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Archive for November, 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.

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…

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With the holidays upon us I thought Top-10 gift ideas for the Linux Gadget Geek would be good reading. gOS makes a big splash, Info and opinion on Walmart selling $199 PC’s, a DSL 4.0 review, Linux continues to dominate the TOP500 World’s Fastest Supercomputers, Forrester thinks that Linux is for real, Carla Schroder continues her “Linux Backups For Real People” series and a computer consultant finally installs Windows..for the first time ever.

Top-10 gift ideas for the Linux Gadget Geek: Got a Linux Gadget Geek on your shopping list? You can’t fail with a gift from this guide to the ten hottest Linux-powered devices gleaned from LinuxDevices.com’s news throughout 2007. There’s something for everyone, at prices from $150 to $1,000, organized from least to most expensive. Enjoy!

Comparing Linux Distributions – Final Results: Author Mike Davis writes “I have been experimenting with many different Linux distributions over the last month as I posted here and here. In my review of the various distributions, I was looking for ease of install and ease of use as the most important factors in my personal ranking system. I believe for Linux to win the desktop war over the next few years they have to appeal to more then just the technical folks who can install distros in their sleep and are wizards at the command line.”

But Everyone Uses It: Microsoft Office isn’t quite as ubiquitous as you’d think. If you break it down by the many versions out there, the alternatives may be in use just as much, and probably offer more bang for your buck.

Is Novell the Avis of Open Source?: Whenever I hear chatter about Novell, I think of Avis — the Number 2 rental car company that proudly declares “We try harder” as it pursues the market leader (Hertz, er, Red Hat). Hmmm. Is 2008 the year that all of Novell’s hard work in the open source market finally pushes the company into the fast lane? UBS, the Wall Street analyst firm seems to think so. But I’m not so sure. Here’s why.

Will distributions like gOS bring the masses to Linux?: In the mainstream world of computing I think that Linux hasnt even touched everyone in a marketing sense of the word. I keep reading artciles throughout the internet about Linux and it’s reference to being “The new Kid on the block” and even words like I have mentioned “The Scarce OS”. Is Linux really that scarce? I suppose if one were able to count every Linux OS that is on a computer that it would indeed not mount to much in the big picture.

DSL 4.0: Damn small improvement: Damn Small Linux is tiny Linux distribution that John Andrews originally created in 2002 to see just how many applications could fit into a 50MB system. The project has grown over the years to include many other contributors working on hundreds of packages and applications. Last month’s release of DSL 4.0 brought many updates and changes, yet it remains a special-purpose distribution for older hardware because it lacks support for many modern features. Damn Small Linux offers an amazing array of options for running the distribution. You can boot it as a live CD, from a USB stick, or on a hard drive.

Sub $200 PC a sell out at Wal-Mart and ZaReason: Turns out that people are finally getting it. You can buy a “green” low-power-hungry machine built on a VIA C7 chip from Wal-Mart and ZaReason these days, and both stores report that they already sold all of their first stock.

The little desktop Linux that came out of the blue: When a desktop Linux distribution suddenly becomes popular before even DistroWatch starts tracking it, you know you’ve got something special. One new Ubuntu-based distribution, gOS, has managed to capture users’ attention purely by word of mouth over the Internet. gOS was introduced by Everex, a midtier PC vendor, in its inexpensive Green gPC TC2502 computer in late October. This cheap computer is sold for $198 at Wal-Mart stores and online at walmart.com.

Gosh, gOS is good: Many people still question whether Linux will ever make it fully into mainstream computer acceptance. A $199 computer now available on a major superstore’s shelves just in time for Christmas might change all that. Anyone who wants a computer to just to send email and instant messages and watch YouTube videos should like the Everex gPC, which is powered by a nifty Linux distribution called gOS.

Windows: my eXPerience: Can you be a computer consultant and generally a computer guy without ever installing windows? I managed for over 12 years… until this week.

30th Edition of the TOP500 World’s Fastest Supercomputers Released: The twice-yearly TOP500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers, already a closely watched event in the world of high performance computing, is expected to become an even hotter topic of discussion as the latest list shows five new entrants in the Top 10, which includes sites in the United States, Germany, India and Sweden. The 30th edition of the TOP500 list was released today (Nov. 12, 2007) at SC07, the international conference on high performance computing, networking, storage and analysis, in Reno, Nevada.

