So what are you doing reading this? Shouldn't you be calling your mom, or taking her to lunch or celebrating the fact that she made you possible? I know, I know. You're on it.
My mom is the only person in the world who seems to believe that I can do anything and will be great at it, despite any evidence to the contrary. If I skinned my knee she's still be there with a hug. I know that at my age that should seem a little ridiculous, but it's actually nice to have at least one raving fan. She doesn't always understand what I'm doing or where I'm coming from, but that never seems to matter. I suppose it's that kind of spirit that has kept me curious and willing to explore. Thanks for that, mom!
Dell announces Ubuntu-powered Ultrabook
A number of news stories are covering Dell's announcement that they will be shortly supporting the Ubuntu distribution of Linux on the Ultrabooks. This makes complete sense to me. I've run Ubuntu for years on my laptops and see no reason why I shouldn't be able to easily purchase computers pre-installed. (I know there are reasons, but they don't make sense to me.) Like all the speculators, I'm wondering if this will be the project that will get the ball rolling.
Dell is aiming this project at developers, siting that they have received repeated requests for Ubuntu. This does make sense to me. A technical audience can appreciate the value of a Linux environment and will likely look for less handholding. Techies generally already know what we want a computer to do and simply go about doing it.
I'm really pleased with Dell's choice of using a major distribution. In Linux desktop projects I've seen in the past the manufacturer has tended to use some strange distribution that has been heavily customized for their offering. In essence it was just a lame attempt at vendor lock-in. My question always was why not just provide Red Hat, SUSE or, now, Ubuntu.
I don't imagine that this project will be the Linux desktop Panacea. It may help continue breaking down barriers to Linux in the workplace, making it easier for those of us who need Linux to use it without having to jump through so many hoops. It's a good start. I hope it gets the attention it deserves and that other manufacturers will jump on the wagon. Time will tell.
I was a little out of it in the last post. These kinds of things are very draining. My wife is doing fine but recovery has made us all sleepy.
Today I came across an older video depicting a medieval helpdesk providing support during the "book changeover". It still makes me laugh.
I have certainly worked a good deal of the other side of providing support and it can be extremely challenging to help someone who apparently has not paid any attention to instructions that they have already received and who is creating a great deal of urgency and emotion for someone who just walked into the situation. Cheers to everyone who tries to make it all better.
In a previous entry I described how I was using ffmpeg to do screen captures for demos. I wanted to share a few new tricks with that. I wanted to make it easier to shoot demos, so I created a special wallpaper when I'm doing one. My screen dimensions are 1920x1200. So, I created a background of that size using GIMP and a graphic I found on the web. I haven't fully vetted this for copyright, so if this belongs to you and you are upset, let me know and I'll redo it.
Within that background I drew a 1280x720 box (the resolution for HD video) and bordered it with a yellow line. Now I know where to put all of my frames when I do the demo. Anything outside of that box will not be recorded.
Finally, I altered my capture command by changing -i :0.0 to -i :0.0+139,152. This tells ffmpeg to offset the capture by 139 pixels on the x axis and 152 pixels on the y axis.
It is highly unlikely that you will be able to use my wallpaper as-is, though you are welcomed to try. I'm sharing it freely (provided that it is freely available from the originator!). You will probably need to make your own for your situation. Now, when I'm doing a demo, I call this up. The video gets a black background (which I could easily repaint any time I wish) and I can run other things around my capture without having to edit it out.
Yesterday I got a little frustrated at being tool bound. Today I'm
getting my article set up in an external editor so I shouldn't have any
I wanted to comment a little on the article I mentioned yesterday, "Government and library open data using Creative Commons tools".
To me openness in data is very important when it comes to organizations
and government. If you are running a business and you want to use
proprietary data formats with proprietary software to hold your data,
that's fine. That's entirely up to you. It's yourmy
data. I should not be required to purchase any special software or
worry about what happens if a company goes out of business, or simply
changes their mind as to what they want to be doing. (Have you seen
anyone with their information trapped in an old Foxpro application,
written by "some guy" who is no longer available? It's tragic!) I
think it is excellent that governments are starting to explore tooling
and making data more easily available. After all, we pay for all of
these things with our taxes. We should be able to leverage this
information for our own purposes. Can you imagine the amazing data
mashups that will happen over time? I can't wait to see where it all
I try to take the same attitude about data when I'm in some sort of
organization or club. I've seen too many situations where some
talented person with fantastic software connections swoops in and does
all kinds of great work for a club, then moves on. No one else has the
skills (or the licenses) for these great products and the whole thing
deteriorates and eventually has to be started from scratch by the next
volunteer. I try to get people into collaborative software so that
information is available to everyone who needs it and can be kept
up-to-date rather than trying to figure out which combination of people
has the most current data. I usually use Google Docs because anyone
can access it and most people already know it. However, it's not the
only way. I feel the same way about web sites and databases. Keep the
technologies simple and open and when your superstar steps away someone
can come in and pick up where he left off. All it takes is some
commitment and willingness to learn. Cost is not a barrier.
