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Licensing Dirty Tricks and Openwashing

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Microsoft
Legal
  • What do WLinux and Benedict Cumberbatch have in common? They're both fond of Pengwin [Ed: Benedict Cumberbatch stabs Wikileaks for GCHQ. WLlinux stabs Linux for Microsoft.]
  • The Cloud and Open Source Powder Keg

    The idea that the adoption of open source by developers within enterprises at scale had transformed the nature of procurement was consistent with RedMonk’s own views, of course. To some degree, it has been a core belief all along, and has been surfaced explicitly over the years with pieces such as this one from 2011 entitled “Bottom Up Adoption: The End of Procurement as We’ve Known It.” What was interesting about the proposed model wasn’t what it told us about the present, however, but rather what it failed to tell us about the future.

    Conspicuously unmentioned at this event was the cloud. The cited competition for both investor and commercial OSS supplier was proprietary software; no special attention or even explicit mention was made of Amazon or other hyperscale cloud providers. A question on the subject was brushed off, politely.

    Which was interesting, because RedMonk had by that point been judging commercial open source leadership teams based on their answer to the simple question of “who is your competition?” If the answer was a proprietary incumbent, this suggested that the company was looking backwards at the market. If the answer was instead the cloud, it was safe to assume they were more forward-looking.

  • Norway Joins List of Countries Canceling Elsevier Contracts

     

    Norway has become latest country to cancel its contracts with Elsevier following a dispute over access to research papers. In a statement published yesterday (March 12), the Norwegian Directorate for ICT and Joint Services in Higher Education and Research (UNIT), which represents a consortium of research institutions in the country, rejected Elsevier’s offer to lower some of its costs for Norwegian institutions because it didn’t go far enough to promote free access to published research.

  • GNU licensed KLog Logbook software v.0.9.7 released

    Jaime, EA4TV, released KLog v.0.9.7, a multiplatform free hamradio logging program which is able to run in Linux, Windows and macOS.

    The latest release allows the user to add, remove or edit satel- lites to the KLog DB allowing import or export of satellites data.
    KLog supports ADIF as a default file format.

    Additional features of KLog include QSO management, QSL management, a DX-Cluster client, DXCC management, ClubLog integration, WSJT-X, and DX-Marathon support. Several languages are supported including Catalan, Croatian, Danish, English, Finish, Italian, Japanese and Spanish.

GNU, Licensing and Programming, GCC Included

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Development
GNU
Legal
  • David Rheinsberg: Goodbye Gnu-EFI!

    The recommended way to link UEFI applications on linux was until now through GNU-EFI, a toolchain provided by the GNU Project that bridges from the ELF world into COFF/PE32+. But why don’t we compile directly to native UEFI? A short dive into the past of GNU Toolchains, its remnants, and a surprisingly simple way out.

    The Linux World (and many UNIX Derivatives for that matter) is modeled around ELF. With statically linked languages becoming more prevalent, the impact of the ABI diminishes, but it still defines properties far beyond just how to call functions. The ABI your system uses also effects how compiler and linker interact, how binaries export information (especially symbols), and what features application developers can make use of. We have become used to ELF, and require its properties in places we didn’t expect.

  • GNUnet 0.11.0 released

    We are pleased to announce the release of GNUnet 0.11.0.

    This is a major release after about five years of development. In terms of usability, users should be aware that there are still a large number of known open issues in particular with respect to ease of use, but also some critical privacy issues especially for mobile users. Also, the nascent network is tiny (about 200 peers) and thus unlikely to provide good anonymity or extensive amounts of interesting information. As a result, the 0.11.0 release is still only suitable for early adopters with some reasonable pain tolerance.

  • Open source database company MongoDB is giving up on an important battle in its fight against the major cloud computing providers

    After a months-long fight to get a stamp of approval from the Open Source Initiative, MongoDB is withdrawing from the process of having its controversial new software license approved to be called open source.

  • Considering Fresh C Extensions

    Matthew Wilcox recently realized there might be a value in depending on C extensions provided by the Plan 9 variant of the C programming language. All it would require is using the -fplan9-extensions command-line argument when compiling the kernel. As Matthew pointed out, Plan 9 extensions have been supported in GCC as of version 4.6, which is the minimum version supported by the kernel. So theoretically, there would be no conflict.

