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The Open Standards Monopoly Challenging Innovation in Redmond

LXer Day Desk: 12-22-2005

In trying to portray the dirty tricks in which Microsoft seems engaged with regard to the Open Document Standard, I encountered difficulties articulating the problem. Each draft I wrote seemed like ranting. Even Gary Edwards of OASIS confessed that he had trouble writing about it because he felt he needed to lampoon Microsoft to get the point across. So, this article takes the point of view of a Redmond fanatic and praises Mr. Gates and his techniques for fighting in an open environment. The major points seem to emerge when you consider RFCs and IEEE standards the monopoly. I hope you enjoy it.

CMP Media's Annual Embedded Systems Conference Returns to Silicon Valley, April 3-7, 2006 at San Jose's McEnery Convention Center

  • PR Newswire; By Press release (Posted by tadelste on Dec 22, 2005 11:33 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Press Release
North America's Largest Electronic Systems Design Event to Feature Comprehensive Training Program, Return of Microprocessor Summit and Co-Location of the D2M Conference 2006

OpenOffice.org Takes Another Step Forward

  • eWEEK Linux; By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (Posted by bstadil on Dec 22, 2005 10:36 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
OpenOffice.org released a minor update for its office suite that includes some major improvements.

Migrating From Windows to Linux Simplified With New Versora Software

  • PR Newswire; By Press release (Posted by tadelste on Dec 22, 2005 10:09 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Press Release
Easy-to-Use 'Progression Desktop' Allows Users to Transfer E-mail, Files and Settings From Windows to Linux

Ping: ICMP vs. ARP

  • NewsForge; By Gerard Beekmans (Posted by tadelste on Dec 22, 2005 9:42 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Network and system administrators are well-versed in using the ping utility for troubleshooting purposes, but where do you turn when ping doesn't do the trick?

Good news for Novell Linux

It hasn't all been bad news for Novell this month. While it was too late to be included in the fourth-quarter results we talked about last week, the company did get a big win from the middle of Europe. As reported in the Salt Lake Tribune, the Swiss government has contracted Novell to replace 3,000 servers with SuSE Enterprise Linux. That is a major gain for Novell and should help improve the bottom line significantly in the current fiscal year's first quarter.

Six dumbest ideas in computer security

  • Certified Security pro; By Marcus J. Ranum (Posted by bstadil on Dec 22, 2005 6:47 AM EDT)
Let me introduce you to the six dumbest ideas in computer security. What are they? They're the anti-good ideas. They're the braindamage that makes your $100,000 ASIC-based turbo-stateful packet-mulching firewall transparent to hackers. Where do anti-good ideas come from? They come from misguided attempts to do the impossible - which is another way of saying "trying to ignore reality."

Build the Perfect Desktop With KDE

  • Enterprise Networking Planet; By Carla Schroder (Posted by Abe on Dec 22, 2005 5:34 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews; Groups: KDE
As much I would like to believe I am as brilliant and charismatic as Linus Torvalds, it's really not worth the effort, because it's so not true. But Linus and I do agree on one thing: KDE is an excellent desktop. It looks good and it works well- what more does anyone need? Best of all, it doesn't simplify by removing functionality, like a certain well-known desktop project does. You want a simpler, cleaner interface? Might I suggest organizing the menus and configuration dialogs with common functions on top, and advanced functions available on a different level? Throwing away functionality seems a tad daft.

Diggable

Copyleft Hits a Snag

Incompatibilities among "copyleft" licenses meant to promote the sharing of creative work could end up preventing it, says cyber-law expert Lawrence Lessig. The problem is that the copyleft licenses, like the "free software" licenses from which they're drawn, require that derivative works be licensed under identical terms. And those terms differ from license to license.

[ED: Lessig is someone I take seriously, hence, this is a disturbing problem. Nonetheless, not one that cannot be resolved (perhaps with fewer, simplier licensing conditions?). These are important issues when trying to match dissimilar content, e.g. text and audio/visual becomes contentious. - HC]

The Office-free life: Surviving on free Web-based services alone

  • Seattle Post Intelligencer; By By ALLISON LINN ALLISON LINN AP BUSINESS WRITER (Posted by Herschel_Cohen on Dec 22, 2005 1:48 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Microsoft
For Microsoft Corp., 2005 was the year the big bad Web came calling. Again.

A decade after Microsoft counterattacked to beat Netscape in the Web browser wars, the company finds itself surrounded yet again by competitors looking to leverage the Internet to gain an edge over the industry titan.

