Archive for March, 2008

LXer Article

In this week’s roundup we have an early look at KDE 4.1, the Supreme Court rejects Microsoft’s Novell appeal – 12 years later! 25 Simple Games for Linux, CodeWeavers to release CrossOver Games, A Wine 1.0 release in our lifetime and reviews of Spicebird and Clonezilla. To wrap things up we have two FUD articles, an old argument about Linux viruses and Apple fixes some Open Source Vulnerabilities.

Firefox at Mix08: While viewing the SEO presentation from Microsoft’s Mix08. I noticed that the presenter preferred Firefox when ever he need to do anything really useful.

Clone Linux, Windows disks with Clonezilla: Most users know about proprietary software packages such as Norton Ghost that can be used for cloning hard disks for backup or distribution purposes. And a few may know about Partition Image, an open source alternative for saving partition images. But how many users know about Clonezilla, an all-in-one cloning tool that promises both speed and power?

An Early Look At KDE 4.1: The first alpha release of KDE 4.1 isn’t planned until the end of April, but this past weekend the OpenSuSE team had updated their KDE Four Live spin against the latest KDE 4.0.66 snapshot packages. The KDE 4.0.66 development packages contain new Kickoff and Plasma features along with much other work to the numerous packages that will ultimately make up this first major update to KDE 4.

Supremes Reject Microsoft’s Novell Appeal: The U.S. Supreme Court Monday refused to hear Microsoft’s appeal of a lower court ruling, thus setting the stage for yet another antitrust trial for the software giant. At issue is a private lawsuit brought against the company in 2004 over whether the Redmond, Wash. company unlawfully used its monopoly power to crush Novell’s incipient move into productivity applications 12 years ago.

25 Small/Simple Games to Install on your Linux desktop: A comprehensive tutorial showing how to install 25 small and simple games on your Linux Desktop (with installation instructions for Ubuntu 7.10 ) also included are instructions on playing classic Dos Games , NES/SNES games and Scummvm games on your Ubuntu desktop

Penguin Suicide Bombers: I am not aware of any other entity, group or idea that matches these five primary characteristics of the open source movement as exactly as terrorist organizations.

Response to “Penguin Suicide Bombers: The Terrorism of Open Source”: The Objective Observer wrote what appeared to be a logical argument from which he drew what he claims is a reasonable comparison… Open Source is like Terrorism. Riiiiight. Well, I decided to respectfully respond to his commentary with some specific examples of how his conclusions are inaccurate. I’m assuming he got hit with a lot of flames but I didn’t want to add to it.

CodeWeavers to release CrossOver Games: Today while browsing around the CodeWeavers site I came across the 2008 CrossOver roadmap that was posted by Jeremy White the CEO of CodeWeavers.

Explaining Open Source’s Exponential Growth: One of the problems with open source is that much of it happens invisibly. Whereas proprietary software, which is sold, has to publicised at some point, open source can simply be written: whether or not it gets used is a question of the author’s personal inclinations. Even the big-name open source projects – Linux, Apache, Firefox – have the problem that contributions are made in all sorts of ways, and that there is nobody really tracking who is doing what where. That makes a paper from SAP Research’s Amit Deshpande and Dirk Riehle particularly welcome, since they do the hard work of tracking down just how much coding is going on these days. They start from a hard core of open source activity, ignoring projects that are dormant.

Bruce Perens seeks support to become OSI board member: The Open Source Initiative, the organization that certifies Open Source software licenses, is holding an executive board election soon. I am standing for election. The board is self-electing, and I’m told I don’t have a chance unless I can show community support for my candidacy. One problem I’d like to help solve is the over-representation of vendors, particularly the kind that have an Open Source product as their profit-center rather than part of operations. The vast majority of Open Source developers, paid or volunteer, are not in that sort of business, yet vendors tend to dominate the leadership of organizations like OSI and conferences about Open Source in business.