Speaking of organizations and coding, we have a great article this
week by Uche Ogbuji on developerWorks this week! He's talking about
how to use GitHub to help your group collaborate on projects. Of
course, these kinds of things work with things besides code. I've
often thought about applying this sort of document management to some
of my editorial work. Maybe this article will help me kick it off.
I've mentioned before how much I love repurposing equipment. It's
one of the things that got me interested in open-source in the first
place. I could take older equipment and breathe new life into it, or
discover new capability. It's fun if you like to tinker and it can
make you incredibly resourceful.
Some time back I reflashed my Internet router with DD-WRT. You can relive that in my entry, "My freak router".
I've continued to run this with great success. This week, Carla
Schroder gives you step-by-step information on taking your own modest
Internet router and unleashing its capabilities to give you more
control and security. Check out "Add Linux power to wireless routers with advanced tips and tricks for DD-WRT".
Let me know what you do with it. Also let me know if you know of other
projects like this that deserve some light. I try to keep up with
them, but I don't get to explore them all.
Coming soon, I'll be doing some more video work. Interesting stuff
a-comin'. Chroma-key, compositing, CGI, sound sync and cleanup... all
with free, open-source software on Linux.
One of the prices of having my name out in public as I need to do is
that I get all kinds of SPAM (much of it in Chinese?). I've decided to
share some of the more ridiculous ones. Here's one I got today:
Proposal to ibm.com
From: "Abigail Hunt" <email@example.com>
My name is Abigail Hunt and I was wondering if you are interested
in exchange links, I'll place your link on my sites exactly here:
I'll place your link in less than 24 hours, then I'll send you an email with my info.
If you don't want to receive more mails just reply with "unsubscribe".
Yeah. I know that IBM is very interested in promoting your alternative
healing sites. We've always been really big into herbal remedies.
We'll get right on that. I know that these are all automated things,
but the idea is just silly. It makes me laugh. Feel free to contact
"Ms. Hunt" if you want to take her up on her generous offer.
I had a couple of extra entries that I wrote for here but the built-in
editor ate it. I don't have time to recreate the genius, but I'll give
you the links:Government and library open data using Creative Commons
I'll comment on these items when I have the time again and have overcome my grief of the tools.
TIP: If you write blogs here do it in an external editor or you may become bitter and angry. I use kompozer
and then paste it in. Any HTML editor will do. At the very least copy
your entry into the clipboard before you hit the post button so you
have a shot of pasting back if it fails.
Thursday I attended a session with the Austin Forum on Science, Technology and Society, presented by the Texas Advanced Computing Center. I did a video blog, but then wrestled a little with the best way to edit and render it. (I set up a render farm at home, which I'll write more about later.)
Here is the fruit of that labor... a modest video blog. I'll have more bells and whistles later, now that I'm settling on my technologies.
This session was "Using Technology to Refine Physical Education in the 21st Century", by Jen Ohlson, Founder/President of Interactive Health Technologies; Best-selling author; Director; and Producer. Here are the relevant links:
I know that many of you get information from your managers that makes you want to duck and cover. I don't want to upset you, but I get information from mine that show they're paying attention. For example, Tom_Helmer just pointed me to "Forrester: Hire software developers who take part in open source projects". It talks about how employers looking for technical skills are beginning to appreciate the value of open-source projects on a resumé. Now that I think about it, I wonder if he's trying to tell me something?
Seriously, open-source is an outstanding way to learn and build skills. It's true if you're wanting to learn every side of technology. As a developer, you get to spend some serious time helping to solve problems, which is good for your karma. You also get to work cooperatively with a diverse group of people using a lot of virtual technologies. Do you think that skill set might make you appealing in this global economy?
I'll say it again: If you are out of work and looking, or you want to change your skill set you need to not only be looking at open source but you need to get involved. It will keep you productive and fill in your technical gaps.
Have you ever moved from one technology to another and found that conventions in one were applied differently in the other? That can be embarrasing at least or disasterous at worst. Wouldn't it be nice if someone had walked you through those little issues? I can't do it for everyone and everything, but Arpen San is offering this for C++ developers who are beginning to work with Ruby. Read his article "Meet six misunderstood Ruby features" which is now live on developerWorks.
More encryption with graphic processors
Also featuring this week is part 2 on how to get your graphic processors to lend their number-crunching skills to encryption. "Protect your data at the speed of light with gKrypt, Part 2" is also live. I find something very appealing about this sort of hacking. I think it's beautiful when people find ways to use technology that were not originally intended. I think that sort of innovation drives the future much more powerfully than anything done by governments or companies. Ideas are typically individual inspirations which are then leveraged by the others.
Speaking of innovation
Here's a video bonus for you. This series by British documentarian, James Burke, gives a very intersting view of how Western society has innovated its way forward into the future. Some of it may seem dated (like the cold-war technologies), but it's good stuff.
I'm talking to an author about doing some more material on Arduino. I love the concept... basic hardware components that you can program to do stuff. It's very extensible, able to connect with all kinds of sensors and motors and other things.
While researching the current state of Arduino on developerWorks I found a couple of oldie-but-goodie articles that are worth reviewing:
These are very cool. At some point I may try to have some unboxing video of my own Arduino kit and keep you posted on what I do with it. Open-source software is awesome, but when openness moves into hardware it creates real opportunities to change everything. I'm not talking about making money-- though there is certainly opportunity there as well. I'm talking about the chance to make technology accessible to everybody. Imagine the value for society if anyone in the world could inexpensively set up a climate station that would interact with open data systems to provide feedback and suggestions on how to handle crops or other things based on the data collected. Imagine the impact on students if they were able to explore robotics and automation. This is how we get to a Star Trek sort of world, where technology frees us to pursue our true interests and abilities to their fullest extent rather than settling for what situation we can find.
Check out these Arduino projects and share things that you've done with Arduino here, or in the Real World Open Source group. I'm genuinely curious and I think your projects will inspire others.
I wanted to share a couple of fresh articles that were published on developerWorks this week.
Free remote control
I hear commercials all the time for products that allow you to remotely control your system. They always sound really expensive to me, because I already do that for free, and have for years.
VNC is an open source application that will let you remotely control someone's computer across a network. It runs on different operating systems and is a fantastic way to do troubleshooting, lend a hand with something or do some work remotely. However, it can be tricky to get VNC working correctly in a multi-user environment. Normally it's run from inside a login session. It can be done, however. I know, because I had to do it the hard way, by doing research and experimentation. You get the easy way. You can read Roderick Smith's article: Enable multiuser logins with VNC
Getting the hang of Linux applications
I've been using Linux as my regular environment for a very long time now. It's been amusing how I find myself struggling to figure out how to find and run things when I end up on someone's Windows machine. It's just not set up the way I think anymore. I know that the same thing happens to new Linux users who have a Windows background. You already know how to use a computer. You don't need someone to hold your hand and give you baby instructions, but you need a little guidance.
Tracy Bost has been helping to fill that gap with his Linux for Windows Administrators series. This week he's going to help clarify some of the different ways in which applications are executed on Linux. How can you get going if you can't run anything? You can read the new article now.
That's all for now, but there are several things floating around. I know I'll have something tomorrow.
I recently bought a Kindle. I had a Sony book reader that I was pleased with for quite some time. I still like it, actually, but it was starting to feel slow to me. I also wanted to be able to take advantage of some of the Kindle features that I get with my Amazon Prime subscription (like book borrowing!). So, I went for it.
My favorite tool for working with book readers is Calibre. Some time back developerWorks featured an article on this incredibly useful program. It seems to consume just about any ebook format I care to throw at it. It allows me to organize my library, convert from one format to another and update the metadata of everything (even pulling covers and publication data off of the Internet through sources like Amazon). It talks to the book reader, and lets me load and remove items easily.
Recently, I've been working more with the news feature. It has about 1200 preloaded feeds covering every type of interest. You can also add your own, using what they call a recipe and an RSS feed. Essentially, the reader will pull down the feed and format into an indexed magazine, then upload it to your device. It's wonderfully consumable and a great way to catch up on bits of specialty news.
