil hat crowd probably sees this as a problem though.

Re:Cheap labor? (3, Insightful)

spisska (796395) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751887)

They already have a system to get students to work for free -- its called internship, and there's plenty of students willing not only to work for free, but to pay their respective institutions for the privilege (and the course credit).

On the other hand, this is an excellent way for IBM to do some university recruiting without having to pore over thousands of resumes.

Re:Cheap labor? (3, Insightful)

automatix (664568) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751906)

Hmm, Students don't tend to end up doing "work for free" - there are more mistakes, less documentation, less understanding and experience of security, portability, and less foresight for future possibilities/developments [in general!]. All this requires other people to review it, document it, approve it, modify it. While maybe not costing as much as for a professional to do it, it certainly isn't free.

Rob :)

Re:Cheap labor? (1)

JThundley (631154) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752289)

They'd be doing free work for me and everyone else who owns a Thinkpad. I just bought one, the real challenge is to buy a Thinkpad from IBM without and operating system, this is the actual reply I got from them:

Dear J.T,
Thank you for contacting IBM.
Please be advised, it is not possible to ship out an IBM ThinkPad or Desktop without an Operating System.
We apologize for any inconvenience that you may have experienced.

I haven't even received the laptop yet, but I guess they know that I'll be inconvenienced when it's recieved :(

Patent question (3, Insightful)

debrain (29228) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751939)

Not all the hard questions in Linux's future are technical.

To IBM challengees/anyone:

How would you reconcile the need for innovation in Linux and the growing number of patents owned by a smaller and smaller group of large corporations, where these patents undermine the capacity to innovate?

IBM, being the largest patent filer in the United States, probably has a unique perspective on this. Though I am grateful for their support of, and happy for their benefit from, Linux, I must concede that I wonder what will happen when their patent interests conflict with their Linux interests.

Re:Patent question (3, Informative)

Nailer (69468) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752127)

I read recently, I think on LWN, that IBM now earn more revenue from Linux than they do from their IP licensing (and yes, they make huge revenue from IP licensing).

I can't be bothered looking it up. You do it.

Nice "competition" (3, Funny)

DogDude (805747) | more than 9 years ago | (#10751964)

I'm starting a new competition. I'm "challenging" 3000 college students to see who can clean my floors the best! The winner gets $20!! Competition my ass.

hmm (2, Insightful)

Zinoc (814847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752025)

What a great way of getting someone to solve your business programming problems on the cheap. :)

Bummer ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10752038)

As one who met all the eligibility requirements for this competition, I think it would have been nice to have found out about it before the deadline... Maybe next year /. can run an article on it before the fact.

Let IBM write their own code (0, Flamebait)

superuser001 (828908) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752068)

The beauty behind linux is that it is open, light years ahead of other os's... I will imagine that those who do enter will find their ideas stripped from them and tossed out with the morning garbage. Lets keep the magic of linux alive and out of the hands of the corporations...before they turn it into something corrupted....

hey!! i remember this! (4, Interesting)

onestickybit (595521) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752076)

I was one of the winners in 2001. I actually like the idea. For those who are ranting about how IBM is getting work done for free and so on, i got to intern at the Linux Technology Center and had a blast there, it was worth it(and yea, the thinkpad was useful too).

How to make IBM laptop boot faster? (2, Interesting)

boudie (704942) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752095)

Put the kernel in the bios. It's quite doable, so why aren't they doing it? http://www.linuxbios.org/

College isn't for all programmers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10752195)

Formal methodology just turns a good programmer into a mindless drone churning out software for the likes of microsoft.

Students (5, Insightful)

hkht (828161) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752203)

The best way to get young people really intrested in linux is to have games which work hands down better on the linux platform.

Re:Students (1)

rsklnkv (532866) | more than 9 years ago | (#10752265)

Or (from a software engineering standpoint) have them actually program the games themselves. I've found (in my own experience) game programming and the study of game programming to be one of the best methods for learning to program. Granted, this is far from a tried and true technique (AFAIN), but game programming can be an easy way to introduce differenet languages to children. 1.It keeps them interested longer than 'hello world!'. 2.It has interactive, intensive beta-testing (there's always that guy that plays just to find bugs). 3.Someone will try and modify it and cheat, therefore revealing yet undiscovered bugs/exploits. Though these things are all kinda common to standard application development, I think the younger folks find it a bit more accessible. This comes from someone who doesn't program for a living, but does enjoy the occassional weekend of hair-pulling and bug-hunting.
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