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Microsoft's IE7 browser preview fails to impress

Some geek once told me that Web browsers are like sports teams -- they inspire loyalty. If that's true, I guess you can call me a fair-weather fan.

The Road Goes Ever On and On for Peter Quinn

For the first time, to the best of my knowledge, Peter Quinn's still-evolving slide set on the OpenDocument Format (ODF) saga is available on line (in ODF, of course, as well as in PDF form).

Open source review crucial

  • London Free Press; By DAVID CANTON (Posted by tadelste on Feb 12, 2006 12:53 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
[Ed: Signs that Linux is making inroads into major media when people like David Canton write that "open source" came about 20 years ago. So have fun and enjoy a good laugh. Some day, we should expect the press to get it right. -tadelstein]

The GPL -- perhaps the best known open source software licence -- is being rewritten.

The concept of "open source" software was first put forward about 20 years ago by computer programmer Richard Stallman. It began as a philosophical notion that software should be distributed in a form that allows it to be modified by its users.

This means the source code -- or human readable code -- is distributed along with the object code -- or computer readable code. Most open source software is free or low cost. It is improved and modified by a bevy of users, rather than employees of the creator.

Open Voting Through Open Source Opens Society Alex S. Gabor

  • Opinion Editorials; By Alex S. Gabor (Posted by tadelste on Feb 11, 2006 11:56 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
George Soros Supports Open Source Software in Election Systems

Recent hearings begun in California on the use of “open source software” have heated up the debate on voter and election frauds and where it can or should be used in our electoral system while a parallel development on the issue of voting rights has been filed in a lawsuit with the U.S. Supreme Court. The lawsuit challenges the use of voting machines and absentee voting in elections for public office.

Minutes of the Staff Meeting of Monday 6th February 2006

The minutes of the staff meeting held on Monday 6th February 2006 are now online. Issues discussed include Firefox Feeback, Upcoming Releases, Firefox 2, Personnel and Marketing.

Letter writers on Unix: 'Wake up, Guys!'

  • InformationWeek (Posted by tadelste on Feb 11, 2006 10:02 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
A lot of feedback flowed into Information Week after our Jan. 23 cover story, "What's Left of Unix." Most of the responses offered full bore support for Unix, as in, "Not meaning to be harsh, but man... wake up guys!!"

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.

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