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BBC To Host Multi-OS Debate 344

Bananatree3 writes "BBC is currently seeking submissions from all you Microsoft Windows, Mac and Linux devotees "in 100 words or less, why you are such a supporter of your chosen operating system and what features you love about it". They will then select one user of each platform to go head to head in a debate that will be part of the BBC's Microsoft Vista launch coverage on January 30th."
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BBC To Host Multi-OS Debate

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  • Don't apply unless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse ( 789240 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @08:58AM (#17750182) Journal
    Don't appply unless you're 20 something and remotely good looking. The BBC recently knee capped their tech presents to only pretty people who don't seem to care even remotely about tech.

    Not to mention I've seen nothing but Second life all over the news tech wise in months.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by netpixie ( 155816 )
      Which is why they're having to play this game. They have no-one who knows anything so they're trying to get geeks to do their jobs for them, for free.
    • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:27AM (#17750496)
      that counts me out, i am over 40 and as ugly as a mud fence...
    • by slughead ( 592713 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:35AM (#17750572) Homepage Journal
      Don't appply unless you're 20 something and remotely good looking. The BBC recently knee capped their tech presents to only pretty people who don't seem to care even remotely about tech.

      It probably wouldn't make much difference in quality. The last 3 articles on technology I read on the BBC (years ago) were either riddled with misuse of certain words, left out some important and key details, misstated the implications of the story, and/or came up with a very strange and subjective conclusion that came out of the blue.

      I've seen this happen elsewhere, so I stopped reading tech news from most places. I will not conjecture on why this is so.
      • by ednopantz ( 467288 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:14AM (#17751980)
        riddled with misuse of certain words, left out some important and key details, misstated the implications of the story, and/or came up with a very strange and subjective conclusion that came out of the blue.

        And this differs from the average Slashdot post how?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Gregory Cox ( 997625 )
          It differs because no-one can reply to point out its mistakes, or mod it into the ground, however wrong it is. And because people are more likely to believe that it is The Truth.

          Funny, to me your post feels less like criticism of Slashdot and more like criticism of the BBC. The BBC is a respected name, and employs professional journalists. If that counts for anything, they ought to be more than a match for the best posts on Slashdot rather than just level with the average ones.

          Are they? I think I'll learn m
      • by mike2R ( 721965 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:33AM (#17752320)
        The last 3 articles on technology I read on the BBC (years ago) were either riddled with misuse of certain words, left out some important and key details, misstated the implications of the story, and/or came up with a very strange and subjective conclusion that came out of the blue.

        Pretty much all news is like this - you just know enough about this area to be able to spot it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Skippyboy ( 978787 )
      Ever seen the show Brainiac? Isn't that from the UK? Let's get THOSE girls to debate OS'es - while covered in jello!!!!! That would be sure to bring in great ratings.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iangoldby ( 552781 )
      The problem is that the BBC (like any broadcaster) will pick the three people who they think will be the most entertaining.

      In this context, entertaining means controversial, argumentative, polarised in opinions, someone viewers can feel superior to.

      It does not mean informed, measured, reasonable, articulate, persuasive, ...
    • An idea... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by antdude ( 79039 )
      As a guy... Go on Beauty and the Geek [] show, survive long enough to get a make over, and then try applying for this BBC event.
  • by digitalderbs ( 718388 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:00AM (#17750202)
    They should have specified that submissions cannot use words with numbers for the windows crowd. ;p
  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:01AM (#17750208)
    ..."in 100 words or less, why you are such a supporter of your chosen operating system"...debate that will be part of the BBC's Microsoft Vista launch coverage...

    Because it's not Microsoft Vista?

    Thank you, the defense rests.
    • by omeg ( 907329 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:44AM (#17750628)
      Host: So you don't like Microsoft Windows. Care to explain why?

      Mac/Linux supporter: (Tosses chair at Microsoft supporter.)
      • No Way! (Score:5, Funny)

        by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @10:05AM (#17750856) Journal
        Host: So you don't like Microsoft Windows. Care to explain why?
        Mac/Linux supporter: (Tosses chair at Microsoft supporter.)

        Toss a chair?! There is no way a Mac/Linux supporter would ever lower themselves enough to toss a chair at a Microsoft Supporter. I don't care how obtuse they're being. It just wouldn't happen, and I find the accusation vaguely insulting.

