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The Almighty Buck

Rick Moen on LinuxOne's IPO 119

nickm writes "Many eyebrows were raised when Linux One announced its upcoming IPO. None were raised quite so high, however, as commentator Rick Moen's. The story is up on LinuxWorld Online. Truly a bizarre tale - check it out. "
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Rick Moen on LinuxOne's IPO

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  • I refer the honorable gentleman to:

    A UK based linux distro based on Redhat with all the extra securty goodies that Redhat can't export to the UK.

    Anyway - the UK is in Europe you dope! :o)
  • Looking at the RPM's available on their ftp site [], I noticed pretty well all of the RPM's are for i586 or above (ie. a 486 user buying this distro is going to be unhappy), and another thing...what's with the ``mdk'' suffix at the end of every package name?

    - RPM was supposed to be a distro independant package format for Linux applications. Ie. I should be able to apply RPM's from Red Hat's distro to my TurboLinux (or any other) distro. But try it sometime. :p (In LinuxOne's case, the ``mdk'' suffix will likely interfere when you try to upgrade RPM's from other sources)

  • This is no more than a stock market scam. All a company needs right now is a name that sounds high tech, and they get big IPO bucks. When I first heard that a company with the "linux" in it was going IPO, even I was tempted to buy it.

    It might not even be that bad of an idea to buy it. Whenever a tech comapany goes IPO, no matter how unstable it is, it gets bid up 200-1000% in it's first two days, and then corrects itself to a fair market value. I could make serious money just buying every tech IPO there is and selling after two days, without even finding out what the company does.

    Regardless, I have a feeling this is probably illegal. I don't know much about investment law, but if "registering domain names with the intent to squat on them" is now illegal, I'm pretty sure going IPO with the intent to scam stupid daytraders is or will soon be illegal also.
  • Those who invest in companies without research deserve what they get.

    I agree. Having strict rules may keep out scammers, but it'll also keep out legitimate companies. I think the best defense is the one employed currently. Lot's of research, and some common sense.

    I would hope that all potential investors do enough research to determine what kind of company LinuxOne really is.

  • You seem to be implying that Chinese tend to "have more personal integrity" than people from other cultures. This implies that, say, Americans tend to have "less personal integrity" than Chinese, in general.

    What evidence is there for this? A clear case of inverse racism, surely? That is, an irrational belief that another race are in some respect superior to one's own. (I assume from the way you said it that you're not Chinese yourself.)

  • It says: LinuxOne's InterNIC registration contained all the characteristic errors of the network amateur: Dr. Chiou was listed as the sole contact, with all DNS email contact routed through the firm's mail server (not very useful when you need to send mail about faulty name service).

    Who actually worries about this? I don't know any sysadmins who have a second email account just in case they need to get mail about their DNS being broken. And how regularly is it going to be checked, when mails will very, very rarely be sent to it?

    Problems like that are what the technical contact phone number is for.

  • I'm game for it being 100 ...

    That could, of course, display bias on my part :-).

  • appears to be doing their IPO slightly differently, a so-called OpenIPO. Basically you can place your bid for a given number of shares at a given price, and then shares are allocated independent of the number of shares you asked for, giving everyone a chance.

    See and for more information, and get in on the action without any need for karma!
  • The MDK is the tag that mandrake adds to their RPM files.
  • Corel is a company with a product, and a reason to support linux (it's being killed by MS). Mandrake was basically a split from RedHat.

    What I don't trust about LinuxOne is the combination of the following. It's new (6 months old), its has produced no other product. It basically came out of nowhere. It's founder's previous company quickly sank, not to mention that it was a company that produced a lot of spam. And the most suspicious part, is the IPO. Mandrake hasn't filed an IPO that I know of. But to come out with an IPO after 6 months and bearly a product, looks bad to me. I know several stock brokers, and they have told me about lots of companies that come out just to get people to buy and then go bankrupt. This looks like one of them.

    Steven Rostedt
  • He's right, I did an nmap, and came up with the normal 25, 53, 80, 119, 443, then it went from 1024, and several hundreds of other ports, including the X ports. But weather or not they are active, is another question.
    To keep from taking up too much space, here's a single screen shot:

    nmap -sS

    Starting nmap V. 2.12 by Fyodor (,
    Interesting ports on (
    (Not showing ports in state: filtered)
    Port State Protocol Service
    25 open tcp smtp
    53 unfiltered tcp domain
    80 open tcp http
    119 open tcp nntp
    443 unfiltered tcp https
    1024 unfiltered tcp unknown
    1025 unfiltered tcp listen
    1026 unfiltered tcp nterm
    1030 unfiltered tcp iad1
    1031 unfiltered tcp iad2
    1032 unfiltered tcp iad3
    1058 unfiltered tcp nim
    1059 unfiltered tcp nimreg
    1067 unfiltered tcp instl_boots
    1068 unfiltered tcp instl_bootc
    1080 unfiltered tcp socks
    1083 unfiltered tcp ansoft-lm-1
    1084 unfiltered tcp ansoft-lm-2

    Steven Rostedt
  • OK, you don't look like an arrogant jackass, you are an arrogant jackass. I guess I can respect that somewhat ;-). BTW, most providers will force you into just such a configuration by default (they are your secondary DNS, they handle backup MX for you, yadda yadda). You don't have to be an "expert" or "mighty guru" to end up with this; it just *happens*. Why it didn't happen with LinuxOne, who knows...

    Different power grid? You live in Kali, right? Land of the Perpetual Earthquake? Tell me, which power grids should we choose? I know, how about one outside of Kali? But then, that takes money... something most fledgling businesses don't have readily on hand.

