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Ralph Nader tells government buyers to use Linux, release Microsoft source code.
World Tech Tribune.com ^ | Copyright June 5, 2002 | Scott McCollum

Posted on 06/05/2002 10:24:00 AM PDT by Scott McCollum

“Ralph Nader, the self- styled consumer advocate, multi-millionaire champagne socialist and Green Party presidential candidate that stole votes away from Democrat Al Gore, blasted the Bush Administration for supporting the 'Microsoft monopoly' because Federal workers use Microsoft Office products.

Most Federal Government computer and software purchases were made in 1998-1999 during the second term of the Clinton Administration.”

Full details at World Tech Tribune.com


TOPICS: Activism/Chapters; Business/Economy; Government; Politics/Elections; Technical
KEYWORDS: billclinton; economy; freemarkets; georgewbush; microsoft; ralphnader; socialism
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Nader wants the government to control what operating system goes on computers rather than letting the market decide.
1 posted on 06/05/2002 10:24:02 AM PDT by Scott McCollum
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To: Scott McCollum
Nader is an imbecile. Microsoft is #1 in the desktop world because they made their operating system EASY to use, since MOST people don't understand much about computers. The MAJORITY of people aren't technically savvy so they will pay for an easy solution.
2 posted on 06/05/2002 10:34:19 AM PDT by xrp
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To: Scott McCollum
Nader wants the government to control what operating system goes on computers rather than letting the market decide.

Yes, how dare the government decide what software goes on government computers.
3 posted on 06/05/2002 10:42:23 AM PDT by Dimensio
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To: xrp
The MAJORITY of people aren't technically savvy so they will pay for an easy solution.

Sadly, this ease of use has led to lots of idiots using computers that are connected to the Internet. As a result, you have incompetent admins who can't secure their systems and allow all kinds of viruses and trojans to run loose -- the bandwith sucked up by those viruses adversely affecting everyone, even those who are smart enough to lock down their systems.

At least when it was hard to use, you could count on the people running things to know what they were doing.
4 posted on 06/05/2002 10:44:05 AM PDT by Dimensio
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To: Scott McCollum
One minute he wan't the NBA to do a mulligan, and on the next he's a technical consultant? Nader, stay off my side. k? thx
5 posted on 06/05/2002 10:46:49 AM PDT by Liberal Classic
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To: Scott McCollum
This is ALMOST enough to make me go back to microsoft, but in truth, Linux IS much better.
Jack
6 posted on 06/05/2002 10:51:27 AM PDT by btcusn
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To: Dimensio
Yes, how dare the government decide what software goes on government computers.

Cynical, are you? What's wrong with the "market" buying off congressmen and bureaucrats by he who has the most money?

< /sarcasm>

7 posted on 06/05/2002 10:51:53 AM PDT by Shermy
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To: xrp
The MAJORITY of people aren't technically savvy so they will pay for an easy solution.

You are right, but they also don't realize that what they are buying is buggy and unreliable either.

8 posted on 06/05/2002 10:57:33 AM PDT by DrDavid
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To: Scott McCollum
Warning for Linux fans: With friends like Ralph Nader, who needs enemies?
9 posted on 06/05/2002 10:58:26 AM PDT by DrDavid
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To: Scott McCollum
Actually there are many federal agencies that are using Linux right now, even on the desktop.
10 posted on 06/05/2002 10:58:26 AM PDT by zx2dragon
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To: Scott McCollum
Ralph Nader is no more a "consumer advocate" than Bill Clinton is a chaste, honest man.

'Nuff said.

11 posted on 06/05/2002 11:01:30 AM PDT by usconservative
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To: zx2dragon
The Pentagon is big into Linux. There was a story in the Washington Post awhile back on Microsoft's heavy DOD lobbying effort, claiming that Linux is unAmerican in some way.
12 posted on 06/05/2002 11:11:39 AM PDT by triplejake
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To: Scott McCollum
This from a guy who claims his last car was a Studebaker.
13 posted on 06/05/2002 11:30:15 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Dimensio
Sadly, this ease of use has led to lots of idiots using computers that are connected to the Internet.

Pity you can't use the Internet for your own personal geek playground anymore... /sarcasm
14 posted on 06/05/2002 11:57:34 AM PDT by Bush2000
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To: Dimensio
Yes, how dare the government decide what software goes on government computers.

