Tuesday, December 25, 2007

2007 Top Ten Free and Open Source Legal Issues

The year 2007 has been the most active year for legal developments in the history of free and open source (“FOSS”). In fact, you would have been hard pressed in past years to enumerate even five important legal developments. However 2007 permits the creation of a traditional “top ten” list. My list of the top ten FOSS legal developments in 2007 follows:

1. Publication of GPLv3. The GPLv2 continues to be the most widely used FOSS license, yet the law relating to software has developed significantly since the publication of the original publication of the GPLv2 in 1991. The first revision of the GPLv2 had a number of drafts over an 18 month period. However the new GPLv3 license is much more comprehensive than GPLv2 and addresses the new issues which have arisen in software law in the last 15 years.

2. SCO’s Attack on Linux Collapses. SCO filed lawsuits claiming that Linux infringed SCO’s copyrights in UNIX. These suits suffered a fatal blow when the court in the Novell litigation found that SCO did not own the copyrights in UNIX. The ownership of the copyrights is essential to prosecute cases for copyright infringement. The melt down of SCO’s strategy was complete when it filed for bankruptcy soon after this loss.

3. First Legal Opinion on Enforcing a FOSS License. In August, the district court in San Francisco surprised many lawyers by ruling that the remedies for breach of the Artistic License were in contract, not copyright. Most lawyers believe that the failure to comply with the major terms of an open source license means that the licensee is a copyright infringer and, thus, can obtain “injunctive relief" (which means that the court orders a party to cease their violation). On the other hand, if the remedy is limited to contract remedies, then the standard remedy would be limited to monetary damages. Such damages are of limited value to open source licensors. The district court decision has been appealed.

4. First US Lawsuit to Enforce GPLv2. The Software Freedom Law Center filed the first lawsuit to enforce the GPL for the BusyBox software in August. Subsequently, it filed three other lawsuits. Although the first three lawsuits were against small companies, the most recent lawsuit was against Verizon. These lawsuits represent a new approach for the SFLC which, in the past, has preferred negotiation to litigation. SFLC has settled two of the lawsuits. Each of the settlements has required that the defendants pay damages, another new development. These suits may be the first of many.

5. First Patent Infringement Lawsuit by Patent Trolls against FOSS Vendors. IP Innovation LLC (and Technology Licensing Corporation) filed suit against Red Hat and Novell in what may be the first volley in a patent war against a FOSS vendor. Acacia is a well known patent troll which has been buying patents for some time and works through multiple subsidiaries. The FOSS industry provides a tempting target because of its rapid growth. These suits could slow the expansion of FOSS because many potential licensees express concern about potential liability for infringement of third party rights by FOSS.

6. First Patent Lawsuit by a Commercial Competitor against a FOSS Vendor. Network Appliances, Inc. (“NetApps”) sued Sun Microsystems, Inc. (“Sun”) for patent infringement by Sun’s ZFS file system in its Solaris operating system. The ZFS file system posed a challenge to NetApps products because it permits the connection of less expensive storage devices to the operating system.

7. Microsoft Obtains Approval of Two Licenses by OSI. Microsoft Corporation continues its schizophrenic approach to FOSS by simultaneously asserting that the Linux operating system violates Microsoft’s patents and submitting two licenses for approval by OSI. In October, the OSI Board approved the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) and the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL) as consistent with the Open Source Definition.

8. German Court Finds that Skype Violates GPLv2 The enforcement of the GPLv2 in Germany continues with a Munich court finding that Skype had violated GPLv2 by not including the source code with the binary version of the software (instead, Skype had included a “flyer” with a URL describing where to find the source code version). The suit was brought by Harald Welte, who has been the plaintiff in virtually all of the German enforcement actions for GPLv2. Harald runs gpl-violations.org, an organization which he founded to track down and prosecute violators of the GPL.

9. New License Options. Two of the most controversial issues in FOSS licensing, network use and attribution, were addressed in new licenses adopted this year. A “network use” provision imposes a requirement that when a program makes functions available through a computer network, the user may obtain the source code of the program. Essentially, it extends the trigger requiring providing a copy of the source code from “distribution” of the object code (as required under the GPLv2) to include making the functions available over a computer network. An “attribution” provision requires that certain phrases or images referring to the developing company be included in the program. This provision was very controversial on the License Discuss email list for OSI. The Free Software Foundation published the Affero General Public License in the fall which expanded the scope of the GPLv3 to include a “network use” provision. A limited form of attribution was included in the GPLv3. And OSI approved the Common Public Attribution License which included both the “network use” and “attribution” provisions.

10. Creation of Linux Foundation. The Open Source Development Labs and the Free Standards Group merged to form the Linux Foundation. The FOSS industry is unusual because of the extent to which it depends on non profit entities for guidance. These entities include the OSI, Free Software Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Apache Foundation and Eclipse Foundation. This merger provides a much stronger platform to promote Linux and open standards.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Extremely Faster iPhones Slated for 2008

Would-be iPhone users who are frustrated with the speed of AT&T's EDGE network have something to look forward to: Apple is preparing to launch a 3G version of the device, according to AT&T's chief executive. It's a revelation AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson let slip during a question-and-answer session at the Churchill Club in Santa Clara, Calif.

iPhone owners craving for faster performance from the spiffy device might want to prepare for a trade-in next year.

Speaking Wednesday at the Churchill Club in Santa Clara, Calif., version of the iPhone is in the works. Asked when the units will be available, Stephenson at first wondered aloud whether his Apple counterpart, Steve Jobs, had announced the 3G plan.

Then, Stephenson said, simply, "You'll have it next year."

Long-Sought Horsepower

The iPhone currently operates on the slower EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for Global System for Mobile communications Evolution) network technology, a fact that is often cited as a "con" in the seemingly infinite number of "pro and con" iPhone reviews published since the device was launched in late June.

Early on, Jobs said the US$399 units were purposely designed for the EDGE network because Apple found that making them 3G caused battery life to diminish too much.

Jobs addressed the notion of a 3G iPhone at a conference earlier this year, NPD analyst Ross Rubin told MacNewsWorld. "He said it was something they looked at, but battery life was not satisfactory for them. It follows [that] it is something they continue to work on."

A No Hotspot Hot Shot

The lack of 3G is somewhat alleviated by the iPhone's ability to connect to the Internet via available WiFi networks. Many users grumble that, when no WiFi connectivity is available, the lack of 3G makes for frustratingly slow data transfers.

Moving to 3G "makes a lot of sense for a device that has a very strong Web browser," said Rubin. AT&T, the only wireless carrier authorized to sell and work with the iPhone, "certainly has a vested interest" in seeing the devices upgraded, he noted.

"It would complement some of the technologies that are already on the iPhone," said Rubin.

Slip of the Tongue?

Stephenson's comments seemed to be a bit off-the-cuff and they came during an informal and wide-ranging question-and-answer session. "We often see executives allude to developments," added Rubin. "Ultimately, it's Apple that has to ship the device."

Apple has declined to comment about Stephenson's prediction. However, a decision by Apple to remain quiet about the issue would fit the company's standard operating procedure, Rubin said.

"You never know what contractual agreements AT&T may have with Apple," commented the analyst. "But clearly Apple has a long history of not pre-announcing products. So, if it's coming next year, we may hear about it at MacWorld because, as happened last year, Steve Jobs announced the iPhone there but the phone wasn't delivered until the end of June."

Night and Day

There's no doubt that a 3G version of the iPhone would leave the current model in the dust for some data-intensive, non-WiFi operations. "It's like going from dial-up to a broadband connection," said Rubin.

The iPhone is ideally suited to the faster connectivity, he said. "If that support is there, we may see more focus on over-the-air transactions, more streaming media and perhaps downloads of TV shows -- which would be complementary to the iPhone's large screen -- and many other kinds of services."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Top 10 funny Quotes by Linus torvalds

Linus Torvalds quotesThe idea to write a post regarding the funny Linus' quotes came into my mind after I came across this wiki page. So, let me suggest TOP 10 list of his quotes:

Really, I'm not out to destroy Microsoft. That will just be a completely unintentional side effect.

Only wimps use tape backup: _real_ men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it ;)

Software is like sex; it’s better when it’s free.

Is "I hope you all die a painful death" too strong?

Most days I wake up thinking I'm the luckiest bastard alive.

An infinite number of monkeys typing into GNU emacs would never make a good program.

Talk is cheap. Show me the code.

I'm a bastard. I have absolutely no clue why people can ever think otherwise. Yet they do. People think I'm a nice guy, and the fact is that I'm a scheming, conniving bastard who doesn't care for any hurt feelings or lost hours of work, if it just results in what I consider to be a better system. And I'm not just saying that. I'm really not a very nice person. I can say "I don't care" with a straight face, and really mean it.

