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Posts published in “Distros”

Red Hat & Ubuntu’s UEFI Solutions Not Good For FOSS

The FOSS community is understandably upset with both Red Hat and Ubuntu for their planned ways of implementing UEFI Secure Boot. Indeed, both companies plans are unacceptable for a variety of reasons. Free software isn’t free if it requires permission from an outside source before it can be loaded onto a new or used computer. This is true even if the permission comes from a well-meaning bureaucratic regulatory agency. It’s doubly true if that permission must come from a self-serving monopoly with an anti-FOSS history, like Microsoft.

In early June, Red Hat came under fire from the FOSS press for their way of getting around Secure Boot. Their solution, which will also be used by Fedora, involves joining Microsoft’s developer program in order to obtain a key to be used to load a “shim” bootloader which will then load GRUB. In a post on Red Hat’s web site explaining the move, Tim Burke, Vice President of Linux Engineering, seemed to be dismissing these critics in a terse two sentence paragraph near the end of the post:

Welcome To Ubuntu’s Penguin Bar – How Can I Help You?

Android on tablets and smartphones may have primed the public to be willing to try a flavor other than Windows on their PCs and laptops, but this means next to nothing in the current computing environment. Consumers are going to buy what’s on the shelves at Best Buy, or what jumps off the screen at them on Amazon.com or Dell’s site. None of these venues are going to feature Linux boxes, at least not where you can find them unless you’re specifically looking for them. Why? There’s nothing in it for the retailers or manufacturers; it’s a zero-sum gain situation.

If an OEM started actively marketing Linux, for the most part they’d just be pushing people who are already buyers from one OS to another, nothing more. Except for those of us who’re already part of the Linux installed base, and our numbers are relatively few, they wouldn’t be selling any more machines or making any more money. They would only be creating more logistical problems for themselves.

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

Apple Patents Gestures, Secure Boot Is Here, Android Bests iPhone

Friday FOSS Week in Review

It’s been a busy week. So busy, in fact, I was unable to make my deadline for FWIR, so here I am with a special Saturday edition. Just so you know, there’s a precedent for this. Back in the days when ABC ran “Monday Night Football” they called any NFL game they ran “Monday Night Football,” no matter what the day of the week. Hence, we were often treated to “Monday Night Football, Special Thursday Edition” and such. In that spirit, I offer you “Friday FOSS Week in Review, Special Saturday Edition.”

Of course, if I’m going to get busy and miss deadline, it’ll happen on a busy week in FOSS news. The fates work that way, I’m convinced. Indeed, after a couple of ho-hum weeks, the news flew fast and furious this week. Hold on, it’ll be a hell of a ride!

More Apps Downloaded to Android than to iPhone

It was reported on Tuesday that ABI Research says Android now leads the pack in the number of apps downloaded. According to their figures, 44% of all mobile apps downloaded are headed for Android devices, with 31% going to the iOS platform. These figures are miles away from what the research firm predicted back in 2009 as the mobile wars were just getting heated up:

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

ESR Defends RMS, Google the Musical & MS Plays Bad

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Another typical week in the FOSS world. Mainly, the proprietary guys have been busy bad-mouthing the competition, while the FOSS folks have been busy finding solutions.

ESR Defends RMS on Jobs

This week I ran across a blog by Eric Raymond that was posted on October 8, in which Raymond defends the now infamous remarks made by Richard Stallman on his blog shortly after the death of Steve Jobs. I found this to me more than a little interesting, because Raymond and Stallman don’t always see eye to eye on FOSS issues. Indeed, he even manages to take a swipe at RMS while speaking in his defense:

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

MeeGo & SUSE: What’s Up With That?

I’m wondering why Attachmate is interested in MeeGo.