Read again: The government can't afford to buy MS intellectual property for what it's worth -- so they'd have to steal it. Thanks, Nader, but no thanks: Reread the Constitution.
15 posted on 06/05/2002 12:01:21 PM PDT by Bush2000
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To: Scott McCollum
And you want us to believe you're a serious writer. Get lost Scott, Nader for the first time in his existance actually has a point when he says that the government needs to stop using MS software. It should be considered an act of treason to use Windows to power any system of any importance in the military and intel agencies.

The first time that an air craft carrier is blown out of the water and 5000 sailors are slaughtered because the aegis cruisers protecting it had their systems crash because "Trusted Windows" BSOD'd is when I say every patriotic citizen needs to grab a gun and march on redmond. It is one thing to screw over businesses and consumers with lies about how Windows is perfect for any task. It is another thing to put our national defense at risk because Microsoft has bought into its own lies and believes that Windows is ready for any task. If you don't believe me that the first tests of Windows on Warships has failed, look online. A crashy OS that can't secure a high end web-server being used to power our Navy. Only in America I'm afraid.

For the record I think Windows XP is just fine for the desktop and small in-office servers. Windows is utter trash for everything else IMO. If you want a real server do it right with Solaris, FreeBSD or a major Linux distro. But for God's sake, stop perpetuating the lie that Windows is the panacea for computing problems! No OS is. No OS can be everything to everyone.

The only off the shelf OS that could be used by the military for most non-pedestrian uses would be QNX. QNX is used to power most ATMs and nuclear power plants around the world.

16 posted on 06/05/2002 12:07:11 PM PDT by dheretic
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To: Bush2000
B2K, I'm right with you on this one. Nader here makes a strong showing of both his communist leanings and computer illiteracy. Trying to force all government contracts to Linux is just as bad as locking all aerospace contracts with Armalite to the exclusion of Colt, or Boeing to the exclusion of Lockheed.

All Nader really wants to do is nationalize Microsoft.

17 posted on 06/05/2002 12:12:35 PM PDT by Liberal Classic
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To: Scott McCollum
Once in the public domain, the Microsoft code would be swallowed into the Linux software code, a free Unix-like operating system cobbled together over a period of ten years by students, hackers and other computer hobbyists
  1. Why would the Linux kernel developers want Windows code in their project? The could not integrate Windows code into the linux kernel without fundamental alterations to the linux kernel. Porting from 1 OS to another (Windows->Linux) is an order of magnitude more involved than cutting and pasting. Get a clue. You are a discredit to the side you allegedly represent.
  2. You don't think mentioning $1B of IBM R&D and marketing money in that list of people involved in "cobbling" it together is important?
  3. So I take it developers from Compaq, Apple and SGI are a bunch of losers whose contributions are hardly noteworthy? Compaq was the company that did most of the Linux kernel's porting to the Alpha archetecture.

18 posted on 06/05/2002 12:13:55 PM PDT by dheretic
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To: Liberal Classic
Dang proofreading. My fingers got ahead of my brain there.

That should read "Trying to force all government contracts to Linux is just as bad as locking all arms contracts with Armalite to the exclusion of Colt, or aerospace contracts with Boeing to the exclusion of Lockheed. "

19 posted on 06/05/2002 12:14:07 PM PDT by Liberal Classic
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To: dheretic
Nader for the first time in his existance actually has a point when he says that the government needs to stop using MS software.

Yes, it is a point. Not a very good one, but a point nonetheless. Nader is the king of bad ideas. He wants the government to "nationalize" Microsoft's intellectual property -- the same way that banana republic dictators nationalize oil refineries and casinos. With friends like him, I can't imagine that you'd need any enemies...
20 posted on 06/05/2002 12:14:16 PM PDT by Bush2000
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To: Liberal Classic
B2K, I'm right with you on this one. Nader here makes a strong showing of both his communist leanings and computer illiteracy. Trying to force all government contracts to Linux is just as bad as locking all aerospace contracts with Armalite to the exclusion of Colt, or Boeing to the exclusion of Lockheed.

Just for the record, I think the government should evaluate its software needs and consider Linux. But it should do so for the right reasons: lowering costs, improving efficiency, increasing productivity -- not punishing Microsoft.

