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The Almighty Buck

The Upcoming LinuxOne IPO 213

AlphaBrav sent news that LinuxOne is planning to up their IPO price range. For those who don't know who LinuxOne is, don't feel bad: read this amazing article that point by point shows that there are more problems with this company then I can list in this space, although my favorites include their CEOs questionable past, GPL violations, and a corporate web server that not only doesn't run their own distribution but offers to sell you a (binary only) CD if only you send your credit card unencrypted to them. Best of all, their ticker symbol is set to be LINX.
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The Upcoming LinuxOne IPO

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  • Sounds like a winner to me!

    But of course, PT Barnum will still have his say at the IPO, and I certainly wouldn't turn down some shares...
  • I dunno... To me, there is just something wrong with people making money off of a free operating system.
    =======
    There was never a genius without a tincture of madness.
  • Dont you think they could prevent them from using that ticker symbol... it seems too generic. After reading that list... it just makes me shiver.

  • It almost seems like this whole LinuxOne thing embodies the atmosphere of hype and ridiculous Wall Street clamoring for anything related to Linux. Here we have a company that, as far as we can tell, has nothing whatsoever to offer, and seems to be IPO'ing for the sole benefit of adding flame to the fire.

    I will probably be ill if this IPO takes off. At least VA actually has products, and RedHat makes a pretty good distro. But who has heard of anything from LinuxOne?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I want to publicly speak out against companies adopting ticker symbols that make it look like they ARE Linux. It is a deceptive practice clearly intended to fool some investors into thinking they are buying stock in Linux. In fact, they are only buying stock in a company that either (1) sells hardware with Linux installed or (2) supports Linux.

    Think about it. The average investors remembers seeing Linux mentioned as a hot thing in Time, Newsweek, or Fortune. They see ticker symbol LNUX or LINX and they think they're buying stock in "Linux".

    There's no reason for this. VA could have done something like "VALX". LinuxOne could maybe use "LNXO". What if Dell's ticker symbol was "WNNT"?
  • by UM_Maverick ( 16890 ) on Thursday December 23, 1999 @08:40AM (#1449111) Homepage
    hmm...The article says that LinuxOne has reserved shares for "fellow" open-source developers. Two questions:

    1. Did anyone get "the letter"? If you did, are you going to buy shares?
    2. What open-source development have they done? Did they GPL the big scam that they're putting on here?

    Now, it's great that everyone here on /. knows that linuxone sucks. Does anyone in the "real world" know? Like, do bankers, and mutual fund managers, and people like that know how bad this company is going to fail? If not, does Slashdot (or Andover) have enough clout to talk to the folks at cnn.com, abcnews.com, or some other mass-media place to get the word out?
  • by Booker ( 6173 ) on Thursday December 23, 1999 @08:41AM (#1449113) Homepage
    Up from $6-$8 per share to... *gasp* $8.25! These guys just OOZE confidence!

    Hrm. The only thing that makes me feel better is that a quick check of techstocks.com, fool.com, and ragingbull.com shows that nobody has even started any message boards for LINX yet. For those of you that frequent these boards, do your best to educate. The link above (http://www.linuxworld.com/linuxworld/lw-1999-11/l w-11-linuxone.html) is a great place to start.

    People whine about Red Hat going corporate, and Corel GPL violations, which is fine. Let's keep them honest. But if you really want to defend Linux's integrity as it enters the corporate world, debunking LinuxOne is probably a great place to start.
    ----
  • It's true, I read it on their web site!
    Their 'Lite' version runs under windows!

    Argh.
    Feh.
    Boo.
    *BOOM*
  • Doesn't Linus own the trademark to Linux?

    Couldn't he sue these carpetbaggers to get them to drop the name?

    I realize that might set what some see as a dangerous precendent for other Linux-related software, but I think in this case everyone would understand. This company is so obviously just trying to make a fast buck.. And if nobody stops them, they probably will (a fast $100 million bucks, probably)!

  • Although it seems that any Linux company will make a killing with their IPO (Look at VA Linux), I'm a little concerned with placing my money with this company. It appears even they have no faith in their product, they have RedHat 6.0 running on their webserver! They have all sorts of hokey features that come bundled with their disto, one of which is called LinuxMac(TM) - software that makes reading and writing Macintosh format files viable, whether on disk or CD. Easy to install and use, this industry-leading software should be invaluable to Apple computer users that need to access their files on a Linux system. Jeez, last time I check I was able to do this with ANY disto!
  • by pq ( 42856 ) <rfc2324&yahoo,com> on Thursday December 23, 1999 @08:45AM (#1449120) Homepage
    Bruce Perens' piece, "Let's run LinuxOne out of town on a rail" is here [technocrat.net].

  • Not really suprising that there would eventually be a company that comes up trying to get in on the cash feeding frenzy that seems to go hand in hand with Linux IPOs.

    IMHO, any linux company that wants to survive several years past the date of their IPO probably will need to have at least a reasonable amount of goodwill from the community. As I see it, companies like VA and RedHat have that. LinuxOne probably doesn't. (And if they do, they probably won't for long)

    There are enough daytraders out there that lost their asses on both redhat and VA (buying at the very peak and then watching it slide down to something more reasonable) and those were good companies. I think that LinuxOne in the IPO market has the real potential to make a few suicidal drunk wifebeating daytraders. :)

  • To quote the cliche... it's free as in freedom, not free as in beer.

    ESR is right: "Open Source" is a way, way better term than "free software".


    ---

  • Based on his previous record, i don't think this Chiou guy's company is too promising.. His last IPO, NetUSA, went from $7 to 63 cents a share?
    It is really too bad that people like this can try to cash in on something as wholesome as Linux. Also, it is very regretable that they got such a great ticker symbol, which could fool unaware people into thinking they are buying 'Linux', becasue there are a lot of heathens out there who think this Linux thing is a company they can buy into.

