Daily Links for Thursday, October 29, 2009

Software

Product Quality
Novell / Jeff Jaffe

It is useful to review our comprehensive approach to quality. Quality is not a single process. It is baked into everything we do: before and during development; after products are shipped in the field; with maintenance provided to customers well after products have been shipped. Due to this breadth I will “fishbone” our activities and address this topic over several postings.

Open Source

The Silent Number: Top things to do after installing Ubuntu Linux 9.10 Karmic Koala
Danny Piccirillo

So you’ve just installed Ubuntu 9.10, the cute and cuddly Karmic Koala, but now you’re confronted with a most pertinent question, “What do i do now?” Ubuntu is a very complete and full-featured Linux distribution, but no operating system can come with everything you want. There’s much more fun to be had in what comes after installing the OS on your machine: now you get to set it up with all the best software it didn’t already come with!

Novell’s John Dragoon on “Battle Of The OS Titans” in Forbes

Photo of Novell's John Dragoon

Novell‘s CMO John Dragoon has a very nice article over in Forbes called “Battle Of The OS Titans” that emphasizes many important points about the changing desktop operating system scene. He says, in part:

Gone are the days when the one-size-fits-all, monolithic operating system approach makes sense. Users are driving a new evolution in computing where the operating system becomes transparent to the user. Computing environments are being customized for specific platforms and devices to address specific user groups (mobile businessmen, desk-bound office workers, students), and even down to the individual user. This is opening up opportunities for new players.

Recommended.

Daily Links for Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Open Source

The quest for a truly open smartphone: can it be done?
Ars Technica / Ryan Paul

Although a growing number of smartphone makers are embracing Linux and open source software, the dream of a fully open phone remains elusive. Advocates of software freedom are looking for solutions.

Apple abandons ZFS on Mac OS X project over licensing issues
Ars Technica / Chris Foresman

If there was any remaining doubt about ZFS support in OS X, Apple officially killed it last Friday. Licensing concerns ultimately may have doomed the project, but open source developers still hope to keep the dream of ZFS on Mac OS X alive. Meanwhile, Apple is hiring filesystem engineers of its own.

Everything You Need To Know about Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala)
Maximum PC / Will Kraft

On October 29, Canonical is set to release Ubuntu 9.10 (codenamed “Karmic Koala”), the newest installment in the Ubuntu product line. In anticipation of this release, we took the release candidate (RC) for a test drive. Ubuntu 9.10 RC comes on a LiveCD just like its predecessors and allows you to test a fully-functional installation of the operating system without installing it.

DOD open-sources more than 1M lines of code
LinuxWorld / Patrick Thibodeau

In short, the DOD is making use of open-source applications a two-way street, and there may be more DOD-funded open-source software on the way. There’s evidence of a new, aggressive tone being set by the department’s top CIO, David Wennergren, on open source use. A memo he wrote this month encourages adoption of open source and pointedly said that open source can “provide advantages” to the department’s need to update its software “to anticipate new threats and respond to continuously changing requirements.”

Daily Links for Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cloud

Amazon Offers MySQL Cloud Service, Cuts Server Fees
InformationWeek / John Foley

In a preemptive strike at Microsoft, Amazon Web Services offers a relational database in the cloud, high-memory configurations, and cuts hourly fees for its Windows and Linux servers.

Open Source

Debunking Some Linux Myths
ZDNet UK / J.A. Watson

Gee, I wonder where blatantly ridiculous statements about Linux have come from in the last few years?

With new releases of several major Linux distributions coming up in the next few weeks, I would like to take a few minutes to debunk some of the more blatant inaccuracies which are circulated about Linux. Many of these will sound absurd to anyone with reasonable knowledge about Linux, but I have seen every one of these used in comments to my own blog within the past few months.

Software

Chrome, Not Chromium, For Mac Has That Solid Feel
The Washington Post / MG Siegler

We’ve spent the past several months closely tracking the progress of Chrome for Mac. Well over a year after its release for Windows, there hasn’t been so much as a beta version for Mac (or Linux, for that matter) yet. Even Google co-founder Sergey Brin expressed his displeasure with this last week. But Brin also noted that he was using the pre-beta version of Chrome for the Mac, but warned that it was unstable. After months of using Chromium builds (the open source browser that Chrome is based on), I decided to give the developer version of Chrome for Mac a try once again. The results have been very good.

