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Posts published in “Media”

Microsoft Ads on FOSS Sites

Quite a few years ago, a popular Linux site began displaying ads from Microsoft on their home page. Big ones, at a prominent location above the fold. Some were fancy Flash ads, attention getters, mainly for branding purposes. Others were FUD, “independent” TCO studies bought and paid for by Redmond that “proved” it was cheaper to hand MS a wheelbarrow of money to run a Windows server than to run a free Linux server.

The first time I saw a Windows ad on this FOSS site, I chuckled. I figured that if I ran a FOSS site and Microsoft came to me and offered multiple thousands of dollars for a medium rectangle ad, I’d be more than happy to redesign my page to accommodate them. You see, I believe the First Amendment’s a two way street, that if I expect free speech for myself, I have to be willing to give it to others.

Kattoons are Back – Spencer F. Katt Purrs Again!

OMG, I’m reading eWeek again. Spencer F. Katt has returned!

For years, as soon as my copy of eWeek arrived by mail, I’d immediately flip to the last page inside the cover and read Mr. Katt’s column. After that, I’d turn to the software reviews and see what sort of programs the eWeek folks were putting to the test. This weekly ritual, always a high point of my week, crashed and burned sometime around January of 2009 when the magazine’s editor reported that beginning the following week, Spencer F. Katt would be no more. He was going away into the happy (or not) land of retirement.

Christine HallChristine 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

WordPress Plugins for Usability & Traffic

After you’ve installed plugins to configure your WordPress site for your server and protect your site from spam, it’s time to get your site up to speed. You may have guessed this will partly require more plugins. Some will be for the purpose of visibility, to help people find you. Others will enable you to offer different kinds of content. For example, a music site would probably install a plugin to work with YouTube videos; a photography site would want to make sure to have an effective way to offer slide shows. At this point, every site’s needs are unique.

Before you get started, you might want to go through the WordPress repository to get a gander of what’s available. You probably have an idea of some functions you’d like to add to your plain vanilla install. Start your search there. It also might be useful to check out sites you like for features you think are cool and look to see if there’s a plugin for that feature on WordPress. Don’t install a plugin until you’re ready to use it, as it’s easy to install too many plugins and have a lot of dead weight hanging on your site. Remember, every new function adds some new security risk, however small, so there’s good reason not to install a function if you’re not using it.

Christine HallChristine 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

Groklaw to Continue Without PJ

Yesterday we got some good news and bad news on the Groklaw front. First the good news: Pamela Jones has changed her mind about her plans to quit publishing new content on Groklaw and announced that the site will be continuing it’s coverage of legal issues that challenge FOSS projects. The bad news is that, for the most part, Groklaw will be going on without Ms. Jones.

The new person at the helm is Mark Webbink, a lawyer who certainly has the credentials for the job. His history with Groklaw goes back to 2003, when he allowed Jones to use a previously published article on open source software. At the time he was the first general council for Red Hat, a position he held until 2004 when he became the company’s deputy general counsel for intellectual property. He’s currently a visiting professor of law at New York Law School, where he’s the Executive Director of the Center for Patent Innovations, and is also a senior lecturing fellow at Duke University law school. Since 2007, he been a board member of Software Freedom Law Center.

Christine HallChristine 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

An Era Ends – Groklaw Signs-Off

On Saturday, Pamela Jones announced that Groklaw is signing-off, that no more new content will be published after May 16th, which will be the site’s eighth birthday. She didn’t need to tell us why, we already knew, but she did:

“In a simple sentence, the reason is this: the crisis SCO initiated over Linux is over, and Linux won. SCO as we knew it is no more.

“There will be other battles, and there already are, because the same people that propped SCO up are still going to try to destroy Linux, but the battlefield has shifted, and I don’t feel Groklaw is needed in the new battlefield the way it was in the SCO v. Linux wars.”

Christine HallChristine 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

Facebook’s Open Source Green Machines

Wow! Can it be? Has Zuckerberg and Facebook actually done something ethical, on their own, without any pressure from outside forces? For the moment the answer would seem to be affirmative, but I’m not quite willing to trust this one yet. Experience teaches me that Zuckerberg’s moral compass sometimes turns north into south.

What I’m talking about is the new 150,000 square foot server farm that Facebook has opened in Prineville, Oregon. It seems that in building this facility, Facebook’s developers have tweeked, tweeked, and tweeked again to come up with a data center that’s extremely green, as in environment not as in golf course.

Christine HallChristine 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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