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The Almighty Buck Software Upgrades Linux

Linux Credit Card Re-Launches 178

Posted by kdawson
from the we're-in-the-money dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The all-new Linux Fund Visa Card launched on July 24th. The Linux Fund began in 1999, and lasted until Bank of America bought MBNA and canceled the program earlier this year. Before that time the fund had distributed $100,000 a year on average. US Bank has inked a new deal to resurrect the program with new features. Currently, the project is open to ideas for supporting well-loved and community-supported software that is underfunded. The current list of supported projects includes Debian, Wikipedia, FreeGeek, Freenode, and Blender."
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Linux Credit Card Re-Launches

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  • I can't seem to find it in their FAQ. Supporting Free software, but no openness about the selection process? Come on.
  • Wikipedia? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by niceone (992278) * on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @05:28AM (#20302233) Journal
    I wonder why they picked Wikipedia? All the others seem pretty geeky low visibility things that would have trouble raising non-geek funds whereas Wikipedia is pretty widely known.
    • Re:Wikipedia? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by owlnation (858981) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @07:56AM (#20302837)

      I wonder why they picked Wikipedia? All the others seem pretty geeky low visibility things that would have trouble raising non-geek funds whereas Wikipedia is pretty widely known.
      Yes, this is very questionable. Particularly with the relentless controversies that pursue Wikipedia like a pack of hounds. And will continue to do so for a long time to come.

      Also, while the wiki template is open, large parts of the content are very much not open in any true sense. You can very easily get your IP address banned if some Wikinazi disagrees with your opinion, no matter who knowledgeable or correct your opinion is. Entire countries have had their IP addresses banned. This in not in any way open by my definition.

      In addition the relationship with Wikipedia and the for-profit Wikia is not as distinct as anyone claims.

      There are a great many open source projects that really benefit the community. There are projects that are struggling and this funding would help them. Wikipedia is not one of them.

      Wikipedia shouldn't be funded by anything other than advertising (especially since a significant percentage of its content is already advertising copy anyway), or by donations from those who are so inclined to spend their money that way. I'm sure political parties and NGOs would cough up something for ensuring their views continue to be "freely" expressed. Especially the right-wing ones.
      • by lawpoop (604919)

        Also, while the wiki template is open, large parts of the content are very much not open in any true sense. You can very easily get your IP address banned if some Wikinazi disagrees with your opinion, no matter who knowledgeable or correct your opinion is. Entire countries have had their IP addresses banned. This in not in any way open by my definition.

        Isn't this a problem with any open source software project? Couldn't Linus decide to ban a particular person or even a whole country? And then, isn't the open source response, "Fork it" ?

      • Re:Wikipedia? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Taxman415a (863020) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @10:36AM (#20304379) Homepage Journal
        It's pretty funny how comments bashing Wikipedia get modded up with such ease even when they have nothing insightful or informative to say. "You can very easily get your IP address banned if some Wikinazi disagrees with your opinion, no matter who knowledgeable or correct your opinion is." In addition to fulfilling Godwin's law [wikipedia.org] for us, it's false. One actually has to work pretty hard and behave pretty poorly to get blocked and it's really easy to get unblocked unless you're misbehaving. It's really nearly impossible to get blocked just for disagreeing with people. Any admin that did that would get blocked themselves. The reality is you have to misbehave to get blocked.

        "There are a great many open source projects that really benefit the community. There are projects that are struggling and this funding would help them. Wikipedia is not one of them." - Oh yes, Wikipedia just gets millions of hits per day because it's pure trash, thank you for letting us know that it doesn't help anyone. I do however agree there are lots of deserving projects out there and that's why this credit card program is a great idea. It lets people donate without giving up cash flow. Even if you carry no balance, merchants still pay in the range of 4% to the cc company for the service and part of that fee is what goes to this donation.
        • by pimpimpim (811140)
          In addition to fulfilling Godwin's law for us, it's false.

