FSM Newsletter 5 May 2008

FSM Newsletter 5 May 2008


Mon, 2008-05-05 09:20 -- 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. Examining the Legendary HURD Kernel --"David Chisnall takes a look at the GNU Project's infamous HURD kernel, exploring some of the features that make it unique and some that have found their way into other systems. [...] Even in its current state, HURD exists to prove a point: It’s possible to have a complete and usable system running nothing other than GNU code." Read more...

  2. Can we rescue OLPC from Windows? - by Richard Stallman --"I read Negroponte's statement presenting the OLPC XO as a platform for Windows in the most ironic circumstances possible: during a week of preparing, under a deadline, to migrate personally to an XO. I made this decision for one specific reason: freedom..." Read more...

  3. Intellectual Enclosure, by Richard Stallman --"Thorough discussion of enclosure must consider the international institutions that impose it. The International Monetary Fund is a well-known example; its "rescue" agreements attack the intellectual commons through "user fees" for public school, which prevent millions of poor children from attending. Read more...

  4. Microsoft arguments against Linux are bollocks --Microsoft PR threw down the gauntlet; “see how Windows Server 2008 stacks up versus Linux,” they say. There’s a “Get the Facts” URL being promoted with claims of direct comparisons between the two operating systems. Anyone reading the headlines alone could be fooled into thinking there’s substance to be found. Read more...

  5. OOXML in India: Bullying of Critics, Even Professors --What kind of a monster would bully innocent computer scientists in order to defeat an international standard (ODF) that was created to facilitate the need of the entire industry, including universities? Read more...

  6. Disabling the GMail spam filter and handling it yourself using SpamAssassin --I've been using GMail ever since they decided to allow users to download their mail using POP. I was happy reading my email as usual in mutt. The only problem was that I had to log onto the website once in a while to clear out my spam folder and fish out the false positives. Read more...

  7. Should We Boycott Microsoft? Can We? --In part, the trigger for this is Microsoft's recent behaviour during the approval process for its OOXML document format. Read more...

  8. Affero General Public License - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia --"The GNU Affero General Public License or GNU AGPL is a free software license published by the Free Software Foundation. The GNU AGPL is similar to the GNU General Public License, except that it has an additional section to cover use over a computer network. It closes what is commonly known as the Application service provider loophole of the GNU General Public License. Read more...

  9. You're A Linux User/Supporter: You Just Don't Know It Yet --I'D like to start by asking you a series of seemingly unrelated questions. Have you watched Shrek or Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone? Have you flown on Continental, Virgin America or Singapore Airlines? Do you drive a BMW, Fiat or Renault car? Are you serving in the United States Army? Have you ever bought anything online using Paypal? Have you ever stayed in a Sheraton hotel? Read more...

  10. Shuttleworth Acknowledges Ubuntu’s Debt to Debian --New comers to Linux sometimes think that Ubuntu sprang forth from Linux as a totally new creation, the next generation of Linux. Old-hands at Linux know better. Now, Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, sets the story straight for those to whom Ubuntu 8.04 is the be-all and end-all of Linux. Read more...

Thanks to can.axis, chimera, komrad, missgeek, lucioalbenga, switchpin, and greengrass for these stories!

Latest content

The Bizarre Cathedral - 3 --By Ryan Cartwright and Tony Mobily. The latest strip from the Bizarre Cathedral. Read more...

Installing an all-in-one printer device in Debian --By Ryan Cartwright. Recently I had cause to buy a scanner. Being in a reasonably small home I was eager to save on desk-space, and so decided to upgrade my ageing inkjet printer at the same time. Having looked around I eventually went for an HP Photosmart C5180 device. This is my experience of installing it on Debian Lenny. Read more...

Indexing offline CD-ROM archives --By Terry Hancock. Suppose you’ve been good (or sort of good anyway), and you have a huge stack of CD-ROMs (or DVDs) with backups and archives of your old files. Great. But how can you find anything? I solved this problem today by making an index of all the files stored on these disks using a few simple GNU command line tools. Read more...