And this whole "buy the Windows source code and release it into the public domain" is just pure Communist Manifesto. The guy is so patently loony on this point that it's a wonder he isn't committed.
21 posted on 06/05/2002 12:16:48 PM PDT by Bush2000
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To: Bush2000
Right. That's why most people that use Linux or are sympathetic to OSS (which I am) not so subtely tell him to keep his mouth shut when trying to "advocate" our positions.
22 posted on 06/05/2002 12:17:15 PM PDT by dheretic
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To: Liberal Classic
Miracle of miracles ... we actually agree for a change. Wonders never cease. ;-p
23 posted on 06/05/2002 12:17:47 PM PDT by Bush2000
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Comment #24 Removed by Moderator

Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: Bush2000
Shouldn't come as much of a suprise with regards to Ralph "unsafe at any megahertz" Nader. :)
26 posted on 06/05/2002 12:23:07 PM PDT by Liberal Classic
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To: toddhisattva
What? No. Nader couldn't care less about the state of the art in operating systems, he just wants to nationalize your computer.
27 posted on 06/05/2002 12:24:51 PM PDT by Liberal Classic
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To: Liberal Classic
I've discovered people who liked and voted for Nader also like having the trains run on time.
28 posted on 06/05/2002 12:28:36 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Liberal Classic
Nope

Ralph made millions investing in the market. My guess is he's shorted Microsoft...

29 posted on 06/05/2002 12:28:36 PM PDT by Skip Ripley
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To: Liberal Classic
I've discovered people who liked and voted for Nader also like having the trains run on time.
30 posted on 06/05/2002 12:29:19 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Skip Ripley
Oh yeah, and feather his own nest while he's at it.
31 posted on 06/05/2002 12:35:18 PM PDT by Liberal Classic
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To: Bush2000
Personal playground? I just get annoyed at an inbox overflowing with junk e-mail (yes, increased stupidity on the Internet does lead to increased junk e-mail because it's a well-documented fact that spammers are always stupid -- no stupid people on the Internet == no junk e-mail) and having my connection bogged down with hundreds of hits per hour from other people on the network who don't realise that their unpatched computer is sending out constant attempts to bang into a port that I don't have open so that it can infect a webserver that I don't run with itself. Their machines got infected because they run an "easy-to-use" webserver package called IIS -- so easy to use you might not even know that it's been installed -- and they don't bother to ever check for security updates to their operating system even though Microsoft has provided an easy-to-use method of obtaining and installing them since Windows 98.

I don't have a problem with people using the Internet. I do have a problem when people who have bought into the "ease of use" illusion create detrimental side-effects to innocent third parties because they don't realise that there is more to running a computer than point-and-click.
32 posted on 06/05/2002 12:42:01 PM PDT by Dimensio
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To: dheretic
Geez, I'm blind. I didn't realise that this was put up by the same guy who yesterday blasted an MIT grad student for hacking the XBox console. His article was written with the implication that the hacker's intentions were to facilitate software piracy yet even a casual look at the work (though a more in-depth analysis of the console hacking mentality does help) would make it obvious that his efforts were in line with attempts to make the XBox console run arbitrary "homebrew" programs so that independant software writers could create their own (perfectly legal) projects that would run on the console. He also blasted the hacker's use of reverse engineering to "crack" the XBox system BIOS and criticized a cited court case where it was ruled legal for another software company to reverse engineer Sony's Playstation console (he then got the facts regarding the later settlement wrong).

I very much question Scott's technical expertise and I'd take any commentary he has to offer on subjects even remotely related to issues like this with a grain of salt.
33 posted on 06/05/2002 12:49:13 PM PDT by Dimensio
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: toddhisattva
One thing to remember is that Linux is just a kernel, and that's been "cobbled together" by only one man. Well, two men when Alan Cox starts working on it (that happens when Linus starts developing the next kernel release) and individual users are free to submit their own patches, but it is wholly inaccurate to refer to the Linux kernel as though it's a thrown-together patchwork of code from anonymous geeks around the world.

