Stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

World without Linux

DATELINE: WindowsWorld 2008: Microsoft CEO and President, Steve Ballmer was happy as a clam today at his WindowsWorld keynote in San Francisco's Gates Center. "Nothing can make me happier to tell you that, Larry Page CEO of Google," a niche AOL search engine, "has agreed to run their search engine on Windows Server 2004."

The five best things in Linux 2.6.27

Does anyone really know what will be better in Windows 7? I don't and I follow Windows almost as closely as I do Linux. With Linux, on the other hand, we know exactly what we're getting well in advance of its arrival. In this latest Linux kernel, I see several outstanding new features that have been coming down the road for some time.

High-performance nonsense

Quiz time. Get out your No. 2 computers and answer the following question: For the fastest and most reliable high-end computing for your enterprise, will your operating system be 1) Linux, 2) Solaris, 3) OpenVMS or 4) Windows?

Five programs you can afford in a financial meltdown

It's the afternoon of September 30th and for reasons beyond my understanding the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) is up more than 3.5 percent after yesterday's financial fiasco. Hello, Wall Street, what part of "No one has a new bailout deal; the House hated the old deal, and it's the week of Rosh Hashanah so it won't be a full week at Congress anyway" do you not understand? Even if you believe the bailout will magically work wonders for the economy -- I don't -- it's not going to happen this week.

The five best desktop Linuxes you haven't tried

One of the pleasures of Linux is that you can try out different distributions to see which one works best for you. You like Ubuntu, but you want to fine tune the desktop engine? OK, try Kubuntu with its KDE desktop then. Some worthwhile distributions, however, don't get as much attention as they deserve. So, here's my list of five great distributions that you might want to try.

Could Microsoft actually be getting an open-source clue?

I couldn't make it to OSCON last week, but I have read the announcements that Sam Ramji, the director of Microsoft's Open Source Software Lab, made at this open-source software show. They were the friendliest things I've ever seen come out of Microsoft towards open source.

Open source still the best way to develop software

A recent report claims that one of the fundamental benefits of open-source development, the co-called Law of Many Eyes is wrong. The idea behind the law is that since anyone can read the source code and find problems with it, they can then either fix them or report them back to the community. The end result is that you get better software.

How CAPTCHA got trashed

CAPTCHA used to be an easy and useful way for Web administrators to authenticate users. Now it's an easy and useful way for malware authors and spammers to do their dirty work.

Dear Microsoft, thanks for the help, Linux

You gotta love it. Microsoft has decided that it will ho ahead and kill off easy access to XP on June 30th. On behalf of desktop Linux users everywhere, and our first cousins, the Mac fans, thanks. You've given us the best shot we'll ever have of taking the desktop.

Firefox 3 fixes what's broke

The Mozilla Foundation is celebrating the arrival of Firefox 3 with a worldwide party -- and an attempt to set a new world record for the most downloads ever of a single software program. OK, so that's silly and extremely geekish, but what the heck? Why not kick up a fuss?

Five reasons why it's not business as usual for Microsoft

Bill Gates will be leaving Microsoft for good at the end of the month and Microsoft would have you believe that it will be business as usual for Microsoft. I understand they also have a great bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn that they'd like to sell you. Cheap!

Five reasons to fire Ballmer

On July 1st, Bill Gates will retire. He'll still spend about 20 per cent of his time on Microsoft projects. If Microsoft is to retain 20 per cent of its economic clout in five years time, the company's board should start working on firing CEO Steve Ballmer now.

Firefox 3 First Look

I've loved Firefox since version 0.93. It was so much better than Internet Explorer and the other alternatives that I couldn't imagine using anything else. But, then Firefox's memory leaks went from annoying me to ticking me off; I started having real stability problems with it on both Windows and Linux; and security holes started appearing far more often. I was about to switch to Safari on Windows and MacOS and Konqueror on Linux, when Mozilla got serious about not just fixing, but rebuilding Firefox. Now, Firefox 3 release candidate 1 was released early. Based on my quick look at it, I may end up sticking with Firefox after all.

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