It was exactly one year ago today that I published my original "[URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story219749.html"]The 10 Best Linux Distributions[/URL]" and it's time to put forth a new list for this year's best. Without looking at the old list, I've decided to compile this one from scratch. This 2009 list takes several factors into account for placement in the list: Community support, commercial support, software variety, update engine and distribution frequency. Even for old Linux salts, there are a few surprises on this list. For starters, Ubuntu is not number one. The problem with this list is that I don't hate any of …

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Today, June 22, 2010, The [URL="http://www.openinventionnetwork.com"]Open Invention Network[/URL] (OIN) [URL="http://www.openinventionnetwork.com/press_release06_22_10.php"]announced[/URL] that [URL="http://www.canonical.com"]Canonical[/URL], the company that owns and produces the [URL="http://www.ubuntu.com"]Ubuntu[/URL] Linux distribution, joins its ranks as the first Associate Member. Florian Mueller, founder and former director of the NoSoftwarePatents campaign and the founder of the [URL="http://fosspatents.blogspot.com"]FOSS Patents Blog[/URL] had this to say about the announcement: [QUOTE]"The Canonical announcement once again shows the absolutely unacceptable degree of intransparency with which the Open Invention Network operates. Both the press release and the OIN's website fail to specify what exactly the rights and obligations of OIN Associate Members -- as compared to mere …

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Is it true that, if you speak up for GNU/Linux on the Desktop, you get flamed? I just had a virtual conversation with someone who claims that this assertion is fact. I've never experienced this anti-Desktop Linux sentiment or maybe my memory has failed me. I don't think the Linux Community would take a stand against it. The Apple Community is too glazed over with iCrap to care what we do. But, there is one "community" that might take issue with Linux on the Desktop. Who could it be? I'm having a little trouble coming up with the name, though …

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To get down and dirty in mobile phone competition, [URL="http://www.nokia.com"]Nokia[/URL] [URL="http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE65N20Y20100624"]decides[/URL] to take on Apple and Google by adopting the Linux [URL="http://meego.org"]MeeGo[/URL] platform for its new N-Series phones. Back in February of this year, [URL="http://www.intel.com"]Intel[/URL] and Nokia [URL="http://www.nokia.com/press/press-releases/showpressrelease?newsid=1384419"]teamed up[/URL] to create the MeeGo mobile phone platform. This bold move allows Nokia to compete more effectively with Apple's iPhone and Google's Android-based phones. The MeeGo platform features rich applications via the blending of the [URL="http://moblin.org"]Moblin[/URL] Linux distribution and Linux-based [URL="http://maemo.org"]Maemo[/URL]. Nokia realizes that the mobile space is competitive and Apple's iPhone has displaced Nokia's dominance in that space. Interestingly, this announcement …

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I know it sounds crazy but the Linux Desktop isn't dead, it's just pining. It's pining for the correct platform--a tablet computer. And, I'm not referring to some cheap imitation tablet that will merely satisfy a few observers and nerdlets who use Linux. I'm thinking of a tablet computer for hardcore Linux moguls. You know, the kind of Linux person who is so into Linux that he tries to carry an egg on his feet through the winter. The kind of Linux fan who carries a wallet-sized photo of Linus Torvalds in her wallet. Linux pines for a true tablet …

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Here's some buzz for you, Google Buzz is killing my GMail. I'm adding [URL="http://www.google.com"]Google[/URL]'s [URL="http://www.google.com/buzz"]Buzz[/URL] to the top of the list of the worst tech ideas to come along in quite a while. I'm not a social networking fan, anyway, and to break my GMail, my primary email account, with something as stupid and useless as Buzz; I'm irritated. I usually wake up to 20 or more emails in my Inbox first thing in the morning. Today, I had one. Yes, one. I've sent numerous messages out today and I don't know if they're swirling about in some mail queue …

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This Memorial Day weekend reminds us all of those who sacrificed their lives for freedom and to protect a way of life that is based on freedom. While considering the brave men and women who stood up for what is right over the past 250 years, it made me realize a similar thing about Linux. No one has given his life for Linux but certainly there have been sacrifices. But, like their armed soldier counterparts, it isn't about the sacrifice, it's the freedom you big dummy. We have the freedom to choose the operating system we use on our computers. …

