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Ubuntu 6.06 LTS Released

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Ubuntu, which has become one of the world's most popular Linux distributions in recent years, launched its latest version on June 1 following months of intense testing. The new release is titled Ubuntu 6.06 LTS (Long Term Support), and has a specific emphasis on the needs of large organisations with both desktop and server versions.

Ubuntu 6.06 LTS introduces functionality that simplifies common Linux server deployment processes. For system administrators setting up large numbers of web, mail and related servers, Ubuntu 6.06 LTS offers the fastest and most consistent path to deployment, combined with the availability of global commercial support where needed. "Ubuntu has a reputation for working well out of the box on desktops, and we have worked to bring that same ease of deployment and configuration to the server marketplace" said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of the Ubuntu project. "Based on our analysis of the ways people were already deploying Ubuntu on servers, we have aimed to streamline their experience while expanding the range of software available to people deploying Ubuntu in the data centre."

Read More @ Ubuntu.com

Microsoft: Open source 'not reliable or dependable'

Friday, May 19, 2006
"I don't think (open source) is anti-Microsoft in the sense that it's giving people choices in the technologies that they use," Jonathan Murray, the vice president and chief technology officer of Microsoft Europe, told BBC World in the first part of the documentary "The Code Breakers," which aired this week.

"Some people want to use community-based software, and they get value out of sharing with other people in the community. Other people want the reliability and the dependability that comes from a commercial software model. And again, at the end of the day, you make the choice based on what has the highest value to you," Murray continued.

It isn't clear from Murray's statement which category he believes commercial open-source companies such as Red Hat and MySQL fit into.

Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the One Laptop Per Child project, was also interviewed in the documentary, and he disagreed with Microsoft's claim that open source is inferior.

"We've chosen free and open software because it's better, and because it means the children can participate in making the software better over time," Negroponte said.

>>Read More at News.com

Military agency to use Microsoft's Virtual Earth

Microsoft is collaborating with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), a division of the US Department of Defense, on its Virtual Earth technology.

The NGA wants to use the Virtual Earth technology "to provide geospatial support for humanitarian, peacekeeping and national security efforts", Microsoft said in a statement on Thursday.

In return, the software giant hopes to gain from the organisation's established knowledge of geospatial information and geodetics, the math and science of measuring portions of the Earth's topography, magnetic and gravitational variations, and geodynamic phenomena.

The NGA is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, and "provides timely, relevant and accurate imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial information in support of national security objectives", according to the government agency's Web site.

Microsoft also announced an agreement last week to provide its Virtual Earth technology to Real Tech, a provider of real estate tools. Similarly, the software giant in April signed a deal with Zillow to provide the real estate comparison Web site with Virtual Earth technology. At the time, Zillow explained that the Virtual Earth platform would provide it with both satellite and bird's-eye imagery.

>>Read More at ZDNet UK

GeekWire Theme

Thursday, May 18, 2006
I recently put this Kubrick-based theme on CreateBlog.com. Here's the link to download that theme for your own Blogger blog.


Samsung turns to mobile phone fuel cells

Samsung believes that fuel cells could be the future of mobile phone power.

The South Korean manufacturer has signed a deal with a US-based fuel cell firm, MTI MicroFuel Cells. Under the agreement, the two companies will spend the next 18 months developing methanol-based fuel cells that could be used in mobile handsets.

In theory, methanol-powered fuel cells could provide more hours of power than a standard mobile phone battery. However, the technology is not yet commercially viable. A slew of companies have been showing off prototype fuel cells for laptops over the last few years, but none have made the leap to the mass market.

Fuel cells will also need to be regularly topped up with fresh methanol, which could deter consumers from embracing them.

Despite this, Samsung claims that fuel cells may be the solution to the problem of powering the feature-rich, power-hungry mobile devices of tomorrow.

>>Read More at ZDNet UK

Official: Africans pay $1,800 for 1GB of data

Internet users in America pay $20 for one gigabyte of data per month, but people in Africa pay about $1,800 for the same amount of data, Minister for Information and Communication Mutahi Kagwe said in a speech read on his behalf by Permanent Secretary Bitange Ndemo.

That's partly because the infrastructure-strapped continent spends millions of dollars every year to route data and voice traffic from one African country to another through Europe or North America, Kagwe said.

"The only undersea fiber optic cable to connect several African countries and the rest of the world ... remains the most expensive in the world and contributes to the high costs of bandwidth in Africa," Kagwe told participants at the Africa Information and Communication Technology conference.

