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Links 29/04/2009: Ex-Microsoft Executive Says Microsoft is Doomed, FOSS to Thrive



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Contents





GNU/Linux

  • $100 card converts old PCs into Linux thin clients
    Igel has released an add-in card that enables old desktop PCs to be turned into Linux thin clients on the cheap. The "Igel TC Card" costs $100 and requires a computer to have an available PCI slot and an IDE interface, the company says.


  • Windows 7, Microsoft's Midlife Crisis?
    Linux and Mac users can rightly point out that many Windows programs can be run on those platforms using WINE or in virtualization technology like that offered by Parallels, but Linux and WINE is not ready for prime time, and Macs are expensive enough as it is without having to buy Parallels and a copy of Windows XP as well.


  • Linux Inside … again
    I’ve given several talks in the last two months about the relationship of Linux to the Smarter Planet initiatives. The key elements to that are the three “I”s: being instrumented, interconnected, and intelligent. This Jeopardy! project is definitely related to the last. To borrow from a slide I use: “How can we take advantage of the wealth of information available in real time from a multitude of sources to make more intelligent choices?”


  • B'ham Native, Ex-Microsoft Exec, Argues For Open Source
    Curtis' ideas about software are heresy for a former Microsoft Corp. executive. He says the days of proprietary software are numbered and companies like Microsoft are likely doomed -- and that free open-source-code software will eventually run the world.


  • XO's learning software goes walkabout
    Sugar Labs has launched a beta version of its Sugar Learning interface designed to run directly from a USB memory stick.

    The Sugar software was originally created for the OLPC's XO laptop, and features a circular icon-based interface packed with educational games and software.




  • Kernel Space





  • Applications

    • Announcing VirtualBox 2.2.2 for Linux
      The popular, open-source, virtualization software VirtualBox reached yesterday, April 27th, version 2.2.2. Being a maintenance release, there weren't any new major features added to it. The following list includes bugfixes and added items that apply to the Linux client:


    • MythTVCast podcast kicks off
      A new semi-weekly podcast concentrating on the building, configuration and running of MythTV has begun. Each one hour episode will cover the ins and outs of building and running your own MythTV system. The first episode of the MythTVCast can be downloaded directly: Episode 00


    • Kontact: The Swiss Army Knife of PIMs
      Kontact is the KDE entry in the groupware client race. It is the proverbial tortoise in a race with one giant hare, but as the race continues, Kontact improves and evolves at a faster pace than any of its competition. Does that mean Kontact is ready to usurp your current groupware client? Probably not, but it is definately worth a long, hard look. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the features it offers.


    • The List: Top 10 FREE Linux Games (Multi-Platform)
      It often gets me when a lot of people say there are no good Linux Games. That depends on what you consider “good” in the first place. Do you like shooters, Real-Time Strategy, or RPG? It all depends.








  • Distributions

    • Lin-X: A Quick Review
      Recently a new Linux distribution was born, called Lin-X. Based off Ubuntu 8.10, and designed to look like Mac OS X, it grabbed my attention.


    • Calculate Linux 9.5 Has Desktops In A Cube
      Calculate Linux 9.5 is provided as LiveDVD, which could be tested into a virtual machine or installed onto an existing computer. It seems to be a promising Linux distribution from the point of view of usability, overall performance, customization options and accessibility.


    • How to choose the best Linux distro for you
      Choice is the best thing about Linux. Without choice, we may as well use an operating system where the developers make those choices for us. As we've covered in the past, anyone can create a Linux distribution. If it is different enough, it will survive, but most disappear without a trace. There is a flip side to all this choice however, and that's finding the time to find the perfect distribution for you. You really need to try several before setting on the one you prefer, and downloading, installing and testing a Linux distribution takes a lot of time.


    • Ubuntu 9.04 vs Zenwalk 6.0: performance
      I know that Ubuntu and Zenwalk should not be compared because there are a lot of differences between them. Ubuntu uses gnome and Zenwalk xfce. Xfce is more lightweight than gnome and Zenwalk tries to be a lightweight distribution.

      [...]

      The difference between Ubuntu and Zenwalk as far as performance goes is pretty small which is really a surprise, everyone says Zenwalk is much faster that Ubuntu.








  • Mandriva

    • Which KDE 4 Distro for my Laptop?
      So, as Mandriva Spring 2009.1 final is about to release, I give the tip my hat to them (providing no show-stoppers show up at the last minute), particularly for newbies, over Kubuntu Jaunty.


    • Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring Installfests
      Mandriva rallies the community of Linux users in many cities across the globe on June the 13th, 2009.

      In order to bring Linux to new users and present the new features and technologies available in Mandriva Linux 2009 Spring , Mandriva is mobilizing








  • Red Hat

    • Fedora 11 Preview
      The Fedora 11 Release Candidate is expected to be available on the 12th of May while the final release is scheduled for May 26, 2009. The Fedora 11 Preview release announcement along with links to their Torrents can be found on the Fedora announcement list.


    • Learning from F11-Preview


    • Preview of the Fedora 11 Linux distribution with new update function
      Following the one week delay in releasing the one and only beta in late March, today's 'Preview Release' of Fedora 11 sees the Fedora Project back on schedule. The development team plan to produce release candidates in two weeks time, before finally releasing the eleventh version of the Linux distribution on 26th May.


    • What I’ve learned from Fedora.
      As important as each of these three distributions are, none would be complete without features, innovation and talent involved in creating the other two. As a result of the hard work of the developers and communities surrounding these three distributions, we are able to have and enjoy many different Linux distro’s, large and small, general and specified, free and non-free. We have a choice, and that choice, regardless of what distribution you choose is wonderful.

      My choice from now on however, is Fedora.
    • Call for submissions: Innovation Awards and RHCE of the Year
      It’s that time of year again–the Red Hat Summit and JBoss World are fast approaching, and with them, Red Hat’s annual awards ceremonies. But first, we need nominations. And for that we appeal to our customers, readers, partners, and friends. That’s you.


    • History (and Releases) Are Cyclical: This is Fedora 11!
      The Fedora Project is rolling out some impressive new features and functions with Leonidas. One of the most notable is the use of ext4 as the default file system (while many distributions are planning on making ext4 the default in the near future, some recent releases have chosen to keep it optional this time around). The Fedora team says that aside from ext4 performance enhancements, Leonidas users will be treated to faster boot and shutdown procedures, an automatic font, codec and clipart installer, and the DeviceKit device management tool designed to work with (and sometimes stand in for) hal. Fedora 11 users can also look forward to updated versions of the KDE, GNOME, and Xfce desktop environments, improvements in direct rendering, and better volume control and power management tools.








  • Ubuntu

    • Ubuntu's Koala food hits open-source supermarket
      After hitching a ride on the new Ubuntu, Eucalyptus has followed the Koala-fixated Linux distro into the world of commercialized open source.

      Today, the creators of the open-source cloud compute platform announced the formation of Eucalyptus Systems Inc., a Santa Barbara, California-based company that will float private clouds for high-flying businesses and fluff them as needed. Using the same API as the much-hyped Amazon Web Services, the Eucalyptus platform provides a means of mimicking Amazon's public cloud inside your own data center - but on a (much) smaller scale.


    • Quality Aluminum Ubuntu Stickers
      The stickers are said to be much better than the free cheapos from System76 (hey, you get what you pay for!), with an aluminum base, not paper — see this pic.


    • The Best Place To Buy Ubuntu Case Badges
      About two years ago I went looking through Ebay trying to find a cool sticker/case-badge with the Ubuntu logo on it.


    • Quick and Simple Tips to Personalize your Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty Jackalope
      I’m now on my freshly installed Ubuntu 9.04, like many others out there. I prefered, backing-up, formatting and doing a new install - - all went smoothly. I Immediately noticed that Ubuntu 9.04 is pretty fast at boot-up - - It’s certainly faster than Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.


    • sabdfl speaks: An interview with Mark Shuttleworth
      (12:53:57 PM) jcastro: <Froad_> QUESTION: A new announcement by Microsoft says there will be Open Office support in Office 2007, do you think that one way to gain users is to make Microsoft Adapt to us? (12:54:19 PM) sabdfl: Froad_: i'm glad that they will do this, but i hear the support is terrible (12:54:29 PM) sabdfl: i think we should rather push harder for open document standards (12:54:51 PM) sabdfl: the ISO standards process was embarrassing last year (12:55:06 PM) sabdfl: we have this amazing thing - the web - built entirely on an open format (12:55:13 PM) sabdfl: and yet .doc lives in the dark ages (12:55:35 PM) sabdfl: purely because governments and companies chickened out of demanding that openness (12:55:51 PM) sabdfl: if we demand openness, then we'll get a better long term result


    • Mark Shuttleworth Q+A Part 1: Gnome 3, New Themes, MONO & Peanut Butter On Toast…
      Ayatana is an initiative that spans desktop environments (there are folks there from KDE and GNOME at least, possibly XFCE et al) and I expect us to engage directly with individual upstreams as well as the broader DE's.

