To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.
To use your own IRC client, join channel #boycottnovell in FreeNode.
Summary: Major new bug discovered in Apple’s Snow Leopard, showing the dangers of ‘commercial-grade’ software
Reports have been cropping up on the Apple Support forums that users have been losing all their data due to a nasty bug in Snow Leopard, Apple’s latest Operating System. Many users are reporting that all settings are being reset and most data is gone, according to iTWire.
Think your Snow Leopard woes are finally over? Don’t go logging into that Guest account, then. A flurry of reports have surfaced around the web explaining that even an accidental login to one’s Guest account within Snow Leopard could lead to mass deletion of all user files on the primary account, and when we say “mass deletion,” we mean “mass deletion.”
Snow Leopard users have reported that they’ve lost all their personal data when they’ve logged into a “Guest” account after upgrading from Leopard, according to messages on Apple’s support forum.
The bug, users said in a well-read thread on Apple’s support forum, resets all settings on the Mac, resets all applications’ settings and erases the contents of critical folders containing documents, photos and music.
This is not the first time, either. From 2007 we have:
Massive Data Loss Bug in Leopard
Leopard’s Finder has a glaring bug in its directory-moving code, leading to horrendous data loss if a destination volume disappears while a move operation is in action. I first came across it when Samba crashed while I was moving a directory from my desktop over to a Samba mount on my FreeBSD server.
Another older one:
Bugs & Fixes: Apple TV deletes files
Normally, assuming no changes have been made to what is being synced, this should take a matter of seconds. Except this time, something unexpected happens. iTunes begins copying several hundred files to your Apple TV. No error message or warning appears. The files just copy as if you had newly added them to Apple TV’s playlists. This is especially odd because you recognize these files as ones that have been previously synced and should already be on your Apple TV.
Depending on how much data needs to be copied, and the speed of your network connection, this recopying can take from minutes to hours.
Making matters worse, the exact same thing may happen again and again, as often as several times a week. It probably doesn’t happen every time you launch iTunes. But often enough to be really annoying.
This was worth posting as means of reminding people that no software is infallible and non-Free software tends to mess up royally, in a way that destroys people’s bread and butter — their personal data. Apple must be having a “Danger moment” this week. █
Summary: Microsoft’s deal with the EU Commission is not final yet, more hostile patents arrive from Microsoft and Google, BSA daemonises sharing
ON four occasions in the past week [1, 2, 3, 4] we have written about the agreement between the European Commission and Microsoft. Various parties agree that it is a poor agreement and fortunately it is not final. Groklaw shares some details on who to provide feedback with. It also explains the part about software patents, which ought to be illegitimate given the status of patents in Europe.
The official notice of the new draft deal between Microsoft and the EU Commission has now been posted to the EC website and published [PDF] in the Official Journal of the European Union, and it invites comments, giving all the addresses, email, fax and regular mail, where interested parties can submit their observations within a month of the date of the announcement. The date of the announcement was October 7. Comments must *reach* the EU Commission within a month, not be postmarked by then.
And the price to interoperate with Microsoft, according to that document and the proposed interoperability agreement [.doc] is $10,000, and that is the minimum, not the maximum:
3.1. Prepaid Royalties. Licensee will pay Microsoft $10,000 in non-refundable prepaid royalties, to be credited against Royalties.
3.2. Royalties. Licensee will pay Royalties for each Product containing an Implementation consisting of the Net Revenues for that Product multiplied by the Royalty Rate set forth below, provided that the Royalty per User of that Product or Provided Copy of that Product will not be less than the Minimum Royalty set forth below for the applicable Product Type:
Then there is a chart, breaking it down further. Now, $10,000 is nothing to Microsoft. A large, supported project like SAMBA could probably swing it. How about some university student somewhere? You don’t think that matters? How about a university student named Linus Torvalds, for example? Think *that* matters? Do you want a deal that excludes the next Linus Torvalds? Where will he get $10,000? This single clause exiles any innovation from the next Linus, because he won’t be able to afford to pay the toll to interoperate, thus excluding him from the general market.
Same old Microsoft.
In the past Microsoft has been held up for ridicule with some of the patent applications it has made. Perhaps most notable amongst these was the infamous Page Up Page Down patent. The latest Microsoft patent application to reach my radar will not, most likely, cause quite the same amount of sheer disbelief although it does point to something of a change in the way the Seattle giant sells us software and services.
Microsoft has filed for a patent for ‘Time-Based Licenses’ and the application abstract reveals this to be a method and system for “issuing a number of different types of time-based licenses associated with software products”.
We will probably write more about this patent, which Free software leaders are appalled by and a Red Hat employee describes as “Microsoft to patent subscriptions.” Red Hat too offers subscriptions, but not of the same kind.
Another large company called Google has just patented the “browser-based spell checker.” From the abstract:
A system and method is provided for a spell checker that includes sending a document to a spelling server which returns the document with associated spelling information, though the document could also be provided to a spelling assistant on the local machine. The spelling information includes identification of potentially misspelled words and one or more replacements words. The document is displayed to identify the potentially misspelled words in a visually distinctive manner. The replacement words are displayed near the potentially misspelled word in response to a user activity, such as clicking on the identified words. The misspelled word is replaced with the word selected by the user from the replacement words. The user may extend the area of text to be modified by clicking on extension buttons to the left and right of the potentially misspelled word.
Shame on Google. There is no reason why this should merit a software patent decades after spell checkers were invented and also used extensively. This seems to be one of those infamous “over the Internet” patents, which are worse than attempts to patent digital equivalents of prevalent actions (or objects) in the real world.
The intellectual monopolies cartel known as the BSA is known for its hostility towards Free software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It has connections with Bill Gates' father and here it is spreading FUD against sharing (again) while totally ignoring Free/libre software.
“Software piracy is a threat on multiple fronts. Pirated software can be a breeding ground for malware and can also open users up to crimes such as identity theft. Those who decide to acquire illegal software harm the economy and companies of all sizes. Moreover, those who engage in piracy open themselves up to civil and criminal prosecution” said Blank of BSA.
It is nice of the BSA to remind people to escape the world of patents and other monopolies. Was it really their intention? █
Summary: Bradley Kuhn explains why negative messages are not always detrimental to progress
The place where negative campaigns that denounce are simply necessary, in my view, is when the practice either (a) will somehow completely impeded the creation of FLOSS or (b) has become, or is becoming, widespread among people who are otherwise supportive of software freedom.
This was apparently posted in response to an argument with OpenSUSE's community manager. We have no relation to the SFLC or FSF (or any other body for that matter), but for the reasons listed above we believe that Novell should be avoided; its patent deal with Microsoft impedes — not helps — Free software. Like with Skype and Hulu, it is too trivial to simply tolerate a threat, but alas, it is counter-productive. █
Summary: Vista 7 disappoints some more people ahead of its release
Windows 7, as Louderback puts it, is “Vista all over again.” That’s his headline. He explains why.
“There you go again”. The Gipper said it in 1982, and I’m saying it today – but about Windows 7, not Jimmy Carter.
Because the more I play with Windows 7, the more I see the Vista debacle unfolding all over again. The commonly accepted wisdom is that Windows 7 is oh-so-much-better than Vista. Well, based on my own extensive testing, it’s not. Not at all.
First a bit of history. Back in 2006 I was editor-in-chief of PC Magazine. Vista was coming out and we were pretty darn laudatory. Microsoft provided us with new hardware, we tested beta versions of Vista, and we loved it. Shortly after it shipped, alas, the Wow was less Now than Ow. Vista sucked upon release to the world for a wide range of reasons – not least because the networking and audio driver models were completely rebuilt in the six months prior to release. That led to driver problems, along with general instability. When I left PC Magazine in 2007, my parting column was a bit of an apology – we’d been too easy on what turned out to be one of Microsoft’s more uneven efforts.
It’s easy to get snowed. Microsoft provides its favored reviewers a steady stream of highlights, new versions, and new features – along with brand new hardware to run the new builds upon. A team of technical marketers inside the borg stand at the ready – helping the anointed work through, and around, any problems that develop during testing.
We’ve seen this story before. Vista was overhyped when it came out by everyone from PC Magazine to the Wall Street Journal. And now Windows 7 is getting the same treatment.
Louderback is not the first person to compare Windows 7 to Vista. To give just a handful of older examples, consider:
When the hype is over (probably weeks or months after release) people will see for themselves whether Vista 7 outperforms Vista. █
“[W]e’re not going to have products that are much more successful than Vista has been.”
The greater and more important question is, who CAN switch to Linux? It should be noted that when I refer to groups of people here, I am for the most part excluding Information Technology professionals, Techies, digital content creation professionals, UNIX/Linux sysadmins and scientific academia who have much more sophisticated or specialized needs and may even be using Linux, the Mac and Windows and or a combination of these already.
As to WHICH Linux distribution any of these target users should be looking at, I am going to treat all of them equally and say that every single one of them will meet the basic usage requirements for the set of folks detailed below. For more information on Linux distributions, check out my Surviving the Recession with Free Linux Distributions roundup.
The following Linux distributions were announced last week: SystemRescueCd 1.3.1, Gentoo 10, Tiny Core 2.4.1 and Mandriva Linux 2010.0 RC2. In other news: The KDE Community announced the second maintenance release of the KDE 4.3 desktop environment. An in-depth review of the MP3 Diags 0.99.06.041 application is also present in this edition. The weekly ends with the video clip of the week, the latest Linux distributions released/updated last week and the development releases.
Registration for Linux.conf.au 2010, which takes place in Wellington, NZ, has now opened up, and the organisers of the region’s premier open source software conference are offering discounted early bird prices until November 13.
Pretty obvious you haven’t used Linux recently. The only driver I have had to install, in the last 3 years, has been video drivers, and my distro tells me there is a proprietary driver available and would I like to use it. I press the yes button and it is downloaded and installed automatically. I have to logout of this session and log back in, but I don’t have to do a full re-boot, as with Redmonds POS. My present distro came with the latest video driver already installed.
SteelEye Technology, Inc. (steeleye.com), a leading provider of business continuity and disaster recovery solutions for multi-vendor IT infrastructures, and Open Minds, SteelEye’s Solution Centre in the UK, today announced the implementation of SteelEye LifeKeeper for Linux by Birmingham Hippodrome, one of the UK’s most visited theatres.
