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Slashback: BitKeeper, Maine, Novell 441

Slashback is back, with a largish handful of updates and new information about previously run stories. Topics this go-round include Xbox sales in Australia, the Novell / MySQL connection, Adam Smith (no, not that Adam Smith)'s bizarre anti-GPL statement mentioned yesterday, and more. Read on for the details.

I thought Adam Smith was in favor of free markets and the exchange of ideas. mrjive writes "The plot thickens. In response to yesterday's story, it turns out that the attack on the free software movement was attached to the end of the letter in question by Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash, who happens to have Microsoft as his biggest beneficiary. The original authors of the letter have sent an angry response for essentially twisting its original purpose. Read the full scoop here."

For the even-fuller scoop, see Roblimo's article on NewsForge.

Not bottling it up inside of himself. An anonymous reader writes "Richard M. Stallman has responded to comments made a week ago in response to his own Linux kernel mailing list post about the BitKeeper controversy. 'A technical issue or project sometimes raises ethical issues,' Stallman began. He did not stop there. More on the (newly cached and therefore a little bit Slashdot-immune) Linux and Main . Be gentle."

Free knowledge for sale for free, etc. OverCode@work writes "The complete LaTeX source to Loki Software's game programming book, Programming Linux Games, is now available on the author's site. This book was reviewed here a while back. Mad props to the publisher for letting this happen."

Everybody'sSQL haggar writes "MySQL (commercial license) will be shipped as standard with NetWare according to this announcement. I consider it a follow-up to the Slashdot story about the PostgreSQL port for NetWare. Apparently, the options for NetWare users are widening, thanks to open-source products!"

An iBook in every (lobster)pot! Call Me Black Cloud writes "Some time ago Maine awarded a contract to Apple for laptops for school kids. MacCentral has an interview with Maine governor Angus King where he discusses the success of the program. Despite the Maine state legislature's attempts to kill the program, it continues on. Why? Well, a $1M grant from the Gates Foundation certainly helped. Over the summer Apple delivered 18,000 iBooks and installed 239 wireless networks in 239 schools."

So long as they're not mandatory. Polo writes "I noticed that the Garmin Rino 110 and 120 are shipping. If you don't remember, these are FRS/GMRS Radios with integrated GPS. You can transmit your position to other units so they can hear you and see where you are. Pretty cool. This is a follow-up to an older story"

What the market will bear. His Nastiness writes "Just a follow-up that I ran across that indicates that Steve Ballmer may have just been blowing hot air on not selling the XBox in Austrailia anymore. See the previous thread here."

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Slashback: BitKeeper, Maine, Novell

Comments Filter:
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joyoflinux ( 522023 ) <> on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:06PM (#4526238)
    Why is the Gates Foundation sponsoring a campaign to buy Apple laptops? Not a troll, just wondering.
  • by SexyKellyOsbourne ( 606860 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:06PM (#4526239) Journal
    ... itturns out that the attack on the free software movement was attached to the end of the letter in question by Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash, who happens to have Microsoft as his biggest beneficiary.

    No surprise -- Microsoft is a huge contributor to both parties, including the Democrats -- whom some believe are supposed to be our saviors from the "evil, corporate Republicans." They're not -- they're on the inside what Republicans are on the outside.

    If you really want a change, don't vote for either party -- vote Libertarian if you're on the right, Green Party if you're on the left, and independant otherwise. Both parties are in the pockets of big business, and that's bad both for those who advocate freedom from the government as well as those who despise deregulation.

    The more we have third party, the closer we get to fairer, European-style representation.
    • by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:18PM (#4526310) Homepage Journal

      vote Libertarian if you're on the right, Green Party if you're on the left

      What are you supposed to vote in the middle? Libertarian National Socialist Green Party []?

      • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:52PM (#4526482)
        >> vote Libertarian if you're on the right, Green
        >> Party if you're on the left

        > What are you supposed to vote in the middle?

        The previous post was wrong - vote Libertarian if you're in the middle. What was that Ross Perot party called again? Are they still around? THAT would be the one to vote for if you're on the 'Right'.
        • You're thinking of the Reform Party. Buchanan destroyed the party in a deliberate and malicious manner, no doubt in concert with the Republican Party, where his true allegiances probably remain. The only viability it may have is in Minnesota, where Ventura split it off into the Independence Party, and though he's not running again I believe there is a viable candidate for governor this time around. The split was specifically because of Buchanan.