Google Chrome Developer Release for Mac
Google

Virtual Worlds

Is There A Business In The Virtual World?
InformationWeek / Michael Hickins

After all, a business that depends on writing dauntingly complex code running on giant server farms to lure users to a bandwidth-hogging digitized playscape where they can flirt or do business — all in the hopes that they will purchase so-called “in-world” Linden Dollars using actual American dollars for the privilege of purchasing pink see-through blouses and imaginary islands — is a little bit daunting to say the least.

Daily Links for Monday, October 26, 2009 – Fun (?) with Windows 7 Edition

Software

Windows 7 Upgrade Woes Mount: Endless Reboots and Product Key Problems
PC World / Jacqueline Emigh

Call it the legacy of Microsoft‘s Vista operating system. PC users upgrading from Windows Vista to Windows 7 have run into a variety of hair pulling problems since last Thursday when Windows 7 launched. Complaints range from endless reboots to refusals by Windows to accept Microsoft’s assigned product keys.

PC vs. Mac deathmatch: Snow Leopard beats Windows 7
InfoWorld / Curtis Franklin Jr.

Windows 7 is a worthy rival, but Mac OS X Snow Leopard is the better operating system by a whisker for discriminating professionals

What does a cloud computing user want?

Several weeks ago I gave a talk called “Regarding Clouds, Mainframes, and Desktops… and Linux” at LinuxCon in Portland (video, slides). Since then I’ve reprised parts of the talk several times, including a couple of times for IBM-only audiences. I’m going to put up a few blog entries that expand on some of the slides.

What does a cloud computing user want?

Cloud-friendly applications

I’m somewhat embarrassed because when I first made up this list, this item wasn’t present. It should be here and it should be first. People will use the cloud if they have a good reason to do so and can afford it. At a low level, the “application” could just be “load and run this software on that operating system in a machine with this much memory and that much disk.”

Higher up, though, people will want a reason to use that storage or take advantage of the programming platform, and that will be specific applications. We’re all familiar with the notions of email and calendars in the cloud, but other applications might be analytics or data mining, for example.

Continue reading

WhiteHouse.gov switches to open source Drupal content management system

Both the Associated Press and Dries Buytaert are reporting that WhiteHouse.gov has now switched to the open source Drupal content management system. Dries, the founder of Drupal is rather excited, as you can imagine, and says, in part:

Being one of the world’s largest consumers of computer software, the U.S. government is not new to Drupal. Several agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Education, and the General Service Administration have been using Drupal, for example. Drupal adoption is growing rapidly within the U.S. government. However, Whitehouse.gov switching to Drupal goes above and beyond any other Drupal installation within the U.S. government, and is a fantastic testament for Drupal and Open Source. It will raise awareness about Drupal across the U.S. government, and across all governments world-wide.

My site uses Drupal for the non-blog portions, and WordPress is used for the blog.

Effective January 1, 2010, this site does not use Drupal and instead uses only WordPress.

Also See: Tim O’Reilly’s comments in his blog “Thoughts on the Whitehouse.gov switch to Drupal”

Upcoming OpenOffice.org 2009 Conference in Orvieto, Italy

The next incarnation of the OpenOffice.org 2009 Conference will be held in a couple of weeks in Orvieto, Italy. The exact dates are November 3, 2009 – November 6, 2009. In addition to OpenOffice.org specifically, the conference will include discussions of the Open Document Format (ODF) and other software that supports it.

Here’s a description from the website:

The OpenOffice.org Annual International Conference (OOoCon) is the premier event for anyone interested in or working with OpenOffice.org. OOoCon is where representatives of all the community projects meet to celebrate and learn from the achievements of the past twelve months, and discuss how to meet the challenges of the next twelve.

Among others, IBM is a sponsor.

Also see: IBM Lotus Symphony

Who is the user for cloud computing?

Several weeks ago I gave a talk called “Regarding Clouds, Mainframes, and Desktops… and Linux” at LinuxCon in Portland (video, slides). Since then I’ve reprised parts of the talk several times, including a couple of times for IBM-only audiences. I’m going to put up a few blog entries that expand on some of the slides.

Who is the user for cloud computing?

I think many of the discussions of cloud computing focus too much on the implementation side and not enough on who the potential users are and what will be their needs. Many users don’t have or need a very precise definition of “cloud computing.” Indeed, I think that for many people it simply matters whether their applications and data live on their machines or devices, or if they are run through a browser or reside somewhere out on the network, respectively.

