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Don’t read this

Hans ‘The Beez’ Bezemer, a fellow sysadmin and consultant from the Netherlands, came up with a great story. He asked himself why watching Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ on DVD has to burn additional CPU cycles for decrypting, when the topic and author of what he’s watching are all against wasting energy. And he discovered that the crypto chain of HD-DVD has already been broken!

Women in Technology: Hear Us Roar

O’Reilly is running an interesting series of articles written by a number of different women in tech, about how they got to where they are and their adventures along the way. It’s a good read with a lot of different experiences and viewpoints. http://www.oreillynet.com/womenintech/

The trouble with artwork and free software licenses

Are you a crafter of icons, sounds, backgrounds and splash screens, or even window manager themes? Selecting the right license for your artwork to coexist with free software is no trivial task. Creative Commons (CC) and Free Software Foundation (FSF) licenses each have their advantages, but they are mutually incompatible. The two groups are beginning to move toward simplifying the situation, but in the meantime there are several things you can do to make license compatibility easier.

Linux to Finally Kill Windows in Europe?

In the future, Linux might very well have a fighting chance on European soil, against Windows. Following Microsoft’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Brad Smith did not rush to anticipate a worry free outcome for the Redmond company over the pond. Although the dismissal of the company’s appeal by the Court of First Instance of Luxembourg, was a clear indication of the full support of both the European Commission’s 2004 antitrust ruling against Microsoft, and of the €497 million financial penalty, Smith argued that additional third-party claims could follow.

Autodesk geography tool goes open source

Autodesk on Tuesday announced it will release as open-source software a tool that can convert geographic coordinate data from one format to another. If you're not a map nut, that's the challenge one might encounter switching, for example, from latitude and longitude to Universal Transverse Mercator--or from geocentric latitude to geodetic latitude, for that matter.

My Fabulous Geek Career

I consider myself to be a born geek. Ever since I was a little girl I wanted to do cool geek things: woodworking, auto mechanics, gunsmithing, electronics—you name it; if it involved building things or taking them apart and putting them back together, that was my heart's desire. I drooled over Shopsmiths, Heathkits, and all the neat stuff in Radio Shack. The most fun in the world to me is understanding how things work and then changing or fixing them.

Can open source save the doctor-patient relationship?

Over at my health care blog, I’m asking whether open source is the cure for what ails health care IT. It’s not my question. It’s really the question of Bruce L. Wilder, a 66-year old doctor, lawyer, and music lover who says the real issue here is control of the doctor-patient relationship. Wilder’s article was sent me by Fred Trotter, a consultant on open source health care software who has contributed code to leading projects in the space. Wilder, writing in Advance for Health Information Executives, notes that current Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems can cost $44,000 to install, and $8,500/year to maintain, per doctor. But his argument for open source goes beyond cost.

Monolithic OS upgrades are so over

The days of the monolithic upgrade are over. Five years, $6bn later and what do the ingrates do? Ask for a downgrade to Windows XP. Even Newham Council, which over the past couple of years veered from Linux pilot poster child to Vista case study as one of Microsoft's five key public sector accounts in the UK, has now delayed the upgrade of 1,500 desktops by 12 months. The council is now in the bizarre situation of facing a deployment of 1,500 CP desktops next spring, which will be over a year since Vista's launch. These desktops will then be upgraded to Vista sometime at the end of 2008.

Computer Take Back Campaign places recycling responsibility on manufacturers

What would happen if manufacturers were responsible for the disposal of their used-up products? The Computer Take Back Campaign (CTBC), a coalition of environmental groups across the United States, hopes that the result would be both a national recycling network and the removal of hazardous materials like lead, mercury, and brominated flame retardants from products so that companies would not have to worry about them later. The CTBC has been promoting this idea with limited success since 2002, but this year it finally seems on the brink of acceptance.

How worried should Microsoft be about open source?

