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03.27.09

Links 27/03/2009: Red Hat’s GNU/Linux Success Story, OpenOffice.org Downloaded 50,000,000 Times

Posted in News Roundup at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Google Search Trends

    OK, Google Trends is a very interesting and useful tool. I used it to compare the popularity of the various Linux distributions, how the browser wars match up, and the interest in Linux netbooks.

  • The Helios Project – Drive To The Future

    The HeliOS Project is conducting our “Drive For The Future”. These little wonders are being collected so that with every computer we deliver, we will include a thumb drive with their system upon it. We can buy them in bulk or you can purchase one and send it to us if you care to participate in this drive. If you don’t particularly want to go out to purchase one, you can order one from newegg.com and have it shipped to our address. If you simply want to donate to our bulk order, you can do on the left column of our main page. Price per unit is $14.95. If you are donating for one thumb drive, please do not include any shipping costs as we get free shipping with our orders.

  • Launching a Linux Startup: No Funny Business

    So, what’s the best way to get entrepreneurs to build businesses around Linux? In everything I’ve ever read about businesses using Linux, the profit-generating opportunities have seemed sparse: subscriptions, donations or support.

    Part of the reason I started an educational resource was because education looked like the low-hanging fruit — everyone needs it, especially if moving the baseline is the goal. But to build a fertile environment for Linux/FOSS-oriented businesses, one must look beyond the technology itself and involve people who are looking for new ways of doing business and engaging one another.

    [...]

    It’s particularly apparent during this time of deflation and recession that the opportunities for Linux and FOSS infrastructure development are plentiful. Converting people to Linux/FOSS is worthwhile and having more businesses and organizations using them will benefit users within and beyond the open source communities.

    It’s generally more lucrative to lock people out and charge them for admission, but with software technology, we have reached the other side, where smaller software projects develop micro-targeted solutions and the concept of an average home computer user is replaced by a mosaic of usage attributes.

  • MacForensicsLab Inc. Releases MacLockPick 2.1

    MacLockPick 2.1 now extracts data from Linux systems, too.

  • Is Using Linux Too Frugal?

    Both of my journalist colleagues are correct — frugality is good for you and your customers, and spending is good for the economy. Being fiscally responsible is also good for the economy — yours, mine and ours collectively. Using Linux saves you money so that you, in turn, pass on those savings to your customers and enjoy higher profits for your company. Higher profits and greater savings mean more money for raises, bonuses and consumerism. I’m no economist, but I’d say it’s a pretty good plan.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

  • Distributions

    • Ubuntu 9.04 vs Fedora 11: A lot can change in one month!

      The excitement has already started in anticipation of Q2 2009 l distro releases. As usual, the big names are Ubuntu 9.04 (a.ka. Jaunty Jackalope) and Fedora 11 (Leonidas). It’s time for a straight off comparison on the upcoming features of these two distros.

    • OpenGeeeU Luna Serena Linux for the Eee PC

      OpenGeeeU Luna Serena (8.10), the special OpenGEU version dedicated to the EeePC, is available for download now. This is an optimized Linux Operating System for the Eee PC (or other Netbooks).

  • Red Hat

    • How to make a half-a-billion bucks with Linux

      I find it hard to believe that there are still fools out there who don’t think you can make money, serious as heart attack money, with Linux and open source. Let Red Hat spell it out for you.

      Red Hat reported its 4th quarter results last night, March 25th. I quote: “Total revenue for the quarter was $166.2 million, an increase of 18% from the year ago quarter and 1% from the prior quarter. Subscription revenue for the quarter was $139.4 million, up 14% year-over-year and 3% from the prior quarter. For the full year, total revenue was $652.6 million, an increase of 25% over the prior year, and subscription revenue was $541.2 million, up 20% year-over-year.”

      [...]

      It sure looks to me that Red Hat, by steering its own course and delivering the Linux goods, is doing just fine without Microsoft or Oracle. Who knows, maybe in a few years we’ll be talking about whether or not Red Hat might buy Oracle the way we are now about IBM buying Sun. Red Hat’s showing that Linux and open source is not just a good way to make software; it’s also a great way to make money.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Free Linux Microprocessor*

      Here’s the deal. Altera, the world’s second-best-known FPGA company, has struck a deal with Wind River Systems, the world’s second-best-known embedded-software company, to port Linux to Altera’s NIOS II processor. And since NIOS is free, you’ve got yourself a free 32-bit microprocessor capable of running a genuine full-on multitasking Linux operating system.

