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The Almighty Buck Software Linux

Who Should Help LinuxFund Distribute $126,155.29? 380

Posted by Zonk
from the i-have-some-thoughts dept.
Roblimo writes "The LinuxFund Web site was down for several months, and the project has essentially been out of business since last year. But MBNA kept the LinuxFund MasterCard going, and kept depositing money in LinuxFund's account -- to the tune of $126,155.29 when NewsForge reporter Jay Lyman finally caught up with the current and former project leaders and found out what was going on -- namely nothing. So does anyone have an idea what to do with this money? Want to suggest an individual or group to take over LinuxFund and run it right?"
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Who Should Help LinuxFund Distribute $126,155.29?

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  • by geomon (78680) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:15PM (#12717333) Homepage Journal
    They could give the money back, but it would probably take days to locate individual donors. Because no one would get reimbursed for the time it takes to locate donors (if they can be found at all), the volunteers would essentially be working against the original intent for which the money was given.

    Perhaps the money could be used to set up a trust for a scholarship fund. If the trust was set up properly, with the appropriate oversight, it could be a perpetual source of fund for students entering the computer science field.

    Now who wants more computer scientists?

    Anyone?
    • by ePhil_One (634771) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:20PM (#12717383) Journal
      They could give the money back, but it would probably take days to locate individual donors

      Sounds like a lot came from a Credit Card affinity program. Giving it back isn't really a reasonable alternative, since the costs to service could quickly surmount the cost being refunded. Perhaps the money could be used to set up a trust for a scholarship fund.

      Using the money for a purpose other than the one the fund was set up for is borderline criminal. Whatever the Linux Fund's intent was, that intent should be caried out by whomever takes over.

      • As an actual LinuxFund card holder, I can comment on where the money should go. Give it to some Linux related project. I would think it would make sense for OSDL to step up and administer the Fund. Or for FSF step up and administer it (so long as my new card does not say GNU/LinuxFund). Either would be acceptable to me.

        Cripes, I would do it myself, but I think one of the existing non-profits would be better for this sort of thing.

      • by raehl (609729) <raehl311&yahoo,com> on Friday June 03, 2005 @04:36PM (#12718134) Homepage
        Using the money for a purpose other than the one the fund was set up for is borderline criminal.

        A part of the Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws or other organizing instrument of any organization should include what will be done with any assets at such time as the organization is disolved. This is actually a requirement if you want the IRS to recognize you as a non-profit, precisely to avoid having to make that decision after-the-fact. I happen to run a non-profit org, and while what we do has nothing to with activities normally carried out by the American Red Cross, in the event our non-profit must be dissolved all of the assets get donated to them.

        If Linuxfund was set up properly, deciding what to do with the money should be as simple as consulting the articles of incorporation or bylws for the organization.

        If not, well, the people who donated the money should have taken greater care in selecting the organization they gave it to.
    • How about create a community based nomination and voting system for key pieces of functionality/usability that users require/desire and are unlikely to be fulfilled by the corporations who have their own interests in Linux and OSS.

      Once a list of desired functionality/usability is drawn up and prioritised, geeks could assess the complexity level and through another community based system agree on a suitable bounty for it to be done.

      Bounties should only ever be allocated out of the money that is there... ne
      • Bounties should only ever be allocated out of the money that is there... never on what may/might come in in the future.

        That has certainly been suggested frequently on /. and I think is probably the best use for the money.

        As noted before, however, there are legal issues to rangle with when using the money for purposes other than those originally intended.
    • I've had a Linux Fund card for a good while now. Clerks always say "awwwww what a cute penguin". But that's not why I got it. It was suppose to fund OS projects and encourage the health of the OS movement. Now that it looks like it won't be doing that, I think the best way to use the money to support OS is to ensure the legal right to tinker. OS is a subset of that genre of endevor, So I think the money should go to the EFF.
  • A few thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:15PM (#12717335) Homepage Journal
    Oddly, neither the website or the news story goes into any detail of what LinuxFund *is*. i.e. I assume the money comes from special credit card programs, but the site doesn't seem to explain how it's used. Is the money put toward internal developers on the project or is it used to provide grant money to OSS projects? Can anyone fill in the details?