Wine 1.0 to be released in June or July: Alexandre stated back in October 2007 that he knew of no 1.0 release blockers even then, and suggested we pick Wine’s 15th anniversary for the actual date. Depending on how you look at it, there are several possible birthdays for Wine. Given that the exact birthday is a bit fuzzy, we’ll simply continue with our normal biweekly release dates. That puts the 1.0 release at June 6th if it’s ready by then, or June 20th or July 4th if it’s not.

How Microsoft is trying to eradicate email: Very strange article in which an InfoWorld Blogger seems to have taken the red pill and awakened to the truth about bot nets and the email spam they produce.

Reiser Shows Jury Where He Dumped the Car Seat: The Hans Reiser murder trial resumed here Wednesday with the defendant fumbling on the witness stand. “Are you just making these things up?” Alameda County prosecutor Paul Hora asked at one point. Hans Reiser underwent a second day of grueling cross-examination by Hora who claims the Linux programmer killed his wife, Nina Reiser, amid a bitter divorce and custody battle over their two young children. The defendant had spent nearly five days on the stand under direct examination before it came to an abrupt halt at noon Tuesday.

Has Dell Delivered on GNU/Linux?: Almost exactly one year ago, I made the followingsuggestion in the wake of Dell’s long-awaited decision to offer ready-configured GNU/Linux systems alongside the usual panoply of Windows systems:we must vote with our wallets. Assuming the Dell GNU/Linux systems are not hopelessly flawed in some way, we must all try to buy as many of them as we can (within reason, of course).What follows is a short report on my own experiences of putting my money where my mouth is.

Windows is caught between Mac and Linux: For the first time in ages, the sale of new PCs with Windows as a percentage of the PC market is declining sharply. The new winner is the Mac, but, while no one does a good job of tracking the still-new, pre-installed Linux desktop market, it’s also clear that Linux is finally making impressive inroads into Windows’ once unchallenged market share.

Open-source efforts derailed by ‘loud minority’: Efforts to increase the adoption of open-source software are being derailed by the efforts of a “loud minority” within the community who have made personal attacks on individuals who have expressed doubts about the software, according to one of the open-source movement’s main advocates.

Spicebird: More Open Source Competition For Outlook: There’s been a lot of discussion about which open source application works best as a replacement for Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) Outlook: Evolution, Ximian, Thunderbird, and so on. Let’s add another contender to that list, shall we? Meet Spicebird, currently in beta 0.4 form.

The truth about viruses: This FUD which has been floating around for some time has raised it’s ugly head once again.

Apple Fixes Open Source Vulnerabilities: At first blush, Microsoft hounds might want to pounce on Apple’s release of over 80 vulnerability fixes this week. But before anyone bears that red M tattooed on their chest, you should take another look at Apple’s updates.


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LXer Article

In this week’s Roundup we have several Microsoft related articles, how to back up Linux with ease, a petition for open standards in the European Parliament, 10 Linux commands you’ve never used, OLPC: one virus per child and the future belongs to Linux. Ken Starks tells us “You only know good when you’ve seen bad…” and our own Carla Schroder replies with the “Care and Feeding of Baby Linux Users” and we have a couple of FUD articles for your enjoyment as well.

Lessons Learned? One Can Only Hope:
Yet, when it comes down to it…CompUSA is gone. I personally will shed no tears. I am convinced that their blindness to consumer needs played some part in their demise if not a large one, whether it was Linux or any other non-microsoft product that caused it, well…maybe. You want to argue it? Look at this first.

First Gnash beta released: Free software Flash replacement, Gnash, has just released a beta version. Gnash, for those not in the know, is a GPL-licensed SWF movie player and browser plugin for Firefox, Mozilla, and Konqueror. Gnash supports many SWF v7 features and ActionScript 2 classes. with growing support for SWF v8 and v9.

Back up Linux with ease: I’m not particularly fond of backing up my data. I know I should do it and I feel pretty smug when it is done, but it is a time-consuming and frustrating process. Mainly because it requires a whole lot of thinking on my part: which files do I want to back up? where should I store them? What format? And to date I haven’t really found the one tool that makes baking up truly simple.

