Issue 13

Issue 13

Security bulletins, computers, and cars

If you’re connected to the internet, you are vulnerable to attacks. I don’t care what operating system, which browser, what firewall, anti-virus, or anti-spyware you have installed—there’s a vulnerability on your system somewhere. Even the tools security researchers use to analyze attacks can be used against their owners as a way of breaking into their machines.

Asterisk

Asterisk is a phone system in software. It can replace large and expensive business phone systems, powering thousands of extensions, or it can help home users save money on long distance. Because it’s implemented in software, it is extremely versatile, easy to customize, and easy to extend.

The need for Asterisk

Edubuntu, Linux Terminal Server and thin clients

You walk into the room. It’s cool and quiet. You see thirty new workstations giving great service. Your cost of hardware was CAD$350 for each workstation, CAD$10 to connect it to an existing 100Mbps LAN, and about CAD$60 for a share of a server in another room (CAD$1 = US$0.87). Your software costs were only some download and CD burn time and forty minutes for installation. Your operating costs are virtually nil. The server runs for months without a reboot. The workstations have nothing but network boot loaders. You back up only one machine, the server.

Introduction to Content Management Systems

In the beginning, the web was simple. You used Mosaic to browse it. You used a text editor to construct pages on it in a language called HTML. If you weren’t a techie, you probably didn’t even know it existed. Then people realised that even non-techies had useful information (“content”) to share. So the Content Management System (CMS) was born.

What is a CMS?

Changing the Ubuntu look

Follow along and watch while I take a stock Ubuntu desktop and transform it something really slick!

Introduction

Window borders, icons, splash images and other graphical user interface (GUI) preferences are largely a subjective thing. Still, it’s nice to have the tools available to transform the GUI into something that is more pleasing to your eye. Fortunately, GNU/Linux makes it relatively easy to mould your desktop environment into whatever suits your taste, and Ubuntu is no exception.

Towards a free matter economy—part 7

If you had a matter economy based on free-licensed design, what would you do with it? Why does this apply to space settlements? Are there practical projects? Who would need them? Why is free-design the right way to go? This final installment in the free matter economy series will attempt to answer these questions by taking a brief tour of the kinds of roadblocks that lead to the concept of applying free software methods to space.

Free software games: Tetris clones

Free software has populated almost every sector of the computer software arena: from office suites to encyclopedias to full operating systems. One genre of computer software that most people overlook when thinking of free software is gaming. The fact is, sites such as Freshmeat have literally thousands of free software and freeware games for a huge variety of operating systems.

Free software has populated almost every sector of the computer software arena

Software patents

Demonstrations over the proposed “Software Patent Directive” in Europe (since rejected by the EU Parliament) were sometimes quite theatrical, and involved at least one “naval battle”. Mikko Rauhala created an ingenious way to counteract the influence of large corporations who were promoting the idea that software patents should be allowed in Europe—he collected pledges of money from the public to offer as bribes to politicians. A “Software Patent Violation Contest” was also organised.

Editorial

I don’t like writing controversial editorials. Controversy is an effective means to get a lot of accesses: most people seem to enjoy reading controversial articles, maybe because they like torturing themselves. (And yes, I used to read a lot of Maureen O’Gara’s articles myself!). Besides, controversy is a double edged sword: there’s very little chance that I would ever go back to those sites!

And yet here I am.

Printing with Ubuntu

Ubuntu makes printing reasonably easy and straightforward. This brief article is for those who need a specific and encouraging step-by-step guide. I hope that this article will not only ensure that you print with ease, but that you have every reason to enjoy a productive GNU/Linux desktop.

Before you begin the installation steps below, connect your printer/s. You need to do this prior to turning your system on. This helps to ensure Ubuntu recognizes how the printer is connected to the system, and it allows Ubuntu to identify the specific printer port.

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