Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship Linux

Dell Censors IdeaStorm Linux Dissent 228

Posted by kdawson
from the why-bother? dept.
thefickler writes "It seems pointless to seek ideas and feedback if you're going to ignore and delete the opinions you don't like. That's exactly what Dell is doing with its IdeaStorm website, which the company set up to solicit such ideas and feedback. Dell deleted a post linking to an article that criticizes its handling of the 'pre-installed Linux' issue."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Dell Censors IdeaStorm Linux Dissent

Comments Filter:
  • Ahh. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:14PM (#18196646)
    See something you don't like? Suppress it!

    Go ahead, mod me down, fuckers. Your mother is a Java programmer.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Evilest Doer (969227)

      Go ahead, mod me down, fuckers. Your mother is a Java programmer.
      Oh yeah! Well, your dad thinks Windows 3.1 is an operating system! And your mother likes coding in BASIC! And I'm not even going to begin with what you and your sister do every night in the basement with that Amiga!
    • by billybob2 (755512) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:33PM (#18196924)
      Dell is paying consumers to use Windows! The exact same Dell Latitude D520 Notebook costs $48 MORE if it comes with no operating system than if it comes with Windows.

      The laptop loaded with Windows XP [dell.com] costs $699, while the same laptop and configuration loaded with no operating system [dell.com] costs $747. Note that you must change the following two hardware options on the web page showing laptop without an OS so that they match the hardware options found by default for the Windows laptop: Hard drive=60GB 5400RPM and Modular Bay Optical="8X DVD".

      So it seems that Windows has a negative price tag as far as Dell is concerned! It looks like Dell is still subsidizing Microsoft for every Windows-free laptop they sell. I'm getting my laptop from System76 [system76.com] -- they sell excellent quality Linux laptops, desktops, and servers. They also have a great support team [ubuntuforums.org] that cares about Linux and open source.
      • "they sell excellent quality Linux laptops, desktops, and servers."
        Just curious. Have you already purchased systems from them? How did you come to this conclusion?

        Thanks
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Evilest Doer (969227)

        So it seems that Windows has a negative price tag as far as Dell is concerned!
        So, by the "logic" of the Mafiaa, if I pirate Windows, then I am actually increasing revenue for Micro$oft!
      • by bberens (965711) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @03:33PM (#18197844)
        pre-loaded windows systems come full of advertisement crap such as free AOL installs which will dramatically decrease the cost of the PC to you and me. This is one of the many ways PC manufacturers keep the cost of the machine down. It's very likely that the advertising revenue is greater than the pittance they pay for the OS in their ginormous OEM contract so it doesn't surprise me at all. There won't be any advertising software in that machine with no OS and there's unlikely to be advertising software pre-loaded onto a linux machine. It's unlikely to be a major conspiracy, occam's razor and what not. Alternatively, maybe they could start selling PCs with a giant AOL logo on the side of the case. I'm sure that would go over well.
        • pre-loaded windows systems come full of advertisement crap such as free AOL installs which will dramatically decrease the cost of the PC to you and me. This is one of the many ways PC manufacturers keep the cost of the machine down. It's very likely that the advertising revenue is greater than the pittance they pay for the OS in their ginormous...

          When companies like Dell begin selling PCs with Linux pre-installed for consumers we will quickly see the emergence of exactly this kind of crap that infests Windows. The upside is downloading and installing an alternative OS to clean up the pre-installed crap is free. The downside is that the "Dells" probably won't offer support if you swap the OS and have access to the source such that they can bury the ad-ware deep within the system.

          I expect tricks like goofy proprietary hardware that requires special d

          • I'm more optimistic. I think it is much easier to configure Linux to display your logo all over the place. Dell won't have to install so much extra insidious software because they will be able to just create a theme out of pngs and text files, and collect the advertising fees. And if they can manage to set up a system such that all pdfs will automatically use Adobe, all music files will automatically use RealPlayer, etc., more power to them. It will mean that it will be easier to change everything to use a
      • by westlake (615356)
        Dell is paying consumers to use Windows! The exact same Dell Latitude D520 Notebook costs $48 MORE if it comes with no operating system than if it comes with Windows.

