LXer Weekly Roundup for 26-Aug-2007

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Aug 26, 2007 8:49 PM EDT
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)
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LXer Feature: 26-Aug-2007

A weekly recap of the big stories concerning Linux and Open Source.

Dear Linux Journal: News Flash- Women Are People: This just keeps getting worse. Please tell me how anyone could think this is a good idea..

Why I refuse to call it GNU/Linux: When listening to others talk about GNU/Linux it always strikes me as odd the argument that is used. That the Linux kernel was made usable by the marriage of the GNU tool set to it so therefor it should be called GNU/Linux as it is a blending of the two and Linux is only the kernel. On the face of it this argument makes sense ... if one doesn't think about it too deeply.

Windows Tech Writers Wrong About Linux: At least we are making some progress in the field of Windows using tech writers speaking with any level of clarity about Linux as a viable alternative. Yet as good as the article linked above is, its writer is wrong with one seriously flawed statement. Vendor support remains far and few between. Some companies like HP and IBM have been great, while many others have lived so far up Microsoft's backside that they believe that Linux is merely a fad. I would also agree that there is a glass ceiling in place, thanks to a lack of vendor support.

And So it Begins: There are people who are doing their best to come up with ideas for the promotion of FOSS. I have come up with an idea, and plan on putting it in action tomorrow. I have a simple question: Will you join me?

"Linux more secure than Windows", Microsoft vulnerability report suggests: A Microsoft vulnerability report suggests that Microsoft wasn't able to fix more Windows flaws than the number of open software flaws fixed by the major open source companies . Red Hat, having forty times less employees than Microsoft, did the best job, by fixing and closing the most security bugs, also closing even minor bugs - where Microsoft didn't even fix one minor bug in the same period. Even Apple did a better job than Microsoft by fixing lots of flaws in Mac OS X. It should also be noted, the fixed open source flaws were in the 'base system', while the fixed Windows flaws also concerned a lot of Internet Explorer, Media Player and similar stuff.

Why people don't switch operating systems: The topic of Linux on the desktop is one that raises its head every couple of days somewhere on the web - and here it is again. I was a bit amazed last week to note that someone who wrote that the continued piracy of Windows was affecting the spread of Linux on the desktop was described as raising an "unusual" argument. It has been known for at least the last 10 years that Gates & Co have a public stance on piracy - which is: "shoot the buggers down" - and a private stance - which is, "it's helps to spread usage of Windows, do nothing."

Linux at the workplace: What users think: Several colleagues of mine now also use Linux as their primary work desktop. In fact, we now have about a 50/50 split between (K)Ubuntu and XP users in our office. I wanted to get their views on why they use Linux and if they are happy with it. Hopefully the answers will be useful to others considering Linux. I asked everyone the same set of questions. So without further ado, here are their thoughts.

2007 Desktop Linux Survey results revealed: According to DesktopLinux.com's just completed survey, the number of Desktop Linux users has more than doubled in the past year, and Ubuntu remains their Linux distribution of choice. Since DesktopLinux.com's recently completed survey is a self-selected group, we can't claim scientific proof that the number of desktop Linux users has more than doubled in the past year. Still, this year's survey produced 38,500 votes versus 14,535 votes over the same number of days in a similar survey one year ago.

Two months with Ubuntu Linux and loving it: In late June of this year, I made a type of executive decision. I have been a software developer by trade throughout my entire professional career. I began programming commercially in 1987 and have followed the progression from MS-DOS 3.31 through 6.22, then Windows 3.x, 95 and up. I’ve moved from the library of custom-developed tools in C and assembly during my MS-DOS days to the GUI + libraries present in Windows OSes. Still, even today, I continue to code for Windows even though I am migrating much of that knowledge to the Linux side after having such a successful run with Ubuntu.

Review: Xubuntu 7.04 revisited: Ubuntu and its sister Linux distributions -- including Xubuntu, Kubuntu and Edbuntu -- finds themselves in an enviable yet thankless position in the Linux universe. That the 'Buntus are the most popular choice among Linux users is without question. Ubuntu is nearly always at the top of Distrowatch.com's popularity list, its forums are busy -- make that very busy -- and also very friendly. New users are welcomed, their hands are held, and command-line fixes are offered along with gentle encourgement.

Microsoft's Open Source Trashware: Opinion: I recently took a look at Microsoft's most active open-source projects and—there's no polite way to say this—they are all junk. OK Microsoft, you want to be taken seriously by open source? I know that's a rhetorical question, I don't believe for one moment that you're ready to really embrace open source. You just want to be able to confuse the market by being able to say that you're "open source friendly." What a crock. Microsoft is open-source friendly in the same way that a butcher is friendly to a cow.

Time to Write About Something Besides Redmond: I plead guilty to past transgressions. So, call me a hypocrite if you will. I don't care anymore. I refuse to get stuck in the past because the present and the near future is fun.Indulge if you will in recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images experienced as intrusive and distressing. The obsession with Microsoft in Open Software communities is excessive and unreasonable and a product of the mind. My only hope is that such thoughts, impulses, and, or images can be expunged by logic or reasoning, which is contrary to the notions in the psychiatric community.

Why proprietary code is bad for security: Jabari Zakiya wrote an article headlined “Beware of Skype” in the Free Software Magazine. He suspects that the recent outage of the Skype network had to do with the US of A’s revised Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), something which is planned (and soon done) here in Germany as well: the spying of the state onto its local citizens.

Windows has 'fewer flaws' than Linux: In our FUD article of the week we have a vulnerability report maintained by Jeff Jones, strategy director at Microsoft's Security Technology Unit, claimed that the firm's Windows XP, Vista and Server operating systems required patches for some 20-45 vulnerabilities each. During the same period, vendors such as Red Hat, Apple and Novell have had to patch hundreds of vulnerabilities, according to Microsoft. Jones released a similar report in June chronicling vulnerabilities reported in major operating systems during the first 90 days after release.

» Read more about: Story Type: LXer Features, Roundups; Groups: Community, GNU, Kernel, Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Red Hat, Ubuntu

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