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Alan Cox is:
an unprofessional jerk 14%
a Communist 23%
a typical product of the closet-homosexual English public school system 24%
a fool 0%
a liar 1%
a paranoid nutcase who really thinks he'll go to jail for providing changelogs 37%

Votes: 78

 Alan Cox Is an Unprofessional Jerk

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Oct 23, 2001
This week, Mr. Alan Cox, the chief maintainer of the Linux kernel series 2.2, put out kernel 2.2.20-pre11 with a changelog claiming that some of the fixes were "censored in accordance with the US DMCA". In other words, security fixes in the Linux kernel were being kept secret from Linux users. This article analyzes his actions and reaches some interesting conclusions.

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Although initially Mr. Cox's censorship affected all Linux users around the world equally, he and kernel developer Rik Van Riel hoped to establish a non-US website, somehow inaccessible to US readers, where uncensored changelogs could be posted in the future. (Update: This is now online at He said that until the DMCA is overturned, "US citizens will have to guess about security issues [in the Linux kernel]."

The reference to the DMCA being overturned is revealing. Mr. Cox wants this to happen, and his little tinpot emperor censorship game is intended, in his apparently delusional mind, as a powerful political statement toward that end. It does not seem to have occurred to him, in his current seemingly megalomaniacal state, that members of the US Congress probably do not use Linux, and even those few Congressional staffers who might know what Linux is probably don't build their own kernels, and so will never know about Mr. Cox's protest. The only thing Mr. Cox has achieved, or has any chance of achieving, by his action is to annoy US-based Linux users -- which is probably quite all right with him, safely out of reach in England, with his typical English resentment of the former colonies who have long since outstripped England in world influence.

Mr. Cox has attempted to support his ridiculous and obviously politically-motivated censorship with the claim that his decision was based on legal advice (implying that he fears that documenting security-related kernel fixes places him at risk of being prosecuted under the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions), but this seems highly unlikely to be true.

For one thing, Mr. Cox has refused to identify the person who gave him this alleged advice, or even to provide any details of their reasoning (or, for that matter, their qualifications). The statement that he was acting on a "legal opinion", vague as that is, is absolutely all he has been willing to say, although he was asked for clarification by several readers of the linux-kernel mailing list.

Furthermore, has consulted with a senior official of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (who are quite active in DMCA-related litigation, contributing both to the defense of Dimitry Sklyarov, and Dr. Edward Felten's suit against the RIAA) and two Silicon Valley-based attorneys with experience in copyright litigation. All three of these well-qualified sources laughed at the idea that Alan Cox could be prosecuted under the DMCA for providing Linux kernel changelogs; furthermore, not one of these sources was inclined to believe that Mr. Cox seriously believed himself to be risking prosecution. One of the sources, who is a Linux user and is familiar with Mr. Cox's history, said with a chuckle, "Alan's just having his fun, trying to make a statement."

What amazes us most at is that Mr. Cox is willing to abuse his authority as the maintainer of the Linux 2.2 kernel in the service of his political goals. As one of the most significant kernel developers, he should see himself as someone working in the interest of all Linux users to improve the kernel. Concealing important security information from US-based Linux users is simply incompatible with responsible professional conduct for someone in his position. Mr. Cox is entitled to his political views, but he should find appropriate occasions to express them.


It's called 'making a point'. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 08:10:27 AM PST
Clearly, sir, each ChangeLog entry is matched by actual change in the source code tree. These ChangeLog entries are usually cryptic at the best of times, and only let people who are already 'in the loop' know their changes were accepted. So therefore, I cannot imagine much harm has come from this small demonstration of psuedo-censorship.

Furthermore, Adequacy readers should surely be the most aware of using humour to make an inportant point.

what would you do? (4.00 / 2) (#4)
by alprazolam on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 08:21:39 AM PST
Do you suggest he should break US law? There is a time and place for civil disobediance, but considering he is not even a US citizen, this is probably not it. The US doesn't want people to have the ability to circumvent copyright protections, and Cox is merely submitting to the will of the people. I don't think we (citizens of the US) could ask any more of him.

points of view (5.00 / 1) (#5)
by philipm on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 09:47:54 AM PST
I think one can look at his unprofessionalism from several points of view.

From Cox's POV, he is having marital troubles and going through menopause. Therefore, he is allowed to have his period[and his comma].

From the point of view of a beast bearded dirty gnu hippie, all of this is irrelevant because security is not needed by beast bearded dirty gnu hippies. Beast bearded dirty gnu hippies are not insecure.

From the point of view of an evil Linux craporation like IBM, why would they care? If they wanted to go after Alan, they would, silly Alan legal opinions or not.

So who is the real victim here? Obviously its just your average microsoft user who has been trained to think that security is important. I'm sure the insecurity companies will find another way to justify their opinion that the average user should give them money. Their business model will survive.

Anyway, if Alan gets too annoying, lets just lock him up and worry about the legalities later.


re: points of view (3.00 / 2) (#6)
by linuxrulez on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 10:42:10 AM PST
From Cox's POV, he is having marital troubles and going through menopause. Therefore, he is allowed to have his period[and his comma].
Don't you know anything? Women go through menopause, not men. Geez, get a clue.

not true! (3.00 / 2) (#10)
by philipm on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 11:40:03 AM PST
actually, men go through menopause also.



color me skeptical. (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by linuxrulez on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 12:24:39 PM PST
Thanks for clearing that up, Doctor Lowercase. Did you learn that at the Sorbonne, or while you did your residency at the Mayo Clinic?

Try looking it up... (3.00 / 2) (#23)
by error27 on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 01:18:07 PM PST
Your sarcastic attitude won't get you very far in life young man.

Perhaps on other websites they think sarcasm is wonderful and makes you look very special. But on the controversial website we prefer a coherent and logical argument instead of trite sayings and childish behavior.

Male menopause is a condition that affects all men between the ages of 40 and 55. Since you are apparently around 12 years of age, I wouldn't let it worry you too much at this point. But someday if you live long enough male menopause will happen to you.

what? (2.40 / 5) (#53)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 11:52:49 AM PST is not controversial. It's just stupidity. People don't come here for up to date news. They come simply for the laughs. They laugh at your utter lack of knowledge on any given subject. Especially Linux.

Don't make me bring up the stupidity set forth by iat who stated that RedHat, Suse, etc were previous version of Linux. Versions of Linux are expressed numerically (ie 2.4.xx). Those are different distros put forth buy different companies and groups. The the editor bc comes in to "correct" the article only to make it MORE inaccurate.

I can site NUMEROUS "articles" where the FACTS were incorrect not to mention spelling. Linux Torvalds? Lunix? Intellectuals my ass.

If I was to invent... (3.66 / 3) (#54)
by tkatchev on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 12:36:38 PM PST own religion, there would only be one unclean animal -- the software g**k. Ugh. Just thinking about it makes me feel dirty.

Peace and much love...

please say it isnt true (5.00 / 1) (#33)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 04:17:56 PM PST
actually, men go through menopause also.

You lie! We go through a "let's buy a sports car and fuck cheerleaders" phase. Unlike the symptoms of menopause, I'm rather looking forward to cheerleaders and a sports car.

i don't see what the big deal is. (3.33 / 3) (#7)
by linuxrulez on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 10:45:53 AM PST
Linus trusts Alan with kernel maintenance for a reason. I'm sure Alan wouldn't betray that trust just to be a jerk. After all, he's British. Can't we trust British programmers?

Have a little bit more faith. I know we all love Linux and want to see it succeed. Remember, Linux is quickly becoming the most important OS on the planet; I'm sure big companies that have come to depend on Linux to be profitable will put pressure on Congress to repeal the DMCA. Then we'll get Napster back!

He isn't British though (3.00 / 1) (#8)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 11:35:05 AM PST
He's Welsh.

There's a big difference. You'd be skinned alive in Swansea if you said that, so count yourself lucky.

And we all know about the Welsh... (none / 0) (#11)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 11:50:40 AM PST
Just as the traditional nursery rhyme says:

Taffy was a Welshman,
Taffy was a thief...

Welsh are a SUBSET of British (none / 0) (#12)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 12:00:32 PM PST
Learn some geography. Wales can be compared to California. Both are on the west coast of large powerful nations, both used to be sovereign countries, both have now been taken under the umbrella of a larger country. Both speak a dialect of English which can be hard for outsiders to understand.

