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GNU is Not Unix Software The Almighty Buck

Malaysian Government Prefers Open Code 210

Posted by timothy
from the show-me-the-monkey dept.
Suresh Gnasegarah writes "All Malaysian government technology procurement will now have a preference for open source software (OSS), under the Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Software Masterplan. The masterplan's near-term targets includes: 60% of all new servers able to run OSS operating systems, 30% of office infrastructure -- like e-mail, DNS, proxy servers -- on OSS, and 20% of school computer labs to have OSS applications such as productivity suites installed. Looks like old Bill's scare tactic that OSS software kills jobs didn't quite work. Another victory for the open source software movement!"
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Malaysian Government Prefers Open Code

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  • 20%? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lavaface (685630) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @02:13AM (#9729312) Homepage
    Victory? While it's a step in the right direction, I think the matter is far from "victory" as the OP surmises.
    • Re:20%? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mr_pins (694549)
      He said it was *a* victory, i.e., a step in the right direction.
    • Re:20%? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by spektr (466069)
      While it's a step in the right direction, I think the matter is far from "victory" as the OP surmises.

      If open source / open standards gained a solid 1/5 market share and was able to hold it, then the monopoly would be broken and no one company alone could dictate closed "standards". I would count this as a victory (alas, it hasn't happened yet in the area of office software). Especially because I'm sure that after this a landslide would occur, because the popularity of Office is founded mainly on its mono
      • Re:20%? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by lavaface (685630)
        I think it's guaranteed that open source will ultimately overtake closed, proprietary systems. This trend will begin with countries like Malaysia and individual, local governments in the US. Sooner or later, a critical mass of people will wonder why it is that we pay billions to foster monopoly when we could spend a fraction of the price and pay programmers to develop open source solutions solve issues like tax collection and payroll, among many other common problems. My original comment was not meant to d
        • by Tony-A (29931)
          I think it's guaranteed that open source will ultimately overtake closed, proprietary systems. ... when we could spend a fraction of the price and pay programmers to develop open source solutions solve issues like tax collection and payroll, among many other common problems.

          That's assuming that the requirements are fixed and the problem is how to fill them. If the current technology were second-generation mainframes, I can assure you that anyone's idea of requirements would be cut to pieces. What will hap
          • Re:20%? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by dmaxwell (43234)
            When the US government started using Hollerith cards to do the 1890 census, they spent quite a few millions more on that than the last census. It wasn't that the cards were more inefficient, far from it! Those tabulators worked so well compared to humans sorting tally sheets that the government would do card-run after card-run to find say all farmers in the Midwest with more than 4 children. The equipment was just begging to be used and they used the hell out of it.

            Something similar could happen as FOSS
    • by jotaeleemeese (303437) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @01:26PM (#9731686) Homepage Journal
      Malaysia had (perhaps still has, too lazy to google) a white elephant project called the "Super Multimedia Corridor" that was suppossed to be a hub of High Tech development and innovation (with things like housing for higtech employess with broadband internet, nevermind Malaysia is a country with stringent censoship).

      One of the advisors for this project was a certain Bill Gates. That they are turning around like this has a huge impact since they must be ignoring "advice" (i.e. FUD) from Gates whose opinions just 5 years ago were regarded as gospel.

      This my friend, is BIG news in Malaysia for sure, one of the biggest exporters of computer related stuff in the world.
    • By your definition "victory" would be the Stallmannesque end of all non-Free software and commercial software companies, possibly including Red Hat, Linspire, etc., which may not be a good thing. Many OSS developers have jobs involving proprietary software or a commercial software vendor in order to make a living. Food and shelter don't come open-sourced; only software manages the OSS trick because duplication is practically free.
  • funding? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aixou (756713) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @02:15AM (#9729324)
    With all these governments considering OpenSource software, is there any talk of them donating money to some of the more important projects -- e.g. KDE and other Desktop and Office oriented software that will be critical for corporate adoption. Do any of the major distros (besides this one [linspire.com]) help fund many OSS projects? Just curious.
    • Re:funding? (Score:5, Informative)

