There is an interesting interview with Linus Tovalds at business week. It is fun to watch the progress of open source as the basic infrastructure underlying computers. It reminds me of the way roads progressed from private ownership to public utility. Why didn't the railroads follow the same path? They certainly recieved lots of public subsidies, see here for a quick rundown on the land and financing that helped entice the Union Pacific and Central Pacific to build the transcontinental railroad.