        We would toss the Microsoft supporter at the chair.
        • Fight! (Score:3, Funny)

          by gbjbaanb ( 229885 )
          Mac User: well, violence is for the intellectually feeble anyway, so I will stay here and write a damning article about you other OS users, as the pen is mightier than the sword, I feel I will win.

          Linux User: yeah right. n00b luuuuuser! My ninja skills will kick your a$$ right to the middle of next week, Take that! ow. ow! Nobody said this violence thing would hurt! Not fair.

          Windows User: guys, meet Dave, he's a special forces sergeant and, well, he's been given money to see that I win this argument. Cheers
      • by burnin1965 ( 535071 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:15AM (#17752000) Homepage

        Mac/Linux supporter: (Tosses chair at Microsoft supporter.)

        As a linux supporter I was abhored at this innovation in the use of office furniture by Microsoft, but once I tried it at work I must say it is quite effective at subduing coworkers whom I find annoying. So here's to keeping up with Microsoft's innovations (/me tosses a chair over the cubicle wall).
  • by suso ( 153703 ) * on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:02AM (#17750230) Homepage Journal
    Whoever appeals to the general public and doesn't alienate themself with overly strong opinions. Someone who recognizes strengths and weaknesses in all platforms and summarizes that, but puts a spin on their own favorite platform.
  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:02AM (#17750232) Homepage
    QTFA: "We have received many entries and have now closed the call for submissions. We will be in touch with people shortly. Many thanks for taking part."
  • Context and styles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SpanishArcher ( 974073 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:03AM (#17750246)
    I foresee a potential disaster in the linux presentation.

    It's undoubtful that the most hardcore Free Software fringe of the Linux community has the most public appeal.
    I mean...they're somewhat "weird", it's likely that the BBC will chose a super nerdy guy that bitches on everything that is not free software, and the topic will change from a mere technical analysis to the usual religion flamwar.

    Windows and OSX will be presented as desktop systems. I doubt the server side of the story will be interesting to the average BBC listener.
    Linux, unfortunately, will fail to show its good cards there. I'm not talking about mere graphics, of course, but the whole user friendlyness "from the scratch", hardware support...

    I hope the supporters choice will be wise.
    • by xtracto ( 837672 )
      hardware support...

      I hope whoever goes there to advocate Linux *does NOT* try to convince people that hardware support is fine on it. We all know and care about the "reality" of Linux (hardware manufacturers not giving drivers at least closed) but normal people will not understand, care and I doubt the advocate will have enough time to explain it.

      The best approach will be to stay in the line of "Linux just works, and works great. Just tell your computer-shop to sell you a 'Linux ready ' machine with everyth
      • The other side people *must* use to "sell" Linux for the desktop is the fact that it is free, as in beer. People like free things. Do not enter into details on the philosophy of free software and all that crap.

        There is little or nothing in F/OSS of interest to end users that is not ported to Windows or begins as a native Windows app: Paint.NET []

        There are many, many, free, high quality, programs available for Windows under other licenses.

        When you can draw on "the best of both worlds," there is no compell

    • Linux does have some strong arguments. We can play the low price and high stability cards. The smart thing would be not to tout Linux as teh bestest system evar but instead as a reliable solution for people who know what they want (and who aren't afraid to do a bit of research before they buy things). Of course Linux doesn't fit everyone, but if you take some time you can (in most cases) get a system that does what you need, period.

      Of course, OS X also has some leverage. We can point out that we had the s
    • by yankpop ( 931224 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @10:21AM (#17751096)

      It's true that rms may not be the best introduction to linux (or gnu/linux) for the general, non-technical public audience. But there are lots of very eloquent Free Software advocates who can be very persuasive without coming across as gonzo anarchist whack jobs. Regular people are starting to notice DRM, at least when they can't (easily) transfer their iTunes files to another player. Get someone like Eben Moglen in there to talk about MS and Apple working with the entertainment industry to sell us our "culture by the sip", and that will resonate with them.

      Get someone from a free documentation project like Project Gutenberg, or the library community, to talk about proprietary formats and the dangers they pose to our ability to access our own data. Maybe not everyone will get it, but I think there would be real value in introducing people to the idea that they can get off the MSOffice upgrade treadmill.

