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Indian President Advises Open Source Approach 257

Posted by simoniker
from the with-arms-wide-open dept.
geo_2677 writes "The Indian President Dr. A Kalam has advised defense scientists to go for open-source software for software security, rather than be stuck with insecure proprietary software. Being a scientist himself, he surely knows what's good for his country." Speaking at the Indian Navy's Weapons and Electronic System Engineering Establishment, Kalam argued: "Open source codes can easily introduce the users to build security algorithms in the system without the dependence of proprietary platforms", though continues: "We should take maximum care to ensure that our solution is unique to protect our own defence security solutions implemented on open platforms." We previously reported on Richard Stallman's meeting with Dr. Kalam earlier this year.
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Indian President Advises Open Source Approach

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  • by tcopeland (32225) * <tom.thomasleecopeland@com> on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:07PM (#9594669) Homepage
    ...can be found on sarovar.org [sarovar.org]... it's one of the biggest [gforge.org] public GForge [gforge.org] sites out there.
  • Mmmmmppphhhhh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:10PM (#9594697) Journal
    Being a scientist himself, he surely knows what's good for his country.

    Being a scientist myself, I had to control my laughter and climb back into my chair before posting this.

    Perhaps geo_2677 could explain to the researchers with whom I used to share an equipment room why a) you need to close the lid of a refrigerated centrifuge and b) why, if you're too freaking lazy to do a) at least don't run the goddamn thing with a foot of condensed water in it.

    Yeah, if you want good, pragmatic common sense, ask a scientist.

  • Huh? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Chess_the_cat (653159) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:10PM (#9594698) Homepage
    Being a scientist himself, he surely knows what's good for his country.

    Please explain.

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by happyfrogcow (708359) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:18PM (#9594760)
      With respect to logical reasoning maybe? With repsect to scientific methods? taking the sentence out of context opens up a can of worms. leave it in context.

      Take a look at our (U.S.) president. "Being a former oil tycoon and son of a former president, surely he knows what's good for his country."

      I'd much rather trust a scientist, almost regardless of what type of scientist.

      but seriously, to get back on topic, what would you rather use to chain your bike up. a chain that you can inspect only the links that lock together, or all of the links to make sure the chain is strong enough?
      • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Neil Blender (555885)
        I'd much rather trust a scientist, almost regardless of what type of scientist.

        Being a scientist and working with scientists for the past 15 years, I can tell you there are many, many scientists that I would not want to run the country. Scientists very often live in the world of theory, not reality. And when you live in a theortical world, concepts which, in theory, are very sound, will never work in reality. Not to troll here, but a lot of scientists I know are Kucinich supporters. He has a lot of id
      • I'd much rather trust a scientist, almost regardless of what type of scientist.

        I can think of several I wouldn't trust....

        pseudo-scientist

        Christian Scientist

        Computer Scientist

        Marine Biologist

        Botanist

        Archaeologist

        Food Scientist

        Paranormal Scientist

        In fact, can you name a type of scientist that you would trust with knowing what is best for a country?

      • Respect for logic? (Score:2, Interesting)

        by metalhed77 (250273)
        I'd note a few things about 'logic'. Let's start with newton.

        Newton was brilliant yes.

        He also was:

        Stared at the sun once for an extended period, lost most of his sight.
        Wrote bizarre raving religious tracts
        Was an antisocial asshole
        An Alchemist

        Now the point is that skill in science means nothing when it comes to statecraft. The anti-social part is a big part of this. A major part of a politicians job is getting people to do what you want them to do. Being right is only half the battle. Additionally, scien
    • A scientist is much less likely to have self ambition than the capitalist success stories we normally elect. If your president isn't altruistic then you're doomed to corruption. I really wonder how many people we've elected to become elected to help themselves and others, or perhaps more like on a bet or even another sort of 'mile high club'.

      "You own a nice car? I used to be president! See this guy in a suit? His name's Larry and he'll kill you if I tell him too. Won't get in trouble neither!"
  • ...Indian's political structure? I seem to remember that a woman was just elected as Prime Minister (a big leap for India!). How does the Prime Minister relate to the President? What is their area of power? Is there a Parliament or Congress?

    AFAIK, Prime Ministers have always been used in Monarchies instead of democracies. So I'm a bit confused here... :-/
    • I am not an Indian, but as a friend of mine told me, presidency is more like a symbolic thing, hence does not have any power.

