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Story Beginning of the End? srlinuxx 2 11/02/2005 - 6:24am
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Story Firefox Putting on the Pressure srlinuxx 2 13/02/2005 - 6:17pm
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Story LA County Considering Open Source srlinuxx 2 14/02/2005 - 2:31am
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Story Danes accused Microsoft of blackmail srlinuxx 2 15/02/2005 - 6:35pm
Story HA! rm -rf Contest at Mad Penguin srlinuxx 2 15/02/2005 - 6:36pm
Story Is PCLOS 8.1 Close? srlinuxx 4 18/02/2005 - 6:46am

Leftovers: Gaming

Filed under
Gaming

A victory for free software over the "Microsoft tax"

Filed under
GNU
Linux

This is a guest post by Marco Ciurcina, a lawyer who worked on this case.

The Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione) issued a
judgment1 that bans the "Microsoft tax," a commercial
practice that discourages users from converting their PCs to GNU/Linux
or other free operating systems by forcing them to pay for a Windows
license with their PCs. PC producers in Italy now cannot refuse to
refund the price of the license to purchasers that will not run
Windows.

The ruling definitively concludes the case filed in 2005 against a hardware
producer by Marco Pieraccioli,2 with the support of the Consumer Association
ADUC,3 and affirms Marco Pieraccioli's right to a refund for the price of the
Microsoft Windows license for the computer he purchased.

The primary reason to insist on using free software4 is because nonfree
software deprives the user of freedom, including the freedom to participate in
its development. The "Microsoft tax" has no effect on that issue.

The "free" in "free software" refers to freedom. It does not mean "gratis,"
and copies of free software do not have to be distributed without charge.
Selling a copy of one free program or many of them is legitimate.5

However, most GNU/Linux distributions are offered to the public
gratis, while Windows is not. Therefore, switching to GNU/Linux offers
an opportunity for the secondary benefit of saving money -- a benefit
that many Italians would value. The "Microsoft tax" has the effect of
abolishing that secondary benefit. Now the secondary benefit must be
available.

The ruling applies to more than just Windows. The Court states a
general principle that applies to any device with software
preinstalled: "...who buys a computer on which a given operational
software (operating system) was preinstalled by the manufacturer has
the right, if he does not agree to the conditions of the license of
the software made available to him at first start of the computer, to
retain the computer returning only the software covered by the license
he did not accept, with refund of the part of the price that
specifically relates to it."6

According to the Supreme Court, any commercial practice that prevents the user
from getting a refund "..would clash in different ways with the rules that
protect the freedom of choice of the consumer, and the freedom of competition
among firms..."7

On the one hand, therefore, the judgment follows the path of the French
Courts' case law, that on several occasions stated that the joint sale of
hardware and software, without providing for the buyer the possibility to
obtain refund of preinstalled software, violates the right of the consumer.8

On the other hand, the Italian Supreme Court states that the act of
hindering the refund violates the freedom of competition among firms.
This statement of principle is interesting considering that, to date,
the antitrust authorities have done little against business practices
that "force" the joint sale of hardware and proprietary software. Now
they may consider taking stronger action.

The focus of the Court's reasoning is that the sale of a PC with software
preinstalled is not like the sale of a car with its components (the 4 wheels,
the engine, etc.) that therefore are sold jointly. Buying a computer with
preinstalled software, the user is required to conclude two different
contracts: the first, when he buys the computer; the second, when he turns on
the computer for the first time and he is required to accept or not the license
terms of the preinstalled software.9 Therefore, if the user does not accept
the software license, he has the right to keep the computer and install free
software without having to pay the "Microsoft tax."

Notes:

1 Judgement n. 19161/2014 published 11/9/2014

http://www.italgiure.giustizia.it/xway/application/nif/clean/hc.dll?verbo=attach&db=snciv&id=./20140912/snciv@s30@a2014@n19161@tS.clean.pdf.

2 I had the honor to assist before the Supreme Court Marco Pieraccioli who
already had favorable decisions both at first instance (judgment no. 5384/2007
of the Giudice di Pace di Firenze) and in second degree (judgment no.
2526/2010 of the Tribunale di Firenze).

