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Comment Re:Yeah, and that's wrong. This game is almost ove (Score 1) 386

All anyone cares about is to have hardware with free drivers, from there any distro can be installed.

All *we* care about (as current Linux users) is that. It will help boost Dell's sales of hardware to current Linux users, if they did take up that kind of policy.

Perhaps, though, the wider picture is that a pre-installed Linux would speed up adoption. Certainly, a pre-installed (and thus a configuration with hardware issues ironed out) Linux distro such as Ubuntu is perfectly capable for what, probably, a majority of people need. There are certainly very few users who actually *need* features which are difficult to use or install on Linux (gaming, complete compatibility with MS Office or a Windows specific program).

The audience Linux should be targetting is those who use their computers for the simple things - Web Browsing, E-mail and simple word processing/office suite work. By including Linux pre-installed on big manufacturers such as Dell, you will be hitting a large part of that audience. So what if someone buys it without understanding the difference between the OS's - it surely helps resolve ubuntu bug#1.


Submission + - World wide shutdown is early stages of planning...

zoftie writes: Many people are planning to shut their computers off for entire day on March 24th. Shutdown Day website already went over 25000 people who are committed to spending their day free of their electronic pacifier, feeding tube however you want to describe your relationship to your computer(s). Being in IT industry for a while this leads on to one question, what is the consequence of such act, and what does it ask of us beyond turning off the computer.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Is it hard to bold or note new comments in a thread? 3

I remember how some forums used to show posts and replies in a threaded Usenet-style. Only the title was visible until clicked on and unread ones could be in bold.

I can't remember any recent forums letting me easily see which replies are new since the last time I viewed the page. I find it hard to believe people wouldn't like this feature. I'd like to see which are the new comments on multiply, slashdot, fark, and so on.


Submission + - The $600 Stand-alone Blue-Ray Player

Dr. Eggman writes: PCWorld brings us news of a cheaper stand-alone Blu-Ray Player Sony will introduce this summer. Costing $600, the player will be a significant price reduction over the $1000 BDP-S1 Sony introduced just ahead of Christmas. The $600 player is designed with the same features as the S1, but at a price to compete with the $500 Toshiba HD DVD player. While it was originally speculated that the PS3's Blu-Ray player would essentially serve the role of the cheap Blu-Ray player, this new announcement raises questions about the PS3's place in the HD Format battle. Sony has managed to pull out a strange new twist in the Home Entertainment War, but will it pay off?
XBox (Games)

Submission + - Xbox360 Hypervisor Vulnerability - Homebrew on 360

RedLine writes: A new post on the BugTraq list released details on a critical vulnerability in Microsoft's Xbox360 that allows privilege escalation into hypervisor mode. Together with a method to inject data into non-privileged memory areas, this vulnerability allows an attacker with physical access to an Xbox 360 to run arbitrary code such as alternative operating systems with full privileges and full hardware access. The post is a follow-up on the anonymous presentation held on December 30th at the 23C3 Hacker Congress that suggested running homebrew code on Xbox360 would be possible soon. The vulnerability works in kernel 4532 and 4548 but was fixed by Microsoft in kernel 4552 (released on Jan 09, 2007) after they were notified about the exploit.

Submission + - Firefox 3.0 Opens Door to Web Apps, Mozilla Says

MilwaukeeCharlie writes: CIO Magazine is reporting some buzz about Firefox 3.0, due to be released later this year.

Some of the likely new features include:
  • Offline support for web apps
  • New paradigm for "bookmarks" and "history"
  • Built-in database (SQL Lite), used for full-text indexing of the cache
  • Support for Javascript 2
Linux Business

Submission + - Ubuntu Feisty Fawn gets closer

daria42 writes: Ubuntu developers are finalising preparations for the release of the next version — dubbed Feisty Fawn — of the popular Linux distribution in mid-April. Overnight, Ubuntu developer Tollef Fog Heen announced Ubuntu's main software repository had been frozen — with no changes allowed to the code — as developers got ready to issue a fifth major test version ("Herd 5") of the next version of Ubuntu.

Submission + - VMware cries foul over Microsoft virtualisation

daria42 writes: The battle to control the virtualisation market has heated up with the launch of a white paper from VMware, which accuses Microsoft of anti-competitive practices. In language reminiscent of Microsoft's anti-trust battles in the US and its ongoing struggle with the European Union, VMware claimed that the software giant is "forcing [its] specifications and APIs on the industry", and "trying to restrict customers' flexibility and freedom to choose virtualisation software".

