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Linux Taking Over Schools in India

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the penguins-in-strange-places dept.

84

slashchris84 writes to mention a BusinessWeek article about the growing role of Linux in the classrooms of India. In a country with a long history of corporate problems and financial issues, the inexpensive and flexible nature of open source software is gaining a lot of ground. From the article: "Two years ago, New Delhi said the best way to improve computer literacy in India was to adopt open source software in schools. Although Kerala is the first to introduce such a program statewide, 18 of India's 28 states either are using Linux or have pilot projects for its use in various government departments and schools. The education ministries in most states, and in Delhi the federal ministries of defense, transport, communication, and health, are all using the software on server computers"

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Tempered Enthusiasm (2, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163479)

from the penguins-in-strange-places dept.

Hey, Zonk, what's strange about Linux in education and government? Or is it India you find strange? New to the adoption of Linux by India topic are you?

The education ministries in most states, and in Delhi the federal ministries of defense, transport, communication, and health, are all using the software on server computers"

Also worth pointing out that this statement says "are all using the software on server computers", but doesn't say "all servers are using the software."

So it's like, "I see a tip of an ice berg, but I don't know how big it really is."

With 4,000 students and just 21 computers, the Cotton Hill Girls High School...
The school is one of 2,600 in the state of Kerala making the shift. That means each of the state's 1.5 million high school students will grow accustomed to working not in the Windows environment familiar to computer users worldwide, but in Linux.

So that's, what? (21/4100) * 1,500,000 ~= 7,682 computers?

Not like it's going to make Microsoft sweat, but the comment from a student "Windows, never heard of it" might.

It sounds good, but it's not like Microsoft is going to suffer a lot for this.

Re:Tempered Enthusiasm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16163569)

Congratulations on the lowest content per word post I've seen on Slashdot, and given the competition here that's an achievement. Too in a hurry for a Karma-certain early post to bother saying anything in it?

Re:Tempered Enthusiasm (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163645)

So that's, what? (21/4100) * 1,500,000 ~= 7,682 computers? Not like it's going to make Microsoft sweat, but the comment from a student "Windows, never heard of it" might.

Everyone knows that Apple gained what power it had from its influence in education. Microsoft learned this lesson from them, and since has been giving knockout educational pricing to schools.

Microsoft was already as concerned as they were going to be when the Indians announced they were going Open Source. A statement like that girl's is only confirmation.

Re:Tempered Enthusiasm (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16172547)

Everyone knows that Apple gained what power it had from its influence in education.

Then blew it because they didn't get Business on the bandwagon.

Great analogy until that point.

Re:Tempered Enthusiasm (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16251871)

Everyone knows that Apple gained what power it had from its influence in education.
Then blew it because they didn't get Business on the bandwagon. Great analogy until that point.

While the two situations are somewhat analogous, they are not identical. Of course, I never claimed that they were, making your comment basically a big fat irrelevant waste of time.

Linux already has Business on the bandwagon from the server side. Get a bunch of people who know how to use it on the desktop entering the job market and maybe they'll decide that if they don't have to do a ton of retraining, maybe it's worth it to stop paying the Mickeysoft tax.

Of course, maybe not, but this is Linux's best chance to capture the desktop so far. Granted, it's a long-range plan and there are other things which can and should be done in the meantime, but I maintain that this is bar none the best way to gain acceptance as an upstart.

Re:Tempered Enthusiasm (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16163653)

Dude, I think he just meant that the subcontinent's native penguin population is vanishingly small, given its proximity to the equator.

Re:Tempered Enthusiasm (4, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163683)

When the government of India suggested a major push into open source to help the country support its own IT a few years ago Bill Gates immedately made a special trip to India to meet with officials. Microsoft is definitely afraid a small shift in such a large country will turn into a major loss.

Re:Tempered Enthusiasm (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16164295)

When the government of India suggested a major push into open source to help the country support its own IT a few years ago Bill Gates immedately made a special trip to India to meet with officials. Microsoft is definitely afraid a small shift in such a large country will turn into a major loss.

IIRC Mr. Gates also, about that time, made a $300 M donation to fighting some malady in India. No connection to the decision, I'm certain! :o)

Re:Tempered Enthusiasm (5, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163720)

It sounds good, but it's not like Microsoft is going to suffer a lot for this.
Violently disagree.
FOSS is to the Information Age as the printing press was the the Enlightenment.
The realization in the public, business, and private sectors that we really don't need to fork over sizeable money for the Same Fscking Codebase They've Been Reselling For Years[1] is truly liberating, and could well lead to increased innovation, as more eloquently detailed by Moglen: http://www.redhat.com/magazine/020jun06/features/v ideo_moglen/ [redhat.com]

[1] Albeit with some UI botox

Re:Tempered Enthusiasm (1)

Slithe (894946) | more than 7 years ago | (#16166865)

FOSS is to the Information Age as the printing press was the the Enlightenment.


