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Latest flavour of Linux could point the way to the desktop

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Every year, I am surprised at the pace of advances in Linux distributions. Just when I thought things couldn't get better, along comes Mark Shuttleworth and his Ubuntu distribution. It's quite frankly astonishing.

Having interviewed the South African philanthropist a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try downloading the latest version of Ubuntu, the very much work-in-progress Dapper Drake Flight 5, and see why Ubuntu has surpassed Fedora and Mandriva (formerly Mandrake) as the number one distribution out there according to

Dapper installed on a new Sempron 64 box with a budget Asus K8V-MX motherboard without the need to download any obscure drivers or set any weird XFree (graphics) settings. This particular motherboard is a PCI-Express motherboard and has an integrated GeForce 6-series graphics core in the chipset, which I thought would take ages to configure. But I was wrong. It detected everything automatically and it worked without a hitch.

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‘No Company Is So Important Its Existence Justifies Setting Up a Police State’

You’re talking about very — about specific manifestations, and in some cases in ways that presuppose a weak solution. What is data privacy? The term implies that if a company collects data about you, it should somehow protect that data. But I don’t think that’s the issue. I think the problem is that it collects data about you period. We shouldn’t let them do that. I won’t let them collect data about me. I refuse to use the ones that would know who I am. There are unfortunately some areas where I can’t avoid that. I can’t avoid even for a domestic flight giving the information of who I am. That’s wrong. You shouldn’t have to identify yourself if you’re not crossing a border and having your passport checked. With prescriptions, pharmacies sell the information about who gets what sort of prescription. There are companies that find this out about people. But they don’t get much of a chance to show me ads because I don’t use any sites in a way that lets them know who I am and show ads accordingly. So I think the problem is fundamental. Companies are collecting data about people. We shouldn’t let them do that. The data that is collected will be abused. That’s not an absolute certainty, but it’s a practical, extreme likelihood, which is enough to make collection a problem. A database about people can be misused in four ways. First, the organization that collects the data can misuse the data. Second, rogue employees can misuse the data. Third, unrelated parties can steal the data and misuse it. That happens frequently, too. And fourth, the state can collect the data and do really horrible things with it, like put people in prison camps. Which is what happened famously in World War II in the United States. And the data can also enable, as it did in World War II, Nazis to find Jews to kill. In China, for example, any data can be misused horribly. But in the U.S. also, you’re looking at a CIA torturer being nominated to head the CIA, and we can’t assume that she will be rejected. So when you put this together with the state spying that Snowden told us about, and with the Patriot Act that allows the FBI to take almost any database of personal data without even talking to a court. And what you see is, for companies to have data about you is dangerous. And I’m not interested in discussing the privacy policies that these companies have. First of all, privacy policies are written so that they appear to promise you some sort of respect for privacy, while in fact having such loopholes that the company can do anything at all. But second, the privacy policy of the company doesn’t do anything to stop the FBI from taking all that data every week. Anytime anybody starts collecting some data, if the FBI thinks it’s interesting, it will grab that data. And we also know that the FBI and other such agencies are inclined to label protesters as terrorists. So that way they can use laws that were ostensibly adopted to protect us from terrorists to threaten a much larger number of us than any terrorist could. Read more Also: Numerical Analysis Software Global Market Analysis & Forecast: Analytica, Matlab, GNU Octave, Plotly, FlexPro

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3 tips for organizing your open source project's workflow on GitHub

Managing an open source project is challenging work, and the challenges grow as a project grows. Eventually, a project may need to meet different requirements and span multiple repositories. These problems aren't technical, but they are important to solve to scale a technical project. Business process management methodologies such as agile and kanban bring a method to the madness. Developers and managers can make realistic decisions for estimating deadlines and team bandwidth with an organized development focus. Read more