Those that can, do. Those that can't, complain.

You see. I don't think any new thoughts. I think thoughts that other people have thought, and I rearrange them. But Sara, she thinks thoughts that never were before.

Alternative versions of TOP 10 are welcome here!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Developer service for Ubuntu goes live

Canonical today released a new software development collaboration service for Ubuntu Linux developers. CompuerWorld reports that Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu Linux, "said the new Launchpad Personal Package Archive (PPA) service is being added to its existing Launchpad development Web site to allow groups to collaborate on packages, as well as allow individual developers to publish their own versions of open source software."Using PPA, developers can upload software packages to an account and participants can collaborate on it, according to Canonical. Each user gets up to 1GB of space to be used only for free software projects."Many developers want to modify existing packages, or create new packages of their software," Christian Robottom Reis, who has led the PPA effort within Canonical's Launchpad project, said in a statement. "The PPA service allows anyone to publish a package without having to ask permission or join the Ubuntu project as a developer. This is a tremendous innovation in the free software community. We hope that PPA will make it easier for developers and development teams who have excellent ideas to get their work into the hands of users for testing and feedback.""They also get to mix with experienced packagers to improve their skills," he said. "PPA is a build system, a publishing system and a community experience. We are also really excited to add the ability to create packages aimed at the mobile environment from launch."

Torvalds speaks on Linux progress, plans

In an emailed interview with Information Week, Linux founder Linus Torvalds spoke about where development of the Linux kernel was headed for 2008.Asked his opinion on whether the development of the Linux kernel was proceeding faster than that of Windows Server, he tactfully dodged the question, saying that his lack of interest in Microsoft products combined with his obvious bias meant that he could not give a fair opinion.With those caveats in place, he said that he believed that Linux development tends to be a lot more efficient than the alternatives, by which he meant all forms of proprietary, closed format development models.In the interview, Torvalds repeatedly mentioned the benefit of Linux's open source development model being that the multiplicity of individual interests among the developers led to a wide variety of focuses.Asked what lay ahead for the Linux kernel, he said that they were "all over the map", but he specified graphics and wireless networking devices as being a current area of weakness that would be worked on. Acknowledging that he personally had no interest in virtualisation, he said that it would likely be another area of developmental focus in the year ahead.His particular interest at the moment lay in solid state drivers, an area that he said had been limited due to the high cost of the hardware. He anticipated that as costs were driven down through the course of next year, this particular area would grow.He made mention of the fact that the vast majority of improvements would be minor changes, which together create a far better product. Rather than any individual "silver bullet" that would make a drastic change, he predicted that there would be "just more of the same, and that's really the important part."On the issue of whether or not Microsoft and other patent holders could impede the process of developing the Linux kernel, he admitted that this was not his area of expertise, but said he did not believe there was "anything real behind that whole intellectual property FUD machine".However, Torvalds cautioned: "But nearly infinite amounts of money certainly goes a long way."

Friday, November 23, 2007

The REAL Reason the Linux Community Didn’t Come Up With the iPhone

Lately, there seems to an explosion of interest in Open Source. I suppose it is a natural progression. When interest in something grows, its level of recognition expands exponentially as more and more people become aware. It seems the scientific community is also starting to take note - not necessarily of the software, but of the way in which Open Source community functions. Based on his experience at a recent scientific convention, Jaron Lanier suggests that the modern scientific community seems to be wanting to model itself after the Open Source software model. Unfortunately, he adopts the position that this progression is ill advised and bases his reasoning on the mistaken belief that the Open Source model is incapable of the level of innovation required by science. Although he builds an interesting case, I believe his conclusions are based on a faulty premise and an overall misunderstanding of the real strength of the Open Source approach as well as the true nature of the proprietary model. That is not to suggest, however, that I think the scientific community should emulate Open Source. It is possible his conclusions have merit despite the faulty analogy. I will not attempt to address the value of an Open Source model for science as that is outside my area of expertise. I will explain why I believe he is wrong about Open Source.

Lanier’s main argument seems to based on a the belief that the Open Source community is not capable of any real innovation. This is a fairly common belief that is simply not supported by the facts. Let’s take a closer look at a couple of Lanier’s claims.

Open wisdom-of-crowds software movements have become influential, but they
haven’t promoted the kind of radical creativity I love most in computer science.
If anything, they’ve been hindrances. Some of the youngest, brightest minds have
been trapped in a 1970s intellectual framework because they are hypnotized into
accepting old software designs as if they were facts of nature. Linux is a
superbly polished copy of an antique, shinier than the original, perhaps, but
still defined by it.

It is true that Linux is a UNIX-like operating system that has progressed incrementally (and continues to progress) to become a powerful and modern system. However, Linux is not unique in this respect. The two most prominent closed source operating systems, Microsoft Windows and Apple OSX, are perhaps even better examples of “polished copies”. Both Windows and the Mac OS owe their entire existence to the recoding of borrowed technology. Apple and Microsoft modeled their Graphical User Interface (GUI) on technology created at Xerox PARC in the 1970s, which itself grew out of Doug Englebart’s NLS system developed in the 1960s, which was inspired by the memex described by Vannevar Bush in 1945. Furthermore, Microsoft did not independently develop DOS, it was somewhat co-developed with IBM and based, at least originally, on CP/M which was privately developed by Gary Kildall in 1974. They solved the lack of networkability in early version of Windows by releasing Windows NT which was built on VMS from Digital Equipment Corporation (with developers hired from DEC), and, interestingly enough, was designed to be somewhat UNIX-like. Apple OSX is directly built on BSD (a UNIX variant) with a GUI originally developed in the late 1980s by NeXT (founded by Steve Jobs after leaving Apple and then later bought by Apple). So, if anything, it is Windows and OSX that are “polished copies of an antique”.

Of course, Linux also benefited from many of the same technologies, and given that all modern operating systems are essentially built on 40-year old technology, it does raise the question of how far we can actually progress and why modern computers are not all that different from the original computers - only smaller and faster. It is interesting to note, however, that in all this time no one has developed anything radically different (well, maybe BeOS but it never went very far). All major operating systems are really quite similar in terms of what they can do. So it seems odd to suggest that the Open Source model has failed to produce anything innovative when in reality no model has. The fact that Open Source has managed to keep pace with proprietary models is actually worthy of note - not a failing.

It is also worth noting that the very Internet that has had such a huge impact on modern life was also born out of the Open Source model. Mosaic, the first modern Internet browser, was developed at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications - a government funded program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Although it is not strictly an Open Source program, being publicly funded the source code was always available. Furthermore, if it were not for the development of open standards the World Wide Web would have never grown beyond the CERN laboratory. Finally, much of the infrastructure of the Web run on Linux servers. Clearly, one of the most revolutionary developments of the later 20th century owes much of its existence to the Open Source model of development and even Open Source software.
Finally, lets not forget that the entire software industry exists because of Open Source. Granted, it was not called Open Source at the time, but IBM’s earliest operating systems were originally distributed in source form. SHARE Inc. was established in 1955 as a way for programmers to make local modifications and share them with others - in much the same way as modern Open Source projects grow and develop.

Clearly, the Open Source model is certainly not the vacuum of creativity that Lanier suggests. It is no less innovative than the proprietary model and it could be easily argued that it is more innovative.

Lanier, however, offers a different argument to support his suppositions about the lack of innovation in Open Source which I believe is also faulty.
My guess is that a poorly encapsulated, communal gloop of organisms lost out to
closely guarded species for the same reason that the Linux community didn’t come
up the iPhone: Encapsulation serves a purpose.

First of all, this presumes that the Linux (or Open Source) community WANTED to “come up” with the iPhone. I would argue that the community is decidedly NOT interested in that. Therefore, failing to create the iPhone is not proof of the community’s failure to innovate.
The Open Source and proprietary (or, to use Lanier’s term, encapsulated) approaches are decidedly different and have different motivations, different goals, and different definitions of success. The proprietary model has but one goal - profit - and sharing secrets is not good for ones profit margin. Companies can only continue to exist if they continually improve products, expand their line and show increased profits. This is often accomplished by creating a need where one doesn’t exist and then convincing consumers of that need. This is precisely why the iPhone was developed. Apple wanted a piece of the cell phone market and took a device that already existed - the cell phone - and jazzed it up. No one NEEDS an iPhone. In fact, no one needs a cell phone. The world functioned perfectly well before cell phones. We did manage to land people on the moon without cell phones, after all. The iPhone is not an innovation. It is simply a minimal progression of a technology that most people have come see as a necessary part of life. The iPhone is just Apple’s version of a PDA and phones that are also MP3 players have been around for several years. In truth, the iPhone is not all that unique and there are “open” examples - Android and OpenMoko for example. However, the corporate for profit model is simply NOT how Open Source works or wants to work. In fact, innovation is not usually a profitable undertaking. Consumers fear change. What they love is incremental improvements and businesses like releasing new versions of the same thing - it helps drive sales. The only ones who are free to innovate are those with nothing to lose - like the Open Source world, for example.

