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Linux alpha for Second Life released

Last month we tantalised you with the news that a Linux client for Second Life was under development; the good news is that it's now available to download and install. As the Second Life website warns, this client connects to the main grid, so be careful--there are definitely still bugs in the system, and any changes you make to the world are permanent.

Mozilla Bloggers Comment on the Review Process

Several Mozilla Bloggers have recently expressed concerns about the review process for extensions at David Baron feels that crashes and memory leaks caused by extensions could change user perception of quality of Mozilla products as a whole. Unlike the Mozilla source code, extensions do not benefit from an extensive community review process.

Oracle Eyes Open-Source Firms

Oracle is reportedly in talks to acquire three open-source companies in order to expand its customer base, and deals could be announced as early as Monday.

The software giant, fresh from its $5.85-billion acquisition of Siebel Systems and still trying to swallow PeopleSoft following last year’s takeover, is expected to buy JBoss, Zend, and Sleepycat Software in deals that could total $600 million, according to a report in BusinessWeek. Oracle officials declined to comment.

Technical Working Group Elected

The first Technical Working Group for KDE has been elected. It will consist of seven long-time contributors to KDE and become operational in the few next days.

Microsoft to Google: Assimilate This!

When you add Microsoft's roll-out of Windows OneCare to its Windows Live Custom Domains initiatives, it's clear that Redmond is drawing a line around end-users and small and medium business, and daring Google, Yahoo and others to try crossing it. Of course, as a result of this Battle of the Titans, lots of longtime Microsoft supporters are bleeding. And when the dust settles, plenty of survivors will be assimilated by someone. Only question is... who?

MPAA: DRM is here to save consumers from piracy

  • AfterDawn; By Dela (Posted by tadelste on Feb 11, 2006 4:18 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Linux users were left out in the dark for example, until DeCSS made fair use possible. Now Advanced Access Content System (AACS) will do the same thing again for high definition movies. Take these anti-consumer copy protections and merge them with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) or the European Union Copyright Directive (EUCD) and their equivalents elsewhere; the movie industry has complete control.

Programming with wide characters

The ISO C90 standard introduced a wide character type named wchar_t, thereby appointing an official standard for wide characters in the C language. Its usage, however, is not well understood among C programmers, and debugging wide characters with the GNU Debugger is a challenge few can get to work. As a result, many programmers fall back to using ASCII character arrays, which is not good; today, localized code matters more and more.

Industry Leaders Align to Streamline Introduction of Premium Mobile Games

  • PR Newswire; By Press release (Posted by tadelste on Feb 11, 2006 10:49 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Press Release
Activision, Digital Chocolate, Electronic Arts, Ideaworks3D, Konami, Microsoft, MontaVista Software, Nokia, Samsung, SK Telecom, Square Enix, Symbian Limited, Tao Group, and Texas Instruments to Define and Support Architecture for Premium Mobile Games

Scrying an Oracle

If the rumored acquisitions by Oracle go ahead, they will have an extremely significant effect. Free software will gain an immediate boost, and hackers will suddenly find themselves in great demand again.

How Linux/UNIX Knows which program to run?

Have you ever wondered how Linux shell finds out which program to run or how it locates files for you? The problem is that many new people and Linux admin even do not know how Linux or UNIX understands which program to run. The method used by SHELL is straightforward but often creates confusion for new Linux or UNIX users.

Somebody in India thinks they'll "Wrest Leadership in Open-Source Computing"

  • Press Release; By Editorial Comment: Tom Adelstein (Posted by tadelste on Feb 11, 2006 8:05 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Press Release

From the "in your dreams" department:

This newswire item relates to India becoming the leader in Open Source. Frankly, I'm laughing at them. That's correct, rolling on the floor laughing. As a society, you have to get a huge chuckle out of people who have over-estimated their ability. They don't even realize that their success relates totally to cheap labor.

India has the second largest population in the world. The vast majority of peolpe in India live in the depths of poverty while a small, elite class flourishes on $8 an hour wages. Those that come here like to send their money home. The successful make sure they get paid in India to avoid US taxes.

I had a major fight with an outsourcer in Banglore in 1999, when I pushed to get a mirror of the Linux Documentation Project established. This was India's introduction to open source.The elite didn't want anything to do with free software. I remember six years ago sending boxes of CD's to India so that the poor could have software.