Subtle distinction! (none / 0) (#13)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 12:12:53 PM PST
The Welsh may be a subset of the English, but they are not a subset of the British.

no. you have it backwards. (none / 0) (#14)
by linuxrulez on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 12:14:30 PM PST
The Welsh may be a subset of the English, but they are not a subset of the British.
Other way around. Cox is a British citizen.

Incorrect (5.00 / 1) (#26)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 01:41:02 PM PST
There is no such thing as a 'British Citizen'. The name of the country is the 'United Kingdom of Scotland, England and Northern Ireland'. If he holds a passport, it is a UK passport, which does not mention Britain at all.

And as Wales is just a Principality, it is not a country in its own right and so is just a part of England, technically speaking. But it does have an independance movement, although the rabid welsh nationalists refuse to be termed 'Welsh', preferring the term 'Cymru'.

Therefore Wales is a subset of England, and is not a subset of Britain.

The term Britain is rather Archaic in the UK these days, having similar status to the term 'Scotch' when used to refer to Scottish people. Very few people use it, as it is the relic of an Imperialist past quite unlike the UK of today.

I hope this clears things up for you.

Oh yes there is! (5.00 / 1) (#30)
by FifthVandal on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 02:47:46 PM PST
I'm British, I just renewed my passport and underneath my name the words BRITISH CITIZEN appear.

And the wording on the front cover is United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern Ireland.
--- I was the fifth vandal on the grassy knoll!

Umm (3.00 / 2) (#35)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 04:52:21 PM PST
How can you be a British citizen? If the passport is for the 'United Kingdom Of Great Britain And Northern Ireland' then it is clear that this is quite a different thing. Just like there is no such thing as a 'Californian' citizen, there can be no such thing as a British citizen.

My earlier post is still true, though. That the passport uses the word 'Britain' is just a reflection of the innate conservatism of the British, the same conservatism that means it is a country with no written constitution or people's rights. The same conservatism that ensures it is a nation of London whipped slaves.

Its not conservatism thats to blame. (none / 0) (#45)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 04:18:56 AM PST
London as a city state would rank as the 15th largest economy in the world. It's inhabitants subsidise the rest of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales to the tune of around $15Billion per year. Meanwhile, you all seem to want to come to live in London, hence the Londoner pays extortionate amounts for housing.

London is the economic powerhouse of the UK, without it the UK would be a third world nation.

Get used to it, London calls the shots because London makes the $$$s

London is the slavedriver (none / 0) (#46)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 05:38:33 AM PST
Sure, doubtless London is wealthy. How does it get this wealth? By exploiting the more barren parts of the UK. Where is the natural wealth in the UK? In London? No, instead it is in Oil, manufacturing, etc. The people who 'make the wealth' in london don't actually produce anything, even in terms of services. It is the people in the rest of the UK making the money, only to have it thieved by 'head office'.

It is right that London subsidises the rest of the UK. Pity it is such a pitiful amount, I think they should subsidise to the tune of 60 Billion a year, to reverse the terrible drain on money and talent to London.

London is like ancient Rome, it is worth nothing in itself, all its wealth comes from its exploitation of the world all around it. You may worship London, fear London, make yourself a slave and lover at the feet of Lady London, but some of us out here, lashed by her cruel whip, are planning revolution against her. Just wait till federalisation of England and independance of many parts of the UK like Wales and Scotland, then London will start to fall as surely as Rome collapsing under the weight of its own overextension.

Get real. (none / 0) (#48)
by tkatchev on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 06:51:21 AM PST
Labor or natural resources don't earn money. Money earns money. You see, it is a vicious cycle. So instead of whining, get some starting capital, and start the wheel rolling! Remember, the more money you have, the more money you earn. That's the fun part about capitalism. What's more, this works even on an interpersonal level -- if you have money to buy nice clothes and keep good care of yourself, you are more likely to get higher-paying jobs; plus, bosses prefer to hire people closer to their own social status.

P.S. I've never been to the U.K., but the picture you paint is eerily, uncannily familiar. I think such an arrangement exists in every European nation.

