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Posts published in “News”

Evil Empire Buys Skype

Hmm…. I never had a chance to use Skype.

All of my friends are using it; talking to lovers in Europe, or to spouses in other states, or to FB “friends” who are who-knows-where. It sounds so cool, so romantic, sitting in the familiar confines of one’s living room in front of a laptop webcam, conversing with a friend across the continent or across the ocean as if they were right there in the same room. Until now it seemed so cool that I just knew I’d have to be a Skyper soon.

But then Skype went and got sold to the Evil Empire for $8.5 billion, which seems to be an awful lot to pay just to keep me from becoming a Skyper.

Security Risk in Firefox & Chrome

Many of us who use Firefox or Chrome browsers do so for security reasons. Unfortunately, this lulls many of us into a false sense of security, as there’s really no such thing as “safe” browsing. This has become increasingly true in recent years, as major content providers have insisted that a feature rich web experience should trump security, with the folks at Mozilla and Google seemingly willing to lend a helping hand.

According to James Forshaw with the security firm Context, there is a new security threat to worry about in the form of WebGL, which is enabled by default in Firefox 4 and Chrome. According to Forshaw, the risk is substantial – both to your data and to your hardware. Just to give you an idea:

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

As Android Passes RIM, What’s Next?

In the smartphone market, Android is now number one, according to a press release issued Friday by comScore, a company that measures online activity.

According to their figures, Android has passed RIM to take the top spot, with a 34.7% market share, up from 28.7% on December 10. During the same period, RIM’s share dropped 4.5 points, from 31.6% to 27.1%. Apple’s share remained relatively flat, increasing slightly from 25.0% to 25.5%. Microsoft and Palm dropped 0.9%, and now claim 7.5% and 2.8% respectively.

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

SCO’s Unix Sells for $600K

Evidently, SCO Unix is no more. Now all that SCO has left is continuing dreams of taking IBM down in a lawsuit that’s all but over, unless SCO’s bankruptcy attorney Edward Cahn exhibits the good sense not to continue to pursue a case that’s already six feet under.

The buyer, UnXis Inc., is based in Nevada. However, the company’s press release on Monday announcing the purchase came out of Dubai and described the company thusly:

“UnXis, Inc is owned jointly by Stephen Norris, previous co-founder of the Carlyle Group and MerchantBridge, a leading international private equity group with diverse interests operating from offices in the United Kingdom, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. MerchantBridge has completed nine private equity transactions in the past five years, with an enterprise value of $4.5 billion.”

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

Linux Coming to…Commodore???

There’s a new OEM getting ready to make a consumer desktop offering with Linux preloaded as the default OS. Get ready for the new and improved Commodore 64 running Linux. Wouldn’t it be a gas if Linux on the desktop finally took off due to it’s being the default operating system on a Commodore?

For those of you too young to have any experience with Commodore, let me offer this little description from our friends over at Wikipedia:

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

Mum’s the Word at “Linux Today”

There seems to be trouble in the works over at Linux Today, and everybody’s keeping damn quiet about it.

The first hint that something was wrong came on Saturday when the site posted no new content. This seemed odd, but not too unusual since weekend postings are often slim on the site. But when usually busy Monday came and went with still no new posts, the “what’s-up-with-that” factor was raised. Things started to get back to normal on Tuesday, however, when new posts began showing-up on the site again, though the pickings were slim, only six posts on a day when normally there would be four times as many.

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

Mandriva to be Forked Into New Distro: Mageia

We reported on Friday that Mandriva’s financial situation continues to worsen and that nearly all paid staff have been laid-off. Soon after publishing that report, we received news from Paris, where Mandriva is headquartered, that a group of the distro’s former employees and contributors have decided to fork the project into a new distro that will be called Mageia.

According to an announcement posted on the new distro’s web site, the decision to create a new distro from the Mandriva code base stemmed primarily from the current situation at the financially beleaguered company:

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

Friday FOSS Week in Review – Novell & SCO Dance Separately

The more things change, the more they stay the same! During the last year we’ve become used to seeing Novell and SCO in the news, and usually they’re mentioned in the same breath, given the legal battle between the two over who owns UNIX. This week they’re both in the news again, but in what appears to be separate stories. But things are seldom what they seem, especially when SCO is involved, so we’ll see.

Novell Finds Buyers

The Wall Street Journal, in a story now confirmed by several other news sources, says that Novell has found buyers. Yes, that’s buyers with an “s.” According to the latest reports, the company will be split in two. As yet, it’s uncertain whether the Novell brand will survive the deal. My guess is that it will, but only in a small way.

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

Friday FOSS Week in Review – Android Coming to PC

It’s been rather hectic here at FOSS Force this week. You might have read that we had to replace our old worn computer with a new-to-us (that means “used”) box, and we’ve been spending the week configuring our POS app, plus downloading and installing all of the stuff we need to operate our daily business.

This means, however, that the FOSS Force army is currently working in (ugh) Windows. We’ve got a key dreaded legacy app we use that’s Wintel, and we’re not partitioning the drive and installing Linux to run it in WINE until we’ve thoroughly tested the new/used box and determined it fully ready to go. Don’t fear, however, everything else here is open source. I’m writing in OpenOffice, doing graphics work in Gimp, emailing in Thunderbird and browsing in Firefox. By this time next week, we’ll hopefully be running Linux.

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

No More Kin, Folks

Again, Microsoft has thrown something at the wall that didn’t stick. Just two months after introducing a pair of faux smartphones, would be iPhone killers for the teenage set, Redmond has announced that after existing inventory is gone, Kin will be no more.

Wow. That’s pretty quick. Even Jay Leno on prime time lasted longer than that.

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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