    IHMO, the best organization for something like this is for LinuxFunds to be an administrative entity only. Proposals for Open Source software and funding requirements could then be submitted to the project for review and potential approval. Selected OSS projects would receive the funding they requested according to the payment schedule that was approved. This payment schedule would allow LinuxFunds to track the progress of a given project, and make adjustments as necessary. (Potentially even cutting off funding if the project is not viable.)

    Such an organization would require only a few knowledgable employees to make the decisions and administrate the funds. With funds transfers being what they are today, much of the grunt work (transfer, accounting, etc.) could be done automatically. Since this is a publicly supported organization, it should publish a detailed accounting of its usage of the money.

    To put things in perspective, the current funds of $126k work out to about 5,250 man hours of work at ~$24/hr (~$50,000/yr).

    That's my thoughts anyway. :-)
    • Ok, I've dug a bit deeper and it appears that the site is designed close to what I've described. Primary differences seem to be:
      • Developers are expected to become staff members.
      • The funds distribution seems to be more focused more on "hiring" rather than individual project proposals.
      • I can't access it at the moment, but it seems that the decision on a developer/project is made by an online chat [linuxfund.org] rather than a small panel. (Nothing wrong with the idea of public review, though.)
      • They don't seem to *pay* f
      • Oh, at least. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jd (1658)
        The going rate for programmers in Oregon is about 60K/year, which means the fund could support about two people here (or about 200 in any country that pays crap).

        Actually, if you had two programmers working full-time on nothing more than using code validators to find bugs, then submitting patches to those bugs, you'd get a lot of work done in a year. Easily enough to justify the cost to any corporate backer. There are plenty of code validators out there, and the coders could simply target whatever package

    • Because its "LinuxFund" not "OpenSourceFund", I say give it to a Kernel Developer, to work full time, for a few years.

    • Re:A few thoughts (Score:4, Informative)

      by irabinovitch (614425) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:37PM (#12717559) Homepage
      LinuxFund is a non-profit organization in the state of Oregon. Funds come from affinity cards LinuxFund has setup through MBNA. They get paid for signing you up as well as fraction (a very small fraction) of every dollar you spend using the card.

      They were using these funds to provide grants to the free software community. They have had "interns" which work on individual open-source projects, but mostly they offered grants and microgrants to OSS developers who needed funding to work on a specific project. For example Software Suspend recieved some funding as well as XIPH.ORG. They've also sponsorsed community organizations such as CodeCon [codecon.org] and the Southern California Linux Expo [socallinuxexpo.org] when they were first starting out.

      According to public records they were bring in revenues between $100K to $200K per year at their high point. Its definately a viable model for funding open-source projects it just looks like its in need of volunteer support.
      • They have had "interns" which work on individual open-source projects, but mostly they offered grants and microgrants to OSS developers who needed funding to work on a specific project. For example Software Suspend recieved some funding as well as XIPH.ORG.

        This really is a good idea. The government gives out quite a bit of funds, but usually only for projects that meet military, community development, or pork projects required by congress.

        According to public records they were bring in revenues between $

    • I actually have one of these cards. Its a cute Tux penguin on a mastercard. I got it because it had Tux on it and it was supposed to fund Linux development in some way, but I was never clear on the details. I rarely ever use that card anymore after MBNA (the backing bank) pissed me off. They had the nerve to try and convince me that they could incur interest in a balance that was greater than any given balance on any given day for that whole billing period. I called them and they could not explain the
      • I have one too. All in all, the cute Tux picture has garnered exactly 3 conversations about Linux and probably 50 comments by women saying, "cute penguin!"

