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Linus Torvalds Officially a Hero

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the laurels-for-tux dept.

406

CortoMaltese writes "The European edition of the Time magazine has selected Linus Torvalds as one of the heroes of the past 60 years. From the main article: 'In the 60 years that Time has been publishing an Atlantic edition, extraordinary people have emerged from the churn and turmoil, creativity and chaos of a period that witnessed the aftermath of world war, the toppling of communism in Central and Eastern Europe, the vanquishing of apartheid in South Africa, the advance of women, the failure of old certainties and the rise of new fears. These people are our heroes, and in this special anniversary issue, we celebrate them and their many achievements.' The article on Linus is titled 'By giving away his software, the Finnish programmer earned a place in history.' Linus is cited in the 'Rebels & Leaders' category along with Nelson Mandela, Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher, and others."

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Heroes (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826528)

If giving away Linux earned him a place as a hero, imagine what would happen if Bill released Windows for free!

Re:Heroes (5, Funny)

EllynGeek (824747) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826598)

That would make him a terrorist, by magnifying the problem of windoze botnets, spams, phishes, malware of all kinds, fraud, and identity theft a hundred times worse. We wouldn't even be able to get on the Internet at all- all the world's bandwidth would be devoured by warring malware bots.

Re:Heroes (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826620)

You mean, the bots would fill the tubes? I guess the internet is not something you can just dump something on, like a truck.

Re:Heroes (5, Insightful)

Abreu (173023) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826692)

Haha, this confirms that the difference between a Freedom Fighter and a Terrorist resides only on who gets to write the history books afterwards.

Rather than invoke Godwin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826666)

I'll say nothing relevant.

Thanks

Re:Heroes (1, Funny)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826686)

If giving away Linux earned him a place as a hero, imagine what would happen if Bill released Windows for free!


He would be an "innovator".

Re:Heroes (4, Funny)

s20451 (410424) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826720)

imagine what would happen if Bill released Windows for free!

He would be poor.

Re:Heroes (1)

jimwelch (309748) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827042)

Bill would not be poor! (Neither would M$) They make most of their money on the other software, Office, etc. At least that is the rumor I keep hearing in the trade press.

Re:Heroes (1)

Gospodin (547743) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827306)

That'd be an interesting marketing strategy. Use our free OS so that you can buy our not-as-good-as-WordPerfect word processor. Wait...

Re:Heroes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16827038)

Is he not doing that already?

Re:Heroes (2, Informative)

Sergeant Beavis (558225) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827134)

I guess Bill giving away all of his money isn't good enough.

All Hail (3, Funny)

thejrwr (1024073) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826530)

All Hail King of the Geeks! Linus! Linus!

FRISTING POSTING (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826536)

YAAaaa
frist pist!

Happy loser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826546)

Stallman should be happy about that.

And (5, Funny)

Konster (252488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826584)

RMS screams out loud, "No, that is GNU/Hero, damn it!"

Re:And (5, Funny)

One Louder (595430) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826684)

Yeah, I'd hate to be a chair in Richard Stallman's office right about now - assuming he actually uses a chair and doesn't just levitate.

Re:And (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826828)

Our great master of the LISP Knights levitates! .. while hes not tossing what little chairs we have left in the general direction of the PSIL Lords.

Not So Funny: Abuse of the Term, "Hero" (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826842)

Conferring the title, "Hero", to Linus Torvalds is like conferring the title, "Hero", to a popular rockstar or a successful basketball player. Torvalds, the rockstar, and the basketball player are skilled at their jobs, but being skilled does not mean that they are particularly ethical or particularly brave in promoting good ethics.

Unfortunately, in America, we equate tremendous wealth, beauty, fame with "goodness" and "heroism". When Mother Teresa died, no one cared. When Princess Diana, estranged wife of Prince Charles, died, we cried to the heavens for the passing of a good person. What is the difference? Though Mother Teresa promoted good ethics, she was financially poor and physically ugly. By contrast, Princess Diana was rich and physically beautiful.

[side note]
There is considerable irony in America, the so-called Christian nation. Though a slim majority of American consider themselves to be Christian and supposedly tout how ethical they are (Can you say, "torture in Abu Ghraib"?), they quickly ascribe the term "Hero" to people -- like Linus, Princess Diana, Mick Jagger, and Magic Johnson -- whose main "achievement" (i.e., accruing money, fame, or beauty) has nothing to do with ethics. 'Tis time to jettison the notion of "Christmas" and all the hypocrisy that goes with it.