Here are some possible users for cloud computing. Feel free to suggest more in the comments.

Continue reading

Daily Links for Friday, October 23, 2009 – Early Edition

Software

Nokia: Apple iPhone Violates Our Patents
BusinessWeek / Jack Ewing and Arik Hesseldahl

The Finnish handset giant said Oct. 22 it has filed suit against Apple (AAPL) in U.S. District Court in Delaware, accusing its California-based rival of infringing patents for core technology that allows the iPhone to make calls and connect to the mobile Internet. Although Nokia (NOK) has sued rivals such as Qualcomm (QCOM) over patents in the past, the latest lawsuit came as a surprise — and represents an escalation of increasingly contentious competition with Apple.

Open Source

Canonical Takes on Win 7 With Ubuntu 9.10 RC
PC World / Agam Shah

Ubuntu 9.10 RC is an upgrade from the previous version, Ubuntu 9.04, which carried the code name Jaunty Jackalope. Built on the latest Linux 2.6.31.1 kernel, Ubuntu 9.10 offers faster boot times, an improved user interface and programming tools for easier software development, according to Canonical. The company is offering different versions of the OS with a variety of graphical desktop environments. The environments integrate everyday applications including instant-messaging software, Web browser, document viewers and multimedia software.

Music

‘The Big Man’ on life with and without Springsteen
Reuters / Christian Wiessner

Saxophonist Clarence “The Big Man” Clemons knew his life would never be the same when he walked up to a New Jersey bar nearly 40 years ago and the door blew off its hinges and sailed into a storm-battered night.

New early releases of Ubuntu, Fedora, and openSUSE Linux are available

It’s been a veritable candy store of new Linux prereleases these last few days, with early versions of three of the most popular distros becoming available. Check out:

While still not final, these are certainly starting to look like the best Linux distributions yet in each family, for either the desktop or the server.

Also see: Life with Linux- The Series

Daily Links for Wednesday, October 21, 2009 – Early Edition

Open Source

MySQL founder says Oracle should let go of MySQL
Ars Technica / Ryan Paul

Monty Widenius, one of the original founders of MySQL, has called for Oracle to sell off the open source database so that its pending acquisition of Sun will not reduce choice in the marketplace.

Software

Consumers Won’t Pay $120 for Windows 7 Upgrade
PC World / Jeff Bertolucci

But as I explore Microsoft‘s latest operating system, I find myself wondering why Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade, the main version for consumers, costs $120.

Will home users pay that price? I’m betting they won’t. True, some Microsoft diehards will line up on October 22 to grab the first copies of Win 7, but most consumers will spot the price tag and walk away.

IBM/Lotus, Canonical/Ubuntu, and your Linux desktop

Today IBM and Canonical announced the next phase of their program to deliver Lotus desktop- and cloud-based software to users running on Ubuntu Linux. Here are a few links that sum up the announcement:

IBM and Canonical Launch Linux- and Cloud-based Desktop Software in the U.S.
Reuters

Today IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Canonical are introducing a cloud- and Linux-based desktop package in the U.S. designed for use on a company’s existing fleet of personal computers (PCs) or even low-cost netbooks. …

IBM and Canonical expect to enlist hundreds of partners to offer the IBM Client for Smart Work in the U.S. in 2010. The current partner ecosystem includes regional systems integrators, ZSL and CSS Corp; virtual desktop provider, Virtual Bridges, and its distributors, Midas Networks and KalariSys; and several online, vertical industry businesses. IBM is also targeting the education market by collaborating with university faculty through the IBM Academic Initiative. …

This software bundle can also be extended to cloud and virtual desktop infrastructures using VERDE software from Virtual Bridges. Several companies have already customized the IBM Client as a virtualized desktop offering based on VERDE.

IBM tries to woo business customers from Windows 7
USATODAY.com

So IBM and Linux distributor Canonical today rolled out a Linux-based system aimed squarely at the U.S. companies Microsoft is trying to sign up for Windows 7. The IBM-Canonical offering is designed for use on a company’s existing fleet of PCs and on low-cost netbooks.

IBM has also equipped a platoon of value added resellers – the tech sales companies that woo IT buyers – with an arsenal of polished pitches …

IBM and Canonical team up against Windows 7
CNet / Dave Rosenberg

The IBM Client for Smart Work was first launched in South Africa in September and was initially geared toward emerging markets. IBM found that there was strong interest in the U.S. and other markets that had aging PC infrastructure and little desire for continued Windows upgrades.