    I can't say for sure. He could have some great software in the making, he really could be developing those great 'propietary device drivers' and Chinese and Japanese versions, or this could be what it seems like it is : a scam to take advantage of the interest in IPOs like Red Hat's and VA's. I don't think someone should be filing for an IPO before they even have a product - what is it that we would be investing in? A plan to someday make a Distro? Their website does seem like they are serious, I suppose.

    But a Linux distro that runs under Windows misses the point entirely!!
  • by vr ( 9777 )
    Think about it. The average investors remembers seeing Linux mentioned as a hot thing in Time, Newsweek, or Fortune. They see ticker symbol LNUX or LINX and they think they're buying stock in "Linux".

    Ok.. think about that for a second. I really doubt investors are that careless about their money, no matter how much they've got.

    If they are that stupid, they deserve to loose their money anyway ;)

  • Gamers' Linux, the Linux distribution devoted to games (specifically, RedHat Linux 6.1 with Quake 3 Arena and Unreal Tournament installed), has filed a S-1 and will be offering shares at the end of Q1/2000.

    The Distribution will be available any time now, and you can also get the source code for only $45 (sorry we have no FTP site yet).

    We expect to open up at $.25/share and rocket up to about $.75/share before either K-Mart buys us up or Linus Torvalds sues the bejeezus out of us for GPL violations...
  • by xant ( 99438 ) on Thursday December 23, 1999 @08:53AM (#1449128) Homepage
    This LinuxOne looks like a bad idea waiting to happen. For the purposes of this comment I'm going to assume it crashes and burns. But I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this is a necessary thing.

    You may have heard the saying "all publicity is good publicity." What is going to happen if LinuxOne turns out to be a terrible company and a ton of investors get burned on a shoddy distribution? LinuxOne is going to get bad publicity. Most of it will be from the traditional media, many of whom still think all Linux is the same thing, and therefore the bigger a flop LinuxOne becomes, the bigger a black mark against "Linux/OpenSource."

    This blanketing attitude is changing, though; even CBS can tell the difference between a RedHat and a VA. And if LinuxOne burns some people, it will be our opportunity to turn bad news into good. We need to represent LinuxOne as the Yin to our Yang. We need to say, "This is what happens when you do it wrong," in addition to, "This over here is what happens when you do it right."

    Over time, this will add news media credibility to our store. It will make it possible for people to tell the difference between a good Linux distribution and a bad one, and as a point of comparison it will clarify some issues in peoples' heads over why Open Source is a good idea, and why it is successful.

  • Anybody who falls for this bunk richly deserves it. Hopefully, they will learn a valuable lesson.
  • If ESR was "right", the cliche would be "it's Open Source as in Open Source-dom, not Open Source as in beer." There is free software and there is gratis software.

    --
  • Everyone's gonna try and capitalize on this 'hype' thats going on. Many see it as JUST hype, though we all know that Linux is real, rock solid, and worthy of investment.

    If this IPO goes through and there's a fallout afterwards, this may suddenly undermine confidence in Linux, with Microsoft jumping on board and saying "SEE!? I TOLD YOU SO! IT WAS ALL HYPE!" and people who dont know any better, yet have their cash tied up in RedHat, will panic.

    This could spell trouble.

    I think there needs to be an overall 'consortium'
    contributed to by all distributions (RedHat at the forefront) to provide information to potential investors and users about linux. There should be a united group promoting linux in general to the benefit of the whole community. It should do reviews of the liscences developped by distributions, and review their practices to ensure they're abiding by the liscences of the software contained therein (most of it under the GPL).

    This will serve to keep the industry clean, and not undermine linux in general. Havintg a consortium responsible for this would avoid people claiming there's a redHat agenda or whatever. I think its time Linux invested to ensure the quality of ALL linux products -- at least until Microsoft files for BANKRUPTCY! :)

    Math.
  • Isn't it obvious by now that that's what they (VA, LinuxOne) counted on, confusion about this very matter.

    This one has me extremely angry, and indignant. I really wish that I knew how to inform the entire world about this LinuxOne scam.

    Oh well.
  • Ugh...

    "See, Linux isn't stable - it gave me a GPF just like Solitaire!"
  • Ticker symbols are owned by the stock exchange and can be revoked or changed at will. There have been many cases of ticker symbols of penny stocks being re-assigned by nasdaq or nyse when a bigger stock (IE trades on the big boards) needs it.

    Really, guys, THE TICKER SYMBOL IS NOT THE ISSUE.
  • You can keep the Redhat but I'll take the source code to Quake 3 Arena and Unreal Tournament for $45. :-)
  • by drwiii ( 434 ) on Thursday December 23, 1999 @09:02AM (#1449137)
    Trying 216.101.248.91...
    Connected to rinoa.LinuxOne.NET.
    Escape character is '^]'.

    Welcome to LinuxOne! This is rinoa.
    Red Hat Linux release 6.0 (Hedwig)
    Kernel 2.2.5-15 on an i686
    login:

    Riiiight.

  • Can someone Open this Beer for me? Twist-off, my butt.
  • There's nothing that you can do, really...

    I don't understand why people think that having "close ties" to the Linux community will neccessarily help a company.

    LinuxOne doesn't need anything from the community, thanks to the GPL. They can purchase a copy of redhat, get the source CD, rearrange the files a little and presto! a brand new distro. And there's nothing that anyone can do about it.

    So long as Linux continues to be developed with under the GPL (meaning as long as Linux exists) we'll see more and more of these companies. There's no rule that says they need to contribute anything back to the community. There's no rule that states they need to give shares to anyone. And even when someone does give shares (Like Redhat and VA) they do it out of the kindness of their hearts, because the developers can't hold anything back from them.

    So, as angering as this may be for some of you, there reallyt isn't anything you can do but grit your teeth and wait til the next outfit surfaces...You developed under the GPL... This is one of the consequences. Sorry!
  • Except you chose to be the slave.

    Another company sees the opportunity to make money. You could do the same... roll your own distro, incorporate, get some VCs behind you and you too could be a Linux billionair.
  • How is LINX more generic than LNUX ?!
  • I think everyone has the right to do a distribution. Of course sending only the binary code is a break from the GPL model. After reading the article I can see that they have very great problems and apparently are hiding information about their company.

