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01.03.09

Links 03/01/2009: Btrfs Goes into Linux; Super Ubuntu Debuts

Posted in News Roundup at 10:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

  • Seven Reasons Why Linux Will Succeed in 2009

    Linux will continue its soaring success in 2009. Yes, Linux is free and free is good but what about its other advantages over commercial Unix flavors and Windows? Here are the top seven reasons why Linux will continue to smash the competition in the face of the economy, the Cloud, and the smart administrator.

  • Microsoft on FLOSS

    Over the holiday break, I’ve been working on a small project. I’m trying to collect up quotes from Microsoft on Linux, Free Software, and Open Source.

  • Btrfs For The Mainline Linux Kernel

    Chris Mason, the founder of the Btrfs file-system, had previously stated he hoped to merge the first bits of this much-improved Linux file-system into the Linux 2.6.29 kernel. With the 2.6.29 merge window still open, earlier this week he started a new thread entitled Btrfs for mainline.

  • Slowly moving people to Linux via OpenSource Apps

    The person who aids this movement, away from Windows, has to be patient, its a slow transition, a learning process, don’t sing the praises of linux, its a voyage of discovery, and everyone finds things hard to start with.. they will not read the forums, because they won’t know they are there, they will ask you.. be patient, smile, bcause it will pay off.. and 6moths, a year later, you’ll have your own little tribe of converts, who are not complaining because linux isn’t like Windows, however, are telling everyone else, about thier new discovery…

  • Top 5 Free First-Person Shooting Games for Linux

    Happy New Year to all our readers, we hope you had a good one! We thought we would start off this year by including an article written by Blair Mathis – one of the chaps over at LaptopLogic.com, your premier source for best gaming laptops.

    At one time, asking if Linux could play games elicited laughter and disappointment. Games were basic and lacked the graphics and game play that Windows offered. However this is starting to change and dozens of high quality games have been released to run on Linux platforms.

  • Finance

    • 6 best personal finance apps for Linux

      In the past, Linux was not overly blessed with decent budgeting software, and installing GnuCash was regarded by many as the epitome of a descent into dependency hell.

      Thankfully, things have since changed, and anyone using a modern distribution could now have the software ready to go in just a few minutes.

    • Manage Your Money Easily With My Money

      In a world where keeping track of your financial information can be a hectic task, now you can thank someone for dreaming up and putting into use this innovative solution: My Money. My Money is a modern way for common individuals or businesses to manage their online banking statements with a simple few clicks! All this seemingly complex yet simple system does is download your transactions from the bank web site and automatically insert into your My Money software.

  • Ubuntu and Derivatives

    • It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s Super Ubuntu

      We are pleased to announce yet another Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, this time… with “super powers,” called Super Ubuntu. The “super powers” of Super Ubuntu can be translated into the inclusion of applications, tools and technologies that are missing from a standard Ubuntu 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex) installation. Among the applications included in Super Ubuntu 2008.11 we can notice the powerful and ever-popular OpenOffice.org 3.0 open source office suite with support for Microsoft’s Office 2007 file formats; MPlayer, the number one video player for Linux systems, which includes support for DVD playback and most of today’s video and audio formats; Wine and Wine-Doors, two amazing apps that allow users to use Microsoft Windows applications in a Linux environment; support for portable applications with the SFS technology and Zero Install.

    • CrunchBang Linux Review : Dark, Evil, and it has the Mark of The Beast

      The minimal configuration is great if you have an older machine you would like to revive. And unlike other mini distributions, it comes shipped with a ton of software so chances are you won’t have to go searching for too many packages once installed. With the GIMP, Inkscape, PiTiVi, Kino, recordMyDesktop and Audacity they already have a lot of tools for creative types. If you find anything missing you can find it quickly using the large Ubuntu repositories. What I like most about this distribution is that it showcases the combination of Conky and OpenBox, two projects that look really good together.

    • Ubuntu 8.10, DOSBOX, and the single HP dv9000.

      From a technical point of view, this capability exceeds anything Dad has ever had before. He can now run on the latest, fastest hardware, and has far more control over the results. He now also has Linux support. It is not that I did not support him on MS Windows. It is just that for me MS Windows is just another computer platform and I often have to sit a mess with it to figure out why it is broken, whereas Linux is something I know fairly well.