      Notifications will see an evolutionary improvement in 9.10 - that is under discussion on the Ayatana list as will the messaging menu. Those discussions are all public so please join in!

      There are some other new features that we are working on for partners, they will be open source when they release and go into the next version of Ubuntu. More on those in the announcements in due course!


    • Comux 010010
      I see a jackelope and i want to paint it brown?








  • Devices/Embedded



    • Phones

      • Verizon May be Getting on the Android Bandwagon
        So far this carrier has shown little interest in Google's efforts to bring Linux to mobile devices. It's even a member of the rival LiMo Foundation, which is working on its own Linux-based operating system for phones.


      • Android-Based G1 Is T-Mobile’s Bestselling Device
        The G1 will also get a software update in May. The “Cupcake” upgrade, or Android 1.5, will give users a touch-screen keyboard as well as the ability to record and play video among other features.






    • Sub-notebooks

      • ARM claims many design wins in battle with Intel
        ARM, Morris said, would be looking to exploit the plethora of new operating systems and User Interfaces (UI) cropping up for little laptops of late, including Google's Android and Xandros Linux. Of course Intel hasn't exactly been laying back on its laurels either, with the firm chipping away at its own Open Source Moblin Linux project for MIDs and mobile devices.


      • 24 Open Source Apps for the ASUS Netbook
        While ABI believes that those "inexpensive operating systems" (i.e., Linux) will be the norm on netbooks by 2012, it hasn't happened yet. In fact, three out of four netbooks sold last year shipped with Windows installed












Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Jobs: Olliance Group is Growing


  • Change Impress to improve all of OOo
    If a proposed new concept works for Impress (that means that it stands up to the tests and usability evaluations in the prototyping phase of Project Renaissance) then that concept will be adopted for ALL of the office suite!


  • OSA Alert Industry Interview - Open Source: The Only Viable Business Model
    The term “exonovation” corrects a misfeature of the English language. The term “innovation” makes one think of things that happen within the walls … inside the organization. Indeed, a lot of organizations think of innovation as a core capability. However, in a book that was published in 2005 by John Hagel and John Seely Brown called “The Only Sustainable Edge,” they argued – I think very effectively – that the real excitement in the new world economy comes from the relationships that company build at the edges. The real B2B relationships. The term “exonovation” makes it clear that the interesting new comes from outside, not inside an organization.




  • Apache







  • Healthcare

    • Open Source electronic medical record Medscribbler is released
      Scriptnetics, the leader in Tablet computer mobile healthcare applications, announced today its release of the proprietary source code for the Medscribbler electronic medical record, EMR, to the open source community. Installable components and the code for programmers are available at the globally recognized open source portal, Sourceforge.net.


    • Rockefeller makes support for open source explicit
      While introducing his bill Rockefeller did not mention Medsphere, whose software is installed at many state hospitals. Instead he focused on the Veteran Administration’s VistA system, and the NHIN-Connect system for linking medical records installed by Harris Corp., which includes a lot of open source software from Sun.


    • HITS beyond: Rockefeller's bill would boost open-source EHRs for rural use


    • Open Source Mobile Technology Software Reinventing Health Care in Developing Countries
      Merging his expertise in the areas of computer science, medicine and public health with his business partner’s background in technology, spurred the development of a sustainable mobile software tool to aid in disease surveillance and the collection of public health data in developing nations. Officially established as an electronic data collection standard by the World Health Organization, Selanikio’s EpiSurveyor is now the most widely adopted open source mobile health software in the world.


    • EpiSurveyor and the Call For Open Source Mobile Healthcare Applications
      The announcement also points out that in developing parts of the world where laptops and computers are less prevalent, mobile devices such as cell phones are still in wide use. EpiSurveyor is being especially widely used in Africa, but is also in use in Indonesia and many other parts of the world. Interested parties can download it here, and also download a manual for it. There are also videos showing field tests of EpiSurveyor.








  • Asia

    • Global open source: India ranks 23rd
      France is the leading open source stalwart, followed by Spain, Germany, Australia, Finland, and the U.K. In the Western Hemisphere, the U.S. leads with a 9 ranking, while Brazil is right behind at 12, and Canada trails at 28.