          The Reform Party was never that right-wing. It wasn't much of anything except a platform for certain charismatic, non-party candidates. To the degree it was anything, it was pretty middle-of-the-road -- fiscally conservative (but not radical like Libertarians) and socially liberal (in a hands-off style).

    • by GoatPigSheep ( 525460 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:29PM (#4526365) Homepage Journal
      so you think there is something wrong with bill gates' personal foundation (which has nothing to do with microsoft) donating money to desperately underfunded schools? I don't. I hope those kids put those laptops to good use.
    • by Fiveeight ( 610936 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:42PM (#4526426)
      It's really not that much better here in the UK. We have three main parties (actually more like 2.5, but I'll get to that.)

      The Labour party are currently in power, they're easily the most professional politicians (read that as you will), and they're going to be in power forever, because the opposition is so hopeless. They're also big fans of big business, "streamlining" the justice system and good suits. They're also hopelessly corrupt in a million small, depressing ways that make you wonder how they maintain any self-respect. But hey, they "care", so it's alright.

      The reason the Labour party is going to be in power forever is, the Conservative party. They got beaten (demolished) in 1997, and they seem to have become less credible with every passing year. The reason that they got trashed in '97 was their corruption (real honest-to-god cash for favours stuff), unbearable arrogance and sheer incompetance. Since then, they've had two near-identical leaders who've spent most of their time playing right-wing catchup with the government and missing opportunities to /actually oppose/ things. They have at least finally managed to ditch all the old ex-ministers they had, which considering they were some of the most hated men in the country, was probably a sensible move.

      And the .5 party, the Liberal Democrats. Don't have that many suppporters, too close to the government on a lot of things, no doubt all funded by arms companies and crooked businessmen. Unlikely to win a general election. Still, some of their stuff appeals to naive knee-jerk liberals like me, and I have a Liberal Democrat MP because of that. They were also honest at least once when they pointed out that better services require more money, as opposed to mythical "efficiency savings" made by selling public utilities to large companies for fire sale prices and then paying whatever they ask for to keep them running.
    • What makes you think the Green party [] or the Libertarian party [] don't have Microsoft amongst their biggest supporters?
  • Novell (Score:3, Funny)

    by houseofmore ( 313324 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:06PM (#4526243) Homepage
    And Netware comes roaring into the 90's!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What if RedHat gave money to North Carolina senators to influence the use of Linux/OSS in the government? Would that be such a bad thing? Probably not. Then why do we criticize Microsoft for trying to influence a single senator?
  • Ewwww (Score:5, Funny)

    by joyoflinux ( 522023 ) <> on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:08PM (#4526251)
    Steve Ballmer may have just been blowing hot air

    Hopefully he didn't get very sweaty...
  • no, really? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Scaebor ( 587064 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:10PM (#4526265)
    Ballmer may have just been blowing hot air on not selling the XBox in Austrailia anymore
    Now does this really suprise anyone? Would a company such as microsoft really go so far as to give up the potential sales from an entire continent solely to make a point? I thought not.
  • Thanks for the comments, Roblimo. Any correction forthcoming for a headline ("Washington State Congressman attempts to outlaw GPL") that was so outlandishly false that a Slashdot editor (!) corrected it when linking to the article?

    You do have to love the story about the Gates Foundation buying kids iBooks...

  • by knuth ( 6137 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:14PM (#4526284) Homepage
    . . . Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash, who happens to have Microsoft as his biggest beneficiary


    Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash, who happens to have Microsoft as his biggest benefactor.

    Although Microsoft does indeed stand to gain if Smith's anti-GPL bluster wins over lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

  • by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:15PM (#4526294) Homepage Journal

    The problem with Bitkeeper is not that its license prohibits licensees of the no-cash version from using Bitkeeper to develop revision control software but rather that the license license prohibits licensees of the no-cash version from developing revision control software at all. Even if the developer completely separates Bitkeeper work from work on revision control software, that's not enough. Developers who must work on the Linux® kernel (a Bitkeeper based project) and software such as CVS or Subversion must send changes to Linus in the form of a diff -u package.

    • I think that Larry is doing a great job technically, though not necessarily in the public relations department.

      I too am somewhat bummed that they restrict the use of their free version, but hey *its free*. The company is *giving away* its software with some relatively minor restrictions on who can use the free version.

