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Is free and open code a form of infrastructure? How about the humans who write it? (Linux Journal)

Doc Searls looks at infrastructure, code and the humans who write it, in his Linux Journal blog. "The success of FOSS requires that we start looking at the sources of sources: human beings, doing constructive work. What kind of public policies might grow on the realization that the sources that matter most are the people who comprise as well as build civilization? What kind of businesses? What kind of civic and public institutions?"

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Free ATI drivers for Christmas? ( looks at how free video drivers are progressing. "Fully-functional video drivers -- ones capable of handling 3-D acceleration -- remain one of the weak points of free software. The Free Software Foundation has declared them a high-priority project. Meanwhile, some distributions and even more users have resorted to using the proprietary drivers offered as free downloads by card manufacturers. One of the main projects attempting to provide complete, free drivers is focusing on developing the Avivo driver for the R500 and R600 cards from AMD/ATI, so-called after a specification first introduced in this line of cards. According to Jerome Glisse, who coordinates the development of the driver, progress is being made in the project, and "maybe by the end of this year, we might have some 3-D acceleration.""

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The SCO Problem

SCO Asks Judge Kimball for an Entry of Final Judgment (Groklaw)

Groklaw covers SCO's latest appeal. "I gather SCO has noticed that the SCO v. IBM litigation won't be nearly so annoying to IBM unless it does something fast about Judge Dale Kimball's August 10th ruling, which pared that case, like all of SCO's cases, down to almost nothing but the counterclaims against SCO. So it's asking the court to enter a final judgment on certain matters the ruling decided, so it can seek an immediate appeal on those issues, such as whether it owns the UNIX and Unixware copyrights after all and whether Novell has the authority to tell SCO to waive any purported breach of contract by licensees. Those are the two that shot arrows straight through SCO's heart."

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HP to preload Linux on SMB desktop PCs in Australia ( reports that HP will sell PCs loaded with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5. "US-based PC giant Hewlett-Packard today announced that it will begin offering Linux preloaded on one of its desktop PC ranges in the Australian market. The company says it will offer Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Desktop preloaded on its new HP dx2250 desktop PC with an eye to growing its share of the small to medium business (SMB) market. The HP Compaq dx2250 desktop PC is a range of systems under the one banner offering AMD processor technology based on Sempron, Athlon 64 and Athlon 64 X2 chips."

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Microsoft employee offered incentives for OOXML support (LinuxWorld)

Here's a LinuxWorld story about the OOXML vote end game. "Andrew Updegrove, a well-known backer of the rival Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) and an attorney at Gesmer Updegrove LLP in Boston, said Microsoft's tactics make the outcome of the Open XML vote crucial to the future of the technology standards process. 'I personally believe that this result is essential, due to the severe impact that the events of the past several months have had on the integrity of the standards development process,' he wrote in an e-mail."

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Microsoft Open XML standards vote foments politics, dismay ( has an overview of the voting process for fast-tracking Microsoft's ISO application for its Open XML file formats. "'It's clear that whatever the vote, OOXML will not be a JTC1 standard for a long, long time, no matter what people say next week. It's also clear that unless the process is quickly terminated with OOXML being rejected as unsuitable with comments unresolvable, it will churn on and on and on, no matter what you feel about it or the OOXML spec,' Bob Sutor, IBM's vice president of open source and standards and a vocal Microsoft critic, wrote this week in his blog."

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ISO votes against fast tracking Microsoft's Office Open XML (ars technica)

It appears that Microsoft's bid to have its Open XML file format fast-tracked has failed, perhaps surprisingly given the alleged voting irregularities. ars technica reports on the vote. "With the vote going against Microsoft, the proposed standard for OOXML will have to revised in order to take into account the 'with comments' votes. This could entail changes to the file format itself, which would then require updates to Office 2007 in order to make it fully compliant with any revisions to the OOXML format. There will be a week-long Ballot Resolution Meeting held in February or March of 2008 where further work on the standard will take place. Another vote on OOXML will then be held at the end of the meeting."

