Bonum Certa Men Certa

University of Minnesota Has Destroyed Itself (or Its Reputation) by Trying to Destroy Linux and the Credibility of Linux

Video download link



Summary: The blunder that has become a cautionary tale serves to show that 1) Free software projects do catch bugs (there is some assessment of the impact of commits; multiple parties or companies can spot and report vandalism) and 2) there are severe consequences for vandals, even collective punishment in the case of the Linux Foundation (so much for "inclusiveness")

THE FUD campaign against Free software was supposed to badmouth the development process by taking on the Linux kernel, perhaps the best known project (or most publicised at least). Not many people have heard of the University of Minnesota before; it's not exactly known for anything in particular, especially in the area of Computer Science. You'd struggle to name any major accomplishment in computing originating from the University of Minnesota. We've captured every article we could lay our hands on, in almost chronological order (and it's still updating, there's ongoing progress and things unfold further).



"Let it become a cautionary tale."So now, a few weeks down the line, fame at last for the University of Minnesota! Fame or infamy? Probably the latter.

The University of Minnesota should have issued an apology, not the concern trolls who actively sabotaged the kernel and wasted a lot of time in the process. The University of Minnesota seems to be incapable of handling this situation. Anything it says at this stage only keeps it in the headlines for another day or even another week. Sooner or later its postgraduate programme will become synonymous with saboteurs, even if thinly disguised as "research" (as if it's a catch-all excuse, even when you interject defects into billions of computers, some of which responsible for critical services).

Liberate by TrumpThe video above discusses the chronology of things and the ramifications. The lessons to be learned from this blunder of the University of Minnesota is that a university needs ethics committees to assess the viability and impact of so-called 'research', especially when so-called researchers are de facto vandals.

What are people's thoughts on this? Well, so far we've seen not a single person defending what the University of Minnesota did. In fact, any publicity the students got (like people accessing their papers) -- assuming there's benefit to any sort of attention -- is massively outweight by the collective harm done to the reputation of the University of Minnesota. Let it become a cautionary tale. When the patches aren't just binaries but are visible in the form of code (visible to many parties) bugs become shallower. And moreover you see who's responsible for them.

It's just a bug! And bugs on the rise

Video errata: While checking the output (one take, no scripting) I noticed a glaring error; for some strange reason, maybe a Freudian slip, I said that the annual salary of Greg K-H is a hundred thousand dollars per year. I meant to say something completely different and it's important to correct this (even if the slip of the tongue was purely accidental). The IRS filing for 2018, back when he was relatively new in this employer, suggests almost $400,000 a year inclusive of everything (latest available filing says it has increased since):

Greg K-H's salary

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