Daily Roundup 20070918

Today’s roundup has a little bit of everything. First up is an article about the continuing saga of CPU scheduling in Linux 2.6. Seems the Con Kolivas ordeal is far from over, even with calls for a fork in Linux to “settle” things. Never mind the fact that Linus based his decision on two factors: first, he thinks the scheduler (CFS) offered by Ingo Molnar is better, and second, because he knows Ingo’s track record in sticking with things. In fairness to Torvalds, too, he never said that CFS was the last word on the subject — that didn’t stop Kolivas from high-tailing it.

Second up is a renewed emphasis on e-mail by the Mozilla Foundation. Mozilla is way behind the eight-ball when it comes to mobile browsing and e-mail. I think one of the best things they could do with Thunderbird is to re-integrate it into Firefox, more the way Opera’s e-mail client is integrated into the browser rather than the way it’s done in Seamonkey (and previous incarnations of Netscape). This would make more sense with the popularity of services like gmail. Especially if their focus is on mobility rather than features, a la Opera. My two-cents (versus their $3 million).

Third, an article about scams involving e-cards. The recent onslaught has hurt the e-card sector by causing consumers to distrust links. The new caution is a good thing. Steps taken to secure e-card commerce now include requiring senders to include first and last names.

Finally, some clarification on issues related to Vista. Many open source activists have gone beyond the facts when it comes to analyzing Vista in particular and Windows in general. Ed Mott writes about one prolonged abuse of the facts and demonstrates that much of the anti-Vista rhetoric is short on substance. (And yes, I’m the same lucky13 defending copyright law in the comment section.)

Advocates and activists do their cause more harm than good when they stretch truths or otherwise engage in deceit. It’s time for those trying to make cases for using Linux or any other alternative to Windows to use whatever truths they have on their side. I’ve written against those who’ve suggested one operating system is more secure than another (users are always the weakest links, not the operating systems), that one operating system is as “easy” to use as any other (the role of knowledge works both ways: knowledgeable Windows users have as few issues and security vulnerabilities as knowledgeable Linux users), that one operating system has outrageous hardware requirements over another (total BS because Linux distros increasingly have the same requirements as Vista), etc. If you’re correct, you shouldn’t have to engage in such deceit and distortions. Tell the truth and hold Linux distros to the same standards upon which you judge Microsoft and quit being hypocrites. Microsoft no longer ships single-user with no administrative privilege operating systems, but some Linux distros (puppy, dynebolic, etc.) do. Vista requires modern hardware to run efficiently, but so do distros like Mepis and Ubuntu that are set to use Beryl and Compiz by default.

Don’t fork Linux because of Linus:

Given the track record of the Linux kernel, and Torvalds’ own history of integrity and straight-talking, the notion of forking the Linux kernel because of Con’s wailing and gnashing of teeth makes sense only to those hunkered down in the executive bunkers in Redmond.

Mozilla’s New Focus on Thunderbird and Internet Communications:

Mozilla is launching a new effort to improve email and internet communications. We will increase our investment and focus on our current email client — Thunderbird — and on innovations in the email and communications areas. We are doing so by creating a new organization with this as its sole focus and committing resources to this organization. The new organization doesn’t have a name yet, so I’ll call it MailCo here. MailCo will be part of the Mozilla Foundation and will serve the public benefit mission of the Mozilla Foundation. (Technically, it will be a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mozilla Foundation, just like the Mozilla Corporation.)

E-card industry gets the message from fraudsters:

The pain felt over the past few months by the greeting card industry shows how quickly scammers can undermine confidence in what has become a crucial communication tool for many industries. Because this kind of malicious spam is usually sent from the compromised botnet computers themselves it costs almost nothing to distribute. But it can take a toll on the reputation, and ultimately the revenues of companies that are targeted.

Everything you’ve read about Vista DRM is wrong (Part 1):

Gutmann’s work is riddled with factual errors, mistaken assumptions and unproven assertions, distortions, contradictions, misquotes, and outright untruths. In short, it’s a work of fiction all on its own.


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