07.27.09

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Links 27/07/2009: Fedora 11 Rave, Google Wave Freed

Posted in News Roundup at 6:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Protect Your Network with the Linux-based Untangle Gateway

    In the past few months, we’ve discussed (among many other things) ZeroShell. Its a live CD that turns a mundane PC into a router and provides numerous servers and features for your network. Well, now we’re going to discover the Untangle Network Gateway. Another open source solution, it installs onto a PC to help you protect, control, and monitor the online activities of all your small business or home computers.

  • Desktop

    • Why should Linux aim for the desktop?

      It is my personal opinion that Linux should be targeting the desktop. My reasons are that, due to the way the operating system is designed, depending on how the distribution is configured, Linux for the desktop is inherently more stable and secure than the average configured windows desktop installation. Maintenance and support of desktop Linux systems are more straight forward and are easier to remotely maintain without interrupting the end users work. It is harder for amateur malicious programs to gain a foothold in the guts of the operating system. At worst they will just mess up the users home directory, not the core operating system. Program and security updates are automatically managed across all installed programs from the official repositories which leaves less to chance for malicious programs to fall through operating system cracks.

    • 6 Things I Miss About Windows Vista in Linux

      As I go through the daily grind on my trusty Thinkpad, I once in a while notice quirks in Linux Mint / Ubuntu that makes me miss certain small but important conveniences from Windows Vista. I’ve been taking notes, and here’s my list.

      1. Too many reboots. I distinctly remember being able to use Windows Vista for 1 to 2 weeks without ever having to shut down my notebook. The Suspend feature worked great. On Linux Mint / Ubuntu, I probably reboot every two to three days because of the screen going totally blank or my notebook becoming unresponsive. And the most irritating experience is when I come back from lunch to find my notebook had rebooted by itself.
      2. Slowdown in graphics. I honestly believe better graphics makes for a more pleasant and easy-to-use operating system, Linux included. But related to my first point, I notice I have to restart my computer or at least GNOME a few times in a week because Compiz starts slowing down. Whatever the cause for this is, I never had this problem in Windows.

  • Server

    • Zoho’s winning strategy: open source + cloud

      Vegesna: We are completely open-source at the core of Zoho, from the operating system (CentOS) to the database (MySQL) to the application server (Tomcat) to Hadoop for scaling our systems.

  • Applications

    • Life is Better With a Dropbox

      Have you ever gone somewhere and needed some files, only to find that you forgot your flash drive? Well, that can all change with a simple solution: Dropbox. As long as you have a connection to the Internet, your files can be with you wherever you go. Using Windows? No problem. Using a Mac? No problem. Using Linux? Of course, no problem. And soon there will be an application for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Prices are quite reasonable, and they even offer you a free 2GB account that never expires.

    • Multimedia

      • Music Player Review ’09 edition – Wave 1.5

        Adding Songbird and aTunes to the list, with the note that they can’t actually “win” because they aren’t in the Ubuntu repository.

      • Miro Media Player Gets an Overhaul

        I still reach for VLC Media Player when I want an open source player that I know will handle almost any video file format that I throw at it. It’s out in a much overhauled new version as well, and is particularly good for broadcasting video content online. However, the community behind Miro has wisely focused it on playing and organizing video and audio content from all around the web, especially videocasts and podcasts. It really shines at that, especially this new version.

    • Extensions

      • Top 25 OpenOffice Extensions You May Want To Know

        OpenOffice is possibly one among the finest examples on what can be achieved in the world of Free Software. For starters, OpenOffice is an office application suite in the lines of Microsoft Office and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux. The latest stable release is OpenOffice 3.1. You may want to know how to install OpenOffice 3.1 in Ubuntu. Now let us take a look at the list of extensions you could use in OpenOffice.

      • Five Microblogging Extensions For Firefox

        Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the past year, you know that microblogging is all the rage. Web sites like Twitter, Identi.ca, and Laconica are incredibly popular for exchanging snippets of information, chatting with others, and quickly sharing links to interesting online content. It’s really a pain to jump from site to site to read your friends updates or provide your own, so here are five microblogging extensions for Firefox to help you out.

  • Distributions

    • A distro odyssey – looking for the best fit, part 1

      So now I have my system functioning again and able to do what I need. Jaunty will be my base camp, the place I can go back to when/if I run into show-stopping difficulties. Now comes the exciting part: trying new distros and seeing how they compare to this baseline.

    • Reviewed: Fedora 11

      Our verdict: Other distros are in danger of being outbuntu’d by this freedom loving, Gnome-centric star performer.9/10.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • Syntext releases open source XML editor

    Syntext, Inc., a provider in developing software for XML content authoring solutions and related services, recently announced that it has released Serna free XML editor as open source software.

  • 50 Open Source Apps Transforming Education

    While some educators have been quick to grasp the potential and promise of open source software, many others have been hesitant to stray from the comfortable zone of commercial applications. Yet that’s changing.

    More teachers and institutions are now participating with organizations like SchoolForge, the Open Source Education Foundation, and Open Source Schools. These educators are beginning to see that the open source philosophy has the power to transform education in several key ways.

  • Juicing up your web pages can be sweet

    Because the project is entirely open source, Wallis expects others to add useful files which users can just pick up and pop into their own websites. A tame programmer or web developer might save you a little time but this stuff is fairly straightforward, providing you resist the urge to panic or think “this is too techie for me”.

