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The French are giving Microsoft's products the boot and embracing open source, including Mozilla Thunderbird, a project which they have become a contributor to.  (Source: Telegraph UK)

Thunderbird 3  (Source: Beta News)
Mozilla and the French Army have a common enemy

Microsoft's Outlook commands a healthy lead in email client software.  Most businesses use the client for their daily communication.  However, much like Microsoft's lead in the browser race, its lead in the email client business has been slowly eroded by a Mozilla offering -- in this case, the Mozilla Thunderbird client.

Now in a sign that the tide may be turning in the email client war, the French army has enlisted to help Mozilla in its fight.  France's military was aided in their decision by a November 6, 2007 directive that basically encouraged government organizations to pursue open source software.  The government order tells the state agencies to "Seek maximum technological and commercial independence."

Frustrated that Microsoft's proprietary client did not allow open, easy to implement extensions, the military decided to give Outlook the boot and turned to Mozilla's client to create extensions to improve security and bookkeeping.  Lieutenant-Colonel Frederic Suel of the Ministry of Defense describes, "We started with a military project, but quickly generalized it."

The result of their work has now been released in part to the public.  Mozilla and France claim that the open system of extensions has allowed the new modified Thunderbird client, dubbed "TrustedBird" to be much more secure that Microsoft Outlook.  Besides use by French military and police, the client is also used by Finance, Interior and Culture and is installed on 80,000 government computers in total.

TrustedBird code is bundled into the just released Thunderbird 3, making for a very secure client.  Besides the French military, over 1,000 technical professionals worldwide freely offered their time and expertise to make the client's updated design.  Describes David Ascher, chief executive of Mozilla Messaging, "The primary changes (the military) have made allow them to know for sure when messages have been read, which is critical in a command-and-control organization.  [The French military is] helping build an ecosystem of specialists around the world that provide specialized add-ons, leveraging our platform to help meet customer needs."

The French are also looking to boot other Microsoft products, opting for open-source initiatives driven by volunteer efforts.  They're slowly phasing in use of Samba server programs (instead of Windows server), Linux distros (instead of Windows), Firefox (instead of Internet Explorer), and Open Office (instead of Microsoft Office).  The French understand that even "free" open-source software isn't entirely free and has its costs.  Describes, Col. Bruno Poirier-Coutansais of the information technology team Gendarmerie Nationale. "It is never completely free." 

In particular, the French are having to pay to train new employees on how to properly use Thunderbird, as well as to retrain existing employees.  Those costs, along with Microsoft's excellent technical support initially caused the military to avoid Thunderbird.  Microsoft has a large headquarters in France, while Mozilla only has a remote office with 10 employees.  Mr. Poirier-Coutansais admits that his organization's reluctance was largely "because it is less reassuring than to have a renowned company that can bring quality support."

As for Thunderbird 3, its new implementation qualifies it for NATO's closed messaging system.  France has showed off the new client to NATO, and is urging NATO (which the U.S. is a member of) to embrace the client as a whole.  That doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility as the UK and U.S. governments, arguably NATO's two most powerful members, have been drifting towards open source of late.

Some aren't convinced, though, that businesses and government organizations by-and-large will buy into open-source software.  States Bernard-Louis Roques, chief executive of Truffle Capital IT, an investment fund specializing in software, "The professional market is showing more resistance to open source software."

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I'm not sure....
By blueeyesm on 12/10/2009 9:48:43 AM , Rating: 1
...having an army known for surrendering is a good idea in a 'war'. ;)

I seem to recall seeing on Ebay: "For sale: french rifles. Never fired, only dropped once."

RE: I'm not sure....
By Brandon Hill on 12/10/2009 9:51:53 AM , Rating: 2
Ahh, remember that Google search result from a while back? I think that if you typed in "French military victories", it would suggest "Did you mean French military defeats?"

RE: I'm not sure....
By Patrese on 12/10/2009 10:14:36 AM , Rating: 2
It still works. Type "French military victories" and press the "I'm feeling lucky" button.

RE: I'm not sure....
By inighthawki on 12/10/2009 10:25:55 AM , Rating: 4
As funny as it is though, it wasn't a google result, it is a joke page from albino blacksheep.
It is classified as a google bomb: (Second paragraph)

RE: I'm not sure....
By Patrese on 12/10/2009 10:30:51 AM , Rating: 2
I stand corrected. Thanks for the link, learned something about the internet today. :)

RE: I'm not sure....
By PhatoseAlpha on 12/10/2009 10:33:31 AM , Rating: 2
"You know frankly, going to war without France is like going deer hunting without an accordion. You just leave a lot of useless noisy baggage behind. " - Jed Babbin

RE: I'm not sure....
By Samus on 12/10/2009 10:38:48 AM , Rating: 1
Well, we already know the future of French military victory's by them telling us their infrastructure will be open source.

