Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The future is open
December 30, 2006 10:47 AM   Subscribe

The world is not flat Like open source/content? Like youtube? You have a choice. According to IBM, the future is open, and according to Linux, this future is inevitable.
posted by localhuman (41 comments total)

 
I've long been excited thinking about the future under the paradigms of an open source/content economy.
However overly wishful these thoughts might be are up for the future to judge. Regardless,
this thread really had me wallowing in sadness for awhile. These videos not only had me inspired again,
but also changed my perception of youtube.

I know I've said I didn't like YoutubeFilter before, but I've come to understand that
Youtube is a tool that can be used for good or for bad. When done with care,
it is a service to this community.
posted by localhuman at 10:48 AM on December 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I wonder what OS these were authored on.
posted by crunchywelch at 11:02 AM on December 30, 2006


Whatever did the job. They're just tools, right?


..right?
posted by tumult at 11:08 AM on December 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I got as far as the patent myth.
posted by Tube at 11:08 AM on December 30, 2006


Holy crap that Red Hat video is retarded.
posted by delmoi at 11:09 AM on December 30, 2006


LINUX WILL BE READY FOR THE DESKTOP ANY DAY NOW.
posted by keswick at 11:10 AM on December 30, 2006


Sorry, the first red hat video. The other two videos are crappy too. The IBM video is stunningly cloying, although if you watch the whole thing (wait for the punchline) it's bad in a good way. The Red Hat videos are just retarded.
posted by delmoi at 11:16 AM on December 30, 2006


pedantastic!
posted by newton at 11:17 AM on December 30, 2006


but what does it all mean? I'm largely ignorant to LINUX and other similar OS's. Those ads were "creative visuals" but how will it affect my future? I know it's dangerous to show your ignorance in this mefi family of ours, but how will I ever learn if I don't ask?
posted by pelican at 11:23 AM on December 30, 2006


but what does it all mean?

Corporate porno for nerds.
posted by delmoi at 11:28 AM on December 30, 2006


Lunix is a hacker tool. If you catch your child running Lunix or any of its derivatives like Apple OSEX, punish him or her severely.

Lunis Thomas was an evil hacker who invented Lunix in the communist republic of Estonia as a tool to destroy capitalism and Microsoft. Don't believe me?
posted by fleetmouse at 11:30 AM on December 30, 2006


but what does it all mean?

Different people have different opinions on that, with the two main poles being "its a much better way to develop software" and "its a powerful tool to promote human freedom."

A prominent advocate for the latter view, Eben Moglen (basically the top lawyer for the free software movement), recently gave a great rally-the-troops speech that attempts to answer that.
posted by gsteff at 11:36 AM on December 30, 2006


I watched that speech gsteff, and it was pretty good
posted by localhuman at 11:42 AM on December 30, 2006


but what does it all mean?

It means that common infrastructures exist in spite of capitalism, not because of it. Many are confused about this.

I know it's dangerous to show your ignorance in this mefi family of ours,

The best anyone can do is prove you wrong, which is an act of kindless. The only real danger is finding agreement for a mistake.
posted by Brian B. at 11:59 AM on December 30, 2006 [3 favorites]


I watched the first video until it got to the fud-flinging "640K ought to be enough for anybody" urban legend. Anyone who's putting quotes in their advertisements in an effort to show how wrong they were should do a little research to make sure the quotes were actually uttered in the first place. Notice how all of the other quotes have dates, and that one just says "Bill Gates"? That indicates to me that they did research it, but when they came back with no solid citation whatsoever, they decided to run with it anyhow.

Disclosure: I'm an Open Source fan and a Linux user. I just think that Red Hat's PR department is stupid.
posted by Plutor at 12:02 PM on December 30, 2006


If the Linux kernel weren't such a festering mass of bugs, it'd make a much better center for the revolution. They focus primarily on development speed, not quality, and there's a constant stream of problems because of it.

Apparently, about 1 surveyed user in 5 is currently affected by a kernel bug. The Linux devs seem to think that's just fine.

FWIW, I'm a Linux user from WAY WAY back when... I was in very early, because it was software you could bet your life on. These days, you'd have better odds playing Russian Roulette.
posted by Malor at 12:19 PM on December 30, 2006


Whatever did the job. They're just tools, right?

