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BusinessWeek on LinuxOne 172

lactose_intolerant writes "Another "mainstream" look at LinuxOne by BusinessWeek. They too are suspicious. " Pretty icy review right there. Apparently the business world thinks as much of this company as we do. Still it will be interesting to see what happens with this.
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BusinessWeek on LinuxOne

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  • Why the hatred for LinuxOne? Because they're doing exactly what the GPL allows and reselling a version of Linux that they themselves haven't changed at all? They're really not that evil, I don't think. Just a couple guys seeing dollar signs... Give them a chance.

    Maybe everyone would have a different outlook if they were offering shares back to the community? Probably....

    Oh, and maybe possibly first post.
  • Why the hatred for LinuxOne? Because they're doing exactly what the GPL allows and reselling a version of Linux that they themselves haven't changed at all? They're really not
    that evil, I don't think. Just a couple guys seeing dollar signs... Give them a chance.

    I think a great deal of people think that if you offer the exact same thing as someone else you are perhaps cheating by using their product. If I can get a distribution from the original company and someone else sells it then why?

    Maybe everyone would have a different outlook if they were offering shares back to the community? Probably....

    I for one really don't buy stock at the present time at all. Is there a way that you can say spend about 10 bucks on the stock market by yourself without getting one of those fat cat brockers to do it for you?

    Oh, and maybe possibly first post.

    As usual all the people who have no lives got that first anyway.
  • Not only did they summarise LinuxOne very nicely (IMHO), but they also gave an almost entirely accurate description of "Free Software" to non-technical folk at the same time.

    Brilliant, all-round, and hopefully another nail in the coffin of a -very- suspicious IPO.

  • by Shoeboy ( 16224 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @09:09AM (#1382238) Homepage
    LinuxOne isn't the only company trying to cash in on the IPO craze with a half assed buisness plan. I'm doing it too. Here's my press release:

    Shoeboy: The Next Open Source, eCommerce IPO
    Seattle, WA Shoeboy, a producer of gametes used in meiotic reproduction, hopes to be one of the next individuals to benefit from the Open Source and eCommerce surges on Wall Street as he readies himself for an IPO.

    Shoeboy, based in Seattle, Washington, sells packages of DNA called gametes (or more specifically sperm) that, in conjunction with other gametes known as eggs can produce an embryo that can eventually learn to play the piano and perform integral calculus. The sperm delivery market has traditionally been highly competitive, with even market leaders like Wilt Chamberlain only able to service 20,000 customers. Part of this is due to the primitive and inefficient delivery system know as sex. According to Shoeboy, this is the main reason for Wall Street's dismissal of reproduction as a "hobbyist market."

    Shoeboy hopes to overcome these limitations by abandoning sex and selling his sperm over the internet. " eFertilization makes sense as a way to eliminate complexity for customers who have a hard time finding the time and resources for traditional reproduction," said International Data Corp. analyst Jean Bozman. "There's less need for people at the user site to interact with their reproductive system," she said.
    "Shoeboy next month plans to file with the Semen Exchange Commission for an initial pubic offering," announced Shoeboy. The IPO itself is scheduled roughly for the end of March.
    An IPO, in which an individual sells genetic stock to the public, provides an infusion of cash, but historically has also placed the individual at increased risk of syphilis. This is another area in which Shoeboy's internet solution is preferable to sex. "Sex is too risky," says Bozman. "Increasingly, consumers are going to say, 'Why do we want to fool around with other people when we can get something prepackaged, and it's no muss, no fuss?'"
    Skeptics have argued that Shoeboy's plans reflect desperation rather than innovation. "This is simply a last ditch effort after the catastrophic failure of Shoeboy's 'One Size Disappoints All' marketing campaign," said Technology Business Research analyst Joe Ferlazzo. "Additionally, Shoeboy has a history of dissatisfied customers. He just doesn't have the equipment to do the job well."

    Shoeboy admits that his record is not a successful one, but he argues that the problems he encountered do not apply to the internet business model. "First off, equipment isn't an issue. My equipment is the most compact in the industry, and I have extremely low latency - were talking 8 seconds here. Then there's bandwidth - In the last year I've managed to fill 36 pint jars - any more and I'd have to get a bigger freezer. The real obstacle to my sperm distribution has been the unwillingness of my customers to be in the same room with me. With the internet, now they don't even have to be in the same state! What could go wrong?"
    Shoeboy is also quick to point out that his product is completely open source. "Since all future products based on my DNA source code will (by age 13 or so) feel a nearly uncontrollable urge to redistribute their own DNA source code, I am in compliance with the terms of the GPL - just like Linux." Linux, an open-source operating system that competes with Windows NT, was the basis for several successful IPOs in 1999, including Red Hat, VA Linux Systems and Cobalt Networks. VA Linux, in particular, had a record first trading day last month.

    Shoeboy hopes to raise nearly $35 million dollars through the IPO. This money will be used to purchase several jars of Vaseline, a subscription to "Barely Legal" and the domain.


  • by JennyWL ( 93561 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @09:10AM (#1382239)
    LinuxOne claims to be reselling, but nobody has found any evidence that they are really doing so. They also claim to have a Chinese-language version of Linux. Again, nobody has seen it. $4677 in software development costs in 1999 would not have been enough to even translate output messages, let alone test the changes. So what we have is a company lying about having products and hoping the financial markets won't see through their story before the IPO hits the boards. I'd call that cause for contempt, and BusinessWeek seems to agree.


  • They've earned it. They were unknown until they filed for they're IPO, they didn't even have a product at the time. Everything about it says two-bit operation, and it appears they just want to cash in on the popularity of the "Linux" name. Contrast this company with VA Linux, who has been around for years, with a solid reputation built around their products. Linux One doesn't deserve empathy.

  • Them and the freaks trying to patent the name "Linux". A bunch of maggots come to feed. They offer no value, no give back to the community, no nothing.The Linux community has chance to actually affect the quality and tone of Linux.The windoze world has swimming in crapware,buggy software & the like. Here is Linux new and shiny and under the loving influence of the community that built it.We should not let the vermin in to pillage and plunder !
  • by Borogrove ( 126006 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @09:12AM (#1382242)
    Anybody I've ever heard has said that an IPO has to be carfully orchestrated and publicized in order to succeed. From the looks of this the only publicity is bad and nobody at the company is willing to promote it. The only way I could see it making money is if the day traders jump on it and attract the ignorant. Otherwise, the poeople who would be stupid enough to buy in won't be smart enough to know it's there.
  • Talk about a harsh review! Makes me glad i don't have any money to invest. :-)
  • by Rabbins ( 70965 )
    Their stock symbol alone is going to guarantee a succesful IPO!

    But, expect these to sell off very quickly after the initial opening, when people start wondering what exactly they are holding.

    Damn Scam-artists.
  • Is LinuxOne offering anything to the community, or are they just trying to fleece a gullible public with a bogus stock offering?

    Say what you want about RedHat, but they do pay the salaries of Linux developers, and their web page if informative.

    Doesn't VALinuxhost a lot of Linux oriented web pages for free?

    I'm afraid LinuxOne will make Linux become a ghetto for flim flam artists and scammers, like web page design was in the 90's.

  • They have two commodities that could be of some value:
    • A not terribly bad name, and
    • A stock ticker with a nicely Linux-related encoding.

    That could be worth something to someone. Not necessarily a lot, and if the actions of the company sully the names, the names lose value.

    But for someone wanting to start a Linux company, buying LINX out would represent an interesting way of getting onto the stock market, so long as their price wasn't too high.

    I'd think a million dollars to be "too high," personally...

  • Nice satire, I like it...
  • You couldn't buy something from this company if you tried, whether a linux distro, office furniture or a break. There are no deliverables, honey. The only thing for sale at LinuxOne are share certificates.
  • I think a great deal of people think that if you offer the exact same thing as someone else you are perhaps cheating by using their product. If I can get a distribution from the original company and someone else sells it then why?

    Um, cause they could sell it cheaper by having company X do their R&D?
  • How much of the touted stick market gain can be accounted for by volitaile tech stock these days? A good number of the .com's including Amazon don't post a profit, and are loosing money faster than LinuxOne. Almost like LinuxOne has a better financial outlook.

    Regardless, the price on internet companies, legitemate or not is overinflated, this sort of thing just points out how ridiculous the actual stock market behavior is.

    J. Lartbait: Hey this web stuff is the hot new thing

    T. Clueless: Yeah, let's get in on the action

    J. Lartbait: but running an online store is to much work and I can't figure out this whole HTML thing, and we'd need lots of startup capital.

    T. Clueless: Maybee there's something that's available for free that we can sell for a profit... like air.

    J. Lartbait: Right, I heard about something like that Linux.

    T. Clueless: But how do we get Linux? It's free right...

    J. Lartbait: Don't worry about that. People are so blinded by the .com they won't care weather or not we have a real product.

    the rest is just a story.

    Honestly, who wouldn't want to make a million dollars?
  • by dattaway ( 3088 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @09:25AM (#1382253) Homepage Journal
    Here's the product [], and its for sale now! It runs on Windows software, so it might suffer from unexpected equipment failure.
  • $50,000 in sales, from a CORNER-STORE??? (See Technocrat.) Give me a break. Even if the store had the money (unlikely in the extreme), why would they give it to a company with nothing to sell?

    Then, there's the cut-and-paste filing. Sorry, but there's nothing virtuous about being able to use Windows Notepad.

    Third, there's this little matter of return. What are the shareholders going to be getting for their hard-earned cash? At present, sod all.

    Fourthly, there's that ticker marker - LINX. Don't tell me that they couldn't have found a different set of letters that would denote their company just as well, if not better, without obviously trying to confuse non-tech investors into buying into what they think is the Linux OS itself.

    Fifthly, there's that leeetle "lie" about Linux Lite running under Windows. Look it up in their FAQ. It doesn't actually run under Windows at all. Linux Lite is nothing more than "loadlin" with window-dressing.

    Last, but by no means least, they say they've 10 employees, earning between $60-$80K -EACH-, and they only had the cash left to spend $4K on development. You'd blow more than $4K on computers and other necessary junk, just to start the damn company up! In short, they really didn't spend a cent on developing a single line of code. That's what they're saying.

    They -are- allowed to resell Linux, sure. A lot of people do. Cheapbytes has probably made a mint on the process. What they are -not- allowed to do is defraud investors or prosopective customers by outright deception. And, yes, even the few "half-truths" are still deception. Either a claim is honest and open or it isn't. And theirs ain't.

