LXer Weekly Roundup for 27-Apr-2008
In this week's Roundup we have several Microsoft related articles including, extending the life of XP to parry the Linux threat, Office 2007 fails OXML test and MSN users find out that they get to re-buy all the music they purchased from MSN Music. Also, an interview with Kurt Denke - the man who shut up Monster Cable and a ton of Ubuntu related articles because of the Hardy Heron release. Also there are three LXer features, The Biggest Blunder, an intro to secure web data Input, and Accurate market share statistics and The $60 Billion dollar question for your reading pleasure as well.
Microsoft extends XP life to parry Linux threat: In what is being perceived as a move to counter the threat of Linux — a free operating system — in the ultra-low-cost personal computer (ULCPC) segment, Microsoft has extended the sale of Windows XP Home by two years to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) beyond the current deadline of June 30. Linux is the operating system (OS) running the current poster child for low-cost laptops like Asustek Computer’s Eee PC, released in January and costs just Rs 18,000. To counter this, Microsoft maintains that it wants to see Windows on ULCPCs, and wants “to provide the best possible Windows experience for the devices”.
The Biggest Blunder: Or why Red Hat and Novell just left the door wide open to Ubuntu: In recent announcements both Red Hat and Novell made it pretty clear that their foray onto the desktop would be delayed quite a bit longer. What they do not know is that they just left the door wide open for Ubuntu to conquer the desktop and the server space.
Ubuntu 'reaping Linux dividend': A new version of Ubuntu, a version of the Linux OS, is released on Thursday. Mr Shuttleworth said the success of the Asus Eee PC and the work of the One Laptop Per Child programme had driven awareness of open source. "There has been a sea change in the way people think of Linux, which is very healthy," he said.
Linux Users Will Rescue the Desktop...Geek Please.: How much "proof" do you need. Red Hat just informed you that your desktop isn't their priority. Ron Hovsarian of Novell just said the same thing. IBM and HP BigWigs looked me in the eye at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit and basically told us this in so many words. "We don't offer systems, we offer solutions."
CPU frequency scaling in Linux: Electricity bills got higher again? Does your computer waste too many power cycles? Or perpahs you just don’t feel green enough? In any case, this article is for you! You’ll learn how to save energy and CPU cycles with your Linux box, no matter how old it is.
An Interview with Kurt Denke - the Man who shut up Monster Cable: I was lucky enough to catch Kurt Denke for a short interview. Kurt is actually on vacation right now; however, he still found some time to answer my questions. For those who have been living under a rock for the last week, Kurt Denke is the owner of Blue Jeans Cable; Monster Cable attacked Blue Jeans Cable on the basis of “Intellectual Property violations”. You should read Kurd Denke’s response. It’s a very enjoyable read, which makes you realise just how knowledgeable Kurt Denke is, on intellectual property law and on cables (!).
An Apple User Tries Ubuntu: I’m an Apple user. Long time, pure bred, never owned anything else. Oh sure, I’ve used Windows machines, but it’s never crossed my mind to use one daily. I mean, Windows? Like most Apple users, the very idea makes me vaguely anxious. When you’re an Apple user, you’re a snob. You feel – no, you know – that your OS is superior. The machines are fast and secure, and they’re gorgeous, too. The Macintosh is, without a doubt, one of my favorite things. I reveal my Apple snobbery because I want you to know where I was coming from when I sat down to try Ubuntu, the Linux distro.
Whither the Linux Foundation?: We live in the age of the spinmeister, the age when language is used more as a means to confuse than to educate, an age when obfuscation is preferred to clarification. Hence, one should not be surprised to find Jim Zemlin, the head of the Linux Foundation, referring to a face-to-face meeting of kernel developers and industry people as a "high bandwidth set of interactions." The Foundation, one must bear in mind, was formed at the beginning of 2007 by a merger between the Open Source Development Labs and the Free Standards.
