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December 2009 Archives

Hardly a day goes by without yet another news story about creative uses of copyright, the DMCA, and generic attack lawyers to stifle free speech, criticism, and competition. It seems that money can buy all kinds of creative "justice." For example, in the increasingly bizarre Apple vs. Psystar drama, in which Psystar commited the awful crime of selling a tool to help customers install Mac OS X on the hardware of their choice, Apple have prevailed yet again in court, and Psystar cannot do this anymore. Linux Today readers, as usual, offer clear insights:

What They've Twisted Copyright Into

"The whole case with Psystar just underlines what big business has twisted copyright into. The so-called 'DRM' in Apple's operating system isn't to prevent copying of the software, but to prevent installation on a non-Apple machine."


Christmas in Computerland

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Here are a few holiday-themed articles from around Internet.com and the Web. Enjoy!

Akkana Peck's series on creating your own holiday cards with GIMP also teaches useful GIMP techniques for all occasions.

Make Your Own Holiday Cards with GIMP

Printing Your Custom GIMP Holiday Cards

Fixing Your Holiday Photos With GIMP

Remember to be careful out there:

Top Ten Security Tips for the Holidays

Bah Humbug: Koobface Worm Hits Facebook, Again

Who says geeks don't have senses of humor:

Christmas Tech Jokes 2008 Edition

Sometimes Christmas presents arrive early:

SCO Cans Darl: The Christmas Came Early News Roundup

Sometimes the Grinch comes instead:

Terry Childs: Another Christmas in jail

I wish everyone a great holiday, and for everyone who does not celebrate anything special this time of year, good wishes to you!


7 Fabulous Gifts For Your Favorite Linux/FOSS Geek:

The best part about being a grownup is you can be your own favorite Linux/FOSS geek and buy yourself nice things. Here are some cool gift ideas for this holiday season. Or any time of year, because excellent adult toys know no seasons.

Is Google Public DNS safe? Look at the source ports:

So is Google's Public DNS random enough?

I got a comment from famed security researcher, H D Moore on that point. Moore knows what he's talking about when it comes to DNS exploits as his Metasploit tool was among the first to have a weaponized version of the Kaminsky DNS flaw.

Moore has now put together a mapping of Google's source port distribution on the Public DNS service. In his view, it looks like the source ports are sufficiently random...


Over at Linux Planet my favorite Linux newbie Emery Fletcher writes:

"I'd like to put in my two cents' worth on the matter of documentation. I'm not an expert like Carla Schroder or Bruce Byfield, the two who brought up the topic, but I'm the very sort of person who needs it most, still pretty much of a newbie, but one who learns best by reading. It's a good thing reading is my preferred mode of learning, because as it happens I've not personally met a real live human who is a Linux expert, one who could give me over-the-shoulder instructions as I muddle through.

It occurs to me that there must be a whole lot of people out in the real world who are not unlike me. They have used their PCs long enough that they're familiar with all the processes they usually use, but they suspect there's a lot more stuff they could do if only they knew how. After a few tentative experiments with what they've been using, they learn that the motto of Windows is You Can't Get There From Here.

Books!

If you're an absolute newbie, there's really no lack of useful books that will help you along on the Freedom Train to get a Linux box set up with one of the transition distros like Ubuntu or Mepis or Mint, and before very long it becomes as familiar to you as Windows once was. But now and then something comes up, like creating the /home partition you find you should have set up during installation, and the instructions for it involve a good deal of copy-and-paste of scripts.

That's where documentation gets dicey..."

Read the rest of Emery's excellent article at LinuxPlanet.