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Microsoft, Mozilla: A symbol of cooperation

Granted, it's not exactly the Dayton Peace Accords. But Microsoft's Internet Explorer group and the rival Firefox browser team surprised the technology world last week with a small token of cooperation. To be precise, it was a tiny orange icon. Microsoft worked out an arrangement to use the same symbol that Firefox does to alert people when a Web page makes extra streams of information available for subscription.

[Ed: This is the Seattle P-I's take on the Microsoft-Mozilla sharing an icon story. I agree it's not the Dayton Peace Accords - and the use of a mere icon is hardly worth analysis, imo. Microsoft agreeing to include Firefox with all Windows installations would be something to talk about - dcparris]

DistroWatch Weekly: GNOME vs KDE, Xen, Ubuntu dumbed down, interview with Robert Tolu of GenieOS

  •; By Ladislav Bodnar (Posted by dave on Dec 19, 2005 2:38 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Newsletter
Welcome to this year's very last issue of DistroWatch Weekly. The renewed GNOME versus KDE flame war and Xen virtualisation are the two leading topics in this issue; these are followed by a few interesting links, including a timeline of Perl, which celebrated 18 years of age on Sunday. Has Ubuntu Linux been dumbed down? With omission of some of the vital utilities from the latest release, Robert Storey wonders where this increasingly popular distribution is heading. Also in this issue: an interview with Robert Tolu of the GenieOS project, an update on FreeBSD release schedule for 2006, and a handful of interesting new distributions. Happy reading! Join us at #distrowatch

Novell starts work on NHS contract

  • LinuxWorld; By Jeremy Kirk, IDG News Service (Posted by tadelste on Dec 19, 2005 2:15 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Novell; Story Type: News Story
Open-source software vendor Novell has started work with the U.K. National Health Service (NHS) on a £21.8 million (US$38.6 million), three-year contract to improve its IT systems, a spokeswoman for the health agency said Friday.

The agreement is with Connecting for Health, a program under the Department of Health started in April to modernize the health service's IT systems. Connecting for Health has 12 other system-upgrade contracts, according to the NHS.

Quanta to ship $100 notebooks by year end. 2005

  • TheInquirer (Posted by bstadil on Dec 19, 2005 1:49 AM EDT)
According to the Economic News, a quantity of Linux based notebooks made by Quanta will be shipped before the end of 2005 and distributed to Nigeria, Argentina, China, Brazil and India.

[ED- We really need to pay more attention to this. Negroponte was on the Charlie Rose show Thursday, and the numbers that they are shooting for is much larger than the press has mentioned. They are talking about 100-200M units following the initial 7MU first deployment. Current WW notebook sales is 46MU so Linux will be #1 if this works out PS. MS offered to make a windows version as did Apple, both turend down for not being open source. They expect a huge indigenous developement effort-bstadil]

Australia reluctantly contributes to open source

  • Builder AU; By Munir Kotadia, ZDNet Australia (Posted by tadelste on Dec 19, 2005 1:23 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Community; Story Type: News Story
Australian companies are not only lagging behind the United States and Asia when deploying Linux and open source software (OSS), they are also reluctant to contribute developer time back into the OSS community, according to a report by analyst group Forrester.

There's Hope for a Unified Linux Desktop Yet

  • LinuxInsider; By Ric Shreves (Posted by tadelste on Dec 19, 2005 12:31 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Seems like everyone got tired of clawing at reach other and instead decided to get down to work last week. Moreover, not only was the acrimony factor way down, but also the helpful factor was way up. What a change!

CLI Magic: Introducing rss2email

  • NewsForge (Posted by dave on Dec 19, 2005 12:30 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
As its name suggests, Aaron Swartz's GPL-licensed rss2email utility converts RSS subscriptions into email messages and sends them to whatever address you specify. Despite the name, it handles Atom feeds as well, so you should be able to use it with just about any feed you like.

Taiwan's Quanta selected to build $100 Linux laptop

  • (Posted by tadelste on Dec 18, 2005 11:46 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Taiwan's Quanta Computer has been selected to produce $100 Linux laptops developed at MIT, for eventual distribution to children in developing countries. Between five and 15 million units are expected to be provided to children in China, India, Brazil, Argentina, Egypt, Nigeria, Thailand, and other countries, the Lab said.

[Ed: Quanta also builds Thinkpads -tadelste]

Crossover Office 5.0 works with MS Office 2003!!!

  • techrepublic; By stress junkie (Posted by tadelste on Dec 18, 2005 11:02 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
I purchased the student edition of Microsoft Office 2003 back at the beginning of this year. I found that Wine and Crossover Office 4.2 would not run this version of MS Office. So I've been waiting for about ten months for the new version of Crossover Office.

For those who don't already know this, Wine and Crossover Office are products that enable you to run Microsoft platform applications on a Linux machine. Wine is available from and Crossover Office is available at The two products are created in cooperation with each other in the same way that Sun Microsystems works on it's Star Office product and cooperates with There's another enabler for MS software on Linux made by Transgaming Technology called Cedega. It is available from

Today I downloaded the 30 day trial version of Crossover Office 5.0 from Once I installed it I tried to install Microsoft Office 2003. After one false start where in invoked the wine excutable to install Office, and one false error message during the installation, the software was finally installed.