The U.S. version of the package contains a number of IBM products including word processing and spreadsheets via Lotus Symphony, e-mail via Lotus Notes or LotusLive iNotes, and collaboration tools from LotusLive.com. As with the previously launched initiative, the package runs on Ubuntu Linux.

IBM & Canonical to launch Ubuntu desktop for business
ComputerWorld / Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

Some vertical businesses have already embraced this plan. RealtyBargains.com will provide access to real estate property assessment information to its agents with the IBM Client for Smart Work starting in January 2010. “Our partnership with IBM and Canonical will allow us to offer the real estate industry’s best agent workspace,” said Padma Kumar Nair, RealtyBargains.com’s president and CEO, in a statement.

IBM, Ubuntu Cloud Collaboration Package Seeks to Cut Down Microsoft Windows 7
eWeek / Clint Boulton

IBM Client for Smart Work includes the free word processing, spreadsheets, presentations from IBM Lotus Symphony; e-mail from IBM Lotus Notes or the company’s new LotusLive iNotes cloud-based e-mail application, which starts at $3 per user per month; and the LotusLive.com social networking and collaboration tools, which cost $10 per user per month.

These applications will run on Canonical’s Ubuntu open-source Linux distribution for desktops, laptops, netbooks and servers.

Daily Links for Monday, October 19, 2009

Open Source

Apache Tuscany Java SCA 1.5.1 Released

The Apache Tuscany team are pleased to announce the 1.5.1 release of the Java SCA project. Apache Tuscany provides a runtime environment based on the Service Component Architecture (SCA). SCA is a set of specifications aimed at simplifying SOA application development. These specifications are being standardized by OASIS as part of the Open Composite Services Architecture (Open CSA).

Software

Why Microsoft can’t afford Windows 7 to fail
BBC / Tim Weber

In reality, Microsoft has been its own worst enemy. Ruthless behaviour towards rivals earned it the attention of regulators such as the European Commission and the US Department of Justice.

More importantly, three years ago Microsoft botched the release of Vista, the operating system that preceded Windows 7.

Vista – a bloated, difficult to install operating system – left many early users with suddenly unusable hardware and software. The disaster badly undermined Microsoft’s credibility with consumers and software developers.

I’m waiting

Every once in a while I realize that I’m waiting for something. Here are some of those things.

I’m waiting for …

  • The next release candidate of Ubuntu Linux 9.10.
  • Fedora Linux 12.
  • Winter. I know it’s coming, and I’m tired of being teased.
  • The World Series, but only if the Yankees are in it. I hope it’s Yankees-Dodgers.
  • Nice Autumn weather when I’m home to enjoy it.
  • The package from Amazon to be delivered via UPS that is now five days late.
  • The guy to rake my leaves.
  • A single blogging/CMS platform where I can keep all my content.
  • An open source symbolic math system to rival Maple and Mathematica. I’ve seen Sage. I’m still waiting.
  • A decision on my part on whether I will write another book and what it will be.
  • A visit to see my daughter at college and her first visit home this school year.

What are you waiting for?

Daily Links for Sunday, October 18, 2009

Open Source

10 things to do after installing Linux
TechRadar UK / Graham Morrison

You’ve finally decided to try Linux. The installation went without a hitch (they usually do these days) and you’ve got a shiny new desktop sitting in front of you. What do you do next?

It’s a whole world of limitless possibilities. Thanks to the nature of open-source development, thousands of applications, games, tools and utilities can be installed with just a few mouse clicks.

Report: The Most Popular Open Source CMS, and Then Some
CMS Wire / Brice Dunwoody

What jumped quickly out is that The Big Three – Joomla, WordPress and Drupal – led the survey set across a wide range of measures. However, the top slots are not static, Joomla has gained market share over Drupal, and WordPress with its hosted version has what looks like a smoother path to adoption.

Daily Links for Saturday, October 17, 2009

Software

Security Fix – Avoid Windows Malware: Bank on a Live CD
The Washington Post / Brian Krebs

Also known as “Live CDs,” these are generally free, Linux-based operating systems that one can download and burn to a CD-Rom. The beauty of Live CD distributions is that they can be used to turn a Windows-based PC temporarily into a Linux computer, as Live CDs allow the user to boot into a Linux operating system without installing anything to the hard drive. Programs on a LiveCD are loaded into system memory, and any changes – such as browsing history or other activity — are completely wiped away after the machine is shut down. To return to Windows, simply remove the Live CD from the drive and reboot.

