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WFTL Bytes! for Jan 8, 2009

This is WFTL Bytes!, your occasiodaily FOSS and Linux news show for Thursday, January 8, 2009, with your host, Marcel Gagné. This is episode 43. In today's news, Apple gets it, a bit, Fedora is nameless, a review that isn't, Abiword gets some, the iceberg issue, convert them with these, pirates with law degrees, and the end of OLPC as you knew it.

Download a local copy in Ogg/Theora, AVI, Flash, iPod, or audio-only MP3.

Want to win a copy of this week's featured book, "The Official Ubuntu Book, 3rd Edition"? To win a copy, comment on this newscast (make sure you include your email when asked). I'll choose a name from the comments, at random, and make the draw this Friday afternoon. If you simply must have  the book, click the Amazon link to the right. If you can't think of anything to say in a comment (oh, come on), you can email me, quoting the tags from this episode of WFTL Bytes! My thanks to Pearson Higher Education for providing the book.

For links to stories covered in today's newscast, click the 'read more' link.

Links to stories covered in this newscast

iTunes goes DRM Free

Fedora 11 needs a new name

A non-review of gNewSense

Abiword gets ODF development funding

Linux deployment iceberg

OLPC guts its staff

5 Best Linux distros to convert Windows users

British police can now hack your PC whenever they feel like it



When windows was allowed to run in the project, it was dead. The olpc hardware wasn't designed to support it (see if the SSD can hold the winxp, plus updates, plus office). Besides that, there is the community issue. How can one expect that the community would continue to contribute to the project with the same enthusiasm?

Re: WFTL Bytes! for Jan 8, 2009

OLPC isn't dying by any means, but it does appear to be shifting focus. At Ontario Linux Fest 2008 the Fedora crew talked about OLPC and how Sugar was going to be in the soon to be released Fedora 10 (it is now). Red Hat is doing this to encourage Fedora users to be part of the development process for Sugar. Even if OLPC goes the way of the dodo I think Sugar has a chance of continuing on.



5 Best Linux distros to convert Windows users


Good choices all, but remember to carry a live CD with you and don't miss an opportunity to demo it or give it to someone.

There are lots of people out there who are fed up with the Microsoft monopoly and they just need to know that there is a way out.



My daily video news! thanks man!

Hi, i'm spanish, but i'm living at Sonora, Mexico, from where it's my wife ;) And i discovered your "fantastic almost daily news podcast" 2 month ago, and i need it every afternoon (taking my coffe after dinner) from then. Thanks a lot for this 5-10 funny minuts per day!

Because my english isn't very perfect, before playing the video i prefer to read your abstract. After viewing the video i visit some of the links below.... thanks a lot for these! i've made some interesting discoveries with them! ;)

Today that you take the book gift as excuse for invite us to comment below the daily video... mmm... i realise that certainly i didn't think about this before (i means to comment the video... ups). But from now i would try to write more frequently ;)

Again, thanks for your time and your free sharing of ideas and knowledge.

"Viva el opensource!!"


Linux deployment iceberg

Perhaps the way to find out how many deployments of Linux there are is to
record and count the unique IP's that a: download a new release or b: attach to repositories to do updates.

Now who wants to take the time to do this? Perhaps all we need are snapshots of the unique IP's done at various strategic times of the year for the top 4 distros. Not perfect measurement of course but this could give us a representative sample of the ever growing tip of the iceberg.



new to linux

I still think ubuntu is the best for a new user to try, it has a live cd and the forums are top notch!

Re: WFTL Bytes! for Jan 8, 2009

OLPC never made much sense to me anyway. The kids they are giving the computers to would probably be better off getting basic needs like food and clothing rather then computers.


Perhaps these kids yet have food and clothes and need also computer and internet, like you and your brothers, cousins, etc...

Re: Perhaps...

Computers and the internet are not needs. They are toys, sometimes tools and always an addiction.

Fedora Name

just found out about the voting process, guess it's a little late :(


OLPC Lots of sense

It makes lots of sense actually. Most of these computers are going to kids that have basic needs met. Consider that most are being rolled out at schools. What OLPC enables them to do is be connected much more to the rest of the world than ever before. What happens is that the kids end up showing their parents how to use the OLPCs and they (the kids) end up being teachers, helping their parents learn literacy and other skills. This in turn helps the parents, who become more literate. The communication aspects are pretty neat too, the mesh networking, at least in more remote areas, is useful.

I've worked with an OLPC. It wasn't my favourite netbook (the keys are really small, even for someone with thin fingers), but it did seem useful, especially when demonstrated by some of the guys at Red Hat (they seem to really know the OLPC inside out).

Of course food and clothing would come first... but I don't think those needs are being sacrificed to roll out the OLPCs.

5 Best Linux distros to convert Windows users

Something I don't understand why if there are so many talented folks, they all have to write and own their own distros, I am pretty sure it must be fun then why bother to look for venture capital if all you look for is fun.

There are a lot of users angry and frustrated with Windows and potential Linux users that won't even considering switching because their business critical application does not run on Linux.

best regards,

5 Best Linux distros to convert Windows users

There are some very good business applications that run on Linux but they are not part of any distro because they are custom applications often using MySQL and PHP.

But I do agree with you, and often I think that we do not need another distro!! To those who have any programing talent at all, gnuCash is an example of an application that can use some enhancements to what is already a darn good program.


This is an older topic, but MIT Technology Review has a write-up about new advances in e-paper at This is something else that's getting better the more we know about it and how we need to use it.

Happy New Year!


Hey Marcel,

Thanks for doing your "occasiodaily" broadcast. I've learned alot from your "shows" as well as your "Moving to Ubuntu Linux" book.

I enjoyed your press hat changes during this installment!

Thanks again,
Grant Levy
Costa Mesa, California

Linux distros for Windows users

Thanks for this link Marcel. I can't believe I missed this show last week - must have been too busy with work, or something.