LXer Weekly Roundup for 28-Oct-2007

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Oct 28, 2007 3:15 AM EDT
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)
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LXer Feature: 28-Oct-2007

It looks like it was a busy week in Open Source News. Carla Schroder continues her series on digital photography with part 5, Microsoft concedes in European antitrust case, Where are the American Linux desktop users?, GIMP 2.4.0 is released, a NY investment company offers to buy SCO for $36M, a Battle For Wesnoth game review and ripping and encoding audio files in Linux. In our funny article of the week we have, The World's toughest jobs: Microsoft's interoperability chief, funny stuff.

It looks like it was a busy week in Open Source News. Carla Schroder continues her series on digital photography with part 5, Microsoft concedes in European antitrust case, Where are the American Linux desktop users?, GIMP 2.4.0 is released, a NY investment company offers to buy SCO for $36M, a Battle For Wesnoth game review and ripping and encoding audio files in Linux. In our funny article of the week we have, The World's toughest jobs: Microsoft's interoperability chief, funny stuff.

Linux Will Be Worth $1 Billion In First 100 Days of 2009: What's Linux worth? The question has been a favorite of technology groups and cocktail party conversations ever since a character named Jeff V. Merkey offered $50,000 for a copy of Linux. The offer was a ploy. Merkey wanted it under the BSD license, which would have undermined the terms of the GPL. So he didn't get it. But we know, at least, that $50,000 proved to be a low bid.

Adventures in Digital Photography With Linux, part 5: Aperture, Shutter Speeds, and ISO: Our own Carla Schroder continues her series on digital photography with Linux and she gets down to brass tacks on understanding aperture, shutter speeds, and ISO's. Be sure to read all the previous parts, 1, 2, 3 and 4 for anything you might have missed.

Microsoft Concedes in European Antitrust Case: With its legal options running out, Microsoft bowed today to pressure from the European Commission and agreed for the first time to sell some confidential computer code to rivals at nominal cost, ending a 32-year-old practice of designing closed systems to bolster its competitive advantage.

Oracle Linux Is No Longer an RHEL Clone: Oracle is taking its Unbreakable Linux down a slightly different path from Red Hat Enterprise Linux. First, let's make this clear. Oracle Unbreakable Linux was, is now and is for the foreseeable future going to be based on Red Hat's Enterprise Linux codebase. It is not, however, going to be simply RHEL's twin in every way. When Oracle first announced the release of Unbreakable Linux, many people saw it as a purely anti-Red Hat move. Larry Ellison, Oracle's CEO, doesn't like competition. What he likes is winning.

Ballmer: Microsoft will power the mobile revolution: Steve Ballmer believes that Microsoft is the only company with "the wherewithal" to dominate the world of mobile computing. Appearing at CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment, a massive mobile tradeshow underway in downtown San Francisco, the Microsoft supremo told show goers that the company has the upper-hand on the likes of Apple and Blackberry-maker Research in Motion because its Windows Mobile platform is so darn versatile. Windows Mobile plays nicely with both enterprise and entertainment applications, he explained, and it's open to third party developers.

Sometimes 330,000 employees makes life easier!: The company I work for is HUGE and has more business segments than I will ever know. Being a company this big means there is, more often than not, has its fare share of of bureaucracy and red tape. Sometimes the easiest things in life become major accomplishments. So, I figured I was in for a headache trying to use Ubuntu - especially when the official company Linux distribution is Redhat. So it was a big (and welcome) surprise to find not one but two groups within the company putting together distributions of the IBM desktop products for Ubuntu.

Where are the American Linux desktop users?: Linux users from around the world are filling out the Linux Foundation's desktop survey. But what John Cherry, the foundation's director of global Linux workgroups, wants to know is, "Where are the responses from the North America?" About midway through the survey, there have been what Cherry calls "extraordinary numbers. With over 10,000 respondents in so far, the survey has been taken by 6,206 English speakers; 3,684 Russian speakers; 1,198 French speakers; but only 118 Spanish and 51 Japanese speakers. The curious thing about the English language users is that 63 percent of the English responses have come from Europe, with only 22.9 percent from North America."

GIMP 2.4.0 Released: We've been covering the development of GIMP 2.4.0 for a number of months, and GIMP 2.4.0 is finally available! GIMP 2.4.0 is so new that their website hasn't been updated yet, but if you check out the GIMP FTP it is available for download as of October 23. We have some screenshots from an earlier GIMP 2.4 testing build.

Explanation of Ubuntu Hard Drive Wear and Tear: A recent bug report for Ubuntu Linux has confirmed that both the Feisty and Gutsy versions of Ubuntu cause some unnecessary wear and tear on a hard drive. The bug report reads: “I run feisty (beta) on a Dell Inspiron 9400 with a Hitachi HTS541616J9SA00 hard drive. After booting, the drive's power management settings are such that it spins down A LOT. At this rate the drive will be dead after 2.5 years, and I don't even use this computer for more than a couple of hours each day.” Definitely an interesting sounding find. But what exactly does it mean? That's what I thought when I read it, so I did a little research. Feel free to comment and correct me if I've gotten anything wrong.