      Larry's view is that if developers working on free code versioning systems use bitkeeper regularly (kernel hacking, for instance) then there will be features that they become familiar with that don't jump out at you by reading the specs. This will then carry over into the free projects that they work on and will result in an open bitkeeper "workalike", cutting down on demand for bitkeeper. Since he figures it'll be another half dozen years before bitkeeper is basically perfect, he doesn't want this to happen.

      Keep in mind that there is nothing stopping people from *purchasing* a copy of bitkeeper for the purpose of duplicating it.
  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:16PM (#4526297) Homepage Journal
    Paging Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly....

    (Oh, how I hope she take judicial notice of this....)

    Once again Microsoft does a faceplant into the propeller of the plane of public relations.

    Once again a Congresscritter shows who's really boss.

    Question to Washington state residents: Will you remember this little event in a month's time?

  • rms... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:19PM (#4526314) Journal
    RMS wrote:

    It is a stretch to conclude anything about the general attitude or character of a person from one action, so I would not say the people who distribute non-free software are "evil people" in a general sense. I will say they have done one thing that is evil: distributing a non-free program.

    Evil \E"vil\ ([=e]"v'l) n.

    1. Anything which impairs the happiness of a being or deprives a being of any good; anything which causes suffering of any kind to sentient beings; injury; mischief; harm; -- opposed to good.
    The only one being impaired of happiness. or suffering is Richard Stallman. Methinks someone is a little too big for his britches.
    • by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:27PM (#4526351) Homepage Journal

      The only one being impaired of happiness. or suffering is Richard Stallman.

      Or anybody who wants to work on both the Linux kernel and revision control software. Even if working on Linux and working on Subversion are separate jobs, the restrictions of the Bitkeeper license apply to the person and thus cross from one job to the other, as I mentioned in my other comment [].

      • by yerricde ( 125198 )
        Apparently, BitMover has removed [] the most objectionable term (the non-compete agreement) from the no-cash BitKeeper license. Please moderate down the parent comment.
      • Even if working on Linux and working on Subversion are separate jobs, the restrictions of the Bitkeeper license apply to the person and thus cross from one job to the other

        From my reading, it applied to the person or organisation the developer is working for; Larry and IBM negotiated a special exemption, for example.

        So, by being a Subversion developer, it's possible for you to stop hundreds (or even thousands) of your fellow employees from being able to use the free version of Bitkeeper to work with the Linux kernel, even in their own private time at home. (And of course one cannot be a developer of a competing system and use the free version of Bitkeeper as a trivial case of this restriction.)

    • Re:rms... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Freedom Bug ( 86180 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @09:18PM (#4526589) Homepage
      From the Jargon file, ...snip... `evil' does not imply incompetence or bad design, but rather a set of goals or design criteria fatally incompatible with the speaker's. This usage is more an esthetic and engineering judgment than a moral one in the mainstream sense. .... snip ...

      Seems about right to me. "Fatally incompatible" sums it up pretty well.
  • Maine is Smart (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tekunokurato ( 531385 ) <> on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:21PM (#4526327) Homepage
    I've lived in Maine for about six years now, even though I'm in Mass for college at present. Education was one of the major draws when my parents moved there, and it will continue to be one of the major draws for other families, especially with this program in place.

    I was back to visit for the Pop!Tech conference this past weekend; at Governor King's suggestion (he spoke briefly), I took a look at the Camden middle school, and it was incredible. The students were thoroughly engaged, and the teacher had the liberty to roam the isles and show them how to do things on their individual computers.

    Yeah, I wish the program had used a linux distro, but anything is better than nothing. It's a really special thing.
    • Re:Maine is Smart (Score:2, Interesting)

      by swdunlop ( 103066 )
      Before you congratulate us too much, remember that Camden, ME is a very upper-scale tourism town. Due to the recent inroads by MBNA, property valuations are very high compared to the number of school students in the Camden-Rockport area.

      Yes, the laptop program is a nice idea. But from what parts I have encountered, it is a great demo in search of application. Jobs has been pushing it as way to push his digital video focus, which is not necessarily the most important thing for our children here. I'm glad you enjoyed the conference; just remember that there was a considerable amount of smoke and mirrors involved in the demos.
  • Oh no...... (Score:5, Funny)

    by nullset ( 39850 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:26PM (#4526350)
    *looks at the server, sitting next to him*

    *grabs a fire extinguisher*

    at least John warned me that the box was gonna be slashdotted......

    (if you don't believe me, look up my IP address and then's IP address, or email me nullset onthesite

  • by Ted_Green ( 205549 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:33PM (#4526381)
    Either the press need to learn to actualy quote people acurate, or Microsoft needs to stop talking out of both ends (probably both.)

    A Microsoft spokeswoman said that Ballmer's remarks were not specifically related to the Xbox, and that the company was committed to selling the console in Australia. 582


    Microsoft would be forced to reconsider selling the Xbox video game system in Australia, or seek changes to the law, following the acquittal in July of a Sydney man alleged to have sold chips that modify a Sony PlayStation 2 to play imported games, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said yesterday. 04223.html
  • Just a short note on the GF and iBook debacle.

    I thought Microsoft had a large interest in Apple, interest as in stocks? Didn't they basically save Apple's ass a couple of years ago?

    Then it doesn't matter what they buy, does it? Now, if they had tried to buy Walmart PC's with Lindows, I bet the foundation would have cried Foul Play!
    • The Gates foundation is a charitable orginization. It has nothing to do with Microsoft except that the MS founder started it.

      General Mills pumps a ton of charity dollars into various anti-hunger orginizations. But they don't force the charities to spend it on Lucky Charms.

      So save the moronic MSFT-centric conspiracy theories until MSFT hands out iBooks to its employees.
    • IIRC, a couple hundred million bucks worth of non-voting stock (out of Apple's market cap of many billions) and a promise to continue development of Office for Mac.

      It was really a gesture of support. If they "saved Apple's ass", it was purely in a symbolic way.
    • This gets battered around a lot, but Microsoft has a very tiny interest in Apple. When someone tells you "I heard Apple was bailed out...blah blah..." they are probably more than a little confused.

      Microsoft's supposed bail-out was an investment of $150 million dollars into a company that had over 4 billion in reserves at the time. Apple still has over 4 billion in "liquid" like investments.
    • I thought Microsoft had a large interest in Apple, interest as in stocks?

      No. They had a large interest in Apple (see below), but they've sold the shares

      Didn't they basically save Apple's ass a couple of years ago?

      No. They bought a swack of stock ($150 million I think) to settle a lawsuit out of court. Apple had sued them for breaking a contract & "borrowing" some of their technology

  • RMS is trolling! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FurryFeet ( 562847 ) < minus threevowels> on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:39PM (#4526409)
    Whichever way you cut it. Activism doesn't belong in a technical list, even if he says that it's an ethical discusion. In Slashdot, he would be already at (-1, Offtopic). (Well, he wouldn't, but he should).
  • by Call Me Black Cloud ( 616282 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:41PM (#4526421)
    Their website [] has a lot of information on what it's done, and I must say, the foundation rocks. Click on the "Grants" link for a graph of grants given. $5.5B. That's a lot of mo... In 2001 (from the annual report), "...we gave over $1 billion in grants in support of more than 2,050 grantees." You may hate the company, but that monopoly is doing some good somewhere!

    Here's [] more about the grant to Maine.
    • People are always complaining about MS, but besides business practices it really is a very ethical company. It's a criminal company, but it's not evil, not even close.

      And I've been quite impressed with what I've heard about the Gates Foundation. Not just because it's big and gives away lots of money, but it does things that seem constructive and oriented at real change. There's a lot of charities that are totally cheesy and popular with the rich. Charities that deal with Rich Problems, like breast cancer and park beautification. Or ones that just don't change anything, and just enable the social problems. A lot of tutoring and education programs unfortunately fall in this category. I'm sure the Gates Foundation gives to those too, but it gives to a lot of things that are meant to make a real difference.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:52PM (#4526479)
    1. claim he said things which he didn't
    2. describe your feelings about his definition of "freedom"
    3. claim that the GPL "forces" you to do things
    4. be sure to never address the issue he raises
    5. ???
    6. profit!

    how easy!
    • by wfrp01 ( 82831 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @10:22PM (#4526896) Journal
      If you really believed in freedom then the GPL would just be the same as the public domain. That's freedom. The BSD license is far closer to a truly free license, the GPL isn't even remotely close to a free license.

      Or so says Larry McVoy.

      The freedom to take someone else's freedom away does not equate to "more freedom". When one individual gains a priviledge, while many others lose priviledges, the world is not "more free".

      Poor Larry's plaintiff wail in defense of true freedom rings hollow the minute you realize the only freedoms he really cares about are his own.

