• HP to Follow Dell into Open Source? and Ubuntu Home Server

    HP it seems is responding to Dell’s initiative to sell Ubuntu on their computers. With the Ubuntu Dells reportedly selling very well and Dell rolling out the program worldwide, this hasn’t escaped the notice of the world’s number one computer manufacturer - HP. This is speculation from blogs that has been going on for months since Dell started to offer Ubuntu. The Direct to Dell Blog states:

    This recent post from Tom Dryer caught my eye a couple of days ago, and thought I’d comment on it here. If the rumors about HP offering Ubuntu are true, we’re glad to see other vendors join us in support of Ubuntu and open source. We welcome HP and other system vendors that want to join in this initiative.

  • Windows Vista Security - Better than Linux?

    After reading a nice article written by Jeff Jones, a security researcher for Microsoft. He says he isn’t biased, saying he worked over 75% of his career outside Microsoft, using Slackware Linux, Unix, HP Unix etc. He claims Windows Vista has less security holes than popular versions of Linux, such as Ubuntu (he also compares Red Hat, Novell, Mac OS X). First let me say why his facts are distorted, and why he knows his facts are distorted. His facts do raise an issue of slow patching of vulnerabilities across the software Industry, but Linux performs the best consistently because anyone can audit the code. Here’s why his comparisons are uneven:

    • Linux is open source, so various tools can be used to find vulnerabilities. We don’t have this luxury with Windows, any holes found are needles in a haystack, but the target of the Windows monopoly allows greater incentive to find these needles
    • Linux has used SUDO and ROOT users properly since its inception (Think of Administrator in Windows). Anyone who is not a root user on Linux cannot install programs, make system wide changes, and you can even stop them from using USB keys, CD Drives etc if you are paranoid. Now this has received much attention, Vista has retroactively inserted this kind of security, but by my experience, it is very obtrusive, and can be switched off. Root in Linux is alot harder to stop, and theres no graphical way to do it, so the average user won’t.
    • A link to my second point above, Programs in Linux can only access what they need to, the home folder of the user that is running it and very little else. I don’t know what the case is in Vista, but in Windows XP, almost any program could destroy your system, by picking at the much famed registry.

  • Threats to Democracy

    After reading about Tom Cruise being banned from filming at certain German military sites because of his belief in Scientology, I was a bit outraged at first, despite my abhorrence of their beliefs, which I think are crazy and nonsensical.


    Germany has barred the makers of a movie about a plot to kill Adolf Hitler from filming at German military sites because its star Tom Cruise is a Scientologist, the Defence Ministry said on Monday. Cruise, also one of the film’s producers, is a member of the Church of Scientology which the German government does not recognise as a church. Berlin says it masquerades as a religion to make money, a charge Scientology leaders reject.

  • Leopard - Worth the wait?

    If you haven’t heard of Apple’s latest Operating system, have a look at Wikipedia Article on Mac OS X Leopard. Here are some of the features:

    • Time Machine: an automated backup utility which allows the user to restore files that have been deleted or replaced by another version of a file.
    • Front Row currently only available with the purchase of a new Mac, but will be included with Leopard. It has been reworked to closely resemble the interface used by the Apple TV.
    • Photo Booth, currently only available with the purchase of a new Mac, but will be included with Leopard.
    • Spaces: an implementation of “virtual desktops” (individually called “spaces”), allowing users to have multiple desktops per user and be able to place certain applications and windows in a desktop. Users can organize certain Spaces for certain applications (i.e., one for work-related tasks and one for entertainment) and switch between them. Exposé will work inside Spaces, allowing the user to see at a glance all desktops on one screen.[9])
    • Spotlight incorporates additional search capabilities such as Boolean operators, as well as the ability to search other computers (with permissions).
    • Redesigned Finder: a redesigned Finder based on iTunes 7.
    • New Desktop: a redesigned desktop, which is comprised of a redesigned 3-D dock which uses a new feature called Stacks, as well as a new menu-bar which adapts itself to the desktop so menu-bar text is easily readable.
    • Quick Look This allows documents to be viewed without actually opening them in an external application.
    • Universal access: significant improvements to applications including VoiceOver, along with increased support for Braille, closed captioning and a new text-to-speech engine.
    • Enhancements to Mail including the additions of RSS feeds, Stationery, Notes, and to-dos. To-dos use a system-wide service that is available to all applications.
    • Dashboard enhancements, including Webclip, a feature that allows users to turn a part of any web page into a live Dashboard widget, and Dashcode to help developers code widgets.[14]
    • iChat enhancements, including multiple logins, animated icons, and tabbed chats, similar to features present in Pidgin, Adium and the iChat plugin Chax; iChat Theater, allowing users to incorporate images from iPhoto, presentations from Keynote, and videos from QuickTime into chats; and Backdrops, which are similar to chroma keys, but use a real-time difference matte technique which does not require a green or blue screen. iChat will also implement desktop sharing, a feature previously available with Apple Remote Desktop.[15][16][17]
    • Enhancements to Parental controls include the ability to place restrictions on use of the Internet and to set parental controls from anywhere using remote setup.
    • iCal calendar sharing and group scheduling.
    • Leopard will also include the software assistant known as Boot Camp, which has been available as a beta release download for Mac OS X v10.4 from Apple’s website since April 5, 2006.This assists the installation of Windows XP or Windows Vista to a separate partition (or separate internal drive) on Intel-based Macs.
    • Menu Bar The new menu bar is now transparent and is no longer rounded like all previous Mac OS versions.
    • Safari 3.0 will be included.

  • HP Photosmart R927 Review

    I just bought a HP Photosmart R927, an 8 Megapixel camera from Hewlett-Packard. While I had seen and briefly used one before, I was excited again upon using my own one (as all tech people are [read: geeks]). First of all don’t confuse me as anyway into photography: I’m not and far from it. I had a criteria in mind when I purchased and this was it:

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