[oclug] Parliament refuses to give Linux a fair chance
linuxdoctor at yahoo.com
Wed Aug 29 10:30:31 EDT 2001
There is a very brief article on this subject in the latest Linux
Magazine about how to impress IT people. It's a little too brief to
be really useful, but it gives small insight into the problem there.
IT managers are basically solutions oriented people, and you have to
approach them in that vein.
However, politicians are issues oriented people and not IT managers.
They work through the emotions of their constituents, and so the way
you communicate with them is by giving them emotional buttons that
they can use and push. Richard's letter was fairly good at avoiding
button pushing so may not necessarily have the desired effect. They
must be convinced that their constituents are riled up about
something before they will act.
One good issue I have yet to see discuss is the legal implications of
security compromised software. Does the `hacker' share the sole
responsibility of his illegal cracking activity or does the software
manufacturer also share some of the blame by having such poorly
protected software that the felon was basically invited through the
door? This issue needs to be raised and will send a huge chill down
the spine of Microsoft, Adobe, et al if they will have to shoulder
the responsibility of offering real security for their software and
not merely brow beat politicians into enacting draconian legislation
making reverse engineering illegal.
While politicians may operate on other people's emotions, they
generally have been very good at controling their own (neophytes
exempted). While Ms. Catteral herself may not have the particular
knowledge required to fully understand the technical implications of
the issues raised, by recasting the the problems in an emotional
light and in a way that relates to concerns of her electorate, then
she will be more inclined to act.
In other words, politics operates on FUD. Truth only outs if people
believe it in their hearts.
--- Richard Tomkins <tomkinsr at home.com> wrote:
> Geez Bill. I guess I really pressed your hot button.
> You will note with extreme clarity that I did not use any of the
> or inflamation producing words that you did in your response.
> I expressed a passing thought.
> I am glad that you have such an in depth knowledge of how IT works
> the government. Please, explain to us how your statements fly in
> the face of
> our observation, the fact that the library (management) feels it is
> in it's
> best interest to restrict itself to Microsoft at all costs, given
> such higly
> trained staff on hand to advise or encourage otherwise.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Strosberg, Bill" <bill.strosberg at rcpsc.edu>
> To: <oclug at lists.oclug.on.ca>
> Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2001 1:03 PM
> Subject: RE: [oclug] Parliament refuses to give Linux a fair chance
> > > From: Richard Tomkins [mailto:tomkinsr at home.com]
> > > Subject: Re: [oclug] Parliament refuses to give Linux a fair
> > >
> > >
> > > I did read this article as well.
> > > I suspect that given the lower wages of the average public
> > > servant, that the
> > > level of knowledge that they Library deals with in it's current
> > > environment is such that they can't really afford much more
> > > than people
> > > familiar with Windows. The introduction of Linux requires
> > > people with a
> > > stronger knowledge base and skill set in the infrastructure
> > > and the budget
> > > isn't there for that.
> > ---- WHAT? ----
> > This whole post is so far out in left field it may have been
> written in
> > Redmond.
> > Public servants are reasonably well paid, given good benefits,
> > security and lower performance expectations (when compared to
> start ups).
> > Yes, they forfeit the high risk/high reward lottery-like
> salaries, but
> > considering quality of life and lack of risk-enduced stress
> > are not everything. As an independant contractor, I consider
> family days,
> > paid vacations, training budgets, stability and fixed hours of
> work as
> > pretty important. Technology job advancement in the government
> happens at
> > an accelerated rate, and many traditional barriers (language
> > bent or dropped to secure good people. I bet there are a lot of
> > ex-Nortel/Alcatel/JDS/etc. people willing to work in placid
> stability for
> > $60K plus staggering benefits right now.
> > As far as knowledge goes, people I know in information technology
> roles in
> > the public service are reasonably well informed and have the
> benefit of
> > high levels of annual training and access to courses. Yes, they
> live in a
> > Microsoft-centric world, but they are not blithering idiots by
> > If the reader had read the article, the vendor was providing an
> > new clipping service, therefore I suspect the end users never
> even see the
> > platform that does the gathering (I'm pretty sure Milan could
> help clear
> > things up). As far as management console type stuff goes,
> Tk-based stuff
> > X provides a very undemanding user interface. Mime-base email
> > constructed with Linux look exactly like Mime-based email
> constructed with
> > VB (except the Linux programs actually run).
> > Budget? These are the people that print money. My wife works
> for a
> > technology training company that sells millions of dollars to the
> > government, and the "get-rid-of-budget-surplus" feeding frenzy
> every year
> > end makes me convulse with envy.
> > This is a very obvious case of preferential treatment that has no
> basis in
> > the technology, pricing or cost of use and training. It is a
> > boondoggle of criminal proportions.
> > --
> > Bill Strosberg
> > _______________________________________________
> > oclug mailing list
> > oclug at lists.oclug.on.ca
> > http://www.oclug.on.ca/mailman/listinfo/oclug
> oclug mailing list
> oclug at lists.oclug.on.ca
Descartes Dictim: I think therefore I am.
Pinteric's Corollary: Only those who think exist.
Do You Yahoo!?
Make international calls for as low as $.04/minute with Yahoo! Messenger
More information about the OCLUG