    As we live in a capitalist society everyone has the right to open a business and go IPO. But everyone also have the right to know the economic health of a firm and his credentials. But we don't live in an ideal world. This year the stock exchanges got mad in stocks of high technology, computer, software and Internet comnpanies.
    Companies who are betting in the open-source model are now the golden eggs of the investors. But investors and economists don't know well the
    computer and software world(this is not a shame, not everyone in the world must be a geek like us!). Usually they put money in any company
    wich has the word Linux attached to it.

    The best thing that can be done is if some people who works with free software could warn the investors about the dangers of companies
    who hides their operations and in the case of LinuxOne point them to the great article in LinuxWorld. Many may think that this is not of our concern, but if an hipothetical company who bases its products on GPL software eventually breaks, we will see a run of capitals from other companies like Red Hat and VA, because of the fall of trust that wil be created by this. And this event will trigger a vicious circle of bad public opinion to the open-source world.

    We must be vigilant...
  • If VA Linux can be LNUX, why would you possibly think that LinuxOne being LINX is too generic?
  • SCAM!
  • And I'm not talking about the good parts of Commodore, either. (The PET and the Amiga were both phenominal for their time.)

    This is clearly an attempt to rake in a fortune and run. There's no product there. If there was, and it was any good, they'd use it. They don't. If they knew enough to -make- a system, they'd have secure e-commerce. They don't. If they understood the licence, they wouldn't be doing binary-only distributions. They are.

    IMHO, we'll see the board cut & run to some tax haven that has no extradition treaty with the US or Europe within a year, probably months, possibly even weeks, after the IPO.

    This probably won't be fatal to Linux. In fact, the sooner they run, the better for Linux, as it'll be clearer that it was crooks and not simply computer geeks pretending to be business nerds. It -will- be damaging to Linux, though, if the pretense keeps going long enough for people to believe that the guys are genuine, because then that could provoke a backlash against the whole Open Source concept. ("Look at Bill Gates! Now -HE- knows how to run a company. These wannabe's, with their high ideals and no business sense are just wasters and loosers.")

    The sooner LinuxOne explodes into a corruption scandal, the better it'll be for everyone. IMHO, it'll happen sooner or later, whether that's tomorrow or 50 years from now. I'd just rather it was early enough for it to not take down the entire Open Source movement with it.

    IMHO, if these guys want money, will some rich twit give it to them, and tell them to go away? Far as I'm concerned, they're going to get the money anyway, but it needn't senselessly destroy everything that the Linux community has worked to build. The Linux community is incidental to LinuxOne's aims, so it doesn't harm or benefit them if it survives or vanishes. There's no reason for them to work for either end. I'd rather it survived, though, and hope Open Source isn't an innocent victim in this game.

  • Anyone who compares open-source developers to slaves has either a severely twisted view of open-source software, or a delusionally romantic notion of what slavery is. Red Hat never locked Linus in chains, beat him, or sold his children to get the kernel made. There's a difference between giving and stealing.

  • by Tower ( 37395 ) on Thursday December 23, 1999 @09:08AM (#1449147)
    Yeah... it took me a little while to explain the whole concept of Open Source developement to my better half. She is notably adept with computers (and never flinched when she's had to use Linux for something), but the discussion opened up with, "Well - who owns Linux?" The concept that this OS isn't owned like MS owns Windoze is not something that everyone grasps right away.

    My uncle mentioned to me that Linux won't do well because it doesn't have the marketing dollars that MS does. I didn't really have the time to explain the situation... The general public (and even those close to us geek types) just aren't well informed about these subjects and can be easily mislead.

    Bottom line - one of those stock symbols *has* to be the company that makes linux, right? Oh - I get it - RedHat wrote linux and now this VA place sells linux computers? Right?
    (sound of palm smacking forehead)
  • Why spend all that money on an underwriter, you ask? Look at all the OTC stocks that basically do nothing... The underwrite goes out and drums up interest in your stock prior to it's going public... But not with other investors, but rather the institutional folk, the ones that REALLY drive stock prices up and down...

    Slashdot made it with OpenIPO because they're a well established site that many people had heard of... But if you're just starting out and plan on taking your company public, you'd be making a really bad decision to use a process like that unless you were POSITIVE that there would be significat interest in your company.
  • This is the fourth Slashdot article about LinuxOne, and the third posted by CmdrTaco. While the first Linux-based stock scam was interested the first time around, it's gotten a bit stale. I'm sure there are more interesting stories being submitted.
  • "Linux distros need to collude & combat black sheep"

    Uhm...no. You do realize that that sounds exactly like something Micros~1 would do.

    "If this IPO goes through and there's a fallout afterwards, this may suddenly undermine confidence in Linux, with Microsoft jumping on board and saying "SEE!? I TOLD YOU SO! IT WAS ALL HYPE!" and people who dont know any better, yet have their cash tied up in RedHat, will panic. "

    This is likely anyway. Eventually, the economy is going to get to a point where it's not swelling like a zit on a 14 year old's face, and people who are playing the stock market are going to realize that they were smoking crack when they paid $300.00 for VA stock. (Don't get me wrong - I think they're both great companies, VA and Redhat, I just don't think they're worth the money that they're at. The stock price should have something to do with earnings in my book)

    When the market corrects itself, redhat and VA are going to fall a bit. They're not going to fall like NetUSA did, but they will fall somewhat until their stock price is a bit more in line with what the company is. All fads wear off.

    I agree with you that LinuxOne could catalyze that, (the linux aspect anyway, not the whole economy aspect) but I think it will happen anyway.

    "This could spell trouble"

    Yeah, well, do like most other people do and don't bother looking at linux or using it as a financial tool. Just use it as a kick ass OS. Again, I like redhat and VA, but I won't buy any of their stock anytime soon because I'm a programmer, and for some reason I just can't understand the brains of investors. The best bet (for me anyway) is to ignore linux IPO happenings when it comes to my own personal finances and enjoy linux as an OS.

