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Venezuela Moves Further Toward Open Source

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the leading-the-way dept.

GNU is Not Unix 406

baquiano writes "Today the Venezuelan press reports that the government has formally issued a decree (English translation) which prioritizes the use of free/open source software over proprietary systems in government entities. This follows a year of pilot deployments in Venezuela's Info Centros (Internet public access points) and some ministries. (Past attempts, reported by Slashdot, by former Minister of Science and Technology Felipe Perez Marti to push ahead this initiative were allegedly foiled by Microsoft.) The decree calls for plans to actively deploy FOSS during a 24-month period."

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Frist psot! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219496)

Frist psot!

trying so hard... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219502)

... trying.... trying.... mmmmmm.... rrrrrr...

DONT CARE.

I tried though. Really.

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219820)

pero funciono Windows XP. Senor Bill Gates dijo que sería fino.

Great, but... (4, Insightful)

mistersooreams (811324) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219508)

I don't mean to be too cynical, but I'm sure even the Venezualan people would admit that they are not the foremost force in world IT. Quite right, this is a victory for Open Source, but could we save the dancing in the streets for when a slightly more major player joins our side?

This reminds me of Bush's hilarious "You forgot Poland!" in the first presidential debate.

Re:Great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219628)

Can't they learn? It's amazing what a country can do when it puts its mind to it and other countries don't meddle.

Victory? (-1, Troll)

gtrubetskoy (734033) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219655)


Quite right, this is a victory for Open Source

Not sure I see how dictatorships issuing decrees regarding FOSS amounts to victory for Open Source. AFAICT this story has zero implications for the OSS community. It's probably just a ploy to get a better deal out of M$ on Windows licenses.

Re:Victory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219785)

Not sure I see how dictatorships issuing decrees regarding FOSS amounts to victory for Open Source.

and in exactly what sense is venezuela a dictatorship?

Re:Victory? (3, Insightful)

topynate (694371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219816)

Yes, it has to be a dictatorship, presumably because it's socialist. Never mind the whole thing with elections, and that the people who tried a coup there a while ago were on the opposite end of the political spectrum. You don't happen to write for an American newspaper, do you?

Having said that, it's not inconceivable they're trying to get bargaining power with Microsoft, but I find it more likely that they really are committed to saving money and sticking two fingers up to the US (which hates them).

Re:Victory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11220029)

As far as I know it can be called 'dictatorship', in first place, it wins in a democracy election, in the second place, it was commited to a referendum for check if the people of venezuela claims it as their president and he wins: http://www.proyectoconosur.com.ar/Noticias/Noticia Muestra.asp?Id=3249 So please stay informed before post ;) Just a flame isn't enoght.

Re:Victory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11220051)

It has to be a dictatorship, we don't like it, even if the people of venezuela do [cartercenter.org] ...

Re:Victory? (3, Insightful)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 9 years ago | (#11220074)

"Not sure I see how dictatorships issuing decrees regarding FOSS amounts to victory for Open Source."

Sorry bud, you've been listening to the CIA propaganda a little too much. Chavez defeated an incumbent in a democratically held election in a landslide victory.

It doesn't get more democratic than that. The real wannabe dictator is the President-select publicly endorsed by Dubbya who only managed to seize and hold to power for less than twenty four hours.

Re:Great, but... (5, Insightful)

duffahtolla (535056) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219700)

Ever see penguins grouping before going into the ocean? The ones closest to the water don't go in because they're afraid they'll get eaten by the seals. Therest are waiting for the crowd to move.

Eventually theres so many penguins, the crowd accidently pushes one happless penguin into the water.

All the penguins shutup and stare at the volunteer. If he doesn't get eaten, all the penguins start diving into the water in a continuous flow.

We need countries like Venezuala to openly use FOSS so that other countries can gather courage and join them.

I just hope that this isn't another maneuver to get better pricing.

Re:Great, but... (1)

Xoro (201854) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219819)

Eventually theres so many penguins, the crowd accidently pushes one happless penguin into the water.

I wish it was always so innocent... [pcsympathy.com]

Re:Great, but... (4, Insightful)

ChibiOne (716763) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219715)

You don't understand. This is good because it could help the software industry in Venezuela.

