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Dear MA, Please Note: EU Commission Threatens MS With $2.4 Million Daily Fines

  • GROKLAW; By PJ (Posted by dave on Dec 27, 2005 8:59 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Dear Massachusetts (Governor Romney, Secretary Galvin, Senator Hart, et al):

Are you watching this?

Microsoft, as you may have heard, has been under pressure in Europe to make their APIs available to its competition for interoperability purposes. Now, so far, that has meant only that they have to do so for non-Linux competitors, as they were able to achieve a carve-out that leaves Linux and all FOSS out in the cold during the appeal. For all their other competitors in the server space, they were ordered "to disclose complete and accurate interface documentation which would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers". Of course, they claim they have, and they did turn over documentation.

But Professor Neil Barrett, the Monitoring Trustee, monitoring their compliance with the EU order says, according to the EU Commission press release, the technical documentation Microsoft submitted is "totally unfit at this stage for its intended purpose":

Since the 24(1) Decision, Microsoft has revised the interoperability information that it is obliged to disclose. However, the Commission takes the preliminary view that this information is incomplete and inaccurate. This view is supported by the report of the Monitoring Trustee, which concludes that, “any programmer or programming team seeking to use the Technical Documentation for a real development exercise would be wholly and completely unable to proceed on the basis of the documentation. The Technical Documentation is therefore totally unfit at this stage for its intended purpose.” The report also states that, “the documentation appears to be fundamentally flawed in its conception, and in its level of explanation and detail... Overall, the process of using the documentation is an absolutely frustrating, time-consuming and ultimately fruitless task. The documentation needs quite drastic overhaul before it could be considered workable.”

Ask yourself this: is it because Microsoft doesn't know how to write clear documentation?

Progress takes SOA to mainframe with Neon buy

  • Reg Developer; By Phil Howard. Bloor Research (Posted by tadelste on Dec 27, 2005 8:56 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
And why not ...Last week Progress Software announced it will acquire Neon Systems and merge that company with its DataDirect operating division. Simple question: why? For those of you unfamiliar with either DataDirect or Neon, a brief exposition may be appropriate. First: DataDirect.

Linux's Difficulty with Names

When compared to their Window's equivalents, the names of many Linux programs are difficult to recognize and even tougher to remember. This may seem like splitting hairs, but it is actually an important usability issue.

This article at XYZ Computing takes a look at Linux's strange naming practices. When compared to their Window's equivalents, the names of many Linux programs are difficult to recognize and even tougher to remember. This may seem like splitting hairs, but it is actually an important usability issue. Just think, if you had to do a bit of graphic design which would be easier to pick out of the menu, GIMP or Photoshop? Or if you wanted to play a song, Media Player or xine?

[ED: While there is a certain logic to the complaint, it fails to recognize where copyright infringement plays a role. Moreover, the extreme methods some companies have used to protect the names of their products. Furthermore, on the chat tool how much more information does one see in aim over gaim or how hard is to guess what mplayer does? - HC] [ED: It will all be moot once Linux pushes Windows aside and the new ISV have brillIant naming. Sal just a bit of patience is needed - HC]

The Sad Irony of SCO

How might it have gone if SCO had stayed with Linux?

You know what the sad thing about this whole affair has been?

If SCO has only stuck to doing Linux, they'd be a winner.

They, and not Red Hat, might have been the ones reporting great financial results. They, and not SUSE, would likely have been the company that Novell picked up to jump-start its operating system business.

Sound unlikely? I don't think so.

Is Linux an Alternative or Does It Stand Alone?

  • LXer.com; By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief (Posted by tadelste on Dec 27, 2005 6:29 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: LXer Features
LXer Day Desk: 12-26-2005

Linux represents a computer technology designed from the bottom up rather than a copy cat. As long as people compare it to Windows, they cannot grasp its power and uniqueness. Simply put, Linux isn't Windows.

In January and February of 2006, UBUNTU representatives will be travelling to Asia.

In January and February of 2006, Canonical representatives will be travelling to Asia. Our main goals for this tour are to increase awareness for Ubuntu in Asia; introduce Ubuntu to governments, hardware providers, and system builders across the region; and to meet members of the Ubuntu local communities. In each location listed below we plan to host a business breakfast/lunch with local companies, and then hold in-depth meetings with selected companies, as time allows. We would like to reach out to our local community in each location to help us build relationships with various entities, including government, technology companies, universities, and anyone who you can think would benefit from Ubuntu and what it has to offer.