Things you miss with GNU/Linux --By Ryan Cartwright. Recently I’ve noticed an increases in the number of people I know who are migrating from Windows to GNU/Linux. Either my tireless advocacy is grinding them down, word is starting to spread. Perhaps they’ve actually seen Vista in action and decided to jump ship now. Either way there are some things they are going to miss when they make the leap. Read more...

Dillo the lean browser --By Gary Richmond. Using browsers which are Web 2.0 enabled whenever you just what to Google something is like calling out the Fire Brigade when you have just burned the toast. Definitive overkill. If you are just surfing for information, then you want the little browser on the low fat, low body-mass index, skinny latte diet with a low carbon footprint. If Dillo were a catwalk model, it would be size zero. Think of it as the Victoria Beckham of browsers— but better looking; where the big hitters like Firefox, Flock and Opera sometimes move like a Sloth on Mogadon, Dillo tears down the track like a Whippet on speed. Read more...

Interview with the Ekiga developers --By Tony Mobily. Ekiga is the most popular, free VoIP software available. When I asked the Ekiga team for an interview, there was a lot I didn’t know. For example, I had no idea I’d be interviewing quite so many people (coordination was quite a challenge!), and—more importantly—I didn’t know that so much knowledge would have been uncovered. Every single member had something important to say, and the result is an interview that becomes a unique insight into Ekiga, the VoIP world, free software development and team work. Read more...

Advertising

Please don't miss the LinuxTag in Berlin from the 27th to the 31st of May. This is Europe's largest get together of Open Source. Maybe we can even manage to get Mark Suttlewoth as a speaker. But besides this there are a lot of projects and good times at this event are certain: www.linuxtag.org

Latest content continued

DRM and the BBC iPlayer: an interview with Paul Battley --By Gary Richmond. In this post I will interview Paul Battley, the man who wrote the program that worked around the DRM loophole at the BBC. No GNU/Linux user needs to be told what DRM (aka Trusted Computing, aka Palladium) is and why it is a thoroughly pernicious and Hydra-headed monster that needs to be slain. I hope to make that the subject of a post in the very near future, but in the meantime here is a quick thumbnail sketch of what happened with the BBC’s iPlayer, to bring you up to speed. The interview with Paul Battley follows. Read more...

The Bizarre Cathedral - 2 --By Ryan Cartwright and Tony Mobily. Latest from the Bizarre Cathedral. Read more...

Microsoft and free software? I don't think so... --By Terry Hancock. Microsoft turn to free software? That’ll be the day. Some have suggested that Microsoft might embrace free software and thus resolve the present conflict. That actually would be a terrific strategy for them, but I don’t think that Microsoft is smart enough to do it. Read more...

Google App Engine: Is it evil? --By Terry Hancock. The Google App Engine doesn’t really advance the cause of evil all that much, but it’s not exactly good, either. Google makes a big deal about its corporate motto, “Don’t be evil”, but at the end of the day, Google really is just another corporation, no matter how well-intentioned its founders may have been. Regardless of whether the corporation holding the carrot is called “Microsoft” or “Google”, developers should think long and hard before following the primrose path towards lock-in to non-standard designs. Read more...

A quick look at the spring GNU/Linux distributions: Mandriva, Ubuntu, Fedora, and openSUSE --By Andrew Min. It’s really the most wonderful time of the year. Out of the top 6 GNU/Linux distributions (according to DistroWatch.com), four are releasing or have released builds between April and June. What’s new in them? Read more...

Latest book reviews

**Joomla! Accessibility By Joshue O Connor** --Reviewed by Richard Rothwell. This book concentrates mainly on making websites accessible, particularly to the visually impaired. These techniques are then used, more briefly, to explain how to make Joomla! sites accessible. The book’s author, Joshue O Connor, is clearly an expert on accessibility and has covered these areas well. Read more...

Reminders

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