Lantronix, Inc. (NASDAQ: LTRX), a leading provider of secure, remote management, device networking and data center management technologies, today announced XPort® Pro™, the newest addition to its popular XPort® family of embedded Ethernet networking and compute modules, used in millions of devices worldwide. XPort Pro provides customers with a powerful engine for deploying advanced applications at the network edge, all in an integrated, thumb-sized package.
Red Hat (NYSE:RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Banco Pastor, the seventh largest Spanish banking group with 650 branch offices in Spain and a presence in the US and the main capital cities in Europe and Latin America, has migrated its critical human resources and corporate emailing systems running SAP NetWeaver® and SAP ERP and IBM Lotus Notes for Collaboration software to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Through a combination of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM System z10, Banco Pastor has experienced decreased annual IT costs of 30 percent for the platform supporting its emailing system, improved performance and increased scalability for the platforms running its SAP and IBM Lotus Notes applications.
Everyone downloads files, whether it’s an ISO image of the latest Linux distribution, TuxRadar podcast or a PDF tutorial.
But despite this age of browser security, anti-malware software and sophisticated intrusion detection it’s not always possible to ensure that files haven’t been tampered with in transit (or even on the server itself).
Andrew over at webupd8 just posted about this and i thought it was too cool not to make part of my Quirky Wallpaper Series, and share with the rest of us Ubuntu users!
I was a little underwhelmed, and I actually had to dig deep to see what was new. According to the company, these are the newest features:
* Nero Linux Express
* More advanced options for burning all types of media
* ISOLINUX Bootable CD/DVD/BD Support
* BD Defect Management
* Enhanced Audio Format Support – AIFF and MusePack
“That’s it?” See what I mean? It’s been two-and-a-half years since Nero Linux 3, and this is what’s updated? Nero Linux Express is admittedly a nice update, but the rest are going to appeal to a rather slim audience – especially the Blu-ray defect feature (essentially a more robust verification process). Well, the new features might be slim, but let’s take a look at the application as it stands today and see if it’s worth your $20.
What is different about Warzone 2100 is the way you can design your own war machines. There are over 400 different technologies [sic] to choose from. All previous games I have seen only have a set of specific types of unchanging selections. With Warzone you can do research which provides new abilities. You can then mix and match those abilities to create your ultimate bone crunching machines. That is enough to provide just about unlimited variety for endless digital massacre of those standing in the way of your total domination.
4,273,291 lines of code, that’s the size of the KDE core modules, which are released as the official KDE software distribution, as of today, the numbers generated using David A. Wheeler’s SLOCCount.
There are a number of strategies to approaching the two elephant problem. The “push the new elephant in, in one go” approach is the most radical and disruptive. A new version of the project is presented to the community, complete and ready to roll, and it is up to the community to accept the changes. The danger for the project though is that the first elephant may decide to leave. This was the approach taken by the KDE developers when they committed to creating KDE 4.0. The backlash saw many users sit back on older versions of KDE or look for alternative desktops. It is only now, after a number of subsequent releases, that KDE is winning back friends.
Another approach is to mitigate the disruption by disassembling the new elephant and introduce it bit by bit into the room, with the hope that the community will adopt the new elephant parts as their own. The problem with this approach is that it is very hard to disassemble elephants, let alone reassemble them, and any vision for the new version may not survive the rebuilding process. A Frankenstein elephant may work, but the elegance of the original plans could well be lost and new parts may well be rejected. This is partly the approach of the GNOME developers, who have delivered a preview version of the GNOME Shell, a highlight of the proposed GNOME 3.0, in version 2.28. According to some reports, this is a hard to get working preview and as such the effort to get it running may outweigh the benefits of the early preview.
1. gNewSense – Ever since my conversation with Richard Stallman, I’ve decided that gNewSense is the distro that claims the top spot for this year. Based on Ubuntu, which is based on Debian, gNewSense contains only free software. It’s also the distro that Stallman himself uses–how can you beat that?
2. Debian – Debian is a GNU/Linux distribution that has it all: Great support, unsurpassed stability, awesome developers, a huge community, dozens of offspring including Ubuntu and gNewSense, regular updates, apt-get, thousands of ready-to-install programs and it makes a great user computer or server system.
I always like Sabayon Linux, but I’ve never quite made the switched. I know I need to bite the bullet and just get used to KDE 4, and perhaps Sabayon 5.o will be the one to do it for me. It’s the best implementation of KDE 4 I’ve tried to use, but it still has quite a few rough edges. KDE 4.3.2 hasn’t shown up in Entropy yet, but I’m hoping it will soon and perhaps I’ll see even more improvement. In any case, I think I’ll be sticking with Sabayon and its KDE 4 for a while to see how it fares over the long haul.
Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue #163 for the week October 4th – October 10th, 2009. In this issue we cover: 2009 Community Council vote complete, Ubuntu Server Eucalyptus Testers Needed, Developer Membership Board Meeting: New Approval Process, Ubuntu Translation Templates Priority, New MOTU’s, LoCo News: Catalan, Copenhagen, & Paris, Bazaar 2.0.0: interview with Martin Pool, Help us improve Launchpad’s icons, Ubuntu Forums Interview & Tutorial of the Week, The Planet: Joey Stanford & Roderick Greening, Ubuntu 9.10 – Almost Perfect, Hulu Desktop (Linux), and much, much more!