      by bertboerland (31938) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @02:20AM (#9729355) Homepage
      In the Netherlands a big municipality (Amsterdam [amsterdam.nl]) is paying for the development of a CMS [mmbase.org] and releasing modules under teh GPL. See the "web in a box" site of BIA [amsterdam.nl]
    • Re:funding? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by GbrDead (702506)
      Donating source is much better, IMHO.
      • Where I work we're adopting OSS in a number of areas. Where we make changes to the code (e.g. porting to a new platform, RDBMS &c) we contribute that back to the project. In terms of funding I'm not aware of any direct donations but we do by support from organisations who are involved in the development where possible so we do indirectly contribute that way.

        Stephen

    • I work for a small government agency in Canada. We are almost 100% Open Source. We do give donations to open source projects to have them implement features we would like.

  • About Arthur (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wtcher (312395) <wtcher@gmail.com> on Sunday July 18, 2004 @02:16AM (#9729331) Homepage
    As far as making a real dent in software sales there... well, let's just say that I went to four or five different malls in Malaysia when I was there and not once did I see any legit software offered.
    • Re:About Arthur (Score:5, Informative)

      by zhenlin (722930) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @02:26AM (#9729376)
      It's highly unlikely that you will find one. I speak as a Malaysian.

      Their sales come from corporate and other large-scale users, like my school and my father's offices. My school paid over RM185,000 (RM3.80 = US$1.00 exactly, due to pegging) in licensing fees this year.
    • You also need to mention if you saw any software offered in those malls :-)
    • Re:About Arthur (Score:5, Interesting)

      by raju1kabir (251972) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @03:12AM (#9729542) Homepage
      As far as making a real dent in software sales there... well, let's just say that I went to four or five different malls in Malaysia when I was there and not once did I see any legit software offered.

      Not sure when you were here, but I don't know of any malls where you can't buy legit software (okay, at Plaza Imbi, you have to look hard).

      At the big computer malls (an Asian phenomenon not seen in North America, and no, Fry's ain't shit in comparison) in Malaysia there will usually be a couple dozen very in-your-face places selling a few hundred different packages for a flat rate of RM5 (US$1.25) per CD (which results in the funny situation that Linux costs more than Windows). Some of them are set up on tables in the halls but many of them are clearly leaseholders with proper shops. Occasionally there will be a "legit" side-business (selling mobile phone accessories or something) but usually they don't even bother.

      Side-by-side with them are respectable shops selling shrink-wrap software. I do see them making sales, so some people clearly either buy the moral argument, or they see a value in getting the manuals and support. The margins on the pirate CDs must be tiny, so at the end of the day the legit vendors may still be more profitable.

      Yesterday up on the 3rd floor in Low Yat Plaza (where I was buying a USB hub, thank you very much), right alongside the pirate stalls, I saw a 1.5-meter-tall stand-up display in the corridor advertising the benefits of purchasing legal Microsoft software. So obviously someone's been through there.

      On the main topic of this article, I must say it takes me quite by surprise, because I really don't see much Linux at all in Malaysia compared to neighboring countries (including equally piracy-agnostic Thailand). Maybe Bill Gates committed some egregious cultural faux pas while he was here last week (Offered the PM's wife a swig of brandy? Used his turn signal?).

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Bill Gates tried to tell a soveriegn government what to do on their own soil. That's a faux pas everywhere.
      • Re:About Arthur (Score:3, Informative)

        by Daengbo (523424)
        I now live in Korea, but for the four and a half years that I lived in Thailand, I saw exactly the same thing that you do... I think the difference between the two countries in Linux use will diminish as time goes on, because the Thai government started policies like the one in the story about three years ago, and longer than that for some projects like SiS (School Intranet Server, based on RH).

        I have also purchased many Linux CDs at IT malls like Panthip Plaza (though I prefer Zeer Rangsit) sitting right
      • Read the law [kpdnhq.gov.my] before they change it.

        There've been a few amendments (e.g. 1997) but I believe the "copy for private and domestic use" = not infringing clause still remains.

        The lack of linux in M'sia? AFAIK buying a CD with Linux software on it costs more than buying a CD with MS software on it from the local unauthorized distributors.

