LXer Weekly Roundup for 17-Feb-2013

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Feb 18, 2013 2:59 AM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)

LXer Feature: 17-Feb-2013

The latest installment of the LXer Weekly Roundup. Enjoy!

The Perfect Desktop - Fedora 18 XFCE: This tutorial shows how you can set up a Fedora 18 desktop (with the XFCE desktop environment) that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge.

A Nightmare on Linux Avenue: Let’s say it finally happens and the big OEMs get tired of dealing with Microsoft and decide to make Windows only one choice of several on new computers. Not a world like we have now, where the likes of Dell halfheartedly offer half baked and broken installs of Ubuntu, installs that need serious tweaking before they’ll work. Not that world, but a pretend world of Linux being offered across all models, with a choice between two or three distros. You know, OEMs giving Linux exactly the same treatment as they give Windows today.

Microsoft Office is not coming to Linux: There's a story going around that Microsoft might be porting Office to Linux. If you believe this story, I have a wonderful, lightly used bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you for a mere million dollars cash. You can run MS-Office on Linux today with WINE or Crossover, but running it natively on Linux is a pipe-dream. Is this technically possible? Sure. In fact, you can run Microsoft Office on Linux today by using WINE or its commercial big brother, CodeWeavers' Crossover Linux. I've done it myself. WINE and Crossover runs Office, and other Windows applications, on Linux by providing an implementation of the Windows API (application programming interface) on top of Linux.

Why it's time to stop using open source licences: Free software is built on a paradox. In order to give freedom to users, free software licences use something that takes away freedom – copyright, which is an intellectual monopoly based on limiting people's freedom to share, not enlarging it. That was a brilliant hack when Richard Stallman first came up with it in 1985, with the GNU Emacs General Public Licence, but maybe now it's time to move on.

Tablet for hackers: is the dream dead?: The ZaTab, advertised as a tablet for hackers, is out of stock with no indication of whether it will be coming back into circulation again.

Securing Your Linux PC: These seven steps to locking down security on your Linux Desktop may be one of the smartest things you ever did. Security increasingly becomes more important as we move to global network access.

Top 10 Linux Networked Storage Systems Under $1,000: Cloud storage may be on the move, but local network-attached storage (NAS) systems continue to be in hot demand, especially as they integrate cloud backup and mobile access. In the enterprise NAS, unified storage, and SAN (storage area network) world, Linux shares the pie with Unix and Windows. But in the faster-growing small and medium business (SMB), small office and home office (SoHo), and consumer NAS segments, Linux is clearly dominant.

Steam for Linux officially launched: With beta testing now officially completed, Valve Software has released the Linux client for its Steam game delivery platform. The software is available to download from the Ubuntu Software Centre and Valve has provided a downloadable deb package. The company has only recently relicensed the client with provisions that allow it to be included in Linux distributions. Valve recommends Ubuntu, but support for other distributions has been further improved during public beta testing, which started in December.

HP bids adieu to WebOS, Windows RT, and says hello to Android: HP may have finally decided on its primary tablet and smartphone operating system, and it's not WebOS or Windows, it's Android. While HP still hasn't made it official, sources are reporting that HP has decided that at least part of its tablet and smartphone future lies not with Windows or WebOS but with Google's Android. Who'd thought it!? Well, I for one did. Look at the facts. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently said that in the last quarter Apple sold 23-million iPads, while HP—the world’s largest PC maker—sold 15-million PCs. And, who's catching up with the iPad in a great hurry? According to IDC that would be Android tablets. Since there's no way in heaven and earth, HP will ever be selling iPads, HP CEO Meg Whitman is hitching HP's wagon to Android's ascending star.

Python v. Python: Software foundation fights for trademark in EU: The Python programming language has been around for more than two decades, but today it is fighting for its name in Europe. The Python Software Foundation's chairman yesterday said the Python trademark is "at risk in Europe" because a cloud server and storage company that also uses the name Python is trying to get ownership of the mark. In a blog post, Foundation Chairman Van Lindberg (who is also an IP and open source lawyer) asked community members for help, both financially and by supplying material that might help the Foundation bolster its claim to the trademark.

Retail copies of Office 2013 are tied to a single computer forever: With the launch of Office 2013 Microsoft has seen fit to upgrade the terms of the license agreement, and it’s not in favor of the end user. It seems installing a copy of the latest version of Microsoft’s Office suite of apps ties it to a single machine. For life.

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