Daily links for 02/07/2010

  • “Have you ever watched a BBQ cook-off on television, or gone to one of these live events and thought that judges at these events had the best job in the world? Well they do. However, to get one of these coveted non-paying positions you have to become a Certified BBQ Judge, and this article will show you just how easy it is to meet this requirement.”

    tags: bbq

  • “BuddyPress is a bundled collection of plugins and themes for creating a social network service around an installation of the popular open source blog engine WordPress MU.”

    tags: buddypress, wordpress, social-networking

  • “The OpenLuna Foundation seeks to return mankind to the lunar surface, first through robotic missions, followed by manned exploration, culminating in an eight person permanent outpost, and to do all of this in a way that it is accessible to everyone. Our research and technology will be open-source, we are privately funded, and one of our specific goals is to reach out to the community and educational systems to spread interest, enthusiasm, and involvement.”

    tags: space, luna

  • “Now, the author is quick to point out the caveats of the graph (and does so for four paragraphs), and notes that he was hesitant to even publish it because of how easy it is to misinterpret. The graph, while it shows commits, doesn’t weigh more important ones versus less important ones. Nor does it in any way measure the ways in which companies or individuals contribute to WebKit in other meaningful ways. That said, it does clearly show that in late 2009, Google surpassed Apple as the company that now contributes the most (again, in terms of commits) to the project.”

    tags: apple, google, chrome, safari, browser, webkit

  • “The Linux and open source community does not want to find itself back where it was in the mid-to-late 90’s, where it was relegated to servers and the desktops of fan-boys and uber-geeks. This is not where Linux wants to be. The last five years has blessed Linux with so much growth. But if Linux can not gain a foothold in the tablet PC market, that growth could wither away.”

    tags: linux, tablet

  • “It’s been a long time in the coming but this year Linux will get a makeover, thanks to the Gnome project. In September the Gnome team, makers of one of the most popular desktop interfaces for Linux, will release version 3.0 of their desktop environment and they are promising “big user-visible changes”.”

    tags: linux, gnome

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

“Heighth” vs. “Height”

This entry is one in a series that tackles issues of proper word use and grammar in English.

When speaking of three dimensions, we often use words like “width,” “breadth,” and “depth.” The fourth word commonly used in “height,” which is odd because it is missing the final “h.” Nevertheless, that is correct.

There is no word “heighth.” Always use “height.”

Also see: Series list: Proper word use and grammar in English

First impressions: Twinity virtual world

Twinity logo

I recently had a chance to try out the beta for a new virtual world called Twinity. Like Second Life, Twinity aims to be a virtual world where you can wander around, meet and talk with people, shop, and augment your avatar and your living space, if you have one. This is a beta, and so there are some issues, but I think it’s a pretty cool approach.

Continue reading

Daily links for 02/06/2010

  • “Microsoft will no longer offer Linux or Unix versions of its enterprise search products after a wave of releases set to ship in the first half of this year, the company announced in an official blog post Thursday.”

    tags: microsoft, linux, search

  • “The solution was Second Life Enterprise, which the company unveiled publicly in November. The nascent software incorporates all the interface and peer-to-peer interaction of Second Life without the security threats and lurking lewdness.

    In other words, Tech purchased its own mini Second Life server that can be accessed only by authorized students, teachers and researchers. Its employees have the authority to regulate, to keep things G-rated and educationally relevant.”

    tags: second-life, virtual-world

  • “The folks at the OpenLuna project take that line to heart. OpenLuna is an open source, wiki-based attempt to design a leaner, meaner, public driven moon mission. As with any open source project, they encourage everyone to participate. When they run into questions, problems and challenges, they pose them to the crowd and invite people from every field to weigh in.”

    tags: nasa, moon, openluna

  • “Apple represents the “auteur model of innovation,” observes John Kao, a consultant to corporations and governments on innovation. In the auteur model, he said, there is a tight connection between the personality of the project leader and what is created. Movies created by powerful directors, he says, are clear examples, from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” to James Cameron’s “Avatar.””

    tags: apple, innovation

  • “The term “enterprise” in the category name indicates that solutions are suitable for use in the workplace, as opposed to recreational use (e.g., consumer video games and recreational virtual worlds), and are scalable, secure, and stable enough for at least some work-related use cases. Because the enterprise immersive software market grew out of four distinct ancestral origins (virtual worlds, serious games, business applications, and learning simulations), the software products in the category vary widely in features and functionality.”

    tags: virtual-world

  • “One recent improvement in the Wonderland platform is of particular interest to enterprise users who may have previously been hesitant about using the software because of licensing issues.

