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Submission + - Moblin v2 beta reviewed

An anonymous reader writes: Over at PC World, Linux author Keir Thomas provides a review of the new Moblin 2 beta. FTA: "I like Moblin. I like it a lot. That it's open source and freely available is the icing on the cake. This is one of the few examples of open source taking the lead, and pushing the concept of social computing further than it's ever been before. What I like more, though, is what Moblin is trying to do. It might be that Moblin doesn't reach its destination but, as often happens with computing, Moblin's gift to the world may turn out to be a proof of concept. Microsoft products just don't come close. It's laughable to even think they might."

Comment RTFA people! (Score 1) 350

I know this is Slashdot, and that we don't like to RTFA, but please give it at least a glance before replying.

The guy says that he doesn't necessarily think BIOS-based OS is for everybody, and that some people (including him!) will go with a standard setup in this future scenario.

Slashdot people may think they're ordinary users, but that just ain't true. This guy is talking about a whole different class of users in the article.

Plus, bear in mind that Slashdot has a habit of trashing new and interesting technology. It was probably the only site to trash the iPod when it was released. And whatever happened to that?

Linux Business

Submission + - The future? Think BIOS

An anonymous reader writes: What's the biggest factor facing the take-up of online applications like Google Docs? Data security? Bandwidth? Keir Thomas claims it's a reluctance to abandon old-fashioned thinking. He also reckons that BIOS-based operating systems might be the answer. FTA: "To be honest, there's nothing technologically astonishing about a BIOS operating system. It's just an OS in flash memory. The key breakthrough is ideological: BIOS-based operating systems demote the operating system to just another function of the hardware. It breaks the old mindset of the operating system being a distinct platform, or an end in itself. The operating system becomes part of the overall computing appliance. This allows the spotlight to focus on online applications."

Comment What the f*** is happening to Office? (Score 4, Insightful) 341

I know Office extremely well... Or at least I used to. With these latest releases, it's like the developers have taken magic mushrooms and decided to visit Venus. Seriously, what's going on? Why has everything changed? Who are these changes designed to help? Why did they decide to abandon the system of menus that's been in service since 1984? Just because they've been in service since 1984? That's like Ford abandoning the idea of a steering wheel because it's been used in cars since 1900. When I look at things like this, I see how far from the straight and narrow Microsoft has strayed. They are really losing all track of what's important to users. They've just lost touch completely. I'll say one thing for Bill Gates, and one thing only, but the guy could keep his organization together and produce some half-decent software. Ballmer's just a nutjob who's steering the company into the ground.
Linux Business

Submission + - Trademarks: The hidden menace

An anonymous reader writes: In a blog posting entitled "Trademarks: The Hidden Menace", Keir Thomas asks why open source advocates are keen to suggest patent and copyright reform, yet completely ignore the issue of trademarks, which can be just as dangerous. FTA: "Even within the Linux community, trademarking can be used as obstructively as copyright and patenting to further business ends. ... Is this how open source is supposed to work? Restricted redistribution? Tight control on who can compile software and still be able to call it by its proper name?"
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - 7 reasons people quit Linux

An anonymous reader writes: Keir Thomas gives the benefit of his experience writing beginner Linux books to provide the top 7 reasons why people quit Linux. Everything from fear of typing commands to hardware incompatibilities is mentioned. It's more light-hearted than serious but raises some interesting points.

Submission + - Where can Ubuntu go now? 1

An anonymous reader writes: In his blog posting, Keir Thomas evaluates Ubuntu's future in light of the 9.04 release. He argues that the distro has reached usability parity with Windows (in fact, he says, it got there this time last year), and says the future is probably going to be experimental user-interface designs such as Gnome Shell, due in Gnome 3.0 next year. But this isn't without danger because it risks scaring off newcomers, who typically look for familiarity. Everything Ubuntu has won for Linux could be lost by a wrong decision. Whichever way we turn, he argues, the Linux desktop is in for a bumpy ride.

Submission + - Has Ubuntu got as good as it can get?

An anonymous reader writes: With the recent 9.04 release, has Ubuntu got as good as it's going to get? If so, where can it go next? These are some of the questions that Keir Thomas weighs-up in his PC World blog posting. For the first time, he argues, desktop Linux has truly reached usability parity compared to Windows or OS X. To keep moving, developers are heading in experimental new directions, and that's not necessarily a good thing. Whether you agree or not, there's little doubt that there's some unavoidable turbulence ahead for Linux on the desktop.
Linux Business

Submission + - "Good enough" computer is the future

An anonymous reader writes: Over on the PC World blog, Keir Thomas engages in some speculative thinking. Pretending to be writing from the year 2025, he describes a world of "Good Enough computing", wherein ultra-cheap PCs and notebooks (created to help end-users weather the "Great Recession" of the early 21st century) are coupled to open source operating systems. This is possible because even the cheapest chips have all the power most people need nowadays. In what is effectively the present situation with netbooks writ large, he sees a future where Microsoft is priced out of the entire desktop operating system market and can't compete. It's a fun read that raises some interesting points.
Linux Business

Submission + - Musing on Ubuntu Dreams

An anonymous reader writes: Tired of computer books that are written in straight, boring prose? Keir Thomas, author of several Ubuntu books, thinks he has the answer. He's written a computer manual entirely in poetic verse. "Musing on Ubuntu Dreams" is a new title that features iambic pentameter, rhymes, and promises to scan better than any other computing book (apart from those on nmap, of course).
The Internet

Submission + - Verio offers CP/M Hosting

crankyspice writes: Large virtual server provider Verio is now offering CP/M hosting! (I know this sounds like a slashvertisement, but given recent discussion of CP/M, etc., here (, I thought it worth noting.) Details at: I'm liking the Pro Plus plan, with a full 64K of RAM, dual floppies, and a hard drive!

Submission + - NewEgg started to sell Asus Eee PC

i4u writes: "The Asus Eee PC is finally shipping in the United States. NewEgg is selling the Linux running Asus Eee PC 4G for $399.99 now. The 4G is coming with 512MB RAM, 4GB SSD, 3.5h battery life and integrated camera. Asus announced four configurations of the Asus Eee PC so far and the 4G is the second best configuration only beat by the Asus Eee PC 8G, which has 1GB RAM and 8GB SSD."
Linux Business

Submission + - BBC quietly announces Linux/Mac iPlayer 1

Keir Thomas writes: "When the BBC released its new iPlayer watch-on-demand service, there were many complaints about the fact it was Windows-only — the equivalent of current BBC broadcasts only being watchable on, say, a Sony television. The good news is that the BBC has announced a Flash-based player for Linux and Mac due by the end of the year (the announcement is buried half way down the page). The bad news is that it will probably only offer streaming, and not the ability to download programmes, like the Windows client. Quote: "It comes down to cost per person and reach at the end of the day". Sounds to me like discrimination on grounds of a user's operating system preference."

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