Linux Blog

Are You Funding Open Source?

Filed under: General Linux — at 8:24 am on Friday, August 29, 2008

I was using a piece of software that I had heard about a while back that manages collections. Its called Tellico and is actually quite good. While using Tellico I discovered that when you click on the “Amazon link” for the product, it has an affiliate code in it.

For those of you who don’t know what an affiliate program is, its basically a way for people to make money just by refering people to products. Most of the big guys have these sorts of “programs” including Amazon. Affiliate programs are very popular in the triple X industry.

What frustrates me is that this is included in Tellico, so in effect when you visit a product from your own personal collection, Tellico gets a percentage of sales from Amazon for any other items you purchase. While the affiliate link doesn’t bother me so much as it can be changed (and I also participate in the program), its the fact that it came right out of the Fedora repositories like this.

What about if Ubuntu reworked its software and included affiliate links for everything? Perhaps a FireFox plugin that manipulated all Amazon requests to include Mandriva’s affiliate link. I think that this is against Amazons terms of service but this method is a potential way for open source developers and organizations to get some additional funding. But is it right? Preying on your end users ignorance for profit? Although it doesn’t harm anything is it moral?

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Stop Copying Windows?

Filed under: General Linux — at 9:10 am on Thursday, August 7, 2008

From InformationWeek I quote:

“Stop copying 2001 Windows. That’s not where the usability action is”

By this I think that Bob Sutor (VP of Open Source and Standards at IBM) meant that he didn’t want Linux developers to make a desktop OS. The article goes on to explain how he would like to see it further developments in Virtulization and making Linux more “green.” He believes that the Linux community has not done enough.

He’d like to see Linux take advantage of the small business market and help lower costs to businesses, but in order to do this “turnkey” applications have to be made that require little maintenance. I believe that small medium businesses can lower costs by running Linux technologies in the web applications market but not necessarily with desktop applications. Maybe this is something that should be leveraged? It would be hard to find open source developers that will work on a project that they have little interest in yet profits companies . But if an open source application became more mainstream then the developers would naturally follow as the application grew. Its sort of a catch 22. Who came first, the chicken or the egg?

Anyway, I thought it was an interesting article and I think that Bob Sutor should become an open source motivational speaker. Maybe IBM can fund a conference to get the Linux community to actually do something because they’re getting tired of waiting. I mean, how hard could it possibly be to motivate developers to create “turnkey business solutions” that will make IBM to ton of money?

iPhone SSH Client

Filed under: General Linux — at 2:34 pm on Monday, June 9, 2008

For those of you that have been following me for a while may remember my post titled Phones Meet Linux on iPhone alternatives and how I probably would not buy an iPhone. Today the iPhone has another alternative: its self. Apple announced the release of a new version of the iPhone. I’m sure your all familiar with this by now since its been rumoured for months but now its been announced.

So, with the announced release of the iPhone I’m happy to see that developers can now develop and distribute applications for the iPhone. Now I’m wondering how long it will be before there is a SSH client in the application database for the iPhone. System monitoring applications would also interest me. Among this they have also dropped the price, it will only be a matter of time before they run out.

What does this mean for open source developers? I cannot say I know the answer to this question yet. Is Apple going to allow open source projects to be distributed through their network? Wouldn’t it be nice? Free applications for the iPhone that are better than paid versions would be killer. What are your thoughts on this?