        I heard that an MS Malaysia boss once scolded his underlings for coming down hard (e.g. legal action etc) on companies using illegal copies of MS software. The boss basically
      • I saw a 1.5-meter-tall stand-up display in the corridor advertising the benefits of purchasing legal Microsoft software.

        And what would those be?

        :-)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 18, 2004 @03:14AM (#9729548)
      There will be a segment of the population who will pirate software no matter what the prices may be. But let's look at the other segment of the population who are reasonable people and will buy original software if it doesn't cost them a leg and a foot.

      For one thing, I put it to you that it is actually more expensive for a Malaysian to live in Malaysia, than an American to live in the U.S.

      (well, okay, not universally true, but let's take the midwest as an example)

      The average starting salary for an *US-trained* Malaysian engineer in Malaysia is about RM18,000 before deductions (US$4,736). In the U.S., an engineer starts at around US$35,000.

      Basic necessities cost about the same, ringgit-to-dollar.
      Cost of a Pontiac Sunfire is $10,000 (28% of U.S. Salary)
      Cost of the cheapest brand-new car in Malaysia is RM32,000 (170% of Malaysian salary).

      Cost of average U.S. house (this is really variable though) is US$200,000 (570% of U.S. Salary)
      Cost of Malaysian house is RM180,000 (1000% of Malaysian Salary)

      With all this in mind, the price of Microsoft Office Standard is US$348 (1% of U.S. Salary).
      In Malaysia, it is RM1300 (7% of Malaysian Salary).

      As you can see, it is understandable that a large portion of the Malaysian population cannot afford to buy original software. They're too busy paying their loans etc.

      Selling software in Malaysia is mostly a corporate affair -- businesses and government are huge clients. (They have to buy original, otherwise the BSA swoops down on them). Going open-source will definitely make an impact.... the government is one of the biggest buyers of software.

      End-users don't buy that much original software to start with. So they don't really figure in the equation.
    • IANAL but the stuff appears to be legit if you have it for _private_and_domestic_ [kpdnhq.gov.my] use.

      So the seller is breaking the law, but the buyer often isn't :).

      Anyway the authorities should have higher priority stuff to clamp down on than copyright infringements. Sure they do take action from time to time. But bigger problems would be: murder, violent crimes, theft etc.
  • malaymoz (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ari_Haviv (796424) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @02:21AM (#9729359) Homepage
    can we get them to use firefox?
  • by XMichael (563651) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @02:29AM (#9729389) Homepage Journal
    I've travelled much of the far east, and my experience has been that Microsoft has primarly dominated the markets. Microsoft donates huge amounts of money (relative to there economy) to forign university's which basically provides them with free Microsoft products.

    I'm suprised to see a government in a developing nation pass up on the potentially huge amount of money that Microsoft would willing pump into there universities.

    xoduszero [xoduszero.biz]
    • Microsoft donates huge amounts of money (relative to there economy) to forign university's which basically provides them with free Microsoft products.

      And after they graduate, they continue to use Microsoft products for free! omg piracy lol!
    • by killjoe (766577) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @03:18AM (#9729563)
      Maybe they realize that there is no such thing as a free lunch.
      Maybe locking yourself into MS products is bad in the longer term.
      Maybe they think that the local IT industry will be better off if the govt used open source.
      Maybe the amount of money that MS gives is not that huge compared to what it would cost to upgrade once longhorn comes out.
      Maybe, just maybe, they think it's weird that a business has to give money to governments in order to convince them to use their software. Don't you think that's kind of weird?
    • You are right: MS owns Asia lock, stock and barrel. But here are a few things to realise:

      a) For the embedded stuff, big in Taiwan, MS is nowhere - it's all Linux.

      b) Java is making some minor inroads. I used to be channel sales director for a Canadian software company selling Java tools, and fought hard against MS tools - am now being told by my Japanese ex-customers that I was right to insist patience would pay off with Java.

      c) Malaysia is rather rabidly anti-western and anti-American. This would not hap
      • by raju1kabir (251972) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @05:02AM (#9729800) Homepage
        Malaysia is rather rabidly anti-western and anti-American.

