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12/8/2006
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From Our Blog

How Can Linux Be More Expensive Than Vista?

If every PC came with a "free" boot-only test Linux CD, then the $70 paid for Windows would give the purchaser Windows plus a chance to look at Linux. The vendor could then offer a second hard drive and dual-boot software to those who want Linux and Windows on the same PC.

Over time, with enough sales of this dual-boot option, the vendor would be assured that there is indeed a market for Linux, and the Windows-less PC market would be obvious and profitable. --Peter Pay Once Not Twice

Peter Pay Once Not Twice almost had it right. Sell Windows boxes and sell dual-boot Windows/Linux boxes for 70 bucks more. I'd pay the extra to get a stable Linux distro installed dual boot for me. Right now, if I want one, I have to waste my time to do it. --Kurt

As the number of Vista licenses grows, the price goes down. As the number of Vista licenses fades, the price goes up. This is a simple economics concept. The price of Linux is the same no matter what.

The true difference between the two is support and product confidence. If Linux were the No. 1 operating system on the market, it would be hit harder with security breaches, and we might find it's not as secure as we might want to believe. We don't buy a Microsoft product just because it says Microsoft; we buy it because of the quality and ease of use. --Corey


Blaming Google Is Just Blaming The Victim

So it's now Google's responsibility to be the security manager for all Web sites?

There is software out there to compare Web sites to a reference to see if they changed; there is also at least one service company that does this. Reasonably priced? What is reasonably priced? $1, $100, $1,000, $10,000 if your reputation and biz model are at stake? --Nature Nut

All are to blame. In reality, though, how many people have plans in place to review the code of 5,000 pages every day? Or is there reasonably priced software that does this for you? If so, I'd recommend that TalkOrigins Archive use it. As noted, the hack was in the code but not visible on the pages for anyone to see. The fact that the Webmaster didn't notice doesn't come as a big surprise. Nevertheless, it was their site, so they do hold responsibility for taking care of it.

Google has worked to make sure that it's a necessary component of many businesses. At some point, there's a responsibility to those it's serving. It doesn't need to hunt down the Webmaster, but an E-mail is certainly in order.

The hacker ... well ... duh! --Mike G


One Wicked Programmer Could Bring Down Democracy

E-voting will work fine and I can't believe no one has thought of the simple solution: Voters cast their votes using an electronic (software-based) system. Two "receipts" are printed after a vote is cast. The voter can review both "receipts" for accuracy, take one for his or her records, and deposit the other into a "ballot records box." Thus, an efficient system of instantly tallied votes is realized, and an auditable paper trail is created. This has been one of the foundations of global economic systems since the conception of "credit." --Christopher

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