My views on software, programming, Linux, the Internet, government, taxation, working, and life.

Friday, July 07, 2006

MySpace Not Good for Linux Adoption

Because MySpace promotes proprietary formats on its website, it's not good for helping Linux adoption. My daughter said she can't watch videos on Ubuntu when she visits MySpace sites, or clicks on MySpace music. Yet, if you check, you find the netcraft stats show that MySpace is hosted on Linux servers. Go figure.

American Programmers Dealing with Indian Outsourcing

Lose your programmer job to India? Here's your recipe for a comeback:

  • Take a systems analyst, helpdesk, or server-room job. They're still out there and usually require a physical presence in local offices in the USA in order to be effective.

  • Because you're not a programmer by doing such a move, you're creative energies will have to have a release. Great. Throw it into a moonlight software startup company that you do at night while you hold down a day job. Most cool ideas on the web, capitalizing on its massive potential, are yet to be implemented. Some are amazingly simple.

  • Switch to Linux. The developers are nicer and share more code. The dev tools are free. More add-ons to the dev tools, such as the ability to generate PDF and MS Office files, are free. The OS is free and has become increasingly more stable. Most web apps on the Internet run under Linux, anyway. Most businesses are in a trend of trying to cut costs and increase marketshare. They can't do that easily with Windows anymore. Linux is helping them. Besides, Microsoft Windows has grown far more complex and far less secure, but Linux has grown far less complex and even more secure.

  • Use web hosting in India. Their currency is fairly stable now for 5 years and has usually been about 1/4th or 1/5th the USA dollar. Your dollars can go extremely far there.

  • As you grow your startup, leverage their low-cost consulting. It's extremely cheap and you just might get that idea off the ground.

  • As you improve their economy, and their salaries go up, the odds are higher that USA might have finally globalized and those programmer jobs might start to come back to the USA.

  • Whether you are Democrat, Republican, or whatever political party in the USA, when you think about it, you can't take sides against using India's advantages to your success. It's a win-win for Americans and Indians.

  • The stats show that Linux is gaining in server OS purchases at IBM. Still, remarkably, India's Linux usage hasn't really grown exponentially yet. In the USA, Linux usage is growing rapidly. Keep that market momentum in your favor and on your resume so that you're more competitive when things start to take off for programmers in the USA again.

  • When your startup company takes off, get a part-time job at the mall with some side consulting gigs occasionally just so that you get some kind of small paycheck -- be smart and don't just jump into it until you're good and ready.

  • Eventually the best thing is to just run your own successful startup company.

A Danger of What's New Type Sites

I've been using over a couple of months now these What's New type sites like digg, reddit, and shoutwire, among many others. I've noticed symptoms that the sites have been hacked mildly by people who seem to know how to work the system and artificially inflate their news item to the top. It occurs to me now, however, that there is a risk with this sort of thing. Now the bad guys with their quasi-news sites who have viruses sitting, ready to go on them, can elevate their stats by hacking places like reddit. They can increase the risk of their infections by "spreading them through digg" for instance. Therefore, the takeaway from this is that you need to watch what you click, always backup your system every day, virus scan your system, service pack it as soon as possible, use Firefox instead of IE, and ensure you're on the latest Firefox, watch your kids' usage and what they download and click on (even using a third-party product if you have to), use one or more firewalls, and do almost anything you can to avoid getting hacked by someone who's got their trick site sitting with high stats on What's New type sites.

Reviewing the Latest Web Stats

This is in regards to this:

To my surprise, it says here that 55% of the Internet is now running at 1024x768 screen resolution. Only about 11% still use 800x600. I was surprised to see that low number! For most of the stuff I do, I was still trying to make it work in 800x600. Perhaps in about 2 years I can start designing only in 1024x768.

Also to be learned:

  • Firefox has an amazing marketshare, coming up close and fast on IE 6. Just another few more months of delay on IE 7 and Firefox might have, who knows, perhaps 50% of the marketshare? There's even talk of a SuperBowl commercial promoting Firefox, which might be a big boost.

  • People really are upgrading their Firefox properly.

  • More people run Windows 98 than they run Linux when they surf the web. (But we can fix that, can't we? ; ) )

  • It's funny that most web servers and mail servers on the Internet are Linux-based according to the stats, but as far as people surfing the web with Linux workstations, we're only talking 1% of the users out there. Why is that?

  • Many people have upgraded rapidly from W2K to XP.

  • People are so concerned about getting eyeballs in China on their websites to drive up dollars, but China only accounts for 2% of all Internet users. Instead, Germany, the UK, Canada, Poland, and Turkey are the leading contenders (in that order) with the most eyeballs on the Internet behind the USA.

  • The USA still has the most eyeballs on the Internet. It's gotten so bad that it's hurting television advertising sales and newspaper sales in the USA. Luckily car radio advertising is unavoidable and is now blown away to see their advertising hits rise almost to the point of television.

  • Brazil, with all its efforts for Linux and open source across its country, and its emphasis on technology, still didn't even make it into the top 10 as far as eyeballs on the Internet. Even Turkey beat it out. The same remarkable story could be said of India, which also didn't make it into the top 10. That doesn't seem to compute. I'm wondering if the study was somewhat flawed or if we would see completely different results next month.

  • Turkey has more users on the Internet than even Japan. One has to wonder what's going on over there. What are they up to? Is the Turkish government really emphasizing technology so dramatically?

  • Japan, France, and Australia still have a remarkably low amount of users on the Internet.

  • Almost no one (<1%) runs the Opera web browser. They might as well not even make it since Firefox is so well-designed and has absorbed all of Opera's wonderful innovations.

  • Mac users appear to be using Firefox and/or IE 6 over Safari -- and by a long shot.

  • Fewer than 1% use IE 5.5 anymore.

  • It says that 936,833 website visits were used in the survey, and that only 1% of the users visiting their sites were Linux workstations. That comes to perhaps 93,683 Linux workstation visits. If we can take a guess that perhaps they clicked on average about 5 clicks and left the site, that comes to approx. 18,000 workstations. If you're trying to target a product on the Internet that only works on Linux, your customer base might be as few as 18,000 workstations. However, for Windows with these same stats, you might have a target market of perhaps 172,000 workstations.

  • There are almost as many Mac users as Linux users surfing the Internet. It's not exactly that number, but fairly close.