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01.15.09

Links 15/01/2009: GNU/Linux Tops Windows, OS X

Posted in News Roundup at 10:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

GNU/Linux

  • ES: Axarquía county administration moves all desktops to open source

    The administration of the Spanish county of Axarquía is about to begin its move to open source desktops. About seven hundred PCs in all county government offices and in town halls in Rincón de la Victoria, Periana, Totalan, Moclinejo and Almáchar are the first to be fitted with open source software

  • How windows anti Linux strategy will backfire in 2009

    Microsoft has a strategy aimed at converting Linux/Unix users to windows, this is obvious because they are creating the tools and extensions to windows that resemble Linux.

    [...]

    Microsoft likes to see open source coming to windows, they rather have people using apache and gimp on windows than having them use it on any other OS. But the open source software will start eating windows from the inside, firefox, open office, the gimp, you name it. People I know are not using Linux, mainly because they don’t know how to use the programs.

  • DECT Forum Responds To Security Questions

    According to published reports, researchers at the 25th annual Chaos Communications Congress demonstrated the security breaches using a Linux laptop. The breaches reportedly would occur with either the current DECT standard and the forthcoming CAT-iq update.

  • X Input 2.0 Protocol Draft Specification

    Peter Hutterer, the mastermind behind Multi-Pointer X, has released the draft specification for the X Input 2.0 protocol.

  • Beta Vista 7

    • Why Linux will crush Windows 7

      Desktop Linux is moving forward. All the major computer vendors are now selling at least one PC, laptop or netbook with Linux. Many, if not most, PCs and netbooks will have SplashTop Linux soldiered right on their motherboard in 2009. Netbooks, the new hot computer model, often have Linux running on them. And, oh yeah, some company named Google seems to be making some interesting moves with Android Linux on netbooks. Oh, and have I mentioned that Windows’ market share has actually dropped below 90% of the desktop market.

    • Mortal OS Kombat: Linux versus Windows 7

      My take: Linux

      There’s no doubt that Windows 7 will make more headway into the netbook market than its failed attempts at capitalizing on this emerging sector in 2008. But the ultimate factor in the netbook space isn’t the feature-set of the operating system. It’s the cost. When two similar notebooks exist at a hundred dollar price gap, we can’t envision a consumer adopting the pricier model just for the Windows 7 experience. The hype can’t possibly be that much of a selling point… right? Consumers might be having a trickier time adopting Linux, but in a worsening economy, they might have a more difficult time sacrificing that extra cash.

    • 7 reasons why Windows 7 will not wreck Ubuntu

      # Ubuntu has an entrepreneur at the helm. Microsoft beat IBM because it had Bill Gates up against a bunch of suits. Now Microsoft is a bunch of suits and Ubuntu has Mark Shuttleworth.
      # Ubuntu has more server compatibility. Linux continues to beat Windows on the server, and servers (in the form of clouds) are becoming dominant over clients.
      # Ubuntu’s friends will not desert it. HP and Dell have gotten a taste of freedom from Microsoft tyranny. They won’t give that up easily. They will continue seeking product line niches where Ubuntu can succeed.
      # The Netbook will continue to evolve. The “no moving parts” PC is still at Version 1.0. There is a niche for a cheap, profitable “online machine” that can be used in Airports, hotel rooms and sandy deserts.

  • Apple

    • Switching

      You might have gathered from some of my more recent posts that I’ve switched platform. My main machine is now a Dell laptop, running Ubuntu 8.10.

      [...]

      Apple doesn’t produce a less-powerful 15in machine, but plenty of other vendors do. It’s understandable from a supply-line and product simplicity perspective for Apple to keep its product lines as tight as possible. But at the end of the day it also means that it doesn’t make a machine which matches my needs.

    • The end of my love affair with Apple?

      I, for one, have become reacquainted with Linux and its incredible flexibility on a wide variety of hardware. Linux allows me to have a “real computer” inside some very inexpensive hardware, whether netbooks or extremely cheap desktops. Even if Apple starts dumping their remaining white MacBooks on educational institutions, we’re still going to be looking at $800 a pop. Their more interesting products climb quickly.