        It's my primary credit card, so even if they're donating a small fraction of the total, I figure I've probably kicked in a couple of hundred over the years. I'd have just blown it on gin, so they might as well have it.
    • So, we need to set up an organization/council to do the distrobution. A handful of people the Linux community trusts, who will agree to volunteer (probably for a small stipend) to evaluate proposals and say who gets which money.

      The people would need enough techincal background to tell when someone's blowing smoke, and enough legal/finacial background to actually handle the money.

      So: Suggestions? I'd nomiate myself, but no-one would take me seriously.

      Linus is probably too busy. Stallman, too political.
      • A handful of people the Linux community trusts, who will agree to volunteer (probably for a small stipend) to evaluate proposals and say who gets which money.

        Volunteers are a *bad* idea for core operations. What you need is one or two full time administrators (with full time pay!) who can manage the funds. They would be responsible for setting goals for the funds, placing submitted proposals out for public review, and then making a final decision on whether a proposal will receive funding or not. During t
        • I actually agree with you. I said volunteers for practical reasons: This fund has been accumulating for a year, and has only raised $125k. With full-time pay that probably ends up with only $20k for developers. Split that a couple of ways, and all of a sudden we're not really talking about any money. (And that's assuming you don't have to pay anything but salaries.)

          Of course, it is possible that acutally having people run the fund will enable it to grow faster.

          Whether this should be volunteers or ful
    • How about just donating it to a small number of the non-profit organizations that build the "basic" distributions (on which many others are based)? Like the Debian Foundation and the newly created Fedora foundation?
  • by waynegoode (758645) * on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:15PM (#12717336) Homepage
    Uh, I volunteer to help distribute the money. Just deposit it in my PayPal account and I'll take care of the rest.
  • obFSF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rkcallaghan (858110) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:16PM (#12717347)
    Let me start out with the obvious, how about the FSF? Maybe see if one of their lawyers could be a trustee?

    ~Rebecca
    • by Otter (3800)
      Naw, Stallman would just furiously denounce them for not calling it "GNU/LinuxFund".

      Me, I'm thinking this dilemma just cries out for a reality show...

    • Agreed... FSF. (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I can't think of a better place, except perhaps the two developers of NeoOffice/J [sixthcrusade.com], one of whom is now having to take a break [neooffice.org] from development due to economic concerns...
      • Re:Agreed... FSF. (Score:3, Informative)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) *
        Please mod parent up. Projects like NeoOffice/J are making a big difference. A mere $50k a year could potentially mean a world of difference toward the continuation of a project like that. IHMO, it is far more worth of funding than projects such as... hmmm... from the LinuxFunds front page:

        * Scarface: A 3D GTA Game
        * Kavlon Coloring Book

        Which would you rather have, a coloring book or NeoOffice/J? My vote goes to NeoOffice/J.
        • Any of those projects could easily apply for the funds. They would just need to submit a proposal. The projects listed on the site were not necessarily funded. I believe many of those were applying for funds. As a card holder and a user of NeoOffice I'd love to see them get funding from LinuxFund. When I met Jerritt a few years back it seemed like the problem they were having wasn't getting people to sign for the cards, but rather getting developers of good/interesting projects to apply for grants. Th
        • Re:Agreed... FSF. (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rkcallaghan (858110)
          Please mod parent up. Projects like NeoOffice/J are making a big difference. A mere $50k a year could potentially mean a world of difference toward the continuation of a project like that

          No, mod the grandparent down.

          The question is "Who should handle the funds, not who should recieve them."

          The best option for handling them is someone who is financially secure, has the proper legal ability to act as trustee, and no personal interest in their own project over another.

          ~Rebecca
          • The question is "Who should handle the funds, not who should recieve them."

            Obviously, I should receive them. But maybe I should disburse them too, that way we can cut out the middleman.

            The best option for handling them is someone who is financially secure, has the proper legal ability to act as trustee, and no personal interest in their own project over another.

