09.25.08

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Hello World

Posted in Boycott Novell, Site News at 11:01 pm by Shane Coyle

Howdy, Comrades! It’s Shane, guest-blogging from the new Union of American Socialist States (UASS). As many are aware, I haven’t contributed much here in the previous year or so – save my last cameo appearance when Roy took a well-deserved break, so perhaps there are some folks here who have never heard from me before.

So, please allow myself to introduce… myself. And, yes, this is a completely personal entry – no news or anything, so if you are uninterested you can save yourself a few minutes. I just would feel weird if I started broadcasting into everyone’s RSS readers and they have no bloody idea who I am.

As I have said, I am here in America – Lawng Eyeland, New Yawk, and am currently employed by my local school district as a Custodial Worker (essentially a Janitor/Maintenance position), having left the IT world behind me some 5 years ago – I worked for a large software company that I consider slightly more evil than Microsoft. Seriously.

A couple of years ago, I purchased a “unique fixer-upper opportunity”, the worst house <strikethrough>on the block<⁄strikethrough> in the neighborhood, and have taught myself how to renovate and repair it for the last few years. Now, I am going back and redoing much of it, just properly ;^ ) Honestly, it’s probably the 2nd best house on the block these days, and I am pretty proud. Also, I am apparently one of the few Americans who hasn’t received a foreclosure notice yet – and I am pretty proud of that, too.

In regards to establishing my Geek-Cred, I am a GNU/Linux user for some time now, and try to give back by setting up EDU-Nix.org which distributes a Slax-based Live CD (and soon a Live USB, which is much more practical we have found) that is geared towards school students. Mainly, I work with a couple of teachers in my school in tweaking and creating some district-specific vocabulary lists and such for use with the KDE EDU Suite, as well as the Tux4Kids stuff – which is wildly popular with the students (Tux Paint in particular). I even try to push OpenOffice.org sometimes, but that hasn’t quite taken off – except for the export to PDF functionality, which raised an eyebrow or two – “What do you mean, it’s free?”. Occasionally, I get to updating the site and making a more generic version of the CD/USB we work on available for download, something I am hoping to do more often as winter sets in here.

Anyhow, I started BoycottNovell.com a few days after the announcement of the deal – it was not a hasty decision on my behalf, partly because I knew deep down that although I was deeply disturbed by many aspects of the deal and felt compelled to speak out, that the time necessary to do it well was something that I lacked. Shortly after beginning the site, I tapped Roy to help out – and boy has he – it’s fair to say that this is ‘his’ site now, and I am just the man behind the curtain raking in all those Adsense dollars that cause controversy from time to time – some of that dollar-fifty a day likely comes from Microsoft and/or Novell ads, sorry it’s true. It’s a little funny, because I never see the ads – and judging by those paltry click numbers for such a popular site – neither do many of you ;^ )

One thing I have always hoped for with this site is that it would host some insightful discussions regarding the “deal and its subtle (yet severe) implications”, and have absolutely abhorred censorship in any way – whether they be Microsoft ads or a differing opinion from a visitor. It’s with that in mind that I have released the 50 or so non-spam-seeming comments still in moderation, mainly from someone called ‘eet’ – I don’t get it, but whatever – Shane is a pretty odd name, too. As always, I hope we can keep it somewhat civil and relatively mature here, and maybe even on-topic sometimes (this off-topic post aside, I guess). In my opinion, it’s unreasonable to embrace the community development model for software problems, but not for sociopolitical ones that affect our community – by having these discussions, hopefully our understanding of these situations can grow and maybe we can even come up with a solution or two.

I truly hope that the next few days bring us a juicy story; last time I was here, there was the OpenOffice.org fork controversy and Red Hat and Novell were hit with patent infringement suits shortly after Mr Ballmer predicted just such an occurrence – it was kinda eerie. Then, I was really floored when it was announced that Microsoft was extending their covenant to GPLv3 software, once such was shipped in SLE. It was a busy few days, I had fun.

Well, it’s good to meet you (or see you again, for some readers) and I hope that I can be the capable fill-in that the site deserves for the next few days: I think of myself as Joan Rivers filling in for Johnny Carson, but without so much plastic surgery. Well, I did have some work done, but I digress…

Oh, and since someone griped last time, I have never promised to do-no-evil on Saturdays – that’s Roy’s gig – if Novell or anyone else in the “Linux Ecosystem” irks me, I am not going to hold back just cuz it’s the weekend. hehe

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5 Comments

  1. pcole said,

    September 26, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Gravatar

    It’s a good, informative & educational site. Got to here by accident when MS & intel temporarily sabotaged the OLPC Project. Working for corps in NY is an eye opener to daily shady deals & unethical behaviour. Was losing it trying to figure out if I’d gone nuts in not thinking that the so called almighty dollar was really the pinnacle of success.