Contrary to the proprietary model, the Open Source approach does not focus on creating needs (perhaps desires would be a better word). Instead, the community seeks to solve existing problems - this is called the tools approach in the UNIX world. This is becoming somewhat less obvious now but consider the early years of Open Source. Most of the tools that are at the heart of any Linux system were created to fill a real need. Early line editors were not sufficient for the needs of programmers so new tools like Vi and Emacs (and more recently Eclipse) were born. The Linux kernel itself was created because Linus Torvalds felt he needed a UNIX-like tool that would run on commodity hardware (dare I say desktop UNIX?). None of these tools were marketed for profit - in fact, they were and are given away freely. Given this type of model, where is the motivation to create marketable products? Lack of motivation does not equal lack of innovation.

Lets take this one step further and consider the computer itself. Computers were not initially created to be marketed for profit. They grew out of the human need to expand beyond the limits of our own minds - and fittingly enough for a military purpose (Eniac, for example, was built to calculate artillery trajectories). It wasn’t until the beginning of the personal computer age that companies began to see a profit potential. IBM focused on selling hardware, Microsoft focused on selling software, and Apple sold both.

If there is a lack of innovation in the computer world, it is not because of any failings on the part of Open Source. Scientists of all people should understand the value of sharing knowledge and efforts. A distributed group of scientists have a better chance of solving complex problems than a small group working in isolation. The Open Source model is about sharing and teamwork. Encapsulation breeds jealousy and mistrust. There is no motivation to share knowledge when personal or corporate profit becomes the focus.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

NEW iPods released

Well Apple released a new iPod and redesigned their other models, info about all 4 models are below:

iPod Touch (BRAND NEW): It has a multi-touch interface (similar to the iPhone) with a gorgeous 3.5-inch widescreen that lets you touch your music in Cover Flow and watch video on a stunning, widescreen display. It has Wi-Fi internet broswing that lets you watch You-Tube videos, check email and even access the wireless iTunes music store. There are two models; the 8GB model for only $299.00 from Apple or the 16 GB model for only $399.00 from Apple .

iPod Shuffle: That now has a new shape (see below) with a clip on the back. It comes in 5 colors, all 1 GB models for only $79.00 each.

iPod Nano: The new generation 3 Nano comes in 5 colors and 2 models; the 4 GB model which sells for $149.00 and the 8 GB model for only $199.00. This new nano has a bigger screen and now has the ability to watch movies and play games.

iPod Classic (Previously the iPod Video): This new generation has a 80 and 160 GB models starting at just $249.00. With an enhanced interface and more storage it has been a huge hit.

Tiny Tin Can Linux

Tin Can Tools has announced a new fully functional embedded Linux platform in the shape of a 40-pin DIP package. The Hammer board, based upon the Samsung S3C2410 ARM920T processor, is designed from the ground up to be very modular and easy to interface. Tin Can Tools suggests it is ideal for developing embedded applications such as web-enabled appliances, robotics, process control and remote monitoring. Unlike most single board computer (SBC) solutions, the Hammer CPU board fits into a standard 40 pin DIP socket which means it can be quickly interfaced to using standard 0.1 inch center prototyping tools.

Preloaded with an open source bootloader, Linux 2.6 kernel, and a uClibc/Busybox based root file system, it also carries an open hardware design advantage. OK, so the hardware design side of things has not been made available under the GPL, but the schematics and other design files are available according to Tin Can Tools.

The 0.75 x 2.25 inch, $160, Hammer integrates its 200MHz ARM920T core with a MMU and 16KB of instruction and 16KB of data cache, plus 16MB of NOR flash soldered onboard.

The full hardware specs are:
  • Microprocessor ( CPU ): S3C2410A - Samsung (200 MHz)
  • ARM 920T core with Cache (16K+16K) and MMU
  • Main Memory: 32MB SDRAM (16M x 16 bit, 100MHz)
  • FLASH : 16MB NOR Flash
  • Peripherals available:
  • 2 UART’s (also supports IrDA)
  • 1 I2C
  • 2 SPI’s
  • 2 16-bit Timers/PWM’s
  • 1 8-bit LCD Interface + control signals
  • 1 USB Host Port
  • 1 USB Slave Port
  • 2 ADC’s (10 bit )
  • 4 External Interrupt pins
  • 1 Up to 30 pins of GPIO’s (but some of the GPIO’s and peripherals share the same pins)
  • JTAG Interface: 2 x 7 Header – standard JTAG interface
  • Size: 0.75 inches (width) X 2.25 inches (length)
  • Package: Fits a standard 40-pin DIP socket (0.1 inch lead spacing)
  • Power Requirements: +5VDC @ 120 mA (typical)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

"Stop making fun of us." - Microsoft to Mac

A picture that brings new meaning to Microsoft "Avenger".

Why Most Hosting Companies SUCK ? [Vid]

Here is a quick video that pretty much explains why there are so many hosting companies. Well, and also why most of them SUCK!

Monday, November 19, 2007

49 Open Source Projects in the Spotlight

This is something every opensource lover should know!Too often, open source projects labor in near obscurity. No corporate stipend, no team of publicists, no media blurbs for every new release. But the open source community is a vital source of productive creativity – truly an engine of the future.

Audio Tools

1. Audacity This cross-platform sound recorder and editor receives high marks for its speed and ease of use. Key features include envelope editing, mixing, and built-in effects; supported formats include WAV, AIFF, Ogg, and MP3.
2. Linux MultiMedia StudioThink you have what it takes to be a record producer? LMMS lets you create music on your computer, including creating loops, synthesizing and mixing sounds, arranging samples, and more.
3. Jajuk If you have a large or scattered music collection, Jajuk is for you. This jukebox provides a lot of advanced features for users who know what they’re doing, while also being relatively intuitive.


4. Mumble With Mumble, you can easily talk to other players while gaming, and the voices seem to come from the on-screen characters. Plus, the echo cancellation feature means you won’t get those annoying reverberation effects from your microphone picking up the sound from your speakers.
5. ePresence Interactive MediaDeveloped at the University of Toronto, ePresence claims to be “the world's first open source webcasting and conferencing solution.” It is designed to support conferences, online meetings, seminars, and demonstrations. Click the “Project Web Site” link from the link above to check out some of the (mostly educational) presentations created with ePresence.
6. Elastix With final code just released November 2007, Elastix is a brand-new appliance software for Asterisk-based PBX systems. It combines a lot of the most popular Asterisk tools with a unique interface, utilities, and add-ons for a complete open-source VoIP system.
7. trixbox Formerly known as Asterisk@home, trixbox is another VoIP solution based on the Asterisk PBX software. Ideal for home or small business users, the Web-based interface makes the software easy to set up and use.

Desktop Enhancements

8. LCARS 24 Ever wish your screen looked like those cool interfaces on Star Trek? LCARS 24 offers an alarm clock, calendar, games, maps, etc. all with look of the displays on the Enterprise. It’s probably not something you’d install on your regular computer, but you might want to use it to turn an old DOS laptop into a useful conversation piece.
9. Synergy If you’ve got more than one computer sitting on your desk, Synergy let’s you use the same mouse and keyboard for both. It works cross-platform, so it’s great if you switch back and forth between a Linux machine and a Windows machine, or a Windows machine and a Mac, etc.
10. LXDE Lightweight X Desktop Environment does just what the name suggests: it offers a fast desktop for Linux/Unix systems that doesn’t consume a lot of power or memory. Unlike a lot of similar projects, each of the components can be installed separately, so you can use only the pieces you want.
11. Lazarus Lazarus offers a complete and easy-to-use programming environment for FreePascal. It runs on Windows, Linux, OS X, and FreeBSD.
12. jEdit This java-based text editor provides auto-indent and syntax highlighting for more than 130 different programming languages. Its huge library of add-ons gives programmers nearly every feature you could hope for in a text editor.
13. DotNetNuke DotNetNuke offers an alternative application framework for the Microsoft ASP.NET 2.0 platform. If offers enterprise users a versatile, user-friendly means to create cutting-edge Web applications.
14. Mantis This Web-based bug tracker is free, easy to install, and available in 68 different languages. Written in PHP, it works with MySQL, MS SQL, or PostgreSQL databases and multiple platforms.


