Open Source is Dead. Long Live Free Software

I don’t know Matt Asay. I’ve never meet him. I have read a lot of his articles on Free and Open Source software, and he seems to lack a clear understanding of his subject matter, and the English language. Take for instance his recent article Free software is dead. Long live open source.

Mat seems congenitally unable to understand the situation. If it wasn’t for Free Software, Open Source wouldn’t exist at all. He thinks that Free Software is dying. Or rather that’s what he hopes, because he can see the weaknesses of Open Source.

The true weakness of Open Source is it’s lack of an ideology. The only think Open Source ever talks about is seeing the code. That’s not an ideology, it’s a fixation. Even Microsoft has an ideology, that the corporation works steadily towards:

A computer in every home, and Microsoft software on every computer.

I may not agree with Microsoft’s ideology. They may not agree with mine. But Mat, Eric Raymond, and the rest of the “Open Source” gurus have no ideology. And without that, they have no end goal. Apart from possibly Pragmatism which they seem to value for some reason.

And what is pragmatism? Glyn Moody interviewed Richard Stallman back in 1999, and Stallman pointed out that they only reason that the Open Source people have anything to play with, is that the Free Software people did all the spade work. So in Mat Asay’s case, pragmatism is having someone else do all the hard work.

But that’s fine. This is Free Software. We don’t need Mat Asay. We don’t need Eric Raymond. I’d be quite happy to give them to Microsoft, but oh, aren’t they still laying off people while the CEO takes a pay raise?

Linux Ads on the Kim Komando Show

Ken over at the Helios Project, has arranged for Linux radio ads. Which is really neat. Let’s face it, if you don’t advertise, people won’t know that they have an option. So with the help of a professional voice, an ad was recorded, and they bought space on the Kim Komando show.

Kim apparently specializes in Windows, and refers to herself as America’s Digital Goddess. Since she specializes in Windows, I think that is a massive misrepresentation. So there is a bit of irony here, running a Linux ad, on a Windows oriented radio show.

Kim has some interesting listeners. When Ken wrote about the airing of the ad someone named Christopher posted a complaint:

I found your blog because I heard the radio spot today ( I listen to KLBJ during the week and hate their weekend programming for the most part ).

A couple pieces of it sounded like FUD and scare tactics to me. For example “Microsoft controls your data”. Give me a break.

At this point several people posted responses asking him if he’d ever read the Microsoft End User License Agreement – which you could tell he hadn’t or he wouldn’t have posted what he did. And then someone checked his profile.

Christopher

* Age: 36
* Gender: Male
* Astrological Sign: Virgo
* Zodiac Year: Ox
* Industry: Technology
* Occupation: InstallShield / Windows Installer Consultant
* Location: Cedar Park : Texas : United States

About Me

I am a Generalizing Specialist with over 12 years of experience in nearly all aspects of Enterprise Engineering and Software Development with a heavy focus on Deployment Engineering related activities such as Build Automation and Application (Re)Packaging. Chances are if you can name it, I’ve done it for many organizations including: United States Marine Corps, EDS, McAdams Technologies, Robbins-Gioia, Continental Airlines, Austin Information Systems, Overwatch Systems, Textron, Triangle Technology, Hart InterCivic, Manatron, MultiMedia Games, NoMoreForms, RicherDevelopment, VistaSG, SouceSentry, SANtools and many other clients who prefer to remain annonymous. Please feel free to check out my LinkedIn Profile.

Ah, he’s a Windows professional. No wonder he’s worried!

Seriously though, Ken has put the Linux ads under a Creative Commons License. If you want copies, he has made them available on his blog in MP3 and OGG formats. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them, but I’ve already downloaded them, and maybe, just maybe, I can think of something.

Microsoft Seven Home Parties

I like Daniel over at Roughly Drafted. The man has a sense of humor. He also has a good understanding of technology, and it’s implications. Today he has an article on Microsoft’s Windows Seven Home Parties.

Well, someone commented

Get Windows 7 and pass it around to your friends.

I couldn’t resist. My response was “It sounds like you are talking about a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD).”

Seems soo familiar. MicroSoft appears to be trying to play to the only product image they have … virus laden.

And to that I answered “Okay, so it’s not a sexually transmitted disease. In fact, my guess is that anyone who would want to hold one of these parties, probably isn’t capable of procreating, because they don’t have any interest in sex.”

Okay, it was a bit nasty. Heck, it was a lot nasty. But it was fun.

Patents

3-4 years ago I started saying that Patents were the problem, not software patents. For a long time I felt awfully lonely. But now the move to close down the patent system has gone mainstream, articles are even appearing in the Huffington Post.

It appears that a lot of other people have reached the same conclusion that I did, and some of them are in far batter position to get the word out.

Viva la Revolution!

Microsoft Accounting Changes – Image direct linked from ZDNET

And now Microsoft is playing games with it’s accounting. The right hand column is as reported, the left hand column is how it would look as reported under next years method. What they’ve done is moved certain products to other business units. Note that Client revenue has climbed almost $600,000,000 dollars. Nice. Than note that Client Operating Income has dropped by about $700,000,000 dollars.

What they did was move a money loosing operation under Client, when usually makes a large profit, so that they can hide it better. Obviously its something that the company thinks is important, that they don’t want to loose. In this case they don’t want to loose Search, so they’ve moved Windows Live (which includes Search, Online Email, etc) into Client from Online Systems Division.

Now this only works as long as Client reports a strong profit. This means that Microsoft has to successfully destroy the Netbook Menace. Can they do it?

Phones, Phones, Phones Part Deux

This is getting so frustrating. First, there are some decent phones out there. Second, there aren’t very many decent phones out there. Third, there are a lot of totally crappy phones out there.

Right now I’m down to three phones that seem reasonable, the Apple IPhone, the Blackberry Storm, and the Palm Pre. While Android is a fascinating idea, the only Android phones available in Ontario Canada are total and utter crap. It doesn’t matter how do the Operating System is, if the hardware is junk.

So let’s look at the problems with those three phones:

1) Palm Pre – 5 minute boot time. Keyboard (it has one).
2) Blackberry Storm – It’s an IPhone imitation.
3) Apple IPhone – The only carrier that has it is Rogers, and they overcharge.

So what do you do? Me, I think that I’m just going to get a cheap dumb phone, and use it for the next two years. Hopefully the smart phones and the plans available will be better than. But I doubt it. This is Canada, and it appears that the phone companies have the government under their total control.

Phone and Computer shopping

OK, so since I’m working for myself in effect, I need a good, reliable, laptop. Note the word reliable. Anything that comes with Windowz is out.

And I need a phone. But what type of phone? Basic dumb phone, smart phone, or something in between? And worst of all, I have to decide which wireless provider to use, and since in Canada the choices are dumb, dumber, and dumbest, it makes things hard.

Decisions, decisions. Suggestions are welcome.

Phones, Phones, Phones

Yep, still chasing a phone. I’ve seen the Palm Pre, the Blackberry Storm, and the Apple Iphone in the last week.

Palm Pre – works fine. Takes close to 5 minutes to start up though, which makes me wonder what else they screwed up. A 5 minute start up is unacceptable.

Blackberry Storm – it’s so much like an IPhone that you’d swear Rim just cloned it. Which is what they did of course. It works fine. But it doesn’t have the range of software available that the IPhone does.

Apple IPhone – the killer phone. Very nice, works great, lots of apps. Rogers/Fido pricing plans are totally insane. In fact Rogers should fly the Jolly Roger over their building. Truth in Advertising you know.