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Comment Meanwhile, In India......... (Score 4, Insightful) 379

A couple of students, backed with money from a Chinese bank, come up with a distribution mechanism that is so brilliant in its simplicity that it becomes a worldwide hit in everywhere except the US where Congress is so busy farting around trying to please their corporate sponsors that they get left several years behind.

Three years later In America, when congress realises that the rest of the world doesn't give a shit what they think and has progressed onto different and more profitable business model, everyone realises that Ralph Oman had been a complete and utter twat but by then it too late. Well done Ralph Oman, well done......

Comment Missing question...... (Score 3, Insightful) 170

The only question I really wanted to hear answered is "Do you guarantee that once I've converted all of my servers to your free product, it will still be available further down the line? Or, to put it another way, am I likely to end up having to pay for the binary rpms or do a full re-install of CentOS later because you've changed the licencing and started issuing source rpms only"?


Submission + - UK Labour party wanted "sexy IT" (bbc.co.uk)

mormop writes: The last UK governments's IT advisor has finally confirmed something that's been said all along by its detractors, i.e. Labour ministers ordered expensive computer projects because they wanted their policies to "sound sexy".

Nice to see they weren't just throwing money away for no reason whatsoever.

Comment I love this bit (Score 4, Insightful) 307

"Ballmer also suggested that education should be given government stimulus funding to enable young people to gain experience on the computing systems they would meet in the real world."

Seriously Mr B, go fuck yourself. You don't need the money and young people, on the whole, are pretty good at working things out for themselves as they have a "click and see what happens" approach mixed with the ability to ask another kid who knows. Doesn't matter if it's OpenOffice, Office 2007, whatever, if they really want it to do something, they'll find a way. The weak point is quite often the teachers.

Seriously, in the UK you cannot be a teacher without a University degree. A University degree should teach you to analyse a problem, research the problem and apply a solution. In software, this boils down to "I can't do X in program Y", go to Google and type "how do I do X in program Y", click links until you find answer and follow instructions on page. Most of the time they seem incapable of following this simple idea. They'll even come in and as me then watch me hit Google and search for a solution (often the first result returned) but it never dawns on them to do the same themselves next time (and no, support isn't my job). I showed a year 7 how to find something out using the "F1" key and he was amazed, he just didn't know.

The best thing for education, would be for kids to be trained to work stuff out for themselves by teachers who are trained to work stuff out for themselves. This "teaching people to use the software they'll use in the real world" argument is crippling and the seeming inability for people with far higher qualifications than mine to work out even minor problems has seriously dented my faith in the higher education system.

Comment Re:Which is why.... (Score 1) 833

The cost of the competitor is irrelevant. What is relevant is that a company with a stranglehold on the desktop PC market is using that monopoly position and the familiarity with the desktop product to lever its way into the netbook market. The cost of the competition has no bearing on the concept of predatory pricing as it is the act of reducing the cost of Windows, an OEM product that everyone else has to pay $ for to zero with the express intent of levering Linux out of the netbook market.

"They're providing very strict licensing terms for what they can and can't put XP for netbooks on. It's no different from compared Office licence costs for business to the teacher and student edition. One costs about 1/4 of the other."

This I'm afraid is total bollocks. The limit on who can use student and teacher edition is laid down in the licence, i.e. students and teachers. If a competitor emerged in the education market and Microsoft reduced the cost to zero long enough to kill it off and then raised it again, that would be predatory pricing. I

I don't see how this concept is so difficult to grasp. The fact that this free issue of XP is ONLY in the netbook market at a time when every source is saying that Linux threatens Microsoft is in the netbook market is what differentiates it.

Comment Which is why.... (Score 2, Insightful) 833

'Once again Microsoft's monopoly means Windows is swallowing up another market.'"

Which is why, if the rumours of Microsoft giving XP to netbook manufacturers is true, they are guilty of predatory pricing which is basically summarised as discounting heavily with the intention of forcing a competitor out of the market.

Open and shut case really although it'll probably take the EU stepping in to do something about it.

Comment Re:solution: (Score 1) 122

Better than that. Fine them the average annual wage lost by the builders on their list, say £15,000 a year, times 3213 builders, times the number of years the list operated = £722,925,000 spread evenly across the data company and the customers that used them.

Comment Try this man here..... (Score 2) 674

OK you can say that the authour's background may bias him somewhat but then Microsoft's claims are open to the same criticism.


The best line though is that old favourite "well they would say that wouldn't they" particularly if you then explain the dependance Microsoft has on business and Office in particular.

On the other hand, you can also find out who the Microsoft vendors are that are making the claims and report them for false advertising or fraud. At best, the current situation i.e. which system is most secure, is debatable and at worst a matter of opinion and it will remain this way until a truly independant analyst manages to definitively show otherwise.

Comment Re:It's Simple Really (Score 3, Interesting) 242

Agreed, monopoly isn't good but if you are a country that doesn't always see eye to eye with the home nation of the world's most widespread software manufacturer then breaking away to a system that allows to not only view the source code but also compile it from scratch into a distro of your own making is an extremely attractive proposition.

I'm not saying that Windows contains back doors and switches but once you stir DRM into the equation, a tap of a key in a far off country could cripple your economy, military and/or governmental services in the event of a trade war or other stand off. Once you have a national system, you can then use the "we must train school kids to use the software they'll encounter in the real world" excuse that Microsoft has traded off of for so long.

As Microsoft discovered early on, people will mostly use the same software at home that they have at work so there'll probably be a boom in the Linux userbase.

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