Okay, I might be getting ahead of myself here. Actually, I don’t know that Attachmate is interested in MeeGo. All I know for sure is that yesterday Jos Poortvliet, the openSUSE community manager, wrote an article for LinuxUser in which he offered openSUSE as a new home for MeeGo:

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

The Death of Zune, the Resurrection of WebOS & Kernel.org Returns

Friday FOSS Week in Review

It was already a slow week when the news came on Wednesday of Steve Jobs’ demise. Since then, most tech sites have been reporting on not much else. As always, however, there were a few things to note…

Privacy Issues with Kindle Fire’s Silk Browser

Almost as soon as Amazon unveiled their new Kindle Fire tablet last Wednesday, Naked Security raised some privacy concerns about the device’s browser, called Silk. It seems the browser, in order to offer a quicker user experience, does most of it’s heavy lifting in the cloud:

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

Can Penguins Dance on a Dell, Will Reiser File Again, Are Samsung and Intel Going to the Prom?

Friday FOSS Week in Review

The biggest news this week has centered around fears that Linux may become uninstallable on Wintel machines from the big OEM’s. But there’s been more. Some fun stuff. Some silly stuff. Some stuff that might eventually develop into something important…

Secure Boot Has Penguinistas Buzzing

Last week on FWIR I mentioned there was a storm beginning to brew around Windows 8 and secure boot, which could potentially keep Linux from being installed on some computers once they’re implemented. Well, it’s not just brewing anymore, it’s a full fledged storm with hurricane force winds.

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

Happy Belated Birthday, Mageia

I absolutely have to stop for a moment to wish a big happy birthday to the folks at Mageia.

A year ago, when I wrote about a group of Mandriva former employees and contributors who’d decided to create a fork called Mageia, I had no idea whatsoever whether the project would survive to actually release a product. Well, a year has come and gone and Mageia not only released Mageia 1 in June, it’s now a distro with a year’s worth of organization under it’s belt. That may not sound like a lot, but to my mind it’s quite an accomplishment.

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

Tech Firms Facing the Abyss

There seems to be quite a few tech companies in trouble these days. In fact, in an article published yesterday on 24/7 Wall Street, tech firms represent six out of the eight major companies listed as being in troubled financial waters. There aren’t any surprises here for anyone who’s been paying attention, but a year or so ago most of us wouldn’t have suspected that some of these companies would even be capable of falling on hard times.

Topping this list is Best Buy. Although we’ve known for some time that the company is ailing, this is still something of a surprise given the recent history of consumer electronics retailing. After all, it was only a couple of years ago that Best Buy’s main competitor, Circuit City, floated to the surface face down, killed by intense competition from…you guessed it, Best Buy. For the latest quarter, the chain’s net income dropped $77 million from the same quarter last year, from $254 million to $177 million.

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

More Linux Site Hacks, ReactOS Ready to Go, Obama Signs ‘America Invents Act’

Friday FOSS Week in Review

In many ways, FOSS news this week is like a soap opera with lots of stories being continuations from last week’s items. However, there is some new stuff to report. If you’re like me, all FOSS news is interesting….

Bartz Resigns from Yahoo Board

After being fired by telephone last Tuesday, Yahoo’s former CEO Carol Bartz resigned from the Internet company’s board on Friday. According to a Reuters report posted on Yahoo, the resignation was made public on Sunday and first reported by The Wall Street Journal:

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

Intel Still MeeGos, Apple Loses Again, Yahoo Presents ‘The Charlie Sheen Show’

Friday FOSS Week in Review

What a wacky week for tech news this has been! I couldn’t make much of this stuff up if I tried – and if I did, you wouldn’t believe it. That’s one of the nice things about the Internet, I can provide you with links so you can see for yourself that these stories really happened…

Apple Loses Another iPhone Prototype in Bar

Less than a year and a half after an Apple employee lost a top secret prototype of an iPhone 4 in a bar, it’s happened again. This time the prototype of an iPhone 5 was lost at Cava 22, a bar located in San Francisco’s mission district. Although every tech site on the planet is covering this story, I think it’s only fitting to turn to Gizmodo for a quote, given their connection with the first lost prototype:

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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