      [...]

      Apple is losing its luster for me. I’ll always feel warm and fuzzy inside walking into an Apple Store, but the other night we were talking about how to meet the computing needs of our family of six. Three out of four kids are using computers all the time for school now (and are far more likely to pop onto a computer than watch TV, a trend that I welcome happily). My youngest rarely “needs” a computer for school, but can easily make use of one (and is frequently bumped from a computer by his older brothers who actually need them to type papers, create presentations, conduct research, etc.).

    • Apple fanboy defects to Linux

      SELF-CONFESSED Apple fanboy Christopher Dawson has decided that it is too expensive keeping his addiction to the hi-tech toys going and has defected to Linux.

    • Apple Urges Wired To Remove Hackintosh Video, Article

      It appears that Apple is not just going after Psystar when it comes to running Mac OS X on non-Apple branded computers. Wired’s gadget blog was running a story, accompanied by a video, demonstrating how to install Mac OS X on a non-Apple netbook. After Apple contacted Wired, the website took down the video.

    • Open Source Alternatives to iTunes: Your Favorite?

      While it’s true that Apple iTunes has some compelling services, such as their TV/music/movie store, the media player itself leaves many power users yearning for something more.

      To be sure, the alternatives don’t have Apple’s muscle with the media industry. This translates into a lack of a movie/TV download service to be seriously competitive with the likes of what iTunes can provide. Despite this drawback, there are still some great open source alternatives to iTunes for those who are more interested in software freedom than software convenience.

  • Guides

    • How To Migrate Your Desktop From Windows To Linux

      Moving from Windows to Linux is a big decision, and actually making the leap can be challenging and intimidating. By understanding the planning and preparation process for migrating to Linux, business owners and IT staff will know what to expect during installation so they can make the move manageable and straightforward.

    • Step-By-Step: Migrating Your Desktop From Windows To Linux

      You can make the move from Windows to Linux in no time at all by following the steps in this hands-on guide where you’ll learn how to migrate your desktop PC to Ubuntu Linux.

    • Free Ways to approach Ubuntu from Windows

      For Windows Users: Apart the rhetoric that Linux is not Windows, how can one gradually get used to this different way of conceiving an operating system? Ubuntu has many killer applications Windows users can benefit from. If you’re stuck in your Windows sphere and do not intend moving out – no problem, it is understandable, but you can still improve your productivity by running Ubuntu and many of its indispensable applications on your Windows OS.

  • Shows

    • Interview: Dann Washko, The Linux Link Tech Show

      After being a guest on The Linux Link Tech Show back in December I asked Dann Washko if I he would be interested in allowing me to conduct an email interview with him for MontanaLinux.org. He kindly agreed. If you aren’t familiar with The Linux Link Tech Show… pull your head out of the sand and check out their wikipedia page. I hope to add a picture or two of Dann and his co-hosts if he can come up with some in the not too distant future.

    • Ubuntu Podcast Episode #17
  • Channel/OEM

    • The Gatekeepers of our technology

      The Linux Community is having an on-again off-again love affair with Dell. It’s been a rocky affair since Dell decided it would bump the positive side of their ledger by offering the Linux Operating System on their products.

      There have been some embarrassing public displays of affection and there have been equally public spats, with a few pots and pans thrown…

      So it goes with passionate couples. A word of advice is always welcome though and I might offer one of the afore-mentioned parties a bit of it now…

    • Red Hat Nearly Doubles Its Partner Channel

      More proof open source is infiltrating (and redefining) the IT channel: Red Hat’s partner network now exceeds 1,300 companies — up 84 percent from 713 companies in January 2008, according to The VAR Guy’s Open Source 50 report. Of course, “more partners” doesn’t always mean “better partners.” But Red Hat’s ability to recruit channel partners to back Linux and now JBoss middleware proves the company has learned a few key lessons from Microsoft.

