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Terror Pumpkins From Power Tools

  • Timocharis.com; By David North (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 30, 2005 3:49 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial
The capital of high technology (San Jose) is the logical cauldron of Techno Pumpkin Making. This page is dedicated to furthering the art of Power Tool Pumpkins, by showing how I make mine.

[Ed.- This demonstrates that real hackers can hack anything! An interesting bit of trivia- this site is the #1 hit on Google for 'pumpkin trepanning'.]

Linux Home Page: Worth a Friendly Visit

  • LXer; By Tom Adelstein (Posted by tadelste on Oct 30, 2005 3:31 PM EDT)
  • Groups: LXer; Story Type: News Story
This web site started several years ago, before the time of rss feeds. An ingenious programmer would grab headlines from web sites, parse the content and display it on his home page. You might like having all that news in one place. Also, notice how Lxer feeds take you right to the articles without forcing you to our web site first - kind of like free news as in freedom.

The Ultimate Pro-Customer Computing Platform

  • Enterprise Networking Planet; By Carla Schroder (Posted by dave on Oct 30, 2005 2:52 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial
I must confess that I am biased. Horribly, irreversibly biased. I love the Free/Open Source software world because it provides the ultimate in pro-customer values...When you build your infrastructure around the Linux operating system, you get the ultimate in flexibility. Linux servers don't care if you want them to serve Linux, Unix, Windows or Mac clients. Linux desktops don't care if they have to rely on an Active Directory domain controller for authentication and access to resources, or if the get to play in an all-Linux environment, or have to tug a forelock to a mighty Unix server...

If this is the end, PDAs are going out in style

PDAs started out as a nerd craze in the mid-1990s and then gained mainstream acceptance for their ability to hold thousands of addresses and appointments in a pocket-sized gadget. But they have been declining recently, with sales down 20 percent last year to 2.7 million units, according to NPD Group, a market-research company. In vogue now are smart phones that integrate PDA functions into a multimedia cellphone, including Palm's own Treo. Meanwhile, several companies that made PDAs, including Sony, have quit the business altogether.

[Ed.- I always felt the biggest bottleneck was data entry. Writing on those tiny little screens, or connecting to a keyboard just don't do the job.]

From Your Living Room to the World, via Podcast

  • New York Times; By Anne Eisenberg (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 30, 2005 12:40 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
From her home near Vancouver, British Columbia, she spoke about her devastating disease into a microphone, connected to her computer, and then posted her thoughts on the Internet. Since then, thousands of people have listened to that first podcast and many others she has made about her disease and related issues, and she now interviews others as part of her program...Entry into this form of broadcasting is open to anyone who owns a computer. The cost can be as little as $10 for a microphone...

[Ed.- The power of the press belongs to those who own one. The article doesn't mention Linux, but it does refer to Audacity, which runs on all major operating systems, and is hosted on Sourceforge. Remember http://bugmenot.com/ if it asks for a registration.]

Bringing Open Source to Enterprise IT

  • OpenEnterpriseTrends; By Vance McCarthy (Posted by tadelste on Oct 30, 2005 11:34 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Open Source, Hibernate Key To Next-Gen Enterprise CMS?

'Spear Phishing' Pokes at Enterprise Users

  • Enterprise Networking Planet; By Michael Hall (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 30, 2005 11:20 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story, Security
...spear phishing attacks tend to focus on a single user or department within an organization, addressed from someone within the company in a position of trust and requesting information such as login IDs and passwords....Typically, the company reports, such information is gathered through public databases, articles on corporate Web sites, so-called "social engineering" in the form of phone calls, and straightforward system cracking.

[Ed.- Criminy, are we going to have to do away with unverified senders entirely? What about snail mail and telephones? After all, anyone can send a letter or make a phone call- how do you know who they really are? Perhaps it's time to return to an agrarian society, living in villages, and knowing everyone personally.]

High-tech, low-fuel commuting

  • Seattle Times; By Paul Andrews (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 30, 2005 10:10 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
President Bush's call for Americans to reduce unnecessary driving because of hurricane-induced fuel shortages made me wonder how the whole concept of telecommuting is faring these days...Census data seem to suggest that people are telecommuting more, even though they're commuting as much as (or slightly more than) they ever did. This may be because mobile workers tend to continue working during evenings and weekends.

[Ed.- Does telecommuting replace trips to the office, or are people just working more hours at home in addition to office hours?]

Free Remote KDE Desktops from CosmoPOD.com

from the something-for-nothing dept. CosmoPOD.com offers free remote KDE desktops over NX. Anyone can sign up to have their own desktop accessible from any computer with a network connection. CosmoPOP uses KDE's Kiosk framework to ensure security for their system. To find out more about the service and why KDE was the chosen desktop, KDE Dot News spoke to the man behind CosmoPOD, Stephen Ensor. Read on for the interview.

Do not Buy a Laptop or Notebook Until January

You have your eye on that Media-Savvy Notebook for Christmas. You will even finance it if possible. It comes with Windows XP Media center software. Prices seem more reasonable than they have in years.

Abstinence is the best cure for your disease. Form a 12-step program if necessary or have an intervention: Notebooks Anonymous. Visit a mental health care professional. Otherwsie, in January, you'll experience buyer's remorse.

