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RE: The Corporation for Public Software/Natianal Endowment for the Bits

  From: 	Mark Hinds[SMTP:zoro@blarg.net]
  >I've been thinking of how to get Uncle Sam to create something like PBS
  >(CPB) for Software. It would be very helpful if most of the groups
  >developing the various bits and pieces (GNU tools, Linux kernel, Xfree,
  >Apache, Samba, etc.) could get grants or some such so that they could
  >actually work on these projects full time.
  Yes, there are other 'funding' models which may work, altho I'm enjoying the fantasy of
  the computer interrupting your spreadsheet for a fund raising telethon, or starting a
  spreadsheet you get a 10 second 'reminder' to send in your donation (nagware).
  There've been posts protesting the intrusion of advertising onto the desktop, ala
  commercial TV - which seems to be an analogy MS is currently using (having bought into
  WebTV, and installing Win95 it actually says "now you can switch between apps as easy
  as changing channels on your TV"). Whereas others may prefer a PayPerView business model.
  If a universal standard software platform is going to be govt. funded how will that
  fly with citizens who want little or nothing to do with computers, if their taxes are going into it.
  Anything funded by coercion (taxes) is going to have to be sold to a majority as somehow
  being of benefit to them, like public funding of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
  gives us all an authoritative common system of weights, measures, time, frequency, etc.,
  otherwise the politicos who put their name on it will be revolted out of office.
  Or there's the British TV "telly tax" funding model - this may be outdated, but it at least
  USED to be that every purchaser of a TV bought a 'license' which went into funding the BBC
  to create programming. And govt. vans would run around looking for unlicensed tellys.
  So an appliance consumer would pay their $100, not for the latest 3 year incarnation
  of Redmond's vision but for some official govt. Unix - which again would
  be, according to my previous suggestion, an official govt. standard for govt. computing
  systems, a "suggested" consumers or a 'safety net' default for anyone who just wants
  to type letters, so that these people don't become fodder for  free market 'techno wolves'
  preying on inexperienced computer bambi's.
  Everyone for a govt. owned public OS standard as the level playing field for vendors to
  compete on say "aye".