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July 2008 Archives

Dog the Spammer Hunter

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I received a rude awakening when I did some work for an old client- more spam than I ever dreamed existed in the whole world. On my private domains I have a good working SpamAssassin setup, though I can't lock it down too tightly because I get email from strangers all over the world. I could spend my days fiddling with fine-tuning SpamAssassin, but letting a few spams slip through to avoid false negatives, and still having a life is OK with me.

But this poor man has a small business and no idea how to erect spam shields. He's doing all the right things that a Windows user is supposed to do-

Do people even read paper books and magazines anymore? Obviously enough are to keep paper publications alive, but for how long? Paper is good. It's easy on the eyes, portable, easy to hold, and requires no power to read. It can't be infected with DRM, and the vendor cannot flip a remote kill switch and make it unreadable...

Today marks the end of my second week in the new job as your Royal

Highness the Managing Editor of Linux Today and LinuxPlanet. This week

went a lot more smoothly than last week, without telco techs

bumbling around making messes and disrupting my service. Unfortunately

they're not finished- I have a several hundred foot-long temporary

cable trailing across my property. It starts out at the street at the

junction post, winds across the riding arena, through a pasture, and

across my driveway. I guess Monday I'll have to unleash my inner

harridan to motivate them to finish the job.

Way back in the very olden days, or so the story goes, Richard M. Stallman was motivated to launch the Free Software movement because of something that afflicts us to this day- crappy binary-only printer drivers. How's that for innovation? 38 (correction, it's 28) years later and we still have sucky printer drivers, and printers that don't give us any kind of useful warnings or status messages, and that take a malicious delight in failing silently. I guess the one bit of advancement is now we have these same problems with FOSS printer drivers.

But I digress. I got to thinking about this because I think the future of computing is ever-smaller, more-specialized widgets.

What a week this has been. It started off wonderfully, in my

brand-new job that I inherited from the incomparable Brian Proffitt.

After six years of artfully steering the good ship Linux Today (and

LinuxPlanet, and several other Jupitermedia sites), Brian has moved on

to hobnob with the likes of Linus and other Linux luminaries.


I was very excited and pleased to be chosen as his successor; while I

am not worthy to fill his aromatic old sandals, I will do my best to at

least not wreck the joint.

The happy glow lasted about half a

day. (Boss, if you’re reading this you really should stop now. Really.

The rest is very boring and a waste of your time. Honestly, don’t


By Mark Hinkle

Today Linux desktop manufacturer Xandros acquired Linspire for an undisclosed amount. Xandros will also be keeping existing engineering, support, and key sales employees and long-time Linspire employee and CEO Larry Kettler will be joining the Xandros executive team as the VP of Business Development. While Xandros didn’t mention their total employee numbers Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos claims Xandros to be the third largest Linux company in the world after the acquisition. Former Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony has some harsh criticism of the deal on his blog.