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September 2006 Archives

One of the most frustrating things about Open Source software is that frequently you end up with products that are 99% perfect, but the remaining 1% is so infuriatingly wrong that you end up wanting to just throw it in the trash.

Take for example MythTV. I love MythTV, it's my primary mode of watching TV these days. I've got a dedicated Fedora box sitting in my rack with a 19" display hooked up, and I probably spend 30 hours a week watching content on it in my office. I have mentioned that I'm a media junkie, haven't I?

Microsoft Pledges, Avoids Waxy Buildup

So, The Boys from Redmond have now crossed their hearts, hope to die, promised not to enforce their patents on 35 web service standards. Of course, one can begin by wondering how much of a standard something can really be if there was a proprietary standard attached to it. The actual legalities of the announcement would make a lawyers eyes water, but a few folks have tried to decipher it. This does lead to the question, if Microsoft planned to make these standards available to anyone all along, why spend all the money to patent them in the first place, which would cost around $100,000 just for the filing fees. The lawyers' fees, of course, probably dwarf that by orders of magnitude.

In the Beginning...

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...Apache 1.3.2 was released. And it was Good.

On this day, eight years ago, Linux Today was launched. And look how it has grown so far. It is a site that garners a half-million hits and is read by nearly 100,000 people daily. It provides the latest news and information about Linux, open source, and free software on a 24/7 basis to an entire planet of Linux users and that growing collection of people who are interested in becoming penguin-philes.

We provide links and content on a continual basis... what if we could offer more? So, on our eighth anniversary, I am pleased to announce that we are offering more: a collection of blogs from a wide variety of community members that will offer insight and knowledge into many aspects of the open source world--from business to technical.

A salesman was speaking with his peers. He proposed that his employer should get rid of the company's marketing and technical staff. Isn't it strange that marketing and technical staff often feel the same way regarding business units that operate outside of the one in which they are employed?

When recently I saw the following in a blog, I was reminded of that salesman's lament:

It's almost a truism that open source software sells itself; the knock-on consequence is that you don't really need salespeople, which in turn means more money for developers and support.

Before the advent of widespread Linux deployments, there were people in Information Technology known as Business Analysts.

These people were tasked with figuring out how to implement technology that improved a company's business processes. They interviewed users, pulled requirements together, helped evaluate current technology solutions, created project plans, and made recommendations. They also coordinated meetings, patched up relationships, and reassured the Quality people. It was a complicated and demanding job. It required good organization, a knowledge of current solutions, intimate understanding of the company's business, and a healthy dose of political acumen. They lived in the Unix, Windows, and Big Iron database worlds. Usually they were more business than technology oriented.