is an open-source program that fixes two of the biggest problems users perceive with the newly-released Windows 8: it brings back the Start Menu, and it allows users to log-in directly to the Desktop instead of the Start Screen. (8.4 MB WINDOWS DOWNLOAD)
... Microsoft made an unobtrusive announcement that brings a degree of closure to a seven year long epic battle between some of the largest technology companies in the world. The same saga pitted open source advocates against proprietary vendors, and for the first time brought the importance of technical standards to the attention of millions of people around the world... [more inside]
When the Xbox Kinect
) was released a month ago, it promised a new era of controller-less gaming. The system is certainly selling well
heading into the holidays, but reviews so far are mixed. The minor injuries
are expected, but with some less than impressive
early game releases, some think that the system is only partially living up to its pre-release hype
. But what happens when open source software fanatics get their hands on this new technology? [more inside]
Yesterday was the day that Microsoft Kinect for the XBox 360
launched (warning: site "works best with" proprietary, embrace-and-extendware--here's a slightly more accessible YT demo)
. Like with the Wii, it's possible the most lasting effect on the open community is the excellent commodity hardware
. To that end, Adafruit offered a $1000 reward to the first open source code that could work with the hardware
. Microsoft was displeased
, citing both law-enforcement and product safety groups as co-enforcers. The bounty is now $2000.
The <video tag>
, as defined by the HTML5 spec, is an element "used for playing videos or movies". Which codec
those videos or movies are in is currently undefined, with the two contenders being the free open source Ogg Theora
and the proprietary H.264
. With the unveiling of Internet Explorer 9
both Microsoft and Apple are supporting H.264 in their browsers, and comparisons
of the standards seem to bear out H.264 as the better of the two. However Mozilla have taken a stance against incorporating H264 into Firefox on the grounds that it is patented and has to be licensed
. Arguments are now being made for
Mozilla sticking to its ideals. John Gruber
of Daring Fireball points out that Firefox already supports proprietary formats such as GIF. Um, perhaps not the best example
, an open-source community based in Québec, is suing the Québec government for buying Microsoft software
when free alternatives are available. Facil's press release
says, in part, "From February to June 2008, FACIL has noticed sales of proprietary software for more than 25 million dollars. These purchases were made for products offered by large multinational enterprises, with no regard to suppliers in Quebec. ... While most of the developed countries have started, a few years back, migrating their technological infrastructures to Free Software, Quebec's public administration is far behind." Some applaud
Facil's move. Others, not so much
Ballmer: Linux Users Owe Microsoft.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated at the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) conference in Seattle yesterday, that Linux infringes upon his company's intellectual property. Does this signal preparations for all out war against the open source community
? Microsoft's recent acquisition of Novell
was seen as an ominous sign. Or perhaps it's a sign that user friendly versions of linux such as Ubuntu
threaten sales of Microsoft's problematic new VISTA OS
, scheduled for release Nov. 30th for businesses and Jan. 30, 2007 for consumers?
Think tanks attack Open Source
"The Alexis de Tocqueville Institute’s attack on Linux
is just the latest in a series of attacks on Open Source by think tanks.....
I was able to detect a common theme to all their criticism. They all seem to be funded by Microsoft. "
It comes as no surprise that Microsoft seems to be paying
SCO to fight the fight. [via #joiito]
The CEO of Ernie Ball talks about how his company left Microsoft for Linux after a licensing fiasco.
Sterling Ball: It's just software. You have to figure out what you need to do within your organization and then get the right stuff for that. And we're not a backwards organization. We're progressive; we've won communications and design awards...The fact that I'm not sending my e-mail through Outlook doesn't hinder us. It's just kind of funny. I'm speaking to a standing-room-only audience at a major technology show because I use a different piece of software--that's hysterical.
Pakistan government may replace pirated Windows-based systems with Linux
"The Microsoft Corporation has already offered over 90 per cent discount to the government but we want to press for more cuts in prices." Is the Linux announcement a bargaining strategy or a serious sign? This June O'Reilly story provides some context, noting a sudden spiking popularity of open source software within the U.S. government
, which "actually lags behind other major governments" who are "gravitating toward open source software for a variety of reasons."
Peru goes GNU.
And I quote: "You may have heard about this if you watch the free software news, but I just want to repeat it for anyone who hasn't. The Peruvian government has introduced legislation requiring government offices to use free software; Microsoft is unhappy; and a member of the Peruvian Congress has written a response which I highly recommend reading, in which he explains in strong terms why it's out of the question for the government of a democratic nation to use proprietary software."
What OS is Micro$oft running?
A poll of what OS' run in Microsoft's netblock, and their rank by uptime. Besides the fact that Hotmail was on FreeBSD for awhile [before M$ took them over], this was surprising.
Microsoft bans use of Open Source
with its wireless internet tools. Will this be a huge PR blunder, or will people accept MS' hardline stance against this so-called "potentially viral" software?
MS VP Challenges GPL on Moral Grounds In Speech
Admitting that the company is feeling pressure from open source, free alternatives, Microsoft's Craig Mundie, lecturing at NYU, will speak out against G.P.L., which he considers impractical, dangerous and morally wrong. Stallman is quoted as saying something ludicrously funny about the American revolution.