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Swartz’s Last Gift, the Invasion of the Androids & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Will appeals court ruling mean death to software patents?

Absolutely no one knows what a ruling handed down last week by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals will ultimately mean–but it might be very good for those of us who’ve been arguing against software patents. Indeed, the ruling had PJ at Groklaw throwing out three separate “OMG”s in her article with the announcement. In other words, she was euphoric:

Essential WordPress Security Plugins

WordPress logoA few weeks ago I told you about some security precautions to take when using the open source web platform WordPress to protect your site against brute force attacks. However, those precautions are just the beginning. A website administrator has to be forever vigilant to keep the bad guys away.

Luckily, there are many plugins available to help keep your WordPress site safe and secure. Today we’re going to discuss three security plugins that I think are essential.

Measuring Linux By the VAR Metric

I don’t think the unnamed and unknown blogger who writes under the banner of The VAR Guy would argue with me if I were to say that over at his site it’s all about the money. That’s not a bad thing. The value added resellers, the VARs who are his readers, would expect nothing else.

These are guys and gals to whom hardware and software are all part of the same packet. This is the crowd who couldn’t care less about the usability of, say GNOME, for the average home user and who might even be tempted to look for loopholes in the GPL, because it would be easier to make money with free software if it wasn’t free. In other words, these are folks who’ve traditionally mainly stood firmly in the proprietary camp, where the rules for resellers have been more clearly defined. These are the dudes and dudettes who make RMS very wary whenever he sees them coming our way.

FOSS Force Poll: We Don’t Trust Oracle Or Java

Back in March and April, when the Java browser plugin was getting hammered with security holes that were being exploited in the wild, we conducted a couple of unscientific polls here on FOSS Force to determine how our visitors were handling this security crisis.

To call the problems that Java was experiencing at the time a “crisis” is not an exaggeration. If you’ll remember, the situation was considered so serious that here in the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security was urging everyone to disable the Java plugin.

These two Java polls were among the first we conducted on FOSS Force and received about the fewest votes of any polls we’ve conducted so far. Undoubtedly, this was partially due to the fact that we were just beginning to conduct polls on the site, and so polling here was something new to our visitors. Also, our articles on Java security issues received a smaller number of page views than most articles we publish. However, low readership notwithstanding, we will continue to cover serious security issues, because we think it’s important that we do so.

‘Linux Advocates’ Looks For Angels

A few months ago, while doing my daily web perusing to keep up-to-date on FOSS stuff as well as to update our Twitter and Facebook news feeds, I began running across a Linux blog I hadn’t seen before called Linux Advocates. The site caught my eye because it was well designed and laid-out–not just another generic WordPress blog, if you catch my drift.

Other than that, there was nothing that was really exceptional about the site. It was just another Penguinista blog by a blogger, Dietrich Schmitz, who was unfamiliar to me. His writing was strong, even if he did sometimes seem to be lacking in how-it-really-works insight.

He learned quickly, however. Very quickly. It wasn’t long before Linux Advocates started showing-up more often in my morning web surfing. The writing and quality of articles improved and the major Linux news aggregators began paying attention by publishing links to selected articles. It was obvious; the site was progressing.

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.

The Night the Digital Lights Went Out In Syria

What does it mean when a whole country’s Internet goes down? When it’s a country racked by civil war, digital silence from the entire nation can’t be a good omen, can it? The country becomes like a submarine running in silence.

Last night I first saw the news when an old colleague from Rochdale College posted an article from Umbrella Security Labs, a research division of OpenDNS, to her Facebook wall. “BREAKING NEWS: TRAFFIC FROM SYRIA DISAPPEARS FROM INTERNET.”

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.

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