Microsoft Office lock-in and the deal with Novell
I can't urge you strongly enough to read the article entitled How Vista Lets Microsoft Lock Users In. It details how Microsoft has built into Vista the "trusted computing" ability to lock down Office files via DRM such that no unauthorized document reader will be able to decrypt and read them. This is perhaps one of the biggest hidden weapons Microsoft has in its arsenal that could sabotage Linux and OpenOffice.org if Microsoft succeeds in its attempt to plug SUSE and all Novell's "interoperability" bonuses.
Think of this, if you will, as the Tivoization of Office files, only with malicious intent. Microsoft could, indeed, open up the document format completely and swear before God that it will never sue anyone for patent infringement. However, this does not prevent Microsoft from locking Office files in such a way that only Vista users can read them. No one else will be able to do so without the proper authorization, thus rendering the open format and Microsoft compatibility entirely meaningless -- unless, of course, someone agrees to pay Microsoft for the keys to unlock those files.
The lesson here should be obvious. The FOSS community must avoid - at all costs - the practice of adopting or integrating anything into FOSS that is owned or generated by Microsoft. Ximian, and now Novell, has made it a mission to recreate Microsoft technologies on Linux. I urge the community only to allow Novell to continue to do this at its own peril. It was a massive strategic blunder to attempt to recreate dotNet on Linux as Mono. Microsoft has implicitly, by attempting to make patent deals, acknowledged Linux as a genuine threat. That makes it so much greater a danger to adopt Microsoft practices, whether it involves integration of Office document formats, Excel VBA compatibility, or anything else.
This is an ironic twist, to say the least, after all the fuss Microsoft made over the viral nature of the GPL. Microsoft, through Novell, is attempting to infect open source with hooks it can use to profit from the success of Linux at the expense of Linux users' freedoms.
Our message to Novell should be to live free or die.
I want to thank Phil Hughes for bringing the above article to my attention.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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