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Forkable Linux Radio Ad Now On the Air In Texas 366

christian.einfeldt writes "Everyone is familiar with the Linux video ads created by IBM, Red Hat, and Novell, but until recently, there have not been any professionally backed forkable radio ads. Now, Austin-based Linux advocate Ken Starks has obtained the services of a professional radio talent in creating a high quality voice track, which can easily be adapted by local providers of Linux computer services. The raw material (mp3, ogg) addresses end-user frustration with Microsoft Windows malware, and promotes Linux as a more stable alternative. Starks hopes the raw material will seed pro-Linux ads across the US, and he offers his own final product as an example of how the raw material can be remixed with music. He has released all of the raw material and final work under the Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, and has waived the Attribution requirement in his blog. Starks's provocative ad is currently on the air in the Austin market during the popular talk show of Kim Komando, who just happens to be a Microsoft Windows enthusiast."
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Forkable Linux Radio Ad Now On the Air In Texas

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  • No FLAC? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 20, 2009 @05:29PM (#29485181)

    I mean, it's that it's in in Ogg, but no FLAC? Lossy compression makes baby Jesus cry.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 20, 2009 @05:35PM (#29485229)

    As long as we are trying to sell Linux as Windows without the annoyances of Windows, we will fail, if for no other reason than the fact that Linux has its own, less broadly understood, annoyances. We need to sell Linux as Linux.

  • 99.9% ? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @05:40PM (#29485275) Homepage Journal

    Where do they get this number from? How can I be certain that 99.9% of the software I want to use is already available for free? The value seems too convenient to be produced from actual research.

    (for me personally, it's 100%, but I just need a compiler and a text editor and maybe a web browser)

  • by spiffmastercow ( 1001386 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @05:45PM (#29485291)
    While it may be true that there is very little Linux malware, that's only because it's not worth it to criminals to write it. Sure, there are a few inherent advantages in that category, such as not running regular users with admin privileges and downloading software from repositories, but you're a fool if you think Linux is immune to malware.
  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @05:56PM (#29485369) Homepage

    You are quite right in saying so and I largely agree with you. The angle is a little bit wrong and a little bit inaccurate. But when I pitch a Linux solution, I start by listing all of the things they do with their computers and propose a Linux based solution to do the same thing... where applicable. There still ain't no AutoCAD for Linux as far as I can tell (though if you reply with a list of suggestions, I will have to wait for the one heavy CAD user I know to test it out and give an evaluation). There are "near replacements" for most graphics and other apps. Games are a bit of a show-stopper, but I don't suggest Linux to kids anyway. (I know, not just kids play games... buy a second computer... one for Linux and one for games.)

    The point is to present solutions that do not require Windows where possible and, if they have a strong enough machine, suggest a VirtualBox installation to get the one or two Windows apps they need. Yeah I know about Wine, but VirtualBox is a LOT slicker.

  • Re:Transcript (Score:4, Insightful)

    by droopycom ( 470921 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @06:03PM (#29485405)

    The script and the voice for the long version sounds like an infomercial for the latest "get rich quick" or "how to beat the system" scams..

    "It's time for the secret to be told" .... yuk.... makes me want to puke.

    The only thing missing is the fine print that you usually see on those infomercial, eg: "Individual results may vary, result shown are not typical"

    Without this kind of disclaimer, this is borderline false advertising "This is as easy as clicking a mouse!" (yeah, right...)


  • by tukang ( 1209392 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @06:07PM (#29485431)
    They probably didn't specify a distro to make the ad more forkable
  • Re:Hi I'm Linux (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Swizec ( 978239 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @06:10PM (#29485441) Homepage

    a nerdy yet busty chick (I'm thinking Abby from NCIS)

    You need to get out of the basement more, she's pretty much the definition of not busty.

  • Re:Transcript (Score:4, Insightful)

    by caladine ( 1290184 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @06:11PM (#29485449)

    It's as easy as clicking a mouse! That's it. No more crashes, no more viruses, no more blue screens of death.

    The only true part of this is the lack of viruses (for now). In place of BSODs, you just get to meet mister kernel panic instead, albeit with less frequency.
    Don't get me wrong, I love Linux. However, portraying it as incredibly easy to use with everything you'd want out of a desktop operating system is just false advertising for 95% of computer users out there. This is a horribly misleading ad. That's just great that universities and wall street (because we really want to harken back to them right now, yes?) use Linux, more power to the penguin. However, these institutions don't use Linux like one would as a home desktop OS.
    Besides the fact that there are plenty of free(!) and perfectly working solutions for Windows to avoid malware and protect yourself against viruses.
    I want Linux to really be ready for the home desktop of the average user, but it isn't. I don't think we should be kidding ourselves and making ads with false promises like these.