Uh, I think you meant the 'Renaissance'; the Enlightenment came several centuries later. Anyway, I do not think it is an accurate comparison. Operating Systems, Easy-to-use interfaces, such as the GUI, easy-to-learn programming languages, such as Python, comprehensive libraries, and the Internet are more similar to the printing press than FOSS. The printing press allowed the wide dissemination of information, and freed students from the complex tasks of massive memorization, thereby allowing them to focus on other interests (exploring the natural world, etc.). The Internet allows for the wide dissemination of information, and the other items listed have freed programmers from low-level details.

Re:Tempered Enthusiasm (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#16168869)

Thanks for the correction, you're spot on.
As for your criticism of the intended analogy, you're focusing on the physical aspects, whereas I'm more concerned with the shift of control of information (specifically about how to write code) from an elite few to something that the common folk can work with.

Re:Tempered Enthusiasm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16163729)

New to the adoption of Linux by India topic are you?
Hi Yoda!

The Strange Place is Businessweek. (2, Interesting)

twitter (104583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163758)

Hey, Zonk, what's strange about Linux in education and government? Or is it India you find strange? New to the adoption of Linux by India topic are you?

Ah, such a beautiful troll. It accuses Zonk of racism and implicitly calls Linux second rate. Best of all, it's completely wrong. Oh, but there's more, a defense of the Mighty Morphing M$ Monopoly. It could only be better by invoking religion, BSD and abortion.

it's going to make Microsoft sweat, but the comment from a student "Windows, never heard of it" might. It sounds good, but it's not like Microsoft is going to suffer a lot for this.

It sounds good and it is good. M$ is going to lose mind share because they can't both make a profit and "give away" software everwhere it's too expensive. They don't have the man power to decide, much less do the install. They can dangle a few machines in a few prominent places, but the needs and demands far exceed their ability to control it all. People are going keep installing free software and using it. The advantages are obvious and show, especially next to the crippled versions they insultingly have created for those who can't afford US prices. All of India is going to enter the information age and they are going to do it without the price, complexity and insult that non free software has to offer.

The only thing strange about this article is that BusinessWeek noticed it. What's not strange is that they rattle off a bunch of M$ FUD about "service trouble" and "it's all on the server" to conclude, "Linux will be knocking Windows off the desktop anytime soon." BusinessWeek is slowly understanding free software, but they are not ready for publication yet.

Re:The Strange Place is Businessweek. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16163785)

Mod parent up 'Finally, someone with reading comprehension skills'. The parent post would have been flushed down the Karma hole back when Slashdot still meant something.

Re:The Strange Place is Businessweek. (1)

slack_prad (942084) | more than 7 years ago | (#16165977)

from the penguins-in-strange-places dept. So what does Zonk imply by this?

Whatever... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16166915)

Ah, such a beautiful troll. It accuses Zonk of racism and implicitly calls Linux second rate. Best of all, it's completely wrong. Oh, but there's more, a defense of the Mighty Morphing M$ Monopoly. It could only be better by invoking religion, BSD and abortion.

I've learned never to underestimate slashdot posters ability to get things completely wrong. Troll? Racism? Come on, dude, put your biases aside when you're visiting here, you'll find things are always as they seem to you.

Re:Tempered Enthusiasm (1)

freakxx (987620) | more than 7 years ago | (#16164597)

So that's, what? (21/4100) * 1,500,000 ~= 7,682 computers? It's not so simple. Think of the students who pass out these linux friendly schools. The computers may be only 21 out of 4000 students but the number of students who are getting taste of linux are 4000 (not only 21). After passing out of the school, most of them will prefer linux over windows in future as well [well, linux is addictive afterall :-)]. During my graduation, my institute were having plenty of linux boxes and very few windows and solaries. Even though i used windows for some applications like AutoCAD but for anything what was possible with linux was done on linux only. Same thing is true for all my batchmates....and until now, windows has never gained a place in my mind as well as my friends with whom I am in contact with. Think of these numbers in a little longer term (say 10 years from now) and you will come to know its effect on M$oft.

