The problem here is that each Linux distribution is quite different and they would probably have to choose which to support (can't be an expert in everything). If they chose one then the department would probably still be criticised for forcing students to use a particular distro. Whatever operating system - CANDE, VMS, HP-UX, Workbench, Fedora, VxWorks, QNX, Win3.11, Win95, XP, Vista - who cares if you're doing CS you have to learn whatever comes along. If you're not doing CS, unless you have to buy a new operating system it's an irrelevance (unless you hate Microsoft or Apple).
Probably of more interest is what happens to the subscribers of Virgin, Tesco etc. who effectively get their contacts via T-Mobile. Will their contacts/rates increase/change to Oranges when the deal is complete? Will Orange instead move them onto another plan?
I agree with this - if Murdoch wants to compete he should look at channel 4 news (1 hour long and generally in depth analysis). This is his rival not the BBC.
In the UK there are no adds - it's ad free, just like the telly and the radio. If the lord of the rings is on and it's 3 hours long you better go to the loo beforehand (or learn to cross your legs). I love the BBC - worth every penny - if Murdoch were to get his way it wouldn't be the same. For just over a tenner a month I get ad free TV, radio and websites. I couldn't get this at the same quality on the 'free market'. I do like channel 4 news though, although quality public service broadcasting 'lifts up the standards of the other services).
The State does not in the slightest enjoy a near monopoly - there are international channels (free via satellite) and channels available via the internet if you so want it. Also there are commercial channels availiable in the UK free of charge (ITV etc.). It would be possible to argue that access to TV requires payment of the licence, but after that access to independant news etc. is based on the willingness of the consumer to see value in paying for that service beyond what is available for free. This is in actuallity an attempt at a resource grab from the BBC because the advertising revenues are low at the moment. The worst posible scenario would be that the murdoch empire wiped out local/regional news (as against competition) unilaterally. The BBC ensures there is at least some (reasonably unbiased [usually against the goverment]) news broadcasting.
I think what has happened is that the BBC channels have diversified - BBC2 no londer has the remit for factual 'intellegent' programs - that's BBC4. music is on BBC3, BBC1 and 2 are now mainstream.
Have to agree with the verdict on the Times unfortunately , it has went seriously downhill - the standard of journalism is terrible. The other broadsheets may be denounced as biased (left/right etc.), but at least they are well researched and can argue their case.