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Have you ever used Red Hat Linux?
Tried it and hated it. 4%
Tried it and it fucked up my Windows. 23%
God, it's gay. 19%
G*d, it's communist. 4%
I thought I was buying Quicken. 47%

Votes: 21

 AOL in Negotiations to Buy Red Hat

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jan 18, 2002
Well, well, well. Take a look at this little gem at the old Washington Post. Looks like the old Red Hat Software Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: REDH) couldn't sustain their business of giving crud away and selling support for the crud.

More diaries by Yoshi
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Overview of Instant Messaging Applications
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Sun's Ulterior Motives
This Has Gone Too Far
But who would have guessed? Oh yeah, everyone who's ever used Linux. You see, Red Hat's business model was to sell second-rate operating systems to the uninformed masses who see the bright red box on the store shelves thinking it's some alternative to Quicken or something. So they buy it, put it in their little CDROM trays and watch in horror as the piece of shit tries to infest itself on your hard drive.

Then, you're forced to call their 1-900 number, which they charge you about 83 yuans per minute. So you're sitting there, with a direct link to China, wondering what the hell you're going to do because when you turn your computer on, the god damn thing stops at L I. So what do you do? You could wait for one of their support personnel to speak with you on the telephone in that weird Mao accent that they all have, telling you how to get your Windows back up. Meanwhile, they've bilked you out of about a month's worth of employee pay.

Take a look at this exerpt from a particularly technologically-saavy website: It would make a great deal of sense for AOL/Time-Warner to acquire an operating system for leverage against Microsoft - same reason they bought Netscape.
Oh yeah, that's right. What ever did happen to Netscape, anyway? If AOL planned on fostering anything to rival Internet Explorer, they've thoroughly failed. AOL wasted countless amounts of money (I believe the figure was $4.2 billion) to buy that company and drove it to ruins. Hopefully they will do the same to Red Hat, and put us all out of our misery.


Hmm... (none / 0) (#1)
by SpaceGhoti on Fri Jan 18th, 2002 at 11:00:55 PM PST
Do I sense a modicrum of spleen being vented here? You seem a tad...bitter.

A troll's true colors.

This is a good thing... (none / 0) (#2)
by gcsb on Fri Jan 18th, 2002 at 11:08:19 PM PST
Perhaps AOL can finally remove the IP-Token stealing code from Linux.

The world will be a much safer place.


Sig is under not panic.

Who cares? (5.00 / 1) (#3)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Jan 19th, 2002 at 02:39:57 AM PST
Let the dot-bomb refugees devour each other.

RedHat, the MS Windows of Linux Distros, and AOL, the AOL of ISP's, belong together like Michael Jackson and McCauley Culkin.

Linux was never about being some user-friendly let's-make-a-billion-bucks-selling-"support" harebrained scheme.

Linux is about spending two days unzipping and configuring packages, sticking dozens of post-its on your monitor with things like "octal file permission cheat sheet" scrawled on them, being REAL careful how you configure X because you might set your cheap no-name monitor on fire, and grinning though the pain as your system segfaults and barfs up yet another 2 megabyte core file all over your desktop.

Linux is like mountain climbing: pointless and insane, and 99.9% of humanity will live long, fulfilling lives without ever trying it, but those few who feel the need are rewarded with a sight (or insight) that only a handful of other human beings can say they have seen (providing they don't get themselves killed or set their monitor on fire).

Finally, forget the for-profits. Linux is about free software. Not free as in milk-and-cookies or free as in tampons, but free as in: "you can have my guns when you stumble over the bullet-ridden bodies of dozens of dead ATF agents and, assuming you defuse the booby traps hidden on my corpse, unwrap the layers of duct tape on my hands and pry them from my cold, dead, fingers."

must be for some kind of tax write off or dodge (none / 0) (#4)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Jan 19th, 2002 at 03:46:01 AM PST
Gates and Case had supper at the restaurant where I work as a waiter. For what it's worth, they spoke in conspiratorially hushed tones and laughed a lot. Anyway, how much is RedHat worth? Maybe I could buy it on the tip they left me.

This is terrible (none / 0) (#5)
by Anonymous Reader on Sat Jan 19th, 2002 at 05:25:34 AM PST
I doubt very seriously that AOL will let Linux stay Open Source. Once the purchase of Red Hat is complete I bet they will put Linux under some sort of restrictive end user license similar to what Microsoft did with Windows, probably even start charging for it.

This will be the end of our wonderful and useful OS and we'll all be forced to use something else.