Very Tempered Enthusiasm, not without reason (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16172517)

Think of the students who pass out these linux friendly schools.

Yes. How many will actually have any kind of impact on develpment or purchasing?

Before you answer that, consider the same rule for the schools in your own community. How many students will actually have an impact on purchasing or development trends. All you need is one dumbshit who becomes an MBA who didn't do squat with computers in school making decisions because "Everyone Else Is Going This Way" and/or "A Free Admin Magazine, heavily advertised in by Microsoft/Oracle/Sybase, etc, recommends something closed source"

The reality is decisions rarely go the right way, and I've been spending the past three years fighting the stpid bastard who made some of these decisions, because this is what they used where he came from. Damn damn damn!

This is not to say India or any of the places these students land will behave the same, but the odds are they very well might. We should be cautiously optimistic, but wary.

Obligitory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16163495)

Where's India?

Re:Obligitory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16163647)

It's a large land mass located between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

Re:Obligitory (-1, Redundant)

Nutria (679911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16164012)

It's a large land mass located between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.

North America?

Re:Obligitory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16164129)

It was full of Indians wasn't it? ;p

Re:Obligitory (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16164369)

It was full of Indians wasn't it? ;p

No. Barely even sparsely populated with aborigines. Who didn't use the wheel, much less copper.

Re:Obligitory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16164745)

You sir are a jackass.

Found It (1)

patiodragon (920102) | more than 7 years ago | (#16164645)

Between Illinois and Ohio, I believe. It's that Amish, Mennonite thing they got going on that makes the simple, populist, peguin-thing so attractive. Watch out, though, as some of them won't turn back their clocks for nobody!

Re:Obligitory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16165993)

you ignorant american

Linux taking over schools? (1)

SeePage87 (923251) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163496)

When I first read the headline I envisioned a hostile takeover by giant laptops with tuxeyes running fullscreen for laser shooting purposes. This is cool too though, I guess.

Re:Linux taking over schools? (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163551)

Blast! You posted this like 1 minute ahead of me!

Re:Linux taking over schools? (1, Funny)

russ1337 (938915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163561)

I also thought Linux was taking over the world.... and my first thought was to "welcome our new open source overlords"... but then I thought "WTF? That is crazy". Linux cant be taking over the world, it's probably just after the free beer that everyone is talking about.

Re:Linux taking over schools? (2, Funny)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163891)

When I first read the headline I envisioned a hostile takeover by giant laptops with tuxeyes running fullscreen for laser shooting purposes. This is cool too though, I guess.

Not quite the same, but it reminds me of the Penguin Computing from a few years ago. I Godzilla size Tux invading the Redmond campus saying "Good evening Mr. Gates, I'll be your server tonight!".

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www. humor-day.com/funny_pictures/572.jpg&imgrefurl=htt p://humor-day.com/pictureviewer.php%3Fid%3D572&h=7 68&w=1024&sz=129&hl=en&start=6&tbnid=kF5uhRnfeMec4 M:&tbnh=112&tbnw=150&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dgood%2Beve ning%2Bmr%2Bgates%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%2 6sa%3DG [google.com]

DL it and use it as your desktop wallpaper.

Taking over? (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163525)

Was anyone else imagining scenes of guerilla penguin freedom fighters in air conditioned jump suits holding Indian children hostage demanding the release of politicl prisoners?

-matthew

Re:Taking over? (1)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163575)

Was anyone else imagining scenes of guerilla penguin freedom fighters in air conditioned jump suits holding Indian children hostage demanding the release of politicl prisoners?

Obviously, yes.

Re:Taking over? (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 7 years ago | (#16164339)

I was expecting the first of a series of journals by RMS writing about his guerilla penguin expedition into India.

Today, India, tomorrow, the WORLD! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16163533)

Bwuhahahaha!!!!

Re:Today, India, tomorrow, the WORLD! (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163659)

I read "Schools in India taking over Linux".

Taking over (1)

TheUnknown (90519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163541)

Cue in all the jokes about war and how it's usually USA invading other countries.

Re:Taking over (1)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163614)

Hehe, usually it's the USA that invades other countries, this time it's an operating system!

Re:Taking over (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16163639)

"Cue in all the jokes about war and how it's usually USA invading other countries."

Okay

Have you heard the one about the US invasion of Third World countries to implant democracy by intervention?

Well, the funny part is that these countries often lack suitable social and economic preconditions for democracy. And the record shows these interventions have more often left dictatorship than democracy in their wake.