    • Investing in Penguins and Fedoras

      With the current recessionary environment, perhaps it’s not such a bad time to take a look at investing in penguins and fedoras. When I say penguins, I mean Tux, the official mascot of the Linux kernel and when I say fedoras, I mean Red Hat, the Raleigh, NC-based provider of open source enterprise solutions.
      Red Hat’s a fairly unique company; one that prides itself on a corporate culture that promotes openness and creativity. That’s not surprising given the company’s position in the world of open source software. Open source contrasts itself with proprietary software, where the terms of use are limited by licensing agreements and the source code is not available to the user.

    • How to Create a Profitable Desktop Business for Linux

      Does this sound a lot like Google’s (GOOG) Android model? Yep. And as far as reports go thus far, they don’t even seem to be concerned with making money on the Android Market itself. Android is such a great vehicle for mobile search, location based services, content delivery etc — apparently that’s plenty. And by the way, Android is founded on a Linux kernel, and there’s a lot of buzz about it pushing up into netbooks and higher food-chain devices. I would think Android will end up being a highly profitable proposition for Google, just not in the conventional Linux distro business type of way. That’s the mentality I believe will make a Linux desktop profitable.

  • KDE

    • KDE: Linux Format’s Free Software Project of the Year

      recognizes stand out projects and members of the Free software world with their Reader Awards. The readers of the magazine send in their votes, Linux Format (LF) tallies them up and then publishes the results.

    • Plasmoid prognostication

      Plasmoids and maybe Plasma (or derivatives) itself on everything from 3′ phone screens to 30′ LCD panels, with every size of netbook and laptop inbetween. This, gentle readers, is why you stay forward thinking on technology (Plasma framework decisions) and keep your usability experts happy. This can and will be massive.

    • KOffice 2.0 Beta 5 Released

      Moving towards the 2.0 release with almost monthly beta releases, the KOffice team has once more honoured its promise to bring out beta releases of KOffice until the time is right for a release candidate. So today we bring you this beta with many, many improvements across the board. Incremental as it is, this beta is an important step towards a final release. So here it is: full announcement and changelog.

  • Ubuntu

    • Fun With Linux

      Finally, finally, here I am. Ubuntu installed on son’s computer, check. Ubuntu installed on my (first) old computer, check (still need graphics card). Ubuntu installed on my (second) old computer, check.

    • Why we need Edubuntu to succeed

      This evening I had a great chat with a guy named David. He’s a 9th grade science teacher in Minnesota. He’s working on a project called Growing Communities Of Scientists in his school. He plans to use a set of “computer enabled science classrooms” which embed thin clients into a student group workspace. David’s also got a great blog where he’s been journalling his experience. This means students have access to computers without interfering with they’re normal learning/social area. A common sight I’ve seen in most computer labs is individual students with hardly any working space and fairly isolated from each other and the instructor. It’s sort of like a cubicle effect. For sciences were you’re trying to get a lot of hands on instruction it’s rather difficult.

    • Ubuntu Faster on My Internet Than Windows XP

      Then I tested my Time Warner cable connection on my primary work machine running Ubuntu 8.04. My cable modem connection is always much faster than my DSL by a factor of 10 on the download speeds. I forget what Time Warner’s latest promises are for download speeds, but I think it’s 10 mega bits per second to 12 mbps. Upload speeds are throttled down to 1mbps.

      My Ubuntu machine returned a rating from the Bandwidth.com test of 22-25mbps over several tests. That’s darn fast today, faster than normal. Then I did the same test from a Windows XP PC and got results from 12-14mbps. Still fast, but not nearly as fast as the Ubuntu machine.

    • Ubuntu 9.04′s blazing boot times

      …Linux kernel 2.6.28, released on Christmas Eve 2008, delivered a stable implementation of the ext4 filesystem, and this is now included in Ubuntu’s daily development builds. It’s this filesystem which is getting geeks worldwide all steamy under their collar.

    • The New Ubuntu Brainstorm

      The new and much improved version of Ubuntu Brainstorm, Ubuntu’s site for receiving ideas from users and allowing other users to vote on those ideas, was launched today.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • “BeagleBot” cruises on Linux

      A Linux-powered robot project has won the first monthly design contest sponsored by “BeagleBoard.org,” a group promoting a low-cost, Linux-friendly single board computer (SBC) with an ARM Cortex-A8-based processor. Antti Seppanen’s “BeagleBot” is a partially autonomous, WiFi-enabled robot with servos, sensor, and webcam.