Mom Fights Downloading Suit on Her Own

  • iWon News; By JIM FITZGERALD (Posted by tadelste on Dec 27, 2005 4:07 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
[Ed: From the Interesting if Not Linux News Department -tadelste]

This brave lady - Patricia Santangelo - a single mom with five children is fighting the Recording Industry Association of America by herself. She's accused of downloading songs like ncubus'"Nowhere Fast," Godsmack's "Whatever" and Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life," and others. But she barely knows how to retrieve email.

Jon Newton, founder of an Internet site critical of the record companies, said by e-mail that with all the settlements, "The impression created is all these people have been successfully prosecuted for some as-yet undefined 'crime'. And yet not one of them has so far appeared in a court or before a judge. ... She's doing it alone. She's a courageous woman to be taking on the multibillion-dollar music industry."

Thanks mom!

Flash 8 for Linux update

  • kaourantin.net - the blog of Tinic Uro, Linux developer at Adobe; By Tinic Uro (Posted by tadelste on Dec 27, 2005 3:20 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Announcements
Emmy Huang, Product Manager of the Flash Player, explains what the plans concerning the Linux version of Flash Player 8 are. Instead of releasing a 8.0 version we will directly move to 8.5 on Linux. This will avoid even more delay after we ship Flash Player 8.5 for Windows and Mac. That will also make sure that the new virtual machine works using gcc from start. I see that as a big benefit as gcc is a more strict and standards compliant compiler than Visual Studio or CodeWarrior.

The future of OS/2 - Open source or not?

[Ed: From the "I don't know if I really care Department" - an article submission about OS/2]

Yesterday saw IBM cease the sale of the OS/2 Operating system. Come the 31st of December, standard support for the OS will end also. However, a significant number of companies and people continue to use it, and they are finding ways for OS/2 to live on. OS/2

Back in April of this year, OS/2 website OS2 World started a petition. It's aim was to get IBM to release OS/2 as an open source piece of software, so that existing users could continue to use and develop it, should they wish. In November, after nearly twelve thousand signatures had been collected, the petition was sent to IBM's CEO, Sam Palmisano. As of yet there has been no response from IBM.

Released: DD-WRT v23 Final for Linksys WRT54G (and others)

  • Digg.com; By beertinted (Posted by tadelste on Dec 27, 2005 1:45 AM EDT)
DD-WRT is a 100% free firmware for the Linksys WRT54G/GS and the Asus WL-500 deluxe 802.11g wireless routers (which run off a minimalist Linux OS).

The firmware is maintained by BrainSlayer (mailto:brainslayer@braincontrol.org) and is hosted at dd-wrt.com (http://www.dd-wrt.com/). The first versions of DD-WRT were based on the Alchemy Firmware (http://www.wrt54g.com/) from Sveasoft Inc (http://www.sveasoft.com/), which is in turn based on the original GPL'd Linksys Firmware and a number of other open source projects. DD-WRT exists as a direct result of Sveasoft's demand for $20 in order to be able to download their firmware.

The newer version(s) of DD-WRT- v23 (currently in beta development)- are a complete new project. DD-WRT offers many advanced features not found in the original Linksys firmware, or even firmware purchased from Sveasoft. It is also free of the product activation or tracking found in the Sveasoft firmware.

Digg Story

Debian release candidate architecture requalification results; amd64 is RC

Happy Holidays from the release team!

Debian kernel-package hooks transition

Hi, In the recent 10.X series, kernel package has started producing image packages whose maintainer scripts use debconf for user interaction. Unfortunately, this meant that any hook scripts called in the maintainer scripts for the image package (update-grub comes to mind), if they wrote anything at all to the STDout, would cause debconf to throw hissy fits, since it was expecting commands on STDOUT, not random chatter from the hook scripts.

Bandwidth monitoring with iptables

  • NewsForge (Posted by dcparris on Dec 26, 2005 11:23 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial
Linux has a number of useful bandwidth monitoring and management programs. A quick search on Freshmeat.net for bandwidth returns a number of applications. However, if all you need is a basic overview of your total bandwidth usage, iptables is all you really need -- and it's already installed if you're using a Linux distribution based on the 2.4.x or 2.6.x kernels.

