Best of 2009
The new year is almost upon us, so it's a good time to wrap up the year 2009 and ruminate over the best open source software and hardware this year brought us. So without further ado, let me present my personal "Best of 2009" list in no particular order.
The coolest hardware: TonidoPlug
The concept of plug computer has been floating around for quite some time. But CodeLathe turned the idea of a tiny server with extremely low power consumption into a real and genuinely useful product named TonidoPlug. The little server runs Tonido software, an open source peer-to-peer platform and application suite that includes several top-notch applications such as a blog engine, a torrent client, a photo sharing app, a file sharing tool, and a fully-fledged collaboration environment. Better yet, developers can write third-party applications that can be easily installed on TonidoPlug.
The best Firefox extension: Zotero
The Zotero add-on transforms Firefox into a powerful research and archiving tool. You can use it to store and manage notes, Web pages, and documents. Powerful search and tagging capabilities make it easy to find information in your Zotero libraries, and the Zotero extension for OpenOffice.org lets you generate and manage properly-formatted bibliographies using your favorite productivity suite. You can sync data stored in Zotero between several machines, including file attachments, using either Zotero's own service or any third-party server that supports WebDAV. As if this was not enough, Zotero also offers a Web-based service which lets you access your data via a browser as well as share it with other Zotero users.
Best distro release: Knoppix 6.x
After a long hiatus, the venerable Live CD Linux distribution emerged in a new version redesigned from the ground up. The latest version sports a brand new accelerated boot procedure which significantly reduces the boot time, and the LXDE lightweight graphical desktop environment. Unlike previous versions, Knoppix 6.0 comes with a trimmed software bundle, but key productivity applications like OpenOffice.org, Iceweasel (aka Firefox), Icedove (aka Thunderbird), Pidgin, and the GIMP are still there. The latest version of Knoppix features a new flash-knoppix tool that allows you to install Knoppix on a USB stick or a flash card.
Best software release: digiKam
A 1.0 release is usually a significant milestone in the life of an open source project, and digiKam is no exception. The highlights in the 1.0 release include a new batch queue manager that lets you queue photos for processing through multiple tools. The new version adds support for OpenStreetMap in the Geolocation panel for digiKam used for geotagging photos. digiKam 1.0 also features a brand new liquid rescaling tool, a first run assistant, and new color filters. The application now supports metadata templates that let you easily add copyright and metadata to photos. The color management code part has been rewritten from the ground up, and the Advanced Rename tool now features syntax highlighting and history management.
ZoteroGood list..I've never tried Zotero but after reading this article, I gotta say what all the fuss is about.
A new class of problems lets a malicious app pre-configure an invisible privilege update.
New Hack language adds static typing and other conveniences.
New crypto policy system will offer easier configuration and more uniform security.
Ubuntu founder denounces insecurity in proprietary, close-source software blobs.
Vulnerability affects many Linux web servers
The Bavarian capital shuns Microsoft, Google, and other alternatives to implement an open source groupware solution.
Phone vendor partnerships bring Mark Shuttleworth's dream of Ubuntu on a phone a step closer to reality.
Donors will get to vote on new features for the free video editor.
Debian project puts init out to pasture and says no to Ubuntu's Upstart.