    • Imaging vendor goes cross-platform

      The acquisition will also help it to expand to support Linux, Unix, Mac, and mobile device platforms, says the company.

    • Security gateway runs Linux on Cortex-A8 SoC

      M2M Solution announced a security gateway reference design based on the Texas Instruments (TI) OMAP3503 system-on-chip (SoC). The Homebox runs Linux, enables remote monitoring of real-time video and security sensors, and will soon be sold by MYXYTY under the name MyHome, says M2M.

    • Why Pre is the right move for Palm

      Foleo, a Linux-based Netbook that perhaps arrived ahead of its time. When it was introduced in mid-2007, reactions were mixed. It was one of the first devices from a reputable and established company to fill the gap between smartphones and laptops, but critics weren’t receptive to its $500 price tag and lack of compatibility with third-party software.

      But Palm was also quietly tuning a version of Linux for its next-gen handsets. Last week at CES, Palm announced a new operating system, called Web OS, and the first device to run it, the Pre. It also announced an application store, called Pre Catalog. And that’s when things got very interesting: the Pre blew everyone away.

    • Android

      • What Did 2008 Innovate?

        For now, Android hasn’t picked up all that much steam, but 2009 will see the introduction of several more Android-powered smartphones. Given the open source nature of the mobile OS, we could see a rapid maturation of the platform, ushering in new and improved functionality in just about every way imaginable. It’s arguable that this is already the case with Mobile Linux, but Linux doesn’t have the same industry backing as the Open Handset Alliance and Google Android.

      • Wind River announces Android support for Qualcomm chipset

        Wind River, the embedded software specialist, has announced an Android support package for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon mobile phone chipset. Qualcomm and Wind River presented the technology at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) a week ago.

    • Sub-notebooks

      • Netbook adventures

        I got it installed. Wow. It’s even smaller then Eeebuntu Base, and yet includes more stuff. It’s also faster, since instead of the heavyweight GNOME desktop, it uses Openbox, which is much more streamlined. I think we’ve got a winner here.

      • Installing Ubuntu EEE with Compiz on the EEE PC

        Today we have a guest blogger on One Click Linux. Michael Szorady is a recent graduate of Bowling Green State University with a degree in Computer Science. His computer expertise covers multiple platforms and computing languages. A Linux fan and advocate, his article discusses the installation of an Ubuntu distribution to his own Asus 701 netbook. We hope you find the information a helpful guide for customizing your own Asus netbook.

      • Review: Sylvania’s g Netbook Meso

        Although traditionally known for its electrical and lighting products, Sylvania has also licensed its name to other manufacturers to expand its product lines. The latest entry is in the rapidly growing market of netbooks.

        Produced by Digital Gadgets, which previously specialized in various mobile electronics and accessories, Sylvania’s g Netbook Meso is similar in many ways to its more well-known competitors. Measuring 9-x-7-x-1.25 inches, it weighs approximately 2.2 pounds without battery.

        [...]

        Our test unit was loaded with Ubuntu Netbook Remix, but Windows XP Home Edition is available as an option. The interface of the operating system is nicely laid out and easy to navigate, even for Linux novices.

      • Every child in Portugal and Venezuela will have open source

        The Magelhaes (Magellan) initiative of the Portuguese government is giving every child in the country an Intel Classmate PC for 50 euros – and they are dual-boot machines running XP and a local Linux called Caixa Magica.

      • Netbook market looking at major price cuts

        Netbook pricing has been slowly creeping up over the last year as buyers looked for bigger hard drives, better performance, roomier keyboards, and larger screens. That feature creep means it’s not uncommon to see prices well above $400 for entry-level devices. The folks at Freescale Semiconductor want to turn that trend around, offering a low-power chip designed to sip electricity while letting netbook makers offer devices for less than $200.

