Software is a program that enables a computer to perform a specific task, as opposed to the physical components of the system (hardware). This includes application software such as a word processor, which enables a user to perform a task, and system software such as an operating system, which enables other software to run properly, by interfacing with hardware and with other software. Software also acts as an interface between the hardware like processor(s) and user(s).
|(Pictured left: Malicious websites attempt to install spyware on readers' computers)
Spyware is computer software that collects personal information about a user without their informed consent. The term, coined in 1995 but not widely used for another five years, is often used interchangeably with adware and malware(software designed to infiltrate and damage a computer.
Personal information is secretly recorded with a variety of techniques, including logging keystrokes, recording Internet web browsing history, and scanning documents on the computer's hard disk. Purposes range from overtly criminal (theft of passwords and financial details) to the merely annoying (recording Internet search history for targeted advertising, while consuming computer resources). Spyware collects many different types of information. Some variants attempt to track the websites a user visits and then send this information to an advertising agency. More malicious variants attempt to intercept passwords or credit card numbers as a user enters them into a web form or other application.
The spread of spyware has led to the development of an entire anti-spyware industry. Its products remove or disable existing spyware on the computers they are installed on and prevent its installation. However, a number of companies have incorporated forms of spyware into their products. These programs are not considered malware, but are still spyware as they watch and observe with for advertising purposes. It is somewhat arguable whether such 'legitimate' uses of adware/spyware are malware since the user often has no knowledge of these 'legitimate' programs being installed on his/her computer and is generally unaware that these programs are infringing on his/her privacy. In any case, these programs still use the resources of the host computer without permission.
Linus Torvalds (born December 28, 1969 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish software engineer and hacker, best known for having initiated the development of the open source Linux kernel. He later became the chief architect of the Linux kernel, and now acts as the project's coordinator. He also created the revision control system Git.
After a visit to Transmeta in late 1996, Torvalds accepted a position at the company in California, where he would work from February 1997 to June 2003. He then moved to the Open Source Development Labs, which has since merged with the Free Standards Group to become the Linux Foundation, under whose auspices he continues to work. In June 2004, Torvalds and his family moved to Portland, Oregon, to be closer to the OSDL's Beaverton, Oregon–based headquarters.
From 1997 to 1999, he was involved in 86open helping to choose the standard binary format for Linux and Unix. In 1999, he was named to the MIT Technology Review TR100 as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35.
Red Hat and VA Linux, both leading developers of Linux-based software, presented Torvalds with stock options in gratitude for his creation. In 1999, both companies went public and Torvalds' share value temporarily shot up to roughly $20 million.
His personal mascot is a penguin nicknamed Tux, which has been widely adopted by the Linux community as the mascot of the Linux kernel.
- ^ Citizen Linus, a September 13, 2010 post from LWN.net
- ^ Mike Rogoway (September 14, 2010). "Linus Torvalds, already an Oregonian, now a U.S. citizen". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- ^ Cite error: The named reference
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- ^ "1999 Young Innovators Under 35: Linus Torvalds, 29". Technology Review. 1999. Retrieved August 14, 2011.
- ^ Gumbel, Peter (2006-11-13). "Linus Torvalds: By giving away his software, the Finnish programmer earned a place in history". 60 Years of Heros (TIME). Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- ^ Rivlin, Gary. "Leader of the Free World". Wired. Retrieved 2008-06-14.
- ^ "Linus Torvalds: A Very Brief and Completely Unauthorized Biography". The Linux Information Project. Bellevue Linux Users Group. 24 January 2006. Retrieved 22 October 2010.
- ^ Re: Linux Logo prototype., a Thu, 9 May 1996 message from Linus Torvalds (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- ^ Why a Penguin? from Linux Online