      I know rms' stubborn adherence to sticking GNU in front of Linux rankles a lot of people. But this is exactly why it is so important. If we want to argue in favour of Linux only in terms of features (more stable, excellent browsers, spreadsheet needs work, wordprocessors ok, multimedia tricky etc.) then we throw away our most compelling strengths. If you just want to replace Windows, Linux is ok, but if Windows is the standard we measure by we will always come out behind. But if you want to replace the proprietary paradigm that Windows represents, GNU/Linux offers more than enough to make up for the gap between OOCalc and Excel.

      Like any social movement, you have to present your message with tact. But that doesn't mean you should abandon that message all together.


    • by WinDoze ( 52234 )
      the topic will change from a mere technical analysis to the usual religion flamwar.

      I'm not so sure... These ARE Brits we're talking about here. Much too polite for a flamewar I think.
  • by inviolet ( 797804 ) <slashdot.ideasmatter@org> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:04AM (#17750256) Journal

    And don't say "fewer attacks and/or security exposures on this OS as compared to Windows", because right now all non-Windows platforms are benefiting from "security through minority".

    There's even a dorky genius here on slashdot who posts from his Amiga, and one of the benefits he lists for using steam-powered computing hardware, is the complete absence of any attacks targetting his box. Although he probably has to worry about termites eating his DRAM.

    All of that would change if AmigaOS or Linux or whatever became the de facto standard.

    • by jonwil ( 467024 )
      That is not strictly true.

      Linux IS more secure than windows.
      Windows is insecure because it has to be in order to run all the windows apps (just look at all the apps that wont run except as an administrator, on linux the only programs that wont run except as root are generally either system administration programs that should only be being used when you are doing administration stuff or programs that can run as setuid root (and the number of programs that need to actually run as setuid root are minimal).
      • not to mention the number of programs that while they usually need to run setuid root to start up, usually insist on switching to another user after initialising.

        kismet springs to mind, iirc apache does the same (I know it prefers to, cant remember if it insists upon it)
        • by Eivind ( 15695 )
          Apache, for obvious reasons, need to start with sufficient priviledges to bind to port 80.

          Traditionally, binding to low ports was a priviledged operation only available to root. This is however currently changing with the introduction of more fine-grained capabilities.

          Apache however, was (and is) extremely diligent in using the root-process *only* for opening port 80 and forking the worker-processes which then do all the actual work. (and run as a dedicated user, typically "httpd" or "apache")

          I don't

      • Your point would carry more weight if the really serious problems had anything to do with being root. Unfortunately, for the most part, they don't.

        For the vast majority of people and organisations, I suggest that the most damaging actions that malware can take are:

        1. giving your data to others;
        2. changing your data in subtle ways;
        3. stealing your resources.

        A virus that causes your system to crash randomly or erases your whole hard drive is annoying, but easily fixed (unless you're naive enough not to make b

    • yay go FUD!!!

      old old argument, that has been fairly well debunked

      windows can be secure, linux and osx can be insecure.

      The difference is you turn on a mac and its pretty much secure out of the box - one of the main reasons being you are not running as an admin.

      Windows you have to be damn good to get it secure, and it takes a fair amount of effort to make it a usuable experiance as a home PC for somoene not running as an admin - it can be done - but its a bitch to do. In theory vista is "better" at this, thou
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mgiuca ( 1040724 )

      Certainly, "security through minority" is part of it. But you must realise that even if everyone in the world used Linux, it would be far more secure than Windows currently is. (And most of this applies to other non-Windows platforms too).

      Linux (and Unix) have a far better security model than Windows. This is mainly because limited accounts have just the right amount of power (and it's configurable, and changeable at the drop of a hat) - so it's perfectly fine to use limited accounts and sudo in to the sy

    • by Coryoth ( 254751 )

      And don't say "fewer attacks and/or security exposures on this OS as compared to Windows", because right now all non-Windows platforms are benefiting from "security through minority".

      While its certainly true that, if Linux had the market share of Windows, then it would see far more attacks and security exposures, that sort of argument cuts both ways. If we're not judging things of how they are but how they might be if market shares were equivalent then many of Windows' advantages evaporate: if Linux had Win

    • the benefits he lists for using steam-powered computing hardware, is the complete absence of any attacks targetting his box

      Yes, but what about the difficulties in securing an OS that was designed for steam powered hardware and gets a new coat of paint every now and again? Or perhaps this latest coat of paint will be the one to do the trick eh?
    • I always think it's funny when people point out that Windows has by far the greatest (desktop) market share, and is therefore the target of more virus/security attacks. Even if we gloss over the argument that Windows has poorly implemented security features, one still has to face the fact that Windows *IS* the target and victim of more attacks.

      So even if you do believe that Windows is the target/victim of these attacks purely because of it's market share, isn't that alone a compelling reason to switch to
  • Did anyone else notice the huge amount of Windows users bashing Apple?

    I find it ironic that "Vendor lock-in" and "Trying to take control of your PC" is an argument FOR microsoft against anyone. It's like the kettle went into a coal mine before starting a fight with the pot.
    • Re:Scary.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Don_dumb ( 927108 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:30AM (#17750536)
      What I noticed from the comments, is that it seems most people who have tried multiple systems, prefer Mac or Linux. Most people who prefer Windows have ONLY ever used Windows, which defeats their arguments, they dont even know an alternative to compare against, they are simply saying a computer is better than not having a computer.

      That to me would seem to be the best argument for a non-windows supporter, "I KNOW there are better OSes because I have actually used them".
      • I've used both Windows and Linux and honestly I think both have a time and a place. Windows advantages and disadvantages would switch with Linux if they were in the opposit position.

        The 'only' thing I would say is "Linux is better for basic functions, it's easier to navigate to firefox and you don't have to worry about viruses.' But the average user will never find Linux, so whis is a non-issue.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        I think it just says that those Windows users are perfectly content. People who use it like it and don't see any reason to switch. If somebody owned a certain make of car and liked it so much they refused to buy any other car, does that automatically "defeat their arguemnet" that it's a great car?

        If people were so fed up with Windows, Apple wouldn't have to run commercials to try to make windows users feel uncool. Linux zealots wouldn't have to be zealots. There wouldn't need to be endless forking of dis
        • by Bert64 ( 520050 )
          There are no barriers to switching to another brand of car. Most people have to change cars every few years, this is usually due to external factors (physical damage from crashes, wear and tear due to moving parts, theft etc) rather than an artificial obsolescence.
          Car vendors don't have any form of lockin, when you buy a new car a few years from now there's nothing forcing you to buy any particular brand... And most people are not loyal to any particular brand, they buy what they perceive to be the best val
      • What I noticed from the comments, is that it seems most people who have tried multiple systems, prefer Mac or Linux. Most people who prefer Windows have ONLY ever used Windows, which defeats their arguments

        It may also just mean that the zealot is more likely to post. You haven't won over the arguments of ordinary users who see no compelling reason to join in the debate.

    • It's like the kettle went into a coal mine before starting a fight with the pot.

      Wow, that was aweful! I hate it when people make up their own version of a well-known cliche and think it is more effective than the one that's been perfect for over a 100 years.

      It's more wordy. It's less clear. It stole from the original. Parent must be a windows user.
  • Coming next (Score:4, Funny)

    by Silver Sloth ( 770927 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:17AM (#17750396)
    emacs vs vi
  • It's 2007 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by suv4x4 ( 956391 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:18AM (#17750402)
    There's no "good OS", "bad OS" anymore. We have a developed industry and specialization. We have a bunch of OS that are all good, but for vastly different purposes.

    My web servers run on BSD and Linux (simple, secure, stable, proven, ... free).
    My designers run Apple-s (cultural phenomenon, the whole product line speaks "design", good software, user friendly).
    Most of my developers and my accountant run on Windows (user friendly /less than Mac, but not a lot/, lots of software, superb dev tools).

    When you grow up, you realize there's no place for favoritism and politics in here, just tools you pick depending on your task.

    That said I suspect Apple supporters will come out the winners from the BBC competition. It's purely a branding thing, and entirely predictable: all Apple does it cool (good job, Steve & co!), all Microsoft does is not cool (with power comes resp... come the obligatory haters), and all Linux does, is way too geeky (by geeks, for geeks) and no one in the general public cares.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Apple may win because it's the 'best' of both worlds, a posix core with lots of drivers that god a nice gui and is easy to configure the basic stuff with many commercial applications.

      Where it falls down is that it's expensive and has serious vendor lock-in problems, two really big points on my shopping list.
  • by CmdrGravy ( 645153 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:20AM (#17750416) Homepage
    I submitted something to this yesterday but I think they've stopped taking submissions now.