    "I think there needs to be an overall 'consortium'
    contributed to by all distributions (...)"

    That sounds like a good idea IF you can find somebody who will play the benevolent dictator role. I'm not really worried about this distro though since I think that if a lot of the allegations in the article are true, the company will probably have a total of about 10 users (most of which is the board of the company) a year from now.

    I also don't like the thought of a board like that, because it would be very easy for it to fall into an exclusionary game of who gets to play with linux and who doesn't.

    MDA
  • Does anyone know who owns www.linuxone.com [linuxone.com]? If you surt there you get the message:

    This page is not here yet.

    (with due credit to Transmeta in the source :) )

    Linuxone has www.linuxone.net [linuxone.net], so who's got linux.com?

    Another mysterious start-up? Another soon-to-be IPO?

    Dana
  • You mean like all the dotcoms that were the craze the last two years?

    Of course that's what's going to happen... Everyone's hopping from Amazon to Redhat to ride it's ups and downs...And then when the next buzzword comes along (probably B2B...) they'll scurry away from Linux and on the B2B bandwagon.

    (B2B = Business to Business e-commerce, in case you were wondering...)
  • LinuxOne OS will support these new technologies with its sophisticated proprietary device drivers....

    I think I now know who that "open source, copyrighted, non-distributal Natalie Portman" guy really is ;)


    mcrandello@my-deja.com
    rschaar{at}pegasus.cc.ucf.edu if it's important.
  • If they're actually in violation of the GPL, they can lose *all* of their rights with respects to the GPL'ed software.

    Copyrighted works by default give people NO license to copy, redistribute or modify the work. The GPL explicitely grants this right so long as the user works within the bounds of the license. Once they violate the license, they lose all redistribution rights to the software, which would kinda put them out of business instantly.
  • by elthia ( 119370 ) on Thursday December 23, 1999 @09:19AM (#1449158)
    I know this probably sounds crazy, but put a few pointers in here...

    1. This guy started NetUSA, and the company went public.

    2. NetUSA is failing in public, it's lost huge amounts of money and the stock price is falling drastically.

    3. HE probably owned a majority share of NetUSA, right? So he gained quite a bit of money from those stocks... now, legally he could neither sell them nor use that money for six months. However...

    4. Now he starts a NEW company, and tries to send it public within six months, a ridiculously short time for such things. Which, at ANY price, will bring in a nice chunk of pocket change...

    5. Gee, sounds a little fishy - you think he might be using one to fund the other? Illegal, yes, impossible? No.

    He's already shown disregard for people (laws?) by hosting spammail junk. Considering the (lack of) history for this company, I wouldn't be surprised if this is exactly what's happening. I hope he gets caught and jailed.

    -Elthia
    opinionated as ever
  • I am very very worried. I am worried about how this will hurt Linux and open source. It is very sad, but inevitable that sooner or later some fucking bastards will try to exploit us and this is a clear case. A lot of people today, who do not know much about the market or linux, !(me and you), are going to dump their money if Linuxone goes IPO. Now, what do you think will happen? After a short while, people will realize that this company is a hoax and will loose a lot of money! If a lot of people loose money in this, what will this say? Linux is not happening?! Linux is a hoax? I am not talking about what you will think, but what the average joe will. people will throw there money when this goes IPO if it ever does, they will do it, not to invest , but to make very quick money! THe outcome worries me.

  • Michael Lerperger (LINUXONE-DOM)
    Kutschkergasse 4/7
    Vienna, Vienna A-1180
    AUSTRIA

    Domain Name: LINUXONE.COM

    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
    Lerperger, Michael (ML9820) mlerp@POBOX.COM
    +43 (1) 402 8089 (FAX) +43 (1) 402 8089
    Billing Contact:
    Lerperger, Michael (ML9820) mlerp@POBOX.COM
    +43 (1) 402 8089 (FAX) +43 (1) 402 8089

    Record last updated on 14-Nov-1999.
    Record created on 15-Nov-1998.
    Database last updated on 23-Dec-1999 14:08:21 EST.

    Domain servers in listed order:

    NS3.MLERP.COM 208.231.31.21
    NS4.MLERP.COM 208.231.31.22

  • Registrant:
    Michael Lerperger (LINUXONE-DOM)
    Kutschkergasse 4/7
    Vienna, Vienna A-1180
    AUSTRIA

    Domain Name: LINUXONE.COM

    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
    Lerperger, Michael (ML9820) mlerp@POBOX.COM
    +43 (1) 402 8089 (FAX) +43 (1) 402 8089
    Billing Contact:
    Lerperger, Michael (ML9820) mlerp@POBOX.COM
    +43 (1) 402 8089 (FAX) +43 (1) 402 8089

    Record last updated on 14-Nov-1999.
    Record created on 15-Nov-1998.
    Database last updated on 23-Dec-1999 14:08:21 EST.

    Domain servers in listed order:

    NS3.MLERP.COM 208.231.31.21
    NS4.MLERP.COM 208.231.31.22
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They appear to have moved their web server off Red Hat. It was probably bad publicity. But two other servers in their domain (qusitis.linuxone.net [linuxone.net] and webbe.linuxone.net [linuxone.net]) appear to still be running redhat 6.0. Quistis will even bring up a telnet session. It is also very very slow, which is strange since it's their primary mail server.

    I was able to telnet in to the SMTP port on Quistis and verify the users listed on their web site.

    And yes, they are still being hosted on a DSL connection, as you can tell by doing a reverse lookup of their DNS. Not too impressive.

    You'd think that, as "a leading-edge developer of Linux software, products and services" they'd at least be able to hire a decent server admin.