Conflict of interest: I wish I knew how to fix it but I don’t. What I do know however is that the ISO/IEC process is severally broken in that it is riddled with room for game play. I guess ISO/IEC managed to get away with it for a long time but things have changed now that Microsoft has shown how to use every loophole in the process to get to its end. Hopefully, justice will prevail and OOXML will rightly get voted down at the end of the month but the process shouldn’t have allowed to go that far into this sad farce in the first place.

New petition calls for open standards in the European Parliament: At a time when the EU Commission investigates the anti-competitive behaviour of a market-dominant player, the European Parliament (EP) still imposes that same specific software choice on both the European Union’s citizens and its own MEPs. OpenForum Europe, The European Software Market Association, and the Free Software Foundation Europe today launched a petition to call on the EP to use open standards so that all citizens can participate in the democratic process.

Why I will not by a Linksys product ever again: I’m going to take a pause from my usual blog topics and discuss something very dear to everyone’s heart, wifi. This weekend I stopped by wal-mart to look around. My wife and I have been wanting to move the computer upstairs for some time but have been prevented by the need to be physically connected to the router. While I was at wal-mart I saw a 802.11n wireless PCI network card made by Linksys. I bought the card, went home, installed it and fired up Ubuntu 7.04. iwconfig showed nothing. but lspci showed something that would send me into shock “02:07.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM43XG (rev 01)”. Yes, the infamous broadcom chip.

9-inch EeePC named EeePC 900 and gets detailed specs: And it came to pass. Asus saw the EeePC and it was good; it’s even better with a 9-inch display. Asus has officially named the 9-inch EeePC the EeePC 900 and has released some detailed specs about the low-cost laptop. The EeePC 900 will be available with either Windows XP or Xandros Linux. Instead of using flash memory, Asus will be using SSD (solid state drives) for storage this time. The Windows XP equipped model will ship with an 8GB drive with the Linux models having either 12GB or 20GB capacities.

The Debian server — a non-expert tries to roll his own: I decided to start from scratch with my Debian server project. Last time I was too hasty in adding the open-source version of Movable Type to my installation and intermingling files before I was ready. This time I’m going to be a lot more methodical and make sure that Apache and MySQL are working properly — meaning I can run CGI scripts and have a directory dedicated to same — before I start with Movable Type. I could’ve removed Apache, done some cleanup and gone from there, but since I didn’t have much “invested” in the install, I wiped the drive and started over.

10 Linux commands you’ve never used: It takes years maybe decades to master the commands available to you at the Linux shell prompt. Here are 10 that you will have never heard of or used. They are in no particular order. My favorite is mkfifo.

OLPC: one virus per child: It’s taken a remarkably short time for the One Laptop Per Child project to change from positioning itself as the saviour of children in developing countries to becoming a toady for Microsoft. In an interview with Business Week recently, Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the project, is quoted as saying that the organisation now needs to be managed “more like Microsoft.”

You only know good when you’ve seen bad…: I am weighing that possibility now against consuming copious amounts of alcohol on a regular basis…I don’t know, maybe even a venture into the darker side of pharmaceuticals. Realizing any of the choices can be destructive, I am now calculating which will be the most numbing venture.

Why Wal-Mart won’t have Linux desktops on its store shelves: The other day, Wal-Mart let it slip that it would no longer be selling Linux-powered computers in its stores. The retail giant will, however, continue to sell Linux desktop and laptop systems via its online store. On March 10, Wal-Mart spokesperson Melissa O’Brien told the Associated Press that Wal-Mart had decided not to restock its in-store gOS Linux-powered Everex Green gPC TC2502. “This really wasn’t what our customers were looking for,” O’Brien said.

