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Some assignments for Social Graph Foo Camp

Free thinking and free code have two things in common: a lot of the best work has already been done, and we can re-use it. That's my second challenge to Social Graph Foo Campers. The first is getting some clarity about what the "social graph" means in the first place.

Is server or client processing better for charts and graphs?

Webmasters are frequently required to serve up charts and graphs to clients. Part of the planning for such images involves a decision about whether to process the chart on the server or at the client end. Of course, it depends on the circumstances. There are costs and benefits to both approaches. The generation of a chart at the server involves the creation of an image such as a .png file and then displaying this file as part of the delivered page. Prior to the image creation a script must set up the data points and the axis labels, switch on colours, create a legend, size the picture, and send it out.

Microsoft Runs Linux Smear Campaign

Microsoft is going out of their way to buy up keyword searches on Google. They've bought up the keyword "Linux" so that an erroneous website claiming that Windows Server 2008 is superior to Linux Servers pops up first. The site doesn't go on to backup this claim with any real evidence; in fact, it mostly argues that Windows Server 2008 is better than previous Windows Servers.

[I tried to re-create what the author did but the results page errors out on me. - Scott]

A Debian victory for the $15 Laptop

The fact that Debian Etch -- a modern, up-to-date Linux distribution -- can run so well in 233 MHz of CPU and 64 MB of RAM is something truly to behold.

Album Cover Art Downloader makes iPod a touch nicer

When ripping CDs from my own collection or (shh) my friends', I didn't always bother to include the cover art. Personally, I never considered album art for my iPod all that important. That has changed now that we have an iPod touch in the family. If I'm missing a lot of album art, the experience of virtually flipping through my music collection, something Apple calls "cover flow," is diminished. iTunes doesn't always offer art for albums I didn't purchase from iTunes. Thankfully, a little GPL-licensed application called Album Cover Art Downloader (ACAD) solved my problem.

Do More With Less: Port-Based VLANs

  • Enterprise Networking Planet; By Carla Schroder (Posted by tuxchick on Feb 1, 2008 10:36 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Linux
When is a Switch Like a Router?

Port-based VLANs are specific to their switches, and cannot cross multiple switches. However, you can make a smart switch function like a router. Let's say that three ports are not enough for VLAN East; you want to connect more hosts. You could buy a bigger smart switch. Or you can uplink a second switch to one of VLAN East's ports, like this:

Can KDE Save a Dying Windows Platform?

..the sad truth is, an embedded engineer needs Windows. There are just too many specialized tools for programming devices, analyzing signals, and device drivers that are Windows only and no amount of Wine-ing will do.

Ettercap Automates the Malicious Middleman

  • Enterprise Networking Planet; By Paul Rubens (Posted by tuxchick on Feb 1, 2008 9:07 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Linux
It's possible to carry out an ARP poisoning MITM attack manually using Wireshark (Ethereal) to intercept and edit ARP requests, but actually it's very easy for anyone who can get on to your network (using Aircrack-ng to get on wirelessly, for example) to carry out such an attack using automated open source tools. The best known one of these is called Ettercap.

Microsoft! needs! Yahoo! developers! developers! developers!

The rhetoric surrounding Steve Ballmer's unsolicited $44.6bn offer for Yahoo! will focus on the obvious - the potential market share growth that a Microsoft and Yahoo! tie-up would have against Google. For all the talk of saving Yahoo! shareholders, Google is uppermost in the Microsoft chief executive's mind, and Microsoft is - once more - trying to buy its way into the internet club having already spent billions to no visible effect.

GNOME Do is a Quicksilver Clone

Do, is an application to find things on your system and quickly perform actions, similar to Quicksilver for OSX and GNOME Launch Box. It works on a variety of different desktop environments, including GNOME and KDE. Basically, all you need to do is to press Super + Space on your keyboard, and the Do dialog will open.

OS Tool of February: Nmap!

This February, the team at has chosen NMAP as the OS Security Tool of the Month! In January, we chose GnuPG in part because it had just celebrated its 10th anniversary. Well, it wasn't alone. As of this past December Nmap ("Network Mapper"), the free and open source utility for network exploration and auditing, celebrated its 10th Anniversary as well! And because of its popularity, chances are very good that you've already used NMAP for quite some time. Even if you have, it's always good to take a look at how it all got started and what it's all about...