    • Filipino open source developer Morph Labs plans to capture SMEs
      Filipino open source software developer Morph Labs is looking forward to capturing the mid-sized enterprise market globally when it goes full blast with its launch of on-demand CRM (customer relationship management) in May.






  • Business







  • Funding





  • FSF/GNU

    • Episode 0x0C: Patently False
      Karen and Bradley discuss the intersections of software patents with FLOSS licenses. They give a general overview of how patents generally interact with FLOSS, and then discuss the patent provisions of specific FLOSS licenses.








  • Government







  • Open (But No Source Code)

    • Carbon Mountain Unveils Open Source Unified Computing Solution – inVrastructure
      Carbon Mountain, an open source startup company, recently unveiled a new Open Source Platform called ‘inVrastructure’, which is a unified computing solution that facilitates in building next-generation data center solutions ideal for implementing private clouds as well as migration of existing IT deployments.


    • CK-12 Foundation’s Neeru Khosla on Open Textbooks
      We are very excited about the opportunity that the OER community has in this financially stressed out time. To quote Paul Romer, “Crisis is a terrible thing to waste”; this is the time for us to bring OER into the main stream. We typically don’t talk about our future plans; as we believe in getting it done, rather than talk about it.Our Virginia FlexBook project is the first stepping-stone, and we are working with various governmental agencies both in Federal and different State levels to make our mission successful.








  • Firefox







Leftovers

  • Brits Back Away From 'Big Brother' Data Storage Plan
    The government said in October it was considering a central database of phone and Internet traffic as part of a high-tech strategy to fight terrorism and crime.

    However, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said Monday the plan had been dropped.




  • Censorship/Web Abuse

    • Foolish Phorm
      Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. “Smear campaign” - not much constructive engagement there with your critics there, is there? And what on earth are “privacy pirates”? People who steal privacy? Er, wouldn't that be Phorm?

      And if you have any doubt that Phorm is totally clueless about how to deal with the criticism it is receiving over its activities, you only have to notice the “Get the Facts” button attached to the alleged instances of “smears”: didn't they notice the blanket ridicule that was poured on Microsoft's similar attempt to spin?

      And what might those “smears” be?


    • EU reaches draft deal over Internet spat
      The European Union has reached a draft deal to resolve a spat holding up a sweeping reform of the bloc's telecom sector, lawmakers and diplomats said on Tuesday.


    • New EU Council threat to Internet users rights


    • Phorm and the Home Office: cold comfort to citizens
      You’ll probably have read today that leaked emails have shown that the Home Office worked with Phorm to offer advice that would give “comfort” to their investors. We condemn this approach to law enforcement: the Home Office’s job is to uphold the law: not to reinterpret it for commercial interests.








  • Copyrights

    • As Sarkozy Pushes Three Strikes, He Pays Up For His Own Copyright Violations
      Now, you might hope that this would cause Sarkozy to rethink his stance on copyright infringement. Instead, it looks like his political party has simply agreed to pay up and make the issue go away, while still pushing for the three strikes law. It sounds like they paid about 30,000 euros, which is a lot more than the single euro that Sarkozy's party initially offered (yes, seriously). No word on whether or not this counts towards the number of strikes on Sarkozy's internet connection.


    • RIAA settles for $7,000 after 4 years pursuing NY mum
      For a while she became something of a poster child for the file-sharing community. In January 2006 an online news service collected money for Santangelo's defence fund as part of its “Fight Goliath” campaign to help “victims” of the RIAA.


    • Education: where copyrighters and publishers are the pirates
      There has been a lot of buzz around both the guilty verdict and now the judge's alleged conflict of interest in the trial of the Pirate's Bay operators.


    • The Pirate Bay verdict goes English, and we dish the dirt
      The Pirate Bay ruling has been translated into English, and it's full of little surprises. Ars dives in to answer the big questions: who possessed those Klomifen tablets, how much did the state pay to defend The Pirate Bay admins, and why did the backers consider moving to Argentina?


    • Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway (or, the Privatization of the English Language)
      Today I received an email from the lawyers of author Susan Jeffers, PhD., notifying me that I’d infringed on her trademark by inadvertently using the phrase “feel the fear and do it anyway” in my post last week, A Guide to Beating the Fears That Hold You Back.










Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day



Natasha Humphries on globalization and job security with Free Open Source Software 13 (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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