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Palm tables Linux-based Foleo (LinuxDevices)

LinuxDevices covers Palm's decision to drop the planned Linux-based Foleo, which was supposed to be an peripheral for their Treo smartphones. There are plans to revamp the device after hearing generally negative market feedback. "Palm announced the Foleo in May, describing it as a new class of mobile device designed to expand the email, Internet, and productivity application capabilities of mobile phones such Palm's Treo, by adding a full-size keyboard and a larger screen. In announcing the Foleo, Palm Founder Jeff Hawkins predicted it would prove more successful than Palm's original Palm Pilot, and more successful than Palm's current Treo smartphones."

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E-voting reform bill scheduled for House vote this week (ars technica)

ars techica takes a look at a bill coming up for a vote in the US House of Representatives. The bill would mandate voter-verifiable paper trails for electronic voting machines. "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is one of several advocacy groups calling for legislators to vote in favor of HR 811 despite its deficiencies. As the EFF points out, the current text of the bill still establishes a compulsory paper trail, a crucial reform that limits the potential for exploitation of security vulnerabilities and decreases the risk of serious problems in the event of machine failures. The EFF also expresses 'profound disappointment' with the removal of source code disclosure provisions. 'Our support for HR 811 is tempered by profound disappointment that one of the bill's pillars has been watered down to the point of ineffectiveness due to pressure from the proprietary software industry,' the EFF said in a statement. 'We call on Rep. Zoe Lofgren and the other members of the Elections Subcommittee to promptly fix this provision... before the bill makes it to the floor of the House.'"

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Troubleshooting Linux Audio, Part 3b (Linux Journal)

Linux Journal has published Part 3b in a series on Troubleshooting Linux Audio by Dave Phillips. "In this final section I'll present some MIDI-specific troubleshooting tips, along with a brief description of the setup here at StudioDave, a few closing remarks, and of course some links to the Linux music-maker du jour."

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September issue of Linux Gazette is out

Linux Gazette #142, for September 2007 is out. This month's articles include "Preventing Domain Expiration", "Writing PostgreSQL Functions in C, Part Two", "SMTP Authentication with Postfix", and more.

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Optical Character Recognition With Tesseract OCR On Ubuntu 7.04 (HowtoForge)

Oliver Meyer explains how to use Tesseract for optical character recognition on an Ubuntu system. "This document describes how to set up Tesseract OCR on Ubuntu 7.04. OCR means "Optical Character Recognition". The resulting system will be able to convert images with embedded text to text files. Tesseract is licensed under the Apache License v2.0."

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Python for system administrators (developerWorks)

IBM developerWorks covers the use of Python scripts for system administration. "As a system administrator, you run across numerous challenges and problems. Managing users, disk space, processes, devices, and backups can cause many system administrators to lose their hair, good humor, or sanity. Shell scripts can help, but they often have frustrating limitations. This is where a full-featured scripting language, such as Python, can turn a tedious task into an easy and, dare I say it, fun one."

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A First Look at KDE 4 Beta 2 (ars technica)

ars technica takes a first look at KDE 4 beta 2. "As part of Ars Technica's continuing coverage of the KDE 4.0 development cycle, I took the opportunity today to sit down with a fresh build of KDE 4 from KDE's publicly accessible source tree. My tests are conducted on a 64-bit Kubuntu 7.04 system with very few modifications other than the installation of a bunch of -dev packages that were required to build the many parts of KDE 4. I built the whole thing to be self-contained within a single user's home folder, so that I can safely test it without making any permanent changes to my otherwise perfectly functional KDE 3.5.7 machine. To my surprise, today is the first day that I can say that I'm really comfortable using KDE 4..."

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PhpGedView puts your ancestors on the Web ( has a review of PhpGedView, which allows entry and display of genealogical data. "For each person in the system you can add a tremendous amount of data: date and place of birthday and death, job, religion, and photos, just to name a few. Most of the data you insert can be used for statistical reports and diagrams. For example, you can see all the people alive in 1890, or display birthplaces with little flags on Google Maps."

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