A couple of months ago, Free Software Magazine went through what you'd call a "rough patch" in terms of hosting: 3FN, which hosted FSM, was effectively shut down by the FTC in the United States. Many companies had their backup servers on 3FN's networks -- and therefore lost everything. We were lucky enough to have a full backup over in Europe. So, we quickly moved everything to CariNet. What's the aftermath of this adventure?
Free software is definitely going strong in some areas, especially in the server market. However, there are other areas where free software and free protocols have failed. Internet based voice and video communication is one of those areas. The market is basically fully owned by Skype, a piece of proprietary software based on a proprietary (and abusive) protocol in the hands the same company that runs eBay. Free software advocates have been saying "what if Skype was discontinued?" for years. Then I read about eBay considering shutting Skype down. Pardon?
This article was originally published on "2008-06-15 13:09:55 +0000". I re-read it, and decided that it deserved to be re-published in Free Software Magazine as a tribute to those individual who made GNU/Linux possible. 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.
The free software world has its own heroes. You probably know a lot of them already; if you don't, you probably use the results of their work on a daily basis.
This article is both a tribute to them, and a summary to those people who are new to the free software world.
A small revolution in the IT world is about to happen, and we are about to witness it. Microsoft Windows' domination has been challenged many times: first by OS/2 (failed), then Apple (failed), then Java and network computing (failed), then GNU/Linux and Ubuntu (failed, so far). And now, Google's Chrome OS. After such a long list of failures, what makes me think that this latest attempt will actually succeed?
There is a list of factors. Let's have a look.
I had the pleasure to talk to Amanda McPherson, one of the minds behind LinuxCon, "LinuxCon is a new annual technical conference that will provide an unmatched collaboration and education space for all matters Linux". Where and where: September 21 - 23 2009, Portland.
GNU/Linux is slowly invading everybody's everyday life. I won't say "The year of the GNU/Linux desktop is here". Been there, done that. But, GNU/Linux is definitely imposing its presence -- think about Android, or the number of people who are currently using GNU/Linux as their main desktop.
And yet, software installation in GNU/Linux is broken. No, not broken... it's terribly broken. Why is that, and what can be done to fix it?
At the moment, we are looking for tutorial-style articles for Free Software Magazine.
Some of our readers pointed out that our magazine is focussing more and more on "opinions", and we are forgetting how to get our hands dirty.
I have been talking about the convergence of telephony and desktop computing for years. Nowadays, more and more companies are announcing small devices ("netbooks") that will run Android -- and we are not talking about phones here. Is this the beginning of a new revolution? Or maybe not?
This article is necessarily going to be short: I am busy restoring our server from a backup from the 2nd of June. Why? Because 3FN was shut down by the FTC; and yes, 3fn is the hosting company we used and were sponsored by.
We are now hosting the magazine with the angels at OpenHosting, which in this case were a life saver.
The 2009 USENIX Annual Technical Conference (USENIX '09) will take place June 14-19, 2009, in San Diego, CA.
Our friends at USENIX asked us to spread the word... so here we are. This is not a full blog post, but it's definitely worth knowing about USENIX -- especially if you are in California next month!
What's in a look? Before Apple started making immensely slick, sexy hardware, the main issues were always "specs", "graphic cards", "memory". Then, the game changed. People started buying Apple computers because they looked good -- inside and out. Their computers (and gadgets) are immensely appealing. Their operating system, OS X, is a pleasure to look at. When the iPhone was announced, I knew it was going to be the equivalent of Naomi Campbell in the cell phone world. And I was right.
Are iPhones just too sexy to compete against them?
Microsoft has recently announced that its beloved encyclopaedia, Microsoft Encarta, will soon be discontinued. After October 31, 2009 its contents will no longer be available. Both the online version and the CD ROM version will be discontinued.
My first reaction was "what a pity". My job is to gather and publish good contents. I know how much work goes into creating and publishing material. This news must have been quite hard to digest for people who have been working on Encarta for a while. The two main questions that come to mind, however, are: "Why?", and more importantly, "What about the contents?"
When the GNU/Linux revolution started reaching the masses, around 2000, I predicted that by 2010 there would be full vendor support for the free operating system. Well, it's 2009, and I have to admit it -- I am feeling nervous. This article will outline my odyssey, the causes that triggered it, and -- for a change - a number of possible solutions. (Note: in this article I will mainly focus on third party devices such as 3G modems, cameras, MP3 players, and other "support" hardware which can be seen as "gadget".)
You have in your virtual hands the last issue of Free Software Magazine. But, this doesn't mean that FSM is closing down -- in fact, quite the opposite. However, things are changing.
Let me explain.
I am always interested when a company uses GNU/Linux to create really, really useful services. When that company is in your own town, and I get to spend time with the person who created it and made it successful, I get even more excited! Liam Bennett manages eConfirm Inc, an Australian company that offers business SMS text messaging services, based on GNU/Linux. Here's what Liam has to say about his experience with GNU/Linux and free software in general.
TM: Thank you for answering my questions, Liam. You are a boot-strapping a company using GNU/Linux. Can you tell me what you do, in simple words?
A little while ago, while talking in the #drupal mailing list, I showed my latest creation to one of the core developers there. His reaction was "Wow, I am always surprised what people use Drupal for". His surprise is somehow justified: I did create a site for a bunch of entertainers in Perth, a company set to use Drupal to take over the world with Entertainers.Biz.
Update: since writing this article, I have updated the system so that the whole booking process happens online. I will update the article accordingly!
The world of computers has changed. Sub-notebooks are becoming immensely popular, mobile phones based on Google's Android software are about to come out (T-Mobile have just announced their G1 will launch on October 22), and computers are looking increasingly like small devices that fit in our pockets. The end of 2008 might see the dawn of a new revolution in the computer industry and in people's lives. Maybe 2009 will be remembered as the year when the "world went mobile". What does this mean for the (free and non-free) software industry? Where will we be, technologically and (more importantly) culturally? Where will the market (and the money) be?
I am Drigg's founder and developer. Drigg and Pligg are pieces of software that will allow you to create Digg-like sites. People sometimes ask me if they should pick Drigg or Pligg. When it happens, I am not sure what I should answer. This article will hopefully solve the dilemma for most of them. Please note that I am bound to be biased here. I am an ex-Pligg users, who happened to have the both the need and the skills to create an equivalent product. I would have never forked Pligg had I liked Pligg in the first place. So... well, feel free to tell me what I got wrong with facts -- I will correct this post accordingly.