Smartphones are getting larger and more advanced in comparison with standard mobile phones. Laptop computers can be created in much smaller sizes than they were in the past. What this means is that there’s an increasingly fine line between what makes a device a phone and what makes it a laptop. Add in the fact that you can talk on a notebook through Skype or access the web with your phone and you can see that the difference between phones and computers is increasingly difficult to define. The Nokia N900 is one of those devices that truly straddles this already fine line.
The Nokia N900 Smartphone will now be able to have its applications ported much easier soon, to not only its Maemo Linux operating system, but also Windows Mobile and Symbian. This will only be possible with the use of the Qt graphical toolkit to Maemo 5, which we previously mentioned
Many experts claim that Google Android is being over hyped. But that isn’t stopping all the mobile companies and developers to fiddle around with Google’s unique open source platform. Verizon was the latest to jump on the Android bandwagon, citing the “unmatched openness and flexibility of the Android platform.” Motorola recently announced that it would not be making phones based on the recently released Window Mobile 6.5 version.
China Mobile nutzt die konzerneigene Variante des Google-Betriebssystems Android, um die Handyhersteller unter Druck zu setzen. Mit seinem Vorstoß wollen die Chinesen vor allem eines erreichen: Die Preise für Smartphones sollen sinken.
How open source software is changing the face of smartphone hardware…
Netbooks will converge with cloud computing over the next few years to engender what could become the next big thing in mobile. I call it the Google cloudbook. That’s because the core of this new system is the kind of software that the search giant has the strongest motivation and market position to deliver.
Though the Arm architecture can run Linux, including a distribution from Ubuntu, Microsoft has said its upcoming Windows 7 operating system will not support the Arm architecture.
Linux computing is taking off, and a lot of people are happy doing web browser based computing, and accessing office and other applications in the cloud, he added.
France’s national computer science institute, Inria, says free software is essential to develop digital society. The institute is launching a research centre to focus on this type of software, Cirill (IT Innovation and Research Centre for Free Software).
The foundation of Cirill was announced at the Open World Forum in Paris earlier this month. Cirill is to become a reference centre for the research and development of stable and reliable free software.
Welcome to the tutorial guide. The guide will provide a user with advice and guidance on how to install freebsd. before we go ahead with the installation process, it is good to know the hardware requirements. Let’s have a look at hardware requirements.
I woke up on the morning of October 9th to find that President Obama had won the Nobel Peace Prize.
There was a lot of discussion about whether President Obama had “earned” the honor or not, and a lot of discussion about how the Nobel Peace Prize is not always for what you have done, but encouraging you to keep going in what you are doing.
As I read his acceptance speech, I thought about Free and Open Source Software, and applied parts of his speech to my favorite subject.
“Let me be clear, I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments”
A lot of people have said to me, “Thank you for what you do for Free Software”. I tell them that I was someone who was in a particular place at a particular time. I did what I thought needed doing, and what I had skills to do.
Ladies and gentlemen meet the FLOSS Community in Egypt. Where should I start. Well there is a community but before I state my opinion on it let me explain how it functioned the last time I checked…. It is just like the regional policy “1 BIG guy” and everyone follows, and some others trying to overthrow him, not to provide a better option but rather to occupy the position of a leader. Activities of communities are almost only “Installation fests” and once a year at some university a weekend (in which no one really would show up due to their educational and society problems) they try to hold a little speech about FLOSS.
With the help of systems integrator Unisys, the telco deployed Jaspersoft ’s open source business intelligence (BI) software in its statistical data warehouse (SDW) around 18 months ago, following an initial six-month development project around the source code.
A new open source project called Swarm bills itself as “a transparently scalable distributed programming language.” It’s been written to tackle one of the thorniest problems of today’s cloud-centric world: How do you create applications that can scale up and out without driving yourself nuts?
The software is open-source, which means users are allowed access to its basic code. Users are free to add to or modify the software without fear of legal repercussions, as long they abide by the conditions of the General Public Licence, which stipulates that the program must remain open and sharable.
Because it’s open-source, OSCAR is free. The costs to set it up come in the form of servers, hardware and support staff.
OrangeHRM, the worlds most popular Open Source Human Resource Software, today announced the release of OrangeHRM 2.5.
With the recent launch of a Next Generation Call Center, VoiceNation selected the Open Source Asterisk PBX for the critical role of telephone switching platform due to its flexibility, extensive functionality, and capacity for lowering operating costs.
Dubai-based open source IT solutions specialist Habl Consultancy has been appointed as a Middle East VAR for Zimbra. Habl, which is based in Dubai Silicon Oasis, will resell Zimbra’s messaging and collaboration software. Zimbra is distributed in the Middle East through Opennet MEA.
Open Source Solution
For price sensitive start-ups, open source solutions can be a great option, providing some of the lowest entry price points available on the market. Open source solutions are typically managed by a community of developers who help improve the product by publishing their additions to the community at large.
Scotland Yard and the Cabinet Office both came in for further criticism today over their roles in the arrest of Tory MP Damian Green for passing embarrassing documents to the press.