Peace and much love...

Linux political influence (none / 0) (#9)
by Observer on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 11:37:15 AM PST
There isn't much. Most Linux, open source or free software developers seem to care little for the happenings in the political sphere of influence. They are lazy in that sense, I would think primarily due to the incessant bullshit which constantly occurs. Not to say that there isn't plenty of bullshit going on within developer circles, but it's usually more respectful than slanderous campaigning.

This looks to be more of a push to get people off of their asses. If they're inconvenienced, aggravated or outright infuriated by his actions, they might actually start to become a little more active. Though it does seem rather trite to scapegoat the DMCA, there are far lower levels to which most companys will go in order to enforce their will. Beat them at their own game; sink to their level.

"Sink to their level"... (4.00 / 1) (#16)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 12:15:29 PM PST
... and then you'll be just as bad as they are, and it won't matter whether you win or they do, because either way, evil will have won.

This is NEWS? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 12:14:54 PM PST
Yes it wasn't exactly the best thing he could do. However, most linux user already knew this was a joke. I fact much of 2.2-pre11 was not at all new.

Also how do you consider this NEWS? I mean come on, 2.2 is gone. Version 2.4 of the linux kernel has come an gone. The latest stable release of the kernell is 2.4.11, so it's not exactly like you are up to date.

old is new again (none / 0) (#17)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 12:18:16 PM PST
<<Alan Cox, number two on the Linux kernel team, has batted back copyright proposals mooted for the next revision of the industry-standard ATA hardware spec.

As revealed by The Register, plans are being drawn up for copyright protection to be placed into the hard drives used by PCs, digital media players such as TiVo and Replay, and MP3 players such as Creative Labs' Nomad device.

The proposed extensions to the ATA specification brand hard disks with a unique identifier, and make moving and copying signed files dependent on the media provider.

"It seems to be very similar to the DVD stuff, including ideas for play once only blocks and the like. Pay per read hard disk," wrote Cox in a posting to the Linux Kernel Archive "Its probably very hard to defeat."

He also agreed that implementations of the new ATA specification could break existing software, where that volume contained "secure" files:-

"It also in its current form means you can throw disk defragmenting tools out. Dead, gone. Welcome to the United Police State Of America." >>

TRUE (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 12:34:57 PM PST
<<Welcome to the United Police State Of America.>>

Very true. For years we had heard US politicians (yes I am American) run on campaigns to do things like CLEAN UP THE INTERNET. You have people making laws that pertain to things they know nothing about. To give you a run down of how some politicians think, I use the internet example:

1. The Internet only exists in America
2. The internet belong to America
3. We own the internet

The problem... (1.00 / 1) (#22)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 12:45:38 PM PST that you Yanks are so apathetic and too busy watching baseball games and jerking off to Internet porn to get off your arses and do something about your government... I mean, we all know that a country always has the government it deserves. It's your responsibility as an American to vote, campaign, talk to your neighbors, shoot politicians, whatever it takes, or else you're part of the problem and I've got no bloody sympathy for you at all. Goes for those bloody stupid peasants in Afghanistan too -- if they don't want to be bombed, they shouldn't let their government harbor terrorists. It's as simple as that. God, I love being British.

true (5.00 / 2) (#28)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 02:19:47 PM PST
It is true that more Americans should be more actively involved in government. However, sometimes petitioning doesn't actually work. There are quite a few corrupt politicians [all over the world] that like to work together.

You scratch my bac I scratch yours. You vote for mine I'll vote for yours.

More people should get to the voting polls and voice their opinions. This is not just in America but all over the world.

Oh I hate baseball, I prefer basketball.

However, there are quite a lot of stupid people out there that really don't understand how things work. I'll site the Internet example yet again. These example are from a website which I will provide the URL (these people are ALMOST as stupid as the PC "experts". These are excerpts from tech calls all over the world:

Customer: "I can't get online."
Tech Support: "Can you be more specific?"
Customer: "It says, 'Bad username/password'."
Tech Support: "What is your username?"
Customer: "Are you sure that the Internet isn't closed for the night?"
I was extremely tempted to tell him how people in Europe and Asia wake up at odd hours just to use the net.