  • The good beer never is.. Victorinox used to make a few credit card sized bottle openers. They're great because they not only fit in your wallet, they're too big to lose.
  • Seems like a IPO only business plan to me. Take a good concept, wrap it in a pretty package and IPO it. "Oh, were sorry, we forgot to tell you about the weak content."

    awfully bold to file for an IPO, without underwriters, with a tiny firm that's existed only for six months and that barely has a product. And to have the cheek to ask us to pay $29.95, sight unseen, for a distribution that the firm hasn't the conviction to run as its own Web server, and to expect us to not worry our pretty little heads over source code seems a bit much. Add to that LinuxOne's claims to be a world shaker poised, as the About page says, to "become the world's highest-rated supplier of Linux solutions based on innovation, packaging, support, and global capability."

    Does this sound like some earlier M$ campains to anyone else??

  • ...What is supported is the notion of striking out unreasonably
    clauses, leaving the majority intact. And surely a court of law would find reality to be other than black and white.

    And by not abiding by the terms of the GPL they have no right to redistribute the software. The reality is that they could:

    • Distribute the software without the changes
    • Come in line with the GPL and distrbute as normal.

    If you extend your argument, some parts of standard EULAs could be striken as unreasonable, that doesn't mean I can freely distribute it.

  • Something like this though, the requirement to redistribute or otherwise make available the source code to your GPL'ed-base work, is the very heart of the GPL license.

    Are you saying that if they were to violate this provision and not cooperate by coming into compliance, that they should be continued to be allowed to re-distribute the software? Perhaps I misspoke when I said they can lose "all" of their rights. At a minimum, I would expect that I could be able to revoke a person's right to redistribute my copyrighted work if they fail to uphold their end of my license. THIS has got to be supported by legal precedent in some fashion. The authors of this software have collectively said, "OK, we're letting people redistribute our copyrighted software so long as they comply with the terms of the GPL license."

    So the only thing left would be the possibility that a portion of the GPL would be striked out as unreasonable. Could this source code requirement be classified as 'unreasonable'? I don't think it can, and I don't really see how this can't be supported by law or precedent. Unless you are referring to the fact that the GPL has never been tried in court...?
  • by mistalinux ( 78981 ) on Thursday December 23, 1999 @09:39AM (#1449177) Homepage
    This is a scam. I phoned their sales line and was not able to get ANY useful information out of them. The genetleman could barely speak english. When I asked about LinuxMac, he stated that it lets you read Macintosh disks under Linux. For ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS? GET REAL! The HFS utils has been around for as long as I can remember. This is absoultely absurd.

    When I asked what the difference between RedHat and LinuxOne is, he said that there is little difference, and when I asked why I should buy LinuxOne instead of RedHat, he was unable to answer my question.

    If you've got any furthur questions, their toll free sales line is: 1-877-Linux12

  • Uh huh. And the original question was clearly asking about linuxone.COM (wondering if there was any connection, I assume).

    Sheesh indeed!

    I wonder if the current owner of linuxone.com would be willing to put up a few quicky links to the various articles exposing LinuxOne?
    ----
  • > Now, it's great that everyone here on /. knows that linuxone sucks. Does anyone in the "real world" know?

    Call me cynical, but with this kind of background, any investor who loses his shirt on this IPO (if it busts) due to lack of research deserves every cent he flushes down the drain. There is so much hype these days, and no real understanding of what makes a company worth investing in. It's not like this article was revealing anything a competent investor couldn't have found, and the article is published where anyone can find it if they care to look. I have little sympathy for investors who lose money on pure speculation and hype.

    To whit: I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

    BTW, I thought the author was... uh, to say the least... generous. Pretty amusing article, if it weren't for the fact that we're dealing with a serious issue here.

  • Going from $.25 to $.75 is a 300% increase! Thats a lot. Becuase the share price is small, people will buy thousands of shares. It would be just the same if it went from $60 to $180 a share.
  • ...hopefully, is that LinuxOne *will* crash and burn, and anyone stupid enough to use it as an anti-linux datum will be quickly pointed to the denunciations on Slashdot and LinuxWorld, from Bruce Perens, and from basically anyone else who knows what they're talking about.

    I mean, honestly, LinuxOne's name has been mud from the very day their existance became known! If someone invests in them because "it's got Linux in the name!" but doesn't bother to do so much as a web search to research the company, they deserve what they get.
  • Someone needs to read QuakeFinger more often... :> UT for Linux probably will be opensourced, and Q3A will be (eventually) open sourced.

    -Chris
  • This is going to make life not so good for any other legitimate distro who want to fund their company through an IPO.

    This LinuxOne IPO will probably not do very well, which will drag down the image of "Linux IPOs" in the mind of the underwriters.

    If the underwriters have a low opinion of Linux companies because of this, the next distro who wants funding through an IPO will probably get a lower opening price, which means less money in the bank for them, which means less development and such which affects us all.

    Hopefully this will set the standard for other companies who wish to do the same thing. If these guys do terribly, then others probably wont follow suit, which is good for the community, both the open source community and the financial community.

    2 cents from an ex manager of wrestlers
  • by Anonymous Coward
    After losing my shirt on these stocks, we must ban these ticker symbols too:

    CARS - I bought this one after I saw a car at all my friends' houses!

    WIND - Everybody needs air! Get yours now!!

    AIR - I wasn't sure if WIND had a monopoly or not, so I bought some of this too!

    SUN - How gloomy the world would be without the Sun!

    LIFE - This one is a SURE THING if there ever was one!!

  • Directly from their About LinuxOne page [linuxone.net]:

    LinuxOne is positioned to quickly become a leading provider of Linux software.

    Yeah right. Their going to out do RedHat or SuSE or Caldera? I think not.

    The Company's extensions to the Linux software kernel will rapidly distinguish its products from all other available Linux software. LinuxOne intends to develop operating system and application software tailored to support a wide variety of platforms, business environments, and markets. LinuxOne has an exceptional management team that possesses the experience and proven skills necessary to quickly establish the company as one of the world's preferred providers of Linux software.

    What are they going to make that Linux dosen't already do? What platform are they going to add? At the rate other companies are going, my left pinky toe will be able to run Linux :) Great management team? Try great BS team.

