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Cybernaut

The future of open source

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The home desktop market will be harder to crack than the business desktop market, where Linux sales are already growing by 15 per cent a year, but Novell is no doubt betting that the same people who use Linux at the office will be more open to running Linux at home as well.

For more on Linux, visit www.linux.org. Other sources are Tux Magazine www.tuxmagazine.com/, and Linux Journal www.linuxjournal.com.

Google's plans for world domination

Google’s up to something. Actually, if you want to be technical about it, Google’s up to a little of everything.

A few weeks ago Google launched an online spreadsheet application, seemingly in competition with Microsoft’s ubiquitous Excel program.

When you include Google’s recent acquisition of Writely.com into the equation, which is an online word processing program, you end up with a lot of conjecture that Google is getting ready to go head to head with Microsoft Office.

While there may be some merit to that line of thinking, there’s also the possibility that Google is merely trying secure its niche within the Web 2.0 framework. If you’re not familiar with the concept of Web 2.0, there’s a basic explanation at www.webopedia.com, www.oreilly.net.

There are a lot of different aspects to Web 2.0, but one of the more compelling aspects is the gradual move from disk-to-hard drive software to web-based software accessible through the Internet.

You’ll need a Gmail account to access the beta version of the spreadsheet, located at spreadsheets.google.com

This past week Google also launched another new product, seemingly in competition with another company. It’s called Checkout, an online payment service that many feel competes directly with PayPal, which is owned by eBay – which recently formed a partnership with Yahoo Inc., one of Google’s main competitors in the online search business.

While Google claims that Checkout isn’t meant to rival PayPal it’s basically the exact same service – it allows users to securely buy and bid on items online without entering four of five screens worth of personal information each and every time.

For Google, which makes its money selling those nondescript ads that run alongside your search results, Checkout adds value by also letting advertisers take payments online.

Sure sounds like a competitive program to me.

Website of the Week

Truth really is stranger than fiction, or so the editors at the popular Fark.com would have you believe. This blog site links to all the weird and wonderful news stories that crop up almost daily, and provides an awesome diversion on a dull day. Some of the content is a bit Maxim Magazine-ish, but otherwise it’s a good read.