Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Bruce Perens on the Status of Open Source

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the executive-summary dept.

241

Lars Lehtonen writes to tell us that Bruce Perens has posted the text of his LinuxWorld press conference. In his talk he takes a look at many of the hot topics surrounding the open source community including ODF, NTP vs RIM, and GPLv3. From the article: "It's interesting to note that Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist implicated in scandal with Republican Tom Delay, was employed by Bill Gates' dad's law firm "Preston Gates", a political proxy for Microsoft. Microsoft succeeded in lobbying both Republicans and Democrats to oppose ODF."

cancel ×

241 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Just one more reason (-1, Troll)

olddotter (638430) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092005)

Just one more reason for me to hate Microsoft.

OS and it's conspiracy theories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092011)

everybody is against us!!!

Why the Bill Gates connection? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092012)

Trying to make a troll out of every story now?

Because there is a connection (3, Informative)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092268)

Microsoft has another connection to the Abramoff scandal. Microsoft e.g. supports IPI, a right wing republican organisation which is involved in the Abramoff scandal - in fact its lobbyist Giovanetti openly had to admit it [ipi.org] when his organisation was accused.

IPI represents MS interests at WIPO [ipblog.org] (euphemism for insults against NGOs), recently wanted to join the MS-EU antitrust case [fsfe.org] . This was rejected by the EU court of Justice for good reasons. See curia.eu.int [eu.int]

Further MS pays ACT, an SME association astroturf with the well-known lobbyist Jonathan Zuck. Close relations to DCI + ATL. I remind you of dead people letter campaigns of ATL... [prwatch.org] Guess for what company ATL did it?

Microsoft paid DCI's TechCentralStation journo-lobbying. TCS funds political radicals all over the world, spreads anarcho-capitalist ideas and insults France, Muslims, alledged socialists etc. The idea behind DCI is to inject radical views supporting their corporate sponsors into right wing sectarians and barraters.

My personal advice: when you hire the ... of US-lobbying and sent it all over the world, you'd better stop complaining about unfair reporting.

MS did not have luck before. Here at Germany Microsoft was involved in the Hunzinger scandal which forced a minister of defense, Mr. Scharping, to step down. Hunzinger's main corporate customer was Microsoft. I think it started when Hunzinger letters about a TV placement for Ms were leaked to the press and media professionals started to discuss the case. So Ms was involved in one of the few German lobbying scandals which had serious business consequences for Hunzinger. Microsoft quickly switched over to another lobbying firm but could not avoid bad press. This is a risk of MS lobbying: They burn lobbyists, they also burned Hunzinger, because smart people watch what MS does.

Last year a press worker for Microsoft Denmark, Marianne Wier, communicated to the Danish press (Borsen) a blackmail attempt of Mr. Gates himself [slashdot.org] , directed towards the Danish government. They were so sure of themselves that they even communicated it intentionally to the press. The scandal was echoed in the DK Parliament. ...

Conspiracy Theory 101 (-1, Flamebait)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092030)

First of all, I never understood what makes this Bruce Perens guy any more credible than any random person on Slashdot. The guy seems to mainly troll about RedHat and Windows and make un-informative IANAL posts. And then you have this story, which seems to put him firmly in "KOOK" territory. Why's he so famous in the Linux crowd?

Second, isn't Bill Gates' dad a big time progressive democrat? He only goes public to argue how the American people should make he and his son pay higher taxes. The basic premise connecting him to GOP operatives seems a little off.

Finally, the idea that ODF is of any importance at all to guys like Delay and Abramoff is really silly.

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092101)

And then you have this story, which seems to put him firmly in "KOOK" territory.

That, at least, puts him in the same category as most well-known F/OSS advocates. Apparently outspoken is the new sensible.

Why's he so famous in the Linux crowd?

He was project leader of Debian for a bit, and was the primary author of 'The Open Source Definition' (an obfuscated version of the Free Software Definition, based on the Debian version, but with more equivocation). For more information, see bhis bio [perens.com] .

OSD pre-exists FSD (2, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092828)

The Free Software Definition published by FSF did not exist when I created the Debian Free Software Guidlines. It still did not exist when I later re-labeled the DFSG to be the Open Source Definition. Richard put it up later, I think years later. I guess he put it up because felt a need to differentiate from Open Source. Eric Raymond tried to drive an IMO entirely unnecessary rift between Free Software and Open Source, and some of Richard's later reaction stems from that.

Bruce

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (2, Insightful)

LaurenBC (924800) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092131)

He was the leader of the Debian Project from 1996-1997 and founder of various other projects such as The Open Source Initiative ( http://opensource.org/ [opensource.org] ) and Software in the Public Interest ( http://www.spi-inc.org/ [spi-inc.org] )

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (4, Insightful)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092157)

Oh yeah, just like any other slashdotter - who happened to co-found the open source initiative and found the linux standard base. Exactly like any other random slashdotter who's written 20 books on open source, under open source licenses, published by prentice hall.

