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Followup on MS and Brazil in NY Times 386

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the stuff-to-read dept.
putko was one of dozens to submit a story running on the NY Times about Open Source and Brazil. The choice quote is "We're not going to spend taxpayers' money on a program so that Microsoft can further consolidate its monopoly..."
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Followup on MS and Brazil in NY Times

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  • NYT article. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:51AM (#12075784)
    Brazil: Free Software's Biggest and Best Friend
    By TODD BENSON


    SÃO PAULO, Brazil, March 28 - Since taking office two years ago, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has turned Brazil into a tropical outpost of the free software movement.

    Looking to save millions of dollars in royalties and licensing fees, Mr. da Silva has instructed government ministries and state-run companies to gradually switch from costly operating systems made by Microsoft and others to free operating systems, like Linux. On Mr. da Silva's watch, Brazil has also become the first country to require any company or research institute that receives government financing to develop software to license it as open-source, meaning the underlying software code must be free to all.

    Now Brazil's government looks poised to take its free software campaign to the masses. And once again Microsoft may end up on the sidelines.

    By the end of April, the government plans to roll out a much ballyhooed program called PC Conectado, or Connected PC, aimed at helping millions of low-income Brazilians buy their first computers.

    And if the president's top technology adviser gets his way, the program may end up offering computers with only free software, including the operating system, handpicked by the government instead of giving consumers the option of paying more for, say, a basic edition of Microsoft Windows.

    "For this program to be viable, it has to be with free software," said Sérgio Amadeu, president of Brazil's National Institute of Information Technology, the agency that oversees the government's technology initiatives. "We're not going to spend taxpayers' money on a program so that Microsoft can further consolidate its monopoly. It's the government's responsibility to ensure that there is competition, and that means giving alternative software platforms a chance to prosper."

    Microsoft has offered to provide a simplified, discounted version of Windows for the program. Though a final decision on which software to install has been delayed several times, as has the program's rollout, Mr. Amadeu and some other government officials have publicly criticized Microsoft's proposal, calling the version's abilities too limited.

    Still, Microsoft has not given up just yet. The company, which declined to make an executive available for an interview, said in a statement that it was still "working with the PC Conectado project to see if there's a way Microsoft can help."

    Under the program, which is expected to offer tax incentives for computer makers to cut prices and a generous payment plan for consumers, the government hopes to offer desktops for around 1,400 reais ($509) or less. The machines will be comparable to those costing almost twice that outside the program.

    Buyers will be able to pay in 24 installments of 50 to 60 reais, or about $18 to $21.80 a month, an amount affordable for many working poor. The country's top three fixed-line telephone companies - Telefónica of Spain; Tele Norte Leste Participações, or Telemar; and Brasil Telecom - have agreed to provide a dial-up Internet connection to participants for 7.50 reais, or less than $3, a month, allowing 15 hours of Web surfing.

    The program aims at households and small-business owners earning three to seven times the minimum monthly wage, or about $284 to $662. The government says seven million qualify, and it hopes to reach a million of them by year-end.

    That may seem ambitious in a developing country of 183 million people where only 10 percent of all households have Internet access and just 900,000 computers are sold legally each year. (Including black-market sales, the number is closer to four million, still a small fraction of the number sold in the United States last year, according to the International Data Corporation, a technology research firm.)

    "We're well aware that we're talking about doubling the domestic market for personal compu
    • by sgant (178166) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:13AM (#12075970) Homepage Journal
      Just thought it up, though others may have done the same...sort of a take on Apple's "1984" commercial:

      In 2005 the country of Brazil will start using Linux as it's prefered operating system and you'll see why Brazil won't be like Brazil [imdb.com]
  • by Noryungi (70322) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:52AM (#12075792) Homepage Journal

    One word: Ouch.
  • Have to say . . . (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:53AM (#12075805)
    I agree with one of the sentiments in the article:-

    Others say the government should focus its technology initiatives elsewhere, especially in schools. Only 19 percent of Brazil's public schools have computers.

    This is where technology can be most wisely spent, where it will have the greatest benefit, and where kids will actually learn about computers.

