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Linux Software

Germany, IBM Sign Major Linux Deal 382

Skip Franklin writes: "IBM and the German government are getting together to implement Linux as the government's computing platform of choice. The deal is being touted as a big blow to Microsoft, although personally I prefer the glass-half-full perspective of a big win for Open Source. The BBC has the story."
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Germany, IBM Sign Major Linux Deal

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  • by tps12 ( 105590 ) on Monday June 03, 2002 @11:02AM (#3630979) Homepage Journal
    Wow, I'm pretty psyched about this news. Combine IBM [ibm.com], the company with the best track record for Linux products with Germany [germany.eu], the European nation with a similar reputation, and only good can result.

    I've used Linux solutions by both of these companies (IBM's Linux superclusters and Germany's excellent SuSe distro) both at home and in high-impact low-failure-rate enterprise contexts. I have not once been let down, ever. Contrast this with the closed source free-as-in-shit Winbloze ME95NT, which nearly brought my life to its knees.

    I can't wait to see what comes out of this groundbreaking deal! Linux may finally be able to compete against the lesser operating systems.
  • Flawed argument (Score:2, Interesting)

    by oever ( 233119 ) on Monday June 03, 2002 @11:04AM (#3630989) Homepage
    From the article:

    "We are raising computer security by avoiding a monoculture, and we are lowering dependence on a single supplier," he said in a statement.

    This is not really a valid argument, since all systems need to be secure. More systems, more potentially open doors.

    Nevertheless, great step up for free software!

  • by bruceg ( 14365 ) on Monday June 03, 2002 @11:07AM (#3631012) Homepage
    Maybe the German Governement knows something our government doesn't. Check out this Link [com.com] which states that a US governement "Think Tank" says that Open Source may be a national security threat. I guess the M$ special interests are oiling up the folks in DC.
  • by Tom ( 822 ) on Monday June 03, 2002 @11:17AM (#3631110) Homepage Journal
    The german government doesn't buy Linux, and IBM isn't selling Linux. Just in case you've been living in a box for the past 5+ years: IBM has turned into a huge SERVICE company, and that's what they're selling here: The service to make a solid concept, implement it and provide support for a Linux-powered government infrastructure.

  • by NZheretic ( 23872 ) on Monday June 03, 2002 @11:27AM (#3631187) Homepage Journal
    2 June 2002: There are currently 16 unpatched vulnerabilities [jscript.dk] in Microsoft's Internet Explorer

    To Quote Richard Purcell, Microsoft's director of corporate privacy [businessweek.com]

    You can't issue a memo on Jan. 18 and, within two weeks or even two months, have introduced your entire product line that's consistent with that. Trustworthy computing, as I try to emphasize, is about process change, so that products can then be delivered as a result. And it's a very long-term vision -- 5, 10 years, maybe

    Is it really going to be another 5 to 10 years before Microsoft's products security becomes "Trustworthy"?

  • by NZheretic ( 23872 ) on Monday June 03, 2002 @11:42AM (#3631325) Homepage Journal
    To: kenbrown@adti.net

    Subject: "Opening the Open Source Debate"

    Date: 31 May 2002 15:45:59 +1200

    Some references you might wish to consider before publishing your article "Opening the Open Source Debate"

    http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/f_headline.cgi ?bw.053002/221502375 [businesswire.com]

    Bruce Schneier, one of the recognized leading expert on computer security on Kerckhoffs' Principle and Secrecy, Security, and Obscurity of software.

    http://www.counterpane.com/crypto-gram-0205.html#1 [counterpane.com]

    Dr. Blaine Burnham, Director, Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC) and previously with the National Security Agency (NSA), gives an keynote speech overview of current encryption and security technologies and outlines possible strategies for future defense.

    http://technetcast.ddj.com/tnc_play_stream.html?st ream_id=411 [ddj.com]

    Also you might wish to address the issue of Microsoft's disproportionately high number of open vulnerabilities in its Internet Explorer components. All of which where discovered without access to the source code.

    http://jscript.dk/unpatched/ [jscript.dk]

    Richard Purcell, Microsoft's director of corporate privacy, has recently stated that any major improvement in regard to the security of it's products may be at least "5, 10 years, maybe".

    http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may 2002/tc20020523_6029.htm [businessweek.com]

    As for the issue of Trojan horse injection into open source code, it is far from being an open source only issue.

    http://www.eeggs.com/ [eeggs.com]

    Or were all the "Easter Eggs" currently found in Microsoft's products officially authorized?

