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Re: [News] Almost-Abandoned Operating Systems Should Go Open Source

  • Subject: Re: [News] Almost-Abandoned Operating Systems Should Go Open Source
  • From: Homer <usenet@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 24 May 2008 23:30:12 +0100
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Verily I say unto thee, that Roy Schestowitz spake thusly:

> Smell the Roses Already: 4 OSs that Should Be Open Source

The problem with relicensing proprietary software, is that it often
contains other proprietary blobs licensed from third-parties. Tracking
down and successfully petitioning these third-parties to relicense those
blobs as Free Software can be a near-impossible task. Then those blobs
may /also/ have proprietary third party encumbrances ... and so on.

And to think that Sweaty had the gall to describe Free Software (Linux)
as "a cancer". The cancerous effects of "Intellectual Property" are far
more damaging, leading to an entirely new genre of software called
"Abandonware", amongst other things.

This is why Windows and Office could never be relicensed as Free
Software, especially as the vendor (Microsoft) has built its portfolio
almost exclusively from a vast array of technology assimilated from
everywhere but Redmond. No wonder they so vociferously defend the unholy
cult of "Intellectual Property"; those invoice slips are the only
"proof" they have that they actually "own" anything.

Theoretically they could /replace/ those third-party blobs with their
own "IP", but then don't forget that the Vole doesn't actually /create/
anything, beyond the cheap glue that binds this spaghetti hoopla
together. This may also account for why the Vole's "development" costs
are disproportionately high (10 Billion USD for that barrel of slop
called Vista?). In Vole-speak; "development" == "procurement", and
"innovation" == "assimilation". Of course all that "development" just
disappears into the abyss of Microsoft's gigantic; rusty tin of
spaghetti, where it gets glued on and promptly forgotten, until it
causes some remotely exploitable vulnerability, and is finally "patched"
after a year or two.

Indeed, have you ever wondered why it takes Microsoft so long to patch
their (supposedly) "own" software? Just look at their recent (and
ongoing) farce with Window Home Server, Data Corruption Edition®. Now
they want unpaid; volunteer; "crash test dummies" (as El Reg puts it) to
test their *commercial* Slopware. Side note: why would anyone give up
their free time (time = money) to subsidise a /commercial/ entity like
Microsoft ... and a convicted gangster-like monopoliser, at that? Surely
it makes more sense to contribute to software that you have full
"rights" to, and will benefit /everyone/ ... /equally/ ... and without
obligation (beyond the obligation to /keep/ that software /Free/)?

It's just as well that Microsoft's bribery slush-fund (euphemistically
known internally as "marketing assistance") matches their procurement
budget, otherwise they'd have "developed" themselves into oblivion by
now. It may still happen (fingers crossed).

In the particular case of AmigaOS4, the "owners" (Amiga Inc.) contracted
Hyperion to write OS4, which they did (albeit a little late), and then
refused to pay them. So now Hyperion have an OS they can't sell because
they don't own the "rights", and Amiga Inc. have the rights to sell an
OS that they don't actually have, because they point-blank refuse to pay
the only people who /should/ have the "right" to claim ownership, since
/they/ created it. Meanwhile, nobody is going to build hardware for an
OS that can't be distributed, and nobody would buy an OS that doesn't
have any hardware to run it on anyway.

Welcome to the wonderful world of Intellectual Monopoly Insanity®.


| 'When it comes to knowledge, "ownership" just doesn't make sense'
|     ~ Cory Doctorow, The Guardian.  http://tinyurl.com/22bgx8

Fedora release 8 (Werewolf) on sky, running kernel
 23:29:49 up 155 days, 20:05,  6 users,  load average: 0.13, 0.15, 0.26

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