Oracle Open World 2009 – Sun Microsystems Chairman Scott McNealy has confirmed that Oracle will continue to develop SPARC architecture.
“SPARC has good momentum. There are 216,000 Sparc-based servers [currently] on the market and we have sold 7 million processors this decade,” said McNealy. “So, we asked Oracle and Larry Ellison, what are your plans for SPARC? Well, Oracle is committed to SPARC and will spend more money than we have on its development.”
Cellular networks have remained one of the last bastions of proprietary technology. Carriers have strict control over what is connected to and runs over their networks and have been loathe opening them up to third parties.
Prison camp officials would not say specifically why the book was rejected but Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brook DeWalt, a Guantánamo spokesman, said staff reviews “every proposed or recommended library item to assess force protection issues associated with camp dynamics — such as impact on good order and discipline.”
The banned book showed the bespectacled professor-emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in button-down shirt and sweater staring out of a black cover of a 2007 edition printed by a Beirut publishing house.
Exploiting fear of legal action can bring unexpected riches
There’s been a lot of attention recently to the news that the heirs of comic book artist Jack Kirby are alerting companies of plans to take back the copyright on various Kirby characters, using the termination rights in the Copyright Act. This followed a very long and drawn out lawsuit involving a similar attempt over Superman. The details are really complex, but copyright law allows the original creator (or heirs if that creator has passed away) certain opportunities to basically negate a deal that was signed early on to hand over the copyright on certain works. The idea was to help protect artists who signed bad deals, but in practice, it’s just been a total mess.
The argument is, effectively, that “balance” as a concept in copyright law really only makes sense if you believe that copyright law is designed to reward a content creator for their labor — in legal terms, the “sweat of the brow” argument. However, courts in both the US and Canada have rejected a “sweat of the brow” standard for copyright law, as being separate from the purpose of copyright law. If you believe that “sweat of the brow” is appropriate, then you are starting from a position that a content creator naturally deserves rewards from all benefits that result from his or her work. And, thus, the “balance” is in slowly removing some of those rewards and giving them to the public, until things are seen as “fair” for both sides.
Dennis Laumen alerts us to an update on the story concerning Dutch music collection society Buma/Stemra’s plan to charge bloggers for embedding YouTube videos on their site.
Internet Video Celebrity Caitlin Hill 15 (2007)
Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.
This particular day was very important for Sam and the PSF, though. It was the day they launched their “GNU/Linux Lies” campaign in downtown Seattle, explaining to passer-byers why proprietary software is more ethical than Free Software. The PSF had been facing greater difficulties ever since 2016, when the Closed Source Initiative was founded. This organization focused only on the practical benefits of proprietary software. Their stance was less powerful because it wasn’t based on ethics and philosophy, yet it gained so much more momentum. Instead of fighting for essential developer rights, the Closed Source Initiative advocated that companies cannot free their source code, because doing so loses them some business opportunities. While closed source campaigns still helped the cause of the PSF, they defeated the point that developers should be able to do whatever they want with the software they create.
Unfortunately, though the cause was ethical, Sam and the PSF could not seem to get much traction. Any traction that was made for proprietary software was made by the closed source movement, not the proprietary software movement. It seemed that ethics didn’t matter anymore. The world was using this unethical “Free Software” with no regards whatsoever for the rights of the developers.
Synology® Inc. today announced the official release of its Synology Assistant, introducing Linux version, multiple Disk Station installation, resource monitor and several enhancements of the management UI. “In addition, the official release also includes support for the latest Mac OS, Snow Leopard,” said Edward Lin, marketing director of Synology.
I’m impressed. Not only do we have a major force in Internet TV supporting Linux, they’ve done a darn good job of it right out of the gate.
Linux does what I need it to do. I don’t play all the whiz bang games and I don’t need the 3D fancy pants stuff. That just slows me down.
Before you decide to pay for a Windows 7 license, I would humbly urge you to first download a copy of Karmic Koala, give it a try for a week or two and then make an unbiased assessment of it yourself. You will see that you would not have to spend money whatsoever on a pile of software that crumbles at the least attack made on it. Do you intend using Windows 7? Please tell us why or why you would not use Ubuntu.
Another upgrade issue for Windows 7 is a familiar one, the confusion resulting in decision paralysis caused by the multiple versions of Windows 7 to choose from. I consider this manipulative strategy to be unethical. Microsoft should take a cue from Apple and release one version with all the bells and whistles at a reasonable price. Mac Os X Snow Leopard has all the bells and whistles and costs $90 less than Windows 7 Home Premium, which does not have all the features that the expensive Windows 7 Ultimate edition contains. This Microsoft strategy will discourage early adoption of Windows 7, and like the Windows XP upgrade problem, most will use their decision paralysis as an excuse to not get Windows 7 until their Windows XP computer dies.
The adoption rate of Windows 7 is going to be slow. By the time the majority of Windows users have upgraded to W7, Apple and the various Linux distributions will likely have new versions of their systems that will once again put Windows in the back seat of advancements.
Its a close call between mint, suse and mandriva. In this test Mandriva is winner.
On this show, which has been massively delayed due to Fab being taken out by the flu, we talk about GNU Bucks, Alan Turing being nominated for knighthood, Linux saving an Aussie power company and we also get into a massive discussion about sexism in the community.
