Half knowledge is dangerous .. specially if you are a journalist

I read this article today “No free lunches for me” byline Charles Assisi(Times of India, 31th August 2006).All I can say is Times of India needs better technology writer than him. Half knowledge is too dangerous that is what you can conclude from this article.But heavily dangerous if the person is a reporter to famous paper (?) like TOI.

Can somebody inform Mr.Assisi ‘free software’ doesn’t mean ‘free lunch’ but means ‘Freedom’. I don’t know from where he got the message that ‘free software’ means ‘free lunch’.

As far as ideas go, free software is too damn nice an idea. And nice guys finish last. For that one reason alone, my guess is free software will always remain on the fringes of the mainstream.

Mr.Assini don’t come to conclusions. More than half the world uses FOSS( Free and Open Source) when accessing the net. You might be using too. More than 90% world’s web server are Apache (do you know what is Apache BTW).Nearly 15% of the world is using Firefox now and is growing. More than half the bloggers users use Free Softwares like WordPress, Live Journal etc.

I am really surprised with the wordings of the sentence “nice guys finish last”. Are you hinting the people to turn bad and finish first. This should not come from a responsible journalist.It might be in your field but not here Mr. We still have hopes and as Gandhi told “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”

But by thinking something up and offering it to the collective to improve upon, I stand to lose my livelihood. In fact, for somebody as selfish as I am, it leaves me with no incentive to write. On the contrary, I’d think up something else to earn a living. I’m willing to bet most people think the way I do.

This is really stupid. You don’t know how the software industry runs. You don’t know how the companies like Redhat, MySql are making money.
You don’t know how the how many startups have have emerged based on ‘Free Software’. If you had at least little knowledge of Service and Maintenance sector you wouldn’t have bothered to pen this paragraph.
Please get in touch with somebody from GNu.org.in; we surely spend sometime to explain ‘how to make money from free Software’

I’m willing to bet most people think the way I do.

ROTL. What made you to think like that.

I’m not a nice guy. I don’t care.

We know that. Who cares? We (Free Software) have bigger guys to fight with.

Now coming to the Kerala Govt. decision.

What it means is this: children in the 12,500 high schools across the state will be weaned off proprietary software of the kind Microsoft builds. Long-time friends will impale me for saying this. It is a bad idea.

What made you think that its a bad decision. Where are the numbers and facts. We have at least hundreds of reasons why schools or universities should go FOSS. If you want to know read about the VTU Foss Campaign.

BTW, Do you know Abdul Kalam? Do you know what is his idea about FOSS. If you don’t know please go read articles from your own paper.
For your reference, I am just quoting him

The most unfortunate thing is that India still seems to believe in proprietary solutions. Further spread of IT, which is influencing the daily life of individuals, will have a devastating effect on the lives of society due to any small shift in the business practice involving these proprietary solutions. It is precisely for these reasons open source software needs to be built which will be cost effective for the entire society.

But according to me; the most unfortunate thing is that we have journalist like you and a paper which publishes
half baked stories written by you.

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