It's like they've never heard of military secrets or something.

RE: I'm not sure....
By Kakao on 12/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: I'm not sure....
By cblais19 on 12/10/2009 11:23:32 AM , Rating: 5
It's like you've failed to read the article or something. The primary advantage of open source for the French was their being able to create extensions that allowed them to meet or exceed the NATO requirements for data security.

RE: I'm not sure....
By PrezWeezy on 12/10/2009 1:26:01 PM , Rating: 1
As I always argue in the security world: there's nothing less secure than giving the enemy a key.

There is NO such thing as perfect code. All programs have some error in them and if someone who knows enough reads through they only have to find one problem to exploit it.

Ever heard the idea that physical access makes you admin?

RE: I'm not sure....
By vapore0n on 12/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: I'm not sure....
By jimhsu on 12/10/2009 6:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
"Security through obscurity" has been proven not to work for centuries (Caesar cipher anyone?). Cryptographic keys for a publicly accessible algorithm allow for mathematically guaranteed security in the absence of cryptological breaks (which with a publicly accessible algorithm are also made public).

RE: I'm not sure....
By OnyxNite on 12/10/2009 10:42:09 AM , Rating: 4
They sold a used French tank as well:
"One forward gear, four reverse."

RE: I'm not sure....
By rcc on 12/10/2009 6:06:59 PM , Rating: 2
lol, when I was a kid that was an Italian tank. But... if the shoe fits. : )

RE: I'm not sure....
By BZDTemp on 12/10/2009 11:55:08 AM , Rating: 4
Seems to me it is time the US start thinking different about the French. For one take a look at what took place up to a certain July 4th!

Also consider the European geography. France was prepared, if not perfect, for a war against Germany on the French/German border and with Italy with French/Italian border. Only problem a permanent defense line was World War I thinking and Germany simply went around it taking a few smaller countries on the way. This meant the few weeks France thought the Maginot line would have bought them to enable mobilization was lost. Ergo the reality for the French was run or get crushed big time.

PS. Since you do not like the French would you say the Liberty Statue should go back?

RE: I'm not sure....
By lightfoot on 12/10/2009 12:45:52 PM , Rating: 2
In all fairness, the French don't much like Americans either... Especially the kind that like to visit France.

RE: I'm not sure....
By hashish2020 on 12/10/2009 7:37:29 PM , Rating: 3
They liked me fine

Might be that I speak their language, or that I spent little time talking to Parisian locals who look down on EVERYBODY, including other French people

RE: I'm not sure....
By TheOldCodeToad on 12/10/2009 2:03:21 PM , Rating: 3
Statue of Liberty? Sure, come and get it. Kind of clutters up the harbour anyway.

But then, I kind of think the Americans paid for it. Look out your window. See any German or Soviet troops? Have there been any Nazi SS executions of whole French villages lately? No? Really I thought not.

And all we asked for was a place to lay our (US and UK Commonwealth) dead, and over which graves we _allowed_ DeGaulle to walk so as to pretend to liberate Paris.

In return, France rejected NATO, embraced a Soviet supported communist party, vilified the US and partners for 50-years, was the very model for the "non-aligned" movement, happily murdered some Australians and New Zealanders for interfering with "secret" hydrogen bomb tests (getting their own agents out of jail by running a "black bag" operation), and today continues to actively run large scale intelligence operations of purely commercial purpose against the UK and US. I wonder, in what way has France done much of benefit to the US since it provided that statue?

RE: I'm not sure....
By Spuke on 12/10/2009 7:10:33 PM , Rating: 2
Statue of Liberty? Sure, come and get it. Kind of clutters up the harbour anyway.
Not to mention, there's kind of a stink to it. :P

RE: I'm not sure....
By BZDTemp on 12/11/2009 5:50:33 AM , Rating: 3
I think you misunderstood. My remark was not about any deep reflection on why there is a statue of liberty only that is French.

However all your talk about having paid for it I do find rather tasteless and disrespectful of not only the French but also of the effort and losses of the US men and women which took part in the wars! The statue was a friendship gift given 1886 in celebration of the US independence and the bond established between France and the US at the American revolution. So making it about WWII is plain wrong. However if you really want to make it a "who did what for the benefit of whom" then note that without France there would have not been a Independence Day!

FYI. Aprox. 215,000 thousand French soldiers lost their lives in WWII and maybe 350,000 French civilians died (If you include French Indochina civilian loss goes up to maybe 2,000,000). So the French certainly did their part in dying ergo there is no reason to be snug about it. Sure all French could have fought to the death making the death toll on the french side some 40+ million but what good would that have done.

