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
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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."
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.
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.
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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?
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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