    Nick Desaulniers felt that any addition of -f compiler flags to any project always would need careful consideration. Depending on what the extensions are needed for, they could be either helpful or downright dangerous.

    In the current case, Matthew wanted to use the Plan 9 extensions to shave precious bytes off of a cyclic memory allocation that needed to store a reference to the "next" value. Using the extensions, Matthew said, he could embed the "next" value without breaking various existing function calls.

    Nick also suggested making any such extension dependencies optional, so that other compilers would continue to be able to compile the kernel.

  • Return the probability of drawing a blue marble

    It seems like I have not decide yet which project am I going to create next so why not just work on another python solution on CodeWars in this chapter. I think I will work on a few more python questions in the next few chapters before starting a brand new python project.

  • GCC 9 will come with improved diagnostics, simpler C++ errors and much more

    The team added a left-hand margin that shows line numbers. GCC9 now has a new look for the diagnostics. The diagnostics can label regions of the source code in order to show relevant information. The diagnostics come with left-hand and right-hand sides of the “+” operator, so GCC highlights them inline. The team has added a JSON output format such that GCC 9 now has a machine-readable output format for diagnostics.

GPL Compliance: VMWare’s GPL Woes Continue, Xiaomi Releases Linux Code

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Linux
Legal
  • VMWare’s GPL woes continue

    For the last decade, VMware has been accused of illegally using Linux code in its VMware ESX bare-metal virtual machine hypervisor.

    While a German court has dismissed the case, the struggle may not be over.

    VMware was accused of illegally using Linux code in its flagship VMware ESX bare-metal virtual machine (VM) hypervisor.

    In 2011, the Software Freedom Conservancy, a non-profit organisation that promotes open-source software, discovered that VMware had failed to properly license any Linux or BusyBox, a popular embedded Linux toolkit, source code.

  • Xiaomi Mi 9 SE and Mi 8 SE Android Pie kernel source code now available

    If you’re looking to install third-party modifications, or play with TWRP custom recovery, and use AOSP ROM on these devices, then your wait is over as Xiaomi has released Kernel Source code based on Android Pie for both Mi 9 SE and Mi 8 SE. The kernel source would allow developers to create custom ROMs, recoveries and other MODs. Under GPL license, it’s mandatory for companies to publish kernel source of every change they make to Android Linux’s Kernel.

Licensing: Amazon's Exploitation and GPL Compliance Perils

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OSS
Legal
  • MariaDB CEO on the open source enterprise – we can bridge the gap between bare metal and microservices

    MariaDB CEO Michael Howard prides himself on his database geek chops, but he’s not too shabby at grabbing headlines either.

    He certainly pulled off that off at this year’s MariaDB OpenWorks keynote, as in: MariaDB CEO accuses large cloud vendors of strip-mining open source, by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols.

    Behind the open source fisticuffs is an argument worth having. I won’t get into all of it here, as Vaughan-Nichols already got that job done. But: a MariaDB benchmark on AWS during the keynote stirred the pot.

    Howard told me something I didn’t expect. He said Amazon’s fear of MariaDB’s traction is in play here. Yep, it’s art-of-war time folks. I wanted to know: what type of MariaDB traction are we referring to? No, Howard isn’t talking about classic open source metrics like number of downloads.

  • Cloud vendors 'strip mining' open source: MariaDB's CEO

    While open source made what appeared to be an indelible mark on Wall Street in 2018 with deals involving acquisitions and listings valued at around $107 billion, it has not all been plain sailing.

    According to Michael Howard, CEO of MariaDB - the organisation behind the popular open source relational database management system - the community driven project still faces significant challenges from a variety of quarters, including large cloud vendors, who, he said, were 'strip mining' open source technology.

    Delivering the keynote address at the third annual MariaDB OpenWorks user and developer conference in New York last week (26 February), he did not name the culprits - "you know who they are" - but maintained that they "really abuse the licence and the privilege (of open source), not giving back to the community (and) forcing some (open source) companies to have awkward and weak responses."

