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Linus Torvalds' Benevolent Dictatorship

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  • by Try to think about i (661547) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:34PM (#10003594)
    Hail Linus
    • by Neo's Nemesis (679728) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:59PM (#10004609) Journal
      Linus! He really has changed the markets and turned governments upside down.

      But here's the most expansive article i've read about him online. Really connecting and interesting: http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.11/ [wired.com]

    • by O_D_Evans (763044) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @04:06PM (#10005453)
      Yes, All Hail Linus and the GNU World Order!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:35PM (#10003604)
    That's GNU/Dictatorship damn you.
  • by TrollBridge (550878) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:36PM (#10003615) Homepage Journal
    ...not a 'movement'. He wisely left that nonsense to the zealots.
    • by Cranx (456394) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:42PM (#10003712)
      He actually just said "leading" which, if any single person could be called "leading" would probably be him. Without his kernel, we would all probably not even know who SCO was.
      • by latroM (652152) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:50PM (#10003817) Homepage Journal
        Or this sco thing would have happened with the Hurd or one of the BSD kernels.
      • Actually, if Linux hadn't come around then it's possible that the BSDs would still be puttering around in the stone age because they would not have had as much motivation to thrive through competition, and the only commercial x86 Unixes would then be Solaris/x86, which would still be a sad joke (now it's just an unfunny joke), BSDi which would be just as sad a joke if not sadder, and SCO Unix which would probably merge with SCO Unixware and become one decent product. Hence if it were not for Linux SCO might
        • by deadlinegrunt (520160) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:55PM (#10004577) Homepage Journal
          "However Linux became too much too fast for SCO to keep up and made them irrelevant. Their attack on linux can be seen as a kind of attempt to take revenge for the destruction of SCO's chance to succeed."

          Agreed that I am taking you completely out of context here BUT "the destruction of SCO's chance to succeed" can be attributed solely to the fact that the CO's of the company have chosen to make millions off the short term gain of the company at the expense of the long term total destruction of the company.

          I like Linux, even Linus, but lets not get carried away by giving credit to people that can over giving to people that can not.
          • No. That is the new SCO. The old SCO became Tarantella [tarantella.com] and is still happily producing software, albeit not Unix.

            SCO's chance to succeed vanished before The Santa Cruz Operation split into Tarantella and The SCO Group. There is no SCO, it's TSG. It's a shame it's called SCO.

            The Unix-producing part of SCO was doomed, and it's likely that this strategy was considered back at the time of the split. Otherwise it would have made more sense to just sell off SCO's Unix assets and either rename the whole rema

          • by r00t (33219) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @04:34PM (#10005843) Journal
            the TCP/IP stack being sold separately?
            the compiler being sold separately?
            per-user and per-CPU license costs?

            Dang, they were asking to die.
      • Without his kernel, we would all probably not even know who SCO was.

        While that's undoubtedly true, it's not necessarily something to brag about...

    • by komu (67930) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:44PM (#10003737)
      Actually, Linus created more than just a kernel: he created a development process. We might take it for granted now, but the process didn't really exist in it's current form before Linux kernel.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      He wisely left that nonsense to the zealots.
      I think you mean:

      He wisely left that nonsense to Slashdo^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hthe zealots.
      • by Phragmen-Lindelof (246056) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @03:22PM (#10004930)
        "He wisely left that nonsense to Slashdo^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hthe zealots."
        This is the fun of Slashdot; where else can you be a zealot? (My students need not answer.)

        Seriously, I think Slashdot is valuable but I do not take it too seriously. It gives people a place to blow off steam and allows people from different backgrounds to "discuss" ideas. So I agree with your comment but I see this as a strength.
    • Zealotry (Score:5, Insightful)

      by amightywind (691887) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:02PM (#10003939) Journal

      He wisely left that nonsense to the zealots.

      I assume you are refering to RMS, Chief GNUsance. Part of his zealotry has been to get copyright releases for code from all GNU contributors. As a result GNU packages have no where near the same legal vulnerablities as the Linux kernel because contributions are traced. RMS anticipated that legal dirty tricks would be used against him and he uses the law to his advantage (as does the GPL). Perhaps Linus should become more zealous in this respect.