There was not an existing news source for developerWorks, so I created one. Here's what the raw code looks like:
title = u'developerWorks'
oldest_article = 7
max_articles_per_feed = 100
auto_cleanup = True
feeds = [
(u'Agile Transformation', u'https://www.ibm.com/developerworks/mydevel...
(u'AIX and UNIX', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/aix/rss/li...
(u'Business Process Management', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/v...
(u'Information Management', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/...
(u'Open Source', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/opensource/...
(u'SOA and Web Services', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/we...
(u'Web Development', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/web/rss...
(u'WebSphere', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/websphere/rss... (u'XML', u'http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/views/xml/rss/libraryview...
I had to truncate the long lines here, but you can download a copy of the full thing. I add this recipe to my subscription list. I've set it up to download on Wednesday morning, since most items will publish on Tuesday. Now, I will get an automatic weekly download of these items to my Kindle. I still have to connect it to the computer to get them, but it's pretty handy!
I looked at some of the other recipes, like the BBC, and they get pretty fancy. There is a lot of tweaking that one can do. The manual page explains it all in detail, but I don't have time to comb through it right now. Maybe I'll enhance this one later. If so, I'll share it here, or may try to share it through Calibre.
Please note that while I'm using a Kindle, this should work with any book reader. Calibre really is the Rosetta Stone for ebooks. I love it. I may go make a donation right now.
Today I got this article, "Spoiler alert: Your TV will be hacked". Essentially the author reminds us that as our televisions become Internet devices that they are prone to the same sorts of attacks that any computer could suffer. It's not just televisions, either. All so-called "smart devices" are basically computers and need the same sort of care.
In the author's case they were doing some white-hat hacking to see if they could exploit a television set-top box. The box was likely running a variety of Linux and did not give them many opportunities, but then they found a web server. The manufacturer had chosen an old open-source application which had been abandoned several years ago. There had been no patching of this application and at was vulnerable to several attacks. They were able to root the box and controlled the entire system.
In general, an exploit has to either be run by a user, like Trojan Horse sort of application, or it needs to be able to interact with running software that can be forced to misbehave due to flaws brought about by the humanity of its creators. In an embedded device it is unlikely that you will be running strange software, though as games and little plugins become more available for these things one needs to be careful about the pedigree of anything you add. The vulnerability of the embedded applications is more complicated. As a user you can choose not to install weird stuff on your device. You can't control the choices that the manufacturer made.
Think about the scenario in the article. The set-top box had a web server. Why? Perhaps this was a method to allow the cable company to interact with the system for updates and such. I don't know. If it wasn't critical to the function of the system it should have been removed. When something moves from development into prototyping and production any bloat fromt he operating system should be removed. Anything that is not required for function is a potential exploit. We may not know what it is at the time of production, but if it's discovered later then your system is vulnerable, all because of something that you didn't even need.
The second, more damning thing is this open-source web server. I don't have a problem with it being an open-source project. Obviously I encourage that sort of thing. The thing I found troubling was the fact that it was an obscure project that had been abandoned several years ago. Wow! Really? Perhaps it was an active project when development began and was abandoned later. If that was the case, then the manufacturer should have replaced that project with something that was more current. Everything will become vulnerable over time as exploitation technology develops. If it can't be updated it must be replaced or else its a lurking vulnerability.
I guess that brings me to my last thought on this. As all of our devices become "smart", there needs to be a solid way to update them regularly. Updating firmware should just be a part of our lifestyle. Of course, that capability adds another vulnerability in that if someone can hack the updating mechanism they can install their own software. As consumers we need to develop awareness of this sort of thing and be able to manage devices just like we check to make sure our doors and windows are locked. We need to not be annoyed by these things when they are necessary and look at them as a part of owning the device. At the same time, developers and manufacturers need to not shield their consumers from this necessity. I know that the prevailing wisdom is that consumers are lazy and not to bright... but I think that if they are trained on the importance of maintenance and the procedures are straight-forward then it will all work out fine.
Of course, if devices had more openness to them in general it would make it easier for white hats to come up with ways to protect them... but that's a whole other discussion.
There are generally multple ways to solve a complex problem. The right solution for you will depend upon your skills, your resources and your personality. (Yes, companies and development teams have a personality.) With big data there are a lot of new approaches to thinking about data, which are all very cool, but they can be overwhelming if you are used to approaching things from a certain point of view. Dr. Sherif Sakr examines some of the different ways of working with big data and helps you identify which ones might best leverage your existing skills and understandings.