Submission + - Open-source vs. Microsoft in Australian University

AlexGr writes: "ZDNet Australia, By David Braue Organizations considering a change of productivity suites may do well to follow the example of Queensland University of Technology (QUT), which has taken a cautious approach to Microsoft Office 2007 and instead focused on sprucing up its back-end messaging environment. The university, which has more than 40,000 students in a variety of disciplines, began revisiting its messaging environment — a concatenation of standalone best-of-breed products that were poorly integrated — after a Gartner review suggested it encourage collaboration by embracing unified messaging. te_open_source_ideology_QUT_embraces_Microsoft_int egration/0,139023769,339273682,00.htm"

Submission + - Google: Don't blame heat for disk drive failures

BobB writes: "Temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit may not be damaging to disk drives, according to new research by Google engineers which casts doubt on previous findings linking heat to elevated failure rates. After studying five years worth of monitoring statistics from Google's massive data centers, researchers say they could find no consistent pattern linking failure rates to high temperatures or high utilization levels. e-disk-drives.html"

Submission + - Work unhappy or move on?

dunnowhat2type writes: "I grew up around a big city (suburbs of NY) and went to college in a relatively different area (upstate NY.) After graduating last May, I took a job in the area where I went to college. I started in July and was given a relocation package contingent on me staying for a year. Since August I haven't been happy with the area I have been living in and have actively been pursuing employment back in the city. In January, the program I was working on got cancelled and my manager didn't want to commit me to something long-term with the knowledge that I didn't plan on staying more than six months. He made me a time-based offer (probably expiring soon) that he'd take every effort to get the relocation payback waived if I were to resign, find an internal transfer, or another job. I had a couple of interviews a month ago, but nothing else has happened, and this uncertainty, with the pressure of having to make this decision has made the last two weeks really hellish. I wanted to make this decision within the next couple of days and have spoken to friends, but I wanted to pose the question here. What am I better off doing, being miserable around here, but at least having money, work experience, and health insurance, or going home and being happy, but being unemployed?"

Submission + - Note to new Linux users: No antivirus

Cope57 writes: " | Note to new Linux users: No antivirus
By: Joe Barr"

Savvy Windows users have to watch their virus checkers as closely as the head nurse in the ICU keeps an eye on patient monitors. Often, the buzz in the Windows security world is about which protection-for-profit firm was the first to discover and offer protection for the malware du jour — or should I say malware de l'heure? The only thing better than having backed the winning Super Bowl team come Monday morning at the office coffeepot is having the virus checker you use be the one winning the malware sweepstakes that weekend.

If a rogue program finds a crack in your Windows armor, paying $200 per infection to have your machine scrubbed and sanitized by the local goon^H^H^H^H geek squad not only helps to reinforce the notion that you have to have malware protection, but that it has to be the right protection, too. The malware firms are aware of this, and all of their advertising plays upon the insecurity fears of Windows users and the paranoia that results. Chronic exposure and vulnerability to malware has conditioned Windows users to accept this security tax.

It's no wonder, then, that when Windows users are finally able to break their chains and experience freedom on a Linux desktop, they stare at me in disbelief when I tell them to lay that burden down. They are reluctant to stop totin' that load. They have come to expect to pay a toll for a modicum of security.

I try to explain that permissions on Linux make such tribute unnecessary. Without quibbling over the definitions of viruses and trojans, I tell them that neither can execute on your machine unless you explicitly give them permission to do so.

Permissions on Linux are universal. They cover three things you can do with files: read, write, and execute. Not only that, they come in three levels: for the root user, for the individual user who is signed in, and for the rest of the world. Typically, software that can impact the system as a whole requires root privileges to run.

Microsoft designed Windows to enable outsiders to execute software on your system. The company justifies that design by saying it enriches the user experience if a Web site can do "cool" things on your desktop. It should be clear by now that the only people being enriched by that design decision are those who make a buck providing additional security or repairing the damage to systems caused by it.

Malware in Windows Land is usually spread by email clients, browser bits, or IM clients, which graciously accept the poisoned fruit from others, then neatly deposit it on their masters' systems, where malware authors know it will likely be executed and do their bidding — without ever asking permission.

Some malware programs require that you open an attachment. Others don't even require that user error. By hook or by crook, malware on Windows often gets executed, infecting the local system first, then spreading itself to others. What a terrible neighborhood. I'm glad I don't live there.

On Linux, there is built-in protection against such craft. Newly deposited files from your email client or Web browser are not given execute privileges. Cleverly renaming executable files as something else doesn't matter, because Linux and its applications don't depend on file extensions to identify the properties of a file, so they won't mistakenly execute malware as they interact with it.

Whether newcomers grok permissions or not, I try to explain the bottom line to them: that because they have chosen Linux, they are now free of having to pay either a security tax up front to protect themselves from malware, or one after the fact to have their systems sterilized after having been infected.

So Linux is bulletproof? No. Bulletproof is one of the last stages of drunkenness, not a state of security. Linux users, like users on every operating system, must always be aware of security issues. They must act intelligently to keep their systems safe and secure. They should not run programs with root privileges when they are not required, and they should apply security patches regularly.

Misleading claims and false advertising by virus protection rackets to the contrary, you simply don't need antivirus products to keep your Linux box free of malware.

"Original post at"
Wireless Networking

Submission + - Using free wireless at library described as theft

Robert Carter writes: "According to the Anchorage Daily News ( 9268c.html) a Man's laptop was taken for using free wireless outside of a library in Palmer. What does this say about the liability of free or municipal hotspots for informing that unauthorized use is prohibited?"

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PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5