    • That "zealotry" helped build a license (the GNU General Public License) which in turn helped create a movement. It's funny how people are called names when they advocate for their freedom.
      • That "zealotry" helped build a license (the GNU General Public License) which in turn helped create a movement. It's funny how people are called names when they advocate for their freedom.

        RMS had one too many bad service contracts, so he decided that he never wanted to have software he couldn't fix himself if he needed to. So, he concieved of copyleft, and in a rather tireless manner advocated it and programmed for it and, after LT released the Linux kernal under RMS's license, he had a working, Free-as-in-Speech OS.

        This is all well and good, and no one can call anyone names for suggesting that software be editable and fixable by those that use their systems. Heck, they can't even be looked down on for refusing to use "non-free" software.

        Unfortunately, there is a limit where advocacy turns to zealotry. If i suggest that you should vote Democratic, and argue any point you would care to discuss in such an end as to point the Democrats in an excellent light, I'm an advocate. When i start saying that you're a bad person if you don't vote for the Democrats, or make unsubstantiated claims about their opponents, I'm a zealot.

        GNU/Zealots do NOTHING to advance the purposes of Free Software*; they drive for the splintering of licenses (and thus curtail interopability), and impung the image of copylefted software such that many professional and non-professional computer users simply avoid it, for fear that the touch of "free software" will extend to items that they create of their own (possibly meager) skill.

        (About that asterisk: "Free Software" is a counter-intuitive term. An alternate term, such as "Free Computing", can be much more intuitive and not fall asunder of the 'free as in beer' or 'you get what you pay for' fallacies.)
  • nr2? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by remc0 (745067) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:38PM (#10003652)
    Linux become the No. 2 operating system worldwide for server computers.
    Wouldnt that be nr 1 in server and nr 2 in desktop?
  • by numLocked (801188) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:38PM (#10003653) Homepage Journal
    If you found this interview interesting, I would recommend his book (ghost-written, of course), Just for Fun [amazon.com]. It's suprisingly light reading.
  • by leinhos (143965) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:38PM (#10003658) Homepage Journal
    from the article:

    "... That has helped Linux become the No. 2 operating system worldwide for server computers."

    Dumb question, I know, but who exactly is number 1, and what constitutes a server, anyway?
  • by FerretFrottage (714136) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:39PM (#10003663)
    now back to work my open source minions. 2.6.100 won't write itself.
  • OpenBSD (Score:5, Insightful)

    by evenprime (324363) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:40PM (#10003675) Homepage Journal
    Theo isn't the most polite, but he certainly gets things done in an organized safe and secure manner
  • by william_lorenz (703263) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:40PM (#10003683) Homepage
    In the article, Linus mentions his concerns about software patents:
    The only things I worry about are all the things that go around the project. Part of it is legal issues. [...] We have random people in random countries working on random things, and they don't have 1,000 patent lawyers. So I'm not worried about one patent in particular, but the whole system. It's not a problem today. But it's a thing I can't control, unlike the technical side, where I can actually do something.
    I think he brings about some interesting thoughts -- are changes to the Linux open source development model needed to incorporate contributions from the legal side, checking patents and verifying that source is safe to include in a project -- albeith the Linux kernel or other open source projects? Is this the responsibility of the distribution vendors (such as Red Hat, Novell / SUSE, Debian), or shoud the Linux kernel team and individual projects take this responsibility upon themselves? Should these concerns just be disregarded, and is that safe?

    I think that not thinking about these things will eventually hinder Linux adoption [slashdot.org], as it did in Munich's case.

    So what's the long term plan? What kind of ideas are out there? I know there's a solution to be found!
    • by Neil Watson (60859) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:58PM (#10003904) Homepage
      This begs the question. If software patents become more common how will anyone know that they have knowing or unknowing violated a patent?

      Say wing-ding looping and sorting method 'B' is patented and, not knowing anything about it, I create it myself. Should I check my code and all code I write to ensure that it is not already patented? If that's the case you can kiss a great many OSS projects goodbye because they won't have the resources or the patients for this type of thing.

      • by Jerf (17166) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:25PM (#10004226) Journal
        Your hypothetical is already reality.

        The answer is, keep doing what you have been doing and hope for the best. It is the the fact that we are reduced to "hoping for the best" that is the fundamental reason that no matter how impassionedly someone argues for the current system, it is fundamentally flawed; ever Microsoft is reduced to it. That's not justice.

