LXer Weekly Roundup for 26-Oct-2008

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Oct 26, 2008 7:42 PM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 26-Oct-2008

Highlights from the LXer newswire this past week include a hands on with the mobile version of Firefox called Fennec, OpenOffice 3.0 is downloaded over 3 million times in its first week of availability and after a successful pilot program the Russian Government decides to make Open Source software the standard for all of its schools. Also, a review of the Ohio Linuxfest 2008, Linux netbooks start to make a dent in Windows sales, Dillo finally gets tabs and to wrap things up a Microsoft lawyer states that "we're all 'mixed source' now", smells like some good ole' fashioned FUD to me.

Highlights from the LXer newswire this past week include a hands on with the mobile version of Firefox called Fennec, OpenOffice 3.0 is downloaded over 3 million times in its first week of availability and after a successful pilot program the Russian Government decides to make Open Source software the standard for all of its schools. Also, a review of the Ohio Linuxfest 2008, Linux netbooks start to make a dent in Windows sales, Dillo finally gets tabs and to wrap things up a Microsoft lawyer states that "we're all 'mixed source' now", smells like some good ole' fashioned FUD to me.

Apple, Psystar agree to dispute resolution process: Apple and Psystar have agreed to pursue a mediated settlement to their legal dispute over Psystar's Open Computers. The Mac Observer turned up a court filing from earlier this month in the Apple-Psystar case noting that the two parties have agreed to participate in the Alternative Dispute Resolution process. As you may recall, Apple sued Psystar earlier this year for copyright infringement after Psystar began selling low-cost Open Computers with Mac OS X preinstalled. Psystar then countersued Apple on antitrust grounds.

Dillo 2.0 Gets Tab Browsing: Dillo, the famous little browser used in small, lightweight distributions like Damn Small Linux (DSL), reached version 2.0 on October 14, 2008. The last stable Dillo release was 0.8.6, which was around for over two years (April 26, 2006), and this new version brings tons of new improvements, changes and features, the biggest of them being tabbed browsing. Yes, Dillo allows now browsing using tabs, which is a must-have functionality for any desktop browser, no matter how small it is. The changelog is huge. This release is also the first one written in FLTK, as the application was ported from GTK.

How To Install OpenOffice.org 3.0.0 On Ubuntu 8.04: This guide shows how you can install the new OpenOffice 3.0.0 office suite on your Ubuntu 8.04 desktop. Your current OpenOffice installation will not be removed unless you uninstall it with Synaptic or on the command line, so you can run both versions in parallel if you like.

Hands on: Fennec alpha 1 puts Firefox on your handheld: Mozilla has announced the availability of the first Mobile Firefox alpha release. The project, which is codenamed Fennec, aims to bring the desktop Firefox browsing experience to mobile devices like MIDs and phone handsets. This early alpha release delivers a compelling user interface and demonstrates the impressive scope of the browser's potential on diminutive devices, but suffers from performance limitations and instability that reflect the need for significant refinement before it's mature enough for mainstream adoption.

Ballmer Needs to Learn the Art of Shutting Up: Steve Ballmer doesn't seem to have learned the art of shutting up, which is fairly odd given that he is the CEO of a huge corporation. Ballmer gave a talk last week at the Gartner's Symposium ITxpo in Orlando where by all reports he let go not one, but two major gaffes. One involved Yahoo! The other involved his embattled OS: Vista.

Does Linux Need a $300 Million Ad Campaign?: Microsoft is now spending $300 million to counter Apple's "I'm a Mac" ads. Does Linux need its own ad campaign? It has been fascinating to see Microsoft roll out its (can you believe it!!) $300 million ad campaign, the one that counters the now famous and effective “I’m a Mac” ads. With those ads, the Apple folks have done a great job of defining a narrative for Microsoft and, in the parlance of advertising, affecting their brand image. The top dog at Microsoft for managing the brand image of Windows said “[Apple has] made a caricature out of the PC.” Given the stakes in the marketplace, Microsoft had little choice but to invest a ton of resources and get their own message out into the public realm.

