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Video SJVN Tells How Reporting on Linux Has Changed in the Last 10 Years (Video) 79

SJVN is, of course, the well-known nickname and abbreviation for Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols, who has been covering technology as a journalist since... since longer than he cares to admit... and has been covering Linux and FOSS since the 1990s. This was basically a one-question interview: "How has reporting on Linux changed in the last 10 years?" After that, except for a couple of words requesting clarifications, we just let the webcam roll. (Note: if you know someone who would make a good Slashdot video interview victim, please put us in touch with them. Thanks.)
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SJVN Tells How Reporting on Linux Has Changed in the Last 10 Years (Video)

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  • Transcript (Score:5, Informative)

    by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @08:57AM (#39583539)

    Title: How Has Reporting on Linux Changed in the Last Decade?
    Description: Steven J. Vaugh-Nichols, who has been writing about Linux nearly forever, explains how much covering it has changed - for the better. For one thing, he says, he no longer has to tell people what Linux is.

    [00:00] <TITLE>
    "Tech Journalist Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols" appears along with the SlashdotTV logo bar reading "How as reporting on Linux changed in the last 10 years?" over a view of the interviewee in what appears to be a private residence room.

    [00:02] Steven>
    The last decade, well, you know, the thing is, we've won.
    We haven't really realized it 'cos we didn't win the way that we thought we would, you know, marching down the streets of Redmond holding torches and Bill Gates fleeing, in a helicopter, petting a white cat as he goes, saying "I'll get you Mr. Linus, you and your little penguins, too!" - stay tuned for the sequel.
    As a result of that, reporting about it has also sort of changed.
    Once upon a time, if I were to write anything at all about Linux, I'd have to say what Linux is and go through a lot of background information.
    I don't need to do that anymore.
    Instead, what I have to do is, I have to remind people that, you know, Linux is everywhere.
    So it's a different sort of context.
    Also, when I wrote about Linux, it used to be I could assume that my audience was pretty technical - because nobody except techies really got into Linux.
    And, again, it's sort of different now.
    Everyone sort of knows about Linux, so I don't have to get really technical about it, but again I sort of have to remind them of where Linux is in today's computer world - which is, again, you know, it's everywhere.

    [01:30] <TITLE>
    The SlashdotTV logo bar with "What about Android?" fades in and out of view.

    [01:30] Steven>
    Android is actually, again, it's one of those areas that we're winning in.
    I mean, sure, all the excitement is about iPhones, but you know Linux - rather, Android - which, again, is just Linux - it's just an embedded Linux, that's all it is, folks! - is pretty much in all these devices.
    If you have a smartphone, if you have a tablet, if it's not an iPhone, if it's not an iPad, it's almost certainly running Android.
    The way I see it spinning out is, you know, people who just absolutely have to have that nifty, cool, Apple device.. okay, they're gonna buy that, they'll pay a premium for it.
    But for everybody else, it's going to be Android.

    [02:18] <TITLE>
    The SlashdotTV logo bar with "Is Oracle relevant to Linux?" fades in and out of view.

    [02:18] Steven>
    As far as the patents go, I've been following that pretty darn closely.
    Not as closely as Pamela Jones over at Groklaw does - and her friends.
    But, you know, the bottom line is.. out of all the patents that Oracle brought up against Android, only two of those remain.
    Of those two, their own expert came out and said "Well, the damages from this would probably come to something like, you know, maybe, maybe, high end $70M or $80M. If, if, Google is found guilty."
    Now, $70M or $80M, I mean that's a lot of money to you and me - but for companies the size of Google and Oracle?
    I mean, that's a hiccup.
    I mean, that's a footnote.
    If you wanna talk about a company that has actually made real money from Android and hasn't had a thing to do with it, the company you wanna talk about is Microsoft.
    Because they've got all these cross-licensing deals with the OEMs, because the OEMs are a little scared of Microsoft, so they'll just pay off these patent deals without actually trying to fight them.
    It wouldn't surprise me to know that Microsoft actually makes more money from Android than they do from their Windows Phone or Mobile CE or one of the other various mobile platforms they have now.
    Oracle, though - You know, it's turned into a non-story.

    [03:54] <TITLE>
    The SlashdotTV logo bar with "What about Oracle L

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser