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IBM Open-Source Expert Criticizes Standards Process

Any of the ISO and IEC national bodies can lodge a formal appeal over the next two months, before the Office Open XML standard is published. Criticism and calls for an investigation have come close on the heels of the formal announcement that Microsoft's Office Open XML file formats had received the necessary number of votes for approval as an ISO/IEC international standard.

Update: Sun Getting Cozier With Ubuntu

In an interview with Reuters, Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth confirmed what The VAR Guy already knew: Sun Microsystems is increasing its bets on Ubuntu Linux.

What the OOXML fiasco can teach us

The late Charles M. Schulz, the genius behind Peanuts, could make a much more telling comment on human foibles through one of his cartoon strips than many a writer can in 1000 words. One of my favourites is the one where Lucy is attempting to persuade Charlie Brown to kick the pigskin while she holds it down. From the conversation one is able to gauge that she has done this numerous times and always pulled the ball away at the last minute, so that Charlie Brown lands flat on his back.

ReviewLinux.Com: DreamLinux 3.0 in action

Quick tour of the latest DreamLinux 3.0 Linux OS. Check out the short flash video of DreamLinux 3.0 in action.

Five principles for successful mass collaboration, part 3

Linux has succeeded as a product only because the community that supports it has organised itself systematically to create, share, test, reject, and develop ideas in a way that flouts conventional wisdom. Successful We-Think projects are based on five key principles that were all present in Linux. Earlier I introduced three principles; here are the final two.

KDE 4.0.3 Released With Extragear Applications

The third bugfix release of the KDE 4.0 series is available. KDE 4.0 is mainly targeted at users who live on the bleeding edge. As a dot-oh release it might have its rough edges. The KDE Community releases a service update for this series once a month to make those bleeding edge users' lives easier. The changelog for KDE 4.0.3 is, although not complete, quite impressive. Especially KHTML and with it the Konqueror webbrowser have seen great improvements in both, stability and performance.

Linux's Impact: The Return of XP

The good news is that Linux has been remarkably successful at the low end of PCs, the new UMPC (Ultramobile PCs) like Asus' Eee line and Everex's CloudBook. Better still, Intel's new Atom processors were made specifically to power UMPCs and Intel's cross between a smart phone and a UMPC, the MID (Mobile Internet Device).

This new small Linux distro could be huge

In this week's Distrowatch, I read about a new, small Linux distribution called SliTaz GNU/Linux that packs itself into 25 MB of space, loads and runs quickly -- and entirely into memory with 128 MB of RAM -- and can even run with 16 MB of RAM. Sounds a lot like Damn Small Linux and Puppy, but there's always room for one more project that runs like the proverbial wind on new hardware (SliTaz features a modern 2.6.24 kernel) and keeps the old hardware I use working as well as it can.

Asterisk Meets Unified Communications

Watch out, Cisco. Move over, Microsoft. Unified communications and the Asterisk open source platform are on a collision course. In fact, a startup called Worxbox hopes to accelerate that convergence. Here’s why anyone interested in the unified communications market should care.

An OpenOffice Letterhead Tutorial

LXer Feature: 3-Apr-2008

This article on Digg

This tutorial is a guideline on making your own letterhead on Open Office. Although there are letterhead templates in the wild, you may have a design in mind that you can only put together yourself. This should give you enough background information to do this on your own. Depending on how much glitter you want on it, it may take some artistic skill - sorry, I cannot impart that in this document. :)

Digikam Plans for KDE 4

Readers of the KDE Commit-Digest have probably noticed that Gilles Caulier is again on top with number of commits. On what does he work so furiously? Gilles is the main developer of Digikam which is under transition from KDE 3 to KDE 4 whilst simultaneously adding new features. Read more to know more about the future of advanced digital photo management for KDE and Linux.