        Malaysia is no such thing. Some scraps of circumstantial evidence:

        • The Malaysian flag is an homage to the American flag.
        • 1/4 of the programmes on TV come straight from the USA. This morning I was having breakfast at a little place down the street and everyone was watching WWF reruns on TV with rapt attention.
        • American music and movies completely rule their respective markets (though Chinese pop puts up a good struggle).
        • Malaysians cheerfully welcome westerners to the country.
        • Every day I see people (Malaysians, not tourists) walking around with obviously American t-shirts.
        • Malaysia makes an awful lot of money manufacturing high-tech goods for western companies and this is no secret to anybody.
        • A&W Root Beer restaurants are all over the place; every mug and promo paper boasts explicitly of the Americanness of the place and yet they're packed with Muslim families having dinner out.

        You are probably confusing an entire country with a few zany speeches by former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir.

        This would not happen in Japan, for instance.

        It's come close to happening in a lot of western countries like, say, Germany.

  • by syrinje (781614) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @02:35AM (#9729412)
    Good for Open-source, bad for the world at large and for mainstream US industry in particular.

    Cost is not the only criterion here. It is a sad truth that countries which suspect/fear that the US will cut off their access to technology by issuing a Department of Commerce export notification are increasingly turning to Open Source as a viable option that circumvents real or prophesized export controls.

    Does that make Open Source unpatriotic? If it is, who is culpable? Is Joe Coder a traitor because he fixed a header file macro in an Open Source project which helps to bypass US laws? Will Ashkroft send his goons to nab Joe? What if Joe lives in Switzerland or New Zealand? Will Ashkroft still send his goons anyway?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 18, 2004 @02:53AM (#9729481)
      It is a sad truth that countries which suspect/fear that the US will cut off their access to technology by issuing a Department of Commerce export notification are increasingly turning to Open Source as a viable option that circumvents real or prophesized export controls.

      The fact that countries suspect or fear the US may be sad. Their ability to do something to reduce their exposure isn't.

      Does that make Open Source unpatriotic?

      If countries are preferring open source software as a way of securing themselves from manipulation from other countries they see as potentially hostile then that would make open source either patriotic or (more accurately) neutral but able to be used in a patriotic way. How could that possibly be "unpatriotic"?
    • It's not about being pro or anti US; even US puppets can benefit from not being dependant on US/foreign companies for their software. Duh.
    • The notion of open source software make the entire notion of the nation-state a little ridiculous. Governing solutions are mostly local. It makes sense that our tax dollars should go to open source--why duplicate a solution? Just change the parameters to reflect local rates.

      As media solutions fall into the hands of the general populace, we can expect the "fundamental" notion of individual countries to continue to erode. There will be a strong fight against this trend, but the fact of the matter remains: t

      • Open source can't possibly erode the concept of a nation as much as multi-national corporations have.

        The multi-nationals are threatening to replace the sovereignty of nations within their own boundaries. This is something that FreeSoftware not only wouldn't, but couldn't do. FreeSoftware doesn't have the capability of corrupting the legislatures, and doesn't own any armies. Corporations do both.

    • ...did you see Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam?

      I cam't see how the common man can have a problem exporting technology (OSS) before an export ban is issued. Now if there IS an export ban in place already, AND you're aware that yout ptoducts are being used in banned countries, it MAY start to become an issue.

      However, since a country already on that list probably won't care much about piracy anyway, you have to look at the reality of it. I understand export bans on supercomputers, weapon guidance and cont
      • export bans on supercomputers, weapon guidance and control systems, advanced communication systems etc.

        This would be just as ineffective as the earlier crypto ban. Many countries in europe and asia have darn good scientists and engineers too. It isn't that hard for them to manufacture those things (and they actually do already have quite competitive homegrown solutions).

        I seriously doubt the Department of Commerce will bother if their PCs are running Linux or a pirated Windows

        They will. All it tak

    • Unpatriotic?

      Even good Americans don't use Internet Explorer [yahoo.com]!