  • Amazon Releases Corretto 8 GA: A Downstream Distribution of OpenJDK

    Corretto was introduced as a preview release last November at Devoxx Belgium by Arun Gupta, principal open source technologist at Amazon Web Services, and Yishai Galatzer, senior engineering manager at Amazon Web Services. Also at Devoxx was a surprise appearance by James Gosling, father of Java and distinguished engineer at Amazon Web Services, who delivered a special keynote address introducing Corretto. The timeline, shown below, for the GA releases of Corretto 8 and Corretto 11 was presented at Devoxx Belgium.

  • SAP builds its own Java distribution [Ed: IDG keeps posting this in more domains it has. SAP and other proprietary software companies now rebrand Java for themselves, sort of.]
  • Azul Systems Announces Extended Java Support Offerings and New Capabilities for Open Source Zulu Enterprise
  • VMware Touts Dismissal of Linux GPL Lawsuit

    Karen Sandler, attorney and the Conservancy's executive director, told ZDNet that "We strongly believe that litigation is necessary against willful GPL violators, particularly in cases like VMware where this is strong community consensus that their behavior is wrong. Litigation moves slowly. We will continue to discuss this with Christoph and his lawyers and hope to say more about it in the coming weeks -- after the courts provide their rationale for their decision to the parties (which has not yet occurred)."

    Meanwhile, VMware stated that it "continues to be a strong supporter of open source software development," adding that it's been "actively" working on removing vmklinux from vSphere in an upcoming release as part of a multi-year project -- "for reasons unrelated to the litigation."

  • VMware Essential PKS: Use upstream Kubernetes to build a flexible, cost-effective cloud-native platform [Ed: Openwashing below; it's a GPL violator whose parent company works for the NSA (so assume more uncovered back doors)]

    VMware contributes to multiple SIGs and open-source projects that strengthen key technologies and fill up the gaps in the Kubernetes ecosystem.

  • Kernel source code available for Nokia 1 Plus

    HMD Global published the kernel source code for the newly announced Nokia 1 Plus. Under the GPL, LGPL or any other type of license for the open source code HMD is using, the company is obligated to provide the changes they made to the public. For that purpose, Nokia Mobile has a dedicated site Nokia.com/phones/opensource, where all the source codes should be posted.

Licensing: Redis Breaking Up With FOSS, Perfectly Imperfect Marriage in Blockchain and Open Source, Copyright Trolls Leverage GPL Compliance

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OSS
Legal

MongoDB and Amazon Licence Battles

Filed under
OSS
Legal
  • Red Hat drops MongoDB out of Satellite

    Red Hat is prising MongoDB out of its Satellite infrastructure management platform in favour of PostgreSQL.

    The open source vendor made the announcement in a blog post yesterday saying it would “standardize on a PostgreSQL backend” and that it wanted to ensure users “were not caught by surprise as this is a change to the underlying databases of Satellite”.

    “No specific timing or release is being communicated at this time. At this point we’re simply hoping to raise awareness of the change that is coming to help users of Satellite prepare for the removal of MongoDB,” it added.

  • Google Cloud's new CEO used his first public talk to throw shade at Amazon over its feud with open source startups

    Amazon has a habit of taking free software created by other companies and selling it on its cloud. But Google Cloud isn't like that, new CEO Thomas Kurian says.

    At his inaugural appearance as the new CEO of Google Cloud on Tuesday, Kurian spoke about how Google Cloud allows customers to use a variety of open source tools to build applications on its cloud.

    Many of these tools are developed by other startups and made available as open source, meaning that they are free for anyone to use, download, modify — and even sell, something that Amazon Web Services frequently does.

Free Software Foundation Europe Calls for Open Source 5G License

Filed under
OSS
Legal

The Free Software Foundation Europe has said the recent controversy surrounding Huawei shows governments and consumers don’t trust tech giants. However, FSFE believes one potential fix would be for companies to publish code through the Free and Open Source Software license.

Huawei has been a long-time target of regulators around the world. The company is believed to be using its technology to backdoor spy for the Chinese government. There is an ongoing debate around Huawei’s 5G networks and concerns over privacy.

Canada could block Huawei 5G and the Chinese government has responded. It seems China suspects Huawei will be blocked, and the country’s ambassador said Ottawa will face repercussions if a bad is imposed.