      As the title says he can advise though :)

      • Thanks. I have wondered that too. I seem to remember hearing something country having the same situation but I can't remember which one (Germany?) Anyway, I guess it is the same thing there.

        But what's the point of having the president if he has no real power? Seems like a waste of money to me.
    • by Platinum Dragon (34829) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:15PM (#9594734) Journal
      ..Indian's political structure? I seem to remember that a woman was just elected as Prime Minister (a big leap for India!).

      Where have you been [wikipedia.org]? For that matter, hit Google News--she decided not to take up the position after heavy pressure from nationalist parties, who pointed out that Sonia Gandhi was, in fact, born in Italy.

      Back on topic... enjoy [wikipedia.org].
      • Thank you for your polite reply. Most Slashdotters appear to think it's better to respond to an honest question in a condescending tone, rather than attempt to further the knowledge of others. I'm glad to see that there is at least one person willing to give helpful information.

        It seems odd that India would choose to model their government in a sort of odd mix of a monarchy and democracy when they so strongly despised the British occupation. When India finally obtained their freedom, many other governmenta
      • by nmk (781777)
        She wasn't just born in Italy, she's Italian by birth.
    • by teetam (584150) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:16PM (#9594742) Homepage
      India's first women prime minister (Indira Gandhi) was elected back in the 60's/70's, so it is NOT a big leap. In fact, all the countries in the subcontinent have had women heads of state (Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh). And recently, Sonia Gandhi's party won the elections, but she was not elected PM.

      In the Indian system (similar to the British), the PM is the head of government and the President is a figurehead, like the queen of England. He has some, limited powers. The PM is elected by people's representatives (not directly like in US, though), usually from the largest elected party.

      Actually, the presidential system is more similar to monarchies than the Indian system. Look at how much Bush can do without having to answer anyone in any parliament!

      • Except that most of what Bush has done should have been illegal i.e. hiding folks in Guantanamo so the courts can't rule as to the legitamacy of their detention. Nominally, though, he did get congressional consent before going to war.
      • We don't have a "parliament". We do have a congress whom he asked for consent. We also have a judiciary that just smacked the crap out of his lawiers for the detention without trial of American citizens as well as other individuals. The US is much more of a Republic than a Democrocy. Usually, the Congress is lead by an entirely different party than the presidency, but thats not the case right now. I prefer the system because it allows me to differntiate my representation in Congress from my selection of Pre
        • Theoretically, you are right. That is how USA was *designed*. That is not how it is today. The president's office (the executive) has continually usurped more and more powers over the last 150 years. Most of the countries that USA has invaded in the last 50 years, it has been done without congress declaring war. Things have finally lead to a point where Bush's men argue that in times of war, President's powers are unlimited. And since the president can always declare vague wars against poverty, drugs, terro
          • That may be true of Bush, but the system works. He got slapped down by the supreme court (thank God). They are not unlimited even in times of war. Compare what he's doing with rosevelt's handleing of WW2! There has been less censership, racism, and dictatorship behavior under Bush! Shhh. Don't tell the Bush haters, they'll kill you if they know you know!
    • Politics of India [wikipedia.org].
    • "AFAIK, Prime Ministers have always been used in Monarchies instead of democracies. So I'm a bit confused here..." :-/ ---- huh??? I am from czech REPUBLIC (not monarchy) and WE have prime minister. well we do not have just now because the government resigned this week but we usually have.
    • Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, 1966-77 and 1980-84

      That's hardly "just elected".

      The current prime minister of India is a man, Atal Behari VAJPAYEE.

      Prime Minister is the head of government in those states which are closely descended from British Commonwealth systems (which are democracies, actually). Constitutional Monarchies (such as Britain) reserve the head of state for the Queen, but the actual government is done by the people. The Monarch has very limited powers in the Westminster system
  • Now if only... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TaintedPastry (790856) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:11PM (#9594706)
    ...now if only we could get Cowboy George to follow suit.

    Unfortunately I doubt this will heavily impact any nations/businesses tech policies outside of India. But at least it's a step in the right direction

  • Wow. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by downbad (793562)
    Microsoft has been getting hit from all sides these past few days. I almost feel bad for them.

    Almost.

    • Re:Wow. (Score:2, Insightful)

      by oroshana (588230)
      Let's save up out sympathies for them Microsoft really IS the underdog. I'll totally be back on Billy's side when he's got small market share
  • by delibes (303485) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:11PM (#9594709)
    "We should take maximum care to ensure that our solution is unique to protect our own defence security solutions implemented on open platforms."