      Yes, Larry, in defense of freedom, the GPL places restrictions on what you can do with code. That's the way it works. The GPL restricts you from taking away other people's freedoms.
  • by herko_cl ( 533936 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:54PM (#4526487)

    I have a close friend who works for a medical research institution here in Chile. They research contraceptives and provide free reproductive health care for extremely poor people. They are supported, to a large extent, by grants from the Gates Foundation. Think what you may about Microsoft, I think Mr. Gates has done some really good things through the Foundation.

    AFAIK, the Gates Foundation is also responsible for vaccines for millions of African kids, in places where the government can't or won't do it.

  • Maine Laptop (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 24, 2002 @08:56PM (#4526499)
    As a staffer on one of the candidates running for Governor of Maine, the laptop deal with Apple has been quite a hot topic. There are 3 major party candidates, a Democrat, Republican and Green (along with an Ind who isn't seen as much of a candidate with only $7k). The Dem and Rep are running with normal raised funds, and the Green (my boss) is running with Clean Election funding (state money for funding, but cannot raise ANY more funds other that what is given by the state). The reason that the laptop program is such a big deal is because in the next two years, we have almost $1 Billion in deficit. Even the clean election funding that my boss is able to get for the racee is being looked at as a place to find more money (not this year's obviously, its all been spent, just the fund for the next years. We have just over $900k for this election).

    The laptop program is quite an interesting idea, however many people are looking at killing it to find more money. The state even asked Apple if they could pull from the deal (they were politely reminded about reniging on a contract tends to be fiscally bad also...) It will be interesting to see if the program continues after this election.

    There was a debate back in September about education and this was brought up. If you live in Maine, check atorial%20transcript.html

    My Boss is against it for various reasons. A few reasons revolve around better ways to spend the money:
    -technology centers in schools, in other words more up-to date hardware that EVERY child in the school can us, not just one or two grades.
    -Computer failure. I don't mean to degrade 12-14 year olds, but how well will the computers get treated at home? Mostly well, and there are some computer back-ups, but just tough to keep a good eye on them. Remember all those #2 pencils you need to give back? Costs can go up mighty quick.
    -My boss is an ex-teacher, we need more teachers, and those that are here, need better pay, health insurance, etc.

    But I'm quite biased, feel free to check out all their stances. Search Google for the Dem (John Baldacci), Rep (Peter Cianchette), Green (Jonathan Carter), and the Ind (John Michael), though I don't believe he has a website.

    The Maine papers... Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News will help ya too... Enjoy! -Carter Staffer
  • by Cerlyn ( 202990 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @09:02PM (#4526521)

    Does anyone know if Garmin got the FCC approval they required to transmit data on the FMRS/GPRS bands? At last check, they were still operating under a waiver pending final approval. The latest information I can find is that they are still under the waiver only (text [] and PDF []). This was back in August 2002 though, so things may have changed.

  • Bitkeeper License (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rossz ( 67331 ) <> on Thursday October 24, 2002 @09:30PM (#4526652) Homepage Journal
    Seems the major problem open source developers are having with the BitKeeper license is that it places a certain requirement on them, just like the GPL. The GPL community response to criticism has always been, "don't use GPL code if you don't like the license." Seems perfectly reasonable. If you don't like the BitKeeper license, then don't use BitKeeper. When you get down to the basics, it's the same damn issue.
  • It is sorta neat-o (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fatboy ( 6851 )
    You can transmit your position to other units so they can hear you and see where you are.

    I have been doing it since 1997. [] :)

  • WELCOME (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 24, 2002 @10:59PM (#4527050)
    Welcome to the Software Police State. You will be given public housing. However, we are a police state with Three (count em, three!) dictators. You can CHOOSE which dictator you wish to be ruled by. WHICH WILL YOU CHOOSE??

    Dictator #1: GENERAL BSD ...

    General BSD is a benevolent dictator, despite his devlish appearance. Here are his rules for living in the BSD Housing Project:

    INSIDE THE HOUSE: You can do whatever you like.

    OUTSIDE THE HOUSE: You can do whatever you like.

    Note: Someone might move into your house when you're gone, move all the furniture around, and change the locks. They will replace your favorite beer with wine coolers (yuck).

    Dictator #2: GENERAL STALLMAN ...

    Stallman is a loud and obnoxious dictator. If you live in a Stallman House, you must follow these rules:

    INSIDE THE HOUSE: You can do whatever you like.

