Fedora 14 – Impressions

When I saw that the Fedora Project had released a new version of Linux, I was skeptical to say the least. The last several versions or “cores” from them have not worked well on my hardware and I’ve ended by removing it from my computer and putting something else on. Needless to say, I wasn’t in a hurry to spend 3 hours downloading this release.

When I did finally get around to downloading it and getting it running on my system, I was surprised to find everything (seemingly) working the way it ought to. The installation went on without a hitch and I truly believe that we’ve gotten to a point these days where anyone can install Linux. Once the desktop was up and running I went ahead and customized my setup with the cairo-dock package, which as a dock to your desktop similar to the one packaged with OS-X. That and enabling Compiz was all it took to have an attractive setup running. Further testing revealed that although Compiz functions correctly, ATI video card support is still sketchy and games requiring hardware 3d will not run on my card yet. This is something I am hoping will be fixed soon. (Maybe in Fedora 15?)

So would you like to try Fedora 14? Post your experiences in the comments below!

 

 

Click the image!

New Tech Being Released Soon

Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless announced that they have incorrectly billed users for internet access, possibly for years. They are going to be sending refund checks to former users, and crediting the account of people still holding a Verizon account. The incorrect charges seem to have been caused by people accidentally accessing their web browsers on their phone, and some software on certain phones accessing the web without the owners consent. The FCC is has launched an investigation.

Microsoft

Microsoft confirmed the release date of Windows Phone 7 as Oct 11th, according to reports. Windows Phone 7 is supposed to contain numerous changes from 6.5, including new interface improvements for touch, to solve the need for a stylus which has plagued Windows based mobile devices for years. The phones will be launched on AT&T initially, and will come to other carriers in the near future.

Toshiba

Toshiba has announced the upcoming release of 3D televisions that will not require the use of glasses. The set top will contain lenses creating 9 “sweet spots” where people can sit to view images in 3D without wearing glasses. The usefulness of this update in technology is likely to be very limited by the fact users will have to sit in specific locations which may not accommodate certain room layouts. The new televisions will also be rather expensive, costing over $2000 USD for a 20 inch model.

That’s what’s new in tech today, some exciting news for mobile users, and some interesting if not practical improvements for home media. I will be very interested in seeing if the 3D technology improves to reduce the need to sit in a “sweet spot.”

Open Source vs. Microsoft

Funny Open Source vs. Microsoft video. Thought I’d share.

Updates in Big Tech

Oracle

bonwick.portrait

Seems like silicon valley just can’t get enough soap opera drama lately. This thing with Oracle has really just been the most disappointing episode in a long string. It seems that the guy behind Sun Microsystems’ ZFS Storage technology (Jeff Bonwick) is just the latest in a long string of people to leave after the acquisition of Sun by Oracle. This has come not long after the main people behind the OpenOffice.org project have all left and created a new, more independent group, The Document Foundation. Concerns are being raised about the future of ZFS and of the Solaris operating system on several community forums, as so many former Sun employees leave the ranks. It is certainly questionable if the original vision for products such as Solaris and Java can be maintained with so many of the founding people gone.

Google

1126869431google-building

Google, the worlds largest search engine, has made it’s way into more people’s crosshairs than most big computer companies ever have. Under litigation in at least 3 countries and at least 1 state in the US for privacy violations one has to wonder if Google has finally hit the ceiling, and begin to show it’s first signs of growth pains. Google’s quick rise to the top was awe inspiring for me, but that fast climb may cause future problems for the giant, as it learns to play nicely with international markets and laws.

Microsoft

microsoft-building-logoEveryone’s favorite behemoth, Microsoft has enjoyed a rather good year after being everyone’s favorite beating post for nearly 5 years. The release of Windows 7 has been very good for the software giant, and has been received well by both home and business users. Windows 7 has set world records for being the fastest sold, and most sold operating system in computer history. At last check there was over 170 million licenses of Windows 7 sold to date. Microsoft is also getting ready to redeem itself in the web browser market, recently announcing the Beta version of Internet Explorer 9. IE9 features a slimmed down interface with fewer buttons to get in the way of your internet experience, speed improvements that include the ability to disable an add-on that slows Internet Explorer from loading, and new GPU enhancements to ensure that you are getting the best experience that your computer is capable of. After using IE9 Beta for a week or so, I have to say that the changes made are significant and will most likely be very well received and very refreshing to people that use IE on a regular basis.

Apple

apple-buildingApple, after recovering from some very stupid mistakes during the release of the iPhone 4 seems to be doing nicely. The media seems to have forgotten all about signal attenuation and the free cases are being used and everyone is happy. Along with that, Apple has released several updates for it’s other core products, including the iMac, iPod Touch, Nano, and Shuffle. All the products got a facelift and some new features that will please consumers and increase sales during the holiday season. Jobs also announced an update for Apple TV, a product he says Apple does as a “hobby.” While purchasing a “hobby” product may not seem appealing to many customers, the feature list and the price may. Apple TV comes supporting HD standard, built in Wi-Fi N, Netflix streaming support, and cheaper movie and TV show rentals. Jobs promises all this for a price tag of $99. I expect that for homes with HDTV’s, this may be a rather appealing product. I’m expecting a good year for Apple, and if you’re looking at buying an Apple product, the time is right. All the new products and features are out for the year, so you’ll be running the latest greatest from Apple for a while.

Summary

Today’s market appears to be like water in a bowl, sloshing back and forth in an endless cycle. It’s hard to determine the best place to throw your money, or who is even going to survive the next decade. One thing has made itself apparent, slow steady progress fairs better than rapid change.

OpenOffice sticks it to the man

The news is spreading like wildfire that the developers largely responsible for the development of OpenOffice do not like the way Oracle has back-shelved the project and have defected to govern themselves. Their new group, dubbed The Document Foundation has released a beta version of their new, rebranded version of OpenOffice named LibreOffice. The change apparently seems to have been started by the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, the company that first sponsored OpenOffice, by Oracle. Policy changes have been coming in a steady stream from Oracle since taking over Sun’s assets. The first change to hit the media was the lawsuits currently being leveled at Google for use of the Java Virtual Machine in it’s Android operating system, something that the people at Sun never seemed to care about.

With the recent changes by Oracle one is left wondering how long the Sun assets, such as Java, will survive as viable platforms for innovation. Oracle seems to be taking a hostile approach towards Open Source projects, which is quite the opposite direction from that which Sun was taking. Sun had started a great deal of open source work and was contributing a large number of intellectual properties back to the open source movement. One must be left to wonder how long it will be before Java, Virtual Box, and Solaris, will cease to exist under Oracle.