    Found out I’m not alone in this vein of thought – people first, everything else after. Currently working with a few church groups in western NY helping them migrate from proprietary software to FOSS. The feeling being; We as a free thinking people can’t monetarily support monopolies (pseudo or otherwise) which are against our beliefs and values, consider other folks as less valued the they are. Don’t know if it’s the arrogance of wealth, the desire for control or crack-pipe apathy.

    The site (and the IRC) has corrected a few misconceptions I’d had concerning FOSS. Thanks

  2. Dan O'Brian said,

    September 26, 2008 at 7:11 am

    Gravatar

    This site could be so much better if Roy would actually research before openly attacking people, groups, projects, and companies for things. So many times it has been proven that he has attacked the wrong entity. And this has the negative side effect of harming the innocent.

    He also refuses to see both sides of the story – something that is essential to making informed and objective criticisms. A site that is very one-sided that refuses to accept when it has been proven wrong is not helpful to your cause.

    Microsoft, Novell, etc should be criticized when they actually do something wrong, but when they do something right, that should be acknowledged (and perhaps even praised).

    For example, the other day Roy attacked Novell for bringing it to the public’s attention that a driver in a particular kernel could do physical harm to a certain piece of hardware. This is responsible behavior, yet Roy attacked them insinuating that if those people ran other distros, they’d be safe. A few minutes of research would have revealed that this was in fact a bug in the kernel, not Novell’s Linux, and that all distros were affected. I believe all he had to do was finish reading the article he himself posted.

    He routinely relies on the fact that most of the people who read this site want so badly to paint Novell as the bad guy that they don’t bother to read the links that he supplies as “evidence” (which so often disprove his conclusions).

    A site which substantiated its claims with actual evidence that supported the conclusions would go a lot farther toward reaching your goals. The few articles that Roy posts that have any bearing on reality just get lost in the noise.

    Remember: quality over quantity.

  3. aeshna23 said,

    September 26, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Gravatar

    “As I have said, I am here in America – Lawng Eyeland, New Yawk, and am currently employed by my local school district as a Custodial Worker (essentially a Janitor/Maintenance position), having left the IT world behind me some 5 years ago – I worked for a large software company that I consider slightly more evil than Microsoft.”

    It’s great that you tell us your current job. Our society is too quick to judge people for their jobs or the size of the paycheck instead of the quality of their ideas.

    I had a college roommate who seriously wanted to become a janitor in the NYC schools, because the pay was so good. It seemed weird to me, but when I visited him after graduation he had indeed become a janitor. I don’t know how Long Island public schools pay their janitors, and ultimately it doesn’t matter. Even if you were earning minimum wage, I value you for the ideas you contribute to this discourse.

  4. Phil said,

    September 27, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Gravatar

    pcole said:
    > It’s a good, informative & educational site.

    ROFLMAO – thanks dude, you made my day.

    This is probably by far the most one sided & biased smear campaign I ever encountered. They routinely sell libel as facts and base their next “article” on the “facts” shown in the previous one which results in pretty strange constructs.

  5. pcole said,

    September 27, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Gravatar

    Exploring the reality behind exclusionary deals with Microsoft and their subtle (yet severe) implications

    This site may be humorous to some and it may seem biased to others; A few may see positive results in their portfolio, but when you’re at the other end of the spectrum and see the negative impacts of corporate monopolizing, you don’t see it that way.

    Currently, my dad is in Brazil, retired, but teaching young people the real advantages of using F/OSS, not from an office but “boots on the ground” handing out Live CDs, usb keys, and supporting their use. No campaigns, no trumpets and fanfare, yet being vilified over it by professors, education leaders and local politicians. He does charitable work expecting no remuneration. Over here in western NY, we’re very busy doing the same, as time will allow it.

    Transparency in doing business in this day and age is rare. Freedom and independence is very difficult for some to achieve. If some are “breast-fed” by corporations, I can see why it is difficult to break the tie. There is an emotional negativity in leaving your “comfort zone”. So they spin their “comfortness” in a positive way. Yet what is good for a few geese is not good for the many gander.

    You can’t exclude the desires and wishes of many people without incurring some flack. Look at the effects of the ooxml (JTC-1) fast-tracking. Brazil, Malaysia, India, Venezuela, South Africa, Cuba are in effect saying “ISO is irrelevant”. A lot of folks are tired of “business as usual”.

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