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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Shuttleworth’

UDS: He did NOT say that . . . did he?

May 8, 2012 3 comments

For reasons mentioned in yesterday’s blog item, I’m not at the Ubuntu Developers Summit in Oakland. Oh, I could go up there and attend — it’s only 80 miles from the cozy confines of the Felton redwoods — but I value my life and I’d like to keep it, thank you very much.

This is not to say that I don’t hear about what’s going on there from friends, as well as from members of the Ubuntu Apocalypse, who are in attendance and are blogging, tweeting and communicating in some form or another (no smoke signals yet, sadly). I do hear a lot of what’s going on, and I thank everyone for posting the updates.

Of all the gems from yesterday’s presentations, which featured The Mark but not in a black turtleneck and jeans (I lose that bet), there is one quoted by a Web site called OMG Ubuntu where Canonical’s Chris Kenyon announced at UDS yesterday that Ubuntu is on course to ship on 5 percent of the world’s PCs next year.

Honestly? I hope this happens. Honestly? I think there’s a better chance of a squadron of pigs flying in formation over me while I set a world’s record for the 100-yard dash just before giving birth. To triplets.

Let’s put aside the fact that this is a significant backpedal from The Mark’s prediction that there are going to be 20 million new Ubuntu users this year. I’m going to let others handle that routine grounder.

Some are willing to move the goalposts for Canonical in order for them to succeed. A valid viewpoint there, though one with which I don’t agree. Pull the goalie if you want — I’m even willing to give that issue a pass as well.

I’m going to travel the more reasonable route, simply questioning their sanity, casting a suspicious eye at their motives and, most importantly, wondering aloud about their metrics. Rather, I’m going to rage against the machine, as I often do, and let a voice of reason, Jef Spaleta, drive here. In a post on my Facebook page relating to the OMG! Ubuntu article I posted, Jef makes the following astute observation on why this is not a “clear win” with these few paragraphs:

“Larry, Ship does not mean sold…generally speaking. And I have pretty much no information on China and India and other emerging markets. They could really have an upward trend there..but its not exactly easy to try to verify even in a ballpark sense.

“The real question I have is: If they did ship as many as they say last year… why isn’t that enough revenue to be self-sustaining? And if they get to 5% next year… will that be enough revenue to be self-sustaining at present expense levels? There OEM partners are going to throw them under the bus as soon as Canonical needs to start passing costs on to OEMs instead of eating them.

“I fear they continue to focus on the wrong metrics. Hitting 5% and not having a sustainable business model to service that growth is classic boom/bust business. Do OEMs value Ubuntu enough to pay an equitable share of the cost of its development? So far its not clear that the answer to that is yes. And until its clearly yes… this is not a clear win. The bigger Canonical gets and the longer this drags on, while servicing red ink there ledger, the harder it will be for them to steer the ship off the rocks.”

Well said, Jef.

OK folks in Oakland: Keep having fun and enjoy the Kool-Aid.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides true FOSS solutions — which no longer includes Canonical/Ubuntu products — in the small business and home office environment.)

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Eliminate DRM!

Welcome, race fans

May 7, 2012 4 comments

Throughout the South — or anywhere that holds a NASCAR race — you’ll see signs that say “Welcome, race fans” pop up with ubiquity. So it would be interesting to see if there’s a crop of “Welcome, Ubunteros” signs cropping up in Oakland for the Ubuntu Developers Summit, which starts today.

Have fun, guys and gals.

I won’t be there. I can hear the collective sigh of relief. Since I’m the Emannuel Goldstein of the Ubuntu/Canonical set, they’re just going to have to broadcast my picture during their three-minutes-of-hate session and leave it at that.

Rather than attend an event designed to line Mark Shuttleworth’s pockets with “coin” (pronounced kwan), I think I’ll do something more constructive. I’m teaching a class — it’s sort of a rolling head start into the next school year — on Python to homeschooled middle schoolers/high schoolers at my daughter’s base school. Using “Snake Wrangling for Kids,” we’ll get started on making some FOSS developers, hopefully, out of some of the students here.

So, benefit one or benefit all?

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides true FOSS solutions — which no longer includes Canonical/Ubuntu products — in the small business and home office environment.)

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Eliminate DRM!

Mark’s reality distortion field

May 4, 2012 15 comments

Here’s a bet: I’d be willing to bet either a dollar, a cup of coffee or even going an entire day where I only say nice things about Canonical/Ubuntu, that Mark Shuttleworth comes to the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Oakland later this month in a black turtleneck sweater and blue jeans.

After all, he’s got Steve Jobs’ reality distortion field down pat.

Don’t take my word for it. Here are some examples:

20 million new Linux PCs in 2012: That’s a prediction that Mark Shuttleworth made which was reported by the tech press. Let’s take that word-for-word, so we don’t misunderstand. We get the amount — 20 million — which is a lot. We understand “new” to mean “not old,” or “not used,” to go along with Linux PCs. So “20 million new Linux PCs” in 2012. New PCs, not installs on other PCs. Needless to say, I’d give my right arm for Mark to be right on this one, but I can tell you that on New Year’s Day seven months from now, I’ll have both my arms intact.

So yeah, if saying it made it so . . . .

Blocked by Red Hat: After reading this, I am truly moved to tears. No wait, those aren’t tears of sadness, but tears of rage. The small amount that Canonical/Ubuntu has contributed to both GNOME (when it was using GNOME) and the kernel have been widely reported, both here and elsewhere. And for those who need a primer, let me explain how a meritocracy works: Those who do the majority of the work essentially get to call the shots. Note to The Mark: Whining is very unbecoming, especially for someone who considers himself an industry leader. Oh, and Steve never did it.

In fact, Mark and others, take a look at the first comment on the aforementioned item, a submission by TheWholeTruth. It speaks volumes to why Shuttleworth and the Ubuntero flock might find less resistance in some FOSS circles if you worked with everyone instead of going off on your own.

Debian is part of the Ubuntu ecosystem: If there ever was a non-starter, it’s this ridiculous statement by The Mark. Truly. I’d be willing to bet that, failing history being rewritten, that Debian begat Ubuntu, not the other way around, and that Debian continues to do much more for FOSS than Ubuntu will ever do. So who is responsible for who? I think Debian is owed a huge apology.

And so on. So while I wait patiently here for the ad hominem attacks from the Ubuntu faithful, I’ll go grab some popcorn.

(Larry Cafiero is one of the founders of the Lindependence Project and develops business software at Redwood Digital Research, a consultancy that provides true FOSS solutions — which no longer includes Canonical/Ubuntu products — in the small business and home office environment.)

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Eliminate DRM!

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