Finally and just for the record:

1. I am sure almost anyone in Europe, including Germany, is grateful for the part the US did in WWII. But it is not like nothing good came of it for the US itself so the whole "we should be humble and grateful" message you send across is somewhat lame. You do not get gratitude by being a a__ and frankly unless you was in Europe in WWII then stop taking credit for what your ancestors did.

2. I am not French but Danish so my stake in this thread is not defending my national honor merely trying to stop misinformed ridicule of a people which does not deserve it.

3. Before you start getting on about what Denmark did in the WWII let me save you the trouble. Back then we was a little poor nation with very little industry and when the Nazi decided to take over Denmark it was over in days and we did little dying so I'm sure you will be all over us on that. What we did do among other things was help a lot of Jewish people escape into neutral Sweden but that does not mean I go around telling Jews they owe me something because they don't. What the Danes did back then in helping the Jews escape was not done because they should then owe us something it was done because it was right - and I am sure the US soldiers did their part in WWII for the same reason.

RE: I'm not sure....
By TSS on 12/11/2009 6:33:34 AM , Rating: 2
As soon as france was liberated the french stopped fighting. Holland, where i'm from, is also a small little country that got overrun very quickly. We held out as long as we could and rotterdam got leveled because of it, just to give belgium and france a bit more time. If it where up to the french, we would still have been speaking german.

As you would have.

Their arrogant bastards as far as i'm concirned. I don't trust Sarkozy for one bit either.

RE: I'm not sure....
By TheOldCodeToad on 12/11/2009 10:49:29 AM , Rating: 2
Your comments are well taken. I do not intend to denigrate a whole people. The feeling expressed by France toward the United States in 1886 is to be respected, and I would amplify that by remembering that it was the very best of French thinking that primarily influenced the American revolutionary thinkers and early contributors.

My own views about modern American politics regarding "security" since the 9/11 attacks have much to do with the willingness of many Americans to give up Thomas Jefferson's ideals of The Civil Society and concern about an over-powerful State. Jefferson was strongly influenced by French history and philosophy of his day.

I feel very strongly about this and it is very timely. To make this more modern and personal, at a recent large dinner where the speaker of the evening was a US Attorney (a federal prosecutor for a large region of the US), my fears for America's future were confirmed. Responding to a question, the speaker referred to Jeffersonian ideals as "a quaint anachronism." Repeat for effect, A QUAINT ANACHRONISM... the core of what makes America what it is supposed to be is, to this high level prosecutor an ANACHRONISM? It was as if I had been struck by stone. Worse, looking around a room full of supposedly well educated people who would understand the significance of his comment, there seemed to be no shock or concern. These core ideas that should be important to every thinking American have root in French philosophy. Our debt to France for her historical social philosophy is great indeed, even though we seem to be giving up many of those hard-won ideals.

As to one of your other comments, my father after surviving the crash of his heavy bomber was a "guest" of the Vichy Government's secret police and step-child of the Waffen SS made up of 35000 paid French agents. He was later sent north into Germany. His two brothers, who were younger and might be alive today, lost their lives - one, a Brit, died at Arnhem, the other died two days after the D-Day invasion. So I do think I have some personal connection to the war.

Final comments below in response to ZoZo.

RE: I'm not sure....
By vladio on 12/11/2009 1:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
To: BZDTemp
`Aprox. 215,000 thousand French soldiers lost their lives in WWII` I think you forget few more...
2009Nov23Mon:On this day:
1946:At least 6,000 Vietnamese civilians were killed in a French naval bombardment of the port city of Haiphong -> so,if German keep control of France for longer,this will NOT happend -VJO

RE: I'm not sure....
By TheOldCodeToad on 12/11/2009 11:29:45 PM , Rating: 2
My God, Vladimir, your reasoning is awful! If, as you say, "Germany kept control of France a little longer" it would have to mean that they would have had an extra year or two!

Had the Nazi's somehow managed to have another good year (for them) at their rate of say 1941 and perhaps somehow allied themselves with Stalin a bit longer, the Third Reich might really have lasted into Hitler's dream of 1,000 years! Their enslaved scientist-engineers could not have resisted much longer, Hitler might well have had an atom bomb and effective delivery systems. Imagine too Imperial Japan enjoying an additional good year.

Britain would be a small plutonium ash heap. Russia, The Americas, and China would have become giant slave states and bread baskets for 'Good Germans' and 'Good Japanese' at home.

The open maw of the Abyss would thus have consumed _everything_ "good, individual, excellent, qualified and select." OUR children TODAY would have a future filed only with the hope of a quick and early death.