15. GCompris GCompris provides an open source alternative in a category that has very few open source options—children’s educational software. Although the Windows version is somewhat limited, the Linux version offers more than 100 activities for kids age 3 to 10.
16. LogiCampus Educational Platform Built by a college in Texas, LogiCampus gives educational institutions a free way to manage distance learning and on-campus classes. It gives educators the tools they need to set up an online class and stay in touch with students, and it simplifies tasks like exam scheduling, ordering textbooks, and making course changes.
17. WIKINDX Having trouble keeping track of all those sources you’re using to write your thesis? WIKINDX manages your quotes, notes, and citations so that they’re easy to search. Best of all, it formats the bibliography information for you based on your choice of style guide.


18. Openbravo ERP This Web-based enterprise resource planning tool offers small- and medium-sized businesses the benefits of integrated systems management without the high cost. It includes customer resource management (CRM), business intelligence (BI), procurement and warehouse management, project and service management, production management, and financial management capabilities.
19. Compiere Compiere ERP + CRM Business Solution is designed specifically for the distribution, retail, manufacturing, and service industries. It includes components for managing and reporting on projects, financial management, point-of-sale, e-commerce, service, sales, order management, manufacturing, materials management, purchasing, and performance management.
20. MailArchiva Thanks to all the new compliance requirements, many organizations must pay closer attention to how long they store e-mail and other messages. MailArchiva works with Exchange and other popular messaging systems to provide long-term storage with an easy “Google-like” search capability.
21. Covide Covide offers web-based groupware and customer relationship management (CRM) in a single package. It can also integrate with PBX systems to provide VoIP services.
22. Open EMM This professional e-mail newsletter and marketing software offers many of the features of commercial products, including event- and time-driven transaction e-mails. It makes it easy to manage bounced e-mails, as well as providing advanced tracking and statistics.


23. Buddi Buddi makes it easy to set up a household budget and track your finances, even if you’ve never done it before. The feature set is purposefully small so that financial novices won’t get confused, but it does allow you to create reports and graphs so that you can see exactly where all your money went.
24. GFDThis personal finance manager runs on any Java-enabled operating system and is available in 11 different languages. While it’s still easy for novices to use, it includes some advanced filtering, report, and chart capabilities for tracking your household finances.


25. FreeCol Remember the old game Colonization? This is a free version where you start with a few colonists on a boat and try to create an independent nation. (Also similar to Civilization.)
26. PokerTH Have you fallen prey to the Texas Hold ‘Em craze? PokerTH lets you play against up to six computer opponents or online players from around the world.
27. Scorched3DThis is a 3D version of the old DOS game Scorched Earth. In case you don’t remember how it’s played, you use your tanks to try to blow up your opponent’s tanks. The new version has much better graphics, as well as changing environmental conditions and the ability to network with 24 other online players at a time.
28. UFO:Alien InvasionIn this futuristic sci-fi game, you and your secret organization must defend the earth against an alien invasion. While you hurry to maneuver your troops for tactical advantage in skirmishes with the aliens, you also have to try to uncover the secret alien plot in time to save humanity from certain doom.


29. Inkscape If you’d rather not spend the many, many dollars you need to stay up-to-date on the latest releases of Adobe Illustrator, try Inkscape. This vector graphics editor is compatible with Windows, OS X, and Linux, and it includes features like transparency, gradients, node editing, pattern fills, PNG export, and more.
30. Art of Illusion This 3D modeling and rendering studio boasts many of the features of much more expensive applications, including subdivision surface based modeling tools, skeleton based animation, and a graphical language for designing procedural textures and materials. And because it’s built in Java, it’s platform-independent.


31. Group-OfficeGroup-Office groupware allows work groups to share calendar, project management, e-mail, tasks, addressbook, and file management information. It works with the company Intranet or the Internet, and users can use any browser they like.
32. Simple Groupware Built in sgsML for easy customization, Simple Groupware is a standards-based enterprise-ready groupware application. It offers email, calendaring, contacts, tasks, document management, synchronization with cell phones and Outlook, and full-text search. Plus, it’s simple to install, update, use, and adapt to your needs.
33. aMSN Have friends who only use MSN for instant messaging? This platform-neutral MSN messenger clone lets you keep in touch without actually using a Microsoft product.
34. SquirrelMail The “Webmail for Nuts” is written in PHP and renders pages in pure HTML 4.0 for maximum compatibility. An active community has developed more than 65 plug-ins that extend SquirrelMail’s capabilities and make it even easier to use.
35. Miranda IM This instant messaging client for Windows aims to be “smaller, faster, easier.” It supports multiple protocols, including AIM, Jabber, ICQ, IRC, MSN, Yahoo, and Gadu-Gadu, and it has hundreds of handy plug-ins as well.


36. StarDict Modestly calling itself “the best free dictionary program in Linux and Windows,” StarDict searches multiple international dictionary databases to find the correct spelling, definition, and/or translation for any word. The latest version (released November 2007) includes full-text translation, fuzzy queries, and more.
37. Gramps Genealogy continues to be one of the country’s most popular hobbies, and Gramps (Genealogical Research and Analysis Management Programming System) gives you many of the tools of more costly family tree tracking applications for free. It was developed by genealogists and offers a huge wiki of advice for how to trace your ancestry. Plus, its name is one of the best acronyms we’ve ever seen.
38. NavIt NavIt is an open-source alternative for in-vehicle navigation. It works with multiple maps and is touch-screen friendly.
39. Gnaural It already does everything else--now your computer can help you meditate. Using something called the “binaural beat principle,” Gnaural generates audio tones designed to get you in the right frame of mind for relaxation.


40. MediaPortal MediaPortal aims to turn your PC or TV into a complete media center. It combines DVR capabilities with a radio tuner, audio player, video player, and more.
41. NicePlayer NicePlayer calls itself “Quite simply, the nicest media player for Mac.” The base version plays the same types of files as QuickTime, and add-ons provide support for most other types of video files.
42. xine Xine plays CDs, DVDs, and VCDs, as well as decoding and playing most types of audio and video files. Written in Assembly and C, Xine works with OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, and Solaris.
43. Gallery Gallery makes it easy to add a photo library to your personal or business Web site. Key features include user authentication, automatic thumbnails, mirroring, themes, and more.
44. Souvenance Unlike most photo gallery programs, the XML-based Souvenance doesn’t require a separate database, making it really fast to deploy. It was just released in October of 2007, so it’s still a very much work in progress.

Office Productivity

45. OpenProj This project manager will look and feel very familiar to users of Microsoft Project, and it even opens MSProject files. It works on multiple platforms, and was downloaded more than 100,000 times in the first month it was released.
46. OpenOffice.org Portable Now you can take the entire OpenOffice.org suite (Writer, Impress, Math, Draw, Calc, Base) with you wherever you go. Simply load OpenOffice.org onto a USB drive, CD, iPod, or other portable drive and you can use the programs without installing them in your system.
47. PDF Split and Merge Need to cut a long pdf file down to size? Or would you like to combine two shorter documents? PDF Split and Merge lets you do both without having to purchase the costly software.
48. PDFCreator As you might expect, PDFCreator creates PDF files from any Windows program. It can also create PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP, PCX, PS, and EPS files, as well as encrypting PDF files.
49. MultiMedia Office This package from Plata Software combines some of the most popular open source software into a single package. It includes OpenOffice.org, Audacity, GIMP, VirtualDub, Thunderbird, and Opera.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Nine Features Included in Fedora 9

Although Fedora 8 just got released, the developers are thinking about the features which are going to be included in the next release, Fedora 9. There are no approved features yet, but the community is working on providing material for developers to choose from.Let's take a look at nine of the proposed features for Fedora 9, with a few details about them:

1. New Gnome Display Manager - The users want an enhanced rewritten version of the fast and popular display manager, with better fast-user-switching, better ConsoleKit integration, the dynamical configuration of displays, and much more.

2. KDE 4 - They really, really want the fourth version of KDE included in Fedora and the Fedora KDE spin! KDE 4 will replace KDE 3, removing the KDE 3 installations from a given system. The packages containing games will meet some problems, because they were designed for KDE3, resulting in some conflicts and instability issues.

3. Fedora Astronomy Spin - It seems there are many astronomers and astrophysicists if a Live media spin (that fits on CD) was requested. At this moment there is no distribution which offers a set of professional open-source tools for astronomers and astrophysicists. Fedora would benefit a lot from such an option, extending its community to universities and to the fore-mentioned categories.

4. PackageKit - Some people recommend the distribution-neutral alternative package management front-end. It has no stable release yet, but it's under heavy development, so we could have one soon. It supports yum and other package management back-ends. If PackageKit is included, the package management in Fedora would be much easier.

5. RandR Support - The Xrandr extension is the modern interface shown by X servers for configuring devices like monitors, LCD screens etc. If this is introduced in Fedora 9, the distribution will have modern display configuration and hotplugging support, similar to Ubuntu's displayconfig-gtk.

6. Bluetooth enhancements - People want these so a better communication can be established between the computer and other devices with Bluetooth capabilities.

7. More NetworkManager - System wide NetworkManager integration is what the community wants. Features recommended for Fedora 9 are included in Fedora 8, so you will get a little bit used to them until the next release.

8. Presto - This will bring support for binary delta packages for updates. The main advantage would be the great amount of bandwidth and time saved. For this, there is some work to do on the yum-presto plugin, including it by default.

9. RPM and Yum Improvements - The enhancements might bring faster performance with less memory consumption, somewhere below 100MB for most cases if things go well.These features could be the nine reasons to choose Fedora 9 when it will be released, hopefully with everything that's useful for all the types of users included. Until then, you should download Fedora 8 and try it out, maybe you'll fall in love with it.

Top 10 Skype Secrets

Skype is the world's number one internet calling service, but you can do much more with it than just make cheap calls. We reveal all here

1 Run multiple Skype accounts

If you have Windows XP Pro, you can create and run more than one copy of Skype on your computer. This lets you switch between accounts, or even chat to yourself. To do this you will need at least one other Windows account (go to Start, Control Panel, User Accounts). Load Skype as normal, then right-click the Skype shortcut and select Run As… Enter the user name and password of the other account and a second version of Skype will load.

2 Call forwarding

People can still phone you even when you're not using Skype. By setting the Call Forwarding option you can have any incoming calls transferred to a phone of your choosing (your caller will be charged at the standard SkypeOut rate). In fact you can set up to three phones in the software – home, work and mobile perhaps - and they will all ring simultaneously until one is answered. To turn this feature on go to Tools, Call Forwarding.

3 Video calling

If you have a webcam you can use the new Skype Video Calling feature. Turn this on by going to Tools, Options, Video (BETA). You can choose who to receive video from and also set whether your video output will begin automatically when you start a call, or when you choose the option manually.

4 Create call-specific ringtones

Ringjacker is an add-on available for free with Skype 3.0. Using it you can set a ringtone that your friends will hear when you call them. Your friends will need to also have the plug-in installed. To set it up go to Tools, Do More, Launch Ringjacker.

5 Add voicemail

If you subscribe to Skype's voicemail system callers can leave you messages.
Go to Tools, Voicemail and click the Subscribe Now link. The service costs £3.45 for 3 months or £11.50 for the year. You can fully personalise your voicemail greeting.

6 Send text messages

You can use Skype to send SMS texts to any mobile phone. Go to Tools,
Send SMS Message. Add a contact's mobile number, then type and send the message. Texts aren't free and your caller will receive them from a truncated version of your Skype name, meaning they won't be able to reply. However, you can change this by entering and verifying your mobile number. Do this under Tools, Options, SMS Messages.

7 Join and launch Skypecasts

Skypecasts are live public conversations. You can join one, or start your own. To join a call click the Live tab and select one. You can talk or simply listen. If you wish to create your own Skypecast go to https://skypecasts.skype.com/skypecasts/home.

8 Install the Skype toolbar

You can download a free toolbar which will work with Internet Explorer or Firefox. With this installed you can call any number on a web page with a single click. Get it from www.skype.com/intl/en-gb/download/skypewebtoolbar.

9 Record Skype calls

If you want to have a permanent record of a call go to Tools, Do More, Record Calls with Pamela. With this free plug-in installed every time you make or receive a call you will have the option of recording it. Recording time is limited to 15 minutes and the person you're speaking to will be informed that their conversation is being recorded.

10 Use CrazyTalk avators

If you want to video chat to your friends but feel a little subconscious in front of the camera, you can hide behind a video avatar. The animated character will match your expressions and lip sync with you as you talk. To install the feature go to Tools, Do More, CrazyTalk Video Avatar.

Worldwide 2008 Mandriva Linux Installfest

Mandriva rallies the community of Linux users in many cities across the globe on November 17th 2007.

In order to bring Linux to new users and present the new features and technologies available in Mandriva Linux 2008, Mandriva is mobilizing its network of Linux User Groups (LUGs) to coordinate a worldwide Installfest on November 17th 2007.

Installations of Mandriva Linux One will take place all around the world, thanks to the Linux community. Major participating locations will include the Ecuador, China, Poland, Russia and France. Last year, Mandriva install fests gathered more than 2000 participants in more than 80 cities in 20 countries. This major event was covered on TV, radio and in the press.

Expert Mandriva Linux users are invited to assist beginners to help them get started with the operating system. Participants will be able to:

* Get help on installing Mandriva Linux 2008 on their laptop or desktop free of charge. They will also have the opportunity to install Linux and keep their Microsoft Windows(r) installed for a soft migration.

* View demonstrations of all that can be done with Mandriva Linux 2008 thanks to a Live CD that launches the operating system without any need for installation.

* Get answers to their questions.

* Meet other Mandriva Linux users, and chat with their local community.

The installation is often the toughest step for a beginner willing to adopt a new operating system. This is why Mandriva invites anyone wishing to know Linux better to join the free install fests on November 17th. These installfests are made possible thanks to the power of the knowledge sharing spirit, one of the keystones of the open source community.

Be sure to check where installfests are located within your area: http://wiki.mandriva.com/en/Community/Events/InstallParty2008

Get more information about Mandriva Linux: http://www.mandriva.com

Have a look at our Mandriva Club with all the information you need to get started: http://club.mandriva.com/

-- About Mandriva

Mandriva, formerly known as Mandrakesoft, is the publisher of Mandriva Linux, an easy-to-use and innovative operating system. It is one of the most popular Linux editions in the world. Dedicated to making open source technologies accessible to all users, the company offers a full range of products and services to individuals, enterprises and government organizations. Mandriva products are available online in 80 languages and in more than 140 countries through dedicated channels. Headquartered in Paris, France, the company is publicly traded on the Euronext Marche Libre.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What’s Common to Ubuntu and CircuitCity’s Firedog?

Ans: A guy in a pic….

Really funny,isnt it?

Installing Vista Fonts in Ubuntu

Microsoft’s new ClearType fonts for Vista are great. The fonts include Constantia, Corbel, Calibri, Cambria, Candara and Consolas.

Getting them installed in Ubuntu is a breeze, thanks to a script I found.
To install the Vista ClearType fonts in Ubuntu, you need to install cabextract first. Cabextract is a utility found in the universe repository, so before you run the following command, make sure you have universe enabled in your repository list. Once this is done, install cabextract using:

$sudo apt-get install cabextract

Then, once that is done, use this script to install the Vista fonts. Create a file called “vista-fonts-installer.sh” in your home (~) directory.

Then open up a text editor and copy and paste the script into that file.

Do a chmod a+x ~/vista-fonts-installer.sh to make the file/script executable.

Then run the script using:

$ ~/vista-fonts-installer.sh

The script downloads the Powerpoint Viewer installer from microsoft.com, and then extracts the Vista cleartype fonts using cabextract. These fonts are then installed in the ~/.fonts directory.

Please remember that the ClearType Vista fonts are not free as in they are not GPL-ed or made available under a re-distributable license. Since you are downloading the fonts from the MS website, and since you might already have a Windows XP/Vista license, this is not a crime, but consider yourself warned against the perils of supporting closed systems.


  1. Looks like the use of these fonts are restricted to only Microsoft Windows/Vista operating systems according to the terms of the license. I am sorry, but you’ll be installing them at your own risk.

  2. Also, please make sure you use the bash shell, or change the first line of the code to #!/bin/bash

300+ Easily Installed Free Fonts for Ubuntu

Ubuntu offers a lot of fonts, in addition to the defaults installed, and the MicroSoft msttcorefonts package, in its repositories. All these fonts mentioned here are provided as packages, which can easily installed using command line tools like apt-get or using Synaptic. These fonts will come in handy for designing flyers, or for designing headers and graphics for the web using the Gimp. Also, some of these fonts are pretty commonly used to render pages, like Lucida.

I will save the packages with the biggest collection of fonts for the end here. Since I have included screenshots of most of the fonts, and this article is sorta long, please read on by clicking the “More” link below.


This is one of my favorite fonts. Gentium calls itself a “Typeface for the Nations”, and looks beautiful. You can install Gentium by doing a:

$sudo apt-get install ttf-gentium

Sample of Gentium Font

The design is intended to be highly readable, reasonably compact, and visually attractive. The additional ‘extended’ Latin letters are designed to naturally harmonize with the traditional 26 ones. Diacritics are treated with careful thought and attention to their use. Gentium also supports both polytonic and monotonic Greek, including a number of alternate forms. These fonts were originally the product of two years of research and study by the designer at the University of Reading, England, as part of an MA program in Typeface Design.

Fonts from Dustismo

These designer fonts were designed by Dustin Norlander of Dustismo. Here’s some sample of the fonts:

ttf-dustin font samples 1

ttf-dustin font samples 2

You can install all of Dustin’s fonts using:

$sudo apt-get install ttf-dustin

George Williams’ Fonts

George Williams is a font developer (with his own Wikipedia page, no less!) who provided the fonts Monospace, Caslon, Caliban and Cupola. Check out the samples below:

Preview of George Williams' Truetype fonts

You can install these fonts using:

$sudo apt-get install ttf-georgewilliams

Some Juicy Fonts

The ttf-sjfonts package provides the two fonts, Delphine and Steve Hand which are also available from sourceforge. These are two handwriting fonts, as seen below:

Preview of Steve Hand and Delphine fonts

You can install these two fonts using:

$sudo apt-get install ttf-sjfonts

Sun Java6 Fonts - Lucida

Installing the sun-java6-fonts package installs the Lucida fonts and also installs the java6 binary package - so if you install the font package you get Java6 for free! This seems to be weird, but this post is about fonts. The package install Lucida Sans, Lucida Bright and Lucida Typewriter:

Sun Java6 fonts - including Lucida Sans, Bright and Typewriter

You can install these three fonts using:

$sudo apt-get install sun-java6-fonts

Caution: This will also install sun-java6-bin etc - so you will have a working Sun Java 6 if you choose to install this. This is not a “bad” thing, but it can take some time to download and install.

Larabie Fonts

Ray Larabie has been “making fonts and giving them away since 1996″ on the popular font destination LarabieFonts.com. We have three packages in Ubuntu that provide the Larabie fonts, or at least the ones that are free. These three packages provide the “Deco”, “Straight” and “Uncommon” Larabie fonts. Since there are way too many of these fonts, 300+ ? I lost count after a hundred :-), I will link you to a pdf file with samples of all the fonts. Click on the preview below to see the Larabie Fonts Catalogue (Size: 2.5 MB):

Larabie Fonts Sample

You can install all of the Larabie fonts using:

$sudo apt-get install ttf-larabie-deco ttf-larabie-straight ttf-larabie-uncommon

Of course, you could just install one of these packs by removing the names of the other two packages.


If you want to get all the fonts in one go, use the following command:

$sudo apt-get install ttf-gentium ttf-dustin ttf-georgewilliams ttf-sjfonts sun-java6-fonts ttf-larabie-deco ttf-larabie-straight ttf-larabie-uncommon

These fonts should together provide enough gunpowder for the novice graphic designer in Ubuntu. If you are wondering how I took the sample screenshots, the answer is gnome-specimen, which provides an easy way to preview the fonts installed on your system. It can be installed using:

$sudo apt-get install gnome-specimen

To see more free fonts that are available for Linux systems, visit the Free Font Resources for Open Source OSes Page - it seems to be current since I can already find the Red Hat Liberation Font listed there.

If I missed any TrueType font packages in Ubuntu here, please let me know in the comments.

Update: If you add Seveas’ feisty-extras repository, you can get your hands on the ttf-fossfonts package.

ttf-fossfonts is a collection of 108 GPL/Public-Domain licenced .ttf fonts. Included are the Tuffy family with extended members, and the Open Bar Codes project fonts. The package suggests several other worthwhile font packages.

Linux Will Be Worth $1 Billion In First 100 Days of 2009

What's Linux worth? The question has been a favorite of technology groups and cocktail party conversations ever since a character named Jeff V. Merkey offered $50,000 for a copy of Linux. The offer was a ploy. Merkey wanted it under the BSD license, which would have undermined the terms of the GPL. So he didn't get it. But we know, at least, that $50,000 proved to be a low bid.

How would you set a value on Linux? It's widely used in highly competitive businesses, such as Travelocity, Google (NSDQ: GOOG), Amadeus, Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN). It's used by start-ups. It's used by individual developers and in mainstream business.

Hungarian kernel developer Ingo Molnar in 2004 estimated it would cost $176 million to redevelop the 2.6 Linux kernel from scratch with paid programmers. The average salary, he estimated, would be $56,286, too low by today's standards. I don't know how many developers he figured would be needed, but his target kernel had 4.3 million lines of code.

David A. Wheeler, a northern Virginia author on Linux security, looked at Ingo's calculations when they came out and decided they were too low. He came up with a $612 million estimate because operating systems are so much harder to develop than applications. They contain many moving parts and the parts must all work together.

He said in an update to his calculations in 2006 that if the Linux kernel ever reached 6.6 million lines of code, it would be worth more than $1 billion in terms of equivalent, commercial development costs.

Well, the 2.6.23 kernel came out Oct. 9, and it contained a total 8.58 million lines, counting all its files, according to Jonathan Corbet, kernel developer and author of the forecast reports published by the Linux Foundation. Using the stricter methodology imposed by Wheeler, the count comes to 5.5 millions lines, Corbet says.

The kernel development process is adding 2,000 lines of code a day or roughly another 160,000 by the end of 2007. By the end of 2008, it will have added another 730,000. So the kernel will have close to 6.4 millions lines of code, using Wheeler's methodology, at the end of next year. Sometime during the first 100 days of 2009, Linux will cross the 6.6 million lines of code mark and $1 billion in value.

Linux is free, of course, and will remain free because it is GPL open source code. I make this projection because the kernel development process, which keeps improving Linux, is one of the hidden treasures of the modern world. It keeps adding value at a pace that no other open source project can match. It's done so for 16 years and shows no signs of letting up. If anything, it's accelerating.

iPhone Magic!

People are showing more creativity than Steve Jobs. iPhone, the JesusPhone has really changed the world. What more you want, it produces money !!!

NetSuite: consumer-focused iPhone , Serious Business Apps Arriving For iPhone

Just a few weeks after the long-awaited launch of the consumer-focused iPhone, NetSuite is launching Suite Phone, an integrated set of business management programs for the hot-selling device.

Actually, SuitePhone isn’t so much a new set of applications but NetSuite for the iPhone. NetSuite officials say Apple’s announcement that its Safari browser should be the target for iPhone developers was music to its ears.

Current NetSuite users can simply access their accounts on an iPhone at no additional cost for the hosted, on-demand applications. NetSuite said new customers who want to use the iPhone will be able to start next month.

While NetSuite offers end-to-end business-management capabilities (from taking orders, checking availability, supporting customers, etc.), it considers the portable iPhone a complementary platform

We don’t see people abandoning their office notebooks or PCs to use iPhone,” said Rollings. “But it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that salespeople will be able to get a lot of their work done on an iPhone. You have the ability to check inventory for the availability of a product and get an answer in real time. The cross-process view in NetSuite is a huge enabler.”

“After I got the iPhone, I started poking around and thought I’d see if I could access my NetSuite account. I didn’t think it would work, but to my surprise it did,” said Kugler. “First I was looking up sales records, then I tried reports and graphs and they all displayed beautifully.”

iPhone Simulator

While looking for an iphone stimulator,i came across two sites.One is really funny and the other is extremely useful.The second one will tell how you websites look on iPhone. All that you have to do is drag and drop html page on this simulator app and it will show the website as if you are seeing it on iPhone.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Linux Goes Hollywood With New Terra Soft Film Rendering Tool

Creating modern digital visual effects in movies is not an easy process. The job falls on clusters of computers called "render farms." Terra Soft, developer of the Yellow Dog Linux distro, says its new offering, Y-Film, is designed to significantly streamline the task, bringing a more efficient process to large studios and putting glossy effects within easier reach of smaller ones.

Terra Soft Solutions, the developer of Yellow Dog Linux, has teamed up with Circle-S Studios to create Y-Film, a suite of VFX (visual effects) management and productivity tools coupled with DNA Research's 3Delight RenderMan compliant rendering engine and Terra Soft's Y-HPC cluster construction suite.

Terra Soft will display the alpha version of its new product Tuesday at the Supercomputing Expo in Reno, Nev. However, the product will not ship until the second quarter of 2008, according to Kai Staats, CEO of Terra Soft Solutions.

Y-Film is a product formed from two separate applications. The first is a cluster construction suite supported by Terra Soft's Y-HPC platform. The second is the Artist Productivity and Asset Management Tools developed by Scott Frankel, president and VFX supervisor at Circle-S Studios and the lead developer of Y-Film. The tool set runs on x86 Linux, Power Linux and Mac OS X.
Terra Soft is now forming a beta site for the deployment phase of Y-Film. Information about Y-Film is available here.

University Sues Google Over Patent

Northeastern University and a start-up firm say Google's distributed search technology infringes on their patent.Google has been sued by a university and a start-up company in the U.S. for allegedly infringing on a patented technology to run its online search service.

The suit was filed by Boston's Northeastern University and by Jarg, a private company in Waltham, Mass., that specializes in distributed search technologies and one of whose cofounders, Kenneth Baclawski, is an associate professor at Northeastern.

The suit accuses Google of using a distributed database technology developed by Baclawski in its online service. The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and an injunction to prevent Google from further infringing on the patent, as well as royalty payments and damages.

The patent describes a distributed database system that breaks search queries into fragments and distributes them to multiple computers in a network to get faster results. The patent was assigned to Northeastern University, which licensed it exclusively to Jarg, according to the lawsuit, filed last Tuesday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

"The invention relates to a distributed computer database system which includes a front end computer and a plurality of computer nodes interconnected by a network," the patent states. "The combination of computer nodes interconnected by the network operates as a search engine."

The patent, number 5,694,593, is dated Dec. 2, 1997, and can be viewed by searching the Web site of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Google also uses a distributed database system that breaks queries into multiple parts for faster processing, the lawsuit states. It notes that Google makes 99 percent of its revenue from search advertising, and that the success of its business depends partly on the speed of its search results.

Jarg learned of the alleged infringement from a Boston-area lawyer who thought Google's search technology resembled that covered by the patent, said Jarg's president, Michael Belanger, according to a reportin Saturday's Boston Globe newspaper. The lawyer's firm would not take up the case unless it was paid in advance, and it took Belanger two and a half years to find a company willing to pursue the case on a contingency basis, the Globe reported.

Google said it was aware of the complaint and considers it to be "without merit," according to the report. Neither Google nor the plaintiffs could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday.

The Marshall Division of the Texas district court, where the suit was filed, is seen as a friendly venue for patent litigators. Although none of the actors in the case are based there, the lawsuit argues it is an appropriate venue for the case because Google provides services there.

No trial date has been set. The next stage will be for Google to respond to the lawsuit and for the court to decide whether a trial is warranted.

Northeastern is a private university known for its cooperative education program, in which students do vocational work as part of their degree. Jarg develops an intellectual property suite called the Semantic Knowledge Indexing Platform, which it markets to life sciences and health care companies through a subsidiary, Semantx Life Sciences.

Microsoft`s 3 New Zune players will release on monday

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said Monday it will begin sales of three new versions of its Zune digital media player -- its answer to Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) iPod -- on Tuesday.
Microsoft originally introduced the new models last month. They can wirelessly and automatically update their music, photos and videos when placed near a user's computer.

Apple has sold more than 100 million iPods in various shapes and sizes since the 2001 launch. By comparison, Microsoft joined the fray last year with a single 30-gigabyte Zune model and has sold 1.2 million.

Google offers $10M in software prizes

Google Inc. is offering $10 million in prizes for people who build the best software to enhance the company's upcoming cell phone operating system.
The Mountain View-based company is developing a free cell phone software package that it says will make it easier to surf the Web over mobile devices. It also will give Google more opportunities to sell ads and services.

The operating system will be based on computer code that can be openly distributed among programmers, which Google hopes will encourage developers to create new software and improvements that could spawn new uses for smart phones.

Winning offerings could encompass simple aesthetic improvements like personalized home screens or more complicated social-networking programs that merge data from the Web — such as maps or personal Web pages — with data from users' phones — like contact information or the phones' geographic locations.

As part of the Android Developer Challenge, a panel of judges will pick 50 winners from entries received from Jan. 2 through March 3, 2008. Those winners will each get $25,000 and be eligible for ten awards of $100,000 and another ten $275,000 awards.

Google did not specify how the applications will be judged. The company only said the winning programs will "provide consumers with the most compelling experiences."

Google also released a tool kit Monday for working on the new platform, which is to be released in the second half of next year.

Four cell phone manufacturers — Motorola Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., HTC and LG Electronics Inc. — have agreed to use Android in some of their phones. Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said he eventually hopes the software will be integrated into thousands of different devices.

Twenty-nine other companies have signed on as members of the alliance.

Android will compete with mobile operating systems made by Microsoft Corp., Palm Inc., Research In Motion Ltd., and Symbian, which is owned by Nokia Corp. and several other major phone makers.

How to make a website looking freaky?

This is a special dedication for my readers.
Wanna make a website look all crazy and fucked up? Here's how:

1. go to any website

2. delete everything in the address bar

3. paste the following code in the address bar:

javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI=document.images; DIL=DI.length; function A(){for(i=0; i-DIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style; DIS.position='absolute'; DIS.left=Math.sin(R*x1+i*x2+x3)*x4+x5; DIS.top=Math.cos(R*y1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5}R++}setInterval('A()',5); void(0);

4. press enter and have fun

(The Only) Ten Things To Know About CSS

  1. The Point of CSS is to use clean, simple HTML in your page, then write CSS “rules” that style the objects on your page. The page stays clean and looks cool, and your HTML page works on both mobile devices and regular browsers. That’s the point of CSS.
    But The Art of CSS is quickly and easily referring to the right objects in your page from your CSS rules. The act of matching CSS rules to HTML tags is like a conversation: both sides need to be clear and in sync with each other, or they’ll talk over each other and you’ll get a headache from all the yelling.

  2. General or Specific Matching: suppose you want to style an <h1> header in your page. You can choose how general or specific your style is applied:

    • to style all <h1> tags, use css rule h1 {…

    • to style all tags in a certain place, e.g. for <b>’s inside <p> tags, use css rule p b {…

    • to style all <h1> headers of a certain kind, add class=”myheader” to the <h1> tags you want to style, and use css rule .myheader {…

    • to style just one <h1> header, add id=”myheader” to the <h1> tag you want to style, and use css rule #myheader {…

    You can combine the above rules in different ways, too;

    to style all <h1> tags of type "barleymash" inside of forms of type "magicform", use css rule form.magicform h1.barleymash {…

  3. Target acquired: Because getting the matching rules wrong can waste so much time, use this trick: until your rule is for sure matching up, don’t use any CSS properties other than color: red; It’s quick to type and easy to spot. As soon as you see the text go red in your HTML page, you know your rule is matching. Then and only then, now that you know your rule is matching the right part of your document, then delete color: red; and write your rule. EZ.

  4. Master the patented JM3 Gasbag Model: a CSS layout is like a big bag of objects. each of those objects can exert forces (Think gas jets. Like your layout is farting at you.) Mostly the forces “push” out (margins, padding, and float are all properties that “push” objects around.) By altering CSS rules, you adjust the forces. Viewing your page in a browser just shakes the bag, and things will settle where the forces direct them. This is the secret of CSS - manage the forces, and the objects will balance. Fight the forces, apply too many properties at once, all fighting against each other and your objects will jostle around, poking holes in the bag and in each other, and your page will leak all over the place. No fun.

    Gasbag Example 1: to center something, set margin-left: auto; and margin-right: auto; This works because you balance the opposing forces on the left and right, so the element is held perfectly centered like a ball held between two magnets

  5. Gasface Corollary 1: the JM3 Gasbag Model only applies when using the default CSS rules of “relative” positioning. It’s also possible to use something called “absolute” positioning, where you position each little box by giving it specific coordinates. don’t do this. it will take you a long time and your layout will look terrible if the amount of text or graphics ever changes. Only weird print designers use this :-)

  6. Rule A - Divs and Spans: The lingua franca of CSS are two tags called <div> and <span>. Neither <div> nor <span> tags have a default appearance; other than the fact that <div>’s are boxes and <span>’s are “inline” within text, they’re just generic tags for applying styles to.

  7. Rule B - Divs are boxes, <span>s are text: <div>s are boxes, and have height, width, and alignment that you can can play with. By default, the height of a <div> is the height of its contents (text or images or other <div>s)

    <span>s are for “markup” within text. these are called “inline” elements, because they only make sense “in a line” of text.” Tags like bold (b), italic (i), underline (u) etc. are all <span> / inline elements.

    Don’t use <div>s (boxes) to markup text, and don’t use <span>s for boxes, and your layout will go much easier.

  8. Global, Local, or Intimate: you can apply CSS properties at three levels: across multiple HTML pages (via a file named something.css), on a single page (in a style block), or to a specific tag within a page (via the style=”…” attribute within a tag). When you FINISH a layout, it’s good to move all your CSS code into a separate CSS file so you can share it globally. But while you develop and test your code, it’s easier to just put the CSS rules in a style block inside the HTML page - then you’re not switching back and forth between two files as you’re write the code.

  9. Keep it clean: writing clean HTML these days is really easy. But even people who consider them self e1337 CSS HAX0Rs often don’t write very clean, efficient CSS. Efficiency doesn’t make the page load faster, it just makes your code easier to work on.

    Three tips:

    1. condense rules like (font-family, font-size) or (margin-left, margin-right) into single-line rules: margin: 0px 10px 10px 10px;

    2. stack your classes: no one EVER uses this trick; you can apply as many css classes to a single tag as you want, just put spaces between the names, like <h1 class=”exciting warning”> will apply both the class exciting AND the class warning. this saves TONS of duplication in your CSS. (i don’t know why no one uses this trick. it’s great. when you see someone’s stylesheet that has dozens of lines like:

      .redtext {

      font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;

      color: red;


      .bluetext {

      font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;

      color: blue;


      that's a sign that they probably don't know this trick.