    OUTSIDE THE HOUSE: If you ever leave the house, you will be escorted by a Stallmanist agent, who will whine to you about freedom, and also how to pronounce certain words.

    Note: People may enter the house while you're gone, but they're not allowed to touch anything. And they won't be allowed to drink any of your beer (yay). Did I mention the whining?

    Dictator #3: GENERAL MCVOY ...

    General McVoy is a bit of an asshole himself. He whines all the time about how he needs to pay his army, and how nice it is of him to let you live in HIS house temporarily, and when are you going to get a job so you can pay for the house.

    INSIDE THE HOUSE: You are monitored 24 hours a day. Remember, it's McVoy's house, you freeloader! And you better drink McVoy's favorite beer or he'll take your house away!!

    OUTSIDE THE HOUSE: You are not allowed to leave the house. Sorry.
  • laptops (Score:4, Informative)

    by daoine_sidhe ( 619572 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @11:18PM (#4527162)
    I live in Maine, AND was one of the estimators involved with the laptop program. Our company was subcontracted by apple to do the physical installations (244 of them in all) in every school, and I have this to say: we spoke to many of the teachers; yes, many were against it to start. By the end of THEIR training, the vast majority of them were in love with the program. It comes down to this; you CANNOT overspend on education. That combination of words has no place in America; or shouldn't, at any rate. Yes, the laptops were expensive, and yes some kids may damage them; but the state was also given a (quite hefty) warranty program by Apple, and rules on whether they (the laptops) go home with the students or not are set individually by each school. It gives not only the schools a sense of independence and technological edge, but the students as well. They know that they are some of the only students in the world involved with a technology initiative this big. Also, it's well known that students who start using computers early and often are those people who don't need a dissertation on double-clicking in order to get "online" later in life :-).
    • Re:laptops (Score:3, Insightful)

      It comes down to this; you CANNOT overspend on education. That combination of words has no place in America; or shouldn't, at any rate.

      The question is not on HOW MUCH is spent on education, it's HOW money is spent on education.

      Would the money spent to get a computer for every student have been better spent on buying updated textbooks, ergonomic desks, art supplies, or on repairing instruments for the school band? Given the price tags on each of those items, my guess would be that the tools of traditional education would end up of more value to the students.
  • by anonymous cupboard ( 446159 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @11:24PM (#4527186)
    The Rhino isn't that relevant unless the FCC controls the frequencies somewhat better than CB.

    In Europe we already have combined GPS/GSM unit like the Benefon Esc! NT2002 []. The principle is so basic that they are even giving them to hunting dogs [] (who have a tendancy to get lost in the Finnish woods). True a glorified walkie-talkie requires no infrastructure and is cheaper to operate, but an infrastructure plus a pay per call means that the GPS solution will work in more places (try using a walkie-talkie around a mountain).

  • It's Simple (Score:3, Informative)

    by LadyJessica ( 583659 ) on Thursday October 24, 2002 @11:30PM (#4527220) Homepage

    I don't know why people have trouble with this. This isn't about the GPL, or Stallman per se. It's about the fact that you can't develop for both the Linux kernel and a source code control system (e.g., CVS) at the same time without paying for BitKeeper.

    Obviously RMS has set himself up for flaming. People on any mailing list people tend to be very touchy about what they consider topical. :-) On the other hand, if you are a kernel developer using BitKeeper, then you can't work on CVS without paying money to BitKeeper.

  • by jdfox ( 74524 ) on Friday October 25, 2002 @09:55AM (#4529261)
    Here's a small Wisdom McNugget [] from my congressman, Rep. Adam Smith. Yes, it's Redmond's good old "Burger and Fries Metaphor(tm) again.
    Some time back, Slashdot noted that MS had a congressional spam-o-matic page about the DoJ lawsuit, placed in a section where they knew only MS religionists would be bothering to read. Slashdot responded by posting up an article saying "Use this MS page to write your Congressman. Give our side of the story, politely." So I did, politely.
    By way of reply, Rep. Smith placed me on his spam list, with monthly doses of more or less the same marketing horseshit as in the above McNugget, with no means of removal. Emails to the congressional sysadmin went unanswered, naturally, so I had to phone up Smith's office, and explain to some hapless young secretary at length how to remove my name from the mailing list.

    It's worth noting that Rep. Smith [] and Agent Smith [] have never been seen together in the same photo. They are almost certainly the same person.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"