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The Software Portal

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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).
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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.

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Bill Gates, 16. November 2004 at IT-Forum in Copenhagen
'William Henry Gates III
William Henry Gates III, (b. October 28, 1955), commonly known as Bill Gates is the founder, chairman, former chief software architect, and former CEO of Microsoft. He is consistently ranked in the Forbes list of the world's wealthiest people. Between 2009 and 2014 his wealth more than doubled from $40 billion to more than $82 billion. When family wealth is considered, his family ranks second behind the Walton family. Gates is the first one to reach the richest peak from the technology world.

Gates is a leading philanthropist, and has stated that he intends to give away the majority of his vast wealth. He and his wife set up the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF) in 1994 with the aim of improving health and combating poverty in developing regions across the world. He has attracted considerable acclaim for the Foundation's work, including its work in combating HIV infection in Africa.

Gates finally quit day-to-day responsibility at Microsoft in June 2008 in favour of running the B&MGF after a long period of moving away from executive control, originally as CEO, then as 'Chief Software Architect'. Gates remains chairman of Microsoft.

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Software news

From the Wikinews Software category
  • August 14: Mozilla, Creative Commons, Wikimedia Foundation announce Bassel Khartabil Free Culture fellowship following execution of open culture activist
  • April 8: GNOME to be Ubuntu's default desktop environment, Canonical to stop investing in Ubuntu Phone
  • November 4: Volkswagen emissions scandal may affect thousands more cars
  • September 22: Volkswagen engulfed by diesel emissions scandal
  • January 6: Wikinews interviews on contributions to open-source: Opera
  • April 8: Microsoft to release patches for 64 security flaws on Tuesday
  • March 23: Petition urges Apple to remove 'anti-gay' app
  • March 18: Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 9 browser
  • March 8: Microsoft waits for death of Internet Explorer 6
  • October 9: Wikinews interviews Ubuntu developer Fabrice

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When done well, software is invisible.

Bjarne Stroustrup on Wired

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...that BIOS software is built into personal computers, and is a type of system software?
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