  • This company is almost guarnteed success with a name like LinuxOne and a ticker of LINX. They're shareholders are going to be mostly yuppies that have heard of this wonderful thing called linux, yet they know nothing about it other than that they want a piece of it. Welcome to corporate america.
    There was never a genius without a tincture of madness.
  • by costas ( 38724 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @09:32AM (#1382258) Homepage
    A ticker symbol is enough, IMNSHO... for one thing, consider all those people (I know a few myself) that sign for every IPO E*Trade or some other online broker offers in the hope they'll make money not from the company's value, but other traders' idiocy.

    The market as it is now, especially the high-tech Internet market (never mind the Linux one) is one big Ponzi scheme. And as any Ponzi scheme its success or failure doesnt depend on economics but perception, in which case, a cute ticker symbol may be all you need.

    LinuxOne isn't even the worst one... (or was it or filed for an IPO selling themselves as a portal while their revenue came from rebate processing offline. And then there was that ISP (eff-something or other) that had no revenue, no infrastructure, no clients, just some hot-shot big-name CEO, and they filed an S-1 claiming that they will use the proceeds to buy other, real ISPs... I just hope that this lunacy continues till I vest ;-) (and that's exactly the point, isn't it?)

    engineers never lie; we just approximate the truth.
  • by RuntimeError ( 132945 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @09:34AM (#1382260)
    Dear Prospective Investor,

    My Company, Nothing Inc, is planning on making a Initial Public Offering on the NASDAQ exchange.

    We do not produce anything, we do not offer any services, and we do not distribute anything. Essentially, we make nothing, do nothing, sell nothing. Our annual turnover is zero, profits zero, however we have great potential for making future profits, as you must have realised by now.

    Given the high demand for stocks from such companies, such as and Linuxone, we believe you are making the right decision by investing in our stock.

    Our initial asking offer is US$10.00 per share, but we believe that before the end of the first day of trading, our shares are going to be worth US$100.00 each.

    Thank you very much for your interest


    N. Othing

    Nothing Inc.

  • Maggots perform a very useful function in ecological terms. They're food for birds and other critters that eat slimey smelly rot eating substances.

    With that in mind, you could hardly call AOL or Time Warner a maggot. Perhaps a better comparison to a bug-like creature would be a dung beetle which AFAIK, nothing eats except other dung beetles.

    They are a threat to free speech and must be silenced! - Andrea Chen
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @09:35AM (#1382262)
    In response to several slashdot posters, the reason LinuxOne is hated is because when (and yes, this is practically a given) they crash they will hurt the linux "name brand" - all distributions will feel the effects of bad press. You can't escape that - this company is trying to cash in and they're gonna crash and burn. I seriously hope people don't buy a single stock - it'll be one less person to complain about the non-feasability of linux in the marketplace.

    LinuxOne is cashing in on the hype (duh), but rather than taking a relaxed whats-the-worst-that-could-happen-to-me approach we ought to be out there telling people not to make a bad business decision. If we play our cards right the "linux community" (cough) would come out with a greater credibility - not only do we know the technology, but we know how to use it in the marketplace. If investors are NOT burned as a result of listening to us, they'll be willing to do it again when a company that *really can* make money comes along. Our support (think: CUSTOMERS) ought to be something a company in this market strives for.. not something to be easily discounted. If we want a community, we've gotta fight for it, and we have to act like one. This starts with a condemnation of those who are out to damage it.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Seems they prefer Red Hat over their own Linux. That's interesting.

    $ telnet 80
    Connected to rinoa.LinuxOne.NET.
    Escape character is '^]'.
    HEAD / HTTP/1.0

    HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2000 19:38:38 GMT
    Server: Apache/1.3.6 (Unix) (Red Hat/Linux)
    Last-Modified: Sat, 08 Jan 2000 03:26:04 GMT
    ETag: "dc003-3642-3876ae4c"
    Accept-Ranges: bytes
    Content-Length: 13890
    Connection: close
    Content-Type: text/html

    Connection closed by foreign host.
  • I have to admit that this article brightened my day a bit. I'm glad that the guys in suits have enough common sense to see what LinuxOne is trying to be. Maybe there's hope for those business folk after all?

    Nah. ;)
  • Of all the sites that could use a good defacing, this would be one of them. At least redirect their traffic to RedHat [] or some other decent Linux [] site.
  • As much as I hate to see people who have nothing to do with (or contribute to) Linux take advantage of it to try to make a quick million or two, all we can do is inform potential investors of the scam they are pulling. Luckily, Business Week did just that. It's a trusted source, read by alot of investors, so it will help protecting folks who will probably lose their investment in that company anyway.

    Unfortunately, If people still go ahead and invest in that company.. then there is not much that can be done, and the scam will have succeeded. Their plan is one of misinformation of investors. Counter measure? Information. =)

    Also, This kind of scam could not happen over "strongly licensed" software, since the company who owns that software would certainly not allow it. However, in a free software world, people are bound to like their new-found software liberties, and some will unfortunately abuse them to make a quick capitalist buck.

  • I don't agree with the quote attributed to Bruce Perens in the BusinessWeek article:

    "It will only make the real Linux companies look bad and hurt our chances at convincing people that this is a real operating system."