3 See http://aduc.it/.

4 See https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.

5 See https://gnu.org/philosophy/selling.

6 See p. 22 of the judgment.

7 See p. 21 of the judgment.

8 See http://non.aux.racketiciels.info/.

9 The judgment at p. 21 states: "Having been assessed that there are not
technological obstacles, the 'packaging' at the source of hardware and
operating system Microsoft Windows (as it would for any other operating system
for a fee) would actually respond, in substance, to a trade policy aimed at
the forceful spread of the latter in the hardware retail (at least in that, a
large majority, headed by the most established OEM brands); among other
things, with cascade effects in order to the imposition on the market of
additional software applications whose dissemination among final customers finds
strong stimulus and influence - if not genuine compulsion - in more or less
intense constraints of compatibility and interoperability (that this time we
could define 'technological with commercial effect') with that operating system,
that has at least tendency to be monopolistic".

© Marco Ciurcina, 2014 – Some rights reserved
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
License or any later version.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 license (or later version)

Cumulus Linux 2.5 adds mainstream L2 features to bare-metal switching

Filed under
Linux
Server

As Cumulus Networks attempts to expand beyond the early adopters of its Cumulus Linux bare-metal switch operating system, it is adding Layer 2 networking features aimed at making it easier for enterprises to make the transition from legacy environments to the IP fabrics that most cloud computing customers operate.

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SimplyTapp launches open source tokenization project

Filed under
OSS

“We don’t want to put any hindrance in the way of a bank launching cloud-based payments because they have to buy or rely on another ecosystem player for new technology and so we thought it was a perfect use case for an open source project. Open source allows a perfect line of audit where you can actually see the source code, modify the source code and make updates to the source code for your environment before you’re running it.

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Google’s Nest buys Linux automation firm, adds five partners

Filed under
Linux
Google

Google’s Nest Labs acquired Revolv, a maker of Linux-based home automation devices, and announced five new Nest-compatible devices. including the Pebble.

After Google acquired Nest Labs in January $3.2 billion, placing a stake in the fast-growing home automation business, Nest acquired home surveillance camera maker Dropcam in June for $555 million. Now Nest announced it has acquired another major home automation company in its purchase of Revolv. The acquisition, which was announced with no dollar amount, came shortly after the Boulder, Colo. based company announced compatibility with the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect CO/smoke detector.

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MozFest 2014 begins today

Filed under
Moz/FF

More than 1,600 participants from countries around the globe will gather at Ravensbourne in East London for a weekend of collaborating, building prototypes, designing innovative web literacy curricula and discussing how the ethos of the open web can contribute to the fields of science, journalism, advocacy and more.

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Make Your Own Wireless Printer With A Raspberry Pi

Filed under
Linux
Hardware

Wireless technology is perhaps the best improvement to home printing for years. Fewer cables, flexibility about where you can put your printer – it’s win-win. Unless you have an older printer.

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Ubuntu Kylin 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) Consolidates Its Position in China

Filed under
Ubuntu

Ubuntu Kylin 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn), a Chinese Linux distribution based on Ubuntu and developed in collaboration with Canonical, is looking to expand its user-base in China with this new release.

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MSI X99S SLI PLUS On Linux

Filed under
Linux
Security

For Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E Linux testing I originally bought an MSI X99S SLI PLUS motherboard as it was one of the most interesting, lowest-priced boards available at the time of the Intel X99 chipset debut. While I initially ran into some problems, those issues have now been confirmed to be isolated, and with a replacement X99S SLI PLUS motherboard I have been stressing it constantly for the past few weeks on Fedora and Ubuntu. The X99S SLI PLUS has now proven itself to be a reliable motherboard that's still among the least expensive X99 ATX motherboards on the market.

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Is the Tizen Samsung Z Alive and running Tizen 2.3 SM-Z910F ? #TDS14SH

Filed under
Linux
Gadgets

At the Tizen Developer Summit 2014 Shanghai, Samsung were showing off the Gear S, and also the Samsung Z Smartphone. Taking a further glimpse at the settings we can see that it is listed as running Tizen 2.3, which recently saw the release of the Tizen 2.3 Beta SDK. As a recap, the Samsung Z was the Tizen flagship Smartphone that Samsung were due to release at the Tizen developer summit in Russia, but cancelled the launch with only 48 hours to spare.

