christian.einfeldt writes: "According to Linux blogger Ken Starks, an informal consortium of games makers has come together to announce that they are releasing the source code on some very popular games. The games are being released as part of a bundle of code called the 'Humble Indie Bundle,' and include the following games: Aquaria, by Bit Blot; Gish, by Chronic Logic; World of Goo, by 2d Boy; Lugaru, by Wolfire; and the Penumbra series by Frictional Games. Gamers can pay whatever they want for the code, and can also choose to donate part of their payments to charities such as Child's Play or the Electronic Frontier Foundation. To date, contributions total $1,070,370 from 117,764 contributors. Contributions are itemized by game platform, with Linux gamers contributing just less than one-quarter of the contributions, almost equal to the contributions from Mac gamers and about half the contributions from Microsoft Windows gamers. These contributions have exceeded the companies "craziest expectations" according to a quote on Wolfire's Humble Indie Bundle website."
christian.einfeldt writes: "Michael Robertson, founder of the Lindows aka Linspire Linux distribution, has created another Internet mashup, called BYO.fm, which claims to let you 'Listen anywhere to your free, personalized radio station. Play just what you want with full control: skip, rewind, or fast-forward.' BYO.fm, which stands for 'Build Your Own', uses voice samples from notable persons such as Barack Obama to read feeds from your local or national news (such as NPR or CNN), weather, sports (such as ESPN or CBS), and traffic, as well as listen to music you select from your MP3tunes.com account. It also plays music from Mp3tunes.com artists. Robertson has gained notoriety from making money by being sued and then settling with the plaintiffs, who end up paying him to stop his innovative work. For example, Robertson created MP3.com, was sued by the big labels for copyright infringement, and walked away with millions; and was sued by Microsoft for using the name Lindows for his commercial Linux distribution, later to be called Linspire, after Microsoft paid Robertson millions to stop using the name Lindows. Will he repeat again with BYO.fm?"
christian.einfeldt writes: "Penguinistas in the Lone Star State will soon get a chance to share the love at the upcoming Texas Linux Fest, taking place on April 10, 2010. This event is signficant due to the fact that is the first Linux fest of this size to be held in Texas, according to long-time Linux advocate and blogger Ken Starks, who offers this interview of one of the event's founders, Nate Willis. The saying goes that they do everything big in Texas, and the promoters are hoping that this event will be no exception, as they are billing it as a regional event, according to Starks' interview with Willis."
christian.einfeldt writes: "Linux netbooks have captured 32% of the global netbook market, says Jeff Orr, an analyst with consumer computer research firm ABI Research. The largest share of netbook sales is in the Asia-Pacific region, including Japan, Australia and New Zealand, Lai's article reports, according to Orr's interview with Eric Lai, a reporter with ComputerWorld.com. ABI's latest figures coincide with a statement by Dell executives from February of this year, in which they said that Linux netbooks comprise about 33% of Dell shipments of Dell Inspiron mini 9s netbooks. The ABI Research figures, together with the statements by the Dell executives, cast doubt on claims by Microsoft that Windows XP captured 98% of the netbook market, a figure Microsoft later reported as 93% market share. In an interview with DesktopLinux.com, Orr made clear that the 32% Linux netbook market share did not include either user-intalled Linux or dual-boot systems, but was confined to just pre-installed Linux shipments."
christian.einfeldt writes: "Washington Post columnist Brian Krebs recommends that banking customers consider using a Linux LiveCD, rather than Microsoft Windows, to access their on-line banking. He tells a story of two businesses which lost $100,000 USD and $447,000 USD, respectively, when the thieves — armed with malware on the company controller's PC — were able to intercept one of those codes when the controller tried to log in, and then delay the controller from logging in. Krebs notes that he is not alone in recommending the use of non-Windows machines for banking; The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) — a industry group supported by some of the world's largest banks — recently issued guidelines urging businesses to carry out all online banking activities form 'a stand-alone, hardened and completely locked down computer system from where regular e-mail and Web browsing is not possible.' Krebs concludes his article with a link to an earlier column in which he steps readers through the process of booting Linux LiveCDs to do their on-line banking."
