Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 27th Oct 2010 22:33 UTC, submitted by sawboss
In the News "The Russian state plans to revamp its computer services with a Windows rival to reduce its dependence on US giant Microsoft and better monitor computer security, a lawmaker said Wednesday. Moscow will earmark 150 million rubles (3.5 million euros, 4.9 million dollars) to develop a national software system based on the Linux operating system, Russian deputy Ilia Ponomarev told AFP, confirming an earlier report in the Vedomosti daily." Right. I guess this has absolutely nothing to do with this. Want to buy a unicorn?
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by Hiev on Wed 27th Oct 2010 22:54 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

In soviet russia Linux programs you.

Reply Score: 7

cold war
by fran on Wed 27th Oct 2010 23:06 UTC
fran
Member since:
2010-08-06

Cold war era neurotic mentality of not trusting your "enemies" software believing fabled "killswitches" is built into or just maybe they had enough of their own hackers.

But hey, just because your paranoid does'nt mean they're not out to get you.

3.5 million euros? Russia has so much oilmoney whey have'nt they just taken over Novell already, heard theyre looking for a suitor...But they opt for something homegrown and proudly russian like Vodka and AK47's :-)

Reply Score: 0

RE: cold war
by JoeBuck on Wed 27th Oct 2010 23:40 UTC in reply to "cold war"
JoeBuck Member since:
2006-01-11

For a country as well-off as Russia, this is a piddlingly small amount of money (a few cents per citizen). And I don't think it has anything to do with Microsoft granting a license to nonprofits to stop the authorities from using "piracy" as an excuse to raid them, there are many other excuses.

I'm sure that the main interest is in having a fully auditable OS, rather than one with possible back doors that are easy to hide in a closed-source system.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: cold war
by Lennie on Thu 28th Oct 2010 04:55 UTC in reply to "RE: cold war"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

The whole, Russia wants to build a Windows rival was already in the news something like a year ago.

This happend right around the same time, Microsoft/BSA/whatever started bullying them (or specifically Russias educational institutes) about piracy.

Paying Microsoft licences would be a lot more expensive.

But I wouldn't call Russia well-off, a very large share of the inhabitants are poor. To many to call it a well-off country for my taste anyway.

Edited 2010-10-28 04:59 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: cold war
by kaiwai on Thu 28th Oct 2010 01:03 UTC in reply to "cold war"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Iran recently found their computers infected with a worm - those who have analysed the worm specific to Windows said that the sophistication of it leads to believe that it was written by a professional possibly on behalf of a government department. Why is it irrational to assume that the US trying to undermine the Iranian nuclear programme through sophisticated cyber attacks? Why is it paranoia therefore that Russia is looking at the Iranian fiasco and realising that ultimately you're at the mercy of foreign company whose loyalty is to a foreign country when the lean is put on them by a government agency?

Russia is simply realising that an over dependence on foreign technology is neither beneficial to them economically or security wise; the day of old dirty soviet style industry is gone and they're working right now to develop their own silicon valley - IIRC it is located just out of Moscow. Part of that will involve having a home grown operating system then maybe some time in the future develop from there into hardware.

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: cold war
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 28th Oct 2010 01:52 UTC in reply to "RE: cold war"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Yeah, but the threat doesn't come from the fact that Microsoft isn't located in Russia, but that the source is closed. Just using an existing distro of linux would probably be more economical and solve all of their security/paranoia concerns.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: cold war
by Lennie on Thu 28th Oct 2010 04:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: cold war"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

The source is not closed to Russia, they get read-access, it just is they can't compile it, Microsoft ships them binaries.

Well, ok, yes, it's closed. :-)

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: cold war
by Nth_Man on Thu 28th Oct 2010 09:18 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: cold war"
Nth_Man Member since:
2010-05-16

The source is not closed to Russia, they get read-access, it just is they can't compile it, Microsoft ships them binaries.

Well, ok, yes, it's closed. :-)

Yes, they don't know if the source code they are shown... is the one they use in the binaries or not. They don't know what the hell their computers are doing.

Ah, and Microsoft has to obey the government of the U.S. of America. And if they say "put this in the code", Microsoft is obligated to put it. And we all know it.

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: cold war
by james_parker on Thu 28th Oct 2010 21:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: cold war"
james_parker Member since:
2005-06-29

Also, don't forget the precedent with most (if not all) color laser printers having "tracking dots" embedded in their output, presumably at the "request" of the US Government:

https://www.eff.org/issues/printers/

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: cold war
by somebody on Thu 28th Oct 2010 05:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: cold war"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

Just using an existing distro of linux would probably be more economical and solve all of their security/paranoia concerns.


and they probably will do exactly that. with some sane defaults for their country. things like better translation, default regional settings, few softwares that match their needs better com to my mind.

