Ubuntu, Language, Rebel EFI

Another week gone bye-bye, another Week in Review. Ubuntu 9.10 was the star of the week of course, but we also talked about language, the HTC Hero, and wall warts. Yes we did.

Apple, Psystar: Purism & Confidence – A couple of years ago, a professor at my university had a very interesting thought exchange with the class I was in. We were a small group, and I knew most of them, they were my friends. Anyway, we had a talk about language purism – not an unimportant subject if you study English in The Netherlands.

Microsoft To Open up Outlook .pst Format – Anyone who has ever dealt with Microsoft Outlook will know the .pst file format – it’s the binary, undocumented file in which all data from Outlook is stored – emails, contacts, calendar, you name it, it’s in there. Microsoft has announced that it will release detailed technical documentation on the Outlook .pst data format.

We Hate the Wall Wart – The “wall wart” is one of humanity’s worst inventions (not counting all of the inventions that are actually intended to kill and maim each other, I’ll admit). AC-plug power supplies are a cheap workaround to various engineering, economic, and regulatory problems that manufacturers face, and they solve those problems by pushing them off onto end users. So what can we do about it? OSNews takes a look at an ingenious workaround to the Wall Wart problem, and some hopeful trends that might make them a thing of the past.

How Computers Are Changing Language – In the comments on our editorial about language purism and the Psystar case, it became quite clear that language is a subject almost everyone has an opinion on – not odd if you consider that language is at the very centre of what makes us “human”. Since this appears to be a popular subject, let’s talk about the influence computing has had on two very minor aspects of the Dutch language.

Qt4 Ported to Haiku, Developer Preview Release Available – The Haiku alpha is barely out the door, and we already have another important news item about the open source reimplementation of the BeOS. About 18 months ago, Evgeny Abdraimov started porting the Qt4 graphical toolkit to Haiku, and now, we ave some seriously epic screenshots showing a multitude of Qt4 applications running in Haiku, as well as a developer preview release.

Rebel EFI Allegedly Contains OSS Code Covered Under APSL – When Psystar announced it Rebel EFI package, the company was quickly accused of simply taking open source code, repackaging it, and selling it for USD 50. While selling open source code is not a problem, not making the source code available if the license demands it is. Netkas, famous OSX86 hacker, and a Russian site are now claiming they have found the smoking gun.

Ubuntu 9.10 Released – We’re a little late, but Real Life got in the way, so here we finally are. Canonical, the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, announced today that Ubuntu 9.10 Desktop Edition has been released. This version focusses on improvements in cloud computing on the server using Eucalyptus, further improvements in boot speed, as well as development on Netbook Remix. The related KDE, Xfce, and other variants have been released as well. Update by ELQ: Just a quick note to say that one of my Creative Commons videos was selected to be part of Ubuntu’s Free Culture Showcase package that comes by default with the new Ubuntu version!

Microsoft’s Signature Initiative: Crapware-Free Computers – We all know that Microsoft doesn’t actually make computers. It makes the software, and then lets an almost infinite amount of manufacturers build computers that can run its software. These manufacturers often make a mess of things, delivering computers filled to the brim with crapware. What would happen if Microsoft made computers? Well, for one, they would be void of crapware. Two, they would help users install the software they want before leaving the store – including software from competitors.

Hewlett Packard Superdome Demo Day – I had the pleasure earlier this month of attending a demo day at HP’s Cupertino campus to commemorate the ten year anniversary of the Superdome server, see what’s new in the high-end server market and learn about what’s going on with HP-UX.

Review: HTC Hero – PureMobile sent us in the GSM version of the HTC Hero, one of the most popular Android-based smartphones out there. There are already a number of in-depth reviews about this phone out there (here’s one), but here’s my own take on what I liked, and what I disliked.


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