            I guarantee I have no interest in placing one project over another. All come a distant second to my relocation to Bali project.
    • As a card holder I'd be ok with the FSF taking over, however I'd be conserned they would only support projects that are GPL'd and not projects released under the BSD license.
    • Re:obFSF (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wohlford (199797)
      Nah. After the Slashdoting, it all goes to pay bandwidth costs!
  • Obvious (Score:4, Funny)

    by rackhamh (217889) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:17PM (#12717356)
    I hear Bill Gates needs some assistance with his open source initiatives.
  • by DarthVeda (569302) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:17PM (#12717359)
    So THAT'S where all the tenths of a penny in my company's accounting software have gone!
  • I suggest the MBNA save themselves the complication and go ahead and post that account number here and let it be a first come, first serve free for all.
  • What a clusterfvck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:18PM (#12717368) Homepage Journal
    Boy it sucks to see how poorly this was run. :( "Nothing has come out of these accounts for months, save about $250/mo auto deducted for telecommunications expenses," Collord wrote. "I went off payroll in June of 2004 when I stopped working full time on this project and haven't incurred any expenses since. I was paid a salary of I believe like $28k per year. I haven't read my LinuxFund email since about January I believe." $28k/yr. $14/hr. I'd say that's about the quality level the fund administration appears to have received. "I'm certainly negligent," he said. "The short story is: the scale at which the business model seems to work is not commensurate with the overhead required to run a nonprofit well. Everyone that's been involved has been lackluster given the range of requisite skills -- technical and administrative and business development in total -- and ultimately burnt out." Try hiring a good business person. I'll bet you won't even need him/her full-time. In fact, you might be able to get somebody from SCORE very cheaply. Get interns with a biz background. You don't need geeks to administer the fund. You only need them to decide who gets what.
    • $28k/yr. $14/hr. I'd say that's about the quality level the fund administration appears to have received.

      Yeah, that's about par for a small non-profit. Small non-profits are really run by people who believe in what they are doing strongly enough to work very, very hard for very little financial return. Get into larger ones in terms of revenue, and payroll tends to increase, but usually no where near comparable to what you can make in the private sector.

      As for what should be done with it? Money donated f
    • Indeed. My wife ran a not-for-profit for two years, supporting and encouraging local filmmakers, and the total amount of $ pouring through never came anywhere close to this amount -- yet she and her team loved running it, the local filmmakers got a surprising amount of support, and it was all good.

      I suspect these folks perhaps started the fund with the best of intentions, but also with the assumption that they'd be able to make it their day jobs; if you go in with that kind of view, you're bound to be disa
    • [sarcasm]

      $28K per year? Sounds about like a schoolteacher's salary. And you know how lackluster and unskilled they are. Not to mention how quickly they burn out. I mean, sheesh, can't they drum up enough funds for someone as brilliant and skilled as a $100K per year IT department manager. Then you'd see things happening.

      [/sarcasm]

      • I know you're being sarcastic, but $28k really is far below a single livable income for anyone other than a single student. That includes areas where living costs are far lower. Upping the salary to $40-50k/yr would allow the administrator to fully focus on the job at hand without paying anywhere near what the private sector would pay. Remember, this job wouldn't include things like life and medical insurance. That would have to come out-of-pocket. Teachers don't have that problem, and usually have decent r
    • by magarity (164372)
      Get interns with a biz background. You don't need geeks to administer the fund. You only need them to decide who gets what.

      Heck, I have a business degree AND I'm a geek. I'd be happy to administer the thing; 100K can make 5k to 10k per year in capital gains and interest. That would be a nice little grant for a couple of open source projects per year. I think that's much better than handing out the money in one swoop and then it's gone.
  • Licenses (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    That would buy 180 SCO licenses, with a few hundred dollars left over.
  • find something wrong with gnu or linux, (kernel, desktop, X, whatever), pay people to fix it.

    could be spent doing up X, KDE or Gnome, pay people to check security (and fix) in popular software such as openssh, linux kernel, etc.

    spend it on software development
  • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:21PM (#12717387) Homepage Journal
    He already runs a successful business [isc.org].