Oh, and the best description I've seen of Windows (at least back in the 9X/ME era) was that it was a 32-bit GUI slapped over a 16-bit extention to an 8-bit operating system originally written for a 4-bit processor by a 2-bit company that can't stand one bit of competition.
35 posted on 06/05/2002 12:57:26 PM PDT by Dimensio
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To: Dimensio
I very much question Scott's technical expertise and I'd take any commentary he has to offer on subjects even remotely related to issues like this with a grain of salt.

he's just writing outrage articles to drive traffic to his site. the fact that he posts the articles on fr, not interested readers, says something about their merit, don't you think?

36 posted on 06/05/2002 1:02:34 PM PDT by danelectro
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To: Scott McCollum
The following comments I made regarding the Tiawan government's proposed push to adopt open source software ring true here as well:
Regardless if the open source community acknowledges it or likes it, their software could not of been developed in a vacuum.

That there are plenty of technically knowledgeable people able to expend their free time creating open source software on cheap computers is a testament to the many good things that companies like Microsoft have brought us.

The open source crowd stands on the shoulders of private industry so-to-speak.

Perhaps one can make the case that open source software development has been beneficial to private industry.

But it is easy to see the converse. Private industry has been necessary for open source development.


As we all know our government more often creates the monopolies like the post office to the detriment of us all. This is simply an opportunity to do the same.

37 posted on 06/05/2002 1:10:18 PM PDT by avg_freeper
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: toddhisattva
Well, I don't agree that MS is a monopoly and should be partitioned, and I especially don't agree that MS should be nationalized. For me, it's just one more Nader windmill to tilt.
39 posted on 06/05/2002 1:45:43 PM PDT by Liberal Classic
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To: Bush2000
Pity you can't use the Internet for your own personal geek playground anymore...

Pity the government doesn't fine people who help propagate email worms because they are too stupid to take security adviseries seriously. People who spread worms out of stupidity deserve to be fined because they are guilty for spreading the damage. There have been too many instances where people have been told to not do something with a computer and they do it and something like that happens. How many worms is it going to take for the government to tell them to shut up because while the guy who wrote the worm will end up in jail, as far as the government is concerned they were his accomplices because at this point there is no excuse.

There have been probably 20-30 major email worms in the past 2 years. They all spread the same exact way. People were warned every time about what behavior helps spread them yet they continue to do it. Why should the geeks that actually *learn from their mistakes* be punished in any way? I check on Windows Update for updates every week. I don't use IE, I use Mozilla. I use OpenOffice to keep from spreading Macrovirii and I have set Explorer to display file extensions by default. I and other geeks aren't the problem. The secretary and soccer mom that cannot be bothered to learn from their mistakes are.

If this was about guns you'd be demanding that these people be forced into a gun safety course. For some reason computers are off limits, no one has to use any intelligence when using them. People with the attitude you displayed need to realize that if your computer geeks hijacked and involved in a DDoS attack on a major eCommerce site, you are costing them money. If their site is down for 1 hour because of a DDoS attack, they have lost business. It would be like shutting down the power to a local business for an hour. No one would be able to buy anything because the cash registers and credit card readers wouldn't be working. People's ignorance can come back to hurt others in a tangible way.

40 posted on 06/05/2002 1:45:45 PM PDT by dheretic
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To: All
> Prove that Microsoft hasn't licensed or paid for every technology their software engineers used in the creating of their software (or as you've said "stolen"). When I mean proof, I mean PROOF, kids - not "X-Files" conspiracy theories of alleged backdoor deals you found on "www.SupaLinuxHizzouse.org". If your proof is a civil lawsuit settlement, I'll show you proof that IBM, HP, et al. "stole" just as much tech over the years.

> Linux is already begining to diverge into two separate kernel forks - Torvalds' and Cox's. I thought ESR claimed such forking was bad and would never happen?

> It's easy for to blame Microsoft for anything because they are a public company, but what happens in the Open Souce Happy-FunLand future when a cyber terrorist organization opens a back door embedded deep within the Linux code and selectively takes down every server in America? Don't give me a "but that would never happen" response - who do you BLAME? The hacker or Linus?

If the answer is the hacker, why not blame the hacker when a "Microsoft bug" is found and exploited?

If the answer is to never blame Linus because he doesn't "own" Linux, I think you find the answer to why Linux has no marketshare. No, I'm not throwing out that for shock value - that's the fact originally stated by Ed Zander from Sun Microsystems: "yet Linux has achieved no market share in the industry."