  • Phones

    • OpenMoko Smart Phone: Open Linux, Open Hardware, No Britney Spears

      Imagine owning a smart phone that you can hack just as freely as a PC.

      OpenMoko is an embedded Linux-based mobile platform, and the Neo Freerunner is OpenMoko’s slick little touch-screen smart phone that runs OpenMoko. It’s not really intended for the mass-market “just make it work and don’t bother me” demographic, but for power users and developers. Unlike other mobile platforms that are open in buzzword only, OpenMoko is a genuinely open hardware and software platform. I had a great conversation with Sean Moss-Pultz, the CEO of OpenMoko, who was kind enough to still be awake and coherent at 1am in his time zone.

    • Ming phone gains larger screen

      Photos and preliminary specifications for an “A1210″ Linux phone that appears to be an updated version of the popular Motorola Ming have appeared on Chinese technology sites. The GSM/EDGE-ready A1210 (pictured) offers a larger 2.8-inch screen, and an improved 3.1 megapixel camera, industry reports say.

  • Sub-notebooks

    • Freescale

      Freescale may be the first semiconductor company to associate itself aggressively with portable Linux devices. The former Motorola semiconductor division is sharply targeting the low-priced Linux-based Netbook market, which is hot in the world market and just starting to get warm in the US.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Company opens development airport traffic management software

    The Swiss company Skysoft has started development of Albatross, a set of open source applications for air traffic controllers. The project’s website was unveiled on 16 March.

    The software will be published under a GNU Public Licence. The company has not yet decided which version of the GPL will be used.

    The Swiss specialist in air traffic management technology in June will unveil its first open source application, to visualise radar data. This application is based on the company’s existing proprietary software. It will run on GNU/Linux based computers, said Claude Levacher, responsible for marketing at Skysoft.

  • 50 million

    Five months (163 days) since release, and OpenOffice.org 3.0 yesterday clocked up its 50 millionth download via http://download.openoffice.org. OK, we know there are many good reasons why OpenOffice.org should be on everyone’s desktop, but thi is still an extraordinary achievement.

  • Stealthy Startup Prepping Virtualization Management Tool

    The Lowdown: Bluebear.org is still in hibernation, but the stealthy startup expects its Kodiak open-source virtualization management application to eventually exert a “top-of-the-food chain” type of influence in the virtualization market.

  • Sharing, Contributing… and Caching

    This story is part bug hunt, part open-source love-story. The bug was a particularly gnarly, beautiful little bug and I’m going to try to convey some of that to you. But the other half of the story is really the thing here; The Guardian is serious about engaging with the wider technology community – while we work hard to open out our data to the world at large, we also participate by speaking at conferences, sponsoring events, and sometimes in the simplest way of all; contributing code and fixes for the Open Source software that we use.

  • Securing your organisation with open source

    While backup and recovery solutions are considered paramount in most organisations, they are possibly one of the most overlooked procedures in company security policies, mainly because they seem to try to achieve the opposite.

    Security demands strong encryption and overall policy control over employee and enterprise-wide information, while backup software tries to simplify the data centre recovery process regardless of platform, location and user, anywhere on the network.

  • Business

    • Open Source Backers See Downturn Opportunity

      Panelist Marten Mikos, former CEO at mySQL and an outgoing executive at Sun (which purchased the database software last year in a blockbuster billion-dollar deal), was quick to note there are many high-quality open source applications, “but customers buy on low price, so in a recession, open source is that much more attractive both for the applications and the cost of development.”

      John Roberts, CEO of SugarCRM, agreed.

      “All companies are rethinking the value proposition,” he said. “If you’re a 100-percent proprietary software, it’s difficult to create unique value.”

    • Nuxeo Announces the Availability of Nuxeo EP 5.2, the New Release of Its Open Source ECM Platform

      After 18 months of open and intensive R&D efforts, Nuxeo presents a major version of its ECM open source platform: Nuxeo Enterprise Platform (EP) 5.2.

  • Sun

    • Sun Chief Forges Ahead as IBM Rumors Swirl

      In a speech on Wednesday, the CEO of Sun Microsystems ignored the rumors that the company may be sold to IBM, and focused instead on the business opportunities presented by cloud computing and open-source software.

