22 Mar 2003 psychogenic   » (Observer)

I've spent part of the day wondering how Psychogenic and I can actually earn a living with Free Software and/or Open Source. We've got a number of projects out, many of which have spawned community interest and are being used fairly widely. I get bug reports, support requests and questions daily but most folks won't be bothered to actually go through mailing list archives and seem to disappear when I mention commercial support. And often, these are people who are using the code in work for which they're getting paid...

I will definitely continue to use and create free software. Whenever a project comes up that I feel would be useful to the community at large, I always try and get the client to consider freeing the source code. My question is rather if we should independently create free software, dedicating our resources to larger projects when the majority of users expect everything to be free (including our time and "oh maybe just one little enhancement")? Perhaps I'm just in a bad mood today...

Read an amazing article, by Thom Hartmann. If you're interested in knowing how we seem to be living in a bad repeat, do check it out. Executive summary, taken from the article:

  • On Feb 27th 1933, Dutch terrorist Marinus van der Lubbe firebombs the German Parliament (Reichstag) building
  • Within four weeks of the terrorist attack, the nation's now-popular leader had pushed through legislation - in the name of combating terrorism and fighting the philosophy he said spawned it - that suspended constitutional guarantees of free speech, privacy, and habeas corpus
  • This act catapulted Hitler to legitimacy and reshaped the German constitution. By the time of his successful and brief action to seize Austria, in which almost no German blood was shed, Hitler was the most beloved and popular leader in the history of his nation. Hailed around the world, he was later Time magazine's "Man Of The Year."
  • Most people remember his office for the security of the homeland, known as the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and its SchutzStaffel, simply by its most famous agency's initials: the SS.

Why is it that I don't recall getting anything of all this in History class?

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