Category Archives: Open Source

The Usefulness of Facebook in Evolution or is it just Useful?


Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

I am a user of Facebook, but not a real fan. By stating this some may feel it’s pointless to read on. Well let me confess, I have tried to understand our global fascination with Facebook. Why is it so popular? What makes it different than any other platform? Is it just another passing fad or the next MySpace? No, what Facebook represents is the nature of the Internet and technology. We all remember AOL. Did you get one of those CD’s in the mail? Do you know what mail is? Or what a pen is? Do you remember Compuserve? How about the Apple Newton? Sega? Atari? Napster? Netscape? Novell? Palm? A library? Alright, libraries are not dead yet, thankfully. I could go on, but can you see a pattern? All were powerful and amazing, during there time. They pushed limits and moved us forward into a new space. But alas, all good things must come to an end, right?

The virtual space, we call the Internet, is the new world. It’s fluid, dynamic and ever changing; never standing still to allow us to even truly understand what it is. Technology is constantly moving forward, dragging us along with it. We have to evolve. Every 6-8 months there is a new device or new idea for us to master. As we evolve some technologies get left behind. But what about Facebook? Where does it fit in? How is it useful?

I am mesmerised at the things people make public. How we broadcast our addictions and lower our language. Some swear and others do some remarkably strange things. It’s fascinating to see the things we dare not do in public are available online. What is Facebook? It’s that other world, within the world of the Internet. The one that allows us to broadcast who we are, until its dead and gone. We tell all, we connect with others. The odd people are now the ones who are not on Facebook. So is it useful? Of course it is. The question is useful to who? Useful to our species? Is Facebook just a part of the whole? I can’t wait for Google Glasses to take off. I am looking forward to the day when our evolutionary path makes us Betazoids. A marketers dream! But I digress. We we’re talking about Facebook, right?

By: @iammannyj

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Google’s Nexus 7 Tablet?


Google’s Nexus 7 Tablet?

Google has hinted at its own tablet since December. That’s when Eric Schmidt said the company would “market a tablet of the highest quality” within six months. Google later showed interest in competing with budget tablets such as Amazon‘s Kindle Fire.

Last month the Nexus tablet popped up on benchmarking site Rightware. According to the specs will use a quad-core NVidia Tegra 3 processor, and come with the Android 4.1 (“Jelly Bean”) operating system.

3 Major Publishers Sue Open-Education Textbook Start-Up


Textbook

Textbook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Open-education resources have been hailed as a trove of freely available information that can be used to build textbooks at virtually no cost. But a copyright lawsuit filed last month presents a potential roadblock for the burgeoning movement.

A group of three large academic publishers has sued the start-up Boundless Learning in federal court, alleging that the young company, which produces open-education alternatives to printed textbooks, has stolen the creative expression of their authors and editors, violating their intellectual-property rights.

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Overview of the Open Platform for the PLAYSTATION®3 system


Thought I would re-post a soon to be non-existent feature of the original PS3.

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Original PS3 - Open Platform System

There is more to the PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment system than you may have assumed. In addition to playing games, watching movies, listening to music, and viewing photos, you can use the PS3™ system to run the Linux operating system.

By installing the Linux operating system, you can use the PS3™ system not only as an entry-level personal computer with hundreds of familiar applications for home and office use, but also as a complete development environment for the Cell Broadband Engine™ (Cell/B.E.).

There are many flavors of Linux available, which are developed, managed, and distributed by the respective companies and development communities.

As Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCE) does not develop or directly support a version of Linux for the PS3™ system, SCE is pleased to provide links for the following Linux distributions that support the PS3™ system:

Read more at the link below, before its gone for good!

http://www.playstation.com/ps3-openplatform/index.html

Open source in a time of recession


No one questions the fact of recession any more, although we have yet to confirm a single quarter without growth, let alone two. Tech hates recessions, even though tech booms start at the bottom of them. The PC boom emerged from the bottom of a recession in the early 80s, and the Internet boom from another in the early 90s.

read more | digg story

Google Chrome Browser Or Cloud Operating System?


By most accounts, the Google Chrome development team has dramatically achieved its goal of building a browser that combines a minimal design with sophisticated technology to make the Web faster, safer, and easier.
Walter Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal, who has been testing Google’s Chrome browser for a week next to the latest version of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, concludes “With the emergence of Chrome, consumers have a new and innovative browser choice, and with IE8, the new browser war is sure to be a worthy contest.” Many cloud computing enthusiasts are overjoyed with Chrome and call it the first cloud browser or even the basis for a cloud operating system.

So says Nick Carr:

“To Google, the browser has become a weak link in the cloud system — the needle’s eye through which the outputs of the company’s massive data centers usually have to pass to reach the user — and as a result the browser has to be rethought, revamped, retooled, modernized. Google can’t wait for Microsoft or Apple or the Mozilla Foundation to make the changes (the first has mixed feelings about promoting cloud apps, the second is more interested in hardware than in clouds, and the third, despite regular infusions of Google bucks, lacks resources), so Google is jump-starting the process with Chrome.”

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KDE or Gnome? Some advice for those new to Linux


KDE or Gnome? This is the killer question that can be quite difficult to answer and there appears to be very little information available on the first couple of pages of search engine results for the new Linux user. Which one is faster? Which is more stable? Which one looks better? Some simple information for the new user on a blurry topic.

