LXer Weekly Roundup for 30-Mar-2008

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Mar 30, 2008 6:47 AM EST
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)
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LXer Feature: 30-Mar-2008

In this weeks Roundup we have alternative development tools for Linux, hacker super bowl pits Mac OS Vs. Linux and Vista, is open source anti-American? and What CAN’T Linux do? Also, the Var guy suggests that Costco's not mentioning Linux in their marketing of the Eee PC is a good thing and in our FUD section we a couple of articles about the OOXML vote and our own Sander Marechal responds to Patrick Durusau's letter.

In this weeks Roundup we have alternative development tools for Linux, hacker super bowl pits Mac OS Vs. Linux and Vista, is open source anti-American? and What CAN’T Linux do? Also, the Var guy suggests that Costco's not mentioning Linux in their marketing of the Eee PC is a good thing and in our FUD section we a couple of articles about the OOXML vote and our own Sander Marechal responds to Patrick Durusau's letter.

9 Improvements Needed in GNOME: Although I regularly use KDE, Xfce, and other desktops for GNU/Linux, I keep returning to GNOME. Sometimes I use the default Metacity window manager, and other times the quicker Sawfish, but, with either choice, GNOME has an uncluttered look that allows me to focus on my work rather than my software. It also contains enough customization that I can easily set my increasingly long list of preferences with a minimum of effort.

Hack Attack : Run Linux Apps Natively On Windows, OSX: Linux has always been the operating system of the geeks and nerds. For some reason Linux has never been able to capture the market like Windows and OS X have managed to do. The main reason for this has been the so called unfriendliness of the Linux OS. But things are changing now with distros like Ubuntu etc..

DirectX 9.0c March 2008 redistributable on Linux with Wine: A guide with screenshots and code samples to show you how to install and run most of the DirectX 9.0c March 2008 redistributable on Linux using Wine.

Summary of Mono’s Danger to GNU/Linux and the Free Desktop: Let us quickly accumulate pointers to posts which summarise the problem and use this page as somewhat an index that makes it easy to understand for those unfamiliar with it.

Alternative Software Development Tools for Linux: Just about every Linux distro comes with a variety of programming tools. Some automatically get installed when you install Linux, and others are available in the distro's package repositories. But, what if the development tools that come with your distro don't do the job for you? What if, for example, you want to develop software in Pascal or BASIC, and your distro's repositories don't contain tools for those languages?

What CAN’T Linux do?: A few weeks ago a colleague of mine sent me a link to a story about a man who clustered together sixteen Playstation 3s using Linux to simulate black holes. I had forgotten about this until yesterday when I was thinking “What can’t Linux do?” I know, I know, you’re thinking: Alright fanboy, bring on your dogma. Not so. This isn’t one of those pie in the sky, wishful thinking blog entries where I am going to go on to spout that Linux will, in fact: Cure cancer, solve global warming, fix the US economic crisis, and release the world from its dependency on oil (Although it might help in those arenas.)

Developers wanted, or: the state of accelerated video on Linux: A friend of mine (actually, he is also the CEO of a partner company of ZaReason EU) got very interested lately in HTPCs, the so-called home theater PCs. Since he’s also a big fan of Linux and free software and also likes high definition, he asked my opinion and help about the topic, so I started to investigate a little for him.

Is open source anti-American?: While Matt Asay and Paula Rooney chose the meat in Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst’s remarks at OSBC, others chose to play the political game of gotcha. So, is open source anti-American?

Review: The Bad Guys Will Cut Off Your Fingers: Linux has always supported Thinkpads pretty well, though the onboard modems and sound are chronic trouble spots. In this article, Carla Schroder focuses on her Lenovo T61's integrated fingerprint reader, to see what is involved in getting it to work on Linux.

“Windows tax?” I Don’t Think So…: Here’s the scenario, a friend of mine just bought a new laptop. When he was buying it, he indicated that he did not want windows on it (which should make it cheaper). The response from the vendor: “We can’t do that, it comes with Windows”. When he became a bit more aggressive, they indicated they could give him one without Windows (Vista SP1), but it would cost an extra $70!

The Future of NFS Arrives: NFS was designed by Sun Microsystems in 1984 to connect their systems, and in the process revolutionized the storage industry by allowing file systems to be connected, creating a common view of all the files within an environment. NFS has had some limited updates since then, some for performance, but most of these were minor. Well, the good news is that the future of NFS is almost here.

Hacker Super Bowl Pits Mac OS Vs. Linux, Vista: It's the most anticipated matchup in the hacker world: Linux versus Mac OS X versus Vista. Who will get hacked first? That's what organizers of the CanSecWest security conference hope to discover this week as they give show attendees a shot at hacking into the three laptops they've put on display here in Vancouver. The catch? They have to use a brand-new 'zero day' attack that nobody has seen before. The prize? US$20,000, plus you get to keep the laptop.

The Best Linux Marketing Tip: Don't Mention Linux: CostCo’s in-store promotional materials for the Eee PC from Asus barely mention that the sub-notebook runs Linux. That may be a smart move.

Why can't I activate Windows XP?: I tried to activate Windows XP Home and it didn't work. Thus began a phone saga with Microsoft support, ending in failure. Until I fixed it myself. I'm trying to activate Windows XP Home. I've just performed a clean setup, and Windows now won't let me even login until I activate. The network card has apparently not yet been configured, so I can't activate over the 'net. When I do the phone activation, the "installation ID" I'm supposed to give the Microsoft representative is blank. What do I do? That question wasn't posed by just any reader. This time it was me. And after an hour and a half on the phone, I was no further along. And yet, left to my own devices I had the machine activated in about 10 minutes. This is not good. Not at all. In fact, it's downright depressing.

ODF editor: ODF loses if OOXML does: The editor of the Open Document Format (ODF) standard has written a letter that strongly supports recognizing Microsoft's Open Office XML (OOXML) file format as a standard, arguing that if it fails, ODF will suffer. As the editor of OpenDocument, I want to promote OpenDocument, extol its features, urge the widest use of it as possible, none of which is accomplished by the anti-OpenXML position in ISO," Patrick Durusau wrote. "The bottom line is that OpenDocument, among others, will lose if OpenXML loses. ... Passage of OpenXML in ISO is going to benefit OpenDocument as much as anyone else."

A response to Patrick Durusau: Who Loses If OpenXML Loses?: This is a response to Patrick Durusau's recent letter Who loses if OpenXML loses?. The only one who loses if DIS 29500 fails is Microsoft, whose Office 2007 cashcow will run into trouble. Everyone else, including the OpenDocument Format, do not need an ISO stamp of approval on DIS 29500. The current Ecma 376 standard, flawed as it is, is more than enough to work with. Read more to find out why.

Expert: Fast-track ISO bid for OOXML is fair: A European standards expert has defended the move to fast-track the ISO approval process for Microsoft's Open XML (OOXML) document standard, dismissing criticisms that the decision to do so is flawed and unfair. He advised governments against mandating just one document standard as it may run foul of polices set by the World Trade Organization (WTO), opening themselves to possible legal challenges. "One of the big concerns of the WTO is that you should not use standards as a barrier to trade," he said. "If a government enforces [the use of one standard], that would mean the whole country is not allowed to use OOXML. They could get into a very difficult legal situation as this could be challenged legally," noted van den Beld.

» Read more about: Story Type: LXer Features, Roundups; Groups: Community, Debian, GNOME, GNU, KDE, Linux, LXer, Microsoft, Red Hat, Sun, Ubuntu, Xfce

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