christian.einfeldt writes: "Ken Starks, of Austin, Texas, has been blogging (some would say ranting) for years about the ups and downs of moving to Linux. Now, Starks is hitting his stride with an entertaining story of how an 85 year-old graphics designer happened to meander by chance into the Life of Linux. Starks does a remarkable job of developing the his story's characters with sparingly few words and a well-placed photo or two. Starks writes with a wry wit and a great sense of pacing that reminds one of Mark Twain's style. Like Twain, Ken Starks is usually provocative, but always entertaining."
christian.einfeldt writes: "Everyone is familiar with the Linux video ads created by IBM, Red Hat, and Novell, but until recently, there have not been any professionally-backed forkable radio ads. Now, Austin-based Linux advocate Ken Starks has obtained the services of a professional radio talent in creating a high quality voice track, which can be easily adapted by local providers of Linux computer services. The raw material addresses end-user frustration with Microsoft Windows malware, and promotes Linux as a more stable alternative. Starks hopes the raw material will seed pro-Linux ads across the US, and he offers his own final product as an example of how the raw material can be remixed with music. He has released all of the raw material and final work under the Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, and has waived the Attribution requirement in his blog. His blog links to both the raw material and his final product. Starks' provocative ads are currently on the air in the Austin market during the popular talk show of Kim Komando, who just happens to be a Microsoft Windows enthusiast."
christian.einfeldt writes: "Linux installfests apparently are expanding from an emphasis on serving individual users to mass network installs serving non-profits and schools. In the past, installfests have often been held as part of Linux User Group meetings, and involved individual new computer users bringing their computers to a small meeting to have Linux installed on their machines. But now there is an apparent trend visible in Linux installfests toward mass network installs supported by greater corporate or municipal involvement in Linux installfests. In many cases, the newly-installed Linux computers are being given to end user institutions such as schools. For example, a recent installfest in Austin, Texas, was put on by two non-profits and was supported by the personal participation of upper management at AMD and nFusion. The majority of the eighty-three machines were PXE-booted and mass-installed at that event over an ad hoc network. Likewise, at last year's LinuxWorld expo in San Francisco, 350 Linux computers were mass-installed over a similar PXE network in a mass installfest put on in a partnership between the non-profit Alameda County Computer Resource Center and the for-profit Untangle and IDG firms. The machines were donated to San Francisco Bay Area schools. Similar installfests have been held in Chile and India, to name just a few."
christian.einfeldt writes: "The LinuxTech.net blog points out that Linux notebooks are currently selling quite well on Amazon's list in Germany. The blog includes screenshots showing the Linux Asus and Aspire notebooks in positions 2 and 4, respectively on that list. It's worth noting that these machines are not netbooks, but full notebooks, albeit on the moderate to low side regarding price and performance. That LinuxTech.net blog was dated 23 July 2009, and the Asus machine is still holding second place more than one day later, while the Acer machine slipped to fifth position, despite the volatile nature of Amazon bestseller lists. While these two data points are just snapshots in time, they are consistent with other data showing that Microsoft itself attributes some of its recent weak earnings to surging sales of low-end notebooks, as well as data showing that the Linux-powered and Unix-powered computers topped Amazon's sales charts in all categories for 2007. If there is to ever be a 'year of desktop Linux', it won't happen all at once, but will creep up in ways similar to what we are seeing now."
christian.einfeldt writes: "Alan Lord, a FOSS computer consultant based in the UK, has announced that Amazon UK honored his request for a refund of the Microsoft license fee portion of the cost of a new Asus netbook PC that came with Microsoft Windows XP. Lord details the steps that he took to obtain a refund of 40.00 GBP for the cost of the EULA, complete with links to click to request a refund. Lord's refund comes 10 years after the initial flurry of activity surrounding EULA discounts, started by a blog post by Australian computer consultant Geoffrey Bennett which appeared on Slashdot on 18 January 1999. That Slashdot story led to mainstream press coverage, such as stories in CNN, the New York Times on-line, and the San Francisco Chronicle, to name just a few. The issue quieted down for a few years, but has started to gain some momentum again in recent years, with judges in France, Italy, and Israel awarding refunds. But if Lord's experience is any indication, getting a refund through Amazon might be as easy as filling out a few forms, at least in the UK, without any need to go to court."