    Of course it'll also be most effective at creating a mindset that isn't geared towards using MS products.
  • Good.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Keck (7446) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:54AM (#12075813) Homepage
    If only other politicians had enough backbone to use tax money in ways that benefit all the people who paid for it, instead of ingraining a monopoly ...
    • Re:Good.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by antifoidulus (807088) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:00AM (#12075866) Homepage Journal
      At the end of the day though, the government should decide on what gets the job done with the least amount of money. If it's open source, it's open source, if not, it's not. I really don't need my tax dollars going to fund an(other) ideaology, I want them to just work.
      • Re:Good.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nos. (179609) <andrew.thekerrs@ca> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:06AM (#12075917) Homepage

        the government should decide on what gets the job done with the least amount of money
        I can't agree with you there. Its not about what's cheapest. A government looking to purchase or build anything (software, roads, a desk, etc.) should not decide solely on price. This is when we get into complaining about the "lowest bidder" and the crappy work they do. The government, like anyone, should choose a product based on cost AND quality. Sometimes its better to spend more if it will save time/money/lives later on.

        • Unfortunately, governments (at least here in the US) tend to operate on a "How much is it going to cost right now?" They don't always think about how much it will cost to redo/rebuild/replace it five years from now.

          You're asking for a lot to have the government to say, "Let's take the bid that gives us the best bang for our buck," instead of, "Ah, this is the lowest bid."

          • Unfortunately, governments (at least here in the US) tend to operate on a "How much is it going to cost right now?"

            That isn't always true - it depends on which part of the government you are looking at, what kind of mood they are in, how much money they have and a few other factors. Look at the NSA Linux project [nsa.gov]. I'm sure it took more time and money to put together than buying Windows off the shelf.

            I used to work for a company that did some engine controls for the military, navy ships mostly. Their
        • Re:Good.. (Score:3, Interesting)

          Sometimes its better to spend more if it will save time/money/lives later on.

          Agreed, and spending *more* to convert/train/implement open source in the short term *will* save you much more money in the long run.


      • Re:Good.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Keck (7446)
        Well the thing about that is, governments should be in the business of long-term thinking; ours are stuck with a short-term perspective, largely because of elections and term limits. If you are only interested in the short term, then don't develop anything new that you don't have to, and don't have any competition -- just buy it and move on. But if you are interested in things like:

        a) having tax money benefit the taxpayers before corporations
        b) encouraging an active culture of competition (which *should
        • You left one off. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by khasim (1285)
          The government should also be focused on developing their infrastructure and that includes getting their citizens into the software industry as coders rather than point-and-click morons.

          It will be far better for them, as a country, if their people start learning how to fix bugs / add functionality in Linux (kernel/desktops/apps) than if they just build database apps in Access.

          Ideally, it will only take a few years for them to bring a bunch of people up to speed and then those people can start expanding/en
      • Re:Good.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MindStalker (22827)
        At the end of the day though, the government should decide on what gets the job done with the least amount of money.

        No they shouldn't, because from a government perspective money is fairly meaningless, they print it afterall. Of course there are limits to the amount of money a government can spend obviously. But as long as its kept within the country its simply "the people" borrowing and taxing from themselves. Whats really important is how much physical labor is spent obtaining what you need. Directly n
      • At the end of the day though, the government should decide on what gets the job done with the least amount of money.

        Well, slavery is a good thing then, right? You get people working for you for free. Free Software is about freedom and ethics, like the question of slavery.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        If the IBM Government invests $70 million in Microsoft licences for imediate problems then they have nothings but a renewable license to show for it.
        If the IBM Government invests $100 million in OSS than the next time they need something doing, OSS with be $100 million better. Infact when Brazil next want something why should they pay for Microsoft cut down Windows when the IBM have just put $100 million into free software.

