Article from Issue 158/2014

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Off the Beat * Bruce Byfield

Donate to Rock for Water For many people, working in free software is itself an act of charity. After all, even if they are paid, others benefit and they are helping free software development.

My Wesnoth Addiction Except briefly for a review, I haven't installed Steam. Nor have I had a Windows partition for games for over a decade. It's not that I dislike games – to be honest, the problem is I like them too much.

Why is Interest in Free Office Suites Declining? While I was getting serious about free software in 1999, GNU Parted appeared. I immediately assumed that it would mean the end of the market for proprietary partition editors, and I was puzzled at first when it didn't.

Analyzing Ada: Who wrote the notes attributed to Ada Lovelace? Ada Lovelace is a hero of women in computing. Crediting her as the first computer programmer, her admirers defend her fiercely against detractors who question her accomplishments, pointing out the misogyny that lurks behind the attempts at debunking.

Paw Prints * Jon "maddog" Hall

Hello, President Rousseff ... I Told You So. Dear President Rousseff, I understand that you are irritated with my country, the United States of America, because one of our agencies, the National Security Agency, has been tapping into your private communications, reading your email and otherwise spying on you and other Brazilian nationals.

Productivity Sauce * Dimitri Popov

Play Internet Streams on Android with ServeStream It so happens that my favorite radio station is not available via the TuneIn app for Android, and the only way to listen to the station is to use an alternative SHOUTcast stream.

XnRetro: Vintage Photo Effects on the Linux Desktop If you are looking for a dedicated application that offers a wide range of vintage effects and tools in one easy-to-use package, then you might want to give XnRetro a try.


S.M.A.R.T., Smartmontools, and Drive Monitoring By Jeff Layton

Modern drives use S.M.A.R.T. (self-monitoring, analysis, and reporting technology) to gather information and run self-tests. But is S.M.A.R.T. the best way to predict impending drive doom?

ADMIN Online

AWS Elastic Beanstalk By Dan Frost

It has been years since Amazon began innovating in the hosting market with their cloud hosting, but I can still remember the day I spun up an EC2 instance and cried "WHAT?" over my coffee, staring at a Linux machine that cost me US$ 0.10.

News Bites

CeBIT Call for Papers

CeBIT 2014 takes place in Hannover, Germany, March 10-14, 2014. Organized by Medialinx AG (formerly Linux New Media AG), Special Conference: Open Source will feature a comprehensive daily program, illuminating all aspects of Linux, open source, and free software.

The call for papers is aimed at practitioners, developers, and strategists from the open source, business, and government communities. Issues of specific interest are cloud computing and virtualization, security and privacy, automation and configuration management, and anything about drivers, kernels, and ARM architecture; the focus is on topics that build on the CeBIT 2014 theme, "Datability."

Submit your presentation by completing the application form online, or send a short description of your proposal with your name and a telephone number for potential questions to Presentations should be either 30 or 45 minutes long (including a short Q&A session) in either English or German. The deadline is Monday, January 6, 2014.

OpenShift Shifts Pricing

Red Hat has announced a radical 50% price reduction for its OpenShift PaaS solution. The company also says it is expanding OpenShift services to 14 additional countries in smaller markets within the Eurozone.

OpenShift is a "polyglot PaaS," supporting Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, Node.js, and Perl. Like other PaaS systems, OpenShift provides a complete execution environment in the cloud.

According to Red Hat, the latest price reduction brings the cost down to a range of $.02 to $.10 gear/hour. In Red Hat's Silver plan, a "small" gear has 512MB RAM and 6GB of disk space. The company also announced that it is adding a large (2GB RAM) gear option for resource-hungry applications.

OpenShift is now supported in 30 countries.

DDoS Attack Map Charts Denial of Service

Arbor Networks and the Google Ideas group have collaborated to launch a new web app that maps denial-of-service attacks around the world. The Digital Attack Map shows a graphic representation of DDoS data that Arbor Networks has collected using its Atlas Threat Monitor. The site is updated daily.

In addition to helping with the Digital Map Attack site, Google Ideas has also contributed to creating a browser extension called uProxy that will protect users against eavesdropping on the Internet. uProxy was developed by the University of Washington and Brave New Software.

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