Really, why is this troll modded up? How many slashdotters were project head of Debian or the first open source evangelist to work in top management at a multi-billion dollar company? You might not like perens' views, but he's a whole fuckload more qualified to make these kinds of statements than the average living-in-mom's-basement slashdotter.

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (2, Insightful)

pilkul (667659) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092185)

he's a whole fuckload more qualified to make these kinds of statements than the average living-in-mom's-basement slashdotter.

So he's qualified to make statements about open source because... he has a long history of making statements about open source?

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092199)

For one, the Debian Project Leader is elected every year, so somebody (namely a bunch of Debian developers) thought he was knowledgeable enough to be a credible person in FOSS.

Debian Election (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092839)

Back then the DPL was not elected, at least not formally. But I was elected to SPI's board a year or two ago, and still hold that position, and SPI is Debian's corporation.

Bruce

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (2, Insightful)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092233)

Because he helped START the open source movement, and has had many significant contributions which have helped advance open source. He didn't just talk about it, he made things happen - both by talking and by doing.

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (1)

legirons (809082) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092439)

"Because he helped START the open source movement"

He's the only person IN the open source movement, other than ESR...

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (0, Flamebait)

Musc (10581) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092638)

Nevermind that the "open source movement" is nothing but a degraded, impotent version of
the Free Software Movement.

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (1)

hackwrench (573697) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092451)

Don't point this out. A great many 'experts' out there are experts for this reason alone and it makes them defensive when somebody just points it out like this.

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (1)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092204)

Hey, I'm calling Bruce Perens a KOOK on slashdot, so I'll happly admit that I'm in typical mom's basement troll-territory below your threshold. The difference is that nobody cares what NutscrapeSucks thinks.

But, for a guy with all those qualifications, he sure does seem to talk out of his ass a lot. I would like to think that qualified people make qualified statements.

Where are the 20 books written by Perens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092374)

People have conclusions without even research or check. I don't know whether Abramoff is related or not with Microsoft. The fact (and I don't if this is true) that he worked for Bill Gates' father does not estabilish any relationship between Abramoff, Microsoft and Microsoft's lobbyist.

For sure Gates does not need his Dad's resources to do that.

But I wrote here, because Perens didn't write 20 or more books on Open Source. His book series about Open Source has 21 books written by many authors. What is quite different.

Re:Where are the 20 books written by Perens? (1)

MustardMan (52102) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092414)

You're right - he was editor for the books, not the author. My mistake.

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092594)

I've never met Bruce Perens, but from this speech alone he seems to be highly abrasive. In almost every single paragraph he seems to be throwing elbows at some person or organization, Steve Ballmer and Microsoft, sure, but also Linus Torvalds, the OSDL, even the organizers of the conference that gave him the podium ("This show is a failure. Let's not come here again."). Pheeeew!

Maybe that's the point that Peter Quinn was making when he suggested that people claiming to represent FOSS could learn some social skills, if they wanted to be taken more seriously in corporate America.

Perens was co-sponsor of the OSI conference in the late 1990's, so he (along with Eric Raymond, another relentless self-promotor) lays claim to having invented open source... in much the same way that Al Gore invented the Internet (Gore likely did coin the term "National Information Superhighway", so the comparison is not at all facetious). The train had long since left the station and was barreling down the tracks with or without their invaluable assistance.

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092780)

I prefer Linus' single bullet to the head approach over Perens' democracy, meeting, consensus bull shit. Linus is usually right on the money, or at least in the right ball park.

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092806)

I didn't write the books. I'm the series editor. Thanks for the kind words.

Bruce

Bill Gates' dad isa big time progressive Democrat (-1, Troll)

EraserMouseMan (847479) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092297)

And Abramoff actually is guilty. He lobbied for republicans AND democrats. Tom Delay has only been accused by Democrats. Delay hasn't been found guilty of any lobbying scandal.

Abramoff == Repulican. (-1, Offtopic)

grubert (95988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092444)

Name the Democrats Abramoff lobbied for. There aren't any.

You're probably thinking about the Indian tribes who *used* to give money
to some Democrats before they got tied up with Abramoff, who told them to
stop giving money to Democrats or he would do black magic for them.

The MSM tries to make you think this is a "bipartisan" scandal. It is not in the least.

Re:Abramoff == Repulican. (0, Offtopic)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092790)

How about Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid? $61,000 (according to Reid himself) that came from Indian tribes and others that Abramoff was lobbying for. Indian tribe donations to Reid *increased* after they hired Abramoff. Put that in your peace pipe and smoke it.

Bill Gates IS a Democrat (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092396)

This may shock everyone, but, he has said so in several interviews and books that he leads towards Democrats. He used to golf with Bill Clinton. Has he ever even been photographed with George Bush? I don't think so. Indeed, Gate more or less acts like a fairly progressive robber baron of old - ruthless in business, but having an enormous and positive impact on the world through his charitable foundations.