At the beginning of the Fox Administration in Mexico, they announced a big program to bring computers to more public schools, libraries and rural areas. The chosen software? Microsoft's. This was a stabb in the back for the software industry in our country: so instead of spending millions of dollars in promoting the in-house developement of software (which would, eventually, help the growth of ALL kind of software developement, not just educational programs or GUI localizations), which would have created more jobs in that sector, the government chose to give all that cash to a foreign company. The cash for all those MS licences goes to Bill's pockets, insted of going to the Mexican software and IT engineers, enterpreaneurs, and jobs derivated from those businesses.

And no, it's not a xenophobic, anti-American thing. It's a matter of a lost chance to help the Mexican economy, in an age where it's (again.. sigh) losing its place in the global map.

Re:Great, but... (2, Funny)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#11220107)

You don't understand. Only the US has the right to buttress it's own domestic software industry (Microsoft, Oracle, CA). Other countries SHOULD NOT help their own, but instead support the US software industry.

Only the americans have a god-given right to have their own software (and movie) industries so to leech more wealth from the rest of the world.

Re:Great, but... (2, Interesting)

bit01 (644603) | more than 9 years ago | (#11220059)

... a slightly more major player joins our side?

A country of 25,000,000+ people? That's major enough progress to make the daily news for me!

If even a fraction of the Venezualan programming population get involved in open source that will mean significant improvements for open source software producers, packagers and consumers world wide. Remember, one of the most valuable attributes of software is that it can be copied at minimal cost. All it takes is a single person to program it and a hundred million people can use it, something the commercial pay-an-arm-and-a-leg-per-copy advocates like to ignore.

---

Don't be a programmer-bureaucrat; someone who substitutes marketing buzzwords and software bloat for verifiable improvements.

A positive development ...? (3, Insightful)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219515)

This is a positive development. However, as President Chavez has stated that he plans to model Venezuela after Castro's Cuba, in the end this won't amount to software developer/user freedom or efficiency.

Re:A positive development ...? (3, Informative)

curtisk (191737) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219562)

I was just going to post the same thing, Chavez is busting down hard on any dissent or anyone that doesn't meet him on the political scale [washingtonpost.com] . So great for open source, but is "OSS: Used by the Chavez Administration" a good thing to have out there?

Exactly (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219582)

Exactly. An initial step toward more openness and freedom does not matter much when the president is dedicated toward making his country just like one of the most totalitarian dictatorships in the world.

Does open vs closed source really matter when the government ends up owning and controlling all the software?

Re:Exactly (1)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219787)

Does open vs closed source really matter when the government ends up owning and controlling all the software?

It does for Slashdot. Venezuela would suddenly become one of the bad guys though if the MPAA/RIAA were to get the Venezuelan government to crack down on .ve bittorrent sites...

Re:Exactly (1)

bbtom (581232) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219968)

Re:Exactly (1)

Megaweapon (25185) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219998)

It was a hypothetical (though perfectly valid) case, and just because google doesn't see something on the net doesn't mean it doesn't exist (as suprising as that will be for some to comprehend). Not all domain names indicate the nationality of the server, ya know...

Washington accused of trying to "remove" him (1)

exhilaration (587191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219813)

...freedom does not matter much when the president is dedicated toward making his country just like one of the most totalitarian dictatorships in the world.

Well if Washington has its way [npr.org] , he might be around for much longer.

The US has changed its position. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11220016)

It's all about the oil.

We may have helped out the coup, and were certainly the only ones to recognize it, but with the current instability in the oil markets we will continue to back Chavez.

He was very lucky that on the very same day of the recall election, oil prices were at a high water mark. Note how quick we were to accept the results as valid.

to play devil's advocate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219966)

Chavez is busting down hard on any dissent or anyone that doesn't meet him on the political scale

Your link is to an editorial, not an article. It's just red baiting. True, his media law was an authoratarian move and an ugly one. But despite his willingness to meet with the guy, he's not the second coming of Castro. Can you imagine Castro allowing a recall election? And winning it?

Note that the opposition leaders are not in jail.

Re:A positive development ...? (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 9 years ago | (#11220071)

If the US hadn't blundered it's coup so bad who knows where we might be now.

Either way we'll see how it all turns out. This action gives the US yet another reason to kill him or capture him. Look what we did to Noriega when he stopped playing nice with us.

