Issue 5

Issue 5

On the “Creative Commons”: a critique of the commons without commonalty

On the face of it, the Creative Commons project appears to be a success. It has generated interest in the issue of intellectual property and the erosion of the “public domain”, and it has contributed to re-thinking the role of the “commons” in the “information age”. It has provided institutional, practical and legal support for individuals and groups wishing to experiment and communicate with culture more freely. A growing number of intellectual and artistic workers are now enrolling in the Creative Commons network and exercising the agency and freedom it has made available.

The future of computing: is free software ready?

The future is the state of things yet to come. One can only expect what may happen and never know what will happen. The future can only be predicted based on past experience. The predictions differ based on the forecaster and his experience, in-depth understanding and knowledge. The technological future is the technology of the future, the destiny of the technology of today.

The future can only be predicted based on past experience. The predictions differ based on the forecaster and his experience, in-depth understanding and knowledge

Free software 2.0

Free software (and open source) license models have become the most influential force in business IT to date. The first part of this article presents a brief history of free software, combined with the findings from an analysis of the attitudes and expectations, across several hundred large and medium-sized businesses, relating to free software. The second part of this article presents Delphi Group’s vision for the next wave of commercial free software, where demand is driven not by cost alone, but foremost by quality of service and increased agility.

Who’s behind that web site?

Let’s talk about phishing. Phishing is just like fishing, only your identity is the fish and the bait is an email that looks like it came from your bank, or eBay, or Paypal, or any other legitimate place. The goal is to get you to follow a link to a site owned by the phisher, and trick you into divulging some private information, such as your bank account number, pin, passwords, or social security number.

Book review: From Bash to Z Shell by Oliver Kiddle, Jerry Peek and Peter Stephenson

If you use a free software operating system or environment, chances are one of your key interfaces will be through some kind of shell. Most people assume the bulk of the power of shells comes from the commands available within them, but some shells are actually powerful in their own right. Many of the more recent releases being more like a command line programming environment than a command line interface. “From Bash to Z Shell” published by Apress, provides a guide to using various aspects of the shell.

Linux-VServer

Everyone is eager to virtualize their working environment to take advantage of the abstraction layer it provides. Some may require resource isolation for enhanced security, others may need development environments for testing and debugging. Whatever your needs are, virtualization will save you resources through utilizing them more efficiently. This is done by exploiting synergies built on proven technologies, improving availability and reducing downtime, adding scalability through duplication and gaining a certain degree of hardware independence.

Gains from virtualization

The leap from virtual host to virtual machine

Back in the good old days, when men were men, women were women and the standard way for two computers to talk to each other was through a cable plugged into the serial port, was when I first took the plunge into this “internet” thingy and signed up with an ISP. Then, armed with a modem, a telephone line that doubled as a fax, Netscape 1.1 and a sense of adventure, I surfed web sites, emailed the few others I knew who had also taken the plunge and joined in on worldwide discussions on what we called “News Groups”.

Book review: Linux in a Windows World by Roderick Smith

Linux in Windows World aims to solve the problems experienced by many system administrators when it comes to using Linux servers (and to a lesser extent clients) within an existing Windows environment. Overall the book is meaty and a quick flick through shows an amazing amount of information has been crammed between the covers. There are though some immediately obvious omissions, given the books title and description, but I’m hoping this won’t detract from the rest of the content.

The book’s cover The book’s cover

The contents

The internet’s plague: spam

When the internet became a “thing” for the masses, it was around 1995. Well, it was a little earlier for some, and later for some others, but I think 1995 is a pretty good point of reference.

At the time, we all thought the internet could be a_ utopia_, a place where nothing really bad could happen because we were all connected to one another - almost literally.

Anonymity made things even more exciting: there was the freedom to be however we wanted to be (who has never, ever lied on IRC?!?) and to join groups we’d never dreamed of joining before.

Xen, the virtual machine monitor

Virtualization is set to become a key requirement for every server in the data center. This trend is a direct consequence of an industry-wide focus on the need to reduce the Total Cost of Operation (TCO) of enterprise computing infrastructure. In spite of the widespread adoption of relatively cheap, industry standard x86-based servers, enterprises have seen costs and complexity escalate rapidly.

Virtualization is set to become a key requirement for every server in the data center

Haskell

Many programmers are fluent in several programming languages. Most of these languages have some things in common. Loops and variables are fundamental features of most languages.

I want to show you a different way of solving problems. Haskell takes a different approach than you’re used to—to just about everything.

Why Haskell is interesting?

There are quite a few things about Haskell that make it interesting and unique:

  • Haskell has no loops because it doesn’t need them. There is no “for” or “while” in Haskell.

Newsflash!

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is an XML based web content syndication format. RSS has become the defacto feature on weblogs and many news sites. Almost all major news sites and weblogs provide an RSS feed for their audience. An RSS-aware program (aka RSS reader) can check these RSS feeds for changes and display the updates in a human readable format.

RSS has become the de facto feature on weblogs and many news sites

Web site blocking techniques

For a variety of reasons, organizations have very strict policies regarding web site access. These policies usually mean that not all users have permission to access all web sites.

This article will explain two techniques that can be used to block web site access to specified groups of users at specified times, using Squid’s built-in mechanism and using squidGuard.

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