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posted by Fnord666 on Sunday October 13 2019, @03:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the last-throes-of-public-culture dept.

https://public-interest-tech.com/

Mr. Schneier and friends have created a new website to promote a change to the socio-economic technical milieu we are currently facing.

He suggests we need to have "public interest technologists" to help the situation.

He writes:

"We need technologists who work in the public interest. We need public-interest technologists.

Defining this term is difficult. One Ford Foundation blog post described public-interest technologists as "technology practitioners who focus on social justice, the common good, and/or the public interest.""

Is he right? How can this be implemented without becoming as riddled with government agents, spies and mafias as the key positions of our corporations and institutions are right now?

Full disclosure: this writer has been a public interest technologist for a while now and I have actually alluded to the need for something like what is being suggested on multiple occasions, 'a different kind of organization' is the way I put it, way back a few months ago.

Discuss.


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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by barbara hudson on Sunday October 13 2019, @05:22PM (9 children)

    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Sunday October 13 2019, @05:22PM (#906666) Journal
    There are companies that use open source that have revenues in the 100s of millions or more - Google and Facebook are two examples. However, there is no company with the exception of RedHat that makes 100s of millions selling open source software - and even RedHat doesn't sell open source software, just support

    Take the Mozilla Foundation as an example. Almost all its revenue is from search engine deals with google, Microsoft, etc. So ready Mozilla is an advertising company, same as Google. They're selling advertising services. Not even support for open source software, never mind selling the software itself.'

    It's probably significant that at 66, RNS still has to beg for a room to sleep in on a regular basis. Kind of hard to save for retirement if the salary as president was $0 per annum. Genteel poverty isn't really that genteel once you become something of a pariah.

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  • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Sunday October 13 2019, @08:11PM (8 children)

    by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Sunday October 13 2019, @08:11PM (#906700)

    Redhat do sell software, it is called Red Hat Enterprise Linux and there is a "buy it" button right there on their site.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by barbara hudson on Sunday October 13 2019, @09:47PM

      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Sunday October 13 2019, @09:47PM (#906720) Journal
      It comes with a mandatory service contract - it's the contract you're paying for. Otherwise just grab Centos.
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    • (Score: 2) by arslan on Sunday October 13 2019, @09:49PM (2 children)

      by arslan (3462) on Sunday October 13 2019, @09:49PM (#906722)

      Umm technically they sell support, you can download RHEL, and source, and use it for free; yes registration required and they don't make it simple but not paid. You just don't get support, if you want support you pay for it. But yea, for most folks they see them as practically "selling" RHEL - me included. If you don't want to "buy" you just use Centos or Fedora or something else entirely you wounldn't bother jumping through hoops to get the "free" RHEL (or you just BT it)

      • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Sunday October 13 2019, @10:13PM (1 child)

        by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Sunday October 13 2019, @10:13PM (#906738)

        Oh, well technically correct, because that is the best kind of correct.

        • (Score: 2) by arslan on Monday October 14 2019, @12:13AM

          by arslan (3462) on Monday October 14 2019, @12:13AM (#906779)

          touché! =)

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 13 2019, @09:54PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 13 2019, @09:54PM (#906726)

      Even then, you can just use CentOS. It is basically identical, minus the branding and support. And that doesn't get into the other derivatives either.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday October 14 2019, @09:54AM (2 children)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday October 14 2019, @09:54AM (#906882) Journal

        Even then, you can just use CentOS

        Actually, you can't. Every time I tried, it resembled an exercise in retrocomputing (by how many packages were about two years behind).

        --
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        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14 2019, @02:04PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 14 2019, @02:04PM (#906922)

          you can't [use CentOS] ... many packages [are] about two years behind

          That's why people buy RHEL, to stay safely off the bleeding edge.

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday October 14 2019, @02:25PM

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday October 14 2019, @02:25PM (#906930) Journal

            May be good for office work, but it's worse than pulmonary anthrax if you need to develop on that platform - a painful and sure professional death.

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0