    Also, I have serious issues with the out-of-band contact scenario. In these days of MAIL-FROM, CRYPT-PW, and PGP for handling zone changes, I would just as soon point to systems that are under my direct administrative control. Hey, that's just me, I'm sure you've never had any trouble with an "out-of-band" contact account becoming compromised at a "trusted" site. More power to you ;-).

    Now, if some guy wants to run an "e-commerce" site out of their basement with xDSL, well fine, let them. I remember when Red Hat's link to the Internet was pretty damn shaky, but I don't recall anyone flaming them to high heaven for it. That damn "money" thing kept getting in their way of running a Mega Professional Site(tm), as I recall (certainly, this isn't a problem now, one would assume). You have to start somewhere.

    Say, you never did mention if you physically visited their office. Am wunderink how you knew about redundant power architecture (or lack thereof), yes?

    In the end, I agree with you though; if you want to do it, do it right (or as right as possible at the time). I guess in that context your tone doesn't appear nearly as arrogant as at it did at first blush. Straight talk does tend to slap you in the face after you've plowed through a pile of Information Week mags for an hour or so (hey, don't blame me, just trying to keep up with the BossThink before it hits me on Monday :-P).

  • Who actually worries about this?

    No shit... talk about coming off looking like an arrogant jackass. I can see his point about utilizing generic accounts for the admin/tech/zone/AP info, but hell, you've got phone and fax numbers in there too... besides, your provider is usually registered as the secondary for any domain you handle, so surely a person could contact them in case something went tango upsilon ;-).

    BTW, how the hell did he know that they didn't use machines with redundant power supplies that each plug into a socket handled by a different power circuit? I missed the part where he physically visited the site. What's next, you have to have a friggin' UPS for each circuit as well? Diesel generators? Most small operations can't even come close to affording that level of redundancy (hell, most public companies that are fairly established don't go to such lengths... remember, these are the people who specify NT for mission critical efforts ;-D).

    Which, I guess, is his point. They're small fish which shouldn't even be coming close to going public. End of story. I don't see where it's written that they have to bulk up the NOC like they were an ISP or colocation provider, however (although, it couldn't hurt).

  • That part of the article was purely from me, not LinuxWorld/IDG. I'm not their sysadmin: For questions about their security, you'll have to ask them.

    In case you're interested here's what nmap shows for my own main machine:

    [root@uncle-enzo /root]# nmap -t
    Starting nmap V. 1.51 by Fyodor (,
    Open ports on uncle-enzo (
    Port Number Protocol Service
    21 tcp ftp
    22 tcp ssh
    25 tcp smtp
    53 tcp domain
    80 tcp www
    110 tcp pop-3

    (There's also ntp on 123/udp.)

    I don't claim that's a high-security site (and it's non-commercial). For one thing, I have non-technical users all over the world, and have had to be careful how I tighten down security. (Thus the USER/PASS-type popd, which I'm still trying to get rid of.)

    None of this has a whole lot to do with LinuxOne, of course. But I hope it's entertaining.

  • Well, the two main principles you try to follow with businesses' InterNIC records are (1) ensuring out-of-band communication and (2) avoiding single points of failure. I certainly agree that most businesses do it wrong, but doing it correctly isn't difficult. (You do secondary DNS and backup MX service with someone distant from you, and he does it for you, making it effectively free for you both. At least, that's the traditional way.) And, I really think professionalism requires it.

    As to the problems of e-mail systems not under one's administrative control, that would indeed be a problem if you failed to set a security option for your InterNIC contact record. But you'd do that anyway, right?

    Please note that I made no claims about LinuxOne's redundant power architecture or lack thereof. I merely mentioned (in the context of discussing DNS redundancy) that both of their Linux machines were in the same office on the same power circuit. I'm sorry, but that's self-evidently so -- and it's just one detail of the overall somewhat slipshod setup, that I happened to mention in passing.

    -- Rick M.
  • As to the problems of e-mail systems not under one's administrative control, that would indeed be a problem if you failed to set a security option for your InterNIC contact record. But you'd do that anyway, right?

    Actually, I wouldn't, as that is the first I have ever heard of such an option. Could you enlighten us further?

  • If you build it, "they" will try to profit from the work.

    HeeHee it just pisses me off that I don't have the lack of honor to do something like this.

    I could use the pesos.

    PS (offtopic) Nice to see a Judge who gets it!

    Soon to be released: Doofus Linux...
    Linux for your brother in law.
    • A clear case of inverse racism, surely? That is, an irrational belief that another race are in some respect superior to one's own.

    Racism is racism. There is no distinction or classification as inverse or reverse. Read the definition from Merriam-Webster (couldn't find OED on the web).

    Main Entry: racism
    Pronunciation: 'rA-"si-z&m also -"shi-
    Function: noun
    Date: 1936
    1 : a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
    2 : racial prejudice or discrimination

  • The November 1, 1999 issue of The Taipei Times ( had an article about Chinese piracy. In the story George Haley explaned that:

    "Confucianism," he writes, "promulgates high ethical standards," but "they are contextual.
    That is, they depend on the relationship between the parties in question. Without one of Confucianism's five relationships existing between two parties, no ethical duty exists for
    either party."
    In other words, some form of personal relationship must exist for ethical relationships to exist, says Haley. "With no appropriate personal relationships, the Chinese would view the USA as outside their ethical system, and feel little compunction about stealing technology."
  • Are they trying to get attention and free advertising?

    In a small town there is nothing worse than no one knowing you. "Who is that person?" But...

    Except if the person happens to be a crook. LinuxOne, in my opinion, does not deserve to be called a gadfly. The historical background of the character(s) behind the secenes suggest that man wishes to milk the Linux name just because it can legaly be done. To ride Linux for all its worth. Let's give him that ride and if he wishes to leave town by rail, let's help him.
  • by emmons ( 94632 )
    It is truely a talent to be able to use so many words and say so little.

  • Okay, okay, I know there's no valid reason for bringing this up here, but I just have to do it.

    Seems like a very 'Microsoft-ish' approach to IPO. C'mon, let's think about this...

    Steal another person's product
    Claim it as your own
    Make minor modifications
    Charge more for it
    Defer support elsewhere when possible
    File for IPO and make millions
    Sell stock at peak, then do something stupid
    Stock will fall, you're still rich

    Okay, maybe I'm being critical... I dunno. Regardless, I DO want to commend the authors of the article for SPECTACULAR reporting. Seems like 'the other' big names in reporting are either skewing the facts for ratings, getting the information wrong, not being tech enough to detect falsehoods, or simply NOT CHECKING to see if information is accurate.

    Quite frankly, I applaud the article for doing NONE of that, and am now hell-bent and determined to use linuxworld more now as a result...

    Long as it doesn't interfere with /.

  • Thank you, you have substantiated my previous observation []. I wasn't referring to the Chinese specifically but I know this type of behaviour is more commonplace than I'd like.
  • *laughs* Oh man...companies like these make me wanna laugh. They will definitely gain some stock price from clueless investors, but I'm sure the real Linux users will just laugh evilly. Although I hate Red Hat, I can't support a company(if even that) that blindly takes away everything we stand for.

    Oom...ooom....I see a web site crack in their future...ooom
  • by NovaX ( 37364 ) on Saturday November 06, 1999 @11:39AM (#1557192)
    Nope.. when I was checking this out back when Rick posted his findings on LinuxOne (check Rick's archives of SVLUG.. I forget where. Or use,, I looked that up. VA is asking for LNUX, and L1 wanings LINX. Big difference, huh? The basic discussion from the ticker ended that it was enevitable, that at least VA was a trusted friend, and L1 is almost certaintly using the ticker for an IPO scam. Have fun in the archives.. there's lots of good discussions stored there.
  • It seems to me that whomsoever grabs LNUX has a better chance of being the public face of Linux on Wall Street. LINX sounds like some cheesy online service circa 1985.
  • hehe, umm.. its right here...
  • Heh, being of Indian descent, sounds very much like the British.
  • um, no. there IS a linux community. developers know developers who know other developers. in fact, i think there's usually only a degree or two of seperation between most linux developers. this linuxone guy is some business man out for a buck, and it's VERY obvious. maybe he doesn't have bad intentions (note i said maybe) like running off with all the cash and never releasing any source, but he certainly isn't part of the community. *i've* never heard of him before and i doubt any one else i know has either.
  • Does this SEC filing mention the risks in violating the GPL authorization to use their sole product?
  • Actually, I wouldn't, as that is the first I have ever heard of such an option. Could you enlighten us further?

    OK. Some of this may be slightly wrong because of being off the cuff and from memory, so please forgive some amount of inaccuracy.

    Forged InterNIC requests are a real problem, so a year or two ago the NIC came up with an improvement. As you probably know, modify-domain and modify-host requests are honoured if they appear to come from the technical or administrative contact -- or the registrant (domain owner) has final say if need be, but not through as automatic a process.

    The improvement gave you the option to set an authentication scheme for each contact record. By default, that setting still defaults to no security. (This is called the "MAIL-FROM" authentication option.) For example, I'm NIC handle RM100. Initally, the NIC would simply believe any change request that appeared to come from my address of record, Alternately, you can establish a password (which you send to them as a crypt hash) aka "CRYPT-PW authentication" or a PGP key ("PGP" authentication.

    Separate from the authentication mechanism is the verification setting. This involves two settings: NOTIFY-UPDATE is whether the contact should be notified before or after a record it's associated with has been changed. Allowed values are BEFORE-UPDATE, AFTER-UPDATE, and NOT-CARE. "After" is the default. The NOTIFY-USE setting is whether tbe contact should be notified before or after the contact record has been used in (added to) a domain or host record. Valid values are BEFORE-USE, AFTER-USE, and NOT-CARE. "After" is again the default.

    Anyhow, be setting the authentication and notify settings to match your degree of paranoia, you can pretty much control access to domain (and host) records registered under those contact names.

    For that matter, if we didn't have those options, having a mail server be "under your administrative control" wouldn't protect you: Mail purporting to come from you can be convincingly forged from elsewhere, given a little artful SMTP header artistry.

    For more on the matter, and probably a less fuzzy explanation, please see ftp://ftp.internic.n et/templates/contact-template-examples.txt [].

    -- Rick M.
  • at least
    one of them should not go through the domain in question (for out-of-band
    communication). It's not enough to have valid telephone numbers listed:

    But why? Why is the telephone number not adequate? Making a habit of doing this would require that an admin either use an off-site mail server for all of his email, or frequently check a secondary off-site mail server for mail about a DNS problem that will probably never arrive. (if rarely checked, a message would not be noticed for far too long). What a needless hassle, when in reality any DNS problem that major would affect so many people that someone would complain to the admin very fast. (If it doesn't affect that many people, then it's not that important). The contact number should be usually faster than email anyway.

    I've never heard someone say that they have to check two mail accounts, or use an off-site machine for all their mail, so that they could get emails about DNS problems.

    I tried to take a random sampling of domains to see how many had contacts on different networks than the domain. But I found that if I do too many whois requests too fast, I get this:

    * Welcome to the InterNIC Registration Services Whois Server.
    * Your query limit has been exceeded.


