Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment This Just In... (Score 1) 412

This Just In: Many FOSS Businesses Started by People Who Assume You Can Apply a Support Model to Any Business

Just because people hopped on the bandwagon and forgot the "plan" part of business plan doesn't mean it's a broken model, only that it's a model that can't be applied to all things.

I work for The OpenNMS Group, a commercial consulting company based around the OpenNMS network management platform. We do the "traditional" open-source business model, and it works quite well. I guarantee it won't work for everyone, but in our specific case, network management is a very large discipline that tends to need custom configuration (and sometimes even code) for most environments. Everyone's network is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

That makes it ideal for the Free Software model; you'll end up spending $50k easy on solutions from HP and their ilk, and then twice that again to get consultants to actually make it do what you want. Making the software free still leaves plenty of room to add value, help scale, and teach NOC operators how to get the most out of it without screwing hobbyists and small companies willing to put the man-hours into doing it themselves when they can't afford the budget on consulting services.

Just because someone's trying to start a company selling support for the Gimp or something doesn't mean it's a good idea, but just because the service model doesn't work for some open-source software doesn't mean it's a bad one. You still have to have a business plan, and you still have to provide value to your customers. Just because the software itself is freely available and/or Free doesn't change that. That didn't stop a bunch of companies from popping up, riding the "open source" wave...

In the end, the companies that came out with a poor strategy will fail, and others will remain, and open source will be just another boring old business strategy like all the others. ;)

The Courts

Submission + - OpenNMS Retains Eben Moglen's Law Firm vs. Cittio (

Sortova writes: "I just wanted to thank "Ask Slashdot" readers (well, some of them) for helping OpenNMS figure out what to do when we discovered what appears to be a violation of the GPL by the Cittio Watchtower product. Many said "Get a Lawyer" but since the GPL requires a rather specialized knowledge we didn't know who to contact. We wanted to work with the Software Freedom Law Center, but since the copyright to OpenNMS is held by a for-profit company (the services-only OpenNMS Group) they couldn't help.

However, the Slashdot article caused a number of people to contact us with information on how Cittio uses OpenNMS in their application, and with that information I was able to approach Eben Moglen. His team has formed the law firm Moglen Ravicher, LLC to represent "select for-profit clients that support FOSS but are not eligible to receive SFLC's pro bono services". We are excited to be represented by the GPL experts, and we hope that the work of the OpenNMS community will be protected and available in the true spirit of free software in which it is developed."


Submission + - Clinton campaigners busted for astroturfing (

Ian Lamont writes: "The liberal blog Blue Hampshire has banned six users after determining that the users failed to disclose their affiliations with Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign. The scheme came to light after Blue Hampshire noticed that the users all registered from an IP address used by the Clinton campaign in order to recommend the post Winning the Policy Debate — Clinton over Obama. Blue Hampshire has banned the accounts in question and has threatened to do the same to 'undisclosed paid staffers of any campaign' who are 'gaming the system.' Clinton's campaign office told the blog that the astroturfing was the product of 'overeager staffers and volunteers.'"

Open Source Hardware Gift Guide 58

ptorrone writes "Looking to give gifts this year that are open source? Here's MAKE Magazines "Open Source Hardware" gift guide. Open source 3D printers, TV-turn-off devices, iPod chargers, music players, Wi-Fi companions, educational electronic kits and more. Each of the kits, projects and open source hardware gifts in this guide represents more than just a holiday gift, it's a change to support this nascent open hardware movement."

Submission + - AMD Triple-Core Processors

An anonymous reader writes: German Hardware Site HardTecs4U writes about AMD's plans to release processors with only 3 cores at the beginning of 2008. While the company has just announced Opteron cpu's with 4 native cores on one die for server-systems, the new processors will be used in desktop-systems by users who don't want to buy a quad-core-cpu but also want more power than just 2 cores can offer.
The Internet

Sony Clarifies Details About PS3 Home 64

Ars Technica's Opposable Thumbs blog has a few new details on the future of the Home project, as gleaned from the ThreeSpeech website. Among the tidbits of information: they'll be rolling out the service slowly, ramping up the number of servers as gradually as possible. They're really looking to make money with this, via advertising and microtransactions. And they're not really worried about porn. "For instance, a casino or even somewhere you can go and see 18-rated trailers for games. That isn't anything particularly sinister, but obviously, you'd have to prevent 12-year-olds going in there. Obviously, there are other 18-plus areas that you could imagine, but some of those might not come to fruition."

DDR3 Isn't Worth The Money - Yet 120

An anonymous reader writes "With Intel's motherboard chipsets supporting both DDR2 and DDR3 memory, the question now is whether DDR3 is worth all that extra cash. Trustedreviews has a lengthy article on the topic, and it looks like (for the moment) the answer is no: 'Not to be too gloomy about this, but the bottom line is that it can only be advised to steer clear of DDR3 at present, as in terms of performance, which is what it's all about, it's a waste of money. Even fast DDR2 is, as we have demonstrated clearly, only worthwhile if you are actually overclocking, as it enables you to raise the front-side bus, without your memory causing a bottleneck. DDR3 will of course come into its own as speeds increase still further, enabling even higher front-side bus speeds to be achieved. For now though, DDR2 does its job, just fine.'"
Utilities (Apple)

Submission + - Adium code forked over Leopard Dispute (

admiralfrijole writes: Earlier this week, several people opened tickets against Adium crashes occurring in the latest Leopard Beta, which started a veritable firestorm of controversy that included discussions of GPL violations, disabling features, and quite a spat across no less than 3 different IRC channels.

Today, one of the people who filed a ticket and was told that it would not be fixed until Leopard ships announced on his blog that he, and several other unnamed individuals, have forked Adium to create

GNU is Not Unix

Journal Journal: On Karma Whoring II

Okay, so far karma is still excellent. Occaisionally whoring takes a backseat to my actual interests in the nerd community, and it is about such an occaision that I write today.
I replied to a post by Bruce Perens, regarding the ability of Free and Open Source Software to overcome program management issues, as illustrated by's fork of XFree86. He replied in agreement. I practically came all over my monitor at that. I mean, Bruce Perens! Before that, the only truly famous people I ever

Journal Journal: On Karma Whoring

I have changed my mind, and will now Karma-whore permanently. Whatever you just modded up was probably bullshit I said to appeal to your vanity. It is likely I don't mean it at all. Then, whammo! I will have whored myself out for anonymous, false recognition from strangers! Yay! /retard
User Journal

Journal Journal: First entry, on Moderation

Moderation. Such an interesting word, with dual definitions. To do something in moderation means to do it in a limited way. To moderate means to make moderate, or to limit or control.
Perhaps I am a troll. Perhaps not. Most of my karma is excellent, except that every time one of my posts deviates from the slashdot collective mentality, I am modded -1, redundant, -1, troll, or -1, redundant. I am sick of that. Use your mod points to uplift, and show some personality. Use TROLL for delibe

Slashdot Top Deals

Never call a man a fool. Borrow from him.