    Under Wonderland’s GPL license, any improvements to the core code have to be donated back to the community if they are distributed to the public — and having users log into the world remotely counts as “distribution.””

    tags: virtual-world, wonderland

  • “alien is a program that converts between Redhat rpm, Debian deb, Stampede slp, Slackware tgz, and Solaris pkg file formats. If you want to use a package from another linux distribution than the one you have installed on your system, you can use alien to convert it to your preferred package format and install it. It also supports LSB packages.”

    tags: linux

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 02/05/2010

  • “Canonical Ltd., the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, announced today that open source industry veteran Matt Asay has joined the company as chief operating officer (COO) — responsible for aligning strategic goals and operational activities, the optimization of day-to-day operations, and leadership of Canonical marketing and back-office functions.”

    tags: canonical, ubuntu, linux, alfresco

  • “Right after WordPress launched their Android app, the WP crew finished the final touches on their Blackberry app that rivals the one they built upon Google’s mobile OS.”

    tags: wordpress, blackberry

  • “Most of this information is based on my experience working on Second Life at Linden Lab from 2001 to 2009. SL is a highly complex virtual world, incorporating the features of Web services, online games, 3D modeling and programming tools, IM and VOIP, and so on. Between 2006 and 2007, the userbase grew dramatically, and while it has become more manageable, it continues to grow today. We ran into all manner of scaling challenges, and had mixed success meeting them; ultimately SL did grow to meet the new levels of demand, but we certainly made some mistakes, and there were periods where the reliability of the system really suffered.”

    tags: second-life, datacenter

  • “(GIMP) is undergoing a significant transformation. The next major release, version 2.8, will introduce an improved user interface with an optional single-window mode. Although this update is still under heavy development, users can get an early look by compiling the latest source code of the development version from the GIMP’s version control repository.”

    tags: gimp, linux

  • “The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VW-BPE) is a community-based conference that provides opportunities for participants of virtual worlds to share current teaching, learning and research practices in 3D virtual environments. Conference presentations focus on teaching/learning, scholarly work, projects, events, activities and new and innovative tools for virtual education. Conference presenters’ focus on the identification of ‘best practices in education’ designed for 3D virtual world technology.”

    tags: second-life, virtual-world, education

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Linux Foundation Announces 2010 “We’re Linux” Video Contest

After the great success of last year’s video contest, the Linux Foundation has announced this year’s competition:

SAN FRANCISCO, February 5, 2010 – The Linux Foundation (LF), the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced the 2010 “We’re Linux” video contest. The contest seeks to find the best user-generated videos that demonstrate what Linux means to those who use it and inspire others to try it.

The contest is calling all community members and amateur filmmakers to share with the public what a 30-60 second Linux-focused spot for the Super Bowl might look like. This theme is not a requirement for entry; however, videos that can demonstrate the benefits of Linux to the general public are likely to receive more community votes. The submissions should aim to inspire people to use Linux, create conversations among the public, and convey the power and ideals of Linux.

The judges are:

  • Andrew Morton, lead Linux kernel maintainer;
  • Stephen O’Grady, co-founder, Red Monk;
  • Stormy Peters, executive director, GNOME Foundation;
  • Brandon Phillips, Linux kernel developer, Novell;
  • Bob Sutor, VP, Open Source and Linux, IBM Software Group; and
  • Steven Vaughan-Nichols, journalist, ComputerWorld.

It’s my understanding that the judges will be sequestered in some tropical paradise to thoughtfully decide this year’s winner, though I may be horribly mistaken.

(I’m joking, unfortunately.)

