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Comment Russia and Microsoft have so much in common (Score 1) 676

Read between the lines folks.
MS-Russia is in real trouble here. Their install base is all but eroded away.

Russia (just like many other governments) are out of cash and are mandating Free (as in beer) OSS. They've been told that all schools must use FOSS:
http://news.slashdot.org/story/08/10/23/1627250/Russia-Mandates-Free-Software-For-Public-Schools
" If a school doesn't want to use the free software supplied by the government, it has to buy commercial licences using its own funds."

And since they're already GIVING it away to non-profits and NGOs just to maintain their install base:
http://politics.slashdot.org/story/10/10/17/2241228/MS-Gives-Free-Licenses-To-Oppressed-Nonprofits
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/09/13/221216/Microsoft-To-Issue-Blanket-License-To-NGOs

Plus they're loosing the battle in anti-piracy:
http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/09/12/131247/Microsoft-Complaints-Help-Russian-Govt-Pursue-Political-Opposition-Groups

MS-Russia is really grasping at straws here.

The funny thing in their latest statement is self contradicting.:
"We must bear in mind that Linux is not a Russian OS and, moreover, is at the end of its life cycle."

"Linux is not a Russian OS..."
(does not have the back doors we need)..

But they are about to MAKE it a Russian OS. Just like China did with RedFlag Linux:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Flag_Linux

And "is at the end of its life cycle"?!?
Last I checked is is growing like crazy!
The funny thing is that by making their own Linux.. they are, in fact extending it's reach (and life) further.. and further retarding the install base of Windows.
Microsoft knows this.. but just can not say it aloud.

I think it was Gartner who said that MS would have to have an Open Source offering to compete with Linux by 2008. The real work going forward for MS is three fold:
1) How to harness Open Source, given their OSS rep
2) How to make money at it..
and from a closed-source perspective:
3) How to keep GPL from "tainting" your closed source products
    (developers love to eat Asian food and pizza together..;)

As a Russian MD refugee friend of mine once told me regarding the government's view on how Russia sees its citizens,
          "They say, 'Russia is such nice place. Who woult evah vant to leef?' "

Russia and Microsoft have so much in common.

Tweeks

Comment Re:Closed Systems = Closed Wallet (Score 1) 163

Maybe we should view it as a market of freedom... as long as there IS choice (i.e. it exists), you don't HAVE to chose one over the other. The slippery part is for those who only use proprietary systems. The use of proprietary systems tends toward vendor-lock, which leads to more of the same. As long as you keep at least some mix of FOSS in there, at least you have options.

Tweeks

Comment Re:ok, but what is it? (Score 5, Informative) 65

Hey there... man, :)

In a nut shell, Cloud Files is the Rackspace equivalent to AmazonS3 online storage webservice or "file hosting service", except Cloud Files also includes CDN (content distribution services) via limelight. Cloud Servers is the Rackspace Xen offering, and Cloud Sites is the web and DB hosting services. All wrapped up with the Rackspace Cloud control panel and back end auth-API. Here's some sales-less info on them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rackspace_Cloud Scanning over it though I see that wikipedia article is a bit out of date. Our Cloud Servers offering DOES actually support Windows VMs now (in beta). Though I'm more a Linux guys myself.. ;)

Part of the coolness is that between the Cloud Servers and Cloud Files systems, we have a publicnet and servicenet interface. The latter allows direct "intra-cloud" transfers, while public (external) clients can hit the same content via CDN (limelight), allowing you to distribute your content and load via embedded URL around the world without hitting any one data center.

Tweeks

Comment Re:So you know they're there (Score 1) 192

When an antivirus subscription expires, it's an excellent time to reconsider your OS selection. Here's my story...

For a while, one of my Christmas presents for my wife every year was her NortonAV re-up subscription. It was frustrating, and made me (and avid Linux evangelist) livid -- paying into the very system that I every fiber in my being was techno-morally opposed to. However.. the NAV re-up what she wanted, and it was a necessary evil as it was the one Windows box on our network that we also used for running the TurboTax CD-install from every year.

When I found that Turbo-tax could be run completely on-line now, AND was non-IE/Firefox friendly.. I asked her, "so what do you need your machine to do now if we can do taxes on line instead of buying the Windows/CD every year?"... To which she replied.. "As long as it makes toast.. I don't care what OS it is!". "Makes Toast?", I asked. "Yes.. Unlike for you, to me a computer is just a toaster. If it doesn't 'make toast'' (check email, surf the web, and play a few games) then I don't want it!.". "Oh! Okay.. let me see what I can do." So I set her up with a second laptop in the form of a new, Dell mini-9 with Ubuntu preinstalled and she loved it. It "Made Toast" and I had no more Antivirus subscriptions to deal with (and no more viruses or worries about the backdoor known as MS-Outlook).

She now checks email with Thunderbird and Squirrelmail, plays all her regular web-flash games... Plus, what really made her fall in love w/Linux were all the free/included versions of FreeCell/Blackjac and Mahjongg. Come to find out, FREE GAMES was the "big driver" for my wife's acceptance of the mythical "Linux Desktop".

Now I take that $50 every Christmas and buy her something from Victoria Secrets. A gift that keeps on giving ;)... instead of taking.

Transportation

OLED Film Could Provide Cheap Night Vision For Cars 120

thecarchik writes "Night vision systems are already available in the higher-end luxury sedans from companies like Toyota, Volvo, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. It's expensive technology that few drivers can afford, and at $4,000 for the system without a display, it's a pricey upgrade. That may all change soon, as DARPA-funded scientists have developed a cheap way to turn any infrared light into visible light with a thin film."

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