What is FUD?

It is the intention of this entry to try and ascertain what the correct definition of FUD is.  It is evident that this term is thrown around much as of late and is a ‘catch all’ for many to group people that they do not want to deal with.  So, let’s start by getting the “official” definition of FUD.  No, we are not going to an Encyclopedia or dictionary…we’ll go to the place where the community defines exactly what the definition is…Wikipedia. According the the Wikipedia definition, FUD was first defined as “any kind of disinformation used as a competitive weapon.”  FUD then was applied to IBM and business practices.  Currently, it has become trendy to apply it to individuals. Later in the Wikipedia article, it goes on to state:

FUD can be used to offhandedly ‘smear’ criticism or legitimate debate, even in cases where the allegations are without merit or are merely implied; this tactic is often used in cases where the initial publicity surrounding claims of FUD is likely to vastly overshadow any subsequent retraction. Such an arbitrary usage is a general type of logical fallacy known as Ad hominem circumstantial

It is my opinion that this application of logical fallacy has replaced the actual definition of FUD in today’s society.  Today, people who see opinions and ideals other than their own gaining a public voice will immediately sling accusations of FUD toward the source…more often than not attacking the person or public voice that publishes them.  The gradual dilution of the actual meaning of FUD is part of the great divide that is prevalent in today’s online world.

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Laying to Rest the Mandriva/PCLOS Debate

The one thing about FOSS that I love is that you can take whatever you need from various sources and build what you opine is a better wheel. Take Ubuntu for instance…they took Debian and made it into something that many users are happy with.

Is this wrong? Not at all. Each day, many non-commercial distro makes wake up and check various distributions for updated security fixes. They pull source rpms, updated tar.gz’s, and debs into their distro, make minor adjustments, and drop it into their repository. Distros share with one another…they take and hopefully give back. If not monetarily, at least by the number of users that they have that may report bugs or provide fixes.

So what’s the beef that some Distrowatch Weekly commenter’s seem to have with PCLinuxOS? During the past 3 weeks of comments on the DW, some have been hounding PCLinuxOS with accusations saying that the developers hide things from their community and that PCLinuxOS eradicates changelogs and/or lights small dogs on fire while chopping kittens to bits in blenders, etc.

Myth #1: PCLinuxOS Hides the Fact it is Mandriva based (False)

PCLinuxOS.com has always had an “About” link on every single webpage it has ever had. Let’s look at what information has been conveyed there:

“PCLinuxOS was originally based on another distribution under the name of Mandriva
and shares many features of Mandriva such as the Control Center and the
Draklive Installer
. Texstar and team would like to thank the
developers, contributors and others associated with Mandriva who may
have indirectly contributed to the PCLinuxOS distribution.”

Let’s look at some other distro front pages to see how they compare. Sabayon Linux has their footer at the bottom with Gentoo in it…but no mention on the front page as to what they’re based on. No real ‘about’ link there either. Move on to Ubuntu. No mention of Debian on the front page. You have to visit the Community >> The Ubuntu Story link in order to find that it is based on Debian. Once again, no ‘about’ link on the front page.

Let’s take a look at the PCLinuxOS Page on Distrowatch shall we? This has been utterly unchanged in 4 years:

“PCLinuxOS is an English only live CD initially based on Mandrake Linux
that runs entirely from a bootable CD. Data on the CD is uncompressed
on the fly, allowing up to 2GB of programs on one CD including a
complete X server, KDE desktop, OpenOffice.org and many more
applications all ready to use. In addition to the live CD, you can also
install PCLinuxOS to your hard drive with an easy-to-use
livecd-installer. Additional applications can be added or removed from
your hard drive using a friendly apt-get front end via Synaptic.”

If that paragraph is an attempt to hide things, I’m Miles Davis.

Considering these two points, I’d say PCLinuxOS hasn’t been ‘hiding’ the fact that it is Mandriva based. I’d say they’re doing quite well with where they have this information. I welcome any comments with information otherwise. If you have specific examples, please make sure they’re from a developer and not a general user…because if general users are where we’re getting our information from, every distro is in trouble.