Re:Not So Funny: Abuse of the Term, "Hero" (2, Insightful)

quill_n_brew (1011327) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827072)

OK, I'm biting the scorchingly off-topic bait... Point of fact: Mother Theresa died within a week or so, if memory serves, after the death of Princess Di, for whom the world gloriously mourned, as you observed. And for the few hundred million or so of us who genuinely care about matters spiritual, the ugly woman who took care of lepers in Calcutta was indeed mourned silently -- but widely. Why? To find the answer to that, you'll need to look beyond your own nose... ; )

Flamebait much? (0)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827096)

As one of the slim majority of Americans who considers himself ethical and didn't have anything to do with Abu Ghraib I don't think your post is actually very insightful. Especially this bit: "'Tis time to jettison the notion of "Christmas" " ... which I can't really even figure out.

Oh, f%$^ng snap! (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826980)

"Torvalds has achieved fame as the godfather of the open-source movement, in which software code is shared and developed in a collaborative effort rather than being kept locked up by a single owner"

you know that stings...

Re:And (4, Insightful)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827138)

Actually, this is more on point than you might think. From the article:

Torvalds has achieved fame as the godfather of the open-source movement, in which software code is shared and developed in a collaborative effort rather than being kept locked up by a single owner.

The title of "godfather" probably more accurately describes someone like RMS or Theo de Raadt, who are both very, uh, ideological with their software. Linus, on the other hand, is simply the chief hacker on a very important piece of software in the Free/Open ecosystem. He himself even says that he's more a coder than any kind of revolutionary.

Personally, I think it's a bad idea to focus too much on any one person, as no one can really claim to be the most important. Sure, the kernel is maybe seen as "most important" in some ways, but we shouldn't forget the hundreds of other critical pieces of software that people use every day. And even within a project, there is often a core group of people who defer to one head. For example, the core kernel team: people like Alan Cox, Andrew Morton, Ted T'so, and on and on.

Then there are people who pushed free software/open source forward in other ways. People like Michael Tiemann, who pioneered the business model of selling support and development services for the GNU toolchain. Or the folks inside Netscape (including Jim Barksdale) who pushed for the release of their code.

I guess my point is that "journalists" should really try to not oversimplify things, and to get the facts right besides.

It could be worse... (0, Offtopic)

AEton (654737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826628)

Imagine if Linus had become an hero! :/

It could've been confusing... (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826956)

...i.e. they might've put him in the category "Inpirations and Explorers". Time magazine can't afford proofreaders?

Re:It could be worse... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826976)

Imagine if Linus had become an hero!

I like to. :) Here's hoping someone snags his ipod.

Linus freed us from the tyranny and apartheid of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826696)

M$, just like Nelson Mandela!

Reminds me of the movie "hero" (4, Insightful)

Srin Tuar (147269) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826704)


You have a pretty faced popular guy who gets acclaimed as the hero, and a snarling rough-edged guy behind the
scenes who is the real hero.

Linus isnt a charlatan or a bad guy, he just doesnt want to change the world.
RMS isnt entirely grouchy, but its popular to credit him with being so.
Meh, maybe its not such a good analogy.

But the main point stands: Real "Heroes" are not always the popular/friendly/nice to look at types.

Re:Reminds me of the movie "hero" (2, Interesting)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826882)

actually, a few insightfuls would be good mods to your post:

and hence, before Linus's "heroic deeds" could even have started, we had:
In the OS corner:
-- Hurd: 1990
-- Net/1 (BSD): 1989
In the applications corner:
-- Stallmans GNU tools: 1983

Re:Reminds me of the movie "hero" (2, Insightful)

Klivian (850755) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826920)

The most common form of hero is the person that actually goes about to get the hard parts done, not the one preaching about doing it.

Re:Reminds me of the movie "hero" (5, Insightful)

eldacan (726222) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827230)

The most common form of hero is the person that actually goes about to get the hard parts done
Like (co)developing a compiler (GCC), a debugger (GDB), a programer's editor (Emacs), which Stallman did. Not the most visible parts of a working system, but quite essential ones.

