"The NY Times writes about Justin McMurry of Keller, TX, who spends up to 20 unpaid hours per week helping Verizon customers" No way should you ever do this. If it's worth doing then it's worth getting paid for doing it. And for each McMurry out there there is one less paid job at Verizon. Same with friends or neighbours. I'll fix their PC, but only if they pay me.
With me this varies with mileage. Good friend or close family, free for minor stuff and i get to it when i can, they rush me or major repairs i'm gonna charge them something not too bad. Associate or distant relative, you're getting charged my normal rate, which still is pretty good but varies with the task of course.
Honestly, the training of new admins shouldn't be hard, if you actually understand how a computer works. Most sys admins are gonna be comfortable enough with a command line that even if they haven't used linux before, they'll pick it up pretty fast.
Given my district's hardware choices, linux would be ideal on many machines, in particular a lot of the older computers that the elementary schools have inherited.
Biggest concern for a switchover for us would be plugins like flash not functioning. Renaissance Learning makes heavy use of that in particular, and that's the core of the curriculum at the elementary schools.
Then of course there's the difficulty of retraining every teacher in the district, plus breaking the news to them that their favorite games don't have a linux equivalent, the retraining on how to use Office, because even though OO only has a slightly different UI than what they're used to, you'll get the teachers who complain because it is different. and judging by the number of times I have to sudo on ubuntu to do anything of substance, the teachers at least will need superuser permissions...Oh the horror.
Doesn't it worry you that the only reason the US don't get attacked is a superior army and that they can browbeat everyone into submission?
Oh, wait, I forgot about terrorism. Guess why they attack you.
Just thought I would note that to be fair, the United States' location kinda has something to do with why we're not attacked as well.
We share only 2 borders (for all intents and purposes, none of that Alaska counts as a third border crap). We happen to be really good allies with both of those countries. One of them, we buy their cheap crap, and get flooded with their immigrants, both legal and illegal. The other is basically America with a funny accent, colder weather, and whiny french-speakers. Guess which one is which!
That rules out land invasions, leaving 4 other options.
1. Tunneling through crust/mantle of the planet.
Yeah, don't see this happening anytime soon. Especially in numbers large enough to be significant.
2. Orbital drop force
See number 1. above.
3. Air drop
We kinda might notice that many cargo planes heading our way, not to mention the logistics of keeping a stream of supplies, troops, and armor going while we counterattack the air bases you're taking off from.
4. Naval incursion, followed by amphibious landing.
Great for tiny islands. However, we're gonna notice somebody building thousands of landing boats, assembling a navy, and the aerial coverage that will be necessary. Once we've determined you're heading our way, not many Americans will object to dropping a nuke on your fleet (probably launched from that Ohio class that's been tailing you for weeks)(if the Sea Wolves haven't sent all your significant ships to the bottom).
A significant physical attack is for all intents and purposes impossible on the continental United States. Even if you worked through the difficulties above, you'd never be able to occupy half a continent where at least 1 out of every 3 citizens is fighting tooth and nail to stop you and eject you back to whichever hellhole you crawled out of.
That's why we don't fear attack (except for the hysteria caused by the media reporting isolated terrorist attacks).
Nature always sides with the hidden flaw.