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I read a [URL="http://www.infoworld.com/d/open-source/open-source-innovation-the-cutting-edge-582"]story[/URL] this morning over at [URL="http://www.infoworld.com"]Infoworld.com[/URL] that shocked me a bit. Neil McAllister discusses how proprietary software companies, like [URL="http://www.microsoft.com"]Microsoft[/URL], criticize open source projects by saying that, "They don't innovate, they copy." Is that really the consensus for an entire software realm that brought us the [URL="http://www.w3.org"]world wide web[/URL], TCP/IP, [URL="http://www.sendmail.org"]sendmail[/URL], DNS, DHCP, [URL="http://www.perl.org"]Perl[/URL], [URL="http://www.php.net"]PHP[/URL], [URL="http://www.apache.org"]Apache[/URL], HTML and basically everything else that we use on the Internet today? Is that really the stance they want to take? Neil also gives us seven major open source projects that are not knockoffs of Microsoft's knockoffs. But, instead of focusing …

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This post is a summary of a conversation I had the other day with an acquaintance of mine. It started out with him asking me what I do for a living and ended up with me having to choke back tears of laughter. I hope you have the same reaction although I realize that it might be one of those, "You had to be there" moments. Early Wednesday evening, I was walking around our neighborhood and looking at the pool that's opening this weekend, when I met up with a fellow whom I've met a few times. Our wives are …

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I've run across ten new Linux distributions inspired by current news stories. Some, of course, are better than others and a few just have no practical use or purpose whatsoever but still are worth a mention. These ten distributions are in no particular order of my preference or relevance. Maybe you've run across some of them too in your Internet travels. [B]1. Lohanix [/B]- This cute little gem is still not mature but it sure is fun to use. It has all the latest gadgetry and accessories to keep you occupied for minutes at a time. The best part of …

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OK, you two, stop fighting. These little spats of yours are getting old. A [URL="http://news.yahoo.com/s/nf/20100602/tc_nf/73685"]rumor[/URL], heard yesterday, that [URL="http://www.google.com"]Google[/URL] is not going to use [URL="http://www.microsoft.com"]Windows[/URL] internally in their company might be just that: rumor. And, a bad one at that. It's interesting to note that, while such a rumor stirs up thoughts of Google's own Chrome OS on a thousand desktops/laptops/netbooks; I don't know that it's entirely possible to toss out all the Windows operating systems from their midst. Or desirable. [B]FOSS Chorus:[/B] How can he say such a thing? He's the Linux Guy, after all. I'm realistic. Not all …

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It's a cell phone for crying out loud. Do you get it? A cell phone. You know, you make and receive phone calls on it. It's a telephone that you carry around in your pocket. Who gives a rip whether it's equipped with a web browser, a file editor or an ice cream dispenser; it's a telephone. People who care about the operating system or applet X on a cell phone are either under the age of 18 or don't have anything better to do with their time. I don't really care that my cell phone uses some version of …

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I recently upgraded a friend of mine to [URL="http://www.ubuntu.com"]Ubuntu[/URL] 9.04 Desktop for his five-year-old [URL="http://www.acer.com"]Acer[/URL] laptop with 512 MB of RAM. I removed Windows 2000 after backing up his precious documents, pictures and browser favorites. I installed the latest stable version of Ubuntu, restored all of his settings, Internet connection and documents. He immediately fell in love with the GNOME interface, the speed at which the system booted and how snappy it responded to his barrage of clicking. He was in heaven. What came next was a bit of a shock. A few days after the "big transition," I received …

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To you, my loyal readers, I must offer up a sincere apology for my recent post, [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story254705.html"]Five *nix Myths Busted[/URL], and am posting this full retraction for that post. To fully drive home my retraction and refute any myths about my competence with Linux or Unix, I am going to go through each point that I made in that errant post and recant it. [B]5. Logging in as Root[/B] - You should never login as root to a *nix system. Never. In fact, you should never login as yourself and then su to root. By becoming root, you're putting yourself …

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It looks like [URL="http://www.yahoo.com"]Yahoo[/URL] has reinstated the [URL="http://news.yahoo.com/technology"]Linux/Open Source[/URL] link on their Tech News page. Perhaps it was just a fat-fingered mistake or an accident of some sort that the link was removed from the main link bar but it certainly raised my hackles. And, frankly, my hackles don't need raising over something like this. But, they've put it back in a different location (not a big deal) but at least they've put it back. And, for those of you who either believe that it never left or that my eyesight is somehow to blame, I have screen shots for …

