Linux and Open Source

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About Linux and Open Source

ISO/IEC lose all their credibility. From ffii.org.

Sums it up pretty good, I think. Simultaneously, the Washington Post run an article on possible AntiTrust issues to be looked at by the European Commission. Seems like a good idea to me.

... and after the farce which was Microsoft's attempts to get OOXML accepted as a standard by whatever means necessary, the initial results are somewhat concerning.

After Underhanded attempts to blacken the reputation of one of the Standards NZ Advisors on the subject, and it seems various other nations such as Norway (where a formal complaint has been lodged), Switzerland, Malaysia and others have also been targeted. Sweden's was found to be null and void, not because of 'incentives' offered to voters who supported OOXML, but another irregularity in their proceedure. (!) Reports of subversion are rampant.

Jeff Waugh - an Open Source evangalist from Australia who was here for the NZ Open Source Awards last year, has blogged on how Australia have FAIL'd to get it right - by abstaining from the vote. They have concerns, but wouldn't commit... that doesn't really help us except to just muddy the waters further.

Standards NZ have maintained a 'NO' vote for the ISO submission but others, despite lobbying, appear to be changing their minds.

For an accurate story I do strongly recommend this LinuxJournal Article which runs down the situation fairly nicely. It's a fairly disturbing read, as it lays out plainly what MS appear to be trying to do: Get a 6000 page, overly complex and technically questionable standard accepted by ISO, to become the only outfit capable of meeting the 'standard', and then be able to use it as a selling point.

I do concur, what they've done to date is make themselves look even worse. The outfits who let themselves be blinded by MS's recent 'open source endorsements' really need to look slightly closer, and realise how two-faced it really is.

Disturbing. One has to wonder if Microsoft will succeed in winning, or simply helping themselves lose. Official results are due out in a couple of days.

EDIT: The results are in. Well done to Microsoft for turning the ISO into a farce. (And the countries that voted YES are obviously not thinking straight.)

Adam Boileau getting some press after his Windows vulnerability and exploit tool hit the web.

I suppose that's one way of making Microsoft pay attention...

M-Net about Catalyst IT - a real NZ Open Source Success Story.

Catalyst are one of those NZ firms we can really be proud of in the technology sector. Sometimes I consider it a shame that i'm not a programmer...

My Xubuntu story has continued.
Though i'm pretty happy on the whole with it - found one bugbear today.

Trying to change the way the system handles urls that aren't http:// etc...
An MMS link in this case.

I had to install a new tool called gconf-editor and use that to edit the related application.
Removing Totem didnt seem to stop it from being able to load when called by default :|

Anyway I can't make mplayer play the damn file, which is a shame, coz I know it'll support the format....

soooo close... !!

Anyway Ubuntuforums.org had the scoop, so yay for finally finding a useful search term. :)

Having been experimenting with Xubuntu lately I came up against a problem with Flash.
This is a Bug with a Fix and some text on the latter page that is required reading if you want to understand what has happened.

Also found a discussion on a Ubuntu Mailing List covering it off, although with information a little older than the above.

Still beyond that, i'm pretty happy so far... it's definately the best polished Linux GUI i've seen, but i've not used it much lately.

Thanks to Vik Olliver..

Having just bought and installed a Logitech Quickcam on my Windows XP Laptop, I can sympathise.

- Installation CD has an option to check for online updates to the software, which I leave selected.
- Software checks and then asks if I want to download an available update, I click yes.
- System CPU Load skyrockets. Flatlines at 100%. Download starts.
- All that I get on the download dialogue is a progress bar (with no markings) and a byte count with approx speed estimate next to it. No indication on how big the download is, no estimation of time remaining.
- Download winds up well in excess of 80MB and the update process thrashes my CPU for the whole time, making it impossible to do much else other than use my SSH session and browse simple pages.
- Download runs at less than 60k/s on average and takes quite a while as a result.

Its exactly that sort of behavior that puts me off 'closed' solutions. You're at the whim of the vendor and have to put a lot of faith in the fact that they'll do things right - and often don't!

I was very fortunate to score an invitation to attend the New Zealand Open Source Awards last night held in Wellington.
The Inaugural event aimed to be a celebration of achievements New Zealanders have made in the Open Source environment and from what I saw, it achieved just that.

The awards were created and driven by those wonderful OSS Innovators and supporters, Catalyst IT. They along with the other key sponsors Google and Red Hat along with the assistance of numerous 'Silver' sponsors (Including my own involvement via the New Zealand Open Source Society) turned the entire event into a success.

Ok so its not really a popup, more an installed program prompting me for an upgrade:

My question: Is OpenOffice being advertised as 'FREE with this upgrade!' legit? Or is it grossly misleading (given that OO is free anyway)???

Or am I just a cynic these days?

As per earlier comment.. Standards NZ have voted no to the proposed OOXML standard for documents.. Also covered by Computerworld. The advertisement run by Microsoft trying to encourage a Yes vote really did strike me as rather crooked, though; the argument we're seeing time and time again is that the 'Defacto standard' is a driving force in the decision around the Standard-to-be. Notwithstanding the acceptance of the ODF in industry already.

So this is a good move. Will see what happens next.

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