    3. use commas to apply the same CSS rule to many HTML tags at once: p, b, i {… will apply the … style to paragraphs, bold, and italic text in one line.

  10. Hacks are stupid. You don’t need them. Many CSS tutorials teach that to make a page work in multiple browsers, that you need to learn various “CSS hacks”. All this stuff is crap. You don’t need any of it.

CSS starts out being a pain for everyone. Don’t worry. You’re not stupid, CSS is. Don’t think you need to memorize all the properties, either — use Got API’s handy cheat sheet. And have fun.

Feature plans for Fedora 9

Fedora 8 is out now and plans for Fedora 9 are made. The feature list is already in place and contains several entries.Fedora 8 has just been released, but of course plans for the next version are already under way: a Fedora 9 Feature List has been created in the Wiki, just like the one for Fedora 8, and people and groups now add their plans and aims.
Two outstanding aims are the inclusion of KDE 4 as the default KDE version and the usage of PackageKit as an alternative package management frontend. Since the Fedora 9 release schedule aims at May 2008 both aims should be realistic and possible: KDE 4 is supposed to be released in a working state around christmas, and PackageKit already works pretty well now.
Another feature which is currently lacking in Fedora 8 is real support of RandR 1.2: while everything works in the command line there is now GUI yet. Even worth, the current GUI shipped with Fedora is not aware of the new RandR features and asks you to restart your X - which is totally nuts. There are also no fallbacks implemented to always have at least one working output. At least the first part will hopefully be addressed by the next Fedora release.Speaking about broken tools and implementations, NetworkManager is again part of the feature list. The team aims at getting NM into shape that it can be activated by default and just works in all situations: with mobile support via blue tooth, support for more than one device, support for system wide configuration via PolicyKit, etc. Since Fedora 8 ships with a development version of NM 0.7 some of these features might find their way into Fedora 8 as an update as well.
For PulseAudio the developers plan to replace current volume control principles by a PulseAudio volume control. The background is that current systems rely on the information exposed by ALSA which are neither user friendly nor useful for everyone. Therefore a PulseAudio logic will be used to also use the possibilities of PulseAudio.
There are also plans to create a new Fedora Spin for that release: Fedora Astronomy. That plan also contains some Fedora related political “problems” is also “political” interesting: Fedora is quite GNOME concentrated, but most of the astronomy software for Linux - KStars, Xephem, Celestia, Stellarium, Partiview - has little to do with GNOME. But KStars, which is quite well known and is used for example to control telescopes of any size requires KDE libraries anyway, so it would be useful to install KDE as the default desktop. But from my point of view I would not be surprised if something else would happen.
Speaking about GNOME, GDM will see a major rework for Fedora 9 as well. It will be ported to all the new possibilities which are around these days on modern desktops: improved fast user switching support, PolicyKit support D-Bus API, etc. While these features make great progress and are supported by more and more distributions and applications, the underlying desktops still fail to support some of these. I don’t know of any work at implementing PolicyKit’s features deep into the KDE libraries at the moment, for example. And in general D-BUS is still not used in a way it could be in both desktops: you could start entire different sets of applications depending on the time, the (network-) location or the mood of the user (photo database together with the image manipulating application, or sets of audio applications for music work, etc.), and you could also give one save&close command to such sets of apps at the same time with D-BUS.In this regard the rework of GDM is “just another” step, but a necessary and important one.
It shows that Fedora 9 will again come up with multiple changes - many of them are not even listed here. Most of them will be evolutionary (which is not bad!), except maybe for KDE, which will see a revolutionary step to a new level.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

10 Linux commands you’ve never used

It takes years maybe decades to master the commands available to you at the Linux shell prompt. Here are 10 thatyou will have never heard of or used. They are in no particular order. My favorite is mkfifo.

pgrep, instead of:
# ps -ef egrep '^root ' awk '{print $2}'1234520213839...You can do this:# pgrep -u root1234520213839...

2. pstree, list the processes in a tree format. This can be VERY useful when working with WebSphere or other heavy duty applications.
# pstreeinit-+-acpid-atd-crond-cups-config-dae-cupsd-dbus-daemon-1-dhclient-events/0-+-aio/0 -kacpid -kauditd -kblockd/0 -khelper -kmirrord `-2*[pdflush]-gpm-hald-khubd-2*[kjournald]-klogd-kseriod-ksoftirqd/0-kswapd0-login---bash-5*[mingetty]-portmap-rpc.idmapd-rpc.statd-2*[sendmail]-smartd-sshd---sshd---bash---pstree-syslogd-udevd-vsftpd-xfs`-xinetd

3. bc is an arbitrary precision calculator language. Which is great. I found it useful in that it can perform square root operations in shell scripts. expr does not support square roots.

# ./sqrtUsage: sqrt number# ./sqrt 648# ./sqrt 132112363# ./sqrt 132112132136347Here is the script:# cat sqrt#!/bin/bashif [ $# -ne 1 ]thenecho 'Usage: sqrt number'exit 1elseecho -e "sqrt($1)\nquit\n" bc -q -ifi

4. split, have a large file that you need to split into smaller chucks? A mysqldump maybe? split is your command. Below I split a 250MB file into 2 megabyte chunks all starting with the prefix LF_.
# ls -lh largefile-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 251M Feb 19 10:27 largefile# split -b 2m largefile LF_# ls -lh LF_* head -n 5-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2.0M Feb 19 10:29 LF_aa-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2.0M Feb 19 10:29 LF_ab-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2.0M Feb 19 10:29 LF_ac-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2.0M Feb 19 10:29 LF_ad-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 2.0M Feb 19 10:29 LF_ae# ls -lh LF_* wc -l126

5. nl numbers lines. I had a script doing this for me for years until I found out about nl.

# head wireless.h/** This file define a set of standard wireless extensions**
Version : 20 17.2.06** Authors : Jean Tourrilhes - HPL* Copyright (c) 1997-2006
Jean Tourrilhes, All Rights Reserved.*/#ifndef _LINUX_WIRELESS_H# nl wireless.h
head1 /*2 * This file define a set of standard wireless extensions3 *4 * Version
: 20 17.2.065 *6 * Authors : Jean Tourrilhes - HPL7 * Copyright (c) 1997-2006
Jean Tourrilhes, All Rights Reserved.8 */9 #ifndef _LINUX_WIRELESS_H

6. mkfifo is the coolest one. Sure you know how to create a pipeline piping the output of grep to less or maybe even perl. But do you know how to make two commands communicate through a named pipe?First let me create the pipe and start writing to it:

Then read from it:

7. ldd, want to know which Linux thread library java is linked to?

# ldd /usr/java/jre1.5.0_11/bin/javalibpthread.so.0 => /lib/tls/libpthread.so.0 (0x00bd4000)libdl.so.2 => /lib/libdl.so.2 (0x00b87000)libc.so.6 => /lib/tls/libc.so.6 (0x00a5a000)/lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x00a3c000)

8. col, want to save man pages as plain text?

# PAGER=cat# man less col -b > less.txt

9. xmlwf, need to know if a XML document is well formed? (A configuration file maybe..)

# curl -s 'http://bashcurescancer.com' > bcc.html# xmlwf bcc.html# perl -i -pe 's@@@g' bcc.html# xmlwf bcc.htmlbcc.html:104:2: mismatched tag

10. lsof lists open files. You can do all kinds of cool things with this. Like find which ports are open:

# lsof grep TCPportmap 2587 rpc 4u IPv4 5544 TCP *:sunrpc (LISTEN)rpc.statd 2606 root 6u IPv4 5585 TCP *:668 (LISTEN)sshd 2788 root 3u IPv6 5991 TCP *:ssh (LISTEN)sendmail 2843 root 4u IPv4 6160 TCP badhd:smtp (LISTEN)vsftpd 9337 root 3u IPv4 34949 TCP *:ftp (LISTEN)cupsd 16459 root 0u IPv4 41061 TCP badhd:ipp (LISTEN)sshd 16892 root 3u IPv6 61003 TCP badhd.mshome.net:ssh->kontiki.mshome.net:4661 (ESTABLISHED)Note: OpenBSD 101 pointed out that “lsof -i TCP” a better way to obtain this same information. Thanks!Or find the number of open files a user has. Very important for running big applications like Oracle, DB2, or WebSphere:
# lsof grep ' root ' awk '{print $NF}' sort uniq wc -l179

Note: an anonymous commenter pointed out that you can replace sort uniq with “sort -u”. This is true, I forgot about the -u flag. Thanks!