    A couple of weeks ago, when there was speculation about RedHat buying Corel, everyone here was saying how much credence some people in the investment community give to the discussions on Slashdot. If the majority of the comments regarding LinuxOne say that the company adds no value to the Linux community and will not help Linux expand its presence in any market, won't the "smart money" avoid the stock? (And, what could anyone do to protect the dumb money? Even the SEC can't stop every scam.)

    If anything, I would argue that LinuxOne could benefit the community by clearly pointing out the value that companies like RedHat, VA Linux, and LinuxCare are bringing to the market.


    Dave Aiello

  • "Meept some friends of mine"

    That's good stuff. Ignore those without humor who mark you as flamebait. A few of us here appreciate the funny lyrics.

  • 1. Trading opens for LINX
    2. Short LINX at 10
    3. Wait for bubble to burst
    4. Buy To Cover at .25


  • at the heart of the system -- is open and free for anyone to look at
    and change, as long as they post those changes on the Internet so that
    anyone else can use them.

    Obviously wrong. This is when I stop wasting my time reading poorly researched material.
  • He might be. His quote of Bruce Perens [] is nearly verbatim from this post by Bruce [].
  • Definitely! My entire family and I (several of my roomates even) do I lot of investing. About 60% of us do it over E*Trade [] or some other online brokerage. Quite a few have asked me about LinuxOne and I've been glad to rip on them thoroughly . It's not that I mind that they are selling someone elses distribution, its the fact that they are so blatantly scamming everyone, and not even doing any original work/innovation. It just bugs me. There is a line between distributing open source and outright BS. $.02 worth of ranting.
  • If (when?) LinuxOne has its IPO, it should separate the cautious investor who takes the time to research his/her purchase from the devil-may-care daytrader who is ready to buy stock with Linux in the name. Caveat emptor
  • When a mosquito bites you, do you think:
    "Aw, the poor thing's just trying to 'make a living'"?

    or do you swat the irritating parasite.

    That's all these people are, parasites. Sucking life from the media frenzy surrounding Linux. And they need to be swatted.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was at the "Silicon Valley Linux Users Group" monthly meeting last week and Donnie Barnes of Red Hat was presenting. Near the end, someone had a humerous question about LinuxOne for Donnie which he diplomatically brushed off. In the din of laughter, I heard this lone individual say "Oh wait, I'm from LinuxOne ... nevermind." Apparently they wanted to speak out but were nervous or something. I could never identify who this person was since they were behind me somewhere in the seats.
  • Loading "Paranoid Conspiracy" Daemon now:

    Why doesn't anyone else get it? Microsoft is behind LinuxOne. They want to destroy Linux, and driving the "Linux" name into the mud is the best way to do it. It's such a simple plan. Have a few thousand people loose their nest eggs to "Linux" and suddenly there's more bad word of mouth floating around the world than Microsoft could buy with $30 million in marketing and advertising.

    The end is here ladies and gentlemen. Linux will be slaughtered in the stock market. It will be banned by business as a "phony who can't deliver," Microsoft will use the LinuxOne saga in ad campaigns.

    Start porting all your apps to BSD and GNU/HURD. GNU will rise from the ashes of Linux and defeat the vile Antichrist Gates! Linus will be avenged my friends! GNU will avenge us with the righteous sword of Open Source!!!!

    Sending KILL signal to "Paranoid Conspiracy" Daemon

    "Paranoid Conspiracy" Daemon is now shut down

  • One problem (of many) with shorting a company's stock. . . You will be left high and dry if trading is suspended in the underlying stock. Which is a definite possiblity in this case. (as always, past performance does not guarantee future returns)
  • I did some poking around. The domain they own is hosted off of a T1 with some company described as 'pacmicro'. If you sniff around, you'll find that it's an ADSL connection via pacbell. It's running a stock redhat 6.0/6.1 and probably has the vulnerable BIND installed on it (that's an open port BTW).

    I would challenge someone to explore that situation a little more and report back their results.

    That $4677 is probaby a new computer and ADSL and hosting costs.
  • by vyesue ( 76216 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @10:15AM (#1382290)
    yeah, except that you're not allowed to short IPOs. nice try.
  • I'll be brief. I'm a member of KULUA [], the Kansas Unix/Linux Users Association, a LUG here in Kansas. LinuxOne is in the spamming business too, as is evident on our list from time to time. What more do I need before I decide I hate them?
  • Shoeboy admits that his record is not a successful one

    None the less. . . This is very funny!

  • Do you know how many top-notch programmers I could hire in China for $4677? Four years ago I could get one with a Master's for about $2.50 per day. Think about it.
  • Just edit your user info...but then again, Anonymous Coward really doesn't have any user info I guess *grin*. Seriously though just creat a user account, and then go to the Customize Comments [] page. Works pretty slick.
  • The only thing that is wrong about it is that you have to distribute the source changes only if you distribute the object code, which is a pretty fine grain point for those not versed in the idiosyncrasies of the GPL. Calm down.

  • What DNS server are you pointing at?
  • According to the Business Week review, all the links to other linux distro sites (assuming that was actually a product they were offering) are dead. Only a little under 5K in development money spent? $0 profits? There is nothing illegal to what they are doing, but they aren't offering any way for the company (or shareholders) to profit! It is a scam. And that's why people are upset.
  • . . . it likely IS thier linux. From what I understand, the first LinuxOne beta was a BARELY modified RedHat; where they didn't even finish changing all the names from "RedHat" to "LinuxOne". I personally haven't seen the beta, or the first release that came out ONE MONTH later, but I don't imagnie all that much changed in that short of time.

