Sunday, May 20, 2007

The smell of Fear

"UNIX is snake oil" - Ken Olsen, 1987

"Linux is a cancer" - Steve Ballmer, 2001

"There is an overwhelming number of patents being infringed [by FOSS]." - Horacio Gutierrez, 2007

Microsoft's biggest competitor anymore is itself... unless they stop blaming everybody else and start taking a serious look in the mirror, we all know where this path will lead.

FOSS has as much snake oil in it as Unix did, and look where we are 20 years later.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Schrödinger's Cat

I saw a local student wearing this the other day

which of course on the back states the cat is NOT dead... made me recall the excellent book written by Brian Greene. Nothing like special / general relativity, quantum mechanics, and calabi-yau manifolds to get the mental juices flowing.

I often wonder how much not only our math, but our language, inherently limits our ability to understand such things more easily. Perhaps that's why some of us like Linux better than Windows... I'd rather be given a construct to build my own "reality" (give me a command line and pipes any day!) than be limited by flawed assumptions that time (much less the Bill Gates notion of computing) is experienced in the same manner by everyone.

Quick - someone stick an Ubuntu server near the event horizon of a black hole!! Who wants to bet that Vista wouldn't escape Earth's orbit without blue-screening?!?!?

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Dealing with Open Source FUD

Matt's recent blog on how to manage the "No Open Source" clause helps to dispel a lot of FUD that's still lingering out there. In particular, point #3 notes:

If a customer is not planning to distribute the software outside their organization, then they can modify open source-licensed software ad infinitum without having to contribute a single line back.

I've seen many companies who still believe that any IP developed on open source must be placed back into the public domain. A little education and a few "marquee account" case studies will help to combat these points. In addition to free passes for an annual event, maybe the OSBC could sponsor webinars on this topic to proactively educate a broader audience?

Over time these barriers will come down -- any companies leading the charge will certainly enjoy massive growth.