LinuxWorld.com: How Apache & Plan 9 will defeat Microsoft�s Passport

“As a group, the so-called ‘mainstream press’ often appears to
favor Microsoft and show an appalling lack of technical depth in
its enthusiastic repetition of the latest Microsoft press release.
There’s been a lot of speculation on why this is and whether it
even happens. So far, no definitive research provides answers one
way or the other.

“I think there are two explanations. First, the press is largely
the victim of a Microsoft marketing strategy that plays off of the
social rules people learn in high school: Money and social skills
define the in-crowd, and only nerds kvetch about the importance of
better technology. Second, editors are part of a feedback loop,
reflecting the views of their readers in the decisions they make on
content and wording. Their perception of their market as a shallow
Microsoft PC market therefore leads them to favor cheerleading over
analysis because doing so sells more advertising, more
subscriptions, and more advertised product.

“What happens when journalists find themselves reporting the
legal and personal risks associated with Microsoft’s Passport can
be easily avoided by adopting better technology from the
open-source world? The normal legal standard for judging the
adequacy of professional services–such as those involved in
setting up an e-commerce site–is consistency with the ‘best’ or
industry-wide practices. What does the mainstream press do when
that standard is largely set by the 66 percent of Web
administrators who use Apache and open source? I don’t know, but I
think we’re about to find out courtesy of Plan 9’s pending victory
over the X-files in the matter of single sign-ons and network


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