Digg - Is this the most newbie-friendly/easy distro so far? Linux Mint 4.0 Daryna
Linux Mint 4.0 is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon that has lots of packages in its repositories (like multimedia codecs, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Skype, Google Earth, etc.) that are relatively hard to install on other distributions; it therefore provides a user-friendly desktop experience even for complete Linux newbies.
Digg - DirectX 9.0c on Linux with Wine
A howto about installing DirectX 9.0c into Wine, the diagnostics program (dxdiag.exe) passes each of the test that is included in the standard DirectX install.. after the install only five dlls need to be set as builtin Wine dlls and the rest can be run as native Windows dlls. While this is not 100% DirectX on Linux, it is 95+%
Only Ubuntu Linux: Howto Tweak Ubuntu
This tool is for ubuntu which makes it easy to change hidden system and desktop settings.Ubuntu Tweak is only for GNOME desktop environment.This is still under heavy development and very good utility for ubuntu users.
Digg - Firefox 3 vs. Firefox 2
comparison of Firefox 3 with Firefox 2
Linux Tip: Discover More Linux Alternatives at Linux App Finder
The Linux App Finder is an organized, extensive list of programs that includes screenshots, desktop environment information, and links to source and download sites. Even more handy is the searchable list of Windows and OS X "equivalents," organized by the names of proprietary software. If you're new to Linux or have given up trying to find a certain kind of application, Linux App Finder is worth a look.
Speed up your GMail and GCal | Lifehacker Australia
Here's a nice little tip for speeding up your GMail and Google Calendar, and it's incredibly simple too. You can refresh the view by clicking the Gmail (or GCal) logo on the top left of your screen. This refreshes the view without reloading the page so it's much faster.
First look at ASUS Eee PC | Lifehacker Australia
# The OS is a simplified version of the Xandros Linux distro
# It's running Open Office with 40 built-in apps ranging from Firefox to Skype
# The Media Player can play DivX and .avi files
# 15 second boot time, 5 second shutdown
- battery time is quoted at up to 5 hours
# it's aimed at kids but its size makes it a worthwhile contender for a laptop replacement - the keyboard is small for a laptop, but huge for a PDA
Google's mobile guru talks Android | Lifehacker Australia
instead of a Google phone, Google's delivered is Android, an open software mobile phone. Google's fostering development on the platform by releasing a developer kit and offering $US10 million in prizes for the best software developed for the new platform.
ZDNet has today published an interview with Andy Rubin, head of mobile platforms at Google, where he talks about Android, Linux, the iPhone and the "Dream" prototype phone.
Find Critically-Acclaimed Torrents at PickyPirate | Lifehacker Australia
BitTorrent search sites like The Pirate Bay can help you find recently-released tunes, flicks and video games, but deciding which are worth the hefty downloads usually involves digging in more mainstream channels. Enter PickyPirate, a mashup website that matches scores from review compilation sites Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes to download links from torrent search sites The Pirate Bay and Mininova. For casual torrent browsers, the site could be a nice reminder of what's floating around and save a few clicks on the way to a download.
Hot Image Your PC's Hard Drive with DriveImage XML | Lifehacker Australia
free utility DriveImage XML can save a full, working snapshot of your Windows hard drive while you work on it. When your PC crashes and burns or just slows down over time, the best insurance you can have is a mirror image of your operating system, complete with drivers, user settings, software applications, and documents in one place.
Ex-AT&T employee: NSA snooping Internet traffic too
In addition to listening in on phone calls, the National Security Agency has also been monitoring the Internet traffic of US residents, according to a retired AT&T engineer. Whistleblower and ex-AT&T employee Mark Klein said that the telecom has been diverting IP traffic to a secret NSA listening room in San Francisco.
Infringement in perspective: major movie bust fine dwarfed by RIAA tab
If a woman found to have shared 24 songs over KaZaA was ordered to pay $9,250 for each track, what do you think an appropriate fine for uploading the first copy of The Simpsons Movie to the Internet? According to an Australian magistrate, AUS$1,000, or about US$890.
U R SUED: Patent holding company targets 131 companies over SMS patents
Sometimes, it seems as if licensing and patent holding companies are holding a secret contest between themselves to see who can pack in the most defendants into a patent lawsuit. Technology Patents LLC may be the new champion for suing 131 companies worldwide—the list goes on and on, naming companies like Vodafone, Orange, T-Mobile, Telstra, AT&T, Cincinnati Bell, Motorola, Microsoft, Helio, Taiwan Mobile, O2, Rogers Wireless, China Resources Peoples Telephone Company, Yahoo, Sprint, and everyone in between. The company and its founder, Aris Mardirossian, are suing over what he believes to be infringement on two of his patents that address international text messaging.
