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A group of volunteers in the Twin Cities area has built an AX.25 packet radio network for emergency response and public service. The network's back end is powered by Linux and the Citadel open source groupware system.
iTALC, or Intelligent Teaching and Learning with Computers, is a didactical tool designed to assist teachers. Despite its name, the tool itself isn't a learning environment. It's meant to let teachers control their students' computers in a computer-driven classroom setting. Thanks to its powerful remote desktop control features, simple setup, and lack of cost, it's a potential remote assistance tool for any type of network.
In our last blog posted on February 21, I proposed three test pitches for Microsoft to help judge the meaningfulness of its latest efforts to turn over a new leaf on interoperability. The first of these was to embrace the extant, multi-vendor ISO standard, ODF (Open Document Format) in lieu of its single vendor dominated efforts to create a new standard, OOXML (Office Open XML). The first pitch was thrown in Geneva last week at the ISO ballot resolution meetings on OOXML. And we can safely say: strike one!
[Michael also notes that the BRM was fully recorded in audio. I hope they get released within the next 30 days. - Sander]
This book has almost as many authors as it does pages. This tells me that O'Reilly tapped into a rather large pool of talent in order to get this book written and out to the public. Something re-enforced by the blurb at the back of the book, "What if you could sit down with some of the most talented security engineers in the world and ask any network security question you wanted?" This book is supposed to be the print equivalent of doing just that (not that the book talks back, as such). 23 cross-referenced chapters produced by an impressive group of authors, editors, and technical reviewers with very interesting bios is a lot to absorb and it should be. I expect this book to include everything security-related, kitchen sink and all.
There has been a long standing rumor regarding NASA running Fedora which all of us in the Fedora community have been always intrigued by. Is it true? What are they doing with it there? Why don't they run RHEL. Fortunately enough, a couple of weeks ago, I got to experience NASA behind the scenes, first hand, and hang out with the coolest members of the Fedora community, and find out the answer to these questions and lots more.
Here is the scenario: You have multiple developers logged into a Linux server which is running Apache and PHP using Vim to write PHP code. They’re using error_log and echo statements to debug their code. It takes forever, it’s tedious and can result in bugs from forgotten debug statements. You stare enviously at .NET programmers with fancy debuggers (while you snicker knowing that you edit 10x faster with Vim anyways). But still, you know there has to be a better way. There is.
I’ve been working with Linux for ten years now. I have seen issues come and I have seen them go. But there’s one issue that has always surprised me because it just seems to never go away: Suspend/Hibernate. I am always so surprised about this because it just seems like a fundamental issue on laptops - and let’s face it, laptops are standard issue for many people - you close the lid, the laptop suspends.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has revealed he's a big fan of Nicholas Negroponte's One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project but confessed that his own plans to switch entirely to the device have gone awry. Speaking today at the Broadband and Beyond conference in Sydney, Wozniak told delegates that despite early doubts, he believes that overall the project is making a positive contribution to developing economies.
Well, the BRM is over and I can only describe the week as a lot of technical work and a lot of great people I was lucky enough to meet and exchange ideas with. The objective of the BRM was to work with all of the National Body delegations in the room and improve the specification on a technical level -- and that we did. There were many technical changes the delegates made to really get consensus on some of the more challenging issues, but all of these passed overwhelmingly once they were updated. The process really worked (it was very cool).
[I wonder, is he really so delusion that he believes what he writes? Or has the man no moral bone left in his body? After reading all the other BRM reports here, make up your own mind. - Sander]
Amazon has finally released their MP3 downloader for Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, and OpenSUSE. Now Linux users can legally download entire DRM free albums. They had to do it song-by-song before, which ends up costing more.
Taiwanese PC manufacturer ASUS is planning to release a version of its educational UMPC, the Eee PC, running Windows XP this month. ASUS has released a statement saying the Windows XP version of Eee PC will be available to educational institutions through a special tender, and through retailers.
[Makes you sick don't it. - Tracyanne]
I'm just back from Geneva, where delegations from 32 National Bodies (NB's), plus Ecma, met for five days at the CICG. Present were 104 delegates in a large, double room with tables four deep, in two sections arrayed in a chevron. As we reached mid week, we were presented with a set of ballot choices, to deal with the responses that could not be discussed during the meeting, for lack of time, which would at the current rate of processing amount to 800-900 of the 1,027. We were told that these options are not in the Directives and that we have been given these choices because ITTF "needs to act in the best interests of the IEC". I don't quite get it, but there appears to be some concern over what the press would think if the BRM did not handle all of the comments.
Google has made a donation to assist FSFE's Freedom Task Force with delivering training courses, attending conferences and localising documents. "The Freedom Task Force is working to foster effective legal infrastructure for Free Software in Europe. A great deal of our work is based on engaging directly with people and Google's contribution will allow us to do this more effectively," says Shane Coughlan, FTF Coordinator. "Training, physical presence in countries and providing materials in local languages are essential aspects of building a coherent pan-European community."
Digium, one of Asterisk’s strongest proponents, plans to announce a global distribution partnership within two weeks, The VAR Guy has learned. The announcement, expected to be made at VoiceCon Orlando, could accelerate customer interest in open source PBXs and IP telephony systems. Here's the scoop
Groklaw's Sean Daly had an opportunity to meet Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, at OpenForum Europe last week. Mr. Cerf, known as the Father of the Internet because of being the co-designer with Robert Kahn of TCP/IP protocols and the basic architecture of the Internet, was gracious enough to answer some email questions Sean propounded regarding the future of the Internet, standards in general, and OOXML in particular. Like many others this week, Cerf has been giving the standards process considerable thought, and he concludes in connection with OOXML that "Internet users deserve better handling of global Internet standards."
"A change after 2.6.24 broke ndiswrapper by accidentally removing its access to GPL-only symbols," noted Pavel Roskin, offering a patch to address the issue. Linux creator Linus Torvalds was unimpressed, "I'm not seeing why ndiswrapper should be treated separately. If it loads non-GPL modules, it shouldn't be able to use GPLONLY symbols." The NDISwrapper project page explains, "many vendors do not release specifications of the hardware or provide a Linux driver for their wireless network cards. This project implements Windows kernel API and NDIS (Network Driver Interface Specification) API within Linux kernel. A Windows driver for wireless network card is then linked to this implementation so that the driver runs natively, as though it is in Windows, without binary emulation."
If you hadn't guessed from the headline, and as rumored just an hour ago, there's 9-inches of LCD on this thing. Actually, 8.9, but who's counting? We found out that and a few other little tidbits about this Eee PC "New Generation" at the ASUS booth just now, but for the most part the 9-inch Eee PC is quite similar to its 7-inch forebearer.
Open-source software can save an organization money and open the door to customization, but it pays to know where to start and where to get help. When considering which software applications to buy, more and more midsize companies are considering open source—low-cost or free software whose source code can be modified by users or developers. Open-source software holds great appeal for these companies; not only is it generally much less expensive, but it is often more flexible, reliable, robust and customizable.
I have been one of the two Greek delegates to the OOXML Ballot Resolution Meeting (BRM). Lots of things have already been written about the meeting. I will not repeat them here, but will only make a few clarifications on things that I think are not well understood.
[Probably the most detailed report I've seen so far on the misproceedings last week. - Sander]
ISO delegates working to standardize Open Office XML created new rules on the fly to cover the fact they failed to discuss nearly 80 per cent of the 1,100 questions submitted about the document specification format because they ran out of time during their five-day meeting in Geneva.
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