  • I think you're giving LinuxOne more credit for being devious than they really deserve. I don't think that this is a masterminded plot on the part of LinuxOne to screw people over, I think it's a simpleminded unethical scheme, no more, no less.

    I wasn't actually serious.. i was just suggesting that given the circumstances these things were _possible_, not that there was any chance these things were happening.

  • Moen did nothing of the kind. He stated things, he did not make major judgement calls or asumptions, he merely stated the fact. The distro being almost entirely RedHat, them not even using it on their server, the server not being run by a trained network administrator, and various other facts are from his investigation.

    To know whether LinuxOne is a threat, someone has to dig a bit, and he took the initial step. If you don't believe he took enough time looking over the company / product, look at the SVLUG archives at ebay or linuxmafia (if you want direct links, get it from my earlier post).

    Rick is known for being opinionated, but also being dedicated, knowledgable, and correct (as painful as it can be, at times). Rick has no call on whether a company can rightfully be a friend to the community, nor has he made that claim, and never could. I personally don't trust LinuxOne, from Rick's findings (here, and posted on SVLUG), from the IPO issue (ie. ticker symbol), and the info on the web site.
  • Redhat played by the rules of the GPL, spent some time to build a market, and invested time and money in development projects such as Gnome and kernel development. They were more than fair, in fact since they released their own utilities under the GPL, including the installer. Because of this, anyone can repackage and resell a Redhat based distribution.

    Whether or not their stock price is valued at an appropriate level is a matter for the stockholders to decide. I don't believe they have done any creative accounting to artificially raise their stock price.

    As for the programmers that wrote the software at the base of Redhat's distribution, all of them released their code as open source, apparently with little money motivation. Redhat did try, somewhat successfully, to include these people in the IPO game, but I don't think they had any obligation to do so.

    In short, Redhat adds value to a collection of open source software through testing, indpendent development, and support. They go beyond their legal requirements in giving back to the open software community. And a fair number of people are willing to spend exorbitant amounts of money on their stock. I see nothing inherently unfair about that.
  • Rick'sno journalist, he's a user. I wont go any more because I already defended him once.

    The problem here is not that LinuxOne shouldn't make money off Linux, be allowed to exist, or that it could do nothing for us, but that from what we know so far, they have done very little. They have little of a product, a copy of Redhat Linux, and they have made deals with major names out of the blue (with one, it sounds, they are not following through on). In many ways, it sounds like they are going after an IPO scam, trying to make money off the Linux hype, etc. No one likes a company that scams investors and rides the title wave of someone elses (many someones) success. That's what many people fear, and Rick put his findings up. If LinuxOne doesn't disapear, others will do the same until we know what LinuxOne is, and what they're doing.

    To survive, we have to be suspicious, because we have no entity to protect us. Its a natural reaction for self preservation.

    PS. NetBSD is not obscure. I wish it would get more press, considering there are many ports of it that make a better system than Linux.
  • But why? Why is the telephone number not adequate? Making a habit of doing this would require that an admin either use an off-site mail server for all of his email, or frequently check a secondary off-site mail server for mail about a DNS problem that will probably never arrive.

    My goodness, people seem to be making a very large matter out of one small and passing point, out of many.

    An in-band e-mail address as a NIC contact is valuable when the domain in question is reachable, and useless when it's not. Right? I certainly hope you'll buy that assumption, or we're not going to get anywhere. So: You're assuming it's OK for that means of contact to cease working whenever the domain has problems.

    I don't share that assumption, because I figure the main reason for the contact information is to be able to get through in case of trouble, and that there are two mechanisms for reasons of redundancy. If one of them inherently goes belly-up whenever the domain has trouble (when contact in my view is most important), then there goes your redundancy.

    That's why I said that at least one address ought to be out of band, for commercial sites. And, for heaven's sake, "use an off-site mail server for all his mail..., frequently check an off-site mail server..."? Hey, that sort of scutwork is what computers are for! Have an address that ordinarily goes through a .forward to somewhere, up to and including one's pager or cellular 'phone. Or just use your home address, if you're ssh'ed into there anyway. Or any of myriad other solutions. If you're a sysadmin, you've probably already figured out your own out-of-band solution.

    But, really, some of you guys have gone so far out of your way to misread that one small paragraph that I pretty much had to wonder whether we were reading the same article. Like the fellows who claimed I was saying LinuxOne needed redundant multiple power circuits, redundant DNS through tier providers, and multiple offices on different continents.

    Beg pardon? What say? All I did was observe that they didn't do the obvious and usual thing of having somebody else do DNS secondary (and preferably also backup MX) at some remote site. Instead, LinuxOne had all its eggs in one basket, in its Mountain View site (and thus, incidentally, on the same power circuits).

    Usually, you make an arrangement with the admin of some company in another town: You'll do his secondary, and he'll do yours. A couple of lines of named.conf and sendmail configuration on each end, and you're done. No diesel generators, no "redundant power architecture", no "friggin' UPS for each circuit". If you have those, that's spiffy, I suppose, but unrelated and pretty much irrelevant to the discussion.

    So look, guys: If you don't think the principles of out-of-band communication and elimination of single points of failure matter as much as I do, more power to you (but not enough to blow your surge protectors). I wish your networks the best of luck.

    And I sure hope that's enough over-analysis on three of the least significant sentences in a 3,500 word article.

