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Microsoft, the "Vienna Conclusions," and the UN World Summit (Heise Online)

Heise Online covers the "Vienna Conclusions" drawn up for the UN's World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). "The Vienna Conclusions drawn up for the UN's World Summit on the Information Society WSIS) were presented in an edited version in Tunis: Digital Rights Management was inserted where "free software" used to be. It turned out that these changes were made at the request of Thomas Lutz, a member of the management board at Microsoft Austria, and ÖVP representative Carina Felzmann, who also heads a PR and lobbying firm. The Chancellor of Austria published the text presented in Tunis. His office has yet to react to a query in this matter that heise online placed last Sunday." FSFE representation Georg Greve has written about his experience at WSIS in posts dated November 16, November 22 and another on DRM promotion also from November 22.

Comments (26 posted)

Oregon city builds a reputation as a hub for software revolution (Christian Science Monitor)

The Christian Science Monitor notes that Oregon has become an open source hub. "Too many cooks may spoil the broth, but too many programmers just makes software better. For a multibillion-dollar company that's spent decades protecting its code with the rigor of Fort Knox, that's a radical notion. But open source is fast gaining converts, shattering traditional business models, and, in the process, transforming Portland into one of the world's open source hubs." (Thanks to Duncan)

Comments (2 posted)

Overhaul of Linux License Could Have Broad Impact (New York Times)

The New York Times looks at the GPL v3. "The process will also be closely watched for how the new G.P.L. will take account of software patents, which have exploded among proprietary software developers since 1991, the last time the license was revised."

Comments (18 posted)

Trade Shows and Conferences

Italian Linux Day 2005: A smashing success (NewsForge)

Marco Fioretti covers the 2005 Italian Linux Day event. "If you're ever put in charge of organizing a Linux Day, you might also want to copy the following trick: Don't burn and give away just CDs of GNU/Linux distributions or GPL software for Windows. Make available on CD all the free documentation and copyleft music you can find. The volunteers at the CD stand told me that such collections went even faster than the software discs."

Comments (1 posted)

Help judge the Codie Awards (NewsForge)

NewsForge covers the Software & Information Industry Association Codie Awards. "This year, as every year, the Best Open Source Solution category is woefully under-represented, for procedural reasons that the organization could and should fix. But you can help pick the winner. One problem SIIA has with its Best Open Source Solution category is that it costs developers a minimum of $275 to register their product for the judging. While this may be a drop in the bucket for large corporations, it can be significant for single-developer shops that rely on voluntary individual contributions."

Comments (1 posted)

XML 2005: Tipping Sacred Cows (O'Reilly)

Micah Dubinko covers the XML 2005 conference on O'Reilly. "Overall, the conference was less about fireworks and controversy and more about thoughtful contemplation of a maturing technology. Perusing the schedule-at-a-glance, one thing that jumps out is the sheer breadth of topics. XML is everywhere: thesauri and higher education, calendaring, health care and pharma, applications and modeling, hazardous waste management and emergency alerting protocols, financial services, and even artificial intelligence."

Comments (1 posted)

Companies

Microsoft ECMA/ISO move could give Office formats new lease on life (ZDNet)

ZDNet's David Berlind looks at Microsoft's move toward establishing its Office XML Reference Schema as an ISO standard. "The announcement is very significant With so many companies behind ODF, things could eventually swing in ODF's favor. to any discourse taking place in any organization over the merits of Microsoft's file format versus that OASIS-stewarded OpenDocument Format (ODF) which, until yesterday's announcement, was the more freely deployable of the two by third party developers (particularly open source developers)."

Groklaw also looks at the issue, comparing the Microsoft covenant to Sun's ODF covenant. "Andy Updegrove has already posted a comparison with Sun's recent covenant, and as you will see, Microsoft's comes up short in the comparison."

Comments (2 posted)

Format Comparison Between ODF and MS XML (Groklaw)

Groklaw is running a technical comparison of ODF and MS XML. "Alex Hudson, J. David Eisenberg, Bruce D'Arcus and Daniel Carrera of the OpenDocument Fellowship have provide this article for us, comparing OpenDocument Format and Microsoft's new MS XML format technically, not legally. Groklaw will be doing that separately, but this article addresses interoperability. That is the point of XML, after all, is it not?"