Now that I understand BZDTemp a little better, I think he will share my horror at your logic. The shelling of Haiphong, in comparison, might not have happened, but only because of a much worse global fate.

RE: I'm not sure....
By vladio on 12/12/2009 1:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
Let do step-by-step this time
1.`My God`...wich one? Not have one
2.'your reasoning is awful!' this is sound awfully personal and Not professional,I would prefer more `conversational` expression.
3.`Nazi` Nazi this,Nazi's become `model` of people hate.And I do NOT nave any love for them personal(just be Russian born...) But,...BIG-BIG but;
a.what actually people hate?!
Spanish,British,French (and some others) had colonies,basically slave millions of people;some colonies become semi-free Only in the very resent time (in the 60th).
b.America complictly EXTERMINATE !! dosends on nations on Native Americans(millions of people! somehow we forget this very fast!),AND this is SLAVE country until very resent times.
c. So, `Russia, The Americas, and China would have become giant slave states` ..Well, this is One of many (millions and billions TheoRetiCaL) historical options-and-possibilities.
Q:Is is better?
A:I do Not know.
Q:Is is What I want?
Like one wise person say `I didn't make this world, I just live here.`
4.`Abyss`. O-Yes!... no one like to be bully,
/`Master` want to be `Master`, and `Slave` Must know his place/,
but, attention;again very Big-Big `but`..
But `IT_IS OK` if Y-O-U bulliing people, It is perfectly OK, do decimete small power-less country: Korea,Vientnam,Panama...(fast forward)Iraq,Afghanistan,...
and sure this done for `there good`
5.and the last; I have many `names` how I would call people like you, but...(oops,`but` again) we will have (this time) nice professional conversation.

RE: I'm not sure....
By lwatcdr on 12/10/2009 3:00:21 PM , Rating: 1
Okay I am really tired of the French jokes but your got a lot of your facts iffy at best.

The French really did give up in WWII. There generals where terrible and they troops where under paided and not motivated at all. Even after the end run on the defensive lines the French had more troops and better tanks.

On the flip side take a look at the number of French killed in WWI and just why the troops where ready to surrender seems pretty clear. France was bleed white in WWI.
As to the whole give back the Statue of Liberty thing. I think the the grave yards in France full of US GIs have more than paid our debt to France many times over.
So yes let's us end the French jokes but let us also pretend the US is in their debt.

RE: I'm not sure....
By StevoLincolnite on 12/10/2009 7:41:50 PM , Rating: 2
I think the the grave yards in France full of US GIs have more than paid our debt to France many times over. So yes let's us end the French jokes but let us also pretend the US is in their debt.

Not to be picky... But I don't think you can put a price on lives, those that died saving the French could never be paid just by a mere statue.

RE: I'm not sure....
By petrosy on 12/10/2009 7:04:27 PM , Rating: 1

Good effort in WWII, I'll give them that...but that was not done on their own, they have Russia to thank for that one.

Let's see how the US medals are stacking up in the major war dept.

Korean War... Silver,
Vietnam War... Silver,
Afghanistan .... still trailing... looks like another Silver medal at best.
Iraq.... Not even on the podium... would be lucky to even get a Bronze.

The US should take a good look at themselves before they open their mouths
Before you say " Well at least we fight and not surrender!"

Fighting is not all that... Remember every school had that kid that always got into fights... some might even call him a bully. Anyway while he probably thought he was cool...everybody else thought he was a complete douche bag!

RE: I'm not sure....
By petrosy on 12/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: I'm not sure....
By Spuke on 12/10/2009 7:15:36 PM , Rating: 2
Americans love to give the French a hard time, only trying to distract from their own pitiful short comings I think.
It's all in good fun. Don't take it personal. Trust me when I say we collectively don't think much about the French one way of the other. But if you're going to bring them up......


RE: I'm not sure....
By TheOldCodeToad on 12/10/2009 8:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
OK, I will be serious for a moment. No sane person who has been in combat comes away feeling a sense of glory. I sure did not for my little bit. It's a filthy, awful thing.

The Second World War was quite different only in that the Allies, including Russia, were resisting the most insane monsters imaginable for the Modern Age. In 1939 it must have really seemed to be the Abyss. Many Americans regret having remained passive until being directly attacked by the Japanese.

Poor Poland resisted the Germans with what little it had. Holland, Belgium, The Netherlands, Norway and Denmark all resisted mightily the most modern and effective army on earth for as long as they could, some longer than they should have. All, especially gallant Denmark, conducted themselves during occupation with great honour.

The French produced a documented 7.000 Free French soldiers, many from the evacuation at Dunkirk. France, to it's ever lasting SHAME also produced Petan, Laval, Darlan, and Joseph Darnand - the later being head of the Milice, the Secret Police of the Vichy Government. The Nazis being such good recordkeepers proudly counted 35,000 paid members in the Milice, and made Darnand a senior officer in the Waffen SS.

