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Linux Fund Loses MasterCard Funding Source

kdawson posted about 7 years ago | from the bucks-for-tux dept.

The Almighty Buck 122

An anonymous reader writes "The Linux Fund was established in 1999 to provide grants to free and open source software projects from funds raised via a credit card featuring a picture of Tux, the Linux penguin. This credit card was offered through MBNA America Bank, which was purchased in 2006 by Bank of America. Last week, LinuxFund credit card holders received mail from Bank of America informing them that the LinuxFund card would be discontinued. Linux.com has a few details about the end of the credit card including statements from executive director David Mandel, assuring that the LinuxFund will look different but will continue. In the past, the LinuxFund provided one-time grants of $500-$1,000 USD to many projects including SDL, FilmGimp, Xiph.org Foundation, CrystalSpace, K12LTSP, and Kismet. The LinuxFund stagnated in 2003, and in 2005 it was revitalized by new leaders and by 2006 provided a stable $6,000 per year contribution to a number of larger projects including Wikipedia, Blender, Debian, Gentoo, and OpenSSH." Linux.com and Slashdot are both part of OSTG.

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122 comments

It does not matter that much... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | about 7 years ago | (#18650179)

...why? Because the development of Linux up to this point, a point where Microsoft and other companies give it respect, has largely depended on volunteers. Linux will live on.

Re:It does not matter that much... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18650329)

You are very naive if you think this. Linux got to the point it is today because of the push by big money for Linux. Novell, Red Hat, and IBM have all been instrumental in pushing Linux to where it is today. If Red Hat and SuSE (now Novell) hadn't made viable commercial solutions for Linux, it would not have even competed with AIX, HP-UX and Solaris. IBM has been such a huge source for Linux that they even made their OS more compatible with it, when they introduced AIX 5L (guess what that 'L' stands for). AIX uses similar command syntax as Linux, it is also the only one of the three (AIX, HP-UX and Solaris) that I have seen provide RPM support. Many of the open source packages that have been ported to AIX can easily be installed using an RPM, instead of having to use the default AIX installation mechanism or re-compiling source yourself. All the ports for HP-UX and Solaris that I have seen, still use the OS default installation mechanisms, which are not always the most intuitive or friendly to use.

Honestly, I think a lot more Linux development and advancement has come from BIG money then it ever did from the volunteers. There are a good deal of contributions being made by people with a monetary interest in the success of Linux.

Re:It does not matter that much... (5, Insightful)

gujo-odori (473191) | about 7 years ago | (#18651737)

While I do not dispute this, one thing that needs to be remembered is that many of the people now being paid to work on Linux by Red Hat, IBM, et al, are the same people who worked on Linux for free for a long time and brought it to the point where those companies thought it worth paying people to work on it.

If you look at the percentage of code in Linux that was written by people now being paid to work on Linux but who were volunteers when they contributed it, a different picture might emerge. This doesn't discount wholesale contributions of code such as XFS by SGI or JFS by IBM, but without the work of volunteers, including those now being paid, Linux would simply not exist.

Re:It does not matter that much... (1)

Ucklak (755284) | about 7 years ago | (#18651839)

$1,000 per project is not a lot of money at all.

Linux got where it is today because code heads like us put it there irregardless of the powers that be above us. Linux is a great tool that we can shape to our needs that filled a void that wasn't there.

Re:It does not matter that much... (0)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 7 years ago | (#18653773)

Pedant point: there's no such word in English as "irregardless"

Re:It does not matter that much... (1)

Deadguy2322 (761832) | about 7 years ago | (#18654577)

But it is a staple of the moron vocabulary anyway, which is why you see it used so often by pedantic stallmanistas like the shithead you are replying to.

Re:It does not matter that much... (4, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | about 7 years ago | (#18650391)

? I was under the impression that Linux got where it is today because companies like IBM, Novell, and Red Hat paid their employees to work on open source code, organizations like OSDN paid people like Linus Torvalds to manage and organize the material, funders like the Linux Fund and (recently) Google's Summer of Code provided grants for smaller developers, and, finally, some people contributed volunteer work.

I certainly wouldn't want to criticize the work done by unpaid volunteers, but I would have to doubt that they now represent a "large" portion of the code in Linux, either in terms of lines in the kernal or features.

Re:It does not matter that much... (3, Informative)

Blnky (35330) | about 7 years ago | (#18650917)

? I was under the impression that Linux got where it is today because companies like IBM, Novell, and Red Hat paid their employees to work on open source code, organizations like OSDN paid people like Linus Torvalds to manage and organize the material, funders like the Linux Fund and (recently) Google's Summer of Code provided grants for smaller developers, and, finally, some people contributed volunteer work. I certainly wouldn't want to criticize the work done by unpaid volunteers, but I would have to doubt that they now represent a "large" portion of the code in Linux, either in terms of lines in the kernal or features.

In that case, I think you may be surprised by this [lwn.net].

Re:It does not matter that much... (4, Informative)

RajivSLK (398494) | about 7 years ago | (#18651121)

Did you read the article you linked to? Only 7.7% of contributions were from comfirmed volunteers...

