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Thread: Canonical and China

  1. #51
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    Re: Canonical and China

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain2012 View Post
    As for your second scenario they could do that even without involving Canonical if they want to,
    Yes, Canonical is resposible for their own doing and not for the doing of any government. If someone misuse a legal OS it is not fault of Canonical. And not only some government is watched by the people, but also Canonical. The reputation of Canonical would suffer considerable should comes out that they are helping any undemocratic system. And such things come out. Even such a gigant like google has to be carefull with helping (or tolerate) some officials by censorship.

    If I understood the news well China chose Ubuntu as a reference OS and this is good. But nobody force anybody to use Kylin in privacy. And if a goverment or goverment officials misuse one OS they would do it with any other OS either.
    Last edited by doja; March 28th, 2013 at 08:13 PM.

  2. #52
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    Re: Canonical and China

    There's nothing to prevent the Chinese government from getting hold of a copy of any Linux distribution and modifying it as they see fit. They don't need an agreement with Canonical or anyone else.

    They'd have to deal with Linus, in theory, if they tried to wall off the kernel, but I don't think that any copyright holder, whether GPLed or not, would have much ability to influence events in country.

  3. #53
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    Re: Canonical and China

    Quote Originally Posted by llanitedave View Post
    There's nothing to prevent the Chinese government from getting hold of a copy of any Linux distribution and modifying it as they see fit. They don't need an agreement with Canonical or anyone else.

    They'd have to deal with Linus, in theory, if they tried to wall off the kernel, but I don't think that any copyright holder, whether GPLed or not, would have much ability to influence events in country.
    Nobody seems to get this.

  4. #54
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    Re: Canonical and China

    I give up. I tried to reply again, my post got jailed. I'll keep my risk assessment under my hat.

    Let's just say, I oppose Canonical dealing with the Chinese government. I'd like this to go on the record.
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  5. #55
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    Re: Canonical and China

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain2012 View Post
    [..] As for your second scenario they could do that even without involving Canonical if they want to, Ubuntu's source codes are openly available and there is nothing to stop them if they want to create some closed source variant by modifying it that would include spying mechanism (not that they are particularly worried about being sued for licensing issues anyway)
    Don't you see that this argument can be turned on its head? I mean, spyware or no spyware, since they could just have created a fork of Ubuntu, why did they choose to cooperate with Canonical at all? Why not roll their own distro?

    I think the answer is quite obvious,there is something that the Chinese government cannot fork, and that is brand recognition, trust, and a nice portfolio of OEM and ISV partners. Apparently there are already thousands of Ubuntu stores in China selling laptops with Ubuntu preloaded, and it is a well known brand for hardware vendors. It does make sense to use external expertise, and this is something that the Chinese have been doing for a long time.

    Those of you who are familiar with Chinese technology knows that even though they make many things themselves instead of buying it, they will often rely on foreign expertise for key components. Example: For their space program they have cooperated closely with Russia, who has more than 50 years of expertise in this area. A similar example that is relevant for this discussion, is how western companies have been selling China technology used for surveillance. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/0...a-surveillance

    Additionally, Canonical is attempting to do something which fits the Chinese idea of an official standardized “reference architecture”. Basically Canonical is striving to make a universal distro that functions across various devices, including “desktop, server, cloud, tablet and phone”. Of course they could fork everything, but they would have more control over the final product if they cooperated directly with Canonical instead of being dependent on it as an upstream provider that they didn't have any formal connection to.

    Here is what Mark Shuttleworth says about the deal:
    "Ubuntu combines proven technology with a mature ecosystem and strong OEM and ISV partners, and this initiative allows the Joint Lab to bring those strengths to China across the full range of platforms: desktop, server, cloud, tablet and phone."
    http://www.canonical.com/content/can...-collaboration

    To sum it up, the keyword that forms the basis of this deal is “convergence”.
    Last edited by Dry Lips; March 28th, 2013 at 05:33 PM.