Tech Support: "If you don't have a phone line, you can't connect to the Internet."
Customer: "That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. You guys need to do something about that if you want people to be happy with your service!" (click)


Tech Support: "This is technical support returning your call for support. How can I help you?"
Customer: "I want to lodge a complaint."
Tech Support: "What seems to be the problem?"
Customer: "I specifically asked you not to program my Internet with pornography. I want it removed immediately."


Customer: "Yes, hello, could please send me again one of those Internet programs of yours?"
Tech Support: "Sure, but didn't you get one when you subscribed with us?"
Customer: "Yes, well I threw that one away!"
Tech Support: "Why did you do that, if I may ask?"
Customer: "Well, I installed all the programs and connected the first time and downloaded all the Internet, so I saw no use for it any more, so I uninstalled everything and threw the CD away."
Tech Support: (playing along) "Ok. But if you have downloaded all the Internet, why do you need another disk?"
Customer: "Well, I forgot to download some part of the Internet."

You make my point for me (1.00 / 1) (#29)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 02:25:13 PM PST
America has the government it deserves because Americans are stupid.

not just America (5.00 / 1) (#31)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 03:56:41 PM PST
I can site examples from the website where Europe, Asia, and Australia are presented. Some of them are even dumber.

I attend a major Australian university, and the library computers are often the only Internet access that students have. This means that the librarians often have to explain to students how to use the net connection. One day as I was doing some research for an assignment, an older gentleman asked the library assistant how to print from a web site. He was fairly web savvy, so he was just asking about selecting and printing the text he wanted. The assistant complimented him on his prudent use of resources and said, "So many students don't do that. They just print out the whole Internet."

Now I knew our printers were fast, but I didn't realize they were that fast, or that we had that much paper. It was a real effort not to butt in and correct her, or burst out laughing, or both.

*****But judging by some of the responses, it is clear that a lot of these experiences are unpleasant, due to a general lack of technical knowledge amongst British PC users.*****
Read below>>>>>>>>>>

Confessions included those of a new employee, who on her first day snapped at IT support for not responding to her calls for help. "Well I pressed the F1 button marked 'help' ages ago but nobody came," she protested.

One new computer user revealed that she had tried to operate the mouse with her foot, thinking that it worked in the same way as a pedal on an electric sewing machine.

Another computer novice admitted paying an IT engineer a 56 ($79) call-out fee and 25 ($35) for the first hour to fix a "faulty monitor", which in fact wasn't plugged in.

One lady logged onto a chatroom entitled "the whipped cream room," thinking that it was a room for cookery fans, only to discover a roomful of "sexual deviants" into 101 ways of using whipped cream.

You missed the point (none / 0) (#63)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Nov 2nd, 2001 at 06:27:21 PM PST
It is not that Americans are stupid in greater quantities than other nations. It is that they have more power as compared to other nations. So a stupid American decision is felt the world over.

The question is... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 12:21:49 PM PST
... whether he'll do the same thing to 2.4 once Linus hands over maintenance to him.

Also, there are still a lot of people using 2.2 -- advisedly, since 2.4 is still in a lot of flux, and has had a lot of problems recently. Alan and Linus still can't even agree which of two proposed virtual memory managers to use in 2.4! It wouldn't surprise me if Alan's first act once Linus hands off 2.4 to him is to drop the new Arcangeli VM and go back to the van Riel VM, as he has done in his 2.4.x-ac kernels. Of course, it may be hard to tell, if the changelog just says "censored in accordance with the DMCA".

Lastly, you're a bit out of date yourself; the latest 2.4 release is 2.4.13, not 2.4.11.

read too much (5.00 / 1) (#20)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 12:27:28 PM PST
Obviously you read WAY to much into this. I fail to see how a PRE-RELEASED kernel is any different from Windows XP Release Candidate 1? Is simply a "find the bugs". It's not an official release.

What is all this? (3.40 / 5) (#24)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 01:32:57 PM PST
I'm sorry, but I don't understand any of this article at all. Who the hell is this Alan Cox character, and what the fuck is a "Linux"?

I have always appreciated Adequacy as a place on the internet for us normal people to have conversations about normal things. But now here you are posting all this irrelevant mumbo jumbo about a topic that I am quite certain is of absolutely no concern to any of your readers.

