The Linux Blog


Google Adds Nofollow

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 9:46 am

Recently, Google has rel="nofollow”, where, when added to a URL, Google’s bot will not follow it, which prevents spamming to artificially raise your Google pagerank.

Really, I don’t think anyone will use it. Good idea, however, and easy to tack on rel="nofollow” to all blog comments. It also probably will not cut down on spam at all, as other engines still follow the links and if one person clicks the link, it’s worth it to them to keep their bots spamming.

a href="” rel="nofollow”

In other Google news, Picasa 2 has been released.


Symantec PCAnywhere to Move to Linux

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 7:38 pm

Symantec’s remote management tool is getting its first major facelift in more than a year, with added platform support and a new security scheme.

Symantec’s pcAnywhere 11.5, due the first part of December, lets administrators manage servers or end users’ workstations without having to be physically present. With the pcAnywhere running as a host on a machine, the IT staffer can run a client program from anywhere in the world and do anything from update the latest security patch to executing a program.

Full article.

Large corporations notice Linux.


Earthquake Effects on Earth

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 6:04 am

Gross and Chao have been routinely calculating earthquakes’ effects in changing the Earth’s rotation in both length-of- day as well as changes in Earth’s gravitational field. They also study changes in polar motion that is shifting the North Pole. The “mean North pole” was shifted by about 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) in the direction of 145 degrees East Longitude. This shift east is continuing a long-term seismic trend identified in previous studies.

They also found the earthquake decreased the length of day by 2.68 microseconds. Physically this is like a spinning skater drawing arms closer to the body resulting in a faster spin. The quake also affected the Earth’s shape. They found Earth’s oblateness (flattening on the top and bulging at the equator) decreased by a small amount. It decreased about one part in 10 billion, continuing the trend of earthquakes making Earth less oblate.


I remember someone mentioning the effect the day after the earthquake happened, but I just now found the story (Slashdot ;)). Maybe in my lifetime, I will live a full day longer thanks to this earthquake. Though, I don’t think we were willing to sacrifice all those people just to live a day longer.

Maybe the global temperatures will drop by .000001F, effectively causing an ice age due to this lack of sun.


Tsunami Relief

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 8:59 am

Anders Jacobsen has pledged to donate $1 (up to $500) to the tsunami relief effort for every blogger who trackbacks his page. This is one more dollar. It’s a sad time for many, so give to your local organization or one listed below if at all possible.

International aid organizations:
UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund)
United Nations’ World Food Programme
Medecins Sans Frontieres / Doctors without Borders (donate!)
CARE International
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Disasters Emergency Comittee (DEC) - comprises a raft of aid agencies, including the below and others
British Red Cross
Save the Children UK

North America:
American Red Cross
Canadian Red Cross
Save The Children
Oxfam America

Anders Jacobsen: Webloggers: Give to tsunami victims and I’ll give too!


Mars Rover Lives!

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 3:24 pm

Noting my previous post about things disappearing from the media, the Mars Rover project disappeared as well. It has resurfaced (online, at least) and it appears that it is not climbing the Columbia Hills at the moment. Today, January 3rd, 2005, marks the 1-year anniversary of this machine.

It has survived more than four times its initial 90-day mission, driven miles across the Martian landscape and weathered a red planet winter only to scale hills for its human handlers.



Microsoft Loses Passport

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 11:11 pm

A few days ago, I saw a new posting about eBay discontinuing allowing people to login VIA Microsoft’s Passport (basically, it was supposed to be a universal login system) and I wondered if eBay had become fed up with Microsoft.

Now, I hear, that Microsoft is dropping it completely. Looks like eBay was the major one to collapse it.

“As for major merchants, they were concerned about letting Microsoft stand between them and their customers. They feared the company that controlled more than 90 percent of the world’s desktop computers might one day charge a toll on e-commerce transactions.

In the end, old-fashioned competition may have doomed Passport. “

Read on.

P.S. I’m almost back to life. ;)



Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 3:51 pm

Yay, The GIMP 2.2 is released!

Didn’t take them nearly as long as it did to get 2.0 out. Glad to hear that all is going well with the development team, not like I had heard anything otherwise. Linux binaries and source are all that is avaliable for now.


Not in portage yet… gimp search.


Microsoft’s “Get The Facts” Campaign

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 9:27 am

Linux provider Cybersource’s study comes after a wave of similar “independent” studies that have been commissioned by Microsoft or its partners and indicate that proprietary software is cheaper than open-source solutions. Microsoft has been actively marketing the results of these studies as part of its ‘Get The Facts’ campaign.

Con Zymaris, Cybersource’s chief executive, said that although the company is identified as a Linux solution provider, it has “made a great effort to prepare a balanced and open analysis".

“The prices used for the study, along with research methodology, vendor specifications, cost calculator tabulations and final results are all included, so that these results can be verified by others. Which is more than we can say for any of the TCO reports that Microsoft touts in its current carpet-bombing anti-Linux advertising campaign,” said Zymaris.

According to the latest study, entitled Linux vs Windows TCO Comparison: The Final Numbers Are In, for a company with 250 users, Linux solutions will cost between 27 percent and 36 percent less than Microsoft’s products over a three-year period.

Full article.

If you’re lazy, here’s what it basically says. If you are not aware of the Get the Facts campaign by Microsoft, then you need to get out (or “in") more. It’s all over magazines (PC Magazine, ok, so the only one I read it’s all over). Basically, Microsoft pays some companies to do “studies” and show that Microsoft products cost less than Linux ones do. They proceed to post the results on their own website (

Recently, one of the companies which Microsoft paid has re-evaluated their study and has proven Linux to be cheaper (who woulda thunk?!?). Too bad it doesn’t get as much press as Microsoft’s ads do.

