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To binary or not to binary, that is the question

The Ubuntu developers are in the process of deciding whether to enable binary-only drivers by default in their installation process, under certain limited circumstances. This decision process has prompted the latest wave in a conversation that's nearly as old as Linux itself. Some see this step as a compromise on the principles of freedom, and point out the numerous practical problems with binary drivers: lack of portability, dependence on the vendor to fix security flaws, dependence on the vendor to continue supporting your hardware, etc. Others take a pragmatic perspective, draw the line that Ubuntu will not cross, or point out that Ubuntu developers also care about the principles of freedom and intend to educate their users on the reasons for choosing open source drivers and hardware vendors that offer open source drivers.

Opensource Linux Phone is almost a Hit!

Trolltech has released their “Greenphone” which is a phone that runs open source Linux. This phone includes developer tools to increase the phone’s capabilities, along with VMWare software. Using Mini SD and USB ports, this phone has huge potential, hardware wise.

you still have choice

An opinion about the current state of Microsoft Windows and the choices we may consider to have a better experience from the risen power of Free and Open Source Software.

SoftMaker Office 2006 boasts high MS Office compatibility

German software vendor SoftMaker last week released SoftMaker Office 2006 for Linux and FreeBSD, an alternative office suite to, KOffice, and GNOME Office. SoftMaker Office 2006 is claimed to read and write all Microsoft Word and Excel files with a high level of compatibility.

[Not only is SoftMaker Office not gratis, it ain't even libre. I don't mind paying the $70 - but not if it isn't libre. - dcparris]

How to install 3D-Desktop using Beryl on Mandriva 2007

  •; By Frank Neugebauer (Posted by fneagle on Dec 31, 2006 2:38 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Mandriva
Windows Vista provides two entirely new features to manage windows using Windows Flip and Windows Flip 3D. Linux is already using this technology. 3D-Desktop is an OpenGL program for switching virtual desktops in a seamless 3-dimensional manner on Linux. The current desktop is mapped into a full screen 3D environment where you may choose other screens.

New B2D live CD release supports traditional Chinese

A new stable release of B2D Linux, a Taiwanese live CD desktop distribution based on Knoppix, was released this week, featuring a 2.6.18 kernel and the KDE desktop environment. B2D is developed in Taiwan, with user environment and read/write support for traditional Chinese only.

Ruby in 2006 -- A Retrospective Collection

Well, 2007 is nearly upon us, which means that a lot of people are looking back on last year. The Ruby community is no exception. Why the Luck Stiff has posted the grandaddy ofRuby 2006 retrospectives. But wait, there's more— there are a growing number of local retrospectives as well. I've posted the ones I know about here, and will add more as I find them:

Workshop on open source software

Kochi, Dec 29: A three-day national workshop on Free Open Source Software (FOSS) in Science will be held at the Union Christian College at Aluva, near here, from January 4.

Can we relate?

  • Linux Journal; By Doc Searles (Posted by dcparris on Dec 30, 2006 10:34 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Linux
Imagine being able torelate to vendors -- productively, on mutually agreeable terms -- rather than just paying them money for whatever they're selling, and occasionally giving them"feedback" through surveys that aggregate our"input" inside some impersonal"customer relationship management" (CRM) system. That's the idea behind VRM, or Vendor Relationship Management. It's the reciprocal of CRM: a toolset for independence and engagement. That is, of independencefrom vendors and engagementwith vendors.VRM is also a development effort --ProjectVRM -- that we've started at theBerkman Center for Internet and Society. There are no VRM tools yet, so we're starting with a blank slate. We've begun filling that in with a wiki and a mailing list, both open. Find them

Apache and Lighttpd mod_rewrite for temporary site outage

Here's a nice howto on using mod_rewrite under Apache and Lighttpd for temporary site outages. This tip will help you to disable a site for maintenance using mod_rewrite without redirecting url. Both Lighttpd and Apache webserver allows you to send this message to client using server side rewriting using mod_rewrite and php. This is useful if you are running popular database driven community or e-commerce website. Error 503 informs search engine that site is temporary out of service. A good idea if your websites is heavily depends upon search engine for selling products and services.

Ie 49, Firefox 38

I was looking at my traffic log today and noticed Firefox showing up alot.

[ (not a blog) has always had a strong Firefox and GNU/Linux showing, primarily because of the organization's involvement in the FOSS community. In fact, MSIE accounts for less than 15% of traffic in recent stats. What's happening at your blog? - dcparris]

WAN Technologies CCNA 4 Companion Guide and Lab Manual

Books are usually reviewed separately, however both of these publications are inexorably linked as study and lab texts for Cisco's Netacademy WAN Technologies course (part 4 of the CCNA Network Academy curriculum). Of course, they are meant to be used in concert with the online content but can also be independent of it and thus can be said to "stand alone". Still, there are two different authors involved and information is presented differently. What if one book is excellent but the other...well...isnt? Here's where we find out.

Desktop Linux--What Happened, And What Didn't, In 2006

Mozilla, Adobe, and Novell made some major news in desktop Linux this year, and smaller developers introduced interesting innovations. But on the whole, 2006 was just about as memorable for what didn't happen on the Linux desktop as what did happen, with interoperability issues of various sorts playing big roles on both sides of that stage.

Linux claimed to be running on Zune

With Linux running on iPods for a few years now, it would seem that it was only a matter of time before someone got a version of the operating system up and running on Microsoft's Zune, especially given the fact that the player's Freescale iMX31L processor can already handle the OS.

Formatting cells in Calc

I've seen spreadsheets that are basically interactive tutorials, and many more loaded with what Edward Tufte refers to as"chartjunk" -- embellishments that do nothing to make the presentation of information more effective. Yet, generally, spreadsheets are treated pragmatically. Certainly, few people worry about their layout than the layout of text documents. Still, even if you share this attitude, learning the basic formatting options for cells in Calc can be worth your time. Many of the options directly effect how you interact with spreadsheets, and even the purely visual ones can make your lists and calculations easier to read at a glance.

How To Crash and Break Xfce4 In Xubuntu Edgy

While I stand by my glowing review of Xubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft), I have yet to find any release of any Linux distribution which was free of bugs or quirky behavior. The latest releases of the Ubuntu family of distributions are no different.

Red Hat Might Just Be Getting Serious

  • Project Management For Everyone; By John Milan (Posted by dcparris on Dec 30, 2006 4:15 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Red Hat
I admit it. I've always discounted Red Hat a little bit-- like the kid down the street you have fixed in your mind as perpetually 10 years old. Until he looks you in the eye and says 'Hello' in a baritone.

Unix: Pretty Spry for "Dead."

Since SGI's bankruptcy and many changes for most Unix vendors, many media outfits have been playing the "Unix is dead" card pretty heavily.

Reporter's dream assignment: Free Beer

The open-source movement isn't limited to computers. The "code" for a good brew is making the rounds. Marketplace strong-armed reporter Ethan Lindsey into tracking down the source.

[Boy, this really messes with the whole "it's not free as in free beer" thing. - dcparris]

Linux Install Series Part 2: Backing up your Mac before taking the plunge...

  • Open Engineering; By Amit Uttamchandani (Posted by amituttam on Dec 30, 2006 1:53 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: GNU, Linux
A good read for Mac users as well as all Linux/UNIX users. Some good tips.

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