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 Serdar Yegulalp

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Articles by Serdar Yegulalp
posted in March 2009

The TomTom Dispute: No Bang

Kinda saw this one coming. TomTom and Microsoft have settled their whole dispute out of court -- leaving, as various pundits have observed, the whole MS-vs.-Linux issue still in legal limbo. That is, if there even is such an issue.

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Warning: Bad Men In Black Hats!

If there's one criticism of open source you can count on -- one that comes back like crabgrass in the lawn of life, to paraphrase Peanuts's Linus -- it's the line that goes something like this: "Open source means everyone can see your code. Therefore anyone with Bad Things in mind can hack you all the more easily." Here is, I hope, another bullet to the forehead of that myth.

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Red Hat Stands Alone, For The Better

After Red Hat's last round of positive numbers, Citigroup issued a report that the flagship open source company is a "tempting acquisition target". To which I can only reply: Here we go again.

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A Little Heresy Now And Then ...

" ... is relished by even the wisest men." (I'm paraphrasing.) Meaning it helps from time to time to dissent, albeit thoughtfully and with eyes wide open, from the status quo. In today's example, it's Eric S. Raymond -- one of the key figures in the open source / free software world -- talking about why the GPL might have outlived its usefulness. You heard right.

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The Coming Linux Malware Scourge (And How To Stop It)

There's an oft-repeated homily that goes something like this: "The only reason Linux hasn't become a malware target is because it's not that popular." I'm learning there's more truth to that than we realize. Especially if open source developers in general use "open source" in the abstract as a security measure ... and it's not.

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Strong-ARM Tactics

You're probably just as fed up as I am with hearing about Linux-powered netbooks that'll be veritable Windows-killers. Well, there's more of them on the way. And as it turns out, they may well turn out to be Windows-killers in at least one respect: Windows won't run on them, period.

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Google's Summer Of Code '09: FOSS, The Next Generation

Despite the negative press Google gets from time to time, they do more things right than wrong. One of the things they do right every year is their Summer of Code initiative, where they offer stipends to students who want to contribute code to some of the best and brightest open source projects out there. It's a happy collaboration, and one worth doing outside of Google's aegis.

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Sun + IBM = ... ?

After I read that IBM apparently is in talks to buy Sun Microsystems, I felt an odd sense of "oh, yeah -- why not?" coming on. It certainly fulfills one of the predictions people were throwing around about Sun -- but what will happen to some of the flagship open source projects under Sun's wing, namely OpenOffice and Solaris?

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Linux Vs. ... Google, Sort Of

An odd headline, I'm sure, but that's the latest wave of insight from the pundits with an eye turned to the Linux-powered netbook world. It isn't a Windows vs. Linux race; it's a Linux vs. Linux race.

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From Many Models To A Few?

In my last post I talked a bit about an ongoing effort to build a taxonomy of open source business models. As with open source licenses, one could argue that over time there will be a consolidation of business models, too -- so if that does happen, which ones will lead the pack?

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A Tool Suite For Open Source TCO?

With all the talk I've heard about how open source lowers costs of development and ownership, I think it's about time for some enterprising software company out there to sink its teeth into a project that might seem way out into the stratosphere: a suite for performing open source TCO calculation, that covers everything from development to deployment to user education. Is this even possible?

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The Hybrid Netbook Experience, Revisited

No, I don't mean a computer powered by solar panels or fuel cells (although those aren't terribly absurd assertions, either). Rather, there's a growing sense that netbooks -- and notebooks generally -- won't just be running Linux or Windows, but a mix of the two.  But this doesn't look like proof that Windows is on the skids.

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When Equivalents Aren't

The other week I received an e-mail in response to my piece "Windows 7. vs Linux," from a fellow who'd tried to run Ubuntu 8.10 and ran into rocky territory. The whole thing brought up some tough questions about whether talking about open source "equivalents" to existing programs may be misleading.

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The Good, The Bad, And The Open

A quote attributed to various sources goes as follows: "Technology is neither good nor bad, nor is it neutral." It takes the shape you give to it, but it will always take one shape or another. The same could be said of open source, and ought to be.

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A Hands-On With Fixing OpenOffice

If one of the community values of open source is participation, I figured it was high time I participated by doing more than just using a product. This week I sat down and filed bug reports for OpenOffice -- or rather, affirmed that I'd like to see this feature added and that I had that problem as well.

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The Flock Flap

Dealing with rumors and gossip is like nailing jelly to the wall. The right (wrong?) ones take on a patina of truth they don't deserve, just because they sound right or we feel they should be right. Consider the recent blog-buzz about whether or not social-networking Web browser Flock, a Firefox-derived product, is going to ditch its Mozilla base and switch instead to Google Chrome because of poor support from the Moz side.

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For what felt like forever, was a stale holdover from an earlier generation of the Web -- and an earlier generation of Linux. Now it's about to get a major makeover, thanks to both the Linux Foundation and SourceForge. To get a better idea of how the revamp will take shape, I got up close and personal with people on both sides. On the SourceForge side, I spoke with J

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What Windows 7 Needs To Succeed

Microsoft is getting early kudos for the Windows 7 beta, but our reviewer has identified some tools and accessories which improve the out-of-the box experience for monitoring system health, backing up data, playing media files, and more.

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Evidence-Based Open Source Adoption

I mentioned to a friend of mine the other day how I was replacing Word with OpenOffice in the long run. He replied that they use OO exclusively at his place of work (mostly as a security measure, as it turns out). That provoked a question from another, skeptical friend: How do you know this is really going to help?

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