Web-based software and services are emerging for everything from checking e-mail to collaborating on business tasks.

[ED: Sounds interesting? The web instead of being a captive of MS? Well not quite: due to some valid reservations about privacy it may end a bit differently than you expected - HC]

i found some benefits to having my work available on Web-based systems, and there are some I will probably use again.

But, for now at least, Microsoft is right - these challengers will complement, not replace, my Microsoft Office software.

High Dynamic Range images under Linux

Not all image files are created equal. Most of us know this from working with the everyday formats like PNG, JPEG, and TIFF, each of which has its own pros and cons. But cutting-edge applications from cinematography to computer vision demand more range, color depth, and accuracy than these formats can deliver. That demand drove the development of what are called High Dynamic Range file formats. Luckily for us, Linux is a first-class citizen in the HDR image world.

RHIO's and the Illusion of Health IT Success

  • Linux MedNews; By Ignacio H. Valdes, MD, MS (Posted by dcparris on Dec 21, 2005 11:54 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial
Does it bother anyone that for years, Health Information Technology (IT) successes implied by the news and even in casual conversation may largely be an illusion? Does it bother anyone that Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO)'s might be failing at a very high rate? It is important to ask the question given the United States rich history of failure and two notable successes with large scale Health IT.

[Ed: To our health/medical IT pros - do not miss the significance of this editorial for libre software opportunities. - dcparris]

How do you translate business needs into IT requirements?

  • developerWorks, IBM (Posted by VISITOR on Dec 21, 2005 10:57 PM EDT)
In this monthly column, IBM visionaries provide their insight and outlook about issues facing IT architects today and in the future. This month they consider the question, "How do I translate the business needs of my organization to IT requirements so that they can be addressed within my system architecture?"

Embedded SBCs gain Linux support

Winsystems has released Blue Collar Linux for its -40 to +85C EPIC, PC/104, PC/104-Plus and EBX single board computers (SBCs). 'Blue Collar' Linux is Winsystems' implementation of Gnu/Linux that provides customers a way to quickly embed Linux for industrial-based applications. Integrated with Winsystems' rugged x86-based products, it provides an excellent starting point for developing applications in machine control, instrumentation, COTS/military, machine-to-machine communications (M2M), transportation, pipeline, and homeland security.

'Linux is a fast, low-cost, and widely accepted operating system well suited for robust embedded applications', said Robert A Burckle, Vice-President of Winsystems.

Gecko 1.9 Trunk and 1.8 Branch Management Plan Posted

Brendan Eich has posted a draft plan for Gecko 1.9 Trunk and 1.8 Branch Management, including a FAQ at the mozilla wiki. Comments should be directed as followups to the newsgroup post.

The Inverse Extension Design Pattern

In an inheritance hierarchy, permit each parent class's method to extend its child class's method so it can act as a decorator for its child class's behavior.

Mercury Computer Systems Introduces the Industry's First VXS Multicomputer System

  • PR Newswire; By Press release (Posted by tadelste on Dec 21, 2005 7:08 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Press Release
PowerStream 6100 Triples Signals Intelligence and Radar System Antenna Channels and Improves Bisection Bandwidth by 10x in Military Contractor Applications

Henry's Computer Toolkit

  • Henry the Adequate; By Ben Hay (Posted by nebyah on Dec 21, 2005 6:11 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial
My name is Henry the Adequate, and I am a superhero. Since becoming a computer guru I have been receiving quite a lot of requests for advice, mostly from those who aspire to one day become as I.

2005 Review of the Year: Open Source

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) opened the Patents Commons Reference Library in November, providing an overview of patents that have been pledged towards open source. OSDL's chief was quoted as saying that the open source patent was hereby diffused.

During the past year corporate Linux supporters from IBM to Philips have scrambled to support Linux, pledging that they will not enforce their patents against the open source operating system and, in some cases, to open source in general.

But others claim that neither OSDL nor the commercial pledges offer any help. Linux advocate Bruce Perens lashed out against both at the LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco in August.

Linux screensaver for Windows

  • IBM; By Chris Ward (Posted by bstadil on Dec 21, 2005 3:31 PM EDT)
  • Groups:
Construct and package a Linux® LiveCD so that it will install using the standard Microsoft® Windows® install process and will operate as a standard Windows screensaver.

So why should you read this article? Why, indeed, should I write it? My motive is to help remove two obstacles to the wider adoption of free and open source software. Those obstacles are:

* The perceived difficulty and disruptive effects of installing Linux

* The uncertainty of hardware support for Linux

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