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U.S. Tech Employment Highest In Seven Years

In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Too Many Linux Distros Make For Open Source Mess
2. Today's Top Story
    - U.S. Tech Employment Hits Its Highest Point In Seven Years
3. Breaking News
    - Bank ATMs Offering Envelope-Free Deposits
    - China Internet Censors Blamed For E-Mail Chaos
    - National Geographic Distributes Video Games
    - 'Harry Potter' Wizardry No Match For Online Pirates
    - Mozilla Patches Firefox, Tackles Flaw That Affects Firefox And IE
    - RIM Introduces Dual-Mode BlackBerry Supporting Cellular And Wi-Fi
    - Oracle Patches 45 Bugs In Quarterly Critical Update
    - CinemaNow Extends Movie Downloads To Xbox
    - Microsoft Calls Windows Vista SP1 Reports 'Inaccurate'
    - Abandoned SunRocket Subscribers Find New VoIP Dial Tones
    - IBM Research Head Steps Down
    - Broadband Improves Performance Of Both Apps And Malware
    - Open Source PostgreSQL Trails Oracle In Benchmark, But Not By Much
    - E.U. Backs Nokia-Led Mobile TV Standard
    - Co-Author Of RSA Encryption Algorithm Given Marconi Award For Cryptography Research
4. The Latest CIOs Uncensored Blog Posts
    - Borders Opens New CIO Chapter
    - CIO Closes Data Barn Door
    - CIOs Are A Frustrated Bunch
    - If The iPhone's Not A Business Tool, How Come It Runs Etelos CRM Suite?
5. Job Listings From TechCareers
6. White Papers
    - A Sure Bet: Implementing High-Availability Internet
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

Quote of the day:
"Work while you have the light. You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you." -- Henri-Frédéric Amiel


1. Editor's Note: Too Many Linux Distros Make For Open Source Mess

Remember the 1980s worries about how the "forking" of Unix could hurt that operating system's chances for adoption? That was nothing compared to the mess we've got today with Linux, where upwards of 300 distributions vie for the attention of computer users seeking an alternative to Windows.

True, some distros are more distributed than others. Ubuntu, which is clearly the flavor of the month (who says publicity doesn't matter when it comes to Linux?), is out front of everything else, according to DistroWatch. OpenSUSE, PCLinuxOS, Fedora, and MEPIS round out the top five. (Since this is an enthusiast site, one must assume that Novell and Red Hat are way unrepresented, so one should add those guys into the top tier.)

Open source advocates have claimed they'd never let Linux evolve into a "giant hairball," which was the colorful way Sun Microsystems' chairman characterized Windows. Here's the way that meme was framed in a 1999 post, titled "Fear of Forking":

"Linux won't fork because the fork-er has to do too much work for no payoff: Any worthwhile improvements he makes will be absorbed into the main branch, and his fork will be discarded/ignored as pointless."

One defense -- I'm sure I'll receive comments in this regard -- is that this comment is referring to forking of the kernel rather than a multiplicity of distributions. It is indeed true that the kernel hasn't forked in any significant way, thanks to Linus Torvalds' control.

So I'll grant readers that, if there's anything amiss with my argument, it's that I've dragged the "f" word into the discussion. I should've just said that there are way too many distros, and left it at that. But then I wouldn't have been able to close with the thing I can't help but think, no matter how many times open source supporters tell me that what they're offering is so much better than the OSes peddled by Microsoft. It's this:

There's no other way to put it: Linux is a forking mess.

Read my blog post for more on the overabundance of Linux distros and the "Linux religion."

Alexander Wolfe
awolfe@cmp.com
www.informationweek.com


2. Today's Top Story

U.S. Tech Employment Hits Its Highest Point In Seven Years
The 2% unemployment rate matches other professional categories and is a big improvement from 5% in 2004.


3. Breaking News

Bank ATMs Offering Envelope-Free Deposits
Diebold, NCR, and Wincor Nixdorf are rolling out teller machines that scan deposited checks and cash, eliminating the need for envelopes.

China Internet Censors Blamed For E-Mail Chaos
Internet users and company officials in China on Wednesday blamed a series of disruptions to cross-border e-mail traffic on adjustments to the country's vast Internet surveillance system.

National Geographic Distributes Video Games
The deal calls for two of Big Fish Games' most popular products to be delivered through National Geographic's online and physical contacts.

'Harry Potter' Wizardry No Match For Online Pirates
Pirated versions of J.K. Rowling's latest are turning up on file-sharing sites, causing consternation among the Muggles.

Mozilla Patches Firefox, Tackles Flaw That Affects Firefox And IE
Mozilla noted that the patch does not fix the vulnerability in Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

RIM Introduces Dual-Mode BlackBerry Supporting Cellular And Wi-Fi
Users can connect on slower cellular networks or faster Wi-Fi. The phone also has built-in GPS.

Oracle Patches 45 Bugs In Quarterly Critical Update
Seventeen of the flaws affect Oracle's Database Server, and 13 of the total 45 could be exploited remotely without authentication.

CinemaNow Extends Movie Downloads To Xbox
The new features, including a burn-to-DVD capability, are part of an upgrade of the online movie retailer's Media Manager software, which was released Wednesday.

Microsoft Calls Windows Vista SP1 Reports 'Inaccurate'
Company officials say Tuesday's reports were a result of a typo in an e-mail to developers.

Abandoned SunRocket Subscribers Find New VoIP Dial Tones
SunRocket's subscribers have found several alternate VoIP service providers happy to sign them up.

IBM Research Head Steps Down
The new leader of the computing industry's largest research arm is John Kelly, most recently IBM's senior VP for technology and intellectual property.

Broadband Improves Performance Of Both Apps And Malware
Allied Cash's database administrator, Christian Alvarez, has been working to secure the company's new Web-based user interface in recent months.

Open Source PostgreSQL Trails Oracle In Benchmark, But Not By Much
The test showed open source PostgreSQL results that were about 12% lower than an Oracle database system, which one backer called "a good day for open source."

E.U. Backs Nokia-Led Mobile TV Standard
The European Commission backed a Nokia-led mobile television broadcasting standard on Wednesday in a move that could spur growth in the fledgling but potentially lucrative sector.

Co-Author Of RSA Encryption Algorithm Given Marconi Award For Cryptography Research
Ronald Rivest worked with two MIT colleagues to develop public key encryption, and then founded RSA Data Security in 1983.

All Our Latest News

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----- The latest research, polls, and tools -----

Managing Security Complexity
Examine how more than 3,000 technology and security professionals are managing security complexity and protecting mission-critical systems in the 10th annual Global Information Security survey, a joint research project between InformationWeek Research and Accenture.

Windows Vista: Meeting Expectations Or Falling Short?
Learn how more than 600 business technology professionals feel about Windows Vista and understand the deployment challenges they're facing in InformationWeek Research's Windows Vista: Meeting Expectations Or Falling Short?
-----------------------------------------


4. The Latest CIOs Uncensored Blog Posts
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/cios_uncensored/index.html

Borders Opens New CIO Chapter
The book industry is a fickle one. Ask Judith Regan. Or Cedric Vanzura, who just got written out of the technology strategy at Borders.

CIO Closes Data Barn Door
A year ago, Ohio University suffered an embarrassing incident of comprised personal data. Now the CIO brought in to clean up the mess is articulating the measures he's taking to beef up network security. They sound familiar.

CIOs Are A Frustrated Bunch
A new study says top tech execs are more unhappy at their jobs than any other group of execs surveyed. What do CIOs want?

If The iPhone's Not A Business Tool, How Come It Runs Etelos CRM Suite?
Well, is it or isn't it? A lively discussion is brewing over that question in our discussion forum, with some iPhone lovers saying it was NEVER intended to be a business tool, while other equally devoted iPhoners are saying it's a PERFECT business tool.


5. Job Listings From TechCareers

Talent Mindset Resources seeking Senior QA Manager in Hartford, CT

Tripp Lite seeking Business Manager in Chicago, IL

The NPD Group seeking Product Manager in Port Washington, NY

ConnectWise seeking Manager, Software Support Services in Tampa, FL

Agilent seeking IT Manager in Santa Clara, CA

For more great jobs, career-related news, features and services, please visit CMP Media's TechCareers.


6. White Papers

A Sure Bet: Implementing High-Availability Internet
The unpredictable nature of Internet bandwidth can put important applications at risk. For converged networks with VoIP and data running at the same time, redundancy is a must as IT managers strive to achieve the same levels of reliability that phone users have come to expect.


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