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When Linux goes bad: the e1000e Ethernet bug

Practical Technology - Mon, 29/09/2008 - 11:41pm
I know some people think I only say wonderful things about Linux and bad things about Windows. Wrong. I call them like I see them. Most of the time, while wearing my operating system umpire’s cap, I see Linux making the right hits… Most of the time. Sometimes, though, Linux strikes out and it surely [...]

Who’s really contributing to Linux?

Practical Technology - Mon, 29/09/2008 - 2:08am
I wasn’t at the Linux Plumber Conference in Portland, OR, but everyone who pays close attention to Linux knows that Greg Kroah-Hartman, Linux kernel developer and Novell engineer, blasted Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, for contributing “In the past 3 years, from the 2.6.15 kernel to 2.6.27-rc6, Canonical has had 100 patches in the Linux [...]

Internet Radio gets a chance to live

Practical Technology - Sun, 28/09/2008 - 6:30pm
I love Internet radio. I’m lucky enough to live near a great radio station, WNCW in Western NC, which plays a wide variety of music outside the mainstream, but many people aren’t so lucky. And, even as eclectic as WNCW is, they don’t play all the kinds of music I like. That’s why I spend [...]

Canonical wants to know what you want from Ubuntu Server

Practical Technology - Fri, 26/09/2008 - 3:15pm
All too often companies decide what you want to see in a program, and only after it’s on the market do you get to see if it’s actually something you even care about, never mind want. Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, has a different idea. Canonical is running a survey for Ubuntu Server edition [...]

The five best desktop Linuxes you haven’t tried

Practical Technology - Thu, 25/09/2008 - 11:33pm
One of the pleasures of Linux is that you can try out different distributions to see which one works best for you. You like Ubuntu, but you want to fine tune the desktop engine? OK, try Kubuntu with its KDE desktop then. Some worthwhile distributions, however, don’t get as much attention as they deserve. So, [...]

Where Windows is #2 to Linux

Practical Technology - Wed, 24/09/2008 - 4:39pm
Microsoft encourages us to think of Linux, when we think of it as all, as an also-ran operating systems for nerds. The last thing Microsoft wants us to think about is that there are some spaces where Microsoft is a distant number two and Linux is on top. Too bad Microsoft, there are several such [...]

Big Money Joins Linux Foundation

Practical Technology - Wed, 24/09/2008 - 3:42pm
Anyone who still thinks Linux is just for geeky hobbyists needs to wake up and look at the stock market. Big business runs on Linux and no where is that more apparent on the world’s major stock markets. So, it should come as no surprise that the CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) Group, the world’s largest [...]

IBM takes a stand against bad standards

Practical Technology - Wed, 24/09/2008 - 3:08pm
Bad standards and standard wars are an all too common part of modern information technology. Now, IBM has announced that it’s not going to put up with them anymore. And, yes, Microsoft, IBM is looking at you. In a statement, Ari Fishkind, public affairs manager for IBM Research’s Development and Intellectual Property section, says that “IBM [...]

The Android phone is here! So what?

Practical Technology - Tue, 23/09/2008 - 7:36pm
OK, I’m really pleased that Linux does so well in the mobile phone space. I’m very happy to see Google’s Linux-powered Android phone make its first appearance. But, come on, who buys a phone for its operating system? I know some people disagree with me. ABI Research director Kevin Burden, for example, said “Today’s unveiling of [...]

The Real State of the Blogosphere

Practical Technology - Tue, 23/09/2008 - 4:02pm
Technorati , perhaps the best site that tracks blogs, has just issued a new report on what’s what with the wild wonderful world of blogs: Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 report. There’s some interesting material here, but don’t trust the overview materials. Look at the numbers instead. The most glaring example this is the section [...]

Let’s talk cheap software

Practical Technology - Tue, 23/09/2008 - 12:34am
Want to know one of the things I really like about open-source software? The price. Yes, I know, I know. It’s ‘free as in freedom, not free as in beer.” Trust me. I get that. I also get though that open-source software gives you quality programs either for free or for a support fee that’s often [...]

VirtualBox update brings improved performance and 64-bit support

Practical Technology - Mon, 22/09/2008 - 6:39pm
Sun has released the first update to its recently purchased desktop virtualization program, now called Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.0. While not a major update, it does bring improved performance and 64-bit operating system support to the popular open source virtualization program. VirtualBox, now part of Sun’s xVM series, runs on a wide variety of host operating [...]

What’s Red Hat Doing in the Virtualization Business?

Practical Technology - Mon, 22/09/2008 - 2:20pm
Even before Red Hat bought the virtualization company Qumranet, with its Linux KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) platform, Red Hat had made it clear that it was moving into virtualization in a big way. At its annual Red Hat Summit in June, the Linux powerhouse announced that it would be deploying its Embedded [...]

You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still Vista

Practical Technology - Fri, 19/09/2008 - 8:36pm
Well, at least our eyes won’t have to suffer through watching those painfully inept Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld ads anymore. Microsoft is canceling them. I’m going to say something you never expected to hear me say: “Thank you Microsoft.” Of course, part os the upcoming campaign, while it looks to at least have a point to [...]

Ubuntu makes playing Proprietary Formats easier and legal

Practical Technology - Fri, 19/09/2008 - 2:24am
One of the perpetual pains of desktop Linux is dealing with DVDs and proprietary video and audio formats. Ubuntu, like the other Linuxes, have the same problem. Now, however, Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has made it easier for Ubuntu users to legally play DVDs and files encased in proprietary formats. In a Canonical blog, Gerry [...]

Mozilla Revises Linux Firefox Agreement

Practical Technology - Thu, 18/09/2008 - 2:56pm
“OK, OK, We get it.” No EULA (End User License Agreement) for Firefox on Linux,” isn’t what Mozilla Foundation President Mitchell Baker said in her recent blog posting, but she might as well have. Ubuntu Linux users made it really, really clear that they didn’t want to see anything that even looked like a Firefox EULA [...]

Mozilla to remove Firefox EULA

Practical Technology - Wed, 17/09/2008 - 4:25pm
Ubuntu users who couldn’t stand the idea of a EULA (End User License Agreement) for the popular Firefox Web browser are going to get their way. The Mozilla Foundation’s chairperson, Mitchell Baker, has agreed to entirely remove the Firefox EULA. In her blog, Baker wrote, “We’ve come to understand that anything EULA-like is disturbing, even if [...]

I want a real Linux and Mac version of Chrome

Practical Technology - Wed, 17/09/2008 - 3:56pm
CodeWeavers, best known for making it CrossOver programs that use WINE to run many popular Windows applications on Linux and Mac OS, has just released a proof-of-concept version of Chrome that runs on Linux and Mac systems. The free CrossOver version of Chrome, CrossOver Chrome, is based on Google’s open-source Chromium code. It’s not, however, an [...]

Shuttleworth urges calm in Firefox/Ubuntu flap

Practical Technology - Tue, 16/09/2008 - 4:08pm
Grumpy Ubuntu users are snarling about Mozilla including a largely open-source irrelevant EULA (End-user license agreement) with the latest version of the Firefox Web browser. Indeed, one user went so far as to file an Ubuntu bug report about the EULA. The bug report read, in part, “STARTING UP A CERTAIN 3.0.2 VERSION OF FIREFOX BROWSER [...]

The 21st century mobile application

Practical Technology - Mon, 15/09/2008 - 9:26pm
A few years ago, we knew exactly what the future of mobile computing software development would be like. It would be powered by WAP (Wireless Application Protocol), a set of specifications designed to provide low-speed wireless devices with limited screen space, with a means to access information and to communicate and interact with Web [...]

Is Microsoft buying Citrix? Novell!?

Practical Technology - Mon, 15/09/2008 - 5:03pm
Like sands through the hourglass, so are the stories of Microsoft mergers. Once more, rumors are swirling that Microsoft might buy Citrix. By my count, this is the fifth time this particular rumor has emerged. In addition, though, this time around I’m hearing that some people think Microsoft might buy Novell. Oh please. Microsoft, in case you’ve [...]

Does cloud computing have a silver lining?

Practical Technology - Mon, 15/09/2008 - 3:03pm
Depending on who you ask, cloud computing is either the most wonderful thing to hit IT since sliced bread or an utter waste of time. Indeed, in his latest book, The Big Switch: Rewiring the World, from Edison to Google, technology pundit Nicholas Carr wrote, “IT departments will have little left to do once [...]

Why Google Chrome won’t rule the world — yet

Practical Technology - Mon, 15/09/2008 - 2:06pm
I like Google’s new Chrome Web browser a lot — as in, I think it’s going to change the desktop world in a way we haven’t seen since Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina released the first modern Web browser, Mosaic, back in 1993. What Chrome brings to the table are behind-the-scenes features like V8, a killer [...]

OpenOffice 3 Release Candidate Arrives

Practical Technology - Sun, 14/09/2008 - 3:05pm
OpenOffice 3’s release candidate is here and ready for download for Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, and Windows. This is more than a little cool. Those of us who don’t like paying the Microsoft Office suite tax have been waiting for the next version of OpenOffice for some time now and it’s almost ready to go. [...]

Three blue screens of death and an iTunes mess

Practical Technology - Fri, 12/09/2008 - 5:16pm
“Read my lips; no new taxes,” President George H. W. Bush; “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” President Bill Clinton;” and “Windows Vista has turned into a phenomenal product, better than any other OS we’ve ever built and far, far better than any other software available today, Co-president of Microsoft’s Platforms & [...]


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