Let’s demystify the whole thing. Suppose, you installed PCLinuxOS 2009.2 which detected and configured all your hardware devices. You did a full update plus pulled in all the necessary apps of your choice. Period. You don’t need to regularly upgrade it. Frequent updates don’t bring about great improvements.
Clients on alternative platforms — like Despotify for Linux — already do this, by allowing premium users to use Spotify on a platform not officially supported by Spotify. But as this type of clients are essentially hacks, how many Linux users are actually willing to a pay for a service that can go offline any given day, without advance warning. By opening the official API, Spotify would ensure that the users of alternative platforms would also be willing to pay for the service.
One thing I will note, though. The next -rc is definitely going to be smaller, both because I will definitely refuse to merge drivers-from-hell, but perhaps more relevantly because it will be a “short week” release. The kernel summit is coming up, and in order to avoid doing the release from Tokyo while jetlagged, I’ll almost certainly do -rc5 on Thursday.
The GIMP documentation team has been working hard and is proud to announce the availability of the first release of the user manual for GIMP 2.6.
If you’re using Chromium, the developer edition of the Google Chrome browser, then it’s your lucky weekend. There are new Chrome themes to choose from. Themes include Anna Sui and Viviene Westwood styles. Anime and such kinds of things are also present as distinct themes you could download to personalize your browser. That includes theme with Hatsune Miku, K-on and Super Monkey Ball.
Opera is the browser I choose, because it does what is needed, with little fuss, and gives me an interface I like, with ways of making the things I do very easy. I haven’t found anyone who really gives Opera a try to not like it, and I have converted many people.
Now that I’ve managed to pick up a spare laptop on the cheap, I finally have a dedicated Linux machine to experiment with. Priority number one since I’m Off the Clock for the weekend: get some games installed that are more fun than the ones Ubuntu ships (sorry Nibbles and Gnometris).
If you are planning to use an older machine and just require stability and an uncluttered approach then you can go with GNOME. However, if you have a newer machine, looking for a desktop closer to Windows and avoid the command line interface, then KDE is your best bet.
Last weekend Amsterdam was visited by hackers from various Free Software communities and companies from around the world. Brought together by the Maemo Summit in the WesterGasFabriek, they gave and attended talks about topics like the Maemo applications, user interface components, the underlying infrastructure and of course the future of Maemo. Read on for a short impression of this conference.
Stability has gradually improved to the point where I no longer have any problems at all. KDE boots fast and without issue. Applications don’t crash, except for the printer applet after one update, which was immediately remedied in the next. Kwin effects are fast and leave no artifacts. KDE 4 is stable.
Configuration-wise, things have improved too. Config options have treacled back into KDE 4, and while it still might not be up to the standard set by its predecessor, it’s getting there.
You have to hand it to the Chakra project developers: they sure have ambition. Don’t expect a remastered Ubuntu here, Chakra takes the do-it-yourself distribution Arch, and tries to make the installation easy, providing you with the latest and greatest KDE in the process. Chakra has more or less grew out of KDEmod, a modded and modular set of KDE packages for Arch. Apparently, the devs decided that they might as well slap an installer together and create a whole new distribution. Easier said than done…
But after several more hours of hacking and trying to figure out how transparency works in X11, I even managed to get nice translucent applets. Also I figured out how to hook up the normal maemo5 widget configuration system to display the correct configuration dialog when you click on the configure button on one of these plasmoids. So with in the end maybe 20 lines of code, I got a rather good working implementation that makes it basically possible to have any plasmoid you might have on your normal kde desktop, also on your maemo5 home screen. One (somewhat major) problem with the current implementation is that it is not possible to resize widgets, but as far as I can tell that is mostly a limitation of the maemo5 desktop widget system, so I’m not sure if there is anything I can do about it from my side.
One Live CDs of Mandriva Linux 2010.0 RC2 will be avilable next week! The only way for you to test this release is to grab the Free DVD edition and install it (see below for download link). Mandriva Linux 2010.0 RC2 is available for both 32-bit and 64-bit architectures. The development cycle of Mandriva Linux 2010.0 will conclude with the final release, at the beginning of November!
Robert Shingledecker, founder of the Tiny Core Linux project, announced on October 9th the availability of Tiny Core Linux 2.4.0, a version that brings major updates to this very small Linux distribution (only 11 MB in size).
* For new users: PCLinuxOS (abbreviated pclos) is a Linux distribution (a free operating system) written with the new Linux user in mind. It is one of the most straightforward Linux versions to install and run. It includes all the essential software for everyday use.
* For advanced users: PCLinuxOS is so complete and friendly, that it has become the primary operating system even of seasoned Linux users. For power users, PCLinuxOS is extremely easy to customize.
After numerous bug fixes and enhancements the Ten Team would like everyone to try out the 10.1 release.
CentOS Enterprise Linux 5 is built from the Red Hat Enterprise Linux source code. Other than logo and name changes CentOS Enterprise Linux 5 is compatible with the equivalent Red Hat version.
While at Canonical, I played with some appliance configs and had from kernel load to running firefox in a dozen seconds or some. This laptop doesn’t have anything I’d see as unusual for daemons – there’s no mysqld, sshd, or anything unneeded like that. But to have everything Just Work(tm) at this stage is amazing.
