Doc Searls writes a good piece on Linux Journal about Apple’snew version of X11. What I didn’t realise was that it supports SSH tunneling too – making it an even bigger deal for education and scientific environments.
I’ve been playing around with Apple’s recently released implementation of X11 for Mac OS X, and in combination with Fink it’s a fantastically powerful piece of software. All of a sudden, a huge slew of Unix applications just work nicely with OS X, and – most impressive of all – there is almost no performance hit from using an X11 app.
A prime example is AbiWord, an open source word processing package that includes many nice features, and is very easy to use. Downloading, installing and running it using X11 and Fink is easy, and on a subjective level it’s faster than Microsoft Word, which, of course, runs natively on the Mac.
At the moment, X11 apps are still not intergrated well enough with OS X to be usable for the majority of Mac users. But they will undoubtedly have an impact on the OS X software market. When you have XChat, why pay for a shareware IRC client? When Gimp is free, why pay for GraphicConvertor? At the moment, because these apps are real native ones, ease of use means going for them. but one day, that won’t be the case.
Testing blogging from the Treo 270. It seems to work pretty well.
Stand has resurfaced, with a new campaign. It appears that after a consultation process that consists of asking people to download a 30Mb PDF and fill it in, David Blunkett is about to give a speech on the 15th January (to pre-selected media, of course) saying that the public really, really wants ID cards, in the shape of the so-called “Entitlement card”.
You can get a hint of the likely tone here where they say that “The response so far to a public consultation on the scheme shows a two-to-one split in favour of the plans…. Around 1,500 people and organisations have sent in their comments.”
So if you’re concerned about this issue, please head over to Stand NOW where you can send in your own comments. So far, Stand has enabled another 800 or so people to comment, and hopefully if enough people send in their views, David Blunkett won’t be able to get away with casting the ID card scheme in a positive light.