Vichy exercised formal control of 2/5th of the French mainland, and maintained concentration camps on behalf of the SS throughout southern France at places like Gurs, Noe, and LeVernet. From these, about 80.000 Jews were sent to their deaths and some 12.000 military prisoners were sent north into Germany.

As you say, fighting is not all that, and you suggest that the Allies or the US or whomever except the French are school yard bullies. Let's talk about diplomacy and humanitarian efforts. France sure does seem to have played significant roles in preventing mass murder and starvation in Central Africa! What a stellar performance there, yes indeed.

Looking back over my 55 years, sorry, but I just can't think of one significant humanitarian or diplomatic effort by France done for the benefit of anyone but France. Finally, I believe Europe's own IAC has hinted or simply stated that Iran received significant technical assistance, secretly, from foreign operated French firms.

So, Sir, maybe it's better to make jokes about tanks running in reverse. The real record is much more disturbing, and I for one am sick of France's continued non-aligned bullshit.

RE: I'm not sure....
By ZoZo on 12/10/2009 9:52:02 PM , Rating: 1
It always comes back to WW2.
The French got the full force of the German army against them. How would the British have fared if they weren't protected by being on an island? Every other continental European country also got crushed, except Italy and Spain.
The Maginot line was made under the assumption that the Germans would not attack the Netherlands and Belgium, which was a great mistake. That mistake doesn't mean the French should have have fought anyway, which would probably have been a greater mistake. French surrender surely saved more lives than if they had fought that Blitzkrieg. But maybe French lives don't matter...

What is sad is that a lot of comments bash France over this, but none bash Germany nor Italy. Too obvious perhaps, or maybe the Germans earn some respect for how effectively they invaded countries and got people killed.
Nevertheless, the French never attacked the Americans, don't forget that. They just never felt that being liberated by an ally meant being subordinated to it. France is not ungrateful, it's simply independent and has a right to its own opinion, just like the US after France helped them in the 18th century.

RE: I'm not sure....
By eddieroolz on 12/12/2009 1:03:36 AM , Rating: 2
The grip I hold against France is how de Gaulle proudly marched into Paris after thousands of my Canadian men fought and died on the outskirts of Paris, never to have the General of Canadian Army invited to the "parade".

The fact that Canada, with more contribution than France - failed to secure any seats at the UN Security Council, or the fact that de Gaulle openly mocked Canada by proclaiming "Vive le Québec libre" on our soil. Just 20 years after we helped liberate them - de Gaulle wanted to "liberate" the Quebeckers. Liberate them from what? In the end, what is his legacy? He set off a whole chain of terrorist attacks against Federal targets by the FLQ and caused a cabinet minister to be killed and a British diplomat kinapped. de Gaulle is a criminal in that sense, and he will never be forgiven in my eyes.

RE: I'm not sure....
By Sanchez1986 on 12/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: I'm not sure....
By danobrega on 12/11/2009 10:17:41 AM , Rating: 2
One word: Vietnam.

RE: I'm not sure....
By TheOldCodeToad on 12/11/2009 10:21:42 PM , Rating: 2
Vietnam, yes it is one word. With the French? Under Japan? Under the French Rev 2.0? With the US? Or do you mean Vietnam under its present, exceptional Government?

RE: I'm not sure....
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RE: I'm not sure....
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By Hieyeck on 12/10/2009 10:10:00 AM , Rating: 2
Viva le Thunderbird!

I know it's cool to knock the French and all, but Viva is spanish. 'Víve' is what you're looking for. Also, I believe in the tradition of named objects (aka countries, ships) software names are femenine and therefore it should be 'la'.

Therefore, header should be Víve la Thunderbird! . Not 100% certain, since the last time I took French class was 12 years ago, but at least the reference (presumably to Víve la France! ) would be more proper. FYI, the í is alt+0237.

RE: /facepalm
By Guspaz on 12/10/2009 10:35:10 AM , Rating: 2
As long as we're being anal, "vive" uses a regular i, not í. The verb is "vivre", "to live":

Turns out that those long years spent memorizing the Bescherelle in school (I live in Québec) wasn't entirely wasted.

RE: /facepalm
By apaige on 12/10/2009 11:53:12 AM , Rating: 2
As long as we're being anal, we don't use an article with software names.
It would be "Vive Thunderbird!".

RE: /facepalm
By omnicronx on 12/10/2009 11:00:36 AM , Rating: 1
Welcome to America.. Search 'Viva La France' in google and you will come up with a good 150 thousand results(which is only 4-5 times less than 'Vive la france') with the exact same mistake. The word is pronounced 'viiv-uhh' so its no wonder this happens so much.