What’s This “Linux” Thing and Why Should I Try It?: Lately, Linux has been receiving quite a bit of notice. Between the ASUS EeePC, the One Laptop Per Child project, Dell’s new Ubuntu line, Intel’s Classmate PC, and Everex’s Green PC, Linux has been getting a lot of attention from computer manufacturers. It seems every new computer in the last year has had Linux, but to most people that doesn’t mean anything. It probably leaves you wondering, “what’s this Linux thing everyone’s talking about?”

The future belongs to Linux: The rising generation of programmers isn’t being fed .Net and Windows. It’s growing strong on Linux and its associated LAMP stack, as Robert Guth of the Wall Street Journal notes. Microsoft thinks it has an answer to this trend toward Linux. It is very telling how far from reality Microsoft is by its response:

The REAL reason we use Linux: We tell people we use Linux because it’s secure. Or because it’s free, because it’s customizable, because it has excellent community support… But all of that is just marketing bullshit. We tell that to non-Linuxers because they wouldn’t understand the REAL reason.

Care and Feeding of Baby Linux Users: This brand-new Linux user, this refugee from the Redmond wastelands, was stretching her wings and trying to fly. She edited xorg.conf all by herself, though not quite the right way. She exposed a bug in Ken’s customer support (don’t use writable CDs for recovery disks). Now how many new Linux users can even find xorg.conf, let alone have the boldness to muck with it? Or even experienced users? The Ubuntu forums are cram-full of command-line fear and loathing; the very sight of a text file drives them into seizures. I think Paula’s eagerness to explore and try new things should be rewarded.

10 Linux commands you’ve never used: It takes years maybe decades to master the commands available to you at the Linux shell prompt. Here are 10 that you will have never heard of or used. They are in no particular order. My favorite is mkfifo.

The unholy quad: Miguel, Mono, Moonlight and Microsoft: Does GNOME co-founder Miguel de Icaza’s backflip over the Novell-Microsoft deal a few days ago mean that he has finally been convinced that he is on a one-way path to nowhere? Has he realised that his own project, Mono, is actually putting GNOME on a development track that can leave it open to patent claims one day? And has he realised that creating Moonlight, a clone of Microsoft’s Silverlight, (with which the company hopes to trump Adobe’s Flash) is not going to advance the cause of free software one iota?

Microsoft promises ODF, OOXML interoperability: In the wake of the ISO rejecting Microsoft’s OOXML document format as an international standard, Microsoft has launched its Document Interoperability Initiative pledging to work with industry to ensure its document formats remain interchangeable with industry standards.

Windows better off closed, says Microsoft: Open sourcing Windows is more hassle than it’s worth and Microsoft sees little gain in releasing code, according to the man leading Microsoft’s server marketing and platform strategy. Microsoft general manager Bill Hilf has said the Windows source code is “irrelevant for what people want”.

FUD Alert! Wal-Mart, Everex & Linux: Press enforces FUD with misleading teaser headlines of story reporting Wal-Mart’s decision to discontinue in-store sales of the gPCs.

One-third of Asus Eee PC users to run Linux: It’s funny how some people are so stuck on the idea that Windows, and only Windows, is the one true operating system that they can’t even hear their own words. That’s the case with a recent news story with the headline, “Windows XP Will Fill Two-Thirds of Asustek Eee PCs.” (This article will only be online until April 13.)

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LXer Article

This week in the LXer Weekly Roundup we have, a Linux Powered Mini PC, What is your favorite scripting language?, The latest Mandriva release, Red Hat calls strike one against Microsoft, WaSP gives browsers “fail” grade and How to create a Linux box for your Mom. Plus,Amazon’s Linux answer to iTunes is a winner, Linux clocks double-digit growth and real results on the power of the OLPC computers in Astounded in Arahuay

A Perception of Lack of Support for Open Source Should Not Stop Adoption of Linux: I have written several posts about Linux and whether it is ready for the solo and small law office, listing the pros and cons as I have seen them. However, there is one “con” that people have in their minds when they think of Linux that should not be there: that Open Source Software (OSS) does not have the support that commercial products do. This has contributed somewhat to a resistance to adopt Linux in the business world. The shame of it is, it is a false perception.

