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A Slow Death for ActiveX?

The more I see of IE 7 the more I think it's going to make a big splash when it hits the scenes. Even though it's a better browser on Windows Vista than on earlier versions of the operating system, it's got some impressive features on Windows XP as well. Many of them come from Microsoft's willingness to adopt a Firefox feature or abandon something that's been in IE for years. Consider the way IE 7 starts what I think is a long-term shift away from ActiveX.

Why Photoshop tops most-wanted Linux app list

  • DesktopLinux.com; By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (Posted by bstadil on Feb 3, 2006 10:29 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
First of all, Photoshop -- on either Mac OS X or Windows -- is the default photographic and prepress program for serious graphics firms. Just as Quark Inc.'s QuarkXPress was for the longest time the best layout program in serious publishing work, Photoshop is simply "The" application that professionals use.

Newly free databases validate open source pioneers

  • NewsForge; By Jay Lyman (Posted by dcparris on Feb 3, 2006 9:30 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: IBM
Nowadays, the biggest traditional database companies are making free availability and open source development an increasingly significant part of their product lines. In the latest such move, this week IBM announced it would make its DB2 Express-C package available at no cost, though still under a proprietary license.

[Ed: If this is a move toward FOSS licenses for proprietary database systems, great. For me, freeware is not so much a threat to free software as it simply steals the thunder. My real problem with freeware is that it creates confusion, as if there isn't enough of that already. Thus, a certain IT director I know, who doesn't understand the concepts behind libre software, would point to this as an example of "everything going proprietary". People miss the point that underpins the whole Free Software movement. - dcparris]

Gunning for open source in Africa

Aspiration Tech co-director and long-time open source advocate, Allen "Gunner" Gunn, recently returned to the USA after winding up Africa Source II in Uganda. Richard Frank spoke to him (via Skype, apologies to OSS purists) about Africa Source II, getting developers to talk to end users, and the death of Windows (or lack thereof).

Ibm Delivers Free Software and Technical Resources to Help Russian ...

ARMONK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 02/03/2006 -- IBM today announced free software and educational resources to help developers in Russia build and deploy innovative applications based on open standards and open source. Tapping into the booming software development market in Russia, IBM is giving software developers, architects and students free access to software and hundreds of new tools and technical and educational resources that will enable them to more easily build open standards-based applications.

Linux: -mm Hotfixes

Chuck Ebbert raised an issue with the stability of Andrew Morton [interview]'s 2.6 -mm kernel development tree, "most -mm kernels have small but critical bugs that are found shortly after release. Patches for these are posted on linux-kernel but they aren't made available on kernel.org until the next -mm release." Andrew releases a complete copy of his -mm kernel with varying frequency, not making the in between tree-states available from source control due to his development methods [story].

As a solution, Check suggested the creation of a hotfix directory for each -mm release, in which critical fixes could be placed as they are discovered, "I'm talking about patches for problems that keep you from even testing
-mm, or that fix really annoying things you hit while testing.
". Andrew agreed to the idea, "OK, I'll create a hot-fixes directory there and will try to remember to put stuff into it." The release of the 2.6.16-rc1-mm5 kernel quickly followed and includeda directory for critical hot-fixes.

Esther Dyson's perspective

  • IT Manager's Journal; By Rod Amis (Posted by dcparris on Feb 3, 2006 6:21 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Esther Dyson has had a ringside seat for the development of the Internet. She was Interim Chairperson of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) when it was a fledging organization whose goal was to help move the burgeoning Internet's administration out of the US Department of Commerce. Dyson is credited with trying to make ICANN an open and transparent body, but she concedes that she was not completely successful. Today, Dyson is still involved with IT development around the world. She is also editor of Release 1.0, a quarterly report that outlines the opportunities and issues produced by the converging worlds of technology, communications, and the Internet, as well as organizer of the 25-year-old PC Forum conference. We asked Dyson for her perspective on today's IT world.

IE falling behind Firefox, columnist says

Even though Microsoft's Internet Explorer still owns some 85 percent of the browser market, Mozilla's Firefox "already has the technological lead in the browser market, and the momentum has just started to build," an Lxer.com column suggests. "So, how can Internet Explorer catch up?"

Readers sound off on Linux in the living room

Last week's newsletter on Linux moving to a cable/digital set top box near you drew more reader response than I expected.

Mossberg Positive About Rollyo and PubSub Search Engines

  • Search Engine Watch; By Walt Mossberg (Posted by tadelste on Feb 3, 2006 3:03 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg has positive comments about two services, PubSub and Rollyo, two services that we've posted about several times.

KANOTIX 2005-04 Screencast

  • LinClips.com (Posted by linuxbeta on Feb 3, 2006 2:06 PM EDT)
Version 2005-04 of the increasingly more popular KANOTIX Linux distribution was recently released. LinClips has a nice demo of this release in their KANOTIX 2005-04 Foresight Linux 0.9.3 screencast.

OSS to shed geeky image in 2006

Mainstream acceptance of open source will expand in 2006, according to research firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu.

Sign software on the digital line (Sony)

Disclosure and diversity are the key to trust for tomorrow's computers, says technology critic Bill Thompson.

The Art of Metaprogramming using Scheme

One of the most under-used programming techniques -- Metaprogramming -- programming with code generators or writing programs that themselves write code, has many uses in large-scale computer programming. This article shows you some tools needed to do Metaprogramming in Scheme.

The Two Faces of Microsoft: Pervasive Brand Recognition

  LXer Feature: 02-Feb-06

Microsoft is preparing a publicity campaign to address their image as a 'big' company. In this, the first of a series of four articles, LXer's Don Parris points to the pervasive nature of the Microsoft brand, and how keeping that separate from the corporate reputation keeps regular consumers in the dark.

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My sysadmin toolbox

I've been working as a Linux admin for more than six years, and using Linux for a little longer. Like a lot of Linux administrators, I started with Red Hat, but now I use Debian stable at work and Gentoo at home. Recently, NewsForge asked readers to "let us know about your most valuable utilities." Here are mine.

Linux.com weekly security update - February 3, 2006

Advisories were released this week for LibAST, MyDNS, Mail::Audit, PHP, and several other packages. Vendors that released advisories this week are Debian, FreeBSD, Gentoo, Mandriva, and Red Hat. No advisories were issued for SUSE or Ubuntu this week. The Mozilla foundation has also released an update to Firefox 1.5 this week.

The patent application Amazon didn't want you to read

  • Free Software Magazine; By Peter Calveley (Posted by fsmdave on Feb 3, 2006 7:14 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Amazon is trying to sneak through another absurd patent. But, they have been caught out.

Solutions for the Energy Crises -- Part 1: Alternate Energy and Conservation

  • MozillaQuest Magazine (mozillaquest.com); By Mike Angelo (Posted by VISITOR on Feb 3, 2006 7:13 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Community
Applied computer technology can help reduce dependency on oil. MozillaQuest Magazine (mozillaquest.com) reports: "Telecommuting is a great way to conserve oil/petroleum fuel consumption. The technologies for telecommuting are here now . . . Alternative energy sources such as solar, water, and wind power can be employed to eliminate the need for oil/petroleum to generate electricity. Moreover there is no need to build additional nuclear power plants."

The coming of a Nigerian Linux distribution

Nigeria's Leapsoft has released a Linux distribution designed to cater for the Nigerian languages Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa. Wazobia Linux is a commercial distribution aimed at corporate desktops, and includes the usual office suite, web and email applications, and media players.

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