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Posts published in “Software”

Redmond’s Used iPads, Spy Wars Escalate & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Court rules on Facebook privacy

If an employee makes a post on Facebook using a privacy setting that excludes the boss from seeing it, that post is off limits to the employer. Unless, that is, the poster has a turncoat friend who willingly supplies the post to the employer with no prodding to do so. That’s evidently the gist of a ruling handed down in August, as reported by PCWorld on Sunday.

The case involved Deborah Ehling, who was suspended by Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp. (MONOC) after she posted on Facebook in June of 2009 a response to news that a white supremacist had opened fire and killed a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Newbies Guide to Debian 7 – Part Three

Getting started with applications on your new Debian system

So here you are with your new Debian system. Now you might be wondering, “Which programs do I use?”

First you might want to get the “minimize, maximize and close” windows-buttons which aren’t default in Debian 7–only the close window-button is there. From the desktop go to Activities menu to the top left and select Programs >System Tools and the “dconf-editor.” There are a lot of menus here to open so look carefully. Click Org >Gnome >Shell >Overrides. To your left you’ll find the “button layout” row. Type “:minimize,maximize,close” without quotation marks and then hit enter.

Evolution screenshot
Evolution–the default email client in Debian
Flash player is a must these days so let’s get that next.

Gustav Fridell

Gustav Fridell is a self-described “hard working family man” who resides in Stockholm, Sweden. He has been using Linux since August, 2010 and enjoys testing different distros.

Oracle Losing Its MySQL Grip to MariaDB

When it comes to Oracle as caretaker of FOSS projects, users are voting with their feet.

The company that already very quickly lost control of OpenOffice when most of the project’s developers bolted, formed the Document Foundation and forked the code to create LibreOffice, is now in danger of losing another open source jewel it inherited when it took over Sun. LibreOffice, as you know, is now the defacto office suite of choice among Linux users and is rapidly gaining traction in the Windows world as well. OpenOffice is pretty much only a memory.

Of course, no one ever expected Oracle to be a good open source caretaker.

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

Freeware: Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Just because software is free doesn’t mean it’s free software.

This may confuse those who only know the Windows world, where the software animal known as “freeware” is readily available but truly free software is a bit more scarce. They may be excused for thinking, when we Linux users talk about “free software,” that they use free software too. After all, doesn’t a free antivirus program qualify as free software? Or what about that gee-whiz free password manager that’ll generate and store five or six passwords–more if the “pro” version is purchased?

Linux users will also be excused for rolling their eyes before answering, “Nope. Neither of those examples is what we mean by ‘free software.'”

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

Poll: You Prefer Noncommercial Software

According to our Software Preference Poll, FOSS Force visitors will use commercially developed software, especially if it’s the best software for the job, but would prefer to use community developed, noncommercial software. Absolutely none of our visitors said they’d prefer commercial software.

The poll, which ran from May 13, 2013 through 12:21 am EDT on June 7, posed the question, “Do you prefer open source software that’s commercially or community developed and distributed?” Those taking the poll were given three answers from which to make one choice:

Poll: Firefox Does Not Need Fewer Options

You may remember that back on March 22, Christine Hall penned an article here on FOSS Force concerning worries expressed by Alex Limi, a project design strategist at Mozilla, over configuration issues with Firefox. It seems that Mr. Limi expressed concerns on his blog over the fact that was possible for a user to “render the browser unusable to most people, right in the main settings.”

Ms. Hall agreed that it was certainly possible to “break” Firefox while attempting to configure it, but expressed concerns that the Mozilla development crew would overreact by taking control out of the hands of the user. Such actions she deemed unnecessary and explained why:

Why Schools Require MS Office; Nokia Plays Rope-A-Dope & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Pretty fonts coming to Linux?

Most of us here at FOSS Force have been using various flavors of Linux for thirteen years or so. During that time we’ve gotten used to reading comments on the ugliness of fonts in Linux, especially when it comes to browsers.

We’ve never particularly understood this or noticed any homeliness in regards to Linux fonts. Of course, we’ve also never been able to understand reviewers who write about how unexciting they find fonts like Times New Roman or Ariel to be. In our experience, Hunter Thompson is brilliant and compelling no matter what font is being used to render his rants, while Tom Wolfe is a pompous ass, no matter how humble a typeface used to display his insufferable prose.

Ubuntu Wins Our “Tablet OS” Poll

If the unscientific poll we conducted on tablet operating systems is any indication, it appears as if Canonical can depend on a community of early adopters if and when a tablet is released with Ubuntu OS preinstalled.

In our poll we asked, “What operating system would you be most likely to consider for a tablet if available?” The options were Android, iOS, BlackBerry 10, Windows Phone 8, Windows RT, Ubuntu, webOS, None of the above and Other. Those who chose the “Other” option were given the opportunity to name another OS.

Spy vs. Spy; Wikipedia Sports New DB & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Goodbye to Fuduntu, hello to FuSE

We already knew, of course, that Fuduntu was history, that the beloved distro was to be no more, evidently due to the fact that it was becoming nearly impossible to support GNOME 2 in any sort of meaningful way. We also knew there’d been talk among the developers at Fuduntu of continuing with a new distro. Well, now it’s a done deal and most of the developers of Fuduntu will be working on a new distro based on openSUSE.

No Time For QuickTime

It definitely wasn’t worth the effort and I wouldn’t do it again. Now I’ve got this crapware from Apple on my work computer, which I guess I could remove.

All I wanted to do was click and listen to about an eight second sound bite of a recently discovered recording of Alexander Graham Bell saying, “Hear my voice, Alexander Graham Bell.” I’d found an article on the discovery and recovery of the 1875 recording on the BBC’s website, which offered a link to listen on the Smithsonian’s site, which I clicked.

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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