Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Slashdot: Josh Leggard on future MS open source projects

Sunbird logo contest

The winner of the Mozilla Sunbird logo contest was announced on Aug 12th - the winner being Mark Carson

Gmail invites

Google Blogoscoped are reporting that a new round of Gmail invites has started today.

Konqueror - middle click opens new tab

open up /home/username/.kde/share/konquerorrc in your favourite text editor.

Find the line


and change it to


Restart Konqueror - from now on anytime you middle click on a link, the linked page will open up in a new tab rather than a new window.

The cost of Linux (sysadmin perspective)
Television is evil
Virus written for 64 bit Windows on AMD 64
Cassini on course for Titan flyby
Who works at Google?

Monday, August 23, 2004

Jakob Nielsen: Informational pages must ask for the order

Friday, August 20, 2004

Fast forward 10 years

Backbone magazine have an article on what the world might be like in 2014 written by sci-fi author, Robert J. Sawyer. Although , the brainwave controlled alarm clock sounds a bit too far fetched, the "electronic ink" newspaper built every morning for you from worldwide sources (and translated as well for you), sounds very feasible.

What Now For Google?

I Cringely muses about what's next for Google after the IPO. He makes the argument that not only is Google a competitor to search engines like Yahoo and MSN, but it will also be a competitor to Ebay, Amazon and even Apple's iTunes. One key meme that appears is the term "Googlization" - a term that may well become common parlance over the next few years.

Here's a good quote from the article:
"Amazon is vulnerable to the Googlization of all the millions of retailers who aren't running Amazon storefronts just as eBay is vulnerable to the Googlization of auctions where localization, pricing, and seller fees can all be improved. What about GoogleMedia? Find all the pictures, video, and music, then create a marketplace for it."

Of course , the Slashdot mob are talking about it

Stumbling over SP2

Mike Ricciuti , exec editor of CNET News writes about the continuing problems with the SP2 update for Windows XP.

Infected in 20 minutes

Register : Infected in 20 minutes
That how long it takes for a fresh Windows XP install connected to the internet, without a firewall, to get infected.

Marcel Gagne - The Wireless Kitchen
Lots of info on WiFi apps for Linux

Thursday, August 19, 2004

KDE 3.3 released

KDE 3.3 has been released

Growlaw: It's bad when reporters laugh at your FUD

BusinessWeek interview Linus Torvalds

Google image search to ascii art converter

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

User Guide to using the Linux desktop
Google slashes IPO price
New MyDoom piggybacks a worm
Batelle : 10 years of Yahoo
Batelle: Why paid search is growing

Howard Rheingold interviewed by MSNBC
Rheingold came up with the idea of flash mobs. In this interview he looks beyond that and how the combination of blogging , open source, Google links, Wikipedia ,Amazon Listmania are creating a new information revolution

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Netscape 7.2 released

AOL have announced the released of Netscape 7.2 - there's an interesting discussion about it on Slashdot. A poster on there points out that the UK version of the Netscape site is still saying that Netscape 7.0 is newly released, despite it being 2 years old.

XML 4 Cobol

Just came across this site XML 4 Cobol

"XML is a standard to exchange data between heterogeneous systems. XML4cobol by Maas enables this XML-based connection to IBM mainframe-systems. Designed out of practice: from Cobol-developers to Cobol-developers. This standard connectivity enables you to place data from the mainframe at the disposal for other systems."

Legacy system???? Hmmm.. even the term "legacy" is becoming a legacy more and more nowadays.

Adsense Outage Today

From the Adsense forum on webmasterworld, posted by AdsenseAdvisor (a Google employee):

"Hi folks,

Yesterday we had some technical difficulties with our ad servers, which was the reason for the public service ads many of you saw on your pages. However, the problem's been resolved and the ads should be back to normal.

As usual, if you're still experiencing problems with your ads, shoot an email to the AdSense team. They're standing by, ready to be of assistance. :)


KDE 3.3 : George Staikos interview

Newsforge: Interview with George Staikos about KDE 3.3

Jakob Nielsen - dipping toes into websites

In Mr Nielsen's latest article, he argues the case that search engines have changed the dynamics of the internet forever. Rather than users truely "visting" sites, they are now information foraging and dipping in and out of sites via search engines.

Microsoft Windows : A Lower Cost of 0wnership
Report outlining how 0wning a Windows machine costs less. 0wning is hacker speak for breaking in and taking over the machine.

Blog search engines

Big List of Blog Search Engines
You can add your own blog to many of these.

Friday, August 13, 2004

El Reg name the BSA weasel contest
Hunt for SP2 flaws in full swing
Thor Larholm of PivX claims he has already found a flaw.

Google IPO

Google IPO starts today

Linux v Windows
Technology Review article.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Remembering the first Doom
Ahhh - the good old days. When people oooh and aaah at the latest 486 running this game.

From the , you-couldnt-make-it-up department:

BSA Asks Kids to Name Copyright Weasel

Florida braces for double whammy
The prospect that a tropical storm and a hurricane - or possibly two hurricanes - could strike Florida on the same day is something meteorologists say they have never seen.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Good quote

Came across a great quote on the InformationWeek blogpost about the Rob Enderle speech at SCO forum.

"In the end the customer will benefit as companies change from charging for a product to charging to solve your problem. I don't think many business would want to argue against that."

eBay UK goes mobile

El Reg is reporting that eBay UK has launched a service designed to make auctions accessible to mobile phones subscribers.

SCO forum ranting

LWN have posted a link to this SCO page discussed on a Groklaw article

Features an self-proclaimed "technology analyst" called Rob Enderle, who dollops out heaps of SCO FUD. It's mentioned on Larry Greenemeier's blog too.

Background info on Rob Enderle, here

Review of Unixware

Yes, I know, SCO is evil, but here's an impartial review of Unixware by Newsforge

There's a discussion about this on Slashdot. The upshot of it is that "Unixware is more expensive for 150 users than either Windows 2003 Server Datacenter Edition, any of the Enterprise Linux distributions, or Solaris"

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

The Business Value of Open Source

Slashdot point out this article on Linuxworld by Bill Claybrook, that examines open source and explains it's history , which is rooted in the 70s and 80s, and ventures towards to the present with an explanation as to why certain open source companies failed and others have prospered.

Microsoft developing Linux policy and plan of attack

Scot's Newsletter - Linux forum
Just discovered this one - and it's packed solid with lots of Linux tips and tricks.

Is the SETI message in our DNA?
You can use this bugmenot link to get past the annoying user registration.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Growlaw: Linux , James Bond and patents
Mentions a Der Spiegel article which compares Linux to James Bond - the only thing blocking the villians world domination.

Perseid meteors promise a firework show

The Register reports that star gazers are in for a treat this week, if the clouds clear, as the Perseid meteor shower builds to its peak of activity.

"At around 9pm GMT on the 11 August, we’ll enter this younger strand, and could see as many as 200 meteors per hour. The extra shooting starts will be visible from Europe and Asia, but stargazers in the US will have to wait for their show until the normal annual peak of activity – around 50 per hour - the following day."

2 Terabyte mem card due next year

The Register is reporting that Taiwanese firms are to start producing a 2 Terabyte memory card next year.

More on the Yahoo dig at Google
Blog post with graphics.

Yahoo have a dig at Google
The recent Google Dance 2004 ran out of beer...

What if Microsoft software was in a gun?
V. funny comic strip

Googling for mp3s

Friday, August 06, 2004

Muse and VST instruments
How to configure Muse to use VST plugins.

PNG flaw - multiple operating systems affected

The US goverment CERT team have issued a critical advisory on a flaw with the libPNG library , used by Mozilla/Netscape , IE , Opera and the Apple Mail app - Solaris, Windows, Linux, OS X are all affected.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Introducing desktop Linux

Exploring Linux Desktop Myths

Slashdot have posted this article I contributed , regarding a Newsforge article exploring common Linux desktop myths, in particular , the FUD that Linux is "hard to use", "difficult to install" and that there's not enough apps.

Growlaw: SCO is like a toe fungus

SCO is like a toe fungus. You treat it and treat it, and it still persists.
Curiously, the Groklaw article mentions that McBride refers to the "Princess Bride" film.

So does Googleguy , in his first blog post over here - yes , I too can feel the sarcasm from over here... :-)

Infoworld have an interview with the SCO CEO here

Mars Gone Wild

Interesting Wired article on the anomalous images that appear to indicate life on Mars.(or maybe its just self-delusion).

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Rosetta probe takes picture of Earth-moon system
From 70 million km away...

A project to create a worldwide database of books and to offer an XML feed of the data for free.

500 rss feeds offered for free.

Google Dance 2004
Joe Sixpack not interested in Google IPO

The Dullest blog in the world
Extreme tracking
Find out what search terms people are using.
Oh dear...
Visualization of Google news.

Desktop Linux case studies

DesktopLinux.com have posted an article on real world case studies about moving to desktop Linux. A link to a tech tips page is provided as well.

HP Release a Linux Notebook

Slashdot are reporting that HP have announced that it will be the first major PC manufacturer to ship a notebook with Linux pre-installed.

Life on Mars likely claims Viking probe scientist

Yahoo are reporting that Gilbert Levin, a scientist who developed a life detector for the 1976 Viking probe, has said that "All factors necessary to constitute a habitat for life as we know it exist on current-day Mars".

Mr Levin has remained steadfast in his belief that his experiment in 1976 proved the existance of active microbial life in the topsoil of Mars, a judgement not generally accepted in the scientific community today.