Comments (31 posted)

MySQL AB to counter Oracle buy of Innobase (InfoWorld)

InfoWorld reports that MySQL is looking for alternatives to the InnoDB engine, now that Innobase is owned by Oracle. "The first question asked of MySQL AB co-founder David Axmark was about how the Oracle deal would affect MySQL's database software. Axmark said the storage engine is 'pluggable,' meaning other storage engines can be substituted instead. He said the code for InnoDB is under the GPL (General Public License), so 'the code is always out there. It will always be out there.'" The article completely misses the effect on MySQL's business model, though.

Comments (58 posted)

Red Hat designates its top priority projects (NewsForge)

NewsForge looks at Red Hat's corporate plans. "Red Hat's plans for the next two years call for the company to fund and develop several projects of interest to the Linux community. They company set out its top priorities for 2006 and 2007 in a press release detailing its plans to further fund and support free software projects, including SystemTap and OProfile, as well as develop virtualization and stateless Linux technologies for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)."

Comments (none posted)

Business

Linux servers post strong growth in Q3 (TG Daily)

TG Daily reports that the growth of Linux server sales outpaced Windows growth during the third quarter of 2005. "According to IDC, Linux systems posted a year-over-year revenue growth of 34.3 percent and a gain in unit shipments of 20.5 percent. Windows servers increased their revenues by 17.7 percent and unit numbers by 15.3 percent. However, quarterly factory revenue of $4.6 billion for Windows servers represented the largest single segment - 36.8 percent - of the server market for the first time, IDC said."

Comments (7 posted)

Linux Adoption

Desktop Linux Aims for the Big Time (eWeek)

eWeek looks at the latest moves in Linux desktop adoption. "Linux desktops have always faced an uphill battle against Windows desktops. Now, OSDL is calling together architects from over two dozen key desktop-oriented Linux projects to a Dec. 1-2 meeting at its headquarters to set strategic directions and standards, and find synergy amongst Desktop Linux organizations."

Comments (12 posted)

Linux at Work

Open source gives South African farmers a leg-up (Tektonic)

Tektonic examines the South African Digital Doorways project. The project provides network access terminals to rural areas using open-source software. "Soobramani comments: "People's perception of Linux and open source is that everything is command-based, text-based. Our pilot projects are meant to address that perception. Our core function as the department of agriculture is to deliver agricultural services to the community. So we use these Digital Doorways in the rural areas to assist farmers. If they want share prices, market information, agricultural information, they can use the kiosks to find it. And it's working.""

Comments (none posted)

Legal

GPLv3 Guidelines Released (Groklaw)

Groklaw looks at the guidelines for revising the GPL v3. "The guidelines for revising the GPL have been released. This isn't the first draft; it's the explanation of how the process is going to work. You can get a copy by registering at their site. The benefit of doing it that way is that you then will receive future information as it becomes available. But I'm making it available here [PDF] also, to spread the information widely."

Comments (none posted)

Resources

The Daemon, the GNU and the Penguin - Ch. 22 (Groklaw)

Groklaw presents chapter 22 of the online book The Daemon, the GNU and the Penguin by Dr. Peter Salus. This chapter is titled: "Yet More Penguins".

Comments (none posted)

Building an Open-Source House (Linux Journal)

Doc Searls talks about his dream home on Linux Journal. "A ventilated utility room will be our (Linux, of course) server room. I will also have computers in my wife's office, my office and probably elsewhere. I'll also want multiple Wi-Fi access points. The Cat5e running everywhere will help with that."

Comments (none posted)

Nine principles of security architecture (NewsForge)

NewsForge gives an overview of some recommended security procedures that every systems administrator should use. "Security architecture is a new concept to many computer users. Users are aware of security threats such as viruses, worms, spyware, and other malware. They have heard of, and most use, anti-virus programs and firewalls. Many use intrusion detection. Architectural security, though, remains a mystery to most computer users."

Comments (20 posted)

Build a Home Terabyte Backup System Using Linux (Linux Journal)

Linux Journal builds a terabyte-sized backup server. "High-capacity disk drives are now widely available at prices that are incredibly cheap compared to those of only a few years ago. In addition, with so many Linux users now ripping CDs to disk, saving images from their digital cameras and recording video using digital camcorders and DVRs, such as MythTV, the need for backing up and archiving large amounts of data is becoming critical. Losing pictures and videos of your kids--or your audio music library--because of a disk crash would be a catastrophe. Fortunately, a high-capacity, Linux-based backup server can be built easily and cheaply using inexpensive disk drives and free software."

