The EeePC started as a niche product aimed at children. It was a huge hit, which surprised everybody -- even Asus. Microsoft noticed it, and started putting pressure on Asus . While reading around, I came across this interview with Benson Lin, which proces once more that Microsoft is tying up Asus and effectively killing the GNU/Linux version of the EeePC.
Steve Ballmer has recently sent a memo to every Microsoft employee. Ballmer's memo leaked really quickly (I wonder if he expected it). After swallowing the corporate-madness part (but that's allowed: he's a "mad" corporate leader after all), one particular passage really grabbed my attention. Taking about Internet applications being popular, he wrote: "But we also need to make sure developers have the .NET skills to write unique Windows applications using Windows Presentation Foundation". Which begs the question: does anybody still develop Microsoft Windows applications? Really?
Some people seem to challenge the idea that most (if not all) free software projects need a benevolent dictator--that is, somebody who has the last say on every decision. They are quick to point out Linus Torvalds' past "mistakes" (see the speech marks): using BitKeeper to manage the kernel, not allowing "pluggable" schedulers in Linux, etc. As a software developer, I feel that a dictator is absolutely necessary in every free software project. Here is why.
Respect earned by the BDFL
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.
I would like to ask the free software community to syndicate this entry as much as possible. It's not exciting, it's not "hot", but it is about the future of a great piece of free software.
The short version: I am looking for a new co-maintainer for Drigg.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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...
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.
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.
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
Nominate your entries for Free Software Magazine Awards 2008! To nominate a project, a person or a site, just leave a comment under this story or send an email with subject "Awards" to:
Nominations close on April, 30 2008. Hurry!
The core authors at Free Software Magazine will be the judges for the 2008 Free Software Magazine Awards.
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:
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?
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?
Unless a small miracle happens, OOXML is a standard. What's next?
(I withheld the release of this video in Free Software Magazine until I managed, with the help of a fantastic community member, to make it available in OGG format and in embedded video format. Thank you Michael Fötsch!)
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.
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