RE: /facepalm
By apaige on 12/10/2009 2:58:30 PM , Rating: 3
Actually it's pronounced "viv" (except by pedants and politicians who feel the need to pronounce every single syllable).

Are we done with the french lessons from americans yet?

Take that!
By Smilin on 12/10/2009 10:55:33 AM , Rating: 4
The primary changes (the military) have made allow them to know for sure when messages have been read.

There we have invented the read reciept! So there Microsoft!

I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!

RE: Take that!
By jthistle on 12/10/2009 11:56:10 AM , Rating: 5
You don't frighten us, English pig-dogs! Go and boil your bottoms, sons of a silly person. I blow my nose at you, so-called Arthur-king, you and all your silly English kaniggets. Thppppt!

Great movie

France has a Military???
By Einy0 on 12/10/2009 10:37:28 AM , Rating: 1
Holy Crap does France actually have a military? LOL!!!

RE: France has a Military???
By TheOldCodeToad on 12/10/2009 11:56:53 AM , Rating: 2
Holy Crap does France actually have a military? LOL!!!

Oh yes! They march real pretty and they're damned good at bullying the Swiss border guards!

RE: France has a Military???
By lightfoot on 12/10/2009 12:35:28 PM , Rating: 3
The real question is when they lose to Microsoft, will we have to go in and liberate them again?

RE: France has a Military???
By TheOldCodeToad on 12/10/2009 1:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
LOL lightfoot!!

Yes, and they can dig up DeGaulle to march over our dead on the way to re-claim Paris!

... or ...

Yes, and when we do liberate them, can we hang General Steve Balmer for war crimes? Please???

Technical Military Advances by France
By TheOldCodeToad on 12/10/2009 11:52:57 AM , Rating: 4
In a stunning achievement, French tanks and Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) are now fitted with both a toilet and bidet! Space was tight, but by removing the gunner's position the bidet is said to be quite nice. Mon Dure!

Additionally on the new French tank, a sensor mounted where the gun used to be (without a gunner, why bother with a gun... that long pipe thingie is only to signal other French troops the correct position for reverse) autodetects fire from any direction, links with a Command system to determine the source of fire, and rapidly deploys four large flags of the nation doing the firing.

By bisoy on 12/12/2009 3:06:03 AM , Rating: 2
It's been a while since I posted here but I have to say this is the best comment ever.

Can I give this guy a 10?

Proprietary Client?
By Yawgm0th on 12/10/2009 11:44:18 AM , Rating: 3
Frustrated that Microsoft's proprietary client did not allow open, easy to implement extensions, the military decided to give Outlook the boot and turned to Mozilla's client to create extensions to improve security and bookkeeping.
Outlook is one of the easiest things applications to develop extensions or plugins for out there. It's maybe not as easy as Excel, but it doesn't require some kind of incredible programming skill or intense man-hours.

Also, Outlook is perfectly secure if it's configured properly. I love hearing claims about "x is more secure than y" without any technical description of how or why. What is the major security issue in Outlook, which is simply an email client, that couldn't be fixed without switching to Thunderbird?

RE: Proprietary Client?
By rcc on 12/10/2009 6:28:10 PM , Rating: 2
What is the major security issue in Outlook, which is simply an email client, that couldn't be fixed without switching to Thunderbird?

At a guess.... it's made by Microsoft. But security made a good excuse.

Microsoft's excellent technical support?
By Modeverything on 12/10/2009 12:07:22 PM , Rating: 1
From the article:

Those costs, along with Microsoft's excellent technical support initially caused the military to avoid Thunderbird.

This just can't be so. I've had to deal with MS support, and it hasn't been good since 2004. All you get now is someone who has no idea what they're doing, and wants to use WebEx to just click on stuff until they make it work by some stroke of luck. I've quit using MS tech support because it's so bad, I can figure out the problems faster myself.

I've even worked with their on-site consultants, and only about half of them know what they're doing.

By Smilin on 12/10/2009 12:35:21 PM , Rating: 3

Get a premier support contract dude.

Allez les bleus...
By Amiga500 on 12/10/2009 3:41:55 PM , Rating: 2
The French have already made significant contributions to open source...

Code Aster and Code Saturne are two that spring to (my) mind immediately.

I for one would like to thank them for their endeavours, and long may it continue.

[Anyone here make an argument why it is a bad idea to hand more people advanced simulation software for free? After all, it should result in very good ideas from people who could not afford proprietary licences to advance the knowledge of the human race and hopefully lead to a better standard of life for us all]

This isn't actually a surprise...
By stmok on 12/10/2009 9:52:06 PM , Rating: 2
...In the last few years, the French police is making the transition over to Ubuntu, Firefox, OpenOffice, etc.

