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Tiny PPC system runs OpenFirmware, Linux

A vendor of OpenFirmware-compliant PowerPC boards and systems is shipping a tiny CPU module that supports Linux, and targets thin clients, home-theater PCs, industrial robotics and control, VoIP and video phones, and security cameras. The Genesi Efika comes with OpenFirmware-compliant boot firmware, and can run Linux.

[ED: This looks neat, but at $300 each when you buy 50 won't be under my Christmas tree. - ralph]

Fun with Firefox

  • Extreme Tech; By Loyd Case (Posted by ralph on Dec 7, 2005 3:07 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Firefox 1.5 is here. The lightweight browser that's been eating into Internet Explorer's mindshare has gotten even better. We took a look at some of the current extensions supported by Firefox 1.5, some useful, some fun.

[ED: They have found several extensions that I am going to check out. The article is broken into a few too many pages for my taste, though. - ralph]

New Computer This Christmas? Buyer Be Aware.

  •; By helios (Posted by tadelste on Dec 7, 2005 2:53 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Community
With the cost of off-the-shelf computers as low as they are, the Christmas season might seem a perfect time to purchase one for that special person. Not so fast...Let's take a look inside that box and see what we can see.

Microsoft's Submission Terms to Ecma

  •; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by VISITOR on Dec 7, 2005 2:24 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Microsoft; Story Type: News Story
When is a standard a standard, and when is it simply a rubber stamp? We're about to find out when Ecma votes on Microsoft's XML Reference Schema

Sun to Take New T1 Sparc Chip Open Source

  • IT Jungle; By Timothy Prickett Morgan (Posted by ralph on Dec 7, 2005 2:10 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Sun; Story Type: News Story
Sun Microsystems rolled out the "Niagara" T1 eight-core processors and made its case for eco-friendly, cost-effective computing with the new T1000 and T2000 servers that make use of the chip. And in a surprising move, after several hours of positioning the boxes, Sun chairman and CEO, Scott McNealy, announced that Sun would be taking the T1 processor open source. What on earth does that mean?

[ED: There have been several projects working on an open CPU design, but not much has come of them. If this is as good as it sounds, it will be a big step in the long run. - ralph]

Applications shortfall dampens Linux users' enthusiasm for desktop ...

Linux users are frustrated by the lack of functionality of open source desktop products, according to a major survey by the Open Source Development Lab.

[Ed: And if you think that's bad, wait till you hear what Linux users have to say about Windows stuff. - dcparris]

How to run a risk free Linux trial

  • Deccan Herald; By Glyn Moody (Posted by ralph on Dec 7, 2005 1:27 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
If you're not brave enough to switch to Linux, there is an alternative. A live CD will let you try the software without installing a file on your hard disk.

Rhapsody now plays on Linux and Mac machines

  • (Posted by tadelste on Dec 7, 2005 12:58 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
RealNetworks's new Rhapsody Web-based streaming music service went beta on Monday, expanding its formerly Windows-only US music subscription service to include Linux and Macintosh users. Users running any flavor of Linux are now able to log into the service and download the plug-in necessary to stream the music data, spokeswoman Rhonda Scott told

Custom scripting gives users a safe-du

  • NewsForge (Posted by dave on Dec 7, 2005 12:30 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
As a system administrator, there are two ways you can interact with users: force them to follow the rules or encourage them with tools and guidelines. I prefer the second approach, as I think people generally want to do the right thing. Also, if people don't follow the rules at your company, that is a management problem, not a computer problem. Therefore, I prefer to concentrate my attention on helpful tools and scripts, which is exactly what I did recently to solve a typical system administrator problem.

Linux Social Experiment...People Have NO Clue

  •; By helios (Posted by helios on Dec 7, 2005 12:01 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Community
Maybe it was because it's close to Christmas. Maybe I needed some fresh air...or maybe I just felt guilty. How Linux and a day on the streets set some things right.

Team ODF: Back on Offense (Did he Mention Massachusetts?)

  •; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by henke54 on Dec 6, 2005 11:33 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: IBM
But the real government fun was to come a few hours later (less than an hour ago, as I write this), when Michael D. Rhodin, General Manager of Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software for IBM – and resident in Massachusetts – emailed and faxed a letter to Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, announcing in great detail how the new technology had been developed in…(wait for it)…Massachusetts. Here are a few excerpts (the complete letter appears at the end of this entry):

[Ed: Now, if we can just bail out Mr. Quinn... - dcparris]

Got An Open-Source Problem? Red Hat Wants To Be Your Help Desk

  • InformationWeek; By Aaron Ricadela (Posted by tadelste on Dec 6, 2005 11:04 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Red Hat; Story Type: News Story
Red Hat joins several companies in the business of supporting multiple open-source software packages, freeing IT managers from scouring the Web, newsgroups, and mailing lists to provide in-house support.

Voice hacks thwarted

A speech verification system developed with Meraka's Human Language Technologies Research Group thwarts "recording attacks" by hackers.

New Firefox Feature Poll

Sometime ago, we asked your favorite email client. Over 9000 people voted, with over 50% choosing Mozilla Thunderbird.

Venezuela Open Source

  • OReilly; By Jeff Zucker (Posted by bstadil on Dec 6, 2005 7:43 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The Third Worldwide Free Knowledge Forum was held last week in Maracaibo, Venezuela bringing together about 500 Venezuelan developers and advocates of "Software Libre" as well as speakers from FLOSS projects in Spain, Brazil, Columbia, the U.S. and Mexico.

Issues were open science, IP; languages like Python, Perl; apps and projects like OpenOffice, Bayonne. But there was also much activity around issues of specific interest to Venezuela including local projects to use FLOSS in social service programs and local efforts to prepare for the upcoming massive migration of public agencies to open source.


Cool tool: Blender, for all your 3D needs

Show Dreamworks how its done with the awesome open source 3D modeller, animator and renderer Blender.

Installation report

It’s a lot easier to install Ubuntu on a new Dell Optiplex GX620 than it is to install Windows onto the same machine.

Firefox hasn't won NASA account yet

Provocative title that does not tell the full story. Yes Firefox is at NASA, only officially it is one of the two required browsers. In essence, while IE might be dropped in certain departments it is not NASA policy. Moreover, if Firefox is displacing IE it is against current policy. So be advised: keep the icon and have it run Firefox in IE mode,or ... Opera anyone?

Firefox EduBrowser

Researchers at George Mason University are working on a new open source application meant to help users organize and cite materials they've found online. Called Firefox Scholar.

it's "incredibly smart bookmarking," "You're not just bookmarking the page, but you're automatically [capturing] author, title, all that info that scholars want to save."

More on IBM and SOA

  • Reg Developer; By Phil Howard, Bloor Research (Posted by tadelste on Dec 6, 2005 4:28 PM EDT)
  • Groups: IBM, Sun; Story Type: News Story
Comment: Further to my previous article resulting from IBM’s annual analyst Software Group conference, here are some more thoughts on what IBM was talking about.

One of the things that struck me, and which I am not sure that I have seen discussed anywhere, is that an SOA (service oriented architecture) solution is topologically equivalent to the earlier hub-and-spoke architecture employed by EAI (enterprise application integration) vendors such as Tibco, Sun (SeeBeyond) and WebMethods.

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