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Venezula Producing Its Own Linux PCs 387

christian.einfeldt writes "The Venezuelan Government announced the roll-out of four different models of Linux-powered consumer computers, three desktop models and one notebook. Branded 'Bolivarian Computers,' they will be will be produced by a joint venture of the Venezuelan Ministry of Light Industry and Commerce and a Chinese company named Lang Chao. The goal of the project is to jump-start a domestic IT industry and become an IT exporter to the rest of Latin America. At the ceremony introducing the program, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez claimed that the Bolivarian Computers cost 40% less than other commercially available models and come with a 3-year warranty."
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Venezula Producing Its Own Linux PCs

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  • by arthurpaliden ( 939626 ) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @09:55PM (#19537155)
    But seriously, sometimes govenment direction can result in good stuff. Just like Brazil and energy selfsuficiancy. They say a problem, no oil, and the govenment of the day said OK, we will go ethynol. Ans now they do not have a relience onf foriegn oil.
  • we have to recognize that *THIS* particular action is good.

    Too bad he's choosing Free Software to promote his government where personal freedom is gone.
  • by daeg ( 828071 ) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @10:13PM (#19537287)
    Government computers probably come with government spyware (not the annoying kind the rest of the world deals with). When someone discovers it they won't be able to say anything through the government-owned media and will be thrown out of their job and be on government blacklists and be unable to obtain government food rations...

    I wonder if they will follow the GPL when they introduce nastiness into the kernel?
  • by fsmunoz ( 267297 ) <fsmunoz.member@fsf@org> on Saturday June 16, 2007 @10:20PM (#19537349) Homepage
    Following your logic - which is indeed a possibility - isn't it OK to assume that the USA will do the same with software made by US corporations and sold to Venezuela? And in that light, and not taking into account the liking or disliking of the respective governments, isn't it a matter of national security to stop using US made software in government computers?

    I'm mentioning this because I think this is the first concern they have, having their own brand of spyware can be a nice after effect. The second concern is the whole "Made in Venezuela, by contributions made from everyone!" which fits in their present ethos, a mix of nationalism and socialism (not a new mix, far from it).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 16, 2007 @10:22PM (#19537361)
    It's sad how Chavez will be remembered around the world for the one thing he's been consistently right about, rather than an honest critical assessment of his achievements and methods.

    You mean like being able to legislate by decree, shutting down opposition TV stations, unchecked inflation, or doubling the murder rate? They are certainly achievements. But if I were him, I would rather be remembered as a Bush basher than the rest.
  • Inside the Coup (Score:3, Interesting)

    by essence ( 812715 ) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @10:34PM (#19537429) Homepage Journal
    For more information on the context of whats going on in Venezula, check out the docco Chavez - Inside the Coup []. It shows how the oil corporates attempting a coup manipulated the public. This is the people that lost their broadcast license not long ago.

    Chavez may seem like a bad man to some, but really is a result of the grass roots organising - aka The Bolivarian Circles [].
  • Volksempfänger (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tenchiken ( 22661 ) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @10:52PM (#19537535)
    I love the Chavez apologists. At the risk of invoking a law that no doubt everyone on Slashdot is familiar with, I wonder if this will end up being the TCP/IP equivalent of Volksempfänger complete with filters to keep comments from more then 100-150 miles away.

    It's amazing what people are willing to forget because someone is a enemy of their enemy. Chavez is rapidly militarizing, is the only leader in the entire world who seems not to have gotten the Communism is dead memo, and is now ruling by fiat.

    Not good things.
  • by Smeagel ( 682550 ) on Saturday June 16, 2007 @11:03PM (#19537591)
    And it lead to thousands of sick and dying people, when they tried to team up to make medicine. Let's hope they actually attempt "quality control" this time, something communism has always been awful at.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 16, 2007 @11:33PM (#19537753)
    Read the post. "Venezuelan here." Most educated Venezuelans (including my wife) detest Chavez. It's only the poor that really adore him and he's such a populist politician much like Franklin D. Roosevelt (or so a passerby once described him). He gives citizenship to those who vote for him. He practically gives away / subsidizes food with a fraction of the huge oil profit the country is making (he's seized 90% of locally owned-land and nationalizing personal/international owned companies). He's also banned Venezuelan to buy the US dollar and Euro, thus driving down the worth of the Bolivar and screwing small business/export/import trade companies (which happen to be the backbone of any and including the good ol' US of A's economy). So...educating/feeding/housing the poor by...stealing from the middle class, foreign-owned companies (that help created an economy/investment in the first place) and disregarding property rights. The only two things I like about the guy (and most educated Venezuelans), is that he's at least helping the lower-class through his crazy socialist ideals (but screwing over the above mentioned) and he hates Bush with a socialist's vengeance...
    I won't go too much into the general corruption of the govt., because that was there way before him.
  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @12:34AM (#19538041) Journal