Who Are The Real Friends of Linux and Free Software? Or, Linux Is Still a Dirty Word: Ken is a well-spoken polite man, but that doesn't prevent him from asking the hard questions that nobody else wants to ask at these industry lovefests, which increasingly appear to be more about newer and more innovative ways to exploit Linux and FOSS. Ken stepped up to the mike at the panel discussion and asked a simple question that visibly discomfited the panel: "My customers can turn on their cable television and in 30 minutes watch five Microsoft Windows commercials. When are IBM and HP going to put the same things on? When are my customers going to be able to see about Linux? Television and radio legitimize the product." The responses, in my occasionally-humble opinion, were worthy of Redmond itself.

No Opt-Out for the Great Firewall of Australia: So it appears there will be no way to escape from being blocked from seeing sites that are false positives due to buggy & broken filters or incorrectly classified, etc..

OpenOffice 3.0: Three Million Downloads in the First Week: In an announcement on his blog, the UK's OpenOffice Marketing Manager, John McCreesh, states that in the first week of its release, OpenOffice.org 3.0 registered over 3 million downloads. Yet the project only records downloads from the so-called Bouncer website.

Why Microsoft Wants Us to Get All Mixed Up: “What's in a name?” some bloke in the sixteenth century once asked. As Microsoft knows, quite a lot. What you call something can have a major influence on how you think about it. So how Microsoft talks about free software is important – not least for the clues that it gives about its latest tactical move to defang the open source threat.

*All* Russian Schools to Use Free Software: After running some successful pilots, the Russian government has decided to make open source the standard for *all* schools. Depending on the uptake, that could be up to one million more machines running free software by 2010.

Ohio Linuxfest 2008: BIOSLEVEL.com takes a trip to this year's Ohio LinuxFest. We share our thoughts and experiences of the event with our readers, and look forward to future conventions.

Five accounting apps for Linux: One of the most often heard complaints from users looking to migrate to Linux is that there are no good accounting applications. To be fair, there is a degree of truth in that concern. At least there was, until now.

Three Linux Distros To Watch And Use: There are three Linux distributions that didn't make it into my top 10 list of best Linux distributions but they are ones to watch. These three distributions are all aimed at the Desktop, are simple to install and use, and they're free. Linux Mint, gOS, and OpenSuSE are the three distros (distributions) to watch. (I reviewed 2 (gOS & Linux Mint) of these 3 in a Linux Magazine article, "Spawn of Ubuntu.")

Linux Netbooks Impact Microsoft Windows Sales: In its latest financial results, Microsoft concedes that the shift to Netbooks -- those low-cost subnotebooks -- is impacting the company's Windows business. The company face's a tough challenge: Low-ball Windows prices on Netbooks or more defections to Linux networks.

Boycott Novell: Champion of freedom or den of paranoia?: Few sites about free software attract more controversy than Boycott Novell. Founded in 2006 in response to the first Microsoft-Novell deal, as its name suggests, the site has evolved more recently into a site for commentary and investigation of any subject that might be a threat to free software. To its regular readers, this subject matter makes Boycott Novell -- like Groklaw, its apparent inspiration -- a defender of the community. But to others, especially those who have been the subject of its articles, the site is full of illogical arguments and undeserved attacks, and an embarrassment that only brings the community into disrepute.

Microsoft: We're all 'mixed source' companies: In case you were wondering, Microsoft thinks the battle of open source vs. proprietary software is basically over. "Today, but increasingly in the future, we are all going to be 'mixed source'," Microsoft's top intellectual property lawyer said in a lunchtime interview on Thursday. To bolster his claim, Horacio Gutierrez notes Microsoft is releasing plenty of stuff as open source, while open-source companies like Red Hat often license commercial software alongside their open-source products. "I actually think the war between proprietary and open source is a thing of the past," he said.

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