It's always great to grow and learn new things, but sometimes it's nice to start from the standpoint of familiarity. Personally, I'd probably gravitate to Hive because I like the SQL-like feel. You might be different. Check out his article, "Use SQL-like languages for the MapReduce framework" and give it a rating.
The better to encrypt you, my dear
I've been fascinated with encryption since I first read about secret codes as a kid. PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) and later GPG (Gnu Privacy Guard) are interesting tools that I wish more people would use.
One of the challenges of using encryption casually is that it does require a good deal of number crunching. Would that we could harness more power to help with the encryption. Say! What about the graphics processor? Jawad Masood begins a two-part series exploring gKrypt, a tool which employs general purpose graphics units (GPGPUs) for data encryption. This could make it easier for you to secure things from identity thieves and other nosy people. Check out "Protect your data at the speed of light with gKrypt, Part 1" and give it a rating.
Living in Austin, Texas is great for a number of reasons. One of them is access to things like the Austin Forum on Science and Technology, a set of presentations sponsored by the University of Texas in Austin covering... well.. science and technology.
Of course, even when you live right here you still get busy. While I'm encouraged to attend this sort of thing there are usually a ton of things that make it difficult to take a day away. Technology to the rescue! It appears that they are starting to put these on YouTube, so if you miss them live you can catch up. How cool is that. Here's an example of the latest one (as of this writing). The subject is design, a topic on which we can probably always use new information.
I was going to embed the playlist here but the community tools require me to use the old-school embedding approach rather than iframes. That doesn't seem to be supported for playlists, so you'll find it one click away. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Uh... I'm really studying HTML5
When Windows emerged they included Minesweeper and Solitaire. The justification was to help train people on the mouse and I know a number of people who spent a great deal of time in intensive mouse training.
I'm going to apply the same logic to HTML5. Here's a fun game called Torus which has been written using HTML5.
Backing open source with dollars
There is a constant criticism that open source enthusiasts just want free stuff after everyone else does the work. I don't think that's a fair assessment. I think it's more fair to say that open source enthusiasts don't want to pay over and over for work that's already been done. As open-source is applied to more things like hardware such as Arduino and even civilization through Open Source Ecology, it is evident to me that this open-source concept runs much more deeply than simply trying to get discounts. It's based on the idea that knowledge and discovery can belong to everyone who is willing to make the effort to understand it.
So, when someone wants to do the work to create and make that creation generally available, but they need some help to make it happen, I see myself as an investor in the future of openness. (Did you read that part about me not representing IBM? This is one of those points when it's probably important that you know I'm speaking as an idividual.)
I found an interesting project where people are trying to create an open-source, pressure sensitve stylus for use with tablets. Essentially, it will let you use your tablet computer like a piece of paper to draw on with the same tactile experience you would have with a pencil. That's a big deal for making this sort of technology more intuitive and easier to use. The project has a Kickstart page where they are trying to raise funds to bring this into commercial production. This will become something you can buy, or build, depending on your own resources. I'm incredibly excited about the opportunity to invest in the future of things like this. I kicked up some dollars for this because I want to see it happen.
I'm not trying to coerce you into investing, but I want all of you to see that it is possible to make something happen with community support. This particular project may not make their goal. They have a steep ramp at this point. However, other projects will. Ultimately it is possible to have work done for the good of all that is sponsored by the people who want it to happen, regardless of whether it has corporate support. To me that's a big deal. It helps carry us over the threshold into a more open world for everything. In my opinion, that world is what will drive us into the future.
For a number of years I've had a casual fascination with an application called Blender. When I first found it, it was a free tool for creating 3D animation that was abut 10M in size. I didn't really have any particular talent for animation, but I was immensely curious. I tinkered with it a little, mostly hampered by my lack of time and the fact that I didn't really have a pressing demand for creating 3D animation. I did use it to create a few flying logos for videos. Here's one I did for some TGMC demos in 2010:
Blender has grown to include sophisticated video editing and compositing, physics engines and more. It can be used for rendering stills and animation like before, but it also has a game engine which can be incorporated into your own applications. Here's another video I found that highlights some of what people have been doing with that:
If the music is too loud for you, just mute it. You know how these YouTube compilations are. I'm sure those are not the most sophisticated work that's out there, just what this guy found.
