FSM Newsletter 16 June 2008

FSM Newsletter 16 June 2008


Mon, 2008-06-16 13:59 -- admin

Hello readers, and welcome once again to Free Software Magazine 's fortnightly newsletter, keeping you up to date with all things free software... AND the top 10 FSDaily announcements for this week! Enjoy!

General announcements

Top ten Free Software Daily stories this week

  1. New FSDaily feature: community blogs! --If you are registered member of FSDaily and are logged in, you will see a new option next to "My account"... that's right - you now have your very own FSDaily blog account. If you have something free software related to tell the community go ahead and post it. Read more...

  2. New Free Software Foundation and GNU Online Store Opened --After many years of hard work, the old FSF order form has been retired and replaced with a brand new web store, based on code from the Satchmo project. You can now show your support for freedom in software and computing by buying some cool t-shirts, books, stickers, reference cards and other FSF/GNU gear. Read more...

  3. GNewSense, the Present and the Future --"You would think that a GNU/Linux distribution dedicated to shipping only free software would be uncontroversial. After all, isn't free software what GNU/Linux is all about? Yet, when the latest version of GNewSense was announced recently, Slashdot readers were divided in their reactions..." Read more...

  4. ISO puts standard for Microsoft's OOXML document formats on hold --As the ISO announced, the planned ISO/IEC DIS 29500 cannot be published until these complaints have been heard. Procedure requires that they be dealt with by the end of June, when the ISO and IEC have to hand over their comments on the complaints to two management committees for a final decision. Read more...

  5. Four national standards bodies appeal against approval of ISO/IEC DIS 29500 --Four national standards body members of ISO and IEC – Brazil, India, South Africa and Venezuela – have submitted appeals against the recent approval of ISO/IEC DIS 29500, Information technology – Office Open XML formats, as an ISO/IEC International Standard. Read more...

  6. Linux captures the 'green' flag, beats Windows 2008 power-saving measures --Independent tests show that Red Hat Linux pulls as much as 12% less power than Windows 2008 on identical hardware. Read more...

  7. GPL: why can't a lawyer understand it? --Nearly a year after the Free Software Foundation released an updated version of the General Public License - the GPLv3 - there appears to be a great deal of confusion about what the license actually means, if one goes by two recent publications. Read more...

  8. Relevance of Free Software and its Philosophy in the Digital Era --As technology progresses, old techniques will be replaced by the new one,and with the old techniques, goes irrelevant the jobs and revenue streams associated with them...But pre-digital era profit makers are not following the above rule and they are using the very same technology to make inconvenience that did not exist before... Read more...

  9. Tasty Tomato firmware for routers --Breathe new functionality into your router with Tomato third-party firmware for popular models of Broadcom-based routers, including popular models manufactured by Linksys. Read more...

  10. Sneak Peeks at openSUSE 11.0: Package Management, with Duncan --In this article we will be covering all of the changes in and around the package management stack in the upcoming openSUSE 11.0. The new package management is among the fastest, most memory efficient and featureful PM stacks available. There have been a plethora of both visual and behind-the-scenes changes. Read more...

Thanks to dave, JRepin, lozz, peacemaker, mads, freedom.fighter1988, and apokryphos for these stories!

Latest content

The Groklaw effect hits Becta. And yes, I am coining a new term --By Tony Mobily. Quite a long time ago (maybe in 2000), people started talking about the Slashdot effect. Being Slashdotted meant (and still means) that a truckload of computers online suddenly decide to access your site, because one of your pages was linked from Slashdot’s home page. The results on your servers used to be disastrous. I think I ought to attempt something brave: I would like to coin a new word: the Groklaw effect. Read more...

The Bizarre Cathedral - 9 --By Ryan Cartwright. Latest from the Bizarre Cathedral. Read more...

Free software heroes: from Stallman to Google, a list of inspiring individuals who made everything possible --By Tony Mobily. Every field has its own key individuals who donated much of their time to the ideas they believed in. Each one of them is a reminder that it’s up to individuals to make a difference — and to make history. Their work affects large chunks of the world’s population, and bring amazing changes to the way we see and experience the world. Read more...

Charging for GNU/Linux is not the answer --By Ryan Cartwright. I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw a item entitled “Maybe we should charge for Linux” in an established GNU/Linux site like Linux Today, and from the managing editor no less! Well I just couldn’t let it pass without comment. Read more...

Mobile devices in GNU/Linux and GNOME --By Mitch Meyran. You have a computer (a laptop or a desktop). Since it’s a machine you use often and don’t tinker with much, it probably runs Ubuntu Linux. Or, maybe, another distribution (like Mandriva 2008). If it doesn’t run GNU/Linux, I hope you’re at least using BSD. If not, stop reading right now! Read more...

Advertising

The 2008 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX '08) will take place June 22-27, 2008, in Boston, MA.

Join leading researchers and practitioners in Boston, MA, for 6 full days on the latest technologies and cutting-edge practices, including training by industry experts such as Peter Baer Galvin, Bruce Potter, and Alan Robertson; starting June 25, technical sessions includeg a keynote address by David Patterson, U.C. Berkeley Parallel Computing Laboratory; Plenary Closing by Matthew Melis, NASA Glenn Research Center; other Invited Talks by speakers including Drew Endy, co-founder of the BioBricks Foundation (BBF); and the Refereed Papers track. Learn the latest ground-breaking practices from researchers from around the globe. Topics include virtualization, storage, open source, security, networking, and more.

