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Open source and the Creative Commons

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| Open source software is everywhere. While Apple's Mac OS X and iPhone OS
| contain many proprietary additions, both are based on open source. Linux is
| an open source operating system, an alternative to Microsoft Windows and
| other proprietary systems.
| Google and many other web services are provided via machines running Linux,
| and it is commonly used in universities and business. Linux can run on any PC
| and a few desktops and laptops come with it already installed.
| Half the sites on the web rely on an open source web server called Apache
| behind the scenes. Much of the software behind things like email, message
| boards and many other features of the internet is open source. On the desktop
| there is the increasingly popular Firefox web browser as well as Google's new
| web browser, Chrome.
| There is even OpenOffice.org, an open source alternative to Microsoft's
| Office suite. This is just a sample of the more visible open source projects.
| There are thousands of projects out there, many developed by volunteers,
| catering to all kinds of specialist needs.



"IDTV" chipset runs Linux

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| Swiss semiconductor vendor Micronas has announced a Linux-based reference
| platform for flat-panel, H.264 compatible HDTVs.


I'm the last to know: Linux powers the Kindle

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| Roy Schestowitz pointed to this post about the Kindle's operating system
| today: Linux. I didn't know that. Somehow I missed the memo last year when
| Robert Love wrote about his discovery of Linux at the heart of the Kindle.
| I had written about how the Kindle's content strategy reminded me of open
| source, but I had no idea that the software running the device was open
| source. One more reason to want my Kindle back.


The hidden world of Linux

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| There are many great FOSS projects that utilise old PC hardware and give it a
| new lease of life. The best is desktop computing with various Linux
| distribution flavours like Mint, PCLinux, Ubuntu and countless others. In
| fact it is my considered belief that the best hardware to run Linux on is
| infact (almost) any machine that is at least 12 months old. It is possible,
| of course, to select components based on the degree (and maturity) of the
| specific support under Linux but this has two major drawbacks. * * *
| [...]
| Not only do such projects look to modify embedded Linux devices, but some
| great projects have sprung up to utilise old PCs every household seems to *
| accumulate in order to fulfil a number of key uses. For example,
| comprehensive firewall distributions like IPCop or Smoothwall or NAS
| distributions like FreeNAS (although this is based on BSD.) These are not
| dirty hacked operating systems either but very mature, streamlined, low
| memory footprint distributions which run headlessly. Being totally
| administered through a web browser makes these distributions feel extremely
| professional and polished (even if the archaic hardware they are running on
| doesn’t) this being coupled by the extraordinary amount of options present
| really makes these projects an extraordinary example of the flexibility of
| Linux/BSD. * * * * *


Linux everywhere

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| Take yesterday as a case in point. *I checked the order status of my Elonex
| One, and sent an email to see if my order for the One can be upgraded to the
| One+ (bluetooth, and bigger internal memory). *I then caught the train to the
| Queen Elizabeth hospital, watching the in-train tv which is powered by some
| Linux flavour (given the error message I saw a few weeks back). *Visiting my
| friend Simon at the QE, he’s spotted that the tv/phone/internet screens that
| each patient has are powered by Linux. *This is of course when he’s not
| tapping away on his Asus EEE, and hopefully writing the next Da Vinci Code
| (only better). * * * *


Linux is truly everywhere

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| I spent a long time smiling about the Linux bootup screen that I had just
| seen. To begin with, it reminded me that Linux, and other open-source
| products, are now everywhere. Linux is no longer for the uber-geeks. It's not
| just for system administrators and programmers, either. Linux is now at the
| core of mainstream appliances, there even when you don't think that a
| computer or operating system might be involved. * *
| [...]
| Finally, Moore's Law and the general trend toward cheaper and faster hardware
| means that Linux now fits into even more places than it did before. We
| normally think of Linux as an operating system for servers, or even for
| desktop computers. But we can expect Linux to be at the heart of a growing
| number of appliances, from video-on-demand devices to digital video recorders
| (e.g., TiVo), to cellphones (e.g., Android and OpenMoko). The Linux-powered
| refrigerator, with a built-in bar-code scanner that can tell you how long ago
| you bought milk, isn't far behind. * * *


What CAN’T Linux do?

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| 1. The story mentioned above. A man installs Linux on sixteen Playstation 3s
| (with zero hardware modifications), clusters them together, and creates a
| system to simulate black holes. *
| 2. Installing Linux on a Mac. I was just reading the most recent Wired
| magazine that has a good story on how Apple has created a very closed system
| where only Apple software plays on Apple hardware. Hello Yellow Dog Linux! I
| have run Linux on an iBook - it was sweet. *
| 3. Routers. We all know that Linux works well on routers. OpenWRT installs
| well on many Linksys routers.
| [...]
| 11. Airplane black boxes. Montavista uses a Carrier Grade Linux to power
| in-flight recorders.
| 12. Brain surgery. Yep. This Linux-powered robot helps in brain surgery.

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