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Start programs like a pro with XBindKeys

Desktop environments like KDE and GNOME make it possible for you to assign keyboard shortcuts to a number of global operations, but don't make it easy to create shortcuts to run any program you'd like. To set up shortcuts for programs, XBindKeys is the way to go.

Large academic international interdisciplinary study on FLOSS gets the real facts

LXer Feature: 16-Jan-2007

The European Commission's enterprise and industry department just released the final draft (warning: 1,8 MB) of what could be the biggest academic interdisciplinary study on the economic / innovative impacts of FLOSS*. The study was done by an international consortium, led by the United Nations University / University of Maastricht's (NL,EU) department of innovation; UNU-MERIT for short. The study was prepared by senior researcher Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, who did a tremendous amount of FLOSS studies the last few years, amongst them on FLOSSpols and FLOSSWorld.

The academic grade study has a very, very broad scope and has collected real world information that is valuable for both companies, government bodies who are thinking about migration, and decision-makers in the ICT business. The study is about the direct economic impact of FLOSS, but also about the more hidden indirect economical impact of FLOSS, and also compares scenarios of open and proprietary software futures of Europe. In addition to that, the study is also about competitiveness of FLOSS software compared to proprietary software, and also provides a few TCO comparison case-studies.

Probably most important, the study gives policy strategies to European government bodies, which can also be very useful for any company or organization. In this article, I'll discuss the key findings of this report, and try to link this with my own knowledge and experience.

A must-read for anyone who's willing to Get the real Facts!

* In contrary to US articles, European's don't mind using the term FLOSS, since English speaking people are only a small minority in today's Europe, and therefore almost nobody associates FLOSS with the dentist. If you do, please don't bother to complain; just change the associations you make.

DRM, GPLv3 is 'hot air': Linus Torvalds

  • ZDNet.com.au; By Munir Kotadia and Chris Duckett (Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Jan 16, 2007 12:17 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Linux; Story Type: News Story
Digital rights management and the General Public License cause a lot of 'hot air' to be exchanged but they are not a 'big deal', according to the creator of Linux, Linus Torvalds. DRM is a technology used to control the copying and distribution of content such as music and films while GPLv3 is a software licence drafted by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and intended to be used to govern how free and open source software can be copied and changed.

Muni-broadband is To Linux as AT&T Is To Microsoft?

A decade ago, The Department of Justice filed its landmark antitrust case against Microsoft. Four years later, a unanimous US Court of Appeals ruled that the company had used its power illegally to protect its monopoly Windows operating system. That behavior, the government had charged, chilled competitive innovation. A reluctant DOJ concluded that the only solution was a lawsuit. How else, Microsoft's competitors asked, could the software giant be restrained? If not by the US government, then by whom?

Day Two Done and Dusted

Today the mini-conf menu consisted of Debian, GNOME, Education, Gaming, Kernel, PostgreSQL, OpenOffice.org and Linuxchix. The conference that kept outgrowing itself was the Gaming mini-conf. Beginning in a room that seated about 40 people, it soon became clear by the time that the FOSS Licensing panel started that a new room was needed.

Fluendo makes proprietary codecs available to Linux users

In response to the growing demand for proprietary multimedia codecs on the open-source Linux platform, multimedia software development company Fluendo has released GStreamer codec plugins that provide native support for a variety of proprietary media formats. Available from Fluendo's web shop, several of the plugins facilitate encoding as well as playback. In order to provide these codecs without risking legal conflict, Fluendo has properly licensed the relevant patents on the various formats from their respective holders.

How fast is your disk?

It's a known fact that although disk storage capacities are improving at an impressive rate, disk performance improvements are occurring at a rather slower rate. Here are the two techniques for measuring disk performance in Linux. With a little bit of torturing, and some fun on the way, find out how fast your hard disk drive really is.

FSM Newsletter 15th of January 2007

Welcome to Free Software Magazine’s fortnightly newsletter—bringing you news from the free software world. Happy reading!

Open Source Challenges Vista at UK Education Show

Although Microsoft had one of the largest spaces at BETT, the leading educational technology show in the U.K., there was a strong case made for open source software. Becta, an advice organisation supported by government, published a report that advised against any sudden move to upgrade Windows pending more evaluation promised for next year. Discussion on "personalized learning" followed another report that recognized some limitations in a tightly controlled system of tests.

