Speaking of sticking it to the man, the New York Times reports that the Brazilian goverment is bootstrapping a program that will help millions of low-income citizens buy their first computers for the equivalent of about $18 per month over the course of two years. “[I]f the president’s top technology adviser gets his way, the program may end up offering computers with only free software, including the operating system, handpicked by the government instead of giving consumers the option of paying more for, say, a basic edition of Microsoft Windows.”
This in an environment in which the president has:
instructed government ministries and state-run companies to gradually switch from costly operating systems made by Microsoft and others to free operating systems, like Linux. On Mr. da Silva’s watch, Brazil has also become the first country to require any company or research institute that receives government financing to develop software to license it as open-source, meaning the underlying software code must be free to all.