Comments (15 posted)

Linux-Vserver on Debian Sarge (HowtoForge)

HowtoForge shows how to set up a Debian-based virtual server system. "Linux-VServer allows you to create virtual private servers and security contexts which operate like a normal Linux server, but allow many independent servers to be run simultaneously in one box at full speed. All services, such as ssh, mail, Web, and databases, can be started on such a VPS, without modification, just like on any real server. Each virtual server has its own user account database and root password and doesn't interfere with other virtual servers."

Comments (none posted)

Reviews

Linux Desktop Keeps Getting Better with KDE 3.5 (eWeek)

eWeek reviews KDE 3.5. "KDE 3.5's many improvements start with the interface itself. The Kicker, KDE's desktop application-launcher menu bar, has been greatly improved. It now allows users to add applets to the bar. Users also can set the Kicker and pager, which enable users to switch from one virtual desktop to another, to display in one of three modes: elegant, classic and transparency."

Comments (1 posted)

Review: Firefox 1.5 and Thunderbird 1.5 (NewsForge)

NewsForge has a review of Firefox 1.5 and the soon to be released Thunderbird 1.5. "There are some new features in Firefox and Thunderbird 1.5 that are supposed to make it easier to develop extensions. The first is a simplified way of registering Chrome user interface elements. Firefox and Thunderbird title bars, menu bars, and other UI elements outside the content area (i.e., everything but the Web page) are examples of Chrome. There are also improvements in dealing with extensions, which is good for developers and users. The new releases do better at dealing with incompatible extensions."

Comments (7 posted)

Simplifying backups (Linux.com)

Nathan Willis reviews sbackup, a Google Summer of Code project that aims to simplify the backup procedure. Currently, sbackup copies backup information to local or remote filesystems, support for removable media is being worked on. "Most computer users don't make use of a system backup tool until after they suffer the misfortunes of a hard drive crash without one. But even then, many find backup software too complicated to configure, and there seems to be little in between creating CD or DVD archives by hand and overpowered network backup systems designed for the enterprise. The Simple Backup Suite (sbackup) is a tool for configuring regular backups of system data and simplifying full and partial recoveries."

Comments (1 posted)

Higher Order Perl: A Book Review (Linux Journal)

Linux Journal has a review of Higher Order Perl by Mark Jason Dominus. "A significant number of Perl programmers have their origins in system administration. They began their careers writing code in C, awk and other languages. As a result, many continue to write their Perl programs as if they are writing the code in C. The goal of HOP is to teach experienced Perl programmers the features that separate Perl from other programming languages and how to put them to good use. As Dominus states, "Perl is much better at being Perl than it is at being a slow version of C.""

Comments (2 posted)

Miscellaneous

Free60 Project Aims for Linux on Xbox 360 (Slashdot)

Slashdot mentions the new Free60 Project. "BlueMoon writes "The Free60 Project wiki and developers mailinglist has been launched. The project aims to port open source operating systems like GNU/Linux and Darwin to the Microsoft Xbox 360 gaming console."

Comments (2 posted)

XBox 360: A harbinger of the PC lockdown to come? (ZDNet)

ZDNet's David Berlind examines some of the obstacles put into Microsoft's XBox 360 game platform to thwart reverse engineering efforts. "According to Engadget, the Free60 project has developed a list of barriers to hacking Linux onto Microsoft's XBox 360s that reads like an art thief's list of obstacles to stealing the Mona Lisa. At first glance, a story about how the XBox could be hackproof may appear to you to be irrelevant if you're reading this blog (Between the Lines, "The blog for discriminating IT buyers"). But when I read the list, I noticed how reminiscent the architecture is of the PC of the future".

Comments (11 posted)

Felten: Fun with Sony MediaMax

J. Alex Halderman has posted another look at Sony's MediaMax DRM, which is still being shipped on Sony CDs. "MediaMax phones home whenever you play a protected CD, automatically installs over 12 MB of software before even displaying an End User License Agreement, and fails to include an uninstaller." Even more fun is its tendency to install itself even when the user declines the EULA, though that has the look of a bug rather than malice.

Comments (14 posted)

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