        The mass-market Windows laptop outsells all other configurations.

        Not in small numbers but in big numbers. Really big numbers. The mass-market Windows laptop is priced lower than all other configurations but delivers more profit at less cost to the direct seller or big box retailer.

        Dell markets the bare bones PC to commercial clients purchas

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mdkathon (579667)
      Is it not Dell's right to remove anything that they feel is negative coverage on their own website? As much as I want to get behind this "damn the man" smear job (not). I'd like to think that fellow Slashdotters understand that it is not in Dell's interest to try and make Linux available to the masses. It's a headache from a support standpoint. Though their management may be a little heavy handed for our liking we cannot blame them for not allowing participants of IdeaStorm to cross-link to articles critici
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by whargoul (932206)

        Do we need to whine and complain as well?
        Welcome to Slashdot!
      • Re:Ahh. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jc42 (318812) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @03:24PM (#18197700) Homepage Journal
        Is it not Dell's right to remove anything that they feel is negative coverage on their own website?

        Yes, of course they have the right to suppress whatever they want on their own stuff. In fact, we should expect this from most organizations run by humans.

        But many of us would really like to know when this is happening. It tells us a lot about the trustworthiness of their information. If an organization (corporation, government, whatever) wants our trust, they should make their information handling "transparent" and visible to us. Otherwise, we'll just infer that they have something to hide from us.

        Nobody with a grain of sense ever trusts any organization that hides or suppresses information about their inner workings. (And yes, this does mean that I don't trust very many organizations. We have words for someone who does. Words like "naïve" and "sucker". ;-)
    • by rbanffy (584143)
      "Your mother is a Java programmer."

      That one DID hurt!
  • Dude (Score:4, Funny)

    by smitty97 (995791) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:15PM (#18196656)
    Dude, you bought a [DELETED]
  • by pilgrim23 (716938) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:16PM (#18196668)
    Michael Dell is back as the Chairman... Steve Balmer is a chairman..

    chair and chair alike.....
  • Ideas or Criticism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ogive17 (691899) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:16PM (#18196670)
    I didn't read the article because for some reason it's blocked at work (we have odd filters), but it's possible the post containing the link didn't meet the requirements.

    If I asked for some ideas, I would be open minded about what I received. If I got complaints instead with no ideas (not sure if the link gave suggestions or just complained), I would also remove them to try and stop the forum from becoming a flame war.
    • by jimstapleton (999106) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:23PM (#18196796) Journal
      Synopsis: Dell would make some buisiness models "Linux Ready", and look into other models. They would pick SUSE as their distro of choice.

      Roughly the idea storm post I read (not the article, but it linked to it), someone decided to complain that.
      1) Dell wasn't providing Linux support for all models NOW
      2) Dell wasn't given a guranteed time frame or even a gurantee on making all models "Linux ready" or "Linux preinstalled"
      3) Dell picked SUSE, the Linux that pays MS.

      The persond didn't use profanity and wasnt exceptionally inflamatory given how ticked off he seemded, but at the same time, he was complaining that he wasn't handed the sun and moon on a silver platter right now.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Ogive17 (691899)
        Ahh, a linux snob!
      • Note: I don't agree with the censorship at all, but I do think that particular post was unreasonable. Given the low voting rate, I suspect a lot of others positive to the idea of Linux on Dells felt this way to some extent also.
      • by jedidiah (1196)
        Having yet another checkbox to click on dell.com is hardly "the moon on a platter".

        The mechanics of putting an arbitrary alt-OS in place is trivial. The certification wouldn't even be that hard. They probably have a small horde of interns and people higher up in the food chain that have already been asking to do the legwork for this.