Re:Reminds me of the movie "hero" (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826934)

RMS isnt entirely grouchy, but its popular to credit him with being so.

I respect RMS as a great visionary, but he has earned his reputation. Did you see Revolution OS? When he was given an award, in stead of just saying "Thank you!", he goes off on a lengthy tangent about the FSF and "GNU/Linux".

LK

You lost! You lost! You lost! You lost! You lost! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16827166)

You lost! You lost! Dems got the House AND the Senate! You lost, you cocksucking faggot oreo! YOU LOST!!!

Some would call it Communist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826706)

Someone who works hard and then gives away the fruits of their labor for nothing but promisies used to be thought of poorly by some people. The very notion that you would write something - software in this case - and then not (a) try to charge an arm and a leg for it, (b) protect your creation with as many patents and trade secrets as possible, or at the very least (c) sell out to someone or some thing willing to pay you for your creation... the very notion of all that is un-capitalist! I think it's funny how people who do those things in non-software areas are called members of the RIAA and MPAA.

I don't think Linux, OSS or Free Software is Communist. Others do, or something very near like it. That's why IMO you see such a backlash against it in the corporate world. Yes, I know it's being used by more and more companies in one form or another, but there are entities out there who wish Open/Free software would just go away. They are uncomfortable with the concept of sharing for the greater common good. I really wish some way would pop up that would easily let more people make a living with OSS.

How proud they must be (3, Insightful)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826716)

How proud Mandela, Walesa, and the others in this list of "Rebels and Leaders" must be to have been included in the august company of Linus Torvalds, a man known if for nothing else, for his unwavering commitment to the ideals underlying the successful proliferation of his operating system kernel.

Congratulations for that acheivement!

Ahem.... On a less sarcastic note, this is a recognition of the real leadership Linus has demonstrated in keeping the herd of kernel developers working together fairly efficiently. Congratulations, Linus.

Re:How proud they must be (4, Insightful)

qwijibo (101731) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827136)

Anyone who can get a bunch of programmers to work together has patience beyond that of mere mortals.

My Heroes (0, Redundant)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826718)

Linus, RMS, Tim Berners-Lee, and Jimmy Wales [wikipedia.org] are my biggest heroes. We need more people like them to stand up and say "I know the way, follow me, let's do this". We need more people like them who value long-term progress over short-term profit. You guys rock. Keep it going. Lots of smart people look up to you.

Now that he's a hero... (4, Funny)

One Louder (595430) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826730)

I hope he saves the cheerleader.

Re:Now that he's a hero... (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827178)

Thank you. I was trying to come up with something teh funnay like "so what's his special power, can he freeze time with a CVS snapshot?", but simple is best with teh funnay. They've been trying to save that damn cheerleader for what, four episodes now?

Re:Now that he's a hero... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827268)

Yeah, it goes like this:

Hiro: Linus Torvalds?
Linus: What? Are you doing this?
Hiro: You look different without the scar.
Linus: I don't know you.
Hiro: Not yet. My name is Hiro Nakamura. I'm from the future, and I have a message for you. I don't have much time. I'm risking a rift just by coming here. The girl. You have to save her.
Linus: What girl?
Hiro: The cheerleader. It's the only way to prevent it.
Linus: Prevent what?
Hiro: Everything. Listen to me. She must live. The painter, Isaac, go to him. He will know. When I call you, you must tell me where we meet. You told me many times how lost you felt. Before it all started. This...is what you've been waiting for. Be the one we need.
(Hiro walks away)
Linus: Wait!
Hiro: Save the cheerleader, save the world!

Ok...lemme get this straigh (0, Flamebait)

cutepinkbunnies (990885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826746)

Gates = bad person Ballmer = bad person Torvalds = hero? Is there a bias here? please clarify. I respect all 3 as brilliant an unique individuals, but remember like 2 hrs ago reading an article about how the devil (Steve Ballmer) wouldn't say the words "free" or "open" while in India or something...and how that made him a bad guy.

Re:Ok...lemme get this straigh (1)

Otter Escaping North (945051) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826896)

Is there a bias here? please clarify.

Oh god, where to begin?

Re:Ok...lemme get this straigh (1)

cutepinkbunnies (990885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826952)

hmm...Gates and Ballmer are giving away VS2005, SQL2005, IE7, WSUS, and a ton of other goodies. Several BILLION to foreign countries, Time Magazine Man of the year...but nope, on /. he's the enemy.

Re:Ok...lemme get this straigh (0, Flamebait)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827144)

Thats because there's a very small but very vocal group of socialists on slashdot, who think that anything that results in profit is inheriently bad and must be stopped.

Re:Ok...lemme get this straigh (1)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827186)

Yeah, and how did he get those billions? He's not Robin Hood.

Re:Ok...lemme get this straigh (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827078)

There is nothing wrong with doing things to make a profit. There is also nothing heroic about it. Torvalds is a hero because he did something for the greater good rather than persuing selfish ends. Doing something for the greater good with little thought towards personal profit is pretty much the definition of heroism.

Ballmer not only does everything for personal gain, he actively suppresses those who do things for the greater good, because they cut into his profits. That is what makes him a bad guy.

The difference between a hero and a villain is in the means, not the ends. In the end, there is no altruism, and everyone does everything for their own selfish reasons. Gates and Ballmer have actively harmed others for profit. Linus wrote a free operating system as a brag to the world: see how great I am, I can give the fruit of my labor away and still be a success. Both were selfish acts, but society benefits from one sort of selfish act without rewarding it, whereas the other sort of selfish act is rewarded with riches. So we should laud Linus and not Gates or Ballmer as a hero. Those two have already gotten their reward from society in the form of wealth, they shouldn't be called heros as well.

Re:Ok...lemme get this straight (1)

cutepinkbunnies (990885) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827272)

Good points, although I don't really agree with you on a few. "Ballmer not only does everything for personal gain, he actively suppresses those who do things for the greater good, because they cut into his profits. That is what makes him a bad guy." I call that being a businessman/woman. He is looking in the best interest of the company that pays him, and his employees. Trickle-down economics...Microsoft is debt-free and employs over 50,0000 people, gives billions of dollars away, and not to mention has helped us evolve as humans. Yes all 3 are great individuals, but just because Ballmer/Gates play hardball (or you assume so) doesn't mean they are bad people. They put their pants on the same way you and I do every day and have families. I'm just saying there doesn't need to be so much obvious bias here on /., and instead of the common internet elitism we should all respect each other...like Linus would want us to :)

Hero, why? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826748)

Hero? Why? Because someone wrote a piece of software and decided to give it away instead of charging money for it? I guess that would make Microsoft's IE browser team heros back in the 90's. Cue the Linux fanboys please.

Re:Hero, why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826908)

Because someone wrote a piece of software and decided to give it away instead of charging money for it?

Money has very little to do with it. It's about freedom. Linus decided that everybody was welcome to study, modify and share Linux. Microsoft decided that nobody (except themselves) was welcome to do the same with IE. That's why Linus is a hero.

Re:Hero, why? (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827100)

BSD was a free and open project before Linux and GNU existed. The term hero has become so diluted because it is thrown around at anybody someone has a fixation on.

Oh, and Linux wasn't created with some grand altruistic project in mind, it was created because Linus wanted a Unix-like environment for his PC. He just gave it away after that thinking nothing would come of it.

what really happened .. (3, Insightful)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826940)

"Hero? Why? Because someone wrote a piece of software and decided to give it away instead of charging money for it? I guess that would make Microsoft's IE browser team heros back in the 90's. Cue the Linux fanboys please"

The someone who wrote the browser was Spyglass and was based on code licensed from the NCSA. MS first tried to get an exclusive deal with NCSA then went to Netscape and finally Spyglass. The deal was for royaltees to be paid on every copy sold. MS then proceeded to 'give' it away. Spyglass then went broke.

was Hero, why?(Score:1, revisionism)

Re:Hero, why? (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826968)

Because someone wrote a piece of software and decided to give it away instead of charging money for it?

Well, that and that his software has been ported to every major architecture and none too few minor ones. Because even people who don't know who Linus is or have ever heard of Linux are using the software on their set-top DVRs and cell-phones.

LK

Re:Hero, why? (1)

Dilaudid (574715) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827282)

God I love trolls. They really do help me understand the basics. IE is not and never was given away - you are permitted to use it if you like, but the copyright and the source remains with Microsoft. Can anyone help me explain using that natty "free as in beer" argument?

Furthermore - ever noticed they give you free peanuts on aeroplane journeys? They make the money back somewhere...

Line UP! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826752)

Okay Slashdorks, the line forms here to plunk down 100 Euros apiece for the priviledge of sucking Linus Torvalds' cock. For an extra 50 Euros you can lick his ass as well.

Wrong person (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826760)

This award should go to RMS, I respect Linus on a technical level and as a project manager. RMS is the **ahem** visionary whos leadership and insight set the ball rolling. Ironically, mainstream publications don't like RMS for espousing the same beliefs that made linux possible.

Summary not quite accurate (3, Insightful)

Wills (242929) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826762)

In the copyright sense, "Linus Torvalds giving away his software" is not an accurate description. What happened is that "Linus Torvalds retained the copyright on his software and published it under a licence". "Giving away software" is more akin to "putting software in the public domain".

Article text (2, Interesting)

Konster (252488) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826768)

From the article:

"Linus Torvalds was just 21 when he changed the world. Working out of his family's apartment in Helsinki in 1991, he wrote the kernel of a new computer operating system called Linux that he posted for free on the Internet -- and invited anyone interested to help improve it.

Today, 15 years later, Linux powers everything from supercomputers to mobile phones around the world, and Torvalds has achieved fame as the godfather of the open-source movement, in which software code is shared and developed in a collaborative effort rather than being kept locked up by a single owner.

Some of Torvalds' supporters portray him as a sort of anti-Bill Gates, but the significance of Linux is much bigger than merely a slap at Microsoft. Collaborating on core technologies could lead to a huge reduction in some business costs, freeing up money for more innovative investments elsewhere. Torvalds continues to keep a close eye on Linux's development and has made some money from stock options given to him as a courtesy by two companies that sell commercial applications for it.

But his success isn't just measured in dollars. There's an asteroid named after him, as well as an annual software-geek festival. Torvalds' parents were student radicals in the 1960s and his father, a communist, even spent a year studying in Moscow. But it's their son who has turned out to be the real revolutionary."

Stallman (1)

kidcharles (908072) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826770)

Someone needs to keep Richard Stallman away from throwable chairs...

Linus the engineer, Linus the diplomat (2, Insightful)

Anti-Trend (857000) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826774)

Personally, I think the thing that sets Linus apart from others in the open source movement is that he has quite a bit of charisma for an engineer (I hesitate to say "free" because that often implies "cheap quality" in our day & age). Others, like our good friend RMS, contribute a huge amount as hackers and in other important respects but lack the some of the trickier diplomatic skills which are required to hold things together. I agree with RMS on almost every issue, but I think it's important to have a relatively moderate personality like Linus' in a position of such high visibility, to really humanize things for everyone. Some people may disagree, but that's what I feel on the matter.

That said, congrats Linus! You're certainly my hero, and I've been living the open-source dream for years now. Also to RMS, the FSF, and the rest of the GNU, Linux and open-source community. Hats off to you all; without your hard work and ideals, there would be no Linux!

Who cares about Linus? Listen to my story! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826792)