ATI Radeon HD 3650 512MB

  • Phoronix; By Michael Larabel (Posted by phoronix on Feb 1, 2008 5:43 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Linux; Story Type: News Story
Last week AMD introduced the ATI Radeon HD 3400 and 3600 series, which are the new low-end graphics processors compared to the Radeon HD 3800 series. These budget graphics cards are branded as the Radeon HD 3450, 3470, and 3650 and are all available for under $100 USD. While they may be cheap, they are the first graphics cards to introduce support for DisplayPort. DisplayPort is the newest digital display interface standard, backed by VESA, and is direct competition to HDMI. DisplayPort has yet to be fully supported by the available Linux display drivers, but the Catalyst Linux driver already supports these new ATI graphics cards and there will be open-source support through the RadeonHD driver in the coming days. At hand today we have the Sapphire Radeon HD 3650 512MB graphics card as we deliver the first Linux benchmarks for this RV635 GPU.

Zimbra Fans Fear Microsoft-Yahoo Combo

When Yahoo acquired the Zimbra open source email platform in September 2007, some Zimbra backers worried the search company would mismanage the email asset. Fast forward to the present, and some Zimbra proponents have gone from concern to outright panic over Microsoft’s bid to acquire Yahoo (and, ultimately, Zimbra). Here's why.

RPMFusion - One repository to rule them all

RPM Fusion aims to end the confusion over 3rd party repositories and Fedora by merging Livna, Dribble and Fresh RPMs: they hope to be a one-stop shop for all the extra packages Fedora can't ship by default for various different reasons. Promising to never replace packages that already exist in Fedora, and combining the vast experience of the three major Fedora add-on repositories, this is sure to be a stable, high-quality repository providing a huge range of software.

PHP 4 is Dead—Long Live PHP 5

  •; By Sean Michael Kerner (Posted by red5 on Feb 1, 2008 3:07 PM EDT)
  • Groups: PHP
PHP 4, deployed on tens of millions of servers globally, is among the most successful languages of all time. But its run is coming to an end. Active development for the scripting language has been discontinued and security updates will conclude in August. And for some developers, PHP 4 will be history before Valentine's Day.

KDE Windows Installer 0.8.5 Screenshots

  • The Coding Studio (Posted by lqsh on Feb 1, 2008 2:10 PM EDT)
  • Groups: KDE
The KDE on Windows team is not only working on the port of KDE applications and libraries but also on the Windows Installer application: The Kdewin-Installer is supposed to be the preferred way to install KDE applications on Windows. Screenshots at The Coding Studio.

Will Open Source World Welcome Microsoft-Yahoo Combo?

Microsoft has confirmed that it’s seeking to acquire Yahoo! Some folks — you know, the open source crowd — will likely bash a proposed Microsoft-Yahoo! combo. The VAR Guy, however, is willing to give Microsoft a chance to explain the proposed business combo. Here’s why.

Efficient rsyncrypto hides remote sync data

The rsync utility is smart enough to send only enough bytes of a changed file to a remote system to enable the remote file to become identical to the local file. When that information is sensitive, using rsync over SSH protects files while in transit.To protect the files when they are on the server you might first encrypt them with GPG. But the manner in which GPG encrypts slightly changed files foils rsync's efficiency.rsyncrypto allows you to encrypt your files while still allowing you to leverage the speed of rsync.

Linux has better Windows compatibility than Vista

  • Wine-Review; By Thomas Wickline (Posted by twickline on Feb 1, 2008 11:18 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews
I have been using Vista for well over a year now (since Beta 1). Of course Vista is slow, its bloated (over 10x the size of XP), aero kills system performance (even though this should be done on the video card), networking is pathetically slow, etc etc. We all know Vista sucks.

Linspire Customized

Linspire is now offering customized desktops to customers. It's Linux's modular, open philosophy that makes this popular. Fat chance of Microsoft or Apple ever offering a customized desktop solution.

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