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Links 14/04/2009: State of Illinois Supports ODF, Firefox Extensions Extravaganza

Posted in News Roundup at 7:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • He’s a Mac, he’s a PC, but we’re Linux

    Earlier this year the Linux Foundation launched a competition for budding writers, film makers and just general Linux enthusiasts to make their own grassroots advertisement to compete with Apple’s highly-successful “I’m a Mac” series of adverts. The winner has now been announced.

  • Linux For Absolute Beginners: 3 Easy Ways to Test-Drive Linux

    The computing marketplace is nearly unique in its lack of customer choice. In most other industries we have many good choices. If you don’t like your Ford, you can buy a Toyota, Saab, Chevrolet, Audi, Dodge, or any of several other good brands. If you don’t like Pepsi you can try Coke, Shasta, Western Family, RC. Ever notice how particular some people are about pens? There are dozens, if not hundreds of different styles and brands of pens. Milk comes from cows that are all pretty much the same, but you still have a choice of brands. Ever count how many different brands of tortilla chips are on your store’s shelves?

  • How to end the Fail Whales? With Blue Whales.

    Before I joined IBM in September of 2007, I had just completed a project for a large government agency that needed a system that could accomplish approximately 5,500 database row inserts and reads per second, or approximately 18 million transactions per week. And as a customer requirement, we had to do it with COMMODITY HARDWARE. Read as, Intel Chips and Linux.

  • Windows dedicated site to try Linux!

    Neowin, the site which for the most part is Microsoft dedicated has just announced another revelation. Its editor Marshalus is trying out Ubuntu 9.04 beta.

  • Psystar Intros Core i7-Based PC with No Mac OS X Support

    Featuring your choice of Vista or Linux, the Open7 has enough configuration options to custom tailor this computer to meet your needs. Add up to three video cards with support for triple NVIDIA SLI for maximum performance.

  • [James Love on Apple]

    @cshirky notes Apple Works insists on proprietary file formats, and won’t save to ODF. IMO, Apple sees Linux as desktop threat.

  • [But... But...]
  • Expanding Linux desktop market

    Making simple, big-button distros with lots of truly great commercial games, instant access to every conceivable media, dedicated support and brand-name endorsement by the titans like Dell or Google – it must work and it will.

  • What Price Cool? Mac vs. PC

    There are two major platforms: Apple and Windows, and Macs generally cost more than PCs. Thus ends the latest propagandistic report. But what about Linux?


    This is not particularly earth-shattering news. Linux is never mentioned, of course, and some might argue that this report is a smokescreen to keep people from looking at the third alternative. And since this report emphasizes both short- and long-term costs and expenses, Linux is actually the elephant (or the jaunty jackalope) in the room.

  • K Desktop Environment

    • system trays

      A current assessment of KNotificationAreaIcon is that it’s a really long name but it works right out of the box, including with xembed-only system tray environments, with only a few minor (though quite fixable) caveats at the moment. It needs some tweaking and polishing, but it should be in great order before 4.3.0 given it’s current state.

    • improving freedesktop.org specs
  • Distributions

    • Distro Review – Arch Linux 2009.02

      After many broken promises and much procrastination, I finally made it onto Arch Linux and that’s where I’ve been for the past couple of weeks now. I had a failed attempt at Arch last year when my hard drive died; not Arch’s fault in any way, but since then I haven’t really had a chance to get back to it. It’s a distro a lot of people tell me about. The Arch fans are always really passionate and enthusiastic in describing it to me; so I figured it was high time I found out for myself what all this fuss was about…

    • My PCLinuxOS 2009.1 Desktop

      The installed KDE apps work perfectly in my PCLOS 2009 Gnome system. Great performance, no stability issues and now I have what I consider to be the best of both worlds working in harmony.

    • Enter gNewSense – the free Ubuntu

      By using gNewSense you can show that the freedom of the software you use is truly important to you. Hardware manufacturers can thereby be motivated to provide free drivers and firmware for their products and to allow transparency and innovation in this area of software production in the process. In addition, you can show the mother projects of gNewSense, Debian and Ubuntu, that you want to stick to principles and contracts consistently and are not content with phony exceptions.

