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Genetic diversity

Genetic diversity is a characteristic of ecosystems that describes an attribute which is commonly held to be advantageous for survival -- that there are many different versions of otherwise similar organisms. For example, the Irish potato famine can be attributed in part to the fact that there were so few different genetic strains of potatos in the country, making it easier for one virus to infect and kill much of the crop.

A related usage of this word was coined to describe the current networked computing environment; a striking majority of the overall number of computers connected to the Internet are workstations and servers running versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system, many of which are vulnerable to similar attacks. This is in contrast to the early days of the net, when there was a much more even distribution of operating systems and hardware/processor types, and it was concomitantly much more difficult to create a broadly applicable attack.

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