      • As a foreigner, I can hardly say being against current US government policies which does things even Chris Carter (X Files) couldn't imagine, is anti patriotic.

        For the record and as a sensor how many Fox News fans are moderators now ;), being against that awful government which literally fucked up your image at World _is_ PATRIOTIC.

    • The poster asks:

      Does that make Open Source unpatriotic?

      In large part, that depends on your definition of patrriotism.

      The US was born from and originally dedicated to rebellion against undue authority. Now, on a global basis, the US government attempts (somewhat successfully) to BE the undue authority. This course of action is not in the interests of the typical American, so there's a compelling case that anything frustrating those aims of the US government is, in fact, far more profoundly and genuine
    • Since no one else seems to be saying this...

      I don't like what the US government is doing, and I see OSS as a way to reduce your government's power. Spending $1 on a blank CD and 1 hour of my time can worsen your country's trade balance by a few hundred dollars, and that looks like an effective way of raising the costs to the Empire. (The worse the balance of trade, the more dicey it is to keep borrowing from countries that may not approve of your policies).

      This is good for Open source, good for the world,
  • I wonder.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cr0y (670718) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @02:43AM (#9729435) Homepage
    If open source is accepted within govt, and that governemnt starts pouring cash into specific projects, how many programmers will work for free if they see that the leaders of those projects are making money and they aren't?...it might send ripples through what we know as open and free....
    • Re:I wonder.... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by KingJoshi (615691) <slashdot@joshi.tk> on Sunday July 18, 2004 @03:11AM (#9729540) Homepage
      You're right. There is always potential for problems. However, it's possible it could create a more of a meritocracy. Various people volunteer and when an opening occurs in the project, the best programmer gets a job. And you'd still have programmers who have other jobs volunteering on side projects that interest them. I think it'll be interesting and I'm optimistic about how things will turn out. Can't let fear prevent you from taking a step toward progress.
      • I think it'll be interesting and I'm optimistic about how things will turn out. Can't let fear prevent you from taking a step toward progress.

        More to the point, that reminds me of an ephitet my Dad uses often: "You can't stop progress." This would be his reaction to the way things used to be changing. Now it's MS and the xxAAs who are going to see a little progress. Dad was right though. Money, lawyers and lobbying can slow down progress but they won't stop it.

        That is why the antics of MS and xxAAs
    • IBM pays eclipse developers and it doesn't seem to have slowed down the jedit developers.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I'm not sure about that particular concern. But you're entirely right to be worried.

      When Linux and other Free (and Open Source) software becomes mainstream, it will be swamped by capitalists using and abusing it. The people who understand and believe in Free Software will be a minority. Even the majority of people contributing code to the Linux kernel will have different motivations from what we're used to.

      Eventually, this will lead to code forks. The mainstream folks will be disatisfied that their wi
      • Eventually, this will lead to code forks. The mainstream folks will be disatisfied that their wiz-bang DRM etc didn't make it into the software, so they'll all agree to make their own version. And they'll have the marketing to sell it. Sure, it will still be Open Source. And it will still be popular. But it won't be Free.

        That's the advantage of code forks.
        That's the way evolution works. The latest fad does not come from the previous fad. It comes from where the previous fad came from.
        The latest fad may no
    • Re:I wonder.... (Score:3, Informative)

      by imroy (755)

      What are you talking about? Companies like Red Hat, SuSE, Caldera, and IBM have been employing F/OSS coders for years. RH employed Alan Cox to continue work on the kernel. SuSE employed quite a few coders who were working on various projects (like ALSA). It doesn't seem to have created any sort of jealousy or resentment amongst the other coders. We all manage to get by. Some of us are employed, some aren't. And the really good/lucky ones get employed to continue working on what we are interested in.

  • But I suggest they donate whatever small amounts of money they can to OS. Far less than MS's charge, but a little can go a long way (especially when you are talking government).

    It is good for OS users because, as even smaller governments start catching on, citizens *may* see that their country is using such products for such a low...."free"....cost, cafes and whatnot will switch.

    Basically a chain-reaction.

    • No. They should donate code, not money.