Also, stop calling Perens a Kook. That's MY territory, Mister!

Re:Bill Gates IS a Democrat (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092538)

This may shock everyone, but, he has said so in several interviews and books that he leads towards Democrats

Don't know who Gates votes for, but Microsoft is more red than blue [buyblue.org] .

...progressive robber baron...

Given the the progresssive movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was pretty much define by opposition to trusts and robber barons, that's a load of oxymoron there.

Re:Bill Gates IS a Democrat (1)

Neoprofin (871029) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092717)

I think he was talking a bit earlier like the Carnegies and the Rockafellers who made immense wealth from screwing everyone but were nice enough to give a lot of the money away, just like Gates.

You seem to have touched a nerve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092453)

Maybe I've got this wrong, in which case please forgive me.
When I checked, your post was modded 10% troll. That seems to indicate that a bunch of people have modded your post. If each mod was equal, a 10% mod would seem to indicate that there were about ten mods. In my mind the fact that you weren't modded flamebait and troll indicates that more people agree with you than disagree. Hmm. I'm not sure what to make of that.

In any event, the idea that ODF is important to Microsoft and its hired shills is not silly. Your comment is simply misinformed. Microsoft cares a great deal about ODF and is willing to spend a lot of money fighting it; and they fight dirty. You clearly read enough on Slashdot to be familiar with Bruce Perens' posts. In that case, you probably are aware of the recent goings on in Mass. Again, I'm not sure what to make of that.

On balance, my guess is that you are a troll. I am a little disturbed that some people with mod points seem to agree with you.

Re:You seem to have touched a nerve. (-1, Troll)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092562)

One thing you have to realize about Slashdot is that real posts only gets modded "troll" or "flamebait" when they're substantially correct and people are trying to censor them. If you're just wrong, people will just ignore it.

For example, in the other thread I stated that the MacBook has a crappy keyboard, and I got flamebait-modded down to -1 and have 200 MacNuts arguing with me. Why? Because it's true. Anyway, I'm not doing this for karma -- it's for discussion value.

As to your point about Microsoft playing dirty, sure, but I'm not sure what that has to do with Perens' qualifications as a conspiracy theorist aka KOOK.

I take back the troll comment. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092673)

If you were a troll and you had bothered to reply to my post, I assume that you would have answered in a less measured manner.

I take no position on Perens being a kook. Sometimes what makes the difference between being a kook and a hero is sheer luck and timing. Lots of the great figures in history were also kooks.

My comment was mostly to disagree with you that ODF is beneath the dignity of Delay and Abramoff. Microsoft has shown itself quite willing to use the best politicians that money can buy.

Re:You seem to have touched a nerve. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092848)

Only the right wing fucktards who think that the current administration can do no wrong agrees with him. All they got in the way of arguements is name-calling. They're pathetic.

Re:Conspiracy Theory 101 (1)

mshiltonj (220311) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092897)

the idea that ODF is of any importance at all to guys like Delay and Abramoff is really silly.

Not at all.

ODF is important to MicroSoft.
MicroSoft has lots of money.
Money is important to Delay and Abramoff.
Therefore, ODF may be important to Delay and Abramoff.

It is not necessarily so. But is not silly, either.

is this really necessary? (1, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092031)


Do we really need a "status of open source" article every 2 weeks? Can't they just say "yup, two weeks later, not much'as changed..."

(now watch me get modded Troll)

Re:is this really necessary? (1, Funny)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092489)

Wow. I think you've discovered a way to go from -1 troll to +5 insightful.

Hang on, let me see if I can go from -1 redundant to +5 funny...

(now watch as I get modded redundant...)

Re:is this really necessary? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092586)

Now watch yourself being modded up for saying you will be modded down.

Re:is this really necessary? (0, Offtopic)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092688)

Next time I have mod points, I think I'll mod down anybody who mentions modding their own posts up/down without do so in humor.

(Score: -1, Manipulative)
or
(Score: -1, Whiny)
or
(Score: -1, Pretensious)

Re:is this really necessary? (1)

dyftm (880762) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092715)

No, see, it's inevitable. Open source development is like commercial development, so as it grows we'll start seeing the same marketing speak, incentivizing, status reports, bullshitting and so on. But it will be open source bullshitting!

Re:is this really necessary? (4, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092750)

I found enough interesting things to talk for 50 minutes :-)

Jack Abramoff? (-1, Offtopic)

mOOzilla (962027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092033)

Who is Abram and why does he Jack em off?

Re:Jack Abramoff? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092689)

More importantly, why did his parents name him Jack when his last name ends in off?

bipartisan scandal (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092037)

One more data point in the fact this was a bipartisan scandal.

Even the Minority leader Harry Reid was a big beneficiary of cash payments by clients of Jack Abrahamoff!

"Abrahamoff"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092226)

So you're not just Republican, you're a dirty fucking anti-Semite too.

