Linux, politics, and other interesting things
The student in question is 21 years old, that means he is legally an adult in almost every modern jurisdiction that I am aware of (the exception being Italy where you must be 25 years old to vote in senatorial elections ). It’s well known that college students often do stupid things, it’s not at all uncommon for college parties to end up involving the police. When 21yo college students do foolish things that involve breaking the law is it common for people to defend them because they are only students? I’m pretty sure that the legal system won’t accept such a defense. So while Sam was rather harsh in his comments (and did go a bit far with implying links to GNOME/Mono people), I don’t think it’s inappropriate on the basis of age. That said, a casual glance at life insurance premium tables by age will show that men who are less than 25 years old are prone to doing silly things, so I won’t hold this against the student in question as I’m sure he will be more sensible in future – I haven’t included his name in this post.
It’s often said that “you shouldn’t do anything that you would be ashamed of if it was described on the front page of a newspaper“, while I think that statement is a little extreme I do think it’s reasonable to try and avoid writing blog posts that you would be ashamed of if a popular blogger linked to it with a negative review. You have to expect that a post titled “Fuck You X” where X is the name of some famous person will get a significant reaction, and no-one can reasonably claim to have not wanted to offend anyone with such a post. Personally I would prefer that when people disagree with me they provide a list of reasons (as Sam did) rather than just a short negative comment with no content (as is more often the case).
Here is a good rebuttal of the points made in the article  by “Cranky Old Nutcase”. Note that this rebuttal is linked from reference , it is a positive sign when someone links to documents that oppose their ideas to allow the reader to get all the facts. One significant fact that Cranky Old Nutcase pointed out and which was missed by Sam is that the Indian student wrote “A mentor of mine told me that patents are to prevent companies from getting sued, not to sue companies” while the Microsoft case against Tomtom is conclusive proof that patents ARE for the purpose of suing other companies and they ARE used in such a manner by Microsoft! I wonder whether the “mentor” in question is a Microsoft employee…