      And they will. They may also donate money to projects, to get them to develop features that are desired. That's fair. But it's more important that they start their own projects and donate the code.
  • by atlasheavy (169115) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @03:16AM (#9729556) Homepage
    OSS Software? Is that anything like Homer's BBBQ, where the extra B is for BYOBB? (the other 'B' is a typo...)
  • Able to run? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Zorilla (791636)
    The masterplan's near-term targets includes: 60% of all new servers able to run OSS operating systems...

    What does this mean exactly? Haven't seen many servers that aren't capable of running OSS operating systems. Hope they're going for something more applicable to the job than a Sony Vaio laptop.
    • Re:Able to run? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dnaumov (453672)
      Havent seen much IBM Power4 and Power5 boxes, have you?
    • What does this mean exactly? Haven't seen many servers that aren't capable of running OSS operating systems. Hope they're going for something more applicable to the job than a Sony Vaio laptop.

      What's wrong with Sony Vaio laptops? They may not be the best choice for servers, but mine runs GNU/Linux flawlessly.

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @03:50AM (#9729643) Journal
    Countries have said this before and some even are following through but usually it happens before Gates visits. This happens after a visit and an alarmist speech AND it hasn't worked at all.

    Poor MS. Why if this continues they may actually have to concentrate on selling a good product rather then scare the customer into staying with them. I am crying for all the MS coders who will loose their jobs, ignore the hysterical laughter that is just my way of showing grief. Really.

    Anyone know the travelling plans of IBM or Novell or Sun or HP?

    • This happens after a visit and an alarmist speech AND it hasn't worked at all.

      Why do you assume that a mere speech will change things? Don't forget that we're talking politics (and business) here! Perhaps MSFT's "buying power" with malaysian government officials wasn't up to par this time?

  • by mark99 (459508) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @03:55AM (#9729658) Journal
    Obviously free software benefits those economies more that import software, and harms more those that export it. At least at first.

    However this might later lead to them chosing the "wrong" tool, when a more appropriate non-OSS tool exists.

    In the long run restrictions tend to hurt more than they help, and often achieve the opposite (like rent control or job protection).

    Simple economics really.
    • The reverse applies as well and the money you would spend on a closed source tool can be used to fund the creation of an open source tool. Each dollar spent on open source makes you that much more free from a small set of vendors....foreign vendors. That little realizations is getting to be more and more of a no-brainer as time goes on.
    • In the long run restrictions tend to hurt more than they help, and often achieve the opposite (like rent control or job protection).

      The "free" market is a myth. Every market has a huge number of written and unwritten rules discouraging negative competitive behaviour (anti-trust, fraud, truth in advertising, stock manipulation, copyright law etc.) and allowing positive competitive behaviour (improvement in product, lowering of price etc.). Law that stops tax payer money from being used inefficiently is a

  • by sm84 (145828)
    The Malaysian gov't is happy to use OSS software if it saves them money. But any IT work done under a gov't of Malaysia contract cannot be released to anyone as it is protected by the Official Secrets Act (OSA).

    Even if this OSA restriction didn't exist, the local IT vendors in Malaysia would never want the code they wrote to be under any form of scrutiny as their projects are usually failures that still result in big payouts for them.

    Don't count on seeing a single contribution from Malaysia to the openso
    • Don't count on seeing a single contribution from Malaysia to the opensource community in the next couple of years.

      I don't care about the next couple of years. I do care about the next couple of decades.
    • Malaysia will just find out the hard way that private forks are expensive to maintain. The parent projects will continue to evolve from the point that Malaysia adopts them. If Malaysia doesn't want to contribute their fixes and enhancements back they'll have to port them forward whenever a sufficiently compelling new release comes out. A few rounds of this may suffice to change their minds.
  • ... in the Islamic countries to try and create their own economies not based on pure interaction with the west. The World Islamic Trading Organisation [google.com] is partly behind these trends in a way. They are seeking to develop sustainable economies not so directly tied to non Islamic nations and concepts, such as fiat(phoney) currency and usury based banking. Free software would naturally fit into this goal, as it can be "theirs" without a single legal hassle and it's just as good and freer to use, along with event
    • ".. in the Islamic countries to try "

      I ended reading your post has been modded up by people like you.

