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February 2016

Is SFLC Shooting Open Source in the Foot?

Filed under
OSS
Legal

The academic article by SFLC about ZFS is troubling and may unintentionally shoot free software licensing in the foot.

When I was at Sun (as part of the team that released the Java Programming Language by starting the OpenJDK project) I often heard community concerns about the CDDL license. At the time the big complaint was about the "Choice of Venue" clause.

I got involved because Sun had developed many essential Java libraries and distributed them under CDDL. The community requested a more permissive license and I was able to convince internal project leaders (and Sun's lawyers) to make a licensing change for a handful of these projects. And there was much rejoicing.

Based on my experience in helping Java to become open source I came to appreciate the legal hacks on copyright which make open source possible. It's the free software license which uses copyright to enable sharing (vs. the default of disabling sharing).

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GNOME Tweak Tool Review - More Powerful than You Can Imagine

Filed under
GNOME
Reviews

GNOME Tweak Tool is a powerful application for the GNOME-powered Linux distributions, and it's too often overlooked.

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GNOME Maps Review - A GNOME App That Could Do Much More

Filed under
Reviews

GNOME Maps is a rather new application in the GNOME stack that doesn't do a lot but is really promising. Here is a quick look at the latest stable edition.

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Open Source Evolution: From Making Better Code to Making Better Business

Filed under
OSS

Today, open-source software is thriving in the Cloud, with a whole new generation of projects – such as Docker, Heroku, Open Stack and others. Cumulatively, GNU is still the leading license, but MIT, Apache and other licenses are among the top licenses used in open-source projects.

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An open-source alternative to Android Wear OS for smartwatches emerges

Filed under
Android
OSS

Can the Android Wear and Tizen operating systems on smartwatches be challenged? French computer science student Florent Revest believes so.

Revest has developed AsteroidOS, a flavor of Linux for smartwatches, still in early beta. It has been tested on LG's smartwatches and a port is under way to Asus' Zenwatch 1.

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BrewDog’s open-source revolution is at the vanguard of postcapitalism

Filed under
Linux

Today, you can download the Linux version of Unix for free, confident in the knowledge that thousands of dedicated professionals are working day and night to improve it, again for free. Almost all the world’s fastest supercomputers run it.

The idea that the basic tools of modern life should be free, shareable and collaboratively improved, with nobody allowed to make them private property, was born in the free-software movement, spread via the Creative Commons movement and is gaining traction in the world of physical products. It doesn’t destroy capitalism, but it does challenge its dynamics.

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Firefox OS will Power New Line-up of Panasonic Ultra HD TVs

Filed under
Moz/FF

Panasonic announced today that Firefox OS will power the new Panasonic DX-series UHD TVs.

Panasonic TVs powered by Firefox OS are already available globally. These TVs have intuitive and customizable home screens which give you “quick access” to Live TV, Apps and personal connected devices. You can access your favorite channels, apps, videos, websites and content quickly – and you can also pin any app or content to your TV home screen.

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Elementary boss watches the Linux distro make great strides

Filed under
Interviews

elementary OS is a consumer-focused, open source, Linux-based operating system with a heavy emphasis on UX design. I am the founder of elementary (the company behind elementary OS). A great deal of my time is spent organizing our team, which is mostly made up of volunteers, but I also spend time coding for both web and desktop, triaging bug reports, providing visual and UX design, and of course interacting with our users.

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Does Linux need a data loss prevention solution?

Filed under
Linux

CoSoSys, a firm that offers data loss prevention (DLP) and mobile device management (MDM) solutions, today announced a private beta release of Endpoint Protector DLP for Linux.

Yes, Linux is secure by design, but that doesn't mean there won't be software bugs (Linus Torvalds has said as much, noting that bugs are part of the software development process). And, yes, there have been some critical security threats that surfaced in the last few years such as GHOST, ShellShock, Heartbleed, and the Glibc vulnerability

But CoSoSys is not about that security. It’s not about the security of the operating system itself. It’s about the data residing on these machines and protecting the data irrespective of the operating system.

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Solus 1.1 Is Going to Be Awesome, Developers Promise

