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Response to "Why Wal-Mart Linux PC Is A Bad Deal" article

  • TechieM2's Blog; By Mark Montgomery II (Posted by hkwint on Nov 15, 2007 1:19 PM EDT)
  • Groups: GNU, Linux, Ubuntu
Ok, so I read this article about why the Everex $200 PC being sold at Wal-Mart is a bad deal (fyi, it's also sold at ZaReason).

However, I see the issue a bit differently than he does.

[ For the originating discussion on LXer, look here - hkwint ]

T-Dose Dutch Open Source event taking place this weekend, LXer editors there

This Saturday and Sunday, the Dutch international Open Source event T-Dose will be held for the second time in Eindhoven (40 km from both the German and Belgian border (GoogleMaps). This year, the event is held at the Fontys 'High School' (so not the university this year!) and there are three tracks and several workshops. Topics cover a wide range from KDE(4), debugging and exploiting software, embedded systems and virtualization. This year is the second time I will attend, and I can really advise you to be there if you're interested in open source software, even if you're not a developer (neither am I). Also, Sander Marechal, our other Dutch editor (list) will be there, and we plan to cover the event in one or more articles on LXer.

If you plan to go there, please let us know in a message below. We hope to see you there!

[ Sorry for being late to announce, my planning is bad - hkwint ]

Ballmer: "Number of patents Linux infringes on is declining"

Short patent timeline:

16 May, 1991: "If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today." - Bill Gates, Challenges and Strategy Memo

Aug, 2004: OSDL releases a study saying Linux may infringe 283 patents; Ballmer leaves away the word "may"

May, 2007: Brad Smith claims Linux potentially infringes 235 patents

Oct, 2007: Ballmer claims

Linux potentially infringes 153 patents

Conclusion: Number of Microsoft patents filed at USPTO grows, but number of MS patents Linux potentially infringes on is declining.

Last chance to test Fedora 8

The Fedora development team have release Fedora 8 Test 3, the last test release before the development freezes in advance of the distro's general release on November 8.

Get productive with relative tabs

  •; By Alastair Otter (Posted by hkwint on Oct 10, 2007 2:26 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Do you spend most of your day struggling to organise your Firefox tabs? Then you're a candidate for Tabs Open Relative. Read on for a really cool extension for serious Internet users.

Building a market for FLOSS: The OSOSS project in the Netherlands

Urging public administrations to use Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) and open standards is one thing. Getting them to really take the jump is quite another. In the Netherlands, the OSOSS programme is helping ministries and municipalities to make their IT strategies more open. Its goal is to create a level playing field for FLOSS solutions, and to boost the local economy and the Netherlands' capability for IT innovation.

[Interesting read, the 'federal' Dutch government seems to have ignored open source a lot, but at the same time it is used more and more at the municipal level, thanks to OSSOS amongst others. - hkwint ]

Oracle Contributes Breakthrough PHP Code to Open Source Community

New PHP Driver Brings Enterprise-Class Scalability, High Availability to Web 2.0 Applications

NL: Amsterdam may soon start migration to open source & open standards

Amsterdam,NL could be the third big municipality in Europe switching to open source - following Munich and Vienna. A test amongst users of fifty PC's showed there are no technical difficulties when migrating to open source. The test showed the users don't have problems switching to OpenOffice and Linux. The municipal agency which conducted the test thinks the migration could be cost-neutral, which means Dutch tax payers won't have to pay for the probably migration. The City Council will decide about the migration in December.
Also, over twenty other municipalities in the Netherlands signed a manifesto stating they want to become more independent of single vendors, so more municipalities might follow in the future.