I would really like to dig into Blender. I'm looking at it as a video editing and compositing tool. I like Cinellera a lot, but I've heard that Blender is more in tune with some of the CGI approaches of modern video. As we move forward I'm having to get into other methods of communicating. It's fun, because I get to exercize other areas of my brain and creativity. The problem, of course, is that I don't have the background or my own studio to play in and IBM is not likely to buy it for me any time soon. However, perhaps tools like Blender will let me sneak into doing some more expressive things and it will all just blossom from there.
I'll keep you posted on what I do. Right now I've been geeking out on getting things recompiled to have all the features that I want. (A lot is often turned off on distribution due to licensing issues. Hooray for open source and good howtos!)
Cool blog feature in developerWorks Community
I know that many systems have this, but the developerWorks community does too. I actually wrote this on Friday, but scheduled it to publish today, so you don't get flooded with things when I'm having a particularly chatty day. If you want to "future publish" your own entry, it's under the Advanced settings when you have a blog view. You can also customize the URL and control how long people may comment. There's a URL slot to link to external media, but I haven't played with that yet.
One of the benefits of rooting an android phone is that you can install custom ROMs. On my Motorola Droid I ran CyanogenMod and enjoyed it very much. It added a number of features that I liked, such as allowing me to blacklist SPAM calls I would get through my phone.
Unfortunately, CyanogenMod is not yet available for the Droid Bionic. So, I tried Liberty. However, before I installed a ROM I took some sage advice and installed the Safestrap program on the phone first. Safestrap creates a recoverable state on the phone so that when I do very bad things (and I have) that I can go back to a known state on the phone. So far I have put my phone in a mode that made my blood chill a couple of times and was still able to recover by simply rebooting into Safestrap and toggling the safe mode. Very nice. If you like to do dangerous things with your phone and risk hundreds of dollars worth of investment, I highly recommend Safestrap.
(Why are some of us made so curious?)
I don't know what started me on this process, but somehow I got curious about doing custom URL shorteners. After a little searching, I found out that bit.ly offers custom domains as a part of their free service. How sweet is that?!
Get a domain that works for you. There are a number of interesting options there, some of which are pricier than others. Through Godaddy, the .de (Germany) domain costs me about $17.99 per year. Ah, well. It's less than a vanity license plate. I was going to use osdud.de, but it seems to belong to a German dart association. OK, I'll make them a little longer for the branding.
Once you have your domain, go to your bit.ly account and look at the account settings (Figure 1).
Figure 1. bit.ly account settings
There's a section that lets you add a Custom Short Domain. (Figure 2)
Figure 2. Custom domain settings
If you modify those settings it will let you enter your own domain name. Upon entry, you'll be told what IP address to put into your domain record to direct it to the bit.ly servers.
That's it. Once you've done that and domain servers have updated then you will be able to talk to bit.ly through your own domain name, e.g. cmwosdu.de. From there, any link you create with that account will have your custom domain.
Want to see it in action? Read the next bit.
Microsoft is the King of Linux
This is probably old news to some of you by now but I ran across this article: cmwosdu.de/HCfD6F (See the URL!?)
According to the article, in the recent round of statistics: "Microsoft contributed 688 changes, or about 1% of the accepted changes to the kernel since 2.6.36." That doesn't sound like much, but it's not too shabby, especially compared to the number some might expect, which is 0. The changes appear to largely deal with virtualization. Quoting again from the article:
"Much of the work Microsoft did centers around providing drivers for its own Hyper-V virtualization technology. Microsoft's Hyper-V, part of Windows Server, can run Linux as a guest OS. Linux kernel developer and LWN.net editor Jon Corbet, a co-author of the study, estimates that Microsoft's involvement peaked around last year's 3.0 release of Linux and will diminish over time."
So, the additions are largely in support of running Linux in a virtual environment with Windows as the host. Ah, well. I suppose that's not shocking. However, it does show that Microsoft has decided that Linux is not going away and that they need to accommodate it in some way if they are going to meet customer demand.
Personally, I don't miss Windows. I've been happy in a Linux environment for about ten years or more now.
It looks like I'm going to be spending some time with Blender here pretty soon. It's an open-source 3D modeling and animation application that has grown to include some pretty sophisticated video compositing. For an example of what that means, look at this demo real by Pablo Vasquez.
I probably won't be doing anything that cool. I need a number of years worth of artistic development (and maybe a genetic infusion of artistic talent) to do anything like that. However, I can probably cobble together some flying logos and such and maybe a few interesting video effects. If anything comes of it, I'll share.