Office 2007 fails OXML test: Microsoft's Office 2007 Word documents do not conform to the newly-approved Open XML (OXML) international standard. Alex Brown, who heads up the group responsible for maintaining the OXML standard at the International Standardisation Organisation (ISO), revealed the less-than-pretty findings in a blog post late last week. He said that OOXML, which last month – in the face of heavy opposition – just scraped in enough votes to be passed as a standard by the ISO and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), does not adhere to the latest specifications of the draft standard (ISO/IEC 29500).
Ubuntu hating and Microsoft bashing? The future of GNU/Linux: Lately I’ve noticed an emerging trend of Ubuntu bashing. It seems that the Linux community has now included Ubuntu bashing as a extension of the Microsoft bashing fringe. It’s actually pretty sad because the Microsoft bashers, are at least being loyal to the concept of GNU/Linux even though they are a lot like our crazy uncle Freddie the everyone nods and whispers about at family reunion time. Microsoft bashing though enjoyed as a sport by many Linux enthusiasts is not productive behavior and most of us get a naughty twinge of pleasure from it. Most of us also realize that its not behavior that is conducive to the spread of GNU/Linux and refrain from being obsessive compulsive in the behavior.
Google Maps gains easy Linux install: Ubuntu, Linspire, and Freespire users can now install "Google Earth" with a single click, says Linspire. The desktop Linux distributor has added support for the free mapping application to its CNR ("click-n-run") installer, a user-friendly tool currently beta-testing for a wide variety of desktop Linux distributions. Linspire said the version of Google Earth that CNR supports will work with Ubuntu 7.04 and 7.10 (32-bit), Linspire 6.0, and Freespire 2.0.
OLPC; one excuse per child: Nicholas Negroponte, the head of the One Laptop per Child project, is in the news again, this time trying to rationalise the appearance of Windows XP on the laptop manufactured by the project.
MSN Music to ex-customers: So you thought you bought that song for life, eh?: So, Microsoft gives customers of now defunct MSN Music a final farewell kick in the teeth by pulling the plug on any future downloads or license activations. Your existing music will work until the authorized PC dies, after which it’s back to the store to repurchase the music. As of August 31st, we will no longer be able to support the retrieval of license keys for the songs you purchased from MSN Music or the authorization of additional computers.
Introduction to Secure Web Data Input: The html form can be an effective means of allowing screened content onto a web site. My focus is upon trusted members that need to deposit articles and news. Moreover, this route is designed to circumvent restricted environments that do not allow them logging directly onto the site. While security is certainly an issue, my suggestions will be limited in scope.
This, too, shall pass, or: Things to remember when reading news about OLPC: To the developers at OLPC, and the tireless volunteer community contributors unsettled by Nicholas’ plans — remember that no matter what happens, your work has not been for naught. Far from it. You brought the smiles to children’s faces in Escuela No. 109 in Florida, Uruguay. Your work astounded me with the results, after little more than half a year, in the mountains of Arahuay, Peru. Bryan Berry’s team is kicking ass on establishing a pilot in Nepal because of your work. And if you haven’t read the linked articles yet, now’s the time. Nothing can take away the real, palpable impact you’ve already had on children’s lives.
10 Tips for After You Install or Upgrade Ubuntu: Ubuntu is becoming more and more complete and easy to configure. However, like any operating system there’s work to be done after the installation. Here’s a list of 10 tips that you can use after installing or upgrading Ubuntu.
Accurate market share statistics and The $60 Billion dollar question: Earlier this week an article concerning Vista and market share and one about how Open Source Software has cost the IT Industry $60 Billion dollars over the last five years or so hit the newswire. Needless to say this generated some conversations about their validity. I got to wondering if there have ever been accurate market share statistics for Linux or any operating system for that matter and to ask myself the $60 Billion dollar question.
Imagine There’s No Penguins: What if Linux were not free? Would people still use it? Would it generate as much excitement online? What if the right…no, the privilege…to use Linux came only at a monetary cost money? And that’s a lease, not a sale mind you. What if the product was not intellectually free? How many people would jump on the bandwagon then? Would the beloved penguin mascot, Tux, make way for a more corporate-looking logo?
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