  • Software products: the perfect storm

    Second, open source software is coming out from the realm of geeks into the real world. Many open source products have reached enough scale and maturity to seriously challenge their proprietary software counterparts. Claims by proprietary software firms that open source products suffer from a higher lifecycle cost and lack good quality support appear to be a case of sour grapes given the rapid proliferation of open source products such as Linux and the rise in the number of IT firms offering implementation and support services for open source products.

  • Latest UP Diliman Technopark opens

    At the press briefing, ASTI OIC Peter Banzon said that it was envisioned that the new technopark would welcome locators developing applications on the cutting edge of Open Source technology such as software that rely on the cloud computing model. However, it would also welcome locators developing bread-and-butter applications such as Open Source software for accounting and human resource administration.

    [...]

    Open Source software, such as Linux, belongs to this category. Their developers have built their revenue stream models on after sales services and consultancies.

  • OSCON 2009

    • Could open source have built Silicon Valley?

      In Silicon Valley, innovation is the fertilizer that makes the crops grow. With open source, software is more like topsoil, and those who nurture that soil believe they will prosper longer than those who just throw fertilizer on it.

      Invention is the plant corporations harvest for their profit. Software is the environment on which everyone’s survival depends.

      OSCON, I think, is better off in Portland.

    • OSCON 2009 online
  • Google

  • Government

    • An open source movement in health information?

      Today’s Report of the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission, “A Healthier Future For All Australians: Final Report,” makes the e-health system a central plank in the future of health management in Australia.

    • S’pore developers create open source buzz

      Eugene Teo, honorary member of the Linux Users’ Group Singapore (LUGS), said in an interview with ZDNet Asia, that interest among local developers have been moving toward mobile, Web and cloud computing platforms.

  • ‘Open Source’ as PR Ploy

    • Parsing the “open” in Adobe’s Open Source Media Framework announcement

      It’s not necessarily surprising that during the week of O’Reilly’s Open Source Convention (aka OSCON), companies release open source code — just as they often release flashy consumer products during tradeshows to garner the most buzz from contingent news cycles.

      [...]

      Adobe and Microsoft are now engaged in similar forms of open-washing, applying the tastes-great, less-filling label, while doing everything they can to maintain their control and dominance in a given area — further cementing the historic distinction between “free” and “open”.

    • Intuit launches open source community

      Intuit, the makers of popular Quicken and Quickbooks software, today announced the out-of-beta launch of code.intuit.com, an open-source community where users can share information to enhance SaaS apps via the Intuit Partner Platform, announced last month.

Leftovers

  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Amazon Faces a Fight Over Its E-Books

      A growing number of civil libertarians and customer advocates wants Amazon to fundamentally alter its method for selling Kindle books, lest it be forced to one day change or recall books, perhaps by a judge ruling in a defamation case — or by a government deciding a particular work is politically damaging or embarrassing.

      “As long as Amazon maintains control of the device it will have this ability to remove books and that means they will be tempted to use it or they will be forced to it,” said Holmes Wilson, campaigns manager of the Free Software Foundation.

    • Amazon Kindle doomed to repeat Big Brother moment

      Yes, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos has apologized for the Orwellian removal of Orwell from digital book readers tucked inside the pockets of American citizens. And yes, the new-age retailer has promised not to repeat its Big Brother moment. But that’s not a promise it can promise to keep.

      [...]

      This uneasy feeling was only exacerbated by the fact that Amazon removed the books out from under Orwell lovers without explicitly telling them it was doing so. There were refund notices sent via email, but nothing more. Many Kindlers were left to wonder why their books had disappeared – while others wondered why there was a refund.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • How it feels to be sued for $4.5m

      Then in summer 2008, I arrived home to find a letter addressed to me. The return address said “Harvard Law School”. Curiously, I opened and read it. “My name is Charles Nesson, professor of Law at Harvard. I caught wind of your case,” it said. “I can be of any assistance, don’t hesitate to call.” I called. Nesson picked up. I said, “Yes, you can be of assistance!” My mom drafted a letter to him, summarising where we were. The opening line read, “Dear Professor Godsend”.

    • Pirate Party’s copyright reform cannon could sink copyleft

      The Swedish Pirate Party’s goal of reducing copyright duration to five years is facing scrutiny from an unlikely critic. Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, fears that reduced copyright terms will undermine copyleft licenses.

    • Diller Calls Free Web Content a ‘Myth, Joins Refrain

      Barry Diller, chairman and chief executive officer of IAC/InterActiveCorp, said Web users will have to pay for what they watch and use, joining the refrain of media moguls who say an era of free Internet content is ending.

    • Newspapers: 180 years of not charging for content

      I have a history lesson worth reading for those who think news should or may have a price online.

      The common discussion among such people these days goes like this: “We’ve always charged people to read us in print, and so people ought to pay something for reading us online, too.”

    • The Free Trade

      One of the biggest challenges which videogames are going to face in the coming years, however, is a slightly more abstract business concept. Ushered in by the digital era – not just by the technology, but by the subtle yet fundamental shifts in consumers’ thinking created by that technology – the concept of Free is slowly gathering pace, and threatens to wash away many of the business models which have supported media industries for a century or more.

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Luis Casas Luengo, Director of Extremadura’s Fundecyt foundation 05 (2004)

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

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