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The end run around the OS is underway


The operating system may be losing its luster. In fact, you could argue that the operating system–Linux, OS X and Windows–will become an application that just happens to boot first. And hardware vendors are on to the OS’s diminishing importance.
Let’s connect a few dots:
• On Tuesday, Dell rolled out a new line of laptops and one of the best features was the ability to get your email, contacts, calendar and other items without booting the operating system, a process that can take awhile (at least on my system).
• On Thursday, Intel talked up software that can wake a system out of sleep mode to take a PC phone call. It’s probably a security disaster waiting to happen, but it’s handy for PC calls via the Internet.
The common thread: These efforts from Dell and Intel are arguably taking away some of the tasks that the operating system would normally do. My working theory: The OS is being slowly downplayed as hardware vendors and Web developers grab more control over the user experience. The OS will never be totally irrelevant, but it will be increasingly less important. It’ll be plumbing. Simply put, the OS is being squeezed between hardware vendors that are cooking up their own applications to handle key tasks and the so-called Webtop, which will deliver programs through the browser.

read more | digg story

Did the big boys really kill OLPC?


The UK’s Timesonline is running a story today showing us that, despite internal strife, questionable morals and ideals, and now, the inclusion of Windows XP on a computer that was supposed to embody all that was good in open source, OLPC remains a media darling.

The article is heavy on drama:

Microsoft, makers of most of the computer software in the world, tried to kill it with words, and Intel, maker of most computer chips, tried to kill it with dirty tricks. Of course, they don’t admit to being attempted murderers. And when I introduce you to Intel’s lovely spokesperson, Agnes Kwan, you’ll realise how far their denials go. But the truth is the two mightiest high-tech companies in the world looked on Negroponte’s philanthropic scheme and decided it had to die.

Well, of course Microsoft and Intel wouldn’t take the project sitting down. Are they the real reasons behind it’s inflated price tag and lagging orders? Or was it unrealistic expectations from Negroponte, with his millions of expected sales in the first year? Or was it simply the wrong audience? Negroponte courted Microsoft for a long time and repeatedly talked about Windows support on the XO, only to have Microsoft spokespeople say, “Sorry, not yet.”

Intel targeted communities in which some degree of infrastructure and a reasonable educational facilities already existed; Negroponte wanted everyone to have an XO, regardless of whether their basic needs were being met. Intel partnered with local OEMs to create jobs and customize their Classmates for specific regions. OLPC tried to compete with the Dells and HPs of the world.

Did Negroponte create an exploding market and inspire powerful companies to address unmet needs? You bet. Did the big boys really do him in or did the XO simply fall prey to bad management and a flawed strategy?

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Microsoft makes it official – XP is coming to the XO OLPC


Microsoft’s participation in the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative has been fraught with mystery and disinformation from the get-go. But on May 15, Microsoft officials finally gave the OLPC project Redmond’s official blessing.

Up to this point, OLPC Chief Nicholas Negroponte preannounced Microsoft’s every move on the OLPC front (and sometimes not quite correctly). But on May 15, Microsoft and the OLPC announced in tandem that Microsoft is “joining” the OLPC project.

Yet again, exactly what this means is a bit murky. Microsoft has been testing for months now whether it could get XP to run on OLPC XO laptops. Seemingly, according to a new blog entry by James Utzschneider, Manager of Microsoft’s Developing Markets Unit, the tests were successful. But now it sounds like there are going to be more tests. From Utzschneider’s May 15 blog post:

“Today Microsoft and the OLPC are announcing support for Windows on the OLPC XO computer.The two organizations will work together on several pilot programs in emerging market countries starting next month, and the offering will RTM in August or September. Initially it will only be available in emerging market countries where governments or NGOs are subsidizing the purchase of a large number of PCs for students, but there is the possibility of making this available for other customers through a broader set of channels at a later point in time.”

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At What Point Is It Cheaper to Just Buy Novell?


Microsoft no longer sees itself as simply a Windows company. One recent indication of this is their determination to buy the LAMP-centric (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) Yahoo! Instead of migrating all the tried and tested Yahoo! services over to a Windows server infrastructure, wouldn’t it be simpler to establish Microsoft Linux through the acquisition of Novell? From a technology perspective Novell has two things to offer Microsoft – SUSE and Identity Management.
The U.S. Supreme Court has cleared the way for Novell to continue their Wordperfect anti-trust suit against Microsoft. Novell’s argument is that anti-competitive operating system issues caused their once mighty Wordperfect suite to come tumbling down. This turn of fortune cost Novell to the tune of $1 billion. The lawsuit Novell has filed against Microsoft is for damages potentially in the order of $3 billion.
Whilst everyone agrees Microsoft is no saint the fact of the matter is Novell and Wordperfect got beaten by aggressive pricing and marketing rather than significant operating system level anti-competitive action. Microsoft gained market share by aggressively dropping the price of Office to the point that it was less than half that of its competitors. Rather than following suit and matching dollar for dollar these moves Novell blindly followed their original pricing structures inherited from when they purchased Wordperfect.
Novell’s past business blunders aside, given Microsoft’s recent showing in the courts you would have to say its an even money bet that some financial compensation arises from this case. Whether it is in the order of $3 billion is unlikely but even a quarter of that amount is still a hefty sum. Does there come a time when Microsoft executives look at Novell and decide it is cheaper to buy them outright than cough up massive legal fees and reparations?

A few years ago the idea of Microsoft buying Novell would be dismissed on anti-competitive grounds, but these days Microsoft faces stiff competition from the likes of Red Hat, IBM, Sun, Oracle and of course Google. Even in recent years the two companies have hardly been competing against each other. The controversial agreement struck a few years ago between the two has seen them in coopetition rather than competition without so much as a mumble from regulatory bodies.
Given Novell’s current financial position if a $3 billion payout were on the cards it is not a huge leap to suggest that Microsoft simply buy them out rather than buy their forgiveness. Whilst it would take more than $3 billion to buy the company it would not take much more (relatively speaking) considering Novell has a current market cap of $2.1 billion. Also from a shareholder’s perspective an acquisition is much better than a payout as their investment is preserved and built upon instead of going to lawyers and the opposition.

read more | digg story