          I would like to introduce the Meta-Godwin's Law: Any online discussion will, as long as it goes on long enough, result in someone invoking Godwin's law, be it appropriate or not. The term 'nazi' is currently (and especially in slashdot) just used out of its original context. E.g. calling someone 'a grammar nazi' does not have anything to do with the Holocaust or the eradication of ethnic groups, and does not deserve an invokation of Godwin's law.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bluesman (104513)
        "no matter who knowledgeable or correct your opinion is."

        Opinions don't belong in encyclopedias. Facts do. Maybe this is why you've had trouble?

      • You can very easily get your IP address banned if some Wikinazi disagrees with your opinion, no matter who knowledgeable or correct your opinion is.
        That's your problem right there. Wikipedia isn't the place for opinions. It's a place for facts. If you make a factual edit and back it up with a proper citation [wikipedia.org] then there's no problem.
    • Probably so that everyone who is interested in the card will find at lest one project they like in the list.
  • firefox mozilla (Score:3, Interesting)

    by operato (782224) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @05:29AM (#20302237)
    i'm sure if you put mozilla firefox on a visa credit card you'd be able to raise more money. with linux you could get all the high paid IT guys whereas with mozilla firefox you'd be able to get everyone that surfs the web including high rollers in other sectors but hey, what do i know.
  • by iamdrscience (541136) <michaelmtripp@gm ... om minus painter> on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @06:10AM (#20302355) Homepage
    Not only do you get to fund open source projects by using this credit card, but because it's a linux credit card, it's more secure, right? Personally, I'm holding out for the OpenBSD credit card, but this is a good start.
    • by AskChopper (1077519) * on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @06:15AM (#20302371) Homepage
      Is it easy to switch from a regular card and get used to using this one though?!

      I know how mine works and am too frightened to make the change!

      Will it be compatible with my existing wallet or will I need to download a third party money clip?
      • by RuBLed (995686) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @06:23AM (#20302399)
        it's in your wallet.conf, edit it by 'sewdo'-ing and adjust the parameters as necessary.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by IBBoard (1128019)
        Well this is the newer version, so I'm sure the interface has been improved and brought up to date. It may even perform better and look better without requiring all of the hardware updates of the new Vis[t]a credit cards.

        As for third party money clips, they are available but some of them are still in beta and were forked because someone decided it should fit twenty notes instead of fifteen.

        Rest assured that even if you do have problems after the change then there'll be a kind and helpful community that will
        • this is the newer version, so I'm sure the interface has been improved and brought up to date
          Yeah, but is it backwards-compatible? I've still got debt from when I used Red Cent 5.1, with the 2.0.36 exchange rate! Will they at least provide a utility to convert all my old debt? If not, then forget it.
    • by Gazzonyx (982402)

      Not only do you get to fund open source projects by using this credit card, but because it's a linux credit card, it's more secure, right? Personally, I'm holding out for the OpenBSD credit card, but this is a good start.
      Yeah, just be careful where you get your drivers from! Sorry, I'm trolling; but I couldn't let that one go when I saw the opportunity. :)
    • by numbski (515011) *
      The best things in life are free(BSD), for everything else, there's Mastercard? :D
  • Important Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DTemp (1086779) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @06:30AM (#20302443)
    Do well-educated geeks (the readership of this site), on average, make their credit card companies less money than the general public? I'm guessing yes.

    Generally speaking, I think people on here pay off their cards and don't get their payments in late. There isn't really much of an incentive for a bank to cater to this crowd... I've had Bank of America credit cards for a couple years, put on around $50K worth of charges, and have paid $0.00 in fees. They don't like me. My parents were actually told that if they kept paying off their monthly bill in full (and thus not allowing any interest to be collected), that their card would be dropped.

    But I admittedly don't know that much about the business model of a credit card issuer.
    • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @07:14AM (#20302623) Homepage Journal

      Generally speaking, I think people on here pay off their cards and don't get their payments in late.
      Uh huh.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by apt142 (574425)
        I was going to say that geekiness does not translate to common sense. The smartest geek can be as good or as bad with money as the next person. Also, geeky people tend to get themselves in financial straights just getting educated. It takes a lot to feed a geek's brain after all. That's aside from family troubles, natural disasters, bad luck, recessions and taxes. But, you my friend have said all that in just 2 words.