No It's Not Interesting (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092046)

"It's interesting to note that Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist implicated in scandal with Republican Tom Delay, was employed by Bill Gates' dad's law firm "Preston Gates", a political proxy for Microsoft. Microsoft succeeded in lobbying both Republicans and Democrats to oppose ODF."

And this means what, exactly? Abramoff pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, but didn't have much of anything to do with Microsoft or ODF.

This seem to be a nice set of coincidences, but nothing more. If you are going to allege something sinister, please do it with evidence or proof. Throwing a bunch of random things out doesn't really mean much to anybody but gullible leftist slashbot.

Re:No It's Not Interesting (3, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092211)

And this means what, exactly?

Not much yet. It's just a set of dots which, if they could be connected, would make a very interesting picture indeed. But I agree, the dots haven't been connected. Yet.

Abramoff pleaded guilty to a variety of charges, but didn't have much of anything to do with Microsoft or ODF.

Doesn't mean a thing.

The way this works is, the prosecutor targets a sleazeball who's got connections. He puts together a portfolio of charges on him that, if half of them were proved, would put Mr. Sleaze in jail for the half life of a proton. In exchange for only having to endure being sodomized for three or four years, Mr. Sleaze agrees to hand the prosecutor the ends of all the webs he's been holding.

Microsoft and the Gates family may be on the other end of one of those threads. Or they may not; or even if they are it may not in the prosecutor's view be the best place to start. The prosecutor might also decide to make examples of one or two individuals and leave it at that.

Re:No It's Not Interesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092426)

In exchange for only having to endure being sodomized for three or four years, Mr. Sleaze agrees to hand the prosecutor the ends of all the webs he's been holding.

It never ceases to bewilder me that the USA, supposedly the beacon of freedom and democracy, remains so backward in regards to its treatment of criminals. The USA is the only Western democracy which persists in retaining barbaric punishments such as execution (even of minors and the mentally ill), where the highest court in the land has decided that life imprisonment for petty theft is not "cruel and unusual", and where prison rape is not only tolerated but apparently encouraged.

Why so backwards, America? Why so reluctant to join the rest of the civilised world in recognising that prisoners are humans with rights too, and that treating them humanely does not, in fact, lead to the collapse of society? Why are you still involved in torture and execution, along with such despicable nations as China and Egypt? Why are your prisons the horror of the world, considered preferable only to the hell-pits of Turkey? And why is prison rape so common in your jails that it's even a popular subject for comedians to laugh about?

Frankly, I look at the US preaching to other nations about how they should respect human rights, and I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Re:No It's Not Interesting (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092463)

Just because the comedians laugh about it doesn't mean it's really happening with the level of frequency you assume. It's just a meme. Memes aren't always accurate.

American History. (1)

grubert (95988) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092520)

America hasn't suffered the way most of the rest of the world has. It's a sort of "let them eat cake" cruelty.

People who've been through prison or who come from other places don't find these jokes funny at all.

Re:No It's Not Interesting (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092805)

Maybe you don't realize it, but the US has a substantial nigger/spic population, which requires tough improsonment. But don't worry, you Euroweenies will soon be overrun by camel fuckers (ask france!) and you'll learn to love capitol punishment soon enough.

Re:No It's Not Interesting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092878)

execution (even of minors and the mentally ill)

I am not an American, but the test really should be how dead the victim is, not how young or retarded the offender is. Killing other humans generally requires some psychological problem.

Re:No It's Not Interesting (1)

SoulRider (148285) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092239)

Abramoff did work for Preston, Gates & Ellis as a lobbyist before he was appointed to Bush's staff. Many of the accusations against him are things he did while working for that very firm. Preston, Gates & Ellis is the company Microsoft uses to do lobbying for them. I just did a quick google on Abramoff and Preston Gates and I could not find any info about him lobbying for MS while at the firm, mostly it seems he worked with Indian casinos.

Re:No It's Not Interesting (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092791)

Tom Adelstein dug up a connection between Preston Gates and Ellis and the BSA. It's here [lxer.com] .

Bruce

Re:No It's Not Interesting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092560)

I think the point of that was to elucidate just how politically well connected MSFT is, not to allege that MSFT was bribing people. Abramoff has come to symbolize not just the unmitigated corruption of some politicians (eg DeLay, Cunningham), but also the culture in Washington where insiders influence our elected officials in directions that are less beneficial to society as a whole than to a select group who have the money to pay these lobbyists and/or make hefty campaign contributions, be they legal or otherwise.

Mistaking "interesting" for "suspicious". (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092727)

I think what you mean is that it's not suspicious, or it doesn't indicate wrongdoing, or perhaps that it's not relevant to Mr. Perens' point and thus possibly constitutes the creation of unfair innuendo by Mr. Perens.

But it's certainly still interesting, at least to me. If nothing else because it demonstrates once again exactly how small the pool of actually empowered people in America is.