Daily links for 02/04/2010

  • “How is LinuxCon different than other events? In a number of ways. This is an event specific to the Linux community, but within that, it encompasses all matters Linux. Other events specifically target certain groups in the ecosystem, but LinuxCon is the only event that really brings together a diverse group of all types of industry leaders and contributors – from business executives and end users, to developers (both in the kernel and out), to the systems administrators and senior technology operations leaders. “

    tags: linuxcon, linux

  • “The Linux Foundation has announced that the Call for Papers deadline for LinuxCon 2010 will be the 31st of March. Registration for the non-profit organisation’s second annual conference, which will take place from the 10th to the 12th of August, 2010 in Boston Massachusetts, is now open.”

    tags: linux

  • “To help users discover the Linux distribution that’s best for them, this resource will definitively list the best candidates for the various types of Linux users to try.”

    tags: linux

  • “The site’s engineers have announced HipHop, which turns the popular and dynamic PHP code into highly optimized but static C++ and then compiles it using the GNU C++ compiler, g++. The change has been released to the community under the PHP license, and you can read more here.”

    tags: php, facebook

  • “The Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VW-BPE) is a community-based conference that provides opportunities for participants of virtual worlds to share current teaching, learning and research practices in 3D virtual environments. Conference presentations focus on teaching/learning, scholarly work, projects, events, activities and new and innovative tools for virtual education. Conference presenters’ focus on the identification of ‘best practices in education’ designed for 3D virtual world technology.”

    tags: second-life, virtual-world, education

  • “Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) (NYSE: SAI) today announced it has purchased Forterra Systems Inc.’s On-Line Interactive Virtual Environment (OLIVE(TM)) product line, including all names, trademarks and licenses.”

    tags: forterra, virtual-world

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

IBM releases Lotus Symphony 3 Beta 2

IBM just released Lotus Symphony 3 Beta 2:

Lotus Symphony 3 Beta 2 represents a major new advancement for our Lotus Symphony users. Based on current OpenOffice.org 3 code stream. Lotus Symphony 3 Beta 2 offers loads of new features and capabilities and improved file fidelity. The Lotus Symphony team is excited to get it out to you and get your feedback.

This is a very big upgrade as is indicated by the jump from version 1.3 to version 3. The beta is available for Linux desktops, Mac OS X, and even Windows.

Also see the ZDNet blog entry “IBM launches Lotus Symphony 3 beta; Office alternatives pile up” by Larry Dignan for some screen shots.

What would ODF support for WordPress look like?

WordPress logo

I was having a conversation today with a friend and somehow we got onto the topic of support for ODF, the Open Document Format, in WordPress. Drupal has some import support for ODF word processing files and that effort appears to be quite active (in the sense that there was an update to the module yesterday).

Thinking of WordPress as a content management system, importing an ODF file means taking a word processing, presentation, or spreadsheet document and putting into a form that can be saved and displayed by WordPress, either in a blog post or a standalone page. For simple text, this would mean translating to HTML. Doing a bit more work, it could mean using HTML and CSS for formatting. Getting even fancier, it could incorporate extra JavaScript or PHP code to handle spreadsheets in a live manner.

Import is hard because you need to be able to do something with anything that’s in any document. If you can’t handle something, you had better tell the user what you decided to discard. A minimal import for word processing files, as I mentioned above, might respect all words in the text, paragraph structure, bold, italic, colors, headings, and a few other simple things. In this case I would think of the import as “take this file and do something sensible, if not perfect, with it.”

Export is easier to imagine. Given the range of things that can be done in WordPress posts and pages, I would think that only a relatively small subset of ODF would be needed beyond the packaging and some straightforward text markup. Here I would take as my model “what would this WordPress page look like if I printed it, and what ODF file would I have to create to generate equivalent output?”

Given this, I would tackle the export to ODF feature first, but there is a core question that needs to be answered. Why? That is, given a web page generated by WordPress, why do you need to generate ODF form? I must admit I’m somewhat strapped to come up with good reasons, though I could probably make up a couple.

It is more interesting to consider how to take documents created in ODF by something like Lotus Symphony and then import them into WordPress for publishing. That’s the key word: publishing. So though the problem is harder, having various ways of importing documents into WordPress from ODF would likely be much more useful.

Assuming this as the preferred direction of work and looking at how WordPress can be extended, it’s worthwhile to ask what you might do with plugins or themes to make the import even better. While I like the idea of the result being theme independent, having one or two plugins that added some cool support for imported spreadsheets or presentations could potentially be quite nice.

Daily links for 02/03/2010

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.