        The choice of distro doesn't even really matter. It just serves to confirm that the machine will infact work with Linux and would serve as a quick sanity & compatability che
        • The choice of distro doesn't even really matter. It just serves to confirm that the machine will infact work with Linux

          It confirms that it works with _that distro_ - if that distro happens to ship with various non-Free drivers then that won't do you a blind bit of good if you want it to work with a completely Free distro.
          • by jedidiah (1196)
            You make it sound like non-free drivers won't work on a zealously free distro like Debian when this is clearly not the case.

            Are you intentionally spreading misinformation or are you just clueless?
        • testing to see if it works is more than just a

          "yep, the OS installs"
          "yep, it sees the drives"
          "yep, the monitor displays dem purdy pictures"
          "yep, the spears are plain' that purdy music"
          etc.
          etc.
          etc.

          It involves stress testing and the testing of many situations in a corporate environment such as Dell (and most OEM distributors), to make sure that it not only (a) works initially, but (b) can actually handle a wide variety of situations.

          They can't just trust your word that "Yeah, Linux rocks", they have to make s
        • Screw preinstalling Linux. Thats not needed atm.

          Just make sure that the Linux kernel supports Dell computers 100% to start with.
          Doing that is pretty quick compared to offering a particular distro.
      • by Kludge (13653)
        The truth is that Dell could be giving him Linux today. Dell makes excuses about having to ramp up support. Dell has sold Linux before, they know how to do it. We bought a box from them. The support came from Red Hat, not Dell. The reality is that Dell wouldn't even be doing the OS support! They farm it out to Suse or Red Hat or whomever.

        Oh, but they have to guarantee hardware compatibility. Heck, I can do that in an hour or two. I build boxes all the time with info I get off the internet.

        The trut
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770)
        he was complaining that he wasn't handed the sun and moon on a silver platter right now

        Amen to that. For example, on 2) how could Dell possibly give a timeframe on that without doing a huge job figuring out if there were drivers for all the hardware they ship. Perhaps there are many that simply can't do it, because there's no driver, there's IP issues and whatnot which means there's not going to be a driver unless Dell dedicates own staff to reverse engineer it. As for 1) and 3), why would they overload the
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by duffolonious (956722)
        How about no OS, is that that difficult? Really?

        Beyond that, it wouldn't be hard to have the basic hardware be stuff that works under Linux in general. The specific OS stuff is just a stall tactic.

        The reason people are so pissy is because this got their hopes up, and now it looks like it may be postponed... indefinately.
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:17PM (#18196698) Homepage
    So they deleted a post critical of them. The post then appeared on a private blog without risk of legal reprisal. No **rights** were violated unless this was allowed in the TOS, and even then those are rights granted by Dell at their site, not legal rights. It's stupid, tacky and self-defeating. I don't think anyone thinks this was a smart move on Dell's part, but it's not real censorship like what we fear. He is free to post the same post, 5x more vitriolic (provided it's all still true), anywhere he wants.

    Besides, who in their right mind thought this was something more than astroturfing on Dell's part?
    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      I don't think anyone thinks this was a smart move on Dell's part, but it's not real censorship like what we fear.
      IMO, the post wasn't really an idea.

      The only 'idea' out of the post was "Comply with the DOJ and give everybody a fair shake Dell."

      The rest was just a mild rant.
  • Overstatement (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iamacat (583406) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:17PM (#18196714)
    It seems pointless to seek ideas and feedback if you're going to ignore and delete the opinions you don't like.

    Why, does asking for opinions imply that you agree to follow and publish every one of them? They might have had a different kind of feedback in mind, like new models with a different hardware feature set.
  • You know... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:21PM (#18196758) Journal
    To the degree that the goal is to persuade Dell to support Linux, reinforcing the impression that Linux users are a bunch of hypersensitive crackpots who think the world owes them everything seems counterproductive.
    • by melikamp (631205)
      Nod. I do not see what the big issue is here. Sure, pre-installing beats certifying, but the latter is not a "double-shunning of the linux community". I would definitely go for a certified GNU/Linux computer without OS. That is a big step forward compared to an uncertified PC with Windows. For one, any recent enough distribution is almost guaranteed to pick up the hardware. Secondly, it opens up a new market for distribution-specific installation/support groups, which is how it is supposed to work in the fr
      • I think you are going a bit far... How about a "NO OS" option. Is that too much to ask? Dell's arguments of picking the right OS and certification seem designed to stall and perhaps eventually sweep this under the rug. Your argument seems like a strawman; because the main thing Linux people don't want to do is pay for Windows. Pre-installed Linux is a big step - for end-users it requires support and hardware testing.
    • Re:You know... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:58PM (#18197296)
      Linux users are a bunch of hypersensitive crackpots who think the world owes them everything

      Now, you've hit the nail on the head.

      I know this is going to get modded down but I'm being very honest: The Linux community is turning into it's own worst enemy. Have it shoved in your face with all the fanatical zest of a religious cult visiting your home at 6am on a weekend morning is going to turn many many people sour to the message before it ever gets told.

      How many companies that are dealing with Joe Sixpack users really want to be aligned with a fringe group like the Linux community? Not many.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by skoaldipper (752281)
        No, sir. He missed the nail entirely. In fact, it seems like he was aiming for his own forehead. Why? "Linux users are a bunch of hypersensitive crackpots who think the world owes them everything". If people don't see the parallel irony in that statement with the Dell post than they probably have a few craftsman rings and pieces of fiberglass on their own forehead.

        I've been on linux mailing lists since the early 90s. Nothing has changed, yet linux still makes inroads. Since 93, for every response telling
        • Furthermore, companies are paid to appreciate _every_ customer from Joe Sixpack to Joe Suxtact.

          LOL! that's the funniest thing i've read in ages. are you really that naive? companies want to turn a profit. if an element of the marketplaces is (or at least appears) unprofitable they will not go there.

          you're a funny funny man.
  • Par for the course (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Hrodvitnir (101283)
    This is the way of corporate and web relations nowadays. Lets sum up in a list, shall we?

    1. Corporation screws customers
    2. Someone on the web blogs about it
    3. Social networking sites pick up on it
    4. Semi-mainstream media and maybe even real MSM pick it up
    5. Corp backpedals
    6. Everyone forgets about the transgression
    7. Profit! (for the corp)

    We don't even need ellipsis. We've been through this enough to know where the profit comes from at this point.
  • really, when was the last time that YRO had a positive story?
    • let's look shall we?
      http://yro.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org]
      Dell Censors IdeaStorm Linux Dissent no
      MPAA Fires Back at AACS Decryption Utility no
      RIAA Announces New Campus Lawsuit Strategy no
      Patent Office Head Lays Out Reform Strategy maybe
      Politics: Canada Rejects Anti-Terror Laws YES

      so the last time was Feb 28th.. oh wait- that was yesterday!

      plus, positive is all in the spin of the matter at hand.

      the last one could just as easily been written as- Canada decides to allow terroists more privacy...
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:24PM (#18196804)
    I once went to a restaurant and ordered a steak, medium-rare. I know a lot of people would rather have their steaks cooked well-done, grey all the way through. I'm not one of them. I like the tenderness that a little undercooking provides. The blood filling the plate is a delectable gravy to be sopped up with some bread. There really isn't anything I like better than a thick slab of ribeye cooked crispy on the outside and pink all the way through.

    You can imagine my surprise when they delivered a mash of ground beef and some wretched oil-soaked fries on the side. I said to the waitress, this isn't what I ordered. She was unmoved. I demanded that I talk to a manager. This little pissant 20-something comes out and asks me if there is anything he can help me with. I shoved the order in his face and asked him if he thought it was a steak, medium-rare.

    No, sir.
    Then why the hell did you serve it to me? Are you telling me I can't order my meal the way I want it and expect a modicum of service?
    Sir, this is Burger King. You can have it your way, within the bounds of our menu.

