What is it about Ubuntu that has generated such excitement about
Linux? To steal a word from Obama's playbook, "Change."
In the four years it's been around, Ubuntu's managed to set itself
apart from the rest of the Linux distributions out there by dint of
two things: it evolves, and it evolves on a fairly aggressive
schedule. They don't let things languish. Part of that is
because they have solid backing and a broadening circle of support
from the industry, but I'm inclined to believe it's also because they
don't just sit around and say "Good enough." They ask, "What can
we do now?"
In Mark Shuttleworth's recent e-mail to the Ubuntu developer's mailing list,
he outlines the goals for the 8.10 version of Ubuntu, the "Intrepid
Ibex" (what happens when they run out of letters?). The big goal
this time around is mobile connectivity.
The way Ubuntu has flourished is a source of great hope for
everyone who cares about open source. It shows that it's not
just possible to put something like this out there, but have it
flourish and even have it picked up and re-used by commercial partners
(e.g., Dell (Dell), or the Wal-Mart PC).
That said, I do worry, though, whether or not they can sustain
that kind of development pace. Two major releases a year or
so is a lot to look forward to, and I do worry about the possibility
of developer burnout, unrealistic goal-setting, and many other things
that could cause Ubuntu's development to stagnate. I'm also
learning that it's not enough to say "Well, if they don't do it,
someone else can fork it," because the code is one thing, but a strong
and insightful development team is another entirely. Good
programmers are tough enough to find; a collection of good programmers
who can work together is even tougher to assemble.
What I hope for most from Ubuntu is not just that it contains this
or that feature -- although I have my own wish list which I should
publish -- but that it earns a position of respect alongside Windows
and the Mac. And I'd also hope that such a thing doesn't come
from Windows or the Mac being brought low, but by Ubuntu reaching as
high as it can.
What's your hope for the future of Ubuntu? Leave a message on the InformationWeek Blog and let us
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The Curse of Internet Anonymity
Renowned for his radical views of the Internet as a culture
killer, Silicon Valley author, broadcaster, and entrepreneur Andrew Keen
argues that Internet anonymity, which is fast becoming the norm, is a
societal danger, leading to serious, long-term consequences.
Our guest, New York University's Clay Shirky, will discuss his new
book, Here Comes Everybody: The Power Of Organizing Without
Organizations, which describes how social networks like MySpace and
Digg are allowing new kinds of collaborative action. Social media are
enabling groups to form fast, grow large, and take broad action,
without the kind of corporate and government expense and bureaucracy
that has previously been required -- without even much leadership.
Shirky explores how these changes are affecting society.
The report from India, previously scheduled for today, is postponed to
next week, Tuesday March 4 at 3 pm Eastern. Hope that doesn't
Virtualization At The Desktop?
Examine how more than 250 companies plan to adopt server virtualization technology in this recent InformationWeek Research report, Server Virtualization.
The BI Explosion
Examine the business intelligence strategies of 500 companies, including deployment drivers and challenges, spending plans, and vendor selection, in this recent InformationWeek Research report.
Virgin Atlantic's Biofueled Flight Plan Is Coco-Nuts
A Virgin Atlantic 747 topped off its fuel tank with the oil of 150,000 coconuts and flew from Heathrow to Amsterdam Sunday. The odor of pina coladas hanging over the economy cabin should have been a giveaway -- this idea is a stinker.
EMC Updates RecoverPoint SAN CDP/Replication Engine
The new 3.0 version of its RecoverPoint CDP/Replication appliance extends the technology EMC acquired with Kashya in 2006. The version provides both local replication to a CDP volume and journal on the same Fibre Channel SAN as the primary storage and remote asynchronous replication via IP to another array at the same time. Unlike array-based replication options, the source and destination arrays need not be the same type, or even from the same vendor.
Windows Vista Childbirth Pack 1
I have become convinced that Windows service packs and childbirth have a lot in common. You approach the big day with nervous anticipation, and hope that everything will come out OK. That day sometimes involves a lot of pain, but a few years after each event people look back wistfully and think, "Gee, that wasn't so bad. I'm sure glad we did it." As the big day arrives for Vista Service Pack 1, be prepared for that short-term pain.
LinkedIn Launches Mobile Site
Today LinkedIn showed off a new beta WAP site that lets you perform some basic tasks related to your LinkedIn database of professional contacts. And when we say basic, we mean basic. You can't view your contacts' contact information, accept invitations, nor even update your own profile. LinkedIn Mobile has its work cut out for it if it intends to catch up to other social networking sites' mobile capabilities.
Hacker's Poised To Beat Apple's Latest Version Of DRM (aka C.R.A.P.)
One of the hotter memes over the weekend had to do with a cease and desist letter that the ever-litigious Apple sent to the operators of the Hymn Project. For those looking to remove Apple's copy protection technology (officially "FairPlay," but I call it "C.R.A.P.") from iTunes Music Store (iTMS)-bought content, the Hymn Project has been the go-to site for utilities that have managed to stay one step ahead of Apple in what has been a cat and mouse game.
Symantec Protection Network Online Backup, How Innovative?
This week Symantec released the first services from its previously announced Symantec Protection Network (SPN) and, as Gomer Pyle would say, "Surprise, Surprise, Surprise," online backup. Symantec Online Backup is a middle of the road service for small businesses that should have some appeal, especially after Symantec takes the time to add a few features the competition already has. Symantec Online Storage for Backup Exec, on the other hand, breaks new ground providing online off-site backup capabilities to the legions of Windows shops running Backup Exec after they update to the new version 12.
Video: Is Microsoft Open Source's Friend?
Microsoft made its most significant move since the 1992 release of Windows 3.1 on Feb. 21, when it pledged to make "strategic changes in technology and business practices to expand interoperability." What does this mean in plain English? It's Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's corporate-speak way of telling the open-source community that he can't beat 'em, so he plans to try to outflank them.
Forrester Consulting: Unified Communications Delivers Global Benefits
This Forrester Consulting study shows how Unified Communications
(UC) makes it simpler to contact others over any device in any location,
enhancing business agility, cutting costs, and boosting employee
productivity. Forrester finds that UC is already delivering major savings
for organizations around the world in retail banking, manufacturing and
education. Download the full report for free.
Software as a Service Research Report
No longer a niche software delivery model, software as a service
(SaaS) can help small and midsize companies get access to enteprise-class
software functionality without having to commit enterprise-level capital
resources. Download the full report for free.
The Internet & the Developing World
The evolution of the Internet has been full of surprises –
surprises that have sometimes resulted in radical changes in the
commercial landscape, such as the arrival of Amazon, eBay, Google,
YouTube, and Skype. Could one of the next big surprises turn out to be
linked to developing countries? Read the full report for free from
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.