Surely there is some other, more appropriate forum for what ever point it is that you are trying to make.

hrm... (3.66 / 3) (#37)
by Frithiof on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 06:04:27 PM PST
are you saying that other people should not discuss things that you don't understand simply because it is beyond your grasp?


Linux is communism... (5.00 / 1) (#41)
by error27 on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 11:04:42 PM PST
Alan Cox is a known pinko and his wacky behavior is hardly of any concern for normal Americans.

He seems to be opposed to this DMCA even though the American people agreed by the laws of democracy that it was moral and just. Is he saying that he knows better than billions of Americans put together? That strikes me as a little bit prideful. has much more important issues to deal with then some fringe wacko who hates democracy.

3 things (2.00 / 1) (#42)
by frosty on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 11:56:51 PM PST
1. There are not "billions of Americans", it's closer to 300 million

2. Just because congress passed a law doesn't mean I agree that it is "moral and just". Roe V. Wade is something that I, along with millions of other Aericans believe is neither moral or just law, but it exists just the same. If you were to survey people I would bet a large number of people do not even know this law exists, and if they do, they will have no idea of it's content or implications.

3. The US government is not a democracy in the true sense of the word. It is a republic. Elected officials "represent" the populace when making laws.

"Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger" -J.R.R. Tolkien

you know what a democracy is... (5.00 / 1) (#47)
by error27 on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 05:38:57 AM PST
so don't even try to pretend you don't.

>>3. The US government is not a democracy in the true sense of the word. It is a republic. Elected officials "represent" the populace when making laws.

This is just like Bill Clinton: "Uh, that depends on how you define the word 'is', your honor." Once you start changing the meanings of words around you can argue that night is day. But night is still night and day is still day despite of your sophistry.

>>1. There are not "billions of Americans", it's closer to 300 million

I don't entirely agree with your figures here. Where did you get them? But basically you are correct on this point, I really did mean to type 'm' instead of 'b.' I should have caught that in proof reading. Sorry, about that.

Americans (none / 0) (#49)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 08:30:21 AM PST
Try this one, sport.

Democracy is.... (none / 0) (#52)
by frosty on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 11:51:47 AM PST
democracy, as you would define it, is the United States government. And according to most laypeople, that is exactly what democracy is. However majority opinion does not constitute reality or truth. I am not trying to change the common usage "Democracy == America"(democracy is whatever america is, because america is a democracy), but rather remind people that America is not truly a democracy and never was meant to be one.

Alexander Hamilton said "We are a Republican Government. Real liberty is never found in despotism or in the extremes of Democracy" originally the US populace elected representatives/senators/presidents in trust that they would do the best for the country. Now we elect those who will do what we want (which is not always best for the country). Over the past 225 years the US has been slipping towards true democracy, and it may prove to ultimately be our downfall.

"Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger" -J.R.R. Tolkien

Earth to Alan Cox (5.00 / 1) (#25)
by Starship Trooper on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 01:37:55 PM PST
The DMCA specifically prevents people from hacking ENCRYPTION on COPYRIGHTED works. Linux is open-source, which means it doesn't have a copyright and is free for use by all. And, comments about the legibility of C source code aside, the Linux kernel is most definitely not encrypted. Cox is abusing his position as a Linux kernel luminary in order to repeal a law he doesn't agree with, harming the already floundering Linux community in the process. I urge him to reconsider his actions.
A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace, and rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace

short DMCA correction (none / 0) (#27)
by frosty on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 02:07:53 PM PST
The DMCA specifically prevents people from hacking ENCRYPTION on COPYRIGHTED works

You are correct. However the DMCA also "prevents" (your word, I would prefer "outlaws") the creation of, distribution of, even the description of a "circumvention device". What Alan Cox is saying is that the discussion of the changes made invlolves and gives details about code that could be used as a " circumvention device"

This has nothing to do with the copyright on Lunux, the GPL, open-source, etc. I does however have everything to do with the practical, far-reaching, effects of the DMCA's attempt to stop copyright infringement.

"Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger" -J.R.R. Tolkien

Warning: (0.66 / 3) (#39)
by tkatchev on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 10:04:19 PM PST
"StarshipTrooper" is a known Slashdot troll!!

Take everything he says with a giant grain of salt. Although specifically forbids all forms of trolling, we give people like "StarshipTrooper" a forum where their controvercial opinion is valued, where they can reform and start contributing to discussions -- instead of juvenile attempts at inciting angry remarks.

In short, you have been warned. (That applies to you, too, "StarshipTrooper"!)

Peace and much love...

What's a slash-dot? (none / 0) (#40)
by Starship Trooper on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 10:27:42 PM PST
Isn't that a kind of car? Trying to cast my opinions off as a "troll" (whatever that is) only reflects upon your puerile inability to accept opinions differing from yours. Stop being so small-minded and petty.
A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace, and rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace

Watch it. (none / 0) (#43)
by tkatchev on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 12:14:05 AM PST
You're treading on dangerous ground here, trollbot.

Peace and much love...

Please people. (5.00 / 1) (#44)
by dmg on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 04:12:27 AM PST
Try and keep ontopic. Although tkatchev is correct in his assertion that adequacy does not allow trolling, we do not judge people by their behaviour on other less controversial websites.

Starship Trooper, you are welcome to post here, but be aware, trolling is NOT TOLERATED and any trollish posts you make may well be deleted.

And now, if we could return to the controversial subject of Alan Cox's 'Raymondesque' pomposity and stupidity.

time to give a Newtonian demonstration - of a bullet, its mass and its acceleration.
-- MC Hawking

So? (0.00 / 2) (#51)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 11:41:15 AM PST
And you guys are gonna do what about it? The administration on this site is so poor, people flame, troll, and do pretty much what they want to.

Oh and by the way...SCOOP SUX!

Starship Trooper is a trollish name (5.00 / 1) (#50)
by Adam Rightmann on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 10:26:36 AM PST
Forgive me gentlereaders for being pedantic, but many of the younger people on the internet believe the internet starts and stops with the web, and are unaware of the great history of USERNET.

On USERNET there is a law called Godwin's Law, that when someone mentions Hitler or Naziism in a thread, the conversation has degenerated into uselessness. There is a corallary to Godwin's Law about Heinlein, once Heinlein is mentioned, socialists uncomfortable with his advocacy of individualism get uncomfortable, and soon Hitler or Naziism will be mentioned.

My point being, Starship Troopers is a book written by Robert Heinlein, and thus might be a nickname that can be construed to have trollish tendencies. Perhaps you should pick a nickname from a book by a less controversial author, Jerry Pournelle perhaps?

A. Rightmann

Earth to Alan Cox (none / 0) (#58)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Oct 26th, 2001 at 05:36:23 AM PST
Actually Linux *does* have copyright protection; the GPL is a licence allowing you to copy it under certain conditions. If it did not have copyright protection, the GPL would be useless, as anyone would be able to use a closed version of the software.

GPL, not "open-source" (none / 0) (#59)
by Anonymous Reader on Mon Oct 29th, 2001 at 07:29:17 PM PST
Linux is open-source, which means it doesn't have a copyright

Wrong. Linux is released under the GPL -- which is not the same thing as "open source".

The GPL is an iron-clad license. This is beacuse it relies on a strict interpretation of US copyright law, and strict enforcement of US copyright law as well. This is why GPL violaters usually back down when threatened with a lawsuit.

The GPL would not work if the work in question were not copyrighted. Browse the source code. You'll find that Linux is indeed copyrighted.

Not copyrighted? (none / 0) (#61)
by Anonymous Reader on Tue Oct 30th, 2001 at 03:36:14 PM PST
Just a short comment: The Linux kernel as well as most open-source software HAVE a license. It's called GPL and it is supposed to let everybody change the code as long as you distribute it. There IS a copyright on such software. Once again, the ignorance of readers show up....