    I repeat what I wrote here for the benefit of you all and the good of society in general:

    "Vista is best computer. it plays all my games just with putting in the disk and cliking on the mouse, i like the internets also and just with clicking the OKs it works really good in Vista.

    My frend works in IT and he says that linux is rubbish and you cant even put in the dvds and theirs no games and he says no proper business would use it because it wont let microsoft run their programs on it so it is useless for all serious things. That is another reason why i use Vista because its good and i can use it for business too if i wanting to.

    Mac is too expensive and will get too dirty cos its white"
  • Eh? (Score:3, Funny)

    by SinGunner ( 911891 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:23AM (#17750466)
    So, the BBC is just too burnt out to cover this one themselves? I don't know about you, but I don't feel like watching some inexperienced laymans' debate unless they're required to drink a beer every 10 minutes and are given the ability to electrically shock eachother which they are strictly told to "only use as an extreme measure".
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Da Fokka ( 94074 )
      Just drink a beer each time one of the following terms is mentioned:
      • Blue screen
      • Ctrl-alt-delete
      • That cute little paperclip
      I'll guarantee: It will be a lot of fun. That is, of course, until they start covering Windows ME. That's when you die.
  • American Psycho ? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CmdrGravy ( 645153 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:34AM (#17750564) Homepage
    Reading this submission from the BBC site

    "It seems to be very stable, and I have had few problems with the final release copy. I am sure the general public will enjoy its user friendly features. I recommend the Business or Ultimate versions, since they have the Complete PC. Backup feature, which I have found to be about the most useful feature of Vista since if one has a good backup to a secondary hard drive, DVD or External Hard Drive, it can save a lot of time in system reconstruction in case of hackers or system failures. I think the general and business community will save many millions if not billions of hours by using Vista. Mike Scott"

    For some reason reminds me the cosmetic and grooming regime and genesis vs phil collins bits in American Psycho which obviously opens the debate as to whether all Windows users are closet psychopaths.
    • For some reason reminds me the cosmetic and grooming regime and genesis vs phil collins bits in American Psycho which obviously opens the debate as to whether all Windows users are closet psychopaths

      The stereotypical Geek in full rhetorical flight.

      The non-Geek picks up the attitude even when he doesn't hear the words--while the Geek still wonders why those hundreds of millions of "closet pyschopaths" don't warm to his OS of choice.

  • in just eight words?
  • by linuxdoctor ( 126962 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @09:37AM (#17750590) Homepage
    For me the issue has always been more about the morality than the technology. Proprietary vs Free/Open Source. Monopoly vs diversity. Most importantly I consider the nature of the people/companies delivering the products. We all know that Microsoft software is incredibly unrealiable, insecure and too big and slow, but even if they were delivering the best software in the world I would never buy or use it if I had the choice. It is because I object to and abhor their business practices.

    Microsoft itself has been mired in legal problems almost from its inception. It is probably the most sued company on the planet and it has been convicted of economic crimes in many different countries. They then simply ignore whatever legal judgements against them using their incredible financial clout to challenge whatever the courts rule. They seem to be completely immoral. It is for moral reasons more than anything else that keeps me away from using their software.

    Yes, technology is important, but morality is even more important.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dave420 ( 699308 )
      No. To most people computers are tools, not a political statement. They don't care about open/closed source, as long as their computer does what they want. Just look at cars - people drive petrol cars instead of more clean alternatives, simply because it's easier, and they do what the drivers want. It's the same with operating systems. I sit down in front of my computer to achieve something, not to look at it and think to myself "I can edit the source code for everything I can see". If Linux doesn't
      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )
        > and they do what the drivers want.

        Here's the thing, windows often DOESNT do what the users want, and it's only getting worse (DRM etc)... Linux on the other hand, does exactly what the user wants providing the user has sufficient knowledge to tell it what he wants, and the required level of knowledge is decreasing all the time.
  • If reading OS fanboy arguments online isn't enought for you, now you can experience the towering tedium of them live on TV! Thanks BBC!
  • Ok, so this is probably asking for flame but when you look at the comments on the site there are two consistent patterns:


    "I've always used Windows, never used Linux/OSX - Love Windows, Linux/OSX sucks".