    I suppose I should have gone to the steak restaurant if I wanted steak.
  • by byjove (567441) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:24PM (#18196810) Homepage
    If there's censorship, why would the thread "Stop making excuses, and start paying attention. WE WANT LINUX!!!" still be live? [dellideastorm.com]
  • by blantonl (784786) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:24PM (#18196816) Homepage
    I think it is important for everyone to understand that First Amendment rights don't exist on Websites, blogs, and message forums. Those that own those communication platforms are free to delete or censure anything they feel necessary to maintain the spirit and intentions of both the supporting business and the site as a whole.

    What exacerbates the issue is whenever a moderation activity takes place against either the open source community, or the Linux community, the reaction is swift, dramatic, and overdone. OMFG my post was removed.. it is a conspiracy!!!

    So what! Dell removed a post on a site that was soliciting user input. Aren't there bigger problems in the world?

    If I asked you to come in my house, and provide me feedback on how my living room looks, and you responded "that's the biggest piece of crap I've ever seen," then I would probably censure you and throw you out.
    • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary @ y a hoo.com> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:56PM (#18197258) Journal
      If I asked you to come in my house, and provide me feedback on how my living room looks, and you responded "that's the biggest piece of crap I've ever seen," then I would probably censure you and throw you out.

      That's very rude of you. You ask someone to come over and give you their opinion for free, which you will then profit from by having a nicer house, and you kick them out because you don't like what they said?

      Given our current property laws, that is certainly within your rights. It is also within my rights to stand at the edge of a property waving a large sign saying "Rude person lives here."

      As always, freedom of the press only applies to those that own a press. Otherwise, you are free (for now) to go find a street corner and shout at passers by.

      I get the feeling that even complaining about this issue pisses off a lot of authoritarian-types. It seems there are a number of people in the world who really, really want everyone else to stop complaining about anything that might hurt the profits of a business. We should all just lie back and think of England.

      Businesses have a right to do certain things that piss us off. That does not mean that we have no right to complain about it. And the mere existence of other, larger problems in the world also does not remove our right to complain about this one.
    • I think it is important for everyone to understand that First Amendment rights don't exist on Websites, blogs, and message forums. Those that own those communication platforms are free to delete or censure anything they feel necessary to maintain the spirit and intentions of both the supporting business and the site as a whole.

      You're absolutely right. What should be getting railed against here isn't perceived civil oppression, but rather a company saying, "Okay, we want you, our potential customers, to t

  • by Silentknyght (1042778) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:24PM (#18196818)
    Did you read the post that was deleted? It's a brief post that came off as if it was written by an angry teenager. It smacked more of a personal attack than a cool-tempered, well-written, logical argument.

    There has to be some moderation of flame-bait and trolling posts on any forum. Moreover, the post was deleted probably by an overzealous moderator, rather than through some evil Dell mastermind with a conspiracy against linux.

  • The irony of the Dell+Linux camp is every linux fanboy swears up and down dell sucks and they would never buy one but at the same time think Linux is self defeating if Dell doesn't pre-install it.

    What is it? why let the tempers flair? If you can't be sincere about something without sounding immature, irrelevent and childish what is the sense of Dell even catering to you or justifying your actions by supporting them on their systems?

    Its dells forums, its dells channel of communication. They can do as they se
  • by lymond01 (314120) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:28PM (#18196870)
    I didn't see the original post that was deleted, but in general, you'll find, especially on public boards, that criticisms don't always fit under the category of ideas. Constructive criticism would do well on a board called IdeaStorm, but if you are simply saying "Your implementation sucks," it's not much of an idea.

    Again, didn't see the deleted post.
  • by twifosp (532320) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:29PM (#18196886)
    Look people this is not some grand case of censorship, it's moderation pure and simple and that is something Slashdotters should be able to appreciate. The site, idea storm, is a website soliciting ideas. It is NOT for posting criticisms and off-topic crap.

    This is the equivalant of a slashdot moderator moderating a post -1 off-topic or -1 troll. With the obvious exception is that there is no ability to read at -1 on dellideastorm.

    Ideas and suggestions are one thing. Posting an off-topic criticism is another.