Here's the censored part, you coward, Cox! (5.00 / 2) (#32)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 04:16:53 PM PST
Security fixes
- Quota buffer overrun, possibly locally exploitable (Solar Designer)
- Ptrace race - local root exploit
- Symlink local denial of service attack fix (Rafal Wojtczuk, Solar Designer, Linus Torvalds)
- Sparc exec fixups (Solar Designer)

what? (none / 0) (#36)
by Anonymous Reader on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 05:59:31 PM PST
is there any logical reason at all why anyone would want to keep their users unaware of potential security problems?

this guy seems to feel Microsoft has a few strategies worth emulating...

Missing option in the poll (3.00 / 2) (#38)
by CorporateRepublic on Wed Oct 24th, 2001 at 09:59:44 PM PST
There is a missing option in the poll, the correct answer of all of the above.

Cross-Platform Views (none / 0) (#55)
by Gamanen on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 02:36:47 PM PST
I also read Slashdot, under a different name; I actually learned about this site from there. Alan Cox seems to me to be a relatively decent person. He's on top of the Kernel releases and all that, does a decent job maintaining it, lets Slashdot interview him periodically. On the other hand, Linux himself, Linus Torvalds, is the unprofessional jerk. No, really. He refuses to fork the Kernel to different people who want to develop different specialty modifications for it, and instead of allowing Alan Cox to say, release a kernel-premptive multi-tasking system, without a lot of the other garbage, Linux is now a 2-CD FTP download, or a $60 box at my local computer retailer. It doesn't need to be any more than half a CD. Want GTK+? Get it off the net. Want something other than KDE? Sucks to be you. Get it on your own time. Don't add hundreds of megs of redundant tools and desktop environments just because someone said they'd be a good idea, and you won't let them make their own version of it.
"For men only truely die when there is no one left to evoke their memory among the living." -- Francois Carlotti

Corrections (5.00 / 1) (#56)
by frosty on Thu Oct 25th, 2001 at 07:23:05 PM PST
I'm surprised a slashdot reader would be so mis-informed.

1. Anyone anywhere can download the linux kernel source and write their own version of it, sell it if they want, they just can't call it "Linux" (linus has the copyright). You can go and fork your own linux kernel if you want, go right ahead.

2.Linus and Alan Cox are "kernel" maintainers, they maintain the kernel, that's it. The kernel source code is ~20-30M, pretty compact. And there are dozens of independant kenel patches that can be applied to make the Linux kernel do whatever you want.

3. These 2 CD downloads you are talking about are full linux distributions, they have everything and the kitchen sink. Linus has nothing to do with these distributions, you don't like 'em complain to redhat, Suse, Debian, Slackware, etc.

"Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger" -J.R.R. Tolkien

they'll never learn (5.00 / 1) (#57)
by Anonymous Reader on Fri Oct 26th, 2001 at 12:31:18 AM PST
Come on you expect these guys to know the difference between the linux kernel and a full distro? Hell they have articles floating around here talk about how Red Hat and Suse were previous versions.

<<Linux is now a 2-CD FTP download, or a $60 box at my local computer retailer. It doesn't need to be any more than half a CD.>>

Linux itself is samll enough to fit on a floppy. Do not confuse a kernel with an OS as a whole.

<<Want something other than KDE? Sucks to be you.>>

Fine buy or download a distrobution that offers KDE (most popular) as well as GNOME and other desktop. Red Hat Linux allows you to choose.

<<Don't add hundreds of megs of redundant tools and desktop environments just because someone said they'd be a good idea, and you won't let them make their own version of it.>>

It's your coice which ones you wanna install. And there are companies that make there own. Red Hat, Suse, Caldera, etc. Linus Torvalds does not work for any of these companies (he works for Transmeta, in California) nor does he have his own distro.

Please get your facts straight before spouting off like an idiot. And would you guys at adequacy please get it through your heads that Linux is a kernel. Red Hat, SuSE, OpenLinux are distros (OSes). Just like NTkernel or Kernel32 are kernels. Windows is the OS.

Censorship? (0.00 / 2) (#62)
by Anonymous Reader on Thu Nov 1st, 2001 at 04:20:15 PM PST
The editors of Adequacy have nothing to bitch about. They know all about censorship first hand.
It's funny how a site which totes utter bullshit disguised as "trolling" would do the exact same thing they're blaming Alan Cox for doing.
"Trolling is not tolerated here. Any comment may be deleted by a site admin..."
So, why does this site exist in the first place?


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