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OOXML to live in harmony with ODF?

The debate over the OOXML (Office Open XML) format and the competing ODF (open document format) is still alive and kicking, but Microsoft just wants everyone to get along. The software giant had been lobbying for its OOXML format's ratification as an ISO standard at a ballot resolution meeting in Geneva later this month, after a failed attempt in September last year.

Microsoft's DreamSpark – What a Giveaway

Yesterday, Microsoft announced DreamSpark – an ironic name, since it actually lays bare Microsoft's worst nightmare: that more and more of tomorrow's programmers are growing up using free software for their studies, which means that as they move out into the world, there will be less and less demand for Microsoft's tools, and even fewer programs written for its platforms. Its answer? This:..

PHP Shell, for secure remote access when SSH isn't available

Many companies offer LAMP hosting, but some of the cheaper LAMP providers do not allow SSH access, reserving that feature for higher-paying customers. Without SSH you may think you'll have trouble executing commands on the hosted server. Not so -- PHP Shell allows execution of some commands without having SSH access to the LAMP server.

Master-Master Replication With MySQL 5 On Fedora 8

This document describes how to set up master-master replication with MySQL 5 on Fedora 8. Since version 5, MySQL comes with built-in support for master-master replication, solving the problem that can happen with self-generated keys. In former MySQL versions, the problem with master-master replication was that conflicts arose immediately if node A and node B both inserted an auto-incrementing key on the same table. The advantages of master-master replication over the traditional master-slave replication are that you do not have to modify your applications to make write accesses only to the master, and that it is easier to provide high-availability because if the master fails, you still have the other master.

Microsoft Giving Away Developer Software

Microsoft Corp. is giving students free access to its most sophisticated tools for writing software and making media-rich Web sites, a move that intensifies its competition with Adobe Systems Inc. and could challenge open source software's popularity.

GNU Consumer Reports (new site)

Ever wanted to review stuff online without being censored for telling the truth about a product or service? Behold the GNU Consumer Reports. We are open to doing reports on anything or anyone. Our system is simple. We rate the company based on a few different fair business practices, policies, quality, Linux Compatibility, and price. You can even comment on our reviews and tell us where we went wrong.

KDE Displays at SCALE 6x Expo

To Southern Californians February means several things. Winter storms bring snow to the San Gabriel Mountains. Most college students will have returned to school for another semester. Early flowering plants have started to bud and bloom, attracting bees. Most important of all however, is the coming of SCALE, the annual Southern California Linux Expo.

Tech: Vista the best thing to happen to the PC industry.

Let's be absolutely clear about this: it's difficult to recall a Microsoft product that has been so universally disliked - but MS is determined that you - yes, you - will use it whether you like it or not. But - perversely - we opine that Vista is the best thing to happen to the PC industry. Even Microsoft's usually powerful PR machine - which answers criticisms in the media and on blogs with answers on its own pages or in articles - has not been able to overcome the wave of distaste for its Vista operating system. If you doubt this, just look at blogs relating to laptops - they are over-run with users asking how to uninstall Vista and go back to XP. And corporate users are also simply reformatting the disks in new machines and putting XP on before deploying the machines.

Role-based Access Control in SELinux

Role-based access control (RBAC) is a general security model that simplifies administration by assigning roles to users and then assigning permissions to those roles. Learn how RBAC in SELinux acts as a layer of abstraction between the user and the underlying TE model, and how the three pieces of an SELinux context (policy, kernel, and userspace) work together to enforce the RBAC and tie Linux users into the TE policy.

Where do you get your Unix-like OS? Plus speeding up Debian and a look into the minds of Debian and Ubuntu

Google "linux vs. bsd," and this comes up. Written by BSD user Matthew D. Fuller, there's a lot of information to absorb. Here he is on "Chaos vs. Order": One common generality is that the Linux methodology is the living incarnation of chaos, whereas the BSD methodology is far more about control. To a large extent, it's true. Linux grew out of a spare-time hacking background, while BSD grew out of a controlled engineering background. Of course, there's plenty of weekend tinkers writing BSD code, and plenty of full-time professional programmers sloughing away at various parts of Linux.