    Uh oh. Somebody needs to get a visit from Bruce Schneier next! I suspect that his proposed unique solution would be better off if it was Open Sourced for peer review.

    • by toolz (2119) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:50PM (#9595040) Homepage Journal
      Knowing my president, he definitely does not see "unique" as "closed". So let's not mis-interprete his words. He probably meant "not based on tainted imported technology", i.e. an encouragement to innovate, rather than copy.

      I have watched him take on this issue for years now (in his roles as both president of India, and as a highly respected scientist), and I can tell you that you are dealing with someone who is majorly savvy about open systems. He could probably teach quite a few people here on Slashdot about such things - he certainly taught Bill Gates a few things [presidentofindia.nic.in].

      If RMS was in a receptive state of mind during his meeting with President Kalam, I am sure he would have learnt a few things himself.
      • The question is not whether Kalam can teach all of us a few things, there are bound to be people of equal or better calibre here as well. Thats not the point.

        Kalam was right in exhorting the need to move to an open framework for all defense systems so as to reduce our dependence on closed systems as well as build security in to the framework which allows us to be ready for exceptions, how ever nasty they are. But the question is how do we get there. And if they are basing their work on OSS, then arent they
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:13PM (#9594715)
    I thought that said Indianan predident. I was about to start planning my campaign for Viceroy of Georgia.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:14PM (#9594724)
    At the very least, he should have publicly decried open source as an anti-Hindu plot. Pakistan would jump on the bandwagon immediately.
  • by brysnot (573631) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:17PM (#9594748) Homepage
    Bill Gates: I am here to let you know that we are prepared to slash prices to keep you as a customer.
    President Dr. A Kalam: Thank you! Come again!
    Bill Gates: But you haven't bought anything?
    President Dr. A Kalam: Thank you! Come again!
  • by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:18PM (#9594763) Journal
    At least the tech support will be a local call for them...
  • I think.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by GillBates0 (664202) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:19PM (#9594775) Homepage Journal
    ...geeks make better politicians, because they're more inclined to think rationally/logically. I know this is a broad statement, but I've seen it hold true in most occassions.

    Incidentally his official website [presidentofindia.nic.in] runs Apache/2.0.42 (Unix) PHP/4.2.3. A couple of brief excerpts from his bio here [hindustantimes.com]:

    After a fairly secure childhood, during which he is said to have read as much as he could, he studied at the Madras Institute of Technology, where he specialised in Aero Engineering.

    He has worked in leading defence and space organisations in research and managerial capacities. He contributed in a major way to the development of the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV) III, which put the Rohini Satellite into orbit. He has also been chairperson to Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC).

    A vegetarian, his interests include playing the veena and writing poetry. He has written two books, Ignited Minds: Unleashing the Power Within India and India 2020: Vision for the New Millennium.

    Till now, Abdul Kalam has been best known for his key role in the nuclear tests at Pokharan in the Rajasthan desert on May 11 and 13, 1997. With most parties choosing him as their presidential candidate, he has become the 11th Indian to join a very select group.

    • Re:I think.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GOD_ALMIGHTY (17678) <curt DOT johnson AT gmail DOT com> on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:40PM (#9594961) Homepage
      You should see "Fog of War" [imdb.com] and go read some more about Robert MacNamara. He was considered a technocrat who's arrogance led to some mistakes. Many of the Italian and German fascists were also technocrats. I will entirely agree that technocrats are alluring and we should look for some of those qualities in our politicians, but there is also an arrogance in putting complete faith in technocracy.

      I would say that just because someone is not arrogant when confronted by facts and figures, that does not make them a wise leader. They can be just as arrogant and blinded with facts and statistics as their justification.

      Seek balance and understanding (empathy) in politicians, those qualities will let them listen to technocrats. Of course, I do want to point out the irony here on /. that technocrat is really just a modern term for bureaucrat. In fact, the modern technocracy has all of the same problems as turn of the century republics like France and Italy, where the problems were blamed on the failing of the bureaucrat.

      Just my .02 on your statement
    • Re:I think.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kabocox (199019) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:55PM (#9595084)
      because they're more inclined to think rationally/logically.

      Ask them, which is objectivly better out of these choices:
      windows or linux
      emacs or vi or notepad
      IE or Mozilla
      Gimp or Photoshop
      closed or open source

      We may be generally rational, but we can easily become raving zealots if the right questions were asked.
      • Re:I think.. (Score:4, Interesting)

        by CoughDropAddict (40792) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:06PM (#9595732) Homepage
        This may surprise you, but some technically minded people can discuss things like that rationally.
      • Re:I think.. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I think any rational person would respond with "what does better mean"?

