Altruists show up ruthless giant

Altruists show up ruthless giant

Tabloid can think of at least two events in the last fortnight that proved to be public relations disasters for the world's largest software companies.

Most recently Adobe aided the FBI in arresting a Russian hacker (Dmitri Sklyarov, pictured) proving to the world how ridiculously easy it was to crack the vendor's eBooks software - software it charges organisations for under the pretense it is secure from hackers. Adobe's marketing folks have now tried to back-flip the move, joining many in the IT community in asking for the hacker to be released. Excuse me? Didn't you guys arrange to put him in there in the first place?

Aside from Adobe, its bed-buddy Microsoft was doing similar damage to its PR in Australia. The vendor decided its crackdown on software piracy should also apply to a Geelong-based charity that was loading obsolete copies of Microsoft software on old PCs. Gates might be one of the most charitable individuals on the planet, but that's only for new software, not old software . . .?

One Sydney-based reseller has decided to let the charity know that not everybody in the IT community has such tight . . . pockets. Anthony Rumble, managing director of Linux reseller Everything Linux, is offering PC for Kids, and any worthy charity, its services in loading Linux software onto their PCs.

Rumble said by their nature, Linux enthusiasts aren't very good at (or concerned about) PR. The offer has in fact always been there -- Linux groups are already aiding charities such as Computerbank and TAD (Technology Aiding the Disabled).

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