      I can't understand you guys... At least you use IRC for trolling ;)

      Malaysia CAN'T be called Islamic country. They have hundreds of different communities there. To make it simple, I like chatting on a malaysian populated network, didn't see a single muslim malaysian yet... Also, if I see, I don't think they would like to be called "islamic" country/government.

      MS is USA? IMHO they passed that point long ti
  • It kills jobs on US on Microsoft and other companies, but create jobs in local countries that support OSS for new companies.

    Take for example Brazil, even the translation of Windows to brazilian portuguese is made on redmond, why should our government care if those jobs are closed? Then microsoft talks about the local reseller of windows, well, replace windows for another SO and the local retailers will be... THERE, just selling something different.

    There is a LOT of jobs emerging around here that won't ex

    • >It kills jobs on US on Microsoft and other companies, but create jobs in local countries that support OSS for new companies.

      Fantastic - Microsoft will shut down their Malaysian HQ and Red Hat... oh, sorry, I forgot - they will NOT open their office there because their products are relatively cheaper.

      >Take for example Brazil, even the translation of Windows to brazilian portuguese is made on redmond, why should our government care if those jobs are closed?

      You are clueless, Sir.
      Microsoft's localizat
      • nah, some huge asian countries are/will be rolling their own flavor of Linux, and will be building more and more of the enterprise hardware (from servers to SAN to networking) that we in the US will use.
        • I'm not against the idea of OSS as such, I just gave several examples how not everything is like the idealists think.

          >huge asian countries are/will be rolling their own flavor of Linux

          Couple of months ago Slashdot had an article about a guy who created a Web site that gives maps with locations of Linux kernel maintainers (the maps are automatically generated based on credits from source code).
          Well, the bad news is that contribution of China and India is zero (0).
          They're quite far from creating anything
          • I'm sure that what you're saying is correct now. But I do know that Japan, at least already has contributors, if not maintainers. And I would suspect that the same is true of many other countries.

            China is still in the early days with Red Flag Linux. In the early days, France didn't have Mandrake, either. Mandrake was just a rip-off of Red Hat. Well, it was. Back around Red Hat 4.x. Development diverged, and Mandrake started providing its own contributions.

            Things don't happen overnight.
  • by ChrisWong (17493) on Sunday July 18, 2004 @01:52PM (#9731818) Homepage

    Everybody's right. The issue is that costs and benefits are distributed unevenly.

    "[XYZ] will eliminate jobs."

    Answer: "[XYZ] will eliminate your jobs, but will drastically reduce our costs and benefit society as a whole."

    [XYZ] is:

    • OSS
    • offshore outsourcing
    • software sharing [boston.com]
    • automation
    • textile machinery

    That's not a multiple choice question. There are winners and losers in many technological trends. The Luddites were right, in a way: they were losing their jobs, and someone else -- not them -- benefitted. It was a simple win-lose scenario, resolved in the case of the Luddites by mass hangings and other forms of repression.

    There is no simple "solution" for the losers of any such trend. Innovation is usually the answer, except that it is a long term solution to a short term problem, meaning losers will continue to lose for a while. Career change is not easy: financial barriers exist where class barriers did earlier. Have you priced a college education lately? I guess the real answer is to grin and bear it.

  • In other breaking news, Bill Gates has contracted Derek Zoolander to model wearable computers at a fashion show to be attended by the Malaysian Prime Minister.

  • Let me quality my position first, I am a Brit working in Malaysia for an MSC status company ( Multimedia Super Corridor [msc.com.my]). I shall be shortly moving to my new office in the intelligent city..(CyberJaya [cyberjaya-msc.com]).

    Our company is heavily adopting open source software as I believe many others are, we are using SAMBA 3.x as our PDC/File Server, FreeBSD as our Firewall/NAT/Router/Traffic Shaper, Another *nix machine in the DMZ as Tomcat/mail server, OpenOffice.org as the productivity suite for the Windows machine, Thunde

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