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

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

Features Of The Linux 3.18 Kernel

With Linux 3.18-rc1 arriving one week early I didn't have a chance to write a feature overview of Linux 3.18 prior to this first development release that marked the close of the merge window. For those that didn't stay up to date with our dozens of Linux 3.18 kernel articles about changes and new features, here's a concise overview. Read more

Norway closes its open source resource centre

The government of Norway will no longer fund its open source resource centre, Friprog. Activities are wound down and the centre will be closed at the end of the year, Friprog reports. The GoOpen conference, planned for last September but postponed to May 2015, is now cancelled. Read more

Automatic Feedback Directed Optimizer Merged Into GCC

The latest merged feature for next year's GCC 5 compiler release is AutoFDO support! AutoFDO is the Automatic Feedback Directed Optimizer. AutoFDO relies on the Linux kernel's perf framework for profiling with performance counters. AutoFDO interprets the perf output and attempts to use the FDO infrastructure to produce better optimized code generation. AutoFDO according to its Google engineers is said to be noticeably faster than traditional FDO for GCC. Read more