ReactOS – Finally an Open Source OS for the masses?

ReactOS is my favorite new open source project. What is it? Well, it’s nothing short of a COMPLETE REWRITE of Windows XP. Yes, you read that correctly. From their FAQ:

“The 9x family of Microsoft Windows is based on DOS, and shares many of its weaknesses, which is the primary reason why Microsoft Windows has such a bad name. The Microsoft Windows NT family of Windows, however, has a solid design. Not everything is perfect, but without access to the source code, there is no way to fix it, so a compatible operating system must be built from the ground up.”

Yup. An XP-compatible OS built from the ground up. I can barely fathom the size of that task. Just so we’re clear, this is not a Linux/WINE project. This is an operating system that will allow you to run Windows apps *natively*. You can use drivers written for XP. It’s not a port of anything or an emulator. Even if these guys fail outright, they get my respect for even *trying* to tackle this project. Something tells me though that they won’t fail… they’ve already got alpha code out there – and this will end up being one of those open source projects that EVERYONE will want to work on. There will be a LOT of talent working on this.

In the end though, I wonder if it’ll end up being “mostly functional” like OpenOffice – an app doomed to never being more than a backseat competitor to MS Office – or if it’ll flourish in it’s own right and develop it’s own feature sets.

Either way, one thing is for sure – I’ll be keeping a build of this running in MY lab. Already got the box picked out to run it.

“In-Game” advertising is here to stay

I don’t have a problem with advertising in a game as long as it stays on the subliminal level and dosen’t jump out and make you look at it.  For example – if you were walking down a street in, say, Half-Life2, then it wouldn’t be *unordinary* to see a sign or a billboard for McDonalds.  Hopefully game designers won’t cross the line – because games that have overt advertising in them are supposed to be FREE.  I’m not going to pay for a game that is an explicit advertising platform.

World to RIAA: “The cat is already out of the bag”

Just in case you missed it, last week a bill was proposed that tried to reform the existing DCMA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) laws to allow for “fair use”.

According to RIAA though, any mechanism left open to allow for fair use will blow a huge hole in DRM and everything will be pirated from then on because we’re all thieving scum.  “We” = their customers, btw.

At any rate, this is a good article that sums up the current state of RIAA idiocy.