    He's not afraid to make controversial decisions and stand behind them (something one is going to need when one decides to donate to Project X and not to Project Y).

  • by Cr0w T. Trollbot (848674) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:21PM (#12717388)
    Who should get the LinuxFund Money?

    • Linus Torvalds
    • The Free Software Foundation
    • EFF
    • The Homeless Lunix Programmers Fund
    • Divy it up according to lines of code contributed to the kernal
    • CowboyNeal

    Crow T. Trollbot

  • A new bounty? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    That type of money cannot buy much in the real world, but offer over 100 $1000 bounties for open source solutions that don't exist yet and we could see years of evolution get pumped into open source projects OVERNIGHT!
  • $126,155.29 (Score:5, Funny)

    by RetepMc (814214) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:22PM (#12717402)
    Hello Sir,

    I have $126,155.29 of unused donations that I cannot access. Please give me your bank account number and all of your other personal information, and i will deposit the enitre amount in your account. Once it is received, all i ask is that you send me back 50%, leaving 50% for your troubles. Thanks.
  • Oh the irony.

    anyboy remember the tarbaby fable?
  • OpenOffice.org (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mogrify (828588) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:23PM (#12717410) Homepage
    How about using it to resolve the OpenOffice.org/FSF/Java thing? Either pay developers to get the Java bits working in GCJ, or rewrite them in some other language?
  • Legal "insurance" of the GPL. Let's have something to smack the big boys with.
    • Nice idea, but $126k is not much in terms of lawyer time (to put it in perspective, that's about 1/20th of what the legal team on the iPod battery case are reportedly taking). I'd use it where it will have the greatest impact - $100k to a legal team isn't a huge amount, however $10k to 10 OSS programmers (as someone suggested higher up) is some fair motivation to achieve great things.
  • by NitsujTPU (19263)
    Dump the money into the FSF, it's the obvious thing to do.
  • by pHatidic (163975)
    The website says the money was meant to fund any software under an open source license. Perhaps the money could be spent to promote Firefox, since it is currently the most visible of all open source projects and is something of a gateway drug. 100,000 dollars being donated to linux would do very little, but if spent on advertisements for something like Firefox or Wikipedia it could covert 10,000 new users in a single day, all of whom would be better suited to switch to a Free platform later.
    • I'd prefer they use it for development. Most linux hackers are paid these days (By IBM, redhat, and so on), as are the openOffice.org hackers (by sun). However there are plenty of projects that can't claim that.

      Better to hire a contractor for 6 months of working on one project, and then let the money build for another year before hiring another. There are good programmers who can take a 6 month contract for some project, and do a lot of good work. I know of at least one person who has done this[1]

  • Give it to Google (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NigelJohnstone (242811) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:26PM (#12717447)
    Seriously, give it to Google to add an extra 126K to the Open source funds they're funding.

    You can reasonable expect that they will distribute it with ethics rather than dip into it in expenses. If you appointed any other (read poor/legal/accountancy) administrator you would risk it being eaten in expenses.

    Personally, I'd like to see Linux date and time libraries improved. I'd like to be able to convert from arbitrary time zone to arbitrary time zone, down to the nano second from any reasonable year up to 99999 AD.
    Go spend it on that, even Windows time libraries don't handle this correctly (they don't handle day light saving properly) and its something I miss for a server.

  • 1) He's always right
    2) He's always right
    and most importantly:
    3) He's always right

    [Stallman Defenders: Learn how to take a joke, ok?]
    • StallMan and his Powers of GNU will Crush you infamy
      Stallman and his the Gnu/boy Wonder
      Nanannananann Stallman
      Nananannananana Stallman
      Stallman Stallman Stallman zzzap Kapow Kerplung Pong...

      Seriously though , Stallman may have a few good ideas on how to spend some of it . Despite his failings he genunily has alot of good ideas
  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:27PM (#12717465)
    Come on people, keep up.

    Oh and you can put my name instead of the CowboyNeal option.

