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SocializedSoftware's blog

Xandros Acquires Linspire

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News

Today Linux desktop manufacturer Xandros acquired Linspire for an undisclosed amount. Xandros will also be keeping existing engineering, support, and key sales employees and long-time Linspire employee and CEO Larry Kettler will be joining the Xandros executive team as the VP of Business Development. While Xandros didn't mention their total employee numbers Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos claims Xandros to be the third largest Linux company in the world after the acquisition. Former Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony has some harsh criticism of the deal on his blog.

Read the rest at Socialized Software

Are Google and Amazon the Next Great Hope for the (Linux) Desktop?

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Linux

There was a time when I thought the Linux desktop was going to take a market share at least equal to Apple’s. Maybe even 5% or 10% of the total desktop market. I had high hopes that the One Laptop Per Child Initiative would put Linux laptops in the hands of impressionable young minds who would never have the chance to become dependent on Windows. Though that plan has fallen through the cracks. I don’t hate Microsoft Windows I just don’t have a desire to see any operating system dominate the market in such a way that the lack of competition stifles innovation and forces users into an endless upgrade cycle, offering progressively smaller incremental value.

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Socialized Software: Microsoft ISV Benefits from Open Source Development Model

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News

When I think of open source software Microsoft is rarely the first word that comes to mind. Actually it’s not even on of the first ten words. However, there are probably more Microsoft Windows users using open source software than on any other operating system. Despite this Microsoft’s stance on open source is changing evidenced by recent initiatives into open source software development.

The Little "3" of Open Source Systems Management

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News

Last year open source analyst Michael Coté of Redmonk coined the term Little Four to describe four up-and-coming open source management vendors and as a foil to the Big Four of systems management.

How Open Source (Ideas) Can Win the War and Save the Auto Industry

I am often dismayed by the misappropriation of the term open source. Companies apply the term to products that are free though not open source. It’s a classic marketing maneuver to leverage that already has broad recognition.

WordPress 2.5 Review

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Reviews

Yesterday the long awaited and somewhat delayed WordPress 2.5 was released. Today, I updated my installation today and though I had a few problems the upgrade to the new version was definitely worth it.

Future Open Source Superstars

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Linux

This week’s Open Source Business Conference was a strange meeting. What is apparent is that in the open source software Red Hat’s no longer exciting. Here are some of the companies that may well be the new open source superstars.

OpenMicroServer: Tiny Footprint Linux Server

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News

I saw an announcement that the OpenMicroServer (OMS) is now available in the U.S. It has been produced in Japan for some time but has just been made available domestically. What's cool about it is that it is small  and can be powered from an Ethernet port. It reminded me of the BlackDog USB Server that made a splash a couple years back.The little OMS only measures 9'' x 4'' x 1.3' It's officially supported for Debian (Etch) and NetBSD. Plat'Home also maintains their own OS SSD/Linux which is a combination of Linux and BSD code. I love little gadgets like these and try to figure out some innovative ways to use them.

Open Source Deki Wiki by Mindtouch

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Reviews

About three months ago I was looking for a wiki for a private project and used WikiMatrix to figure out what wiki software best met my needs. My main requirements were that the software was open source, easy-to-use, and there was a free hosted version to play around with.

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Security News

  • Windows 10 least secure of Windows versions: study
    Windows 10 was the least secure of of current Windows versions in 2016, with 46% more vulnerabilities than either Windows 8 or 8.1, according to an analysis of Microsoft's own security bulletins in 2016. Security firm Avecto said its research, titled "2016 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Study: Mitigating risk by removing user privileges", had also found that a vast majority of vulnerabilities found in Microsoft products could be mitigated by removing admin rights. The research found that, despite its claims to being the "most secure" of Microsoft's operating systems, Windows 10 had 395 vulnerabilities in 2016, while Windows 8 and 8.1 each had 265. The research also found that while 530 Microsoft vulnerabilities were reported — marginally up from the 524 reported in 2015 — and 189 given a critical rating, 94% could be mitigated by removing admin rights. This was up from 85% in 2015.
  • Windows 10 Creators Update can block Win32 apps if they’re not from the Store [Ed: By Microsoft Peter. People who put Vista 10 on a PC totally lose control of that PC; remember, the OS itself is malware, as per textbook definitions. With DRM and other antifeatures expect copyright enforcement on the desktop soon.]
    The latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build doesn't add much in the way of features—it's mostly just bug fixes—but one small new feature has been spotted, and it could be contentious. Vitor Mikaelson noticed that the latest build lets you restrict the installation of applications built using the Win32 API.
  • Router assimilated into the Borg, sends 3TB in 24 hours
    "Well, f**k." Harsh language was appropriate under the circumstances. My router had just been hacked. Setting up a reliable home network has always been a challenge for me. I live in a cramped three-story house, and I don't like running cables. So my router's position is determined by the fiber modem in a corner on the bottom floor. Not long after we moved in, I realized that our old Airport Extreme was not delivering much signal to the attic, where two game-obsessed occupants fought for bandwidth. I tried all sorts of things. I extended the network. I used Ethernet-over-powerline connectors to deliver network access. I made a mystic circle and danced naked under the full moon. We lost neighbors, but we didn't gain a signal.
  • Purism's Librem 13 Coreboot Port Now "100%" Complete
    According to Purism's Youness Alaoui, their Coreboot port to the Librem 13 v1 laptop is now considered complete. The Librem 13 was long talked about having Coreboot over a proprietary BIOS while the initial models still had shipped with the conventional BIOS. Finally in 2017, they have now Coreboot at what they consider to be 100% complete for this Linux-friendly laptop.
  • The Librem 13 v1 coreboot port is now complete
    Here are the news you’ve been waiting for: the coreboot port for the Librem 13 v1 is 100% done! I fixed all of the remaining issues, it is now fully working and is stable, ready for others to enjoy. I fixed the instability problem with the M.2 SATA port, finished running all the tests to ensure coreboot is working correctly, fixed the headphone jack that was not working, made the boot prettier, and started investigating the Intel Management Engine issue.
  • Linux Update Fixes 11-Year-Old Flaw
    Andrey Konovalov, a security researcher at Google, found a use-after-free hole within Linux, CSO Online reported. This particular flaw is of interest because it appears to be situational. It only showed up in kernels built with a certain configuration option — CONFIG_IP_DCCP — enabled.

Kerala saves Rs 300 cr as schools switch to open software

The Kerala government has made a saving of Rs 300 crore through introduction and adoption of Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) in the school education sector, said a state government official on Sunday. IT became a compulsory subject in Kerala schools from 2003, but it was in 2005 only that FOSS was introduced in a phased manner and started to replace proprietary software. The decision made by the curriculum committee to implement it in the higher secondary sector has also been completed now. Read more

Tired of Windows and MAC computer systems? Linux may now be ready for prime time

Are you a bit tired of the same old options of salt and pepper, meaning having to choose only between the venerable Windows and MAC computer operating systems? Looking to branch out a bit, maybe take a walk on the wild side, learn some new things and save money? If so, the Linux operating system, which has been around for a long time and is used and loved by many hard-core techies and developers, may now be ready for prime time with the masses. Read more

Braswell based Pico-ITX SBC offers multiple expansion options

Axiomtek’s PICO300 is a Pico-ITX SBC with Intel Braswell, SATA-600, extended temperature support, and both a mini-PCIe and homegrown expansion connector. Axiomtek has launched a variation on its recently announced Intel Apollo Lake based PICO312 SBC that switches to the older Intel Braswell generation and offers a slightly reduced feature set. The board layout has also changed somewhat, with LVDS, SATA, and USB ports all changing location. Read more