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A Look At Some KDE 4.12 Features

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Parrot Security OS 3.9 Ethical Hacking & Penetration Testing Distro Now in Beta

The Parrot Project began work on a new version of their Linux-based ethical hacking and penetration testing operating system, Parrot Security OS 3.9, and they recently put out a call for testing. Read more

GNOME 3.28 to Bring Support for Hybrid GPU Systems to Its Mutter Window Manager

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Blockchain and the Web Are Coming Together, Says Berners-Lee

Sir Tim Berners-Lee is a famous computer scientist and academic who invented the World Wide Web in 1989—so when he talks about new technologies it’s worth paying attention. Today, one of the topics on his mind is blockchain, a revolutionary way of creating permanent, tamper-proof records across a disparate network of computers. Blockchain is most famously associated with the digital currency bitcoin but the technology is increasingly being used for record keeping by banks and retailers. It will also come to be used by more ordinary citizens in the near future, says Berners-Lee. Read more

Control Or Consensus?

In a recent conversation on the Apache Legal mailing list, a participant opined that “any license can be Open Source. OSI doesn’t ‘own’ the term.” He went on to explain “I could clone the Apache License and call it ‘Greg’s License’ and it would be an open source license.” As long as the only people involved in the conversation are the speaker and people who defer to his authority, this might be OK. But as soon as there are others involved, it’s not. For the vast majority of people, the term “open source license” is not a personal conclusion resulting from considered evaluation, but rather a term of art applied to the consensus of the community. Individuals are obviously free to use words however they wish, just like Humpty Dumpty. But the power of the open source movement over two decades has arisen from a different approach. The world before open source left every developer to make their own decision about whether software was under a license that delivers the liberty to use, improve and share code without seeking the permission of a rights holder. Inevitably that meant either uncertainty or seeking advice from a lawyer about the presence of software freedom. The introduction of the open source concept around the turn of the millennium solved that using the crystalisation of consensus to empower developers. By holding a public discussion of each license around the Open Source Definition, a consensus emerged that could then by crystalised by the OSI Board. Once crystalised into “OSI Approval”, the community then has no need to revisit the discussion and the individual developer has no need to guess (or to buy advice) on the compatibility of a given license with software freedom. That in turn means proceeding with innovation or deployment without delay. Read more