    ... So why do you hate him?

    I know why Americans hate him (ZOMG, Socialist Dictator, Low-Class Ethnicity), why do you hate him?

    Because not everyone wants to live under what many consider to be a borderline dictatorship?

    It's not as if you're allowed to oppose the guy if you're Venezuelan w/o repercussions. At least in North America and the EU, speaking out against political figures and government is not only legal, but gets you cred among ideologically like-minded people. You can still go to work the next day confident that you won't lose your job by government mandate. You can kick back in your house confident that someone won't kick in your door and drag you off to prison. In Venezuela, I suspect that such things ain't so guaranteed.


  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 17, 2007 @01:32AM (#19538303)
    I only said you three things:

    -I live in Venezuela and I believe that it's a democracy, but where the state do a great abuse of his power over the people that don't think like they think, by example if you don't register in the PSUV ( Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela) Socialist United Association of Venezuela (the goverment associantion) they don't give you a job in their industries (about 60% of industries in Venezuela are controlled by the government).

    -The other one if you like so much Venezuela, I recommend you to leave your Country an go to live there (resign your nationality), to see if you like, because it's to easy to talk about something when you watch by TV (or have contracts with Venezuela Government), but you must live the experience, and later only later (about 1 o 2 years) said what you think in this forum.

    -This is the last one, I can see in your post that you mix reallity with fantasy about Venezuela Reallity... I said you free now another archiviement of the Venezuela Government, the jobs are not given to the best professionals, the only requierement to give you a good job in the government's industry is not to approve "Free of Speech", and only think like they think, and shut up your mouth about your owns ideas.

  • by psyburn ( 790106 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @01:55AM (#19538417)
    Why does replies like this read like Ministry of Truth propaganda.
    I see it here on Slashdot, BBC, Digg, and Engadget.
    You know, government officials posing as common people, giving speeches to the uneducated masses around them. Also the offense they take at everything smells of lost-in-translation jokes taken as "My duty is to correct these brainwashed masses (even though my post is copy-paste approved script)"
    Post like the above make little sense when they are posted so early and seem to lack a natural flow across the entire post.

    Second: I have never heard bad things from Washington or Big Media over Venezuela.
    My distaste for Chavez comes from watching him blather to hear himself talk.
    He just wants to feel important in his own little world.
    If he get something done, great ('cause it's just a bonus)
    Oh and maybe a handful of friend who grew up there, not even wealthy, just lucky enough to be born elsewhere and have somewhere to leave to as Chavez grip closes.
    He can't even keep religion as it threatens his cause.

    Makes me wonder if there is a "Ministry of Truth" or some-such in Venezuela that men with texts of approved translated comments copy and paste and edit(as well as a only-studied-english-in-school translators can/do and that is why the comments read funny to me, professional translations spliced poor.)
    To the parent: Do you know of the difference between Socialist and Communist by definition in English? Or does your script not tell you that, since your job is to make sure that Venezuelan people who are looking else where for news and opinions must be convinced with your chosen copypasta(let your translators catch that meme) that the world loves Hugo Chavez as much as he needs his Venezuelan people to love him and only him while he plays the world stage garnering favor by Bush-bashing, an over-used, tasteless tactic.
    Side Note: WHO THE HELL MODDED OP Insightful?

    And No Cowardice for this, No I will not be an AC

    On a side note the image is "prejudge"
  • That's not socialism (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Iloinen Lohikrme ( 880747 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @05:02AM (#19539241)
    It seems that in Slashdot many people have some what strange idea on what socialism is and where they think that they are seeing it.