My Story, The beginning of my knowledge


By: blubutterflywingz@hotmail.com

My story starts in 1992 when I was 10. My family and I had just moved to Kentucky on a military assignment. I had been quite used to moving at this point, but the day that we looked at the house we later moved into, I felt uneasy. All seemed normal until the next year, looking back there were times when I was in the lower level of our home and had felt like I was being watched, but never thought much of it. My little brother was born that year and so my Dad refinished the garage to make half of it a bedroom for me. That's when my problems started. Immediatly, there was something about my closet that scared me to my core. My bedroom was set up so that you walked into my room which was longer than it was wide, the closet was immediatly on the right and my bed was on the far wall. I couldnt explain it, I would get so scared walking past my closet, I would be in tears at times. I started hearing noises, not voices but things moving. I had a toy that when you press rather hard against its belly it would start laughing and say "I love you", one night when I was laying in bed reading the toy started going off, over and over. And my room got really cold. I finally gathered the courage to grab the toy and run it upstairs. My mom was sitting on the couch and I think the sheer terror on my face scared her into believing me. It went off once more in the trash can where it had been quickly thrown and my dad took the bag to the trash bin immediatly. One night I had some friends over for a sleep over and we had a curtain set up in the door way of the downstairs living room so that we had some privacy. We all awoke late that night to sharp growling noises. I had looked over at the curtain out of instinct, and about shrieked. It looked like someone was sitting up against the opposite side, you could clearly make out the shape of a back leaning against it. It moved a few times, and the growling persisted. We finally got up the courage to throw something at it and after making contact with it we heard a low hiss and it moved. It took us probably a good 10 minutes to regain our breath and go move the curtain. The house doors were still locked and everyone upstairs were sound asleep. We didnt sleep a wink that night. I kept finding things moved or missing in my room. One day I had a neighbor over and we were watching tv while we waited for my family to come back home. Suddenly the tv started flickering and then went off. No sooner had we stood up to go see what was wrong than my bedroom door slammed shut. We both screamed and dove for the couch. She looked over at me and started nervously laughing, then my bedroom door creaked a little and slammed shut even harder this time, then it did that over and over again many times repeatedly. It finally stopped and we were in tears at this point. I finally got my breath back and slowly took the stairs to my room. The windows were all closed and there was no draft or movement of air. I even closed the door to check the handle to see if maybe that was the problem. But it closed fine and didnt give when I pushed against it. One night while I was laying in bed watching the closet door, I had a habit of that now, I saw the dark partially transparent form of an older woman. She had very long thin fingers, thats what I remember most. I ended up burying my head and trying not to make any sounds. The day we finally moved out of that house, my dad and I were alone and packing the last few things up. I heard my dad call out when I was in the bathroom. I rushed into the kitchen that faced the stairway downstairs to find him shaken. He looked at me like someone was playing a horrible trick on him. He asked me if I had let anyone into the house without his knowledge. I told him no. I thought he was going to collapse right then. He told me that while cleaning the fridge he had caught some movement out of the corner of his eye and had looked towards the stairs, and saw an elderly lady, clear as day walking hunched-over down the stair way and then towards my bedroom. I freaked out and told him I had recently seen the form of an old lady in my closet. We started talking about it and he told me, with much regret, that he had sensed an evil presence in my brothers room which was directly over my room, and had banished it from that bedroom. Having sent it straight down into my room. I was very glad to leave that house, and have realized my "sensitivity" towards spirits now.

What a crock of shit! (5, Insightful)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826796)

Sorry, but all that Linus did was to get help on his pet project. The real people who advanced freedom and the cause of free software were the folks over at the GNU project and (at the time) the CSRG. Usually I agree with the people who roll their eyes when Stallman goes on about GNU/blah but this time I can see his point... Linus winning this award actually helps to bury them, and worse yet it detracts from the ideals of the GNU movement (and remember, in 1992 if there had been no GNU, there would have been no Linux; period).

Sorry, as far as impact and influence goes -like him or loathe him- Stallman has had more of an active, positive influence on the open source movement; Linus is merely a clever student who managed to wring the most homework help out of the internet...Stallman started the movement which eventually led to Sun opening up their crown jewels.

Re:What a crock of shit! (2, Insightful)

duh P3rf3ss3r (967183) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826946)

I agree with the essence of the parent's comments. There is no question that Linus is a gifted and accomplished hacker. At the same time, though, there is no question that, without the GNU tools, there would be no Linux today. In one aspect, though, I do feel Linus was visionary, and that's in his finally settling upon the GPL as the kernel's licence. Without a doubt, that's his single most important stroke of genius. But, again, where did the GPL come from?

Re:What a crock of shit! (3, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827062)

And without Linux these "but GNU is teh best" arguments would simply not exist, because it was Linux that propelled the GNU project to where it is today, not Stallman's bitching or his obvious inability to ship a working kernel. So maybe they should be co-heroes or something?

What now? (1, Funny)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826808)

Now he has to get his own comic strip, graphic novel, a movie and a computer game.

I'm stick of this revisionist history crap. (0)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826810)

For all these 'heroes', there's not a single mention of those who saw us safely though the zombie apocalypse.

No Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer in the list! (2, Funny)

Marcion (876801) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826818)

Its brave but correct to go with Linus over Microsoft. Just because you are a huge company does not always equal innovation or contribution to the human race. I personally would have also plumped for Tim Berners Lee (The WWW) over J.K.Rowling (Harry potter) but thats just me...