    • Ubuntu and Mac OS X Integration

      So, when everything is said and done, I was able to achieve all my stated goals. The only outstanding issue that I haven’t yet figured out yet centers on automatic logins; for both AFP and SMB/CIFS, I get prompted for a password when connecting, even though I keep my password synchronized (manually) between my Mac and the Ubuntu server. Any tips on how to resolve that would certainly be appreciated.

  • Devices

    • German Linux integrator launches workshops

      German Linux integrator Millenux is launching a series of monthly workshops for Linux developers and IT managers on open-source Linux topics including high availablity (HA), Debian, and kernel development. The initial January 7 event in Munich will address “mobile computing,” plus NoMachine’s “NX” Xhosting technology.

    • Giving life back to an OLD laptop

      This laptop belongs to a good friend and she loved it when I told her that we can give a new life to her laptop using GNU/Linux. This is an Toshiba Satellite Sro 435CDS built around 12 years ago. Specs? Pentium 120, 32 MB ram, 4 GB Hard. Yes this laptop has been upgrade a few years ago to highest supported specs.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Atom-powered Wizbook has speed but less agility

        MANY people who still want to have a computer opt to buy a cheaper model to save on cost and perhaps leave some more for other items to buy. Red Fox is now one of the cheaper brand names in the desktop and notebook PC market that can appeal to a wider range of buyers.

        However, its first foray in the “netbook” business through its AMD Geode-powered Wizbook was a difficult one, especially when it left out certain features that would normally be found in other models, especially a webcam.

      • Sylvania Netbook With Ubuntu: A Good Mix

        Sylvania’s G Netbook Meso offers a nice-looking screen and plenty of ports — you get three USBs as well as a VGA. The keyboard is just too cramped for reviewer Jack Germain’s liking, though that’s a problem found on just about any tiny netbook computer. The available Ubuntu Netbook Remix OS will give you the option to effortless switch between two GUI

      • Android on netbooks is BIG money for Google

        If Google gets this right, the possibilities are tremendous. Currently Google plans to use 30% of the revenue generated from sales of Android applications to pay carriers and billing settlement fees. Think about it though — that 30% only makes sense if we’re talking about mobile devices on a wireless network. I’d suspect that the 30% rake will still exist when Android makes its way into netbooks — and in that case, Google would be the sole recipient of the money. Imagine if Google was able to make 30% on all software sold for their operating system — that should make investors happy.

F/OSS

  • Open Source Suggestions for a New Year

    The last thing I want to see is Linux, thanks in part to the OEM’s, devolve into the same mind numbing bloatware nonsense that currently plagues Windows.

  • Open Source: Not a Business Model and Not Broken

    In particular, the acquiring companies need to consider carefully the effect on the open source companies employees and their community when modifying the business model. As more open source companies are acquired by traditional software companies, these issues will take on increasing importance. Both sides need to understand that such an integration will require flexibility.

  • A look back at the open source victories of 2008

    This year brought many exciting new developments for open source software, but there are many more that we can look forward to in 2009. Intel’s intriguing new Linux-based Moblin platform is finally arriving on devices and will make major inroads in 2009 as the platform gains broader acceptance. The ACCESS Linux Platform and other emerging LiMo-compatible platforms could also debut on devices in the coming year and bring the open source operating system to more handsets.

    Netbook growth will likely continue to surge, creating many new challenges and opportunities for Linux. Netbook-centric development initiatives, such as Ubuntu’s Netbook remix and ARM port will continue to advance. We also expect to see community-driven distros gaining some enterprise traction as companies look for more ways to cut support costs.

  • Applications

    • Gimp Keeps You Organized In 2009.

      If you’re like most computer users, you probably have a digital camera and scanner. So, you’re saving a lot of images and photos on your computer. In addition, there are probably some bits and pieces of photos that you store in an image library so you can incorporate it into a new design or other image.

      When I was using Windows, the graphics app I used had a built in image library. I could drag and drop images and clippings into the library for future use. The problem was, when I upgraded to a new computer and reinstalled the software, I had to move a specific folder within the Windows file system. And the folder was always buried away some place. It took hours and a visit to the web to ask other users in order to locate it. Worse still was if I ever reinstalled the program. The reinstallation routine would overwrite the entire library. If I didn’t back it up, all those images were lost!

    • OpenSolaris 08.11 first impressions

      Either way, I can definitely see OpenSolaris becoming part of my desktop/server set up in some shape or form. Not least for Dtrace, which I’ve yet to have a proper play with.

      Anyway, OpenSolaris 08.11 is definitely well worth a look if you’re a serial OS installer.