Register by June 6 and save up to $300! http://www.usenix.org/usenix08/fsm

Latest content continued

Chapter 3: Configuring your project with Autoconf --By John Calcote. We should all be very grateful to David MacKenzie for having the foresight to—metaphorically speaking—stop and sharpen the ax. Otherwise we’d still be writing (copying) and maintaining long, complex hand-coded configure scripts today. Read more...

Let's stop playing the numbers game: free software has changed the game. --By Ryan Cartwright. Tony Mobily’s recent FSM post A future without Microsoft and the resulting comments have caused me to consider the way we use numbers to argue for free software in the marketplace. I’m not convinced that it’s the best strategy because those waters are particularly muddy when it comes to comparing free and proprietary software. Read more...

Practical guide to Mindquarry --By Dimitri Popov. If you are looking for a powerful yet easy to use collaboration solution, you might want to take a closer look at http://www.mindquarry.com. Groupware tools are a dime a dozen these days, but there are a few features that make Mindquarry stand out from the crowd. Read more...

Vienna failed to migrate to GNU/Linux: why? --By Tony Mobily. Several governments and councils reported multi-year migration plans to GNU/Linux. Free software activists praised each one of them in their blogs and commentaries. However, a few months or years on, some of those plans crumbled. Vienna is one of them. A question here begs to be answered: why did it happen? The City of Vienna made several crucial mistakes. In this article, I will list the most prominent ones. Read more...

A future without Microsoft --By Tony Mobily. It’s June 2008, and it’s not a good time to be a Microsoft shareholder or employee. The computing industry is changing very, very quickly, creating new opportunities and killing once-prosperous markets. In this short article, I will outline these changes in relation to free software and Microsoft. If you can think of more changes, or if you don’t agree with some of my forecasts, please let me know! Read more...

A Technological Singularity: What are the Implications for Free Software? --By Gary Richmond. I was at another meeting of the Editorial board of the Skibbereen Eagle yesterday. Hopefully you read the outcome of the last one. Some clever clogs suggested that it might be a spiffing wheeze to write something about the possible implications of the much mooted singularity (is that a proper noun, with a capital S?) and what it might mean for the future of both free and proprietary software. Read more...

Advertising

Don’t miss the North American Perl Conference, YAPC::NA 2008, being held in Chicago, Illinois June 16th-18th. This grassroots events features hours of advanced hands-on tutorials, over sixty technical talks, and keynotes from Larry Wall, creator of Perl, and Brian Fitzpatrick and Ben Collins-Sussman, key contributors to the Subversion project and to Google’s Open Source efforts. Experience all three days of the conference for only $100. There is a 10% discount on the conference fee if you register with the conference code ‘FSM’.

Also, don’t miss out on the pre and post conference hack-a-thons, as well as, the Master Classes immediately following the conference. If you are new to Perl or an experienced Perl hacker, you’ll find something for you at YAPC::NA 2008

Latest content continued

Ubuntu Netbook Remix: a detailed explanation --By Tony Mobily. Lately, there has been a lot of noise about Ubuntu’s Netbook Remix. In an unrelated (and definitely lucky) interview with The Guardian, Mark Shuttleworth hinted that Canonical were about to announce a version of Ubuntu for a new class of devices created by accident by Asus with the EeePc (talk about corporate luck…). Th buzz about this was monumental. But… what is Ubuntu Netbook Remix? Here is the answer… Read more...

Tale of a codec optimisation: doing things the GNU/Linux way --By Mitch Meyran. Encoding is a CPU-intensive operation. Whilst encoding, using optimised code is crucial. In this short article I will explain how I gained a 300% speed boost when encoding DVDs and will show how having the program’s sources and being able to talk to the maintainers sometimes really, really helps. Welcome to doing things “the GNU/Linux way”. Read more...

The Bizarre Cathedral - 8 --By Ryan Cartwright. Latest from the Bizarre Cathedral. Read more...

Running a GNU/Linux desktop on the web with Ulteo --By Gary Richmond. Is it possible to develop full GNU/Linux desktops that run on the web and can therefore be accessed from anywhere? We already have a flavour of this with web-based services such as Google’s Gmail, Google Docs and online storage space but these are run from the user’s own desktop and are restricted to bespoke services. What about full desktops? Enter Ulteo, created by Gael Duval. Read more...

DOSBox, a multiplatform PC emulator --By Michael Reed. DOSBox is a freely available, cross-platform PC emulator. Rather than attempting to be the technology leader as a business-orientated virtualization environment like VMware or Qemu, DOSBox instead offers a rich set of features aimed at closely recreating the behaviour of a retro gaming PC. To this end, it offers a selection of accurate sound card emulations and facilities to throttle the emulation speed back to vintage PC levels, along with other features designed to make sure that the old games run properly and accurately within a protected environment. Read more...

Latest book reviews

**Java EE 5 Development using GlassFish Application Server by David R. Heffelfinger** --Reviewed by Alan Berg. A day in the life of an application server. Read more...

**Ruby by Example: Concepts and Code by Kevin C. Baird** --Reviewed by Alan Berg. Full of examples. Read more...

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