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MadPenguin.org has published a lengthy interview with MEPIS Linux creator Warren Woodford. The article offers insight into the two-year-old distro's rapid and widespread proliferation. Woodford's secret? "Give desktop customers what they want: a simple, reliable set of applications that are easy to acquire, install, and use," according to the article.
IT shops are being bombarded by mixed and incorrect messages about the legal aspects of open source software and the current status of grid and virtualization technologies, says Donald Becker, Beowulf Project co-founder and founder and chief scientist of San Francisco-based Scyld Software, a subsidiary of Penguin Computing. Becker sounds off on these subjects in this excerpt from our interviews during and after the recent LinuxWorld Conference & Exposition in San Francisco.
In recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Microsoft for the first time acknowledges that Mozilla's browsers pose a competitive threat and the software giant also notes that security vulnerabilities leave it open to legal action.
“Using open source is not just a matter of being against any proprietary system, but rather one of overall development. We also need to move into developing practical projects that will help develop skills, core competencies and allow for cost-effective solutions to some of local government's needs,” he says.
Two serious security flaws have turned up in software widely distributed with Linux and Unix. The bugs affect Electronic Mail for Unix (Elm), a venerable e-mail client still used by many Linux and Unix systems administrators, and Mplayer, a cross-platform movie player that is one of the most popular of its kind on Linux. The Elm flaw involves a boundary error when the client reads an e-mail's "Expires" header. A specially crafted e-mail could exploit the bug to cause a buffer overflow and execute malicious code on a system, according to security researchers.
I accept fully that many sites, including some I run, need advertising to operate. My Wi-Fi Networking News site has Flash ads on it right now, for instance. But I am, unfortunately, finding that Flash ads are now often highly intrusive even on sites I trust. They cycle endlessly. They use visual effects to knock my eyeballs on the floor. They play audio without my permission (even more annoying when I'm already playing music in iTunes or using voice over IP via iChat AV or Skype).
Moline Bearing manufactures and sells metal bearings from its factory in St. Charles, Ill., and its warehouses in Mississippi, Texas, Colorado, and California. Owner David Fauntleroy has discovered that when it comes to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software that keeps his business running smoothly, the open source philosophy works better.
- KDE light is a combination of several open source components that all togehter form a complete desktop environment. The main part of KDE light is kdesktop, which is responsible for drawing the desktop background and icons. As windowmanager we use openbox, because it´s very lightweight and easy to handle. To provide a kicker like panel, we have modified the gtk+ based fbpanel. We tried to provide a continuous look & feel on all, QT and GTK based applications.
OSDir has some nice screenshots of KDE Light.
GridShell is designed to incorporate grid concepts into well-known command shell environments. In this article, the author describes the motivation for GridShell and provides a high-level description of the extensions to the language interface the tool provides. GridShell extends the TCSH and BASH syntaxes. Users familiar with both will be able to write scripts that include these grid shell language extensions, and orchestrate and coordinate the execution of programs across the grid.
Launched in January 2004, OSCAR looks at developing an open source weed identification software for the major weed species of Rice-Wheat crop systems which can be deployed on Simputers. The application will address extension workers, farmers/farmer groups, students in the Indo-Gangetic plains. The application will have 50 weed species in the database, their botanical characteristics, their incidence and ways to control them on field. It will also be ported in local languages like Hindi, Urdu and Bangla (if necessary in Punjabi and Nepali). The activities are designed in such a way that on one hand, the botanical/taxonomic work proceeds to enrich the database of weed species by collecting photographs for each character of every species, drawing the identikit and on the other hand, the development work progresses simultaneously benefiting from the botanical work.
The Ohio Linux Fest event schedule has been posted! The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 1, 2005 Columbus, Ohio and Chris Hicks from IBM is doing the opening Key Note. The event, by the way, is still FREE (as in beer). Enjoy!
As a software developer (one who works in C or C++), how would you respond to a move by OpenOffice.org to opensource the OpenOffice code by releasing it under the GNU General Public License (presently the software comes under the SISSL and LGPL)?
Your group has been tapped to come up with a new process. How do you effectively record and organize your team's ideas in those critical first meetings? Make flowcharts with Draw? Post-It Notes? Or use your laptop and a program called Freemind.
