Berkeley, CA - Beloved mascots and icons of the open source movement,
specifically Tux, the Linux Penguin, and Beastie, the BSD Devil,
are coming under attack from parenting groups. Accusations of tobacco
company-like advertising are flying at the open source community.
Joe Camel, Tux the Penguin and Beastie are targeted specifically
at children. The open source community has gotten away with this
kind of 'hook 'em while they're young' advertising for years, and
it's time that they have their day in court," says John Burkstrom,
the attorney representing the class-action lawsuit that individual
parents and parenting groups such as Mothers Intervening in the Compiling
or Redistribution of Open-Source SOFTware (MICROSOFT) and Parents
Opposed to Open Protocols and Standards (POOPS).
Catherine Himmler, founder and spokeswoman for MICROSOFT, began
the crusade against Tux and Beastie after finding her 13 year-old
son Bobby in his room compiling and applying a patch to his kernel. "He'd
been spending a lot of time in his room with the door locked, and
I was curious about what he was doing in there." Mrs. Himmler
said that she initially feared involvement with pornography or drugs. "When
I opened the door, I saw his computer monitor was completely black
with white text. At first I thought that he had just maximized a
harmless DOS prompt, but then ... then, I saw the forward slashes
and knew that my worst fears had come true. My son was using Linux."
Mrs. Himmler forced Bobby to exit the terminal and then, to her
shock, saw his desktop background.
"I saw a cute, harmless-looking cartoon penguin. Bobby told
me that he was the Linux `mascot.' My three year-old saw it once
and is already asking for a Tux doll! It was only then that I realized
what these `open-source' people were up to. They're just like the
tobacco companies: trying to subvert our youth through advertising."
Further inspection of her son's machine revealed that he'd installed
FreeBSD 5.0 (Berkeley Software Distribution) on another partition.
She saw Beastie on the desktop and ``had seen enough." Bobby
claims that he had only burned the ISO's for a friend who didn't
have broadband in his area. Mrs. Himmler was unconvinced.
She immediately called the other mothers in the neighborhood, and
within a week had organized a bonfire to dispose of any burned open
source software distributions parents had found in their children's
MICROSOFT have released a list of signs that children are using
dangerous software like OSS and BSD. Parents are advised to look
for, among Tux and Beastie desktop backgrounds, tildes, forward slashes
and larger electrical bills resulting from extremely long uptimes.
Cases in which children are seen licking their monitors are cited
as "dead giveaways" of the child using Apple's Mac OS X,
which has a FreeBSD subsystem.
The open source community denies any connection to or inspiration
from tobacco company advertising, though admits that cigarettes have
played a vital part in many late night coding binges.
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