  6. #56
    monkeybrain2012 is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
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    Re: Canonical and China

    Quote Originally Posted by Dry Lips View Post
    I think the answer is quite obvious,there is something that the Chinese government cannot fork, and that is brand recognition, trust, and a nice portfolio of OEM and ISV partners. Apparently there are already thousands of Ubuntu stores in China selling laptops with Ubuntu preloaded, and it is a well known brand for hardware vendors. It does make sense to use external expertise, and this is something that the Chinese have been doing for a long time.
    You answer your own question. I cannot see why that would necessarily imply that the Chinese try to use Ubuntu as a Trojan horse.While I won't defend the Chinese government, one should keep in mind that China is not a monolith, there are many advocates for open source as a means for technological independence in China's science and tech sector (as is the case in Taiwan)

    It is also in China's interest to create and market a Chinese brand OS (just as they try to make their own chip and cars) Ubuntu seems to fit the bill in establishing standard, and being open architecture it has the benefit of transparency and there is no patent issues to worry down the road. Canonical also brings many unique expertise to the table as you said yourself. It is a mutually beneficial arrangement, It doesn't have to involve anything nefarious.

    There has been technological exchanges between China and many Western institutions and most of them are quite legit. The cold war like fear mongering that sometimes coming out from the Western press is not always believable (it exaggerates something and at the same time downplaying other stuffs)
    Last edited by monkeybrain2012; March 28th, 2013 at 06:33 PM.

  7. #57
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    Re: Canonical and China

    Quote Originally Posted by monkeybrain2012 View Post
    The cold war like fear mongering that sometimes coming out from the Western press is not always believable (it exaggerates something and at the same time downplaying other stuffs)
    The Western press doesn't fearmonger about China, they are generally cautiously optimistic about China. Probably because they don't want their reporters denied entry.
    Last edited by 3rdalbum; March 29th, 2013 at 03:38 AM.
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  8. #58
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    Re: Canonical and China

    This is something Mark has tried to figure out, as he spoke of specific Ubuntu versions per country and governments. I wrote to Mark at the offered address given below, and we talked about China then. Little did I know my suggestion of China, was most likely in the making for Ubuntu as an official Chinese flavor, then.

    http://www.markshuttleworth.com/archives/date/2012/03

    "Governments are making increasingly effective use of Ubuntu in large-scale projects, from big data to little schools. There is growing confidence in open source in government quarters, and growing sophistication in how they engage with it.

    But adopting open source is not just about replacing one kind of part with another. Open source is not just a substitute for shrink-wrapped proprietary software. It’s much more malleable in the hands of industry and users, and you can engage with it very differently as a result. I’m interested in hearing from thought leaders in the civil service on ways they think governments could get much more value with open source, by embracing that flexibility. For example, rather than one-size-fits-all software, why can’t we deliver custom versions of Ubuntu for different regions or countries or even departments and purposes? Could we enable the city government of Frankfurt to order PC’s with the Ubuntu German Edition pre-installed?
    Or could we go further, and enable those governments to participate in the definition and production and certification process? So rather than having to certify exactly the same bits which everyone else is using, they could create a flavour which is still “certified Ubuntu” and fully compatible with the whole Ubuntu ecosystem, can still be ordered pre-installed from global providers like Dell and Lenovo, but has the locally-certified collection of software, customizations, and certifications layered on top?
    If we expand our thinking beyond “replacing what went before”, how could we make it possible for the PC companies to deliver much more relevant offerings, and better value to governments by virtue of free software? Most of the industry processes and pipelines were set up with brittle, fixed, proprietary software in mind. But we’re now in a position to drive change, if there’s a better way to do it, and customers to demand it.
    So, for a limited time only, you can reach me at governator@canonical.com (there were just too many cultural references there to resist, and it’s not a mailbox that will be needed again soon . If you are in the public service, or focused on the way governments and civic institutions can use open source beyond simply ordering large numbers of machines at a lower cost, drop me a note and let’s strike up a conversation".

    ;p
    One Psychiatrist's Definition of Insanity:"Knowing what one should do and doing differently"

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