F/OSS

  • Suite freedom: a review of GIMP 2.6.4

    Free, but high-end

    This is the first time that I’m reviewing GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program), and it’s definitely long overdue. As the open-source image editor of choice, the feature list of GIMP 2.6 is very long, and despite its status as a free application, it’s as feature-packed as any commercial application. GIMP is loaded with the up-to-date tools many demanding professionals need: Bézier path editing with brush stroking, tablet support, Heal Tool, alpha channels, multiple-undo History, area-averaged eyedropper, PSD file compatibility, and a wackload of other high-end tools that are impressive in their attention to detail.

  • OpenSplice DDS Real-time Integration Software Now Available as Open Source

    PrismTech™, an acknowledged leader in advanced software integration and infrastructure solutions, announced today that it is releasing its OpenSplice™ DDS low-latency data distribution software as Open Source software licensed under LGPL licensing. This Open Source code base is supported by a range of optional subscription packages from PrismTech that include professional support, productivity and optimization tools, connectors, and other advanced product options.

    PrismTech is one of the pioneers and leading vendors of ‘packaged Open Source’ middleware and has a long and successful track record of providing CORBA solutions using this model. This initiative will leverage all of PrismTech’s expertise in this area to provide a superior DDS solution.

  • Semantic Technologies, Web 2.x, Cloud Computing, and Open Source

    Looking back on 2008, we’ve seen several trends in the web space. The web has transformed from a place to look for information to a place to share information.

  • Harmonic Software Systems releases open source tool to unlock the power of the PLAYSTATION 3

    Harmonic Software Systems has released the Cell/BE Execution Framework (CEF) to the open source community, allowing industry and academia to unlock the massive computing power, which is within the PLAYSTATION 3’s Cell processor.

    Crawley, UK. January 13, 2009. Harmonic Software Systems announced today the availability of the Cell Execution Framework (CEF), as a free download under the BSD open source license. The CEF has been designed to unlock the power of the Cell Broadband Engine™ (Cell), so that software engineers can start to use the power of the Cell straightaway.

  • What happened to the GPL Project Watch List

    We started tracking GPLv3 information as of June 29, 2007, and continued to do so for 15 months. Our team included over 50 research interns from schools throughout our country, the project managers and me. We successfully provided clear and objective information regarding the acceptance and use of the new GPLv3 license, and extended the scope of our interest to report news and trends as well.

  • Joyent Buys Reasonably Smart to Create Open-source Cloud

    Joyent today announced it has agreed to acquire Reasonably Smart, a fledgling cloud startup based on JavaScript and Git, for an undisclosed amount. While on the surface it might look like simple industry consolidation, Reasonably Smart’s technology will in fact help Joyent compete with emerging service-centric clouds while retaining an open model that makes developers comfortable.

  • Stock Markets

    • Bringing Open Source Software to Trading Desks

      Marketcetera, a Silicon Valley-based start-up, has developed open-source trading software that it says will make the creation of custom financial trading systems easier and cheaper. Rather than creating their own products, financial services firms, hedge funds and others can pick up the Marketcetera Platform software and use it as a basic framework for their operations. The financial companies just plug their algorithms and trading policies into the system and let it handle the demanding processing jobs required to obtain and analyze financial data.

    • Trading Up to Open Source

      The new code that has been added to these established projects is released under the GNU GPL v2. That’s welcome, but there’s a slightly misleading statement on the home page regarding downloads…

  • Enterprise

    • Bringing Up Open Source, Part 1: Enterprise Edition

      Using open source instead of proprietary technology can help keep costs down. Here are three startups making headway in the enterprise Linux space.

      [...]

      Being part of the LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack — and the adoption and the community momentum around that LAMP stack — instead of being a strictly commercial venture was something that Tuerk was key on leveraging.

    • The enterprise value of modifying open source

      I spent some time with a large customer of Alfresco’s today, and heard an interesting reason for why choosing open source was critical to them. Granted, it’s a large media company, and so its needs may not fit those of most other enterprise customers.

    • Alfresco and Remote-Learner.net Partner to Deliver Moodle eLearning Integration

      Alfresco Software Inc., the leader in open source enterprise content management (ECM), today announced an OEM partnership with Remote-Learner.net, the provider of open source solutions for online learning management, record keeping and learning object storage to corporate, academic and governmental clients. The partnership will deliver solutions to allow learning organizations using Moodle’s open source course management system (CMS) to access Alfresco’s robust open source ECM repository to support content development and reuse.