Filed under
OS

The Solus developers are preparing for the first point release for their Linux operating system, and saying they are excited about it is an understatement.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • How Software Is Helping Big Companies Dominate
    Antitrust deserves the attention it’s getting, and the tech platforms raise important questions. But the rise of big companies — and the resulting concentration of industries, profits, and wages — goes well beyond tech firms and is about far more than antitrust policy. In fact, research suggests that big firms are dominating through their use of software. In 2011, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen declared that “software is eating the world.” Its appetizer seems to have been smaller companies. [...] This model, where proprietary software pairs with other strengths to form competitive advantage, is only becoming more common. Years ago, one of us (James) started a company that sold publishing software. The business model was to write the software and then sell licenses to publishers. That model still exists, including in online publishing where companies like Automattic, maker of the open source content management system WordPress, sell hosting and related services to publishers. One-off licenses have given way to monthly software-as-a-service subscriptions, but this model still fits with Carr’s original thesis: software companies make technology that other companies pay for, but from which they seldom derive unique advantage. That’s not how Vox Media does it. Vox is a digital publishing company known, in part, for its proprietary content management system. Vox does license its software to some other companies (so far, mostly non-competitors), but it is itself a publisher. Its primary business model is to create content and sell ads. It pairs proprietary publishing software with quality editorial to create competitive advantage. Venture capitalist Chris Dixon has called this approach the “full-stack startup.” “The old approach startups took was to sell or license their new technology to incumbents,” says Dixon. “The new, ‘full stack’ approach is to build a complete, end-to-end product or service that bypasses incumbents and other competitors.” Vox is one example of the full-stack model. The switch from the software vendor model to the full-stack model is seen in government statistics. Since 1998, the share of firm spending on software that goes to pre-packaged software (the vendor model) has been declining. Over 70% of the firms’ software budgets goes to code developed in-house or under custom contracts. And the amount they spend on proprietary software is huge — $250 billion in 2016, nearly as much as they invested in physical capital net of depreciation.
  • Metsä Wood - Open Source Wood Winner: ClipHut Structural Building System
  • Shutting the open sauce bottle
    While open source software has revolutionised the enterprise software world, a few people are starting to wonder if its very nature will survive the age of the cloud. The concept that software can be used by pretty much anyone for pretty much anything is causing its developers big problems in the era of distributed cloud computing services. Two open-source software companies have decided to alter the licences under which some of their software is distributed, with the expressed intent of making it harder -- or impossible -- for cloud computing providers to offer a service based around that software.
  • How do we handle and use such enormous amounts of data?
    How many gigabytes of data did we (the people of Earth) create yesterday? ...brain. is. thinking... More than 2.5 billion! And it's growing. Yes, it's hard for us to wrap our human brains around it. So, the question the Command Line Heros podcast deals with this week is: How do we handle and use such enormous amounts of data?
  • Security updates for Tuesday

Linux Leftovers

  • Sorry, Linux. Kubernetes is now the OS that matters [Ed: Mac Asay does't know what an operating system is. This is what happens when people with a law degree write about technology. And he trolls Linux for clicks.]
  • Clear Linux Making Progress With Encrypted Installations
    One of the features I've personally been looking forward to is the official support for encrypted installations with Clear Linux. While many don't view it as a particular desktop distribution, it does have all of the packages I personally need for my main production system. So I've been wanting to see how well it could work out as my main desktop OS and to chronicle that experience. Having official support for encrypted installations has been one of the last blockers for my requirements. You can currently setup Clear on an encrypted installation manually, but for simplicity and wanting to keep to the "official" installation routes, I've been waiting for them to officially support encrypted installs... Especially in this day and age, anyone installing a desktop Linux distribution particularly on a mobile/laptop/ultrabook should really be doing a full-disk encryption.
  • The Linux Throwie: A Non-Spacefaring Satellite
    Throwies occupy a special place in hardware culture — a coin cell battery, LED, and a magnet that can be thrown into an inaccessible place and stick there as a little beacon of colored light. Many of us will fondly remember this as a first project. Alas, time marches inevitably on, and launching cheerful lights no longer teaches me new skills. With a nod to those simpler times, I’ve been working on the unusual idea of building a fully functional server that can be left in remote places and remain functional, like a throwie (please don’t actually throw it). It’s a little kooky, yet should still deliver a few years of occasional remote access if you leave it somewhere with sunlight.
  • OnePlus To Launch 5G Phone In 2019; $100 Costlier Than OnePlus 6T
  • OnePlus Releases OxygenOS Open Beta 7, OnePlus Roaming Launched
    Chinese company OnePlus has released the new OxygenOS Open Beta 7 for its OnePlus 6 smartphone, which has introduced several updates and features.

OSS: Development and Conferences

  • Give your students edit access to their course syllabus
    I wanted to give students more agency in their learning. So I let them make pull requests against the syllabus. [...] This exercise was a learning experience for both my students and me, as we clearly had different visions of what constituted a "disruption." While we all agreed that students should pay attention to the instructor and engage in all classroom activities, students thought they should be able to take "important" calls during class time and that texting during class was acceptable. I thought that cell phones should be turned off entirely during class. Students also thought that leaving the classroom to get a drink without asking permission was acceptable, while I thought that they should handle thirst needs before or after class. This resulted in a discussion about professionalism and the expectations associated with college-level work. We discussed what constituted a distraction and agreed that making sounds, whispering, and talking in class all counted as distractions. This in turn led to a discussion of the impacts distractions can have on a learning environment and the importance of paying attention in class. We also explored the impact various learning technologies can have on a classroom—for example, the tools students with disabilities require to fully participate in class, such as a screen reader—and agreed that noise generated by these was acceptable under the policy we intended to construct.
  • Open source tools to consider for your RESTful APIs
    At the start of a RESTful API development project, a software team might be tempted to buy an expensive commercial API management tool when an open source tool can just as easily do the trick. In fact, there are plenty of open source tools that can help with each stage of the API lifecycle and help get an API development program off the ground at low cost.
  • London Perl Workshop

    As london.pm celebrates its 20th anniversary, join Katherine Spice in conversation with a panel of the group's former leaders.

  • GNOME at Capitole du Libre 2018
    Last Saturday and Sunday I went to the Capitole du Libre 2018 to animate the GNOME booth and help on the Purism one.
  • Find Out the Visa Requirements to Attend oSC19
    For people planning on attending the openSUSE Conference 2019 in Nuremberg, Germany, from May 24 – 26, there are certain requirements necessary to receive a visa for those who are not a citizen of a Schengen country.

Red Hat/IBM: OpenShift and Ansible, RHEL Updates