        (Don't do a patent search, all you'll do is triple the damages if you get sued. The system punishes diligence.)
    • This is much bigger than Linux. Patents will affect all forms of open source software. Including BSD and parts of OSX.

      They can be fought in court, but that costs money. Some small businesses won't be able to afford to develope software and fight these legal battles.

      So I recommend we give up now and turn ourselves in and hope they go easy on us. :)
  • by Inhibit (105449) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:41PM (#10003687) Homepage Journal
    Linus is just the maintainer of the general stable tree of the Linux kernel, he's not some kind of Linux czar.

    There's a big difference between rule of an OS with an iron fist and maintainership of a kernel for an OS. Linus does a good job maintaining his project (the Linux kernel), so no one directly forks it.

    Anyway, the article's a interview that ranges over his opinion on some patent issues.. not that you'd realize it from the post.
  • Q: Some say Linux and a lot of open-source projects really aren't innovative, that they're copies of commercial products. What's your reaction to that?
    A: I disagree. It's an easy argument to make. One reason people make it is that, in open source, they don't see the revolutionary new versions magically appearing. In comparison, look at commercial closed systems. They make a new release every year or three to four years with a huge marketing splash. They make it look very different. But it's a circus to ma
    • by Vaevictis666 (680137) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:50PM (#10003814)
      a free knockoff of a Windows/etc counterpart (hell wasn't that the entire point of Linux in the first place)?

      No, actually it was as a free replacement for a unix-like system. The "replacement for windows" talk didn't start up for a fair while.

    • by RealAlaskan (576404) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:53PM (#10003851) Homepage Journal
      ... nothing more than a free knockoff of a Windows/etc counterpart (hell wasn't that the entire point of Linux in the first place)?

      No, it was supposed to be a free version of Unix. Nobody wanted Windows! That's why Linus had to write his kernel to replace th MS operating system which he surely got with his fancy new 386.

      ... many commercial applications are buggy and have slow release times but at least they aren't 100% alpha quality with huge disclaimers that they aren't responsible ...

      Never read the click-through licences, have you? They all begin with something like: ``This product comes with no warrenty, including without limitation any warrenty of fitness for any particular purpose.''

      It will likely get better but I can't believe he said that it wasn't as bad as I think.

      He must know how badly you think?

    • by Narcocide (102829) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:54PM (#10003868) Homepage
      ever actually READ an EULA on a piece of commercial software? its a lot of really complicated legal text saying just that; they're not responsible for anything the software does to your computer. the *microsoft* EULAs usually also say you're legally bound to keep your mouth shut about anything bad the software does to your computer. i'm not joking. read one sometime.
    • * disclaimers that they aren't responsible for what happens to your computer when you run them.*

      I'm just restoring one compaq for a friend here.. and just for kicks actually scrolled through the license of the os(microsoft provided).

      basically the license gives so crappy terms on the product that they have to clash with my rights as a consumer.

      anyways, and when the program isn't a 'cheap knock off' of the windows counterpart(from the ui, which is what matters for appearance..) then people complain that th
    • by Mornelithe (83633) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:04PM (#10003966)
      There's tons of "fucking terrible" software for windows, too. Go into any computer store and there will be racks of CD burning software, and most of it sucks.

      Then go look for their rack of "Windows Software for only $10." That stuff probably sucks, too. Look in the games section. It's like 10% good, well known games, and then 90% crappy knock-offs.

      Most commercial software comes with huge disclaimers that say they aren't responsible when your computer blows up or whatever, just like open source software.

      In other words, open source software isn't very different from commercial software, from an average buyer standpoint (I agree, there probably isn't support for some of the big stuff, like CAD). There's some really great stuff, and then there's tons of crap.

      The only difference is that with open source, there's no $200 difference in price between the good stuff and the shit.
    • (hell wasn't that the entire point of Linux in the first place)

      Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't the entire point of Linux in the first place an academic exercise in writing a kernel?