    These guys are so many flavors of shady it hurts.
  • by Bilbo ( 7015 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @10:40AM (#1382303) Homepage
    As much as I like to feel like I'm a part of a Linux "community", I think people are making way too much out of the concept. Linux Community this. Linux Community that. The Linux Community has to Stick Together. Long Live the Linux Community.

    We're starting to sound like a Religion.

    Now, I think it's important to have a sense of unity and be able to do things together, but all this blather about the Community makes it sound like we are all the same, or at least, we all have common goals and ambitions. It sounds like we're all here to defend the Linux "name brand", to uphold the Faith, to chase the Infidels back to the dark holes they have emerged from.

    Excuse me, but I already have a religion, and it's not Linux. I am here (1) to make money (i.e., my work), (2) to have a good time using software that's fun and (3) help out some other people (like kids in schools or NFP organizations). Linux happens to be the best tool I've found to do this, but that doesn't mean I worship the Brand Name.

    If some stupid investors lose their shirts on a bobus IPO, I'll shed no tears over them. It won't affect my goals (1), (2) or (3) above. If anything, it will deflate the incredible hype over all things Linux, and perhaps we can all get back to real work again.

    No. People hate LinuxONE either because (1) they are jealous ("Why can't I make millions like they do?"), or (2) because they are taking it as a slap in their collective faces (the "community" thing) or (3) because they are honestly bothered by the lies and broken promises that this guy has left in his wake.

    This is not my Crusade however. I am glad that the news is getting out, and it sounds like this whole thing is going to flop, but I'll lose no sleep over it. I have more important things to worry about than some sheister taking advantage of my favorite hobby.

  • Notepad doesn't have Search and Replace.
  • Ah, but LinuxOne claims to be paying theirs $60-80K per year, US dollars. At those rates, $4677 doesn't go far. And they don't claim to have any employees in China.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @11:23AM (#1382310)
    Following the report that Power Source was buying $500,000 of product from Linux One I paid them a visit (I live a few blocks from them in El Cerrito). Power Source (aka a couple other names like PSM Multimedia...) is a small store on what passes for El Cerrito's main drag (map []).

    The product selection has a flea-market/surplus feel to it (a box of XT floppy controllers for $1 each, used diskettes for $0.10 - just peel off the old MS Windows label). The list of CDs includes about a dozen linux-related labels but the back of the CD on the shelf touts it as one of the most complete distributions for 1997.

    I asked for one of the well-known distributions and was told that "we have our own" and was directed to two stacks of boxes.

    One stack was labeled Winlinux. A box was open and I looked inside. There is a bright yellow CD with on it. That domain does not appear to exist though it also appears in some of PSs print ads. The instructions were a short center-folded 8.5x11 photocopy of rather bad quality. From what I could read, the purchaser was supposed to contact eilink [] to "activate" the product. Nobody was available who could answer my questions but it appeared to be some sort of pre-configured version of Linux that was designed to connect a small office to the eilink ISP.

    Next to that stack was a stack of LinuxOne. The box appeared to be vintage generic flea-market with bright colors and superlatives such as Super Value on the back and a boilerplate shrink-wrap license on the front. The only thing that indicated what product was inside was the LinuxOne manual (another cheesy-looking photocopy number) shrink-wrapped to the front of the box.

    I didn't feel like shelling out the $30 to buy either product so I can't comment on what is on the disk or on the quality of any available technical support. Using the look of the packaging and manual as a guide, however, I wouldn't expect much.

  • Here is a better plan: a48b53-051fa9a0 - the Java Mozilla []
  • They have an office in Taipei and they *have* said they have an office in I recall it was in their very first press release. Please read this story in the English language newspaper, The Taipei Times: 000018554
  • by haaz ( 3346 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @11:29AM (#1382314) Homepage
    LinuxOne now has a PowerPC product. One of their people showed up at Macworld Expo, at our booth. We were stunned -- an actual person! And he took one of our CDs and wandered off. (The CDs were free.) We were too stunned to say anything... but they may be making an announcement any day now about a PowerPC port. ;)
  • at the Harry Shearer [] Le Show archive [], right he re [] (Should be the June 13th show) - while your there you may check out the Nov 7 program with "Male Models sell their sperm online" and "Bill Gates plans his next move".

  • Well it pains me to say this but yes, in fact, before the expo (by a few weeks) I stopped by LinuxOne's website and they had announced a Mac port of their software. (Their being the key word). This was in mid-December. Now, checking their site, I see that it is still advertised though now they may actually have a product thanks to your generosity :/. LinuxOne's LinuxMac product page []

  • 000018554
  • The reason LinuxOne could hurt the Linux community is because they're using the Linux name, which makes me wonder: while LinuxOne has the right to distribute the software under the GPL, do they have the right call themselves LinuxOne, or could Linus Torvalds, who holds the trademark rights to Linux, prohibit that?

    That could be a delicate matter -- would Linus want to start distinguishing between companies and people authorized to use the Linux mark and ones which are not? That's a slippery slope. Is that even possible now given the multitude of "Linux" products and the usual requirements that trademark rights be defended vigorously?

