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This week at LWN: Specifying codecs for the web

Audio and video content are increasingly important components of the World Wide Web, which some of us remember, initially, as a text-only experience. Users of free software need not be told that the multimedia aspect of the net can be hard to access without recourse to proprietary tools. So the decisions which are made regarding multimedia support in the next version of the HTML specification are of more than passing interest. A current dispute over the recommended codecs for HTML5 shows just how hard maintaining an interoperable web may be.

Linux-based NAS storage devices expand capacity

Netgear has introduced five Linux-based networked attached storage (NAS) products. Targeted at "prosumers" and small to medium-sized businesses, Netgear's ReadyNAS NV+ systems offer higher capacities than previous Infrant models, and come in 1.5TB (terabyte), 2TB, 3TB, and 4TB versions, as well as a 4TB rackmount version.

Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Hardy Heron Alpha 2 Screenshots

  • TCS (Posted by lqsh on Dec 22, 2007 9:17 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Ubuntu
Welcome to Hardy Heron Alpha-2, which will in time become Ubuntu 8.04. Alpha 2 is the second in a series of milestone CD images that will be released throughout the Hardy development cycle. Check out the Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Hardy Heron Alpha 2 screenshots by The Coding Studio.

McKesson Migrates To Linux As Boost To Patient Safety

The healthcare services company moved 50 of its 70 applications to Linux over the last two years and will complete the process with the remaining 20 within a year or two. Three years ago, McKesson's Acute Care Solutions offered its hospital and doctors' office applications to run under IBM's mainframe AIX or other larger server Unix. But customers were bringing smaller Intel-based servers into their hospitals and doctors offices. A small doctor's group had little use for an eight or 12-way Unix server, but a two-way Intel or AMD server was about right.

Serious Flash vulns menace tens of thousands websites

Researchers from Google have documented serious vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash content which leave tens of thousands websites susceptible to attacks that steal the personal details of visitors. The security bugs reside in Flash applets, the ubiquitous building blocks for movies and graphics that animate sites across the web. Also known as SWF files, they are vulnerable to attacks in which malicious strings are injected into the legitimate code through a technique known as cross-site scripting, or XSS. Currently there are no patches for the vulnerabilities, which are found in sites operated by financial institutions, government agencies and other organizations.

What Really Matters About Samba Getting Microsoft Documentation

Years after the EU ruled that Microsoft needed to give over documentation that would allow Samba, an open-source file and printer sharing application, to be fully compatible with Microsoft software, Microsoft finally did it. Despite the delay, what matters now is that Samba has what they need to make Linux better.

Ubuntu 7.10 update woes

I do not know... Is it me or is it every time a major update happens with Ubuntu something goes wrong. I do not think I am all alone on this one...

Five highlights of desktop Linux in 2007

  • DesktopLinux.com; By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Dec 22, 2007 3:35 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Linux
Sometimes putting together a best-of-the-year list is like pulling teeth. There simply isn't enough big news to fill the list out. That was not a problem for desktop Linux in 2007. This year was one of the most eventful years in desktop Linux's short history. While Mac OS X remains the most successful of all the Unix/open-source-based operating systems, the Linux desktop made great strides forward in both the office and in homes.

OggConvert makes Ogg converts (and converts to Oggs)

OggConvert is a simple, GUI-based video transcoder that outputs only to the free Theora and Dirac formats. It couldn't be any easier to use, and it's the quickest way to get a feel for the still-new Dirac codec. No need to tweak pages of arcane settings -- just drag, drop, and watch. You can download OggConvert as source code, or as a prepackaged binary for Debian, Fedora, SUSE, or Ubuntu. The latest release is version 0.3. OggConvert is written in Python, and uses GStreamer to perform its media conversion work.

IPR, Trade Barriers and Open Document Formats: China Learns its Lessons Well

One of the topics I'm behind writing on is the state of IPR concerns and standard setting in China in general, and the current status of UOF – China's "Uniform Office Document Format" entry in the document format sweepstakes – in particular. I recently spoke at two conferences in Beijing, and got back up to speed in this regard direct from the source.

