LXer Weekly Roundup for 14-Oct-2007
I have a lot of big stories for you this week. Linus gets mad, Amsterdam's open source test is successful, Red Hat and Novell get sued, with a little help from Microsoft, 12 tips for KDE users, an article on how to protect your Linux system during startup, a review of KOffice and our own Sander Marechal interviews John Hull of Dell. All this and more in the LXer Weekly Roundup.
Torvalds irate over Linux Smack: Linus Torvalds has launched a blistering attack on security programmers who object to adding the Smack application to the upcoming 2.6.24 Linux kernel. In an often heated exchange, Torvalds accused security programmers of being too concerned with theoretical problems and not enough with practical applications. Smack uses Linux Security Modules (LSM) which some researchers believe could be used to aid attacks on systems using the code.
Why the Unbundling Windows Sceptics are Wrong: If nothing else seems to convince you that the personal computer market needs a competition boost, then all you need to consider is that one company, Microsoft, has had a 90-95% market share position for perhaps 20 years. What other large, hugely lucrative and business-critical markets do you know where one incumbent has that size of market share for that length of time?
"Novell is not forking OpenOffice": From recent media reports, casual readers could easily believe that OpenOffice.org, the popular free office suite, is fragmenting. Slashdot reported last week that Novell is backing an official fork, while Ars Technica suggested that if what was happening fell short of a fork, then it was still "serious fragmentation" and "not a good thing for the OpenOffice.org community." However, a closer look at the situation shows that what is happening is less of a dramatic split than the airing of long-time grievances and the media's discovery of a long-established institution.
Tutorial: Basic Linux Tips and Tricks, Part 2: In Part 2 of this three-part series, you will learn what the best systematic approach should be to start solving any problems you might have in Linux.
UserFriendly's Illiad Discovers Enderlemium: JD Frazer, Illiad of UserFriendly fame, has made a scientific discovery! A new element. I know you always wanted to know what 117 would turn out to be on the periodic table of elements.
Open source test successful: A test with open source software has been successful and there are no technical impediments to introducing such software in the entire municipal organisation, Amsterdam announced this week at a meeting organised by the Ministry of the Interior.
Microsoft aims patent guns at Red Hat: "People who use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us," Ballmer said last week at a company event in London discussing online services in the UK.
Ballmer: "Number of patents Linux infringes on is declining": The number of Microsoft patents filed at USPTO grows, but number of MS patents Linux potentially infringes on is declining.
12 Tips for KDE Users: Back in the late 1990s,when the KDE and GNOME desktops were getting started, KDE had the reputation of being the most suitable choice for new GNU/Linux users, especially those migrating from Windows. Whether this generality is still true is debatable (personally, I could never see much difference between the two desktops), but KDE remains one of GNU/Linux's most popular graphical interfaces, as well as one of the most easy to learn.
Microsoft is dead - even if they don’t know it yet: Watch out, parents - close the windows, and protect your kids. Ballmer is on the move again, this time to put the final nail into his own coffin.
The new office suite that runs on Linux, BSD, Windows and OS X: The new KOffice 2.0, sometime in the first half of next year, according to reports, will run on Linux, BSD and -- for the first time -- Windows and Macintosh platforms. For those who don't know, KOffice is the office suite meant to complement the KDE desktop environment used in many Linux and BSD distributions. Well, KOffice isn't new, per se, but it's new to non-Linux/BSD users.
URGENT! You, your relatives, and friends are in grave danger!: People, churches, and businesses have been getting viruses that turn their computer (without their knowledge) into a file sharing server that shares illegal copies of music, movies, etc to people all over the world. One of these entities who were prosecuted against was a lady for having downloaded 14 songs. She explained she had no idea what was going on but that did not stop the court from deciding to sue her -$25,000.00 for the music and because all piracy cases also charge the guilty party for the prosecuting lawyer fees she also owed -$250,000.00. The court decided they would garnish 25% of her paychecks for life.
Insecure by Default: Guess what, I can walk up to your Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS, Debian, etc desktop installation and take complete control over it without needing a single password. Thats right, root access simply by sitting down at your computer. Why is it nearly every single distro by default leaves this gaping security hole open?
Geubuntu: When a Gnome marry Enlightenment: The power and flexibility of Ubuntu and Gnome. The magnificence and beauty of E17. Perfect and fast even for a Virtual Machine. Finally a fully functional Enlightenment Desktop. Geubuntu is a complete and fully functional operative system, available as a Live CD, based on the popular Linux Distribution Ubuntu. Geubuntu, a project started and designed by the Italian artist Luca D.M. (aka TheDarkMaster) is perfect for any Desktop, Laptop PC or even for a Virtual Machine.
Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell - Just Like Ballmer Predicted: IP Innovation LLC has just filed a patent infringement claim against Red Hat and Novell. It was filed October 9, case no. 2:2007cv00447, IP Innovation, LLC et al v. Red Hat Inc. et al, in Texas. Where else? The patent troll magnet state. The first ever patent infringement litigation involving Linux.
The LXer Interview: John Hull of Dell: It has been over four months since Dell started shipping computers preloaded with Ubuntu GNU/Linux to home consumers in the United States. Lets take a moment to look at the progress that has been made so far. John Hull, manager of the Linux Engineering team in Austin was kind enough to let me interview him by e-mail. Besides commenting on the current state of affairs with Ubuntu on Dell machines, he also offers some insight in how the Linux team at Dell works and opens a small window into the future of Linux at Dell.
eBay using Tux as a symbol for Internet fraud: eBay Australia has a fraud awareness page and a related flash game, both of which feature a depiction of a fraudster as a balding, bespectacled man with Tux, the Linux mascot, prominently displayed on his shirt. The big question is: why? Why such a gratuitous smear against the Linux community? Is it something we said?
Dutch Consumer Association declares war on Vista: The Dutch Consumers Association has called for a boycott of Windows Vista, after the software giant refused to offer free copies of Windows XP to users who are having problems with Vista. A spokesman for the Consumentenbond says that the product has many teething problems, and "is just not ready". The association claims it received over 5000 complaints about Vista. Many printers and other hardware failed to work, the association says, computers crash frequently and peripherals are very slow.
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