        Uh huh.

        Can somebody mod this guy +1(Has a Clue Bat)?
        • by RESPAWN (153636)

          ...natural disasters, bad luck...
          Yup. That right there explained my situation after Hurricane Katrina. I just finally paid off my balance on my Bank of America card, all of it acrued post-Katrina. Being a geek doesn't necessarily translate to being financially secure.
    • by JohnFluxx (413620) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @07:17AM (#20302641)
      DTemp,

          If you borrow $1000 from the bank, then the bank basically ends up $10,000 to spend.
          Check out: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-905047436 2583451279 [google.com]
         
      • by toad3k (882007)
        I want to thank you for posting that since I don't have any mod points. That finally put together all the pieces that have been eluding me all these years.
      • If you borrow $1000 from the bank, then the bank basically ends up $10,000 to spend.

        It's a little more complicated than that. If it were that simple, I'd be opening a bank tomorrow to exploit that loophole.

        As it is, the biggest problem I see with the banking system is simply that I don't have a clear understanding of how it works and what the resulting consequences are. Money is pretty important - everyone should be able to have a basic understanding of it, it shouldn't be so complicated that someone who'

        • by JohnFluxx (413620)
          Which is why I posted a documentary to give you the details :)
          • That video doesn't so much present the details as introduce the issue (and hype it as a serious problem). It leaves a number of questions unanswered - specifically: Does a debt currency system actually result in a non-trivial systematic economic unbalance in favor of bankers, or do factors like inflation, publicly held bank stock, and bad debt tend to balance that out in practice? What are the political ramifications of a centrally manged banking system with the amount of government oversight that our syste

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      That is bogus. Credit card companies don't drop people with good credit very often at all -- they will hold them for the chance that someday they'll want to buy a $25,000 anniversary ring for their spouse and pay it off over time.

      The interest and fees charged to less responsible/capable/cash-flow-endowed/whatever is intended to cover their risk and reduced availability of their own funds.

      They make alot (most?) of their money on the per-transaction fees that are charged to the merchants.
    • by asc99c (938635) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @07:55AM (#20302827) Homepage
      Have a look at the cost to vendors of accepting card payments, and you'll probably change your mind about whether they like you. For typical small merchants, there is a 2.5% charge on the purchase cost which the vendor pays to the credit card company. Plenty of stores will pass this directly on to the customer, especially price-sensitive online shops. No doubt the Wal-Marts are only paying closer to 0.5% due to their purchasing power, but it's still quite a bit of money.

      For your $50K of charges, your credit card company will have been paid ~ $1000 in fees. The breakdown of that between all the companies involved (Bank Of America, Visa or Mastercard etc) I'm not so sure of. Unless you're constantly ringing up customer services it's fairly certain they will be making a nice profit from your custom.
    • by Eivind (15695)
      Dunno. But the US "credit-card" thing seems very strange to most non-americans. There are credit-cards elsewhere too, sure. But essentially living off them is very uncommon, and indeed the most common visa-card in for example Norway ain't a credit-card at all, but a debit-card.

      To me, it appears credit-cards are designed to milk those who are stupid, or who are unable to control their urges sufficiently to do what is wise rather than what is smart. Zero interest for the first 30-60 days, and thereafter an in
      • In the US it seems rather common for people to actually have interest-carrying credit-card debt. Which asfar as I can understand must be an insane thing to do. If you're low on cash, paying 5-10 times the normal interest-rate is the *least* thing you need. So, I guess I just don't get it. Why would anyone ever be paying the insane interest-rates on a typical credit-card ?