Re:Taking over (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163872)

Those jokes won't work. Everyone knows linux isn't run by evil republicans.

It's not just India... (4, Insightful)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163558)

It's only a matter of time until most schools realise the full potential of open source software, let alone things like LTSP [ltsp.org] . It just makes sense to use things like this in an educational environment. Reduced cost, reduced administration, more portability between students...

And given that the students will "know" Linux after they're out of school, it's only a matter of time until it starts populating in the business world.

First there was Apple in education...And then Microsoft. Microsoft is shafting the educational system with their inflated licensing costs, and trust me, educators aren't standing for it any more.

Re:It's not just India... (2, Interesting)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163657)

I must say I'd love that to be true - But I fear it isn't. I posted on my university blog criticising the University about pretty much only using MS software and only offering support/education for people in MS products. I got verious replies (including one from a woman about how women don't know how to use computers and aren't capable of learning, and linux is too hard) but the one which stuck out most was a couple from IT staff, one claimed that Free Software wouldn't be cheaper to use because they would need to change their procedures and way of running (which would have a cost) and MS sells them pretty cheap licences... I fear that they'll be able to use their monopoly to keep themselves as a de facto standard so people only know that.

The second reply was saying that they couldn't roll out updates through out the network with free software in the same way that they could MS and they couldn't control it with the same level of precision that they could with MS products... I didn't get why (and suspected that it was untrue) but because I've never been a sys admin I guess I had to defer to their knowledge. If this is untrue I'm worried because they've started to believe MS's propaganda, if it's true I'm worried that open source is missing something

Re:It's not just India... (2, Informative)

sobachatina (635055) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163693)

they couldn't control it with the same level of precision that they could with MS products

Actually I'm sure this statement is true. They probably can't.

It would be false if they said it was impossible. What I like about Linux is how much more control and "precision" it gives me.

Re:It's not just India... (3, Informative)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163723)

...one claimed that Free Software wouldn't be cheaper to use because they would need to change their procedures and way of running (which would have a cost)

Sure, but wouldn't upgrading to Vista as well? The fruit is worth the work of the harvest. ...MS sells them pretty cheap licences

Cheap in relation to...? I met with the principal and director of technology for a pretty big school district yesterday and one of his main motivations for moving to Linux and LTSP was because Microsoft has decided to start charging them anually for licenses. ...they couldn't roll out updates through out the network with free software in the same way that they could MS and they couldn't control it with the same level of precision that they could with MS products

LTSP updates the terminal server. The terminal server is what all thin clients run off of, so they are "automatically" updated when the server is (with a couple of rare occasions when you must update the chroot environment, but that is a one-stop simple procedure as well). Also, control is done through the terminal server. If you have multiple terminal servers for multiple sites and you're worried about updating them all at once, then there are things like Zenworks (though I'm not sure how it works with LTSP servers) and others I'm sure.

I administrate a ~13 node LTSP setup for a non-profit after school hangout for kids. Before I came around (about a year ago), their hardware was running with Windows 95/98, and was riddled with illegal software, viruses and spyware. The machines were unusable and they were begging me to help.

So, I sold them a cheap dual processor server and a bunch of PXE bootable NICs for their computers, and had an Edubuntu network running for them in a few weeks.

They haven't had any major problems since. It just works. Now tell me that THIS kind of thing costs more than administrating Windows boxes.

Unix lost footing just-because of license cost (0)

NRAdude (166969) | more than 7 years ago | (#16168541)

Do you not forget what DEC, among Sun and SCO, had done to the cost of a Unix solution? The license costs were thousands of US doolars, durring a time when inflation was 1/9th what is was today and Microsoft came along with a cheap solution available with the then cheaper x86 IBM-clone Personal Computers. Today, Microsoft is still slaying everyone with such an inexpensive offer, and the majority of productivity in Unix went underground to return the favor to Microsoft with an even cheaper solution that today just isn't supposed to be with all the inflation. I suppose the low-cost today is all about collecting service costs, rather than making a 1-point sale to a customer with a known working product and guaruntee. Instead, we have buggy software that doesn't even reach market on a fully tested field, and the main profit is expected to be from the service and support costs. Is it not unusual to see so many applications go the way of web CGI, just so the application is guarunteed only by a timely subscription fee? I don't see that in the localhost text wordprocessors of the old guard, but how about hiding the bloat behind a web CGI and share that could cause the entire customer base and server to be one stationary target to receive the most damage from a software bug or exploit from a malicious intrusion.

