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The NewsForge last minute holiday geek gift guide

  • NewsForge (Posted by dave on Dec 18, 2005 10:00 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Having trouble coming up with last minute gift ideas? Yeah, we've been there too. If you need a few ideas, we've come up with a list of gift ideas from our own wishlists that should make any geek happy.

Open source in '05 -- simplification, assurance

  • IDG News Service, Boston Bureau; By China Martens (Posted by tadelste on Dec 18, 2005 9:08 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial
Vendors stepped up their efforts this year to make users feel more comfortable and confident about deploying open-source software. Companies focused on making the technology easier to use and improved interoperability between products. Additionally, they launched services and floated ideas designed to put customers' minds at rest over any potential lingering legal issues around using open-source software.

Linux runs on cell phones and supercomputers

Over three quarters of the world's top supercomputers now run with Linux. Consumers have a good chance of encountering the operating system in cell phones, as one quarter of all smartphones use Linux.

SCO Loses Again - Kimball Affirms Wells' Order!

Judge Kimball rules that Wells didn't make a mistake (Cf. why I thought she didn't make a mistake). She heard SCO, Kimball in effect says, and she "properly denied" them. The word properly means SCO can give up asking for Linux non-public materials. They'll just have to climb their ladder theory without it. Or they might just try browsing on the web and find the materials for themselves. Linux is developed in public. Even if the Magistrate Judge hadn't specifically mentioned having read everything SCO and IBM submitted, Kimball writes, and even if she hadn't ruled on SCO's alternative request by giving them some of the Linux materials they were asking for (the materials IBM volunteered at the hearing), she at least implicitly had ruled on the request, and anyway "a denial of a motion is routinely construed to encompass all requests made in that motion."

Security-Enhanced Linux Moving into Mainstream

Security Enhanced Linux has move into the mainstream of operating system architecture in recent years. For those who don't understand the technology, many articles exist.

SELinux provides mandatory access control to a wider audience. It helps eliminate O-day attacks.

The agenda for the 2006 SELinux Symposium has just been announced and some project leaders of Linux distributions may way want to attended.

Existing distributions such as Fedora are including SELinux in the default build, and ports are underway to bring SELinux functionality to BSD and Darwin. Management has already stressed the importance of SELinux in many organizations. So, security minded systems administrators will find SELinux an important area to gain proficiency.

The Devil's Advocate - If Apple Buys Adobe, Is the Operating System Market up for Grabs?

  • The Mac Observer; By John Kheit (Posted by tadelste on Dec 18, 2005 5:19 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial
It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see why. Borrowing heavily from Mr. Cringely's terminology, there are several industry realities and stories, each having its own vector/trajectory that might lead one to seeing the importance of Adobe to Apple's well being. Adobe owns key graphic sector applications. Meanwhile, Microsoft has a strangle-hold over Apple with Office for the Mac. Were Apple to buy Adobe, it would give Apple the leverage it needs to ensure Microsoft keeps making Office for the Mac.

Sun Announces Bold New Enhancements to Java Enterprise System

Free Portal Server Drives Collaboration and Participation as First Platform to Integrate Wikis and Other Next-Generation Applications

IBM moves to speed up release of AIX test code

IBM is calling its approach an "open community development model," and it's establishing an AIX Collaboration Center in Austin as the focal point for the effort. The company said it plans to spend US$200 million on hardware and development support for the center over the next two years. What IBM is proposing "makes a lot of sense ... if it works," said AIX user Kenneth Ebbe, assistant to the CIO at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

There's More Than One Way to Bust a Trust

  • Inc. Magazine, December 2005; By Robert Litan (Posted by tadelste on Dec 18, 2005 3:14 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The news that Microsoft settled one of its last remaining antitrust lawsuits in October presents an opportunity to review the whole episode and assess what it means for the next generation of business innovators. The matter is of special interest to me. Working at the Justice Department in the mid-1990s, I helped lead the first investigation of Microsoft.

Before we get to the lessons learned, a brief recap: It goes without saying that Microsoft's rise to power on the strength of its operating systems for desktop PCs is one of the great American business success stories of all time. But as I argued a decade ago, the company abused its extraordinary power to cement its dominance in the operating systems market. Then it attempted to extend its monopoly into new markets, including Web browsers and online media players.