What is your favorite scripting language?: Which language reigns supreme? This is the question that seemed to create the most controversy in our Readers’ Choice poll this year so we thought we’d have some fun and open it up to the public to discuss. (This is better than a vi vs. emacs war!) Cast your vote.

Linux Powered Mini PC: The Everex Mini come with a 1.86GHZ Intel Pentium Dual Core Mobile Processor, 512MB of RAM, a 120GB hard drive, a built in DVDRW and Intel GMA950 graphics.

Mandriva Linux 2008 release candidate debuts: The Mandriva development team yesterday announced the first release candidate for Mandriva Linux 2008 Spring. Codenamed Serapias, this release includes all-new artwork, improvements to the software management tools, WPA-EAP support in the network configuration tools and the latest pre-release of OpenOffice.org 2.4

KDE gets new Vista, Mac bling: The long-awaited KDE4 is finally out the door after an extended gestation and a rescheduled launch date. In this inside look at KDE4, we see what all the fuss is about.

Full Circle mag reviews Xubuntu on Asus EEE PC: Ubuntu fans will be pleased to hear that issue 10 of Full Circle, the Ubuntu community magazine has been released. Highlights in this issue include an easy guide to installing Linux Mint, tips on compiling from source code, creating your own server and ripping a DVD with Acidrip. But the one you don’t want to miss is Ronnie Tucker’s review of the ultra-small Asus EEE PC.

Strike One Against Microsoft: In our last blog posted on February 21, I proposed three test pitches for Microsoft to help judge the meaningfulness of its latest efforts to turn over a new leaf on interoperability. The first of these was to embrace the extant, multi-vendor ISO standard, ODF (Open Document Format) in lieu of its single vendor dominated efforts to create a new standard, OOXML (Office Open XML). The first pitch was thrown in Geneva last week at the ISO ballot resolution meetings on OOXML. And we can safely say: strike one!

Linux Server Administration: Basic Linux Firewalls: In this article Mark Rais shares some of the basics of setting up a Linux firewall using the iptables tool. It includes a review of some firewall options, basics of getting started, details of the iptables syntax and some example configurations.

Shuttle Teams with Foresight Linux on $199 KPC: Shuttle today announced that the newly launched $199 KPC will feature the Foresight Linux operating system. With an intuitive interface and user focused design, Foresight does away with the need for users to be familiar with Linux.

WaSP gives browsers “fail” grade: Just when Microsoft thought it was on target with its forthcoming Internet Explorer 8 browser, the goalposts have moved. The Web Standards Project (WaSP) has released its latest browser standards compliance test – Acid 3 – and every browser that WaSP tested failed. IE 8 is, of course, not available for test yet. But given the abysmal performance of IE 7, Microsoft developers have a lot of work to do.

Support ending for Debian Sarge: I’ve heard of quite a few people still running Debian Sarge — the stable version of Debian before Etch went stable in April 2007. As per Debian policy, support for what is referred to as “old stable,” in this case Sarge, is slated to last for a year after the next Debian release is declared “stable” (Etch). So now we’re bumping up on March 31, 2008, and Debian is telling users about the end of updates for Sarge.

Want a peek at a non-Windows operating system from Microsoft?: Want to see what a non-Windows-based operating system developed by Microsoft looks like? If you are willing and able to sign a non-commercial, academic Shared Source license, look no further. Microsoft on March 4 made the few hundred thousand lines of source code for Singularity Version 1 available for download from its CodePlex site. Microsoft made the announcement at its Microsoft Research TechFest 2008 event in Redmond, Wash.

Linux clocks double-digit growth. Fear and loathing in Redmond: IDC is reporting that Windows server growth hit 6.9 percent in Q4 2007, bringing it to 36.6 percent market share. Linux trounced Windows’ growth at 11.6 percent to hit 12.7 percent market share. Microsoft owns the market, but Linux owns the future. Therein lies the rub of the tale behind much of Microsoft’s fear and loathing of open source.