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The Linux desktop-a-week review: LXDE

Filed under
Reviews

Over the last two weeks I’ve run nothing but LXDE as my primary Linux Desktop Environment (other than a few excursions into Android land). Been using LXDE. Been enjoying LXDE.

But I have practically nothing to really say about LXDE. I feel like, after all this time, I should have something interesting to talk about. But I just plain don’t.

It’s fast, blisteringly fast. And it’s damned lightweight too. After that, things get pretty boring.

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LG’s first SoC debuts on 5.9-inch G3 Screen phone

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Android

LG announced its first SoC, a Cortex-15 and –A7 octa-core “Nuclun” with LTE-A Cat.6 tech that debuts this week in a Korea-bound LG G3 Screen Android phone.

LG Electronics has decided to follow in Samsung’s footsteps and create its own ARM system-on-chip for its mobile devices. LG, which has mostly used Qualcomm processors in the past, announced an octa-core Nuclun SoC, which will debut on a 5.9-inch, Android 4.4 based LG G3 Screen phablet that will go on sale this week in Korea.

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Neptune OS 4.2 Features a Refreshing KDE Desktop

Filed under
OS
KDE

ZevenOS-Neptune 4.x branch is called "It's all about you" and it was initially made available back in June. This is the second update for the distribution and the devs have refined some of the features and have added some new packages into the mix.

The system is based on KDE, but don't expect to find a regular stock version implemented. It's clear that the devs have put a lot of effort into making the DE experiences unique. Users can immediately recognize what distribution they are looking at just with a glance, and that's always a good sign.

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How to Get Open Source Android

Filed under
Android
OSS

Android is an astonishing commercial success, and is often touted as a Linux success. In some ways it is; Google was able to leverage Linux and free/open source software to get Android to market in record time, and to offer a feature set that quickly outstripped the old champion iOS.

But it's not Linux as we know it. Most Android devices are locked-down, and we can't freely download and install whatever operating systems we want like we can with our Linux PCs, or install whatever apps we want without jailbreaking our own devices that we own. We can't set up a business to sell Google Android devices without jumping through a lot of expensive hoops (see The hidden costs of building an Android device and Secret Ties in Google's "Open" Android.) We can't even respin Google Android however we want to and redistribute it, because Google requires bundling a set of Google apps.

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Another Tor router crowdfunding project nixed by Kickstarter

Filed under
Android
Linux
Security

Kickstarter is apparently not the place to go if you’re trying to crowdfund privacy hardware. Just days after the Anonabox project, a highly criticized effort to package the Tor privacy protection service into a portable miniature Wi-Fi router, was suspended by the crowdfunding site, another similar project has met its demise—and its founder’s account has been deleted.

TorFi, which Ars mentioned in a report on October 21, was a project by Jesse Enjaian and David Xu of Berkeley, California aimed at creating home routers with turnkey Tor protection and support for OpenVPN connections—allowing users to route all their Internet traffic either through Tor's "onion router" network or a virtual private network provider of their choice. The project’s initial pitch was dependent on repurposing routers from TP-Link purchased through retail and re-flashing them with a customized version of the OpenWRT embedded operating system.

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Video: Getting Ready for systemd (in RHEL7)

Filed under
Red Hat
Movies

I found the link to this video (Getting Ready for systemd) on the systemd documentation page. It is a Red Hat "Customer Portal Exclusive" and "Not for Distribution" but it is ok for me to provide a picture that links to it... that looks like a video-ready-to-play.

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Diary of a new Arch user, week two

Filed under
Reviews

So, I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and installed Arch Linux. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. For those of you who haven’t come across this distro before, it’s built on the idea that the user should have full control of their system. This means that the basic install is just the Linux kernel and a few essential utilities. In order to create a fully working system, you need to choose what bits you want to install on top of that yourself. There’s no installer to guide you (but there is a package manager and a wiki to help you).

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Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn : Video and Screenshot Tours

Filed under
Reviews
Ubuntu

Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn is the latest version of ubuntu operating system developed by Canonical. It now available to download and install on PC and Laptop.

On this release ubuntu 14.10 have been updates to many core packages, including a new 3.16-based kernel, Unity Desktop 7.3.1, and new AppArmor with fine-grained socket control, and many more.

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today's howtos

Filed under
HowTos

Leftovers: Gaming

Filed under
Gaming
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