Tony Mobily's articles

Interview with Liran Tal, author of daloRADIUS

Hello Liran. Thank you for answering our questions! First of all, you are the main developer of daloRADIUS... What is it in very simple terms?

daloRADIUS is a web application written in PHP with the purpose to manage a RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial In User Service) deployment, suited for both WISPs (Wireless Internet Service Providers) and Hotspots.

Ian Lynch's take on the BECTA fiasco

I have recently read an eye-opening email from Ian Lynch about what happened in the UK with BECTA.

I have received his permission to republish here his thoughts. I think his email speaks volumes about what happened.

Ian Lynch's email

Fundamentally, I'm not complaining that we were not successful in the tender - I have no idea how strong the winning bid was. I'm complaining that the tender process adopted was broken. This is despite the fact that 130 MPs signed an Early Day Motion in Parliament last year censuring BECTA for procurement frameworks that block out Open Source.

The Groklaw effect hits Becta. And yes, I am coining a new term

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.

While you can't really Groklaw a site, you can definitely Groklaw a company or a court case.

So, what is the Groklaw effect specifically?

Vienna failed to migrate to GNU/Linux: why?

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.

A future without Microsoft

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!

Ubuntu Netbook Remix: a detailed explanation

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...

GNU/Linux and free software are unstoppable

When I first saw GNU/Linux (the kernel plus the utilities) in 1994, I was amazed. I started using GNU/Linux as a server system, rather than a desktop machine, and I just couldn't stop thinking: "This will only keep better and better. There is no limit. This is simply unstoppable. Everybody will be using this, and only this, by the year 2000". Remember that the year 2000 seemed really quite far off... and that I was being genuinely optimistic.

Dubious ads in Free Software Magazine

Hello Everybody,

This is an emergency post. I am writing it in Dubai. I am on my way to Rome and then London, only have 50 minutes left in my EeePC and no Dubai power adapter. The joys of travelling...

Some dubious ads have appeared in Free Software Magazine. I have received reports of a "virus scanner" (fake) with a malicious redirection. We currently use two ad networks, IDG and Adsense, and I don't have any way to figure out which one is giving problems. In any case, having worked with both of them, I am 100% sure this is something that simply slipped the net.

Interview with the Ekiga developers

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.

Julien Puydt, Damien Sandras, Matthias Schneider, Yannick Defais, Jan Schampera, These guys know telephony. They were born with a directory in their pockets. This interview is not to be missed. Enjoy.

Many thanks to Gary Richmond for editing this epic interview

Interview with Kurt Denke, the man who shut "Monster Cable" up

I was lucky enough to catch Kurt Denke for a short interview. Kurt is actually on vacation right now; however, he still found some time to answer my questions. For those who have been living under a rock for the last week, Kurt Denke is the owner of Blue Jeans Cable; Monster Cable attacked Blue Jeans Cable on the basis of "Intellectual Property violations". You should read Kurd Denke's response. It's a very enjoyable read, which makes you realise just how knowledgeable Kurt Denke is, on intellectual property law and on cables (!).

Here is the interview:

Tertiary menu in Drupal 6

By default, Drupal allows you to set a "primary" menu and a "secondary" menu. At this point you should know that if you go to admin-> menus -> settings and pick the same menu for both primary and secondary links, the secondary links menu will contain the sub-menu of the selected item in the primary menu.

What happens if you have three levels of menus?

Drigg (the pligg alternative) vs. Pligg: why should people switch?

As some of you already know, I am the main developer for Drigg. I donated probably more than 1000 hours of my life to the Drigg project, because I believed in it. After reviewing existing CMSs out there, I believe that Drigg is the best system available today for people who want to create Digg-like sites (but, in fact, when people deploy Drigg they get fully functional Drupal sites...!). You can see my contributions to Drigg daily. One more programmer has joined Drigg, which is going right ahead.

However, Drigg's community is still smaller than Pligg, its main competitor. Why?

Virgin Mobile Australia: the path Google doesn't (yet?) follow

There are companies we love and respect. Google is one of them. Regardless of their mistakes, their jet, their priorities in terms of software releases, there is an "innate" trust.

But, is it safe to trust Google?

I am asking this because I got burned. Not by Google, but by Virgin Mobile Australia.

Free software magazine allows readers to create community posts!

Dear readers,

There is some news. This is important news about Free Software Magazine, and it affects the community. Please spread the word far and wide, in your blogs, news hubs, social networking, and so on.

What's the fuss about?

Well, all of our readers can now create contents in Free Software Magazine’s site, starting from now.

What is the free software community?

In this video, I try to answer the question "What is the free software community?" Comments, or even community posts in response to this, are most welcome!

Note: you will need a flash player to see this video. We are examining options. If you have success using Gnash, or know of a video service that is more free software friendly, please let us know!

Linux phones: a fragmented market in search of a leader (Google?)

About five years ago, it was clear to me that personal computers would disappear... in our pockets. Along many other analysts, I could see computers getting smaller and smaller, and mobile phones getting busier and busier. Eventually, my dream-prediction said, it wouldn't quite be "one computer on every desk" but a much more exciting "one computer in every pocket, and one monitor/keyboard paid on every desk".

We are getting there, and yet again GNU/Linux is missing that train.

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