Read more

FOSS Licensing/Legal Disputes

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OSS
Legal

Linux Kernel: Btrfs/Zstd and Licensing Questions

Filed under
Linux
Legal
  • Configurable Zstd Compression Level Support Is Revived For Btrfs

    Since the Linux 4.14 kernel Btrfs has supported Zstd for transparent file-system compression while a revived patch-set would allow that Zstd compression level to become configurable by the end-user.

    Facebook, which is behind Zstandard and also the employer for several key Btrfs developers, started off on the Zstd compression level support for Btrfs previously. This would allow users to use a higher compression level to achieve greater compression but at the cost of increased memory usage and obviously more resource intensive or opt for lower compression.

  • VMware GPL case is back in court—will we finally get some clarity on the meaning of "derivative work"?

    One of the most active Linux kernel developers, Christoph Hellwig, backed by the Software Freedom Conservancy, (unsurprisingly perhaps) has struck again against a virtualisation giant—VMware. for breaching the GNU General Public Licence (GPL). More than two years after the Hamburg District Court’s dismissal, an appeal has been filed in the German Court of Appeal. This case has attracted a worldwide attention because the claims raised call for court’s interpretation of the scope of the GPL applicability and, in particular, the reach of its copyleft effect.

    [...]

    The notion of a derivative work in a GPL context has been a big unknown for nearly two decades. Such uncertainty and potential risk of having to open-source proprietary code has led many commercial entities and open source projects to refrain from including a GPL’ed software in their codebase. 

    Hellwig v VMware might become a gamechanger, if it provides for the first time much-anticipated judicial clarity as to what implications software architecture has for licence interpretation and how copyright law fits in. That said, given the wide diversity of the structure of software is built and how it is distributed any decision in this case will not likely be the last word.

  • Google v. Oracle – Supreme Court Petition

    After reading the Federal Circuit decision, I wrote that the case is “likely heading to the Supreme Court.”  Although I believe that the case has a very good shot – one difficulty is that it involves a decision by the Federal Circuit applying Ninth Circuit law — it effectively holds no weight and can be simply rejected by the next Ninth Circuit panel addressing the same issues.

‘It's Frankly Great for Us’: MongoDB CEO Welcomes Amazon Rivalry

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OSS
Legal

Amazon’s move follows competition from Microsoft and further validates MongoDB’s approach to the database market, which is centered on documents rather than tables, according to Ittycheria. Furthermore, he sees Amazon’s service as antiquated with about a third of the features that MongoDB has.

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Minder – mind-mapping tool

Structured thinking is a process of setting a framework to an unstructured problem. Having a structure not only helps to understand a particular problem, it also helps to identify areas which need more understanding. Structured thinking allows us to map ideas in structured fashion, thereby enabling the identification of areas which require the most thought. Mind mapping is a fairly free flowing concept. This means you need software that is versatile, and can adapt to your requirements. Your idea of a neat and tidy mind map might be another person’s idea of bamboozling. A map can concentrate very complex content in a small space such as a piece of paper. It helps to use both sides of your brain: the logical side and also the creative side. It’s a technique to help organize the way you think and stimulate your creativity: It can help you by developing, sorting and helping to memorize your ideas. Mind mapping software therefore offers an excellent way of capturing your thoughts in a structured way, brainstorming new ideas. Move away from simple lists, and use this software to link ideas in different ways. By thinking creatively, not linearly, we can seize on our big ideas. Read more

Games: Godot Engine, Rail Route, MangoHud, Cube 2: Sauerbraten and Minigalaxy

  • Godot Engine getting plenty of major 2D advancements for the 4.0 release | GamingOnLinux

    Vulkan support is coming with Godot Engine 4.0 and with it plenty of modern 3D rendering features, however the 2D side of Godot is also seeing plenty of love. In a fresh blog post, lead developer Juan Linietsky went over some of the big stuff that will be coming and it all sounds quite impressive for this free and open source game engine. Performance is going to be improved, partly as a result of Vulkan with Linietsky mentioned as it has a "lower draw-call cost than OpenGL". However, that's not the only reason as they've done some dedicated improvements to optimize the 2D side including changes to enable "thousands of draw() functions from a node's _draw() callback" which will speed up both the GLES3 and GLES2 back-ends.