  • if (serious company) then
    think of idea
    get funding
    create product
    bring in spin doctors
  • OK, they have an office in Taipei (established 11 days ago). They do not claim another office in China. And they are selling LinuxLite in Chinese, but if it's only a front-end (as another poster pointed out) then output from Linux itself will still be in English. This does not count as a serious localization effort--it's more like slapping a Chinese label over the English on the RedHat box without ever opening it up. Too bad, because localizing Linux would be one way to generate a unique product, and bring Linux to a much larger slice of the world. And isn't it odd that the IPO paperwork doesn't mention ANY of their planned localizations (Spanish and Japanese) of LinuxLite? You would expect a company planning to expand in a major way would highlight all their plans for spending that new investment. Unless they didn't plan to spend it on the company, of course.

  • by drix ( 4602 )
    We actually Slashdotted BusinessWeek? That's a new record. Let's all head to Yahoo and see if we can disrupt 200million+ hits a day in traffic :)

  • This is a major point of contention of people who don't want to use GPL software, they think that they _have_ to give away anything they do with it.
  • by richj ( 85270 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @12:20PM (#1382326)
    I heard the super of my building chased a LinuxOne employee out of my lobby. He was taking those AOL cd packages that are too big to go in the mailbox, so they get stuck in between the trim and the wall by the mailman.

    Keep your eyes open for a Win32 AOL client by LinuxOne. With 100 FREE HOURS!! ;)
  • It's not a LinuxOne site, it's pr0n.

    In case you were wondering why that post was moderated as a "Troll." Thought those of you at work might especially appreciate the warning.
  • I knew you could. Seems like BW hit the nail on the head: they are trying to sell a stock symbol, make it rich, and probably disappear. I wouldn't invest a dollar in these idiots. But with exposure like this, they might as well call it quits and move on. Better off dumping the $$$ into that lithography ship....
  • See their website []. They do have a product. Apparently they have some sort of Linux-in-Windows shell. So much for shoddy business practices, their technology is idiotic. As far as I can see, that's not an OS, that's an emulator. It would seem that they're deceiving the public left and right. I don't like the looks of this.
  • I was checking out the linuxone site. I thought for hoots, I'd try to order a product. The ordering page wont come up. So then I tried to visit the base url of the ordering page: It is the base apache install including the documentation!! good grief.

  • Anyone who does not see through LinuxOne as a sham, is an idiot. Anyone who will buy stock in this company just because it has the word Linux in it, is an idiot. Anyone who thinks that Linux is bad because a large number of people were idiots, is an idiot.

    Now who does this really hurt, except other idiots? I hate to break this to you, but when it comes down to it, the incompetent by their very nature are not going to make one bit of difference. Those intelligent enough to judge something on its own merit will reap the benefits of it. And if that means less people using Linux, I'd be fine with it.
  • Hypothetical Situation based around 40BC:

    Due to the overwhelming popularity of the recent appearence of the Son of God, we here at JesusOne are offering something completely off the bandwagon of the newly founded Chriatian Community: Christ Soap.

    It is a revolutionary new concept in bathing experience. All of your sins can be washed away with one shower with Christ Soap.

    end of parody

    Now do you see why people are a little upset with the LinuxOne IPO. They are cashing in on the naive people who think that everything that Linux touches turns to gold. Linux is a great operating system, and yes our "community" is a bit fanatical about how our beliefs are used and shared. If someone went out and bastardized the name of Jesus Christ then you can bet that the Bible Belt would speak up about this. Along with the Catholic Church and many other "communities." When someone tries to take advantage of our sense of identity and use it for a purpose that we feel is not within the bounds of our personal beliefs, then we call foul.
    ------------------------------------------- -
  • I need a driver for the "F" model.
  • OK, they don't claim they have an office in China, my mistake. The press release stated that they had helped MandrakeSoft (makers of Mandrake Linux) set up their offices there. You can read the story in The Register:

    This is a Chinese/Taiwanese operation so don't expect them to operate the way American businesses do. You'll make a BIG mistake if you do. A friend of mine in Taipei used to have a company operating out of his house. He'd fly to the States, buy memory, pack it in his suitcase and fly back to Taiwan to sell to the highest bidder. He had 2 employees, his brother and girlfriend. He now owns one of the largest network card/hub manufacturing companies in Taiwan. His products are sold all over the world. He doesn't work out of his living room anymore :^)
  • In The Distinguished Gentleman he played the role of Thomas Jefferson Johnson where (as summarized in
    "A Florida con man uses the passing of the long time Congressman from his district who he just happens to share a name with, to get elected to his version of paradise, Congress, where the money flows from lobbyists. But soon he learns the nature of the game and decides to fight back the only way he knows how, with a con."

    Yep, he used a well known name and got elected. Let's hope reality doesn't copy fiction!
  • The good news is, they are.

    See lemaker000106.htm

    for great insight from the Motley Fool.

  • by Royster ( 16042 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @01:00PM (#1382338) Homepage
    Yes, Bilbo, there is a Linux Community. It exists as certainly as freedom and generosity and
    Source Code exist, and you know that they abound and give to your computer its most reliable operating system. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Linux Community! It would be as dreary as if there were no Slashdot.

    I am a member of any number of "communities" and I'm happy to say that in none of them is everyone all the same. We share the defining characteristic, but often little else.

