Proprietary

Got a Mac

On my personal home computer I permanently switched from Windows to Linux in 2001. The latest Ubuntu GNU/Linux distribution automatically updates itself and allows to do all the mundane stuff like handling electronic mail, surfing the internet, viewing and editing text or spreadsheet documents.

There are outstanding free applications allowing me to create and retouch high-colour graphics, rip and apply audio filters to songs, manage and hand-edit my music and photographic library, and securely store all my critical data. The X Windows System allows to place applications windows in any of its multiple screens and keeping a movies window on all screens on top of all applications.

Linux is good and I love Open Source. My only dissapointment however is the difficulty of setting up and flawlessly running multimedia (music or video) composition software. There is also a file management system issue: since the file and folder owner alone has write priviledge, I have often found myself unable to write files on a wearable Linux device’s memory card. For example I cannot place files on my HTC memory card under Linux. I need to resort to Windows or OSX to do that.

Which is why I pondered wether to get a Mac mini and I eventually ended up doing it.

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Bugs
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DRM
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Linux
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android and iPhone vulnerability compared

Kenneth Van Wyk wrote an article for itmanagement.earthweb.com in which he tried to assess the level of vulnerability of Google android and Apple Inc. iPhone OS.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and predict Google’s Android mobile phone platform is going to prove itself to be more secure than Apple’s iPhone in the long run.

Go to the article.

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Android
Digital privacy
Economic sustainability
Google
Internet
Mobile computing
OSX
Open
Operating system
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Review
Security
Vulnerability
iPhone

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Last.fm taking care of business

Founded in 2002, British company Last.fm offers three complementary services: playing customized audio broadcasts on its corporate player, keeping track and statistics about of all the songs played or rated on one’s multimedia application, and building an extensive artist and songs database.

Failing to load music on the Last.fm player for the last few days, I logged onto their portal only to find out that Last.fm now asks users to register for a 3$ monthly fee. This comes as no surprise, considering that in order to be able to podcast copyrighted audio content, the company must have had a way of monetizing it. This seems to be a logical step two years after the company being acquired by CBS.

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Office 2007 isn’t bad at all

I reluctantly had to undergo a corporate workshop on Office 2007, but to be honest, I was pleasantly surprised: The office now features a PDF export filter and allows to easily add slick graphical effects. I’m thinking: hey, this is what OpenOffice should have been like!

Microsoft seems to have taken heed of customers complaints and from the competition (hint: Apple) to produce a cleaner, leaner interface. Microsoft’s Office Open XML is a ZIP-compatible compressed meta-format and became an Ecma standard in 2006. Obviously, the 48 years-old non-profit Ecma International industry standards organisation lists Microsoft amongst its ordinary (financially supporting) members. Needless to say, Office 2007 doesn’t export to Sun’s OpenDocument format.

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Bloatware
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Is the European Commission getting smarter?

Officials from the European Union are said to be enlisting the help of rival browser vendors in their anti-trust dealings with Microsoft.

According to a Wall Street Journal report the European Commission has begun speaking with hardware and software vendors, including rival browser companies such as Opera, on ways which Microsoft can allow for competition on Windows systems.

Read the article at vnunet.com.

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Economic sustainability
Internet
Migration
Open
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