Quote: ..at least 65% of the code which went into 2.6.20 was created by people working for companies. If the entire "unknown" group turns out to be developers working on a volunteer basis - an unlikely result - then just over 1/3 of the 2.6.20 patch stream was written by volunteers. The real number will be lower, but it still shows that a significant portion of the code we run is written by developers who are donating their time.

Here is the full list:

 

Top changeset contributors by employer
(Unknown) 1244 25.0%
Red Hat 636 12.8%
(None) 383 7.7%
IBM 368 7.4%
Novell 295 5.9%
Linux Foundation 261 5.2%
Intel 178 3.6%
Oracle 126 2.5%
Google 97 1.9%
University of Aberdeen 79 1.6%
HP 78 1.6%
Qumranet 71 1.4%
Nokia 67 1.3%
SGI 64 1.3%
Astaro 63 1.3%
MIPS Technologies 61 1.2%
SANPeople 53 1.1%
Miracle Linux 43 0.9%
MontaVista 41 0.8%
Broadcom 39 0.8%

Re:It does not matter that much... (2)

Blnky (35330) | about 7 years ago | (#18651341)

Yes I did read the article. Which is why I thought SydShamino would find it of interest. With respect to your perspective, of the confirmed contributors, the only group that exceeds the non paid contributed (volunteers) is Red Hat. That shows, that with the confirmed group, the volunteers are very significant. While I also agree that you cannot blindly lump the "unknowns" into the "none" group, I suspect that of the "unknowns" the largest percentage would go to the volunteers. This would, very likely, place the volunteer group above Red Hat, thus making them the largest contributing group instead of the second largest. Looking at the spread, 7.7% to a maximum of 35.7% is a significant portion. Finally, take a close look at your own post: ...but it still shows that a significant portion of the code we run is written by developers who are donating their time. I believe that says it all.

Re:It does not matter that much... (1)

fossa (212602) | about 7 years ago | (#18650395)

The LinuxFund does not fund Linux; it funds various Linux-related Free and Open Source software projects as mentioned in the summary...

Re:It does not matter that much... (1)

rucs_hack (784150) | about 7 years ago | (#18650439)

Open source does rely heavily on people working for no pay, but any project that is elevated to the point of being important to business tends to get to the size where people need to devote a lot more time, and they need cash.

Reduced funding wouldn't kill open source, but it would hamper the motion of applications into the prime time.

Re:It does not matter that much... (0, Troll)

stompum (1085469) | about 7 years ago | (#18650659)

Not every funding source is equal. I wouldn't take money from meth manufacturers to support FOSS projects and this pretty much falls in that category IMHO. CC companies have been ruining the financial lives of people the world over and esp pray on poor people. These aren't the kind of people I want to associate with and they aren't the kind of people FOSS should associate with. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Re:It does not matter that much... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18654267)

Why is it better to leave the money in the hands of criminals? Isn't what they'd do with it otherwise likely to leave the world worse off (compared to what we would do with it)?

Re:It does not matter that much... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18650751)

it doesnt matter much because MBNA's business model on these kind of affinity programs includes "pay the supposed benefactor as little as possible". Been that way since the 80s.

"Sure our card has 30% interest rates, but its to benefit $ORGANIZATION!" ... And the organization in question might actually see a few bucks of the balance MBNA tells them they're getting...

May I be the first to say...WTF is up with that? (0, Redundant)

RLiegh (247921) | about 7 years ago | (#18650203)

I mean, it's not like we're talking about a porn site or something. What's up with this?

They should switch to Discover Card (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18650215)

You can stop laughing now.

Fry tries to make a purchase in the future:

"Here's my Visa Card."

"Visa hasn't existed in over 400 years."

"Well, how about my MasterCard?"

"MasterCard hasn't existed in over 500 years."

"I have my Discover card."

(Pause) "Ooh, I'm sorry, we don't take Discover."

And in other news (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18650237)

Lunix is still for faggots.

GOAT SEX!

Anyone else know any good geek credit cards? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18650245)

There's an Apple card, although it's not that distinctively Apple. NBC Universal/Sci-Fi has a Battlestar Galactica card, and there are the Yoda/Darth Vader cards. Anyone have any others?

They should drop Credit and Debit cards for eGold. (0)

NRAdude (166969) | about 7 years ago | (#18651117)

The foundation of Credit Cards is on a monetary system of Debt Notes (LEGAL TENDER FOR ALL DEBTS), of which we all know that it is impossible to lawfully credit anyone with a debt.

eGold endorsed by NORFED/Liberty-Dollars would make a good platform of preponderance for an Independent software development to integrate into a debtor/felon economy.

BoA again? (1, Offtopic)

zippthorne (748122) | about 7 years ago | (#18650289)

So.. they made this decision right about the same time they decided to accounts and loans to illegal immigrants? Interesting...

Re:BoA again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18652211)

Interesting...
Not really.

Credit card companies (3, Insightful)

Cyphertube (62291) | about 7 years ago | (#18650327)

In my experience, MBNA / Bank of America have not been that great for credit cards. I used to get a ton of crap from MBNA, and I can be pretty sure those people have infested BoA's credit division.

