Monday, July 30, 2007

Thanks, but no thanks

I have been tracking Calendar Swamp for a while now and ran across a comment this morning that according to Paul Thurrot the local calendar is dead.

In a way I agree, but essentially, as it stands today, I have an issue with Google (for example) owning my calendar. I fully agree that having my calendar confined to my PC is a pain, and really not very useful to me. I see the solution as having an alternative, if possible, and host my _own_ calendar online (On infrastructure that I own and on software that I control) I would love to say "Thanks, but no thanks" to all these targeted adds and hosted services. As far as planning my own life is concerned and hosting my email I would like to have full control.

Luckily there are positive developments in this direction.

1) Web Contracts (at least in some parts of the world) cannot be changed without notice. I like the idea that Google could not potentially change its terms of service or privacy policy behind my back.

2) Jimmy Wales (from Wikipedia fame) has kicked off Grub. I see this as a really exciting development. How wonderfull would it be to get high-quality search results without someone tracking your search habits, storing your private information and targeting adds at you all the time. Go Jimmy!

3) Open Source Groupware is maturing very nicely. The Kolab and Horde projects are converging slowly but surely and I hope to host all my calendar and email services, that I currently "outsource", myself soon. My email and calendar - hands off.

Friday, July 27, 2007

7 Actions to browse the Internet a little safer

My 2 cents worth regarding a safer browsing experience, I am ordering these from easy-to-do to really-paranoid and hard to set up.

1) Use Firefox
2) Disable "Remember passwords for sites" in
Edit -> Preferences -> Security
3) Clear you private data when you close Firefox
(Edit -> Preferences -> Privacy -> Private Data. (I clear all private data on logout without Firefox prompting for permission)
4) Disable JavaScript
5) Use strong passwords
6) Browse inside a Browser Appliance
7) Browse using a LiveCD

The Internet has Crashed!

This is excellent!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Semantic Desktop

Oh wow...

Watch out, here comes KDE4!

This is quite frankly mind-boggling, amazing, exciting stuff :-)
I love it when a good plan comes together!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

First step towards the Semantic Web

It seems that the ideas reflected by Havoc Pennington and other GNOME developers in the GNOME Online Desktop echo some of the concepts put forward by Sir Tim Berners-Lee with his Semantic Web.

Very interesting...

I also have the desire, more and more everyday, that my data should integrate. I'm tired of synchronization issues, multiple calendars and task lists. The fact that items "dont match up". Standardization is definitely driving the ability to have a Semantic Web forward...

The challenge that we will then face is security and privacy. I for one would not want my personal calendar and tasks to be seen by everyone or synchronized with software or hardware that I do not fully control or own. Even though I would find it incredibly useful to see my work calendar on my personal phone (for planning purposes) that should not imply entitlement by my employer to have access to the rest of my data.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Did Enterprise Linux slow Linux adoption?

I have been fondly thinking of the "good old days" of Red Hat 9 recently. It seemed so clear back in the day that if you wanted to run any kind of server (or proprietary server software) that you could just run it on Red Hat 9. Everyone seemed to be using Red Hat. Debian was extremely popular, but if you just wanted to get going and run something Red Hat 9 seemed to be the obvious choice.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Suse Linux Enterprise just never could obtain the same kind of ubiquitous/de facto status as those early distributions had. All of a sudden sysadmins had to scramble to find new solutions or pay up. A lot of uncertainty ensued for vendors and for customers. The reasoning behind the change was sound but it left a big gap, which Debian and more so Ubuntu gladly filled. I know that Fedora and more recently OpenSUSE are strong, robust alternatives, but it just doesn't fit the bill as old Red Hat 9 did.

Could it be that had Red Hat just opened their development process to leverage the community more (the Ubuntu model) the world would've been a different place? I think now that things are really starting to take off the opportunity for revenue through services and support is really taking off for Ubuntu (and Canonical for that matter).

It is hard to tell how things would've been different, but I cannot seem to shake the feeling that if the latest server offering from Red Hat was still as free and ubiquitous as good old Red Hat 9 the world would've been a very different place by now.

Monday, July 02, 2007