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Do LUGs still matter?

Commentary -- There is no question that LUGs -- Linux User Groups -- have been important to the rapid growth and adoption of Linux. In the early years, a typical LUG brought together early adopters from every walk of life who had a missionary zeal for Linux. Today, most members are IT professionals. Given that, I wonder, do LUGs matter any longer?

Three mobile technologies you probably won't see in 2006

  • (Posted by tadelste on Dec 24, 2005 9:37 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
ABI Research has published a prediction of technologies it says are unlikely to achieve widespread adoption in 2006. Three key mobile technologies you probably won't see next year, according to ABI, are: broadcast mobile video, 100 Mbps WiFi, and high-speed cellular data transfer.

GR: Declassification of debian-private, Second call for votes

  • Mailing list; By Debian Project Secretary (Posted by tadelste on Dec 24, 2005 8:39 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Newsletter; Groups: Debian, GNU

Happy holidays, to those who are celebrating them.

Votinge period starts 00:00:01 UTC on December 18th, 2005. Votes must be received by 23:59:59 UTC on December 31st, 2005.

Editing WMA files with Audacity

Audacity is a fine open source audio editor, but it cannot currently edit Windows Media Audio (WMA) files. There's nothing open about either the API or the codec for the Windows Media Audio format, so the Audacity Developer Team is taking its time before attempting to incorporate direct import, editing, and export of these files. But if you have WMA files you need to edit with more precision than Microsoft's tools allow, Audacity can still help.

Mozilla: a development platform under the hood of your browser

  • Free Software Magazine; By Davide Carboni (Posted by VISITOR on Dec 24, 2005 5:58 AM EDT)
  • Groups: Mozilla
Should Java programmers migrate to it? This article compares two development platforms: Java and Mozilla. The object of this comparison is not to establish which one is best, but rather to measure the maturity, the advantages, and the disadvantages of Mozilla as a platform from the point of view of a Java programmer (as I am).

IBM gets closer to Linux partners, if that's possible

As if it were not committed to Linux enough already, IBM last week elevated its relationships with two key Linux vendors to the highest level of partnership status that Big Blue offers.

Give Mac Explorer to the people

Last June a survey of UK websites by the consultancy SciVisum found that one in 10 of the sites they looked at limited non-Microsoft browsers. Some of those, like the Odeon cinema site, have since improved, but many remain wholly or partially inaccessible to those who don't use IE.

The main reason is that many Microsoft-based sites use a technology called ActiveX to embed active content in their web pages. ActiveX is essentially a Windows-only way of doing the sorts of things that a standards-based website would use Java or Javascript for, and it is not supported by the standard releases of Firefox.

A nice case of Mumps?

  • Reg Developer; By David Norfolk (Posted by tadelste on Dec 24, 2005 1:09 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
I have a soft spot for “legacy” languages – and I, for one, like getting legacies. Back in my day, we expected to learn new languages for different projects (learning Simula for a port simulation, for instance, made a lot more sense than trying to “standardise” on COBOL; or even FORTRAN, the usual simulation language then). So I was interested when a Register reader, Thomas H. Martin of Georgia, USA, emailed in praise of M, once known as MUMPS.

Microsoft losing its sheen?

Software behemoth Microsoft still rules, but its influence may be diminishing feel some experts.

Its déjà vu time for Microsoft, which edged out Netscape ten years back, as it is up against competitors who are using the web space to threaten its monopoly.

For instance, free OpenOffice suite can be effortlessly downloaded with a broadband connection. Its Writer is turning out to be an able alternative to MS-Word and certain experts feel Mozilla's Thunderbird can replace Outlook. So is MS-Office suite's dispensable in the very near future?

Open Source Enterprise Applications

  • Always On; By Open Source Enterprise Applications Will freely available and just plain free open source apps conti (Posted by tadelste on Dec 23, 2005 11:02 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: PHP
We’ve recently implemented Horde ( ) for internal mail, calendaring and task management. With tool suites like these available, the old guard must be getting nervous.

This may be obvious, but with the new Horde implementation (and Imp, Kronolith, Turba, Ingo, and Nag), our need for a commercial internal collaboration suite has been obviated. We probably wouldn’t have purchased such a suite (certainly not from a closed source vendor) so perhaps this isn’t a big deal in our case. I'm wondering how many times this scene is played out every day of every week.