Judge tosses options backdating lawsuit by Apple shareholders
back in January, Apple shareholders (including the New York City Employees' Retirement System) filed a class action suit against Apple. They alleged that the backdating of stock options violated securities laws, misled shareholders, and caused shares of AAPL to decline in value. Judge Jeremy Fogel issued his ruling yesterday, in which he granted Apple's motion to dismiss the case.
Setback for wiretapping plaintiffs bodes well for EFF class action
A federal appeals court has dealt a setback to plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the NSA's warrantless surveillance program, ruling that the state secrets privilege precludes the use of evidence gleaned from a classified document inadvertently given to a Muslim charity accused of terrorist ties. But in a hopeful sign for the Electronic Frontier Foundation's pending class action lawsuit against AT&T, the three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit took a dim view of the government's broader claim that the very existence of the so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program was a state secret.
RIAA told to show cause why .edu subpoenas shouldn't be quashed
A federal judge in Washington, DC, has handed the RIAA another setback in its campaign against on-campus file-sharing. In Arista v. Does 1-19, a case brought against 19 George Washington University students by the Big Four record labels, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly has ordered the RIAA to show cause why the ex parte subpoenas issued to GWU shouldn't be quashed.
EFF, others ask Supreme Court to reinstate "patent exhaustion doctrine"
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumers Union, and Public Knowledge have joined forces and filed an amicus brief (PDF) in a pending Supreme Court case that could help set limits on the number of times in a single supply chain that a patent holder can profit from its patents.
Overly-broad copyright law has made USA a "nation of infringers"
How many copyright violations does an average user commit in a single day? John Tehranian, a law professor at the University of Utah, calculates in a new paper that he rings up $12.45 million in liability (PDF) over the course of an average day. The gap between what the law allows and what social norms permit is so great now that "we are, technically speaking, a nation of infringers."
T-Mobile forced to sell unlocked iPhones in Germany
T-Mobile Germany announced this morning that it would begin selling iPhones without a contract or a SIM lock that would restrict the device to its network. Those SIM-unlocked iPhones will be available starting today, in fact, but they won't run cheap. T-Mobile is selling them for €999 (just under US$1,500).
The insanity of France's anti-file-sharing plan: L'État, c'est IFPI
It's hard to engage in file-sharing if you don't have any Internet access. That's the threat behind a new memorandum of understanding between the government, ISPs, and Big Content in France that would see repeat P2P infringers lose their Internet connections. In exchange, the French music industry would make its French-language archive freely available available sans DRM. In addition, DVDs would be on store shelves within six months of a film's theatrical release, instead of the current seven and a half months.
Microsoft criticizes "Vista Capable" plaintiffs for focus on tiny sticker
The plaintiffs claim that the entire "Windows Vista Capable" program was little more than a marketing campaign designed to keep profits high during the transition from XP to Vista. The "Windows Vista Capable" sticker told consumers that "their soon-to-be-obsolete XP PCs were 'Windows Vista Capable' state-of-the-art," said the class action request.
Google launches custom search - Internet - www.itnews.com.au
The Google Custom Search Platform, which allows organisations to add Google search functionality to their web sites is now available internationally.
The new downloadable search platform will be less expensive and simpler to obtain than the search product currently supplied by Google, the plug-in appliance, which was launched in April 2006, according to the firm. The Custom Search Platform is also purely for websites, whereas the Google Search Appliance can index documents held internally by firms.
Google-mobiles start snapping Aussie cities - Internet - www.itnews.com.au
Camera-shy pedestrians should be advised to stay indoors this summer as a fleet of Google-mobiles equipped with roof-mounted cameras trawl Australian capital cities snapping locales for the Internet search giant’s Google Street View.
The cars will be doing the rounds in Australian capital cities, taking 360 degree panoramic street-level photographs to be used on Google Maps’ Street View feature.
How your creepy ex-co-workers will kill Facebook - Internet - www.itnews.com.au
Cory Doctorow describes how Facebook and other social networks have built-in self-destructs: They make it easy for you to be found by the people you're looking to avoid.
Digg - How a Computer for the Poor Got Stomped by Tech Giants
From its inception, One Laptop Per Child posed a threat to the personal-computing dominance of software giant Microsoft and chip maker Intel. The team (drawn from MIT) designed a machine that didn't use Windows or Intel chips
Digg - Zune 2.1 firmware available now!
