Yahocrosoft, Spam Go On, But Open Source Is Looking Up
It's that time again, ladies and gents, the dreaded Monday. And while we're sure very few of us are ready for the fun and frolicsome weekend to be over, we like to think Monday does have one benefit: fresh — if not somewhat snarky — news right here on LinuxJournal.com. Word has it that 70% of Americans are turning to the web for their news, and we're very glad to have them and everyone else who finds their way here. Should you happen to be one of the 30% rushing to keep from being left behind, welcome to our fold, have some of our delicious Penguin Kool-Aid, and buckle up 'cause here we go.
Spammers suck. We know, that's awfully harsh language with which to assault your delicate constitutions, but there really aren't many better phrases to sum up those pushers of pants-enlarging pharmaceuticals. One particular pernicious peddler got his due on Friday, though, when the Virginia Supreme Court upheld his conviction for spamming and the nine-year prison sentence attached to it, ruling that anti-spam laws don't violate the First Amendment. Sadly, though he was once considered one of the top ten spammers, his trip up the river is unlikely to curb the flow to our inboxes. A new report from security firm Marshal points to a mere six bot-nets as producing 98% of the world's spam, with the Srizbi trojan pulling in an astounding 39% all by itself. Thank heavens for the junk folder.
There's no reason to let the tidal wave of spam get you down, though, especially if you're an Open Source developer. The latest from IT consulting firm Bluewolf has it that Open Source hackers are in such high demand that they command a 40% premium over those without experience with popular FOSS offerings. Given all the other benefits of Open Source — we particularly like the part where it isn't overseen by agents of Satan — we'd say FOSS developers are in a pretty good position. If they're Python programmers, they're in an even better position, as they seem to be in high demand, as evidenced by Sun's addition of Frank Wierzbicki and Ted Leung to the payroll.
It's also looking pretty good for Drupal programmers, as Drupal creator Dries Buytaert has just co-founded Acquia, a for-profit venture aimed at providing commercial support and enterprise functionality for Drupal, à la Cannonical or MySQL. We here at Linux Journal are big Drupal fans, and we're eager to see how this for-profit foray fits out.
Finally, there's our favorite target — er, newsmaker — Microsoft. It's not such a happy time for Big Evil, with the specter of a proxy fight looming over their Yahoo bid, and the deadline to launch it quickly approaching. Meanwhile, they've trotted out one of their previous assimilees, Tellme's Mike McCue, to reassure Yahoo that it's not that bad on the Dark Side — we hear they have cookies over there. Something tells us, though, that the Empire's tolerance of a couple hundred geeks with desks made out of doors might be a bit different than their plans for one of their biggest competitors in the online arena.
They're in a particularly cranky mood this week after being forced to cut the price of their flagship operating system — the deleterious Vista, which is looking a lot more like the Vasa — by as much as half in a desperate move to produce sales, a ploy some analysts are calling doomed from the beginning. Add to that the stress of last week's gerrymandered ISO Ballot Resolution Meeting — which saw some incredibly non-standard conduct, including rules plucked from thin air — as well as the weight of insisting you've won a losing battle, and you've got a pretty perturbed Microsoft on your hands, without even getting into the emails circulating all over the internet airing all of Big Evil's inside intrigue.
All we can say is "That's the way the cookie crumbles."