    -- Rick M.
  • Yes it does - in the exact same way that Red Hat's offering did. It really churns my stomach.
  • You're getting a little touchy there, Rick. Don't be surprised if people think the phone contact qualifies as "out of band" - it *does*, end of story. Anyone who lived through the MCI or AT&T frame relay meltdowns will tell you this - you had multiple providers within entire regions affected. I can also say that the last thing I want to have to do in the event of a domain meltdown is deal with a bunch of "your fly is down" e-mails when my network monitoring system has *already* told me what the problem is way before anyone saw it (you do run your own network monitoring, and don't depend on the good graces of others on the 'net, don't you? I believe they call that "proactive management").

    Besides, if you're going to wear your arrogance as a badge of honor (especially when it comes to technical issues), expect to be analyzed. Dishing it out without being able to take it is just as unprofessional as not setting up zones the way *you* think they ought to be set up. Keep your mind open to the fact that there are probably several other methods to skinning this cat.

    All in all, I've found the entire conversation educational as to how some admins think vs. others, what are some good techniques for administering your zone, etc. Let's not spoil that. I also apologize for failing to mention that, overall, I found the article to be a good one. Keep up the good work ;-).

  • I thought that was what you were referring to. For some reason, I have "Guardian" on the brain (a marketing term for the things you describe, I know).

    No auth mechanism is perfect, of course. If the machines are under my control I do have access to the logs, certainly. Again, not perfect, but better than calling up another admin and negotiating access to *their* logs.

    Oh well - we are so off topic it's not even funny. People have their ways of doing things, and they usually aren't the same. Not a big deal.

  • You're getting a little touchy there, Rick.

    Actually, more just tired of the time consumed by all this. And the juvenile and gratuitous name-calling.

    It struck me as "over-analysis" because what really happened was that several people badly misunderstood my point about DNS redundancy, because they themselves don't know how to do it the right way -- so they went off on extended fantasies about how I'd supposedly said they needed some ludicrous multi-office setup with diesel generators.

    I guess I should glad that only three of my sentences were that horrendously misunderstood, else I'd be posting technical explanations in response to flamebait from anonymous trolls until doomsday.

    Which reminds me: It's a nice Sunday, and I have better things to do.

  • What's with all the recent IPOs?
  • There is ALWAYS a lot of IPOs, but because many current ones are high profile "Net" companies, and specifically for the interests around here Linux-related operations, you're seeing them get much more chatter in the general press.
    ------------------------------------------ -
  • A company that doesn't exhibit the usual level of intelligence and knowledge expected in the linux community (or at least those associated with development).... a company that has no history, no accreditation of any sort... surely someone has just seen the possibility of making money out of this new fangled thing called Linux, so why not... Okay some people make a living out of offering support for Linux, but isn' this taking it a bit too far?
  • by The Wing Lover ( 106357 ) <> on Saturday November 06, 1999 @05:57AM (#1557218) Homepage
    Quite frankly, any investor who simply buys into this IPO, just because it contains the name "Linux", deserves what they'll get.

    This venture will inevitably fail. They have no product yet, they already have too many competitors, both in the domestic and international markets, and they don't seem to have any business sense, let alone much technical expertise.

    However, it is also inevitable that someone will say "Ooh, it says Linux, so I should buy some of the IPO! Yeah baby yeah, I'm gonna be rich!" The stock price, however, along with the trading volumes, will eventually dwindle down so as to be insignificant. When this happens, people hwo invest without doing the slightest bit of research will be well-rewarded for their laziness and greed.

    - Drew

  • I've found that the Chinese culture tend to do business a little differently. Much more family and friend oriented, but personal integrity is very important.

    Still, they do seem to be going for an IPO rather quickly.
  • The state of affairs in the USA stock market depends on "buzzword IPOs".

    It is not very important for the daytraders and most lay investors to know if a company is successful or not. The latest "fad" would be good enough.

    First it was "Push" technology, then Internet stocks, then anything ".com", then now it is Linux. All because of the media overhype for the last 10 months or so.

    So someone decides to make a buck out of it and ride the wave.

    Daytrading is not investing at all, but makeing money out of daily fluctuation. The lay investor is willing to pay ten times the IPO price for a company known to lose money, but will not invest in a company that has been on the market for while with better financials.

    Simple enough, but wierd all the same! Isn't it?


  • I guess it's a sign Linux really is on the verge of mainstream--the Make Money Fast crowd has started to take interest. But since it would seem they are in violation of the GNU GPL, the responsible distributors are not without recourse.
  • These small linux companies are getting big bucks from big competitors (intel to turbolinux) and IPOing (this case), for what reason? Wouldn't intel's hard-earned bucks be better spent on SuSE or Caldera? And why aren't SuSE and Caldera IPOing?
  • All Linux companies seem to be American, European or Far East.

    Is the UK really that difficult to get started?
  • ----
    These small linux companies are getting big bucks from big competitors (intel to turbolinux) and IPOing (this case), for what reason? Wouldn't intel's hard-earned bucks be better spent on SuSE or Caldera?

    Uh, Turbolinux is by no means a "small linux company". It is the most popular Linux distribution in Japan and probably in the rest of Asia. That's a big market; much bigger than Caldera's.
  • I was wondering if, in the States, there are laws governing when and when you cannot file for an IPO.

    A peer review board is always helpful- and what about meeting other conditions- incorporation for 2 years, for example.
    Other ideas:
    -Must post a break even or have earnings in order to file for IPO (I realize this would have excluded RHAT)
    or perhaps:
    -Must have at least one product which is currently earning money, at a certain projected percentage of the future share value/total stock worth
    -Must have a minimum of officers holding stock... no one man IPOs

    And I'm sure there are many other suggestions... something should be done to protect against shady IPOs. While linuxOne may have good intentions, perhaps they're going about it in the wrong way... I guess we'll find out about it in a few months/weeks.

