☆ Open Source Xmas

LibreOffice Xmas, originally uploaded by elianedomingos.

A very happy Christmas to everyone who reads Wild Webmink. May you find software freedom waiting for you in the coming year! If you need a last-minute gift for someone, maybe a CD of LibreOffice is the answer – you can make and decorate it yourself, and use this free as a gift card. (thanks to Eliane from Brazil for the lovely tree!) Then go on to help them install it – more on ComputerWorld.

☝ Java and Ubuntu

Despite a panic caused by a misleading headline, not only is Java not being removed from Ubuntu, but the Java reference implementation is actually a package in the main repository. My article today on ComputerWorldUK has the details.

☝ New Digital Divides

In today’s article on ComputerWorldUK, I consider the new digital divides that stand to separate us into a two-speed society. And they may not be what you’re expecting, or what policymakers are addressing.

☆ A Sandman Reading List

Full moon rising over cloudAfter a few postings in various places, it’s clear quite a few of my readers are fans of Neil Gaiman‘s “Sandman” series of graphic novels. If that includes you, you may need some gift ideas to give friends and relatives, so here’s a list of meta-Sandman books that you may find useful. I already have Hy Bender’s book and really like it as a casual reference; the rest are on my wish-list if you’re feeling generous!

  • Sandman Companion (Hy Bender)UKUS
  • The Sandman Papers (Joe Sanders)UKUS
  • The Neil Gaiman Reader (Darrell Schweitzer)UKUS
  • The Sandman And Joseph Campbell: In Search Of Modern Myth (Stephen Rauch)UKUS

If the theory of myth fascinates you after reading those titles, you may find these two classics interesting – the first is more accessible and modern but the second is a must-have and since it’s out of copyright you can also get a free eBook version from various sources, like the US Kindle edition.

  • The Hero With A Thousand Faces (Joseph Campbell)UKUS
  • The Golden Bough (Sir James George Fraser)UKUS

I can also recommend the Absolute Sandman series. These are gorgeous tooled leather omnibus editions of the books, printed for long-term collectors and delivered in a heavy slip-case (buy some gloves for handling them!). The first four contain the main series, and the fifth contains the “extras”. I have all of them apart from Volume 5.

  • Volume 1 – UKUS
  • Volume 2 – UKUS
  • Volume 3 – UKUS
  • Volume 4 – UKUS
  • Volume 5 – UKUS

There’s also an Absolute edition of the spin-out mini-series, Absolute Death (UK, US).

I hope Santa (or your equivalent ironic embodiment of religio-mythic gift-giving) brings you just the gifts you’re seeking from these lists!

☝ Abusing Open Source Trust

Selling downloaders to the highest bidder with the cloud equivalent of adware is an abuse of the trust of the open source communities creating the software. Read more over on ComputerWorldUK.

♫ Whitacre Grammy Nomination

You’ll perhaps remember that I really loved Light and Gold (a fine Christmas gift by the way – from Amazon UK and Amazon US) from American choral composer Eric Whitacre (of Virtual Choir fame).  We also thoroughly enjoyed his concert at Union Chapel. He’s a fine composer and conductor creating truly beautiful music.

Well, I see from his blog that it has been nominated for a Grammy!  Congratulations, Eric! Really looking forward to the new album in the spring.

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