    • Rails and Merb Merge

      Today is a fairly momentous day in the history of Ruby web frameworks. You will probably find the news I’m about to share with you fairly shocking, but I will attempt to explain the situation.

      Before talking tech, and even going into the details of the announcement, I want to assure everyone that the incredible members of the thriving Merb community are top priority, and that this could not have been possible without every one of them.

      Merb is an open, ever-changing project, and some its best ideas have come from not-core regular-Joe community members. It’s gotten where it has because of the community, and the community will get us even further in the future. Your ideas, feedback and even complaints will be 100% welcome in the future, just as they have been in the past. I believe in the tremendous value an open community and just generally open attitude bring to the table, and am counting on those things to continue ushering in the future of Ruby.

Leftover

  • Wikinews interviews the Wikimania 2010 Poland bid promoter

    Wikimania is an annual conference for users, developers and other people involved in the wiki projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is held yearly since 2005. The first conference was held in Frankfurt, Germany, on August 4-8, 2005. The second one was held in Boston, USA (on August 4-6, 2006), the third one was held in Taipei, Taiwan (on August 3-5, 2007), the fourth Wikimania was held in Alexandria, Egypt (on July 17-19, 2008) and Wikimania 2009 will be held in Buenos Aires.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Digital Tipping Point: Marcelo Marques, visionary security networks entrepreneur 07 (2004)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

Ron Hovsepian’s Approval Rating is Only 64%

Posted in Microsoft, Novell, Ron Hovsepian, Wikipedia at 5:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

More than 1 in 3 disapprove Novell’s CEO

Ron Hovsepian smiles

A new survey has just been published.

-Glassdoor.com®, a career and workplace community bringing greater transparency to company cultures and compensation, today released its first annual Employees’ Choice Awards¹, listing the top 50 “Best Places to Work” based on surveys² collected from employees at more than 11,000 companies operating in the United States. General Mills had the highest rating from its employees, followed closely by Bain & Company, Netflix, Adobe, and Northwestern Mutual, which round out the top five companies on Glassdoor’s inaugural list.

Novell is not ranked particularly well and its CEO did not receive an impressive approval rating, perhaps due to the poor decisions that he makes with Microsoft. For those in Novell who are not popular, there is always the possibility of corrupting Wikipedia. From the news:

On top of it all, some critics are still jaded over incidents that surfaced earlier this year in relation to Wikipedia and Jimmy wales. Former Novell scientist and Wikipedia donor Jeff Merkey issued a statement earlier this year essentially accusing Wales of extortion—he claims Wales offered him “special protection” for his Wikipedia entry “in exchange for a substantial donation and other financial support of the Wikimedia Foundation projects.”

Novell is also rewriting history for Microsoft's gain.

“Our partnership with Microsoft continues to expand.”

Ron Hovsepian, Novell CEO

New United States Government Already in Microsoft’s Pocket

Posted in Formats, Microsoft at 5:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dollars in magnifying glass
Investment portfolios worth a closer look (may contain governments)

THE Obama administration already receives personal contributions from executives of Microsoft, along with their families. The Microsoft-Abramoff story was startling enough to demonstrate the dangers of political influence and Microsoft is now approaching Democrats, even going one-on-one with the next president. They prepare themselves for ‘Change’.

It’s rather fascinating to see how Microsoft swings. It puts its money right where this investment is likely to bear the most fruit. Several years ago it invested mostly in Republicans (they were in power) and suddenly Microsoft puts a significant majority of its money in the Democrats’ basket.

As for Microsoft’s political tendencies, they have not always leaned Democrat as the below chart shows. In 2002, 60 percent of Microsoft money went to Republicans, compared to just 40 percent for Democrats.

In other financial news, Microsoft’s co-founder is losing a lot of money.

Paul Allen’s big investment in Charter looks tenuous

The likelihood of financial distress, such as bankruptcy, at Charter Communications Inc. in the next year has increased from 20 percent to 75 percent, a Citigroup analyst said.

Billionaire Paul Allen, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) co-founder and owner of the Portland Trail Blazers, is one of the largest owners of the St. Louis-based cable TV company, owning more than 28 million shares of stock.

Citi analyst David Hamburger also downgraded Charter from buy to sell and reduced the price target from $1 to 5 cents.

So the price target was suddenly cut by 95%. It is impossible to trust what companies say about their financial welfare and we wrote about that yesterday in reference to Microsoft, which is poised to fire many employees.