    • Jaspersoft’s Strong December Attests to Popularity of Open Source BI

      It was an event-filled December for open source business intelligence (BI) specialist Jaspersoft Inc., which announced a new revision 3.1 release of its Jaspersoft Business Intelligence Suite and generated another $12.5 million in venture capital (VC) funding. The latter, of course, is no small feat in a climate in which credit markets are frozen and VC funding has tightened significantly.

    • Presence Technology Tapped as Digium Open Source Solutions Partner

      As part of its mission to expand its partner universe and increase the number of value added applications available for their Asterisk (News – Alert) Business Edition, Huntsville, Alabama-based Digium, the creators of the open source telephony software Asterisk are always looking to innovative companies.

  • Administration

    • Congress to inform about application of Open Source Software

      Open-Source-Software (OSS) is a software alternative to the software of traditional software manufacturers in particular for small and medium-sized entities and should therefore be taken into account by these. Furthermore, an always growing number of manufacturing businesses have recently turned to the OSS model. But is OSS suitable for business applications? This question is soon going to be discussed at the fourth “Open Source Meets Business“ congress in Nuremberg. In more than 100 talks given by OSS experts and businesses experienced in the use of OSS this question will be looked upon from several points of views.

    • Humanitarian FOSS Project

      The Humanitarian FOSS Project is a collaborative, community-building project that was started by a group of computing faculty and open source proponents at Trinity College, Wesleyan University, and Connecticut College. Our goal is to build a community of academic computing departments, IT corporations, and local and global humanitarian and community organizations dedicated to building and using Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) to benefit humanity.

  • Sun

    • Sun enhances VirtualBox with Version 2.1 updates

      With an impressive 25,000 downloads a day, and downloads up 120 percent over last quarter, Sun seems to be doing a good job at breaking through the noise of the desktop virtualization market.

    • Java forks, rivers, and streams

      There are any number of very good reasons why Sun open-sourced Java, but there are always wrinkles. Among them is the loss of control for the central “authority” of the language — Sun, the JCP, what have you. At first blush, this is bad mostly for the control freaks at said central authority, and why should we care about their hang-ups, right? If they wanted to keep everything under control, they shouldn’t have open-sourced it.

    • Can Sun Rise on Open Source Storage?

      At first glance, Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) appears to be having a bit of trouble: Big layoffs, a stock that is down 80 percent in the last year, and constant rumors about its demise or takeover. A brief look at the overall server and storage stats from IDC and Gartner doesn’t provide much evidence to the contrary, with Sun nowhere in the overall storage stats, and lagging further behind Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) in fourth place on the server side.

    • Fact Vs. Friction: Picking The Right Open-Source Office Suite

      OxygenOffice bundles OOo with lots of extras, including a huge clip art and photo library, document templates, and additional font support. Like so many of the extras bundled with various OpenOffice.org variants (including Sun’s proprietary StarOffice suite), users can find most of this content elsewhere, although it can be more convenient to get it bundled as a complete package.

    • CES 2009 Open-Source And Otherwise Free Doesn’t Adversely Confine

      For writing blog posts and web articles, I instead relied on OpenOffice v3. I was pretty impressed with its features and Word 2000 format compatibility (especially considering the price!), though I highly recommend disabling the Java runtime environment support (if you don’t need it) as a means of drastically reducing the application startup time. Web surfing was (as usual) the domain of Firefox for OS X, which (as usual) worked well. The browser-based blog publishing tool I use doesn’t require ActiveX (I unfortunately can’t say the same thing about many of my publishing company’s other online utilities) so I was able to directly pull material from OpenOffice into Firefox, then publish it from there.

  • Google

    • Google house cleaning frees Jaiku

      Google has decided to clean house and close many services that are either redundant, not very successful or unrelated to Google’s core business. Most significantly for the open source community Google plans to release the Jaiku Engine as an Apache licensed project.

    • Changes for Jaiku and Farewell to Dodgeball and Mashup Editor

      With the open source Jaiku Engine project, organizations, groups and individuals will be able to roll-their-own microblogging services and deploy them on Google App Engine. The new Jaiku Engine will include support for OAuth, and we’re excited about developers using this proven code as a starting point in creating a freely available and federated, open source microblogging platform.

    • Gmail Grew 43 Percent Last Year. AOL Mail And Hotmail Need To Start Worrying.

      Google launched Gmail only four years ago, and it is now the fourth most popular e-mail service on the Web after Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, and Windows Live Hotmail. In 2008, it saw some serious growth in the U.S. Google doesn’t break out the number of Gmail users, but comScore estimates unique monthly visitors. According to the latest stats, the number of people visiting Gmail grew 43 percent last year to 29.6 million. In contrast, the much more massive Yahoo Mail grew 11 percent to 91.9 million uniques. AOL Mail finished in second place for the year with 46.6 million uniques (plus another 7.2 million visitors to AIM Mail), while Hotmail actually declined 5 percent to 43.5 million.

    • Google’s Microsoft Complex

      Just because Microsoft and Google share a strategy doesn’t mean they’re similar companies in other respects. Google differs from Microsoft in at least one fundamental way. The ends that Microsoft has pursued are commercial ends. For the most part, it’s been in it for the money. Google, as Grimmelman notes, has a strong messianic bent. Google is not just out to make oodles of dough; it’s on a crusade – to liberate information for the masses – and is convinced of its righteousness in pursuing its cause. Depending on your point of view as you look forward to the next ten years, or even the next 300 years, you’ll find Google’s crusade either comforting or frightening. It’s worth remembering that Google’s chokepoint is not just an economic chokepoint. It’s also a cultural chokepoint.

  • Grid

    • The Globus Alliance’s First Google Summer of Code

      The Globus Alliance is a community of organizations and individuals developing fundamental technologies behind the “Grid,” which lets people share computing power, databases, instruments, and other on-line tools securely across corporate, institutional, and geographic boundaries without sacrificing local autonomy. Globus currently hosts more than 20 projects, actively developed by a community of more than 100 committers, and spanning a variety of technology concerns on grid systems.

    • Grid.org HPC Community Hits Growth Milestone

      Grid.org, the online community for open source cluster and grid software, announced today that the site garnered over 100,000 unique visitors in 2008, with the highest traffic generating from the UniCluster, Amazon EC2 and HPC Thought Leadership discussion groups.

  • Funding

    • Seneca College gets $50,000 grant to work on Eclipse WTP

      Computer science students will get to contribute code to the open source Eclipse Web Tools Platform project. Why the open source approach recalls academia of days gone by

    • Identi.ca Gets Funding to Make Open-source Twitter Variant

      Identi.ca’s plans to build an open-source alternative to Twitter got a vote of confidence this week with an investment from the VCs at Montreal Start Up. While the amount of the financing wasn’t disclosed, Montreal Start Up Managing Partner John Stokes said the firm invests between C$150,000 ($120,135) and C$400,000 ($320,329) per deal.

  • Mozilla

Digital Tipping Point: Clip of the Day

Digital Tipping Point: Dirk-Willem van Gulik, road builder for the Information Super-highway 02 (2004)

Ogg Theora

Digital Tipping Point is a Free software-like project where the raw videos are code. You can assist by participating.

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8 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    January 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm

    Gravatar

    >> People I know are not using Linux, mainly because they don’t know how to use the programs.

    I think there would be more fundamental reasons, like the lock-in for key apps, services, hardware, etc, found only on Windows.

    You can teach people new apps in many ways. People try new things all the time, especially when it seems cool/useful/etc. Also, people will never become fully practiced. Apps always change and there are always new apps popping up.

    The best way to counter Windows is to make sure that platform is lacking more every day when compared to what Linux offers. This way you exert pressure for new apps, services, hardware, etc, to be made for Linux and for users to go to the trouble to switch. If Linux offers little that is new, why go through hurdles Microsoft and partners insert in Linux’ path? Also, Linux will grow faster if developers focus on it. Linux (and their apps) will grow better faster if these are made more integrated with open technologies. Code for Linux — that is not a sin and will be necessary in order to produce more high quality apps. On Windows, Microsoft will impede you as necessary over and over and steal your thunder more easily. Think of your apps as open instructions run on a platform much like HTML instructions run on a browser. Don’t contribute to enhancing Windows and helping Microsoft keep up and retain their monopoly levers.

    Of course Linux does have some things Windows never will (its “killer apps”): source code safety; no monopolist (yet) running the show through maximal leverage; ability to be customized to suit; ….

    If you decide to port to Windows (and risk irrevocable harm to your mind and soul :-) ).. then keep the features down; show videos/explain the new features/benefits you can get if you move to Linux; provide a way for them to try Linux (here developing an ecosystem is very important; also LiveCds and ways to switch to Linux from Windows; etc.); etc.

    Better than ports is to have custom distros focused on your application. Users can try these through VMs or liveCDs. This way you build to a single platform and one you control. Remember, if you invest in Microsoft platforms, you invest in Microsoft. You will have something to lose if Microsoft disappears, so you will be more likely to (in)directly support them further. Also, you waste less time debugging for open platforms. And you have the ability to directly impact the open platform in many ways.

    There is a multi-pronged strategy, but from the developing pov, the focus should be Linux/FOSS platforms.

    The OS is a real part of the application. Don’t invest in closed OS any more than you would be willing to invest in closed source fundamental aspects of your application (but these closed source parts are not even controllable by you and help sustain Microsoft, the biggest threat and impediment to the growth of full FOSS apps).

    Do app makers want to reach users at all costs, eg, by running Microsoft’s rat race and helping to prop up Microsoft, or are they willing to use their apps with a main goal to lure people onto open platforms, which is the only place where their apps can always thrive without limits and dirty tricks?

  2. Jose_X said,

    January 19, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Gravatar

    “Lars Erlandsen” wrote up a nice approach to getting Linux and Windows working well on users desktop. Note, the method used to maintain the Windows installation(s) malware-free and somewhat light on resources.

    Users will basically live in a Linux world in this case (tendencies are to install and use Linux apps), but without losing Windows locked-in apps.

    http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2009-01-16-010-35-OS-DP-0001

    So why are we wasting time porting to Windows and helping to keep monopolists securely fighting open platforms?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 19, 2009 at 7:55 am

    Gravatar

    They say it’s because developers strive to reach the broadest userbase.

  4. Jose_X said,

    January 19, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Gravatar

    >> They say it’s because developers strive to reach the broadest userbase.

    But sacrifice long-term large numbers for short-term short-lived gains and higher overall costs? At least that is one of the risks being taken.

    I can see how google and some others may stand to gain more by playing along for the time being. They (more or less) have to make quarterly numbers.

    Whatever.

    As a community that cares about FOSS more than just a bit and wants long term competitive advantages, we should be investing more into Linux and less into Windows than is currently the case. Of course, Microsoft doesn’t think we invest enough into Windows today.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 19, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Gravatar

    It’s harder getting across these points to developers.

  6. Jose_X said,

    January 20, 2009 at 3:07 am

    Gravatar

    Developers should be less worried about fighting for a few more users short-term and more worried about how polished their products will be once the floodgates are opened (network effect).

    ;-)

    There are Windows users that have been slowing down some projects by asking asking and giving back little. I don’t doubt at least some of these are not exactly what they appear.

  7. Ian said,

    January 20, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Gravatar

    OSS developers should do whatever the hell they want to do with their own time.

  8. Jose_X said,

    January 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Gravatar

    >> OSS developers should do whatever the hell they want to do with their own time.

    Well, I didn’t intend to give the impression I know what is best for any developer. I was reasoning within a limited context and then trying to draw conclusions about the best tactics to use in order to maximize a certain bang for buck. What I said may not apply to you, or even if it might, everyone is free to disagree.

    Yeah, what I wrote could sound awfully annoying (a better adjective doesn’t come to mind right now) if you don’t agree. Sometimes I forget other people with different views/goals/experiences might actually be reading what I write. Thanks for reminding me [not sarcastic].

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