Why Wal-Mart Linux PC Is A Bad Deal: Newswires are buzzing with Wal-Mart’s Linux PC and its sold out status. This news alone should be enough to prove the viability of Linux in mainstream households for people who don’t need a mega powerful PC for word processing, e-mail and Web browsing. I can go on and on about the same old issues and solutions, but I don’t need to. Wal-Mart’s success proves that very well. Here is a response to this article, Response to “Why Wal-Mart Linux PC Is A Bad Deal” article

Wal-Mart’s $200 Linux PCs sell out: Right after Halloween, Wal-Mart introduced Everex’s Ubuntu Linux-powered TC2502 gPC for a list price of $198. Two weeks later, they’re sold out. Everex tells DesktopLinux that more will be coming though. Wal-Mart only bought an initial run of approximately 10,000 units. For once, Wal-Mart’s vaunted supply chain management system failed to predict just how popular an item would be. Wal-Mart offers a similar Everex model with more base memory and Windows Vista Home Basic called the Everex Impact GC3502 Desktop, for $100 more. Wal-Mart still has plenty of those.

There’s more than one $199 Linux PC out there: Our own Steven Rosenberg writes “In response to one of my Everex articles, commenter Alan Rochester clued me in to the Canada-based Linux store, which is offering a somewhat similar $199 PC preloaded with Ubuntu 7.10.”

Microsoft adds NAP for Linux and Mac: Microsoft’s Network Access Protection platform is being extended to Linux and the Mac in heterogeneous network environments through third-party products. The Redmond, Wash. software maker announced at its TechEd IT Forum, here on Nov. 13, that UNETsystem will release Linux and Macintosh versions of its Anyclick for NAP (Network Access Protection) product next year.

Forrester calls desktop Linux a credible threat to Windows: Linux is becoming a credible threat to Windows on the desktop, and will grow over the next year as its distributors continue to work hard at making it an enterprise-class offering, research group Forrester predicts. “Will desktop managers continue down the path of standardization on the Windows platform, and will Linux not exist on enterprise desktops? Not a chance,” Forrester analyst Benjamin Gray says in a report released Nov. 12 and titled, “How Windows Vista Will Shake Up The State Of The Enterprise Operating System.”

Review: Linux Backups For Real People, Part 3: Our own Carla Schroder writes “Today we’re going to create menu icons for launching our backups whenever we darned well feel like it, set up a simple network backup scheme, and create automatic scheduled backups.”

Get familiar with alternative Linux desktops: Desktop customization in Linux is very flexible; from the ultra-modern KDE and GNOME window managers to with the likes of Fluxbox and AfterStep, there’s a Linux desktop to suit everyone. Jack Wallen covers some of your Linux desktop options.

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Some of the big stories this week include the Open Document Foundation, a call for papers for SCaLE 6x, four ways to extract the current directory name, the BBC admits a massive underestimate of its Linux users, Linux Backups For Real People, Part 2, a Linux game company opens its doors, Vista vs. desktop Linux: One year in and never use Babel Fish to talk to a foreign minister.

Choice: The system of Checks and Balances in Linux: In an article submitted by one of our readers, Gary Maxwell writes “For many years Linux has flourished as distros big and small have dotted the landscape. That’s the beauty of Linux. Each distro is created to either meet a need, solve a problem or scratch a developer’s itch. Either way, most distros roll merrily along with their release schedules without ne’ er a worry.”

Monitor your drives to extend their life: Last week saw a slew of articles suggesting that Ubuntu Linux was damaging hard disks. The truth is a little more complicated than that but just in case, try this trick for monitoring the state of your hard disk load/unload cycles before you make any rash decisions.

Automatically generate PHP documentation from Subversion with phpDocumentor: Our own Sander Marechal writes “The longer I program, the more structured my programming methods have become. Currently I am busy playing with generated documentation and unit testing. Generated documentation is an all round great idea, but it has a drawback: You need to generate it all the time. So I set out to use Subversion’s post-commit hook to generate fresh documentation for my PHP projects using phpDocumentor.