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OK, I'm not sure what's going on in the minds of the geniuses over at Yahoo but just today they removed the Linux/Open Source link under News/Tech is gone. Its replacement? Social Media. Thanks Yahoo. That's really clever. NOT! In the realm of things dumb, that takes second place right under iPad early adopters. But that's OK. We still have [URL="http://lxer.com"]lxer.com[/URL], [URL="http://linuxtoday.com"]linuxtoday.com[/URL] and [URL="http://lwn.net"]lwn.net[/URL] where we can get our news. Thanks Yahoo, you helped us. Yes, helped us. You've helped those who're looking for legitimate Linux/Open Source news and not just your rollups of other site's articles and postings. But, …

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The other day, when involved in a lengthy text-based chat session with a coworker, I realized (for the first time perhaps) that we need a smarter chat client. I spent a great deal of time and energy attempting to explain a relatively simple concept to my coworker, when it occurred to me that he couldn't understand the language exchange nor could he decipher the message I attempted to convey. Finally, I relieved our collective pain with the five words that were so difficult to extract from my fingers but were so willingly grasped by his mind: I'll take care of …

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The topic of certification surfaces every so often in technical circles--especially when job seekers face tough job competition. The value of such certifications comes into question versus that of years of experience. For experienced technicians and engineers, the opinion is that experience is the most important for landing a job. In the minds of newbies and wannabes, certifications rule. Certifying authorities and vendors, of course, want you to spend the money obtaining the certifications and are ready to cite instances where certification is required for employment. I, myself, was caught up in the certification frenzy back in the early 90s …

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Earlier this evening, I had a conversation with a friend and colleague in the IT business. He runs his own independent computer consulting firm and we were trading war stories about customers, hardware vendors and work sharing. Work sharing, also known as "farming out" work that you can't do yourself due to your schedule, volume or lack of expertise. He shocked me when he made the statement that, "Not that many companies use Unix anymore." Huh? I must have looked as if someone wanted to purchase my firstborn when he said that because he emphatically repeated the statement. I took …

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Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse in the world of software patents, a reliable source sent me this response from Steve Jobs about a patent pool that's forming and aiming to nail the open source codecs projects. It's enough to make the weak at heart go weak in the knees and stop working on open source projects. Here is Steve Jobs' response to the letter from Hugo Roy: [QUOTE]From: Steve Jobs To: Hugo Roy Subject: Re: Open letter to Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Flash Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 06:21:17 -0700 All video codecs are covered by …

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It's rare that a company like [URL="http://www.redhat.com"]Red Hat[/URL] would remove a high-end feature from its popular commercial operating system but that's just what it did. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.0 will ship without the [URL="http://www.xen.org"]Xen[/URL] hypervisor. Instead, it will include Red Hat's own [URL="http://www.linux-kvm.org"]KVM[/URL] virtualization. Has Red Hat done itself a disservice with this move? Is it alienating an entire user base? Absolutely not, to both questions. After Red Hat purchased Qumranet in 2008 (and acquired KVM in the deal), it no longer needed to support a second, competing hypervisor. The people at Red Hat and Qumranet are smart …

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Canonical's Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server Edition features the ideal deployment platform for Linux server workloads and cloud computing Long-term support (LTS) version of popular server operating system generally available on 29 April. [B]LONDON, April 27, 2010:[/B] Canonical today announced the upcoming release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server Edition which includes extended security and maintenance updates free of charge to all users for five years (versus 18 months for a standard release). The third and latest LTS version of the popular Linux server distribution, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, delivers on the standing commitment to release a long term support version of Ubuntu …

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As everyone knows by now, the [URL="http://www.apple.com"]Apple[/URL] iPad has arrived. I don't have one nor do I want one. Even at $499, you couldn't run fast enough to [I]give[/I] me one of the stupid things--as we say in the South. I was hoping for something more when it came to a true "pad" computer. Not just an enlarged iPod Touch with a little iPhone tossed in for good measure. The great sucking sound you hear is the money you paid being sucked from your wallet and the enthusiasm for it being sucked from your soul. From it's crappy little 9.7 …