As is the OP for posting these geekfomercials..
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:22 PM on December 30, 2006


As a consumer I am afraid that if I install Linux on my computer I will not be able to play Half-Life 2 and watch videos on the internet. I do not know anything about programming operating systems and have absolutely no desire to learn about fixing kernel bugs or anything of the sort.
I've yet to have a Linux evangelist demonstrate to me that my transition to an open-source OS will be painless while allowing me to use my computer for all the things I use it for.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:25 PM on December 30, 2006


You will have no problem with watching YouTube or Google Video or Dailymotion or anything like that. That's my favorite part of the Flash video revolution. (Plus, now that there's a Flash 9 beta for Linux, even Revver works.)
posted by Plutor at 12:28 PM on December 30, 2006


Pepsi... BOFH Neckbeard??
posted by loquacious at 12:30 PM on December 30, 2006


Some interesting stuff.

Linux doesn't ever have to be "ready for the desktop" for it to be a serious operating system. Hell, it's a serious operating system right now, running a very large chunk of the web sites you click around today.

I used it for the better part of a decade as my desktop OS, until OS X lured me away.

I find Linux, BSD, and GNU software a fascinating subject. It is very interesting to study how it upsets conventional economic thought. It's also interesting to study how it doesn't upset conventional economic thought. It does both things.

It's got a really cool (and fundamentally American) core philosophy, much of this software. It's also "deeply un-American" to another crowd. Some companies see it as a threat that could completely destroy their revenue stream. Others see it as a cash cow to drive them onward.

All in all, I'm really happy the internet lets shit like this happen, and that that doesn't change. YouTUBE, Linux, *BSD, these things survive and thrive on openness, and I hope it stays that way.

But nothing is inevitable.
posted by teece at 12:32 PM on December 30, 2006


One quote they forgot:

"The truth often suffers more by the heat of its defenders than by the arguments of its opponents." -- William Penn.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:03 PM on December 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Linux is about as close as it's ever going to get to being ready for the desktop without one crucial thing: vendor support. If Microsoft had to do what it does with as little vendor support as Linux has, Windows would be completely unusable. The reason that Windows achieves certain things like wireless chipset detection and driver installation, support for a multitude of video playback formats and the ability to suspend/resume properly (critical for laptops) is not because Microsoft is smart and capable or anything, it's because the manufacturers do most of the work of making windows work right on their hardware. A little more vendor support for these things and Linux will be golden, but it's a sisyphean task for the volunteer development community to keep up with this stuff, which is why these are among the things that always require you to find a HOWTO somewhere. And often suspend and resume can't be made to work at all. Linux does an amazing job, considering.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:32 PM on December 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


People are always trying so damn hard to promote OSX and Linux to Windows users. I think that, in and of itself, is a sign that we don't need it.

All the things that people really need, like drugs and Manhattan real estate, tend to sell themselves. No enthusiastic salesmanship needed.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:47 PM on December 30, 2006


Afroblanco, even if you like Windows, history shows that they need competition, or at least the threat of competition, to keep them honest. When MS kills off the competition in any space, their products stagnate or worse. Word was once, a long time ago, a really awesome word processor. I don't know anyone who doesn't hate it now. IE stopped improving the minute Netscape died. You may not care about Mac OS or Linux but if they didn't exist you wouldn't like Windows much either.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:54 PM on December 30, 2006


Dunno. I run a mixed Windows/OSX/Linux network at home. I've just always figured you just use the right tool for the job at hand.
posted by Samizdata at 1:57 PM on December 30, 2006


I think Gandhi is greatly overrated.

Just like Linux.
posted by sour cream at 2:43 PM on December 30, 2006


I think what localhuman was trying to say is, because the new Windows OS Vista is evil, Linux may have a new opportunity to become a more dominate player on the desktop, and thus the fancy new propaganda videos coming out from the corporate linux houses.
posted by stbalbach at 2:43 PM on December 30, 2006


what he said.
posted by localhuman at 2:46 PM on December 30, 2006


People are always trying so damn hard to promote OSX and Linux to Windows users. I think that, in and of itself, is a sign that we don't need it.

