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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 513

Filed under
Linux

Welcome to this year's 25th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! ROSA is a Russian Linux distribution project which purchased many of Mandriva's assets in 2012 and which now develops a Linux distribution, originally forked from Mandriva, under its own brand name. One of its edition is called "Desktop Fresh", a name that indicates a stable base with a regularly renewed top layer, a somewhat experimental variant with shorter support terms than what those of the company's enterprise-class editions. Jesse Smith takes a look at the distribution's latest stable release, version 2012 R1, in today's feature article.

In the news section, PC-BSD announces the drop of the i386 architecture from future development, CentOS resurrects the Xen hypervisor in the new Xen4CentOS6 special release, and Mageia's Anne Nicolas looks forward towards Mageia 4 in an interview that covers a wide range of topics. Also in this issue, an interesting comparison of two popular Puppy Linux flavours, a Question and Answers session dealing with command-line shells, and an introduction to OpenMandriva, a new community distribution that attempts to recreate the former glory of Mandriva Linux.

Happy reading!




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And now for some good news... How open source triumphed over Microsoft Office in Italy

Microsoft Office may have a global monopoly, but one Italian region rejected it flat out. But, why? In the stunningly beautiful Italian region of Umbria, you'll feel more at home running open source software, rather than the clunky and expensive Microsoft Office suite. Read more

Red Hat, Chilean government hold talks on open source initiative

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IT teams are choosing open source - but not just for the cost savings

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Patent Troll Kills Open Source Project On Speeding Up The Computation Of Erasure Codes

Via James Bessen, we learn of how a patent trolling operation by StreamScale has resulted in an open source project completely shutting down, despite the fact that the patent in question (US Patent 8,683,296 for an "Accelerated erasure coding system and method") is almost certainly ineligible for patent protection as an abstract idea, following the Supreme Court's Alice ruling and plenty of prior art. Erasure codes are used regularly today in cloud computing data storage and are considered to be rather important. Not surprisingly, companies and lawyers are starting to pop out of the woodwork to claim patents on key pieces. I won't pretend to understand the fundamental details of erasure codes, but the link above provides all the details. It goes through the specific claims in the patents, breaking down what they actually say (basically an erasure code on a computer using SIMD instructions), and how that's clearly an abstract idea and thus not patent-eligible. Read more