    • Red Hat

      • Wake County Economic Development Launches New Video Series “Raleigh-Wake County Business Showcase”

        The first video profile for WCED will feature the Raleigh-based company Red Hat, Inc. Founded in 1993, Red Hat (www.redhat.com) is the world’s leading provider of open source solutions and is one of the most recognized open source brands. Headquartered in Raleigh and with more than 65 offices across the globe, Red Hat serves global enterprises with open source technology and services. Solutions include Red Hat Enterprise Linux, JBoss Enterprise Middleware and a range of related management tools. Red Hat also offers support, training and consulting services to its customers worldwide.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Review: Sandisk Sansa Clip

      I have always wanted a good quality audio player that works well with Linux and plays Ogg Vorbis files. Even though the Sansa Clip was originally released in 2007, I somehow missed it.


      I give the Sansa Clip two thumbs up. It is affordable, it has a lot of features, it is durable… the software works well and it sounds great. It works great with Linux.

    • Will Linux overtake Windows on netbooks?

      ABI Research predicts that Linux and “alternative operating systems” (OSes) will overtake Windows XP in netbook sales by 2012. Reasons cited by ABI include the arrival of low-end ARM-based netbooks, as well as mobile stacks such as the Linux-based Android that are suited for these platforms.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Firefox

    • Install Firefox 3.6 alpha1pre Minefield in Ubuntu (from repository)
    • Firefox New Tab: Visual Update

      All has been quiet on the new tab front for the last couple of weeks. We’ve been up to two things in the process of getting the new tab ready for potential uplift into Firefox.

    • Browser wars 2009: Firefox, Chrome, & Internet Explorer

      So, while Chrome is faster and more secure and IE 8 is vastly improved over IE 7 and 6, the bottom line is that Firefox and its friends still give me a better over-all Web experience. And, when you’re like me and you need to find information quickly on the Web all day long, that’s no small thing.

    • Lifehacker’s Favorite Firefox Extensions–Plus a Few of Our Own

      As most people who use Firefox know, its hugest advantage over other browsers is the powerful galaxy of extensions available for it. Lifehacker’s top 10 list includes a few extensions that I don’t use but will have to try out. In particular, I like the idea of AutoCopy, which lets you copy text online by simply selecting it, and fixes long and unweildy URLs. For anyone who writes online, it sounds like a time-saver.

    • Firefox Extensions Guide: Extend Your Experience

      If you are using Firefox and haven’t yet gotten down to trying any add-ons, then hopefully this guide will help get acquainted. Sure it may seem daunting at first for the neophyte – but with a little bit of practice, you’ll soon be zipping along like a pro and enjoying the experience to boot. For those of who haven’t yet tried Firefox, this guide will surely help you open your horizon on what the competition offers.

    • Top 10 Must-Have Firefox Extensions, 2009 Edition

      Our new list keeps some, tosses others, and remains our go-to, Grandmaster list of the best Firefox add-ons.

    • 15 Firefox add-ons for Web developers

      They’ve made my work a lot easier, and they all can be downloaded in just a few seconds.

  • Licensing

  • ODF

    • Other Local Government Statistics

      Documents are available in Excel (.XLS) and OpenDocument(.ODS) formats. Before viewing the OpenDocument format you may need to download the free OpenOffice software.

    • PEAR Site Has OpenDocument Project For PHP

      This is the description of a project on the PHP PEAR site. I have to say that it looks abandoned, but that could be a false impression. Here’s hoping that work continues on this. This could give every PHP developer the potential to import or export ODF documents within his project.


  • OneWebDay Founder Tapped By Obama

    Internet law expert Susan Crawford has joined President Barack Obama’s lineup of tech policy experts at the White House, according to several sources. She will likely hold the title of special assistant to the president for science, technology, and innovation policy, they said. Crawford, who was most recently a visiting professor at the University of Michigan and at Yale Law School, was tapped by Obama’s transition team in November to co-chair its FCC review process with University of Pennsylvania professor Kevin Werbach.

  • MPAA’s hacking history bites it in the Aris

    THE MPAA has found that its nasty habit of paying hackers to steal emails from TorrentSpy and the Pirate Bay has ended it up in court again.

  • Obama Taps 5th RIAA Lawyer to Justice Dept.

    President Barack Obama is tapping another RIAA attorney into the Justice Department.

    Monday’s naming of Ian Gershengorn, to become the department’s deputy assistant attorney of the Civil Division, comes more than a week after nearly two-dozen public interest groups, trade pacts and library coalitions urged the new president to quit filling his administration with lawyers plucked from the Recording Industry Association of America.

    The move makes it five RIAA lawyers Obama has appointed to the Justice Department.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Nelson Pavlosky, Co-founder of Free Culture.org 07 (2005)

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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