The cost of leaving Microsoft is actually quite high. (As the world is entrenched in it).

This is however, offset by the fact you no longer worry about licensing costs and conditions. Instead, the cost is support contracts and the once off training fee...Its pretty low in the overall scheme of things; if you've set things up right to meet your requirements from the beginning.

You'll only have success in it; if you do the research, planning, and make a gradual transition. Otherwise, you'll see big flops like I have. At least here in Australia, I've seen at least 3 businesses fail the transition because they blindly dived in.

Must it always be war?
By Woobagong on 12/11/2009 3:19:03 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, maybe the title has fooled me and you just wanted to generate some infotainment. Jokes are a delightful thing, but sadly not everyone takes it like that. If I took it seriously, I could say:

How can it be, that if someone chooses an alternative technology instead of another, at the same time goes to war with the abandoned one? Smells like some Sith Lord bullcrap, if you're not with me, you're against me. Although, the bull seems to be uncomfortably real. Absolute thinking is real. -.-

Why can't we just accept the choices of people, is it so hard?

By vladio on 12/11/2009 1:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
2009Nov23Mon:On this day:
1946:At least 6,000 Vietnamese civilians were killed in a French naval bombardment of the port city of Haiphong -> so,if German keep control of France for longer,this will NOT happend -VJO

By macthemechanic on 12/13/2009 9:40:02 AM , Rating: 2
It will be interesting to see if they can do it. The Microsoft juggernaut has become too big and should be broken up due to anti-competitive practices. They've lost their way and need a serious overhaul in their OS technology. I'm hoping that Ray (Ozzie) can get it done for them, if they'll let him. Currently they provide the most unreliable software on the planet. I certain they can change this though if properly motivated.

We'll see.

Not worth your time
By ExarKun333 on 12/10/2009 11:22:46 AM , Rating: 1
This article is silly.

cheese and whine
By intelpatriot on 12/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: cheese and whine
By Nik00117 on 12/10/2009 10:32:23 AM , Rating: 2
RE: cheese and whine
By intelpatriot on 12/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: cheese and whine
By HrilL on 12/10/2009 11:33:07 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure Nokia helped invent GSM see how they own many of the patents... Sony-ecrison also holds some patents... A cell phone was a bad example because the euro companies helped with some parts of that.

Really though it is mostly the Americans that innovate and invent new things.

RE: cheese and whine
By Hare on 12/10/2009 11:40:34 AM , Rating: 5
You are an idiot and a perfect example why so many think americans are ignorant and consider their country supreme when in fact there are many areas where the truth is something else.

Large companies are nowadays global and there are lots of nations and nationalities working in every big project. Just because a company holds their headquarters in country X doesn't make it technically supreme.

Btw. Did you even know that GSM stands for Groupe Spécial Mobile. Maybe that gives you the spark to Google the actual history of GSM, NMT or any other mobile technology? Same thing with Bluetooth. It was "invented" by two swedes working for Ericsson. Imagination Technologies is British. All this kind of makes your example...bad.

Ps. Since you are an "intelpatriot" you might want to check what the Israelis have done for Intel. Go on, do it. Just for kicks.

Pps. It's really funny that you would pick a consumer electronics device like the iPhone for your proof of the american supremecy. If you want to boast on great American innovations start with NASA, genetics research, physics or something else that we all admire.

RE: cheese and whine
By jimmyb4312 on 12/10/2009 11:44:06 AM , Rating: 5
GSM is a European technology

ARM is a European company

The iPhone lets you surf the world wide web, which was created by Europeans in Europe

Nice try.

RE: cheese and whine
By Yawgm0th on 12/10/09, Rating: -1
RE: cheese and whine
By Strunf on 12/10/2009 11:47:08 AM , Rating: 2
Well Europeans invented the Nokia N97 and a bunch of other mobile phone models.

European design from Porsche, Ferrari and a bunch of other brands that have stylish designs.

The GSM was "invented" in Europe, the Bluetooth specs were set in Europe.

ARM is actually developed in Europe.

Imagination Technology has its HQ in Europe.

Was your post meant to be sarcastic?

RE: cheese and whine
By watkinsaj on 12/10/2009 11:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
You've not chosen a very good example here.
ARM Holdings is based in Cambridge, UK.
The iPhone was designed by Jonathan Ive, Apple's Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, who is British.

RE: cheese and whine
By Helbore on 12/10/2009 11:56:41 AM , Rating: 2
Does Virgin Galactic not count?

RE: cheese and whine
By Yawgm0th on 12/10/2009 12:15:01 PM , Rating: 2
I said modern, not ancient history.
What OP listed is modern history. You should have said postmodern or contemporary if you meant more recently than the 19th century.