      Yes, sure, many commercial applications are buggy and have slow release times but at least they aren't 100% alpha quality with huge disclaimers that they aren't responsible for what happens to your computer when you run them

      I'd say the shrinkwrap / clickwrap EULA that disclaims all liability for the correct function

    • by Dominic_Mazzoni (125164) * on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:11PM (#10004040) Homepage
      While the kernel might be worked on and might improve by leaps and bounds, MANY of the programs available through open source is f---ing terrible and certainly nothing more than a free knockoff of a Windows/etc counterpart

      But MANY commercial programs aren't innovative, either. Microsoft Money is just a poor clone of Quicken, Norton AV does the same thing as McAfee, EZ CD Creator is a clone of Toast, etc. I don't think it's fair to compare the best, most innovative commercial software, with all of the thousands of mediocre open-source programs out there. Some of the best open-source programs are incredibly innovative: BitTorrent, Python, Subversion - and others, while they superficially act similar to popular commercial programs, have dozens of innovative features: Gimp, OpenOffice, Audacity

      ...wasn't that the entire point of Linux in the first place?

      Linux was meant to be a Unix-like operating system for PCs. It presents a Unix-like interface because that makes it possible to easily port zillions of programs written for Unix operating systems. Internally, Linux was designed from scratch, and though it uses the basic Unix model (for processes vs threads, file-based devices, etc.), it has very little in common with any other Unix in the way it actually does anything nontrivial. Want to talk about innovation? Linux scales down to little handheld devices with 8 MB of RAM, and all the way up to 1024-CPU supercomputers. All with the same kernel (and different compile-time options). No other operating system can claim to do that. Is that not innovation? (Windows CE is NOT the same kernel as Windows XP, and no version of Windows scales up to supercomputers nearly as well as Linux.)

    • by ggvaidya (747058) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:12PM (#10004061) Homepage Journal

      Apart from the points raised by other people on this thread (especially the one about EULAs being disclaimers claiming no warranty), I think what Linus was talking about was innovations from a technological point of view in the kernel, which I think is a valid point. MS comes out with Brand New NTFS(tm) and Brand New ActiveThis(tm) and ActiveThat(tm) every couple of years, as the reasons why you should upgrade to the latest Windows. Linux doesn't - it doesn't even encourage you to upgrade. The point is, rather than putting in *altogether* new features, Linus tries to maintain existing features (the standard Posix stuff) as efficiently and fast as possible. As Linus claims in his article, programs written in 1992 can still be run on the latest kernel. The whole point is that innovation with the kernel is happening behind the scenes, not in the marketing world where MS and other large software companies work.

      My two cents on application usage: I think most developers are scared, because they know that if they get One Humongously Big Idea, large software companies will immediately embrace and extend them out of existance. They literally have no-one to hide behind under the open source model.

  • by wiredog (43288) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:44PM (#10003736) Journal
    What I do mostly is I'm a communications channel. I'm one of a couple of central points for discussions. I have all the patches come to me, though I have sub-lieutenants doing the programming work. I'm a meeting point, rather than a software engineer.
    I don't do much programming anymore.
  • Dictator! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by celeritas_2 (750289) <ranmyaku@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:45PM (#10003752)
    Wouldn't the world be great if we could have political leaders that were more like Linus. The problem is people like Linus don't win elections because they're not manipulative liars like all the rest of politics.
  • by grunt107 (739510) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:45PM (#10003754)
    I'm not so much a leader, I'm more of a shepherd. Now all the kernel developers will read that and say, "He's comparing us to sheep." It's more like herding cats.

    So I'm a pussy instead?
  • by wackysootroom (243310) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:45PM (#10003755)
    Cool Distinction that I made from the article:
    One reason people make it is that, in open source, they don't see the revolutionary new versions magically appearing. In comparison, look at commercial closed systems. They make a new release every year or three to four years with a huge marketing splash. They make it look very different. But it's a circus to make it look like a sudden innovation.

    In open source, you don't have a circus. You don't see a sudden explosion. It's not done that way. All development is very gradual -- whether commercial or open source. Even when you have a big thinker coming along with a new idea, actually getting it working takes a lot of sweat and tears.

    Proprietary Vendors are like nitro dragsters, being the first ones off of the line with their brand new product. Trying to wow people and making a huge splash.

