Is the iPhone killing the Playstation?

What? The Playstation and iPhone? You bet. First, some background and reference material for that background. Now using the same information linked above, I can logically say that the iPhone may be killing the Playstation. After all, this comparison can be drawn…both have browsers right? Both are on platforms that aren’t PC’s. I draw this conclusion of course to show the fallacy represented in the article above.

I love market share studies. They’re ultimately inaccurate. Yet many websites quote them and use them in drawing conclusions to appeal to readers. Good idea to get your click through rate to soar and score some cash on the old advertisements…

Most market share studies are most likely based on two things:

  1. Computers that are sold and what operating system is pre-installed on the computer
  2. Browser statistics

I’m going to assume that NetApplications, who published the chart, were using browser statistics…because it makes more sense than the pre-installed sales figures…which I would rate Linux much lower on since most OEMs do not feature pre-installed Linux. Browser statistics are inherently biased toward someone using a browser that communicates operating system data to the webhost. I have Konqueror at home set to display no operating system data (I can provide a reason for those that wonder why in comments…just ask). I could also set Konqueror to display FALSE data telling any host that I’m running Mac or Windows. So what’s the margin of error with possibilities existing like this? HUGE of course. Should we trust a “study” like this? Heck no. Would you trust a financial graph that was this accurate? You’re a brave soul if so.

Look at the perspective. The numbers are slanted. If you examine the growth of Linux and the growth of Mac quoted by Apple Matters:

“However, as is also being noted, it is the trend of these figures that bears consideration. In the last two years, OS X has seen continual growth, from 4.21% in Jan 2006 (the first month of figures), to 5.67% in December 2006, to 7.31% in December 2007.

In the same time, Linux’s percentage has risen from only 0.29% to 0.63%.”

So, Mac has just about doubled…almost. Notice that Linux HAS doubled. Interesting eh? So if this study is correct, Linux has seen more growth in the same time than Mac has by more than doubling. Most likely, this results in less users overall…but who cares?

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Are You Secure?

When I was little, I was afraid of heights (to a degree, I still am). Therefore, you hardly ever caught me climbing trees or swinging high…anytime anyone wanted to elevate past my head level in any shape and form I was grounded..literally. The feeling of security given when my feet touched the ground was comforting. I knew from experience that the ground would be there…it wasn’t going to swallow me up whole (didn’t know much about earthquakes at this time). There were no pitfalls that I was aware of.

Fast forward to today.

I still get a sense of security by the ground being under my feet…this time with my operating system. I know that Linux doesn’t have any pitfalls, no security breached backdoors…because I can SEE the code. It’s like I am Indiana Jones being given a map of every single boobie trap before he enters the temple to get the artifact.

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Linux, the BBC and Your Rights

Imagine a world where you were told how to think, feel, and act. You were told what to buy…told what not to buy. Having trouble imagining these things? Maybe I can help. Check out a short story I wrote on the subject of Digital Rights Management (DRM).

We’re not as far off as you may imagine.

Websites we visit tell us what browsers we must use to visit. Software tells us what operating system we must use to install it. CD’s tell us that we cannot use music that we’ve bought and own. Televisions will soon tell us that we must have cable as over the air broadcasting of free television ceases in 2012. Your Miranda rights no longer exist according to the Patriot Act; they only have to label you a terrorist and you can be held without charge indefinitely.

It’s a wide scope of things to swallow that ranges from technology to social, political and economic portions of our world. How does one combat these issues? How do we make a difference? While I cannot speak for things of which I don’t know (mainly, political and socio-economic things) I can speak of some technology issues that we can adress.

A recent issue that has cropped up is with the BBC. The BBC is a publically funded broadcast corporation in the United Kingdom. That means the general public in the UK may elect to pay a fee resulting that they have access equally across the board to view content. Content here will mean any content whether online or broadcasted. The BBC takes money equally from all people regardless of race, creed, color, AND regardless of what operating system they run. As such, all people should have an equal opportunity to view said content.

Recently, they announced they would be creating an online video player that supports all operating systems, only to backpedal and state that Linux would not be supported. Now they’re also including DRM in much of their web based content. No problem? Actually, yes, there is a huge problem.

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Laying to Rest the Mandriva/PCLOS Debate

The one thing about FOSS that I love is that you can take whatever you need from various sources and build what you opine is a better wheel. Take Ubuntu for instance…they took Debian and made it into something that many users are happy with.

Is this wrong? Not at all. Each day, many non-commercial distro makes wake up and check various distributions for updated security fixes. They pull source rpms, updated tar.gz’s, and debs into their distro, make minor adjustments, and drop it into their repository. Distros share with one another…they take and hopefully give back. If not monetarily, at least by the number of users that they have that may report bugs or provide fixes.

So what’s the beef that some Distrowatch Weekly commenter’s seem to have with PCLinuxOS? During the past 3 weeks of comments on the DW, some have been hounding PCLinuxOS with accusations saying that the developers hide things from their community and that PCLinuxOS eradicates changelogs and/or lights small dogs on fire while chopping kittens to bits in blenders, etc.

Myth #1: PCLinuxOS Hides the Fact it is Mandriva based (False) has always had an “About” link on every single webpage it has ever had. Let’s look at what information has been conveyed there:

“PCLinuxOS was originally based on another distribution under the name of Mandriva
and shares many features of Mandriva such as the Control Center and the
Draklive Installer
. Texstar and team would like to thank the
developers, contributors and others associated with Mandriva who may
have indirectly contributed to the PCLinuxOS distribution.”

Let’s look at some other distro front pages to see how they compare. Sabayon Linux has their footer at the bottom with Gentoo in it…but no mention on the front page as to what they’re based on. No real ‘about’ link there either. Move on to Ubuntu. No mention of Debian on the front page. You have to visit the Community >> The Ubuntu Story link in order to find that it is based on Debian. Once again, no ‘about’ link on the front page.

Let’s take a look at the PCLinuxOS Page on Distrowatch shall we? This has been utterly unchanged in 4 years:

“PCLinuxOS is an English only live CD initially based on Mandrake Linux
that runs entirely from a bootable CD. Data on the CD is uncompressed
on the fly, allowing up to 2GB of programs on one CD including a
complete X server, KDE desktop, and many more
applications all ready to use. In addition to the live CD, you can also
install PCLinuxOS to your hard drive with an easy-to-use
livecd-installer. Additional applications can be added or removed from
your hard drive using a friendly apt-get front end via Synaptic.”

If that paragraph is an attempt to hide things, I’m Miles Davis.

Considering these two points, I’d say PCLinuxOS hasn’t been ‘hiding’ the fact that it is Mandriva based. I’d say they’re doing quite well with where they have this information. I welcome any comments with information otherwise. If you have specific examples, please make sure they’re from a developer and not a general user…because if general users are where we’re getting our information from, every distro is in trouble.

Coming Full Circle on PCLinuxOS Magazine

I see articles like OSWeekly’s “The Future of Publishing with Linux Magazines” and I chuckle a bit.

Mainly because PCLinuxOS Magazine will have its 12 monthly issue published next month. That’s right, we’ve been here a year. Now, I can’t take credit for this fantastic Linux resource because I only sponsor it and help make executive decisions regarding hosting and other things like that…it’s in the hands of great editors and contributors and is continually growing. The staff is well over 10 people strong and gaining.

You’d think that OSWeekly would take this magazine into consideration when writing this article…but they instead opt mentioning and considering the fate of Full Circle Magazine in the Ubuntu community. Now don’t get me wrong, Full Circle is a great magazine and we’re glad they’re also producing a quality magazine for their community…It just perturbs me a bit that the hard working editors, contributors, and proofreaders and layout/website designers that put together PCLinuxOS Magazine don’t get any mention or credit when it comes to online magazines.

So, I’d like to take some time congratulating PCLinuxOS Magazine…with a circulation of over 15 thousand for the PDF alone and nearing 10 thousand unique hits on the HTML Magazine that they simultaneously publish each month for low bandwidth users. Congratulations PCLinuxOS Magazine! For making a magazine not only interesting to PCLinuxOS users but to Linux users as a whole!

On Open Source Dying…

Let me make it clear for you Michael Hickins of Eweek. Your Article “Is Open Source Dying?” doesn’t even make it into the outer ring of the target for facts. If you were trying to shoot an arrow into the air with this article, you’d miss.

I can help you though…I can set you straight. Not that I’m an ALL WISE & KNOWING person, just that I have the ability to do research, ingest said research, digest the research and learn from the research. You stop at ‘do research’. Let us examine where your train derailed (not the physical place…because this obviously is at the beginning…but rather, where in your subject you go wrong).

Open Document does not equal Open Source

Any conclusions you try to draw between adoption or non-adoption of ODF in any state or local government amounts to NOTHING. Whether ODF succeeds in being adopted or not does not mean Open Source will succeed or not. They are not inversely proportional and they are not directly proportional. If ODF get’s thrown out for MS Formats, Open Source will still be there and still be developed. This is like saying that

Disagreeing with Yourself doesn’t Validate your Message

Disagreeing with the title of your article saying “Is Open Source dying? Of course not” does not bring instantaneous credibility or make the reader sigh a collective sight of relief. Instead, it makes you look ridiculous for even writing the article in the first place. Afterall, we know you’re comparing elephants to chickens with the ODF = Open Source thing…and now you’re trying to make up for it. Try is the key word there. You fail because of your closing paragraph (see below)

Sabre Rattling and Finger Shaking Makes you Look Even More Silly

[quote]But the open-source community needs to get over its overweening sense of superiority and messianic inevitability; the alternative is just good enough that if it doesn’t get its act together, open source may find itself the subject of retrospectives like “Remember Unix?[/quote]

Um..ok? The open source community doesn’t need to get over any overweening sense of superiority or that other made up phrase you used. Why? Because the GPL makes it that way. It cannot be snuffed out, bought up, or killed…it will never die…it will never fade away…because the moment someone decides to try, it will replicate itself due to the openness and sharing within that same community you chastise (or did you mean ODF Community? I forget, since they’re so synonymous right?). So, I guess that makes people angry…it’s a smudge that won’t go away. A blemish right? A light that won’t go out. Well, keep trying. Keep giving resistance…please :) Open Source will win without a fight 😀

“To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence;
supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without
fighting.” Sun-Tzu