Re:Mistaking "interesting" for "suspicious". (4, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092771)

Sometimes when you think a connection might be there, the best you can do is put that connection in front of empowered people who might find something. Abramoff was working as a lobbyist for Gates. I'd imagine the main thing on the agenda would be anti-trust, but competition with Free Software in government might be there as well. After all, we have had multiple published incidents where US diplomats lobbied a foreign government not to make a pro-free-software decision.

Bruce

Re:Mistaking "interesting" for "suspicious". (1)

mcc (14761) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092799)

Fair enough.

Re:Mistaking "interesting" for "suspicious". (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092880)

I'm no fan of this administration either, but you are treading perilously close to the Stallman-Raymond brand of batshit insanity. Be careful. Hit them where it hurts, and don't start neglecting to shower.

Re:No It's Not Interesting (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092732)

The biggest Republican lobbyist of the current generation, Abramoff, worked into his power position at the law firm of the father of the richest man in the world, Bill Gates. Gates was a certified monopolist, but the incoming Republican administration let him keep operating his monopoly. That takes a lot of lobbying and money. Abramoff has pleaded guilty to bribing Republican politicians for his corporate clients.

Those aren't random facts. That's not a coincidence. Those are leads. When we talk about them more, we work together to connect the dots by finding more evidence and logical connections.

What is sinister is an Anonymous Coward insisting we ignore such closely related facts as random, that they're a "coincidence", that they're important only to a "gullible leftist". An Anonymous Coward coincidence theorist. Just another soldier in the vast rightwing zombie army. Take a bow - and exit.

Re:No It's Not Interesting (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092774)

IMO I am seeing some astroturfing from the pro-software-patent camp around this speech, and not only on Slashdot. Only folks who can see IP numbers, etc., of people posting could track that down, and even then it might be difficult, so all I can say is that some comments do look suspicious.

Bruce

Re:No It's Not Interesting (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092816)

When the Republican Party astroturfs, they call it >ratfucking [wikipedia.org] : Nixonian "dirty tricks". Especially when it's astrolling, like calling people who are interested in the links from Gates to Bush through Abramoff "gullible leftists". What's next is reverse astrolling: an organized campaign posting impossible rightwing conspiracy trolls, to paint any deduction of Republican fascism with a dismissable troll brush.

The Watergate crowd seems to have only recently gotten the hang of exploiting Christianity. We're watching them learn the ropes of the Internet. Maybe we can throw them a Kibology anvil and slow them down for a while.

Re:No It's Not Interesting (2, Insightful)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092889)

Well, they're doing that rat thing here on Slashdot, and so on. I guess we need to trust the moderators to deal with the substance-free objection-for-its-sake postings, to correct over-moderation when necessary, to correct badly-motivated down-mods, and so on.

It was nice when we could just have a discussion.

Bruce

Re:No It's Not Interesting (2)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092761)

Well, the point is that politicians in Massachussets were heavily lobbied to oppose ODF. Even the Governor, a presidential candidate, rated 2nd by the last Republican leadership congress and thus likely to be in the primary - seems to be doing some realpolitic about the lobbying.

Hm, do we have no discovery process since Abramoff plead guilty? In that case we may never know what he was talking about. But he was working for Gates. Did he take a bullet for his boss by pleaing guilty?

Bruce

Re:No It's Not Interesting (2, Interesting)

westlake (615356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092903)

Slashdot for grown-ups?

I Would take that as a place where facts counts for more than suspicion.

Re:No It's Not Interesting (2, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092796)

What this means is that Microsoft is using the same corrupt Republican lobby mechanism that many other big businesses use. They are buying favors in Congress...

STFU Bruce and write some code ...... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092048)

Thanks but we really don't want to hear about Microsoft this and microsoft that!

Re:STFU Bruce and write some code ...... (4, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092189)

Speak for yourself. Many of us DO want to read Microsoft news. I may choose Linux for my personal computers (unless hardware is an issue such as ATI tuner/AiW cards) and more and more so for the office, but I don't deny that Microsoft does produce some great products.

I run Linux for four primary reasons:

1. I disagree with Microsoft's anti-customer policies as of late, including no de-activation, their suing of customers, and their DRM-infested media player
2. I believe Microsoft has been abusing their monopoly status, especially since SmartSuite and WordPerfect have been rendered impotent in the marketplace
3. because I like the KDE desktop far more than I like Explorer (tabbed file browsing is great. *nix shell scripting is undeniably superior to scripting on Windows and konsole is a wonderful console manager)
4. Everything, and I mean everything can be automated on Linux/Unix/UNIX where maintenance is concerned. and nearly all maintenance can be performed live. Unix doesn't have to play the "let's redefine the term 'downtime'" game

With that said, I'm interested in what Microsoft is doing with their Linux lab. I'd be interested to see whether they release Visual Studio (Kdevelop is great, but it's no comparison to Microsoft's IDE) and Microsoft Office for Linux. I'm interested in watching the price of Microsoft Office now that OpenOffice is nipping at Microsoft Office's heels in terms of usability/functionality. I'm interested in whether or not Microsoft adjusts their marketing to indicate true TCO of each environment. I'm interested in what Monad has to offer. I'm interested in whether or not I'll be able to watch HD-DVD and Blu-Ray media at FULL resolution on my 2048x1536 CRT displays, or if I will have to downgrade to lower-resolution LCD screens.