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Apparently, the besieged, [URL="http://www.mcafee.com"]McAfee[/URL] antivirus-protected world saw little relief in the past 24 hours with McAfee engineers still scrambling to come forth with an answer. I guess the Executive VP, Barry McPherson, doesn't use his own product because he was able to post to his [URL="http://siblog.mcafee.com/support/a-long-day-at-mcafee/"]blog[/URL] a couple of times yesterday--although he's been oddly silent today. Sup, Barry? Cheap labor starting to affect your business? Maybe it's time that we all reconsider the "cost savings" and promises of "just as good as" development. Unrelated you say? Possibly. But, it's never happened before in the history of McAfee, so you tell …

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There's no news yet on McAfee's [URL="http://www.mcafee.com"]website[/URL] about what happened today when their famed antivirus program went bonkers and froze computers by misidentifying a common Windows file as a virus. If it's an actual virus hack, it's a pretty darn clever one--to make the antivirus program think a system file is a virus so that the computer halts. This might be the first time I'd ever actually applaud a virus creator. I usually prescribe some sort of cruel and unusual punishment for such mongrels who write viruses and then unleash them upon the world's innocent but this time is different. …

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[URL="http://www.ubuntu.com"]Ubuntu[/URL]'s Lucid Lynx (10.04) isn't out yet but Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and [URL="http://www.canonical.com"]Canonical[/URL], and his team look toward the October 2010 (10.10) release they're calling Maverick Meerkat. On his personal blog this morning, Mark wrote, "It’s time to put our heads together to envision 'the perfect 10'." Mark, himself, has a new vision for the upcoming release already knowing that 10.04 is almost "in the can." His new vision is one of lightness-lightness in footprint, in deployment and in support requirements. A grand vision but can he do it? You already know that I think Ubuntu is the …

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My [URL="http://www.frugaltechshow.com"]Frugal Tech Show[/URL] co-host, [URL="http://blogs.zdnet.com/perlow"]Jason Perlow[/URL], and I spoke with [URL="http://www.canonical.com"]Canonical[/URL] CTO Matt Zimmerman early this morning about the upcoming [URL="http://www.ubuntu.com"]Ubuntu[/URL] releases and a few other selected topics of interest to Ubuntu users. There are some secret goings on in the mill at Canonical that he didn't tell us about but I can read between the lines. Jason and I quizzed Matt about all sorts of technical and non-technical aspects of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, upcoming releases, [URL="http://www.markshuttleworth.com"]Mark Shuttleworth[/URL]'s vision and his position. But, it wasn't until I asked him specifically about the business end of one of [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story272681.html"]Mark's …

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What the hell is up with [URL="http://www.oracle.com"]Oracle[/URL] lately? First, they stopped giving away the Solaris operating system and now they have some big announcement planned for next week at the [URL="http://en.oreilly.com/mysql2010"]MySQL Conference[/URL]. Should we hide our wallets before we listen? To me, Oracle has morphed into [URL="http://www.microsoft.com"]Microsoft[/URL] II with all of its acquisitions and now its hold on those of us who use Solaris and [URL="http://www.mysql.com"]MySQL[/URL]. I don't know how loyal I'll continue to be to MySQL, if Oracle does something crazy with it. Yes, they bought it. Yes, it's theirs. But, don't they have some sort of responsibility to …

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It might sound strange to you that something called [URL="http://www.googlesharing.net/"]Google Sharing[/URL] could actually protect your privacy rather than compromise it. But that's exactly what Google Sharing does; protect your privacy. By acting as a proxy service when you communicate with [URL="http://www.google.com"]Google[/URL], you essentially block information from being delivered to Google. Why would you want to block information from Google or to give it false information on your Internet habits? Privacy. From the Google Sharing Team: [QUOTE]"They know who your friends are, where you live, where you work, and where you spend your free time. They know about your health, your …

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On the heels of my idea from yesterday, "[URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story274873.html"]A New Social Media? Instantaneous Messaging[/URL]" (Yes, I realize that it should be "Medium" not Media--so sue me), I've decided to grace you with another idea that I've had for some time: Drag and Drop Messaging. This idea, that you'd think would have come from the [URL="http://www.apple.com"]Apple[/URL] world, is fairly simple...and revolutionary. Drag and Drop Messaging, as I said, is simple in concept and revolutionary in action but possibly complex in creation. Here's how it works in my mind: You want to send an email message to someone. You write the message …

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The End.