My best suggestion would be to work with HSBC. A properly set up programme with them would possibly enable same/similar card services globally. I've had no problems with HSBC's customer service, aside from the occasional glitch in a VoIP connection to a call centre.

Otherwise, I've had pretty good experience with GE Money Bank and Citibank (as far as credit cards go). Chase, though, I avoid like the plague. So, if LinuxFund gets a Chase card, well, forget me then.

Re:Credit card companies (4, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | about 7 years ago | (#18651049)

Chase made my list of 'never do business with them' companies when my credit card account with them was getting fraudulent charges from someone inside Chase, and they refused to do anything about it. When I called their fraud account services, all I would get was "There is no way that could happen.", "I highly doubt that.", and "That is a pretty serious accusation." Here are some of the reasons I believe it was an inside job:

1) I found out about the charge when I went to use the card and it was 'locked' due to suspected fraudulent activity. The only charge that was with a new company was a $30 charge to a dating service. This hardly seemed like a suspicious enough activity to block an account without first contacting the account holder.

2) More charges were made AFTER the account was locked. If I cannot make charges with the card, it is highly suspicious that someone else can.

3) When they sent me a new card with a new number, charges showed up from before before the card was created and the account number was assigned.

4) When I called Chase to point this out, they sent another card, and locked me out of being able to see the second cards charges online, even though I could still see the first card, and any previous cards I had held with Chase. 5) By the third card, the dates on some of the fraudulent Charges had changed.

Given that some of the problem would have actually required access to Chases computers to make happen, it was clear that it was an internal problem. I understand that there is no way for a company to guarantee that every one of it's employees is honest, but when they lie to me badly to cover up an internal problem instead investigating an fixing it, it is time to take your business elsewhere.

And, most importantly, if they are going to lie to me, they should at least have the decency to tell a half decent lie.

Re:Credit card companies (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 7 years ago | (#18651701)

What ever bank is used, a Slashdot affinity card would have a much bigger potential customer base along with more visibility than any other OSS-promoting activity.

down with HSBC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18652551)

My best suggestion would be to work with HSBC. ... I've had no problems with HSBC's customer service, aside from the occasional glitch in a VoIP connection to a call centre.

I don't even use HSBC and yet they were calling a company phone number twice a day every single workday for well over a year trying to reach a person whom none of us knew. Saying this person was unknown was not enough to stop them from calling. It got so bad, a rep even said he would never take the number off the list and actually call it *more*! Oh, yes. Such GREAT customer service! And for a UK bank, why do all the calls originate from a call center in Manila? We eventually had our company block all calls from HSBC. Then they started calling from another number, and we blocked that too. I then vowed never to do business with HSBC, and with the call blocking, my company's entire IT department is also aware of HSBC's awesome customer service. Great job at pissing off an entire Fortune 500 company, HSBC! And one that HSBC likely buys expensive equipment from no less.

But don't let my negative experience cloud somebody's judgement of how good HSBC's service is. Just don't expect great ethics or accountability and you'll be fine.

Funding for minor projects? (2, Insightful)

fossa (212602) | about 7 years ago | (#18650367)

I always liked the old LinuxFund's mission of giving many small grants to many small projects. Are there any other similar organizations that do that sort of thing? Google Summer of Code comes to mind, but that is limited to college students. There's always the Paypal links on project homepages or Sourceforge, but I wish there was something more visible.

LinuxFund's current "give a constant source of funding to some projects" is nice too, and donating to the LinuxFund will hopefully remain a convenient way to donate to a number of individual projects.

I am currently a LinuxFund card holder, and was disappointed when Bank of America bought out MBNA. I'll be switching to the card my credit union offers very soon.

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

jelle (14827) | about 7 years ago | (#18650401)

Maybe I missed something, but what is the "Linux Fund" doing giving money to Wikipedia (== Linux how?) and OpenSSH (== BSD licensed)?

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

Rakishi (759894) | about 7 years ago | (#18650459)

I'm assuming Wikipedia runs on Linux and other GPL software and it's content is GPL licensed if I remember. OpenSSH is present on most linux systems I assume and the BSD license is GPL compatible and all that.

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

jelle (14827) | about 7 years ago | (#18650785)

"I'm assuming Wikipedia runs on Linux and other GPL software and it's content is GPL licensed if I remember. OpenSSH is present on most linux systems I assume and the BSD license is GPL compatible and all that."

If it were the "GPL fund", or the "Open source fund", it would have been a different matter. OpenSSH is important for Linux, but it isn't Linux... Should Intel get money from the "Linux fund" because their processors can run Linux?

Wikipedia uses the "GNU Free Documentation License". Google uses Linux too, but should also not get money from "The Linux Fund"... The "The GNU Fund", or "The Wikipedia Fund", sure, but "The Linux Fund" giving money to Wikipedia is like, uhm, the government buying iPods... not what their money is intended for by the donors.

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

Rakishi (759894) | about 7 years ago | (#18650839)

By that logic Debian and Gentoo aren't linux either as they simply use the kernel in a another project. Hell, nothing short of the kernel itself would count if you want to be pedantic enough. So if you accept Debian and Gentoo then its pretty idiotic to nto accept OpenSSH by the same logic, actually the later is more important to linux as a whole than the former two.