Re:A positive development ...? (1)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 9 years ago | (#11220102)

Sounds like the perfect MS Marketing campaign to me.

"Microsoft: Because we're NOT commies!"

Re:A positive development ...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219642)

Perhaps this will put Venezuela on the map as having the greatest software infrastructure in the world, just like Cuba offers free medical care to its citizens.

Re:A positive development ...? (3, Insightful)

agurkan (523320) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219958)

I will take Cuba rather than USA with it various new laws and powerful corporations, any time. How much freedom is left in this country?

Also, how much do you know about Cuba? It is a country standing on its own with US's embargo continuing over years, not to mention CIA's attempts to destabilize it. Everyone thought they would collapse after the USSR, but they survive. Maybe they do something right? Their health care system, infant mortality rate and many other markers for "good life" are better than USA :-).

Re:A positive development ...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11220110)

Everyone thought they would collapse after the USSR, but they survive

They are having a hard time though. They just don't have the economic resources. The USSR gave them insane prices for their sugar and sold them subsidized oil. The standard of living there has decreased a great deal since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not some McCarthyite, and I think some of the allegations being thrown around here regarding Chavez are rediculous (OMG he is a Dictator!@ he met with teh Castro, w00t! Commies!) But Cuba is not exactly a socialist paradise.

But yeah, their health care system is better than the USA's. Which is pretty sad, considering that their money is worthless and their economy is a failure.

Re:A positive development ...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11220017)

Chavez has been democratically elected TWICE so if it's Castro Cuba he is delivering it's only because the Venezuelan people WANT THAT!

So, shall we add MS? (4, Insightful)

Garabito (720521) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219532)

To the list of sponsors of the next coup attemp?

Not just MS (1)

OECD (639690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219630)

This would apply equally to Apple et al.

Say what you will about Macs, I for one would hate to be involved in government printing down there once this kicks in.

'Foiled'? (3, Funny)

captnitro (160231) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219533)

Did Bill hire Inspector Gadget or something to keep the Venezuelan authorities from going open-source?

Anybody got tape on this, so to speak?

Re:'Foiled'? (1)

pizzaman100 (588500) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219616)

Did Bill hire Inspector Gadget

Naw, he's got an army of evil monkeys [bbspot.com] to do those sorts of things for him.

Re:'Foiled'? (1)

Squatchman (844798) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219770)

He programmed a robot to go back in time to kill the Venezuelan Authorities' mothers and put the blame on the Open source community. After that the OSS Freedom fighters sent their own robot back to set things "right". Maybe Microsoft did something crazy like throw a competitive sales pitch. They ARE a business that somehow makes money when the next strongest competitor GIVES AWAY THE PRODUCT.

Re:'Foiled'? (1)

guttergod (94044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219794)

I can't believe I'm typing this but...

In soviet microsoft the tinfoil hats puts venezuela benath them.

Re:'Foiled'? - PROPER (1)

guttergod (94044) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219862)

Well.. ofcourse I screwed it up beyond anyones belief... So here's my PROPER release of the parent post:

In soviet venezuela microsoft puts tinfoil hats on YOU.

it never ceases to amaze me... (5, Insightful)

eobanb (823187) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219545)

...how Microsoft can get away with determining the priorities and policies of foreign governments. How often in history does a private enterprise have this much power?

In any case, I applaud Venezuela now for actually paying attention to this kind of thing. Think about how many other issues they have to deal with, yet they still managed to account for stuff like this (cost to government for software). Look at where we are in many other countries, including the US. How many government officials here in America could you actually convince to launch a campaign promoting free software? Not many, if any.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Momoru (837801) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219573)

I imagine since the CEO of the company alone is worth more then the GDP of most countries, he has about influence as a country itself. If Sam Walton were still alive he would have consideribly more power then Bill Gates.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (1)

ahsile (187881) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219602)

Most likely... 0. I wonder how well Linux or other open source solutions would catch on if the government and some large private firms got on the band wagon. Use Linux at work, use Linux at home, tell your friends how easy things are. Who knows.

It could happen. Really. I'm not deluding myself!

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (2, Insightful)

Woogiemonger (628172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219606)

How often in history does a private enterprise have this much power?

