Monday, December 12, 2005

British government announces review of 'intellectual property' law

Following in the footsteps of their American counterparts, British lawmakers will be reconsidering the UK intellectual property regime in order to "modernize copyright and other forms of intellectual property so that they are appropriate for the digital age". The process is structured on essentially the same lines as the review that, in 1998, gave rise to the United States' Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The British independent review will be led by Andrew Gowers, former editor of the Financial Times, has been commissioned by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and will run for 12 months.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Starting Linux in single user mode


Just a quick note. The other day I need to start a friends Linux machine
in single user mode so I could do a low level fsck. I didn't know how to
do it and I thought I would share the information with you!

At the boot prompt (Grub or Lilo) type: linux single

Linux is the name of the boot option defined in the boot loader and most
of the time it is just "linux" and "single" is the command to force boot
up in single user mode.

Thanks and happy linuxing,


Friday, November 25, 2005

Proposed License Amendment to Avoid Content Ghettos in the Commons

The issue of license interoperability is an important one for those involved in creating "free" content. There exists and interoperability issue that arises in the context of content licensed under a Creative Commons license and content licensed under other "free" licenses. As many of these licenses are now crafted, there is no way for creativity to be shared among these licenses, even if the underlying freedoms guaranteed by the licenses are the same.

Creative Commons is now considering a proposal designed to "avoid content ghettos". They have pledged to work "with as many representatives from the free culture movement as we can to build this federation offree licenses".

Microsoft to compete with ODF

Seeing that a closed file format isn't going to win market share and seemingly in response to the Open Document Format, Microsoft has announced that it will release its own "Open XML" formats under a non-free license which it calls 'open', rather than taking the technologically much simpler path of supporting their customers' need to interoperate with's ODF format. Microsoft intends to submit its standard to the ISO, apparently to compete with ODF for the creation of an ISO standard for document files. This is despite the fact that ODF has already been in the standardization process for some time, and lacks the patent problems of "Open XML".

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Linux powers my new venture

I have started a new web site called The Free Press Release Center and of course it is powered by Linux with PHP, MySQL and of course Apache (this combination is often called LAMP).

FPRC is a free Internet based news and press release distribution service for businesses of all sizes. We are aiming to raise the standard for Internet news distribution.

Press release submission is free and each press release is sorted according to category and keyword. To help you in submiting your press communication we have a sample press release as well as a how to write a press release section.

But the great part about FPRC is the keyword linking. With each press release the you can choose a keyword and a URL (different to your main site URL) which will appear as a link (using the keyword as the anchor text) in your press release. This gives you free links to your site using the anchor text of your choice. Plus it is in a natural context, i.e. the text of their release. To understand this more read the press release and SEO section on the web site.

There is also a PRO upgrade which gives you 3 keywords and URLs and your press release remains permanently in the system. Other benefits of a PRO upgrade are: your press release will remain in our system permanently, after the upgrade you will have access to add your company to our business directory and you can distribute your press release in up to 5 other related industries.



Saturday, November 19, 2005

How to shop for Web hosting


I have had another article published by the NewsForge people this time on IT Managers Journal. It is called How to shop for Web hosting but its working title was "How to read Linux hosting adverts".

The article is a top level analysis of Linux hosting including shared hosting, Virtual private servers and dedicated hosting.



Friday, November 18, 2005

Patent Commons established to defend free software

The Open Source Development Labs (OSDL) has established a site for
registering pledges on open source technologies from companies such
as Red Hat, Sun, and IBM. The patent commons site is divided into two
main areas: one for developers, with detailed resources available on
patent commitments, termination provisions, and other guidance, and
the other, dedicated to a library of patents and broader patent
portfolio claims, along with pledges from the companies which hold
these patents. Site maintainers hope it will help to dispel the angst
that open source developers have had in the present software patent

Monday, October 31, 2005

MySQL 5.0 declared production-ready

MySQL AB has announced the general availability of MySQL 5.0,
described as the most significant upgrade to the database management
system in the company's ten-year history. The new release is said to
be compliant with the SQL 2003 standard, and will be supported by
enterprise database vendors including HP, IBM, Novell, Red Hat, SAP
and Sun. It's available for download under the GNU GPL in versions
for Linux, Windows, Solaris, OS X, FreeBSD, HP-UX, AIX and a range of
other operating systems.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

FSFE approves Microsoft 'shared source' licences

By the Free Software Foundation Europe's own admission, it doesn't
get the chance to congratulate Microsoft very often. Of the five
'shared source' licences recently published by the company, a
preliminary inspection by the FSFE indicates that both the 'Microsoft
Permissive Licence' and the 'Microsoft Community Licence' may well be
free software licences. Of course the FSFE would have preferred that
Microsoft had adopted the GNU GPL and LGPL, but it has nevertheless
welcomed the move. At the same time, the FSFE has pointed out that it
is not the publication of licenses, but the publication of software
under a free licence that really counts. 2.0 released

After two years of development, the free software 2.0
productivity suite has been announced. Already available in 36
languages, the new version runs natively on Linux, Windows, Solaris,
OS X and other platforms. In addition to the OpenDocument format, the
redesigned user interface and a new database module, version 2.0
features improvements to PDF support, the spreadsheet module and
desktop integration, as well as support for XForms. Meanwhile, a
project has been launched which aims to bring OpenDocument
capabilities to Microsoft Office. The O3 project plans to use a .NET
plugin and SOAP to access document conversion as a web service.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005 now to be LGPL only

The suite has previously been available under dual
licences - the GNU LGPL favoured by most contributors, and the Sun
Industry Standards Source License, which did not require all changes
to source code to be published. In the interests of limiting licence
proliferation, Sun has now announced that it is retiring the SISSL,
and will in the future only be licensed under the
LGPL. The change makes little practical difference to users of the
suite, but the developers who previously used the SISSL are being
asked to switch to the LGPL.