Believe me, although some of us hate Microsoft's current actions, we actually view software products as tools, and Linux is not the BFH that is right for all problems.

Re:STFU Bruce and write some code ...... (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092385)

Linux, the OS for people who hate Windows.

Re:STFU Bruce and write some code ...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092492)

Interesting.

I used Windows because of it's technical ability.

You use Linux because you hate Windows.

Not much of a business plan, is it?

Re:STFU Bruce and write some code ...... (2, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092580)

Nice troll, but what the heck does that have to do with a business plan?

Let's run through it:

  - We used to run asp.net - it is slower/less reponsive and more memory intensive than LAMP
  - Licensing - we spent money on exchange and SQL server but will be saving the money on upgrades. We develop solutions for SQL Server for clients who want Windows, but since we've removed SQL Server from production and now use it only for development, future upgrades (MySQL and Postgres) will be - yep, the cost of a download and CD-R or DVD-R. If clients are so inclined to pay thousands for SQL Server licensing, let them. It's THEIR choice. We will be saving money, lowering our overhead. As we need upgrades for development, that will be covered by MSDN subscriptions.
  - Exchange - in order to maintain it properly, "Maintenance windows" must be scheduled to bring down the information store (EVEN if we were to cluster it). Not so with Postfix (which is email-only), Zimbra, Open-Xchange, or Scalix. So, very soon we will be punting Exchange, and while an investment was made future upgrades for other solutions will be either free (Postfix, Open-Xchange, or Zimbra) or inexpensive - PLUS all maintenance can be automated. Not only that, the user experience is transparent since Outlook or Thunderbird can still be used by Windows users, and any number of clients may be used by Linux users.

  In other words, what impact does this have on our business plan? None. It does affect our bottom line in a positive way, however, and our uptime is steadily increasing as we move more services off of Windows and on to Linux.

Again, nice attempt at a troll though. Isn't AC a nice feature? ;)

Re:STFU Bruce and write some code ...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092364)

"Thanks but we really don't want to hear about Microsoft this and microsoft that!"

Who is we? Are you speaking for the whole of /. readers? No, I think you are speaking for youself. If you don't like hearing your favorite hero is a control-freak, go get your news on MSN.

Lobbyist scandal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092058)

So we have special interests from both the left and the right paying off the duopoly as a cost of doing business or doing anything in this country.

Desktop Linux (5, Funny)

mOOzilla (962027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092077)

So, is this the year of Desktop Linux?

Re:Desktop Linux (3, Funny)

cmacb (547347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092389)

"So, is this the year of Desktop Linux?"

Don't be silly! 2002 was the year of desktop Linux. The vast majority of people are now happily using Linux on their desktop, and Microsoft is deparately trying to grab back market share with Vista. Plus, I've heard the new Apple computers will now dual boot to Linux. They have to, after all thats where all the applications are now. Windows, really is going to be relegated to controller applications for cell phones and CD players. Its days as a full-sized computer OS are numbered.

Oh... and Sony is going to buy Microsoft. I read it just today on Slashdot.

Re:Desktop Linux (1)

TheDreadSlashdotterD (966361) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092461)

Is it opposites day? I'm having a hard time keeping track.

Re:Desktop Linux (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092412)

That depends. Year is relative to what planet you're from...

Re:Desktop Linux (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092707)

So, is this the year of Desktop Linux?

Of course ! Like every other year !

Where Aliens and mind rays involved ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092086)


as those seem to be the only things missing from this story

when i read Linux stories like this from Perens or Stallman iam not suprised Linux isnt gaining more acceptance, it seems everyday more of an OS for kooky weirdos than a serious business platform

Don't forget serial killers (2, Funny)

The Bungi (221687) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092087)

When they finally catch the Zodiac Killer I'm sure Bruce Perens will try to find a "Microsoft angle" to him as well.

This is nothing but FUD that plays right into the scandal of the day. Perens needs to provide some proof that Abramoff was directly involved in the ODF issue as part of a lobbying effort by Microsoft, Gate's dad or the Easter Bunny. Otherwise I'd say he needs to keep his conspiracy theories to himself.

ODF (1)

marx (113442) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092090)

It would be good to define what ODF (Open Document Formay) means somewhere. It's not defined in the Slashdot article or in Perens' article.

Re:ODF (1)

Kijori (897770) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092135)

To most people, and to the big Office-suite producing companies (read: Microsoft), it means absolutely nothing.

Re:ODF (1)

backwardMechanic (959818) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092278)

Isn't that why wikipedia [wikipedia.org] was invented? Google [google.com] seem to think so. Keep up.

