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Using the Root Account on Debian

Debian GNU/Linux is a powerful and popular community-developed Linux distribution--and the basis for several other useful and usable distributions. With the recent release of Debian Sarge, it's better than ever. Edd Dumbill, Debian developer and GNU/Linux advocate, shows how to use the root account safely and responsibly.

Linksys WRT54G Loses Role as Reprogrammable Gateway

The Linux flavor of the WRT54G is still in production, despite newer VxWorks-based version: Good news for the community of hackers, developers, and experimenters who rely on the Linksys WRT54G to power their projects: while the product sold under this model number will no longer use the Linux operating system as its basis, Linksys has created an offshoot model that will continue down the Linux path under the name WRT54GL.

Tech Skills Not Enough for a Job in 2010?

  • IT Management; By Sharon Gaudin (Posted by tadelste on Dec 1, 2005 7:25 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial
Within a few years, having a strong technical ability may not be enough to get you a job.

That's the warning coming from Gartner, Inc., an industry analyst firm. Being a specialist in a specific technology, like Linux, Windows or database administration, isn't going to be enough of a calling card in the not-so-distant job market.

''Let's just say it's no longer going to be a question of just having good technical ability -- of having a specialty,'' says Diane Morello vice president of research at Gartner. ''If you're just maintaining a specialization without raising their caliber, it's not going to be enough... Companies will need people who are broader. The people I'm talking about are 'versatilists'.''

[Ed: Apparently, the people at Gartner have nothing better to do that make awful forecasts about the future that rarely come to pass. Here's another one. How many times have you heard a recruiter say your skills were too broad? tadelste]

Apple's nod to Linux

  • Seattle Post Intelligencer; By Todd Bishop (Posted by tadelste on Dec 1, 2005 6:59 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups:
Apple filed its annual Form 10K with the Securities and Exchange Commission today, and there was a notable addition to the otherwise standard boilerplate about the risks faced by the company. Everything in this excerpt is the same as in last year's 10K, except the new part I've put in bold.

The Company believes that decisions by customers to purchase the Company's personal computers, as opposed to Windows-based systems, are often based on the availability of third-party software for particular applications such as Microsoft Office. The Company also believes the availability of third-party application software for the Company's hardware products depends in part on third-party developers' perception and analysis of the relative benefits of developing, maintaining, and upgrading such software for the Company's products versus software for the larger Windows market or growing Linux market.

Device Profile: Banksys Xentissimo secure wireless payment terminal

Belgian electronic payments specialist Banksys is shipping a Linux-powered secure payment terminal with cellular networking capabilities. The Xentissimo is a portable, battery-powered device based on an SoC (system-on-chip) with dual ARM cores, the company says. It targets on-the-road transactions, in-store promotions, and the hospitality sector.

Linus Torvalds: Linux 2.6.15-rc4

  • Linux Today; By Linus Torvalds (Posted by tadelste on Dec 1, 2005 5:36 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Kernel
Ok, so -rc3 wasn't so good.

[ Everybody chorus now: "Nooo?" ]

No.

[ Everybody chorus now: "Really?" ]

Really.

[ Everybody chorus now: "So what?" ]

So I made an -rc4.

This one hopefully doesn't have those pesky PageReserved() annoyances, and the EHCI host controller bootup problems.

[ Everybody chorus now: "Hallelujah!" ]

Indeed.

It also has some atm, mtd and cifs updates.

Linus

Sony's Rootkit DRM Raises Legal Red Flags

  • eWEEK Linux; By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (Posted by tadelste on Dec 1, 2005 4:39 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
News Analysis:Possibly violating copyright laws, the GPL and even the U.S. Constitution, Sony BMG's digital rights management blunder may lead the company into serious legal trouble.

Ajax and Mozilla XUL with JavaServer Faces: Loading Resources With Weblets

This article introduces a new open source project - Weblets - which can be found on the java.net website (http://weblets.dev.java.net). The goal of this open source project is to provide JSF component writers with a facility that can serve resource files out of a Java archive (JAR), rather than serving them from the web application root file system. Unlike traditional web applications, which have statically configured URL mappings defined in web.xml, there is a need for dynamic configuration of URL mappings, based on the presence of a component library JAR. In essence, Weblets provide developers with an easy way to package web application resources in the same Java archive (JAR) that their implementation code resides in.

[Ed.- Beware obnoxious audio ad.- tuxchick]

Mozilla Introduces Firefox 1.5 and Ups the Ante in Web Browsing

One year after the debut of Firefox 1.0, and more than 100 million downloads later, Mozilla Corp. today released Firefox 1.5, the latest version of its acclaimed open source Web browser, available now as a free download from http://www.getfirefox.com. Firefox 1.5 builds upon the success of its predecessor to deliver an improved browser with significant performance and usability upgrades, security and privacy enhancements, best-in-class support for Web standards, and greater customization options.

Time for Linux bigots to take a back seat

Mr. Prentice: Who is your daddy?
Iain Ferguson actually wrote: "That idealism unfortunately manifests itself most often in online diatribes against Microsoft, in particular, and proprietary software, in general.