All too often, especially in the United States.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Woogiemonger (628172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219702)

The use of linux is multiplied year to year. Its popularity has extended between the countries of the first world and those that are in via of development, and has overturned the glance, before indifferent, of the great corporations that make business with the technologies of the information.

For great justice!

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (4, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219617)

"How many government officials here in America could you actually convince to launch a campaign promoting free software? Not many, if any."

The government has no place doing this sort of promotion. Their job is to use whatever works the best. We have enough problems with ideology in this country - no sense adding more to the fire.

-Erwos

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219652)

I don't see how vendor lockin is in the best interest of me, the taxpayer.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219694)

The government has no place doing this sort of promotion. Their job is to use whatever works the best. We have enough problems with ideology in this country - no sense adding more to the fire.

The job of a government is also, hopefully, to spend taxpayers' money wisely. I have no idea what kind of IT infrastructure the Venezuelan government has, but I know for damn sure that the US government wastes tens, perhaps hundreds, of billions of tax dollars paying giant companies for closed, proprietary systems that never work as advertised. If Venezuela -- which has a lot less money to play with than Uncle Sam does -- can avoid that trap as a matter of policy, more power to 'em.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (2, Interesting)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219763)

>I know for damn sure that the US government wastes tens, perhaps hundreds, of billions of tax dollars paying giant companies for closed, proprietary systems that never work as advertised.

Waste is waste. It doesn't matter if its Open or Closed Source, it will still cost a huge amount and still barely work because it is the government.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219891)

Waste is waste. It doesn't matter if its Open or Closed Source, it will still cost a huge amount and still barely work because it is the government.

[sigh] The computer you used to write that message, and the entire internet infrastructure that allowed it to be posted in a public forum, are largely the results of decades of government and government-funded R&D. The ideological conviction that governments are always inefficient (and the corollary, that private corporations are always efficient) is purely that, an ideology, with no foundation in reality. Governments are good at some things, industry is good at others; there are a very few areas in which both have a significant (postive) role to play, and R&D is one of those few.

But -- one thing that is pretty much guaranteed to be inefficient is close collusion between careerist government bureaucrats and giant, secretive corporations, especially when there exists a revolving door between the government and the industry such that the people in the government making the purchasing decisions (and, increasingly, making the laws) are rewarded with sweetheart deals by the corporations in question, moving back and forth between positions of power in the government and lucrative do-nothing jobs in industry, back and forth, back and forth, with no oversight ... which is a pretty accurate description of how things work in the US right now, in government IT and other areas too numerous to mention.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219973)

>entire internet infrastructure that allowed it to be posted in a public forum, are largely the results of decades of government and government-funded R&D

But was there waste? The end product is good, same with a working water system, but could it have been done better with less waste?

>one thing that is pretty much guaranteed to be inefficient is close collusion between careerist government bureaucrats and giant, secretive corporations

They have clear laws against this sort of thing and it doesn't help. How is Closed Source suppose to fix this? You don't think that RedHat would make sweetheart deals for a X million dollar contract?

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219911)

Waste is waste. It doesn't matter if its Open or Closed Source, it will still cost a huge amount and still barely work because it is the government.

I disagree. Mostly because open source software used by the government, with improvements funded by the government, will not just be used by the government. If the USA decided it needed a secure web browser with some very specific features they could hire contractors to write one, buy an existing one, or hire someone to modify an existing open source browser. If open source was given preference for the good of all, then not just the government would use it. For example, if they made some changes to Firefox and used that, then any changes (presumably some valuable and some not) would be given back to the community, and could be incorporated in the regular release. If they created a brand new inventory tracking system, some other companies would probably try to use it as well and what would have been a POS when just the gov. was working on it, could turn into something useful.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (1)

DarkSarin (651985) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219863)

Ah yes, spend the taxpayer's money! Great Idea.

As far as I am concerned the gov't, in as much as it is possible, should let the citizens of the country KEEP THEIR MONEY. When you are talking about spending money wisely, you have already lost part of the battle--the one where you are only required to support the bare essentials of government, such as military and police (and a very few other programs, medicine being of debatable utility in the hands of gov't).

You are right though, when the gov't is spending money, it should only spend what is necessary to do the job and do it right. Occasionally this would require long-term investments, but overall, the gov't should be a quiet, non-intrusive entity that only is visible when there are problems, such as a break in at your house!

