"Two events occurred last week that share a strange paternity -
Eric S. Raymond's desire to quit as Open Source prophet and the
Microsoft Outlook Melissa virus."
"Although on the surface these two things seem to share little
in common, they are both expressions of a central ill that freely
available source code seeks to cure. Both are outgrowths of
dependence on a single entity, a single point of failure."
"Controversy and Raymond are close bedfellows. From his ardent
support of America's gun culture, to verbal stoushes with other
advocates in the community, Raymond is like a lightning rod to
publicity. Recently he fell out with long time supporter Bruce
Perens and has been criticised widely for supporting Apple's open
"Melissa is a macro Word contained in an e-mail attachment that
when executed, copies itself to the first 50 entries in the
recipient's Outlook address book. The FBI and other law enforcement
agencies around the world have been called in to investigate and
find the virus writer responsible."
"But rather than pillory the individual or group involved, we
should instead view this as a valuable lesson. Any big, lumbering
dinosaur of a monopoly is easy prey for small, fast predators."
"In the case of Outlook clients, ever since Windows 95, they
have been shoehorned onto the desktops of most new PCs around the
world. This makes it an attractive target for hackers."
"But what else in your network falls into this category?"
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