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Too Much Choice, FOSS vs. Capitalism, Windows "Security", Mono

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Here are more deep thoughts from Linux Today readers. Or at least entertaining thoughts. Or insightful. Or annoying. Or something!

Don Whitbeck settles the question of "Linux has too many choices" once and for all with irrefutable logic:

"Let's just have one flavor of ice cream. How about vanilla? All that choice is bewildering. "

Rufus Polson wrote a nice long Talkback on "Competition" vs. "Reward" . The whole comment is great, and here is an excerpt:

"Now market theory does claim competition causes efficiency, but that in turn is based on two more basic ideas. First, people are homo economicus--they are motivated entirely by financial gain. Second, competition results in people who perform better getting rewarded financially and people who perform less well getting penalized...

In fact, psychological studies suggest that people are motivated by a number of things, and that financial gain past a certain point is not really one of the most effective motivators. Done wrong it can even *de-motivate*. Another problem is that firms are not the same as people. CEOs may be financially motivated to improve a firm's profits (in the short term), but are line workers? Certainly not in most big businesses. To many, profits are something that happens when their wages are squeezed. Certainly it has been some time since there was a link between increasing worker productivity and increasing worker wages.

So for motivational purposes, capitalism in large firms is pretty much indistinguishable from Soviet communism. Finally, markets aren't actually optimally efficient; to approach efficiency they require fairly firm regulation to reduce opportunities for fraud, "moral hazard", the creation of externalities--just generally cheating. They also require a certain amount of planning, as well as intervention to create public goods such as infrastructure which would go uncreated due to free-ridership problems if left to markets. The most successful economies around the world, including the US, all interfere in their markets extensively."

Windows security is always good for some laughs:

What is a botnet? Tont O'Bryan says "It's what results from connecting Windows to the Internet."

jp joins the fray, responding to "The problem is really just that Windows is so immensly popular":

"Once again, widespread does not equal popular. At one time polio was widespread but I doubt anyone thought that made it popular."

Finally, GreyGeek answers the question that will not die: If Mono is bad, how can Samba be good? Here is an excerpt:

"So, SAMBA is a green room development with no Microsoft licenses currently needed. Microsoft may change that in the future by patenting software technologies it uses to extend SMB in future releases, thus blocking SAMBA, if the current challenges to software patents fail. So, if Linux is not connected to a Windows network it does not need SAMBA to operate at all.

That is not true with MONO. de Icaza did not use the "French Cafe" to figure out .NET because because he has been in frequent contact with Microsoft developers during the development of MONO. I understand that he wrote MoonLight, a SilverLight clone, in 20 days and finished it on a plane flight to Europe, where he presented it. Considering his MS contacts I can understand how he did it.

To make matters worse, the Ubuntu Technology Board voted on June 30, 2009 to make the Ubuntu desktop remix DEPENDENT on MONO! Since MONO is a clone of .NET, and .NET is owned and controlled by Microsoft, that means that Microsoft will, directly or indirectly, control the Ubuntu desktop in future releases, unless the UTB comes to its senses and reverses itself. Now, consider this: GNOME is built using C and the GTK+ API, and compiled with gcc. MONO (.NET) has it's own API and GUI dialog frameworks, and is written using C#. There is NO NEED for GTK+ if GNOME because dependent on MONO. Expect the Ubuntu Technical Board, after a "reasonable" period of time to allow MONO based GUIs and utilities to gradually replace GTK+ counterparts, to announce that it is removing the GTK+ toolkit to "save room" on the ISO. That is the same reason it used to remove GIMP from the ISO in favor of MONO."

Thanks again LT readers for posting the finest and freshest comments anywhere!

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