Nader wants Microsoft along with the secondary and tertiary hardware/software industries that have been created around them destroyed by government intervention. Nader's got it wrong - If Linux is better, let the Linux companies turn on the marketing charm and convince customers to pay for it... That's the bottom line.

41 posted on 06/05/2002 1:48:29 PM PDT by Scott McCollum
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To: toddhisattva
The government created Microsoft, the government should destroy it.

Wipe the drool away, Toddy.
42 posted on 06/05/2002 1:50:26 PM PDT by Bush2000
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To: Liberal Classic
Microsoft is a monopoly in the PC market. There are no true monopolies if you want to get hyper technical. Some joe could have gone out and sold buckets of oil on the street during Standard Oil's height of power, but would that have made him competition? That Microsoft is a monopoly is in and of itself irrelevant. The fact that that monopoly is backed by unbalanced licensing terms and the US patent office, is quite relevant. Microsoft would be no threat to anyone if it couldn't patent its file formats, programming languages and network protocols. Patents are fundamentally at odds with how software is developed. Software development requires interoperability without restrictions. Free and commercial software alike have to be able to work together. That is how networking works. FR wouldn't exist if Larry Wall had taken Microsoft's approach to PERL, the government had not released control of TCP/IP to the public domain and the W3C restricted the ability to create open and commercial implementations of HTTP. If you are using Windows, you are using the BSD networking system to post to FR. Yes, that's right. Windows' networking system was taken from BSD, not written from scratch.
43 posted on 06/05/2002 1:51:51 PM PDT by dheretic
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To: btcusn
This is ALMOST enough to make me go back to microsoft, but in truth, Linux IS much better.

Full-time sysadmins love Linux. It does everything they want it to do. Unfortunately, switching to Linux will make you a full-time sysadmin whether you want to be or not.

44 posted on 06/05/2002 1:54:50 PM PDT by AmishDude
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To: dheretic
I don't have to get "hyper-technical" to suggest Microsoft has competitors, and that Microsoft cannot raise prices forever without their customers going elsewhere. While Microsoft currently enjoys a position of market dominance, they are not guaranteed to keep it. Microsoft is not a Standard Oil or an Alcoa Aluminium.

However, you will find that I am highly critical of some of Microsoft's business practices. They have in the past, and apparently they continue to steal software belonging to their competitors; this past month Microsoft was levied a multi-million franc fine for packaging some small French software company's software as their own. This isn't the only time they have resorted to outright theft. Mircosoft stole Stac Electronic's Stacker software that automatically compressed your hard drive in DOS 6.0. A few years before that Microsoft released Video for Windows which was nothing more than a plagerized Apple Quicktime that ran on Windows version 3.0.

When you take these incidents with their sometimes deceptive advertising, then yes I have a problem with Microsoft management. I do not think that Microsoft Corporation is a monopoly. Rather I believe that some of their upper executives are guilty of some very shady behavior. I do not believe that Microsoft could accidentially package three different competitors' software packages by mistake. This is not monopolistic behavior, it is criminal behavior, and should have been dealt with at the time.

45 posted on 06/05/2002 2:07:57 PM PDT by Liberal Classic
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To: Scott McCollum
Prove that Microsoft hasn't licensed or paid for every technology their software engineers used in the creating of their software (or as you've said "stolen"). When I mean proof, I mean PROOF, kids - not "X-Files" conspiracy theories of alleged backdoor deals you found on "www.SupaLinuxHizzouse.org". If your proof is a civil lawsuit settlement, I'll show you proof that IBM, HP, et al. "stole" just as much tech over the years.

I and a lot of people who aren't fans of MS (I personally don't hate them, I just happen to use Windows XP Pro till I get a new Mac) have never claimed that they stole IP. Stop trying to put the raggedy ass script kiddies in our camp. You're pathetic if you think that we respect or agree with them on just about anything.

On that note Scott, if you want to be less of a target for the "cut-and-paste" script kiddies that you railed about why don't you stop trolling. Your trolling attracts script kiddies like sharks to a crashed oil tanker filled with blood. Another thing lest I forget, rather than trying to drag MIT's reputation through the mud, why don't you take up your issues with their doctoral program with the appropriate people there.

Linux is already begining to diverge into two separate kernel forks - Torvalds' and Cox's. I thought ESR claimed such forking was bad and would never happen?

http://ftp.us.kernel.org/pub/linux/kernel/people/alan/linux-2.4/2.4.19/ seems to be full of patches. You know, patches? Not full kernel distributions. Maybe you should check out the FTP repository at kernel.org next time.

It's easy for to blame Microsoft for anything because they are a public company, but what happens in the Open Souce Happy-FunLand future when a cyber terrorist organization opens a back door embedded deep within the Linux code and selectively takes down every server in America? Don't give me a "but that would never happen" response - who do you BLAME? The hacker or Linus?

And you think a company that made an OS that could be taken down by sending corrupt data to a certain port (it's called a WinNuke) can be trusted? Your argument can be applied to any homogenous environment, especially a Windows one.

If the answer is the hacker, why not blame the hacker when a "Microsoft bug" is found and exploited?

Because Microsoft made the bug possible and they sold me software that they claimed was highly reliable. In the computer industry Scott, highly reliable means I shouldn't have any problems running mission critical systems with it. I don't see Linus running around making claims about Linux. He may say that he's really confident or he thinks that it is good to go, but I have never seen him personally stick his neck out and say that he can guarantee that your box isn't going to get rooted.

If the answer is to never blame Linus because he doesn't "own" Linux, I think you find the answer to why Linux has no marketshare. No, I'm not throwing out that for shock value - that's the fact originally stated by Ed Zander from Sun Microsystems: "yet Linux has achieved no market share in the industry."

Right. Linux has no marketshare. Seems the sales of Linux-based servers that account for about 25% of all server sales now just end up being thrown in the trash before their opened if we listen to you. Sun is just pissed because it's losing in the low end to Linux and FreeBSD-based systems and that its got growing competition from Apple in the workstation market.

Nader wants Microsoft along with the secondary and tertiary hardware/software industries that have been created around them destroyed by government intervention. Nader's got it wrong - If Linux is better, let the Linux companies turn on the marketing charm and convince customers to pay for it... That's the bottom line.

And this coming from the guy that likes the idea of not having a "transparent" internet. What about human rights activists in China? Oh good idea. Let's make it easier for the PRC to uncover their identities! Hate to break it to you, but anonymity exists only because of logistics in most cases. If you don't understand why that is then I've wasted my time even replying to you.

46 posted on 06/05/2002 2:09:56 PM PDT by dheretic
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To: Scott McCollum
> Linux is already begining to diverge into two separate kernel forks - Torvalds' and Cox's. I thought ESR claimed such forking was bad and would never happen?

Even worse ... there's three ... you forgot David Jones' 'fork'.

That's a joke, son.
47 posted on 06/05/2002 2:22:05 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko
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To: dheretic
And this coming from the guy that likes the idea of not having a "transparent" internet.

This quote says it all, folks. Anyone who has read my columns know I'm the man who along with author David Brin has called for more transparency on the Internet to protect all web surfers. Who wants to take a bet that there will be a smarmy reply to this post about the loss of freedoms, the destruction of choice because of corporate rule and other New World Order hyperbole?
Honestly, do you know anyone that knows it all who doesn't have to get in the last word on something like this? C'mon, it's easy money to take this bet...

48 posted on 06/05/2002 3:51:15 PM PDT by Scott McCollum
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To: Scott McCollum
I meant anonymity. My mistake. From Scott's article:

We need an end to the anonymity on the Internet. Look at how hackers and other cheaters on the Internet operate and you’ll see that it’s all about hiding, anonymity, disregard for private property and a rejection of the social norms.

Keep that in mind before any of you think that he is anything less than an avowed statist. He knows very well that his plan cannot be brought to fruition without a very large growth of state police power.

49 posted on 06/05/2002 4:44:10 PM PDT by dheretic
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To: Liberal Classic
As I said, I don't care if they are a monopoly. The software industry by nature will correct itself, but the government will not allow that because it will allow Microsoft and companies like it to use patent law to crush incipient competitors. As always, the government as at least a part of the problem.
50 posted on 06/05/2002 4:46:31 PM PDT by dheretic
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