Archive | August 26, 2008

Are You Pro-Choice?

Today’s post by Sam Varghese is a good read (unless your name is Jim Zemlin), and I have to say that I think Sam’s statement regarding what makes Linux thrive (buried on page 2) is spot on! ‘Difference’ makes all the difference. I’ve been looking into different ‘livedistros for use in a quasi-headless application and love the fact that I have about three on the short list from which to choose. Each has advantages and weaknesses and, ultimately, each can be remastered if none fit the bill as they are. Standardization of drivers and the like is a noble and worthwhile goal, but trying to create the ‘one’ Linux would necessarily eliminate one of its primary benefits: the ability to choose.

-Brandon

Incidentally, does anyone else find it ironic when a university expresses pride in its diversity?

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Vista FUD?

From the iPhone Savior Blog

Entering Vista City Limits - Population: decreasing

Seeking out and responding to FUD is not about slinging mud in the other direction. It’s about correcting lies, rumors and bad press. For me, it’s about providing an alternative view on things. I just happen to be passionate about Linux in particular, based on my own conversion.

It is interesting to see the tides turning though. The press used to be full of “Microsoft Does It Again!” and “Is Linux Really Ready?” stories. Now, it is Microsoft’s turn. Purusing the recent feed headlines on my iGoogle homepage, I found several examples of how the press is starting to switch sides. But then, what can we really expect? Dirty laundry sells.

Microsoft Gives Up on Vista” was the first article I read. Apparently, even Bill Gates knows when to fold ’em in light of Vista’s obvious market problems. The article goes on to note that both Microsoft’s market share and raw customer base are at stake, and that the next release of Windows will be pivotal to retaining both. Uncertainty.

Reportedly, Seinfeld will become the new spokesman for Microsoft, a move that some view as a risky measure. I like Seinfeld, but this seems like an odd choice coming from a company that has always maintained a very professional, down-to-business image. I assume he won’t be doing any server ads — no, this must be for mass appeal. Fitting that his “much ado about nothing” shtick will probably be leveraged to resurrect Vista sales. Doubt.

No one likes to watch commercials, save perhaps during “The Big Game“, and avoiding pop-up ads while surfing the ‘Net is the modern equivalent to those VCRs that included a feature to skip commercials while recording. Ad blockers are common and can be an effective safety feature against pop-ups that employ social engineering techniques to allow hackers access your system. IE8 is drawing criticism from advertisers that claim that the enhanced privacy feature “InPrivate” could seriously affect advertising revenues that ultimately fund many (“free”) Web services. This could have a ripple-effect on the economy, some say. Fear.

Admittedly, these are subtle examples, not outright Windows-bashing campaigns and it’s not like the headlines are chock full of anti-Microsoft rhetoric, but these sorts of stories could be the first hints of a trend in that direction. What is important in the long-run is the substance (or lack thereof) that supports the FUD.