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

jelle (14827) | about 7 years ago | (#18651041)

"So if you accept Debian and Gentoo then its pretty idiotic to nto accept OpenSSH by the same logic, actually the later is more important to linux as a whole than the former two."

The card dons Tux the penguin, the Linux mascotte chosen by Linus himself, the linuxfund.org website has only one picture: The penguin. OpenSSH is developed by the OpenBSD Project.

That's the mismatch right there.

http://news.com.com/2100-1001-230345.html [com.com]
http://www.openssh.org/ [openssh.org]

More important is debatable, OpenSSH is not the only ssh2 implementation used on Linux you know (dropbear comes to mind)...

Anyway, I'm not saying OpenSSH or Wikipedia don't deserve a lot of respect from the Linux community and probably can do very good for Linux with the donated money, but for "The Linux Fund" (sorry to be pedantic, but the fund chose "Linux" over many more generic terms and IMHO should stick to it) to favour OpenSSH over so many projects much closer to "Linux" that could use a donation is a smack in the face. And Wikipedia? Come on. While they deserve a lot of support, a fund that chooses to use the "Linux" trademark in its name should be true to it. Next the "Linux fund" start giving money to Mozilla, then OpenOffice.org, all under the name of "Linux"... When you give money to a fund called "The Linux Fund", the money should go to Linux.

Re:Funding for minor projects? (2, Informative)

fossa (212602) | about 7 years ago | (#18650515)

The LinuxFund was never strictly about Linux, but Free an Open Source Software projects [linuxfund.org]. I'm not sure I'd call Wikipedia a software project, but it is open source and does maintain the Mediawiki software.

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

jelle (14827) | about 7 years ago | (#18650811)

"The LinuxFund was never strictly about Linux"

Then they should have used a different name and IMHO deserve their fate for abusing the trademark.

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

fossa (212602) | about 7 years ago | (#18651115)

Perhaps, though it always was about the "Linux community", however one defines that. OpenSSH is certainly important to the Linux community. Wikipedia, not directly. I would support a name change for the fund; aside from Wikipedia, all the currently supported projects could be considered a part of the Linux community. In the end it's up to donors to understand to what they are donating; I'm not familiar with the terms of use of the Linux trademark, but maybe the LinuxFund's donations to the Linux Mark Institute keeps them off their back ;-)

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

jelle (14827) | about 7 years ago | (#18651167)

'Perhaps, though it always was about the "Linux community", however one defines that. OpenSSH is certainly important to the Linux community.'

The openssh.org website states on the front page "OpenSSH is developed by the OpenBSD Project."

Very similar, but different community...

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

cduffy (652) | about 7 years ago | (#18651249)

The parent claimed that OpenSSH is important to the Linux community. Whether it's developed by the Linux community is hardly relevant to the accuracy of that claim.

I hold a LinuxFund card (and apparently missed the letter, because this is the first I've heard about them shutting down), and in no way consider donations to OpenBSD's OpenSSH development to be a misuse of funds.

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

jelle (14827) | about 7 years ago | (#18651293)

Google is important to the Linux community too. So are Mozilla and Openoffice.org. Why should OpenSSH get stable long-term money from "The Linux Fund" but the others not?

The answer is probably that Google, Mozilla, and Openoffice.org have alternative sources for funding, and OpenSSH needs it more... Sure, they probably do. But OpenSSH should be getting it from the project they are part of: OpenBSD, which is a different community than the Linux community...

Or the "Linux Fund" should change their name to something more appropriate.

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

cduffy (652) | about 7 years ago | (#18651475)

But OpenSSH should be getting it from the project they are part of: OpenBSD, which is a different community than the Linux community...

Huh?

LinuxFund isn't "a part of" the Linux community in any official way; rather, it's a nonprofit that advertised itself as an easy way to financially support what folks who are in the Linux community consider worthy causes by giving members the ability to vote on the direction of funds.

Sure, the BSD folks have their own subcommunity, but the larger free software/open source community is (petty infighting besides) largely big enough for everyone. Arguing that a nonprofit which allows the individuals who indirectly fund it to vote on where that funding goes is acting inappropriately because it has donated (with the consent of those donating, to the extent that they cared enough to go to the web site and vote) to a project associated with an operating system different than the one used in their name is silly, particularly when their mission statement makes it clear that they're more strongly associated with the free and open source software communities as a whole than Linux in particular.

Nobody who cared enough to read the mission statement or check the web site was being duped into supporting anything they didn't want to -- but a credit card with a cute penguin on it is a much better conversation-starter than one that says something about "floss". Please stop trolling.

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

jelle (14827) | about 7 years ago | (#18651565)

"'LinuxFund isn't "a part of" the Linux community in any official way"

The Linux fund uses the Linux trademark and the penguin mascotte Tux, as the central word in its name, on the website, and on the card.

"rather, it's a nonprofit that advertised itself as an easy way to financially support what folks who are in the Linux community consider worthy causes by giving members the ability to vote on the direction of funds.'"

I have seen the 'Linux fund' credit card offers, and that that is not how it adversitses itself at all. In fact, the mission on the Linuxfund website says 'To promote the use and development of OpenSource Software, Documentation, Data, and other information by assisting the OpenSource Community [snip] and by giving grants and gifts to important OpenSource organizations'...

The Linux fund does not require or suggest that it's donors are members of the Linux community.

All I'm saying that "The Linux Fund" should be named differently...

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

cduffy (652) | about 7 years ago | (#18651775)

Oh, bloody hell. You're picking on the first part of my post, and ignoring the latter part (where I'm a bit less colloquial and more accurate regarding LinuxFund's stated mission, and when I discuss part of the reason why I, as a LinuxFund member, appreciate the naming and logo as they stand).

Jockying for points is hardly as useful as coming to consensus -- but this discussion hardly appears headed in the latter direction.

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

jelle (14827) | about 7 years ago | (#18651889)

The bottom part of your post did say more about what 'The Linux Fund' was and that, as a fund, they do good things... But it also it shows again that "The Linux Fund" is simply using the word Linux and the penguin mascotte. Sure, maybe using the name "Linux" and showing the "cute pengiun" may be a nice thing for the fund, but just using the name and not owing up to it is a form of abuse. They are abusing the trademark and logo, which was my point all along.

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

cduffy (652) | about 7 years ago | (#18652125)

You might try taking history into account.

In the 1999 timeframe, Linux was unique among Free and open source projects in terms of its public visibility within the nontechnical community. Firefox has joined it since then in terms of being well-known -- but identifying oneself as a part of this thing called "Linux" (which occasionally had a news article or somesuch written about it in the major media) was a much better way to raise public awareness about free and open source software in general, because there was actually a reasonable chance that folks would have heard about it (and thus would have something with which to relate the brief conversation they had with that guy with the penguin on his credit card). In short, Linux was a reasonable proxy for FLOSS in general in terms of public awareness of big-F Free Software.

We can agree that the FLOSS community is a closely-related superset of the Linux community, right? And we can agree that in 1999, Linux was the public figurehead for OSS software in general, right? If that's so, why is this any more objectionable than a credit card supporting dairy-related causes calling itself MilkFund even though funds are also used to lobby for cheese and yogurt-related purposes?

Re:Funding for minor projects? (1)

jelle (14827) | about 7 years ago | (#18653487)

"You might try taking history into account."

Ok, there you may have a point. Agreed, when "The Linux Fund" started times were different, and the card did seem to give Linux more crediblity. At least, the penguin was so new, it _was_ 'cool' just to see Tux on a card.

Is your point that they should be considered grandfathered in, and it should be fine for them to now also support Soy Milk and "I can't believe it's not Linux"?

Ok, maybe they should be the grandfathered in because of their early involvement. I guess I have no new arguments to make, so I'll just say I'd hope this not to be the beginning of hijacking of the name "Linux" in ways similar to how the media hijacked the word "Hacker" (or how anything annoying, hurtful, or illegal is now suddenly called a form of 'terrorism'). Let's not begin calling everything "Linux", or show Tux just because the penguin looks cute.

I've had one for years (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18650403)

I've had one of these for years. I work for Microsoft. It's mildly amusing to pay for stuff in the company store with the cards (though I probably wouldn't do that if Balmer or Gates was behind me in line, not that it's likely to happen...).

(posting anonymoosely because, yes, I'm a coward... ;-) )

Oh come ON! (5, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 7 years ago | (#18650499)

Though I probably wouldn't do that if Balmer or Gates was behind me in line
You only live once!

 

Re:Oh come ON! (1, Funny)

Splab (574204) | about 7 years ago | (#18650569)

I for one would want something different than killed by flying chair on my tombstone...

Re:Oh come ON! (1)

ystar (898731) | about 7 years ago | (#18650939)

...if Balmer or Gates was behind me in line...
If ever there was a day to have had a big Taco Bell lunch...

Re:I've had one for years (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 years ago | (#18650865)

I probably wouldn't do that if Balmer or Gates was behind me in line

      You'd be safe so long as there weren't any chairs in the immediate vicinity! Bill would probably just offer to buy your card from you.

Re:I've had one for years (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 7 years ago | (#18651597)

I used to go to Amsterdam to speak for HP. When I was there, I was always tempted to take a customer out to lunch, and go with him to one of the legal-there hashish clubs, and then file for reimbursement with HP :-) I never did it.

Bruce

Re:I've had one for years (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 7 years ago | (#18652261)

If ever there would be a need to have the company re-imburse you, it would definitely be after all the food you would eat at lunch after that.

B of A sucks (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 7 years ago | (#18650441)

Bank of America is is one of the worst commercial banks in the country, in my experience. Staying true to the OSS ideals, these guys really should look at getting a branded credit card from a non-profit credit union that serves its customers instead of the shareholders, anyway.

Re:B of A sucks (2, Informative)

HTMLSpinnr (531389) | about 7 years ago | (#18650749)

Agreed, BofA sucks.

However I've checked into my Credit Union's branded cards (past and present), and they're generally outsourced to the big banks such as MBNA (erm, BofA), HSBC, Elan Financial Services, or others. Their rates are also generally less attractive than some other big bank offerings. For instance, those who got the Linux Fund card some time ago under MBNA at the fixed 7.9% APR are less likely to switch to a variable 12.44%-17.99% card unless 4.5-10% of that interest is going to Linux Fund.