Edited 2010-10-28 05:56 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: cold war
by FishB8 on Thu 28th Oct 2010 02:17 UTC in reply to "RE: cold war"
FishB8 Member since:
2006-01-16

Why is it irrational to assume that the US trying to undermine the Iranian nuclear programme through sophisticated cyber attacks?


Because:

1) The US gov't isn't competent enough to integrate interdepartmental network systems, let alone deploy an attack on external networks. The only thing they can do is pay overpriced private security contractors to sift through your email.

2) The Israeles are much more likely to come unglued over a nuclear Iran than anybody else, including the US.

Edited 2010-10-28 02:17 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE[3]: cold war
by sorpigal on Thu 28th Oct 2010 14:21 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: cold war"
sorpigal Member since:
2005-11-02

Not everyone in the US government or working for it is incompetent. It's pretty easy to allocate a few million and pay it to a third party programming god to create a one-off of whatever you want.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: cold war
by f0dder on Thu 28th Oct 2010 07:45 UTC in reply to "RE: cold war"
f0dder Member since:
2009-08-05

Wasn't the worm specific to buggy *siemens* software?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: cold war
by Panajev on Thu 28th Oct 2010 09:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: cold war"
Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09

Deploying a custom OS based on Linux makes sense for security purposes if you do dedicate resources to configure it properly, to learn what its code does, and to keep it up to date over time.

OSS software blindly installed does not guarantee 100% security if you do not take the time to look over its code, understand how it works, how to harden it, the importance of patching it regularly, etc...

Still, if even a bit of that money goes into more Linux technology research and development, the OSS community will benefit.

Reply Score: 5

RE: cold war
by Soulbender on Thu 28th Oct 2010 03:09 UTC in reply to "cold war"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Cold war era neurotic mentality of not trusting your "enemies" software believing fabled "killswitches" is built into or just maybe they had enough of their own hackers.


AH, so what you're saying is that the US government would gladly use a closed-source operating system made by the Russians, the Chinese, North-Koreans or the Arabs?

Reply Score: 8

RE[2]: cold war
by BluenoseJake on Thu 28th Oct 2010 15:16 UTC in reply to "RE: cold war"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

just like they don't use electronic components manufactured in China for maintaining ICBMs, military computers and conventional weapons? Oh wait, they do....

Reply Score: 2

RE: cold war
by lemur2 on Thu 28th Oct 2010 03:31 UTC in reply to "cold war"
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

Cold war era neurotic mentality of not trusting your "enemies" software believing fabled "killswitches" is built into or just maybe they had enough of their own hackers. But hey, just because your paranoid does'nt mean they're not out to get you.


If you believe America's own press:
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/report-48-of-22-million-scanned-...
... then half of Windows PCs are compromised.

It would appear as though they ARE indeed out to get you.

Perhaps the Russian government can read, and simply wants to protect its people from getting ripped off?

AH, so what you're saying is that the US government would gladly use a closed-source operating system made by the Russians, the Chinese, North-Koreans or the Arabs?


Maybe it is about sovreignity as you suggest, but equally it might simply be about common sense. It is after all insanity for most people (those without access to significant professional IT help) to run Windows.

Edited 2010-10-28 03:34 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: cold war
by vasilito on Thu 28th Oct 2010 07:16 UTC in reply to "cold war"
vasilito Member since:
2010-10-28

Stupid cold war mentality? That is exactly what YOU are trying to portray us.

Russian Federation has an occupation government, it is
being managed fully from abroad. There is no peoples government in this country.

The normal people are dying of hunger, yet you americans are so brainwashed from your youth that you are completely blind and can't see the obvious things. Who is ruling the world? Who is creating all the wars? Who owns all the massmedia. Does the word Zion or Builderberg say anything at all?

Stop bashing Russia. The situation is so bad there, and all the oil money are in US banks, one just have to have pity for poor russian people, good but naive people, who'd been sold out by with their guts to capitalistic sharks by Gorbachev and Eltzin traitors.

Linux in Russia is a bluff at best. MS's positions is very strong in this country. The majority of young people use windows. I hope this changes in time.

All the best to Russian hackers. Stay strong, regardless of all the blogger and massmedia sharks. At the end the good will prevail.

