Letters

LJ readers sound off.
Keep LJ Free of Microsoft Ads

I have just received the February 2003 issue of Linux Journal, was reading through the Letters and came across the one with the guy who wants to run Microsoft ads in LJ. If I want Microsoft ads, I will go to a Windows magazine. It is true that MS ads cannot harm us, but they are annoying!

—Mitch Anderson

Linux and Land Reform

Kudos for Jon Hall, the LJ magazine and the thought behind the GNU/Linux and other free, open-source software movements (“Back to Brazil”, Letters, February 2003). The heavy reluctance against land reform is the root cause of fundamental socioeconomic problems in many parts of the globe, including Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central and South America and Africa. I believe land reform movements in these countries share the same vein that the Linux/GNU movement has. Our country, Japan, had been coerced into doing a total land reform by the US occupation policy in 1940s. It liberated not only the land but the minds of so many common people, enabling the making of the world's second biggest economy and modern industry.

—Hiroshi Iwatani

Origin of “Wardriving”

In two articles [LJ, September 2002], Doc Searls incorrectly claims that the terms “wardriving” and “warchalking” were derived from the movie War Games. I believe they actually were derived from the term “war dialing”, the process of sequentially dialing a range of phone numbers in search of a modem connect tone. War dialers were utilities that could be left to run and accumulate interesting numbers to be investigated later. These programs were the equivalent of today's internet port scanners.

—Jonathan Hutchins

War Games came out in 1983, and we don't know of an example of the term “wardialing” before that. Although the other “war” terms are derived from “wardialing”, it's likely that “wardialing” came from the movie. Wardialing is still a threat according to a 1998 survey by Peter Shipley: www.dis.org/filez/war.pdf.

—Editor

maddog Inspires One Reader...

Just to say what an inspirational answer to the unfair criticism maddog received from that reader in Brazil [Letters, LJ, February 2003]. I really liked maddog's reply, especially the paragraph that starts “I believe...”. I just might put that paragraph on an A4 page above my desk! Great stuff!

—Paul

PS: Not sure what you guys have done, but LJ now arrives in my office in-tray the day after you announce it on the web site. It used to take weeks (or longer). Whatever you've done, keep doing it.

...and Loses Another

I don't subscribe to LJ to read about politics, especially apologies for terrorists and other assorted anti-American, third-world riffraff. My subscription expires in March 2004, and I won't be renewing.

—Chas

Where Is the Fun?

I see Linux as losing its sense of humor. I am willing to bet a cup of coffee that this is due to the infusion of money from big business. Don't we have a wacky penguin? Don't we have XBill? Isn't that funny stuff? The answer is a qualified yes. It's funny, but it's funny in the same regard that recess is fun—that being because it is at a set time and place and supervised. But Linux never had a recess time before. You could play all day and still get everything done. It's time to get off our collective asses and put the fun back in Linux.

—Mutant

You can't spell FUN without U.

—Editor

What Happened to the Thick LJs?

Before I decide not to resubscribe, is Linux Journal going to return to the size that it used to be? I feel that the quality and content of the magazine has dropped in the last year and find it hard to sign up again for another year. The cost has not changed, but the content has!

—Tony

The number of pages of content depends on the number of pages of advertising. More ads fund more content. In a down economy when ads are few, page counts go down everywhere.

—Editor

maddog 3, Brazilian Land Barons 1

Man, when I got to the “I believe in....” paragraph I nearly choked up. I'm glad you took the space to allow his response [LJ, February 2003]. Oh, and another good reason for showing MS ads—they're always a good laugh. Good mag.

—Daniel

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