Re:ODF (2, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092287)

A quick Google for "ODF" would indicate that it has something to do with either the Oregon Department of Forestry or something called the Open Document Format. Choosing between the two should be a fairly easy exercise for the reader. You should be able to surmise that in the context of Open Source and software in general, of the two, its most likely the Open Document Format. Unless, of course, you got caught up in the belief that there really IS a Lumber Cartel.

Yeah, this is interesting... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092140)

"It's interesting to note that Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist implicated in scandal with Republican Tom Delay, was employed by Bill Gates' dad's law firm "Preston Gates", a political proxy for Microsoft. Microsoft succeeded in lobbying both Republicans and Democrats to oppose ODF."

What is interesting about it is the fact that it is lobbying. Lobbying is only organized, legalized bribery! Microsoft lobbies both Republicans and Democrats because it really doesn't care who is in power as long as they can buy the legislation they want. The fact that it was found illegal is something they will probably take care of with the next round of legislation (and partly paid for by Microsoft along with all other companies looking for a special favor).

Republican, Democrat, who cares? What we must get rid of is the entire idea of "pay for legislation"!

Re:Yeah, this is interesting... (1)

jZnat (793348) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092209)

Are you insinuating that we should be lobbying to make lobbying illegal?

Abramoff got $$$ from patent profiteers too (1)

linefeed0 (550967) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092261)

An article several months ago in the Washington Post [washingtonpost.com] described more about how Jack Abramoff took money to influence congressional proceedings. In this case, it was to scuttle a bill that would have prohibited state lotteries from going online. As with his work with Indian casinos, Abramoff pulled strings to get otherwise anti-gambling members of Congress to vote against a law prohibiting companies like eLottery from conducting lotteries over the Internet.

Oh, did I say "companies like"? Oops, no, just eLottery. They seem to have some patents [elottery.com] "broadly covering Internet retailing of state lottery tickets". In other words, software patents, or actually business model patents (legalized monopolies) disguised as them. Of course, those patents let them raise capital from investors eager to profit from that legalized monopoly. Where did that capital go? Right into lobbyists' pockets.

Did you really think the U.S. was a Democracy? (1)

sampas (256178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092291)

The so-called lobbying reform bill [washingtonpost.com] that just passed the House won't fix anything. If anything, it will reduce the influence of those who don't support big business. It's a whitewash created by those who the system benefits the most. The Business Software Alliance spends tons of money wining and dining members of Congress, and they have much more influence than any individual voter.

Until more of us read a newspaper, educate ourselves, and show up to vote, the system isn't going to change. Those with money have more influence than voters. Of course, if more states deploy electronic voting, our votes won't count any more.

In the meantime, you can fight back by giving money to those that support ODF, like EFF [eff.org] and EPIC [epic.org] . (I have no affiliation with either except to give them a little money now and then.)

Re:Yeah, this is interesting... (2, Interesting)

PhysicsPhil (880677) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092395)

What is interesting about it is the fact that it is lobbying. Lobbying is only organized, legalized bribery! Microsoft lobbies both Republicans and Democrats because it really doesn't care who is in power as long as they can buy the legislation they want. The fact that it was found illegal is something they will probably take care of with the next round of legislation (and partly paid for by Microsoft along with all other companies looking for a special favor).

Perverse though it may be, lobbyists are one of three constitutionally protected professions in the United States. The First Amendment guarantees the right to "petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Unless you can get a constitutional amendment through, things are not going to change much.

For those who are interested, the other two professions are lawyers (the right to counsel) and journalists (the right to a free press).

Re:Yeah, this is interesting... (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092464)

{sigh} well, to paraphrase Jack Nicholson from Mars Attacks, "... and I gotta tell ya, two outa three ain't bad."

On the other hand, the rights granted to corporate entities are not enshrined in the Constitution: they are of much more recent vintage. If those were revoked or severely restricted, problems with undue influence in government might improve substantially. In any event, we aren't talking about "redress of grievances", in the sense that a organization is being unfairly impacted by the law. We are talking about corruption, pure and simple, businesses that have discovered that a little bribery in the right places can make them billions. Yes, it's true, Congress was always corrupt, even back in Colonial times. But somehow I doubt the Founders intended the Constitution to protect criminal activity on this scale.

Re:Yeah, this is interesting... (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092584)

Perverse though it may be, lobbyists are one of three constitutionally protected professions in the United States. The First Amendment guarantees the right to "petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Lobbying as it exists today is bribery, which is not Constitutionally protected.

Re:Yeah, this is interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092876)

"AMENDMENT I:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

The whole fragment is talking about people gathering and requesting that the government stop doing something. The part you quoted begins with 'and', which means the fragment requires the previous fragment--it wasn't an 'or'.

As far as I understand it, what they were trying to protect is what the government has already interfered with. Free speech zones at political events? That is exactly what the First Amendment denies them the right to do. Not the rights of some sleazebag whose job consists of taking people to dinner and "recommending" things.

