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Penguins and Fir Trees

LXer Feature: 25-Dec-2006

Here's hoping you find a penguin under your tree this year!

Mozilla Firefox Released

Mozilla Firefox, a security and stability update for Firefox 2, has been released.

Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird Released

Security and Stability updates for Mozilla products based on the Gecko 1.8.0 branch have been released.

The Cocotron: Open-source Cocoa for Windows

The Cocotron is an open source project which implements an Objective-C API very similar to that described by Apple Computer's Foundation and AppKit framework documentation.

Sales Surge Lifts Red Hat

Red Hat got back in the good graces of investors with a strong third-quarter financial report that featured a 2-cent-a-share upside surprise and a 45% jump in revenue. The news gave shares of the open source software provider a much-needed boost: In after-hours trading Thursday, the stock was up $2.54, or 14%, to $20.50.

Linux: 2.6.20-rc2, Debugging Rtorrent Hash Failures

Linux creator Linus Torvalds announced the second release candidate 2.6.20-rc2 kernel, "it's a couple of days delayed, because we've been trying to figure out what is up with the rtorrent hash failures since I don't think we've made any progress, but we've cleaned up a number of suspects in the meantime." He noted that he had been aiming to make the 2.6.20 kernel a quick, stable release, "I was really hoping to make 2.6.20 an easy release, and held back on merging some stuff during the merge window for that reason. And now we're battling something that was introduced much earlier.." He also noted that the bug in question isn't likely to affect many people, "but it's still a worrisome problem, and we've had 'top people' looking at it. And they'll continue, but xmas is coming." The bug is discussed inthis thread on the Linux Kernel Mailing List.Regarding changes in the current release candidate, Linus summarized that in addition to general stabilization, "this mainly does some driver updates (usb, sound, dri, pci hotplug) and ACPI updates (much of the latter syntactic cleanups). And arm and powerpc updates." A nice summary of what's gone into the upcoming 2.6.20 kernel can be found in theKernelNewbies Wiki which has a list including asynchronous SCSI scanning, multithreaded USB probing, HID Layer split: allows things other than USB to use the HID layer (Bluetooth), and I/O Accounting.

KDE Commit-Digest for 24th December 2006

  • KDE Dot News; By Danny Allen (Posted by dcparris on Dec 24, 2006 2:06 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: KDE
In this week's KDE Commit-Digest: A new game, KSquares, is imported into KDE SVN, with KLines starting on the (now familiar) path towards scalable graphics and general improvement.

Comment of the Day - Microsoft's Undisclosed Balance-Sheet Liability

Comment of the Day - 24-Dec-2006

LXer reader, schestowitz, points out that Microsoft has one or two balance-sheet liabilities of its own:

Opening the Pandora Box? I suspect not... IBM and others would rip them.

Microsoft's Undisclosed Balance-sheet Liability

NT influenced by Unix

,----[ Quote ] (Gates:) "And through Windows NT, you can see it throughout the design. In a weak sense, it is a form of Unix. There are so many of the design decisions that have been influenced by that environment. And that's no accident." In light of the recent saber rattling about Linux and patents, the "There are so many of the design decisions that have been influenced by that environment" sentence is particularly interesting if these patent threats include things that are prior Unix art. "In a weak sense, it is a form of Unix" is also telling. I said before that I don't think that's the case; I think the patent stuff is talking about things like Samba and Mono, but even there the "influenced by that environment" could be important in the court of public opinion if not in actual law. `----

Read the rest

Penguin in the Pew 2.0 Now a Gratis Download

Penguin in the Pew 2.0, available through, both in paperback and PDF formats, is now available as a free (gratis) download from Matheteuo Christian Fellowship

Vista security spec 'longest suicide note in history'

Vista's content protection specification could very well constitute the longest suicide note in history, claims a new and detailed report from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.

Give the Gift of Pre-Installed Linux This Year

LXer Feature: 24-Dec-2006

With Christmas around the corner, you'll be glad to know that you can check out over 100 vendors around the globe who offer desktop and notebook computers with GNU/Linux pre-installed. Put another way, LXer's Pre-Installed Linux Vendor database is now available!

Lxy lxy lxy Leapin' Linux! Here are predictions for 2007

Dear Propeller Heads: One of my New Year's resolutions is keep up with technology. What's going to happen in 2007 that I should be aware of? A: That's amazing! Your timing is perfect for the 3rd annual Propeller Head Predictions! Nostradamus, Jeane Dixon, Miss Cleo and the Propeller Heads we're in good company. So here goes.

Episode 1 of the_source released (ZFS,Cinelerra)

  • the_source; By Aaron Newcomb (Posted by dave on Dec 24, 2006 7:24 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Sun; Story Type: Interview
Episode 1 "The Filesystem Menace" of the open source video podcast the_source has been released just in time for Christmas.

Mozilla issues security updates

Firefox users have been urged to update their browser immediately after Mozilla, the organisation behind the popular browser, said it had fixed eight vulnerabilities in Firefox 2.0.

Some Ruby Before Christmas

'Twas the Saturday before Christmas and throughout Ruby-land hackers were working, refact'ring by hand. Their programs were written with the greatest of care in hopes that a new VM soon would be there. The newsgroup was still, the irc channels too In light of the quiet, what's a blogger to do? When up on the mail list, there arose such a clatter I sprang to my laptop to see what was the matter. When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a great bunch of news before the New Year.

Microsoft hiring "open source evangelist"?

I couldn't make this up if I tried. A friend pinged me and said he'd gotten a call from a Microsoft recruiter trying to fill a position she described as "open source evangelist." My friend, who does not want his name associated with this story, is without question an open source evangelist, and quite a successful one at that. But he is not interested in going to work for Microsoft. Are you?

Semantic Search with UIMA and OmniFind

  • IBM/developerWorks; By Michael Baessler and others (Posted by IdaAshley on Dec 23, 2006 2:23 PM EDT)
  • Groups: IBM; Story Type: News Story
Walk through an end-to-end scenario for creating and deploying custom text analysis in OmniFind Enterprise Edition 8.4. Find out everything you need to know from writing and testing a UIMA annotator, deploying it in OmniFind, and creating semantic search queries, to writing a custom search application for your custom content. Be sure to check out Part 1 for an introduction to semantic search capabilities using OmniFind.

Other Popular Articles


IMHO speed is overrated. Benchmarks execute hundreds of millions of the same instructions, taking ages to finish. In real life that is almost never the case, except for some pretty processor intensive jobs you'd never dream to write in a scripting language. Telling an interpreter it is slow makes just as much sense as telling a bicycle it is slow. Although that is true, millions of Dutchmen find good reasons to use them every day. If you need to go a long way, you simply won't use a bicycle. If an interpreter is too slow for a job, you grab a compiler. It is as simple as that.

25 Shortcomings of Microsoft Vista OS - A good reason to choose GNU/Linux ...

This article analyzes the shortcomings of Microsoft Vista OS found by a reviewer and arrives at the conclusion that GNU/Linux has a lot of advantages over Vista OS and in the long run, it really pays to use GNU/Linux and safeguard ones Freedom in the process instead of getting tied down to a proprietary OS such as Vista.

Why Microsoft (probably) won't sue us for infringing 'IP'

LXer Feature: 23-Dec-2006

Opinion - August 2004, Microsofts Steve Ballmer warned Asian governments that Linux infringes 283 patents, some of which belong to Microsoft, and that those countries might experience trouble as a member of the WTO. However, nothing happened ever since (except more threats). Why doesn't Microsoft sue 'us', the users? Here are some more reasons you might not have thought of before.

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