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Robin Bloor

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Could Linux become the dominant OS?

Comment Open source moves at a different speed to commercial software. This has become apparent over the last decade as Linux and its open source fellow travellers (Apache, Open Office, MySQL, Firefox ,et al) gradually established their position in the software world. It may have been frustrating for the open source activists, more …
Robin Bloor, 17 Aug 2007
Warning: biohazard

Is AV product testing corrupt?

I had a conversation a month or two ago with someone high up in one of the IT security companies. He was bemoaning the fact that his company's AV product had performed poorly in tests run by He was deeply suspicious of the results anyway because his company actually provides its AV engine to another company that had …
Robin Bloor, 9 Aug 2007
Warning: biohazard

The decline of antivirus and the rise of whitelisting

The recent acquisition of SecureWave by PatchLink was not so much an acquisition as a merger, with PatchLink being the senior partner. With 3400 customers it had about twice the customer base as SecureWave and it also had about twice the staff. The merger probably sent a shock wave or two through the declining AntiVirus …
Robin Bloor, 27 Jun 2007
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10 reasons why the Black Hats have us outgunned

Here they are: The Black Hats form a well integrated community that shares knowledge effectively. Should you, after months of research and effort, create an exploit that allows you to hack Windows or any other frequently used software product, you can auction the exploit on the internet in a well organised manner. Yes, the …
Robin Bloor, 13 Jun 2007

Large-scale DOS attack menace continues to grow

You may or may not have picked up the news that Estonia came under cyber-attack in early May. Cyber attacks, usually consisting of multiple denial of service attacks, are pretty bloodless really. You don't see buildings reduced to piles of rubble or dead bodies strewn across the street. There's nothing to take photos of. There' …
Robin Bloor, 11 Jun 2007
arrow pointing up

The slow death of AV technology

AV technology is gradually dying and being replaced by far more effective IT security technology based on whitelisting. You could view this as an inevitable development, given the horrible inadequacies of AV technology, or you might want to pin the credit on the AVID (Anti-Virus Is Dead) campaign which has repeatedly drawn …
Robin Bloor, 8 Jun 2007
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Second Life: the campaign for real life

Comment I received an email yesterday from the IBM analyst relations which read: We are evaluating various forms of communication that would be effective, but also enjoyable and a change of pace. Could you please take a few moments to tell me: are you presently a member of Second Life, the 3D virtual world? if so, do you have an …
Robin Bloor, 1 May 2007
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Make way for the 64 bit revolution

Cast your mind back 15 years, if you can. Believe it or not, that was when the IT industry suddenly started to get excited about 64 bit computing. IBM (in conjunction with Apple and Motorola) had already embarked on the design of the 64 bit Power PC chip and Digital announced the 64 bit Alpha chip (you remember Digital, …
Robin Bloor, 27 Mar 2007

Google set to challenge Microsoft's office monopoly

Comment Google is now head-to-head with Microsoft in the Office Apps market, as you may have guessed from the recent Google Apps announcement. What you get from Google is word processing, spreadsheet, calendar, chat, web page creation, and email. There are two price points: It's free. Just log on to Google and register. But prepare …
Robin Bloor, 27 Feb 2007

What's the future of email?

Analysis Microsoft's recent acquisition of FrontBridge Technologies, which was finally completed at the end of August 2005, will provide a much needed functionality boost to Microsoft Exchange. A minor surprise in this is that the functionality FrontBridge delivers was already on the Exchange roadmap. Microsoft has decided to buy rather …
Robin Bloor, 21 Sep 2005

The evolution of the data center

The data center has its origins in mainframe computing - an era that had its virtues as well as its limitations. Its limitations are well known. Computer power was rationed to IT users and they were regimented in its use. They had little choice in the way business applications evolved and any kind of change to applications took …
Robin Bloor, 20 Apr 2005

The intelligent data storage imperative

Analysis Storing data intelligently has suddenly become a major imperative for companies. How you handle replication and redundancy is becoming a critical factor. The reason that Information Lifecycle Management has become one of the focuses of the IT industry is that the amount of data we store is growing at an alarming pace. The world …
Robin Bloor, 8 Apr 2005
fingers pointing at man

Samba, Soccer and Open Source

Comment Since the election of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil has gradually become a beachhead for Open Source, and consequently a thorn in Microsoft's side. Soon after his election, President da Silva appointed Sergio Amadeu, an academic and Open Source enthusiast, to head Brazil's National Information Technology Institute …
Robin Bloor, 1 Apr 2005
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Captain McBride and the SCO Titanic

Comment What's the difference between Edward John Smith, the Captain of the Titanic and Darl McBride, CEO and President of SCO. Well, for one thing, Captain Smith didn't steer his doomed ship towards the iceberg, he hit it by accident. The prospects for SCO now appear to be not much better than they were for the Titanic as it …
Robin Bloor, 25 Feb 2005
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Open Source catches download stats fever

Comment You may remember that at the height of the dotcom boom, various dotcom start-ups were claiming large volumes of website visitors (eyeballs), and the figures they gave, which were probably accurate at least within reason, supported ridiculous stock prices – until it eventually became clear that, eyeballs or no eyeballs, these …
Robin Bloor, 21 Feb 2005
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South America warms to Open Source

Comment The trend to Open Source in South America seems to be stronger than it is anywhere else. Almost all governments there seem to be setting an Open Source agenda. Brazil, with 170 million or so citizens and by far the largest South American economy (the economy of Sao Paolo on its own is roughly as big as the economy of Mexico), …
Robin Bloor, 10 Feb 2005
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The government open source dynamic

The news just broke that the Venezuelan government is planning to migrate to Open Source, having issued a decree to central government organizations to draft plans for migration. The decree involves three phases of migration beginning with central government, then regional government and finally municipal government. Central …
Robin Bloor, 7 Jan 2005
Cat 5 cable

IBM, Moore's Law and the POWER 5 chip

IBM's recent pSeries benchmark ought to raise a good number of eyebrows. Unix server benchmarks had previously been a game of leapfrog between IBM and HP, with IBM looking increasingly strong in the last round (in 2003) when its p690 server with 32 processors demonstrated a slightly higher transaction rate than HP's 64 processor …
Robin Bloor, 26 Nov 2004
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Did electronic voting pass the test?

At about the time that Senator John Kerry had accepted defeat and phoned President Bush to congratulate him, stories were circulating on the Internet claiming that the electronic voting machines in Florida and Ohio and some other states might have been rigged for a Bush victory. The claim stems from the fact that exit polls …
Robin Bloor, 5 Nov 2004
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Whatdya mean, free software?

The situation surrounding open source is getting increasingly complex; partly because of the legal issues that SCO's apparently doomed case against IBM has raised and partly because open source products are seeing extensive use. There is no point in pretending that open source is not a major software trend that is changing the …
Robin Bloor, 2 Nov 2004
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Open Source and software rental

Software pricing has always presented a conundrum both for vendors and for the customer. In the pre-internet days software pricing on servers was, roughly, proportional to the cost of the hardware. In the days of mainframes and minicomputers this seemed rational, but as the servers morphed into anything from a lonely Intel box …
Robin Bloor, 13 Oct 2004
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Steve Jobs - Apple renaissance man

Analysis Apple clearly missed Steve Jobs desperately from the point that he left Apple in the 1980s to the point when he returned in 1997, fully taking the reins in 2000 when he dropped the "Interim" from his "Interim CEO" title. Apple floundered in his absence and continued to flounder for a while after his return. Fixing what was …
Robin Bloor, 10 Sep 2004
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The case for open source Java

If you look at the progress of open source products you can gradually see a complete software stack coming in to place. However, a quick analysis will reveal that there are currently many gaps in the stack (as there are in every software stack) - most of them are happily filled with good proprietary products. The pressure that …
Robin Bloor, 11 Aug 2004
SGI logo hardware close-up

The mainframe is back

So much for the "dinosaur" label. Sales of IBM's mainframe, now referred to as the zSeries, are growing at remarkable rate, not experienced since its heyday - indeed if current mainframe growth continues, then the mainframe is emerging like a phoenix from the flames. In its latest earnings report, IBM showed mainframe revenue …
Robin Bloor, 22 Jul 2004
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Patents and the threat to open source

Have you heard of the media company Acacia? Probably not but actually quite a few website owners have. Many of them have received FINAL NOTICES from Acacia Media Technologies Corporation ( The leading light of Acacia (Newport Beach, California) is Robert A. Berman, who claims that his company owns a …
Robin Bloor, 2 Jul 2004

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