Torvalds Not Open Enough?

Linus Torvalds took a kick to his binaries when fellow open-source guru Bruce Perens criticized the Finnish-born Linux demigod for requiring the use of a code management tool called BitKeeper that is closed-source. Open sourcers weren't too keen on paying for a tool to build free software.

A third open sourcer, Andrew Triggell, reverse engineered the proprietary BitKeeper code management protocols, leading developer Bitmover to revoke Torvalds' license and setting off a spat worthy of “The Jerry Springer Show.” Torvalds said that Triggell “screwed people over,” while Triggell, muzzled by his lawyer, was defended by Perens who said Torvalds was acting like “an idiot.”

At least Redmond coders do all their fussin' behind closed doors.

Windows Ad Nauseum Campaign
Microsoft must be getting nervous now that Apple has 2 percent of the desktop market, and desktop Linux is only years away from finally becoming palatable to non-programmers. Why else would the Redmond desktop giant spend millions on a year-plus ad campaign talking about the wonderful ways that XP can change your life? When all those bucks are spent, Microsoft will toss its mega ad dollars behind Longhorn.

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Keeping Spam Out of the Food Chain
Spam is unsightly, unseemly and it clogs everything it touches. The same is true for unsolicited commercial e-mail. Our filters are working overtime to block this filth that often harbors viruses and Trojan horses. Filters work pretty well—so well that I never had to get back to my dad or my sister last week, as the filter kept me from ever seeing their e-mail! And who knows how many old girlfriends think I'm snubbing them?

Well, ISPs are starting to get into the act. Earthlink, for instance, is starting to require a password before sending out e-mail. Hotmail, similarly, asks users to identify a code before any mass mailings. And AOL sets limits on how much mail one can send. Good start guys. Now let's get serious.

Tech Out at Tech Fest
Next week Microsoft will show off its coolest works in progress at its Microsoft Research Tech Fair 2005 in Washington , D.C. Our managing editor, Keith Ward, will be there to check out the latest and greatest.

The Redmond Name Game
Microsoft loves to change the names of products—even if the products haven't changed a whole lot. For instance, OLE became COM and DCOM, Windows 98/ME migrated to XP, Windows CE turned into Windows Mobile, and Microsoft Office Manager (MOM) somehow twisted its acronym into Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM2?).

Now, Microsoft has a new name for a range of old tools. Like CA Unicenter and HP OpenView, System Center is a broad term for Systems Management Server (SMS) and the aforementioned MOM. Microsoft's new disk-based backup and recovery server, now in beta and called System Center Data Protection, also falls under the new umbrella.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.


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