Only about 1.5 percent of Africa's estimated 906 million people are connected to the Internet.

>>Read More at CNN.com

AMD Unveils Powerful Notebook Chips

Advanced Micro Devices unveils a more powerful line of notebook computer processor chips today as the chip maker strengthens its products for mobile computers.

The new chips will be the first dual-core, 64-bit notebook processors and will conserve enough electrical power to be used in thin and light notebooks that weigh as little as 4 pounds. Much of the design work for AMD processors is done in Austin.

AMD and rival Intel Corp. are rolling out a stream of new product announcements over the next few months as they seek to gain the advantage in a hypercompetitive battle.

Analysts say that toward the end of the year, the companies will be on more even footing in terms of their product lines, meaning that Intel will close in on AMD's advantage on performance, particularly on processors going into servers and desktop computers.

>>Read more at NewsFactor.com

New-time religion

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Open source software methodologies, principles, and practices translate well into other arenas, like standards and intelligence, and have been proposed for the beverage and medical industries as well. But open source philosophy exists in religion too; a kind of collaborative spirituality in which there is no such thing as secrets known only to an inner circle, and participants work together to create a mutually acceptable and beneficial creed instead of passively receiving instruction from a priestly class.

Because the participants are collaborating, most open source religions tend to be new creations, and many are primarily Internet-based. Perhaps the best-known example is Yoism, which calls itself the "world's first open source religion." Yo is the name the group has given to what it calls the "divine mystery." Yoans say they reject truth based solely on authority, and focus strongly on community, evolution, democracy, environmentalism, and growth. Yoans also claim they can prove the existence of Yo, but that Yo is the "infinite, unknowable essence." Yoans, or followers of the "way of Yo," adhere to the Open Source Truth Process, which they claim was developed by members working with students and faculty at The Center for Public Leadership at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

>>Read more at NewsForge.com

Open source package passes personal learning test

In the world of education, technology plays an ever-increasing role in student management and other administrative tasks. Teachers all over the world are using an open source GPL-licensed course management system called LON-CAPA, and the result are "revitalizing," "unique," and "creative," according to some of its users.

LON-CAPA is a Web-based course management system that was developed at Michigan State University (MSU). In addition to providing a way for educators to manage students and homework assignments, LON-CAPA gives students personalized problem sets, quizzes, and exams in a format that allows them to complete tasks wherever they have access to the Internet.

>>Read more at NewsForge

>>Digg this story

AMD Adds Second Core To Turion Notebook Chip

On Wednesday, Advanced Micro Devices launched a dual-core version of its mobile Turion chip, bringing its brand of dual-core technology to thin-and-light notebooks. In addition, the company said it had begun shipping a mobile Sempron chip, upgraded to include 64-bit capabilities.

Both chips will be complemented by a forthcoming "whitebook" logo program, which will provide buyers of notebooks from resellers and second-tier vendors some assurance that the systems have met AMD's standards of quality, and can be considered viable competitors to the top-tier OEM products.

AMD's new AMD Turion 64 X2 models will range in speed from 1.6 to 2.0 GHz, using a series of abstract "model numbers" to indicate performance. Four chips were unveiled: the 1.6-GHz TL-50, the 1.6-GHz TL-52, the 1.8-GHz TL-56 and the 2.0-GHz TL-60, ranging in price from $184 to $354 in 1,000-unit lots. Prices and speeds for the new mobile Semprons were not available at press time.

>>Read more at Extremetech

Apple Closes Source on OSX Kernel

Thanks to pirates, or rather the fear of them, the Intel edition of Apple's OS X is now a proprietary operating system.

Mac developers and power users no longer have the freedom to alter, rebuild, and replace the OS X kernel from source code. Stripped of openness, it no longer possesses the quality that elevated Linux to its status as the second most popular commercial OS.

The Darwin open source Mach/Unix core shared by OS X Tiger client and OS X Tiger Server remains completely open for PowerPC Macs. If you have a G3, G4, or G5 Mac, you can hack your own Darwin kernel and use it to boot OS X. But if you have an Intel-based Mac desktop or notebook, your kernel and device drivers are inviolable. Apple still publishes the source code for OS X's commands and utilities and laudably goes several extra miles by open sourcing internally developed technologies such as QuickTime Streaming Server and Bonjour zero-config networking. The source code required to build a customised OS X kernel, however, is gone. Apple says that the state of an OS X-compatible open source x86 Darwin kernel is "in flux."

>>Read more at Macworld UK