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Saved by Harish Pillay
on June 28, 2006 at 8:02:12 am

Please comment/contribute to the following as necessary. Your participation is greatly appreciated.


Q1) Which is more secure: OSS or Proprietary software?


    • Straight answer: it is all relative. An open source software can be compromised if the user of the tool is careless and not mindful of security requirements. On the other hand, a proprietary software can be made to be locked down and serve it's users well. The key thing here is keeping it locked down for that ability is only available from the original author.


Advantages of OSS

i) There are numerous Linux distributions. Therefore, if a piece of malicious code attacked a particular distribution, the other distributions are unlikely to be affected by it. It is however important to keep in mind that a distribution is an amalgamation of thousands of software packages and when a distribution is deemed vulnerable, one has to drill down to the specific package.

ii) Source code of OSS are always available on the net. When a vulnerability is found, it can. in general, be fixed in a short time as more people are potentially available to solve it. On the other hand, in a proprietry software environment, only a few selected employees wthin the organization are available to troubleshoot and solve the problem.



Disadvantages of Proprietary Software

i) The business model of the proprietary software company is, in general, driven on the so-called "license" sales. This means that each time a customer acquires a piece of software, that customer pays a certain amount of money for perpetual use of the product. The vendor then needs to make another sale to keep the revenue stream up. If you contrast this to giving away the software at no cost and in turn offering technical support on a subscription basis helps keep the vendor in business as there will always be a steady stream of revenue which can be ploughed back to improve the software.

ii) It is an unfortunate fact today that most proprietary software tend to be targets for malware and virus writers. Most of these are done because of an intense dislike for the vendor of the product or because it is a "fun thing" to do. These crackers are thus criminally liable.


Q2) Do you use google as your main and sole search engine?



Alternate view of google and all the goody they provided.


The Google story Vise, David A. TK5105.885.G66V829 ISBN: 055380457X

The search Battelle, John, TK5105.885.B335 ISBN: 1857883616

Google power Sherman, Chris. TK5105.885.G66S553 ISBN: 1857883616



Publications related to Google technology


Q3) Do you find online dictionary too slow?



wordweb is a freeware offline dictionary.


Google toolbar provides a free translator, but the tooltip fonts are not adjustable, making it hard to read Chinese on monitors like 19" @ 1280x1024



jazzy : The Java Open Source Spell Checker


Q4) Want to contribute to society?



Free ebook : ICT4D - Connecting people for a better world

(lessons, innovations and perspectives of information and communication technologies in development)

Are information and communication technologies (ICT) such as computers, mobile phones, radio, TV, video and the Internet effective instruments to empower people, reduce poverty and improve lives? Or are ICT just deepening already existing inequalities and divisions in the world?


Q5) Draw 3D?



The Persistence of Vision Raytracer is a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The source code is available for those wanting to do their own ports.


Q6) Want to view video without installing codec? or view corrupted video?



VLC (initially VideoLAN Client) is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It can also be used as a server to stream in unicast or multicast in IPv4 or IPv6 on a high-bandwidth network.



GSpot is a free utility which identifies the codec required to play an AVI file and supplies other information as well.

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