    Note: I do not agree with the choice to remove the post. But I also understand the reasoning behind the decision.

    I swear, the bias and overeacting around here is as bad as fox news lately. Censorship... please. China has censorship. This little Dell forum moderation is peanuts compared to REAL censorship. Get a grip, Slashdot.

    • by gatzke (2977)
      Not even censorship. Dell owns the forum, they can do whatever they want. Maybe if they had some crazy TOS that said they would never delete posts, you could go after them. I doubt it.

      Is there anything that keeps slashdot from deleting posts? No. Private companies can censor things under their control all they want.

      Don't like it? Start your own site and delete whatever you don't like.
  • if you don't think Dell does it for you, go Apple, whitebox, closet scraping, whatever for your next peecee. if they don't catch on, they don't deserve to be around. witness compusa.
  • "It seems pointless to seek ideas and feedback if you're going to ignore and delete the opinions you don't like."

    Clearly they saw those criticisms, so I don't think they're being totally ignored. I'm willing to bet they're well noted as the concerns of a vocal minority. And there's the rub... Dell doesn't HAVE to do jack sh*t just to appease a few Linux activists. Their main business is going to remain, for quite a while, wintel machines. As to their website, it's their website, they can do whatever the h

    • Dell doesn't HAVE to do jack sh*t just to appease a few Linux activists. Their main business is going to remain, for quite a while, wintel machines.

      teen angst ramblings aside, dell has been fingerfucking with linux for years. i think this is why the story intrigues so many people. most dell desktops will run linux with no difficulty, and have done so for years. my first linux machine was a dell 486/66 and i have installed different distros on probably two dozen dell optiplexes over the years. i even h

  • Is there a pattern? The article mentions one deleted post, but there are several on the Dell site that are not exactly flattering, to say the least. Lots of people just went off on an anti-Dell rant, and had nothing constructive to say at all.

    Dell is right, in that it'll take a lot of work to get everything ready. If they sell it, they have to support it. That means training both sales and support staff; verifying what hardware has Linux drivers; etc. There is a LOT of work for them to do.

    I've always t
  • Apple's discussion groups, to name one, just because I'm familiar with it.

    "Censorship" is the wrong word because it refers to the removal of information by government officials, and as far as I know neither Apple nor Dell is the government, yet. (Not even Microsoft is the government. Yet.) I don't think the Terms and Conditions of company-sponsored forums generally include a Bill of Rights. Nor do they generally promise that you will be able to read everything that anyone else has posted.

    Infuriating? Sure.
    • You really should understand the word Censorship and how it is defined.

      Read Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] or Websters [m-w.com]

      Censorship does not require government. It is the removal of information from the public, or the prevention of circulation of information, where it is desired or felt best by some controlling group or body that others are not allowed to access the information which is being censored.

      It qualifies!
      • by ThosLives (686517)

        An odd thought though:

        Is all censorship bad?

        For instance, what do you call the removal of incorrect information from the public eye (say, on Wikipedia)? Technically that's censorship, but nobody complains.

        I think the issue is not about pure technical censorship, but oppressive censorship that actually infringes on people's rights - which typically can only be done by governments.

        • think the issue is not about pure technical censorship, but oppressive censorship that actually infringes on people's rights - which typically can only be done by governments. And religious organizations, Social Groups, Big Corporations, and many other groups. It is not hard to censor in the definition you are attempting to create. From NEC paying news papers not to publish information (Yes, First Hand Knowledge) To pharmaceutical removing data to reduce or stop lawsuits, to Religious organizations using
  • troll (Score:5, Insightful)

    by melikamp (631205) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:40PM (#18197020) Homepage Journal
    The editors are feeding a troll again. Dell did not open this forum to get educated about the freedom of speech. They wanted people to tell them how they can "improve [their] products and services". Pretty clear, is it not? An inflammatory comment about their way of supporting GNU/Linux does not belong there. Read TFA, the author makes it sound like Dell is spitting on the GNU/Linux community by opting to (gasp) certify the hardware rather than install and support some random distribution.
    • > Dell did not open this forum to get educated about the freedom of speech.
      > They wanted people to tell them how they can "improve [their] products and services"