Nice job. =)
Initial thoughts are that it seems much faster than Vista on the same hardware. Most of the features seem to work straight out of the box and seems pretty intuitive. Once I have fixed the partition size I will be able to try some other stuff in earnest. Watch this space for the next thrilling installment.
Pretty cool stuff, granted Ubuntu Linux does not have the Advertising Agency dollars behind them, so it doesn’t have the image that it really deserves, but the cost is free. You can’t beat that.. not by a long shot. Everything works as expected (even with an upgrade and not a fresh install) in face this post is being delivered via the new OS and Firefox.
According to Levoy, these are just a couple of examples of how programmers could change the future of photography with the Frankencamera. The key is that the camera uses a Linux operating system. All digital cameras are essentially minicomputers, says Levoy, and they can be modified a bit by the photographer. But the manufacturer determines what features are available. Linux is “open source,” which means the camera owner can change everything about the electronic guts.
Techsol is shipping a Linux-ready “TPC-43B” 4.3-inch touch-panel PC equipped with its ARM-based Medallion CPU Module and Power-over-Ethernet support, and targeting building automation and factory HMI applications. Meanwhile, Techsol announced its tenth year of designing low-power computers based on a variety of low-power ARM-based embedded computers.
It’s interesting to note that early this year, at the Mobile World Congress conference, many observers were dismayed that Android didn’t have a big presence. That’s all changed, of course. By the end of this year there will be nearly 20 Android handsets from nearly every major manufacturer, and Google and Verizon Wireless have a far-reaching deal to advance Android (GigaOm Pro, sub. required), giving the platform substantial carrier diversification.
N900 or NokiaRover as some call it, is a first new internet tablet by Nokia that is based on Linux platform Maemo 5. The reference software is Maemo 5, an open-source solution daughter of the GNOME project. The Nokia N900 integrates an ARM Cortex-A8 processor, up to 1GB of memory for applications and graphics acceleration.
A DisplaySearch study shows netbook sales continuing to defy the recession and the slow PC market, growing at a 264 percent rate in the second quarter year over year, says eWEEK. However, netbooks are also eroding ASPs (average selling prices) across the mobile PC industry, claims the study.
The big question is whether or not M$ can afford to allow more than 30 million more PCs to run GNU/Linux each year indefinitely. M$ cannot afford to continue buying the loyalty of OEMs if they drop their prices. There simply will not be enough money to go around soon.
I expect M$ will delay the inevitable by giving better deals for “7″ on netbooks than other platforms. More will switch to netbooks, and, in 2010, M$ will be forced to retrench, either by cutting money-losing lines or ceding the netbook to GNU/Linux.
In addition to allowing you to surf the Internet, send email, and create documents, the NetWalker is also designed to work as an electronic dictionary and e-book reader. Running on the Ubuntu OS, the device also features an optical pointer, a USB port, WiFi, 4 gigabytes of memory, a microSD memory card slot, and has a battery life of 10 hours. Priced at 44,800 yen ($500), the unit is scheduled for Japan release in late October.
The Sharp NetWalker is set to be priced at about 44,800 Yen (or $500) and is expected in Japan by the end of October. We can only hope that it shows up elsewhere too, for those who love small.
After comfortably residing for years in mobile devices like cellphones, chips based on the Arm design are finding their way into commercial laptops.
Oracle’s long-term agenda for Java may come into focus next week as the company plans to place Sun’s application development technology in the Oracle OpenWorld 2009 spotlight, beginning with Sunday’s keynote, which will feature Sun Chairman Scott McNealy and Sun Vice President James Gosling, considered the father of Java, alongside Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
Last March, the French Gendarmerie announced the dramatic reduction of its IT budget by 70%, thanks to the use of Open Source software, primarily in the form of Ubuntu desktops, and with the help of OpenOffice and Thunderbird, among others. Around this time last year, the German Foreign Office revealed that it had implemented Linux desktops in over half of the nation’s 230 embassies and consulates, just one more in a long trail of German Open Source deployments, including the Ministry of the Interior, the state of Lower Saxony, and the City of Munich.
After a long an exhausting week in Santa Clara, five Samba4 developers made their way to Redmond Washington, for a week working with Microsoft on the Directory Replication Service (DRS). Our single biggest aim was to finish what was started before the conference – moving from ‘Samba4 to Samba4′ replication to ‘Samba4 and AD replication’.
There is just a mild disappointment everyone ought to have about this view: Open Source does not advocate Free Software and software freedom are bad things: it just tries to narrow their specifics for practical -and sometimes business-oriented- reasons. It does not mean, however, that Free Software gets in the way of business or stands against software business. It adds another layer of demands, moral demands that can anyone walk an extra mile in the hope to make software a better tool for social improvement, and this world a better place for everyone. No one must take this extra step, no business will die from it. But in the end , everyone might just benefit from it. I am disappointed that anyone would not find the simple possibility of this extra step a negative option to have.
This time however, I am afraid I don’t understand why people like Matt Asay keep on bringing this discussion back on the table. Perhaps Matt Asay wants to look reasonable, business-minded, or simply pettable by the grand corporations of this low world. I am merely conjecturing here. But Matt’s blog is becoming thoroughly disappointing.
