Re: confused about COTS vs open hardware

From: Brian Behlendorf <brian_at_behlendorf_dot_com>
Date: Fri Feb 09 2007 - 13:20:32 CST

On Wed, 7 Feb 2007, Jim March wrote:
> On 2/7/07, SomeThoughts@aol.com <SomeThoughts@aol.com> wrote:
>>
>> *We need to keep in mind that almost every tabulator in the
>> country is running on a Microsoft operating system. On top
>> of that, the Alameda County (CA) security assessment
>> recommended downloading patches (sight unseen) from
>> COTS vendors. This would include from a company (MS) that
>> benefited hugely from the results of the 2000 election, just
>> as the company was on the way to being broken up. The
>> new administration changed the judges.
>>
>> We need as much open source as possible, including the operating
>> system. *
>
> Or there's worse...we know MS put in a back door specifically for the
> NSA...
>
> That's not tinfoil hat stuff, it's well documented going back to 1999. And
> also why China is going all-Linux...

Hahaha, or so they claim, and then Mr. Gates comes to town and "donates" a
few million licenses (read: promises to avoid looking for violations), and
suddenly the official proclamations of a giant commitment to Linux move to
a different province or agency. Meanwhile, the very first organization to
ask Microsoft for a source code license to Windows? The Chinese military.
Wonder why...

But back to the topic at hand - as another huge OSS advocate, I also feel
that focusing first on OSS for the voting application itself (inclusive of
all business logic related to voting) and leaving OSS for the operating
system and firmware later is our best bet. Leaving the door open to OSS
at those other levels is essential, as is giving that a bit of
preferential treatment when compared to closed-source *equivalent*
solutions, but we can't mandate them into existance.

         Brian

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Received on Wed Feb 28 23:17:14 2007

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