Are you one of the many who snagged an el cheapo, first generation Zune 30GB off of Woot or a big box fire sale? Or -- gasp -- paid full price? Good, the moment you've been waiting for has arrived. All the new features and interface bumps of your second generation peers are just a click away
Split personalties: new hypervisor/flash combos mean an OS is just one way to boot
Let's call it the "widgetification" of the computer: with a suitably-sized chunk of flash memory, you can instantly boot a stateless, safe machine that connects directly to a network and provides a fixed suite of task-specific functions—web browsing, media playback, VoIP, or even the execution of a specific HPC kernel. So you could say that in the recent rash of embedded hypervisor announcements we're seeing the rise of the computer-as-multifunction-widget, to revisit the widget vs. platform dichotomy
Merlin Mann's productivity talk at IDEO - Boing Boing
Productivity guy Merlin Mann did a great presentation for IDEO, a great design shop. He talks about how to regulate the technological systems in your life, and how to get the people around you to play along
Broken DRM scheme: $45 million; trampling fair use: priceless
Macrovision, the DRM firm perhaps best known recently for creating security holes in Windows with its SafeDisc DRM, has purchased the intellectual property surrounding the BD+ DRM scheme used by Blu-ray to thwart attempts at copying. For $45 million, Macrovision will get ownership of the Self-Protecting Digital Content (SPDC) technology that forms the basis for BD+ as well as associated patents owned by Cryptography Research.
UK retailers to record labels: DRM is killing us
In response to declining music sales in the UK, the Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has called for the music industry to put an end to DRM. The organization—which represents retailers who sell music and DVDs—blames draconian digital copy protection technologies for the slow growth of the digital music market.
Big Content asks presidential candidates for more restrictive copyright laws
The Copyright Alliance, which counts the MPAA and RIAA amongst its members, has sent letters and questionnaires to presidential candidates in an effort to determine where they stand on issues relating to intellectual property law. In a copy of the letter seen by Ars, Copyright Alliance executive director Patrick Ross says he speaks "on behalf of the 11 million Americans employed in the creative industries," and asserts that piracy reduction is essential.
Nokia N810: unboxing and first impressions
The N810 is a bit smaller than the N800, which makes it more comfortable to use and easier to tote around in a pocket.
Pirate Bay laughs off three-pronged legal assault
The Pirate Bay faces three separate legal challenges this holiday season, though site administrators tell Ars that they're not worried by any of the pending cases. A Swedish prosecutor wants to take down the site, though, and Prince has set his lawyers on the same task.
Microsoft "learning" from WGA failures, but the lesson should be: kill it
The introduction of Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) anti-piracy program was met with emotions ranging from indifference to outright anger by legitimate Windows users. Certainly those who were falsely accused of pirating Windows had something to be upset about, as did the people who suffered from the service being unavailable earlier this year. Even those that have not been caught in the WGA snare are uncomfortable with it: the idea of a low-level system process watching your system for signs of piracy so it can reduce the functionality of your system is just a little Orwellian.
What does the Microsoft "partnership" with Facebook mean for users? | Linux Journal
Here's the key fact: Facebook's users are not its customers. They're the targets to which Facebook's customers aim advertising. In old media this was no big deal. But Facebook isn't just a "medium". It's a vast walled garden where the social activity of members and visitors constantly improves the ability of advertisers to "target" both.
This is a Good Thing only if it works for everybody — including both those targeted as well as those doing the targeting. And if users are actually involved, they have some important questions:
* What happens to my identity-related information?
* How is it used, and by whom?
* How much control do I have over my data (or data about myself) — including what Facebook "partners" do with that data?
Jeremiah Owyang visits these questions in his latest post, How Microsoft got their Passport after all.
Google preps magic GDrive | The Register
The GDrive rumors have resurfaced. This morning, The Wall Street Journal reported that Google is preparing an online storage service capable of housing all the files you now store on your very own hard drive.
According to The Journal, the service could allow access from both PCs and mobile phones, and it could be released "a few months from now."
Power-hungry Google launches green energy scheme - Technology - theage.com.au
Google is expanding into alternative energy in its most ambitious effort yet to ease the environmental strain caused by the company's voracious appetite for power to run its massive computing centres.
Why is the iPlayer a multi million pound disaster? | The Register
The story of the BBC's iPlayer is of a multi-million pound failure that took years to complete, and was designed for a world that never arrived. More was spent on the project than many Silicon Valley startups ever burn through, but only now can we begin to piece together how this disaster unfolded.
When the iPlayer was commissioned in 2003, it was just one baffling part of an ambitious £130m effort to digitise the Corporation's broadcasting and archive infrastructure. It's an often lamented fact that the BBC wiped hundreds of 1960s episodes of its era-defining music show Top of the Pops, including early Beatles performances, and many other popular programmes.
The scope of the restructure was welcomed: it would be hard for anyone who values the BBC's place in society to argue against preserving and making available the huge investment in quality programming by licence fee payers over the last 50 years.
The iPlayer was envisaged as the flagship internet "delivery platform". It would dole out this national treasure to us in a controlled manner, it was promised, and fire a revolution in how Big TV works online.