  • Re:Transcript (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rewind ( 138843 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @06:18PM (#29485503)
    "And get this: with Linux, you don't have to reboot after installing new software. "

    You have to reboot after installing things just as often as you do on Windows or OS X. I guess since it is an ad it should take some liberties (we all know Apple and Microsoft do) in describing the product, but that just seemed odd to me. Unless he is pitting modern Linux distros against Windows 98 or something.
  • Re:Transcript (Score:5, Insightful)

    by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @06:31PM (#29485597) Homepage
    Besides the fact that there are plenty of free(!) and perfectly working solutions for Windows to avoid malware and protect yourself against viruses.

    True. However, you have to download them, install them and keep them updated or they don't do you any good. And, they take up hard disk space, (Granted, that's not a big concern now, but it's still true.) they have to be loaded every time you boot and they're always running in the background, slowing down your computer and making it less responsive. I use Linux. Right now, I'm running Fedora 10, with 27 days up uptime. My sister uses Ubuntu, and hasn't rebooted in well over a month, because Ubuntu isn't as bleeding-edge as Fedora is. Both of our boxes are crisp, responsive and unhindered either by malware or the band-aids needed to keep malware off of our systems. And, I might add, I've been using Linux in one form or another for at least a decade, now, and I've yet to see my first kernel panic. If what you want from your computer is the ability to surf the web, read and send email and maybe compose the occasional document to be printed out, Linux can do that for you at least as well as Windows can, if not better, and for most adults, that's all they want from a home computer.

  • by techno-vampire ( 666512 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @06:36PM (#29485629) Homepage
    Somebody hears about Ubuntu and doesn't recognise that it's the same thing as Red Hat deep down;

    Because it's not. Ubuntu is based on Debian, not RedHat.

  • Re:Great Idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @06:37PM (#29485635)
    But radio? I mean, the target demographic for Linux (young, reasonably computer savvy) doesn't listen to the radio really anymore. And Kim Komando is a total joke. Her "advice" is reboot things. Yeah, it works, but to be perfectly honest, if you haven't already tried that chances are you shouldn't be installing Linux (yeah, you can make it work, but -far- too often those people will be upset with how some niche Windows program doesn't run on Linux). Show some fancy 3-D compiz effects on prime time and you have a success, but radio? And Kim Komando? Those people don't need Linux, they need something common to pay geek squad whenever something goes wrong.
  • Re:Transcript (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rantingkitten ( 938138 ) <kitten&mirrorshades,org> on Sunday September 20, 2009 @06:40PM (#29485661) Homepage
    This is the raw audio. It's not a commercial -- just the voiceover for what can be assembled and edited into a commercial complete with music and sound effects and such.

    If I were doing this I'd edit the audio like so:

    Your computer has problems. The "industry's" solution? Use more software to solve the problem! They want you to purchase software so the software you already purchased will work!

    The problem is.. we've come to think of this as being perfectly acceptable. So stop accepting! There's been a solution all along, but you've rarely heard of it. t's time for the secret to be told. Thousands of businesses, universities and even Wall Street have been using: Linux! For years. What do they know that you don't? Linux is free. It doesn't need any virus protection and 99.9% of the software you'll ever need comes free as well. It's as easy as clicking a mouse! That's it. No more crashes, no more viruses, no more blue screens of death.

    So why are you still paying for the privilege of using your computer? There's a better way: Linux.

    I don't think most people really care about "old hardware" or "having to reboot when they install software", which isn't even true for Windows most of the time unless you're updating drivers (or when Windows decides to reboot without really even asking you but that's another story), so I'd take that out. Keep it short and punchy.

    I wish they'd have a simple website somewhere, and mention the url at the end of this commercial. The website would lists of applications sure to be popular with the general masses -- OpenOffice, Pidgin, Thunderbird, Firefox, Skype, VLC, Audacious -- with brief descriptions and screenshots. Point out that many people are already using these programs on their Windows computers so they're already familiar with how to use them (take the "new is scary" aspect away).