Open Letter to the movers & shakers in Massachusetts (Governor Romney, Secretary Galvin, Senator Hart, et al)

While your focus is on local turf battles are you paying attention to why and what the E.U. is threatening you dearest Microsoft? If you paid attention you too might be taking other action than the promise that Microsoft will really deliver an Open Format ever despite its promises to do so. You see that the E.U. has gone down that path and has lost patience. Just perhaps you too should be looking a bit more closely at world events over parochial local and national politics?

This news story appeared on LXer yesterday, however, the staid, balanced presentation style of the NYT is no match for Groklaw (as found on lwn.net) it is indeed a story and view worth repeating.

KDE, Ease-of-Use, and the Year of the Linux Desktop

  • QDevBlog (Posted by tadelste on Dec 26, 2005 10:12 PM EDT)
  • Groups: KDE
The recent discussions on KDE versus other Linux desktops - accidentally started by KDE-user Linus Torvalds - showed an interesting new development in the eternal debate. First of all it didn’t come as a surprise that Linus uses KDE, after all Fritz Elfert made it very clear back in 1996 that KDE stands for “Kernel-Hackers’ Desktop Environment”

Munich Trade Fair Chooses Red Hat Global File System To Manage Web ...

  • SYS-CON Media; By SOA Web Services News Desk (Posted by tadelste on Dec 26, 2005 9:49 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Red Hat; Story Type: News Story
Red Hat GFS At The Heart Of A Modern Cluster Solution With Virtualized Storage For Web Services

Red Hat, a provider of open source to the enterprise, announced that Messe München International (Munich International Trade Fair - MMI), a leading trade fair company, has deployed Red Hat Global File System (GFS) as its cluster file system for its web services. Red Hat GFS runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and will enable MMI to realize high-performance and scalability for the future, which were the main deciding factors for the trade fair company.

Skanska Leaves UNIX In Favor Of Red Hat Linux

  • SYS-CON Media; By LinuxWorld News Desk (Posted by tadelste on Dec 26, 2005 9:25 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Red Hat
Red Hat, a provider of open source solutions to the enterprise, announced that it has successfully moved Skanska's business-critical intelligence systems from Unix to a Red Hat Enterprise Linux solution powered by Intel-based hardware. Red Hat's collaboration with Skanska has resulted in cost savings within Skanska's IT infrastructure department and has improved the performance of the company's servers and applications.

Firefox 1.5 - Methods to Fix What Ails Thee - Rx: AdBlock(em) with GkrellM for a Quick Recovery

Supposedly there are a myriad of remaining complaints on the recently released Firefox 1.5 that go on for pages despite the early admission that they were unable to reproduce at least 60% of those cited. Some indeed are real and a few I have direct experience with almost daily. Nonetheless, the seeming magnitude of some of these problems, at the very least, are over stated. Moreover, fixes are available and unlike the lack of responsiveness exhibited by Microsoft and its lead product Internet Explorer the Mozilla developers makes serious attempts to solve every problem that they can verify. The constraints they face are the ability to reproduce the behaviour and the personnel to pursue a solution once defined. However, the severity of many if not most of the problems appears to have been over stated.

The foregoing is not to make light of real problems some users are encountering using even this new, improved version of Firefox, hence, I have a few suggestions at the end on how to search for some solutions and to report problems so that that may receive the attention they deserve.

PCLinuxOS - A distribution tailor made for new Linux users

Here is a nice review of a lesser known but very robust linux distribution which could apeal to newbies in Linux.

ATI A Year in Review 2005 (Linux Drivers)

  • Phoronix; By Michael Larabel (Posted by VISITOR on Dec 26, 2005 8:14 PM EDT)
ATI A Year in Review. As 2005 comes to an end, both NVIDIA and ATI have fought a competitive battle not only when it comes to their hardware lineup but also display drivers for alternative operating systems. When discussing this subject matter, GNU/Linux users have been quick to criticize ATI Technologies whether it is due to poor installation support, distribution compatibility, rudimentary control panel, or simply the performance level of its drivers. On the contrary, even though NVIDIA had unveiled its GeForce 7 series, 2005 has not been the best year for the green developers.

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