Anyway, how do you get the idea of a lobbyist--someone who suggests that a congresscritter vote for a bill which probably has nothing to do with stopping the government's behavior--out of "petition the Government for a redress of grievances"?

Corporations are inherently evil (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092241)

Why? Because people think they're evil and they can't compete without pushing their lawyers and being evil.

But why they can't compete? Because people think they're evil and they can't compete without pushing their lawyers and being evil...

Big cheese, fatly melting (3, Insightful)

FishandChips (695645) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092304)

There isn't much to be learned from this.

We are given some rather improbable conspiracy theory around the ODF affair, a long wail about software patents, a few digs at Microsoft, some very tentative ideas about DRM and a slapdown of Linus Torvalds, something that now seems almost obligatory every time the big cheeses of the Linux world open their mouth. I wonder why they feel they have to run Torvalds down. Are they worried they won't be seen as following the correct right-on line and might be made to stand on their own in the playground? Frightened, perhaps, that Big Richard Stallman will say they are sissies and chuck them out of his gang? Whatever the reason it comes over as pretty darn unedifying.

Articles about how awful the patent system is are ten a penny. What is very hard to find are folks who have thought this one through, have some cogent and realistic proposals, and who are prepared to build support for change among those in a position to change things. Anyway, it doesn't sound as if Mr Perens will be one. Big cheese massage sounds more his gig.

Re:Big cheese, fatly melting (2)

NutscrapeSucks (446616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092337)

The patent think is kind of funny.

(1) Bruce Perens' group claims that Linux might violate many Microsoft patents.
(2) Steve Ballmer cites Perens' claim about Linux violating Microsoft patents
(3) Perens says "SEE? Ballmer's out to get us!"

Perens might not be helping Linux adoption, he's doing wonders for worldwide FUD production.

Re:Big cheese, fatly melting (1)

BigCheese (47608) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092677)

I am not melting.

Abramoff (2, Insightful)

Catbeller (118204) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092308)

Abramoff worked for ANYBODY that would give him cash. His buddies of old, Ralph Reed, Norquist, would often take the opposing sides. And they made millions, unprecedented wealth, in using DeLay as an on/off switch for introducing or burying legislation. It was government for sale.

And NO, kids, it was not business as usual. This is what happens when one party takes over everything, and that party only represents moneyed interests.

Re:Abramoff (1)

robertjw (728654) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092823)

And NO, kids, it was not business as usual. This is what happens when one party takes over everything, and that party only represents moneyed interests.

Slightly OT, but how do you know that? For one thing, both parties - I daresay the vast majority of politicians primarily represent moneyed interests. What scares the hell out of me isn't what Abramoff did, but the idea that there may be hundred more like him in Washington right now.

knows his stuff (4, Interesting)

PMuse (320639) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092315)

This is why reading Bruce is better than reading some random guy on slashdot. The man knows his stuff. Go RT whole FA. It's worth it just to hear some one say it straight without screwing something up.

nobody said anything about: (1)

Jasper__unique_dammi (901401) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092382)

how about this:
"However, it's still the case that Microsoft could stop all new innovation in the Linux space by bringing suits using newer patents, at the cost of some survivable damage to themselves. My theory is that they won't do so until they get unified software patenting laws in Europe. They won't create bad news that would sink their own legislative efforts."

I wouldn't know, but I would believe this in a heartbeat, what about other /.-ers. (ok at least the part that they would use the patents, not sure wether it would stop inovation/development)

And ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15092527)

"It's interesting to note that Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist implicated in scandal with Republican Tom Delay, was employed by Bill Gates' dad's law firm "Preston Gates", a political proxy for Microsoft. Microsoft succeeded in lobbying both Republicans and Democrats to oppose ODF."


So noted. Now what? Do I get a cookie?

Conspiracy theory (1, Interesting)

layer3switch (783864) | more than 8 years ago | (#15092838)

Am I the only one who think /. should have a tinfoil hat category besides Politics?

Seriously, Mr. Bruce Perens couldn't have written a better script for Syriana II. I'll be blunt. ODF and GNUv3 rabbit hole doesn't go any deeper than the usual Bostonian political scuffle. Given enough spare time to ponder about politics, even Boston's Big-Dig project could be tided to Microsoft somehow.

C'mon. We all know Microsoft's deep pocket reaches everyone, but the speculation forgets to mention that Open Source isn't some entity a political spinhead can control. For instance, IBM vs. SCO. Even if Linux kernel violated SCO's patent, could anyone really stop Linux kernel development? I believe in self-governing body where countability is on each and everyone who's involved. With or without multibillion corporations pushing their own agendas, people like Linus who cares less about politics or profit (except free beer) or even public's opinion, make Open Source possible.

Mr. Bruce Perens, to me, sounds bitter and impatient how ODF and Open Source is being adapted around the country, and the world.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>