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Was the Neuwied penguin incident a Microsoft conspiracy?

Fans of Linux, trains, and the bizarre were amused worldwide last month when the story surfaced that a passenger train was brought to a sudden halt outside of Neuwied, Germany by a human-sized stuffed penguin found laying across the tracks. While the encounter seemed comical at first glance, details that have emerged since suggest that it is no laughing matter.

Congress: Clear the Air and Stop Preloads

  • Lxer Day Desk; By Tom Adelstein, Editor-in-Chief (Posted by tadelste on Dec 17, 2005 5:22 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: LXer Features
LXer Day Desk: 12-16-2005

American consumers do not like living in the dark when it comes to products we buy. In that respect, we don't believe citizens of other countries do either. So, with consideration to the people who drive the US economy, we would like some straight answers to questions which should shine some light on an area of darkness with which we lived far too long.

1. Does the US Administration lobby on behalf of Microsoft and if so should it cease and desist from such activity?

2. We ask Congress to evaluate the administration's role with regard to Microsoft's monopoly.

3. We ask Congress and the President to prohibit Microsoft preloading agreements.

4. We ask for Congress to perform a comprehensive review of Microsoft's political activities including and starting with the House Ethics committee's failure to investigate the links between Tom DeLay, Jack Abramoff, Preston Gates &Ellis and the BSA.

5. We request Congress to enact laws requiring Original Equipment Manufacturers to disclose their policies with regard to selling Microsoft products.

6. We ask for schedules of payments to and from Microsoft and OEMs be disclosed immediately to the public so we can ascertain the influence exerted on consumers buying computers and computer related products.

On free vs. proprietary

  • Free Software Magazine; By Edward Macnaghten (Posted by VISITOR on Dec 17, 2005 4:40 AM EDT)
Free Software Magazine's Eddy Macnaghten has written another insightful blog entry comparing and contrasting free software against proprietary.

Ibm Opens File System, Taps Linux Networx For Support

IBM has opened up its popular GPFS file system, used for high performance supercomputing, and has tapped Bluffdale Utah-based Linux Networx to sell and support the solution.

Preventing Buffer Overflow Exploits Using the Linux Distributed Security Module, Part 1

  • LinuxPlanet; By Ibrahim Haddad (Posted by tadelste on Dec 17, 2005 2:44 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Internet servers (such as Web, email, and ftp servers) have been the target for different kinds of attacks aiming to disable them from providing services to their respective users. One particular exploit, which has become almost ubiquitous in the last several years, is the buffer overflow exploit. While the exploit requires particularly arcane and detailed knowledge of both assembly language and, in some cases, operating system interface details, once someone has coded an exploit and published it, anyone can use it. The results of these exploits provide interactive command shells on UNIX and Linux systems and the ability to upload and execute arbitrary programs on Windows systems.

Introduction to Zope - Part 1: Python

  • Free Software Magazine; By Kirk Strauser (Posted by VISITOR on Dec 17, 2005 1:47 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Zope is a web application server, similar in concept to proprietary products like Cold Fusion. However, it is free software that is available under the GPL-compatible Zope Public License, which is very similar to the BSD License. Zope was designed with the specific goals of creating a powerful, secure framework for the development of robust web-based services with a minimum of effort.

Google's Firefox has plug-in security flaw

  • Inquirer; By Nick Farrell (Posted by tadelste on Dec 17, 2005 12:49 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
SEARCH ENGINE outfit Google's new extension for “safe browsing for Firefox” might protect you from spoofing, but is a security risk, according to a security expert.

Nitesh Dhanjani said that Google claims that its Firefox extension protects you from phishing or spoofing. It works by using a blacklist containing pages that have been identified as suspicious and/or misleading based on automated detection or user reports. It also examines pages' content and structure in order to catch potentially misleading pages.

What Part of Virus and Spyware Didn't You Understand?

  •; By helios (Posted by helios on Dec 16, 2005 10:55 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Community
And if some of you are waiting for an apology...take a deep breath and hold it until Phoenix freezes over. I am not going to apologize simply because you either read poorly or use your skull primarily as a jello mold.

Editor's Note: Linux--The Teenage Years

  • Linux Today; By Rob Reilly (Posted by tadelste on Dec 16, 2005 9:52 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
For seasoned IT citizens (i.e., senior managers and executives) it must be quite a show. Many can sit back and say, "Yup, I remember my AT&T Unix teen years. They were wild and exciting, but we sure are glad we got through them alive."