  • Rail Route is an upcoming train dispatcher simulator with a demo up | GamingOnLinux

    Think you have what it takes to control complex train routes? The train dispatcher simulator Rail Route looks thoroughly interesting, and you can even try an early demo. In the game you will be tasked with negotiating contracts, building railroads, setting up routes for trains and controlling the traffic. As you go you will unlock more features of the dispatcher interface, upgrade the railway network itself and add in a little automation.

  • Linux gaming overlay MangoHud gets fancy with new graphs in the latest release | GamingOnLinux

    Have a love of graphs? You will like the latest release of the Linux gaming overlay and benchmark tool MangoHud, as it's giving you even more details and control. MangoHud is a a Vulkan and OpenGL overlay for monitoring FPS, temperatures, CPU/GPU load and quite a lot more. It's quickly become the go-to for displaying and monitoring almost anything you need for Linux gaming and the 0.6.0 / 0.6.1 release that just went out has expanded what it can do even further. One of the major new features is the ability to reorder the HUD so you can have it in whatever order you like. So if you want the FPS and frame timing info first before your system readout, you can do that.

  • Classic FOSS FPS 'Cube 2: Sauerbraten' sees the first release since 2013 | GamingOnLinux

    Cube 2: Sauerbraten lives again it seems! The classic free and open source first-person shooter, which combines old school gameplay with in-game map editing returns. For newer players: this is not another game based on old open source id Software tech though, as the engine supporting it is original and open source under the ZLIB license. Going by their release history the 2020_11_29 edition is the first since early 2013. That is a long time for fans to wait for a new release. Pretty amazing to see it come back in such a huge way too, as this is not a small release. Oh no, it's a big one. Bringing with it tons of new maps (nearly 200!), it also has plenty of technical changes too. It now uses the modern SDL 2, masses of bug fixes due to the time since the last release, chat names are now team coloured, there's optional HUDs for score / game clock and an ammobar, there's health bars for teammates, support for JPEG screenshots, lots of new textures and skyboxes, a revamped and more intelligent spawn system, various new server and user options you can tweak, improved water quality and the list goes on.

  • Minigalaxy the simple GOG client for Linux has a big 1.0 release | GamingOnLinux

    Need help managing your GOG games on Linux since GOG Galaxy is not supported? Minigalaxy is an option that focuses entirely on GOG and it has a new release out. While there's also Lutris which had a big upgrade recently too, it's quite a lot more complicated compared with Minigalaxy. The idea behind it is simple: to just get you up and running on Linux with your GOG games. It doesn't really need to be any more complicated and for that - it works really well.

GNOME's Developer Outreach

  • GNOME widens its developer outreach with Circle – GNOME

    Today the GNOME project is officially launching a new initiative, called GNOME Circle. Circle aims to broaden the range of partner initiatives that GNOME supports and has a relationship with. In the past, to be a part of the GNOME project, development projects needed to be hosted on GNOME infrastructure and follow GNOME’s development rules. This created a barrier to entry for many developers who were focused on their own personal projects. GNOME Circle aims to change that, by lowering barriers and building relationships with developers who are doing great things with the GNOME platform. To become members, projects must simply be open source software and use the GNOME platform. Both applications and development libraries can apply. Projects don’t need to be hosted on GNOME infrastructure, nor do they need to follow GNOME’s release schedule.

  • GNOME Circle Officially Announced For Letting More Apps/Libraries "Join GNOME" - Phoronix

    GNOME Circle was talked about earlier this month at the Linux App Summit 2020 while now it's been officially announced.

  • GNOME launches the GNOME Circle program to widen developer outreach | GamingOnLinux

    GNOME is a lot more than a Linux desktop environment, and the GNOME Foundation are now trying to entice a few more developers to take a look with GNOME Circle. This is part of their attempt to redefine what is and isn't official GNOME software, something they talked about back in May 2020 as it can at times be confusing. With the announcement of GNOME Circle, this is their new official branding for partner initiatives that are no longer required to be hosted by GNOME or follow their development rules. The idea is to lower some barriers, and get more people working together and form new relationships. To be part of it projects need to be open source and use the GNOME platform.

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