Virtual Hosting With PureFTPd And MySQL (Incl. Quota And Bandwidth Management)

  • HowtoForge; By Falko Timme (Posted by VISITOR on Oct 30, 2005 7:19 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups:
[Ed: For those who have not checked out Falko's Howtos, we highly recommend them. - tadelste]

This tutorial describes how to install a PureFTPd server that uses virtual users from a MySQL database instead of real system users. In addition to that I will show the use of quota and upload/download bandwidth limits with this setup.

Conserver: A Flexible, Mature Console Management System

  • SysAdminMag.com; By Bryan Stansell (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 30, 2005 5:42 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups:
How would you like the flexibility to troubleshoot system problems from anywhere? How would you like the ability to have others watch what you are doing, and even help? And how would you like to have everything logged, so you can "go back in time" and review past events? These are just some of the things conserver can do for you.

[Ed.- Linux console servers, while not the most fun to use for everyday administration, can be real life-savers when everything else goes *poof*. Conserver is a free, sophisticated console server with a great feature set that takes you far beyond good ole Minicom and a null-modem cable.]

The click-wrap conundrum

  • Security Focus; By Mark Rasch (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 30, 2005 4:45 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
...Then there is a note in 8-point typeface that says, "by downloading this software [or using the website] you are agreeing to abide by these terms and conditions." Are you bound by this EULA? A recent lawsuit by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission against purveyors of spyware essentially argues that you may not be.

[Ed.- It is beyond logic that a unilateral contract can be binding, especially when there is no way to review it before purchase, or it is incomprehensible, but the courts have upheld EULAs- until now.]

So You Want to Write a Book?

  • O'Reilly Media, Inc.; By O'Reilly Media, Inc. (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 30, 2005 3:48 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial
If you have ever thought, even half seriously, that you would like to write a practical book about computers or computer software, then you probably can. Moreover, given the proper editorial and publishing support, you can probably write a successful book. It's all a matter of doing the right things in the right order. And it helps a great deal if you have a publisher willing to do everything in its power to help you along.

[Ed.- I write books for O'Reilly, so naturally I think they are the bee's knees. However, much of the information in this article applies to all publishing, and most publishers post similar guides on their Websites. If you think you have a book or two in you, go for it- there is all kinds of information here that will help you.]

New Use for Old Hardware: A Network Copier

  • Linux Gazette- the REAL Linux Gazette; By Edgar Howell (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 30, 2005 2:50 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial
Basically the plan is to configure Samba on a PC under GNU/Linux such that another PC with some flavor of Windows can access a share on it. Then, the software that came with the combo device can be used on the Windows machine to scan a document, and save it on a Samba share, in a directory on the Linux machine. And from there OpenOffice.org can access the result of scanning, and print it over the network to the network printer.

[Ed.- This is an ingenious hack that kept a partially-functioning combination fax/printer/scanner/copier in service, and is easily adaptable for other scenarios.]

Control Freaks: Modding and the Clash with Law

...modding has already tumbled head-on into a legal snake pit. This is entirely the doing of large entertainment and media companies, although Justice Department employees without enough work on their hands sometimes take up the cause even more zealously. So the next big paradigm culture shift is coming as major actors look at modding as a social and business issue instead of a legal one. This article tries to explain why that's so important and what its consequences may be.

[Ed.- Control freak is an understatement. When vendors try to follow us home and control how we use their products, that's going too far.]

The broadcast flag returns

  • LWN.net; By LWN.net (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 30, 2005 12:56 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
...the broadcast flag regulations... would require that reception equipment honor a "do not copy" bit in a digital signal...Happily, a federal court threw out the broadcast regulation last May, ruling that the FCC was not authorized to regulate what a piece of equipment does with a signal after reception... The return of the broadcast flag was inevitable; the commercial interests behind this sort of regulation never give up that easily - or at all. Even so, the return of the broadcast flag has been surprisingly quick.

[Ed.- you can't turn your back on these buggers for even a second!]

Getting Closer to GPL 3.0

eWeek has a nice article on the upcoming GPL version change to 3.0. Issues addressed are the actual nuts and bolts of hammering out the details, the people involved, and how it will be presented to the public.

What Is Asterisk

Asterisk is an open source PBX (private branch exchange) that provides all the functionality of high-end business telephone systems, and much more. It is the world's most flexible and extensible telephone system, providing many features that are not yet available in even the most advanced proprietary systems. It is also the world's cheapest telephone system. The software is free and runs on inexpensive Linux servers.

[Ed.- Asterisk is teh hawt. If you've ever rented space on a shared PBX with a single master password that is never changed, or hassled with telecom techs who just don't seem to understand why you want things to work right, take your telephony system into your own hands with Asterisk.]

Learning to Program with DrScheme

  • Linux Gazette- the REAL Linux Gazette; By Pramode C.E. (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 29, 2005 10:05 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial
The ideal programming language for beginners should offer the minimum barrier between thought processes and their concrete implementation as programs on the machine. It should not be a ‘toy’ language - its structure should be rich enough to express complex computer science concepts without being awkward. The language should encourage good coding habits and students should be able to look at it as an extension of the three things which they have already mastered to varying levels of proficiency - reading, writing and mathematics. Do we have such languages? Yes - the programming language Scheme fits in admirably.

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