Re:No Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer in the list! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16827244)

Just because you are a huge company does not always equal innovation or contribution to the human race.

So creating an open source version of *nix is now enough to be considered innovative? Man, the times we live in.

Both Unix and open source were around longer than Linus has been. Maybe open source wasn't a "movement" but it certainly isn't new.

Boy, what an honor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826830)

Being listed alongside Thatcher, the cunt who gutted the British welfare state in the name of profits for the already rich.

Troll ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16827126)

Come on mods !

You may or may not agree about what parent says, but it raises a good point. I know this is Slashdot, but if you RTFA, you will see that this article is fully biased (even the author says that "I am proud to be a Thatcherite.").

Saying that Margeret Thatcher is a hero because she played a major role in the falldown of the former Soviet Union is as relevant as saying that G.W. Bush is a hero because he played a major rôle in the war against terrorism by invading Iraq. And refusing to compromise doesn't prove anything and is not always heroic. Sorry to invoke Godwin's law, but Hitler also didn't compromize with anybody, which doesn't make him a hero neither.

Anyways, there is no reason to compare Linus Torvals to neither Nelson Mandela nor Margaret Thatcher. One did computer stuff, another spent years in jail and the last ruled a country with an iron fist. Apples and oranges anyone ?

RMS would a better choice (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826864)

Frankly, if you were to only pick one person from the whole Free/Open Software world, it would have to be Richard Stallman. I give him 'hero' status because he's the man who spelled out the four freedoms of software [gnu.org] which are more important than the GPL(any version).

  • The freedom to run the program, for any purpose (freedom 0).
           
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt it to your needs (freedom 1). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
           
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor (freedom 2).
           
  • The freedom to improve the program, and release your improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits (freedom 3). Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

Double Hero (1)

oever (233119) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826878)

This is old news: Linus is a Hero [slashdot.org]

Of course, we can't say it enough.

In related news, Richard Stallman is a Hero [slashdot.org] .

Of course he's a hero because..... (1)

8127972 (73495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826880)

.... if he didn't give away LINUX, then the terrorists win.

Linus, a hero, such as... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16826886)

Margaret Thatcher!? Wtf?

Oh, it's a US-owned publication. No wonder it's on the extreme right-wing.

After all... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826890)

How many people do you know who have an operating system named after them?

Re:After all... (1)

krell (896769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827012)

"How many people do you know who have an operating system named after them?"

Looks like StalinDOS never really made many inroads, did it?

Re:After all... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827076)

Well, there's my great old uncle AmigaDOS for starters...

not quite... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16827248)

LinuX != LinuS so not named AFTER him...the name is the traditional unixification of a product name.

If you accept that corporations are people....

BSD Unix
HP-UX
SunOS
Microsoft Windows
Tandy Radio Shack DOS (TRS-DOS)
Microsoft DOS (MS-DOS)

Favorite Larry Wall Quote (1)

truckaxle (883149) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826894)

True greatness is measured by how much freedom you give to others, not by how much you can coerce others to do what you want. ~ Larry Wall

What *kind* of hero is Linus? (4, Funny)

slightlyspacey (799665) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826930)

From the dictionary definition of "hero" [reference.com]

hero
-noun
1. a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal: He was a local hero when he saved the drowning child. .....

5. a large sandwich, usually consisting of a small loaf of bread or long roll cut in half lengthwise and containing a variety of ingredients, as meat, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes.

I vote for number 5 myself with mayo and mustard.

Who? (4, Interesting)

delirium of disorder (701392) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826932)

Linus has done a great amount to advance freedom, as has RMS. Their actions, however, were quite safe. They certainly are not in the same category as those who have risked their lives for human rights. However, the fact that a reactionary authoritarian like Thatcher is on the list totally discredits it. So, I guess Linus's inclusion is a non-event.

Re:Who? (1)

B11 (894359) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827204)

While Linus didn't save a sinking schoolbus of children from drowning, I believe they he is being deemed a hero for two reasons. The first is that his contributions to technology has empowered a multitude of people to go on and do good works, like, for example, the "one laptop per child" project. The second is that Linus is a hero via context. Linus is a symbol, a figurehead of the FLOSS movement and ideals, even if he himself doesn't embrace EVERY aspect of it.

No Ferris Bueller? (1)

fortinbras47 (457756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16826958)

Ferris Bueller, you're my hero!