Re:B of A sucks (1)

smbarbour (893880) | about 7 years ago | (#18653897)

I wish my Linux Fund card had a variable 12.44%-17.99%. I'm currently paying 27.95% with MBNA/BoA unwilling to negotiate.

I also have a revolving line of credit at 24% that they will not negotiate because they are no longer affiliated with the company that initiated that account (Gateway computers).

Re:B of A sucks (2, Insightful)

StormShadw (686387) | about 7 years ago | (#18651011)

Personal credit cards have nothing to do with commercial banking - it's a consumer banking function. Cards like this (known as "affinity cards") are expensive to maintain unless you have a large credit portfolio, which is why many smaller banks don't bother... Unless you have a customer base large enough to provide an economy of scale, it just doesn't make sense.

Banks need to pay for the costs of maintaining their credit portfolio. (Think of it: cards need to be embossed, statement rendering, overhead involved with complying with Visa/Mastercard bylaws, collections, etc., to say nothing of the cost of taking on risk that debtors might not pay them back.) Those costs are passed on to consumers through interest rates and fees.

At the end of the day, I'm sure this was a business decision. Banks don't have some secret agenda for/against open source - they really just care about providing service (at a profit) to customers. If the card stayed, they probably would've needed to raise interest rates/fees and everyone would still be screaming.

I've got conflicting feelings (1)

cyphercell (843398) | about 7 years ago | (#18650451)

I thoroughly hate credit cards and love OSS, seems to be a conflict of theories somewhere.

Specialty credit cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18650453)

The only bank I ever received offers for specialty credit cards from was MBNA. I can't say I'm surprized BofA wanted to drop the program; 2 LUGS I am a member of - and several more I know of - had accounts with banks that were bought out by BofA and were summarily dropped as customers. As for Chase, I had a card with a bank that Chase bought out. Chase had a nasty habit of counting early payments as late for the previous billing cycle. The only way to guarantee payments exactly on time would have been to open a checking account with them and setup automatic payments. Naturally, if I couldn't trust them to handle my existing payments in a reasonable way, I was certainly not going to open any other accounts with them.

Re:Specialty credit cards (2, Informative)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 7 years ago | (#18650885)

Chase had a nasty habit of counting early payments as late for the previous billing cycle.
--
im not sure that would even be remotely legal if a payment was tendered for that month ie starting with a current account
pay in april for april
pay in april for may
pay in may for june
should get you some sort of reward not an extra fee

Re:Specialty credit cards (1)

PornMaster (749461) | about 7 years ago | (#18653141)

What kind of reward?

It should get you less of a finance charge, but that's the only reward you should get for paying earlier.

BoA sux (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 7 years ago | (#18650613)

And yet another example of how shitty BoA really is. If they're not finding ways to fuck their customers with fee's, they're finding ways to fuck over the community. Thanks a lot guys..

Give something back? (2, Insightful)

kaleco (801384) | about 7 years ago | (#18650635)

Perhaps it's time more OSS users show their appreciation by making donations. I definitely need to do this more. I imagine more generous donors also gain some clout for getting obscure bugs fixed or niche features added...

But I still have that great rate... for now (4, Interesting)

HTMLSpinnr (531389) | about 7 years ago | (#18650687)

I too got one of these letters, and was disappointed that the Linux Fund program was dropped and converted to their lame "World Points" card. I've had 2 specialty cards that were previously MBNA (AOPA and Linux Fund), and both were changed somewhat with the BofA purchase. The AOPA card went from FBO rebates to double points @ FBO's, and now Linux Fund Card isn't supporting Linux and other F/OSS projects. Fortunately, for now, I still enjoy a 7.9% rate on the card which is the only reason I haven't canceled it (that and I enjoy the occasional remark on the Penguin logo on the card). When the card expires, I'll probably cancel it as there's no additional benefit and I hate the idea of letting BofA make money off of me.

If (or I should say when) BofA changes that single lasting benefit of having one of the lowest non-promotional non annual fee consumer credit card rates around, I'll drop the card. In the mean time, I too look forward to a new Linux Fund (or similar) branded CC from someone else, provided it has reasonable terms and rates.

Re:But I still have that great rate... for now (1)

Phs2501 (559902) | about 7 years ago | (#18650825)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's bitter about the AOPA card change. *grouse*

Re:But I still have that great rate... for now (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about 7 years ago | (#18650841)

(that and I enjoy the occasional remark on the Penguin logo on the card)

      Does it get you laid? :D

Re:But I still have that great rate... for now (1)

HTMLSpinnr (531389) | about 7 years ago | (#18651135)

The hot chicks behind the Best Buy counter are usually the ones making the comments, but I'm married, so it's moot :-( (or at least that's what I tell my wife).

Re:But I still have that great rate... for now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18651585)

The hot girls at the Japanese sushi restaurants for me. :)

That cute penguin (1)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 7 years ago | (#18651623)

It really works! Women at cash registers always smile at the cute penguin! And comment about it. And of course I've been out of that market for the past 16 years, too.