Why open standards matter: Hasannudin Saidin, director of the government programmes from IBM Malaysia has written a very good article about open standards, and why they are important. I pointed to and thanked him for his article - and asked him for a job.

How To: Switch From Windows to Linux: Are you geek enough for Linux? Though it first earned a reputation as a platform for hobbyists and hackers, Linux has come a long way since Linus Torvalds cobbled together the first kernel as a student project. A modern Linux desktop is a sophisticated, user-friendly GUI environment, with features and applications to rival any proprietary OS. In fact, when compared to the mainstream alternatives, there are lots of compelling reasons to give Linux a try.

HOW TO: Set-up a Web-based BitTorrent Client: How many times have you been stuck at work when the latest episode of a podcast such as LugRadio has become available for download, or the latest version of your favourite Linux distribution has been released? Wouldn’t it be really useful if you could access a server at home through your web browser and order it to download that file, so that it’s waiting for you when you get there? Or, if you like to sleep in peace with your desktop off, wouldn’t it be great if you could remotely access a BitTorrent client on the home server in your attic and tell it to run the downloads while you sleep? -- Here's how.

NY investment management company offers to buy SCO for $36M: The SCO Group is seeking U.S. Bankruptcy Court approval to sell its Unix business to a New York investment management firm for $36 million, according to documents filed today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Lindon company said it sought court approval on Tuesday for an agreement it entered into with JGD Management Corp. doing business as New York-based investment firm York Capital Management LLC, to sell "substantially all assets used by (SCO) in connection with its Unix business and certain related claims in litigation." The offer also includes up to $10 million in funding for SCO's litigation expenses.

Install multimedia codecs in Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon in 2 easy steps: This article explains how you can install all the multimedia codecs to play any music or video file in Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon.

Ubuntu trend slowly overcomes XP: After noticing the Google Trends from a lifehacker post, I decided to check out how well Linux is faring against windows. Initially I compared Linux and Windows which gave a huge difference for windows. This is understandable since Linux is not the main environment but rather the core. I then decided to check the actual desktop that someone might use, and the result were interesting.

Tutorial: Font Management In Linux, Part 2: Last week we learned some useful tips about font management in Linux. Today we're going to learn a few more ways to preview fonts, how to view font character maps, how to manage console fonts, and how to design your own fonts.

Ripping and Encoding Audio Files in Linux: Listening to the music played back from original audio CDs on a home computer creates clear discomfort — the CD drive is being blocked and the CDs have to be changed again and again (unless you have a home jukebox). Now it’s time we learn to rip (grab) our own audio collection and save it to a hard disk in the form of .mp3, .ogg, or .flack files.

Should we really be *happy* about AMD's release of specs?: AMD did not release free drivers for GNU/Linux. AMD did not release any new source code. They merely released specifications based on which Free Software developers can create drivers without the cost of reverse engineering. While this is progress compared to where we were, I am really thinking it is not a reason to be really happy and feeling all warm about AMD all of a sudden. Not if we believe that when we buy a piece of hardware we are entitled to everything that will make it work including everything that will show us how it works.

The Battle For Wesnoth Game Review: The Battle for Wesnoth is not your typical run-of-the-mill TBS game. The genre turn-based strategy, or TBS, is very self-explanatory. It is, simply put, a game where-as the game flow is broken down into turns or rounds and the game plays from there on. Although there are many other fantasy-themed titles floating around the Internet, this one does stand out of the crowd with its many intriguing features. For starters, the game offers nearly 200 forms of units along with 16 variations of races and six factions to choose from. The game allows the users to become creative and embark on their own personalized journeys. From conceiving your own units and characters to forging the worlds you dream of being in, the Battle for Wesnoth is a must-have download for any gamer out there.

How Can Linux Market Share Be Accurately Measured?: eWeek ran an article yesterday titled Linux Losing Market Share to Windows Server. The article quoted IDC sales figures. There is a real problem counting this way.

Celebrating Microsoft's 88 Million Copies of Vista: The Free Software community ought to share in celebrating with Microsoft their wondrous success in selling 88 million copies of Windows Vista... albeit from a different perspective.

Is Linux losing its way?: Is Linux really in as much trouble as some people are saying, following the negative US server shipments growth reported by IDC?

A Letter to the Gnome Foundation: It appears that the Gnome Foundation is participating in ECMA TC 451 regarding resolving comments and contradictions for MS OOXML DIS 29500. Gnome’s participation in this activity is to the detriment of interoperability among office suits and a disservice to FOSS and everyone who has worked on Open Standards.

World's toughest jobs: Microsoft's interoperability chief: In our funny article of the week, He's faced with the unenviable task of convincing the world that Microsoft wants to play nicely with competitors - and also convincing the troops and top management that it's worth it. "It's a mixed bag," said Tom Robertson, general manager of interoperability and standards at Microsoft, when asked after his keynote at Interop 2007 in New York how company employees feel about his mission. "Everyone has to recognize … that there is a cultural shift going on."

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

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