Torvalds a "Hero?" (2, Funny)

writerjosh (862522) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827010)

This is the same magazine that awarded YouTube "Time's Invention of the Year for 2006" (source) [time.com]

Forget any medical inventions that actually save lives, Time would rather lavish praise on Asian boy-band lip-syncers and blows-to-the-crotch videos. So, should we really take it serious when Time calls Torvalds a "hero?" Again, has Torvalds really saved any lives or made the planet any better by giving out a free OS? Yeah, I know, down with Bill Gates and all of that, blah, blah, blah. But Torvalds a "hero?" Come on. Let's get our priorities straight.

RMS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16827064)

Surely RMS should be on that list since he champions the free source movement and has contributed so much to it. Linus evidently is more a pragmatist than revolutionary leader though has obviously contributed greatly as well. He'd probably be on that list if his name could help make a cool sounding word like "Linux" that now everyone knows. Maybe if it was called Stallman<->Linus'<->not unix or STINX then he'd get onto the hip lists like that. STINX, despite the connotations still beats the hell out of "GNU"..

Now canonize RMS... (2, Funny)

chepati (220147) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827068)

and we have ourselves a religion, complete with folklore, script(ure)s, saints, and heroes. A step closer to world domination...

chepati

What ever happened to Alan Cox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16827088)

You don't hear much about him anymore... what has he been up to? I know it use to be he was the big coder adding a lot of changes into the kernel and maintaining his branch kernel (-ac). ?

Don't forget old Bill (2, Insightful)

kentrel (526003) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827092)

Bill put a desktop on every desk, in every home.

*yawn* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16827094)

Welll, he didn't give it away for FREE, he released it under the GPL, but I guess mainstream mags can only comprehend the "sell each copy for money" mindset.

Also, personally, I think 100 years from now people will remember Stallman more than Linus. Stallman understands the CONTEXT that software exists within in a lot better than Linus, whose good and valid opinions stop at the kernel boundaries. Of course you may not agree with Stallman's conclusions, but you must realize that the legal and political "codes" are just as important as the software itself and programmers will ignore that at their own peril.

another hero (0, Troll)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827102)

I think that guy who bombed Paypal's HQ should be on that list. It takes a real hero to do what everyone was thinking but was afraid to do themselves.

Hero? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16827108)

Hardly. The linux kernel is the result of MANY people. The space of utilties is the work inspired by Mr. Stallman. And the user space (how this message gets to you) is even a bigger group, with many using Stallman's idea of 'software freedom'.

Wouldn't be the first time a journalist got the story wrong.

At long last... (2, Funny)

denttford (579202) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827116)

Linux vs. Minix is resolved.
Take that Andy Tanenbaum!

Thanks to TIMEeurope for resolving that.

Heroes of the past 60 years? (2, Insightful)

daybot (911557) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827122)

What about CowboyNeal?

RTFA (0, Redundant)

otacon (445694) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827124)

It referes it's published by Time Europe i.e. Heroes from Europe i.e. Linus is from Finland i.e. Finland is in Europe.

Sad... (2, Insightful)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827132)

This is sad. They award people like him, compared to people volunteering in central Africa risking their lives for refugees. People like those deserve such awards. Nelson Mandela, Gorbachev, Thatcher are very prestigious people. With Linus on the list, he really didn't contribute to anything except for corporations having a "free" option. Linux does not feed people in Africa and other poor nations, no sirey. His presence on that list dilutes the other recipients prestige.

Credit where credit is due (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16827200)

Linus, I love you!
Richard, I love you too!

About time they did this (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827208)

During the course of history, people who did great service to 'the people' have always been acknowledged 4-5 generations after, and even after they died. This was generally due to short-sightedness of community those days.

But we are living in a more cohesive, more in-the-know and connected civilization these days. So it is natural that good things are recognized in their due time.

My hero! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16827226)

(fawn, dribble, fawn)

Now Budweiser has a new commercial theme (1)

LeedsSideStreets (998417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827270)

[passionately sung] Real Finnish Heroes!

Today we salute you, Mr. Open Source Kernel Developer

[sung] Mr. Open Source Kernel Developer!

Linus--HERO! (1)

dtzWill (936623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16827302)

I for one welcome our linux overlord! :-D
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