Hunting for wireless networking solutions

While most basic hardware support for GNU/Linux is improving constantly, wireless support remains dismal. Few manufacturers make an effort to support the operating system, or to publicize what support they have. Moreover, the components of wireless devices change so fast that one version of a device may offer support while a second version doesn't -- even though both versions share the same model number. And if, in addition to functionality, you also want a device with free drivers and no reliance on proprietary firmware, your choices are even more limited. Fortunately, no matter what your preferences, online resources exist to help you find the card that's right for you or get your existing wireless network adapter to work with Linux.

Record Numbers for Open Source Venture Capital Funding

The 451 Group is out with a new report on venture capital funding for open source, and the news is rosy. The first quarter of this year brought more venture capital funding for open source than ever before, totaling $203.75 million, up from $100.4 million in the same quarter for 2007. That's more than a double, for year-over-year growth, although the news immediately follows a plunge in VC funding for open source that arrived in the fourth quarter of last year. The report also includes some good analysis of how VC funds are flowing to the open source community.

Phoronix Releases Linux Benchmarking Test Suite

Back in early February we announced that we were in the process of formalizing and releasing our internal test tools as a platform for facilitating easy to use, accurate, and reproducible Linux benchmarks based upon the testing work that we have been doing at Phoronix for the past four years. The goals with this are really to make it easier for Linux end-users to run reliable (both qualitative and quantitative) benchmarks for their own personal use, push more open-source projects to making their software more testable, and pushing hardware and software vendors for greater Linux testing based upon a standardized set of tests. Today we are very pleased to announce the first public release of the Phoronix Test Suite software, which is licensed under the GNU GPLv3, and the creation of a public database for freely sharing your test results and other information in a collaborative manner.

ClearHealth 2.2 PR1 Released

ClearHealth is happy to announce the release of ClearHealth 2.2-PR1 which is the first preview of the final 2.2 release. The real highlight of this release is support for PDF templates. Easily create fully custom forms and reports in Office or even on paper and load them into Adobe LiveCycle Designer, upload to ClearHealth and you're done (ClearHealth automatically creates the DB for forms with no programming necessary). There are several other new features and fixes in this release as well with the full release notes.

Extensions for Impress

Extensions have long been written for Writer. However, the fact that attention is finally being paid to other applications seems a sign that is finally starting to develop an active extension-writing community. A case in point is the recent availability of extensions for Impress,'s slide show program. Extensions for Impress are still outnumbered four or five to one by those for Writer, but at least they are now being written. Just as importantly, they are filling important gaps in functionality, and encouraging uses for slide shows other than the standard presentation in work or education.

Hands on: What you need to run Linux

Some people who are new to Linux want to install the operating system on an older, second computer, to try it out and see how they get on. Others have older computers with obsolete operating systems (such as Windows 98 or Me), and don’t want to pay for a newer version of Windows, but would still like to make a use of the machine. Some may simply want a separate backup machine, one for a member of their family, or maybe just a file server. Consequently, the question of the minimum specifications to run Linux frequently comes up. So what type of hardware do you need? The answer depends on what you want to use the computer for, and which applications you intend to run. That being said, there are a few general guidelines for the most common cases.

Whatever Happened to Standards?

The British Standards Institution (BSI) has always been one of those iconic central points of reference in British life – a kind of Big Ben for standards. But it's a little hard to square that image – perhaps hopelessly outdated – with the BSI's recent decision to vote in favour of Microsoft's OOXML document standard.

BRM Blowback

Now that the OOXML vote is over, what can we learn, and what should happen next? It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that the credibility and integrity of the formal standards development process has suffered serious damage as a result of what has just transpired. While that process may serve perfectly well under less contentious circumstances, reforms are obviously needed to address those exceptional circumstances in which greater protections are needed.

Lights Out 2008

Earth Hour aside, 2008 may mark the year of "lights out" for power hungry computers. The gPC sold at Wal*mart and the Asus Eee PC led the way, both running Linux of course. The trend began in 2007 when we were introduced to the Koolu PC: I test drove a Koolu at the Ontario Linux fest last year and I was impressed with its speed and graphics capability.

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