    Getting the truth out about LinuxOne is a real sucess story for the Linux Community. It has happened because Bruce Perens put information on and in large part because there were discussions here.
  • In my articles about this company for The Register [] and LinuxWorld Online [], I raised questions about LinuxOne's fulfillment of its GPL obligation to provide access to source code. I'm happy to report that the company appears to have substantively corrected its omission, in this area: The on-line order form now includes a checkbox to request source code, at no extra charge.

    That is a welcome development, and I applaud it.

    Credit where due, folks: It's only fair.

    As to the rest: As I mentioned in my (and Eileen Cohen's) LinuxWorld article, if LinuxOne can carry through on its ambitions to produce and distribute Chinese- and Japanese-language versions, I'll be the first to cheer them on.

    And I won't be investing in this firm, for reasons amply described, but I nonetheless wish them luck.

  • by SpecYouLater ( 96553 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2000 @01:24PM (#1382343)
    The article notes "The Securities & Exchange Commission says there's no copyright protection on documents filed with it, so copying the verbiage from another company's prospectus isn't illegal."

    This is complete nonsense, and demonstrates how totally bogus information is fed to us by the "most prestigious" media outlets in the country. I'm not a lawyer, but I've been writing and publishing tech articles and books for over 20 years.

    Neither the SEC nor any other body has the right or power to remove copyright protection from ANY written work. Copyright protection is provided by an international treaty that has been signed by almost all of the countries of the world except China. Before we could approve the treaty, we were required to bring the U.S. copyright statues into conformance with international law. For example, our copyright protection was extended from 29 years until the author's death, and then to the death of the person who first inherited the right from the author. This prevented classic works from passing into the public domain before the author's death, something that happened routinely to authors who didn't understand their requirements to re-register the work after 29 years.

    The salient part of the treaty here is something called "common law copyright." Under this provision any original work, whether written by an individual or a company, is protected by common law copyright from the instant that it is placed in a form accessible to human beings -- that is, when it is written down or recorded. The process of registering your work with the Copyright Office is simply a legal protection, so that you can prove that you claimed authorship from such and such a date. It is absolutely not required that you apply for or be granted an official copyright in order for your work to protected>/B>. All you must prove is original authorship.

    Notice the following disclaimer on SlashDot: "The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. Slashdot is not responsible for what they say." This little bit of legalese simply restates the common law copyright rule: if you wrote it, you own it!

  • I don't really know why
    maybe it's my sadistic streak
    but I feel if people do get burned
    the linux hype will cease
    Which can only be a good thing

  • The single member of the board of directors has aready wet his feet with an earlier IPO that sunk like a stone. The guys who will be promoting this are going to be the penny stock pushers in the boilerrooms.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Does this remind anyone of the Simpsons episode where Homer starts an Internet business? He has nothing but a desk and a pencil behind his ear.

    The comic store guy asks him for T-1 this and multiplex gigabit that and can Homer provide that for him? Homer stares back at him blankly and says "Can I please have some money now?"

    I never thought I'd see it done just like that in real life, but here it is. LinuxOne.
  • Here is an idea. Setup a trust fund! If a company want's to use the Linux trademark to sell a product they have to pay say $5000 to the Linux trust fund as a licensing fee. Then this money gets redistributed back into the community to pay for free software projects.

  • You're right. No tariffs. Go to Asia and see all the tiny little shops selling all kinds of imported Italian leather jackets, German Leica cameras, Intel CPUs, etc, etc. As I said, business is run very differently there. I (like many other people on visa runs) used to travel the Triangle: Taipei, Hong Kong, Korea. I'd be carrying electronic components, buttons, Rolex watches, designer luggage etc. It's a DIFFERENT way of doing business....and it's legal. Believe it or not, everything in the world is NOT done like in South Bumfuck, Arkansas.
  • > It associates gross fraud and failure with Linux.

    I don't think so. The world is full of both suckers and those who take advantage of suckers. If someone uses the "Linux" name to take advantage of suckers, they might generate some bad press, but as you can see by the current crop of news articles, most journalists can recognize an obvious sham when they see one.

    What worries me more is the possibility of a legitimate company like RedHat or VA Linux running into problems (real or perceived), which will do a lot more to create deep down distrust for "free" software. Another possibility is a big news story about someone planting a serious Trojan inside an Open Source program. Again, this could cause a deep seated distrust for Open Source - products which are not tightly controlled by a corporate entity which can be held responsible.

    Of course, the fact that MS has hidden functions in its systems to download customer information to MS hasn't appeared to hurt its ability to sell huge quantities of software... ;-/

  • AFIAK, the LinuxOne plan is as follows:

    Phase 1: Name "LinuxOne" and announce IPO
    Phase 2: ?
    Phase 3: Profit!

    :-) Methinks Mr. X or whomever over there has watched too much Southpark.
  • And Salon, of course, is the first to report [] on it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    For a lot of people, myself included, there IS something inherantly wrong with dishonesty. The reason why so many in the 'Linux Community' are upset is because they (LinuxOne) are being dishonest with our name attached. In the long run, it is going to affect our credibility.
  • I agree... there is a Linux "community", and I am happy to be a part of it. I even feel somehow "cheated" when I see nonsense like LinuxONE. On the flip side, I feel great every time I hear about another major software or hardware provider who picks up support for "my" OS.