Gartner analyst Brian Prentice said recently the "flaming Linux bigots" who were prone to hyperbole and religious debates to advance their cause actually impeded the growth of Linux and open source software.

"People with strong ideological views are good for the community, [but] at the same time that ideology is prone towards hyperbole and religious debates around things," he told a conference in Sydney. "Those don't help us make sound business decisions."
This bunk deserves a quick analysis for its disinformation quotient.

You might want to look at the 25 Rules of Disinformation. Rule number two seems applicable: Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the "How dare you!" gambit.

Number five looks pretty good: Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as "kooks", "right-wing", "liberal", "left-wing", "terrorists", "conspiracy buffs", "radicals", "militia", "racists", "religious fanatics", "sexual deviates", and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

Comments by Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief

RIAA vs Linux and DVDs

  • Slashdot; By CmdrTaco (Posted by tadelste on Dec 1, 2005 2:59 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
PlayfullyClever writes "The entertainment industry has put itself on the fast-track to destruction, using well-proven tactics as explained in Preventing DVD Playback on Linux Like Prohibition in the 1920's. Are their heavy-handed tactics to lock up and control everything we touch signs of plain old human stubborness?" Or more likely- greed.

Backup Made Simple

  • hddsaver; By tomas (Posted by VISITOR on Dec 1, 2005 2:51 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews
Backing up your data does not have to be hard, tedious, or expensive. This important process can be done with a few simple tools and some good, old-fashioned know-how. The method which we are going to go over is for POSIX-based (Linux/BSD/UNIX-like OSes) operating systems and leverages and open source application called Simple Backup Solution. This is a simple Python tool which has a GUI interface and is great for backing up the contents of a single system.

Comment of the Day - December 1, 2005 - Legal DVD Players for Linux

Bmac writes that legal DVD players exist for Linux. Can you switch the licensed components in these distributions to your own?

Related to:
The RIAA - Hollywood - DRM - Linux Suicide Pact

Firefox flaw highlighted

Mathew Broersma writes that Firefox rose to popularity after its 1.0 release in November 2004 as an alternative to Microsoft Internet Explorer, lacking that browser's most serious security flaws. Now that the novelty has faded, however, some users are highlighting Firefox's shortcomings compared with competitors such as IE, Opera, Apple's Safari and the KDE project's Linux-based Konqueror.

As a fellow journalist, I find his words disturbing. You can find this sort of slant in the bowels of slashdot. Why would anyone want to subscribe to a magazine that says "now that the novelty has faded..." when referring to Firefox.

Firefox is not a novelty. It has achieved market share that the other browsers he mentioned cannot match. Microsoft's Internet Explorer has lost market share since Firefox became available. Novelties don't challenge monopolies like Microsoft.

Broersma's only real beef emerges when he writes:
One issue that has been getting attention since the Wednesday release of Firefox 1.5 is a bug that causes Mac OS X systems to use 100 percent of available processor resources in some cases, such as when scrolling in some Web-based applications (such as Google Maps) and holding down the mouse button.

The bug has been known since before the release of Firefox 1.0, but has never been fixed, critics noted. (The Mozilla project has assigned the issue bug no. 141710.)
Broersma mentions other problems with no authority other than "someone noted". Does this guy sound like a shill for Microsoft? What do you think?

Ghanaian's look to SA for IT insight

Ghana's deputy minister of communications was in Cape Town this week and spent time at the city's Bandwidth Barn to gather ideas to form similar IT incubation projects in Ghana. The minister also talked about the value of open source software in developing his country's e-Government strategy.

Mozilla's Firefox Garners Quick 2 Million Downloads

Mozilla's servers weathered the release of Firefox 1.5 much better than last year's roll-out of 1.0, a Web performance company said Thursday, with the systems showing no evidence of downtime.

Mozilla's distributed network of mirror sites in 30 countries, said U.K.-based Netcraft, "appears to be handling current download demand with few difficulties."

Novell Reports Financial Results for Fourth Fiscal Quarter and Full Fiscal Year 2005

  • PR Newswire; By Press release (Posted by tadelste on Dec 1, 2005 1:52 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Press Release
Net Revenue Grows Seven Percent to $320 Million, Linux Subscriptions More Than Triple to 65,000, and Identity Solutions Grow 35 Percent Year Over Year

Philips shares Linux patents, royalty-free

  • People's Daily Online; By People's Daily Online (Posted by dave on Dec 1, 2005 1:33 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Philips Electronics China Group announced Wednesday that the company, together with Sony, IBM, Red Hat and Novell, has decided to join funds to create a joint venture-- the Open Invention Network (OIN), to purchase core patents of Linux operation system and offer them, free of charge, to any institutions or individuals. The effort is meant to aid the advancement of Linux and break the global dominance of Windows by Microsoft.

Opinion: To Serve Small Business

"IT service companies have been telling small businesses 'trust us' for a long time. With nowhere else to turn, our customers trusted us to deliver reliable and economical IT solutions. Was their trust misplaced? Happy with the status quo, failing to investigate or innovate alternatives, have we simply been feeding off our customers?"

Libranet's lesson: you can't keep a good open-source distro down

I see a melancholy lesson here. Proprietary code can disappear when its company or creator goes away. With open-source code, however, your work can live on forever.

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