At CNET Download.com, we're aware that the majority of Download.com users only visit the site when they want to download the latest version of a specific software title or a specific type of software, e.g. something to convert Flash videos for your iPod or PSP. However, aside from the trusted downloadable software, games, and music that billions of users have come to know and love, Download.com also produces a large amount of original content, whether it's from the Download.com editors themselves, CNET Reviews or News.com editors, or the expanded CNET Blog Network.… Read more
InfoWorld has an odd article/"expose" that addresses a supposedly sneaky new way of making money in open source: selling subscriptions.No matter what you call them, open source companies have been steadily integrating parts of the hated commercial software subscription model into their business. First it was support, and now it is software access.
Now, for anyone actually involved in open source, this will sound curious, since this is precisely how most open-source businesses have always made money. Witness Red Hat, for example. InfoWorld just described its model.
So, this "new" model isn't so new. It's also incorrect to suggest, as Savio Rodrigues of IBM has, that such models make open source proprietary in the traditional sense of the word. Proprietary software means that you can't look at or use software unless you get a license to that software. Last time I checked CentOS was shipping something that looks an awful lot like Red Hat Enterprise Linux, minus trademarks. Same with Oracle.
I have a confession: I've been running my Windows XP system sans anti-virus software for many months. Crazy? Perhaps, but I consider spyware a much bigger threat these days, and I'm well-protected against it. I also detest the wallet-draining performance anchor that is anti-virus software.
How's that for a rousing recommendation of Norton AntiVirus 2008! Today only, you can get it from Fry's for $0 after a $50 mail-in rebate. This is the 3-user edition, meaning you can install it on up to three PCs, and it also includes anti-spyware protection and rootkit detection. Plus, Symantec … Read more
The Perl Foundation has released Perl 5.10, the first new version in five years of a programming language with an emphasis on rough-and-ready practicality over syntactical formality.
The new version has some features designed to make programming a notch easier, according to the announcement last week. Among those features is a "say" command that eases some text-output chores, a "switch" operator to send a program in various directions depending on different situations, and improvements to the all-important "regular expression" methods for handling text. The Perl interpreter, which runs Perl programs, also is faster … Read more
Michael Tiemann, a Red Hat executive with close to two decades of open-source business experience under his belt, has come to the defense of the company's new chief executive.
Red Hat said last week that Jim Whitehurst, 40, will take over as Red Hat CEO and president on January 1, replacing Matthew Szulik, who's stepping down, though remaining chairman, because of family medical issues. Whitehurst worked at Delta Airlines from 2002 to 2007, rising to the position of chief operating officer.
A complicated third-party arrangement means that the open-source Samba project will be able to make use of proprietary documents describing Microsoft file-sharing software.
Samba, governed by the General Public License (GPL), lets Unix or Linux servers behave like Windows machines used to share files over a network and control networked printers. But the effort has been difficult: Microsoft doesn't go out of its way to share the details of the protocols; patent infringement concerns also have appeared more than once.
On Thursday, though, the Samba team announced a deal that gets around the previous barriers. The increasingly influential Software Freedom Law Center, … Read more
Pity poor me. Everyone else is out drinking spiked eggnog, full of holiday cheer, and here I am, stuck as the PC Grinch, casting snarks and aspersions upon software that intelligent, dedicated people have spent long, hard hours developing. However, the Download.com users occasionally demand blood, and if I'm the one who must bear the sacrificial knife, so be it.
Before I get to the list, I'll start with a disclaimer: These 10 programs are not the worst software programs in the world. These are simply the 10 programs that I had a major beef with in … Read more
I spent some time on the phone Wednesday with Mike Herrick of the Collaborative Software Initiative. I knew Mike back when he was at Liberty Mutual, building out its open-source team. When Mike left to join CSI, I wondered what would cause someone with a great job in a Fortune 100 enterprise to join a start-up.
Today, things became a bit clearer.
Remember Avalanche? It was an open-source co-op formed by several major enterprises (Best Buy, Wells Fargo, etc.) to share code in areas of common need (call centers, for example) but little to no competitive overlap. The idea was to share code and thereby improve innovation while lowering costs.
CSI is similar in its aims, but I think it's a better approach to the problem because it should do a better job of coordinating collaboration. CSI's mission is to:build communities of like-minded IT leaders to reduce software development costs, accelerate compliance and consolidate project timelines.
CSI does this by helping to bring different companies to collaborate on IT projects that each individually needs, but that can be done more cost effectively as a collective. So, for example, perhaps CSI found that Credit Suisse needed to develop a trading platform. As it turns out, this is a common need for Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and other financial services companies. So, CSI would then approach these other companies to gauge interest and then to coordinate the development.… Read more
It's that time of year in the U.S. when frenzied Christmas shoppers flood the malls, winter storms wreak havoc throughout the country, and singles fret about finding the perfect date for New Year's Eve.
Like you, the staffers at CNET Download.com aren't immune to our own year-end holiday distractions, but we hope to lighten your seasonal load with helpful gift ideas, winter desktop treats, and do-it-yourself tech projects perfect for family gatherings.
First off, there's only one week left until Christmas, but whatever you do, don't panic! If you've got someone on … Read more
Although taxes aren't due until April, many people like to get an early start in step with the new year. Services from the two most popular digital tax-prep brands are available to try or buy, although state forms won't trickle in until mid-January.
As e-filing and online tax preparation become more popular, boxed applications and their Web-based counterparts offer most of the same tools and interface elements. As a rule of thumb, online products are ideal for one filer, while installed software can handle a bigger household. Although there are no revolutionary changes to TurboTax and TaxCut from … Read more