By: J.D. Hildebrand
Abstract: Open source the right medicine for doctors? Microsoft hack attack update. Use of open source software around the world.
By J.D. Hildebrand
Greetings! Today is the 304th day of 2000; 62 days remain in the year. Today
is Labor Day (I suppose I should spell it "Labour" Day) in New
Zealand, where many programmers are enjoying a day off this spring.
On October 30, 1938, Orson
the bejezus out of people when his play,
"The War of the Worlds," aired on CBS radio. The play,
which included fake news reports of Martian spacecraft landing in Grovers Mill,
New Jersey, convinced thousands of listeners that the earth was actually under
attack by Martians.
Pound was born October 30, 1885. Pound was a great
influence on 20th Century poetry, and he said this: "Great literature
is simply language charged with meaning to the utmost possible degree." His
daughter described him as "visibly fighting a wasp nest in his brain."
Celebrate his birthday with colorful language of your own!
And while you're celebrating, remember singer Grace
Slick, who turns 61 today. Crank up "White
Rabbit" in her honor as you write some killer Delphi code.
DOCTORS GET IN ON THE ACT. It's no novelty to read articles in which
members of the IT industry take sides over whether or not open source
development makes sense. Nor does it make headlines when market research firms
say this or that about the future of open source versus proprietary software.
But now the British Medical Journal is getting into the act. And one
has to wonder: Isn't enough enough?
In an editorial entitled "Medical software's free future," the
journal's editors argue that open source software is just the medicine needed by
the UK's National Health Service. "Free software makes particular sense in
medicine," asserts associate editor Douglas Carnall. "Once a customer
is 'locked into' proprietary software, its makers can demand premium prices,
safe in the knowledge that the client would find it even more expensive to
change. Much better instead to invest time on a system licensed under the [GNU]
General Public License that will always be free."
Open source guru Eric S. Raymond anticipated this argument in "The
Cathedral and the Bazaar," of course.
ZDNet UK brought the journal's article to our attention. Read reporter Will
Knight's report here.
MICROSOFT HACK ATTACK UPDATE. I can't work up much interest in this
story, but evidently I'm the only one. Everybody has an angle -- Redmond-bashers
like to watch Microsoft executives squirm, open sourcers like to watch Microsoft
executives squirm...hey, a trend seems to be developing.
Here's the latest:
If you're interested in today's real Microsoft news, however, you'll check
Wall Street Journal article published by ZDNet. "Order up MS apps at
Internet cafe" covers Microsoft's ongoing efforts to establish a
pay-per-use model for software. Microsoft will reportedly rent software to
consumers on a per-use basis starting next month. The software-as-service setup
will be offered through easyEverything, a chain of Internet cafes.
I'm not afraid of viruses but pay-per-use software strikes me as a bad idea.
It is also catching on everywhere with something approaching inevitability. Here
are some links to put you in the loop:
OPEN SOURCE WORLDWIDE. The pundits are taking a break on predicting
the future of the U.S. market; now they've turned their eyes overseas.
FreeOS.com's Madanmohan Rao reports that net activist and some-time Grateful
Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow is forecasting a rosy future for open source
software in India. In this
article, Rao writes, "Barlow said that countries which did not have
deep ties to the industrial economy would be more unfettered to harness the
Information Age. Indians have a particular strength in being able to deal with
uncertainty, ambiguity, and chaos...."
Meanwhile, the Register's Tony Smith writes that Linux's growth rate has
slowed in Japan, dropping from 666.3% to 144.4% annual growth. Smith cites IDC
Japan statistics in his article.
Meanwhile, Asia BizTech used the same statistics to trumpet Linux's success
seen winning nearly 8% of Japan's server OS market in 2000." I guess
it's all how you look at it.
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