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Announcements

Submission + - Gentoo fights flamewars and bad behaviour!

Bryan Oestergaard writes: "Triggered by recent examples of bad behavior and dissatisfaction among developers and users alike, the Gentoo Council has drafted a new Code of Conduct that will be enforced for both developers and users. The draft version of the Code of Conduct is currently being discussed on the Gentoo-dev mailing list. To subscribe, send an email to subscribe or read the archive.

The Code of Conduct will be voted upon by the Gentoo Council Thursday, March 15th; implementation will be immediate upon final approval. The Code of Conduct describes what the Gentoo Council has deemed acceptable and unacceptable behavior. It also describes the punishment that will be enforced if the Code of Conduct is breached.

The Gentoo Council expects the Code of Conduct to end the bad behavior shown by some and hope it will help Developer Relations enforce good behavior among the developers.

The Gentoo Council has scheduled a Question and Answer session Wednesday, March 14th between 2100UTC and 2300UTC in the #Gentoo-council channel on the Freenode IRC network, irc://irc.freenode.net. We welcome all interested parties to participate in the Question & Answer session."
Spam

Computer Games Magazine To Shut Down 54

Gamasutra is carrying the sad news that the second-oldest PC gaming magazine is to shut down. TheGlobe.com, owner of Computer Games Magazine and its sister, MMOG-specific magazine Massive, has apparently opted to shutter the outlets as a result of financial troubles. They were saddled with a judgement by a California court in connection to a series of spam messages that went out across the MySpace social site. An SEC filing stated that the company stood to lose at least $40 Million; these shutdowns appear to be the direct result. "Calls to TheGlobe.com's Florida-based publisher Jayson Dubin, also the publisher of CGM and Massive Magazine, were not returned as of press time, with more recent calls to his direct line getting an automated recording indicating that the number had been disconnected. Besides Computer Games Magazine, TheGlobe.com also operates two other wholly-owned subsidiaries: voice over IP solution prover Voiceglo, and online game retail outlet Chips & Bits."
Businesses

Dell Opens a Poll On Linux Options 404

narramissic writes "In response to overwhelming user demand for Linux, Dell has posted a survey on a company blog that asks 'PC users to choose between Linux flavors such as Fedora and Ubuntu, and to pick more general choices such as notebooks versus desktops, high-end models versus value models and telephone-based support versus community-based support.' Votes will be collected through March 23, and Dell plans to use the feedback to begin selling Linux-based consumer PCs." The poll is pretty minimal. Wonder how much it will really guide Dell's choices.
Security

Submission + - Vista Monoculture In Our Future?

anorlunda writes: "This is pure speculation. I notice that experts seem to be increasingly concerned with zombie PCs on the web and all the damage that they can do. There will come a day when an injured party sues the zombie's host ISP claiming negligence. A natural reaction to that could be for the ISPs to insist that their PC customers use the most hacker resistant, yet ubiquitous OS around — namely Vista.

I can hear the screams of anger now from millions of users who don't want to switch. On the other hand, few or none of them would stop using the net or even switch ISPs. Most would probably grumble, then switch to Vista. Hardware and third party software vendors and congressmen would back the ISPs because it would trigger the biggest mass upgrade since Y2K and create a surge of thousands of jobs.

The security debate to be acted out before congressional committees would be entertaining. We would pit the antimonoculturalists on one side versus the ban-those-Win95-skeletons proponents on the other side. It would also make the perfect opportunity to advocate the mobile browser plus net apps as the non-PC alternative architecture.

Could a major ISP successfully refuse Mac and Linux customers? I see no legal impediment. They can argue security and simplfied support as their motives. Once again, most aggrieved Mac and Linux customers would scream, but they would rather switch than go back to dial-up. Therefore, relatively few customers would actually defect.

I hate bringing up such an ugly speculation. I can see the flames coming my way now. But, the simplicity and rationality of a Vista-only future from the point of view of the ISPs and others seems too powerful to ignore. Perhaps the question should be, what would stop it from happening?"
Google

