Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Legal

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

Filed under
OSS
Legal

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

Android User Takes Apple To Federal Court Over Undelivered Text Messages

Filed under
Android
Mac
Legal

Apple will soon face a federal lawsuit brought on by a woman named Adrienne Moore, who, like many former iPhone users who have switched to Android, is upset that she did not receive text messages after switching platforms. She is seeking unspecified damages, and to make the lawsuit a class action.

Since the release of iOS 5, Apple has experienced issues with users not receiving text messages after switching from iMessage on an iPhone to an Android device. iMessage works by sending messages over the users data plan, theoretically saving that user money on text messages. If a message fails to go through on iMessage, it’s supposed to default back to text message.

However, some users who have switched to Android from iPhone have noticed that their messages get locked up in iMessage and end up never being delivered, even though the sender sees a “Delivered” sign and thinks all is well.

Read more

Groupon says it'll end trademark spat with open-source community (update)

Filed under
GNOME
Legal

Groupon has just told us it'll squash this dispute before things escalate -- let's hope it keeps to its word. The full statement follows:

"Groupon is a strong and consistent supporter of the open source community, and our developers are active contributors to a number of open source projects. We've been communicating with the Foundation for months to try to come to a mutually satisfactory resolution, including alternative branding options, and we're happy to continue those conversations. Our relationship with the open source community is more important to us than a product name. And if we can't come up with a mutually acceptable solution, we'll be glad to look for another name."

Read more

GNOME starts campaign to protect its trademarks

Filed under
GNOME
Legal

GNOME has launched a campaign to raise funds for protecting the GNOME trademarks.

Recently, Groupon launched Gnome, a tablet-based point of sale (POS) system that Groupon describes as a “platform” and an “operating system”.

Read more

Why all software needs a license

Filed under
OSS
Legal

All software developers should add a copyright license. Why? Because open source licensing is all about granting permission in advance

Read more

3 great reasons to give away your precious tech under an open-source license

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Earlier this week, cloud provider Joyent did a surprising thing: It shared its finely tuned cloud software, SmartDataCenter, under an open-source license.

But while it might seem like the company is giving away its high-value intellectual property at a time when Amazon, Google, and Microsoft have made the public cloud market ultra-competitive, Bryan Cantrill, the company’s chief technology officer, actually has some very smart justifications for the move, which he spelled out in a blog post.

Read more

Software Freedom Conservancy and Free Software Foundation announce copyleft.org

Filed under
GNU
Legal

This new site will not only provide a venue for those who constantly update and improve the Comprehensive Tutorial, but is also now home to a collaborative community to share and improve information about copyleft licenses, especially the GNU General Public License (GPL), and best compliance practices.

Read more

Updated UK public information licence adds attribution

Filed under
Legal

The Open Government Licence (OGL) is recommended as the default licence for public sector information in the UK.
The licence is part of the UK Government Licensing Framework. This was launched in 2010 to organise best practices and to standardise the licensing principles for government information. By making government-held information public, the government aims to increase openness and allow others to use the information.
“The OGL permits the use and re-use of a wide range of government and other public sector information”, the National Archives said in a statement published Friday. “This supports the government's policy on transparency and open data.”

Read more

Charting new licensing territories with the Open Definition standard

Filed under
OSS
Legal

The CC BY and CC BY-SA 4.0 licenses are conformant with the Open Definition, as are all previous versions of these licenses (1.0 – 3.0, including jurisdiction ports). The CC0 Public Domain Dedication is also aligned with the Open Definition.

Read more

Let's Pay for Open Source with a Closed-Source Software Levy

Filed under
OSS
Legal

This column has often explored ways in which some of the key ideas underlying free software and open source are being applied in other fields. But that equivalence can flow in both directions: developments in fields outside the digital world may well have useful lessons for computing. A case in point is a fascinating post by James Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), a non-governmental organisation concerned with public health and other important issues.

It is called "The value of an open source dividend", and is a discussion of the problems the world of pharma faces because of the distorting effect of patents - problems it shares with the world of computing...

Read more

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

BSD Leftovers

  • FreeBSD Q2'2016: EFI Improvements, Prepping For FreeBSD 11.0, Package Updates
    For FreeBSD fans not closely following its development on a daily basis, the FreeBSD project has released their Q2'2016 quarterly status report that covers various activities going on around this BSD operating system project.
  • EuroBSDCon 2016 schedule has been released
    The EuroBSDCon 2016 talks and schedule have been released, and oh are we in for a treat! All three major BSD's have a "how we made the network go fast" talk, nearly every single timeslot has a networking related talk, and most of the non-networking talks look fantastic as well.

Security News

  • Linux Security Automation at Scale in the Cloud
    Ten years ago it didn’t seem like Linux growth could increase any faster. Then, in 2006, Amazon launched Amazon Web Services (AWS). Linux growth went from linear to exponential. AWS competitors sprang up and were acquired by IBM, Microsoft, and other big players, accelerating Linux expansion even more. Linux became the platform of choice for the private cloud. But this movement wasn’t confined to the cloud. A rush to create Linux applications and services spilled over to traditional on premises. Linux had evolved from that obscure thing people ran web servers on to the backbone operating system of the majority of IT.
  • Don’t want to get hacked? Close your laptop.
    My friends often leave their computers open and unlocked. I tell them they should probably get in the habit of locking their computers, but they don’t listen to me. So I’ve created a simple project to hack my friends and show them the importance of computer security. All I need to do is wait for them to leave their computer unlocked for a few seconds, open up their terminal, and type a single, short command.
  • Citibank IT guy deliberately wiped routers, shut down 90% of firm’s networks across America
    It was just after 6pm on December 23, 2013, and Lennon Ray Brown, a computer engineer at the Citibank Regents Campus in Irving, Texas, was out for revenge. Earlier in the day, Brown – who was responsible for the bank’s IT systems – had attended a work performance review with his supervisor. It hadn’t gone well. Brown was now a ticking time bomb inside the organisation, waiting for his opportunity to strike. And with the insider privileges given to him by the company, he had more of an opportunity to wreak havoc than any external hacker.
  • Explo-Xen! Bunker buster bug breaks out guests from hypervisor
    A super-bug in the Xen hypervisor may allow privileged code running in guests to escape to the underlying host. This means, on vulnerable systems, malicious administrators within virtual machines can potentially break out of their confines and start interfering with the host server and other guests. This could be really bad news for shared environments. All versions of open-source Xen are affected (CVE-2016-6258, XSA-182) although it is only potentially exploitable on x86 hardware running paravirtualized (PV) guests. The bug was discovered by Jérémie Boutoille of Quarkslab, and publicly patched on Tuesday for Xen versions 4.3 to 4.7 and the latest bleeding-edge code.
  • Intel Puts Numbers on the Security Talent Shortage
    The cybersecurity shortfall in the workforce remains a critical vulnerability for companies and nations, according to an Intel Security report being issued today. Eighty-two percent of surveyed respondents reported a shortage of security skills, and respondents in every country said that cybersecurity education is deficient.

Android Leftovers

today's howtos