    "I used to use Windows, switched to Linux/OSX - Love Linux/OSX, Windows sucks".

    I know that's what everyone mostly hears anyway and I know there are Windows users out there who can genuinely say, based on proper comparisons, that Windows is best for them - but the uninformed Windows user really sounds
  • Typical divisions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by smoker2 ( 750216 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @10:10AM (#17750920) Homepage Journal
    I saw this on the BBC's website yesterday, and the usual characteristics showed up immediately.

    Windows supporters claim their OS is the best, because a) most of them aren't aware of what an OS actually is, b)It means they don't have to think about what they're doing, c)they're already using it so it must be the best, right ?

    Mac supporters claim theirs is the best because, a)it looks so much better than any of the others, and b)everything just works (never mind that it is built using only known and defined hardware).

    Linux supporters claim theirs is the best because a)it's free, b)it's not vulnerable to viruses, and c)it's not Windows or Mac.

    I placed my comment on there stating my support for GNU/Linux, as in my opinion, it remains the only OS (with respect to the BBCs question) which is designed to be used as a general purpose computing system. Windows is a black box, and does it's best to restrict the users. Macs are designed for ease of use and visual appearance, not for maximum flexibility. Linux is designed to be flexible, in every sense possible. It can look as good or better than a Mac, it is not restrictive in any meaningful way, it is open to change and despite what the big two like to promote - it is not difficult to use. I don't care whether people think it's "ready for the desktop" because these people really have no concept of what a computer is for, they just want an appliance. That's up to them, but for myself, I would rather have something that can perform virtually any computing task I throw at it, and not have to pay through the nose to be a part of somebody elses restricted vision.

    Of course my post on the BBC was somewhat more succinct than that, as 100 words is really far too short to make a serious point about anything.

    Also, I take any opinion espoused by the BBC as suspect, because they are fairly IT illiterate themselves (at least in their reporting staff). They consider a rootkit "a virus" Pop quiz [], and a pc is nearly always considered to be running Windows []. I must admit, incidences of "forward slash" on TV are getting less gradually. (before you start, how many times do you use the term "full colon" to differentiate from a "semi colon" ?)

    • Yes, I agree, Linux is not difficult to use.

      Now, excuse me while I go and configure my new USB modem please...
      • by Trelane ( 16124 )
        Now, excuse me while I go and configure my new USB modem please...

        Ah, you'll need to download the latest driver from the vendor's website. But make sure you have SP2 installed, because it's required. Once you've installed the drivers (FOR PETE'S SAKE DON'T PLUG IT IN YET!!!) you need to plug it in. Now you have to go to Control Panel....

        Oh, you're using Linux? Then you should be set. Plug it in and use NetworkManager to dial out. Piece of cake.

  • by Jotii ( 932365 )
    And when the show starts, I will resign and agree to all of the Linux supporter's statements.
  • We all know who is the best!, Call up Guy Goma (the wrong guy, [])!

    Karen Bowerman: Well, Guy Kewney is editor of the technology website Newswireless.

    Goma: (Face of horror)

    KB: Hello, good morning to you. Goma: Good morning. KB: Were you surprised by this verdict today? Goma: I am very surprised to see...this verdict to come on me, because I was not expecting that. When I came, they told me something else and I am coming. You got an interview that's all. So a b

  • It has been proven that an idividual action, that also helps the group affected, is the best action. Anyone can contribute their actions to Linux, and have done so; We have all benefited from their generosity. One can use Linux, and one can change it, and without sacrafice. Free of persecution from others who would creep into our homes, uninvited. Linux, helps the enviornment, it has the ability to give older hardware a chance to help others. Linux, created by just few of the planet's people, has given huma
  • by mindaktiviti ( 630001 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @10:31AM (#17751286) ilbert20071832660125.gif []

    Dilbert January 25, 2007 (Disclaimer, I still use windows :P)

  • Why would so many people be posting about Vista when it hasn't even been released yet? They stink of marketing speak too. You just know that MS and Apple are going to have people from their companies, supporting their OS...
  • by The Famous Brett Wat ( 12688 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @10:39AM (#17751430) Homepage Journal

    Why do I prefer Linux over Windows or Mac? That's pretty easy, but it also goes to show how it all depends on what you want out of a system.

