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Free Software

A blip in the mobile phone market?  I think not….seems that Android has just leapfrogged their competition.  This is just part of a trend:

Is Android Really outselling Apple?
by Peter Kafka

Here’s a curveball of a data point: Android is now outselling the iPhone. Really? Really, says NPD. The consumer research shop says U.S. sales of smartphones using Google’s mobile operating system climbed past Apple in the first three months of this year. Google (GOOG) nabbed 28 percent of the market, while Apple (AAPL) claimed 21 percent, NPD says. Less surprising is that BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIMM) still leads the market, with 36 percent. Here are the data in chart form: Android is the green line with the prominent spike:

Of course there needs to be the obligatory post about Amazon deleting the stuff from the kindle that they didn’t like.  The bigger questions, that Amazon has not answered, are:

Do you want to buy something that can be monitored & controlled by some central entity?

Why did Amazon build that feature into the Kindle in the first place?

Do you trust them when they say we won’t do it again?

Who else can use the features in the Kindle to monitor what you are reading?

Just don’t buy a Kindle. My strong recommendation:  Buy a netbook that has GNU/linux (for less than the $299 the Kindle sells for), and download what you want. When you tire of reading you can play some chess* or travel through the solar system (and this is all using free software…)

Oh, and by the way 1984 is in the public domain in Australia and Russia, so take a look at these sites:

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/o/orwell/george/

http://orwell.ru/library/novels/index_en

Here are some free fonts to use when reading your downloaded books:

http://exljbris.wordpress.com/

And here are some free software packages with which to read your .pdf’s:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/

http://www.foolabs.com/xpdf/

And here are 100 of the top book downloads from Project Gutenberg:

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Here’s the summary of the Top 500 Supercomputers, broken down by Operating system. Linux only has 87.8% of the Top 500 supercomputers.  But it really isn’t fair to compare Windows and Linux, after all, Linux cost 10.8 billion dollars to develop, and Windows development team probably only had a budget of a couple of billion dollars or so. Poor Bill Gates…

Operating system Family Count Share % Rmax Sum (GF) Rpeak Sum (GF) Processor Sum
Linux 439 87.80 % 13341108 20822363 2104191
Windows 5 1.00 % 328114 429555 54144
Unix 23 4.60 % 881289 1198012 85376
BSD Based 1 0.20 % 35860 40960 5120
Mixed 31 6.20 % 2356048 2933610 869676
Mac OS 1 0.20 % 16180 24576 3072
Totals 500 100% 16958600.19 25449076.20 3121579

But what can it do for you?

Well, what do you want it to do?

From Flowing Data, an interesting use of Modest Maps:

Hat Tip: Chris Blattman’s wonderful, smart as hell blog about development which I had browsed before but am taking a second look at it since Dani Rodrik from Harvard made some interesting comments about Chris’s blog.

Watching the growth of Walmart across America – Interactive Edition
In the spirit of Toby’s Walmart growth video, using data from Freebase, I mapped the spread of Walmart using Modest Maps. It starts slow and then spreads like wildfire.

http://projects.flowingdata.com/walmart/

As a follow-up to my post “The tipping Point” from 07 December 2007, it seems that several other sources have come to the same conclusion I had: that the eeePC represents a tipping point.

First, there is LinuxFormat magazine, from the U.K., in its edition no. 106 for May 2008. (Still not available in all US newstands. It also has an article that I am very interested in, about sustainable aspects of free software, which I’ll just have to wait for. Also note that back issues of Linuxformat are available as .pdfs here):

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