Reply Score: 5

Unicorns!
by holmja on Thu 28th Oct 2010 00:06 UTC
holmja
Member since:
2009-06-09

Yes, I would like to buy a unicorn! ;-p

Reply Score: 3

RE: Unicorns!
by cefarix on Thu 28th Oct 2010 02:32 UTC in reply to "Unicorns!"
cefarix Member since:
2006-03-18

Buy an OSnews' Fantastic Unicorn Charity Kandy and get a free Thom-approved unicorn today!

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Unicorns!
by Tuishimi on Thu 28th Oct 2010 14:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Unicorns!"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Thom should make and sell OSNews Unicorns on Etsy.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Unicorns!
by DigitalAxis on Thu 28th Oct 2010 16:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Unicorns!"
DigitalAxis Member since:
2005-08-28

No, we just need a unicorn icon to use with news like this.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Thu 28th Oct 2010 00:07 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

http://lurkmore.ru/%D0%94%D0%B5%D0%BD%D...

Edited 2010-10-28 00:10 UTC

Reply Score: 0

5 millions US$ to ...
by dvhh on Thu 28th Oct 2010 03:05 UTC
dvhh
Member since:
2006-03-20

make a linux distro that will look like windows (compiz) and that will probably run windows programs (wine)? sure that is money well spent, if they ever contribute back. I'm pretty sure it hasn't been done before (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Flag_Linux).

Reply Score: 4

Comment by _NINE_
by _Nine_ on Thu 28th Oct 2010 03:55 UTC
_Nine_
Member since:
2010-10-13

Whether the threat is real or not, I think such a mentality actually damages your credibility as a leader on the global political and economic front. The UAE and Saudi Arabia were not celebrated for their pragmatism in wanting their own Blackberry servers. Instead, such moves invariably make people wonder what you're hiding and ultimately undermine any rapid economic development by showing how backwards your thinking still is. In the case of the Blackberry servers, privacy concerns also arose over whether the governments wanted the ability to spy on peoples' communications. Now, the US might have its own servers and what-not and may have similar concern. However, it's ironic when the concern or paranoia comes from countries that haven't exactly proven themselves as trustworthy...

Reply Score: 0

RE: Comment by _NINE_
by somebody on Thu 28th Oct 2010 06:00 UTC in reply to "Comment by _NINE_"
somebody Member since:
2005-07-07

However, it's ironic when the concern or paranoia comes from countries that haven't exactly proven themselves as trustworthy...


funny, even two trustworthy people usually have doubts when you make them work together. now try getting two untrustworthy (who know other ones reputation) to trust each other.

Reply Score: 3

Unicorn
by ShadesFox on Thu 28th Oct 2010 04:00 UTC
ShadesFox
Member since:
2006-10-01

Will this unicorn oppress the working man and drain his tears into my vodka bottles? If so, I am interested in acquiring this unicorn for the glory of the motherland.

Reply Score: 2

alec
Member since:
2005-09-23

If one's primary source of information about Russia is mass media, it's easy to overlook the sad reality of the Evil Banana Republic.

Like almost everything having anything to do with the Russian state budget, it's pure graft and corruption. This is neither the first such attempt, nor the last one. Typically, it goes like this: the grantee would spend a tiny percentage of the allocated money to hire a subcontractor, who in turn would hire someone to do a half-ass translation of a distro. The rest of the money will end up in the Swiss bank accounts of the "entrepreneurs". So it goes.

E.g., http://anticopyright.ru/wiki/Мобильная_система_во...

Reply Score: 2

I smell money
by Dr-ROX on Thu 28th Oct 2010 05:50 UTC
Dr-ROX
Member since:
2006-01-03

Well, in Russia there will be like this: government will assign those 3.5 million euros, then start the project. After some time there will be talks, that the work is going on, after more and more time everybody will forget that project, but those 3.5 mln euros will sat down in some politicians pocket.

Reply Score: 1

shaunehunter
Member since:
2007-02-12

They say it will be a version of Linux. Russia has a few commercial Linux distros like ALTLinux and ASPLinux.That 3.5 million Euros may just be lincense, training and deployment fees.

I would also like that Sharp and the chick please.

Reply Score: 3

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

I would also like that Sharp and the chick please.


(OT) Nice to see Sharp getting back into the small laptop game, their Actius ultraportables were really nice back in the day. With a few updates to the specs, they could probably re-release some of those models today and sell them as netbooks (they essentially were netbooks... albeit $2,500 to $3,000 netbooks).