Daily Links for Thursday, October 15, 2009

Open Source

How Nokia Learned to Love Openness
ComputerworldUK / Glyn Moody

My impression is that Nokia is now really engaging with openness in the wake of buying Trolltech and Symbian. Clearly, it still has a lot of work to do, both generally in terms of supporting openness elsewhere in the company, and more specifically in terms of establishing Symbian as a major open source player. Uniting it with the popular Qt should help change people’s perceptions in this regard.

IntelliJ IDEA :: The Best Java IDE Now Free and Open Source

I’m sure that the Eclipse and NetBeans folks would argue with the “best” adjective in the description, but nice to see this going open source. Did they ultimately have a choice in order to compete? It’s using the Apache 2.0 license. Also see the press release.

We believe IntelliJ IDEA to be the best Java IDE on the market – and the world will only gain if more people start using it. That’s why we decided to remove the main barrier – the price tag, and introduce the upcoming version 9 in two editions.

Daily Links for Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Document Formats

BE: OpenOffice boom in Belgium

The Port of Antwerp started preparing the migration of 1300 desktops to OpenOffice earlier this year. The completion of the migration is expected around September 2010. The IT-department decided not only to move to ODF, but also to use ODF as their primary file format for communication with third parties.

Virtual Worlds

Vuzix iWear VR920 – The New Virtual Reality for Gamers

This would be a heck of a lot cooler if it didn’t just work on Microsoft Windows.

Step inside with the Vuzix iWear VR920, the world’s most popular virtual reality and gaming solution that incorporates immersive big-screen 3D video, head tracking, microphone and audio. You can move, look around, listen, and communicate with others – almost like being in the ‘real’ world. The iWear VR920 opens amazing new doors to the World Wide Web.

Macintosh

The best free open source software for Mac OS X
InfoWorld / Peter Wayner | InfoWorld

That’s just the foundation. There are thousands of open source tools available for the Mac, some built for the Mac alone and others that are translations of software created for other operating systems. Some are aimed at a niche of programmers or scientists, but a good number are supremely useful tools for everyone. This list includes just 10 of the most essential open source applications for a Mac, all precompiled, polished, and ready to run.

2009 Red Hat Virtual Experience

Red Hat logo

Just got a notice about the 2009 Red Hat Virtual Experience to be held on December 9. From the webpage:

Join us December 9, 2009 for the Red Hat Virtual Experience, an event focused on Red Hat Enterprise Linux solutions, including virtualization and cloud computing. Attend in-depth sessions from your desk. Your couch. Your coffee shop. Anywhere you are. You can also participate in chats with business leaders, executives, key developers, customers, and strategic partners. Learn how you can scale to new demands, drive innovation, and build mission-critical applications, all without sacrificing performance, security, or functionality.

8th Annual Southern California Linux Expo

conference logo

I just saw notice of the 8th Annual Southern California Linux Expo now scheduled for February 19-21, 2010 at the Westin Hotel near Los Angeles International Airport. While I’ve never attended this conference in person (why be in LA in February when you can be in snowy upstate NY?), I’ve always heard great things about it.

According to the website:

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

Core Operating System Issues (Developer Track)

  • Kernel Internals and Enhancements
  • Unix variants: Tools and Appliances
  • Operating Systems for Embedded Platforms
  • Virtualization
  • System Administration: Low-level Detail
  • In-depth Programming/Scripting with Open Source Languages (Examples include Perl, Ruby, PHP, Python, etc.)

Open Source for Beginners (Beginner’s Track)

  • Desktop Operating Systems
  • Security and Trouble Shooting
  • Linux/Unix/Windows Inter-operability
  • Linux Shells
  • Open Source Deployments and Experiences
  • Samba/Windows sharing
  • Open Source Productivity Applications
  • Transitioning from Windows
  • Basic scripting/automation User system administration issues

Miscellaneous Open Source Topics

  • Tools for Multimedia and Gaming
  • Tools for Profiling and Performance Tuning
  • Open Source solutions for cloud computing and web services
  • Open Source Animation Tools
  • Open Source Database Platforms
  • Open Source Licensing
  • Government Policies with Open Source
  • Open Source Promotion and Adoption: Current State
  • Open Source Success Stories
  • Open Source Audio/Video Manipulation tools
  • Open Source Innovations

No-cost office suites for the Mac

This article and something I saw earlier on the web today reminded me that not everyone is aware of office productivity suites for the Mac that are available for no cost.