No real problem. (none / 0) (#10)
by The Mad Scientist on Sat Jan 19th, 2002 at 05:35:15 PM PST
We already have all we need. We have the source code and the compilers. Red Hat may go to hell - as long as the kernel is untouched (Red Hat has no active rights for it) there is no real loss.
Even in the case of complete loss of kernel (which is technically and organizationally impossible, and even if it would be legally possible, it is technically unenforceable), we still can pack our sources, and move on to BSD. Or cook new, microkernel-based system. As long as we will keep the API compatibility, we can run our toys on anything.
And even if all the corporations would go to hell, as long as the source is out and there are the Networks, the development can run. Corporations do <B>nothing</B> - they only seize the work of their sla... erm... employees and stick their label on it. I never seen a single line of code written by a corporation; everything was at the end typed in by a programmer, a flesh-and-blood person. Corporations can go to hell; the programmers are what really matters.
Here is the real beauty of GNU licence; a safeguard against <A HREF="">someone</A> coming in uninvited, shelving out cash, and blocking others from the access to the code. Regardless how much AOL could scream, shout, and beg, they can't own the kernel nor most of the apps.
AOL can take Red Hat. What they can't is to take the applications form the Red Hat distribution; they aren't Red Hat's property. What they can't is to take the kernel. What they can't is to take anything that matters for the Real World. What they can is to get a resource that could help them gain some independence on Microsoft. They are a big player, even if disliked. They could fragment the computer market - creating a non-Microsoft niche. Even if proprietary, it still could mean Microsoft would have a competitor, which could mean an obstacle for their embrace-and-extend tactics. The more fragmented the PC market will be, the more important the standards will be.
In this round of the game, I am on the side of AOL; at this moment all resources should go to weakening of Microsoft. Still, I urge to be cautious about possible AOL's side intentions. At this moment, they are an ally; however, they are still a potential enemy. So fight on their side but watch their hands and be prepared to stick a dagger into their back if the situation would require it.

to sum it up (none / 0) (#11)
by NAWL on Sat Jan 19th, 2002 at 11:23:34 PM PST
Red Hat Inc does own or control linux or any licenses pertaining to it. RH could fall off the map (although I use it) and nothing would happen to linux. IF AOL did aquire Linux they wouldn't have any direct control over linux itself wha-so-ever. Linus Torvalds own the copyright on linux and HE licensed it under the GNU GPL, NOT Red Hat Inc.

Hey, if you consider the fifth grade your senior year, what else can you be besides a pompous jackass?

Ah. Finally, a bit of new information. (none / 0) (#12)
by Anonymous Reader on Sun Jan 20th, 2002 at 02:42:49 AM PST
So we learn that NAWL is a Red Hat user.

The smarter readers figured this out a long time ago, but it's nice to have some direct confirmation.

So? (none / 0) (#13)
by NAWL on Sun Jan 20th, 2002 at 03:41:16 AM PST
I also use Mandrake from time to time. I've played with SuSE (although I'm not thrilled about the the differences in directory structure). What's your point?

Hey, if you consider the fifth grade your senior year, what else can you be besides a pompous jackass?

A Red Hat user! (none / 0) (#14)
by elenchos on Sun Jan 20th, 2002 at 10:10:08 PM PST
My god.

I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill

heh so AOL are criminals now huh? (none / 0) (#6)
by PotatoError on Sat Jan 19th, 2002 at 11:55:44 AM PST
Good god, what is Gods very own internet owning company doing trying to buy a hacker operating system.

On a serious note though look:
"Linux has yet to be adopted widely by consumers, largely because it requires some technical proficiency to install. But it is popular with the tech crowd and, according to industry estimates, runs about 30 percent of all computers servers -the powerful computers that function as hubs on a network."

MWHAHAHAHAHAA proof that the internet is 0wned by Linux.

Linux Zealot (illegally using PotatoErrors Amiga)


Typist (4.00 / 1) (#7)
by First Incision on Sat Jan 19th, 2002 at 12:17:58 PM PST
It appears to be an analogy.

Linux Zealot is to PotatoError as Martino Cortez Phd is to buxom typists.
Do you suffer from late-night hacking? Ask your doctor about Protonix.

heh (none / 0) (#8)
by PotatoError on Sat Jan 19th, 2002 at 01:28:28 PM PST
funny :)

flaw (none / 0) (#9)
by nathan on Sat Jan 19th, 2002 at 01:39:15 PM PST
1) It is known that buxom typists sexually service Martino Cortez (PhD)^2.

2) Linux Zealot uses Linux.

Therefore, the analogy does not hold across all domains. QED

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.


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