Honestly, the only way I see Microsoft being cheaper is if the people who did the studies bought a bunch of SCO’s Caldera (or it used to be) Linux solution. Haha, we all know how that would turn out ;).


Finally Got Rid of an Enormous XP Annoyance!

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 2:21 pm

On the agenda today, I FINALLY found out how to get rid of a huge annoyance. I hate Windows XP Service Pack 2 (click here for my post at Google Boards about it).

Anyways, there was a notification that wouldn’t go away telling me to install SP2. I decided today to click it, go to custom install, uncheck it, and pressed close (would have been next if I had checked something). In a split second, a magnificent box popped up with a checkbox if I did not want to be notified of this update again. I excitedly clicked it (wow, the drama!) The icon reappeared, which angered me. No problem, it was now to install an IE fix.

Now, the icon is here telling me to reboot, but assuming it goes away, I’m happy.

Also, Gentoo has managed to make a few bugs during the installation process about equivalent to the previous one. Neither is a big deal but both annoy me.

That’s all for now. Nothing important or exciting.


Ken Jennings becomes Encarta Spokesman

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 6:44 am

Microsoft has tapped Jeopardy! king Ken Jennings, who recently finished his 75-game run on the show, to become the spokesman for its Encarta product line. Jennings will embark on a nationwide media tour called “Quiz the Whiz” that challenges news desks to stump the human encyclopedia with questions from Microsoft’s Encarta Reference Library Premium 2005.

Jennings broke the game show record books this year and attracted a cult following by answering 2,700 Jeopardy! questions and raking in over $2.5 million in winnings. Before he takes off to Europe with his family next summer, Jennings hopes to pass on some of his passion for learning.

Full article.

You can also check out my video of Ken losing or check out the blog entry.


Embedded Gentoo Linux Coming

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 3:34 pm

A project to create embedded versions of Gentoo Linux has achieved preliminary releases on x86, MIPS, PPC, and ARM. The releases include native core system binaries, cross-platform toolchains, and, for x86, an optional hardened toolchain. The year-old project needs developers to help add cross-compile awareness to source packages.

Gentoo is a popular desktop and server Linux distribution, in which core system components are distributed as architecture-specific, native binaries, while all non-essential software packages are compiled from source, using a “portage” system similar to the “ports” system in FreeBSD. (Most Linux distributions install both core and non-essential software from pre-built packages of binaries, using convenient tools such as dpkg, rpm, yum, and others. Gentoo partisans say compiling is better, since compiler flags can be set to optimize builds for specific hardware.)

Full article.

By the way, I happen to use Gentoo


KDE 3.4 Preview

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 9:37 pm

KDE 3.3.2 was tagged today, so we should see a new bug fix release of KDE in the first or second week of December. Earlier this past week, the plans for a KDE 3.4 release were also finalized. This will be the last major KDE 3 release before KDE 4. KDE 4 will make use of the Qt 4 library which promises to be quite a revolution for KDE and all Qt applications, but will break binary compatibility with previous releases.

The release schedule for KDE 3.4 plans for an alpha release December 3, a beta release January 7, and a final release March 16 2005. The 3.4 release will bring a large number of features and functionality enhancements over previous KDE 3 releases. Here are some of the features already implemented:

Full article.

Looking down the list later on in the article, all I can say is “nice.” Yet, I’m not so focused on 3.4 as I am of 4.x :). Breaking compatiability with QT4 :(. Sounds like Longhorn. It will most likely be worth it, though (not saying Longhorn’s system isn’t, haven’t tried it yet), but we will have to see.


Half-Life 2 Deathmatch – Surprise!

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 1:49 pm

I can say now that I was 100% surprised that Half-Life 2 Deathmatched was released so soon. Only hours after it was unofficially anounced, it is playable on Steam.

I had guessed incorrectly, as the picture in the latter of the two links confirmed.

Enjoy. I started up the game quickly a few hours ago and I began with a manipulator gun (hmm picking up stuff mmhmm!) ^_^. Yay.


Music Sharing in Canada Legal

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 11:11 pm

TORONTO - Individuals who share personal copies of music files on the internet are safe after a Federal Court rejected a motion on Wednesday that would have allowed the music industry to sue them.

Justice Konrad von Finckenstein said the Canadian Recording Industry Association hadn’t shown copyright infringement by 29 people who had allowed their music files to be uploaded.

Making files available in online, shared directories is within the bounds of Canadian copyright law, von Finckenstein ruled.

Full article.

I won’t say much here, but I think it’s a step in the wrong direction for the Canadians out there. We could be next (USA), but I’m hoping not. Of course, it will probably be challenged again or something.

By the way, I understand it’s quite an old article, but it’s new news to me.


Urgent IMAP Vulnerability

Filed under: — Clete R. Blackwell 2 @ 1:51 am

Several major Linux vendors have warned they are vulnerable to four flaws in a widely used IMAP e-mail server from Carnegie Mellon University’s Cyrus Electronic Mail Project. The flaws could allow an attacker to take over a server.

Among the Linux vendors issuing patches for the Cyrus IMAP server are MandrakeSoft, Gentoo and Debian. IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol) is one of the most popular standards for accessing e-mail, and the Cyrus software is designed for use by small to large enterprises.

Full Article.

This is just one reminder that there are vunerabilities in all operating systems, not just Windows.

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