Technology vendors strive for lock-in. They lock us in with obvious tricks, such as Microsoft with its file formats, a monopoly mechanism as pervasive as its Windows desktop control. They control us with digital rights management (DRM, more properly called digital restrictions management) schemes that force us to break the law to make backups or even to quote from other works. They forbid us from tweaking or substituting, as ink-jet printer companies try to do when they misuse copyright laws to make life hard for other companies that want to sell us cheaper ink. They create cartels and impose rules like the DVD regional coding scheme, which keeps us from watching a movie we buy in Europe on a DVD player we bought in the U.S. Governments do their part. They use regulations to keep vital technology from becoming ubiquitous, such as the U.S. government's export-control restrictions that still give most e-mail messages all the data security of postcards. It just goes on and on.
Palm may buy back software spin-off PalmSource, according to rumors that have caused a 20 percent spike in the company's stock price, BargainPDA says. Unclear is how such an acquisition would affect PalmSource's focus on Linux mobile phones. PalmSource has struggled for the last year, after failing to interest PDA and phone vendors in Cobalt, its attempt at a multi-tasking successor to the venerable Palm OS. Long the marketshare leader for PDA OSes, Palm OS was supplanted in 2004 by Microsoft Windows CE in 2004, according to Gartner. At the same time, Palm OS benefits from a robust third-party software ecosystem and a tremendous amount of legacy vertical market software -- the single most important factor in PDA buyer considerations, according to Handango. Another bright spot for PalmSource has been industry reaction to the news that the company would embrace Linux, transitioning its Garnet and Cobalt APIs to libraries running on top of Linux. PalmSource executives Michael Kelley and John Cook said that the news actually increased interest in Cobalt, as well as doubling the number of attendees expected at the company's annual developer conference this year.
The European Parliament should pass a resolution urging the European Patent Office to ensure that it complies with the existing rules on the patentability of computer-related inventions, according to leading campaigner Florian Mueller. Mueller, founder of Nosoftwarepatents.com, was prominent in the debate over Europe's proposed patent Directive earlier this year. In an guest column today on EUobserver.com, he argues that the Parliament should also call upon the European Commission to start a new legislative process on the controversial issue.
Microsoft's annual Form 10K, filed late last week with the Securities and Exchange Commisson, included this new addition in a passage on the competition faced by the company's PC Windows division: "Competitors such as Mozilla offer software that competes with the Internet Explorer Web browsing capabilities of our Windows operating system products." For the record, that appears to be the first reference to the Mozilla Firefox browser as a competitive risk factor any Microsoft SEC filing. See Microsoft's 10K from last year for comparison. Also note that it's no longer plain old Internet Explorer -- it's "the Internet Explorer Web browsing capabilities of our Windows operating system products." That follows the trend seen with the recent unveiling of the new "Windows Internet Explorer" logo. Having survived its U.S. antitrust case without unbundling the browser from Windows, the company is apparently trying to drive home its controversial position that the browser is not a separate product but rather a Windows feature. (See also Mary Jo Foley's earlier post on that topic.)
Columnist Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols makes no bones about it: he loves Linux. "But Linux isn't for everybody," he says. In fact, he concedes, there are reasons to avoid a switch from Windows to Linux. "I use it on my servers, I use it on my desktops, and I use it on my entertainment center, where it powers my HDTV TiVo and my D-Link DSM-320 media player, which turns my network into a media library with terabytes of storage," Vaughan-Nichols writes at Linux-Watch.com. "Heck, I even run Linux on my Linksys WRT54G Wi-Fi access points, which hook the whole shebang together. "But Linux isn't for everyone. Seriously. Here are my top five reasons why you shouldn't move to Linux . . ." Huh? Yes, Linux-lover Vaughan-Nichols states it clearly: Linux is too complicated. It is a pain to set up. It doesn't have enough applications. It isn't secure. It's more expensive. But wait! There's more to the story than this. To find out how Vaughan-Nichols explains himself, read the full column at Linux-Watch.com, here.
You just got back from vacation, and the scenic vistas of Black Canyon of the Gunnison and sunset on the Ganges that seemed so awe-inspiring in person look flat and forgettable now that you're home looking at them on your monitor or, worse yet, on 4x6-inch prints. Open source software has some tools that can make your images come alive.
Vim, or "vi improved," is an open source text editor for multiple platforms. This article gives an overview of vim's latest improvements over vi.
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