I can also attest to the fact that if you want to do business in India, then get ready to make payoffs. Mid-level officials want you to take them to a resort and pay them a large sum of money, in cash, to allow you to do business there.

I also recall the first recruiting trip Oracle made to India. They interviewed a few thousand people with years of experience in Oracle. When the team came back to the US, they looked and discovered that they had sold two licenses in India. That's right: two.

I recently read that India has 14 million PCs in use, the vast majority of programmers, outsourcers and call centers specialize in Microsoft Windows. Their big event, LinuxAsia, drew 2500 people. Like I said: in your dreams.

If you wonder why many Indians have become executives in firms around the country, the explanation should be simple. I'll put it the way a Palestian in Jordan put it to me: cheap hands.

Link to the press release.

Open-source iTunes rival launches

A San Francisco start-up released an early test version of its open-source Songbird music software Wednesday, with which its ultimately hopes to undermine the dominance of Apple Computer's iTunes.

Open Source Storage(R) Unveils Patent-Pending Vertical Patch Panel ...

Breakthrough 96-Port Products Support Cat-6 Cabling; Vertical Designs Save Horizontal Rack Slots, Extend Rack Capacity While Improving Airflow to Active Equipment

SimplyMEPIS 3.4-3 finally goes gold

  • (Posted by tadelste on Feb 11, 2006 4:28 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The SimplyMEPIS 3.4-3 has finally been released, MEPIS creator and lead developer Warren Woodford said Thursday. Any further changes will be made available as updates from the MEPIS pool. SimplyMEPIS is a LiveCD distribution that also enables users to install the OS to boot and run from their hard drives.

Multimedia stack targets Linux mobile phones

  • (Posted by tadelste on Feb 11, 2006 3:31 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Tao Group says it is shipping a mobile phone version of its multimedia application stack for embedded devices. "Intent Mobile" supports Linux and other embedded OSes, and provides a Java virtual machine (JVM), audio and 3D graphics middleware, and an Internet-oriented application stack.

Ics to Buy, Open Source

  •; By David Needle (Posted by tadelste on Feb 11, 2006 2:33 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Integrated Computer Solutions, Inc. (ICS) plans to announce next week the acquisition of, a provider of enterprise project portfolio management (PPM) software. As part of the acquisition, ICS also plans to launch a commercial open source version of's PPM software.

Cavium features Linux 2.6 at security conference demo

Network processor vendor Cavium Networks and its hardware and software partners will offer product demonstrations at the RSA Conference on computing security next week in San Jose. Demonstrations include MontaVista's Linux Pro 4.0 and Intoto's IGateway communications platform running on multi-way Octeon processors from Cavium.

Commentary: Telcos Playing with Fire

  • Open for Business (Posted by tadelste on Feb 11, 2006 12:39 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The telcos have been making threatening noises about Net traffic passing through their lines. Despite rumors to the contary, Google says they aren't negotiating with the telcos. This has been rumbling around the Net for a couple of months. Recently Verizon announced their intent to prevent the proposed "network neutrality" which currently prevails. So far, it's been voluntary, but Congress appears set to consider codifying it in legislation. Verizon and friends are fighting to charge for Net access at both ends. A quick reading is all it takes to realize this is no more than Google envy. As one wag said somewhere, if it were really about bandwidth, they'd be going after iTunes, streaming video and other serious bandwidth hogs. Instead, they are going after a service which sends little more than text and a few tiny images, but happens to make millions doing it. This is transparently petty envy. Perhaps the telcos need to revisit their economics classes.

Linux, open standards prominent at annual LynuxWorks media event

Embedded RTOS and Linux vendor LynuxWorks highlighted the importance of open standards and open source software, off-the-shelf OSes, and reusable software, at an invitation-only media event last week. It announced two security-oriented OS products, and tipped plans to diversify its customer base by leveraging military/aerospace products in the commercial sector.

Ubuntu MEPIS?

The good news is that the long-awaited new version of MEPIS's flagship Linux distribution, SimplyMEPIS 3.4-3 has finally arrived. The curious news is that MEPIS founder Warren Woodford is considering building future MEPIS releases from Ubuntu rather than from Debian sources.

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