Microsoft grants Mac Office 11th-hour reprieve
ComputerWorld / Gregg Keizer

Just a day before Microsoft was to have retired Office 2004 for Mac by ending updates and fixes, including security patches, the company said it would instead extend the five-year-old suite’s support until Jan. 10, 2012.

The list of no-cost suites include:

Symphony word processing logo

The first two are available on several Linux desktop distributions as well as Microsoft Windows. They each include at least a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software.

Daily Links for Tuesday, October 13, 2009 – Lunchtime Edition

Environment

image for bookmark

Farms as skyscrapers
Boing Boing / David Pescovitz

It’s been a decade since Columbia University professor Dickson Despommier launched his “Vertical Farm” project, devoted to the design of skyscrapers that house farms, instead of people or offices. It’s an engagement science fiction-esque idea — no surprise that we’ve followed it closely on BB (see previous posts below). Last year, the meme spread rapidly when Despomier appeared on The Colbert Report, exposing Manhattan borough president Scott M. Stringer who then evangelized it to the City of New York.

The Vertical Farm Project – Agriculture for the 21st Century and Beyond | www.verticalfarm.com

Vertical farms, many stories high, will be situated in the heart of the world’s urban centers. They offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply, and year-round crop production. The concept of indoor farming is not new, since hothouse production of tomatoes, a wide variety of herbs, and other produce has been in vogue for some time. What is new is the urgent need to scale up this technology to accommodate another 3 billion people. An entirely new approach to indoor farming must be invented, employing cutting edge technologies. The Vertical Farm must be efficient (cheap to construct and safe to operate). Vertical farms, many stories high, will be situated in the heart of the world’s urban centers. If successfully implemented, they offer the promise of urban renewal, sustainable production of a safe and varied food supply (year-round crop production), and the eventual repair of ecosystems that have been sacrificed for horizontal farming.

Document Formats

An Antic Disposition: Protocols, Formats and the Limits of Disclosure
An Antic Disposition / Rob Weir

However, no amount of disclosure from Microsoft on how they interpret the ODF standard will help. We see that today, with Office 2007 SP2, where it strips out ODF spreadsheet formulas. Having official documentation of this fact from Microsoft, in the form of “Implementation Notes” is useless. Why? Because when I create an ODF document, I do not know who the reader will be. It may be a Microsoft Office user. But maybe it won’t. It very well could be read by many users, using many different programs. I cannot adapt my document to the quirks of various ODF implementations.

Open Source

German City Münster Launches Pilot Project For its Schools To Adopt Open Source Software
eGov monitor

The city of Münster has started a pilot using OpenOffice in schools. The city’s IT department, Citeq, will also switch all of the 150 servers used in its primary and secondary schools to GNU/Linux. Half of these have already been migrated to open source.

ARMing desktop Linux
ComputerWorld / Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

That was then; this is now. Today, Linux netbooks are still popular, though not as much as they once were. ARM-based netbooks, however, are on their way and, since these systems can’t run Windows, Linux has the potential market all to itself. The real question is, will PC vendors choose to offer low-cost, less than $200 netbooks?

Want a cheap Linux computer? Join the Linux Foundation
internetnews.com / Sean Michael Kerner

Starting this week, those who pay the $99 for an individual Linux Foundation membership will also get up to 40 percent off of Lenovo devices and employee purchase pricing from Dell and HP. According to the Linux Foundation, “these benefits can translate into hundreds or thousands of dollars for those who purchase their devices as part of this program.”

Virtual Worlds

Your Second Life Avatar Is Dressed Inappropriately
The Wall Street Journal Online / Marisa Taylor

Don’t show up to your company’s virtual meeting wearing a tail. And by all means, do not come dressed as a goblin.

Scifi reading list update – Back to the Foundation

As I’ve mentioned several times, I’ve been working my way through the books that have won the Best Novel awards for science fiction and fantasy, namely the Hugo and Nebula awards. Elsewhere on this site is the list of these books as well as some housekeeping data such as which books I own and which books I have read.