Bruce

Re:But I still have that great rate... for now (1)

voidptr (609) | about 7 years ago | (#18651131)

Count me as one more that's pissed from BoA changing the rules on the AOPA card.

Re:But I still have that great rate... for now (2, Insightful)

HappyUserPerson (954699) | about 7 years ago | (#18653617)

Fortunately, for now, I still enjoy a 7.9% rate on the card which is the only reason I haven't canceled it (that and I enjoy the occasional remark on the Penguin logo on the card).
Carrying a balance on your credit card is just throwing money away. Pay off your card(s) -- immediately, sell your CD's (not the music ones), drain your savings accounts, sell your stocks (probably shouldn't cash in your 401k due to the penalty) and do it NOW! After that, pay off your balance each month and ignore your "low" interest rate and your high credit limit. Don't worry, credit card companies make plenty of money in processing fees that they charge vendors without you gifting them 7.9% APY of your balance. Don't even think about using your credit card for "emergencies". Save $200-$500 a month in a saving account until you accumulate a few thousand dollars. You'll have a rainy day fund in no time.

How about working with a credit union issuer? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18650735)

The credit union would get a new subscriber base, more accounts, and would be able to advertise
their advocacy of open source.

The card was fucked anyway (1)

Tiber (613512) | about 7 years ago | (#18650843)

When they were bought, my interest rate went from a respectable 7.99% to 20%.

Why?

"It's an APR card, we can fuck around with it any way we want so long as we notify you in writing!"

I really doubt it made any significant contributions after the buyout. My card sits in a safe helping my credit rating while not seeing the light of day. They refused to lower the APR, so I simply stopped using it.

Re:The card was fucked anyway (1)

Platupous (316849) | about 7 years ago | (#18652941)

Ditto.

I just received my amendment letter yesterday. I have a fantastic credit record, and when I went on my vacation, that is skiing and hiking for the past year 'cause my company decided to comit fraud (Mercury Interactive), I decided to keep a balance on my Sierra Account with MBNA, which is now BofAss.

I called them yesterday, told them that they could 'yada' 'yada' 'yada' me all they want. I told them this was the first revolving account I ever kept a balance on, and I told them I thought they were slime. I then told them, Fine, then I reject this change, and in the next 15 days, I am going to charge the max out of my 7% account, and then simply pay it off easilly, the way I initially inteneded to, at 7%. I am going to call them so often, to make it not worth their while. God, I am so furious, what friggen bastards, I just whish I could sue their asses off for some reason. Anyone want to start a class action with me?

Re:The card was fucked anyway (1)

Platupous (316849) | about 7 years ago | (#18653021)

Writing about this made me want to call BofA again, to talk to them. I got to speak with an account manager quickly. . . This manage told me that they were doing this with all BofA account holders now. Interesting. Class action anyone? I have a record of the conversation.

Re:The card was fucked anyway (2, Interesting)

ShadoHawk (741112) | about 7 years ago | (#18653423)

I normally NEVER have anything useful to post, but this chaps my ass. I have had an MBNA card for years with my high school. It was supposed to give them money on what I purchased... They never sent me a new card so I paid off the card. Then send me a how ya' doing' letter saying we have raised your interest to 21.9% and limiting you to 1000 dollars because of late fees... I was okay fine. I won't use you card anymore. I have had a 12,000 dollar limit since I was 23... I can't believe they are doing this to their customers. And well, since I am lazy, I would be willing to join a class action law suit if someone else started it, but I just would rather not do business with them. So it is no surprise to me whatever you say they are doing.

Too bad that no one will see this post cause my karma is so bad... And I don't know what I did to deserve that... Maybe it was my spelling or grammar... Or I guess this isn't really useful either. I will go cry now.

Yuo FAil It. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18650915)

like they are Come BSD's acclaimed Volume of NetBSD those obligations. every day...Like Interest in having getting together to I won't bore you project somewhere a BSD over other share. *BSD is the party in street prospects are very Obvious that there All; in order to go to keep up as [nero-online.org] Mr. Raymond's out of business A CONSCIOUS STAND In time. Fo8 all dicks produced Things the right for election, I out of business BSD culminated in log on Then the with the number AMERICA) is the

It's Because BOA is now giving cards to illegals.. (0, Offtopic)

Proudrooster (580120) | about 7 years ago | (#18650983)

MBNA Corp. / BOA has been offering credit cards to illegals aliens [firecoalition.com] in the United States. That means you can get a credit card with out a social security number or credit check. Unconfirmed sources have said that the program is a total disaster and is costing the bank quite a bit of money. I suspect MBNA Corp. will have to cut quite a few more programs and perks to keep funding credit cards for illegal aliens. Looks like they shot themselves in the foot.

illegals aliens (0, Troll)

bug1 (96678) | about 7 years ago | (#18651391)

Oh, and what of the legal aliens, can they have credit cards now ?

Nobody is "illegal", fascist.

Re:illegals aliens (1)

Proudrooster (580120) | about 7 years ago | (#18651469)

"Nobody is "illegal", fascist."