        Investment in OSS is investment in your own country, not in Ireland or the US. Inv
      • Re:Good.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ILikeRed (141848)
        The government, like any other organization, must make moral decisions also. I would argue that a good government must be a transparent government, which means Freedom to access data... and where as proprietary software could use Free data structures, Microsoft's software does not, instead using formats as a competitive tool. That lockin should be a consideration for any organization, but even more so for a government.
    • Re:Good.. (Score:3, Insightful)

      ...or not take that money in the first place so people can decide how they want to spend it on their own.
    • If only other politicians had enough backbone to use tax money in ways that benefit all the people who paid for it, instead of ingraining a monopoly ... But from a Darwinian perspective, it is a better strategy for politicians to use tax money in ways that benefit the people who will pay for their re-election. At least that's how it works at the national level, where elections are about big budget campaigns.
  • Great! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chris09876 (643289) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:54AM (#12075815)
    Brazil has also become the first country to require any company or research institute that receives government financing to develop software to license it as open-source, meaning the underlying software code must be free to all.

    This is really a wonderful, wonderful idea. It's a shame more governments haven't adopted this philosophy. Lots of governments just find it so easy to spend money that they didn't "earn". I have to congratulate Brazil on this!
    • Re:Great! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Karpe (1147) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:14AM (#12075981) Homepage
      I'm a brazilian researcher. Public universities, like the one I work at, are responsible by the largest part of scientific research in Brazil. While most of what we develop is open source, it is not because any government requirement (I had never heard about this "requirement" prior to reading this article), but by the nature of what we do. I am pretty sure many people develop closed source software in the universities. Do we get government financing? Well, you could say that, since the government pays the universities bills (electricity, communications), professors salaries, etc. But that's mostly all about it. It doesn't have any money left to spend on researchers, equipment, etc, and universities have to find financing elsewhere (typically in cooperation projects with the private sector, who, among other things, requires NDAs and ownership to some of the deliveries of this funded research).

      Free software, in Brazil, has become much more of a publicity stunt, and definitely used for self-promotion by a lot of people. But definitely not that close to our reality. It is a pitty and a shame.
  • HEH (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:54AM (#12075816)
    HEH, why do they assume it wil be use for power....MS could use it for other things too
    - killing small animals
    - searching for the lost city of gold
    - etc
  • by IdleTime (561841) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:55AM (#12075819) Journal
    Not only do they have the hottest women in the world, but they have a government with a working brain too!
  • by A beautiful mind (821714) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @10:57AM (#12075838)


    News.com [com.com]

    International Herald Tribune [iht.com]

    Google News [google.com]

    Btw, does anyone know why does the link from slashdot asks me for registration, but not the one from Google News?
  • commodities (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alatesystems (51331) <chris@talki n g t oad.com> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:01AM (#12075869) Homepage Journal
    The country's top three fixed-line telephone companies - Telefónica of Spain; Tele Norte Leste Participações, or Telemar; and Brasil Telecom - have agreed to provide a dial-up Internet connection to participants for 7.50 reais, or less than $3, a month, allowing 15 hours of Web surfing."

    It's really amazing how we(Americans) take broadband for granted now. I don't see how I could go back to using dialup; it would seem like cruel and unusual punishment. Yet, to these people, many of whom are poor, just having a computer or internet access would be a boon.

    Let alone only having 15 hours a month online! Note, the article says "allowing 15 hours"; I'm assumin that means per month. I download GIGS of stuff every day, and my computers are online 24/7/36[56]. Half an hour a day wouldn't even make me wake up in the morning.

    It's all about perspective.
    • Why do your computers run 24/7?
      It's not like you use it when you sleep. And what about your electricity bills?
      • Why do your computers run 24/7?
        It's not like you use it when you sleep.


        Wow, it's been many many years since I met someone like you... I DO, in fact, use it when I sleep. Email server collects my spam for me, bittorrent downloads my American TV, apt updates my machine every night, etc... What kind of strange world do YOU live in?
      • Because I download stuff and I like to receive my instant messages. Plus I like not having to turn it on. I use flat panels, which turn off automagically after 20 minutes.

