Bonum Certa Men Certa

New Lengthy Rebuttals to ZDNet's Anti-Free Software Rhetorics


Summary: Rather than ignoring, some news sites decided to publish articles refuting the latest FUD from ZDNet

IT IS not exactly news that ZDNet employs many writers who are favourable to sponsors and advertisers, by selection. It shows [1, 2] and it impedes realistic thinking; it's almost indoctrinating. To complain about it blindly would not be productive and some other sites "feed the trolls" -- so to speak -- by posting lengthy technical refutations of the recent FUD from ZDNet.

The first one is an incident that we wrote about last week -- one where crime and Free software were tied together as means of daemonisation (it was published in, ZDNet, and CNET for maximal impact). Maximum PC has posted a rebuttal to this.

If you think about the actual definition of open-source for a moment, you'll wind up being as confused as I am about this latest bit of fad reporting to pass around the Web. According to an article from CNET, virus-makers are apparently transforming their wares into open-source projects and using the power of the group to achieve advancements in virus deployment, nasty features, and scanner obfuscation.

That's all well and good (for the virus-makers), but that's as open-source a situation as an apple is an orange. What's being described is an example of collaboration and communication based around a common or to-be developed piece of code. That sounds like open-source--an apple and an orange are both pieces of fruit, after all. But that's not really open-source because we're ignoring the critical elements that help define what open-source software truly is. Virus-makers aren't going open-source in the slightest. They're spinning derivative works from older viruses and developing free code while holding hands and singing the Pirates of the Caribbean song, but that's it. And it's hardly a new fad.

Here is a response to another piece of FUD which we highlighted the other day because it turned out that a major conflict of interest had been concealed by ZDNet.

Nominum executive Jon Shalowitz's attempt to explain what's "wrong" with BIND, however, is absolutely priceless.

I'll skip over Shalowitz's muddled claim that "open source" equals "freeware" -- a whopper that he follows with a disingenuous attempt to associate "freeware" with "malware."

Enough said.

"Gates is trying to make sure that he has a proprietary position in controlling the tools that allow you and me to access information. And that's profitable by definition. How would you like to own the printing press?"

--PaineWebber Media Analyst Christopher Dixon

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