Is "Genuine Windows Advantage", really an advantage for open source?

I've been seeing an increasing number of comments suggesting that Microsoft is moving ahead with tools designed to reduce the numbers of unauthorized copies of Windows out there. Blogs such as this one on ZDNet do a good job of describing the possible implementation of this program, which has the potential to shut down a lot of copies of Windows deemed to be illegitimate.

Canadian anti-DRM coalition makes timely debut

A newsforge article by Bruce Byfield includes:

We talked to representatives of two coalition members about the status of DRM in Canada: David Fewer, staff counsel at the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), Canada's leading legal technology law clinic, and Evan Leibovitch and Russell McOrmond of CLUE, an open source advocacy group.

The Hon. Joe Fontana, P.C., M.P., hosts Open Source event on Parliament Hill

It is great to see that some members of parliament are taking the time to learn more about FLOSS. While this introduction to the event focuses on using FLOSS to save money, it also provides an opening to discuss some of the policy issues facing our part of the software sector.

Linux on Lenovo PCs

Many of you may have seen an article in CRN Online yesterday stating that Lenovo was dropping support for Linux on the Lenovo and ThinkPad branded PCs. Lenovo has now denied dropping Linux.

The original article is available at CRN Online.

The correction article is available at ZDNet Australia.

Update! - Here is the official statement from Lenovo:

Lenovo maintains its commitment to Linux distributions and the Linux community at large. Through the independent testing and certification of ThinkPad, ThinkCentre and Lenovo 3000 product lines as well as the close collaboration with industry leaders such as ATI and Intel - Lenovo continues to take steps to ensure Linux can be deployed in a manner consistent with customer needs. In fact, over the coming months this commitment will be strengthened even further as new capabilities and support emerge.

Virtualization and Xen

Virtualization is one of the two really hot topics in IT today (the other being SOA). However, virtualization can mean a great many different things, depending on your point of view. For me, being basically an operating system guy, it means running multiple operating sytems on a single physical piece of hardware.

When it comes to virtualizing operating systems, this is nothing new. In fact, the first hypervisor was IBM's CP/67 back in 1967! This tool is the ancestor of today's z/VM hypervisor for IBM's System z mainframes.

Today, there are a great many different hypervisor solutions for x86 servers, including VMware, Microsoft Virtual Server, SWSoft Virtuozzo, and of course the open source Xen project.

FLOSS is to software what patents were to historical tangible inventions

I wrote the following as a reply to an article written by Shane Schick titled Truth, justice and the open source way which discussed FLOSS and the patent system.

I believe that FLOSS is to software what the patent system was for tangible inventions of physical things in the past.

Historically we had limited communications technologies and mobility slowing down collaboration. Inventions of tangible things took a lot of time and energy to move from design to prototype to distributable product. Within this context patents solved important problems. Without governments granting a temporary monopoly to the first inventor there would be too much risk to trying to develop ideas, and too much of an incentive to keep the ideas secret. Far too many inventions were kept secret and lost with the death of the inventor. A patent filing required a full disclosure of the invention such that someone skilled in the art could study, replicate and improve upon it, with the 20 year monopoly representing the slower realities of the day.

Foreign Policy Magazine article on open source

While it's provocatively titled, "Beyond the Open-Source Hype", this article is reasonably balanced. While it does give Miscoroft a little too much benefit of the doubt, it does come to a conclusion I agree with: open source is certainly worth using, but in some cases the expectations from it are a bit overstated.

To me, just the appearance of this issue in a magazine that usually has little to do with IT, offering commentary that "Governments may be wise to choose open source", is one more small victory by itself.

[discuss] Re: Site will be off-line for a critical upgrade today

On Thu, 2006-05-25 at 10:26 -0400, G. Roderick Singleton wrote:
> There is a critical upgrade required for our drupal installation. This
> message is fair warning that during the upgrade the site will have to be
> shutdown. At the same time, we will also attempt to correct whatever
> was done to the frontpage node of so that it again will
> adjust the centre column for various sizes of browser displays. If any
> of you know the secret to correcting this an email will be appreciated.

Upgrade completed for and we found the cause of the wide
middle panel. Thanks to Bill Traynor who took time to track down the

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