U.K.'s Elonex readies low-cost Linux laptop

The British manufacturer will unveil the "One" laptop at The Education Show, which is to be held in Birmingham from February 28 to March 1. According to Elonex, the Linux-based laptop will boast a 3-hour battery life, Wi-Fi, a flash-based hard drive, a "hard-wearing case" and a "wireless music server", and will weigh less than 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). However, the company has refused to release any hard specifications for the device ahead of the show.

Ebay Users Go on Strike

Hundreds of ebay sellers who are angry about changes the San Jose company is making to its online auctions have vowed to go on strike today. Upset that the online auction site is hiking fees, some computer users have sworn off buying or selling on the site for one week. Another change that has ruffled feathers, ebay sellers will not be able to give negative feedback to bad buyers.

11 Versions Of WINE Benchmarked

  • Phoronix; By Michael Larabel (Posted by phoronix on Feb 18, 2008 2:35 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Last December we had published benchmarks of seven versions of WINE, which covered up through the WINE 0.9.50 release. We had used two versions of Futuremark's 3DMark suite for testing, and with that we had found the performance to be stable in some cases while in later WINE releases we had found some performance losses. With the WINE project on a consistent two-week release cycle, we are looking at the WINE 3D performance and this time going back with the past eleven releases.

KDE SIG talks about KDE 4

KDE 4 is seen by many to be the next big step on the free software desktop, while others think releasing 4.0 in its current condition was misleading and a mistake. Either way, it’s an innovative release and in line with Fedora’s goal of providing the latest and greatest free software. It is set to be the default KDE environment in the next major release of Fedora. Fedora Interviews caught up with Rex Dieter, Sebastien Vahl, and Kevin Kofler of the KDE SIG to talk about the work they’re doing to get it ready for release, their own opinions on the software and what they think about the progress made by Fedora in getting over its GNOME-centric reputation.

RIAA, MPAA: Be Careful what you Wish For

Schemes are being hatched to make it harder and harder to download copyrighted material across the internet. Seems they will be just as successful as the method to stop people recording CDs to tape in the “old days.” And just as ludicrous.

[Not FOSS related but I thought it would be of interest to our readers. - Scott]

Interview with Nuxeo's Stefane Fermigier

  • Computerworld UK; By Glyn Moody (Posted by glynmoody on Feb 18, 2008 10:00 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Interview
France is not a country many would associate with free software startups, but that's changing. One of the leading companies of this new Nouvelle Vague is Nuxeo, which was set up by Stefane Fermigier, now its CEO. He talks about the the origins of his company, and its place in the world of French free software.

DistroWatch Weekly: Distributions and security updates, Fedora for KDE and Xfce users

  • DistroWatch.com; By Ladislav Bodnar (Posted by dave on Feb 18, 2008 3:05 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Newsletter
Welcome to this year's 7th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Do you trust your distribution? Does it have what it takes to provide you with important and timely updates? The issue of operating system and applications security in the era of millions of interconnected multi-user computing systems is more important than ever. In this week's issue we investigate how different Linux distributions handled the much-publicised vmsplice() privilege escalation exploit announced last week. In the news section, the Fedora developer community offers more desktop options to their users, VectorLinux announces a fast, light edition designed for old hardware, and ex-Linspire's Kevin Carmony goes doom and gloom on the CNR.com software installation service. Looking ahead, this week is likely to deliver further opportunities for heavy distro testing with the upcoming arrival of the fifth alpha of Ubuntu 8.04 and the first release candidate for Mandriva Linux 2008.1. Happy reading!

Design better Web pages with Firefox extensions

If you've ever tried to create or edit a Web page, you know that getting the little details just right can sometimes take a long time. Here are a few Firefox extensions you can add to your toolbox that will help you measure images, align objects on your page, and capture colors quickly and easily.

Fedora Developers on KDE4

KDE 4 is seen by many to be the next big step on the free software desktop, while others think releasing 4.0 in its current condition was misleading and a mistake. Either way, it's an innovative release and inline with Fedora's goal of providing the latest and greatest free software it is set to be the default KDE environment in the next major release of Fedora. We caught up with two members of the KDE SIG to talk about the work they're doing to get it ready for release, their own opinions on the software and what they think about the progress made by Fedora in getting over its GNOME centric reputation.

Build a directory service for web-based services

A directory service is an application that lets you store, retrieve and modify information about network-attached resources such as users. If you want to keep a directory of company employees, for example, you would use a directory service instead of storing that information directly in a database. A directory service is created in a directory server, which is built on top of the database.

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