Courts in the U.S. and Europe found that Microsoft broke the law. After Justice won its most celebrated case, which concerned Microsoft's efforts to destroy Netscape's browser business, I argued in amicus curiae briefs that Microsoft should be split into three Windows companies. This would have restarted competition in the operating systems market and, in my view, would have led to better bug-free desktop operating systems than are now available.

Unfortunately, antitrust enforcement can be slow and unreliable. The Bush Justice Department was less interested in reining in Microsoft than Clinton's was. But though the company avoided a breakup, it did have to pay several billion dollars to settle related claims, and it is now subject to various restrictions on the way it does business.

Firefox Moves Farther Ahead of the Hunt

  • Washington Post; By Rob Pegoraro (Posted by dave on Dec 18, 2005 2:44 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The browser that finally broke Microsoft's monopoly just got its first major update. If you haven't switched from Internet Explorer yet, consider Firefox 1.5 your invitation to do so.

People Behind KDE: Debian Qt/KDE Packagers

A special treat on tonight's People Behind KDE as we bring you the Debian Qt KDE Packagers.

Desktop Linux's Hardware Woes

  • X Y Z Computing; By Sal Cangeloso (Posted by tadelste on Dec 18, 2005 12:41 PM EDT)
Linux works. This is a very matter-of-fact statement, but it is one many people (myself included) make every day when they boot up their computers. It is not a perfect product, it would not be sensible to expect something as complex as an operating system to be flawless, but fact remains that Linux does work. On the software side of things the open source community has done a very good job of making this clear, but the other half of computing, hardware, this movement has not been as successful. Every day Linux users encounter driver and compatibility issues which Windows users have not had to deal with for years.

Is One Standard Always Better than Two?

  • ConsortiumInfo.org; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by VISITOR on Dec 18, 2005 12:12 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial
Alan Yates told those in the Massachusetts State House that two standards are better than one. Was he right?

Unknown jewels of Unix: NoSQL

  • Lateral Opinion; By Roberto Alsina (Posted by jwbr on Dec 18, 2005 11:58 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The NoSQL database, though not new, is worth taking a look at to refresh the mind about the power of some of the core fundamentals of Unix-like systems.

Gaim 2.0 Beta Released

Again, this is a beta release and should not be used by those with a heart condition, if you are pregnant, or if you are under the age of 8. Side-effects include awesomeness, dumbfoundedness, dry mouth and lava. Consult your doctor to find out if Gaim 2.0.0beta1 is right for you.

Open source in '05 -- simplification, assurance

  • Computer Partner (Posted by tadelste on Dec 18, 2005 7:30 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Vendors stepped up their efforts this year to make users feel more comfortable and confident about deploying open-source software. Companies focused on making the technology easier to use and improved interoperability between products. Additionally, they launched services and floated ideas designed to put customers' minds at rest over any potential lingering legal issues around using open-source software.

In terms of ease of use, there was a growing trend among vendors, including SpikeSource Inc. and SourceLabs Inc., to package open-source software into precertified, standardized and supported stacks. The stacks were also designed to lessen the time developers had to spend configuring and testing various software components to ensure that they work well together.

Top 10 IT News Stories of the Week

  • CIO (Posted by tadelste on Dec 18, 2005 6:16 AM EDT)
CIO staffers keep an eye on IT news from the industry press.

KDE Web Dev 2005 Fund Raiser

It is hard to believe that our last official fund raiser was in mid October of 2004. You might think that represents a lot of success for our fund raising efforts as we have done fund raisers as often as every few months. Nothing could be further from truth

Opinion: Why Some Linux News Sites Aren't Succeeding

  • Yet Another Linux Blog; By Devnet (Posted by devnet on Dec 18, 2005 2:18 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Community
I always hate it when a Linux "news" website publishes things that aren't news. It would be like having a hosting website that doesn't do hosting...what's the point really?

Can we still say that nobody owns the Internet?

  • OReilly Sys Admin; By Andy Oram (Posted by tadelste on Dec 17, 2005 7:15 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
(Originally published in the American Reporter.)

The Internet was the great noncommercial success story of our time. Commissioned by the government, built on open-source software, promulgated initially through research and academic facilities--the Internet was the crowning example of a public good, a resource without an owner, a self-regulating convocation of equals.

All that seems threatened now. This month, local phone companies revealed a far-reaching change to Internet access. These companies, who control the line into the Internet users' homes (usually through ADSL connections over traditional telephone wires) want to create varying levels of service for Internet content of their choice.

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