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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.

Take charge of your window manager with WMCTRL and Devil's Pie

There are literally dozens of window managers that you can use with your favorite desktop environment to get a beautiful and appealing desktop. If you want to fine-tune your window manager, here are two programs that can help you control everything from application window size to pinning an application to all workspaces to fixing a position for your application windows to resizing desktops. One, wmctrl, works with any window managers that adheres to the Extended Window Manager Hints (EWMH), while Devil's Pie is a window-matching utility, which means it can configure application windows based on defined rules.

Find out DNS Server Version With DNS Server Fingerprinting Tool

By hiding out DNS server version number you can improve server security. fpdns is a program that remotely determines DNS server versions. It does this by sending a series of borderline DNS queries which are compared against a table of responses and server versions. (just like nmap command's remote OS detection facility). A nameserver basically responds to a query. Interoperability is an obvious requirement here. The standard protocol behavior of different DNS implementations is expected to be the same.

Push RSS to New Limits

  • IBM/developerWorks; By Jonathan Levin (Posted by IdaAshley on Dec 21, 2007 12:55 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups:
This tutorial demonstrates using Really Simple Syndication (RSS) channels to store contact information and meeting information—much as a personal address book and calendar does. It uses RSS elements and attributes such as items and guides to create a neural-network-like mesh of related data.

NVIDIA 169.07 Linux Display Driver

  • Phoronix; By Michael Larabel (Posted by phoronix on Dec 21, 2007 11:58 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Linux; Story Type: News Story
Just in time for the holidays, NVIDIA has released a new Linux display driver, which is a stable version of their previous 169.04 beta last month. In addition, the new NVIDIA 169.07 Linux driver has a few changes, while most of the release highlights were already found in the 169.04 release. We are preparing additional Linux tests with this new driver, but for right now we have the details on this proprietary display driver.

Holiday Slideshow

Being the geek that I am, I like to challenge myself with new ideas. A few weeks ago, I decided that my latest challenge should be to create a Christmas slideshow. I could put up a few strings of flashy lights, maybe even hang a wreath, but why should I be like my neighbors? I have the power of Linux and Free Software at my fingertips; I should show it to them, right?

Dutch governmental plan for Open Standards and Open Source now published in English

  • Free Knowledge Institute (Posted by JLP on Dec 21, 2007 10:35 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The Dutch government has recently attracted Microsoft's anger by launching an actionplan to adopt open standards, and concretely OpenDocument Format by April 2008 in the national government. Open Standards will become mandatory and Free Software will be preferred. As the Minister of State, Frank Heemskerk, argued, this plan is not to exclude any company, but to stimulate information exchange, vendor independence and choice for various software products that implement open standards. he Ministry of Economical Affairs has published an English version of the plan on its site today.

2007 Top Ten Free and Open Source Legal Issues

The year 2007 has been the most active year for legal developments in the history of free and open source (“FOSS”). In fact, you would have been hard pressed in past years to enumerate even five important legal developments. However 2007 permits the creation of a traditional “top ten” list. My list of the top ten FOSS legal developments in 2007 follows:

How to make the switch to Linux

If one takes a look at Linux Distribution’s forums, it becomes very evident that there is a large swell of people switching to Linux due to frustration with Vista or XP. All these people are trying to install Linux on their existing hardware and hoping that it goes well for them. And that is a good thing. Thankfully, Linux hardware support has improved tremendously with the latest kernels. So, in most cases, the experience for these people is going to be a rewarding one. Nevertheless, for a good number of them, this switch is going to be frustrating. You see, that is not the best way to switch to Linux.

Dear Glyn Moody

Dear Glyn Moody: I found how you trotted out an age old and long since dealt with issue, namely the licensing of Qt1, as a way to discuss what you consider to be "the growing tensions between the KDE and GNOME camps" to be tasteless and ironic. If you want to help mend fences (we need all the hands we can get), the last thing to do is drag long-since dealt with issues that have been irrelevant for years back to the surface.

Where Can Linux Leap Ahead Part 2

People often talk about getting average home users to use Linux, but that may not be the best group of people for Linux to market itself to. Part 2 covers large and small businesses as well as creative professionals.

Hydrogen: Using Linux to create slick drum beats

Hydrogen is an advanced drum machine for GNU/Linux, although there also appears to be a Windows installer available (it could be dated -I haven't tested it-). 'Its main goal is to bring professional yet simple and intuitive pattern-based drum programming', reads their website, and by god, intuitive it is!

The smartest and dumbest tech moves of 2007 - and why they matter

  • Network World; By Joanne Cummings (Posted by Sander_Marechal on Dec 21, 2007 5:34 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Roundups; Groups:
Overall, the industry did several things right and wrong this year. But here’s what Network World readers, columnists, bloggers and testers say are the absolute smartest and dumbest moves of 2007 -- and why they matter.

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