LXer Weekly Roundup for 30-Sept-2007
Big stories this week include the "Give one, get one" OLPC promotion, an LXer Feature by Paul Ferris entitled, Linux Education in America: Inspiration from Russia?, The 7 Most Influential GNU/Linux Distributions, The Top 21 Linux Games Of 2007, GPLv2 and GPLv3 for beginners, Slackware: the classic distro and an article you shouldn't read.
Linux and its identity crisis: If you've been following the current rift in the Linux community between Linus Torvalds and his minions squaring off against Con Kolivas and the mainstream Linux fanatics, you probably know that it's getting quite heated.
Negroponte to announce "Give one, get one" OLPC promotion: Nicholas Negroponte, the visionary behind the One Laptop Per Child initiative (OLPC), has publicly expressed his disappointment at the lack of orders for his low-cost computer for poor children. The situation has become so dire that Negroponte will announce a "Give one, get one" promotion in the US and Canada. While production of the XO-1 is due to start next month, Negroponte had previously said that he needed 3 million orders to start production.
Linux Education in America: Inspiration from Russia?: In his most recent Feature our own Paul Ferris writes, "The reason that the Russian announcement is funny boils down to the perception over the years that Russia equates to totalitarianism, whilst here in America we're all about Freedom and innovation. Yet our educational system -- the very underpinnings of how we're growing out future technological talent, is based upon the inversion of what one would expect given the respective reputations of both countries."
Review: Ubuntu Popularity: Blessing or Curse?: For an increasing number of people, Ubuntuis GNU/Linux. Yet, looking at the pre-releases of Gutsy Gibbon, Ubuntu 7.10, I found myself becoming disturbed by the degree to which this popularity has translated into uncritical acceptance.
The 7 Most Influential GNU/Linux Distributions: GNU/Linux offers a bewildering variety of flavors -- or distributions, as they're called. To a newcomer's eye, many of these seem virtually identical to each other. Yet, the more you learn about a distribution and the community that surrounds it, the more different they become.
Microsoft won't commit to the open document standard it's pushing so hard: Consider this from Brian Jones, a Microsoft manager who has worked on OOXML for six years. In July, Jones was asked on his blog whether Microsoft would actually commit to conform to an officially standardised OOXML. His response: “It’s hard for Microsoft to commit to what comes out of Ecma [the European standards group that has already OK’d OOXML] in the coming years, because we don’t know what direction they will take the formats." Now that’s cynical.
Revised WinXP policy dooms Linux desktop prospects without real OEM marketing efforts: Microsoft continues to virtually own the desktop operating system and Office suite desktop market. Still, its recent market behavior signals that it is not taking any chances when it comes to Linux, or any other threat, on its prized desktop. Microsoft’s revised Windows XP downgrade rights policy that quietly went into effect this summer, for example, is designed to kill two birds with one stone: jumpstart PC sales and prevent Linux desktop vendors from exploiting its Vista headaches.
How to Quit Windows and cope with Windows Withdrawal Syndrome: Windows Addiction is an unperceived phenomenon which has gotten a hold of us, and we get upset when we don’t do Windows anymore. But what is the Windows Addiction? I think there is no proper working definition for it as yet but I feel it is an obsessive compulsive use of the Windows Operating System despite the fact the we don’t want to use it anymore and we feel miserable using it but we can’t stop using it due to various fears, false beliefs and myths. Now what is so bad about Microsoft Windows and if one is hooked on using them in an obsessively compulsive manor?
Top 21 Linux Games Of 2007: Below are addictive 3d games for linux users to fill their time with. These games are really good and some have won awards or have been featured on magazines. Most of it is cross platform and free. You don’t have to use ‘Wine’ to be able to play as they come with Linux installers.
Ubuntu Disappoints, Breaks Promises With Rapid Growth: It's been a wild ride, but I have definitely not regretted my choice to make Ubuntu a major part of my life. As a full-time user, I have been charged by Windows and Linux user alike for not following their own lemming-like mindsets.
How worried should Microsoft be about open source?: Very worried. It may well be true, as Paula details today, that desktop Linux is going nowhere fast in the U.S. Microsoft’s willingness to let users back-off upgrades and stick with XP may have stopped the potential rot in its market share. But it is taking enormous effort for Microsoft to hold its server market share against Linux’ inroads in the enterprise. Another important point. The U.S. is not the world, and Microsoft sells more than just Windows.
Linux to Finally Kill Windows in Europe?: In the future, Linux might very well have a fighting chance on European soil, against Windows. Following Microsoft’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Brad Smith did not rush to anticipate a worry free outcome for the Redmond company over the pond. Although the dismissal of the company’s appeal by the Court of First Instance of Luxembourg, was a clear indication of the full support of both the European Commission’s 2004 antitrust ruling against Microsoft, and of the €497 million financial penalty, Smith argued that additional third-party claims could follow.
Don’t read this: Hans ‘The Beez’ Bezemer, a fellow sysadmin and consultant from the Netherlands, came up with a great story. He asked himself why watching Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ on DVD has to burn additional CPU cycles for decrypting, when the topic and author of what he’s watching are all against wasting energy. And he discovered that the crypto chain of HD-DVD has already been broken!
VoIPowering Your Office: Skype Worm—Trouble in VoIPland: In this article by our own Carla Schroder, she writes, "... the best encryption protocols in the world are helpless against an infected PC. They don't foil keystroke loggers, and they don't stop the busy little worms that roam unimpeded through the guts of an operating system, doing whatever they want. If you really, really want to use secure computer systems, use Mac OS X, Linux, PC-BSD, or FreeBSD. These are far more secure, and more secure-able. Rather than following the Windows model of trying to sail a sieve, these are stout, reliable operating systems that do not roll out the red carpet to malware."
Slackware: the classic distro that's as timely as ever.: An article submitted to LXer by Gary Maxwell he talks about one of the legends of Linux, "In a way, Slackware needs no defense. Those that use the distro know of its merits and enjoy its stability, security, simplicity and speed. However, with the growing popularity of newer distros like Ubuntu, more and more articles seem to relegate Slackware to the dust bin of history, or they say it's a hobbyist's distro, or they make snide comments like “1995 called and they want their distro back.” As of late, these comments seem to proliferate at about the same rate as the Ubuntu articles."
Linux distro for women? Thanks, but no thanks: The idea is floating around again: Let's make a special Linux distribution for women! We're smarter than that, aren't we? I say, let's spare ourselves and the world yet another pointless and less-than-useful version of Linux.
GPLv2 and GPLv3 for beginners: Do you find open source licenses a puzzle? Does reading stories about the legal side of open source give you the heebie-jeebies? If so, then we have the document for you. A couple of years ago, I was bemoaning the fact that I'd gone from writing about technology to the law. Lord knows I hadn't planned on it. I'd come into technology journalism by being able to translate from techno-babble to English.
Opinion: Night of the Living Vista: Vista has turned into the desktop operating system no one wants, and even Microsoft is beginning to get it. Today, I think of Vista as the zombie operating system. It stumbles around, and from a distance you might think it's alive, but close up it's the walking dead.
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