LXer Weekly Roundup for 25-Nov-2007

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Nov 25, 2007 11:29 PM EDT
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)
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LXer Feature: 25-Nov-2007

How do you release your version of Linux without actually releasing it? Just ask Google, whether by coincidence or design Walmart has started selling computers pre-installed with a version of Linux called "gOS" that is seriously Google centric and guess what? Its not a bad little distro and the computers? They're selling like hotcakes. We have some Linux gaming news, One shoppers Linux inspired assault on Black Friday, Macedonian Students start to get there Edubuntu computers and a funny take on SCO's lawsuit.

How do you release your version of Linux without actually releasing it? Just ask Google, whether by coincidence or design Walmart has started selling computers pre-installed with a version of Linux called "gOS" that is seriously Google centric and guess what? Its not a bad little distro and the computers? They're selling like hotcakes. We have some Linux gaming news, One shoppers Linux inspired assault on Black Friday, Macedonian Students start to get there Edubuntu computers and a funny take on SCO's lawsuit.

My genealogist parents can use Linux now: My parents currently use Windows ME (believe it or not) on a fairly old computer. According to them, their computer crashes quite often, which is not a surprise at all. In fact, I'm surprised it's still in a usable state. The only thing that would have prevented them from using Linux before is that they use a windows only genealogy program called Personal Ancestral File. Since Ubuntu 7.10 worked so well for my printer, scanner, and pretty much everything else, I decided to try and install PAF using Wine.

It's Time to Get Over Microsoft: Free and open source software (FOSS) advocates need to stop obsessing about Microsoft. But, just as clearly, many of them won't, if the reactions I received when I blogged about the subject are any indication. Never mind that FOSS is a necessary fixture in modern business, or has evolved defenses that ensure its survival -- or that paranoia and juvenile gestures like talking about "Micro$oft" and "Windoze" only hurt the cause. For many, hatred of Microsoft is a way of life, and they'd be lost without it.

Radiohead knows more than Microsoft about security: Music fans, recording artists, journalists, the RIAA, and digital rights activists have at least one thing in common right now. I’m speaking of the intense interests some people from each group have in the outcome of Radiohead’s recent experiment in business models for musicians, of course. The point is that security is, among other things, a matter of picking your battles well. There are some things that just cannot be protected in the long run and ultimately, if your business model depends on protecting such things, either your business model will change or your business will fail. It’s really that simple.

Automatix lands a Linux user in trouble: A few days back I was exultant over the fact that I had helped a man whom I believe to be balanced in his assessment of operating systems - iTWire editor Stan Beer - and assisted him in taking his first steps on the road to experiencing the myriad benefits I've enjoyed by moving from Windows to Linux. But Stan has had far too many problems with instability on his Ubuntu system. Finally things came to the stage where the box just wouldn't get past the stage where it enters the GRUB boot menu. Hence he has had to put his Linux plans on hold. Damn!

Vista worries cause businesses to consider Macs and Linux: KACE, a systems management appliance company, announced on Nov. 19 that its new survey revealed that 90 percent of the Windows users are concerned about migrating to Vista, and that 44 percent would consider deploying Macs or Linux-based systems to avoid Vista migration.

Ubuntu Server: Good Concept, Flawed Execution: The concept behind Ubuntu Server is wonderful— a lean, carefully-selected batch of packages that gets you up and running quickly, and that you can easily add to as you need. I can see using Ubuntu Server as a LAN server, and as a training server, but I think opening it up to the Internet is asking for trouble.

Freedomware Gamefest 2007 presents: OpenArena and Nexuiz: Blood pumping, action packed, fast paced and merciless are just some of the words we can use to describe these two incredible first person shooters that are 100% Free Software.

Asus unveils Philippine low-cost laptop: Hardware maker launches eePC, running on Xandros Linux OS and 4GB storage, in the Philippines for US-$457. More variants to be released by year-end.

Tiny Tin Can Linux: Is this the smallest and most flexible Linux based computer yet? Tin Can Tools reckon the .75 x 2.25 inch, $160, Hammer is the answer when it comes to easy embedded development and prototyping.

York Proposes to Take Over SCO's Unix/Linux Lawsuits: York Capital Management's proposed Asset Purchase Agreement and its associated credit agreement for SCO make it clear that if the bankruptcy court lets York buy SCO, that York will be bankrolling SCO's continued lawsuits against Novell, IBM and other Linux-using companies.

GPL Infringement Lawsuits Target Two More Companies: The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) has filed two more GPL infringement lawsuits on behalf of an open source software project. The second-ever GPL lawsuit alleges that Xterasys and High-Gain Antennas failed to honor "source-code transparency," in violation of Busybox's GPLv2 license.

gOS unboxed: Should Microsoft worry?: Microsoft's rivalry with Google heated up considerably this past year when rumors surfaced that Google might release its own operating system to compete with Windows. Has Google finally jumped into the fray with its own OS? Unfortunately, no; gOS is not a "Google OS" nor is it affiliated with Google (though Desktop Linux has reported that Google has seen gOS and approved inclusion of the Google toolbar with the operating system).

KDE 4 is almost ready to go: KDE e.V, the nonprofit organization behind the popular KDE desktop environment, has announced the immediate availability of the first release candidate for its next major release: KDE 4.0. With this release candidate, the majority of KDE 4's components are almost ready for prime time. At the same time, with the final bits of Plasma, the brand-new desktop shell and panel in KDE 4, falling into place, Release Candidate 1 is the first preview of KDE 4.0 that is suitable for general use.

Its Time for a New Global Standards Organization: The ongoing circus that is the OOXML adoption process in ISO/IEC JTC 1 has helped expose the cracks in the traditional process. Unfortunately, while the consortia that set most IT standards are independent of the traditional process for most purposes, they still have to return to gain the types of global certifications that some governments look for. It's time for consortia to cut the cord completely, and form their own global organization.

SCO President Darl McBride: 'It's Not the End of the Line': "We absolutely and fundamentally believe we are right in this case, and we believe in the justice system. But we also know that things don't always happen the way they're supposed to, and we're realistic about that point. We don't believe that this latest ruling was a reflection of the facts that were involved in the case. And the way the system works, we get a chance to put up an appeal," said SCO CEO Darl McBride.

Wal-Mart's $199 Linux PC back in stock : Just in time for the holidays, Wal-Mart has re-stocked a Linux-based PC that sells for $199. A check of the retailer's Web site Tuesday revealed that the Everex TC2502 Green gPC -- which had temporarily been sold out -- is now listed as "In Stock." Wal-Mart introduced the gPC earlier this month but it quickly sold out online. It's "been one of the top performing desktop computers on Walmart.com," a spokesman for the company told InformationWeek last week.

Play Pac-man (and more!) on your PC: If you have a fondness for old arcade games and want to play them again, try the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME), a free emulator that lets you recreate the look and feel of old arcade game systems in software. While it's written for Windows, you can run this open source application under Linux. MAME produces highly accurate video and audio emulation of every component of the original arcade games. Since the emulated games are usually older ones, which originally ran on 8- or 16-bit CPUs at (by today's standards) slow speeds, a 1GHz Pentium is fast enough to run MAME, though you'll want a faster machine for more recent games.

Every Macedonian Student to Use Ubuntu-Powered Computer Workstations: The Macedonia Ministry of Education and Science will deploy more than 180,000 workstations running Canonical’s Edubuntu 7.04 as part of its "Computer for Every Child" project. The Macedonia "Computer for Every Child" project is one of the largest known thin client and desktop Linux deployments ever undertaken. Half of elementary and secondary Macedonia students attend school in the morning, and half attend in the afternoon, so 180,000 workstations will allow for one classroom computing device per student for the entire Republic's public school population. The first 7000 computers pre-installed with Ubuntu were shipped on September 4th 2007

Installation Guide: Linux Mint 4.0 Daryna (a.k.a. The Perfect Desktop): This tutorial shows how you can set up a Linux Mint 4.0 (Daryna) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge. Linux Mint 4.0 is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 7.10 that has lots of packages in its repositories (like multimedia codecs, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Skype, Google Earth, etc.) that are relatively hard to install on other distributions; it therefore provides a user-friendly desktop experience even for Linux newbies.

My Linux-Aspected Black Friday Assault : I was thinking of ignoring the Black Friday sales this year as it's annoying to have to get up really early, stand in line freezing for hours, fight my way into the store along with a few hundred other people, get 1/10th of what I wanted, then spend another hour in the check-out line. But then I spent Wednesday night stuck at my office because a large snowstorm had blocked all the roads and they weren't be plowed out until the following afternoon. So to pass the time I started checking out the leaked BF advertisements to see what was available and I decided to try my luck at the Staples store in Alpena.

SCO's inspiration for lawsuit exposed!: I followed the story from the very first announcement of the SCO lawsuits against GNU/Linux users(who also happen to be their customers). After reading the latest sound bite from this companies CEO that ruined itself with a flawed (understatement) business model. I realized that this story parallels another one so perfectly it is almost frightening. It can truly be said that if you ever doubted that history repeats itself doubt no more...

» Read more about: Story Type: LXer Features, Roundups; Groups: GNU, KDE, Linux, Microsoft, Novell, SCO, Ubuntu

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