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How Open Source Might Finally Become Mainstream 231

geegel writes "The Wall Street Journal has a very interesting article on how autocracies are now embracing open source, while at the same promoting national based IT services. The author, Evgeny Morozov, paints a bleak future of the future World Wide Web."
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How Open Source Might Finally Become Mainstream

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  • Interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @07:30PM (#34855678)
    I've also noticed that at the same we're getting much better quality open source software.
  • Peer-to-Peer? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Khopesh ( 112447 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @07:50PM (#34855914) Homepage Journal

    This article is very well composed, but does not mention peer-to-peer solutions, which avoid the big-brother problem. Projects like Diaspora [] are working on systems that implement this kind of P2P-based web using web-of-trust []. I assume that Diaspora apps will be able to facilitate various services, hopefully including things like communication.

    The Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corporation (Fox News), which is probably why it didn't mention things like MySpace being owned by Murdock's political powerhouse, which is clearly along a similar (if not identical) line. Free Software best combats this with the Affero General Public License [], which closes the "ASP loophole" by marking an implementation of the software as the same as its distribution (thus modifications must be made public). Examples include Diaspora (social media), Gitorious [] (software forge), and [] (micro-blogging) among others [].

  • Re:It already is... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by melikamp ( 631205 ) on Wednesday January 12, 2011 @09:09PM (#34856632) Homepage Journal
    Android is open-source, but it did not make open-source software mainstream. I would say, it's almost doing as much damage as any iPhone I've seen, directly as a result of Google not giving a rat's ass about what proprietary crap vendors screw on top of it. What we are looking at here is exactly the difference between Apache license and GPLv3. I rooted a new Verizon Android for a friend the other day, and it was like pulling teeth. It was a dirty hack [] done, I can only assume, by a dirty hacker, bless his heart, and there is no guarantee that it will survive the next big update. If ordinary users are not trusted with full access to their devices, and have a locked (for most practical purposes) computer with proprietary top and zero documentation, talking about the licensing of some software components is moot, and "open-source" is just a feel-good word.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong