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If this were any other JTC1 Proposal, the OOXML Vote Would be Over Now

Public announcements of how P members of ISO have voted on OOXML are now rolling in one at a time, and the trend thus far is meaningfully weighted towards "No with comments." If this was a month ago, that would already be enough to block approval. Here's why.

Panasonic puts Linux PCs at 35,000 feet

Today, I read a short note in the latest (print issue) c’t magazine about Singapore Airlines, who currently assemble Panasonic PCs into each seat of their new Airbus A380 fleet. All of the systems will run a Red Hat-based Linux variant on a VIA hardware, and screen sizes differ from 10.6″ in economy to 23″ in first class. Fasten your seatbelts, ladies, gentlemen - and penguins...

Productivity enhancers for Thunderbird

As with Firefox, you can extend Thunderbird's functionality by installing extensions. Mozilla's official extension repository has quite a few nifty tools on offer, and which ones you choose to install depends entirely on your needs. There are, however, a few extensions that you might find indispensable no matter how you use Thunderbird.

Ubuntu and ThinkPad X60, an ideal match

With his older notebook starting to show its age, Alastair Otter decides to upgrade to a ThinkPad X60 running Ubuntu and learns how far Ubuntu has come in the past two releases.

Screenshots of Zenwalk Linux 4.8 Beta.

If you need XFCE desktop with window eye candy, speed and reliability, checkout Zenwalk Linux 4.8 Beta.

My math-fu tells me OOXML has not passed JTC-1

LXer Feature: 03-Sep-2007

If my math-fu is anything to go by, it looks like Microsoft's Office Open XML will not become an ISO standard today. Various websites around the world are all busy tallying the votes as the news is dripping in. If their tally is correct then OOXML has been turned down by a very narrow margin. OOXML needed 2/3 of the P members to vote "yes", after subtracting abstains. With 5 abstains out of 41 P members, that means 24 "yes" votes. With 13 "no" votes already cast that means only 23 possible "yes" votes remain. Talk about a narrow margin.

[ Update: ISO confirmed Sander is good in math, and was right! - hkwint ]

Xen 3.1 Solaris Express 05/07 (SXDE 64a) HVM VM install on Debian Etch (x86_64)

  •; By Boris Derzhavets (Posted by dba477 on Sep 3, 2007 1:56 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Debian, Sun
The target of this posting is to make mentioned installation easy for any person regardless his Solaris Administration experience. Create Solaris HVM VM profile - /etc/xen/vm/Solaris.hvm

KDE Commit-Digest for 2nd September 2007

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest: Plasma continues to take shape. Continued improvements in KGPG and KDevelop. More KVTML format conversion work across KDE-Edu applications. Theme improvements in KDE Games. A new game, KSimili, is imported into playground/games. Initial work on a Kalzium KPart for 3d molecular viewing. A redesigned configuration module for colours in KDE. Support for autodetection of gphoto2 cameras using Solid in Digikam. Annotation DRM support in okular. Work on threading in Mailody. Orca screenreader support through Kross scripting in KSpread. Continued development on KChart 2. Initial work on a Sonnet-based spellchecker for KOffice. Development on Eigen 2 is restarted to follow a different implementation strategy. Blitz is renamed QImageBlitz. The release schedule for KDE 4.0. is officially pushed back two months. KDE 4.0 Beta 2 tagged for release.

Four More Linux Productivity Apps

  • Obsidian Profile; By Sean Potter (Posted by obsidianreq on Sep 3, 2007 12:01 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews; Groups: Gentoo
From reader feedback, the author of "6 Great Linux Productivity Apps" returns with four more highly-suggested applications, bringing the total to 10. This time, he adds on more applications specific to certain jobs and hobbies, with applications such as Scribus and

Poland vote$ for Microsoft OOXML

Technical Committee 182 decided on August 30th to accept Microsoft format Office Open XML as an ISO standard. Another committee already voted against OOXML last week, but the KT 182 decision is the final vote of Poland (most likely).

Instant messaging now in Afrikaans

The open source instant messaging (IM) program Pidgin is now available in Afrikaans, thanks to the efforts of

The Story of Free Software in Kerala, India

This is the story of Free Software in the state of Kerala in India. I wrote this for a book edited by Antony Palackal of Loyola College, Thiruvananthapuram, and Wesley Shrum of Louisiana State University. It is published under a free licence, as mentioned at the end of the article. I am putting a slightly modified version here so that any interested person can make use of it.

Linux isn't the only platform this would-be senator is standing on

James Purser, a Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) supporter, committee member for Linux Australia, and ICT consultant, is running for the Senate in the next federal election as an independent for New South Wales. With limited resources, Purser's campaign is fueled by the power of Linux and the Internet, which he is using to build networks and communicate with the public. Purser spends most of his time promoting Open Source Software, but his senate campaign is bigger and broader than technology.

Nmap from an Ethical Hacker's View Part 1

  • The Ethical Hacker Network; By Kirby Tucker (Posted by Sander_Marechal on Sep 3, 2007 7:05 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial
What, another Nmap tutorial? Yes that's true, but I am hoping to approach it a little differently than what I have seen available. I want to describe Nmap from the viewpoint of a hacker and at the same time give a clear, step-by-step method of attaining a good level of proficiency. After completing this 2 Part Series and having practiced the techniques described, one should not only be able to sit at a "roundtable" discussion with advanced security professionals and "hold their own" in a discussion concerning Nmap, but also utilize this great tool in their own network.

Switching from Windows to Linux: an app-centric view

Previously in ITWire we put forth the view that one reason people stick to Windows is because they have to run specific applications that only exist for that platform. We’d like to introduce you to two tremendous web sites which help find open source equivalents for proprietary Windows software.

Studying Novell’s Plans and Direction with Mono

As Mono continues to evolve, solid convergence with Windows programs (or at least API/SDK) seems like a matter of time. With the release of Mono 1.2.5, there are some new features that help bridge the existing gap. This short article from Ars Technica also talks about Novell’s focus on Mono. Novell chooses Mono-based applications for the GNOME desktop which it develops. This strategic, it’s not a side effect. We try to piece together its implications w.r.t. patents, programmers’ direction, and a plethora of other factors.

Baby steps for open source storage

Continuing on the topic of open source storage from last week, I would like to wish a belated happy birthday to the Aperi project, the first anniversary of which passed last month. I probably was not the only one to miss marking the occasion, as its first public update on the project went generally unnoticed.

Project Darkstar has gone open source!

Today is a very special day here at Sun Microsystems, and especially for the Project Darkstar team in Sun Microsystems Laboratories. Project Darkstar has been open sourced today and is available for immediate download! Project Darkstar is the video game industry's ONLY enterprise grade, highly scalable, fault tolerant, open source server solution available today. Designed from the ground up to be flexible, Project Darkstar can be used for virtually ANY type of online game.

DistroWatch Weekly: Correcting screen resolutions, Hardy Heron, "finstall"

  •; By Ladislav Bodnar (Posted by dave on Sep 3, 2007 2:35 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Newsletter
Welcome to this year's 36th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! If you have only recently discovered this web site and the joy of testing the hundreds of different distributions and live CD available on the market, then you need to learn one essential skill: how to correct a faulty screen resolution that many of these products fail to set up correctly. Today's featured article lists the necessary steps. In the news section, Canonical has announced Ubuntu 8.04 "Hardy Heron" LTS, FreeBSD has unveiled the first alpha of its all-new point-and-click system installer, Debian has updated the backend of its package database infrastructure, and the German Mandriva user community has released the first English issue of "MagDriva", a magazine dedicated to all fans and users of Mandriva Linux. Finally, we are pleased to announce that the recipient of the August 2007 donation is the lighttpd project. Happy reading!

New Google Linux Apps Coming Soon

In addition to Chris DiBona’s words about NVIDIA and ATI binary display drivers, Google had also made an interesting splash at the first-ever Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit (which they had kindly hosted at their Mountain View campus) during a presentation by the Google Linux Client Team. What was it? Well, there are some “significant accomplishments” and other new Google desktop applications coming out this year for the Linux platform.

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