Showing headlines posted by tuxchick

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Control Freaks: Modding and the Clash with Law

...modding has already tumbled head-on into a legal snake pit. This is entirely the doing of large entertainment and media companies, although Justice Department employees without enough work on their hands sometimes take up the cause even more zealously. So the next big paradigm culture shift is coming as major actors look at modding as a social and business issue instead of a legal one. This article tries to explain why that's so important and what its consequences may be.

[Ed.- Control freak is an understatement. When vendors try to follow us home and control how we use their products, that's going too far.]

The broadcast flag returns

  •; By (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 30, 2005 12:56 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
...the broadcast flag regulations... would require that reception equipment honor a "do not copy" bit in a digital signal...Happily, a federal court threw out the broadcast regulation last May, ruling that the FCC was not authorized to regulate what a piece of equipment does with a signal after reception... The return of the broadcast flag was inevitable; the commercial interests behind this sort of regulation never give up that easily - or at all. Even so, the return of the broadcast flag has been surprisingly quick.

[Ed.- you can't turn your back on these buggers for even a second!]

What Is Asterisk

Asterisk is an open source PBX (private branch exchange) that provides all the functionality of high-end business telephone systems, and much more. It is the world's most flexible and extensible telephone system, providing many features that are not yet available in even the most advanced proprietary systems. It is also the world's cheapest telephone system. The software is free and runs on inexpensive Linux servers.

[Ed.- Asterisk is teh hawt. If you've ever rented space on a shared PBX with a single master password that is never changed, or hassled with telecom techs who just don't seem to understand why you want things to work right, take your telephony system into your own hands with Asterisk.]

Learning to Program with DrScheme

  • Linux Gazette- the REAL Linux Gazette; By Pramode C.E. (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 29, 2005 10:05 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial
The ideal programming language for beginners should offer the minimum barrier between thought processes and their concrete implementation as programs on the machine. It should not be a ‘toy’ language - its structure should be rich enough to express complex computer science concepts without being awkward. The language should encourage good coding habits and students should be able to look at it as an extension of the three things which they have already mastered to varying levels of proficiency - reading, writing and mathematics. Do we have such languages? Yes - the programming language Scheme fits in admirably.

ICANN on center stage

  • Security Focus; By Scott Granneman (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 29, 2005 9:10 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
It's somewhat understandable that many countries would be nervous that the United States, in essence, controls the Internet. Like it or not, the Bush administration has chosen to act alone over and over again, in both war and peace. The decision to essentially go it alone in the Iraq War is but one sign of this attitude. Now the decision to retain what is essentially dominance of the DNS root servers is another. As long as that control remains, governments and citizens around the world can't be sure that US foreign or domestic policy won't affect the Internet.

Centralized User Management with Kerberos and LDAP

  • Sys Admin Magazine; By Travis Crawford (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 29, 2005 9:07 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups:
Centralized management of user accounts solves a major problem in distributed computing environments. Without centralization in an environment with X users, Y computers, and Z services, we have (X*Y)+(X*Z) accounts to manage. With centralization, we have X+Y+Z accounts to manage. In this article, I will provide an overview of user account management with Kerberos and LDAP. I will describe the protocols and how they work as well as their implementation. Finally, I will discuss how to manage accounts using this new system.

[Ed.- this is a wonderfully detailed howto that clearly explains how all the pieces work, written by a Google System Administrator, so presumably he has had a lot of practice!]

Cracking The Lexmark Code: Legally Obliterating DMCA Cartridge Limits.

  •; By David North (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 28, 2005 3:46 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups:
[Ed- This is an oldie but goodie, inspired by Lexmark's attempt to use the DMCA to block third-party ink cartridge vendors. It's an inspired example of individual activism.]

Getting Kids Into Computing

It's a given that children need at least basic computing skills. Should you encourage your kids to consider a computing career? What if they turn into fat, nearsighted, socially-impaired, tunnel-visioned geeks?

LXer Feature: Survival Tactics For Women In FOSS, part 2

In Part 1 I offered some general advice and encouragement for women involved in FOSS, and women who want to be involved in FOSS. Part 2 is a partial resource guide, a list of women-oriented tech communities...These are great places to connect with other women in computing, to socialize, to get job and professional tips, and to get help and encouragement for everything from workplace and personal issues to technical help. For most of these groups the goal is not to provide a safe shelter to hide in and never come out, but to help women develop the skills and support to cope with everyday challenges, and achieve their goals.

FOSS: The Savior of Democracy

I'm afraid I do not have an optimistic view of the future. People throw away their rights as heedlessly as pieces of litter. The one ray of hope just may be the FOSS world, because it puts powerful tools into the hands of anyone who wants them. Television, radio, and print media are lost to us, and that is deliberate, because the most powerful tool of all for liberty is free speech. The first act of any tyrant is to control broadcast and print media. "Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one."