Now it’s Open Document Format’s turn for the FUDmeisters.: Okay, lets get one thing straight… Repeat after me : “The Open Document Foundation has nothing to do with the Open Document Format” “The Open Document Foundation has nothing to do with the Open Document Format” “The Open Document Foundation has nothing to do with the Open Document Format”

Linus Torvalds on Open Source: ‘A Much Better Way to Do Things’: “Linux really wouldn’t have gone anywhere interesting at all if it hadn’t been released as an open source product. I also think that the change to the GPLv2 from my original ‘no money’ license was important, because the commercial interests were actually very important from the beginning. The commercial distributions were what drove a lot of the nice installers and pushed people to improve usability,” said Linux creator Linus Torvalds.

Call for papers for the Sixth Annual Southern California Linux Expo: A call for papers for the Sixth Annual So Cal Linux Expo. Registration is now open, speakers and exhibitors are signing up steadily for the February 8th-10th event.

Four ways to extract the current directory name: When you’re programming a shell script, you often only need the current directory name, not the whole path that the pwd command returns. Here are four ways you can extract only the current directory.

OpenBSD: The proverbial thrill of victory … and the agony of defeat: So giddy was I that the OpenBSD CD agreed to boot on my converted Maxspeed Maxterm thin client (with a VIA C3 Samuel processor that wouldn’t allow the install of FreeBSD, NetBSD, DesktopBSD or PC-BSD) that I immediately launched into an install today. Whoa. I can’t remember an installation process that was this geeky. You MUST have the instructions in front of you, or you will get nowhere fast.

BBC admits massive underestimate of Linux users: The BBC has backtracked on claims that it has only hundreds of Linux users accessing its website. Last month, the BBC’s director of BBC Future Media and Technology, Ashley Highfield, told a magazine that just 400-600 Linux users visited the BBC sites every week. Now, Highfield claims on his blog that the figure could be as high as 97,600.

Giving the Lie to Patents and Innovation: One of the enduring soap operas this year has involved the ongoing patent infringement threats by Microsoft against “Linux, OpenOffice, email, and other open source software.” According to Microsoft, 235 of its (unnamed) patents are being infringed, and it should be entitled to be paid for this use of its intellectual property. Steve Ballmer believes that Microsoft owes it to its stockholders to file patents to protect its innovations, and then to assert these intellectual property rights in this way, and at this time.

What’s up at the OpenDocument Foundation?: The OpenDocument Foundation, founded five years ago by Gary Edwards, Sam Hiser, and Paul “Buck” Martin (marbux) with the express purpose of representing the OpenDocument format in the “open standards process,” has reversed course. It now supports the W3C’s Compound Document Format instead of its namesake ODF. Yet why this change of course has occurred is something of a mystery.

Tutorial: Linux Backups For Real People, Part 2: Our own Carla Schroder writes “Last week we got our backup hardware in order, so today we’re going into detail on backing up our data to a locally-attached backup device. We’ll learn how to configure which files to backup, and create an easy one-word-command backup.”

Linux Game Company Opens Doors: Sixth Floor Labs LLC, a Linux game development company, has launched their business today. Founded by Ethan Glasser-Camp and Carl Li, the company aims to improve Linux’s desktop feasibility through the creation of high-quality games. Games are “sold” to the Internet community through the “ransom model” — for one large payment, the product is released under the GPL and freed forever.

Fedora 8 Installation Guide: This guide describes how to configure Fedora 8. Learn how to set up extra repositories, add video/dvd and audio codecs, install useful applications, configure Firefox’s plugins, install compiz-fusion and much more!

VirtualBox: The best virtualization program you’ve never heard of: Quick, name some virtualization programs that run on Linux. Time’s up. If you’re like most people, you probably named VMware or Xen first. Many of you probably know of one or more of the following: Parallels, QEMU, KVM, Virtuozzo and OpenVZ. However, few of you probably know about VirtualBox. And chances are if you know about VirtualBox 1.502, you’re already running it because it manages the trifecta of being good, free and, sort of, open source.