christian.einfeldt writes: "Halloween has come early for Linux-loving gamers in the form of the scary Penumbra game trilogy, which has just recently been ported natively to GNU-Linux by the manufacturer, Frictional Games. The Penumbra games, named Overture, Black Plague, and Requiem, respectively, are first person survival horror and physics puzzle games which challenge the player to survive in a mine in Greenland which has been taken over by a monstrous infection/demon/cthulhu-esque thing. The graphics, sounds, and plot are all admirable in a scary sort of way. The protagonist is an ordinary human with no particular powers at all, who fumbles around in the dark mine fighting zombified dogs or fleeing from infected humans. But the game is remarkable for its physics engine — rather than just bump and acquire, the player must use the mouse to physically turn knobs and open doors; and the player can grab and throw pretty much anything in the environment. The physics engine drives objects to fly and fall exactly as one would expect. The porting of a game with such a deft physics engine natively to Linux might be one of the most noteworthy events for GNU-Linux gamers since the 'World of Goo' Linux port."
christian.einfeldt writes: "Brazilian President Lula da Silva recently attended the FISL 10 Free Open Source Software conference in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where he reaffirmed Brazil's support for unencumbered document formats and for Free Open Source Software. President da Silva toured the conference hall, packed with media, where he donned at various times a red Fedora hat, a Java ring, and an ODF baseball cap. In his 15 minute address to the general conference, President da Silva stressed that Free Open Source Software helps Brazil maintain control over its IT future, and supports Brazil's goal of widening digital inclusion among disadvantaged Brazilians. Brazil is the world's fifth most populous nation, and the world's fifth larges nation by land mass."
christian.einfeldt writes: "The Munich decision to move its 14,000 desktops to Free Open Source Software created a big splash back in 2003 as news circulated of the third-largest German city's defection from Microsoft. When it was announced in 2003, the story garnered coverage even in the US, such as an extensive article in USAtoday on-line. Currently, about 60% of desktops are using OpenOffice, with the remaining 40% to be completed by the end of 2009. Firefox and Thunderbird are being used in all of the city's desktop machines. Ten percent of desktops are running the LiMux Debian-based distro, and 80% will be running LiMux by 2012 at the latest. Autonomy was generally considered more important than costs savings, although the LiMux initiative is increasing competition in the IT industry in Munich already. The program has succeeded because the city administration has been careful to reach out to all stakeholders, from managers down to simple end users."
christian.einfeldt writes: "The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Microsoft is earning only about $15.00 USD for each netbook sold with Microsoft Windows XP. The WSJ cites the proliferation of netbooks as a factor contributing to the 8% decline in Windows revenue for the quarter that ended in December, 2008. The netbook market segment poses an on-going problem for Microsoft, according to the WSJ, in light of the fact that Gartner, a market research firm, recently predicted unit sales of netbooks will grow nearly 80% this year to 21 million units, while overall PC sales decline a record 11.9%. Microsoft will respond by offering Microsoft Windows 7 Starter Edition, which features limited functionality such as limited customization and a cap of three applications running concurrently. Dell, meanwhile, has said recently that its sales of Linux-based netbooks constitute about one-third of its Inspiron Mini 9s, with return rates comparable to that of Inspiron Mini 9s netbooks running XP."
christian.einfeldt writes: "It seems as if almost every other week there is news of another government migration toward Free Open Source Software. Two of the most recent moves in this direction come from Hungary and the tiny independent former Russian republic of Tatarstan. On April 2, The Hungarian government announced that it will be modifying its procurement rules to mandate that open source procurement funding match expenditures for proprietary software, according to Ferenc Baja, deputy minister for information technology. In Tatarstan, a Republic of 3.8 million inhabitants, the Deputy Minister of Education, Ludmila Nugumanova, announced that by the end of this school year, all 2,400 educational institutions in Tatarstan will have completed a transition to GNU-Linux, following a successful pilot program in rolled out in 2008 across 1000 schools in the Republic of Tartarstan, the region of Perm and the province of Tomsk in the Russian Federation."