Others are trying to hack their way through the forest of FUD, seemingly perpetual tweaking, and business realities of shepherding the "Linux Kid" to maturity.

CA Announces Day One Support for IBM's z/VM 5.2

  • PR Newswire; By Press release (Posted by tadelste on Dec 16, 2005 7:31 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Press Release
Immediate Availability Across Product Lines Enables CA Customers to Reap Benefits of New Platform Features

At the Sounding Edge: Music Notation Software for Linux, Part 3

Know how to use TeX or LaTeX? Looking for professional-grade music publication software?

Classic Doom with New Tech

  • (Posted by tadelste on Dec 16, 2005 5:37 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Wish you could relive the glory days playing the original Doom but with all the flair of a modern graphics engine? Well, thanks to the folks over at Flaming Sheep Software, you can!

Sun releases delayed Linux code for Solaris

After nearly a year's delay, Sun has released software designed to let its Solaris operating system run Linux applications without any modification. The software, formerly called Project Janus, but now rewritten and renamed BrandZ, was released to Sun's OpenSolaris community on Tuesday.

The Voice of IP: Open Source and the Traditional Business Model

  • TMCnet; By David Duffett (Posted by tadelste on Dec 16, 2005 4:39 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Something that has become really noticeable is the prominence of Asterisk (the open source PBX) in the telecoms media and at telephony shows. It is not just the high profile presence of Asterisk and Digium (the primary developer and sponsor of Asterisk) at events like VoIP Developer and IT Expo, but it is the growing number of other companies who have products based on Asterisk that is truly staggering.

Music 2006: P2P Ascends as Moguls Fall

In 2005, music execs found themselves boxed in by P2P, iPod, boring albums, and prices higher than the market was willing to bear. They responded by rootkitting customers' computers, planting viruses on file sharing networks, and suing grandmothers. Amazingly, sales still fell. Email Battles suggests a different avenue for building customer loyalty.

Dell Recalls 22,000 Notebook Batteries

  • Designtechnica; By Nino Marchetti (Posted by tadelste on Dec 16, 2005 2:55 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Dell and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission today announced a voluntary recall of approximately 22,000 Dell notebook computer batteries. The reason for the recall is that the batteries could overheat, which could pose a fire risk.

Linux: 2.6.15-rc5-mm3, Time To Track Down Bugs

Andrew Morton [interview] released the 2.6.15-rc5-mm3 kernel noting that he'll be "non-functional" from today December 16'th through January 2'nd. Due to his absence he suggests, "when reporting any bugs please be extra careful to Cc the appropriate developer and mailing list."

2.6.15-rc5-mm3 is the first 2.6-mm kernel to require gcc-3.2.x or later for all architectures [story], a change that may eventually be merged into Linus' 2.6 stable Linux tree. Andrew went on to list half a dozen bugs that still aren't resolved from rc5-mm1 noting, "we need to get these things fixed up before maintainers merge into 2.6.16, please. I'll be checking!"

Librarians Voice Support for OpenDoc

  • BetaNews; By Ed Oswald (Posted by tadelste on Dec 16, 2005 2:23 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups:
Five library associations voiced their support for the use of OpenDocument (ODF) in Massachusetts this week, sending a letter to William Galvin, the Commonwealth's Secretary of State. In it, the groups say the open source format is the best choice, as everyone has access to its specifications.

Secretary Galvin has publicly derided the plan, saying he has "grave concerns" about switching to OpenDocument from Microsoft Office. He also had been rumored to be pushing the various state agencies to decline to participate.

Firefox's Mitchell in The Economist

The Economist has a story about a trapeze artist who, in her spare time, is the Chief Lizard Wrangler at a non-profit," writes Sara Chan on slashdot. She goes on, "You perhaps know her as Mitchell Baker, leader of Firefox. From the article:

"Ms Baker gradually found herself the leader of this project. Perhaps this is because she is a somewhat unusual member of the Netscape diaspora. For a start, she is a woman in a community populated, as one (male) colleague puts it, by geeky males with 'spare time and no social life'. Ms Baker herself has never even written code. She studied Chinese at Berkeley, and then became a lawyer - her role at the old Netscape was in software licensing. On all technical matters, she defers to Brendan Eich, her chief geek."

Free Software Magazine - Call For Papers!

  • Free Software Magazine; By Tony Mobily (Posted by VISITOR on Dec 16, 2005 12:57 PM EDT)
  • Groups: PHP; Story Type: News Story
In just under a year, Free Software Magazine has become one of the most prominent voices in the free software world.

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