LXer Weekly Roundup for 2-Mar-2008
In this week's LXer Roundup, speed up your Linux with Preload, KDE 4: Wow Factor Fully Engaged, learn 10 good UNIX usage habits, Richard Stallman steps back from Emacs, Best Buy Sells Linux, several articles concerning Microsoft plus audio conversion tools and Improve Security with PAM.
Debian dumps Flash ... and why you might want to try Debian and Slackware: I just read that Debian is removing Flash from its repository: Flashplugin-nonfree has been removed (see below), as this is closed source and we don't get security support for it. For security reasons, we recommend to immediately remove any version of flashplugin-nonfree and any remaining files of the Adobe Flash Player. Tested updates will be made available via backports.org.
Drastically Speed up Linux with Preload: Preload is an "adaptive readahead daemon" that runs in the background of your system and observes what programs you use most often, caching them in order to speed up application load time. By using Preload, you can put unused RAM to good work, and improve the overall performance of your desktop system. Best of all, it's easy to install and use!
One Small Feature of Ubuntu 8.04 That Could Make a Very Large Impact: With all the other features of the upcoming Ubuntu 8.04 release, one feature that could drastically increase the rate at which Ubuntu spreads has been largely overlooked.
Review: KDE 4: Wow Factor Fully Engaged: While it may not be fully ready for production systems yet, there is no denying that latest version of the K Desktop Environment is one sharp-looking interface. Reviewer Ken Hess takes a test-drive, and clearly likes what he sees.
Mark Shuttleworth Reveals Definitive List of Ubuntu Code Names: "As we navigate into heretofore uncharted regions, I believe it is essential that we relish in the delightful guffaws of the jackal, embrace the rebellious anti-sociality of the porcupine, and keep striving toward the apex of personal development epitomized by the shrew," he said.
Learn 10 good UNIX usage habits: Adopt 10 good habits that improve your UNIX command line efficiency - and break away from bad usage patterns in the process. This article takes you step-by-step through several good, but too often neglected, techniques for command-line operations. Learn about common errors and how to overcome them, so you can learn exactly why these UNIX habits are worth picking up.
Judge makes lawyers pay for frivolity: A federal judge recently got so infuriated by the conduct of two highly regarded trial attorneys that he overturned a jury's $51 million verdict, then ordered the lawyers to pay the fees and costs of the opposing lawyers. He ruled that the entire trial was "frivolous" and the case filed solely to stifle competition rather than to protect a patent. Now the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed Matsch's decision to overturn the verdict.
Stallman steps back from Emacs: Richard Stallman, industry activist and founder of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has - once again - relinquished his role as maintainer of the phenomenally successful GNU Extensible, Customizable, Display Editor (Emacs). The news was slipped out on the Emacs developers' forum and Stallman explained his reasons in a later interview.
New add-ons for OpenOffice.org Writer: After a slow start, add-ons for OpenOffice.org are finally starting to reach a critical mass. When I last wrote about add-ons for OpenOffice.org in September 2004, the examples were relatively limited, with extendedPDF the outstanding example. Today, extendedPDF remains a must-have -- so much so that Debian versions of OpenOffice.org include it as part of the basic packages -- but the choices have expanded dramatically. There is even a web page that is slowly beginning to rival the Firefox extension page.
Google: OOXML 'insufficient and unnecessary': Google has claimed that Microsoft's proposed Office Open XML document standard is unnecessary and should be rolled into the rival OpenDocument Format. In a Monday post on Google's official blog, open-source programs manager Zaheda Bhorat said the issue affects everybody who uses editable documents.
When Microsoft Corporation Met Debt: As pieces start falling into place, it becomes clearer why Microsoft's time to recover is running out. For a fact, Microsoft might soon enter debt and we have been studying for quite some time the true story behind Microsoft’s PR and accounting walls. Not so long ago we returned our attention to the issue of misconduct, including systematic kickbacks. There is more to bribery then just kickbacks, which themselves as a subtle form of bribery more severe than lobbying, which is legalized to a greater or lesser degree.
Best Buy Sells Linux: Best Buy is just one more PC seller that has turned their attention to Linux. They are now selling three versions of the popular Asus Eee Laptop (in pink, white, and black) on their website. The Asus Eee is expected to sell several million copies this year after selling 300,000 copies lat year.
Microsoft's LAMP answer arrives in pieces: Last summer, Microsoft said that February 27, 2008 would be the single biggest day of releases in its 30-year history, promising major updates to its server operating system, developer tools and database.
Asian open source summit moved to China: The organizers of Open Source Software Summit (OSSummit) Asia are now looking to hold the conference in mainland China. The event, organized by the Apache Software Foundation and Eclipse Foundation, was originally set to be held in Hong Kong in November last year, but was postponed due to the lack of response.
Audio conversion tools for Linux: Most portable audio players can play music encoded in the MP3 audio format, but some consumers also have music in Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, MPC, or even WMA files. How do you change from one format to another when you need to? Here are some of the best audio conversion tools available in Linux. One of the simplest and most elegant ways to convert audio files is by using the audio-convert script. It makes use of Zenity to display GUI messages and windows, but does the rest of its work from the command line.
Improve Security with Linux PAM: Linux Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) can help you protect world-writeable shared directories from abuse. This article for Linux system administrators lays out the steps to enable namespaces with PAM. The pam_namespace module creates a separate namespace for users on your system when they login to protect users from several types of security attacks.
Sun: MySQL buy 'most important in software history': Sun has claimed that completing its purchase of the open source database developer MySQL will enable it to become the most complete provider of open source server software. Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's chief executive, said in a conference call on Tuesday that the US$1 billion acquisition "completed our capability to deliver a holistic, secure, open source platform for networks", providing the last, key piece in a software stack that now rivals Microsoft's.
Will The Canoniclique Finally Listen To Kubuntu?: Yesterday, Ubuntu tore a page from The Book of Dell and launched Brainstorm, an opportunity for its users to contribute their ideas to for software development and marketing. Kubuntu users finally have an invitation to vent their frustration at having a Cinderella distribution relegated to the role of ugly stepsister. Will Canonical respond?
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