How Dell repels attempts to buy its 'open source' PC

  • The Register; By Ashlee Vance (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 7, 2005 9:18 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
We tried. We gave up.

Dell this week received much praise for releasing a new version of its "open source" PC. The computer fits into Dell's n Series range of Windows-less systems. These ship with a copy of FreeDOS in the packaging material - but not installed on the PC - which is apparently a bizarre concession to Microsoft. While Dell garners glowing reviews for shipping such an open source OS-friendly product, the company's new E510n actually stands as yet another example of how hard Dell tries not to sell non-Microsoft gear.

MySQL For Sysadmins

  • Enterprise Networking Planet; By Carla Schroder (Posted by tuxchick on Sep 2, 2005 12:47 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: MySQL
Here is a nice little two-part introduction to using MySQL as a backend for Linux system services, like Samba user authentication and mail servers. Covers the basics of creating a database, tables, finding, adding, deleting, and changing data. Also a good beginning general-purpose MySQL howto.

TCP: Tripe Communication Protocol?

  • Enterprise Networking Planet; By Carla Schroder (Posted by tuxchick on Jul 29, 2005 12:15 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups:
Bloggers have put "real" journalists on the defensive in a big way. You can't believe bloggers, say some "real" journalists -- they have no editorial boards, no fact-checking, no training or credentials. You, the trusting reader turning your big wistful puppy eyes on their Web sites have no way of knowing who these people are or why you should trust them. That's what they say, at any rate. Yeah, right. Let me share an amusing little tale with you about the difference between bloggers and "real" journalists. Take a look at is a blog. Be sure to read the page title up at the top of your Web browser, because that is a Clue. Now take a few minutes to read some of the stories ... ... all done? Did you figure out that all the stories are fake? ....

Enhance Security with a Linux Logging Server

Enabling remote logging is very simple. The most difficult part is keeping all the doggone names straight — syslog, syslogd, sysklogd — I tell ya, it's a deliberate form of geek torture. Then you need a dedicated logging server somewheres. Then you need to start the syslog daemon with the -r switch; this tells it to accept messages from remote processes. Then the various hosts need to be configured to send their log messages to your logging server.

MPAA pushes for increase in hard drive tax

  •; By Danamania (Posted by tuxchick on Jul 12, 2005 1:19 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) representative Chet Littlemore is pressing for a raise in the little known Hard Drive Piracy Tax, a small percentage of a hard disk's storage space kept from a consumer so that it can't be used for pirated materials....Littlemore says that in these early years of the 21st century, up to one quarter of the average hard drive is pirated material. "The Hard Disk tax must be raised a proportional amount. If the space is not there, it cannot be used for illegal storage. We're balancing the effects of people's illegal downloading habits."

Windows Dumbs Down Even More! Shiny! New!

In an effort to capture more of the vital overseas-customers-who-don't-have-much-money market, Microsoft released localized versions of Windows XP Starter Edition in several countries, which is so dumbed-down and crippled that those of us who thought our low expectations of Microsoft could not be beaten were proven wrong yet again.

Resurgent Novell: Building Linux for Grownups?

  • Enteprise Networking Planet; By Carla Schroder (Posted by tuxchick on Mar 1, 2005 5:48 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Novell, SUSE
My heart's desire, as a gnarly old Linux/Windows sysadmin, has long been for better management utilities: directory services, user and resource management, system monitoring, and single sign-on that work across a mixed environment. Something like Active Directory, only without the vendor lock-in, and it works right....In a sane world, Novell NetWare would have remained the dominant network operating system.

California man patents eating, drinking.

  • Mac OS D; By Danamania (Posted by tuxchick on Feb 14, 2005 2:21 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The amazing Danamania, who is not just a crazed Aussie but also a woman of clear and penetrating insight, scores again:
"A Bay Area man has caused a stir by finally succeeding in his application to patent eating and drinking.

Dean Holland of Oakland explains that he first attempted to patent the entire process of eating, swallowing and digesting - but failed. Diligent patent examiners picked up that part of this process was involuntary, and thus fell outside the scope of patent law."

Open Source browsers damage businesses

Open Source web browsers are causing untold damage to businesses around the globe, according to Microsoft security specialist David Keppelmeyer. Keppelmeyer believes the sudden rise in popularity of browsers such as Firefox competing for Internet Explorer's market share is not only an attack upon Microsoft, but is directly "squeezing more attacks upon IE users."

Honey, Vinegar, and Flies, or, F/OSS Won't Thrive If It Eats Its Own Young

Anyone can whine. But lending support and making genuine contributions is what makes the F/OSS wheels go 'round.

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