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Friday FOSS Week in Review: Letterman Disses Linux

I couldn’t help but notice, at the end of our first week at FOSS Force, that two of my first three posts had to do with Apple, a company that’s about as FOSS friendly as Microsoft. In my defense, I’d like to point out that the first story had to do with Zapple threatening Ogg Theora, an open source application, with a patent lawsuit and the second had to do with more Crapple patent threats against open source Android – so there was an open source connection in both instances.

That being said, I’m sure that Steebe Jarbs isn’t too upset about being criticized here, as he’s wise enough to know that it doesn’t matter what I write about him so long as I spell his name right.

On to the news:

David Letterman Disses Linux

Actually, the late night talk host didn’t diss Linux at all, he merely made the switch, on air, from PC to Mac. However, I wasn’t about use “Apple” in yet another headline this week and, besides, it’s a rule that a FOSS site must use the word “Linux” in at least one headline during its first week – just in case you missed the point of all the penguins in our header.

According to The Loop, Letterman announced he’s making the switch for the usual reasons, malware, viruses, etc. I’d like to point out that he could have accomplished the same thing, without having to buy new hardware by simply switching to a user friendly Linux distribution (so, in a sense, he did diss Linux).

Confirmed: Mandriva for Sale

On Tuesday I reported that the rumor mills were saying that the once popular French Linux distro Mandriva (nee Mandrake) was facing failure and was desperately seeking a buyer. By Wednesday the rumors were confirmed to be true when another French open source company Linagora confirmed they were in negotiations to buy the beleaguered company.

I’ve been using Mandrake/Mandriva on my computers for the better part of a decade, so this is a distro that’s close to my heart. In other words, I’m keeping a close eye on this story. As soon as I know more, you’ll know more…

BlackBerry to Release Tablet

According to BGR (they even have pics), a BlackBerry tablet is nearly a reality. Unfortunately, from their description this seems to be a crippleware device which will only connect to the Internet through a Bluetooth connection with a BlackBerry or via Wi-Fi. It’s scheduled to be released in December, but might come out earlier. I would say “stay tuned,” but why bother?

European Commission Redefines Open Standards

Not too long ago, it looked as if the Europeans were serious about developing open standards for the European Internet (which would’ve helped us on this side of the Atlantic too). According to ComputerworldUK, however, the European Commission has now caved-in to the proprietary crowd (read Microsoft and Apple) and has redefined “open standards” in a way that’s not in keeping with a free and open Internet as we understand it. Does this surprise anyone other than Eric Raymond and Richard Stallman? Actually, I suspect those two would be the last to be surprised by this.

WordPress Sites Attacked

I don’t like the sounds of this. The H Open has reported that this week a number of sites on WordPress, the world’s most popular open source blogging platform, have been hacked. The good news is that the hack only seems to happening on improperly configured servers. While the hack is undoubtedly taking advantage of an as yet unknown vulnerability in WordPress, it’s a vulnerability that hackers shouldn’t be able to reach. There are also reports that the e-commerce platform Zen Cart has also been affected by this hack.

Is your site at risk? Again, this hack seems to be the result of improperly configured servers and seems to be confined to sites using the following hosts: DreamHost, GoDaddy, Bluehost and Media Temple. Your experience may vary.


Well, that’s it for this week. Next blog coming on Monday. Til then, have a great weekend!

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