    What I'm worried about is DoubleTalk MarketSpeak (TM) coming from a company on false pretences to future investors... if linuxOne falls through, that could hit the rest of the big players such as RedHat, Caldera, now Debian, and the future Corel pretty har in the eyes of unenlightened/technologically ignorant investors, and tarnish the commercial projection of the linux and open source communities as a whole.

  • not the article. please don't mark me flamebait.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I believe the SEC governs the IPO. Also, investors who do Due Dilligence should discover the emporer has no clothes.

    As far as your suggestions, think of the impact they would have upon the Bio-Tech industry. Companies there often go years without profit, let alone having a product. Much new drug development would come to a screeching halt. Oftentimes these companies issue stock to obtain their initial capital and then burn through it for a period of years, hoping they can get the product through FDA trials (or partner with a large Pharma company) before they run out of cash.

    Those who invest in companies without research deserve what they get.
  • That this guy will be in the Bahamas 12 hours after his IPO?
  • Not really for Linux users. I doubt that linuxone will put out anything new that linux users will be interested in having the source to, even it if would be licensed under the GPL. You never know though, they may come up with an ultra-portable, 25 language version of Hello World.

    This sounds like stock speculation to me. It also sounds like a bunch of daytraders are going to possibly ruin their lives over companies like this. The article mentions that the CEO's previous venture, NetUSA, nosedived in stock value, and is now sitting at about $0.62. That's pretty incredible. It takes real talent in an economy this hot to have a stock price that bad. And also the fact that the CEO is the only person who owns any stock? If I were him, I would IPO, and as soon as all of the shares were sold that were being offered to the company, sell all of mine, do something stupid, declare bankruptcy, and walk off with god knows how much cash.

    Wow, this could be the tech stock scam of the year. I think that a lot of people on wall street are going to see it for what it is before they invest in it, but I think a lot of other people are just going to buy in, trying to get their dollars into the next Microsoft or whatever the hell they think this is going to be.

    As far as the software is concerned, I'm just going to ignore it. And if the security problems at their site are as bad as the author of the article suggests, be on the look out for some script kiddie to crack it Real Soon Now.

    Copy a distro, slap a penguin on the cover, sell it, IPO, make big bucks, .......and then change your name and move to another state to start the next lame company attempting to ride "the next big wave"

  • I'm curious... didn't VA just file for IPO under the same ticker symbol?

    {conspiracy theory}
    Could it be that Linux One is nothing more than an attempt to grab a fast $500,000 or so from VA for the LINX symbol?
    {/conspiracy theory}


  • could that be because you have just one more than 20 karma points??? I think it should go to people with 50 or more... but I'm in a real bad mood... Actually, just ignore this.

  • Yeah, LNUX looks much better than LINX.

    Talking about tickers... is TWD (as in total world domination) still available?

    How about... FREE?

    heh... imagine trading FREE shares. Or even CRAP shares.



  • what's wrong with it is that he doesn't care about the linux community or the GPL either, it seems. redhat and others have given back to the community (and i support them in return by buying cds). the reason i believe he isn't part of the community is the fact that i can't find one person who's ever heard of the guy before, and he doesn't seem interested in becoming part of the community or respecting the community by releasing source.

    i never said he couldn't write apps for linux and i never said i wouldn't welcome him if he decided to play fair and release the source (in fact, i would welcome him).
  • I sure hope Andover doesn't repeat RH's mistake. Issuing friends and family offer to that many people a lot of whom don't even qualify to participate in IPOs usually. There are reasons for those rules and by removing them RH sure got enough headache for both themselves and E*Trade.
  • Does anyone remember the great (and surprisingly subtle) Mel Brooks film The Producers? In it, two Broadway producers get the idea to sell an 1000% investment in a show (keeping all the people they were selling it to from knowing they were selling more than 100%). Then they found the worst, most offensive play they could, Springtime for Hitler, and found the worst actors they could to cast it.
    Of course, with an IPO, the stock can be way overvalued without having to sell over 100% of the company........
  • It's truly possible this company is a joke: a company set up to expose the fallacies that underly the net stock phenomenon. It's easy to say that LinuxOne has no product and no history of operations, but heck, neither does Transmeta :-) And Red Hat itself is a dinky little company, with little hope of earning enough money to justify it's mega market cap anytime in the forseeable future. What's Red Hat's FMV? Almost $6 billion. Their annual revenue - not profits here, mind you, but revenue - is only $17 million based on annualizing their third quarter. This just does not add up. Yet everyone is applauding Red Hat and bashing LinuxOne.

    I'm not saying anything bad about Red Hat as a company, which I admire in many ways. But let's face it, they are young, they aren't making money, their revenues are small, and their market cap is unbelievable.

    If Red Hat is worth $6 billion, would you think almost any Linux company is worth a few hundred mil? There's no reason not to cash in, really.

  • One other thing:

    Don't be surprised if people think the phone contact qualifies as "out of band" - it *does*, end of story.

    That misses the point entirely. I said quite specifically that "the two main principles you try to follow with businesses' InterNIC records are (1) ensuring out-of-band communication and (2) avoiding single points of failure." That is what I said, and meant, was "doing it right".

    The point is that having one of the two ways of reaching you when you have nameservice problems automatically breaks when the problem condition occurs (because you've made that method dependent on the DNS zone in question), then the other method is a single point of failure.

    Of course there are myriad way to "do it right". In my view, all are mindful of those two principles, both of them. My point -- and an awfully minor passing point it was -- was that LinuxOne has problems in both areas. Which I call the mark of a network amateur.

    -- Rick M.
  • talk about coming off looking like an arrogant jackass.

    See: onated [].