  • Use it to help advertise Open Source initiatives. A product doesn't have to be the biggest, or the best - it just has to have recognition. More Open Source initiative advertising - the more people are likely to support it. People give a LOT of credit to products that are advertised, as opposed to those that are not.
  • What's even better is that for every new account opened and for every purchase made with the card, MBNA America Bank, N.A., (the issuer of the credit card) will make a contribution to the Linux Fund at no additional cost to you.

    How much does the fund see? For most charity cards, you could get more bang for your buck if you get a 1-3% cashback card & just donate that to open source developers you want to support. Even IF the fund were under better management, is this something to be encouraged. I wo

  • Sustainability (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xorowo (733585)
    I'm sure that many people will have great ideas for how the money should be used. The problem that I see is in sustainability. We can easily dole out the $126,000, but what happens when that money is gone? A solution has to be presented that is essentially an expenditure of one-time funds. Without knowing the rate that money is coming into the fund, there is no way to predict future fund availability.

    I see this all the time in my industry -- people want to spend one-time funds on ongoing projects. As

    • True, but there are many projects that need 6 months or a year to get over a major hurdle. KDE need some people to work on the qt4 port now. There are many other projects with good ideas, but they are ideas that are complex enough that the programmer needs to be working full time on it to make meaningful progress.

  • by drsmack1 (698392) * on Friday June 03, 2005 @03:30PM (#12717490)
    Money for people
  • So..let me get this strait, this group had this bank make a linux card and I assume a percentage of the proceeds went to this organization. Well, I hereby want to announce I will be working with Capital One to bring you /.'ers the "NightWulf Card". Every purchase you make on this card, allows a certain percentage of funds to be diverted to me...NightWulf. The perks on this card will be great, you'll get full free access to nightwulf.capitalone.com, where you get to see me:
    1)Drive my new Bentley.
    2)Sail my ne
  • by Trigun (685027)
    pick a software component that the OSS doesn't have an alternative to, and buy it.
  • Care of Lester.

    (You know the SLASHDOT MASTERCARD is just around the corner. :-)
  • Put it all on horse 17.
  • Hello I am a linux fund from Nigeria
    Due to recent strife i have been unable to help get my money out of the country,
    As a result of my present situation as a refugee who cannot
    have access to own an account or accounts,I am looking for a trustworthy
    individual /firm to advice me in making the rightful investment as wellas
    to provide account(s)where the funds will be lodge into,more also we are
    at the interim interested in buying linux projects.

    I strongly believe that associating with you to emback on this and o
  • There are so many open-source projects hindered by different patents. "This is unsupported, because of patent issues connected with algorithm xxx (covered by patent#nnnnn)". Buy and release the most obstrusive patents.
  • by Shads (4567)
    ... how about donating to popular projects which accept donations on sourceforge? Donate some to apache, gaim, azureus, the linux kernel... slews of place could use it. Pay a well renouned open source programmer or two for a year to do nothing but work on a specific project... donate it to the fsf or eff to help protect opensource. Donate to google for next years opensource scholarship program so open source gets more quality projects and programmers in the long run... there are slews of good ideas, pick
    • Donating to the "big ones" is not such a good idea - they get enough from giants. There are millions behind Apache development. I'd rather see supporting small but interesting ideas, or these that are less likely to gain money from industry giants. Or even better, set them as bounty for desired features...
      • bounty for desired features is a good idea.

        "10k for winner"
        "5k for runner up"

