The Latest

RIAA Preys on Teen in Need of Transplant

The Recording Industry Association of America has done a number of distressing, disgusting, and disgraceful things in its never-ending quest to fill its coffers with ill-gotten gains from every American with an internet connection. The news out of Pittsburgh, however, carries what we have to class as the most depraved stunt we've seen them pull so far. more>>

Blocking Content in the UK. Censorship or Populace Protection?

A startling development is being reported by the BBC in the UK. It seems that the Internet Watch Foundation which looks like a quasi governmental organization, has taken offense with an album cover on Wikipedia and is “blocking” access to it. IWF claims it is an issue of child pornography, Wikipedia is calling it censorship. more>>

Know when your drives are failing, with smartd

“Ka-chunk... ka-chunk... ka-chunk... tick... tick... tick... Ka-chunk... ka-chunk...” That's just not a sound you ever want to hear coming from a hard drive. It's the sound of a hard drive trying to move it's read/write heads into a position that they don't seem to want to go to or its trying to read a sector that just isn't there anymore. more>>

Let's improve on the pay toilet model for public wi-fi

Public wi-fi in airports and hotels is offered on the pay toilet model. It charges money to use low-cost plumbing facilities. I believe it would be better for airports, and their passengers, if plumbing usage were free, just as it is for water and trains between terminals.

Can we tell them how? more>>

Python Sheds 2.x Skin

The much-anticipated next incarnation of the popular Python programming language — voted favorite scripting language in the 2008 Linux Journal Readers' Choice Awards — slithered onto the scene on Wednesday with the release of Python 3.0. Known popularly as Python 3000 or Py3k, Python 3.0 bears the distinction of being the first release in the language's history to deliberately break compatibility with previous versions. more>>

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Linux Journal Live - December 4, 2008

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The December 4, 2008 Linux Journal Live!. Shawn Powers and Kyle Rankin take your Linux Questions. more>>

Cycles and Simplicities

Om Malik calls this "dave winer's best post of the year". I can't recall a better one, but ranking isn't what matters here. What matters is perspective and experience, and Dave has plenty of both. What he says is, more>>

Fedora Fishing for a Fresh Appellation

The naming conventions for Linux distributions are a many-splendored thing: Ubuntu's names are perhaps most well-known, owing to their ear-pleasing alliteration and the sheer number necessitated by the frequency of releases. Debian, too, is well known for naming the versions inhabiting the multi-tiered release system after characters from the Toy Story franchise — even down-to-business Gentoo is in on the games, with the 2008.0 release bearing the codename "It's got what plants crave." Now it's Fedora's turn at bat, with entries open on the nom de plume for Fedora 11. more>>

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Secure VOIP communication with ZRTP

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Phil Zimmermann comes to the rescue again with ZRTP, a protocol for securely transferring keys across a VOIP network. more>>

The Community Comes Through

As I wrote back on November 27, there is nothing more frustrating than trying to make software beyond its end-of-life work, and it is even more frustrating when it is really the best tool for the job. more>>


I've always had a thing for remote control (RC) aircraft. The kid and I have several half-broken ones to prove it. So now I'm thinking about taking it to the next level. Literally. With a DIY Drone -- a kind of aerial robot. more>>

Running DOS Programs on Linux: Duke Nukem Lives!

If I play video games they're usually pretty low tech ones. One of the few games I miss from the old days is Duke Nukem, and I'm talking about the Duke before he went 3D. If you have an old DOS game that you'd like to run, or for that matter any old DOS program, check out DOSBox. Even if you don't have any DOS programs that you'd like to run, you might want to try downloading some of the old DOS games that are now available free online. more>>

Calling all Linux Journal Readers

We'd love to have you on our Reader Advisory Panel, so please read on if you are interested! more>>

Dealing with Command Line Options in Python

I just wrote a bit of Python to generate some reports from the contents of a database. The one program that was more than just "display the data" was the one to print the transaction log. It included some sub-totals for various fields and paginated output.

The one task remaining was to give it some options. That is, to pass it some criteria that would modify the report. more>>

openSUSE Ends EULA

Just as those of us in the U.S. were preparing to pop our turkeys in the oven, the hard-working fellows at the openSUSE Project — the community organization behind the openSUSE Linux distribution — were lifting the lid on their own creation: a brand new license for openSUSE 11.1 — that doesn't involve a EULA. more>>

A real gift this holiday season...delete it.

Can I vent here for a moment about well meaning, but clearly out-of-the-loop, friends who seem to think everything on the Internet, especially when it comes to safety, is a real situation that needs our attention and should be sent to every mailing list they are on? more>>

StudioDave Does A Hardware Review And Meets Ubuntu 8.10

A few months ago I started sensing the need for a replacement for my aging and ailing HP Omnibook 4150. That machine's audio capabilities were negligible even with external hardware, but it had been serviceable for writing articles and as a portable MIDI composition environment. Alas, after years of travel and abuse the Omnibook's hard drive gasped its last breath of life. I had no fear for my data, the drive had been backed up, but clearly the time had come to buy a new portable computer. more>>

Keeping Linux Safe Since 1994

Typeanalyzer says Linux Journal is one of The Guardians. That is,

The organizing and efficient type. They are especially attuned to setting goals and managing available resources to get the job done. more>>

Black Friday - Shopping for Your Linux Loved Ones

Have a friend or family member who loves Linux? While you're shopping on this Black Friday, consider this shopping list of all things Tux.


What Does Open Source Taste Like?

For those of you familiar with twitter, the "microblogging" social-networking tool, you know that it can be a fun way to gather data from a large group of people. If you have a substantial enough group of followers, inevitably, a few are paying attention most of the time, and you will get a handful of interesting responses to almost any question. more>>