Nepali version of Linux launched in Kathmandu

  • People's Daily Online (Posted by tadelste on Dec 23, 2005 8:15 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya (MPP), a non-government organization of Nepal, has launched free/open source "NepaLinux", Nepali version of Linux, MPP said here Friday.

Opinion: XP faster than Linux? Not so fast!

  •; By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols (Posted by tadelste on Dec 23, 2005 7:17 PM EDT)
  • Groups: Microsoft; Story Type: Editorial
In a recent so-called Desktop Linux versus Windows XP shootout, writer George Ou declares that "Microsoft handily beat the open source platform." The basis for this judgment? "OS boot time and application load times" on two different PCs. Oh, dear. This isn't right at all.

First, using OS boot times as the only real comparison between operating systems is a lot like comparing cars by how long it takes you to get from 0 to 60. Yes, it's a measurement, but by itself it doesn't say much of anything.

The very nature of the test itself is really pretty meaningless, anyway. Two machines do not a benchmark make.

Mr. Natural Says...

  •; By Andy Updegrove (Posted by VISITOR on Dec 23, 2005 5:52 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial
R. Crumb's Mr. Natural famously advised, "Always use the right tool for the job!" ODF and Microsoft's XML Reference Schema are two very different tools - for two very different jobs.

IBM Exec Says Microsoft Standards Plan Has 'Bizarre Restrictions'

"Microsoft's move to sidestep the OASIS OpenDocument format (ODF) standard by making its own standards submission to the European ECMA standards body appears to contain 'bizarre restrictions' and are designed to give Microsoft 'complete control by tying products' together, IBM's standards chief said in an interview Friday."

Thanks to henke54

Latest Firebird Relational Database Released (Pre Final)

The Firebird Project is pleased to announce the last release candidate for the forthcoming Firebird 1.5.3 final version. Release Candidate 3 is available for download and testing.

Python Creator Guido van Rossum now working at Google

  •; By Jeremy Jones (Posted by henke54 on Dec 23, 2005 3:20 PM EDT)
" Alex Martelli stated on the thread: I don't think there was any official announcement, but it's true -- he sits about 15 meters away from me;-). I'm happy and excited for Guido. I'm interested to hear what exactly he'll be working on over there and how this could impact Python. Maybe it's my optimism kicking in, but I expect it will be positive for the community. I'm sure people can point to an incident here or there where Google has been questionable in its "don't be evil" motto, but I believe that overall, they're doing a good job of maintaining credibility. Anyway, congrats, Guido!"

Film-makers to Advertise Firefox

Almost a month after rumors started trickling in that Mozilla would use independent film-makers to promote the next generation of Firefox, its free web browser, Mozilla has confirmed that it would indeed engage in this online "open source marketing" drive.

Mozilla formally announced the opening of the "Firefox Flicks Ad Contest" which calls upon professional, student and aspiring film-makers to join the growing community of Firefox contributors to create innovative, broadcast-quality 30-second commercials for Firefox. The ads will be judged by a star-studded panel of luminaries drawn from the film, television and advertising industries, with great prizes up for grabs. The winning ads will also be considered for inclusion in global marketing campaigns for Firefox.

A $10 Linux Answering Machine

  • Linux Gazette; By Bob Smith (Posted by dcparris on Dec 23, 2005 2:45 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial
This article describes how to build a Linux-based telephone answering machine using a low cost winmodem (softmodem) for the telephone interface. We describe how to install the drivers and libraries, and how to select and install the proper modem card. Our answering machine program is a couple of hundred lines of C code in a single file. If you've ever used a telephone you should have no trouble understanding the code.

[Ed: It's kind of geeky to setup, and uses a Command-Line Interface, but even a non-geek can type play filename.ul. Maybe someone will add a GUI front-end? - dcparris]

Sun Microsystems Introduces NetBeans Profiler Milestone 11 for Optimized Java Application Run-Time Monitoring

  • PR Newswire; By Press release (Posted by tadelste on Dec 23, 2005 2:21 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Press Release
NetBeans Profiler Provides Tighter Control During the Development Process; Supports Java SE 5 Applications on Leading Platforms Including New Support for Mac OS X

The borg Are Coming... For Microsoft?

Competitors feeling the heat as Microsoft overwhelms their markets just don't get it. Microsoft is fleeing a much bigger, implacable horde. There is no escape. Resistance is futile.

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