Someone must be nervous about Free software…
Coverity has done some wonderful work recently. It showed that Free software is truly as secure as people were led to believe by free software advocates. Here:
Coverity, which creates automated source-code analysis tools, announced late Monday its first list of open-source projects that have been certified as free of security defects.
It’s great, isn’t it? But watch this:
11 open source programs certified as secure. That is Robert Vamosi’s headline over at News.Com. As if all the others are insecure? As if closed source programs are, by definition, secure?
That’s far from the most egregious headline. Open Source Code Contains Security Holes. That’s from “Information” Week. I put the term “Information” in quotes because that headline is deliberately misinformative.
As we discovered and pointed out recently, News.Com is actually owned by Microsoft's co-founder (see links therein), so such bias is hardly surprising. As for Information Week, that’s a bit trickier.
The fragment above reveals part of a pattern. This is very far from the first time that Information Week misleads, carelessly lies, and shamelessly spreads Linux FUD that resembles ‘handbook arguments’ that are used by Microsoft to discredit the GPL and Linux. Appended at the bottom are just a few examples.
“Recently, it has been easy to spot a pattern that involved Information Week attacking the GPL in all sorts of sophisticated ways.”Information Week also touts anti-Linux advertisements (“Get the Facts”) in many of its Linux-related pages, regardless of whether the stories glorify or bash Free software. About a year ago, Information Week openly stated that it was extremely pleased with the amount of traffic Linux stories generated for it.
Recently, it has been easy to spot a pattern that involved Information Week attacking the GPL in all sorts of sophisticated ways. There are several examples of this, but here is just one which relates to the recent McAfee story, which may have involved coordination with known anti-Linux individuals such as Jeff Gould.
It happens to be Information Week which put together this alarming headline and an article. Then came the Slashdot shove (their own journalists submit articles to Slashdot, USENET newsgroups, and social networking sites). Using some language in McAfee’s report, the article tried to echo Ballmer’s “GPL is a cancer” message and put that right inside the mouth of McAfee, which is now doing ‘damage control’ and responding:
[McAfee:] “It is standard practice for public companies to include an extensive list of potential risk factors in their 10-K filings. We included in that list of factors is reference to potential licensing risks associated with open source software. This risk factor has been included in previous McAfee filings and is similar to current filings from other companies in the technology space including Symantec, Oracle and many others,” said Evers in an e-mail to ZDNet.
More information on the McAfee story is quite likely on its way.
More Example of Information Week FUD:
I thought about all this today because of this article, “Sparks Fly As Linux Kernel Guy Quits In a Huff,” by Alexander Wolfe on Information Week, part of his theme song on “Reasons Why Linux Won’t Succeed on the Desktop.” You wish.
Has Information Week declared a jihad against Linux or something?
Linus’s position is clear. He’s repeatedly said that he’d use GPLv3 in certain situations if there was a practical advantage, but he prefers v2 over v3. That’s fine. I prefer v3, but v2 is still a great licence.
InformationWeek have posted a follow-up article. In trying to respond to recent criticism about misrepresenting facts regarding Linus Torvalds and GPLv3, InformationWeek has managed to show exactly how incorrect their first article was.
What is going on at InformationWeek? Let me guess. Nah. You are sophisticated enough to figure it out. But I think it’s clear there is afoot an attempt to create the impression of some schism in the FOSS world.
Paul Jones said the funding from those companies didn’t influence his decision to provide free hosting to Groklaw on ibiblio’s servers. “We have a collection criteria, and Groklaw meets that criteria,” he said.
Needless to say, it’s a lie, and it was ‘planted’ right inside Information Week (it’s also known as a “placement”). PJ complained openly about this. SCO later used this particular lie from the ‘press’ against her. It’s a shame that Microsoft and the Gates Foundation literally own so many media companies. They 'buy' bloggers, forum members, poll gamers, and blog comments as well. Not to mention analysts, professionals, academics, and even world leaders.█
“Working behind the scenes to orchestrate “independent” praise of our technology is a key evangelism function. “Independent” analysts’ reports should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). “Independent consultants should write articles, give conference presentations, moderate stacked panels on our behalf, and set themselves up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour.””