Tuesday Mar 25, 2008

Another Benefit of Open Source

I recently wrote about the benefits of open-source but as I was reading Jonathan's blog on OpenSolaris, Security, and the NSA I was reminded of another huge benefit of open-source.

Specifically, the transparency of open-source helps ensure that the code is secure, or if not, that issues can be found and fixed right away without the vendor sitting on them until it is convenient to release or there is enough uproar to fix the issue sooner. As Bill Vaas said in Jonathan's blog:

"... one of the great benefits of being an open source company is that Sun can innovate out in the open, within a very large community. For security technologies in particular, transparency of development is absolutely vital, even for the NSA - you can't sneak trojan horses into open source platforms. So open source allows high security customers to trust vendors \*and\* verify."

Tuesday Apr 03, 2007

Vista isn't secure?

I enjoy reading Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols blogs and articles, not (just) because he is a bit anti-Windows, but because he brings a different perspective that I think is healthy.

His recent blog on Dell and Linux on the desktop was interesting, not just because it highlights yet another security hole in Windows, and in this case the "improved security" Vista, but because he thinks this will be the impetus, along with Dell's (soon to be offered) Linux machines, to get Linux on the desktop.

Having just gotten a new MacBook Pro, I'm now one of those using another "closed infrastructure" but I like what I'm seeing thus far. I agree not being bound to Apple would be a good thing, but I'd pick Apple over Microsoft right now.

And I'd gladly use a Linux, or (gasp) even Solaris desktop over a Windows one. I just happen to have the opportunity to have a Mac so I'm giving it a try. I have actually installed Solaris on a spare drive for the old Dell and feel it is workable but there are some apps that just aren't available yet that I use such that it can't really be my primary machine. I did just get the Solaris Express Developer Edition DVD so when I find some time I'll give it a spin.

So, keep your eye out for the next Vista security hole, and in the mean time consider giving an alternative a try, perhaps even Solaris!
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