        place 8 projects using that format. have slashdot or sourceforge or where ever vote on the favorite.
  • So, how exactly does one apply for this card? I pulled up a list of all the cards MBNA does off of their website, and I don't see it listed. I went to the linuxfund page, and there's a link that says "click here to apply today", yet when I click there, I get sent to http://www.linuxfund.org/products [linuxfund.org], which is the same page I was already at.. Has it been discontinued? Meh. My credit is so bad I'm sure they wouldn't let me have it anyway. There's a number to call, but hey, I'm a geek, I'm not going to pick up
  • They should hold of on to the money ( put it in a saving account ) and then next summer have it go to sponsor 10 college students to work on a open source project that will benefit ONLY Linux. 10 college students at 4,000$ stipends is $40,000 and this will go a long way in starting and initating projects. There are many projects scientific or otherwise, like gui design etc... so a summer intern can put in about 400 hours of work for 10 weeks that times 10 would be 4000 hours on a project, that would be gre
  • Is this another phishing scam? Hoping people will post their information for a deposit?
  • 1. Bounties on a specifc needed driver or feature. Split it up into say 5k or 20k or whatever prizes awarded to whoever does X first within certain parameters.

    2. Fund 1-2 kernel or interface developers for a years full time work. Dole it out as a monthly salary so that the fund can cut it's losses if the relationship goes sour.

  • If I took out a MasterCard with MBNA to support an institution, I'm not sure what use the average /.'er weighing in would be.

    How about MBNA take upon itself to contact those that have its card and ask them? It can't be the first time a non-governmental entity using this as a fundraising technique goes belly-up, there has got to be a process for this.

    Although I'm sure Linus and other Linux coders would have some moral authority, I wonder who has the legal authority in this matter...
  • Those both sound like good places to donate open-source related funds and I doubt anybody would be severely against it even if they can think of a better place to donate it.
  • One person year to create a GPL Exchange adaptor, so we can have Windoze free, free office software.....

    One person year to work on Kolab or Open Exchange (or another) simplify the installation of these products...

    Imagine what that would do for all of open source????

    Cheers,
    -D
  • I think the best use of these funds would be pay bounties for Linux features, similar to Mark Shuttleworth's bounty fund.
  • Ok so a bunch of geeks get a Credit card thinking that a percentage will fund OSS projects yet the money sits untouched. Is this not fraud? (All be it stupid fraud?)

    Is this a legally setup non profit organization? Is taxes Federal or otherwise being paid on this money? Seems like somebody ought to be heading to a jail cell to me.
  • Give it back (Score:2, Informative)

    by FreakyGeeky (23009)

    I have one of these MBNA LinuxFund MasterCards.

    Through my dealings with MBNA, I've decided they're one of the smarmiest credit card companies one can do business with.

    It started as a fixed-rate card at an excellent interest rate. (With a one-year 0% balance-transfer rate to boot.) After a year, they switched it to a variable-rate account. The rate was still good, so I decided to keep it.

    Every two months after that, they would sneak in a change in terms to the account. They would print this on a

  • by da3dAlus (20553)
    *Ahem* Hot Gritz + Natalie Portman, DUH!!!
  • The LinuxFund was/is a non-profit organization that was founded to help fund open source development. The source of funds was from credit cards issued by MBNS America and later MBNA Canada too. A percentage of all items charged to the card was credited to the fund by MBNA. It cost the card holder $0.00, nothing, nada - there were no annual fees. (Of course moderate interest rates applied to anyone carrying a balance and there's the opportunity cost of not using a miles card or cash back card, etc).

    User
  • I'm currently in collections with MBNA on my LinuxFund card!
  • by carldot67 (678632) on Friday June 03, 2005 @05:48PM (#12718783)
    Dear Dr Obedience Oleweh

    I am Mr Lyman from Linux Credit Card. Recently the business was closed due to an unfortunate incident, leaving 126,000 (ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY SIX THOUSAND) US DOLLAR in the account.
    I cannot get these funds to their ritghful owners as I am listed as the official company solicitor. Therefore I need a trusted associate with Western Union Credit transfer to do it for me.
    If you do this small job for me you will be able to keep half (SIXTY-THREE THOUSAND) US DOLLAR in your bank account.
    For your security I need to set up the right bank transfer in your name. Please send me your local bank detail in Lagos right away plus a Western Union Bank money transfer of 500.00 US DOLLAR to cover my costs. I cannot be seen to pay the costs myself you understand as it would appear on the accounts.
    God be with you and peace my brother.
    My Lyman
    New York, USA.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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