- SCO is pleased to announce the appointment of Subodh Rustagi as their new country head for India. Although as usual, this SCO PR is a bit misleading. He was already listed as holding that position a couple of weeks ago in connection with the muddled Gujarat story. If you're a LinkedIn user, his profile is here.
- A new Guardian story about the SCO case. They haven't been following this as obsessively as some of us (cough, SNR, cough), so they don't have all the details nailed, but they've got the basics, and they serve a wide audience, and SCO doesn't come out smelling like roses, exactly. And I rather like the Dickens analogy. They're probably thinking of his novel Bleak House, which revolves around an extremely protracted court case, which dragged on for generations even without a PIPE fairy to keep paying the lawyers. It's not a very encouraging thought, is it?
- On GL, yet another amusing SCO filing, full of all sorts of weird and unproved new assertions. It won't change anything, but watching SCO's lawyers flail around and grasp at straws is good for a chuckle or two.
- Speaking of India (which we were a moment ago), meet BOSS, a Linux distro from the subcontinent, with i18n and l10n for a variety of languages over there.
- Open source usage reportedly grew 60% in India last year.
- The Indian state of Tamil Nadu moves to Linux.
- A piece about open source IP indemnity.
- The Swedish armed forces choose Red Hat & open source.
- Russian schools abandon Windows
- A new ODF proposal in Texas. Yes, they do have computers in Texas. Well, I know they do in Austin, and I'm pretty sure I saw one in Dallas once.
- Antivirus apps aren't doing so hot on Vista, including Microsoft's own AV tool.
- With all the Vista hype, have you heard anyone claiming that Vista is faster? There's a reason you haven't.
- Lamlaw on SCO's recent 10K
- MS support fees for Windows & Office are going up, up, up.
- The Inquirer reports that Skype reads your BIOS and reports back to the mothership. Wtf?! This sort of thing easily lends itself to conspiracy theories, but I don't see what good it would be. I don't see any obvious reason, legit or otherwise, that you'd want to read someone's BIOS. Ideas, anyone?
- Also at the Inq, a big batch of letters to the editor, including a long techinical one about the superiority of Macs compared to Windows. And I do think there's a good case for that, but I'm not sure filesystems are what it's all about. HFS+ does have certain peculiarities, at least if you're used to other *Nixes. By default it's case insensitive, but case preserving, so that if you do an "rm X*", you also blow away files starting with a lowercase 'x'. This is the default behavior of NTFS too, but you get an opposite situation because all the tools assume case insensitivity, and get very confused if you have two filenames in the same directory that differ only in case. Google for FILE_FLAG_POSIX_SEMANTICS for the gory details. Note that on WinXP you need to tweak something in the registry and reboot to enable case-sensitive naming.
Oh, and HFS+ also has Mac-style resource forks. If you have a file ~/foo.txt that for some reason has a resource fork attached, you can access it with ~/foo.txt/rsrc. Which I guess is still not as weird as NTFS alternate data streams. And not to go off on too much of a tangent, but as far as extended file attributes go, Solaris really takes the cake. On Sol9 and above, the extended file attribute implementation basically attaches a hidden directory to a given file (or directory). You can hide executable code inside an extended attribute, you can even have EA's that belong to someone other than the file's owner. Nice. Google for the syscall "openat()" for all the gory details.
- MIT's Technology Review is disappointed with Vista.
- A piece arguing that the Symbian OS is teh suxor. It's really mostly about iPhone, but for the rest us it may mean hope for mobile phone Linux. Maybe.
I had a brief brush with Symbian a few years ago, and I didn't think it was anywhere near as terrible as it's portrayed in the preceding articles. The nonstandard exception handling in C++ isn't so nice, it's true, but the other complaints are mostly just about the OS being different than what s/he was used to. Learning to code on a new OS is usually like that. It's just that there aren't that many truly distinct OSes out there these days, so it's something developers aren't used to dealing with anymore. A couple of other fun quirks the posters didn't mention: There is no such thing as a global variable in a Symbian app, at least one that displays a UI. And file descriptors are thread local. Oh, and the C++ frameworks are the only documented way to interact with the OS. If there's a lower-level C api to be found anywhere, they've kept very quiet about it.
- An iPhone/OSX vs Linux article regarding 3rd party software, with a very nice bit of Enderle-bashing
- A new Washington State court case about "net send" spam. Note to Windows users: The Messenger service is Considered Harmful, certainly if you leave your machine wide open on the Interwebs. Turn it off, if it isn't off already. Ok, ok, use it to annoy your coworkers for a few minutes, and when it gets old (and it does, quickly), then turn it off. Also, get a freakin' firewall already, and don't let "net send" traffic through it. Or even better, just don't use Windows, period.
It's a nasty and aggravating form of spam, but not a very efficient one. Sure, any kid with a copy of DevStudio can whip up a little app that walks an IP range or an NT domain and does a NetMessageBufferSend() to each machine. Hell, I did that once and annoyed coworkers with it, which is how I know it gets old quickly. The NetMessageBufferSend() call actually blocks until the recipient clicks 'ok', so you have to start multiple threads going if you want to annoy more than one person at once. If I remember correctly, anyway. I turned the damn thing off years ago.
Labels: linux, open source, sco, tech