    In socialism the people via government own and control the means of production. Communism is not alternative to socialism, but a way to enter socialism via armed struggle. Social democracy is an alternative way to achieve socialism by transforming the state peacefully into socialism step by step. In the world where we are living, there is no country that is practising socialism.

    You said that countries like Sweden, Norway and Denmark are socialist, that's dead wrong. The countries you cited are free capitalistic market economies. The only difference in Nordic and usually in European countries is that they have set up safety nets for their citizen: i.e. well-fare, public education and health-care etc.. Having these things doesn't make a country socialist, it makes it a well-fare state.

    When we look at south America and especially what Chavez is doing to Venezuela, they are more or less committed on idea of national socialism: using the economy of a country and it's means of production to further national agendas and it's manifested destination. That is wrong and stupid. They are only going to wreck their economies and after they have used their national resources like oil and gas, their economies will crumble down. The only way to achieve prosperity is to invest in infrastructure, means of production and to abilities of citizens. Nordic countries nor Europe weren't build in a decade, the prosperity that we have and that takes care of welfare state is the product of hundreds of years work and investment into infrastructure and means of production.
  • by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @05:28AM (#19539343)

    Both systems need to use force to take from productive people and give to people who are not productive.

    Also known as taxes. Something any government must collect, if it wishes to defend its people from other governments.

    And I, for one, really like the concept of welfare - makes life a lot less stressing when I know that financial difficulties don't lead to starvation.

    They also need to restrict what people can produce so that they do not compete with the inefficient state provided service.

    Please explain why a state-provided - and therefore tax-funded - service would need to compete with anything ? Furthermore, please explain how a state-provided - and therefore tax-funded - service could possibly lose any competition when it can be provided for free ?

    We also have democratically elected communist regimes in India in 2 states - both of those states (Kerala and WB) are economic basket cases which depend on other productive states for aid.

    Is communism cause or effect there ? Because, historically, it have been bad conditions for people which have spawned communistic regimes; in fact it were the intolerable conditions for industrial workers during industrialization which spawned communism itself.

  • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @07:39AM (#19539841)
    It actually comes from the concept of personal freedom; the freedom to do as you wish as long as it doesn't harm another. i.e. liberalism, which is ironic because the US have redefined liberal to mean socialist.

    You see, you cannot have freedom without responsibility, they are the same thing. If you take away someone's responsibilities you are also at the same time taking away their freedom. A socialist state removes the personal responsibility from the individual and at the same time removes those same freedoms, it cannot be avoided.

    Sweden, Norway and Denmark are not examples of socialist states, they are liberal democracies with market economies.

  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Sunday June 17, 2007 @08:34AM (#19540105)
    " where personal freedom is gone."

    It really depends on the end result.
    For example, there would have been no way to oust foreign influence and weld China beck together without something like Maoism. Processes to build a modern nation from divided countries with backward populations are often bloody. Old structures must be smashed and unity forged by force.
    In the very short time since 1948, China went from warlordism and anarchy to economic and military powerhouse. Revolutionaries understand this. (I am NOT praising Communist economics, merely their willingness to destroy old bad systems.)
    Communism can propel a country into the modern age, force educational reform, weaken the hold of religion=superstition, and perform many useful transitional functions.
    OTOH, democracy is only good when there are educated people who embrace secularist ideals to operate it. Otherwise, democracy will merely serve as a vehicle for its own destruction (Iraq). People who believe the universe is a religious monarchy cannot believe in freedom from religion under a secular government.
    I would like to see a few more Leftist, anti-religious revolutions stir the pot. I'm unfashionably right-wing myself, but the Leftists are anti-tribalist and anti-religion. I regard them as a force for healthy destruction.
  • They also have a goal to increasingly manufacture the components they are importing, domestically. Sounds to me like one of the unsung development models (often championed by Jane Jacobs) that has actually worked, where you involve FDI (Foreign Direct Investment), but produce locally, training your citizens in the tacit skills of manufacturing, and slowly taking over from the foreign firm, producing domestic competing firms, with a final goal of international markets. I dunno, but it worked pretty damned well for the East Asian Tigers.

In 1869 the waffle iron was invented for people who had wrinkled waffles.