Forget iPhone, hail OpenMoko, the true revolution

"It is a phone which rivals Apple's iPhone as a technological concept and is yet based on completely open technologies, fully extensible by anyone and fully under control of its user. Enter OpenMoko, an attractive phone which may not currently be much of a competitor in terms of specifications alone, but beats Apple hands down on openness and therefore the disruptive potential."

Troubleshooting WordPress Errors

One of the great things about the WordPress community is the amazing number of people who develop plugins for the blog platform and make them freely available to anyone.

The Road to KDE 4: Full Mac OS X Support

Just because KDE has been designed to be portable across Linux, FreeBSD and other UNIX/X11 environments for an age now, doesn't mean we aren't up for the occasional challenge. With version 4, Trolltech released Qt for the Mac, Windows and now even embedded environments under the GPL. Since Qt is the base upon which KDE is developed, KDE is now free to offer native support for these platforms. Today I am focusing on the KDE/Mac developments for KDE 4.

Kernel developer, Alan Cox, files patent on DRM

A series of patents have been filed by the well-known Linux kernel developer, Alan Cox, asserting ownership of any DRM technology employed in software to modify the behavior of a system if certain conditions are not met. Since Red Hat and Cox himself are staunch open-source proponents, if this patent is granted it is likely that they will choose not to license this technology, and instead, sue for any use of it as a defense of OSS. Red Hat's patent policy (http://www.redhat.com/legal/patent_policy.html) states that any patents they own will be used to defend FOSS developers if attacked. It also states that their patents may be used freely in OSS under gpl. I certainly hope this is granted. Is it defendable though??

Web OSes: Will They Ever Catch On?

  • OSWeekly.com; By Matt Hartley (Posted by gsh on Jan 16, 2007 5:59 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Linux
Almost like clockwork, people hoping to make their name during what some call the "Web 2.0" gold rush are putting their AJAX and Flash skills to the test with the concept of Web based operating systems. Having tried as many as I can get my hands on, I’m still quite reluctant to put a lot of faith into them for a number of reasons.

Confusion about alleged exploits for Linux security extensions Grsecurity-PaX

Security service provider Digital Armaments has reported two alleged security holes in the PaX component of the Grsecurity extension for the Linux kernel. A preliminary advisory states that the expand_stack() function contains a vulnerability that local users could exploit to inject arbitrary malicious code into the kernel. The advisory does not provide any other details to clear up the matter. Rather, these details are to be provided in a final advisory in six months. In addition, one of the service provider's news sites speaks of a hole in Grsecurity that can be exploited over networks.

Guide highlights enterprise-ready open source apps

There are currently more than 140,000 active open source projects available for download. Some are just concepts, while others are enterprise-ready applications like Linux.

Dreamlinux 2.2 MME — when dreams come true

  • polishlinux.org; By riklaunim (Posted by michux on Jan 16, 2007 3:01 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews; Groups: Linux
Dreamlinux is an operating system that boots from a Live-CD with the option to install on a hard drive as well. Dreamlinux is not just another Live-CD based on Debian, it’s not another distro coming with XFCE 4.4. Dreamlinux 2.2 MME is a polished multimedia system from which Xubuntu developers could really learn a lot and which has the potential to demolish Windows Multimedia Center as far as the functionality is concerned.

Ubuntu 7.04 Alpha (Herd) 2 Screenshots

Ubuntu 7.04 Herd 2 released. The primary focus during the time from Herd 1 has been the re-merging of changes from Debian and inclusion of new versions of applications. Notably, we have upgraded the kernel to 2.6.20. This is an early set of images, so you can expect some bugs. - DistroWatch. Screenshots of Ubuntu 7.04 Alpha 2 are available at LinuxQuestions.org.

Open source is good for the economy: report

Europe's lawmakers should "correct" policies that "implicitly or explicitly" favour the use of proprietary software, according to a newly published report from the European Commission (EC). The EC commissioned Netherlands based UNU-MERIT to investigate the "economic impact of "FLOSS"* in Europe". The researchers found open source software is worth around €2bn every year to the European economy.

Fedora Weekly News Issue 73

Fedora Weekly News for Jan. 15 2007

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