        The computer uses a nominal amount of electricity compared to my washer or dryer or subs or whatever. And in any case, I don't care. I run United Devices [grid.org](that's my team page, I'm cbenard) 24/7 as well on all the computers.
      • There's lots of things you can do with your computer while you sleep (i dont leave mine on every night but here's some reasons ive left it on before and reasons i might in the future)

        installing gentoo
        a lot of updating gentoo
        downloading something really big
        transcoding video's
        recording a tv program with mythtv
    • by clambake (37702)
      It's really amazing how we(Americans) take broadband for granted now. I don't see how I could go back to using dialup; it would seem like cruel and unusual punishment.

      You think you've got it bad... I live in Japan... in fear. In TERROR. One day, I will have to return to America, and I fear that day... the day when I will no longer have a 100Mbit fiber-optic line directly from the CO into my machine.
    • Psst. Not all Americans can get broadband. There are still lots that are too far out to get DSL or cable. My parents are among those.
    • Re:commodities (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      It's really amazing how we (Asians) take broadband for granted now. Only 10Mbit broadband! And thats tops, most of the "westerners" only get 1.5Mbit, if even that. I download GIGS of stuff every hour, and my cellphone can download and store a dvd in 15 minutes. American DSL wouldn't even make me wake up in the morning.
  • It doesn't matter... (Score:5, Informative)

    by JhAgA (24929) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:02AM (#12075881)
    ... if the equipment will come with Linux pre-installed. They will end up being replaced by the user by an easily bought U$2 pirated version of Windows XP anyway, sold in every corner of São Paulo. Or do you expect everyone will care to install Wine to play starcraft of use MSN? :D

    P.S. - I'm Brazilian and despite the fear of fraud, like it is happing with the Zero Hunger program, I strongly support this initiative.
    • by deathguppie (768263) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:21AM (#12076033)

      Most computer literate people, with experience on windows will switch to pirated copies of XP. Some will do it at the beckoning of their friends. But most will just use what comes with their computer so that they won't break their computer.

      Funny thing is that when they see what will happen to their friends unpatched pirated copy of XP in a few months, they will realize that was a wise choice

    • by listen (20464)
      They will end up being replaced by the user by an easily bought U$2 pirated version of Windows XP.

      This is where Trusted Computing should come back and bite MS in the arse.

      Seriously : it would not be hard to make these machines incompatible with Windows (eg. just have the bios boot differently), and still compatible with Linux (worst case, provide a kernel/grub patch). Say you are doing it to combat piracy: then if they modify Windows to cope, it kind of puts all those "We hate piracy" rants in perspectiv
  • by xiando (770382) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:02AM (#12075882) Homepage Journal
    It makes me happy that Brazil setting a good example by putting Open Source as a requirement. This means that other governments now will more seriously put this as a requirement. What makes me most happy is not that it gives Microsoft more power, but that it gives Open Source development a good push in the right direction. I do not think governments who turn to open source will save any money, though, Linux is equally expensive in the terms of support and those kind of things. But this does mean that the money that would go to closed vendors will now, at least in Brazil, be used to develop Open Source. And that development will in turn be put back into the community to the benefit of all. This is truly a nice day for all who use Open Source!
    • It makes me happy that Brazil setting a good example by putting Open Source as a requirement.

      Yes because Government always does whats best.. Look I like the idea of a government encouraging OSS, even requiring open standards. A line is crossed when a government forces OSS (which is not the case here, but your comment indicates you wish it were).

      What makes me most happy is not that it gives Microsoft more power, but that it gives Open Source development a good push in the right direction.

      OSS software h

      • by jbolden (176878) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:50AM (#12076310) Homepage
        Governments are automatically involved. Our government:

        1) Sets document standards for what can be submitted to the government

        2) Uses only certain protocols

        3) Purchases many millions of systems

        4) Spends billions and harms are relations with other countries trying to spread US patent law and US copyright law abroad

        5) Funds a percentage of early software development in terms of research grants.

        6) Provides the educational system where people gain first exposure to various OSes

        etc... They are involved.
      • Brazil's government isn forcing open source. You can install windows if you want. Actually, if they used wnidows then they'd be forcing windows, because they're spending tax money on it, whereas with linux you're not paying for something you won't use. They said that after careful thought they found they would get more benefit for less money using linux than using a cut-down windows. The $50-$100 or whatever MS is charging can be better spent on some other part of the program, either hardware or maybe
      • force...

