The latest release of Ubuntu Linux has hit the download servers. One of the more exciting aspects of this release is that it contains a new installer that allows Windows users to install inside their Windows hard drive partition without repartitioning, so you can try it out with no risk to your existing system. Christer Edwards has some nice upgrade instructions.
The new Mozilla organization dedicated to developing Thunderbird, Mozilla Messaging, has launched. They will also be developing Lightning, Sunbird, and an IM client, which is all very exciting. I’m using Lightning as my calendar at work now and it is looking and feeling much better than it has in the past.
Many people have pointed out that the scary thing about Microsoft potentially buying Yahoo is that Yahoo owns many important web sites (Flickr, del.icio.us, upcoming.org, etc.) and supports many important open source projects (PHP, FreeBSD, YUI, Hadoop, Squid, etc.) I’m not worried, though. These days Microsoft is so ineffectual that it would take them at least a decade to ruin all of those sites and projects.
Randall Monroe of webcomic XKCD came up with a great idea for reducing the noise in the XKCD IRC channel: filter out all sentences that have been spoken in the past. A moderator bot scans two years worth of chat logs and blocks any repeated statements, forcing chatters to come up with original thoughts and avoid the repetitive greetings, acronyms, and in-jokes that make up much of the noise in a chatroom.