Microsoft indemnifies Novell Moonlight users: The Novell-sponsored project porting the Silverlight cross-browser plug to Linux is getting patent protection from Microsoft, indemnifying users from aggressive patent holders and litigators such as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)

How to: Create a Linux Box for Your Mom (50+ Resources): For most computer literate children, a request from mom to get her set up on “this web thing” is met with panic and a feeling of drudgery. Are you about to expose your sweet mother to spam, phishing, viruses, or worse? Or perhaps more frightening, sign your life away as a 24/7 tech support center? Perhaps, but there’s a better way. By setting your mom up on a Linux machine, you can give her a safe, lean computing experience that will let her do all of the things she wants to do without giving you a nervous breakdown.

Amazon’s Linux answer to iTunes is a winner: Are you a Linux user suffering from iTunes store envy? If so, Amazon has a deal for you. While any good Linux media player, like my own personal favorite Banshee, will let you rip music from CDs, there hasn’t been a good source to buy music online for Linux players … until now.

Astounded in Arahuay: I recently returned from a grueling three-week stay in Peru, where I worked with the serious Ministry of Education team entrusted with the country’s 260-thousand laptop OLPC implementation. I wanted to know what the laptops had done for the kids. I told them I’m not a reporter, I don’t answer to the Ministry, and — an important disclaimer for an overpoliticized country like Peru — I don’t pander to bullshit politics. I wanted to hear if they thought the laptops were helping. After looking at me blankly for a good half-minute, Mr. Navarro shot back with “evidentemente”, “obviously”, and palpably left off “you idiot” from the end of the sentence. I appreciated the small courtesy and asked a more specific question: what changed in the 8 months since the laptops arrived?

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LXer Article

In this week’s LXer Roundup, speed up your Linux with Preload, KDE 4: Wow Factor Fully Engaged, learn 10 good UNIX usage habits, Richard Stallman steps back from Emacs, Best Buy Sells Linux, several articles concerning Microsoft plus audio conversion tools and Improve Security with PAM.

Debian dumps Flash … and why you might want to try Debian and Slackware: I just read that Debian is removing Flash from its repository: Flashplugin-nonfree has been removed (see below), as this is closed source and we don’t get security support for it. For security reasons, we recommend to immediately remove any version of flashplugin-nonfree and any remaining files of the Adobe Flash Player. Tested updates will be made available via backports.org.

Drastically Speed up Linux with Preload: Preload is an “adaptive readahead daemon” that runs in the background of your system and observes what programs you use most often, caching them in order to speed up application load time. By using Preload, you can put unused RAM to good work, and improve the overall performance of your desktop system. Best of all, it’s easy to install and use!

One Small Feature of Ubuntu 8.04 That Could Make a Very Large Impact: With all the other features of the upcoming Ubuntu 8.04 release, one feature that could drastically increase the rate at which Ubuntu spreads has been largely overlooked.

Review: KDE 4: Wow Factor Fully Engaged: While it may not be fully ready for production systems yet, there is no denying that latest version of the K Desktop Environment is one sharp-looking interface. Reviewer Ken Hess takes a test-drive, and clearly likes what he sees.

Mark Shuttleworth Reveals Definitive List of Ubuntu Code Names: “As we navigate into heretofore uncharted regions, I believe it is essential that we relish in the delightful guffaws of the jackal, embrace the rebellious anti-sociality of the porcupine, and keep striving toward the apex of personal development epitomized by the shrew,” he said.

Learn 10 good UNIX usage habits: Adopt 10 good habits that improve your UNIX command line efficiency – and break away from bad usage patterns in the process. This article takes you step-by-step through several good, but too often neglected, techniques for command-line operations. Learn about common errors and how to overcome them, so you can learn exactly why these UNIX habits are worth picking up.

