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DeathElk writes "The Australian Taxation Office has come under fire from Mac and Linux users due to the ATOs continued failure to offer a non-Microsoft Windows version of their popular e-tax program. The ATO e-tax program is used by millions of Australian tax payers to submit their annual tax returns. The ATO has responded by suggesting Mac and Linux users "come into a Tax Office shopfront and use e-tax on a shopfront computer". Linux users may be able to run e-tax under wine, however this doesn't leave many options for less technically oriented Linux users or Mac users. Aside from paying the Microsoft Tax, either by licensing Windows under VMware or other virtual machine software, the only option for non-windows users is to turn off the computer — and complete their tax return manually or pay a tax consultant." Link to Original Source top
DeathElk writes "Microsoft now offers discounted Windows XP licenses to PC refurbishers through their Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher program. From the ARNnet article: 'Observers say MAR also attempts to ameliorate another risk: that refurbishers, frustrated by the high cost and difficulty of following Microsoft's arcane Windows licenses to the letter, will simply install a free Linux operating system on renewed PCs instead.'" Link to Original Source top
DeathElk writes "New South Wales teachers are attempting to have a website based in the United States closed down due to "defamatory" content. The site in question encourages students to rate teachers at their school, which obviously results in some colorful content. Now the story has hit the media, with some insightful quotes such as "The president of the NSW Secondary Principals Council, Jim McAlpine, said the Federal Government should block access to 'scurrilous American websites'." What's next — the great fwall of AU?" top
As the IT manager of a company of 100 employees, I strive to adopt the most suitable solutions for our staff. Many of our workstations such as POS stations and inventory management have no concrete requirement for Windows compatible software, so I plan to migrate these in the near future. Indeed, around 30% of personal computers I have managed during my career have few "desktop specific" requirements at all — they are there as a tool to serve a specific purpose, and certainly don't need IE, Solitaire, Hearts etc... let alone the maintenance and security involved
So why the continuing hard sell for Linux integrators that target smaller companies? Perhaps it is time for integrators to break the standard "desktop mentality" and adopt a more utilitarian approach, with the cost benefits this offers." top
DeathElk writes "Who says you need to be a tech guru to run Linux for everyday use? Not according to the Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney's main broadsheet and online format newspaper, who recently featured an article espousing the virtues of desktop linux. See Linux wins over new fans.
From the article: "Linux is shedding its hard-core techie image in a bid to woo ordinary human beings seeking an easy-to-use operating system that can be downloaded for free."
Is this a positive step forward for widespread GNU/Linux desktop adoption? Unfortunately the article doesn't mention the large range of live CD/DVD distributions available for try before you fly, or the range of Windows applications tested and working under Wine."