    • I like the various Linux distros I use over Windows and Mac because I can install as many copies as I want as often as I want on a wide range of hardware platforms for a wide variety of purposes.
    • If that purpose doesn't benefit from a GUI, I don't have to install one. A minimal Linux install can be Linux+Busybox.
    • I don't feel that the developers are working against my interests for their own gain, or to get in bed with media moguls, etc.
    • The system invites experimentation and innovation, rather than locking you into a Uniform User Experience.
    • I love the fact that there is an enormous library of software available at my fingertips, which I can install or not, as I see fit, without managing licenses.
    • I like the fact that the system keeps no secrets from me. Others forbid it that you reverse engineer their precious secret sauce; Linux distros come with source that you may hack for yourself.

    But obviously I'm an experimenter. I need basic tools, like a good web browser, as much as anyone, but beyond that I like having a system which is very flexible and open. If, on the other hand, you're an eBay-phile and really really want to use Turbo Lister to manage your auctions, then all the above points are irrelevant: you need Windows because that's the only platform on which Turbo Lister runs -- End Of Story.

  • Rather than generate controversy through a flame war about 'why I love operating system Q', they should review their support of Macintosh and Linux systems in their media distribution strategies.

    I use a Mac so perhaps I'm more sensitive than most, but why the devil doesn't the BBC just distribute their content through iTunes? I know, I know ... some podcasts are available, but their home-grown solutions have been terrible - iMP is a perfect example of their Windows-centric support pattern.

    And I see this

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SiChemist ( 575005 ) *
      As a Linux user, I would say that using iTunes to distribute content is just vendor lock-in of a different nature.
  • by Peter Cooper ( 660482 ) * on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:13AM (#17751952) Homepage Journal
    You should always use the best tools for the job, whatever you're doing. People's impressions of what tool does the best job varies, but I think anyone who's a zealot for any ONE system is a moron. The smartest people I know use whatever is needed in the circumstances.. for example, Windows or a console for gaming, OS X for desktop, Linux for servers (or Ubuntu for desktop, etc).

    So this 'debate' will really be three or more zealots sitting in a circle flinging mud at each other, screaming that one operating system is the best, rather than actually admitting they all have their niche. This isn't just a BBC trait, but one of the whole media.
  • by Spicerun ( 551375 ) <spicerun AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:20AM (#17752084)
    Since this is for a 'MS Vista launch', probably funded by some Windows interest somewhere, what makes anyone but Windows advocates think that this will be a fair debate? Seems to me that MS Vista will be the winner despite the debate or presentation. Are you guys really that naive to believe that MS Vista isn't already the winner in this particular debate presentation?
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:28AM (#17752204)

    This article is nothing more than sensationalism. I might as well ask, "what are the best style of shoes?" A useful discussion is what are the benefits of each OS. Using that information a person looking to pick an OS for them, for a given use, can make an informed decision. In a previous article I wrote a list of features where Windows and OS X were respectively ahead of one another. Sadly, not a single person replied with additional features as I requested, while numerous people responded to argue tell me that some feature was not useful (I don't care if it's useful to you) or to argue that their favorite OS was just as good at that, even though they obviously had never used both OS's being compared for that purpose.

    Just for fun, I'm going to copy my list here and add Linux into the equation. This is going to be a lot harder, because there are so many different Linux distros with so many different features and no one has used all of them. I'm going to try to stick to things I've used personally. Please if you have features to add to one list, go for it. If you want to complain that your favorite OS is better for some reason you can't put into words, or if you haven't actually used all the OS's and thus are just assuming the way other OS's do it must not be better, or if you want to argue the reasons for these advantages and disadvantages, please don't bother commenting. Also note, this is in regard to use on the desktop, not the server.