      I think that's pretty generous of you. The postings on the web site will never be read by the business folks at Dell. It has no bearing on what they decide to roll out. The site is simply there as a form of cheap advertising, to get consumers interested in their upcoming product.

      jfs

      • by melikamp (631205)
        I disagree. Dell is a big, bureaucratic company. They probably had dozens of meetings where they discussed this project, and will have dozens more to discuss its effects. (If only because managers have to look busy, and it would be a real shame to admit that the project was pointless.) A bunch of marketing folks are writing executive summaries as we speak, and they are citing these statistics. Even though we might not see a GNU/Linux Dell for years, you can safely bet that they are at least discussing it no
  • It seems pointless to seek ideas and feedback if you're going to ignore and delete the opinions you don't like.

    It certainly is annoying to those, who posted the removed feedback, but it is not at all pointless for Dell to do so. They've received it and read it. They may remove it to make themselves look better (or try to, rather), or they may simply want to filter (what they perceive as garbage) out.

    Their point may have've been to get ideas they would like — removing others may make sense.

  • Censor this (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jamesl (106902) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:43PM (#18197066)
    One man's censor is another man's editor.
  • The post in question is a semi-incoherent rant. If I didn't want to offer Linux, I'd keep it up and point to it, saying, "this is what we'd have to deal with if we supported Linux."

    If he simply said that Dell reneged on a promise; or that it was making a mistake by not offering Linux preinstalls, I could see a nefarious PR motive behind dropping the post. But it sounds like it was written by a manic depressive who's of his meds.
    • by jedidiah (1196)
      Obviously you've never encountered a genuine manic-depressive (medicated or otherwise).
  • Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:48PM (#18197146)
    It seems pointless to seek ideas and feedback if you're going to ignore and delete the opinions you don't like.

    Maybe it's pointless but everybody does it all the time. Half the time, if I say, "hey, what do you think of X?" I'm looking for, "X is really great, you did a good job on it." It's psychological, don't tell me you don't do the same.

    Dell deleted a post linking to an article that criticizes its handling of the 'pre-installed Linux' issue.

    Sounds to me that they deleted a post linking to a whiny bitch. Let's try this little summary mixer;

    "It seems pointless to submit ideas and feedback to Dell if you're going to write a whiny article because they don't do exactly what you want."

    Besides, Dell is a huge corporation. They're investigating a process to get their hardware approved by Linux distributers. For a huge corporation, that's a major undertaking... I'm sure whoever wrote that whiny article was looking for, "yes sir, we'll have those on shelves tomorrow!" as a response.
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:51PM (#18197186) Homepage

    The reason this matters is that there are no Linux laptops available from any vendor bigger than a garage shop.

    Yes, there's Linux Certified [linuxcertified.com], in the same building with Mr. Chau's Chinese Fast Food [yelp.com] in San Jose. And there's System76 [system76.com], whose address is a Pak Mail in Denver. [pakmail.com]

    If you're selling hardware that may have to be maintained or replaced, you need to be bigger than that to play.

    Of course, once upon a time there was VA Linux, but we know what happened to them. [wikipedia.org]

    • by corsec67 (627446)
      So, the HP laptops that come with FreeDOS don't count?

      Then, you can install Ubuntu, SuSe, Red Hat, Gentoo, Debian, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, ... or whatever on it.
  • Look at the ideastorm homepage. It's almost all opensource and/or linux posts. If they were censoring, there wouldn't be any. Maybe they just deleted a duplicate post?
  • Sooner or later, Dell will either conform with consumer demand, or they will lose market share. Yes, Microsoft will continue to put up obstacles, but there's still enough competition in the hardware market that they can't control things forever. If you want evidence of this, take a look at the recent results of HP's choice to support Debian [internetnews.com].

