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Google

OpenOffice Five Times As Popular As Google Docs 207

CWmike writes "Confirming recent comments by Microsoft's Steve Ballmer, an independent report released Friday found that OpenOffice.org's free office suite is five times more popular than Google Docs. This was according to a survey of 2,400 adult Internet users conducted between May and November. Microsoft's share was 10 times that of OpenOffice.org. Microsoft hopes to cement that lead with its upcoming Office Web, as well as online versions of its Exchange and SharePoint products to be announced on Monday. OpenOffice.org may provide some resistance, however. The latest version, OpenOffice.org 3.0, had a strong first week in October, with more than 3 million downloads. After one month, OpenOffice.org 3.0 had been downloaded 10 million times." And reader Peter Toi informs us of the open source release of yet another office suite, Softmaker Office. Its claimed advantages are its compactness and speed (making it suitable for netbooks), its excellent MS Office filters, and the fact that it can be installed to USB flash drives.
Television

Unhappy People Watch More TV 193

Hugh Pickens writes "A new study by sociologists at the University of Maryland concludes that unhappy people watch more TV, while people who describe themselves as 'very happy' spend more time reading and socializing. 'TV doesn't really seem to satisfy people over the long haul the way that social involvement or reading a newspaper does,' says researcher John P. Robinson. 'It's more passive and may provide escape — especially when the news is as depressing as the economy itself. The data suggest to us that the TV habit may offer short-run pleasure at the expense of long-term malaise.' Unhappy people also liked their TV more: 'What viewers seem to be saying is that while TV in general is a waste of time and not particularly enjoyable, "the shows I saw tonight were pretty good."' The researchers analyzed two sets of data spanning nearly 30 years (PDF), gathered from nearly 30,000 adults, and found that unhappy people watch an estimated 20 percent more television than very happy people, after taking into account their education, income, age, and marital status — as well as other demographic predictors of both viewing and happiness. 'TV can become a kind of opiate in a way. It's habitual, and tuning in can be an easy way of tuning out.'"
Graphics

NVIDIA Releases New Video API For Linux 176

Ashmash writes "Phoronix is reporting on a new Linux driver nVidia is about to release that brings PureVideo features to Linux. This video API will reportedly be in nVidia's 180 series driver for Linux, Solaris, and *BSD. PureVideo has been around for several nVidia product generations, but it's the first time they're bringing this feature to these non-Windows operating systems to provide an improved multimedia experience. This new API is named VDPAU, and is described as: 'The Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix (VDPAU) provides a complete solution for decoding, post-processing, compositing, and displaying compressed or uncompressed video streams. These video streams may be combined (composited) with bitmap content, to implement OSDs and other application user interfaces.'"
Software

Submission + - Book Review: Mastering OpenLDAP by Matt Butcher

Phil Lembo writes: " Mastering OpenLDAP: Configuring, Securing and Integrating Directory Services by Matt Butcher is an extraordinarily well written book. The preface states it's focus succinctly:

The goal of this book is to prepare a system administrator or software developer for building a directory using OpenLDAP, and then employing this directory in the context of the network. To that end, this book will take a practical approach, emphasizing how to get things done. On occasion, we will delve into theoretical aspects of LDAP, but such discussions will only occur where understanding the theory helps us answer practical questions.
LDAP, the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, is a set of Internet standards for communications and operations with and between directory servers. Directory servers play a key role in modern Information Technology infrastructures, being the repositories of choice for the identity management systems used to authenticate and authorize user access to enterprise applications. OpenLDAP is an open source implementation of a general purpose directory server that is both high performance and LDAP standards compliant.

There have not been many books devoted to things LDAP in general, or OpenLDAP in particular. Of course there haven't been many focused on DNS (the Domain Name System on which our ability to find anything at all on the Internet depends) either. Fortunately for all of us who manage Internet connected systems, that one book on DNS is one of those rare technical books that succeeds in being a textbook on an engineering theory, but also a practical manual on how to implement it using the open source BIND server.

Mastering OpenLDAP is just that kind of book. Along with some of the best illustrations of the theory and practice of LDAP directory management, it contains a wealth of detailed information on the servers, clients and utilities that make up the OpenLDAP suite of software. The examples provided of different configurations are not only detailed, they also methodically build upon each other in a way that really illuminates various concepts far better than I think has been done before.

