LXer Weekly Roundup for 24-Apr-2011

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Apr 25, 2011 2:40 AM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)

LXer Feature: 24-Apr-2011

For your reading pleasure this week we have the Linux vs. Microsoft War is over..again, Oracle unchains OpenOffice, a review of Linux Mint XFCE, sticking a fork in Flock, and Google's Linux servers are hit with a patent suit. Enjoy!

Linux Needs GC Lingua Franca(s) to Win: If we were already talking to our computers, etc. as we should be, I wouldn’t feel a need to write this to you. Given current rates of adoption, Linux still seems a generation away from being the priceless piece of free software useful to every child and PhD. This army your kernel enables has millions of people, but they often lose to smaller proprietary armies, because they are working inefficiently. My mail one year ago listed the biggest workitems, but I realize now I should have focused on one. In a sentence, I have discovered that we need GC lingua franca(s).

The Linux vs. Microsoft war is over: We have a winner in the 20 year battle for operating system dominance. Well, almost... It's been 20 years since a geek from Helsinki first started dabbling with an operating system known as Linux. For many of those 20 years the upstart open source operating system has been seen as a potential Windows killer. So, on this anniversary, where do we stand?

LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1 Available, Oracle Unchains OpenOffice: April 15 brought some interesting developments in the office suite front. Oracle's press release announcing its intention of halting commercial interest in OpenOffice.org came hours before The Document Foundation announced the release of LibreOffice 3.4 Beta 1.

GIMP 2.8 May Not Come Until Late November: GIMP 2.7.2 was released last week as a development stop in the road to GIMP 2.8, which itself was supposed to be released last December. But with the single-window user-interface lagging behind along with other work, GIMP 2.8 development dragged along with its limited number of core developers. It looked like it would just be a few more months until 2.8 was released, but with v2.7.2 just arriving, that's not likely to happen. Based upon a new tool developed by one of the GIMP developers, the 2.8 release isn't estimated to occur until the end of November...

9 Steps To Happiness in Linux Mint XFCE: Linux Mint team works hard on making Linux as much user-friendly as possible. They even managed to improve usability of Ubuntu which holds position because its high degree of userfriendliness. Linux Mint is not just one system. I would say that Mint is more like approach to interface building which can be applied to a range of systems/desktop environments/windows managers. Sure enough, most known Linux Mint version is based on Ubuntu with GNOME. That was just a beginning. I have already written my thoughts about this Linux Mint version. But every beginning has its own story. Mint team also released KDE, LXDE and XFCE remixes. All of them were based on Ubuntu. Were... Until recent.

Google Linux servers hit with $5m patent infringement verdict: A jury has found that in using Linux on its back-end servers, Google has infringed a patent held by a small Texas-based company and must pay $5m in damages. In 2006, Bedrock Computer Technologies sued Google and several other outfits – including Yahoo!, Amazon.com, PayPal, and AOL – claiming they infringed on a patent filed in January 1997. The patent describes "a method and apparatus for performing storage and retrieval...that uses the hashing technique with the external chaining method for collision resolution", and the accusation is that companies infringed by using various versions of the Linux kernel on their servers.

Stick a Fork in Flock: Why it Failed: This probably won't come as a surprise to many, but the "social Web browser" has thrown in the towel. Don't cry for the Flock team - they're flying the coop for Zynga to go make Facebook games or something. But Flock's loyal fans are out in the cold. Why'd Flock fail? There's a few lessons to be learned.

A failure of logic: Here’s a legitimate question, and one you should consider: If your CPU is 20 times faster than hardware from a decade ago, why does it take the same amount of time — sometimes longer — to go from a cold start to online and reading e-mail?

Smart Book: While following some links that I had received from a conversation on Diaspora* Alpha, I ran across the Smart Book, a great product from Always Innovating. While they offer them for sale, they do not yet have a shipping date. Reading their press release, it does not look like they plan to sell them in mass quantities. Imaging having a hand held Internet device, a tablet, a netbook, and screen that can be plugged into another computer, all in one device. Along with all of those features it runs multiple operating systems all at the same time. On top of everything else it is Open Hardware and Open Software. The complete package is listed at $549. I would love to get my hands on one.

Instituting 'Defense in Depth' for PCI Compliance on a Linux Platform: This article is going to tell you how to institute 'defense in depth' to ensure PCI compliance on a Linux platform. Before we go ahead with the details, you'll obviously want to know what defense in depth actually means. Now the entire basis of defense in depth is that your integral server has layer upon layer of security that ensures that intrusion is almost impossible.

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