        You answered your own question: "To me, it appears credit-cards are designed to milk those who are stupid, or who are unable to control t

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mgblst (80109)

          You answered your own question: "To me, it appears credit-cards are designed to milk those who are stupid, or who are unable to control their urges sufficiently to do what is wise rather than what is smart." That's exactly it. There are certain kinds of people in the US (and elsewhere too, I'm sure) who feel entitled to have material things. They see it as a need. Additionally, parents tend to coddle their kids - and credit card companies know it, so they give thousands of dollars in credit to college kids,

          • by pilot1 (610480)

            Don't be too harsh, there is a billion dollar industry around convincing everyone that they do need these material positions. That there lives are crap without them. They use a variety of psychological manipulations to trick people into this.
            There is also a billion dollar industry based entirely around convincing everyone that they don't need material possessions and ought to give a percentage of their income to this industry instead.
            • by mgblst (80109)

              There is also a billion dollar industry based entirely around convincing everyone that they don't need material possessions and ought to give a percentage of their income to this industry instead.


              What the hell are you talking about?
        • by Eivind (15695)
          Fixed-rate makes sense as "insurance" against unpleasant surprises. I agree. But it's expensive insurance (on the average you end up paying more than a variable-interest loan, and you aren't free to move whenever you want. Well, you are, but if interest has been falling, and you want to move, you'll have to cover the banks loss (as compared to what they'd earned if you stayed)

          Thus the standard advice for all insurance applies: Only get it if you need it. That is, if you cannot afford to cover the potential
      • by db32 (862117)
        Welcome to the disease that is killing our economy. People cry about inflation but this is where it comes from. Simple economics show that supply/demand affect price, and when people can purchase with large ammounts of imaginary "buy now pay later" money, they will pay higher prices for things. If noone had large ammounts of credit at their disposal cars would be cheaper, houses would be cheaper, and day to day goods would be cheaper, because noone would be willing to pay the high prices. Unfortunately
        • by Eivind (15695)
          Why would people cry about inflation, isn't US inflation in the low single-digits, like 2-3% or so a year ?

          I don't think the rest of your theory holds water. True, credit allows people to pay more *now* for items than they would otherwise be able to. *But* it also forces them to pay less *later* for stuff than they otherwise, because later they'll effectivly have a lower net-income since parts of the income will go to paying interest on stuff they bougth earlier.

          I don't see how a person buying a TV for $300
          • by db32 (862117)
            That only is true if the credit companies stop issuing cards to people. The reality is people get another card, transfer the balance, keep moving. Until the bankruptcy of course. The problem is people believe $100/mo for 48 months is a better deal than $200/mo for 12 months because its $100 less per month. People don't generally think in terms of how much interest they are paying, they think in terms of monthly payments. Turn on the radio, in some place/time slots it is almost impossible to go more tha
            • by Eivind (15695)
              This logic doesn't work.

              True, true, the person spending $3000 now, and thereafter paying $100/month spends a bit more this month than he otherwise would. But surely you're not saying that credit-card-use is such a new phenomenon that currently everyone is in this phase. Remember, paying back the $3000 will take him something like 4-5 years at $100, at a total cost in the $5000-$6000 range, this means it only takes 2.5 years for his spendings to neutralise, therafter they drop.

              Put differently, compared over
              • by db32 (862117)
                Go look at what the average debt is, go look at the rise in bankruptcy. A SANE American does the math just like you said. They understand the eventual payback. The AVERAGE American is spending themselves into a fake middleclass lifestyle. It is not a sudden new phase. Look at the trends. The average debt per person is climbing considerably faster than anything inflation could account for.
                • by Eivind (15695)
                  Average debt ain't the entire picture though. If the debt is just living-costs, then sure, you're worse off. But if the debts are matched by an increase in activa, it's not nessecarily a bad thing.

                  If I buy a house for $500K, pay $100K with cash and borrow the rest, then my debt jump by $400K, but I'm no poorer than I was before the transaction.