As everyone has pointed out, the iPhone was a terrible example.

Its chief designer was a British man.

GSM is a European invented standard. Bluetooth originated in Scandanavia.

The iPhone uses a South Korean (Samsung) processor based on a British architecture (ARM).

Imagination Technology is British.

You could have said it was designed by an American company, based on American software (Mac and UNIX), and extensively utilizes another American technology -- the Internet. Instead, you had to go and pick every big example of what wasn't American about it.

Epic fail.

RE: cheese and whine
By Amiga500 on 12/10/2009 3:34:37 PM , Rating: 2
extensively utilizes another American technology -- the Internet.

Errr.... it was actually CERN that laid the foundations world wide web*... ye know, that well known American institution, the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire....

*I accept many Americans had a pivotal role to play in the inception of data transfer across networks. My point is more along the lines of, in the modern world, it is very rare to find any one device that has its origins solely in one country.

RE: cheese and whine
By ZoZo on 12/10/2009 9:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
The World Wide Web (invented in Europe) is not the Internet (invented in the US).

RE: cheese and whine
By Nfarce on 12/10/2009 11:25:37 AM , Rating: 2
Well technically if you wanted to go back far enough, you could go back to ancient European cave men days where we white modern Anglo-Saxons descended from and say the "Europeans" invented fire too. Every white person - or mix race for that matter - on this board is a descendant from over there.

I for one, as an American (although not a very proud one at the moment with the idiots we have elected to run our nation lately), will not ever question European (or UK) inventions.

You forgot Whittle and the first modern axial compressor jet engine.

RE: cheese and whine
By Nfarce on 12/10/2009 11:34:18 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, and the British and the angled deck aircraft carrier. Our American Navy pilots at the time, even in the early jet age of the Korean war and the Panther F-9, had a nasty habit of missing wires and crashing into parked planes straight ahead.

RE: cheese and whine
By redbone75 on 12/10/2009 1:14:12 PM , Rating: 2
(although not a very proud one at the moment with the idiots we have elected to run our nation lately)

As opposed to the idiots that were elected to run our country for the previous eight years?

RE: cheese and whine
By Nfarce on 12/10/2009 1:50:30 PM , Rating: 1
Granted, they were, but these current crop are WORSE. The facts from the deficit to the falling dollar to ignoring the will of the people on ramming government health care down our gullets and fining the hell out of us if we don't sign up for it is not, I repeat, NOT one of the many things currently going on as my idea of change I wanted to believe in.

RE: cheese and whine
By Amiga500 on 12/10/2009 3:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot Whittle and the first modern axial compressor jet engine.

Gonna be a pedantic bast**d and point out that Whittle's compressor was centrifugal and Von Ohains axial.

At the time, Whittle's was the more logical choice due to the pressure ratios it could achieve. As engines developed, the axial compressor became de rigeur. [Just adding this, as many say the German engine was better due to the axial compressor - it wasn't - although the planes it would have flown in were infinitely better than any Allied competitor]

RE: cheese and whine
By Nfarce on 12/10/2009 5:11:33 PM , Rating: 2
True, but Whittle had the axial compressor idea on paper FIRST.

RE: cheese and whine
By axias41 on 12/10/2009 12:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
Never read anything so stupid, do you really believe it or are you just kidding?

RE: cheese and whine
By croc on 12/10/2009 5:05:28 PM , Rating: 1
Wireless lan technology was developed (and patented) by the CSIRO in Australia.

So when are you yank-wankers going to stop stealing from other countries and trying to call the technology 'Merican? Do you yanks actually make anything anymore?

RE: cheese and whine
By StevoLincolnite on 12/11/2009 2:20:07 AM , Rating: 2
To add to that the Aussies also invented:

* Refrigeration.
* Black Box flight recorder.
* Electronic Pacemaker.
* Penicillin.
* The Bionic Ear.
* Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11 - Developed by an Aussie team at the CSIRO.
* Dual Flush Toilet.

All in all, today... companies are world-wide entities, they develop, import and export technology's which are used across the planet and developed all over the place.

I don't believe some of the medical research that some countries can have a price put on it, as they have save millions of lives across the globe.

RE: cheese and whine
By TheOldCodeToad on 12/11/2009 11:42:53 PM , Rating: 2
Much of this comes down to 'national character,' a subject that is now politically incorrect and thus banned from the classroom for the last 20 years.

That said, my very favourite thing about Ausies is that, to the last one I've ever been pleased to know, they never, ever WHINE!

RE: cheese and whine
By radializer on 12/14/2009 6:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
Really? Sure seems to be a lot of it from the Aussies during Cricket season! :-))

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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