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Re: [K12OSN] Privacy vs vendor support


The more vendors we have on our side, the moe we are likely to get 
supported and be able to pull away from other NOS's!


On Wed, 2 Jul 2003, Eric Harrison wrote:

> I just rolled in from the National Educational Computing Conference (NECC).
> One of the interesting problems we face when talking with vendors is 
> that they ask for number of users. Since it's open source, we don't
> really have any idea. We can tell them how many downloads we've had off
> our servers, but not off the various mirrors, or how many have been
> burned onto CDs and handed out, etc, etc.
> We can see how many people are on the K12OSN list (850 last time I checked).
> We can see how many sites are syncing to the SquidGuard web filter black
> lists (~2,500). But we don't really know that the installed base of K12LTSP
> happens to be.
> I'm a big privacy advocate myself, so I'm not very fond of the idea of
> installing spyware. On the other hand, it is really hard to get vendors
> to listen to us if we can't give them some sort of reasonable numbers.
> The best idea I have so far is to create a package (maybe named something
> like "privacy_violator" ;-) that added an anacron job that ran once a
> month which did something like "wget -q http://k12ltsp.org/I_USE_K12LTSP";
> That would leave a log entry in the K12LTSP.org web server logs that 
> looked like this:
> - - [02/Jul/2003:19:11:43 -0700] "GET /I_USE_K12LTSP HTTP/1.0" 200 0
> where "" would be the IP address of the server (or the address of
> the NAT server).
> This would give us a general idea of how many K12LTSP servers are in use
> while revealing as little information as possible (the IP address). It 
> would also be very easy to disable.
> What you all think? Does anyone have a better idea?  Is a small decrease
> in privacy worth greater influence on vendors to help support us and/or
> port their software?
> -Eric
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Doug Simpson
Technology Specialist
DeQueen Public Schools
DeQueen, AR 71832
simpsond leopards k12 ar us
Tux for President!

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