Computer Software is dying, and Microsoft is just as much to blame as are the nerdy Unix companies from before. The People aren't getting what they payed to buy, and that is further skewed and the rape continued by an unlawful enforcement of Intellectual Property rights trying to cloak an equal exchange by wording an implied contract to conceal an interest in property and right to said Intellect as nothing more than a tenant has rights to vapor above the soil (aka state).

Re:It's not just India... (2, Informative)

naelurec (552384) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163842)

they would need to change their procedures and way of running

That is true. Admins that only know the Windows/Microsoft way of doing things would need to be removed and unix/linux admins would need to take their place.

The second reply was saying that they couldn't roll out updates through out the network with free software in the same way that they could MS and they couldn't control it with the same level of precision that they could with MS products

As others have said, they are looking at rolling out a Unix infrastructure that resembles a Windows network. Ideally most systems would be running as thin clients with a central server cluster. You update the software at the master server, it populates the cluster and all of the thin clients run software from there. It is a much less intensive administrative overhead, reduces the need for admins/IT to go computer-to-computer (Thin clients are more reliable, if one dies, unplug it and plug in another one..) and all administrative tasks are centralized.

I provide technical consulting to a school that rolled out a thin client configuration across 150 computers (elementary school). There are 4 backend servers (for future expansion). The network just umm.. works. Upgrading software only happens at the master server, and everything rolls out nice. We can have multiple versions of software (if necessary) without having to deal with conflicts as on Windows. We don't have to ghost or create disk images. If a user has a problem, because they are ultimately running on the server, it is a piece-of-cake to see exactly what is on their screen and assist them from anywhere (remotely, from the front office, where-ever). There are no emergencies. The backend servers provide redunancy so if one happens to fail -- no problem. If a software upgrade fails, we only need to rollback at the master -- no need to jump around to various computers.

Furthermore -- centralization makes backups a breeze .. there is no need for antivirus/spyware software on each of the computers (simplified), user accounts are true "underprivleged" without needing to do registry hacks to make software run.. information is centralized so if updates need to be made, a simple shell script usually suffices -- not to mention significantly less equipment to monitor and have spare parts on-hand in the event of hardware failure. Then there is the upgrade factor -- when we need more power -- we can add another server or upgrade the existing few servers we have.. no need to buy hundreds of standalone computers, ghost, migrate desktops, etc.

The only major issue is legacy (windows) software that doesn't have a *nix port or equivilant. Those end up being run via terminal server which is adequate but not nearly as integrated as we would like.

Re:It's not just India... (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 7 years ago | (#16164062)

(including one from a woman about how women don't know how to use computers and aren't capable of learning, and linux is too hard)

Do you still have her email address?

Re:It's not just India... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16166583)

This isn't true. The IT guys at your school simply don't know what they are talking about.

You can mount just about every partition in the Linux file system remotely using NFS. That means you can mount the partitions that hold the software for the desktops on a few file servers. At boot the desktop machines mount the remote partitions and the software runs on the local machine. To update the desktops all you do is update the software on the remote partitions. That means you can update every desktop in the network just by updating the file server from which it mounts the partitions that hold the software.

Basically you can do all versioning of everything on the network the same way. You build one server that you manually update, create a few NFS file servers which hold the partitions that the desktops mount at boot, and update the partitions on the file servers programmatically from the single update server. It's all done transparently to the user and with very little labor involved because all you do is update one server, and everything else is done through the network structure using Linux file sharing on NFS.

The same holds true for all the servers. You update them the same way using a different update server because they will be using different software.

I do this on my home lan in a small way. I use NFS to feed the /home partition to the different workstations. When anyone boots a computer /home is mounted from the NFS server and the wife and kids have no idea that their /home directories aren't running on their computers, but on a file server in the basement. It makes backups much simpler and is extremely simple to set up. I went from never using NFS to remote mounting shares at boot in less than a half hour. It took a little longer to set up things so /home would be remote mounted, but only because I wasn't aware of how NFS worked when I first built the workstations and had to rebuild them accordingly.

Also, there are several different ways of doing automated rollouts in Linux. Each distro has its own way of doing things, but automated rollouts are done. Debian has what they call fai: fully automated installation. It's available through the Debian repositories.

Re:It's not just India... (1)

winphreak (915766) | more than 7 years ago | (#16164631)

The LTSP looks MUCH more efficient and secure than my school's Citrix system. Unfortunate that they only used it so teachers didn't have to learn something besides Microsoft Office (and I'll admit, Office can be powerful and useful in class). Citrix is inefficient, emulating every copy of windows logged on, and insecure, as client flash drives can run executables, allowing LCP to brute force, etc etc.