        You keep using this word - here and in other posts, where there is no force involved.

  • by murderlegendre (776042) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:02AM (#12075886)

    Robert DeNiro will rappel into your living room and install a Linux machine, then set up your internet connection, while discussing the problems with Microsoft. That would so rock.

    • Robert DeNiro will rappel into your living room and install a Linux machine, then set up your internet connection, while discussing the problems with Microsoft. That would so rock.

      Lol... but then you'd come home one night, and see computer parts scattered all over the house, cat 5 cable strewn across the furniture and out of the walls. You'll see Gates and Ballimer in coveralls, holding a Linux distro cd in a pair of tongs...

  • by N3WBI3 (595976) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:02AM (#12075887) Homepage
    If your goal is to prevent monopoly thats all well and good but dont try to further justify it by throwing in things which are just plain hot air...

    Under the program, which is expected to offer tax incentives for computer makers to cut prices and a generous payment plan for consumers, the government hopes to offer desktops for around 1,400 reais ($509) or less. The machines will be comparable to those costing almost twice that outside the program.

    You can already get a dell for R$1499 which is very price competative with what your selling people.

    • Unfortunately, price is not the only determinant. The hardware could be different. And most Linux distros come with a variety of tools, like office suites, graphic editors, games, etc.

      Perhaps it's not hot air after all, if you look at the big picture.
      • Unfortunately, price is not the only determinant. The hardware could be different. And most Linux distros come with a variety of tools, like office suites, graphic editors, games, etc.

        I doubt a 500$ pc would be done better than anyone as they are done by Dell... And as for the software not only do dells come with but you can also run OO and other free software on them. As I said this will do nothing more to help the poor of brazil than buying them all a dell would have done..

      • And most Linux distros come with a variety of tools, like office suites, graphic editors, games, etc.

        Can you tell me why anyone just getting a computer for the first time would want to or know how to use a Graphics Editor or offic suite? Some form of text editor program, e-mail and browser is all that is needed. If all they do is play games and surf for porn this whole thing will have failed.
    • Sure, developing countries should completely alienate themselve from technology or any other 'frivolous' things and simply concentrate on it's people, all of whom are dying with malaria in the sewers. Only our overlords in the developed countries, who are living in heaven, should worry about technology. Smartass, what the fuck is a comment about Brazil's "poor" doing in reply to an article about Brazil and OSS? Get out of your mom's basement - it's worse than our sewers.
      • Did you RTFA? or my post? Ill requote for you from teh article and my post... ARTICLE:
        Under the program, which is expected to offer tax incentives for computer makers to cut prices and a generous payment plan for consumers, the government hopes to offer desktops for around 1,400 reais ($509) or less. The machines will be comparable to those costing almost twice that outside the program.

        MY POST:
        If your goal is to prevent monopoly thats all well and good but dont try to further justify it by throwing

    • You can already get a dell for R$1499 which is very price competative with what your selling people

      I doubt that the poor people that would benefit from this would be able to qualify for monthy payments, such as the governemt will offer.

      • I think you would be suprised how far dell would bend (both in price, and in credit approval) if the government promised to back any defaults. The government would save money (not everyone would default)...

        I am not saying I think this is a bad idea, what I am saying is that the 'its for the poor' angle is crap. The government has a thing against MS (hey dont we all) and are pushing a non MS OS because they think that its an evil American corporation..

  • Yet... (Score:3, Funny)

    by inertia@yahoo.com (156602) * on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:03AM (#12075893) Homepage Journal
    We're not going to spend taxpayers' money on a program so that Microsoft can further consolidate its monopoly..."

    Yet they use Word grammar check.
  • Choice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TeeJayHoward (763315)

    "...instead of giving consumers the option of paying..."


    While I applaud their efforts, I also question their motives. Less options != good thing.