        If better means cheaper, the answer is Linux/Emacs or vi/Mozilla/Gimp/irrelevant
        If better means more secure, the answer is Linux/irrelevant/Mozilla/irrelevant/having the source code (regardless of whether or not you obtained it under a "true" open source license)

        But usually "better" doesn't mean any one clearly identifiable thing. It may mean "more usable" (that can get esoteric in a hurry), is more fit for a very particular purpose,
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:19PM (#9594776)

    From the article --


    Even today Kalam is in huge demand. He is Fellow of Indian National Academy of Engineering, Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, Vice-President of Astronautical Society of India, Fellow of National Academy of Medical Sciences (India), Honorary Fellow of Institution of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers and an ISRO Distinguished Professor!


    Wow, that's just too good. I'm quite speechless.
  • by rbird76 (688731) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:22PM (#9594806)
    1) India has less income that the Europe and US per capita, but lots more people. If India has a choice, it makes sense for them to go with OS (which requires more labor but less money) than with proprietary solutions such as MS (which require more money but (perhaps?) less labor).

    2) Using nonproprietary solutions allows countries to develop indigenous software industries; for now, and for awhile, this will probably foster OS in lots of ways. In the pharmaceutical industry, India has started out making lots of generics, but are now looking at developing and selling their own blockbuster drugs. If a similar path is followed by India in software, at some point they will have their own MS; at that point, the continued use and nurturing of OS is not assured - as the relative cost of labor increases, commercial solutions might become more attractive.

    While it might be best for India to follow an open source pathway, this is not because it is always right to do so, but because it best fits their current circumstances.
  • by MooseByte (751829) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:22PM (#9594808)
    Woohoo!

    What really shocks me is why so many countries are still using MS at all in their gov't infrastructure. I've always wondered about the following scenario. (Note: Tinfoil hat required.)

    MS is closed-source and rife with a constant stream of what are effectively root exploits being stumbled upon. What if some agency wanted to cozy up to MS and carefully craft backdoors and such, inject them into the OS and have them released into the world? Windows is so ubiquitous that your task has now become that much easier.

    Furthermore only the random stumbling of a security researcher/hacker has a chance of discovering it. Probability == low in most cases. In which case "Oops, release patch (add new backdoor)".

    Then there's the less nefarious scenario - an agency just sitting on little-known accidental root exploits and keeping them in their classified root kit.

    Either way it strikes me that linux in particular (and open source in general) would give sovereign nations some peace of mind. Not bulletproof, but having a global community reviewing the source and tracking exploits openly would sure seem to me to be a better way to safeguard my country's secrets than relying on a huge foreign company with a crappy track record for security.

    (You can now remove your tinfoil hats. No, wait, NEVER remove your tinfoil hat...)
  • by Strudelkugel (594414) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:22PM (#9594812)

    Being a scientist himself, he surely knows what's good for his country.

    If this is the case, I guess non-scientists can all remove themselves from politics. But would the world really be better off if William Shockley were president? If Edward Teller were in charge of arms control?

  • Is it me, or does India continue to make LOGICAL political decisions?

    They invested in education and social programs and created a workforce capable of doing our high-paying jobs. They then set up an economic environment where those jobs would come over, including investments in infrastructure and utilities.

    Next the middle class over there starts to take off, and they make a national effort to help make sure that the benefit of the boom is extended to the less fortunate, so they can make more of the country self-sufficient.

    They've managed to stay out of international conflicts and have sent peace ovetures to Pakistan. Now they're jumping all over Open Source as a way to improve their own efficiency and self-sufficiency.

    All this, and I doubt India's federal gov costs anywhere near what these asshats over here who seem to actively work against us cost.

    Between Colin Powell telling the Indians that there will be no attempt to curb outsourcing by American companies on the part of the Bush Administration and the following account of Tom Donohue's (CEO of US Chamber of Commerce, really good friend of Bush Administration, kind of like Ken Lay) speech in San Francisco:

    Donohue acknowledged the pain for people who have lost jobs to offshoring - an estimated 250,000 a year, according to government estimates. But pockets of unemployment shouldn't lead to "anecdotal politics and policies," he said, and people affected by offshoring should "stop whining." - AP Newswire [forbes.com]

    Personally, I say we go build a freaking guillotine, cause as far as I'm concerned, he might as well have said, "let them eat cake".

    Anyway good luck to India and how much to run our Federal government?
    • by InfiniteWisdom (530090) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:36PM (#9595478) Homepage
      Unfortunately, you're only seeing the good parts. In my opinion, India still suffers from bad policies that stifle talent, corruption at all levels is pretty much the norm (although the current prime minister and his predecessor have been really good, IMO) and elections that are won on gimmics rather than the important issues.

      There definitely has been a lot of progress in the past few years, but it isn't really that rosy. That said if we stop fighting pakistan, manage to conquer religious and social strife and promote education, things could look really good in 20 years.

      • That was my point. That things are heading in the right direction. Look at your list:

        stop fighting pakistan, manage to conquer religious and social strife and promote education

        We've essentially got the same list. We're in two wars, providing security for a number of other countries, have religious kooks that are trying to turn our country into a theocracy, racists and a crumbling educational infrastructure. The only suggestion I could give to you, is to remember how fragile society, especially complex i
  • by TheTXLibra (781128) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:30PM (#9594882) Homepage Journal
    Okay, once again, I'm failing to see the benefit the article claims.

    How exactly does open-source code make for a more secure government? It would seem to me that giving the source-code to your encryption away, that you are practically begging others to learn how to hack it. At least proprietary software has a tiny measure of defense. It would also spread your possible leak-sources from the responsibility of one entity, the corporation that made it, to pretty much the entire world.

    I believe, in the interests of National Defense, it would be best to have any sort of security source code until very tight lock and key.

    Am I wrong here? Can someone tell me why?

    • Absolutely wrong - encryption code is like good wine - it gets better over time. The only way any encryption code is approved for use is to have the best and the brightest in the world beat on it for years. Good encryption code generates unbreakable encrypted data - having the source code does not help. When it is this good, then you can trust it. Anything developed by a small group and not shared WILL fail - security through obscurity is no security at all
    • by Fanglord (447376) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:00PM (#9595133)
      A secure encryption system should NEVER rely on keeping the algorithm secret. The system factoring of products of very large primes is completely known, yet still forms the basis for the best (economically feasible) cryptosystems out there.

      Your enemy should be able to know your system, and still not be able to break your code. Look at PGP (yeah, I know, someone found a flaw in the implementation, but correctly implemented, it's as strong as ever).
  • by character_assassin (773327) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:31PM (#9594889)
    Being a scientist himself, he surely knows what's good for his country

    Yeah, like CalTech physics Ph.D. John Poindexter, who obviously knows what's best for America, e.g. Iran-Contra, Total Information Awareness...
  • by sakyamuni (528502) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:44PM (#9594993)

    Either the paper's "Special Correspondent" took poor notes from Dr. Kalam's speech or Dr. Kalam doesn't know WTF he's talking about. Or maybe there's a language problem...

    "Open source codes can easily introduce the users to build security algorithms in the system without the dependence of proprietary platforms"

    Roll-your-own security algorithms are a very bad idea, as most of us know. Get a professional to do it. Don't design your own ultra-secure AES alternative based on an "introduction" gained from looking at open-source code.

    "We should take maximum care to ensure that our solution is unique to protect our own defence security solutions implemented on open platforms."

    "Ensure a unique solution... to protect security" sounds like a euphemism for "security through obscurity" if I've ever heard one.

  • by Etone (627948) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:45PM (#9594997)
    "has advised defense scientists to go for open-source software for software security, rather than be stuck with insecure proprietary software" Because open-source always is secure and proprietary always is insecure, right? -E-
  • by Theovon (109752) on Friday July 02, 2004 @03:55PM (#9595083)
    It looks like what happened here is that Stallman went to India, had a talk with their President, talked to him about open source being a good idea, and the President bought it.

    This doesn't necessarily say that the Indian President is a brilliant leader; one possibility is that he was swayed by someone's argument, the same way that many other leaders are swayed by Microsoft's argument.

    I'm not saying that I'm disappointed, but it's one thing to have a leader be swayed by someone that gave him a convinving argument, and it's entirely another to have that leader come to the conclusion on his own.

    Now, the thing is the Indian President is clearly a really smart guy, and he's an accomplished scientist, etc. I don't mean to imply that he ACTUALLY just bought Stallman's line without thinking about it. What I mean to say is that there are plenty of people who would point at the Stallman visit and try to use that to suggest that the Indian President only made his recommendation because he's parroting someone else's words. This is a means for them to dismiss his recommendation.

    It's much more satisfying when someone figures out that Free Software is a good idea without activism being involved, so no one can imply that he didn't understand what he was saying.

    Argh. I'm having a really hard time expressing what I mean. Oh well.
    • As you admit, your line of reasoning isn't clear.

      Just because Stallman paid a visit to the President of India and spoke to him about OS doesn't mean that he was the first person to make him aware of OS. If I remember correctly, the article of Slashdot regarding that visit mentioned clearly that the President of India was already interested in OS and was advocating its use.

      Kalam was a scientist at the premier defense labs in India, which almost exclusively use Unix and variants. I'm sure he has a pretty
    • by hung_himself (774451) on Friday July 02, 2004 @04:26PM (#9595399)
      A bit colonial isn't it to automatically assume that the Indian president needs an emissary from the US to tell him about open source?

      Do you really think that Kalam has never thought about open source? After all he is not the president of the US - he actually has proven that he can think independently as a scientist. If you knew academic scientists you would know that they understand the value of open-source better than anyone.

      A much more likely scenario is that Dr. Kalam wanted to meet with someone to discuss some technical details and get some feedback and maybe some publicity for his ideas of implementing open source. As there were noodles before Marco Polo went to Cathay and there was open source before Stallman went India...
    • You said:

      > It looks like what happened here is that Stallman went to India, had a talk with their President, talked to him about open source being a good idea, and the President bought it.

      Well, you forget that Bill Gates met the same president around the same time too, and the famous quote is that after the President mentioned how open source could be good for their country, "our talks became difficult after that."

      So, at the very least, the President got to weigh both sides.. besides, being a very wel
    • by GillBates0 (664202) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:01PM (#9595689) Homepage Journal
      Stallman visited India. I remembered this clearly when I read Stallman's story, but could not dig up relevant Slashdot stories for you. However, I have managed to find some other stories, which clearly show that the *first* time the Prez recommended Open Source publicly, it was back in May2003. Stallman paid him a visit only earlier this year Jan 2004 if I remember right.

      Here's the proof:
      Article from the Times of India [indiatimes.com]. A blurb
      TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ THURSDAY, MAY 29, 2003 12:06:03 AM ]
      PUNE: President A P J Abdul Kalam on Wednesday urged Indian IT professionals to develop and specialise in open source code software rather than use proprietary solutions based on systems such as Microsoft Windows.

      Stallman's visit reported in The Hindu [hindu.com] and elsewhere [slashdot.org]:
      Kalam, Stallman discuss open source software NEW DELHI, JAN. 31. The President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, last Thursday played host to two radically divergent poles of the global software industry.

      Though the second link does not say 2004, I'm sure it was earlier this year, and a Google search should help you confirm that. Also the URL is dated 20040201.

      The above information renders your argument incorrect and w/o H20.

  • by Greenisloved (689734) on Friday July 02, 2004 @05:34PM (#9595930)
    If things go by as Dr.Kalam envisioned , Im pretty confident that Open source will gain the biggest momentum worldwide.This is because

    1. A majority of Indian techies, might start using some variant of linux in the upcoming years.Rigt now,Most of them are still using Windows only.{ I observed that India ranks very poor in the number of registered Linux users.}
    http://counter.li.org/reports/place.php
    reports that there are very few linux users when compared to linux friendly nations.ofcourse i agree this may not be prefectly linear relationship in reality.Neverthelss , a reasonable estimate

    3.Once Linux Fever is caught up in India , we could expect a good increase in the number of open source projects , growth in popularity and confidence of open source projects.This will impact other developing nations , if they would realise the vast savings of the decision.

    4.MS share in India will dwindle big time.. This would affect its revenue as India is such a huge market.

    5. Indian colleges then would advance to use and advocate open source platforms and resources.This would help the indian progammers extend their scope and may improve their knowledge standard.Right now , most colleges in semi urban areas use proprietary operating systems.

    May be im over optimistic..
    Downside:
    1. MS is silently attracting the techies and indian public by offering donations to the poor,AIDS victims etc..These will go down eventually.

    2.This mite stir up some greedy and filthy politicians who get good bribes from corporate leaders and may work for delay in progress.

    It's still a challenge for India to come up in technological arena with the onus of poor political stress on it.
    Lets see where this takes !!!

At the source of every error which is blamed on the computer you will find at least two human errors, including the error of blaming it on the computer.

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