                  I guess that's why it's so scary to many if the US housing-market crashes. It'll leave many people with the debt, but *without* the value.
                  • by db32 (862117)
                    I don't know that any of the stuff I have looked at covers housing because people do mistakenly treat that as an investment. Most of what I have looked at covered the credit card/personal/car loan stuff. You know that payday loans can charge up to 385% interest in some places, and frequently do. That is a never ending cycle of loss right there. I have seen young kids get swindled into 19-80% loans on their first cars. Most of the credit cards I see are 19-25% unless you have stellar credit already and
                    • by Eivind (15695)
                      Housing is an investment in the sense that owning a house gives you a very significant low-interest buffer-zone for that rainy day. If you *do* suddenly need a larger amount of cash, owning a house means you can borrow it cheaply.

                      If you are rigth, by the way, you can yourself get rich by putting your money where your mouth is. If, as you say, people "jump ship" after a bad quarter more than is justified from a rational long-term perspective. Then you should make a point of buying stock 2 days after a compan
                    • by db32 (862117)
                      To a degree the stock thing works but it depends on the company. Which really just boils down to doing research instead of just watching prices rise and fall. The problem is, say that company announces a bad quarter, can that company survive a bunch of people dumping their stock? Can they recover from the stigma of a bad quarter? Because infinite growth quarterly profits are what is being demanded by all these get rich quick investors. This nonsense behavior is what leads all these companies to cook bo
                    • by Eivind (15695)
                      The thing is, stock-price doesn't have any direct influence on day-to-day running of a company whatsoever. It matters if you want to raise capital for new investments, because a high market-cap will let you raise more money for a smaller dillution of the current shareholders, but other than that the influence is sligth.

                      If the companys "bad quarter" is in the red, then it depends on how soon they can get back in the black, and the size of their war-coffers. If they're really likeky to go bankrupt before they
                    • by db32 (862117)
                      I don't really mean they go under completely because of that directly. I mean the loss in capital puts their competitors ahead and they may just get shut out of the market. Competition isn't about quality/price as much these days it seems, and more about who games the system the best.
                    • by Eivind (15695)
                      My point was, the "loss of capital" doesn't generally put their competitors ahead. Remember, the *owners* are the ones who hold the stock, they are the ones who benefit (primarily) when the stock go up. The company itself generally doesn't own much own stock, and isn't really influenced by changes in the stock-price.
          • by db32 (862117)
            I do want to point out that I think we are both correct on this because it is all relative to what *now* and *later* means. I don't believe for one second that the current way of things will last long, look at the rise in bankrupcy and the laws the credit companies are lobbying to try and stop it from happening so they can squeeze blood from stones. The *later* that you speak of is coming, where the recoil happens, where people realize they dug themselves into unrealistic debt and the collapse comes. I d
            • by Eivind (15695)
              This argument would hold true if Americans, as a group, where actually currently spending more money than you're earning. You are however not. The net-savings rate is still positive.

              Put differently, the total spendings for USA for 2006 (or any recent year) is *lower* than total earnings for USA for 2006. True true, most other countries have a better saving-rate than you do, but even with you it's still positive.

              Some people for sure spend more than they earn, but others earn more than they spend. (generally
              • by db32 (862117)
                Uhm, all the charts I have seen show the average American saves negative dollars per year. I have never seen anything stating that our savings rate was positive. That is the problem, there is a very large section of our society purchasing a lifestyle well above their means and its kinda screwing the whole thing up.
                • by Eivind (15695)
                  Sure. Many are. But the average aren't. That's my point. For every dollar spent above means, there's more than another dollar spent under means.