Too many free operating systems? I don’t think so.: Some people say that there are too many GNU/Linux distributions, too many people just doing their own instead of joining an existing effort. In essence their criticism is towards the fact that so many people in the Free Software community actually take their freedom and pursue their dreams instead of finding their place in somebody else’s vision. Sometimes the criticism is pointed towards those who duplicate a lot of the effort, just for a few small modifications. They are for consolidation. They want to build a cathedral out of the bazaar.

2 Pound Mini PC Powered by Debian Linux: Manufactum, a German web retailer, has released a portable PC that is sure to delight Linux users. Weighing in at only 2 pounds, with dimensions of 7.1×4.4 x1.9 inches (180 x 112 x 48 mm), the “Manuscriptum” comes pre-loaded with Debian Linux with a KDE desktop environment, and other essential software like Firefox, Open Office and the Foxit PDF reader. Available for around $650.

Vista vs. desktop Linux: One year in: After almost a year since Microsoft released Vista to manufacturing, it’s time to re-evaluate it and decide if it’s finally the equal of the best of the desktop Linuxes. That’s not a facetious question. Yes, in terms of market share, desktop Linux hovers just over 1 percent of all users, while Microsoft claims that Vista by this summer had already sold more than 60 million copies. I’m not impressed, and you shouldn’t be either.

Babbling Babel Fish sparks international incident: In our funny article of the week,a word of advice: Never use Babel Fish to communicate with the Dutch Foreign Minister. Last weekend, a group of Israeli journalists used the popular online translation site in sending an email message to the Dutch Consulate in Tel Aviv. They wanted to discuss an upcoming visit to The Netherlands for a seminar on Dutch politics, but they ended up asking the minister several nonsensical questions about his mother.

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I have a slew of great articles for you in this week’s Roundup starting with a trick most FOSS users already know of, how to crack Windows passwords with Linux. Plus Andy Updegrove sets the Record Straight on (Non)Voting in SC 34, Phoronix reviews ATI: Linux vs. Windows Vista, François Bancilhon of Mandriva writes an open letter to Steve Ballmer, new Asus laptop and Everex desktop offerings, an interview with Pamela Jones of Groklaw, Carla Schroder’s Tutorial: Linux Backups For Real People, Part 1 and an Italian Judge Tells HP To Refund Pre-Installed XP.

Italian Judge Tells HP To Refund Pre-Installed XP: An Italian computer user asked for a refund after buying a Compaq computer that came with Windows XP and Works 8 pre-installed. HP tried to avoid the EULA agreement which states, approximately: ‘[I]f the end user is not willing to abide by this EULA… he shall immediately contact the producer to get info for giving back the product and obtaining refunds.’ The court ruled in favor of the user who received back €90 for XP and €50 for Works.

How to get the M$ out of XP and Vista: Ever have someone who just refuses to use Linux? Maybe it’s you I’m talking about here. Well there is hope. I put these instructions together to take the DRM, Trusted Computing, and Vulnerabilities out of Windows. It’s not full proof but it should bring you one step closer.

Setting the Record Straight on (Non)Voting in SC 34: Who’s fault is the deadlock in SC 34, the ISO/IEC JTC1 committee responsible for processing the vote on OOXML? One way of looking at it says that ODF and OOXML supporters are equally to blame. The other says that it’s the surge of OOXML immigrants that’s causing the problem. Guess which one is right?

Review of Linux Distributions – Part 2: The Author writes, “Last week I wrote the first part of this series which discussed the installation of Mepis, Kubuntu, OpenSuse, and Freespire on my laptops. Now that I have had time to play with each of the operating systems I would like to discuss my impressions of the different distributions. I have not spent any time on OpenSuse yet so I will leave it out of the discussion.”

Wired Magazine “Doesn’t Get It”: Kevin takes umbrage to Wired Magazine’s interpretation of the GPL: This month’s issue of Wired Magazine had an article in it about LaLa, a CD swapping service. In the article, Wired’s Cliff Kuang wrote “The arrangement exploits a loophole in copyright law: While distributing duplicates is verboten, it’s perfectly legal to trade your own property.”

