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Interview: Beowulf's Donald Becker

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OSS

T shops are being bombarded by mixed and incorrect messages about the legal aspects of open source software and the current status of grid and virtualization technologies, says Donald Becker, Beowulf Project co-founder and founder and chief scientist of San Francisco-based Scyld Software, a subsidiary of Penguin Computing.

Becker sounds off on these subjects in this excerpt from our interviews during and after the recent LinuxWorld Conference & Exposition in San Francisco.

What do you think of the controversy over Linus Torvald's attempt to enforce his trademark for the Linux name?

Becker: The controversy shows the increasing sensitivity in the open source and free software community. The SCO lawsuit really brought those things into focus for people developing open source, open standard software.

The legal scene for open source and Linux is playing out exactly the way you'd expect a natural evolution of a marketplace should.
In the past, the marketplace found a way to produce proprietary software and successfully make a business and create a commercial marketplace out of it.

The evolution now shows that with Linux you can make a business and create a commercial marketplace, too. So, now that that's been shown, there's a need to make it clear that the licenses, trademarks and copyrights, while being open, have boundaries. Naturally, these boundaries will be tested until everyone understands the nature of the new marketplace that's emerged.

In the open source community, is there great concern about open source software being usurped by proprietary vendors?

Full Story.

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Collaboration Events: Pakistan Open Source Summit, GNOME+Rust Hackfest, DataworksSummit Berlin

  • Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018 concludes [Ed: Not about software]
    A large number of attendees from industry, academia, government, and students participated in the summit. Portuguese Ambassador to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa was the chief guest at the opening ceremony while former Naval Chief Admiral (r) Asif Sandila graced the occasion as the chief guest at the closing ceremony.
  • ‘Open Summit key to create industry-academy linkages’
    Ambassador of Portugal to Pakistan Dr Joao Sabido Costa has said that events such as the Open Source Summit are excellent for spreading awareness and for creating industry-academia linkages and enhancement of the information technology. He stated this while addressing a concluding ceremony of the two-day informative ‘Pakistan Open Source Summit 2018’ attended by large number of people from industry, academia, government and students. Former naval chief Admiral (R) Asif Sandila co-chaired the concluding session. Dr Joao Sabido Costa said that the organisations should utilise open source platforms to build their IT infrastructures in future. To build open source culture in Pakistan, he recommended roadmap with future activities and timelines for spreading open source.
  • Madrid GNOME+Rust Hackfest, part 2
    Yesterday we went to the Madrid Rust Meetup, a regular meeting of rustaceans here. Martin talked about WebRender; I talked about refactoring C to port it to Rust, and then Alex talked about Rust's plans for 2018. Fun times.
  • DataworksSummit Berlin - Wednesday morning
    Data strategy - cloud strategy - business strategy: Aligning the three was one of the main themes (initially put forward in his opening keynote by CTO of Hortonworks Scott Gnau) thoughout this weeks Dataworks Summit Berlin kindly organised and hosted by Hortonworks. The event was attended by over 1000 attendees joining from 51 countries. The inspiration hat was put forward in the first keynote by Scott was to take a closer look at the data lifecycle - including the fact that a lot of data is being created (and made available) outside the control of those using it: Smart farming users are using a combination of weather data, information on soil conditions gathered through sensors out in the field in order to inform daily decisions. Manufacturing is moving towards closer monitoring of production lines to spot inefficiencies. Cities are starting to deploy systems that allow for better integration of public services. UX is being optimized through extensive automation.

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