                  Your official "savings-rate" is somewhat silly, because it is only net-income minus spendings, so it ignores capitalgains. For example, if I have $10K in stocks, which grow to $12K during the year, earn (netto)$50K and spend $51K the so-called "savings-rate" will say I'm at -2%, despite the fact that I'm actually 2% *richer* at the end of the year than I was at the
                  • by db32 (862117)
                    I think it is a different mentality altogether that causes it. We live in capitalism run amok. Government regulation causes more problems than it solves, and the market can't behave anything like it should so long as the rich n powerful types are allowed to act above the law. Greed and Apathy. The problem with pricing is that credit artificially allows people to pay higher prices. They get new cards, they transfer balances, they get home equity loans and drain all the value back out of their house. The
      • by nomadic (141991)
        To me, it appears credit-cards are designed to milk those who are stupid, or who are unable to control their urges sufficiently to do what is wise rather than what is smart. Zero interest for the first 30-60 days, and thereafter an interest that is out of this world (frequently literally 5 to 10 times the interest the same person pays on say their mortgage)

        You're grossly simplifying things. I use a credit card, and pay off the balance when due. I do this for two main reasons, to build up my credit rati
        • by Fishead (658061)
          I use my credit card for the same two reasons as you, (credit, and rewards), but also for company expenses. I have to do a fair amount of traveling for work, and there would be NO way that I would personally float my hotel room until the company paid me back.

          Then there is emergency use and remote purchases. I can't say that I would always have enough cash in my chequing account to say tow my car across town and replace the starter. Any extra cash SHOULD be sent over to a savings account (2 day wait for m
        • by Eivind (15695)
          Read what I'm writing please. You are not making your credit-card company any money. So obviously you're not the kind of customer they want. (or the kind for which their offers are designed)

          What is stupid is using the card in the way the companies *obviously* hope that you'll use it: in such a way that you have to pay their insane interest-rates. Obviously a lot of people must be doing that, otherwise the credit-card companies would have to revise their business-plan.
      • Or forgetful. I don't need to carry a balance over every month, but I have a habit of forgetting to pay the darn thing. I signed up to be able to do it over teh intarwebs and I can't remember my password. What were you saying, by the way?
    • by Ash Vince (602485)

      Generally speaking, I think people on here pay off their cards and don't get their payments in late.

      Errm, I wish.

      I could go and add up all the charge I have paid on mine over the past year, but it would probably really piss me off and I would rather spend the time down the pub with my credit card behind the bar. Or I could buy some new high tech gadget.

      On a more serious note there is something you have overlooked. Credit card companies also make money as a percentage of every transaction. This is charge levelled to the retailer for allowing you to buy something that you might not actually have had the mo

  • And then make it a point to donate a few hundred/year to your favorite Linux developer, with a personal check in snail mail. This way you control exactly how much you want to give to each cause and also that every cent goes directly to the person writing code, with no administrative overhead. Most probably no taxes also, but lets keep this quiet...
  • by Svenne (117693) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @06:49AM (#20302525) Homepage
    It sounds interesting and I'd like to participate, but unfortunately this is only available for citizens of the United States.

    Has anyone seen or heard of anything similar for us Europeans?
  • Why trust them? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NovaX (37364) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @06:51AM (#20302535)
    They don't explain why, as a previous card holder, I should go back. I held the original card from 1999 (my first card, when leaving for college) until a few weeks ago when my replacement (non-branded version) came. The only difference I see so far is a less attractive card and that they switched from MBNA (now BoA) to US Bank for the United States. Since they failed for years to actually donate the funds contributed, the most satasfaction I got out of the card was when a waitress would complement that it was cute.

    On their website, they gloss over the past and don't offer a reason why I should trust them again. I'm inclined to believe that new management will help ensure proactive measures are taken, but I'm also tempted to go reward some other charity.
    • by YoungHack (36385)
      > On their website, they gloss over the past and don't offer a reason why I should trust them again. I'm inclined to believe that new management will help ensure proactive measures are taken, but I'm also tempted to go reward some other charity.

      That is so true. I just checked my desk drawer to see that I still had my Linux Fund card, but I'm totally switched to a rewards card and I'm not likely to change back unless my new company really pisses me off.
  • Big projects only? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by blindcoder (606653)
    Debian, Wikipedia, FreeGeek, Freenode, and Blender

    So the money goes to projects that already have a big financial supporting community?
    Wikipedias fundraiser usually works great, no? So does Freenodes. Blender has been 'bought into freedom'.