    Anyway, I don't blame them for deleting a troll post.
  • The deleted post didn't have any suggestions. All it did was rag on Dell for apparently flip-flopping on preinstalls of Linux.

    However, deleting the post was a mistake. It opens the door to accusations of insincerety, cover ups, astroturfing, and so forth. It could show Dell hasn't enough respect for freedom of speech, or is too arrogant and sure of themselves. No, of course they own the site and have every right to do anything they want with it. But that doesn't mean they should, or no one will visit

    • It's their website. Their ownership. Let'em do whatever they want.

      HOWEVER they do pay for that choice of quelling dissent and calling upon falsehoods. They pay for that in even more lost goodwill and eventually, profit. So, yes, let them do whatever they want. Smaller "frys" will move in and snap away business that they refuse and dismiss.

      2% of the market? Hmm... Thats around 4-5 Million people. Would YOU sneeze at this market segment?
  • What about this interview
    http://www.desktoplinux.com/news/NS3822185143.html [desktoplinux.com]

    Dell replied, "We love Linux, and we're doing our best to support the Linux community. We see lots of opportunity there. If the Linux desktops could converge at their cores, such a common platform would make it easier to support. Or, if there was a leading or highly preferred version that a majority of users would want, we'd preload it." In the end, "we see [the Linux desktop] as a customer-driven activity. If customers want it

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @03:39PM (#18197940) Homepage Journal
    Seems like we get all excited about some linux strategy or other over there and then they come out a week later and say "No no we're not really doing that for YOU! Just our customers whose sales figures look like a phone number."

    From my personal experience we don't need no freaking support from them anyway. The last Dell laptop I used didn't completely blow donkey balls when I installed Linux on it. I was able to get high resolution, the docking station, wireless and the ethernet cards to work and was able to spin the fans up from sofware for when I ran Wine (Which always seems to want to cause a meltdown.) It also didn't give me third degree penis burns when I tried to use it in my lap. You always had plenty of warning when Wine was heating the machine up to penis boiling temperatures.

    I don't see why their company policy with Linux can't just be "Probably won't suck donkey balls. Won't boil your penis," and leave it at that. I mean really, we're linux people, what more do we really need?

    Of course these days I'm quite happy with the PPC Powermac I use. It never gets more than warm, wireless and ssh worked right out of the box and I didn't feel a burning urge to replace the OS the moment I turned it on. So sorry, Dell, even though your product doesn't suck donkey balls and doesn't boil my penis, the guys with the black tee shirts and the hair mousse still win.

  • I have owned and run a few computer companies. The first thing you learn is that word of mouth is worth it's weight in GOLD! Provided it is good word of mouth, bad word or mouth can kill a small company. With the advent of the internet, companies are now closer to there customer base than ever before. No longer can they ignore the customer, treat the customer like crap, etc. As they continue to enter into this space they will have to adjust their thinking. Change the way they respond and act towards the cus
  • by hcmtnbiker (925661) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @03:44PM (#18198032)
    I'm calling Bullshit. Its still there [dellideastorm.com] About 2/3 of the way down the page. People really need to do just a little research before comming to these assumptions. It just got bumbed off the main page on the hacked down main page because they cant fit all of the comments there.
  • Dell is just taking a neutral position with regard to Linux. They know that the majority of customers that would use Linux would not want to use whatever distribution they chose. This is actually a better response from Dell we are getting than we might get from some other business where they wear their ties a bit too tight and think that since the Linux community has not reached a concensus on "the one distribution", they can't go with Linux.

    What Dell could do in this case, however, is include a CD/DVD o

  • Looks like they deleted the comment because it was off topic to me. Its an idea website, not a place to bash a companies bad marketing decisions. He could have been smarter about the way he posted his comment and it would have stayed and probably actually improved the situation as apposed to being deleted.
  • It seems pointless to seek ideas and feedback if you're going to ignore and delete the opinions you don't like. That's exactly what Intel and Slashdot has done with its "Opinion Center" website.

    Hmmm...

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

Working...