90% of the crap people buy they don't need. Doesn't mean you can't make money selling it.
posted by delmoi at 3:55 PM on December 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


According to this article, open source, having lost a desktop battle, is poised to reinvent the next level of OS with the major advantage of being license free. Maybe open source should take their eye off the competition.
posted by Brian B. at 4:06 PM on December 30, 2006


Isn't it because people buy crap they don't need that you can make money selling it to them?
posted by cgc373 at 4:54 PM on December 30, 2006


Somewhat on topic, I made some free-culture-themed posters for the Wikipedia store.
posted by Tlogmer at 5:47 PM on December 30, 2006


People are always trying so damn hard to promote OSX and Linux to Windows users. I think that, in and of itself, is a sign that we don't need it.
Why do people keep conflating OS X and LINUX? The only thing OS X and LINUX have in common is the UNIX bit. Otherwise Mac OS X is the exact same thing as Windows XP/Vista, although arguably better and/or worse.

Apple is as much about monopoly as Microsoft. I happen to prefer their product to Microsoft, but it doesn't mean the company is any better.
posted by illovich at 6:20 PM on December 30, 2006


Somewhat on topic, I made some free-culture-themed posters for the Wikipedia store.

"Think free" has some irony there. Wikipedia is not based on the freedom of thought. On the contrary, it is based on the individual freedom to censor. More knowledge is deleted than is preserved when it offends the true believers. Until Wikipedia separates the function of contributing from editing, the latter based on merit of objectivity, it will fail the freedom of thought test, which implies a protection from mass indoctrination and conformity.
posted by Brian B. at 6:31 PM on December 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I like the unix core in Linux. It also exists in Cygwin. I like not having to pay for an OS, and Ubuntu is about as good as you'll get for that without piracy. However, after spending extensive time with various versions of Windows, Linux and AIX, I have to say that OSX is the one I enjoy most as a desktop operating system. Enough so that I was willing to pay for it.
posted by furtive at 7:20 PM on December 30, 2006


Brian: the posters are more about Wikipedia's free licencing. You can use any text from wikipedia for pretty much however you want, just as you can use public-domain images for whatever you want. Even if Wikipedia has its share of censorship (and I don't think it does, but that's another debate), its content itself is free to flow across media. That's why the posters are mashups (medium is the message, yadda yadda).
posted by Tlogmer at 12:26 AM on December 31, 2006


Tlogmer, it's no excuse for a bad system because you've left Wikipedia behind to make your point. There are many ways to fix the problems, which are too many to mention, and one change would be to resort to the same merit system that created all that information in the first place (but emphasizing the election of those people based on their respect and treatment of knowledge--no degrees required). Let them dump their crap on Wikipedia, but let the best of bunch edit it for the search engine drafts. You may not see the point of quality I'm making, but it always relates to honoring achievement, no way around it. Frankly, Wikipedia is the only place where I've personally seen controversial authors mercilessly smeared by common agreement, and religious propaganda masquerade as knowledge. I notice they keep reinventing some articles too, another sign of persistent failure.
posted by Brian B. at 10:45 AM on December 31, 2006


Apparently, about 1 surveyed user in 5 is currently affected by a kernel bug.

This really surprises me, I've been using linux at home and professionally for (what is it now... damn, TOO many years) and have never encountered a kernel bug.

Neither do I have more trouble configuring hardware on linux than windows, although this may be due to my personal inclination towards config files as opposed to endless clicky unnavigable menus where you can't remember which option is where.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:11 PM on December 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Apparently, about 1 surveyed user in 5 is currently affected by a kernel bug.

And what do you think that statistic is for Windows users?
posted by odinsdream at 11:26 AM on January 1, 2007


"Think free" has some irony there. Wikipedia is not based on the freedom of thought. On the contrary, it is based on the individual freedom to censor. More knowledge is deleted than is preserved when it offends the true believers. Until Wikipedia separates the function of contributing from editing, the latter based on merit of objectivity, it will fail the freedom of thought test, which implies a protection from mass indoctrination and conformity.

Thus the fight for a "stable" branch of Wikipedia, which is something that most open source projects already have (and for good reason).
posted by mazatec at 1:40 PM on January 1, 2007


« Older An Eye for the World....  |  "It can seem daunting when you... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments