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GNU is Not Unix

+ - RMS Talks about Binary Drivers and Open Source

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Newsforge has an article about a talk RMS recently gave to students at UCSD. RMS fielded a number of interesting questions relevant to the future of the free software movement including, "Do you support the Creative Commons license?" and "Can I use ATI and NVIDIA drivers because Mesa isn't nearly as complete?". Can we expect Linux ever to see main stream adoption with these persistent driver and licensing issues still hanging around?"
United States

+ - Academic group releases plan to share root zone.

Submitted by Boothie
Boothie (1108227) writes "According to this article, this Internet Governance Project (IGP) proposal "would distribute control over the process of signing the root zone file to multiple organizations, all of them nongovernmental in nature, defusing fears that U.S. national security agencies will control the Internet's DNS root zone keys.""

+ - Identification through Reverse DNS?

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "I've recently noticed that the reverse DNS name given to my IP from my ISP contains my mac address. It seems to me that regardless of IP address/dhcp logs that this could serve as a permanent unique identifier for a person. How many other ISPs do this? Are we clearing our google cookies periodically for nothing? Is this a privacy hole that should be closed up? I can see the ISPs internally being able to recognize their clients uniquely, but to the rest of the Internet is it a security violation for people to be tracked by an unchanging hostname?"

+ - Warcraft designs quest for 10-year-old with cancer

Submitted by
destinyland writes "Blizzard Entertainment is creating a new quest in World of Warcraft for a 10-year-old boy who's fighting brain cancer. The boy's father said the 7-hour visit was the first time he'd seen "contentment and peace" on his son's face — and the second time was when he read warm emails he'd received from Warcraft players online. The Make-a-Wish Foundation arranged the 7-hour meeting with the game's lead designer, who will implement the boy's quest in four weeks. (Players search for a dog modelled after the boy's own pet.) And an online fund was just established if you also want to make a contribution to the boy's medical quest."
Operating Systems

+ - Review: Linux System Administration

Submitted by
Bob Uhl
Bob Uhl writes "I've just finished reading O'Reilly's latest GNU/Linux title, Linux System Administration (full disclosure: I was sent a reviewer's copy). Bottom line up front: it's a handy introduction for the beginner GNU/Linux sysadmin, and a useful addition to an experienced sysadmin's bookshelf.

The book is essentially a survey of various Linux system-administration tasks: installing Debian; setting up LAMP; configuring a load-balancing, high-availability environment; working with virtualisation. None of the chapters are in-depth examinations of their subjects; rather, they're enough to get you started and familiar with the concepts involved, and headed in the right direction. I like this approach, as it increases the likelihood that any particular admin will be able to use the material presented. I've been working with Apache for almost a decade now, but I've not done any virtualisation; some other fellow may have played with Linux for supercomputing, but never done any web serving with it; we both can use the chapters which cover subjects new to us.

I really like some of the choices the authors made. A lot of GNU/Linux 'administration' books focus on GUI tools — I've seen some which don't even bother addressing the command line! I've long said that if one isn't intimately familiar with the shell — if one cannot get one's job done with it — then one isn't really a sysadmin. Linux System Administration approaches nearly everything from the CLI, right from the get-go. Kudos!

The authors also deserve praise for showing, early on, how to replace Sendmail with Postfix. In 2007, there's very, very little reason to use Sendmail: unless you know why you need it, you almost certainly don't. Postfix is more stable and far more secure.

Another nice thing is how many alternatives are showcased: Xen & VMware; Debian, Fedora & Xandros; CIFS/SMB & NFS; shell, Perl, PHP & Python and so forth. One really great advantage of Unix in general and GNU/Linux in particular is choice — it's good to see a reference work which implicitly acknowledges that.

The authors are also pretty good about calling out common pitfalls — several got me, once upon a time. It'd have been nice to have had a book like this when I was cutting my teeth...

Lastly, I liked that the authors & their editor weren't afraid to refer readers to books from other publishers, in addition to O'Reilly's (uniformly excellent) offerings. Not all publishers would be so forthright; O'Reilly merits recognition for their openness.

The book's not quite perfect, though. I wish that PostgreSQL had at least been mentioned as a more powerful, more stable (and often faster in practice) alternative to MySQL, and one doesn't actually need to register a domain in order to set up static IP addressing. Still, these are pretty minor quibbles.

I'd say that the ideal audience for this book is a small-to-medium business admin who'd like to start using Linux, or who already is but doesn't really feel confident yet. It covers enough categories that at least a few are likely to be relevant. Even an experienced admin will probably find some useful stuff in here."
PC Games (Games)

+ - Why Gnu-Linux will soon be THE gaming OS.

Submitted by dcrockerjr
dcrockerjr (1107773) writes "After graphics and sound rendering what is the biggest gaming processor hog: AI & path finding. Enter Nvidia's announcement that their graphics cards can be used as an extra processor when not used for graphics. Consider that Gnu-Linux is already used in high end multi-processor supercomputers and blades, and has a lead over windows in making use of extra processors. Add a motherboard manufacturer thats willing to put around 7 graphics card slots on a board. Now add an open source project for AI & path finding acceleration as a GPLv3 alternative to CUDA. Hence: Gnu-Linux THE gaming OS. Nvidia may also find themselves in competition with creative for audio acceleration. In the other corner, as rig prices rise, IBM or Sun could partner with AMD to bring low end blades to gamers. Imagine games like Starcraft with no unit limit... less scripted more responsive games... Links:;99052718 6;fp;16;fpid;0"

+ - Fire from Salt Water

Submitted by
sterlingda writes "John Kanzius and his associate Charlie Rutkowski have found a way to create energy by burning salt water with the same radio wave machine they are using to kill cancer cells. Kanzius and Rutkowski were testing their external radio-wave generator to see if it could desalinate salt water, and it ignited. A university chemist determined that the process is generating hydrogen. While the phenomenon is interesting, it is not yet practical for energy generation inasmuch as more energy is consumed by the radio frequency device than is produced for burning. [memo do be deleted: the wiki server should be able to handle slashdotted bandwidth]"

+ - Geek runs for congress wearing "Evil Genius

Submitted by writes "Brian Boyko was ticked off that the Democrats sold us out by voting to authorizing spending for the war without a timetable attached. Lloyd Doggett — his Congressman — was one of those Democrats who voted for the war authorization, presumably because they felt that voters who opposed the war would have no choice but to re-elect them. Instead, Boyko got so fed up he launched his own primary challenge to Congressman Doggett — and he's doing it his way, wearing an "Evil Genius" T-shirt, putting up blog posts that state that he doesn't want dime one in fundraising, or listing out all his political scandals in a post called "Welcome to my closet, would you like to see my skeletons?" The biggest thing: Republicans use blogs as smear campaigns, Democrats use blogs as fundraising tools. This is a campaign blog that's an actual blog.

From the site:

"I've never been charged with a crime, although I could have been once, when I was 19. Let's just say that toaster ovens are a privilege, not a right, and I learned that the hard way.... My sexual proclivities are my business, and I don't want to talk about them. Rest assured, they are not illegal (unless you consider Playstation 2 controllers to be "vibrators" — it's illegal to own vibrators in Texas.) Statistically speaking, it's very likely that your sex life is much more interesting than mine; I am running in the 25th district of Texas, after all... I play Dungeons & Dragons and other geeky games."

Full disclosure: This blog post was submitted by the candidate."

I like work; it fascinates me; I can sit and look at it for hours.