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Control Freaks: Modding and the Clash with Law

...modding has already tumbled head-on into a legal snake pit. This is entirely the doing of large entertainment and media companies, although Justice Department employees without enough work on their hands sometimes take up the cause even more zealously. So the next big paradigm culture shift is coming as major actors look at modding as a social and business issue instead of a legal one. This article tries to explain why that's so important and what its consequences may be.

[Ed.- Control freak is an understatement. When vendors try to follow us home and control how we use their products, that's going too far.]

The broadcast flag returns

  •; By (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 30, 2005 12:56 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
...the broadcast flag regulations... would require that reception equipment honor a "do not copy" bit in a digital signal...Happily, a federal court threw out the broadcast regulation last May, ruling that the FCC was not authorized to regulate what a piece of equipment does with a signal after reception... The return of the broadcast flag was inevitable; the commercial interests behind this sort of regulation never give up that easily - or at all. Even so, the return of the broadcast flag has been surprisingly quick.

[Ed.- you can't turn your back on these buggers for even a second!]

Getting Closer to GPL 3.0

eWeek has a nice article on the upcoming GPL version change to 3.0. Issues addressed are the actual nuts and bolts of hammering out the details, the people involved, and how it will be presented to the public.

What Is Asterisk

Asterisk is an open source PBX (private branch exchange) that provides all the functionality of high-end business telephone systems, and much more. It is the world's most flexible and extensible telephone system, providing many features that are not yet available in even the most advanced proprietary systems. It is also the world's cheapest telephone system. The software is free and runs on inexpensive Linux servers.

[Ed.- Asterisk is teh hawt. If you've ever rented space on a shared PBX with a single master password that is never changed, or hassled with telecom techs who just don't seem to understand why you want things to work right, take your telephony system into your own hands with Asterisk.]

Learning to Program with DrScheme

  • Linux Gazette- the REAL Linux Gazette; By Pramode C.E. (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 29, 2005 10:05 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial
The ideal programming language for beginners should offer the minimum barrier between thought processes and their concrete implementation as programs on the machine. It should not be a ‘toy’ language - its structure should be rich enough to express complex computer science concepts without being awkward. The language should encourage good coding habits and students should be able to look at it as an extension of the three things which they have already mastered to varying levels of proficiency - reading, writing and mathematics. Do we have such languages? Yes - the programming language Scheme fits in admirably.

ICANN on center stage

  • Security Focus; By Scott Granneman (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 29, 2005 9:10 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
It's somewhat understandable that many countries would be nervous that the United States, in essence, controls the Internet. Like it or not, the Bush administration has chosen to act alone over and over again, in both war and peace. The decision to essentially go it alone in the Iraq War is but one sign of this attitude. Now the decision to retain what is essentially dominance of the DNS root servers is another. As long as that control remains, governments and citizens around the world can't be sure that US foreign or domestic policy won't affect the Internet.

Centralized User Management with Kerberos and LDAP

  • Sys Admin Magazine; By Travis Crawford (Posted by tuxchick on Oct 29, 2005 9:07 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups:
Centralized management of user accounts solves a major problem in distributed computing environments. Without centralization in an environment with X users, Y computers, and Z services, we have (X*Y)+(X*Z) accounts to manage. With centralization, we have X+Y+Z accounts to manage. In this article, I will provide an overview of user account management with Kerberos and LDAP. I will describe the protocols and how they work as well as their implementation. Finally, I will discuss how to manage accounts using this new system.

[Ed.- this is a wonderfully detailed howto that clearly explains how all the pieces work, written by a Google System Administrator, so presumably he has had a lot of practice!]

Linuxworld Feature: Am I Certifiable?

[ED: This article and others from SYS-CON have come under the scrutiny of our editors. In fact, a message to me from one of our top people said that this article was pretty good but if he were Editor-in-Chief, he would nuke it because of the sound.

In fact, I feel the same way. We thought we would leave it up to you to decide. Should we nuke SYS-CON articles because of the streaming content? Or should we put up a warning? -tadelste]

The LinuxWorld SYS-CON newsdesk writes; "I've been suspicious of professional certification exams for a long time. Part of it is that I've heard a lot of flack about Microsoft certifications. Specifically, that the best thing they test is how well you study for Microsoft certification. For that reason, I've resisted taking any of the Linux certification exams. Although I have 15 years worth of experience in Unix-related operating systems, I've always suspected that I wouldn't do well on a certification exam because I wouldn't have studied the specific exam prep materials."

Read the rest of the story at LinuxWorld Magazine.