Red Hat Has a Great Quarter; CEO Leaves

Red Hat announced outstanding financial results for its third fiscal quarter, which ended Nov. 30. How outstanding? The Linux company's revenue for the quarter jumped to $135.4 million. That is an increase of 28 percent from the equivalent 2006 quarter and 6 percent from the second quarter of this year. Drilling down, Red Hat Enterprise Linux subscriptions represented the bulk of Red Hat's income. The company's total RHEL income was $115.7 million. That brings RHEL's income up 30 percent year-over-year and 6 percent sequentially.

Network Security Assessment, 2nd Edition

The beginning of the text on the back cover of this book says, "How secure is your network? The best way to find out is to attack it." How many people test how secure their home or car is by trying to break into them? Would you try to break into your aunt's place to test her security and when (hopefully) caught, say you were just trying to make sure she was safe? Ok, it doesn't seem to make sense when considered at that level, but in terms of the security of your network environment, people pay good money to companies so they'll take their best shot at breaking in.

Ruby on Rails at the Doctor's Office

Learn how to use XForms, pureXML, and Ruby on rails together to more easily create Web applications.

Samba Gains Legal Access to Microsoft Network File Protocols

On Dec. 20, the Samba Group and the Software Freedom Law Center announced a deal with Microsoft that places all of Microsoft's network protocols needed for programs to work with Windows Server into the hands of the newly formed Protocol Freedom Information Foundation. The PFIF is a U.S.-based nonprofit corporation. It will make Microsoft's server network protocol documentation available to open-source developers such as The Samba Group, which creates programs for Windows Server interoperability, and private companies. This information is provided under an NDA (nondisclosure agreement) and developers must agree to the NDA before gaining access to the documentation.

The 15 Biggest Tech Disappointments of 2007

From on-demand video services that were overly demanding, to underwhelming operating-system updates, 2007 was full of disappointments. We surveyed the landscape and polled some old friends to come up with the 15 products, companies, and industries that left the most sour taste in our mouths. From last to first, here's our list of the year's biggest losers. Read 'em and weep.

[Not Linux-related, but skip ahead to the #1 disappointment for a good laugh :-) - Sander]

Year in review: New players enliven open source

In 2007, much of the open-source action happened outside the corridors of the usual corporate suspects. For years, the center of open-source software, at least from a commercial perspective, was with companies such as Red Hat, Novell, MySQL, and a number of smaller players. Those companies continued grinding away at their collaborative programming projects and support-centric businesses, but more unusual for the year were the new arrivals.

Commercial Sound And Music Software For Linux, Part 2

As promised, the second part of this series presents still more commercially available music and sound software for Linux. Come see (and hear) what your money will buy...

Syncing your BlackBerry on Linux

If you use Linux on your desktop, and you also happen to have a BlackBerry handheld device, you're probably aware that Research in Motion, the company that develops the BlackBerry platform, offers nothing in the way of support for its devices on Linux -- but the intrepid geeks in the free software world do. Thanks to to the efforts of the Barry and OpenSync projects, I just finished syncing my BlackBerry 8800 with my Evolution contacts on my Ubuntu 7.10 desktop.

GNOME: the cowboy project

What is the relationship between the GNU Project and the GNOME desktop suite? GNOME itself claims to be a part of the GNU Project. But its relationship with the organisation is not the same as that of other software projects which are part of GNU. GNU Project and Free Software Foundation founder Richard M. Stallman says, though GNOME is part of the GNU Project, it does not "follow GNU policies the way a normal GNU package does. That's Miguel's doing."

New Red Hat CEO checks open source claims

The news that the operations chief from a major US airline, Jim Whitehurst from Delta, is taking over at Red Hat from Matthew Szulik is a further sign of the growing legitimization of open source and Linux in the eyes of corporate, mainstream America. It underscores how the “suits to sandals” ratio in the open source and Linux movement sliding further towards the suits. Whitehurst’s blue-chip background at the $16-billion-a-year Delta and the fact he’s an executive lured from outside of the IT industry rather than one who simply swapped one tech industry management job for another underscores the belief in open source as a business.

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