    It'd also have a list of organisations which have transitioned mostly or entirely to Linux -- governments, militaries, corporations, universities. The list doesn't have to be exhaustive, just highlight some of the most prestigious or recognisable ones. When people grouse that switching would be sooooo haaaarrrrd and would neeeevvveerrr woooorrrrk, there's a nice list. "Entire city governments and major universities are getting along just fine -- maybe it's not as hard as I thought."

    The site would be a compliment to the commercial, where people could get more information, but keep it simple. Non-geeks don't want case studies and endless harping about the FOSS industry. Just show them that it's free, it has programs that will do exactly what they want, thousands of major organisations are using it, and leave it at that.

    Or maybe I should get off my duff and make such a site... anyone think this is a good idea?

    Well, at any rate, this is a nice step and I hope it gets some traction.

  • by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @06:43PM (#29485681) Homepage Journal

    1) Have you got any evidence for that

    2) Who cares why it is safer. All that matters to me is that it is.

  • Re:Transcript (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @06:53PM (#29485747)

    So basically, they mad a boring Mac ad?

    A bunch of either flat out lies or exaggerations and sensationalizing about things that would be true for Linux if it were popular as well.

    All OSes are susceptible to virii, if you don't think so, you're a moron. It crashes in my experience just as much as properly setup not dicked with or thrown together with random shitty hardware PC. You haven't actually had to reboot with windows software for years, although it may say you do, and that really isn't that big of a deal, its a rare event. XP runs on pretty much any hardware out there that people are still willing to use

    Why are people still paying for their OS? A better question is when are you guys going to realize that the 'Linux way' or 'GPL way' depending how you want to word it today isnt' the only way, and may not actually be what people prefer, regardless of how great you think it is.

    You want Linux for the masses? Start 'selling' people on the Linux THEY want, not the Linux that we nerds and geeks have created for ourselves. The general public is NOTHING like us. Until you realize that and adjust to it, Linux is going to remain a niche OS.

    Personally, I'd appreciate it if it stayed a niche OS. I don't really look forward to having my favorite OS swarmed by idiots, nor do I want malware authors targeting it. Stop trying to beat Microsoft at a popularity contest, you aren't going to when, they greedy will beat you every single time, they have more money to throw at it. Beat them in the areas you can and move on, stop trying to do everything, otherwise you'll just end up like Windows and not be good at anything.

  • Re:No FLAC? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Sunday September 20, 2009 @06:58PM (#29485777) Journal

    It's also barely over a megabyte. Lossless would be, what, 5 megs? 10?

    Lossy compression only makes sense when you actually need that disk space.

  • Re:No FLAC? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 3vi1 ( 544505 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @07:10PM (#29485849) Homepage Journal

    What's the resolution of FM radio vs. the compressed audio clip?

  • by Tubal-Cain ( 1289912 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @07:13PM (#29485861) Journal

    "nvidia crash windows" has more hits.

    Not even double. On an OS that (conservatively) has 85x the marketshare.

  • Re:Transcript (Score:3, Insightful)

    by westlake ( 615356 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @07:15PM (#29485875)
    Your computer has problems? Wanna hear the "industry's" solution? That's right, your software isn't working - so what do they suggest? Use more software to solve the problem(!) Listen to what you're being told: they want you to purchase software so the software you already purchased will work! .. What!?

    I haven't spent a dime on security software for Windows in the last ten years.

    It's bundled with your cable service, a download from CNET - and soon to be a free from Microsoft itself.

    Thousands of businesses, universities and even Wall Street have been using: Linux! For years. What do they know that you don't? Linux is free. It doesn't need any virus protection and 99.9% of the software you'll ever need comes free as well.

    The enterprise Linux distribution comes with a service contract or a professional on-call - on-site - IT staff. Nothing of the sort is being offered in the consumer market.

    "99.9%" is the language of the fraudster.

    You might as well be hawking a bar of soap or a homeopathic cure for cancer for all the credibility it gives you.

    The back list of home-use software for Windows is miles wide and deep. The barest hint of what is available in games alone can be seen on sites like []

    It's as easy as clicking a mouse! That's it. No more crashes, no more viruses, no more blue screens of death.

    "Nothing can go wrong."

    With Linux, you don't have to reboot after installing new software.

    Big whoop. It isn't needed that often. It won't hurt to stretch your legs. The learning curve. The configuration options. This is where you will be spending your time.

    Linux runs on old hardware. No need to buy a new computer every time the industry decides to boost profits and release another buggy system.

    In the consumer market, the Windows user upgrades hardware and software when he finds the attractive OEM system bundle - and, by god, there are lot of them out there.

    Something like 50 with a a "Win 7" tech guarantee" available from alone.

    Linux runs on old hardware - but who the hell cares?

    Your aging Dell has the size and heft of a suitcase. It can't be economically upgraded in any significant way.

    It's replacement will weigh 11 pounds.

    It will ship with a 64 Bit OS. Quad Core CPU. 8 to 12 GB RAM. The 1 TB hard drive. Blu-Ray and HDMI home theater quality video and sound.

    The gamer will want a heftier power supply and a more muscular video card, but that won't break the bank.

    The reviews for Win 7 have been solidly supportive.

    The RC has a 20% larger installed base than Linux, according to Net Applications. Half that of Linux according to the developer-oriented W3Schools.

    Hardware drivers simply do not appear to be an issue.

  • Re:No FLAC? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SanityInAnarchy ( 655584 ) <> on Sunday September 20, 2009 @07:53PM (#29486085) Journal

    Not really relevant -- you're assuming that it'll only be used for FM, when with that CC license, it could be used anywhere.

    It also avoids any sort of generational loss -- for example, last I checked, Internet Radio has to be MP3. If you're going to have it be lossy, push that loss as far back as possible.

  • by Eil ( 82413 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @07:58PM (#29486105) Homepage Journal

    To her credit, Kim Komando has been doing a home computer radio show since well before computers and the Internet were mainstream. However, if you actually listen to one of her shows, you notice that her knowledge hasn't kept pace with current technology and most of her advice boils down to either reinstalling windows or buying products from her sponsors to (possibly) fix your problem.

    I applaud Ken Starks for putting this ad on the air. Most of her listeners would do well to give Linux a try. Although her audience would shrink a bit when their computers started working properly all of the sudden. ;)

  • Same FUD (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 20, 2009 @10:19PM (#29486777)

    Listened to the "final product," and not really a fan of the FUD there.

    Even if Microsoft uses this kind of FUD, guys, it's not as if we should stoop to their level.

    I forget myself though, it's radio, of course every ad is a "clever sales pitch."


  • I beg to differ (Score:3, Insightful)

    by westlake ( 615356 ) on Sunday September 20, 2009 @10:36PM (#29486893)
    It was more about control, about Microsoft being in charge of how you get to your data, than about anything else. It's a great message.

    It's a meaningless message for the target audience.

    Of course the operating system is in charge of how you get to your data. That's its job.

    Windows and the Mac own the consumer market because no one there wants any deeper engagement with the machine than is absolutely necessary.

  • by ToasterMonkey ( 467067 ) on Monday September 21, 2009 @12:49AM (#29487863) Homepage

    Works for Apple. Remember, you have to step back from the "geek" view. Fact is nongeek users know Windows. They want "Windows without the annoyances of Windows" - this is exactly what Apple sells to the consumer .

    Reeeeeeeaaaallly.... Apple's schtick is selling a better Windows than Windows? Have you used anything Apple makes?

    Look, first we sell them "Windows without the annoyances of Windows", then we educate them on how Linux is different than Windows, how Linux is not just free Windows.

    How it's not just a free OS with butchered Windowsisms, it has butchered UNIXisms as well?

    No. Linux does not need to be a better Windows than Windows. It needs to be itself.. whatever the **** it is. That is the big problem with Linux.
    Server, desktop, workstation, toy, hobby.. what is it? Oh.. I'm sorry, why can't it be all of those, right? Better server than Solaris? Better desktop than OS X? Better workstation than Windows? What you've got is all around mediocrity, against a fairly well rounded Windows, and OS X & Solaris excelling in their respective areas. The problem with Linux is the extreme lack of understanding of what people need computers to do for them. Just let it be, and stop "promoting" it like a little kid's first girlfriend. Fix your own problems and stop worrying about what software other people use for Christ's sake. You can't sell something without knowing what it is and what the customer wants, that is so f'ing retarded.

  • Re:No FLAC? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by YourExperiment ( 1081089 ) on Monday September 21, 2009 @09:01AM (#29490007)

    Someone mod parent back up, please.

    Lossy compression is fine for your personal music for your MP3 player. When you have source files like this, which are going to undergo further editing, and quite possibly be further compressed at a later date, you really need uncompressed material.

    Studios still record music in high-fidelity audio formats (often 24 bit 96Khz) despite the fact 99% of people will compress it down to a crappy-sounding MP3. That's the way professional audio is done.

"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev