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Chinese Gov't Pushing Linux In Rural China With Subsidies 127

nerdyH writes "The Chinese government's 'Go Rural' program offers subsidies up to 13 percent for rural residents who purchase approved nettops or netbooks. The systems come with a version of Red Flag Linux built on the Moblin stack. Along with Internet access, the software is said to provide apps for crop and livestock management, farm production marketing, remote office access/automation, and even online tour and hotel booking systems. Of course, Windows dominates the China market, and if traditional patterns hold, about 30 percent of these subsidized systems could ultimately wind up re-installed with Windows."
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Chinese Gov't Pushing Linux In Rural China With Subsidies

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  • Re:13 percent? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cjfs ( 1253208 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @01:58AM (#29843125) Homepage Journal

    Computers are still expensive. Those 13% translate to some visible savings to a Chinese peasant.

    Not if they weren't the cheapest to begin with. Wouldn't you be skeptical of a USA Go Rural! computer being the best deal? I'm not quite sure what value to assign to an oppressive government's software either.

  • Re:13 percent? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tftp ( 111690 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @02:56AM (#29843329) Homepage
    My point is just that most people in the world (and in the USA) can't care less about their freedoms, in software and elsewhere. iPhone is just a test case. It is not hard to imagine this approach spreading to PCs. Windows already has the means built in. Simply require a valid signature on all .exe files - and guess who has the signing keys? You can sell this "for the children" or to fight viruses or to offer a guaranteed quality... the end result is the same - you lose.
  • Re:13 percent? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by noundi ( 1044080 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @05:03AM (#29843739)

    That is the problem with geeks. They see the iPhone, they step back, and they compare it's features to that of a netbook, notebook, or a full-blown desktop computer and start bitching about what they can't do with the device.

    Oh fuck off. We saw the iPhone and said, ok so will it support MMS? No? 3G? No? Application market not dictated by a single entity? No? What about battery, can I change my own battery at least? No? I have a shitty symbian phone that is worth about as much as the lint in my pocket, which supports multitask, what about the iPhone? No??? Then what the fuck am I paying for? Touchscreen? No sir, the iPhone is ignored by the geeks for the same reason that Fiat is ignored by the car enthusiasts. It is simply a poor product.

  • by True Grit ( 739797 ) * <(edwcogburn) (at) (gmail.com)> on Friday October 23, 2009 @06:46AM (#29844129)

    They have to distribute the source code for it as well. Thus it should be much easier to spot every code that does not really belong there and aimed at spying on/restric/keeping in line the population

    Chinese authorities don't need to do a thing. Just bundle a browser (IE on Windows, FF on Linux) and preconfigure its phishing checker to report all URLs to a server that is ran by the government. Preconfigure the checker to be ON by default. 99.999% of the intended audience will never realize what's happening. Those who know what it is will turn it off, but they are too smart anyway for *this level* of monitoring.

    Do they even need to do that much?

    Doesn't their 'Great Chinese Firewall' already give them enough oversight of the net internal to China to control their own population?

    If you control the pipe, then you can control, or at least know, what goes through it.

  • by selven ( 1556643 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @06:56AM (#29844169)

    As a libertarian, I think it's a perfectly legitimate action - using Windows harms everyone by encouraging people to develop only for MS, strengthening their monopoly and allowing them to implement even worse pricing/EULAs/lockin. So the government has to step in and encourage some competition.

  • Re:13 percent? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted AT slashdot DOT org> on Friday October 23, 2009 @07:57AM (#29844467)

    You are so wrong, you make people feel like you're right again.

    You are the only one, assuming your assumptions. Everybody else compares the iPhone to simple run-off-the-mill smartphones from Nokia, Samsung, etc. And it simply can't hold a candle to any of them. That's a cold hard fact. Maybe you have only seen, what companies like Verizon offer you. But that is not, what you can actually buy in countries with working markets. Look at Germany. Look at Japan, dammit! Our phones are technical MONSTERS with functions that the iPhone can't even begin to dream of. PLUS total freedom. Hell, Nokia's N900 smartphone even offers you Linux with full root access right from the factory! No unlocking, to tricks, nothing. And on top of all the normal features.

    The simplest way to know that you have never used a recent smartphone: You think the iPhone is in any one aspect better than other smartphones.

    Apple is trying to play catch-up. That's all. The rest is pure and raw hype and a whole load of monopolism from US phone companies.

  • by sean.peters ( 568334 ) on Friday October 23, 2009 @11:58AM (#29846875) Homepage

    The spelling, grammar, and punctuation rules are inherited not just from several different languages, but from at least three distinct language families.

    Spelling, sure. All the words conform to whatever spelling rules were in effect in the language we borrowed them from, at the time we borrowed, them, rather than to some overarching set of spelling rules. That does make it hard to spell English words. Vocabulary might be an issue too, as it's my understanding that English has a lot more total words than many other languages.

    But grammar? English nouns don't have gender. That alone is a giant simplification from other languages - at a minimum, you don't have to memorize the forms of the articles (as an example, in German, the words for knife, fork, and spoon each have a different gender, and there's no particular rhyme or reason to the selection). Also, English has a relatively simple case structure: we have the subjective, objective, and possessive cases. German has four - Nominative (subject), Accusative (direct object), Dative (indirect object), and Genitive (possessive). And of course, the articles for the each of the noun's genders are different for each case, so you have 12 variations on the word "the" to keep track of. Other languages have even more cases.

    Word order is also the fairly straightforward subject-verb-object form, and beyond that, you can be fairly flexible in how you arrange your sentences. In German, when describing an action, you must specify "time, manner, place", in that order - so you can say "I went today quickly to the stadium", but not "I went quickly to the stadium today", or "I went to the stadium quickly today".

    I've also heard tell of these studies that indicate other languages are easier than English to learn, but I'm sort of baffled by this. I spent some time learning German in the distant past, and my continual thought was "man, I'm glad we don't have so many weird rules". But then German is incredibly easy to spell - if you can pronounce a word, there is one and only one way to spell it - so that was nice.

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