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219943)

"How much should we tax/spend?" and "How should we spend it?" can be debated separately. Even the minimal functions of government you describe require fairly enormous amounts of infrastructure, which these days includes IT; this seems to me a question of "how" rather than "how much", and one on which reasonable people of Left and Right can come to some sort of agreement.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219871)

The government has no place doing this sort of promotion. Their job is to use whatever works the best.

These two statements contradict each other. When it comes to operating the government, having source that you can audit, build and modify yourself as you see fit is paramount to security. Open source isn't only what works the best, it's the only thing that works - unless you are trying to say that they should build their own operating systems etc.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Kiint (653016) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219665)

In any case, I applaud Venezuela now for actually paying attention to this kind of thing. Think about how many other issues they have to deal with, yet they still managed to account for stuff like this

yeah.. like cracking down hard on dissenters. [washingtonpost.com] and public/media protests against increasingly antidemocratic authoritarian rule.

We really should be careful who we applaud.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219667)

How often in history does a private enterprise have this much power?

Well their were the Medici family, Catholic Church, Knights Templar, Guilds, etc. I'd say all of those qualify. Money has been a power for a long time. Democracy has in many ways made governments less repressive, but people are power hungry, and if they can't gain dominion through force of arms and a repressive government, they will do so with private organizations and subversion of law.

How many government officials here in America could you actually convince to launch a campaign promoting free software? Not many, if any.

Hmm, on a local level, it would probably not be too hard at all. On a federal scale you have to be able to match the payola from all the government contractors, and that is not very likely.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (1)

Eternally optimistic (822953) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219741)


How often in history does a private enterprise have this much power?


To a significant degree, the country of Canada is a creation of the Hudson's Bay Company.

The East India Company did (2, Informative)

DisasterDoctor (775095) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219761)

From wikipedia.org...... The British East India Company, popularly known as "John Company", was founded by a Royal Charter of Queen Elizabeth I on December 31, 1600. Over the next 250 years, it became one of the most powerful commercial enterprises of its time. The British East India Company's business was centered on India, where it also acquired auxiliary governmental and military functions which came to overshadow its commercial activities. Based in Leadenhall Street, London, the company influenced all continents: it presided over the creation of British India, founded Hong Kong and Singapore, employed Captain Kidd to combat piracy, established the cultivation of tea in India, held Napoleon captive on Saint Helena and made the fortune of Elihu Yale. Its products were the subject of the Boston Tea Party. Microsoft doesn't hold a candle to this company!

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219772)

...how Microsoft can get away with determining the priorities and policies of foreign governments. How often in history does a private enterprise have this much power?

Check out Gazprom in Russia. They can cut off the suply of natural gas to most of Europe and are quite open about doing this to countries who do not agree to their terms.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (1)

shackma2 (685062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219784)

How often in history does a private enterprise have this much power?

Never.

How often in history has there been a country as productive and stable as the US?

Never.

Re:it never ceases to amaze me... (4, Informative)

St. Arbirix (218306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219930)

*ahem*

The Knights Templar had a massive amount of wealth and loaned it to kings and people all around the world effectively making them the first bank. Philip the Fair (French) got together with the Pope to have them rounded up and killed. Before then they were big-time movers and shakers in European governments and by Papal bull were allowed to do things like levy taxes and receiving tithes.

The Dutch East Indies company was comparable to the Guild (Dune reference) in their control over trade around the world. There's more to it, but they were satisfied with their control.

When Standard Oil was broken up into it's subsidiaries you had 5 American companies plus the British Shell Oil looking into South America for new prospects. Because companies had become so heavily aligned with specific countries the only way for one company to be able to prospect on what was thought to be fertile ground was by getting the country they worked in to expand its borders in that direction. At least two wars were started in South America in order to expand a border onto prospective new ground. In both of those wars it was found that there was no oil there anyway and the governments sponsoring the wars got paid nothing in return for their actions.

There was this guy named Rhodes who got a scholarship named after him. He basically got the British government to protect him as he invaded Zulu territory for diamonds. He simultaneously sold the Zulu some firearms which, upon notice by the British, made them important enough to wipe out. From then on that diamond operation has controlled the interests of South Africa.

Today's offenders: OPEC, U.S. media conglomerates, varying world telecoms, Microsoft, and China (a giant unionized manufacturing company, they count right?)

go bsd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219546)

someone had to say it

OSS Commie Bastards!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219547)

This just proves the open-source movement is run by a bunch of commie bastards!! Venezuala--The Next Cuba, is committed to decades of backward ineffiency, with the help of OSS!! Way to go guys! This is not a win, but an embarrasment.

Which State? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219548)

Can someone clear my doubt as to which state of the United States Venezuela belongs to?

Re:Which State? (1)

LocoMan (744414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219872)

This joke is about 40 years too late... we changed the name from United States of Venezuela to Republic of Venezuela ín 1961 (and again to Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela in 1999)... :)

one down (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219555)

191 to go!

but i guess this is a good win for Open Source, it can't be bad

Re:one down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219624)

Yes but your count includes quite a few countries that do not have electricity or running water...and there are always the Dwarves, Hobbits and Trolls who have always shunned technology.

The year is 2015... (4, Funny)

nysus (162232) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219572)

A new world order has arisen with Microsoft now in charge of most of the world's armies, they have vowed to crush insurgents in countries with ties to the Open Source Software Initiative.

"We need to defend liberty and freedom everywhere," World Leader Gates said. "If we don't stop open source overseas, we'll soon be fighing Linux in our own homes."

Err! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219584)

The CIA won't be happy -- they won't be able to break into Venezuelian systems anymore.

Re:Err! (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219956)

Why not? Oh wait, sorry, I forgot that all OSS projects are impenetrable fortresses of security.

Next week, in Caracas... (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219599)

All the proprietary software goes on strike and marches through the streets, demanding the overthrow of the president.

Grammar check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219620)

"Further toward"? Isn't that like saying "Closer away" or "Higher down"?

This coward's suggestion: "Closer toward".

Re:Grammar check (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11220079)

Further along the road towards ...

linux is good... (2, Informative)

kevingc (824034) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219626)

I read the article and there's nothing in it detailing why free software was chosen over non-free software. I do assume that the reason has something to do with the software not costing the government any money. However, I would like to see some administrative benchmarks (increased civil happiness, etc...) to see if free software really does cause the government to lead more effectively than non-free software.

Open source and oil (0, Offtopic)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219631)

Great to hear :-)
Concerning Venezuela's ability make their own choices, The Economist has an interesting article today about Venezuela having forged new major oil contracts with China (I admit it has no immediate relation with open source, but hey, it -is- two great news for their ability to be free :-).

http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id =3521240 [economist.com]

I dont think that Venezeula is making choices here (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219751)

I don't think that Venezeula is making choices here. The "President" won the recent referendum by ordering physical assaults against opponents. (At least he did not use dioxin poisoning!) He has announced intent to wipe out the grassroots labor union movement and to put the press under government control. It is overall not a very "open source" situation, nor it is a situation in which the Venezuelans are making choices. Chavez views Fidel Castro as his political mentor. This is not conducive to democracy.

Re:I dont think that Venezeula is making choices h (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219894)

From a purely logical standpoint, those facts all make for good reasons for the government to choose Linux over Windows. Especially if you believe in the conspiracy theory that the US government holds the crypto keys to Windows, and if you believe the US government is interested in spreading democracy.

Of course, Slashdot regulars will avoid this reality and simply shout, "Yay Open Source"!

Re:I dont think that Venezeula is making choices h (2, Insightful)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219931)

Always interesting how someone, in this case Chavez or Castro, can be seen as a Good Guy and as a Bad Guy, depending on whom you ask...

They say the first casualty of war is the Truth. This applies when talking of software FUD wars as well as politics...

Re:I dont think that Venezeula is making choices h (1)

blurfus (606535) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219936)

Sir/Madam:

If I had a thousand mod points, they would all go to your post undoubtedly.

Well said....

I'm sorry Venezula but (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219632)

We're gonna have to liberate you from that son of a bitch communist dictator that is destroying your country. One day soon, capitalism will be your salvation, until then you must endure the pain. You will suffer harshly under the socialist umbrella for not much longer. We will be there to rescue your souls soon..

BTW, Dont fucking think for a second that you'll be selling any of your oil to Russia/china. We know about your latest trade agreement and you will be punished severely if you consider going ahead with it.

