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Posts published by “Christine Hall”

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Are You Ready For iBuntu?

I’ve said for years that if the folks at Canonical want to get serious traction with Ubuntu and truly compete with the likes of Microsoft and Apple, they need to come out with their own line of hardware. Face it, the big OEMs still show little to no interest in pre-installed anything other than Windows and most home computer users aren’t ever going to start installing their own operating systems.

Consumers generally just want to open the box and start computing. They’re not interested in what’s under the hood. As for the enterprise, their server needs are either being met by Red Hat, its clone CentOS, or they’re rolling their own in-house, starting with a “pure” Linux like Debian or Slackware.

Ubuntu Phone OS – What Are Its Chances?

By now, probably everyone interested in FOSS has heard that Canonical is going to be coming out with Ubuntu Phone OS, a version of Ubuntu specifically designed for the smartphone market. This OS will be in addition to the already available Ubuntu for Android. Media experts had prepared us to be ready for both a phone and a tablet offering, but that evidently isn’t going to happen–at least not yet.

Not surprisingly, the tech press has been all over this story since yesterday’s announcement–especially the FOSS press–making this the biggest story so far in this just born year. The stories that are appearing online are either straight forward reporting of the facts, or speculation on what this will mean for mobile and Ubuntu.

Reading the later category of article can be a bit confusing. Obviously, this early in the game nobody, including Canonical, has even a clue as to how this will work out. But that doesn’t stop some writers from getting out the old crystal ball and having a go at Free Software fortune telling.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

I’m Back To Doing What I Do Best – Reporting On FOSS!

It’s no fun getting sick under any circumstances. It’s especially no fun getting sick when you can’t afford medical insurance. And if you’ve ever heard it said that there’s no need to worry, the ER will take care of you no matter what, don’t believe it. First you have to be pretty much dying, then you have to be prepared for a whopping huge bill. I visited the ER in September, a month after I came down with some mysterious respiratory illness that wouldn’t go away and got a bill for over a thousand bucks for a diagnosis that was questionable at best. That was enough to keep me away from the ER after that.

I had to give up working on FOSSForce. My day job, which is really an eight bucks and change an hour night job, doesn’t pay me when I don’t work, so I’ve been spending my days in bed resting so I’d have enough energy and health to keep working and keep myself from ending up on the street. At 61 years of age, I don’t think I want to end up in a homeless shelter, capisce?

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Assange on the Run: Going Nowhere for Now

Assange now has help, but seemingly not enough.

He’s surrounded by hostile Brits and a government threatening to storm the Ecuadoran embassy where he’s holed up. Ecuador’s government has granted him political asylum and is calling the Brits’ bluff, pointedly reminding them they’re not a colony and haven’t been for quite a long time.

If he does manage to escape and get his feet safely planted on Ecuadoran soil, he has a good chance of being able to eventually return home to Australia, where he has a strong support base.

For now, the Brits are unlikely to follow through on their threatened raid; that would set a dangerous precident. Ernest A. Canning, writing as a guest on The Brad Blog, explained the danger the threat exposes:

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Kim Dotcom – ‘Dr. No’ Meets ‘Mars Attacks’

When the feds enlisted the help of New Zealand authorities to arrest Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, I figured there was evidence. I’d forgotten that this is the new USA, where the concept that proof is vital in criminal proceedings seems to have died long ago. This is a fact the New Zealand courts are now realizing, as they delve into the matter of their police’s involvement in the fiasco.

They’re also discovering that New Zealand law enforcement was acting on information that could come out of any cold war spy movie from the sixties. Our feds thought Dotcom had a suicide device, a way to instantly destroy the evidence and escape their justice. New Zealand Herald‘s David Fisher quotes testamony from Detective Inspector Grant Wormald, in charge of the New Zealand raid on Dotcom’s home:

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

LendInks, Mob Mentality and the DMCA

The streets of the Internet can be dangerous.

Every day, people are gunned down when they leave the relatively safe main streets of Reddit, Facebook or Twitter to wander into bad neighborhood forums where they’re not known. The usual weapons are words and the common advice is to grow thick skin for protection. Consequences are usually low; feelings are about all that ever get hurt.

Sometimes, however, mobs form. Posses meet up outside a hated website and hit the owners with barrages of venomous email. If a site has a forum or a Facebook page, they try to take over. If it’s supported by ad money, they might launch a campaign against the advertisers, as happened in 2010 with Cooks Source Magazine–a New England site brought down by web users for cavalierly stealing content.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

SCO Never Can Say Goodbye

I’d almost forgotten that SCO was still around until PJ at Groklaw reported the company was in the process of switching from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7. In bankruptcy talk that means the company’s stance has changed from we’re-going-to-come-out-of-this-alive to it’s-call-the-priest-for-last-rites-time. The trouble is, this is SCO, so you know it’s not going to be that simple. They’ll come up with some stupid request for the court that confounds logic, which they’ve done.

If I’m reading PJ right, SCO wants to both eat and have cake, which is pretty much what they’ve always wanted. This time they want to go bankrupt and leave their creditors without a dime but still stick around to continue litagation against IBM for alledgedly giving Linux all sorts of code. Here’s how PJ intreprets what SCO is telling the court:

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Some Prominent Open Source Forks

Penguinistas used to worry about the dreaded fork, especially of Linux. “What if Linux forks and becomes like Unix?” was a question often being posed in the open source media. Linus Torvalds would do his best to put those fears to rest, explaining that under the GPL forks are usually to be welcomed.

He was of the opinion that if a fork improves a product and is liked by the users, those changes will almost certainly be rolled back into the originating application. If not, and the fork is indeed a marked improvement on the original, then the fork becomes the standard bearer at the expense of the original application.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Create a Bootable Live USB Thumb Drive or Rescue Drive Using UNetbootin

A few weeks ago when two ISO images I burned to CDs failed to produce a working live CD intended for a laptop, someone on a distro forum figured the problem was with the CDs. This was a good guess, as the MD5 checksum on the download had matched the source. He suggested I make a bootable USB drive using UNetbootin.

Unetbootin screen shot
Unetbootin screen shot
I’d never heard of UNetbootin before, but I immediately found it at Sourceforge and downloaded it to the Windows desktop I was using. After studying the simple GUI for a moment, I inserted a thumb drive into a USB port. A few clicks of the mouse later, UNetbootin was extracting and copying files to the thumb drive. A couple of minutes later, I removed the drive from the Windows box, made sure the laptop was set up to boot from USB, crossed my fingers and booted. Less than a minute later I was looking at the desktop for the distro I was testing. It was that simple.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Microsoft and Amdocs: The Linux Connection Is Just FUD

Trying to understand the recent patent licensing deal between Microsoft and Amdocs is like watching a poker tournament, where you never know whether players are bluffing or if they have pat hands. In this case, it appears that Microsoft is bluffing when it comes to Linux. An inspection of the facts, as they are known, indicates the “Linux licensing” element of the story is only more Microsoft FUD–with Amdocs being a willing participant.

This isn’t the story of an underdog being pressured by the Redmond giant into paying a bounty on some patents Microsoft claims are being infringed upon by Linux servers in Amdocs’s data centers. In fact, it appears as if Linux licensing isn’t really a part of this deal at all.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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