  • by advocate_one (662832) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:13AM (#12075976)
    If, as everyone expects, Ballmer's off to South Korea to get them back in line, then who's off to Brasil to sort them out??? at this rate, the Microsoft Anti-OSS Emergency Response team will be maxed out rushing all over the place... no one will be left minding the shop back in the good ole US of A... time for you lot to get your congress critters off their backsides and supporting the OSS camp...
    • time for you lot to get your congress critters off their backsides and supporting the OSS camp...

      If they need any encouragement, it'll help to tell them that they'll be keeping money and jobs in their own states... "local jobs for local people"... not lining Bill Gates' coffers...

  • by russotto (537200) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:20AM (#12076025) Journal
    Eventually, just to preserve their monopoly, Microsoft makes an offer they can't refuse -- computers with Windows for less than the price of the computers alone.
  • by Yaa 101 (664725) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:21AM (#12076031) Journal
    You see that more and more where MS has to compete with it's competitors it looks that all the free software available for Linux makes the difference.

    There is a large difference between a low cost crippled windows version without any significant software package and a free fully complete OS with all the packages available for free...

    Guess what most people are going to pick when they are informed correctly?
  • Open Source? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by latroM (652152) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:22AM (#12076040) Homepage Journal
    The head line says that it is about free software, not open source. The difference [gnu.org] is remarkable.
  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @11:23AM (#12076044) Homepage Journal
    If I knew Portuguese, I would wish them 'Buenos fortunas', or whatever good luck is.
    The government shouldn't be the one who decides what hardware and software will go into these computers," said Júlio Semeghini, a member of Congress from the opposition Social Democratic Party.
    Shouldn't it? The words "piper" "call" and "tune" spring to mind. Anybody know the Portuguese for "Micro$oft Shill"?
  • by [cx] (181186)
    If Microsoft was a Brazillian company I think that quote would have been from the US Government, but they can't make quotes like that or they will lose their MS deals.

    Brazil should go with Linux and used the save money on depth charges to get rid of the Great White Sharks that are hunting in packs and actin a fool.

    Or better yet, they can use the money to restore the rainforest, or to buy back land from McDonalds farms so they can stop the slash and burn technique.

    [cx]
  • by ahodgkinson (662233) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:05PM (#12076454) Homepage Journal
    The Brazilian government may actually have the staying power to just say no to Microsoft.

    Consider what Brazil has done in the recent past:

    • Photo-ed and fingerprinted incoming American citizens in response to America's change in visa policies.
    • Charged fairly hefty import tariffs for PCs to promote local industry.
    • Promotes Brazilian music, and indirectly, interest in Brazilian culture and tourism, via the encouragement of free music downloads [I read this in a magazine, but can't anything online confirming it. Can anyone help?]
    I'm not saying that these are necessarily all good things. I just want to say that Brazil tends to do it their way, in spite external pressure.

    It's nice to see a country actually withstand to pressure from the multi-nationals and try to implement a policy for the benefit of all its citizens, rather than the usual vested interests. Let's just hope it doesn't become corrupted.

    Also, recognize that Brazil is interested making their population computer literate. This includes the longer term goal of developing a viable computer software industry. Open Source is an inexpensive and suitable platform for giving everyone a software development environment. Why only a few may actually use it, I'm sure it will create a lot of talented programmers.

    • by wronski (821189)

      Consider what Brazil has done in the recent past:

      • Photo-ed and fingerprinted incoming American citizens in response to America's change in visa policies.
      • Charged fairly hefty import tariffs for PCs to promote local industry.
      • Promotes Brazilian music, and indirectly, interest in Brazilian culture and tourism, via the encouragement of free music downloads [I read this in a magazine, but can't anything online confirming it. Can anyone help?]

      The fingerprint thing was reciproca

  • by theolein (316044) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:13PM (#12076529) Journal
    FTA: But the preference for open-source software has been controversial, with critics inside and outside the government saying Mr. da Silva's administration is letting leftist ideology trump the laws of supply and demand.

    I really fucking hate this. This is the typical newspeak propaganda used by companies terrified of losing their stranglehold on consumers by loudly bleating "Communist" into the air in order to get support from the more paranoid fringes of society, such as politicians who get kick backs from such companies.

