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Standard and Poor's is one of the most prestigious companies in the world. If you are familiar with the U.S. stock market, then you know that the company publishes the S&P 500, an index of the 500 most promising large publicly-traded companies in various industries. Standard and Poor's also rates and provides indices for smaller companies. The company's reports focus on financial information and credit ratings and can be very useful in tracking down leads in the financial sector.
Proprietary software on the other hand tends to use a different business model, where a customer of the proprietary application pays a fee for a license to legally access and use it. This license may grant the customer the ability to configure some or no parts of the software themselves. Often some level of support is included in the purchase of proprietary software, but additional support services (especially for enterprise applications) are usually available for an additional fee. Some proprietary software vendors will also customize software for a fee.
The freedom to redistribute copies must include binary or executable forms of the program, as well as source code, for both modified and unmodified versions. (Distributing programs in runnable form is necessary for conveniently installable free operating systems.) It is OK if there is no way to produce a binary or executable form for a certain program (since some languages don't support that feature), but you must have the freedom to redistribute such forms should you find or develop a way to make them.
A report by Standish Group estimates that adoption of free software has caused a drop in revenue to the proprietary software industry by about $60 billion per year. In spite of this, Eric S. Raymond argues that the term free software is too ambiguous and intimidating for the business community. Raymond promotes the term open-source software as a friendlier alternative for the business and corporate world.
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Got a slew of CBR and CBZ files laying around on your hard drive unread? These compressed files full of scanned-in comic book page images are easy to read with the right software. The right software is ComicRack, because it does a lot more than just display the images—it'll even share the files across your network, and provides full database organization of the comics. Use the Windows version to sync comics to the mobile apps.
The best thing about some of these companies is that you don't have to "Like" them on Facebook, send messages on Twitter, or complete surveys. With the companies I've listed first, simply sign in, input your mailing information, and wait for the free sample to show up in your mail). It will take less than 15 minutes sign up and up to six weeks for samples to arrive.