[The article is in Dutch. After noticing this news, I sent out a mail to this municipal agency with some questions. Stay tuned, as I will publish about this issue once I receive an answer - hkwint ]

Defining the Reviewed-by Tag

"Last month, at the kernel summit, there was discussion of putting a Reviewed-by: tag onto patches to document the oversight they had received on their way into the mainline," began Jonathan Corbet in an effort todefine the meaning of the recently introducedreviewed-by tag. He continued,"that tag has made an occasional appearance since then, but there has not yet been a discussion of what it really means. So it has not yet brought a whole lot of value to the process."In the continued discussion, it was requested that all commit tags be defined, prompting Jonathan to update his documentation to include Signed-off-by, Acked-by, Cc, and Tested-by along with his documentation for Reviewed-by. He offered the following definition for the new Reviewed-by tag:"The patch has been reviewed and found acceptible according to the Reviewer's Statement as found at the bottom of this file. A Reviewed-by tag is a statement of opinion that the patch is an appropriate modification of the kernel without any remaining serious technical issues. Any interested reviewer (who has done the work) can offer a Reviewed-by tag for a patch."

Acer FR condemned to reimburse €500 for pre-installed software

[ Translated & summarized by hkwint ]
Normally, an Acer customer who doesn't wish to use Windows XP can only receive €30 as a reimbursement. However, Acer doesn't reimburse pre-installed software other than Windows XP. Not willing to pay for any of the pre-installed software, an Acer client living near Paris went to the court to receive a reimbursement for all pre-installed software, and the judge decided in favour of the client.
The judge decided, Acer should reimburse all pre-installed software, including Windows XP, Norton Antivirus, MS Works, Power DVD, and NTI CD maker. This added up to a total of over €300, and the judge ordered Acer should pay a total sum of €500 to the client to include indemnification.
Another case in which the UFC Que Choiser pressed charges against HP is still waiting for a decision by the judge.

Vote closes on draft ISO/IEC DIS 29500 standard - (OOXML fails ISO certification at this time)

A ballot on whether to publish the draft standard ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology – Office Open XML file formats, as an International Standard by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) has not achieved the required number of votes for approval.

"Linux more secure than Windows", Microsoft vulnerability report suggests

LXer Feature: 21-Aug-2007
A Microsoft vulnerability report suggests that Microsoft wasn't able to fix more Windows flaws than the number of open software flaws fixed by the major open source companies . Red Hat, having forty times less employees than Microsoft, did the best job, by fixing and closing the most security bugs, also closing even minor bugs - where Microsoft didn't even fix one minor bug in the same period. Even Apple did a better job than Microsoft by fixing lots of flaws in Mac OS X. It should also be noted, the fixed open source flaws were in the 'base system', while the fixed Windows flaws also concerned a lot of Internet Explorer, Media Player and similar stuff.

As expected, many flaws were fixed in RHEL 5, so it seems RHEL 5 is becoming more and more secure. On the other hand, only a few Vista bugs were fixed, which left some customers asking if Microsoft even tried finding and fixing security flaws at all.

See the Microsoft vulnerability report here

[ Seriously, how comes Gentoo has a 'closed bug ranking' and the teams are proud to be on the top of the list, while at the same time Microsoft thinks closing bugs is a bad thing and is glad only a few bugs were closed? - hkwint ]

The Microsoft / Novell / FSF / GPLv3 tale about the bridge between the meadows

LXer Feature: 10-Aug-2007
I've been trying to catch on and to understand what this thread's all about (It started with R. Hovespian from Novell explaining why they needed a deal with MS). I thought, maybe I could try to summarize it all to understand - and maybe explain to others - what's happening here, so I made up a tale of the whole situation:

This article on Digg

Open Video Contest: We've got a winner!

It seems, the editor team at LXer missed the announcement of the winner in the Open Video Contest a while ago. The Open Video Contest is a contest organized by Creative Commons and Fedora, to promote the use of free media formats (ogg-theora is used), flexible copyright, and the Fedora Project.

Six videos came in, all of them are worthwile to watch, and the one from Maurizio Bertoldi(shortcut) from Italy finally won. It's a very good video relating freedom to Linux (and even to Dell?!) so be sure to check it out.

Press Release: Lenovo and Novell Unveil Linux-enabled ThinkPad Mobile Workstation

Lenovo and Novell today announced the industry’s first Linux-based ThinkPad mobile workstations, which will run Novell’s recently released SUSE(R) Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 operating system. The workstations are based on Intel(R) Centrino(R) Duo mobile technology. This groundbreaking innovation, the result of a two-year research and development effort between Lenovo, Intel and Novell, allows electronic engineers engaged in integrated circuit and board level design the necessary support solution for numeric intensive applications in any mobile environment.

Announcement: T-Dose (International) Dutch Open Source Event 2007

T-DOSE 2007 - In the weekend of 13th and 14th October 2007 the free Open Source Event T-DOSE (Technical Dutch Open Source Event) will take place at the Fontys College of Applied Science in Eindhoven, ,The Netherlands (GoogleMaps) . During this event there are 2 central tracks an open source market and several developer or community rooms. There is still room for more Open Source projects and Talks.

* All Open Source Projects that want a booth can reserve one at
* All speakers can sent their abstracts and small biography to

For more information about T-DOSE see

[ T-DOSE was held for the first time last year - I was one of the attendants, and I can recommend the event to anyone involved with open source, talks were very interesting. I'll try to be there this year - hkwint ]

Sabayon's Fabio Erculiani: "Users first and choice makes the tasty dessert among the distro's"

LXer Feature: 31-May-2007

After a month of absence I visited Distrowatch again, and found out I definitely missed something. A new Gentoo-based almost Ubuntu-like* distribution - called Sabayon (an Italian dessert) Linux - seemed to have appeared almost out of nowhere recently including a full-blown portal website. This is even more true if you know Sabayon Linux only has three main developers.

"Let's give this a spin" I thought, and I was stunned: "How did these developers make the most progressive but still stable desktop I have ever seen, with out-of-the-box 3D-desktop experience and tons of applications - all fitting on a LiveDVD?"
Soon, the distribution reached its preliminary goal of surpassing Gentoo at Distrowatch and became the fastest growing distribution of the last few months. To those who don't know Sabayon Linux yet, I'd say: "If less is more, than Sabayon Linux is most at least".

So far so good, you may think, but Sabayon Linux' main developer - Fabio Erculiani - sees an even bigger future for Sabayon Linux, after funding issues are resolved. Time to find out who are behind this user-oriented distribution.

[*In my opinion it's better, but to those who haven't tried Sabayon Linux yet, think Ubuntu, but more complete and more progressive - hkwint]

LXer 'classics': 101 patents Microsoft may infringe

LXer Feature: 15-May-2007

A new database ("counterFUD") was released in 2005 at LXer showing patent numbers where parts of Microsoft might infringe upon.

[Note: This is an old LXer story, but I posted it again, since the topic is hot again, and included some new comments - hkwint ]

"If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today." - Bill Gates, Challenges and Strategy Memo. 16 May 1991, almost forecasting 'patent armageddon'

Linux Journal Contents #158, June 2007

A listing of what's up in Linux Journal, for those interested...

[ This article appeared and then disappeared for a while, so it was posted again, if you were wondering - hkwint ]

LXer cookbook: Convince your boss you need a new desktop

LXer Feature: 22-Apr-2007

OK, that's it. You had it. When running a CAD-application, it takes more than 330 msec to move 30 000 polylines, compiling OpenOffice from scratch takes more than half an hour, Firefox won't open all existing 86 010 LXer stories at once in seperate tabs anymore, you can't run all OpenBSD versions from 2.2 to 3.9 in VMware at the same time anymore to look for differences, TuxRacer only makes 2 frames per day... And worst, your neigbour running Windows98 does his job fine using his i1/2-86, an ancient predecessor of the i286. You're all fed up with it.

But your desktop/server/laptop, whatever it is because it doesn't matter, still looks brand new. Now, what to do to convince your non-tech savvy boss, which would be beaten by your death grandma in a nerd-quiz, that you really need that quadcore dual Opteron SLI triple---whell-everything dual system?

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