Judge makes lawyers pay for frivolity: A federal judge recently got so infuriated by the conduct of two highly regarded trial attorneys that he overturned a jury’s $51 million verdict, then ordered the lawyers to pay the fees and costs of the opposing lawyers. He ruled that the entire trial was “frivolous” and the case filed solely to stifle competition rather than to protect a patent. Now the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed Matsch’s decision to overturn the verdict.

Stallman steps back from Emacs: Richard Stallman, industry activist and founder of the Free Software Foundation (FSF) has – once again – relinquished his role as maintainer of the phenomenally successful GNU Extensible, Customizable, Display Editor (Emacs). The news was slipped out on the Emacs developers’ forum and Stallman explained his reasons in a later interview.

New add-ons for OpenOffice.org Writer: After a slow start, add-ons for OpenOffice.org are finally starting to reach a critical mass. When I last wrote about add-ons for OpenOffice.org in September 2004, the examples were relatively limited, with extendedPDF the outstanding example. Today, extendedPDF remains a must-have — so much so that Debian versions of OpenOffice.org include it as part of the basic packages — but the choices have expanded dramatically. There is even a web page that is slowly beginning to rival the Firefox extension page.

Google: OOXML ‘insufficient and unnecessary’: Google has claimed that Microsoft’s proposed Office Open XML document standard is unnecessary and should be rolled into the rival OpenDocument Format. In a Monday post on Google’s official blog, open-source programs manager Zaheda Bhorat said the issue affects everybody who uses editable documents.

When Microsoft Corporation Met Debt: As pieces start falling into place, it becomes clearer why Microsoft’s time to recover is running out. For a fact, Microsoft might soon enter debt and we have been studying for quite some time the true story behind Microsoft’s PR and accounting walls. Not so long ago we returned our attention to the issue of misconduct, including systematic kickbacks. There is more to bribery then just kickbacks, which themselves as a subtle form of bribery more severe than lobbying, which is legalized to a greater or lesser degree.

Best Buy Sells Linux: Best Buy is just one more PC seller that has turned their attention to Linux. They are now selling three versions of the popular Asus Eee Laptop (in pink, white, and black) on their website. The Asus Eee is expected to sell several million copies this year after selling 300,000 copies lat year.

Microsoft’s LAMP answer arrives in pieces: Last summer, Microsoft said that February 27, 2008 would be the single biggest day of releases in its 30-year history, promising major updates to its server operating system, developer tools and database.

Asian open source summit moved to China: The organizers of Open Source Software Summit (OSSummit) Asia are now looking to hold the conference in mainland China. The event, organized by the Apache Software Foundation and Eclipse Foundation, was originally set to be held in Hong Kong in November last year, but was postponed due to the lack of response.

Audio conversion tools for Linux: Most portable audio players can play music encoded in the MP3 audio format, but some consumers also have music in Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, MPC, or even WMA files. How do you change from one format to another when you need to? Here are some of the best audio conversion tools available in Linux. One of the simplest and most elegant ways to convert audio files is by using the audio-convert script. It makes use of Zenity to display GUI messages and windows, but does the rest of its work from the command line.

Improve Security with Linux PAM: Linux Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) can help you protect world-writeable shared directories from abuse. This article for Linux system administrators lays out the steps to enable namespaces with PAM. The pam_namespace module creates a separate namespace for users on your system when they login to protect users from several types of security attacks.

Sun: MySQL buy ‘most important in software history’: Sun has claimed that completing its purchase of the open source database developer MySQL will enable it to become the most complete provider of open source server software. Jonathan Schwartz, Sun’s chief executive, said in a conference call on Tuesday that the US$1 billion acquisition “completed our capability to deliver a holistic, secure, open source platform for networks”, providing the last, key piece in a software stack that now rivals Microsoft’s.

Will The Canoniclique Finally Listen To Kubuntu?: Yesterday, Ubuntu tore a page from The Book of Dell and launched Brainstorm, an opportunity for its users to contribute their ideas to for software development and marketing. Kubuntu users finally have an invitation to vent their frustration at having a Cinderella distribution relegated to the role of ugly stepsister. Will Canonical respond?

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