MA and "Open Standards" Video of hearing

  • Berkman Center for Internet & Society (Posted by bstadil on Oct 29, 2005 4:28 PM EDT)
If you have time on your hand you can review yesterdays Town-Meeting at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. Read more over at Groklaw or Sign the petition if you agree.

Does Slackware still matter?

Although Slackware was THE distro in the mid-90s , at the present time it has conceded the corporate market (but of course Linux is not about market share, the Slackware zealots always remind me!) to Red Hat and SUSE, and the rest of the market to the many Debian derivatives, with the result that Slackware is now just a niche distro used by a very small minority of Linux users.

Ubuntu's Linux Wireless Utility Easier than Windows

If you try to find a Linux compatible wireless card, you might find that a challenge. I shop around frequently and haven't seen any "Linux Compatible" stickers on wireless card boxes. Recently, I bought one on eBay and it had an entry in a Linux compatibility list. It didn't work. The manufacturer kept the model number but changed the chipset.

In attempting to make it work, I discovered that in Ubuntu's new release 5.10, they've added a utility that makes it easy to get off-the-shelf wireless cards to work. Now, that's the way Linux innovation can trump other OSes. Here's a short article demonstrating this ingenious tool.

Free On line KDE desktop

  • CosmoPOD (Posted by bstadil on Oct 29, 2005 11:35 AM EDT)
  • Groups: KDE
Free 1GB online to store and edit your emails, office documents, calander, organizer, photos and files, chat to friends play games surf the web even faster and more from any computer on your own personal online desktop and access it from anywhere in the world. Here is a bit more info [ED-What a great way to demo KDE]

Cruising Without a Bruising

Linux Journal's"Señor Editor" recounts the latest Geek Cruise's visits to resorts later trashed by Hurricane Wilma.

Seo Links Firefox Extension

  • Search Engine Journal (Posted by tadelste on Oct 29, 2005 10:34 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Nick at Threadwatch is all giddy about a new Firefox extension for the SEO crowd put out by WebmasterBrain. The extension gives you the ranking of a site which a term is linked to and the amount of links indexed by Google, Yahoo or MSN pointing to that target site.

Eclipse-based tools for Apache Derby

This article shows you how to Connect to and browse Apache Derby databases using Eclipse technology.

Wireless Wings For Linux Kernel

  •; By Sean Michael Kerner (Posted by tadelste on Oct 29, 2005 10:06 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Kernel; Story Type: News Story
Linux kernel 2.6.14 is out, the fourth major kernel version of 2005, and chock full of improvements, including driver updates, new virtual filesystems and wireless connectivity improvements.

The 2.6.14 kernel comes just two months after the 2.6.13 kernel was released at the end of August. This release also marks the beginning of a new development process for kernel development.

"As per the new merge policies that were discussed during LKS {Linux Kernel Summitt} in Ottawa earlier during the summer," Linus Torvalds wrote in a mailing list posting. "I'm going to accept new stuff for 2.6.14 only during the first two weeks after 2.6.13 was released."

Justsystems to Release xfy Basic Edition 1.0, an Integrated XML Application Development and Runtime Environment, on October 31

  • PR Newswire; By Press release (Posted by tadelste on Oct 29, 2005 9:37 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Press Release
SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Justsystems Corporation (JASDAQ: 4686), a leading enterprise software provider in Japan, announced today that xfy Basic Edition 1.0 will be available starting October 31 for the U.S. market. xfy Basic Edition 1.0, an integrated XML application development and runtime environment, along with the xfy Developer's Toolkit 1.0, which enables the generation of XVCDs (XML data processing sequence programs), can be downloaded free of charge at xfy Basic Edition 1.0, serves as a tool for creating and editing XML documents.

Linux Triple Crown?

It may not have quite the same thrilling finish, but you need wait no longer for a new Triple Crown winner--we've just published the third jewel in our Linux Triple Crown: What Is a Linux Distribution, which follows the publications of What Is Linux and What Is a Linux Desktop, respectively. Each article is intended to introduce your friends, family members, and co-workers to the world you know so well, and maybe enlighten you in some untold way as well.

Symphony OS Web Site Down due to High Traffic

Overwhelming demand for downloadable version of the LiveCD caused the site to crash.
Placeholder page with server links and instructions put instead.

This Month in SVN for October 2005: KOffice Development

This Month in SVN for October looks at KOffice development. "While much of the rest of KDE is in feature freeze preparing for the imminent release of KDE 3.5, KOffice developers are starting to work hard for their 1.5 release, scheduled for between KDE 3.5 and KDE 4.

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