Nathan Newman

Nathan Newman is the former project director at NetAction.

Recent Articles

Storming the Gates

As the Microsoft Corporation anxiously awaits the verdict of Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, whose decision may determine its fate (Will certain practices be prohibited? Will the company be broken apart?), the software giant could be forgiven for feeling that the greatest threat to its dominance of the computing industry is the U.S. Department of Justice. And yet it can be argued that an even greater threat to Microsoft's dominance is a motley collection of free software tools and operating systems often called "open-source software" or "free software." Two key characteristics distinguish open-source software. First, unlike most commercial software, open-source software code is intended to be studied and improved upon by other programmers. Second, all such improvements must be revealed publicly and (under most licenses) distributed freely in a process that encourages continual innovation. Ranging from an operating system called Linux, named for a student from Finland who wrote a key...