“Yes, we have to divide up our time like that, between our politics and our equations. But to me our equations are far more important, for politics are only a matter of present concern. A mathematical equation stands forever.”

Albert Einstein

Over 5,000 Posts in Boycott Novell (BN)

Posted in Boycott Novell, Site News at 5:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We cruised past the 5000th post yesterday without even noticing, so this is post number 5010. It’s a nice milestone to cross.

In the past 3 days we’ve received about a quarter of a million hits per day, which is a big jump in terms of traffic.

Vista 7 is Just Vista.1, Like Mandriva 2009.1 is to Mandriva 2009

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 5:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

REMEMBER VISTA 7? There is a reason why we insist on calling it Vista 7. Internally, it’s known that the operating system just Vista with some visual changes and it's equally insecure. It’s mostly just marketing fluff. It’s the same as Windows in 2005/6 when only Microsoft fans tried and blogged about Vista/Longhorn.

A reader has just sent us some interesting information: “I just thought you might be interested to know. So-called “Windows 7″ identifies itself as “Windows 6.1″ in the registry: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\CurrentVersion

“Sounds like internally they use version numbering consistent with being a revision of Vista (6.0).”

“Linux is a cult that captures the best-and-brightest kids.”

Jim Gray (Microsoft Research)

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part II: Legacy, Virtualisation, and Memories from Novell

Posted in Finance, Google, NetWare, Novell, Virtualisation at 4:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IT WAS A QUIET WEEK, as one ought to expect. Novell was mentioned in a few places like the Indian press where its legacy earned it a place.

Read the rest of this entry »

Do-No-Evil Saturday – Part I: OpenSUSE… Plus a Little Bit of SLED and Xandros

Posted in GNU/Linux, Mandriva, Novell, OpenSUSE, SLES/SLED, Ubuntu, Xandros at 3:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OpenSUSE

BEING A PERIOD of holidays, not much has been heralded by companies, so commercial distributions did not receive as much coverage as an (relatively) open-ended project like OpenSUSE.

Some more people have been installing OpenSUSE over the holidays and they wrote about their experiences. Marc Fearby believes that OpenSUSE defeats Mandriva and he defends this position by comparing different versions of KDE4.

Read the rest of this entry »

SCO News Roundup

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Novell, SCO, UNIX at 12:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GROKLAW will hopefully return to full coverage pretty soon. Just in case, here are the several articles — including filings from Groklaw — that cover the SCO situation.

1. SCO to file bankruptcy plan tomorrow

After a great deal of courtroom drama and mounting legal fees, the SCO Group is expected to file its Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan in court tomorrow.

Jeff Hunsaker, SCO’s president, wouldn’t provide exact details of the plan, but he said the reorganization will hopefully help the company come out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which the company filed for in September 2007.

2. SCO: The same procedure as last year?

The SCO Group, currently sheltering from its creditors under Chapter 11 of the US bankruptcy law and still legally embattled with Novell, IBM and Red Hat over rights to Unix, as well as over code alleged to have been copied illegally from Unix into Linux, has evidently allowed an important deadline to slip by. It was supposed to submit a business plan to the bankruptcy court by 31 December, covering its own reorganisation and a settlement with its creditors. That means the company’s further destiny now lies in the hands of the judge. If he doesn’t grant an extension of time, then in accordance with Chapter 7 of the same law the SCO Group will have to go into liquidation in March 2009.

3. 2008 was still a buyer’s market

And through it all, the saga of SCO continues. The company, which declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late 2007, had a reorganization plan announced in March. That called for a $100 million infusion of cash from an investment firm to cover a court-ordered $37 million judgment payable to Novell as a result of failed litigation. But then that order was reduced to a bit more than $2 million, easing the strain somewhat. While revenue from its SCOsource area was zero, (since SCO lost its legal claim that its source code was included in the Linux code base, people apparently felt they didn’t need to pay SCO to protect their Linux investments) SCO did create some mobile planning software that had a nice uptake. Along with its Mobile Server and SDK, the future of the company will be decided on the road.

4. New Filings — Novell’s bill of costs

You’ll see that SCO, despite telling the media yesterday that it would file a plan today, meeting the December 31st deadline set by the court, instead has filed for another delay.

5. New Filing — Novell’s Opposition to SCO’s Motion to Stay Taxation of Costs

One more new filing from Wednesday, this one from SCO v. Novell.

Any more links would be welcome.

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