Thanks for linking the LTSP though, I may email the administrator about the idea.

India BPO executive sells information to D-company (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16163587)

From the Times of India website::

  MUMBAI: The pesky call centre employee trying to sell you a credit card or mobile phone has suddenly acquired more sinister dimensions: S/he could well be misusing the personal information. A 25-year-old call centre employee from a BPO in Tardeo did just that recently, passing on the personal profiles of customers to members of the Dawood Ibrahim gang.

On Friday, Mumbai crime branch arrested the executive, Hasan, for allegedly pilfering confidential personal information of mobile phone customers and passing it on to Dawood aide Fahim Machmach, who runs an extortion racket from Karachi.

Deputy police commissioner (crime) Dhananjay Kamlakar said the involvement of a call centre executive in an underworld extortion racket was a serious indicator of how the personal data of lakhs of customers of mobile phone and credit card companies was at "grave risk".

Re:India BPO executive sells information to D-comp (0, Offtopic)

dan828 (753380) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163679)

Yes, but if they switch from Windows to Linux like the schools are doing, my compromised data will be more secure!

As the original founder of India, I find this exci (1)

schoolsucks (570755) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163598)

exciting. I never thought Linux would be adopted. But it did. This just made my day. Thank You Linus

Less Windows jobs will be outsourced to India !!! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16163667)

The linux penetration in India schools means that the Windows programing jobs will stay in the USA !!!

*Yawn* (1)

Cybert4 (994278) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163732)

Rather refreshing to see as least people click the "anonymous" button because they know it's tired. Hey people, griping about off-shoring and automation and too many engineers is NOT a valid job search activity.

Re:Less Windows jobs will be outsourced to India ! (-1, Troll)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163910)

The linux penetration in India schools means that the Windows programing jobs will stay in the USA !!!

Who cares? What I care about is my Linux support calls may be taken by someone who's second or third language is english!

Re:Less Windows jobs will be outsourced to India ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16164160)

Much like your Solaris and Oracle support calls are today...

You! Liar! Thief! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16168699)

Hi! I'm Shobhan Dutta. I maintain some demonstration on the Mesa3D project.

[about_me]
As a person, I believe in honesty and sincerety. I believe in Shiva, as a personnification of the Almighty, whose three eyes are the source of light for the entire Universe. He is the source of my strength. He is the Lord of All. He is auspicious, and yet terrible. He is the creator, preserver and destructor, of the entire Universe.
[/about_me]

What I see today are two rivaling plagues, one after another seeking to destroy my people. First it was your genetically modified plants tainting ours as carried in the wind. Now, it's your service businesses following after your manufacturing processes exported to our diligent and unrespected hands.

As God as my witness, I will shit on your face and rub my wormy main all over your ears and nipples and toes, that you too will know that my people will not stand by idly for your mal-treatment and exploit over us with your pathetic fractional currency and insurance schemes from the US security agreement.

Verry Truly Yours,
  I'm Shobhan Dutta

it'd be great to run these on Mon, Tue, or Wed (2)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163682)

This is a well known tactic for the IT press since viewership is far lower on Thu and Fri and almost zero on weekends. When we start seeing THESE kinds of articles published during "prime time", then we'll know that Linux and open source has arrived and the press is not worried about 'exciting' a particular advertiser.

Seeing this in printed form would be a good indicator also.
IMO.

LoB

What's a linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16163755)

well?

A linux is a unit with vestigial apparatus. (1)

SlashdotTroll (581611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16168791)

Formerly known as a Eunuch that needed not be modified because the subjective member was thought to be perpetually dormant by contract (GPL); therefore it is a complete unit partaking in Eunuch activities and considered a Eunuch without any impairment otherwise. Perhaps one runlevel, if for some distractive purpose it ever stops being a kind of Eunuch; such are for it to partake in the binary translation of non-Eunuch code as Win32 via Cedega/Wine or DOSemu or XBox360 or PS3, then the once vestigial apparatus may be revived into a bright-red Zab that may be subject to a timely procedure to "trim" as overseen by Intellectual Property claimants: thereby, returning Linux to be pre-dominantly Eunuch.

Examples of Linux ready to be "trim" are Linspire and SCO OpenSoars.

never heard of it? (0, Troll)

cool_arrow (881921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163757)

says 12-year-old Arya VM as she plays with Tux Paint, a Linux drawing and painting application. And Windows? ``Never heard of it,'' she says. I'd wager that this kid is from some remote village that's still marvelling at the can opener. Kids with computers at home want to play games and that means Windows.

Re:never heard of it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16163810)

I've used Linux since 1992. I've never used Windows except for a few times on public terminals. I'm really clueless about Windows. The problem is that so many jobs want you to know stuff like "power point" and "excel" and whatever. I'm going to have to take a crash course in order to catch up with all that stuff.


By the way, I live in the USA, and I know what a can opener is. Really.

Re:never heard of it? (1)

rochi (930552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163999)

a> you'd be surprised how computer savvy most asians are b> text based games are teh roxxor! (especially muds)

Re:never heard of it? (4, Insightful)

grcumb (781340) | more than 7 years ago | (#16164166)

I'd wager that this kid is from some remote village that's still marvelling at the can opener. Kids with computers at home want to play games and that means Windows.

I'll ignore the condescension for a moment to correct your 'Windows is the computer' assumption.

I work in the developing world in a place where computers are about at the same level of uptake as they were in the US in the early to mid 1990s. More and more people are getting them, and exposure is increasing. From my observation, the only people who care about Windows are those who know nothing else. And that refers mostly to donors, volunteers, expat advisors and a few functionaries who have been trained overseas.

Almost everyone else has exactly the same reaction as that little girl: "Windows? never heard of it." This is true even if they're using Windows on their computer. They don't care about brand names, they just want to do their thing.

And by the way, of the roughly 450 youth who come and use one of the computer centres I administer, the most popular pastime is reading and writing email, followed by web browsing. Games come further down the list. Thing is, they can play games any time. Outside. With their friends. Email and the web? Their time for that is limited.

Re:never heard of it? (1)

cool_arrow (881921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16164636)

didn't mean to offend. However, you must admit, if you play games, Windows is the computer. I prefer Suse 10.1 for everything else.

IDC says 21% annual revenue growth through 2010 (2, Interesting)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163799)

That means it'll cost businesses( in 2010 ) $19.9 Million for Linux. They also say that businesses, etc already pay $200 Million annually for Microsoft Windows software but leave 2010 number out.

No wonder Indian schools are looking to Linux, they'll save huge sums of money this way and at the same time, be building a workforce capable of supporting this shift.

Who knows, in 2010, we may be seeing only IDC numbers on revenue from services around Linux and OSS.

It sure seems strange that these kinds of numbers always seem to be equated with how much money Microsoft makes or how big their market is when infact, it's all about how much it's costing businesses. After all, they are not talking about services and are all about software sales.

When US companies 'see the light' and realize these numbers are leaving THEIR pockets, they might be willing to look toward Linux on the desktop too.

LoB

Don't get too excited... QWZX (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16163809)

This doesn't say "Linux is good for the masses", it says, "Linux is only good the poorest countries that can't afford anything better.

I wish it wasn't true, but let's face it... the masses in developed countries aren't going to look to emulate India and other poor countries. And it doesn't help when the ONLY stories we see like this are from the backwaters of the world.

Re:Don't get too excited... QWZX (4, Interesting)

humphrm (18130) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163959)

There is another angle, though. Maybe you dismiss it, but to some India is one of the hottest technical development centers in the world. And this is a country that highly values education and generally does a better job of providing it to even it's poorest constituents than the "Developed Countries". Having just returned from Hyderabad, I witnessed kids crawling out of what could only be described by a Westerner as a mud hut, with a sparkling clean and pressed school uniform on, ready to go to school. In America, these kids would probably not qualify for most public schools because they don't have an address.

Then, they go on to higher education... and guess what schools are being built fast in India? Technical schools. Lots of them.

My point is, your "backwater" country is doing a better job of educating it's masses than most western countries, and the tools that these kids learn today will shape technology tomorrow.

Re:Don't get too excited... QWZX (0, Troll)

Monsuco (998964) | more than 7 years ago | (#16165055)

Well, what is the point of education? To make you employeeable. India's economy is very weak, America's is very strong. Why? Because Indea spends what little money it has on education or on regulations. America certainly has little to learn from a 3rd world country. Can you think of much use for education other than to have a job? It is worthless otherwise.