Here’s my latest status:

book cover

I’m taking a detour from the primary list to go back and read Asimov’s Foundation novels, plus the various prequels, sequels, and estate-authorized books. Like many science fictions books I own, I read them when I was a teenager and in my early twenties, so they are worth a revisit. These are the Asimov books, though books 3 – 5 were the original trilogy:

  1. Prelude to Foundation
  2. Forward the Foundation
  3. Foundation
  4. Foundation and Empire
  5. Second Foundation
  6. Foundation’s Edge
  7. Foundation and Earth

book cover

The authorized second trilogy is:

  1. Foundation’s Fear by Gregory Benford
  2. Foundation and Chaos: The Second Foundation Trilogy by Greg Bear
  3. Foundation’s Triumph by David Brin

Daily Links for Tuesday, October 13, 2009 – Springsteen Edition

Music

Springsteen plays last show at Giants Stadium
National Public Radio (NPR)

Many photos of the last show are included with this article.

Friday night’s show – which drew nearly 60,000 people and lasted for more than three hours – was the last concert at the venue in East Rutherford. It will soon be demolished to create parking for a new stadium.

image for bookmark

For Springsteen and Giants Stadium, a Raucous Last Dance
The New York Times / Jon Pareles

Giants Stadium heard its last sha-la-las – at least, the amplified kind with tens of thousands of voices singing along – on Friday night, when Bruce Springsteen played the final concert before the stadium is demolished. During the three-hour set, sha-la-las filled this year’s “Working on a Dream,” the 1984 song “Darlington County” and Tom Waits’s “Jersey Girl,” the finale that Mr. Springsteen called the stadium’s “last dance.” It was Mr. Springsteen’s 24th performance since 1985 at Giants Stadium, where the audiences are his most fervent fans: fellow New Jerseyans.

Born too cheap: How I saw Bruce Springsteen at Giants Stadium for $15
NJ.com / Paul Mulshine

So when I read that there were a lot of extra tickets for those Bruce Springsteen concerts at Giants Stadium, I conceived a challenge: Could we get the most coveted tickets, the floor section, for less than $20 each?

The pepper harvest

The nights are starting to get quite cold here in northwest New York State and it’s likely we’ll have a frost soon. After work this evening I went out to the garden to pick the remaining peppers before they got zapped by a freeze. Here’s what I got, plus a few other vegetables thrown in for good measure.

The pepper harvest

In the next few weeks I’ll publish a summary of how the garden went this year, with a discussion of what worked and what didn’t. The peppers were a real highlight. At the other extreme, we got no corn at all despite planting about 35 feet of it: the raccoons ate it all.

Daily Links for Monday, October 12, 2009

Open Source

Banco Pastor Reduces Costs, Increases Scalability and Boosts Performance with Red Hat, SAP and IBM Solutions

Red Hat (NYSE:RHT), the world`s leading provider of open source solutions, and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that Banco Pastor, the seventh largest Spanish banking group with 650 branch offices in Spain and a presence in the US and the main capital cities in Europe and Latin America, has migrated its critical human resources and corporate emailing systems running SAP NetWeaver and SAP ERP and IBM Lotus Notes for Collaboration software to Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Through a combination of Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM System z10, Banco Pastor has experienced decreased annual IT costs of 30 percent for the platform supporting its emailing system, improved performance and increased scalability for the platforms running its SAP and IBM Lotus Notes applications.

Linux Foundation Rolls Out New Member Benefits
OStatic / Lisa Hoover

The Linux Foundation rolls out some new member benefits this week, along with a membership classification just for students. Though there were already a ton of cool membership perks to begin wtih, new access to employee purchase pricing on products from HP, Dell, and Lenovo is a really terrific addition to the list.

Ingres Goes After Sun’s Customers
InformationWeek / Charles Babcock

“As the fate of MySQL is currently in the hands of the European Commission, open source community developers are seeking a more stable, reliable open source database,” said Deb Woods, VP of Ingres product management, in the announcement. “We encourage anyone looking for an alternative to consider migration today Ingres 9.3 offers easy migration from MySQL,” she said.

Entertainment

The parrot died laughing
The National Newspaper / William Langley

Forty years ago, Monty Python‘s Flying Circus changed the world’s sense of humour as Messrs Cleese, Palin, Jones, Idle, Chapman and Gillam embarked on something completely different.