Reply Score: 2

The Russian Distribution
by ddc_ on Thu 28th Oct 2010 09:31 UTC
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

There are two current distributions that applied to be tagged as "National Operating System" and to be standardized and endorced by government. Those are Altlinux and [sic] Mandriva.
Nobody knows whether any changes would take place after the financing of the chosen project, but You can take my word that Linux ecosystem won't benefit substatially.

Reply Score: 1

licences
by Adurbe on Thu 28th Oct 2010 10:05 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

Its an open secret that Russia uses a large number of windows licences which are not legit.
It might well be they weighed up the cost of buying them all in against making their own.

The problem they will have is the same as everyone else has;
Everyone Knows Windows. Their software is for Windows. Windows=PC

Reply Score: 3

RE: licences
by ddc_ on Thu 28th Oct 2010 12:12 UTC in reply to "licences "
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Actually the greater problem is that the most popular runtime + programming language combination in Russia is still Delphi with Java (in a kind unportable manner) comming second.

The second problem is that all software targeted for companies <=> public services data interchange is closed source and even Linux versions are precompiled for (at best) the Ubuntu LTS release.

If the fancy National Operating System project ever gets accomplished, it would become the only Linux migration option for business, meaning that eventual success of Linux platform in Russia will depend on a single distribution.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: licences
by spiderman on Thu 28th Oct 2010 12:39 UTC in reply to "RE: licences "
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

even Linux versions are precompiled for (at best) the Ubuntu LTS release.

Give me an executable compiled for Ubuntu LTS and I'll run it on any GNU/linux distro on the same architecture. In the worst case I'll setup a chroot with all the dependencies.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: licences
by ddc_ on Thu 28th Oct 2010 18:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: licences "
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Well, the main problem is that You have to maintain it separately from the rest of the system. While certain level of security is provided by the means of Your distribution of choice, You have to manually maintain Your chroot, investigate the security issues of the chroot versions and etc. It is a significant overhead.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: licences
by spiderman on Fri 29th Oct 2010 05:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: licences "
spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

In the worst case, man. I can setup symbolic links in the chroot to use the base system libraries and change just the one or two that are not compatible. Those can be fetched directly from the Ubuntu repos.

Reply Score: 3

Lenin
by fretinator on Thu 28th Oct 2010 17:05 UTC
fretinator
Member since:
2005-07-06

I honor of Lenin, I think they should call it Lendows.

Reply Score: 3

Wow...
by tomcat on Thu 28th Oct 2010 20:48 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

This has nothing to do with dependence on foreign technology or fears of spying, etc. Russia could easily just recommend that its citizens and agencies use Linux. Problem solved. But, no, Russia wants to own the technology, which should give you a clue about its motives. They want to spy on their own citizens. Nice country.

I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of RussiaSoft Rindows Surveillance Edition.

Reply Score: 1

Phloptical
Member since:
2006-10-10

Hopefully their OS will be better than their cold war era vehicles

Reply Score: 2

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

Or maybe it will be something that will be as revolutionary as the sputnik, open a new era in human history. Americans will spy on that, copy it and rewrite history afterwards so as to appear like they invented the thing and the Russians spied on them, and explain to us how backward and low quality Russian products are, thanks Hollywood.

Edited 2010-10-29 05:43 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Panajev Member since:
2008-01-09

Or maybe it will be something that will be as revolutionary as the sputnik, open a new era in human history. Americans will spy on that, copy it and rewrite history afterwards so as to appear like they invented the thing and the Russians spied on them, and explain to us how backward and low quality Russian products are, thanks Hollywood.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-2

Reply Score: 2

spiderman Member since:
2008-10-23

I don't care about the V-2, I was just making a point.
Let me spell it out more clearly.
Some Russian vehicles have been crap, indeed. Cold war propaganda kept repeating how crap Russian vehicles were and to this day it is still the case. Now everything from Russia is assumed to be crap because "see how crappy their vehicles are!"
Right, so McDonald's makes crap food. Let's say all American products are like McDonald's. Look at how shitty their products are.
Now look at German TV. Derick is the crappiest thing that has ever appeared on a screen. If all German products are like Derick, I assume the V-2 you talk about were not very effective.

My point is that some very good products have actually been made in Russia, like the Sputnik. The cold war being over, even the West can now accept that.

Reply Score: 2

plan9?
by bnolsen on Fri 29th Oct 2010 00:30 UTC
bnolsen
Member since:
2006-01-06

Maybe I'm a fanboi but using something like plan9 as a base might be interesting. Definite security through obscurity at that point. And plan9 is a good architecture.

Reply Score: 2