Johnathan Swift writes "As one of the biggest of the big on the Internet, Yahoo! is hardly a favorite of those Slashdot folks who like their net small and personal. Yet among its competition as a mega-portal -- AOL and MSN -- Yahoo! is different, and not just because it relies on free software like FreeBSD and Linux. This article in the San Jose Mercury News claims that, unlike the others, it still serves as a portal to the greater Internet rather than the "walled gardens" of AOL or MSN that try to isolate people from the rest of the net. If Yahoo! should merge with or be acquired by a media company like Disney or Viacom, it, too, would become such a walled garden, and the Internet would be that much closer to control by a few large corporations."