Submission + - Google's Bosworth: Why AJAX Failed, Then Succeeded

An anonymous reader writes: eWEEK has a story on a talk from former-Microsoft developer Adam Bosworth (now VP for Google) entitled "Physics, Speed and Psychology: What Works and What Doesn't in Software, and Why." Bosworth depicts issues with processing, broadband, natural language, human behavior, and dishes on Microsoft. From the article:
"'Back in '96-'97, me and a group of people... helped build stuff that these days is called AJAX,' Bosworth said. 'We sat down and took a hard look at what was going to happen with the Internet and we concluded, in the face of unyielding opposition and animosity from virtually every senior person at Microsoft, that the thick client was on its way out and it was going to be replaced by browser-based apps. Saying this at Microsoft back in '96 was roughly equivalent to wandering around in a fire wearing matches,' he said. 'But we concluded we should go and build this thing. And we put all this stuff together so people could build thin-client applications.'...
Drawing on the lessons he learned from the initial failure of AJAX, Bosworth admonished developers to think about user activity. 'Ask what the frequency is,' he said. 'Unless an app is used over and over each day, make it simple, even if more clicks [or] pages are required.' Also, 'Ask how long it takes to execute a requested task,' he said. 'If it takes more than 2 seconds, consider not providing the task or splitting it up into small, user-controlled tasks.' Moreover, 'sites where people don't go a lot don't need AJAX-style UIs [user interfaces],' Bosworth said. 'If we started building AJAX for AJAX's sake we wouldn't be doing our customers any favors.'"
Media

Jimmy Wales's Open Source Collaboration Tips 129

destinyland writes "In a new interview Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales acknowledges his debt to Richard Stallman's Free Software Foundation and discusses his new open source search project. He applauds the way Open Source developers work around their ideological differences, acknowledges that he's an Ayn Rand objectivist who's skeptical of the wisdom of crowds, and blames Slashdot for his grandstanding comment that Wikipedia would bury Encyclopedia Brittanica within five years."
Microsoft

Windows Vista Launches To Mixed Reactions 674

Several users have submitted stories reporting on the launch of Microsoft's newest operating system. The Guardian focuses on virus warnings already threatening the OS, while the New York Times discusses the bug hunt that's begun. With hackers writing scripts to attack, and well-paid bounty hunters looking for bugs to defend, Vista's first few months on the market are sure to be interesting. In the meantime, what is your impression of the OS? Have you had a chance to use the retail version yet? Are you supporting it in a business environment? What's the launch of Vista been like for you?
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Windows Vista Gaming Performance Revealed

GamingGary writes: "So should gamers run right out and get a copy of Vista today? Apparently not, according this article from PC Perspective. With quotes like "very obviously let down by the Windows Vista gaming experience" and "NVIDIA's Forceware 100.54 driver on the other hand was more or less a mess" you can get the idea on how it went. Of the two GPU companies, AMD had the most stable and "XP-like-performance" driver while NVIDIA's driver was only able to keep up with Windows XP performance in a single game. For an OS that was in development for so long, these results have got to be disappointing."
Announcements

Linux Kernel Devs Offer Free Driver Development 348

schwaang writes "Linux Kernel hacker Greg Kroah-Hartman, author of Linux Kernel in a Nutshell has posted an epic announcement on his blog. This could portend increased device compatibility for Linux users, higher-quality drivers, and fewer non-free binary blobs." From the announcement: "[T]he Linux kernel community is offering all companies free Linux driver development... All that is needed is some kind of specification that describes how your device works, or the email address of an engineer that is willing to answer questions every once in a while. If your company is worried about NDA issues surrounding your device's specifications, we have arranged a program... in order to properly assure that all needed NDA requirements are fulfilled. Now your developers will have more time to work on drivers for all of the other operating systems out there, and you can add 'supported on Linux' to your product's marketing material."
Linux Business

Submission + - Linux kernel devs provide free driver development

Goodgerster writes: "Businesses worldwide now no longer have to develop their own Linux drivers, and users no longer have to rely upon reverse-engineering (hopefully.) The Linux kernel community will now write your driver for you, provided you can supply some specs or an engineer's email address. They also provide some support if you have NDA worries. Hopefully this should lead to better hardware support in the more esoteric device categories, such as graphics tablets."
Announcements

Submission + - Get Linux Kernel Drivers For Free

Amit Shah writes: "Greg Kroah-Hartman has sent an email to the LKML mentioning the Linux kernel community's offering to write drivers for any devices manufacturers come up with. They just have to send out the specs. And, if possible, the device.

Were companies holding back releasing drivers for Linux because they didn't get anyone to write drivers for their hardware? Or were they afraid of releasing the specs, so that they would lose their edge over their competition?"
Businesses

Submission + - Greg KH Offers Free Linux Driver Development!

QuantumG writes: "Kernel hacker Greg KH has made a public offer to develop Linux drivers, for free, to any vendor that is willing to release hardware specifications or make available "an engineer that is willing to answer questions every once in a while." The offer is made in conjunction with the OSDL/TLF Tech Board who are providing a legal framework for managing any NDA requirements that vendors may have. The announcement has been made in the hope that vendors will be more inclined to label their products as "Linux Ready" by reducing developer workload."

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