    Robert E. Philips, B.S. Physics, BS Philosophy, MBA Marketing, and MBA Extended Edition in High Technology Management, has been a founding executive for numerous Silicon Valley startup firms. He has been responsible for business plans, proposals, collateral materials, advertising, and public relations. His technical background in hardware, software, and network technologies provides him with considerable insight into high-technology products.

    And having a Bachelors in Physics and Philosophy is going to make him a good marketer? How? And whats this Extended Edition crap? Makes it sound like a car not a degree. He has been the founding executive for numerous Silicon Valley startup firms? What are they? Are they all bankrupt? Probably, thats why he went on to Linux, its a new field to try.

    OK, enough of my rant, this company is a disgusting pile of bullshit and I am not going to waste any more of my time complaining about it!

  • For CmdrTaco to essentially decry this company as a scam is entirely inappropriate. He, and this website, are owned by a close competitor, so comments like these not only have no objectivity, but should be viewed as highly suspicious and manipulative.

    When it comes down to it, there really are only slight differences between the behavior of LinuxOne and that of VA systems, RedHat, and the others. None of them have, or will have, profits to justify their market valuations, and all are based on essentially the same platform: Making Money from Linux.

    So what is so different about this company? That they don't have the alliance with a bunch of hip linux hackers, or the requisite early marketing hype. They certainly have comparable profits.

    The Linux as IPO fantasy is playing out again and again, just as e-commerce did. But, as with e-commerce, the ones who make real profits will be few and far between.

    But to hear scathing remarks posing as journalism about a competitor in their industry makes my stomach churn. I certainly didn't hear this kind of criticism regarding VA or the others. You've already cashed in.

    Moderators: While I do expect this view to be unpopular, please evaluate its merits for discussion (and rational defense) before emotionally slamming it as 'flamebait'.
  • The concept of "derivative work" is hardly a new one. How then, would you define a derivative work with respects to software?

    The law with respects to software makes little distinction. The only thing software has over text is that the owner of a copy may make another copy for archival purposes.

    So, given that software is treated basically the same, here's what the law has to say about derivative works, among other things (title 17, chapter 1, 103b):
    (b) The copyright in a compilation or derivative work extends only to the material contributed by the author of such work, as distinguished from the preexisting material employed in the work, and
    does not imply any exclusive right in the preexisting material. The copyright in such work is independent of, and does not affect or enlarge the scope, duration, ownership, or subsistence of, any copyright protection in the preexisting material.
    Thus, he still owns the copyright on his work, but he cannot redistribute the whole work (the program) unless he licenses his own code under the GPL.

    If he refuses to acknowledge or abide by the GPL, he has *no* rights to redistribute the rest of the work at all, as it remains copyrighted. He can certainly release his own code, under his own license, but he can't do so as part of the program.

    No offense to you, but I'd really rather hear a professional legal opinion about all of this if there really is something contestable about the GPL, and not some rantings about the evil FSF with some occasional legal jargon from an anonymous poster.
  • I simply won't purchase, contribute, or have anything to do with this company. Neither will many others, I suspect. Do whatever they like. Unless they come out with something "special" (i.e something that sets them appart from the rest of the pack), then I simply won't waste my time on them.

    So, they go public. They ride the Linux bandwagon and all become millionaires overnight. Big deal. Life goes on. I'd rather support and invest in companies that care about the community they are serving.

    The Linux community is a (generally) close-knit group. We tend to really support those we like, and eat those we don't alive (whether the mis-feelings are founded or not, that's a different matter altogether).
    In other words, I believe things will work out on their own, and unless LinuxOne has something to offer that Redhat, SuSE, Debian, Caldera, Mandrake, Slackware, yadda, yadda doesn't offer then they are doomed before they even start.
  • Funk dat. I run linux, i run BeOS AND i run Windows 2000 and Windows 98. Linux doesn my firewall/routing. BeOS is a play toy. Windows 2000 is my workstation and windows 98 is my girlfriends computer.

    Gee!

    Gosh!

    Wow!

    I think I speak for all of Slashdot when I point out that you are cool because you have the courage to "funk dat" and use multiple operating systems. You go, boy!

    Psst.. you guys.. keep the rebel talking and I'll call the authorities.
  • I'm thinking that this would be a great stock to short the afternoon of the IPO.

    It would be... if it were possible to short an IPO on the first day. It's not. You have to wait something like 30 (60?) days. By then, LinuxOne will have crashed and burned. If it hasn't, shorting is an intriguing idea...
  • You are right. If LinuxOne makes improvements over Redhat, we win. If LinuxOne simply rips off Redhat without offering anything new then, just like in the "traditional" market, you simply will not have a customer base. You tank, crash, and fall over like a dead cockroach. Again, we (the community) win again.

    Gotta love it, man :)
  • It wasn't until linux came about that being a computer user/nerd became friend or foe for the choice of your operating system. I remember the good ol' days when it was how you could network, program, code, and be yourself..

    hmmmmmmmmm....
    you seemed to miss Amiga Vs. PC and Mac sentiments, the Mac vs. Ibm feelings, the whole UNIX vs. NT idea, DEC vs. IBM vs. Control Data, some people are Palm Pilot vs. CE fanatics. There are many other instances where people were and are fanatical about operating system choice. It is nothing new.

    The "evil empire" doesn't tell me who i can or shouldn't buy from.

    Oh yeah? How uneducated you are indeed. They sure have tried to tell IBM, Dell, Compaq, Gateway and everyone else who they can and can't buy from. Did you read the finding of fact against Microsoft? They sure were telling Apple who to buy from, and who do you think they were effectively dictating choice to? YOU, the consumer.

    some SERIOUS loosers out there. ...I don't want to loose functionality ...
    Loose? As in not tight? It's LOSE, by the way. One O. This post wasn't about being the grammar police, but come on. Also, "the head honcho's don't" Apostrophes do not show plurality. Oh well, this degenerated into a grammar check.

    I don't even want to get into 'this great new operating system' Windows 2000 Professional. You deserve to use Microsoft products.
  • IMHO, we'll see the board cut & run to some tax haven that has no extradition treaty with the US or Europe within a year, probably months, possibly even weeks, after the IPO.