    So, realistically speaking. How are the chances of small, say 1-5 people, projects getting support to actually be able to have a nice booth at a Linux Fair or similiar?
  • con job. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by timmarhy (659436) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @07:22AM (#20302661)
    This is a big con. why not donate directly instead of having your "donations" in the form of interest skimmed by the bank.
    • Because people are very difficult to part from their money for donations, even OSS people donating to OSS projects. It's human nature, we just don't like parting with the green. Something like this negates that factor, and also brings what would be fewer, smaller donations to more widespread organizations together into big lump sums directed at a few projects. Whether or not you consider that a good thing is down to you, but it can't be a bad thing for the organizations involved, or for Linux, to have a few
    • by Braino420 (896819)
      Umm, because it doesn't cost you any money (out of pocket) when you "donate" through the card.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Welcomed addition to supported projects would be the FreeBeer project.
  • by gblues (90260) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @07:44AM (#20302757)
    OK, so you want to help out the F/OSS community, that's great. If you've got the money to contribute, contribute. Don't waste your time supporting others with consumer debt. With the infinitesimally small returns these cards' so-called "rewards" programs generate, you could contribute the same amount or more directly, spend less money overall, and NOT be in debt to someone else.

    I'm also going debunk the "geeks are smart enough to pay off their balance each month" myth. Bullshit. Personal finance is 80% behavior, and only 20% head knowledge. Being smart doesn't mean you'll win. There are plenty of brilliant folks out there that are absolute idiots with their money.

    Nathan
    • Using a credit card wisely helps build your credit history; without a good history, one can have a difficult time getting a good mortgage or car loan. Yes, geeks and non-geeks alike can use credit unwisely, but wielding it wisely hints to society you can be entrusted with larger financial responsibilities.
  • by Bearhouse (1034238) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @07:54AM (#20302815)
    Bottle of wine, $25
    Lunch for two, $86
    Face on microserf's face when you whip out linux card to pay....priceless
  • I stoped using mine (Score:5, Interesting)

    by YGingras (605709) <ygingras@ygingras.net> on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @08:19AM (#20302961) Homepage
    Because MBNA gives so much money [opensecrets.org] to other causes that are detrimental to freedom or information.
  • Linux Fund is good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Salsaman (141471) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @08:57AM (#20303269) Homepage
    I got a donation from LinuxFund a couple of years ago to help with my development of LiVES. At the time it was very useful, though of course that money has long since run out.

    To all those people saying "why give money to LinuxFund, why not donate directly ?", well...go ahead...why don`t you donate to my project ? The fact is that people hardly ever donate at all, and I`d rather have a couple of thousand dollars from LinuxFund in one go, than get $20 a month or whatever through personal donations.
  • According to the terms and conditions [usbank.com]:

    They add "3.99% to 12.99%" to the prime rate (which, itself, varies).

    They don't say how exactly they will decide to "vary" that number... within that very wide range.

    All of my past experience suggests... and recent news stories about mortgages ought to reinforce... that anything that called "variable" does, by gosh, vary. If they say they can go up to 12.99% above prime, you can bet your bippy that some fine day they will "vary" it. And of all the numbers in that range
  • by nightsweat (604367) on Tuesday August 21, 2007 @09:43AM (#20303741)
    Bankrate.com shows Pulaski Bank & Trust offering a 7.99% card.

    Yes, I recognize Pulaski doesn't donate money to Linux, but if you carry a balance, save yourself the money and donate directly to the project you want to support.

    If you don't carry a balance and never intend to, these rewards cards are probably just as good as any.
  • The link to apply for the credit card goes to a website running on Windows 2000 IIS. Do YOU trust your credit card information on a Windows 2000 machine?
  • Why is it that you have to get to page 2 of the application form before it tells you that the card is only available to residents of the USA? There is nothing on the front page, nothing in the terms and conditions nor even on the first page of the application form to say it is not available to those of us outside the USA who might like our credit card spending to help OSS projects.

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