  •; By Robin Miller (Posted by tadelste on Dec 18, 2005 10:05 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial
(Newsbytes)Author Robin Miller was online Friday, Dec. 16th to discuss the suite of office productivity software and his new book "Point and Click:"

Miller introduces readers to 2.0, an alternative to Microsoft Office's perceived hassles, upgrades and cost. 2.0 runs through Windows or Linux and offers word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, drawing and databases. What's more, it's free. In his new book, Miller provides software and instruction for the basics of, as well as Firefox and Thunderbird.

The NewsForge last minute holiday geek gift guide

  • NewsForge (Posted by dave on Dec 18, 2005 10:00 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Having trouble coming up with last minute gift ideas? Yeah, we've been there too. If you need a few ideas, we've come up with a list of gift ideas from our own wishlists that should make any geek happy.

Open source in '05 -- simplification, assurance

  • IDG News Service, Boston Bureau; By China Martens (Posted by tadelste on Dec 18, 2005 9:08 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial
Vendors stepped up their efforts this year to make users feel more comfortable and confident about deploying open-source software. Companies focused on making the technology easier to use and improved interoperability between products. Additionally, they launched services and floated ideas designed to put customers' minds at rest over any potential lingering legal issues around using open-source software.

Linux runs on cell phones and supercomputers

Over three quarters of the world's top supercomputers now run with Linux. Consumers have a good chance of encountering the operating system in cell phones, as one quarter of all smartphones use Linux.

SCO Loses Again - Kimball Affirms Wells' Order!

Judge Kimball rules that Wells didn't make a mistake (Cf. why I thought she didn't make a mistake). She heard SCO, Kimball in effect says, and she "properly denied" them. The word properly means SCO can give up asking for Linux non-public materials. They'll just have to climb their ladder theory without it. Or they might just try browsing on the web and find the materials for themselves. Linux is developed in public. Even if the Magistrate Judge hadn't specifically mentioned having read everything SCO and IBM submitted, Kimball writes, and even if she hadn't ruled on SCO's alternative request by giving them some of the Linux materials they were asking for (the materials IBM volunteered at the hearing), she at least implicitly had ruled on the request, and anyway "a denial of a motion is routinely construed to encompass all requests made in that motion."

Security-Enhanced Linux Moving into Mainstream

Security Enhanced Linux has move into the mainstream of operating system architecture in recent years. For those who don't understand the technology, many articles exist.

SELinux provides mandatory access control to a wider audience. It helps eliminate O-day attacks.

The agenda for the 2006 SELinux Symposium has just been announced and some project leaders of Linux distributions may way want to attended.

Existing distributions such as Fedora are including SELinux in the default build, and ports are underway to bring SELinux functionality to BSD and Darwin. Management has already stressed the importance of SELinux in many organizations. So, security minded systems administrators will find SELinux an important area to gain proficiency.

The Devil's Advocate - If Apple Buys Adobe, Is the Operating System Market up for Grabs?

  • The Mac Observer; By John Kheit (Posted by tadelste on Dec 18, 2005 5:19 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial
It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see why. Borrowing heavily from Mr. Cringely's terminology, there are several industry realities and stories, each having its own vector/trajectory that might lead one to seeing the importance of Adobe to Apple's well being. Adobe owns key graphic sector applications. Meanwhile, Microsoft has a strangle-hold over Apple with Office for the Mac. Were Apple to buy Adobe, it would give Apple the leverage it needs to ensure Microsoft keeps making Office for the Mac.

Sun Announces Bold New Enhancements to Java Enterprise System

Free Portal Server Drives Collaboration and Participation as First Platform to Integrate Wikis and Other Next-Generation Applications

IBM moves to speed up release of AIX test code

IBM is calling its approach an "open community development model," and it's establishing an AIX Collaboration Center in Austin as the focal point for the effort. The company said it plans to spend US$200 million on hardware and development support for the center over the next two years. What IBM is proposing "makes a lot of sense ... if it works," said AIX user Kenneth Ebbe, assistant to the CIO at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

There's More Than One Way to Bust a Trust

  • Inc. Magazine, December 2005; By Robert Litan (Posted by tadelste on Dec 18, 2005 3:14 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The news that Microsoft settled one of its last remaining antitrust lawsuits in October presents an opportunity to review the whole episode and assess what it means for the next generation of business innovators. The matter is of special interest to me. Working at the Justice Department in the mid-1990s, I helped lead the first investigation of Microsoft.

Before we get to the lessons learned, a brief recap: It goes without saying that Microsoft's rise to power on the strength of its operating systems for desktop PCs is one of the great American business success stories of all time. But as I argued a decade ago, the company abused its extraordinary power to cement its dominance in the operating systems market. Then it attempted to extend its monopoly into new markets, including Web browsers and online media players.

Courts in the U.S. and Europe found that Microsoft broke the law. After Justice won its most celebrated case, which concerned Microsoft's efforts to destroy Netscape's browser business, I argued in amicus curiae briefs that Microsoft should be split into three Windows companies. This would have restarted competition in the operating systems market and, in my view, would have led to better bug-free desktop operating systems than are now available.

Unfortunately, antitrust enforcement can be slow and unreliable. The Bush Justice Department was less interested in reining in Microsoft than Clinton's was. But though the company avoided a breakup, it did have to pay several billion dollars to settle related claims, and it is now subject to various restrictions on the way it does business.

Firefox Moves Farther Ahead of the Hunt

  • Washington Post; By Rob Pegoraro (Posted by dave on Dec 18, 2005 2:44 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
The browser that finally broke Microsoft's monopoly just got its first major update. If you haven't switched from Internet Explorer yet, consider Firefox 1.5 your invitation to do so.

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