    What Supply and Demand is this guy talking about? Does he mean to infer that all those people should remain uneducated because they can't afford to buy some bullshit company's overpriced product? Tell that to the people yourself, you cunt. Also tell them that buying Microsoft's Windows will make them even poorer than they currently are, since the only way Microsoft is ever going to sell Windows at a low price is to sell some ultra crippled piece of shit such as the Starter Edition which no one wants.
    • by gowen (141411) <gwowen@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:37PM (#12076839) Homepage Journal
      I really fucking hate this. This is the typical newspeak propaganda used by companies terrified of losing their stranglehold on consumers by loudly bleating "Communist" into the air in order to get support from the more paranoid fringes of society, such as politicians who get kick backs from such companies.
      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint.
      When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist."
      -- Dom Helder Camara
    • I really fucking hate this. This is the typical newspeak propaganda used by companies terrified of losing their stranglehold on consumers by loudly bleating "Communist" into the air in order to get support from the more paranoid fringes of society, such as politicians who get kick backs from such companies.

      You bring up a good point. Open Source is really Capitalism at its ideal - closed monopolies are actually anti-Capitalist by definition, since they discourage (actively) competition, depend upon all pl
    • This is the typical newspeak propaganda

      Why is this newspeak?

      Every word he says rings true in my ears.

      The basic premise of supply and demand is, and has always been, been one of distribution to those who can afford. Which by inference, means not distributing to those who cannot. It's a fairly harsh principle. If you can't handle it, good for you, but it's nothing new, and certainly doesn't make this newspeak

      Furthermore, considering his views on 'laws of supply and demand'; Giving away something freely

  • Help? (Score:4, Informative)

    by cocoamix (560647) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @12:23PM (#12076651)
    Still, Microsoft has not given up just yet. The company, which declined to make an executive available for an interview, said in a statement that it was still "working with the PC Conectado project to see if there's a way Microsoft can help... "...to further consolidate our Monopoly. Oops? DId I say that out loud? You can edit that, right. Thanks."
  • And... (Score:4, Informative)

    by ZehFernando (848954) on Tuesday March 29, 2005 @01:18PM (#12077354) Homepage
    Something more to think about: Microsoft Office XP Standard costs $479.95.

    $479.95 isn't that much in USA. I bet most of the people here make *at least* this over a week - probably much more. However, right here, getting that much money *a month* is considered more than average. The minimum wage is like 1/10th of that.

    This is not to say 'the country is a poor country, boo-hoo sell us cheap software' (although it *is* a poor country). The thing is, values here are different; a software like that is *too expensive*. You can buy food here for a tiny fraction of how you'd pay for in on USA. Wages here are also a lot cheaper than they are in the States - even for the same job with the same qualifications. It's just that not only the country is poor, but living cost is also low; the values and the scales are different. You can get to a really good grill restaurant and get totally wasted with so much good food - and spending less than us$ 10. The same thing would cost around us$ 150 on USA - with the same restaurant chain! (Fogo de Chão - there's one around Detroit I think).

    When selling software, people don't think "ho well, I'll use one third/half/quarter of my salary to pay for this software..".. they usually think "ho well, I'll use 1/2/3 months worth of salary to pay for this software.. well nevermind, I'll just buy a copy next corner for $3".

    There are lots of wrong stuff going on the government of this country. And one of them is the coice for Microsoft Software. My dad used to work for the state a while ago.. Basically the entire office ran on pirated win95 with microsoft office, and of course, they had no 'central' support or IT management so I used to go there fix their computers. Switching to some linux based solution with open office (or whatever) would pose an obstacle at first but would be just as it was before on the long run. With less virus and trojans, that is (I remember I spent an entire weekend getting the entire office rid of macro template virii - man that was fucked up).

    I, for one, commend them on this choice. On the long run, this will prove to be the best choice, contrary to the FUD the local Microsoft is spreading.

    Of course, money saved from going to Microsoft's pockets will end up going to some politician's bank account, so who am I fooling. Nothing of this matters.

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