LXer Weekly Roundup for 22-Jan-2012

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Jan 22, 2012 8:37 PM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)



LXer Feature: 22-Jan-2012

What a week, no? What started out as Wikipedia joining Reddit, Mozilla and others in blacking out their websites this past Wednesday in protest to the SOPA and PIPA vote in Congress, quickly exploded into thousands of websites following suit. For one, it made surfing the internet on Wednesday a scavenger hunt to find a site that wasn't dark. And two, the ensuing media storm it created had the effect of actually getting Congress to postpone their vote on it. I have been in Los Angeles all weekend attending SCALE 10x and will have my full review for you later in the week, but I will tell you that it was bigger and better than ever. Enjoy!

Microsoft Says No to Disabling UEFI Secure Boot on ARM: Remember last year when questions arose about Microsoft's policies on UEFI secure boot on Windows 8? Microsoft's response, or lack thereof, was that "OEMs are free to choose" how or whether to enable turning off secure boot on systems shipping Windows 8. It appears, however, OEMs may not be as free to choose if they're shipping ARM hardware.

Windows 8's locked bootloaders: much ado about nothing, or the end of the world as we know it?: Microsoft has published the hardware requirements that manufacturers must follow if they want to slap a "Designed for Windows 8" sticker onto their systems. In among many innocuous requirements—multitouch systems must support at least five points of touch, there must be at least 10 GB of free space available to the user, and more—are a set of requirements for Windows 8 systems' firmware. These requirements have reignited Linux users' fears that they will be locked out of Windows 8 hardware.

Six Great Desktop Linux Features You May Take for Granted: Maybe it’s just a sign that I’m getting old, but more and more often lately I’ve found myself thinking thoughts like, “Back in my day, Linux didn’t have X, Y and Z. We did without!” With these sentiments in mind, I decided to put together a list of a few major desktop Linux technologies that millions of users now take for granted, but which didn’t exist only a few years ago.

Let's Define Piracy: One thing conspicuously missing from the SOPA/PIPA debate was just what constitutes piracy. And we need to have a serious conversation about defining piracy because piracy is definitely real, but it's not what big media companies and the MPAA's Chris Dodd would have you believe.

Let's Play: The Elder Scrolls IV - Oblivion: Maybe this is one of the best RPG ever created, with wonderful landscapes, astonishing textures, a really deep main plot, a huge map and a lot of secondary missions. So ladies and gentlemen, welcome to "Let's Play: The Elder Scrolls IV - Oblivion"!

Responses To The Linux Desktop Security Problem: Just about 24 hours ago I spread the news about a major vulnerability in X.Org / XKB that makes it trivial for anyone with physical access to a Linux-based desktop system to easily bypass any screensaver lock whether you're using GNOME, KDE, or most other desktop environments. So what's changed in the past day?..

Linux Foundation Report Shows Growing Linux Adoption Rates in the Enterprise: Released today, Linux Adoption Trends 2012: A Survey of Enterprise End Users is based on responses from 428 IT professionals from organizations with US$ 500 million or more a year in revenues or 500+ employees and is available for download from the Linux Foundation site. Among the key findings, the study shows that 8 out of 10 respondents say that they've added Linux servers in the past 12 months and plan to add more in the next year. The same number of respondents say they plan to add more Linux over the next five years, compared to only 21.7% of respondents planning an increase in Windows servers. When it comes to Big Data, almost 72% of respondents choose Linux as the platform, whereas 35.9% plan to use Windows.

Learn Open Source Database Tools from Stanford for Free: This in depth review of Stanford's excellent course "Introduction to Databases" (covering XML, RDBMS, SQL, OLAP, and NoSQL) focuses on the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) tools that are center stage throughout. In addition Stanford's new approach to OER (Open Educational Resources) is critiqued.

Two lessons from the Megaupload seizure: Congratulations, citizens, on your cute little “democracy” victory in denying us the power to shut down websites without a trial: we’re now going to shut down one of your most popular websites without a trial.

Hold Your Horses - We've Only Won a Reprieve: I just received an email from Demand Progress, a progressive web site, proclaiming, “Wow. We just won.” The reference, of course, was to Wednesday’s Internet blackout to protest SOPA and PIPA. Indeed, it does appear we’ve won a battle, as both bills appear to be dead – for the time being. Winning a battle is not the same thing as winning a war. The losing side in any war always wins at least a battle or two. A war isn’t won until the other side raises a white flag and agrees to terms of surrender. So far, all we’ve won is one battle.

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