NTP's Fate Hinges On 'Father Time' - InformationWeek

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NTP's Fate Hinges On 'Father Time'
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Jamescon
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Jamescon,
User Rank: Author
3/13/2015 | 10:17:07 AM
A look behind the scenes
Charlie. Great idea to look into the inner workings of technology (the code and the people) that most of us never see. Well done.
sejtam
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sejtam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/13/2015 | 6:59:39 AM
pool.ntp.org
While I agree with this article 100% i think it should have been mentioned that there are a number of organizations (and individuals) who donate a server and bandwidth to the pool.ntp.org project which provides much of the net-wide NTP distribution.
sejtam
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sejtam,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/13/2015 | 6:46:02 AM
Re: It's fine to send big money directly to NTF!
For individual donations, a campaign on GoFundMe or Kickstarter or somesuch site would be useful (or maybe just Amazon Payments)?
JanK591
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JanK591,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/13/2015 | 3:30:37 AM
Re: Let it fail?
I think it's completely in line with open source spirit. Various projects rise up and fall all the time. FLOSS was always about freedom of choice and if ntpd will be missed, your solution will resolve the problem, just as you said.
JanK591
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JanK591,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/13/2015 | 3:26:43 AM
Re: Truly Disturbing
There are no problems with server costs, in fact I am sure that most of companies mentioned here do maintain their NTP servers, probably in large amount. The problem is with funding the development of software that runs on those servers. Cessation of development won't bring any immediate catastrophe and hence doesn't make a convincing argument to people who could pay for it.
JanK591
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JanK591,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/13/2015 | 3:21:56 AM
Re: Pending Review
Over the years I came to a conclusion that attempting a donation-based model for open source/free software is futile effort. Only big endavours seem to be able to support themselves their way. Same goes for business model based on giving product for free and selling support. I think the FLOSS community was completely wrong in presenting this model as an alternative to traditional software business.


As I see it, there are only two options available for FLOSS projects. First option is fully voluntary work by people who are able to support themselves in other way. Second option is big business who uses FLOSS in their operations - not necesarily in their product, but also in infrastructure. Working together with other enterprises on commonly needed features is clearly beneficial. The second model is already prominent, but need more time to sink in. CEOs need to understand that cooperation is mutually beneficial and doesn't equal "giving away for free". Even when majority of users don't contribute code, they still do a tremendous job of spreading the word, thus giving the project more potential developers.
I_just_wanna_say_
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I_just_wanna_say_,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/12/2015 | 11:12:21 PM
Re: Let it fail?
Or alternatively, Apple, who just announced the Apple Watch, could set up a small endowment to support the project in perpetuity and use that as a marketing hook.  Just think, the Apple Watch, a product that seems completely pointless to most people could suddenly become a badge of geeky insider knowledge ---

OK I'm naive.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
3/12/2015 | 5:56:51 PM
Yes, some contribute, some don't
Good comment from EJW, an IT manager in the Calif. State University system, and Tony J, thanks. I would like to note that Google is a contributor to the Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative, now supporting Stenn. The CII includes Amazon, IBM, others and supports Werner Koch's Gnu PG in Germany & other projects as well. But there aren't enough $$ to go around. Stenn's non-profit is at www.nwtime.org. Checks can be sent to Network Time Foundation, PO Box 918, Talent, OR. 97540.
EJW
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EJW,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/12/2015 | 4:59:11 PM
No Free Lunch
I have just read Charles Babcocks excellent article about NTP.org and Harlan Stenn.

I wasn't aware of the situation: it is utterly shameful that the likes of Apple, Google and others have allowed this to occur while freeloading on the software that allows them to make millions.

And it is not just the IT industry:

"...the NTP time stamp is one of the few ways equities firms have of proving to regulators they were in compliance of making a trade..."

So where are the contributions from Wall Street?

There is no free lunch!

Sooner or later everything must be paid for by someone; from NTP to PBS and even whole economies (just ask the Greeks).

I just made my contribution.

Tony A
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Tony A,
User Rank: Moderator
3/12/2015 | 1:58:58 PM
Truly Disturbing
This is the most unsettling thing I've read since a report many years ago that said all international Internet traffic was being routed through a garage in Virginia. Truly amazing how vulnerable the entire infrastructure is in spite of the fact that it is now the  single most important vehicle for both business and defense.

So nobody wants to pay for an infrastructure service that is crucial to the Pentagon, the stock market, major search providers, ISP's and satellite communications? I say you send Goldman Sachs, Google, Microsoft and a few others - don't forget our friends at Verizon and Time Warner who oppose net neutrality - a letter written on a Smith Corona typewriter saying that the servers will be going down for one second at 12:00:00 a.m. next Monday, to save energy costs. Then see if they come up with some funding.

"We don't contribute to open source projects" - that's a classic. Google spends more on sushi and GS on annual bonuses than they are willing to spend on a service that their entire revenue streams depend on. As if the Internet were a natural resource like air and water and they are just entitled to it. It's unbelievable what we put up with from these companies. They should fund a pension for Mr. Stenn and his family in addition to ponying up a few million $ to keep the service stable and secure.
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