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Articles by Serdar Yegulalp
posted in February 2008
Hardware hacking: it isn't just for those of us with soldering-iron skills anymore, as the hacks for the iPhone clearly show. I don't have an iPhone, but I do have a Canon PowerShot A560, and as it turns out, that's another device that can be hacked thanks to some firmware wizardry.
Now that Sony's Blu-ray has won the next-gen DVD war against Toshiba's HD DVD, find out whether it's worth adding to your PC, for entertainment and data storage.
One index of success for an open source project is how many other projects are derived from it -- or how many people have created alternate builds of the same project. Firefox's success has spawned a whole slew of community-compiled editions of the program, and this week I've been living with one of them, code-named "Pigfoot."
It's a cliche to say that open source breaks down barriers, but every day I learn about a new way that's happening. Here's one barrier that open source can help to bring down, incrementally: the language barrier.
You've probably heard by now about Adobe's AIR, a way to create "rich Internet applications" on the desktop. It's only for Windows and Mac at this point, but Adobe's plan is to eventually release it for Linux as well.
What is it about Ubuntu that has generated such excitement about Linux? To steal a word from Obama's playbook, "Change."
Microsoft's recent announcements about its new openness initiatives have been greeted with great skepticism. They deserve to be, because Microsoft deserves to be changed for the better -- but it's only going to come from the outside, not the inside.
Those of you curious to see how ambitious a Web-based application suite can be while still being built entirely on open standards need look no further than Zoho. The other day I spoke with company evangelist Raju Vegesna about what they've been doing in their ongoing attempt to beat both Microsoft Office and Google Docs at their own games. The short answer: quite a bit.
If there's any one closed source application I know I depend on, it's Outlook. And if there's any one open source application that can unseat Outlook, it's Thunderbird -- er, Mozilla Messaging. Not because it's better than Outlook -- it's not. Not yet, anyway.
Lost in the sea of documents, e-mails, and other data on your computer? Desktop search tools abound -- from a free personal app to a high-dollar enterprise edition.
The news is in: Toshiba is throwing in the towel for HD DVD, leaving Blu-ray Disc as the carrier for next-generation home video. Now comes the next format war for video: physical media vs. digital downloads.
The more I watch SCO's progress -- from Unix vendor to patent-wielding lawsuit machine to bankrupt has-been, and now a privately funded corporate reboot -- the more I feel like I'm watching one of those cheesy 1960s Japanese monster movies with a nigh-unkillable creature from outer space. The super heat ray didn't work on the monster, the mysterious Element X that spews out Radiation Y didn't have any effect either, and now the scientists are falling back on the absolute last resort plan
Sun just made another open source acquisition: Innotek, the makers of the open source VirtualBox virtual machine application. Unlike MySQL, though, this is one open source acquisition that hits home for me in a major way.
Scarcely a week goes by these days without word of the theft of a computer with sensitive personal information on it. It's gotten that much easier to protect such data with whole-drive encryption, but those kinds of solutions have typically been proprietary, like Windows Vista's BitLocker (which isn't available in all versions of Vista, either). Now comes version 5 of the fre
Welcome to the next round of open-source software patent litigation. This time, it's antivirus software maker Trend Micro versus Barracuda Networks and ClamAV, and Barracuda isn't going down without a fight.
No piece of hardware can stay on the market for long without someone taking it apart and trying to do things the manufacturer probably never intended. "ivc", a Norwegian hardware hacker, has been documenting the fun he's been having with Asus's Eee PC. It's eye-opening, to say the least.
It's been a while since I checked in to see what's new in the free and open source world of PortableApps.com. To my delight, I found quite a bit that's both new and updated -- and if you haven't checked in with the folks at PA before, you're likely to be delighted, too.
One of Yahoo's acquisitions back in September '07 was Zimbra, an open source (MPL) groupware product that's garnered a reputation as a solid alternative to Microsoft Exchange. Now, with Microsoft prepping a potential buyout of Yahoo, there's real fear in the air that Zimbra may be one of the casualties.
I've seen a number of people argue that Windows Vista, in all of its bloat and cost and lateness to market, is the best argument for switching to Linux. It's tempting, and there's a lot of truth to it, but at the same time I don't think it's a good idea to define yourself by what you're not.
In a press release dated Jan. 31, research firm Gartner made a number of predictions about the IT marketplace in two to four years. One of the eye-openers: By 2012, they claim, "80% of all commercial software will include elements of open source technology." Wacky? Exaggerated? Probably not.
It's a tough question, isn't it? Is Microsoft buying Yahoo because of its long-term and broadscale expertise with open source? If so, to what end? Well, I thought, maybe what they're really buying is the expertise of the Yahoo programming team, akin to what I felt was happening with Sun and MySQL, et al. Unfortunately, the theory doesn't seem to work here.
I've been running Ubuntu Linux on my notebook, a Sony VAIO TX model, for some time now. I'm impressed with how stable it's been and how a whole raft of features like action-key support (for things like dimming the display) are available directly out of the box, without having to install additional stuff that I needed to download from Sony's site. But because getting used to Linux itself can be jarring for Windows folks, I decided not to just dive in and hope I'm able to swim.