    However, I still think we take ourselves too seriously. When I start reading, "we ought to be out there..." or "If we play our cards right...", I start to worry. I do not consider myself an anarchist, but even I like a little anarchy now and then. After all, it is a fundamental building block of the Internet. There are a lot of things in life worth fighting for, but I don't think a "loose-knit but well-connected community" is one of them. Working for? YES! But let's focus our attention and energy on making Good Software, not on punishing people who might damage our "brand name".

    After all, isn't it the "battle mentality" that got Microsoft into the state it's in now???

  • I doubt that the idea of "tariffs" is one found only in Arkansas. If someone is conducting a business off of merchandise that they carry illegally through _US_ customs that's "fishy," no matter _how_ they operate in Asia.
  • What a country! Clinton gets elected twice and LinuxOne tries to make millions in their IPO.

    Too bad we cannot fast forward the clock to see what history will say about all this ;-)

  • It's not that hard to extend the kernel. For instance, here is how extend it by 50kB: static char our_extension[50 * 1024]; It will pretty easily distinguish its products from all other available Linux software.
  • I am impressed. He says Paraphrased... "its a free operating system owned by thousands of programmers who work on it." Thats the closest to the truth ive read in a lot of 'main stream' stuff. pretty cool someone actually took the time to get a little understanding of linux. I dont think everyone out there is clueless. And do you guys really think any potential investor just drops a wad of cash into a company with the name of Linux? really anyone important with lots of money? I can tell you the answer is no. They do a lot of research on companies. Your average day trader may get a little burned but no ones going to get really hurt. ahh well.
  • I can carry almost anything *out* of the US. Customs is usually worried about what you bring *in*.
  • on the bottom of LinuxOne's web page(the one following the "no content - good page" philosophy) there's a (barely visable) link to
    interesting, eh?

  • I like it! The IPO-watchers should flock to this one, seeing as it combines the buzzwords of software and biotechnology. Still, some caution is advised.

    One problem with distributing DNA source code via gametes is that in that form it won't even compile, much less run. Gametes need to be combined with their corresponding gametes (sperm with egg, f'rinstance) in order to result in usable output. By distributing only sperm over the Internet, Shoeboy cannot guarantee the quality of the resulting product.

    This problem might be partially remedied if Shoeboy were to distribute both sperm and eggs over the internet. Since this is probably not feasable in the immediate future, Shoeboy might have to contract with - or even merge with - another company which specializes in egg production. Given Shoeboy's past performance, this doesn't seem likely.

    Shoeboy is also quick to point out that his product is completely open source. "Since all future products based on my DNA source code will (by age 13 or so) feel a nearly uncontrollable urge to redistribute their own DNA source code, I am in compliance with the terms of the GPL - just like Linux."

    Since only 1/2 (on average) of any resulting zygotes' DNA would be based on Shoeboy's code, it's impossible to say whether they would comply with the terms of the GPL. While some of them might be compelled to "redistribute their own DNA source code" by age 13 or so, experience suggests that many others - particulary those with redundancy in the so-called X chromosome portion of the code - might take far longer to experience this urge. Others might lack it entirely. While it can be argued that, without exception, all previous implementations of Shoeboy's code succeeded in redistributing themselves, it's important to remember that "past performance does not guarantee future results". The past is littered with failed implementations of open-source DNA code.

    It's a clever (not to mention laugh-out-loud funny) idea, but given the problems inherent in meiotic reproduction, it is doubtful that internet distribution of gametes will be any better than doing it the old-fashioned way. Personally, I favor the mitotic approach, avoiding the use of gametes entirely. If some company (, perhaps?) found a way to eliminate the need for random-chance recombination of the DNA source code, the usefulness of future distributions could be more easily assured.
  • You forgot about what is probably the most valuable thing they own: the domain name. It's probably worth at least a couple thousand bucks, right?

  • Read a little more closely. Their LinuxMac "product" sounds like Linux's kernel HFS support with a GUI tacked on. Wow, that's incredible. Drag and drop. /me starts gmc. Copy files to and from HFS volumes...

    mount /dev/sdb7 /mnt/mac -t hfs
    cp /home/jhaas/propaganda/q3.txt /mnt/mac

    WOW. Try harder next time, guys.
  • The noise we all make about it is good... tell people about it, but don't blow their ears off.
    Investors almost always do *some* research before sticking their money in a company.. they don't just say 'I like this stock symbol.. I'll invest'. That's what *daytraders* do.. and most of them lose money, and they don't significantly alter the market, nor do they provide much capital.

    Why was redhat so successful? Well... linux seemed like a potential big thing (I can't argue with that) and redhat was fairly well respected (still is...). When investors asked their techies, or whoever, what about redhat... they would hear 'yeah.. redhat is kinda cool... '..... so it's a fairly good bet that if you were going to invest in the future of linux, redhat would be a start.
    Now, things might be a bit different. I dare say that, being a Nevada corporation, without much in the way of disclosure laws, and without some big names on their board, they aren't going to be looking at very much capital during IPO.
  • Sure. But you can't short it unless someone has shares to lend you.. which is unlikely...
  • It wasn't supposed to be
    either a troll
    or a haiku.

    I'm getting really pissed off with moderators
  • My friend tried to short LNUX the day it opened, and on paper he made a bunch of money. E*Trade emailed him and told him this was not permissible and his paper gain was void.

    whether this is an e*trade issue or an SEC issue, I dunno, but I can't imagine the SEC would allow this sort of thing.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982