ATI: Linux vs. Windows Vista: Since AMD introduced their new Linux display driver last month, we have published a number of different articles looking at the Radeon performance across their different GPU product generations. This ATI/AMD Linux driver testing and exploration continued this month with the release of the 8.42 driver, which finally introduced AIGLX support for the fglrx driver. One area though we haven’t yet analyzed is how their official Linux driver now compares to their much-optimized Windows Catalyst driver. Today, however, we will be looking just at that as we compare the ATI Radeon HD 2900XT 512MB performance under Linux and Microsoft Windows Vista.

Cracking Windows passwords with Linux: If you lose a Windows password, or you buy a system that has an OS on it, but you don’t know the password, what are you to do? The best thing to do would be to throw in a Linux CD, format the drive, and install the Distro. But, what if you want to boot to the system and see what’s on there, and get data off?

Everex launches $198 Ubuntu Linux gPC at Wal-Mart: Everex, a longtime personal computer vendor, has unveiled its latest PC featuring Ubuntu Linux-based open-source productivity software and Google-based Web 2.0 applications, for a mere $198. The Everex Green gPC TC2502 includes popular applications from Google, Mozilla, Skype and OpenOffice.org. It runs gOS Initial G, which in turn is based on Ubuntu Linux 7.10 The gOS operating system features a simple and intuitive Linux Enlightenment E17 desktop interface with a Google-centric theme. The system comes with a lifetime of free updates and revisions.

KDE4 beta 4 makes impression: KDE4 edged closer to final release this week with the development team announcing the KDE4 beta 4 release, the last step before final release candidates are built. Although intended primarily as a bugfix release, beta 4 has enough cool features to impress.

An open letter to Steve Ballmer: Dear Steve, Hi, this is François, from Mandriva. I’m sure we’re way too small for you to know me. You know, we’re one of these tiny Linux company working hard for our place on the market. We recently closed a deal with the Nigerian Government. We had a good answer to their need: the Classmate PC from Intel, with a customized Mandriva Linux solution. And then, today, we hear from the customer a totally different story: “we shall pay for the Mandriva Software as agreed, but we shall replace it by Windows afterward.” How do you call what you just did Steve, in the place where you live? In my place, they give it various names, I’m sure you know them.

Tutorial: Linux Backups For Real People, Part 1: Everyone knows they should make regular backups of their data. But hardly anyone is as diligent with backups as they should be. So in this two-part series we’re going to learn some nice simple methods for making regular backups on single PCs or small networks. Part 1 covers external backup media, and bending udev to your will so that your backup devices will have persistent names.

Asus Eee PC mini-Linux laptop is arrives: The Xandros Linux-powered “ultra-mobile PC” (UMPC) has finally arrived. One of the most eagerly awaited laptops in some time, the tiny Asus Eee PC 4G, is now available. When the news first broke that Taiwanese computer manufacturer Asus was coming out with a less than two pounds mini-laptop for under $200 that would be running Linux, both gadget and Linux desktop fans were thrilled. Now that it’s here, the Eee PC 4G’s price has doubled, but early reviewers are still finding this Xandros-Linux powered laptop to be worth the price.

Wal-Mart back in the Linux business: Say what you will about retail’s looming giant, but Wal-Mart’s got stones. It’s doing what no other mass-market retailer dares to do: offering low-cost PCs with Linux instead of Windows. The company, which has sold Linspire-powered Linux PCs in the past, has gotten back in the Linux-box game with an Everex system that includes the PC itself, along with mouse and keyboard (but no monitor) for $198, as I read in a report from DesktopLinux.com.

Interview with Pamela Jones, Editor of Groklaw: When Pamela Jones, better known as PJ, started Groklaw, a Web site devoted to covering and explaining legal cases of interest to the Free Software and Open Source communities, she preferred to remain anonymous and showed no desire to become well-known. Groklaw nevertheless became extremely popular very quickly, and it soon established itself as the place to go for the latest developments in the SCO litigations.

Lotus Symphony Linux Beta Review: Recently I’ve laid my hands on the new IBM’s child — Lotus Symphony (beta version). It is an office suite based on OpenOffice.org. Lotus Symphony includes text editor, spreadsheet and presentation tool. I’ve, decided to try this new IBM wonder.

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