    It's my opinion that, for any commercial domain, you need to have secondary DNS (and preferably backup MX) at at least one remote site, which ought to be on a different power grid. For that matter, not all NIC contacts should be the same person, and preferably at least one of them should not go through the domain in question (for out-of-band communication). It's not enough to have valid telephone numbers listed: E-mail accounts that become unreachable if the DNS goes down, are close to useless in NIC records.

    So, don't do that, then.

    Now, those of you who consider such measures excessive for a commercial site that purports to do e-commerce as LinxOne does, hey -- you do it your way, I'll do it mine, and we'll see who gets better results.

  • Being a Linux Advocate and an extrovert as well, I've talked up Linux to several colleagues, and have convinced most of them that Linux is the better OS (compared to Windows). The other day, before Cobalt released their IPO, one of my colleagues saw it and quickly asked me if he should buy. I referred him to the web page with the slashdot comments on that discussion, and he decided to do so.

    It does seem that my advocacy has turned others that are not so technical to be blind with their money and Linux. I'm glad some of them are asking me directly before they do so, but I'm afraid that others won't. This is very dangerous, especially with companys like LinuxOne. I strongly feel that this company is only out to follow in RedHats success in the stock market. But the difference between LinuxOne and RedHat, is that RedHat was about a product, and LinuxOne is about the stock. I trust them less than my ability to by the Cobalt IPO now.

    Next, one of these colleagues of mine will go out and (stupidly) buy this crap, and when they get taken to the cleaners, they will blame me and the rest of the Linux community. Yes it will be solely their fault, but it's still a smudge in the face of Linux (a Bad Thing (tm)).

    Lets warn as many people as possible about this stock. It may be legit, but I wasn't them to prove it fist.

    Steven Rostedt
  • gaaaaad, no shit!

    # finger
    Login Name Tty Idle Login Time Office Office Phone
    leo /2 4d Nov 1 19:44
    # nmap -O

    Starting nmap V. 2.12 by Fyodor (,
    Interesting ports on (
    Port State Protocol Service
    11 open tcp systat
    15 open tcp netstat
    21 open tcp ftp
    23 open tcp telnet
    25 open tcp smtp
    53 open tcp domain
    79 open tcp finger
    80 open tcp http
    98 open tcp linuxconf
    110 open tcp pop-3
    111 open tcp sunrpc
    113 open tcp auth
    139 open tcp netbios-ssn
    513 open tcp login
    514 open tcp shell
    515 open tcp printer
    540 open tcp uucp
    6000 open tcp X11
  • by Christopher B. Brown ( 1267 ) <> on Saturday November 06, 1999 @06:40AM (#1557256) Homepage
    The Linux community has not yet had a "Pearl Harbour" or any equivalent thereof.

    While the diminishing of confidence that would result from a "serious bad occurrance" would not be particularly good, this would have the merit of encouraging people to look past your "false pretences."

    A LinuxOne gone bad situation, where, in looking at the documentation, their business case is half-baked, is not going to seriously undermine the ability of Corel to keep trading on NASDAQ and the TSE. After all, they do have a big gold building on Carling Avenue, unlike LinuxOne.

    The thing that is really peculiar about the LinuxOne IPO, and it is the thing that is likely to hurt them most, is the consideration that they haven't been able to get an underwriter of any sort, and particularly not a credible one. They're selling stock directly, and the comparison could be drawn that you can go out back to the truck in the parking lot and buy some stock. This has more parallels to the guy in a van driving down Bronson Avenue that says, We've got some extra car speakers. You want some? than it does to a sale through Goldman Sachs & Co.

    So no, I'm not terribly worried about this; anyone with a little skepticism about finances [] will take this IPO with at least some of the "grains of salt" that it deserves...

  • We've all been to the flea-market and seen vendors selling "look-a-likes". Dateline did a segment on those eletronic stores in the city with huge discounts painted on the window. They thought they were buying a Panasonic protable AM/FM CD boom box. What they got was a chinese look-a-like marketed under the Panasoanic name. The difference? Good luck getting support when the fake chinese version breaks. I think this IPO will do more damage to the Linux/open source community than good. On the plus side grabbing some shares of NetUSA may turn profitable if they run in sympathy with the NetUSA IPO. Don't forgot to use a stop loss.
  • This is a case where a script kiddie screwing with the site would be funny, not lame.

  • Ahem, who in there right mind has the judgement of what is or isn't a linux company or linux user?

    MILLIONS of companies appear and dissapear without everyone knowing it. Why does this one have to be different?

    So what about the security issues, redudant power my ass, tell me a single startup that carries multiple power circuits, pays a tier provider for redudant dns, has different accounts for everything and enough time and money to make everything perfect???

    And last of all, what is a known user? I'm published in 5 os/2 books and ATLEAST a dozen linux books, i've been using linux since before it had a version #, i ran Yggdrasil back in the day, i was the first BBS in houston to offer LInux for download or purchase on 12 floppy disks, i moved on up through slackware and all the other distro's that soon followed.

    And whats to say if i started a company, did an IPO, would someone criticize me and my "ethics" of business towards a "known" community?

    That was the worst piece of egotistical writing i have ever seen, it brough it my ego, and i'm the most relaxed person i know.

    If you know what you want, and you know to stay away, by all means its your decision. But just because they're not "linux gods in the known linux world" doesn't mean they cant be successfull or thrive in this new market.

    It just irks me.. moderate me down if you want, but i still can't believe there is this notion of how things should be.. its no wonder linux could never make it to the masses, people like this doing the publishing would scare the market more then help it.