    Open source is like a mile long freight train. Functional, slower to get started, but when the momentum gets going, its going to be much, much harder to stop than that nitro dragster.
  • by Performer Guy (69820) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:52PM (#10003833)
    I wish Torvalds had used the word Alchemy instead of witchcraft, it is probably closer to what he was trying to say (in English at least).
    • I agree, because I somehow associate witchcraft with a primitive kind of science. Especially after watching the Harry Potter movies; Hogwarts is so much like Cambridge University :)
    • Wrong (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ewe2 (47163) <[ewetoo] [at] [gmail.com]> on Thursday August 19, 2004 @12:54AM (#10009429) Homepage Journal
      We're talking about an open collaborative method vs. a closed, secretive one.

      Witchcraft is a closer fit to magic, which IS secretive. Alchemy is a pseudoscience closer to true science, those like Newton, Boyd and Locke did, however secretly, confer and test each other's theories in a proto-scientific method.

      Witchcraft/magic on the other hand totally depends on secrets for its effectiveness. Religion, which has always sought to take witchcraft's place is also secretive.

      Consider the response of a scientist and a magician to a theory which has failed: the scientist goes back and gathers more data, tests the working hypothoesis of others and tries again. The magician simpy says "the didn't work, the time wasn't right, and the gods are angry with you".

      Not a bad analogy between closed vs open source, is it?
  • by drakaan (688386) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @01:57PM (#10003898) Homepage Journal
    Linus, it's Groklaw .net

    *sigh*

  • by IronChefMorimoto (691038) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:00PM (#10003922)
    If Linus is a "benevolent" dictator, we're not sending in troops to depose him?

    And, obviously, we can't depose him on grounds of WMD, since Microsoft makes those, right?

    So -- as long as he doesn't gas a whole room of Mac OS X users, we'll leave him be?

    And -- he doesn't have any kids, right? Two boys that might go around killing anyone who doesn't win Linux-based UT2K4 tournaments in Linus' name, right? Or terrorizing anyone who challenges the vision of the kernel?

    Finally -- Linus hasn't invested in any bunker construction for his new offices, right?

    Just checking. I was concerned that maybe that troop realignment from Europe was in preparation for an attack on Mr. Torvalds.

    IronChefMorimoto
    • And -- he doesn't have any kids, right? Two boys that might go around killing anyone who doesn't win Linux-based UT2K4 tournaments in Linus' name, right? Or terrorizing anyone who challenges the vision of the kernel?

      Sorry to be picky with a perfectly funny post, but if you s/kids/sons/ then the story is correct. I can personally attest to that fact.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:02PM (#10003938)
    "I can't be nasty"

    This is an excellent example which others should strive for.

    Alas, many don't. And it's one reason why I stay away from posting on the Linux Kernel Mailing List. There are just too many people there who think that they build up their reputation capital at the expense of others.

    The only positive solution that I can think of is if people made a conscious effort towards adopting Linus' attitude. Perhaps that's wishful thinking.
  • by TeknoHog (164938) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:14PM (#10004087) Homepage Journal
    is Benedict. Coincidence? I think not. fnord
  • Pirate King (Score:5, Insightful)

    by handy_vandal (606174) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:18PM (#10004131) Homepage Journal
    I teach at a local technical college, also the occasional short course, etc. I'm fond of telling my students:

    The classroom is not a democracy. We have very different roles here. But neither is it a tyranny -- if I get tyrannical, students will simply leave.

    The classroom is best described as a pirate ship: I have power to the extent that the crew accepts me as their leader.

    So too with Linus and linux. If people believe in him, he leads them; if people don't believe in him, he's just a mortal man again, everybody goes their own way. (I'm assuming he's not the type to incite mutinous plank-walking behaviors.)

    -kgj
    • Re:Pirate King (Score:5, Interesting)

      by stratjakt (596332) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:23PM (#10004199) Journal
      With the pirates, though, mutiny was rare, even if the captain was an evil malevolant tyrant. No matter what he did, mutiny was worse. Mutiny is the worst crime you can commit on the high seas.

      Word got out that you took part in a mutiny, no matter what an asshole Captain Blythe was, you'd never serve on a ship again in your life. Hell, you'd be lucky to pay for passage on one.