    OS X Wins:

    • Sane UI choices - OS X does not ignore the last two decades worth of human/computer interaction research.
    • System services - global (nearly) spellchecking, dictionary/thesaurus, and plug-in functionality like grammar checking, language translation, only reference lookups, bibliography formatting, etc.
    • OpenStep application bundles - drag and drop installation and uninstallation of most applications, e-mail or IM working programs without having to save installers, run software off an ipod or thumb drive without having to install (including remembering per-machine preferences), easy binaries for multiple platforms, finding resources in packages is much easier and requires no tools.
    • Security - for a variety of reasons that don't matter to most end users, OS X users have never had to worry about malware or worms and probably will not have to in the foreseeable future.
    • Usable shell environment - bash, tcsh, whatever; the CLI on OS X is very usable and powerful and a first class citizen. We'll see if this comparison changes when Monad is released.
    • Automater - scripting usable by secretaries. This is the easiest tool for some tasks and the only automation/scripting I've seen that some novices can quickly learn and use.
    • Included applications - both CLI tools, GUI utilities, and GUI applications, OS X has more and nicer ones than Windows you include iTunes, iPhoto, Preview, etc., etc.
    • Upgrading hardware - upgrading a mac to a mac is as easy as plugging in a firewire cable clicking a button. This saves a lot of time and effort, amazingly better
    • Ubiquitous zeroconf - automatically and instantly finds printers, local chat, streaming music, file shares, and collaborative documents
    • PDF support - create PDFs from everywhere and viewing is fast, fast, fast compared to Vista.
    • Emulation/ports/virtualization/compatability - it is easier to run Linux and Windows software on OS X and there are more options to do so on OS X, than there are to run Linux and OS X apps on Windows (yeah I know about cygwin and Apple's licensing and the relative number of apps)
    • Easier support of third party devices, plug them in and they just work much more often.

    Windows Vista Wins:

    • Application availability - more developers target Windows and eventually a lot of people want to run some niche software that does not work without Windows
    • Not tied to one hardware vendor - If you run Windows you have more hardware choices and likely get a machine that meets you
  • by MrSteveSD ( 801820 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:35AM (#17752342)
    The BBC usually tries to prevent/control debates as much as possible. They used to have a system where people would send in emails to the "Have Your Say" page, and they would select the ones they liked. After lots of complaints of censorship, they changed over to a system where you could post instantly (like Slashdot). However, they quickly backtracked so that virtually all debates are "Fully Moderated". Much of the time perfectly valid comments are not published. Occasionally they do have "Reactively Moderated" discussions on trivial topics like the Oscars, but if anyone ever dares to criticise the BBC, the posts are removed very quickly.

    For example, a while back the BBC had a "Have Your Say" topic on Google's participation in censorship in China. Some posters rightly pointed out that the BBC also censors things. These posts were removed at breakneck speed, but this prompted complaints at the new censorship. The BBC then started removing the new complaints, prompting even more complaints. Eventually they gave up and as you can see, the top rated posts are about the BBC's censorship, not China's. See here []

    When I complained to the BBC about this, I was told that posts about BBC Censorship were "off topic". So posts about the BBC's own censorship on a topic about China's Censorship are so wildly off-topic they have to be removed? People are becoming very tired of the BBCs censorship and sites like NewsSniffer []have started to appear. NewsSniffer automatically logs censored posts on the few open debates that are allowed to exist (It also logs the changes made to news reports)

    Most people who were interested in real debate at the BBC never really used "Have Your Say" because of the BBC's control over the limited number of topics and the general low-probability of having your post accepted. Instead many people used the BBC Message Boards, which are sort of hidden away from public view. The busiest was probably the Today International board where people discussed the top news stories in more depth than was reported and covering many things the reporters were either ignorant of or chose to leave out. Unfortunately, the BBC has recently shut this down in favour of a system where the topics are picked by BBC Staff. Their excuse for this was budgetary concerns (they only get £4 Billion or so). Today's topical, controversial and cutting edge debates are 1. Do children need to learn Britishness at school?, 2. Are scientific terms like homo sapien out of date?, 3. Does affluence bring misery? (See for yourself []).

    Considering the BBC's astronomical budget and the technology available, they could quite easily have a "Discuss" button underneath each news story which would take people to an open discussion. They'll never do it though. The BBC have opposed open debate at every turn.
  • by CopaceticOpus ( 965603 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @11:38AM (#17752392)
    They should choose that Anonymous Coward guy, he always has plenty to say...
  • It has often been said on Slashdot and other techie forums that disagreements about OS's are mostly a religious battle. I think this is mostly true.

    Which is why I prefer Linux. If it's good enough for God, it's good enough for me.
  • On BBC? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by naChoZ ( 61273 ) on Thursday January 25, 2007 @12:22PM (#17753098) Homepage Journal

    Does this mean that each debater's point will be punctuated with Benny Hill skits and music? That would totally make it worth watching.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel