LXer Weekly Roundup for 29-Nov-2009

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Nov 30, 2009 9:12 PM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 30-Nov-2009

Open Source Poses “Huge Risk” To Organisations: A chief information officer for engineering giant General Electric (GE) has said that open source software is only suited for internal “playground” applications and that businesses that use it for mission critical infrastructure are taking a huge risk. Responding to a question from eWEEK Europe UK on the first day of the Central and Eastern European IT Leaders Summit & Expo, in Budapest, Peter Gyorgy, chief information officer of GE's Consumer and Industrial division in Europe, said non-proprietary code presents a significant risk to companies.

Would You Accept Google's Free Netbook?: People seem underwhelmed by Chromium OS, but maybe Google has a bigger plan: how about producing a netbook running Chromium OS, and giving it away? The small hardware costs would be covered by advertising *in the Web apps*. Would you use one?

Microsoft and Murdoch teaming up against Google?: For months, Rupert Murdoch, chairman of global media giant News Corp, has been complaining about his publications' content showing up in Google searches. Now Microsoft is reportedly offering to pay publishers, including News Corp, to block Google searches in favor of Bing listings.

Rupert Murdoch vs. The Web: Are the fights that matter just the ones between giant companies? Doesn't the health of the Net and the Web matter more than any commercial battles? These questions came to mind when I read How Murdoch Can Really Hurt Google And Shift The Balance Of Power In Search in TechCrunch recently. In that piece Mike Arrington supported Jason Calacanis' suggestion that Murdoch stick it to Google by cutting an exclusive search deal with rival search engine Bing. Even Jay Rosen took the same side. (Though perhaps in jest.)

Microsoft to get exclusive access to News Corp's content: Microsoft and Rupert Murdoch have joined forces against a common enemy. For months Mr Murdoch has been railing against the search engine Google and Microsoft wants to transform its own puny search engine Bing into a true competitor to Google. The impetus for the discussions between Microsoft and News Corporation came from News Corp. The talks have arrived at a proposed deal that will likely attract the attention of anti-trust lawyers. Under the agreement Microsoft, with its available huge war chest to fight Google, would pay News Corporation to remove its content from the Google search index.

iPhone & HTML5 bring "streaming Silverlight content" to Linux: Microsoft worked together with Apple to bring Silverlight video to the iPhone. What this solution basically does is take a video at the server side, cut it in parts and convert the parts to separate H.264 streams. Then stream those files to end users with IIS Media services. These have .ts extensions, a format mplayer understands.

The Un-Scary Screwdriver: One early spring day as we were walking home from the bakery on the corner, we passed by a neighbor and struck up a conversation. He complained about his desktop being constantly attacked by viruses. We suggested Ubuntu. A professional man in his 50s, he said he wanted to try installing a Linux distribution on his desktop but that, “it looks too complicated. I probably couldn’t install Ubuntu. I don’t want the hassle.” My little five year old daughter had been snuggled in my arms while I was talking to this neighbor. She had been listening closely. When we got home, she said, “Mom, I can install Ubuntu. I bet I can. Can I try? Can I try?”

Transparently uploading and accessing encrypted files and directories to a Cloud Service: The idea is to store ones files on a cloud (Ubuntu One), so that they remain private, using encryption, but so that they can be transparently uploaded and downloaded and accessed, as if they are unencrypted files.

How to Fix Your Relatives' Terrible Computer: Drop your bags, grab a drink, and grab the XP CD—it's time for the holiday ritual of fixing up your relatives' computer. Here are some tips and downloads to keep handy while you're cursing all the auto-starting cr@pware. For this guide, we're going to do a bit of assuming. We're assuming the relative with the busted computer is running a Windows system, and has an internet connection that works when the computer does. We're assuming all the physical pieces of the computer work—hard drive, memory, disc drives, and anything else that's crucial. We'll also assume the computer's in one of two states: Failing to boot and needing an OS re-installation, laden with unnecessary system tray/startup applications and/or spy/mal/ad-ware, or just needing a little optimization.

When Open Source Meets Closed Minds: Me: “How could you tell they’d hacked it?” Caller: “Well, when it booted, it didn’t say Windows or Microsoft or anything! It said something about Deviant Linux, I think, and the main screen looked nothing like my good, legal Windows screen at home! I think they hacked that, too!”

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