      In fact, many of the Bounty mutineers wound up living out their lives on some pacific island, partly because noone would go and pick them up.
      • by happyfrogcow (708359) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:36PM (#10004375)
        As long as i have TCP/IP over parrots, i'm fine. I wonder how many times you would have to say http://slashdot.org to a parrot before he can repeat it and pass the message on to the next parrot on the next island.

        "Wrrrrokk! http://slashdot.org, pass it on. Tweet!"
  • by EpsCylonB (307640) <[eps] [at] [epscylonb.com]> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:27PM (#10004260) Homepage
    I'm not that concerned about the threat of Microsoft (MSFT ) enforcing patents against Linux. I think their mode of operation isn't through the legal system. I think they hate lawyers more than most companies. They've been on the receiving end. [CEO Steve] Ballmer and [Chairman Bill] Gates have pride in the fact that their competition may have tried to crush them with legal wars, but they overcame. I think they would have a hard time using legal tactics. They would be ashamed.

    Interesting paragraph, seems to imply honour on microsofts part. Isn't there some kind of link between SCO and MS ?

    • He's just giving respect people deserve. Maybe he secretly hates them and bashes them anonymously on slashdot, but I doubt that. Being respectful doesn't mean ass kissing and I don't even think he was trying to imply honor.
    • by horza (87255)
      I think they hate lawyers more than most companies. They've been on the receiving end. [CEO Steve] Ballmer and [Chairman Bill] Gates have pride in the fact that their competition may have tried to crush them with legal wars, but they overcame.

      I'm not sure being convicted by the highest court in their own country, and then by the EU, count as 'overcame'. More they thumbed their nose at the US government because they knew they were far more powerful, which isn't the same thing. In fact I don't remember them
  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @02:33PM (#10004337) Homepage Journal
    President Bush called for an impromptu press conference today to inform the nation of a new threat in the War on Terror.

    "I'd like to start by thanking the brave and strong Americans at home and abroad who have stood by our troops and supported our efforts in the War on Terror. Today I bring news of an even greater threat. Our intellegence shows that a New Dictator has gained power and established a large network of terrorist computer cells in homes and offices around the country. This New Dictator is Linus Torvolds and I can assure you he hates America, he hates Capitolism and he hates Freedom. Today we begin our war with another terrorist, a terrorist that is bent on destroying Corporate America and our way of life. Already he has duped many of our citizens and corporations to convert to "Linux" a terrorist organization no less dangerous than Al Qaeda or the brutal Dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. We must band together and stamp out this threat to our liberties and safety. Today I have appointed Steve Balmer as Special Consultant for the creation of the Desktop Security Agency which shall be a part of the Homeland Security Agency. Together with Tom Ridge and Donald Rumsfeld, Mr. Balmer shall create a roadmap of shock and awe to root out and destroy this new threat before it is too late."
  • by LibrePensador (668335) on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @03:02PM (#10004651) Journal
    "Software patents concern me. I worry about some greedy companies -- possibly failing ones, trying to make trouble and abusing the system. Software patents, in particular, are very ripe for abuse. The whole system encourages big corporations getting thousands and thousands of patents. Individuals almost never get them.

    We have random people in random countries working on random things, and they don't have 1,000 patent lawyers. So I'm not worried about one patent in particular, but the whole system. It's not a problem today. But it's a thing I can't control, unlike the technical side, where I can actually do something."

    It is refreshing to hear Linus state what RMS has been saying for the past five years. Software patents are evil, evil, evil. Yet Linus seems to stir less controversy when he says these things. I think both of them have a great deal of admiration for each other and both of them do very important if parallel work.

    For all the talk about the Hurd, RMS doesn't use the Hurd.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @05:25PM (#10006533)
    I am surprised that Linus thinks of himself as a dictator. I suppose that he could be considered that except for the negative connotations.

    I see him more like a Benjamin Franklin, or perhaps George Washington.

    Or maybe more like a Martin Luther.

    None of these would I call dictators.

    And all the people who I can think of as dictators I can't say that I like.

    Linus is more like a George Washington. He is leading the army. He starts the country. He is the general in charge, not a dictator but a natural leader.
  • by ed1park (100777) <ed1park@NOSPaM.hotmail.com> on Wednesday August 18, 2004 @10:39PM (#10008869)
    How would Linux and Opensource be affected? Who's the next person in line most likely to take his place? Has this even been considered?

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