LXer Weekly Roundup for 06-Jul-2009

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Jul 6, 2009 5:14 AM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 07-Jul-2009

Why free software shouldn't depend on Mono or C#: Debian's decision to include Mono in the default installation, for the sake of Tomboy which is an application written in C#, leads the community in a risky direction. It is dangerous to depend on C#, so we need to discourage its use.

Low End Linux Netbook Prices Continue To Drop: Last month I wrote about netbooks powered by the MIPS processor, originally developed by SGI. I also pointed out that the price for the Belco Alpha 400 had dropped to $149 last December and January. That is now the regular price for the lowest of low end Linux netbooks at Geeks.com. Last week they had a special and the price dropped to $139. Believe it or not that doesn't sound like a bargain right now. A number of vendors are closing out the much more capable Asus EeePC 900A. Geeks.com is offering it for $149, the same price as the Belco Alpha 400, and they're throwing in an mp3 player.

What's new in Firefox 3.5: After more than a year in development, Mozilla has finally released version 3.5 of its open source Firefox web browser. Previously intended as an incremental update, Firefox 3.5 now includes a number of welcome new features and performance improvements.

Help Me Go Mano a Mano with Microsoft: Next week, I'm taking part in a debate with a Microsoft representative about the passage of the OOXML file format through the ISO process last year. Since said Microsoftie can draw on the not inconsiderable resources of his organisation to provide him with a little back-up, I thought I'd try to even the odds by putting out a call for help to the unmatched resource that is the Linux Journal community. Here's the background to the meeting, and the kind of info I hope people might be able to provide.

Changing the World, One Penguin at a Time: Does the idea of "advocacy" make you nervous? It does sound a bit scary, doesn't it, like those annoying door-to-door religious people. But it's not that way. If you're interested in helping people learn to speak Linux, here are a few easy, non-scary tips.

London Stock Exchange to abandon failed Windows platform: Anyone who was ever fool enough to believe that Microsoft software was good enough to be used for a mission-critical operation had their face slapped this September when the LSE (London Stock Exchange)'s Windows-based TradElect system brought the market to a standstill for almost an entire day. While the LSE denied that the collapse was TradElect's fault, they also refused to explain what the problem really wa. Sources at the LSE tell me to this day that the problem was with TradElect.

Cloned Distro's: Why Ubuntu sucks and should be banned: To write it down clearly: I don't like clones. There are too many distro's out there as it is. Over the last years I have had many people ask me: I have tried Distro X, Y and Z, can you help me? Just a while back a colleague told me, I have upgraded Ubuntu and now my server won't work, can you help me? Or constantly I get people telling me, I have tried Clone of Clone X, Y, Z, it looks nice, but then I upgraded and it hosed my system.

Why Ubuntu has become the flag bearer for Linux: It's easy to argue that Ubuntu's success is because there's an unlimited supply of investment from its super-rich parent company, Canonical. But Linux isn't like any ordinary software stack. People aren't forced to use it, and we can all choose something else at no extra cost. Ubuntu has to be doing something right. Ubuntu's biggest, and earliest, success has been in marketing itself. It's become a recognisable brand, not only in the Linux community, but in the wider non-technical world. For some, the word 'Ubuntu' has become synonymous with Linux. And that's a vital trick. These are people who would never have considered Linux as a viable alternative to their proprietary operating systems before the advent of Ubuntu.

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