For an idea of what is covered in 467 pages of text and illustrations, including a very useful index, all you have to do is look at the table of contents:
  1. Directory Servers and LDAP
  2. Installation and Configuration
  3. Using OpenLDAP
  4. Securing OpenLDAP
  5. Advanced Configuration
  6. LDAP Schema
  7. Multiple Directories
  8. LDAP and the Web
The appendices in this volume are also worthy of mention: "Building OpenLDAP from Source", "LDAP URLs", and "Useful LDAP Commands" — the last deftly handling one of my favorite pastimes, "Rebuilding a Database (BDB, HDB)".

Over the years, as Internet technologies have become both more complex and more diverse, technical books have had a hard time keeping up with the needs of their readers. Few books provide the detail really needed to help their readers "get the job done". Many that do are become obsolete within months of publication, if they were not already so when published.

The difference with this book is the author's successful organizing and synthesis of the massive amount of information that exists out there on OpenLDAP. Particularly in the documentation and mail list archives published by the OpenLDAP Project. The real genius of the author is in his ability to anticipate and tie together concepts, processes and procedures that usually wind up hopelessly lost in those other sources. Throughout, although the book covers alot of ground, it remains clearly focused on the task at hand as set forth in it's Preface.

The only criticism I can find to make is that the book lacks a bibliography, which would be a useful addition to the resources presented in various places in the text.

This book would be an excellent textbook for use by students learning Internet technologies. It would also make a terrific technical manual for system administrators or developers involved in deploying or maintaining systems and applications that use directory services. Finally, this is the one essential book that all directory administrators should have on their own personal bookshelf.

Mastering OpenLDAP is published by Packt Publishing. Original release date was August, 2007. ISBN is 978-1847191021.

For those interested, I maintain a blog on things LDAP called Eldapo, A Directory Manager's Blog, where I try to jot down things of interest to myself and (I hope) other directory administrators that I stumble across in my daily work as a system administrator focusing on directory services and identity management systems."
Music

Submission + - Eminem's Publisher Sues Apple Over Downloads

purpledinoz writes: PC World has an interesting article about a lawsuit Eminem has filed against Apple: "The music publishing companies that represent rap artist Eminem have filed a multimillion-dollar suit against Apple Inc. for selling downloads of Eminem's music on iTunes online music service without compensating them. The suit could have ramifications for the current compensation plan that online music services have for divvying up profits between record labels and the publishing companies that hold rights to artists' songs."
Businesses

Submission + - An Ebay Sale is a Sale

syousef writes: An Ebay Sale is a Sale says an Australian New South Wales State Judge in a case where a man tried to reneg on the Ebay sale of a 1946 World War II Wirraway aircraft. The seller tried to reneg because he'd received an offer $100,000 greater than the Ebay sale price elsewhere. The buyer who had bid the reserve price of $150,000 at the last minute took him to court. "It follows that, in my view, a binding contract was formed between the plaintiff and the defendent and that it should be specifically enforced," Justice Rein said in his decision. All dollar figures are in AUD.
The Internet

The Pirate Bay About To Relaunch Suprnova.org 285

kungfujesus writes "The Pirate Bay crew has been working on this secret project for quite some time now. Back in April they wrote a cryptic post on their blog announcing that something was coming. In a response to this announcement TPB admin Brokep told TorrentFreak: "The past, the present and the future. It's all the same, but one thing's for sure, we will radiate for weeks", today it became clear that he was referring to the resurrection of Suprnova."
The Internet

Submission + - The Pirate Bay About To Relaunch Suprnova.org 3

kungfujesus writes: The Pirate Bay crew has been working on this secret project for quite some time now. Back in April they wrote a cryptic post on their blog announcing that something was coming. In a response to this announcement TPB admin Brokep told TorrentFreak: "The past, the present and the future. It's all the same, but one thing's for sure, we will radiate for weeks", today it became clear that he was referring to the resurrection of Suprnova. Article Here
Biotech

Submission + - Chernobyl Mushrooms Feeding on Radiation

cowtamer writes: According to a National Geographic Article certain fungi can use ionizing radiation to perform "radiosynthesis" using the pigment melanin (the same one in our skin that protects us from UV radiation). It is speculated that this might be useful on long space voyages where energy from the Sun is not readily available.
Privacy

Submission + - Is the RIAA back to it's torrent-crushing tactics? (tgohome.com) 1

Tom writes: "During a download from The Pirate Bay, I saw 11 similar IP addresses (via. the 'Peers' tab) on the .available.above.net server. This is really odd, because the chance of this happening is something close to 11 in 26 billion. Also, uTorrent constantly was complaining about pieces failing hash checks..."

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