Let Freedom Ring !

nice! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219682)

We're in slashdot.
Sweet, no more big expenses in Software and I can use FireFox in the cybercafes. Now we only have a whole bunch of problems to solve.

chao.

Not such a good recommendation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219693)

A Stalinist dictatorship which beats and murders opposition members goes for OpenSource? Whee.

Tomorrow on Slashdot (1, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219719)

Tomorrow on Slashdot: a warm and fuzzy article about the North Korean dictator being enlightened because he uses Firefox.

A small victory... (1)

demon_2k (586844) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219714)

This doesn't yet mean much but, at least it's a step in the right direction.

If governments continue to promote open source, i don't know who this would be a bigger victory. Open source? Standards?...

For example like the once set by World Wide Web Consortium that Microsoft never really bothered to comply with.

It depends which Castro's Cuba (4, Insightful)

panurge (573432) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219724)

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing surely depends on which aspects of Cuba Chavez wants to imitate. If he wants state repression and political prisoners, it will be an embarrassment for FOSS (but it won't go anywhere because government use of FOSS will not flourish in that climate.) But if he wants to imitate the good bits of Cuba - a society with higher life expectancy and literacy than most of the Caribbean must have some good points - and encourage self reliance and ingenious solutions to the problems of 3rd world countries, it could be a success story.

Personally I suspect Chavez says most of it for effect. He obviously enjoys pissing off the Yanquis. Once upon a time, when the UK had been largely isolated from European in-fighting, the English enjoyed pissing off the Continentals by mocking their political theories and their habits. It was a way of relieving the tension of living next to powerful neighbors who might turn nasty at any moment.

Unfortunately the US has a remarkable degree of paranoia about any country that turns even mildly pink in what it sees as its own backyard. The result has been gross overreaction in places like Chile, Nicaragua, Cuba and, most ludicrously of all, Grenada. It's not surprising that the poor people of the South can easily be made to see the US as the enemy. I hope that the FOSS movement can remain sufficiently politically neutral that it is seen as favoring no particular economic model, but that it will flourish in any economy where independent thought and individual cooperation are valued. The strong German contribution to FOSS, along with the input from the former USSR/Warsaw Pact bloc, suggests that this may well happen. In the meantime, let's not confuse a noisy politician with a country.

Grenada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219779)

Grenada is the least overreaction. The Cubans invaded and began to massacre the Grenadans, and as a result the US came in, kicked the invaders out, and restored native control. This is one country that to this day loves and thanks the Yanqui. Cuba, Nicaragua, and Chile do not.

I call bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219854)

Evidence of Cuban massacres, please. And the restoration of 'native' control would be interesting to read about.

Re:Grenada (1)

ctid (449118) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219951)

The Cubans invaded and began to massacre the Grenadans

Evidence?

This will mean bad things for Venezuela (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219729)


If the U.S. was willing to monkey around in Venezuelan politics and attempt to force a coup against a democratically elected government before, just wait until they hear that Venezuela has cut back on money given to Microsoft. What will the U.S. be willing to try then? Another extended occupation? It doesn't help that Venezuela has oil, or that it's in the U.S. "sphere of influence" under the Monroe Doctrine.

What about your own country? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11219746)

...government has formally issued a decree which prioritizes the use of free/open source software over proprietary systems in government entities...

So does this freak [robyannetta.com] . You've got to read his rant!

Re:What about your own country? (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219927)

its not a rant at all, in fact it make a lot of good points.

Finally! (1, Funny)

Not_Wiggins (686627) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219814)


Now that the Venezuelan technology powerhouse has jumped on this bandwagon, I think the rest of the world will stand up and finally take notice of this Open Source thing!

And Steve Balmer continues to rack up... (1)

Blue Eagle 26 (683113) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219825)

...frequent flyer miles. Pretty soon he'll have enough for a lovely vacation on mars!

THe Irony OSS in a closed society (1)

wheelbarrow (811145) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219880)

I find it ironic that a country like Venezuela embraces open source. Venezuela is lurching towards a command driven enconomy, crushing dissent, and limiting personal freedoms. The utopia envisioned by the communists in Venezuela could never give rise to silicon valley and the oss phenomenon. The personal freedoms of life in the USA create technology and tools that are then made use of in closed societies. That's ironic.