And if you think about it, linux will kill the tech support section of their tech industry, it is so reliable. :)

Re:Don't get too excited... QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16165553)

[Can you think of much use for education other than to have a job?] What do americans do after completing education? Play football? [India's economy is very weak] Compared to america, it might be "weak", if you meant weak in its literal sense, the i am afraid my friend, you should get your facts corrected. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. [Indea spends what little money it has on education or on regulations] Again a wrong conception. Infact primary education is free in india. Also, higher educational institutions of international repute like IITs and IIMs exist there (Some of whose alumni power US economy too). given the population of the country (more than three times that of america), it is no small achievement. [linux will kill the tech support section of their tech industry, it is so reliable.] What does a tech support personal do? Does some magic that you can't do yourself. If you apply common sense, you won't need tech support every now and then. Do not act like dodos.

Re:Don't get too excited... QWZX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16165561)

Mod parent down, -1 MORON!

What distro? (1)

chroot_james (833654) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163827)

Does anyone know what distro they're planning to use? If financial factors are an issue, perhaps Ubuntu?

Re:What distro? (1)

cool_arrow (881921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163942)

I don't know, but their servers will likely be Apache ; )

Re:What distro? (1)

Indras (515472) | more than 7 years ago | (#16165089)

Does anyone know what distro they're planning to use? If financial factors are an issue, perhaps Ubuntu?

I would think that Edubuntu [edubuntu.com] would be more appropriate.

Re:What distro? (1)

JonJ (907502) | more than 7 years ago | (#16165619)

Yeah, because Ubuntu is the only free-as-in-beer distro out there. Sheesh.

Re:What distro? (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 7 years ago | (#16166253)

Yeah, because Ubuntu is the only free-as-in-beer distro out there. Sheesh.
Is any other distro so free-as-in-beer that they send you CDs at no cost?

Re:What distro? (1)

JonJ (907502) | more than 7 years ago | (#16167495)

They're going to do a stock install of Ubuntu on all the machines for 2,600 schools? Yeah, right.

Re:What distro? (1)

dragonquest (1003473) | more than 7 years ago | (#16165989)

Well, most people think there are better ones out there, but most of the educational institutions in India are using (or planning to use) the Fedora Core series, with a close second being Ubuntu. I've seen this first hand, since I'm an Indian. There are a lot of institutions (including my former university) who prefer the Fedora Core series for reasons of familiarity.

Patronizing (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#16163966)

...a country with a long history of corporate problems and financial issues...

Ah yes, 'cause you'd never get government financial solvency issues [brillig.com] or corporate problems in America, would you?

Well duh! (0, Flamebait)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16164026)

"...said the best way to improve computer literacy in India was to adopt open source software in schools..."

Well of course it is! Nothing will teach stupid users how to use a computer like software with a man page that hasn't been updated in five years, has no written documentation, and responses to bug requests along the lines of "learn C and fix the problem yourself, noob!"

Re:Well duh! (1)

Drakin030 (949484) | more than 7 years ago | (#16164917)

Amen!

five year old man page .. (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16166903)

"Nothing will teach stupid users how to use a computer like software with a man page that hasn't been updated in five years, has no written documentation, and responses to bug requests along the lines of "learn C and fix the problem yourself, noob!"

Quoted directly from the MS fast fud site. My experience installing Mpeg4ip was quite different. I directly emailed the lead developer, got a polite reply and was directed to the online forum. What kind of support do you get in closed source land, a phone call to Jameel in Bangalore who calls himself 'Dave' and speaks in a fake US accent.

re Re:Well duh!

Re:five year old man page .. (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | more than 7 years ago | (#16187139)

What kind of support do you get in closed source land, a phone call to Jameel in Bangalore who calls himself 'Dave' and speaks in a fake US accent.
That's an interesting comment in a topic about open source in India. I imagine Jameel wouldn't like your tech support either.

MS = Job Saver (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16172949)

If you want to be protected from hords of cheap programmers from India, then go with Microsoft.

Not that it matters... (1)

yuvipanda (1007865) | more than 7 years ago | (#16262553)

I am from India, and yep, I am still in Highschool. And, Linux and Openoffice have made it to the High School curriculum, which *is not* a good thing. Why? Because most of the time, all these kids know is paint and wordpad, and ofcourse games! So, and the Linux we get in school books is all just plain bash. So, most of my friends are turned off By Linux, and by Openoffice as well, since they see it as a needless clone of Office. And, btw, most of the servers of the Indian Government run on IIS, as can be seen by visiting http://home.nic.in/abc.html [home.nic.in] This will give you an IIS 404 page, so it is IIS.... And, btw, Linux has not cost-factor advantage here, since most PCs are running Pirated versions of Windows...Even the ones in the Government Offices!
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