Very worried. It may well be true, as Paula details today, that desktop Linux is going nowhere fast in the U.S. Microsoft’s willingness to let users back-off upgrades and stick with XP may have stopped the potential rot in its market share. But it is taking enormous effort for Microsoft to hold its server market share against Linux’ inroads in the enterprise. Another important point. The U.S. is not the world, and Microsoft sells more than just Windows.

Latest OS Version a Free Masterpiece?

  • Earthweb; By Sean Michael Kerner (Posted by Sander_Marechal on Sep 26, 2007 8:59 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews
A free Unix-like OS need not be feared as something that isn't accessible or usable on a desktop. At least that's the hope with the latest release of PC-BSD version 1.4. The release includes a long list of fixes and improvements, with a focus on making the desktop BSD OS easier to set up and use. The official codename for the release is da Vinci, but that doesn't necessarily mean the release is a masterpiece.

Red Hat Does Well, But Why Does It Suddently Need Licensing?

It is already quite well established that Novell failed to stop Red Hat’s momentum after it had signed deal with Microsoft. The figures which Red Hat included in last night’s report left little room for doubt. They were very encouraging. It is still curious to find, however, that Red Hat’s desktop endeavors are facing a barrier which is due to Microsoft licensing (for codecs). This was mentioned about a month ago and it was once again mentioned in the press yesterday.

The inevitability of free software

Is software a product or a utility? Free software proponents say it's as critical to economic progress as fresh drinking water. It isn't hard to get Eben Moglen talking. We were eight minutes into our conversation before I got to ask my second question. But that really didn't matter, because Moglen was describing the future of software, and his perspective is fascinating.

Firefox addon makes web development easy

Taking some tentative steps into the world of web development, James Archibald discovers the sleek power and functionality of the Web Developer extension for Firefox. Although aimed at 'real' web developers, the extension proves to be handy for the novice too.

Miro (Democracy Player) for Linux Reviewed

  • MadPenguin.org; By Matt Hartley (Posted by gsh on Sep 26, 2007 5:49 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews; Groups: Linux
I have watched Miro (formally known as Democracy Player) grow and mature over the last few years, and I have to admit, it's become quite the addition to my Linux desktop. But how are the users reacting to the name change, and are they offering the content that users are into? Today, we will examine this and explore how Miro could go even further.

Red Hat sees another delay in PC Linux software

Software maker Red Hat Inc., which had planned to introduce a new version of its Linux software for personal computers in August, said on Tuesday that the product won't be out until next month at the earliest.

Windows Media Player 9 & 10 on Linux with Wine

  • Wine-Review; By Thomas Wickline (Posted by twickline on Sep 26, 2007 4:09 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial
I'm aware there are many open source multimedia tools that will play most audio and video formats on Linux these days but many people have come to like Windows Media player over the years. And while Xine and Mplayer will play most .WMV .WMA files, both of these players use Windows codecs that are copied into your /usr/lib/win32 directory. So if your currently happy using the closed source Windows Media codecs why not use the player as well.

Fedora virtualization via Xen

Xen is a powerful new virtualization system that enables you to run multiple operating systems on one computer. Here's how you can install it on your Fedora machine, and how to get it configured to best suit your environment. This article is excerpted from the book Fedora 7 Unleashed by Andrew Hudson and Paul Hudson, SAMS Publishing, August 2007.

Artists: Drop OS X, Give Linux a Try

  • OSWeekly.com; By Matt Hartley (Posted by gsh on Sep 26, 2007 2:58 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Linux
Can artists get away with using a PC over a Mac? When considering the fact that many art students are likely to be working inside of Mac labs at their respective schools, it does tend to make sense to follow the flow of things and use a Mac at home as well.

Remembering September

In early August I stated in this blog that after the OOXML JTC1 ballot closed on September 2, the sun would rise, the birds would sing, and so on. As we are now at the end of the month and about to move into October, I can state that those things all happened. Indeed, from my perspective, September was a very good month, maybe a historic month, for open standards and open source.

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