      All of the world’s Fortune 500 companies are using open-source software at least to some degree, CEO Jonathan Schwartz said in a speech at Infoworld’s Open Source Business Conference in San Francisco. “The era in which we wonder if open source will matter is now behind us,” he said.

  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2009

      The Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) is back for its fourth installment bringing together individuals and groups from across the open knowledge spectrum for a day of discussions workshops.

Standards/Consortia

  • Introducing Planet ODF

    I have an early Document Freedom Day present for you. Planet ODF is a feed aggregator based on Sam Ruby’s Planet Venus, which itself is a refactoring of Planet 2.0.

  • ODF Alliance Award Winners Announced

    The OpenDocument Format (ODF) Alliance today recognized Vitorio Furusho from Parana, Brazil and Anvar Sadath from Kerala, India for their contributions to ODF community development and education.

Leftovers

  • Wikirank Shows You What’s Hot on Wikipedia

    Sites like Alexa let you do this for websites by tracking visitor traffic at the domain name level, but Wikirank is more specific. It shows actual views of specific page. The data comes from Wikistats, a public dump of server logs for Wikipedia, which itself is open and totally transparent — Wikipedia’s data is reusable under the GNU free documentation license.

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • German police boot down doors of Wikileaks offices

      Government’s tendency to moprh from blocking “child porn” to censoring discussion of all government censorship was illustrated this week when German Police raided the offices of Wikileaks Germany.

  • Copyrights

    • Stating the Case Against DRM to the FTC

      Wednesday, EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry will be testifying at the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) town hall meeting on digital rights management technologies, or DRM. After years of observing DRM’s development, suing Sony for its destructive SecuROM DRM, defending free speech for researchers and bloggers, and speaking out against DRM’s use, EFF’s stance is quite clear: DRM is harmful to consumers, it undermines competition and innovation, and unnecessarily preempts users’ fair uses of copyrighted content — all while making no appreciable dent in “digital piracy.” In fact, generally the only ones who are inconvenienced by DRM are legitimate customers.

    • Canadian artists’ new/old plan: $5 to share music legally

      The Songwriters Association of Canada has listened to the criticism of its 2007 plan to legitimize the file-sharing of copyrighted songs, and it’s back with Plan 2.0. The big change? Participation for both fans and artists would be voluntary.

    • AT&T, Comcast Deny RIAA ‘Three-Strikes’ Participation

      Comcast and AT&T on Wednesday emphatically denied participation in a Recording Industry Association of America anti-piracy crackdown that involves terminating internet access to repeat copyright scofflaws.

      The denials came in response to a host of published reports saying the two ISPs signed on to an RIAA proposal requiring ISPs to terminate internet service to customers the record labels detect file sharing copyrighted works at least three times.

    • ISPs Join RIAA’s Fight Against Piracy: Is Your ISP One of Them?

      AT&T and Cox both confirmed to PC World that they have begun cooperating with the RIAA in some form. Comcast did not say it was working with the RIAA, but did say it was forwarding messages on the behalf of the recording industry to customers. Still a mystery is to what extent ISPs are cooperating with the RIAA and what it takes to get booted from your ISP for illegally swapping copyright protected content online.

    • AT&T first to test RIAA antipiracy plan
    • Save the European Internet – Write to Your MEPs

      Things seem to be going from bad to worse with the EU’s Telecoms Package. Now, not only do we have to contend with French attempts to push through its “three strikes and you’re out” approach again, which the European Parliament threw out, but there are several other amendments that are being proposed that will effectively gut the Internet in Europe.

    • Austalian ISP Stands Up For Users In Court — Claims They’re Not Violating Copyright

      Late last year, a bunch of movie studios sued Australian ISP iiNet (which already has a reputation for standing up for its users) for not waving a magic wand and stopping any unauthorized file sharing that occurred among its customers. iiNet responded by pointing out the obvious: if the studios feel they’ve been wronged, they should take it up with the police, not iiNet. In fact, they said they pass such complaints directly to the police…

    • Musician Called A Copyright Violator On MySpace For Uploading Her Own Music

      Reader Ken Blake points us to the news that indie musician Emily Bezar had her account flagged as a copyright violator after she tried to upload five or six songs from her own self-produced CD. She’s emailed MySpace’s support email… and seems to have heard absolutely nothing back weeks later. But, no, overly aggressive copyright enforcement doesn’t hurt anyone, right?

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Nat Friedman 03 (2004)

Ogg Theora

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

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