In perusing rover imagery, Levin reports there is clear evidence for liquid water existing under Martian environmental conditions. "The images should be reviewed against the background of surface temperatures as varying from below to above freezing reported by both Spirit and Opportunity," he explained.

Levin points to the potential for mud puddles on Mars, showing an image of clearly disturbed martian soil after rover airbags bounced across Mars surface. Possible standing water and sinkholes can also be seen in rover imagery, according to his analysis. In some pictures, the often-discussed "blueberries, " tiny spheres of material, disappear as if submerged underneath mud-like surroundings, he added.
Full story here

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Learning from Linux - an Open Solaris view

Interesting post here by Sun's Adam Leventhal, on the flaws in Linux kernel development, and how those lessons could be applied to a future open Solaris. The problem in terms of quality/test control with Linux is the sheer amount of hardware platforms it supports versus the limited set that Solaris runs on. Opening up Solaris means opening up Solaris to this huge range of hardware platforms - with the resultant knock on effects on quality control. Interesting , and probably a valid point.

"In Solaris, testing can be arduous. Some changes are obvious and can be tested just on architecture, but others require extensive tests on a variety of SPARC and x86 platforms. And linux supports so many more platforms! I have no idea how a developer working on his x86 box can ever be sure that some seemingly innocuous change hasn't broken 64-bit PPC (or whatever). Clearly this is something we have to solve for OpenSolaris"

On the Open Solaris question , Eric Schlock (of the Solaris kernel team), says that "we're not just throwing source over the wall as a PR stunt or to get free labor".

What's interesting about these posts, and indeed the blogs , are that we on the outside are getting some good insights into how Sun are thinking. The blogs ARE a very very good idea. They work. And I'm interested. I'm sure many other OSS fans are as well. By the way, a certain Tim Bray introduced the blog ethos to Sun.

Solaris engineers in the hotseat at OSCON

Jim Grisanzio, of the open source Solaris project, writes about and posts some pictures on the recent Q&A session at OSCON hosted by a team of Solaris kernel engineers. In his words, the OSS crowd threw their questions thick and fast - the Solaris guys answered them. All in all, a highly productive session according to the blog.

Linux on iPod
A project to get a Linux OS running on the Apple iPod.

Jakob Nielsen - Deceivingly strong information scent costs sales
If users are clicking through a site hunting for specific products or answers, they'll keep going as long as they continue to
find links that seem to take them closer and closer to their goal. Information scent can backfire if a strong attractor seems to be the answer, but isn't.

WordCount is an artistic experiment in the way we use language. It presents the 86,800 most frequently used English words,
ranked in order of commonality. Flash required.

Currently reading

French property buyer's handbook
Good, comprehensive and readable guide on buying a place in France.

Linux Volunteer Work In Nicaragua

Linux Gazette article on teaching Linux in Nicaragua
"The first step was to set up an 8-station Linux classroom at the coop. About 40 students signed up for classes. They are being taught computer use in Spanish. Most have never used a computer before. There is something exciting about having computer users who have only seen Linux, KDE, OpenOffice and Abiword floating around"

Monday, August 02, 2004

419 flashmob

Artists against 419 scams are promoting the idea of a flash mob that will bring down 419 scam websites.

You can use the tools provided and get updates on the sites taken down. It operates on a simple principle - the more people know about this and participate, the more likely the 419 scam sites will be overwhelmed and their monthly bandwidth limits exhausted. It's a kind of Slashdot effect.


OS News review an upcoming hobbyist alternative to Linux and Windows called Syllable
Although major subsystems , such as printing, aren't ready, by version 0.5 Syllable already has a host of features.


My first submission to Slashdot is published
Wa-hey! Welcome slashdotters...

Groklaw on Sun buying Novell

Groklaw responds to recent comments by Sun Microsystem's Jonathan Schwarz about buying Novell to outflank IBM.

The real reason for the Google IPO



Net vigilantes target 419 sites
Etailers face tough times
Linux Smartphones Race To Be 1st In U.S.
Telstra Used Linux To Get Microsoft Discounts
Turbo Linux 10f Review
Beta in the Age of the Internet
Using mplayer for viewing Yahoo Launch Music Videos

Paul Graham - Great Hackers
Essay derived from speech given at OSCON 2004. Well worth reading.

Sun might buy Novell

Zdnet reports that Sun is considering the purchase of Novell - and thus gain Suse Linux - in a bid to outflank IBM.

As I pointed out in a previous post , Sun and Microsoft have a common enemy - Linux. Thus , buying out Novell, and then closing or crippling the Suse division, fits into that theory.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Feather Linux

There's a review here of Feather Linux , a mini-distro designed to fit onto a 64mb USB pen drive.