I didn't write the laws. We either enforce the laws or change them, but not ignore them. 98% of all illegal entries into the USA are unprosecuted and mostly "catch and release". We are a nation of laws and "the useless laws weaken the necessary one."

The American Indians found out what happens when you don't control immigration. In any case, Yes, BOA is giving credit cards to people violating US law by being here illegally.

Re:illegals aliens (1)

bug1 (96678) | about 7 years ago | (#18651547)

"Yes, BOA is giving credit cards to people violating US law by being here illegally."

Thats better, its (in)action, not existence that is legal/illegal.

Re:illegals aliens (1)

Cyphertube (62291) | about 7 years ago | (#18651811)

Lame.

We are talking about aliens who are not here legally. Hence they are not legal aliens. Their alien status is that of illegal, hence the term illegal aliens.

They are not illegal people, but as aliens, they are illegal.

Avoiding using legal terms and engaging in politically correct usages results in, what I find as somebody who is handicapped, or disabled, awfully insulting. Call me physically challenged to my face, and I'll be sure to show you what DOES work, as you fall on your ass.

Re:illegals aliens (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18652745)

"They are not illegal people, but as aliens, they are illegal."

And by aliens, you mean people, right ?

Let me guess, you voted for bush.

Already dead to me. (1)

billcopc (196330) | about 7 years ago | (#18651107)

The Linux Mastercard was dead to me a long time ago, MBNA was a horrible bank to deal with. It's one thing to support a cause, it's another to pay retarded fees to a goddamned bank. I hate banks, and I especially hated MBNA so while I miss the cute penguin card, I was quite happy to terminate that account.

There are better ways to support free software than to partner with the devil. Hey why not strike a deal with Thailand where 5% of all prostitution income goes to the EFF ?

I received one of the letters (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18651479)

and promptly canceled the card.

Actually I haven't used the card in some time because the terms concerning late payments, etc changed radically about a year ago. I always pay my credit card bills in full every month and don't ever recall making a late payment, but they changed the terms so that past history of prompt payments made no difference. They decreased the time to make a payment and increased the late fee to something like $40.

Personally I think Linux cutting ties with a company that practices usury is a good thing.

Any official word from LinuxFund? (1)

atomic-penguin (100835) | about 7 years ago | (#18651739)

I've been a LinuxFund cardholder ever since it was first announced here on slashdot. I stuck with the card since the Bank of America/MBNA merger. I stuck with the card after it was announced that nobody had managed the LinuxFund's assets for almost 2 years.

Many of the other countless posts here add little to the conversation other than "MBNA/Bank of America sucks". The biggest question on my mind, and perhaps even other loyal cardholders is if another bank will be picking up the LinuxFund card? Personally, and I can only speak for myself, I've frequently used the card for both business and personal expenses over the years. I even nominated one of the groups who are currently receiving much needed financial support for development. I would rather "give" in this way, than trade this sort of community funding for George Forman grills, and $10 Applebees or Starbucks gift cards.

So is there any official word or news from the LinuxFund account managers?

BofA = Money Grubbing Bastards (2, Informative)

Manzanita (167643) | about 7 years ago | (#18651953)

About 20 years ago I had an account with BofA and they didn't seem so bad. Around that time they jacked up their fees on everything and changed their terms so as to make it much more likely to collect those fees. I left them pretty quickly. Since then they have bought a number of financial institutions I was using. Every time they have changed the terms and thoroughly destroyed good companies. It has happened again with MBNA. I just closed two credit cards I had with them. I find it hard to believe that anyone stays with them. There are so many better options. Anyone who is still doing business with BofA, I encourage you to make the effort to get out Now. Trust me, you will be much happier.

-Dan

MBNA Sucks! (1)

laing (303349) | about 7 years ago | (#18652821)

I once had an ARRL MBNA card which suffered the same fate. MBNA seems to have perfected this marketing scam: They offer the cards with attractive terms which claim to benefit the named non-profit organization; then a year or two later they sever the ties with the organization but allow all the card holders to remain as customers (from which all fees and profits now go directly to MBNA).

I haven't had any dealings with them since I cancelled that card over 15 years ago.

it was VISA, not MasterCard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18652937)

clearly the dude submitting the story has never had one of these things because they provided VISA cards, not MasterCards ... MasterCards are fucking worthless

Drop the Blood Money, Consider a Credit Union (1)

mrs clear plastic (229108) | about 7 years ago | (#18653297)

MNBA is someone that I would not deal with. Nor is Bank of America. Nor is Chase. Blood money.


I have a CC with my credit union. 12 & 1/2 percent APR.


May I respectfuly sugges that the Linux Foundation consider approaching credit unions with this
type of arrangement.


I think that many of us would be more comfortable with a separation between the Linux Fund and the large
CC issuers who are not allways the most Holy in their dealings.


Luv & Hugs

Linuxfund was Tough Sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18653509)

After doing a campagn at Linuxfund I saw that it was largely the money and free stocks donated to linuxfund that really sent most of the money to the developers. The leg work of the founder B Cox and others at trade shows also was assisted by the free money flowing in the 90's. After the tech market tightened and geeks felt less rich and there was less call for a "Credit Card that Runs Linux".
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