Like others I found the headline confusing. I read it as "Researchers are predicting the use of Wikipedia as a vector for the spread of disease". This may mean that:
- Disinformation and ignorance are diseases.
- Memes and computer viruses are diseases.
- Wilipedia contains information that leads to depression.
- Instructions on Wikipedia lead to substance abuse.
- This is getting entertaining, fill in your own reason here.
One of the definitions I found was:
One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause, or principle.
I am sure that fits. While SpaceShip II is mainly intended for a non-exploration purpose, the program has resulted in some significant advances in rocketry and White Knight II has significant non-tourism use. These pilots have been involved in other space efforts, I remember the one who was injured from the Rotary Rocket test flights. There are lots of safer ways for these folks to make as much money as a test pilot is paid. They do what they do to advance our progress in aeronautics and space.
Martyrs? Who killed them for their beliefs?
Go away, troll. They certainly died while pursuing something intensely important that they were willing to risk their lives for. The fact that you weren't around to pull the trigger makes them no less martyrs.
What was the point of Firefox? IE was free and was a proven and already well-established browser. By your logic, we never should have built Firefox and the Web should have stalled with IE6 in 2002.
The world needs a truly open mobile OS as much as it needed a truly open browser a decade ago. Android is open in name only and Google is hurriedly moving its most lucrative components into closed proprietary services and apps that aren't a part of open source Android. iOS is as closed as everything Apple does. Windows is getting some nice HTML5 support for apps, but not nearly enough. There's clearly an opportunity for HTML5 apps to compete on mobile if someone can build a solid alternative platform to the monopolies and silos we're all stuck with today.
Anyway, I have better uses of my time than to waste another minute with you.
We knew what was going on when you ran your anti-IBM campaign, sometimes even positioning yourself as arguing on behalf of our community. It was a way to lend credence to IBM and MS arguments during the SCO issue. To state otherwise is deceptive, perhaps even self-deceptive.
Florian, you would not be devoting all of this text to explaining yourself if you didn't feel the need to paint your actions in a positive light. That comes from guilt, whether you admit it to yourself or not.
Go write your app, and if you actually get to make any money with it you can give thanks, because it will happen despite what you worked for previously. Keep a low profile otherwise because your credibility is well and truly blown and you can only make things worse. And maybe someday you can really move past this part of your life. But I am not holding out much hope.
So, I see this as rationalization.
The fact is, you took a leadership position, and later turned your coat for reasons that perhaps made sense to you. But they don't really make sense to anyone else. So, yes, everyone who supported you then is going to feel burned.
You also made yourself a paid voice that was often hostile to Free Software, all the way back to the SCO issue. Anyone could have told you that was bound to be a losing side and you would be forever tarred with their brush.
So nobody is going to believe you had any reason but cash, whatever rationalization you cook up after the fact. So, the bottom line is that you joined a list of people who we're never going to be able to trust or put the slightest amount of credibility in.
And ultimately it was for nothing. I've consistently tried to take the high road and it's led to a pretty good income, I would hazard a guess better than yours, not just being able to feel good about myself.
Meh, it's easy to find people with skill. With values, OTOH...
You have a point.