LXer Weekly Roundup for 16-Dec-2007
In this weeks roundup Andy Updegrove continues his series on ODF vs. OOXML, Open Source Fonts, a new version of Picasa for Linux, our own Hans Kwint asks "Do Linux filesystems need defragmentation?", KDE takes a stand on OOXML and Carla Schroder gives her advice to those brave enough to run Debian Volatile. Also, Microsoft decides to stay quiet on what Unix code it may own, someone figures out how to get a OLPC laptop to run XP, why the NYSE using Linux is important and Richard Stallman finally goes off the deep end.
Linux should stop fighting about which Distro is better or agaist Microsoft: I think, that Linux users make no good to Linux saying constantly that Vista or XP are bad Operating Systems, and even worse, fighting about which Linux distribution is better, I think we should focus on showing how Linux do things good, and improving those things Linux is not good at yet. Let the Operating System Battle be a battle between companies Like Canonical, RedHat or Microsoft.
Forget the Linux Desktop, it's the Linux Laptop that matters!: The best innovations tend to be cheap and disruptive. Hand in hand as they're usually found, these characteristics go some way to explaining why I like the EeePC (Asus's new laptop) so much. The other reasons are obvious, it's small, it's light, it has WiFi, Firefox and Open Office, and judging by the reactions of those who saw Paul and I with them at Bar Camp Leeds, it's cool enough for everyone to want one!
Picasa 2.7 for Linux: Google has a preview release of Picasa 2.7 for Linux. The previous version launched last year didn't include the features from Picasa 2.5+ for Windows (like the Picasa Web integration), so this is a good opportunity to add these features to Linux.
Top 10 free Linux 3D games: 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 are cross platform and all of them completely free. You don’t have to use ‘Wine’ to be able to play as they come with Linux installers.
ODF vs. OOXML: War of the Words (Chapter 3) - What a Difference a Decade Can Make: In 1980, Microsoft was a small software vendor that had built its business primarily on downsizing computer languages created for mainframes to a point where they could be used to program the desktop computers that were then coming to market. In that year, its total revenues were $7,520,720, and BASIC, its first product, was still its most successful. In contrast, Apple computer had sales of $100 million in the same year, and launched the largest public offering since the Ford Motor Company had itself gone public in 1956. And ten years later? What a difference a decade can make.
Test: Do Linux filesystems need defragmentation?: Back in 1999 I remember the first PC entered our house coming preloaded with Windows 98. One of the things I liked about it was the defragmentation screen where blocks presenting 'datablocks' on the harddrive were moving over the screen for almost eternally. I remember at that time it seemed like a logical maintenance requirement for any filesystem.
KDE takes stand on OOXML; GNOME dithers: Three cheers for the developers and management of the K Desktop Environment. They have taken a principled stand on the divisive issue of OOXML, the Microsoft Office Open XML document format. And for this the KDE folk deserve a round of applause.
New Flash player for Linux adds great features, slows playback: It's good news, bad news situation when it comes to Adobe's new Flash player for Linux. On the plus side, Adobe Flash Player 9 Update 3, version identifier 188.8.131.52 was made available for Linux at the same time as Mac and Windows versions. It's nice to see Linux not being treated as the little brother who only gets the older, hand-me down programs by a major software vendor. An even bigger win for Flash Player users, regardless of their operating system, is that its supports H.264.
Microsoft Tight-Lipped On Unix Ownership Question: For months, I've been trying to get Microsoft to answer a few questions about the Unix technologies in its intellectual property portfolio. Microsoft agreed to an interview, then backed out. So the question remains: How much Unix code does Microsoft have its hands on?
Go Green. Dump Windows for Linux: CNN reports that "switching from a Windows-operated computer to a Linux-operated one could slash computer-generated e-waste levels by 50%." It's no longer about software freedom. It's also about environmental responsibility.
That Which We Call Free: GNU Project and Free Software Foundation founder Richard Stallman posted a message on the OpenBSD -misc mailing list titled, "real men don't attack straw men", suggesting that some comments he had made were being misrepresented. He noted, "one question particularly relevant for this list is why I don't recommend OpenBSD. It is not about what the system allows. (Any general purpose system allows doing anything at all.) It is about what the system suggests to the user." He went on to note that though he knew of no non-free software included in the base OpenBSD system, there was non-free software distributed via the ports collection, "if a collection of software contains (or suggests installation of) some non-free program, I do not recommend it."
The Greatest Linux Innovations Of 2007: The year is winding down and while we have a lot to look forward to next year, what were the greatest Linux innovations of this year? This year at Phoronix, we have published over 325 articles, with most of them being Linux hardware and graphics reviews, and that is in addition to over 700 original news entries. After spending much time in considering what the "best" and most substantial Linux gains over the year have been, we have comprised a list of what we believe are the greatest Linux innovations of 2007 along with our reasoning behind these decisions.
Tips and Tricks for Linux Admins: Volatile Debian: On today's menu we are serving up Debian going all volatile, the lowdown on cdrkit usurping cdrtools, and a simple way to use iptables rules to foil brute-force password attacks.
Don't fear the pirates: Illegal downloaders of music and movies are at the forefront of technology—and it's time the industries caught up.
Integrating Ubuntu with a Windows-based network is harder than it should be: I've been using and advocating free software for around six years. When studying and then working as a freelance writer, migrating an office seemed so simple -- draw up a list of comparable programs and, over a reasonable period, move your staff across. But over the past few weeks I've been trying to use Ubuntu Gutsy on my desktop PC in a Windows-based office, and whilst most things work just fine, it's far from the seamless integration I was hoping for.
How To Boot XP On The XO Laptop: Here's a step by step tutorial on how to get Windows XP up and running on the XO laptop. Get your SD card ready, your portable USB CD-ROM and let's go!
Netherlands supports open standards and open source: Yesterday, the Tweede Kamer (Second Chamber) of the Dutch parliament adopted a plan to switch the country's public sector over to open standards. At the same time, authorities will be called upon to use open source software wherever possible. The 26-page paper from the Dutch Economics Ministry obligates governmental services to provide reasons why they need to continue to use proprietary solutions, such as operating systems or office suites from Microsoft, starting next April; next December, this duty will be imposed upon all public authorities.
Open source fonts: If you’ve ever gone looking for legitimately free fonts, you’ve probably found that there are a lot of really bad ones. But there’s also a lot of discussion out there about “open source fonts.” Some who post about open source fonts are really just talking about free-as-in-beer typefaces. Some, however, have embraced the open source philosophy as applied to typography.
Skills shortage: it's mind over matter: The IT skills shortage is like global warming - you either believe it exists or you don't. Either way, one thing's for certain - the debate refuses to lay down and die. For those who believe there is a shortage, there is plenty of evidence to support their argument. And for those who believe the shortage is a myth that's perpetrated by businesses to justify sending skilled jobs to less-expensive regions or hire in inexpensive immigrant labour, then there appears to be plenty of supporting evidence, too.
Why The NYSE Using Linux Is Important: The New York Times ran a story on the New York Stock Exchange's use of Linux. The most important thing, however, is not that they are using Linux, but that now everyone knows the CIO of the NYSE thinks Linux is the best choice for their servers.
“I’d suggest Linux - but..” - I’d suggest you get a clue, but..: A pseudonym by the name of "Paul Murphy" over at zdnet blogs writes a pretty poor FUD piece about Linux/Linux users, and creates a straw man argument using linux.org. This article by HackFUD debunks and tears the article apart.
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