First this old discussion is, well, as old as Free Software and Open Source themselves. It disappoints me that Matt would want to recycle old stuff for an obscure reason. Really: Open Source vs. Free Software, let’s write something old, like, “oh those free software zealots”, and these open source darlings.
When OpenOffice became operational last Wednesday ,the mayor Rolf Aagaard-Svendsen (K) was happy with the prospect of reducing the cost of software. Rolf Aagaard-Svendsen said:
There are many advantages to this. Among other things, it’s free. The system is fully comparable with commercial systems
The Danish community has for years been working on several strings: We must of cause keep up with translating the application. Right now we are in a working on translation of version 3.2. We have more than 73.000 strings at the moment.
why are we making daisychain? well, like many of us, we’ve used several different social sites over the years. from orkut, to friendster, to myspace and now facebook. yet, when a new site appears, and everyone flocks to use it, your contacts are left behind, as well as a significant amount of your private and personal information.
daisychain is a project of FooCorp released under the GNU AGPL version 3.0 (or later versions, if you so desire).
The UK Government’s public sector data site launched last week in a private beta — and it’s using CKAN as its backend for storing all its dataset info!
In March 2007 I went to Oxford University and worked on a paper about openness, a topic that had become vitally important as we were seeing more and more companies jump on the FOSS bandwagon with psuedo FOSS projects that were often not at all open. This had concerned Jeff and I somewhat and so we came up with a model that took into account 5 core themes – Open Source, Open Standards, Open Knowledge, Open Governance and Open Market.
Phipps envisions the score card would have specific yes-or-no questions about community governance, community-controlled trademarks, and other benchmark qualities that help determine a company’s true openness. “Suppliers could then state ‘This product achieves 4 stars on the 10-point Open Source Audit’ as they self-certify. In addition, procurement policies could then state they required a minimum number of stars for products and services they procure. And the only companies that could claim to be ‘an open source business’ would have all products scoring 10/10 – probably very, very few. A focus on software freedom – the code, rather than the company – is the answer to the issue.”
Google tests a service called Cloudboard, an online clipboard that should make it easy to copy data between Gmail, Google Docs and other Google services. The service is not publicly available yet, but there are many references to it.
Reformers rarely feel responsible for the bad that their fantastic new reform effects. Their focus is always on the good. The bad is someone else’s problem. It may well be asking too much to imagine more than this. But as we see the consequences of changes that many of us view as good, we might wonder whether more good might have been done had more responsibility been in the mix. The music industry was never going to like the Internet, but its war against the technology might well have been less hysterical and self-defeating if better and more balanced alternatives had been pressed from the beginning. No one can dislike Craigslist (or Craig), but we all would have benefited from a clearer recognition of what was about to be lost. Internet triumphalism is not a public good.
Likewise with transparency. There is no questioning the good that transparency creates in a wide range of contexts, government especially. But we should also recognize that the collateral consequence of that good need not itself be good. And if that collateral bad is busy certifying to the American public what it thinks it already knows, we should think carefully about how to avoid it. Sunlight may well be a great disinfectant. But as anyone who has ever waded through a swamp knows, it has other effects as well.
Lessig’s essay is a call for us all to pay attention. Transparency cannot start and end inside the beltway, it needs us all. As Brandeis himself noted when he argued before the court in Muller v. Oregon (208 U.S. 412) in his pathbreaking Brandeis Brief, the first brief to use hard social science data to try and change the law of the land, “the most important political office is that of the private citizen.”
I recently bought a Blu-ray DVD player for my home PC. I didn’t really need a Blu-ray player as the PS3 does the job admirably, but I was looking for a fast CD ripper and decided to go for the Blu-ray disc option as it was cheap and fast. I installed the drive last night, and since I have been frustrated by the unfriendliness of the technological implementation.
The UK Border Agency has quietly suspended its heavily-criticised attempt to test asylum seekers’ nationality by DNA fingerprinting and isotope analysis.
Officials have been told that the “Human Provenance Pilot”, described as “naive and scientifically flawed” by Sir Alec Jeffreys, the inventor of DNA fingerprinting, has been “temporarily suspended”.
The research, carried out by ICM research, showed that 60 per cent of the UK population think that ID cards are a “bad idea” with 38 per cent saying they are a good idea. The national identity database – which will underpin the scheme – is opposed by a two to one majority.
In response to a tweet of mine about shortening copyright to stimulate creativity, someone questioned the logic. It’s an important point, so it seems useful to do some thinking out loud on the subject.
If we don’t, one of two things will happen. Either we will fail to realise the full creative potential of computing, or else the younger generation of artists will simply ignore the law. Either is clearly unsatisfactory. What is needed is a copyright regime that is balanced. That is far from being the case today. As the media industry (sic) ratchets up copyright terms again and again, creation has become subservient to the corporation, and the creators are cut off from their past – and hence future.
Isn’t this astonishing? I thought “the goal” of copyright was to promote the spread and growth of human creativity. Now it appears “the goal” is to protect copyright itself. This reminds of government school advocates who say they “believe in public school”; who oppose any attempt to reform or privatize public school because it might threaten public schooling–when the goal of public schools is supposed to be education.
RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates
Site Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content
Site Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page
IRC Channels: Come and chat with us in real time