    As ESR wrote [slashdot.org] right after the VA Linux IPO [slashdot.org], original stockholders can't cash in and run for six months after the IPO. That's a long time to maintain this vaporware front. They'll have to release two earnings reports in the meantime, at which point any real market value they have will evaporate. I just feel bad for the people that will get burned along the way.

  • Quirky links regarding linuxone? I'd imagine that's what LinuxWon.com is for.

    So. Who wants to post? :)

    -Chris
  • What do you mean that andover.net is a "close competitor" to LinuxOne? andover.net is a MEDIA company. LinuxOne pretends to distribute a version of Linux that "runs under Windows" (actually, it sounds like you execute it under Windows, it reboots into Linux, then if you want to "return" to Windows, you type "reboot" at the command-line prompt. Does that even SOUND like it's "running under Windows"?!?).

    How, exactly, are they competing?
  • by Dr. Nonsense ( 116117 ) on Thursday December 23, 1999 @10:47AM (#1449205)
    HebGDb Stated: "For CmdrTaco to essentially decry this company as a scam is entirely inappropriate. He, and this website, are owned by a close competitor, so comments like these not only have no objectivity, but should be viewed as highly suspicious and manipulative"

    Except here is the problem. This statement is utterly untrue. LinuxOne is a distribution developer. Andover.net/Slashdot/etc are simply informational/resource websites.
    This is like comparing Yahoo to Microsoft.
  • I wish. You can't short sell IPOs for a while (I dunno how long).
  • Geez arent' there any limits to who can IPO? I have been scouring the Yahoo! Venture Capital section for anyone who would provide seed level funding for a Linux Game company but no one wants to invest in video games. It seems all the VC firms are hung up on this "internet" thing.
    Maybe I should just incorporate now and file an IPO to get the money, silly me, I thought I would have to have a product first.
    Of course I guess I could just turn it into a scam of some sort so Slashdot would run the story and the VC firms would come to me. I wouldn't mind be called a scam so much if I could get the money I need. I've already had one person suggest I was trying to cash in on Linux's success. I would have thought anyone who had used Linux for a few years or so would know that anyone wanting to start a game company to produce Linux games isn't trying to cash in on anything except for maybe their own desire to actually play a computer game again. Besides if I was cashing in on Linux I wouldn't plan on supporting FreeBSD and BeOS. Oh well I am rambling again. Sorry :)
    My rather long winded point is that the SEC really should set some stricter rules on who can go for an IPO. Of course I guess there should be more common sense involved as well. I mean who in their right mind would ask for money from the general public with no track record? The general public isn't like a big firm, I know lots of people that want to invest in companies but don't really have the money to spare. It isn't at all fair that the average shmuck who doesn't know jack about the Linux community except that every Linux IPO goes gold might waste his life savings on this.

  • by emmons ( 94632 )
    won't be open sources for several years though... at least the 3d engine won't. id makes allot of money from licensing their 3d engine, and won't open source it until they've milked every last penny from it, which will probably be several years because of how advanced the engine in q3 is.

    in short: don't hold your breath.

    -----
  • by Anonymous Coward
    MEEPT!!!!!

    MEEPT!!!!! is overjoyed to see that his earlier advice given to graduating students has been expanded upon by the loveable LinuxOne. MEEPT!!!!! advised students to adopt a catchy series of initials, such as ESR or RMS, then wait for free shares of IPO-madness to start rolling in. MEEPT!!!!! is delighted to see that LinuxOne has expanded this concept, and will be offering their very own IPO!

    MEEPT!!!!! strongly encourages slapdashers to support LinuxOne's product when it is made available. Wun C. Chiou Sr., Ph.D. - the esteemed CEO of LinuxOne - has personally assured MEEPT!!!!! that LinuxOne will make available the finest Linux Distribution in the world: Redhat. He encourages investors to get in on the ground floor of LinuxOne's IPO, because "hey, you all gave mad cash to Redhat. We sell the same thing, right down to the directory names and box logo! You should give us money too!"

    MEEPT!!!!!
  • According to their Y2K statement [linuxone.net]

    ...

    In July 1999, we formed a committee consisting of our President, Chief Financial Officer, and a systems administrator, as part of our effort to perform a coordinated audit of:

    ...


    Geez - those poor corporations that hired programmers to check their work - what a waste of money. All you need to verify Y2K compliance is a President, CFO, and a sys admin and observe what happens when you turn the date ahead.... Its not like components interact over time or anything
  • I remember reading that back in the 1960's (before my parents even met!) when there was a huge explosion in technology firms, there was an accompanying rash of fly-by-night startups that existed just long enough to IPO, make the original investors some cash, and flash out of existence.

    Did this hurt the technology explosion? Not really. It was broad based and building off of NASA technology developed during the space race. ("Computers that can fit inside a single room....)

    Will this hurt Linux? Most intelligent investors know there are such carpetbagging companies out there, and will either avoid the stock or get burned. Many idiots will associate LinuxOne with Linux as a whole, but these are the same twits who will be dropping all of their Linux stock when the next fad comes along.

    We'll probably loose some PHB's in this mess, but most of them will have tech people who will use Linux anyway and use the $$$ allocated for NT licenses for Q3 and TNT cards..... ;)

    Bottom line, unless there's a massive media blitz, this will only cost us the morons we'd loose in a year or two anyway.

    On the flip side, we can all put in some calls. You buy the stock betting it will go down. Someone buys betting it will go up and you get the difference when it tanks! I'm not an investment advisor, I don't even own stock, but the rich guy who rents out space in the building told me this when I told him about LinuxOne.

    Funny, I proof courseware about Securities investments, but I don't know squat about it! (The result of reading to find errors and poor readability)

  • This one [theregister.co.uk] from The Register (UK). No registration required.
  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Thursday December 23, 1999 @11:35AM (#1449218) Homepage Journal
    Assume that daytrader buys and sells his entire portfolio once per day, and trades 300 days out of the year. On every stock there is a spread between the buy and sell prices which is profit for the market-maker. Assume that daytrader loses half a percent of his portfolio to the spread on every buy and every sell, thus he loses 1% per day to spread. His loss per year is 300%. Thus, his trading strategy must triple his money every year simply to break even. It's unlikely that he'll do that well.

