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The Road to KDE 4: Updates and Addenda

Well, so far I've published a dozen articles about KDE 4 over the last 12 weeks. A lot of content has been covered, but there is rapid progress still being made on those topics. So, in no particular order, this week's issue deals with addenda and updates to the last 12 articles, so that you can see some of the rapid progress happening as KDE races forward. Read on for details.

Tech Vendors Cause Many User Security Errors, Says Mozilla's Snyder

Study after study tells us that the biggest threat to business networks is human error, and those stats are never a surprise to IT professionals. Despite policies and training, users continue to respond to spam. They click on links and open executables from unknown senders. They lose files. Heck, they lose laptops. Users, many IT managers say, are just hopeless.

Dell launches low-cost PC in China

Dell has launched a new low-cost desktop PC aimed at grabbing market share in China. Instead of Microsoft's new Windows Vista OS, it runs Windows XP. Another PC the company is offering at a special price runs Linux.

The signs of Ghana's tech success

You are on holiday in Ghana's capital, Accra. Walking down the street, you wonder what that tall building with the clock tower is to your left. On the gatepost, you see a little black and white drawing - a calling card from one of Ghana's leading software developers, Guido Sohne.

Five Ajax anti-patterns to avoid like the plague

This article discusses some very common Ajax coding practices that can hurt you, and will want to avoid

Tabletkiosk Builds UMPC with Linux Support

Linux fans listen up. Next month TabletKiosk is debuting the TufTab, one of the first UMPCs that'll let you ditch Windows for Linux. The 2-lb UMPC will be semi-rugged (thanks to a rubberized case) and for all you security freaks, it'll come with a built-in fingerprint reader. There's no WWAN, but you do get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a decent 7-inch display. With Windows XP it'll go for $1,699. With Linux it'll go for $1,624, which is still very steep, so you gotta be a hardcore Linux fanboy for this one.

3d control device gets Linux support

3Dconnexion has released beta Linux drives for its SpaceNavigator control device, enabling users of Maya 8 and 8.5 on that platform to manipulate objects in 3D.

Drupal vs. WordPress: Which is better for blogging?

How do Drupal and WordPress, the leading content management systems for blogging, compare for the average user? To find out, used a preconfigure Drupal site from Bryght and a free site from to set up two similar sites. We compared the interfaces, the basic tasks of customizing a site, adding content, managing comments and spam, and reading site statistics, as well as the other available options. A pattern soon emerged. Consistently, Drupal offered more fine-tuning and tools for managing multiple blogs, while WordPress, although less configurable than Drupal, proved easier to use and navigate.

Dear Microsoft, Sue This, Please

November of last year, you announced a covenant with Novell not to sue its customers for patent violations. Shortly thereafter you tried to strike a similar deal with Red Hat. Red Hat turned you down. Somewhere early in the public discussion you claimed that all users of Linux owe Microsoft money for using Microsoft intellectual property (read: infringing upon Microsoft patents). Please tell us when you plan to collect said monies. When are you going to sue Red Hat Linux customers? When do you plan to sue the users of other countless non-Novell distributions? Surely Novell customers will feel their protection money was ill-spent unless you follow through with such lawsuits. So please fill us in on your plans to sue. The suspense is excruciating.

Mot licenses FOTA for Linux phones

Red Bend Software says its firmware over-the-air (FOTA) client has been licensed by Motorola for use in forthcoming Linux-Java phones. The vCurrent Mobile client will enable efficient, reliable, and cost-effective software update delivery to enhance the user experience beyond the point of purchase, according to Red Bend.

KDE 4.0 Release Schedule Finalised

The KDE Community and the release team have put together a release plan for the long anticipated version 4.0, which is planned to be released in October 2007. KDE 4.0 will be a major milestone for the Free Desktop, as it offers a new foundation and set of frameworks that will shape the desktop user experience for years to come. Users will benefit from improved speed through Qt 4, integration of hardware through Solid, multimedia performance via Phonon, usability enhancements by close collaboration with OpenUsability, new real-time communication options with Decibel, spell-checking with Sonnet, comprehensive desktop search through Strigi and Nepomuk, a new desktop metaphor through Plasma and, last but not least, a completely new artwork experience called Oxygen.

HSBC gets behind Microsoft/Novell in Linux consolidation move

Call it drinking the Kool-Aid, or just accepting business/IT reality — but more and more large enterprises are jumping on board the Microsoft/Novell agreement to provide support and interoperability between Windows and Linux.

Netfirms Meshes Linux and ASP.NET

Netfirms says its new service enables developers to use Web programming frameworks from either platform simultaneously on one Web site. Netfirms product manager Jason Matheson says the new service was created in response to customer demand and rather than just offering the ASP.NET framework, the company decided to offer the choice of developing on both.

Kino 1.0 release marks shift into maintenance mode

A few weeks ago, the Kino video editor finally hit 1.0, which is usually a positive milestone that heralds a new era in an application's development. However, Kino developer Dan Dennedy says that he is done working on Kino's functionality for at least a year, and work toward another major release will not happen "for at least a year" unless someone else steps up to fork the application. However, Dennedy says he sees good things ahead for kdenlive, a non-linear video editor for KDE.

Fortran developer John Backus dies

Another founder of modern computing passes away. John W Backus, team leader of the original FORTRAN development team at IBM, died on 17 March at the respectable age of 82.

OOoBasic crash course: Adding GUI goodness

Some macros have rudimentary dialog boxes that allow you to define a few parameters. If you're ready to take your macro programming skills to a new level, you can learn how to create graphical interfaces for your macros. Once you know how to do that, you can build advanced macros that are close to full-blown applications.

Events: Santa Clara U To Host Open Source Symposium

Santa Clara University in California next week will host a symposium on open-souece software. Titled "Virtues and Vices of Open Source Software," the symposium will focus on issues surrounding commercial and open-source software development.

LiU Archetype Editor Release(Java based)

Those interested in theopenEHR archetype approach but who have been missing a platform independent editor might like this announcement: The LiU Archetype Editor, version 0.5.2, by the Medical Informatics group at the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Linköping University in Sweden has now been released for public download [url=at]at[/url] This release is historical in the sense that the ongoing harmonisation among different openEHR specification and tool authors has reached a point where the tools are compatible. The official openEHR clinical archetypes [url=at]at[/url] are now in line with the 1.0.1 specifications and all tools.

News: Novell's New Server Products To Integrate NetWare, GroupWise

Novell's rollout this week of a SUSE Linux thin client surely doesn't mean that the richer and only slightly older SUSE Enterprise Desktop (SLED) will be going away, officials said at BrainShare. On the other hand, the new Open Enterprise Server (OES) 2, also launched as a public beta this week, will feature a Linux kernel topped by NetWare, a legacy OS the company is now phasing out.

Is OLPC Putting a Band-Aid on a Gaping Wound?

What does the sitcom "Seinfeld" have to do with One Laptop per Child (OLPC), the project aiming to distribute inexpensive notebook computers to the impoverished, third-world children? Not much, except for the fact that two critics of OLPC -- Linspire President and CEO Kevin Carmony and company Chairman Michael Robertson -- refer to an episode of the show when discussing OLPC. They say there are parallels between OLPC and the 1997 Seinfeld installment "The Muffin Tops."

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