God bless 'em (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219888)

I just feel warm and fuzzy all over.

Favorite Quote (1)

stephandahl (166080) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219909)

Free software, in addition, is not so infallible in the fulfillment of its tasks like those of private production.


I want some of that infallible software!


By inference, their translation software must be OSS...

Finally (2, Funny)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219939)

I for one, welcome our open source overlords. ...

Ok I'm gonna lose karma for this one... ;-)

Tom

I still have my mind on that Tsunami... (1, Funny)

bgarcia (33222) | more than 9 years ago | (#11219949)

I glanced at the title quickly, saw "Venezuela Moves Further...", and immediately thought that Venezuela was somehow affected by that earthquake.

Don't really see this having much effect (5, Informative)

LocoMan (744414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11220042)

This is the first time I actually reply to the article instead of to another discussion, but it's also the first time I've seen slashdot discuss something about my country so here goes.. :)

Personally I don't see this having any effect other than public offices changing to linux and open source programs. It will give more jobs in the public sector to programmers, which is a good thing considering the huge unemployment right now, but the regular people will just continue using their pirated copies of programs. To put things in perspective, I live in the 4th biggest city in the country, and where the electricity (hydro) for most of Venezuela and part of Colombia and Brazil is generated, plus a big producer of iron, steel, aluminum and lots of other minerals exported worldwide... but yet I don't know of any place here where I could buy legitimate software.. while at the same time just walking from my home to work everyday I pass in front of at least 4 places that sell pirated DVDs, music and software.. and I don't mean shady places in the back of a van or soemthing, but huge places with neon signs advertising pirated stuff for sale... heck, I've seen several next to police stations with police people buying on them frequently. People here just don't know about open source, because there's just not a culture of paying for software at all, most people don't even realize that buying a burned CD with the latest software on it, a crack and a serial written on the label is illegal... and last time I heard of something being done about it was 4 or 5 years ago when the BSA did a campaign against piracy, closed down several stores and placed fines on people... and things were back again like it was before within a week.

If I had to guess, I'd say this is more about president Chavez sticking it up to the US in any way he can (after all, we're talking about a guy that called Bush an asshole in public chained TV.. and for those that don't know "chained" means that the president can "chain" all the public TV and radio stations so that they're forced to display whatever he wants, usually him giving one of his 2 or 3+ hours speeches, which he does very frequently... times like those makes me feel pity for those that can't afford cable TV), and as I said, I really doubt it'll have any effect outside of the public offices... and if the ones I've gone to, in this city and in the capitol, even then they have so few computers and so outdated the effect will be minimal... we use to joke around that anytime we hear the sound of an old style typewriter (that old tac-tac-tac), that it sounds like a public office.. :)

Good and Bad (3, Funny)

catdevnull (531283) | more than 9 years ago | (#11220055)

I think Open Source solutions are good choices if there is good support if things go wrong but they often require more expertise by the IT people and can be costly if they have to customize or otherwise wade through the often poorly written documentation just to compile and install.

This is where MS flexes their corporate muscle--they make CTOs feel good about spending m/billions on their solutions.

If MS and Open Source were men:

Open Source would be the quiet mysterious geek who can't utter a sentence without geek speak but is pretty nice looking and gentle. He's sincere and eager but doesn't have lots of money. He's usually polite and makes you feel quite comfortable though you have to pay for his meals now and then.

MS would be the tall, dark, and handsome fraternity boy with a new Porsche who slips you some Rohypnol and you wake up naked and screwed with an empty wallet. He throws wild parties at your place but doesn't check the guest list very well. Your stuff keeps getting stolen and you keep finding creeps living and hiding in your closets. You notice on the wall that you have a marriage certificate on the wall and it's signed in your blood. You're Mrs. Satan.

Maybe I took that a little too far...but you get the point.

It might not be an economic powerhouse (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11220099)

But it is the fifth largest oil producer in the world and the Oil industry is nationalized. A move to open source by a huge oil company (Citgo belongs to PDVSA, the Venezuelan oil company) means a lot of opportunities for guys like me (several years of experience in linux) to make a buck. Hey! The fact that I am venezuelan might even help, uh? Not all of us in latin america live in mud-huts like Hollywood might like you to think. Maybe a little traveling will open up your eyes and maybe help you make a dollar or two.
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