Why Windows Vista Content Protection, well, sucks.

Peter Gutmann has done an amazing analysis of the costs and issues involved with the "Content Protection" scheme in Microsoft's Windows Vista (slides).  Essentially, if you want to use multimedia, you can only use it how the movie industry says you can.  NetFlix has given in to that, producing (along with Microsoft) a tool that effectively strips your fair use rights.  It's amazing how we've all become criminals of the information age.  I guess it's only the information age for those who are willing to spend the money.

A Linux Conference in Atlanta?

From 1996 to 2001, Atlanta played home to the Atlanta Linux Showcase.  Linux has certainly gained a substantial following since 2001, and I think it's about time that we bring a conference back to the Southeast.  LinuxWorld Expo has made several appearances in Boston, San Francisco, and elsewhere, but the Southeastern US has been overlooked.  Sure, we have PhreakNIC (Tennessee), CarolinaCon (NC), and others, but none of them focus on Linux or Open Source, and they all miss Atlanta, a hotbed of business and IT in the Southeast.

I'm interested in forming a new conference here in Atlanta to focus on Linux and Open Source software.  I'd like to make it user-oriented with a focus on home and small/medium business (corporate users probably look for bigger events like LWE).  I'd like to see involvement from local LUGs and other organizations.  Mostly I'd like to see the exposure for all aspects of this.

Students for Open Source at Georgia State can help in arranging the use of GSU facilities to organize the event.  Additionally, cross-promotion within our departments can help to get speakers and equipment needed for the event.

If anyone else is interested in seeing something like this, let me know.  Either leave a comment here or email me at david -at- webgroup (dot) org.

Gutsy is HERE!

Ubuntu Linux 7.10, the "Gutsy Gibbon", has arrived!  The mirrors are being hammered, so please use the torrents if possible.  Downloads are at: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download.  This version of Ubuntu Linux comes with several nice features in addition to the stability that Ubuntu is known for.

  • 3D Desktop Effects
  • Tracker Desktop Search
  • Fast User Switching
  • Dynamic X Configuration (Multi-monitor support, rotation, etc.)
  • True Printer Autoconfiguration
  • NTFS Write Support
  • Encrypted Hard Disk Support
  • Major Ubuntu Server Changes

Gutsy is Coming!


iPhone Lawsuit: What are they thinking?

For anyone who knows me, they know I'm all for Open platforms and open source. So it probably comes as a surprise to hear me supporting Apple when they're being sued over bricked iPhones. But I am.

When a customer buys an iPhone, they AGREE not to attempt to modify it. The warranty SPECIFICALLY excludes modifications, as does the software EULA. They also agree to a 2-year contract with AT&T.

Apple does not have a monopoly on the smart phone market, so this hardly amounts to an anti-competitive practice. You can buy a Treo, or any number of Windows Mobile devices, or even the upcoming Neo 1973.

These people make a mockery of the American civil courts system. Essentially, they agree to a contract, knowing the terms of the contract, and then they run to the courts asking them to invalidate the contract.  Perhaps some people are just too stupid to own an iPhone.  I hope they get kicked out of the courtroom with nothing but a bill for Apple's attorneys.