Gnome 2.12 desktop released

The Gnome Foundation has released the latest version of its free
software desktop and development platform. Version 2.12 is said to
incorporate thousands of refinements, including an updated default
theme, easier file management, intuitive clipboard behaviour, a
unified document viewer and an About Me control panel. There is also
a new services control panel and menu editor, and improvements to the
GTK+ toolkit include the integration of the Cairo drawing technology

Thursday, September 08, 2005

GNU GPL v.3 project launched

The Free Software Foundation has announced the GPL Version 3
Development and Publicity Project. This effort aims to bring together
thousands of organisations, software developers and users during 2006
to update the widely used free software licence. The current version
of the GNU GPL was written in 1991, since when it has been adopted
for the Linux kernel and many thousands of other programs, in
addition to the work of the GNU Project. Funding of 150,000 euro will
support the GPL revision project, which will be overseen by the FSF
in the US and Europe with support from the Software Freedom Law


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

No improvements with SpeedyAds

Current stats as of today are 60 views and 0 clicks!!! I have $15 of
credit waiting to be spent... I don't entireweb quite get the picture.

My keywords include: hosting, web hosting, cheap hosting, cheap PHP
hosting... I have 8 in total. So far only "hosting" and "web hosting"
have triggered the views... I guess one problem is that the top bid
for those is over $1 and I haven't bid that high.

Even so I have found another advertising service (oher than google)
and I have had lots of traffic from them without having to bid $1 per


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Don't use SpeedyAds from

I am using SpeedyAds and I am very disappointed in their service. I have over $15 deposited in my account but yet I am not getting any advert views/impressions. I am NOT talking click-thrus here, I am talking views.

The ad has been running for 1 week and I have had 8 advert impressions for keywords like web hosting, hosting etc. Can you believe it? I can't. I have written them two emails asking for explanations and soon I will go on the war path writing anti entireweb articles.

Are they really an advertising company?


Thursday, September 01, 2005

New business venture

I have started a new business venture... of course using Linux! I have finally decided to start my own Linux hosting company. Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 we have PHP, MySQL, CGI/Perl and of course Apache.

You can find the site here.



Microsoft files XML doc patent in NZ

According to the New Zealand Herald Microsoft has applied for a patent where they claim they invented and own the process whereby a word-processing document stored in a single XML file may be manipulated by applications that understand XML.

The New Zealand Open Source Society president Peter Harrison said "It means if you write a document in Word and save it in an XML format, you have to have Microsoft's permission to read it or change it."

Errrmmmm... I thought the whole point of XML was interoperability. What next Microsoft invented e-mail!!! Obviously prior art should stop this patent being accepted.

I could make lots of comments now about Microsoft and their underhanded business tactics... I see today from the BBC that Microsoft seems to be falling short in its compliance with the EU anti-trust punishment.

For those of you familiar with Star Trek, one quote comes to mind "Resistance if futile".

We will see!


Wednesday, August 31, 2005

What is Open Source?

Open Source is a concept and license for publishing software along with it's sourcecode. Under Open Source, software is licensed in a certain way which allows anyone to redistributable it at will and without cost. The source code is freely available, and it is modifiable by anyone sufficiently experienced in programming.

An example of a Open Source license is the GPL (General Public License). The GPL comes from the Free Software Foundation and is the main license of the GNU project which was Richard Stallman in the 1980's.

The GNU project provides many of the key tools and components for what we call the Linux operating system. For example the C compiler which is used to build Linux is itself a free software project. Linux is licensed under the GPL.

The Free Software Foundation say that "Free software is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think offree as in ree speech not as in free beer."

Also they say "Free software is a matter of the users' freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software."

Another important project is the Open Source Initiative (OSI). They say "the basic idea behind open source is very simple: When programmers can read, redistribute, and modify the source code for a piece of software, the software evolves. People improve it, people adapt it, people fix bugs. And this can happen at a speed that, if one is used to the slow pace of conventional software development, seems astonishing."

You can read more at my site

Monday, August 29, 2005

What is Linux

Every computer needs a core piece of software which is called an "Operating System". Many computers today use Microsoft Windows as their operating system or if you are using an Apple machine, Mac OS X. Linux is an alternative operating system for both Personal Computers (PCs) and Apple Macs.

Linux is a free operating system originally created by Linus Torvalds with the help of many developers (hackers) around the world. Linux is developed and released under the GNU General Public License which makes the source code for Linux freely available to everyone.

A Linux distribution (a package of Linux and Linux related programs) comes with everything a modern computer user need including an advanced GUI (Graphical User Interface), full Internet capabilities including e-mail, web browsing and FTP. Office applications like word processors and spreadsheets (often with a high level of compatibility with other programs like Microsoft Office), photo editing, full development suites, games and much more.

Linux is also very apt at running on a server. Linux is often used as an email and web server. If fact the computer which sent you this page is running Linux.

Linux runs on many different hardware platforms including Intel, Sparc, PowerPC, and Alpha Processors.

You can read more about Linux on my site