    No wonder they go nonlinear. The system is stacked against them from the start.

    Bruce

  • actually a better thing to say is "this is like comparing yahoo to IBM".
    yahoo and microsoft are in direct competition because of MSN.

    -----
  • I added a link on siliconInvestor.com Maybe we can help the poor smucks out there SiliconInvesto r [siliconinvestor.com]


  • I wonder how long it'll take before they become a Microsoft Partner.
  • Couldn't Linus Torvalds deny LinuxOne the right to use the name Linux in their corporate name?
  • The $8 figure was said to have been arbitrarily established by us" to raise about $23 million after expenses and "bears no relationship whatsoever to our assets, earnings, book value, or other criteria of value."

    This is so true for many recent IPO's, but I've never seen anyone actually admit it.

  • After linuxone tanks, you can pickup a truckload of stocks dirt cheap for novelty value...
    I can't wait to tell the women at the bar "yeah, I own 10,000 shares of linux stock, wanna see my 'Rol3x'?"
  • by Anonymous Coward
    A HOWTO [erebos.net] that sums up the whole phenomenon.
  • LinuxOne is clearly a Situationist-inspired art project, like eToy. It's a hoax created by a Dutch and Japanese multimedia artists' collective. It has to be.

    If you look at it that way, it's a good practical joke.
  • This may sound mean, but I really don't care about ignorant investors losing money...I just don't want the yutzes at LinuxOne to gain money from this...I don't want them to "win", if you will...
  • Ignorance must be bliss huh.

    Show me a sign of inteligence other then what you learned in grammar police school.

  • No. He can't. It's not been defended in the first place, and is a common name.
    The main reason for Linux holding the trademark Linux is to prevent others from trademarking it.

    IN other words, anyone can use the name linux, but nobody can stop someone else from using it.

    There are also dozens of trademarks with the name Linux in them.


  • Hmm, these LinuxOne people seem to have something for the FF8 girls. Methinks that they need to get out more.
  • Wouldn't matter.

    Under actual copyright law a derivitive work
    falls under the copyright of THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR.

    So...if I modify the Linux kernel...LINUS holds
    the copyright on my changes. (The licence gives
    me the right to modify and redistribute...but my
    modification is not copyright by me unless
    the original work was only truly minor to the
    end product)

    Feel free to look up the US Copyright office
    web page and look it up. ALL derivitive works
    fall under the original works copyright.
    (there ARE exceptions...parody being the only
    one I can think of)

    If the GPL is wholly invalid...then there is no
    right to copy and distribute at all.
  • Linus has defended the trademark... against a porn site, and recently.

    Common name? No. You mean generic. Currently, it would not pass the test of being a generic name, although maybe Unix would.

    Bruce

  • I think you are wrong on point 2 because it is not 1% of earnings but %1 of your gross portfolio daily. As for the non-use of calculus, which is necessary for obtaining an accurate answer, guilty as charged.

    Thanks

    Bruce

  • OK, sorry for the over-simplistic explanation. I figured someone would nail me for not compounding it. If you're going to state it that way, you should use 0.995 ^ 520, but the result is about the same and you lose only 93% of your portfolio.

    I am relatively innumerate as programmers go, and let the CFO crunch the numbers.

    Bruce

  • That's not a bad idea!

    If everyone who has a spare couple of $hundred (more is better of course) did this, it would send a pretty good message, too.

    You should put a link to this up on a couple stock boards, too.. that would scare the DayTraders off.

  • probably means it took him longer to get than normal.
  • I think that /. readers are getting their panties in a bunch needlessly over this. Most people who buy IPOs are not THAT stupid. Most IPOs need a top tier underwriter to do at all well. RedHat had Goldman Sachs, the toppest of the top. VA Linux and Andover had decent underwriters.

    LinuxOne is trying to fly on their own, which to any investor who knows anything is an immediate red light and siren warning.

    There are plenty of scam artists trying to attach their name to whatever is hot at the moment - from Black Light Power to LinuxOne. LinuxOne isn't the first company to try a fast one like this, nor are they the last. Will investors pay any attention to LinuxOne? Not any more than they will to the thousands of con artists that have tried to take advantage of other stock fads.

    What is the most likely consequence of the LinuxOne IPO? A securities fraud case, and jail time for those involved.

    Linux is not going to get a black eye over this.

  • "LinuxOneTM, Inc., provides world-class UNIX (Linux) software for server,workstation, and home environments." So in addition to everything else, Linuxone is ignoring the Opengroup's trademark for Unix(TM). BTY the rest of the page reads like an ad for the IPO.
  • It seems a bit has changed since Bruce wrote his run them out on a rail piece (dead on, IMHO).

    Here's the latest I've found:

    Trying 140.174.127.98...

    Connected to www.linuxone.net.
    Escape character is '^]'.
    Linux Mandrake release 6.1 (Helios)
    Kernel 2.2.13-4mdk on an i686
    login:

    Hmm, it's not RedHat anymore (it was RedHat 6.0 in early Nov.), but that sure as hell doesn't look like a LinuxOne distro either. I also seriously worry about how the Linux name could be affected by such shoddiness. They apparently haven't even locked the box down. Bad news.

    They also claim to have downloadable source at 140.174.127.97, but I've had no luck getting in, with the message:

    530-Sorry, too many users are using our ftp site now. Please try again later.

    530 Login incorrect.

    Hmm. Wonder if they have max users set to something like 1 or 2 to give the appearance that their server is busy. Mainly, I wanted to see for myself how "different" their distro was. So far, no luck and I'm not optimistic.

    Hopefully, there is enough noise in the community to keep any innocent users from getting snakebitten by what, to us, are obviously useless and unneccessary products (LinuxMac on the top of the list).

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