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Comment: Re:Not resigning from Debian (Score 4, Insightful) 547

It should be obvious to anyone that RedHat has a vested interest in making the vast majority of Linux distributions dependent on technology it controls. Linux is its bread-and-butter.

It appears RedHat has realised that, through systemd, it can readily provide preferential support for its own projects, and place roadblocks up for projects it does not control, thus extending its influence broadly and quickly. By using tenuous dependencies amongst its own projects it can speed adoption even faster.

Once it has significant influence, and the maintainers of competing projects have drifted away either out of frustration or because they are starved of oxygen, RedHat knows that they can effectively take Linux closed-source by restricting access to documentation and fighting changes that are not in their own best interests.

At this point, they can market themselves as the only rational choice for corporate Linux support -- and this would be perfectly reasonable because they would have effective control of the ecosystem.

Linux (as in a full OS implementation) is an extremely complex beast and you can't just "fork it" and start your own 'distro' from scratch anymore -- you would have to leverage a small army to do it, then keep that army to maintain it. It's just not practical.

At the same time, Linux has matured to the point of attaining some measure of corporate credibility, and from RedHat's point of view, it no longer needs its 'open source' roots to remain viable. RedHat also, understandably, fears potential competition.

Through systemd and subsequent takeovers of other ecosystem components, RedHat can leverage its own position while stifling potential competition -- this is a best-case scenario for any corporation. It will have an advantage in the marketplace, potential customers will recognise that advantage, and buy its products and support contracts.

I hope you can understand why many see this as an extremely compelling case. Arguing that RedHat has 'ethics' and would 'never do such a thing' is immature and silly -- RedHat is a corporation, it exists to profit from its opportunities, just like any other company. To attempt to argue that it would not do so is contrary to what we can assume is its default state.

It's no 'conspiracy theory' to assume that a corporation will behave like a corporation; arguing that it is just makes one look like a naive child. systemd is one large step toward RedHat gaining the ability to reap what it has sewn -- for its benefit and not necessarily ours.

Comment: Re: Administrators dislike constraint based system (Score 4, Insightful) 863

Whether one dislikes systemd or not isn't necessarily because of what it does or doesn't do. The issue for many people (myself included) is simply that it's a monolith that keeps trying to grow larger in an "open" world that was meant to stand for a certain amount of platform agnosticism and component independence.

I realise that systemd can make life easier for some more novice users but to be true to the spirit of the open source community I would expect it to be optional where it can be so. When it starts to intrude into critical areas and make itself mandatory in some releases, that bothers me. It makes me think that the whole business is a sneaky attempt to subvert the Linux kernel and eventually take control of Linux as a whole.

Comment: Got a Commodore 64? ZX Spectrum? (Score 1) 167

by beaverdownunder (#47794999) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

It's a pretty niche app, but the Slashdot crowd has a pretty large percentage of retro-computer collectors, so I thought it might be worth a mention...

tapDancer is an Android app that encodes .TAP / .TZX and many more and plays the audio out through the headphone jack. You can either direct-connect your device or use a 'cassette CD adapter'.

https://play.google.com/store/...

Comment: Re:Is it really about "art"? (Score 1) 121

While I agree most digital pianos do not have the greatest sound, VST plugins (particularly Kontakt) can emulate a piano quite closely using libraries that are gigabytes in size. It's not uncommon to see a MacBook chained to a digital piano during a performance.

+ - Melbourne Uber Drivers Slapped With $1700 Fines; Service Shuts Down->

Submitted by beaverdownunder
beaverdownunder (1822050) writes "Will Uber succeed in Australia? It's looking a bit grim for the service: Victoria Australia's Taxi Directorate has begun a crackdown on Melbourne Uber drivers, fining them $1700 each for operating a taxi service illegally, with total fines apparently equalling over $50000. In response, Uber has shut down its Melbourne service, and has refused to comment on whether its drivers will be compensated, since Uber told them they were providing a legal service. (Fined Uber drivers could take the company to the state's consumer tribunal: stay tuned!)

Uber is set to meet with the Directorate next week but it is likely the demands the Directorate will place on Uber drivers, such as mandatory criminal record checks, vehicle inspections and insurance, will make the service in Melbourne unviable.

Meanwhile, the New South Wales government is awaiting a report to determine if Uber drivers operating in that state are doing so illegally, warning that drivers could face substantial fines if they are found to have been operating in breach of the law. In South Australia, it doesn't even appear Uber will get off the ground — the state has made it clear that those who operate as an Uber driver will be driving without being covered by the state's mandatory insurance coverage, essentially de-registering their vehicle and making them liable for fines and license suspension."

Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Practical alternatives to systemd?

Submitted by systemDead
systemDead (3645325) writes "I looked mostly with disinterest at Debian's decision last February to switch to systemd as the default init system for their future operating system releases. The Debian GNU/Linux distribution is, after all, famous for allowing users greater freedom to choose what system components they want to install. This appeared to be the case with the init system, given the presence of packages such as sysvinit-core, upstart, and even openrc as alternatives to systemd.

Unfortunately, while still theoretically possible, installing an alternative init system means doing without a number of useful, even essential system programs. By design, systemd appears to be a full-blown everything-including-the-kitchen-sink solution to the relatively simple problem of starting up a Unix-like system. Systemd, for example, is a hard-coded dependency for installing Network Manager, probably the most user-friendly way for a desktop Linux system to connect to a wireless or wired network. Just this week, I woke up to find out that systemd had become a dependency for running PolicyKit, the suite of programs responsible for user privileges and permissions in a typical Linux desktop.

I was able to replace Network Manager with connman, a lightweight program originally developed for mobile devices. But with systemd infecting even the PolicyKit framework, I find myself faced with a dilemma. Should I just let systemd take over my entire system, or should I retreat to my old terminal-based computing in the hope that the horde of the systemDead don't take over the Linux kernel itself?

What are your plans for working with or working around systemd? Are there any mainstream GNU/Linux distros that haven't adopted and have no plans of migrating to systemd? Or is migrating to one of the bigger BSD systems the better and more future-proof solution?"

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