    You know, i'm gonna sound extremely *COCKY* here, but this sounds exactly like Californication to me.. First it was expensive living, then the attitude, and then they started buying all the property in colorado and turning everything into resorts and now they want to turn linux into this "glamour" system that you must be portrayed in or made fun of..

    hopefully redhat will keep its roots here.. but i remember when i read this same thing anout redhat a few years back, and then the same on Caldera.. oh well..

  • you don't understand what these people are doing here-- what they're trying to do is set themselves up as a joke-- make themselves seem as inconsequential and worthless as possible, and then flood their website with self-importance and misleading statements and file for an IPO. Why? They're hoping that by appearing to be a blasphemy, they'll have Linuxone and give them huge amounts of free advertising by making fun of them. and you're playing right into their hands.

    it's the Marilyn Manson strategy exactly, except instead of the Religious Right they're using Slashdot. Look at this! despite the fact that they're totally inconsequential and have sold practically nothing, they've managed to get more "buzz" than, well, practically any other linux distribution simply by the major linux news sites pointing out how stupid they are! Now imagine mr. venture capitalist, going over to his favorite search engine and typing in "linuxone" to check out this company he's heard about the IPO of. And suddenly, he finds several articles on LinuxWorld and in the last couple weeks alone, much more coverage than, say, Mandrake has! He won't read these articles, of course; he'll just assume it means linuxone is an important company.

    That being said, despite the fact it's an IPO i think that all future /. articles on linuxone should be placed under the "humor" icon.

  • It's arguable that people who would go to the trouble to go searching for web articles on a company to check the company's validity and then not read the articles would have fallen into the trap anyway.

    I think you're giving LinuxOne more credit for being devious than they really deserve. I don't think that this is a masterminded plot on the part of LinuxOne to screw people over, I think it's a simpleminded unethical scheme, no more, no less.

    And besides, what is slashdot supposed to do? See a company that is probably violating the GPL, taking other people's material, lying, and producing nothing but vapor and think to itself "Oh well..." - I don't think that's ever been slashdot's style. :)

  • It's not that they're unknown, or that their SEC filings are shady, or that they're doing a pretty shoddy job of ripping off/reclaiming another distro. It's all of these things together that make people wonder, Why should we support LinuxOne?

    Redhat has a long history of providing GPL software, paying people to work on the kernel, giving back to the community. LinuxOne hasn't given anything back to anyone. They have violated the GPL, their CEO has been involved in another shady IPO, and they have no product to speak of (providing DSL drivers for Linux? what is that supposed to mean?)

    Let them give the linux community one reason to support them. Being a new guy doesn't count.

  • > It might not even be that bad of an idea to buy it.

    I suspect you're right, provided you get in quick and out quicker.

    However, knowing that there is nothing to sustain the value, I would feel like I was behaving unethically just to make a buck. So I won't be participating.

    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • Haha! No, I never saw it, but from your description I'm sure that one episode of Hercules was based on it.

    Ooops. Didn't mean to let slip my high intellectual standards for entertainment.

    It's October 6th. Where's W2K? Over the horizon again, eh?
  • No, as someone who's worked with traders for a long time, I can say that Red Splat is the "public face" of Linux on Wall Street. Ticker Symbols really aren't as important as all that.

    - Drew

  • Most applications in the disro did not originate inside Red Hat so trying to clain the "compilation copyright", used primarily by online services, will never work.

    That's not how compilation copyright works, as I recall (I am not a lawyer). A publisher can publish an anthology of works (after negotiating rights if necessary) and even if those works are all copyrighted by someone else, they can still claim compilation copyright on the whole thing.

    Looks like LinuxOne OS is so similar to RedHat that they're in violation of the compilation copyright (IMHO).

  • The only hint of a potential for LinuxOne seems to be their connections in asia. There is a market that the big american companies can not really enter easily, having neither the business connections nor the skilled workforce.
    Suse in Germany and Mandrake in France could prosper because they provided a good localization and had the business connection. The UK software market is very much integrated with the american market, I do not see how an investor would invest in a company to make a product that they could just import from the US.

    This is not to imply that the british can not produce good just happens that you are too close to america businesswise to get your independance

    On a sidenote i am quite surprise that you do not seem to include the UK in europe

  • I'm wondering who gets "the letter" for andover's IPO. I think anyone with a karma of 20 and above should get it, because they are the people who acutally make slashdot what it is. I know I come for the discussions.
  • The article says that the SEC filing is almost word-for-word the same as RedHat's (apart from the accounts and the funding). I haven't bothered to verify this, but if true, the two companies are so different that IMO they would be bound to fall foul of some SEC rule.

  • "investers"...will turn to companies that have a large proprietary component as they would be the only non-commodity distros out there.

    I doubt such a grim fate would haunt any well meaning group who pride themselves with providing value added services. Yes, a RedHat CD is freely distributable, but its the brand name of RedHat that has value good as gold. When it comes to support, you would trust most the group that supports the community.

    LinuxOne wishes to hide features to increase value? This just makes components inaccessable and dilutes the value of the whole distribution. Make your distro a secret and much of the community is likely not to have a vested interest in your product. We know of a closely guarded product from Redmond that requires high maintenance and a very freely available source packaged in North Carolina. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    Those who wish to make sources free and extend services may provide the best value and be handsomely rewarded with name recognition. LinuxOne does not seem to chose the path of enlightenment, but wishes to introduce the path of darkness to Linux.
  • I wonder how much that type of behavior is limited to dealings with their own culture. I have heard of business communities where everything is based on a handshake among themselves and their word is binding. When these communities deal with the outside world, however, they will screw you as many ways as possible and even innovate ways to screw you.

Long computations which yield zero are probably all for naught.