Penguin Pete’s Blog, your source for FUD about YALB

If any of you read Penguin Pete’s last two blog entries [1] [2]…you’ll find two of the most FUD filled posts about YALB on the web. He’s on the warpath…for no reason at all and has begun a smear campaign against me here. I haven’t done anything to attack him personally…yet that’s exactly what he’s done with his latest blog entries. Pete claims I’m a partner with the tux500.com project and that helios from Blog of helios and I are perpetuating this as a scam
across the web. Let’s get some facts on this topic immediately:

  1. I am not part of this project
  2. I do not collect money or have access to collected money on this project
  3. I will not be part of this project as my plate is full
  4. I’ve posted a single blog entry about said project that was syndicated at various places around the web…this is normal…there are many sites that mirror YALB such as Swik and the Linux Blog Aggregator.
  5. I submitted this single blog entry on Lxer.com who published it
  6. Tuxmachines.org also published this same post
  7. The project is being tracked monetarily by Linux Today’s editor, Brian Proffitt, and Lxer.com’s editor-in-chief, Don Parris. (why hasn’t Pete went to them on this? Are they part of the scam too?)
  8. Ken aka helios is my personal friend and I posted my previous entry as support of his project like any good friend would do.
  9. If I found out the project was a SCAM, I’d shut it down. I host lobby4linux.com and could snipe it out in one fell swoop. If anyone has concrete evidence that it is a scam other than pure speculation, please email me devnet at mypclinuxos.com

So Pete is trying to draw major correlation between me and this project so that he can lump me in as part of his theory about it. I wouldn’t normally care, but it seems that he can’t stand up to the criticism he’s getting as he’s disabled comments. The interesting thing is he’s referring to it as comment SPAM when he has captcha enabled…which means he was getting a ton of comments he didn’t like and shut them down. He could also turn on moderation (I have automoderation after a specific time here) so that he could catch the offending spammers and publish everything else. I do that here as well.

See, when I blog, I open myself up to positive perspectives like those from avid readers. But I also open myself up to negative perspectives like those from Mr. Pete. That’s fine..he’s welcome to post anytime on this website’s comment system. He’s welcome to trash any topic of discussion I post about. I’ll never disable comments on any article because I do not have to censor anything anyone says to fit my message or make me appear to be right. If someone has a problem with a post…by me posting it publically, I have opened myself up to what they have to say. People are free to respond as they see fit to whatever topic of discussion I post about. It seems that by shutting down comments to his latest posts, Pete proves that he does not have these standards for freedom that I do.

So bookmark it folks…those two entries in Penguin Pete’s blogs can say whatever they want about the Tux500 project…that’s his right. But trying to lump me in with it is an outright lie. It’s untrue libel and FUD. Those two posts are your helping of FUD for the week. Hopefully, you see past it. Comments are open on this post and I’ll answer whatever questions readers have.

Information Week Slams the Kernel…Finger Lickin Good.

Information Week, who strive to be at the forefront of business innovation through technology, have recently lashed out (subtly mind you) at Linux…specifically the Linux Kernel.

The article is entitled, “The Linux Kernel’s Fuzzy Future” and they are oh so careful not to directly bash anyone or anything. However, it is obvious that they are trying to show that the kernel “ain’t no Microsoft” (thank God for that…we’d all be broke). These types of articles are normally known as FUD when directly attacking different parties. They are spread across the internet through syndication and other means to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt (Hence, FUD). In this case…the FUD is only a thin coating and you barely notice it…but it’s there.

Here’s the problem with ebusiness sites and corporate news portals critiquing Linux and open source in general…Linux is not Micro$oft, and Micro$oft isn’t Linux. End of story. So should Linux be viable for business? Who cares? Linux is free and designed for the community…not for the business.

My reasoning comes from this notion…how can you compare something designed to be free for all developing at the leisure and pace of thousands of developers worldwide…to something designed to be closed source developing on the backs of some choice employees…it really is apples and oranges. Micro$oft needs deadlines and roadmaps to live…because without it…we’re left wondering when the next patch for this or next security pack for that will be out.

With Open Source…there is no NEED for roadmaps. The next patch to a security flaw…the next update…will be out within a few hours in most cases. Why? Because worldwide there are hundreds of thousands of developers communicating simultaneously toward a common goal. I don’t think there is a single company that can actively compete against that. I also highly doubt if any major business has seen the speed at which a project can develop when it is open sourced.

So this article strikes a nerve, albeit very craftily and indirectly, with me. Take it or leave it, my two cents on the matter.

Sources

http://www.informationweek.com/story/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=54800186