Saturday, December 08, 2007

Linux is about to take over the low end of PCs

An opinion piece from Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. SJVN makes a point with real numbers, dollars and cents type, for Linux gaining a foothold the the business market.

I think the biggest problem for the Linux PC vendors if this happens, will be keeping up with the demand. Dell and HP may come back into play, if they will do something about the prices. Case in point, Dell selling the Linux loaded PC for more than the same Windows loaded PC in the UK, and then Dell pulling the Linux offering, because it wasn't selling. I would buy the one with Windows, and wipe the drive, loading my own Linux, if I had to pay more for the Linux one up front.

Friday, December 07, 2007

UPDATED! Western Digital NAS drive blocks full access to media files

It seems Western Digital has decided for themselves what type of files we are allowed to put on our hard drives. This is a twisted tale. It started with this post on BoingBoing, then grew from there. Here is a list of the types of files it restricts access to. It is huge.

Though this is an ongoing story, I have a hard time believing a hard drive company could be so stupid as to do this to customers. We shall have to see. Other companies could follow. If that happens, this is a disaster for our freedom of use of our machines.


UPDATE; Now it appears Seagate is selling drives that are natively incompatible with Linux and Macs without a workaround being instituted. I smell a monopoly at work here and I am not happy about it.


Substantial green benefits to running Linux

From a 2004 study done in the UK, this article from CNN explains in short how Linux benefits the environment.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

» Vista SP1 will deliver big network speed boost | Ed Bott’s Microsoft Report |

"Vista SP1 will deliver big network speed boost"
Forget the reports you might have read about SP1 resulting in no performance boost. That story was based on a silly artificial benchmark involving scripting of Office applications. Back here in the real world, where gigabit network connections are now commonplace, you’ll see at least one huge improvement when transferring files over network connections.
The big question is: Will this really improve Vista's network speed?


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

BBC NEWS | Technology | 'Kill switch' dropped from Vista

"Microsoft is to withdraw an anti-piracy tool from Windows Vista, which disables the operating system when invoked, following customer complaints."
Wow, excellent response! Well done Microsoft!

BBC Technology | 'Kill switch' dropped from Vista

AT&T to exit pay phone business in 2008 -

This is a sad news article.

I guess everyone better get a cell phone.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Video: RSS in Plain English | Common Craft - Explanations In Plain English

I may have posted this before, but daWabbit's better half and I were talking about ebay this weekend, and I mentioned RSS to her, and she'd never heard of it. So, I thought I'd post this and mayyyyybe, the most prolific contributor to the blog would show his wife the video . I really liked the comparison between RSS/bookmarks and Netflix/video store, very appropriate. One comes to you, you have to go fetch the other.

Video: RSS in Plain English | Common Craft - Explanations In Plain English


WORLD'S FIRST .COM has a list of the first 100 .com domain names registered. I found it interesting and think you will, too.


At software giant, pain gives rise to progress has an interesting account of how Microsoft became more aware of security and changed their internal practices to not only deal with problems but to avoid them whenever possible. While it is somewhat "rah, rah" in it's tone, it seems to match the facts. In other words, it isn't made pretty just for your consumption. I think it is worth a read. Plus, I enjoyed it.


Vocalize Firefox

A platform independent, browser specific screen reader? Yup.

After some problems working with Jaws, Charles Chen went to work on his own and created Fire Vox, CLiCk, Speak, and the CLC-4-TTS library that power this idea into reality. It's pretty cool. Works well, so far at least.

Worth checking out.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

OnComputers Radio show Podcast 12-02-07

This is the On Computers Radio show podcast for 12-02-07. You can listen live every Sunday from 10AM to 1PM Pacific thats 1PM to 4PM Eastern. Join us for the live show and chat. If you prefer, you can download the same MP3 file here via ftp.

Links from the Gregg Zone!

1) First link of the week is a free service, to our service men, and women. This site sponsored by Xerox, and offered to help support our troops. You may select a card, enter a short message, and send it to help support troop moral during the holiday season. While you cannot select a particular individual, they will select at random a service person for you, and mail it in your name, cost nothing, but even a few seconds of pleasant distraction can be a gift.

2) Offering number two, you know I have an interest in on line audio and video sites. I suppose it says something about the amount of free time I have, but the reality is I cannot watch T.V. anymore, due to lack of content, and over commerciality. This site is conversations with who they consider the most fascinating people of the year, we are not referring to the people you generally see on the tube, these are people who excel in their fields. The subject matter covers a very wide spectrum, I very much like this site, and intend to spend some time here.

3) I am putting this old favorite up because I have not heard it mentioned off the net in a while, although I know it is doing very well on the net. People who are old A.B. fans will recognize it immediately. For those not familiar it is an Art Bell type audio site. I was just there yesterday because they did an interview with Shirley Maclaine, and I wanted to see if they mentioned the Kucinich comment from the debates, which they did, but briefly. This link will take you directly to the interview on the archive page, , if you want to explore the site use this link to the home page. To navigate to show archives from the home page use the dreamland tab.

4) Last up for the week a link to an interesting article on “The Sliding Rocks of Racetrack Playa” in death valley. I have a cousin who hangs out a lot in Death Valley and we were talking about them. When I go home I went to one of my favorite geological sites to brush up on them, thought there might be some interest in this mystery. They still do not know what actually moves these rocks weighing hundreds of pounds across the dry lakebed; the article is about the proposed theories, and possibilities.

Vulnerability of software integrity and code signing applications to chosen-prefix collisions for MD5

Some of us rely on code signatures. I know I do. I check them religiously on files I download, keep them in secure places and run them every time I open one of those executable files for installation.

It has been known for some time that MD5 checksums might be vulnerable, but according to the paper linked to above it is toast. I'm worried.