    If you are looking for a methodology for providing a suitably secure and hardened solution, start with a real world example.

    http://www.openbsd.org/security.html [openbsd.org]

    I welcome any open debate.

  • by PhysicsGenius ( 565228 ) <physics_seeker AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday June 03, 2002 @12:01PM (#3631437)
    Both of these companies have reputations for extreme conservatism. I would hate to see nazism or, *gasp*, suit-wearing infect the public's view of Linux. We need to keep our image as a free and easy OS with a reckless disregard for the rules.

    That's why I support such inexpesive and fun products such as KDE, GNOME and XWindows that allow me to put pictures of Xena and Dark Angel on my desktop.

  • by Ozan ( 176854 ) on Monday June 03, 2002 @12:32PM (#3631701) Homepage
    What would be some good (funny) names for a German Gov't Linux distro?

  • by NZheretic ( 23872 ) on Monday June 03, 2002 @01:50PM (#3632309) Homepage Journal
    From Linux Today - New UnitedLinux Emphasizes Enterprise, Cooperation [linuxtoday.com]
    In fact, SuSE representatives confirmed that both the SuSE Personal and SuSE Professional releases would remain intact and would not fall under the UnitedLinux umbrella.

    Speaking with Holger Dyroff, SuSE's U.S. Director of Sales, after the conference call, it was learned that while SuSE Personal and Professional would remain sepeate from UnitedLinux, because of SuSE's role as systems integrator of UnitedLinux's codebase, much of the same functionality in UnitedLinux would find its way back to SuSE's retail line-up. Dyroff speculated that the same would be true for Conectiva's retail offerings as well.

  • by v4mpyr ( 185039 ) on Monday June 03, 2002 @03:38PM (#3633250)
    So IBM is thriving overseas, yet here in the US they are laying off countless employees. Am I the only one who sees a problem in that?
  • Lord of the OS (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Grip3n ( 470031 ) on Monday June 03, 2002 @05:19PM (#3634164) Homepage
    Three Rings for the Linux-kings under the sky,
    Seven for the Kernel-lords in their halls of stone,
    Nine for .NET Developers doomed to die,
    One for the Dark Lord on his Dark Throne
    In the Land of Microsoft where the Shadows lie.
    One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them,
    One OS to bring them all and in the Darkness bind them
    In the Land of Microsoft where the Shadows lie

    I found this fitting since in the end, it is not a massive army that defeats the ring, it's the little people, the ones that were never considered by the Dark Lord himself. The Dark Lord launches his own attacks, "Microsoft wrote protesting about the law and warning of collapsing software markets and portraying a nightmare scenario of incompatibility." But in the end his armys are defeated, one by one, "But the answer - from a Peruvian congressman - refuted the letter point by point." The end is nigh, do you know who our Aragorn is?
  • by leereyno ( 32197 ) on Monday June 03, 2002 @06:18PM (#3634603) Homepage Journal
    The disk defragmenter that ships with Windows 2000 and XP was written by Executive Software, a company wholly owned and run by scientologists. The German government and people, being thoroughly familiar with totalitarian philosophies and regimes, are VERY anti-scientology. They recognize and understand that scientology is Nazi-ism taken one step farther, it is a nazi-esque philosophy dressed up as religion. I should know, I once was a scientologist. Scientology is the closest thing to an amalgamation of the mafia, fascism, big business, and a mind control cult, with a money scam thrown in for good measure. Because of the relationship between Microsoft and Executive Software the German government has refused to implement computing solutions that utilize Windows 2000 or XP. At one point the German government was demanding that Microsoft provide them with a version of Windows 2000 that was free of Executive Software's code. They didn't want to support a group overseas that they were working very hard to eliminate in their own country, with good reason I might add. On top of this add things like Echelon and the accusation that Microsoft has installed back doors into windows at the behest of the US intelligence community and Linux makes absolutely perfect sense as the platform of choice. Using it doesn't help support an evil cult and it doesn't make you vulnerable to US government spooks. I'm very glad to see this.


Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the book or even what book.