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Brazil (Linux Journal)

Nicholas Petreley finds an allegory for the world of free software in the movie "Brazil". "The world depicted in a different movie, "Brazil", is similar to that of Matrix in that it is governed by controlling self-interest. Freedom, as in free speech, is a partial cure for controlling self-interest, which is what makes the concept of free software superior to any other type of software. But there's more to free software than concept. There's implementation. And that's where free software sometimes gets into trouble with self-interest."

Comments (9 posted)

In the Beginning Was Linux? (The Loom)

Carl Zimmer has written an essay that looks at software evolution from a biological point of view. "If the software performed better--in the sense that an organism had more reproductive success--the changes might become incorporated into the genome across an entire species. This was only a metaphor, but it was a powerful one. One example of its power is the rise of genetic algorithms. Rather than trying to find a perfect solution to a problem--the ideal shape for a plane, for example--genetic algorithms create simulations and tweak them through a process that mimics evolution. The algorithm can seek out good solutions very effectively. This sort of evolution resembles old-fashioned, closed-source software. All of the innovations happen in-house--that is, within a single species." (Thanks to Martin Michlmayr.)

Comments (none posted)

The SCO Problem

SCO's Redacted Objections to Wells' Order and Appendix (Groklaw)

Groklaw analyzes SCO's new redacted version of its Objections to Order Granting in Part IBM's Motion to Limit SCO's Claims. "Note as I do with a smile number 2 on the list, where Sontag's statement was that they had compared the Linux kernel and System V and found "many instances where our proprietary software has been simply copied and pasted or changed in order to hide the origin..." SCO then states in the Appendix: This is an accurate statement of comparison work performed by SCO in advance of public statements. There are in fact instances in which SCO's proprietary System V code was simply copied and pasted into the Linux kernel or associated libraries that were then included in a Red Hat distribution. Items Nos. 183, 184, 272. Ah! Weasel! Thy name is SCO. Hint to nongeeks: the libraries they are talking about are not part of the Linux kernel."

Comments (1 posted)

Companies

Google adds ODF to its online office moves (Linux-Watch)

Linux-Watch reports on Google's joining with the ODF Alliance. "To Google's recent purchase of Writely, a Web-based word processor; the creation of Google Spreadsheet; and the release of Google Calendar, you can now add impending broad support for the ODF (Open Document Format) to Google's online office moves. During the 4th of July week, Google quietly joined the ODF Alliance. The Alliance seeks to promote and advance the use of ODF."

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Red Hat Pushes Linux Into Telecom (internetnews.com)

internetnews.com reports on Red Hat's moves into the world of Telecom. "Linux leader Red Hat is aggressively pushing its Linux solutions into the telecom space with a series of new partner initiatives. One part of the push is Red Hat's partnership with IBM and HP, which is intended to produce a hardware and software combination targeted at carrier-grade deployment. The other part is Red Hat's Telecommunications Partner Program, which is about driving both awareness and adoption of Red Hat-based carrier-grade solutions and platforms."

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Embedded Linux specialist RidgeRun runs again (Linux Devices)

Linux Devices covers the reappearance of RidgeRun. "RidgeRun, a stalled start-up focused on Linux development for Texas Instruments (TI) dual-core (RISC/DSP) processors, has re-launched. The new RidgeRun will offer Linux, Windows, and RTEMS BSPs (board support packages), drivers, application development, and software integration services for ARM-based processors from multiple vendors, including TI. Todd Fischer, who directed engineering for the old RidgeRun, will provide technical leadership for the new RidgeRun as well. Other principals include Clark T. Becker, former CTO of Best Buy, and Michael Frank, a former Best Buy GM."

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Linux Adoption

Mandriva Linux Powers Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture (LinuxElectrons)

LinuxElectrons reports on the use of Mandriva Linux by the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture. "The Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Sea Fisheries (MARDSF), one of the first Moroccan government departments to take advantage of free software, has just signed a contract with Liberty Tech to migrate all its servers to Mandriva Linux. Technical support will be handle by Mandriva and Liberty Tech via a yearly subscription to the Mandriva Corporate Club."

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Linux at Work

Growth of Open Source Solutions in Healthcare in the 21st Century (Virtual Medical Worlds Monthly)

Virtual Medical Worlds Monthly looks at open source software in the health care industry. "It is important to recognize that a wide range of OSS solutions are already in use in health care, generally consisting of technical tools and business applications - Linux, Apache, Open Office, mySQL, FireFox, and other fairly well known products. In addition, there are a large number of health care specific OSS solutions that have also been developed and are being widely deployed, such as OSCAR, FreeMed, MedLine, BLAST, Epi-X, SaTScan, VistA, and many more." (Found on LinuxMedNews)

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Open, programmable humanoid robot runs Linux (LinuxDevices)

LinuxDevices reports on the Japanese Choromet robot project. "Four companies in Japan have created a low-cost, user-programmable humanoid robot targeting educational and research applications. The HRP-2m Choromet uses technology from Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), and is user-programmable thanks to open software running on a user-space real-time Linux implementation. The Choromet stands about 13-3/4 inches tall, and is capable of walking upright on two legs. It can also assume supine or prone positions, and stand up from either."

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Legal

Day One of New EU Patent War

Florian Mueller from the NoSoftwarePatents campaign has sent us an update on the latest EU patent proposal, the European Patent Litigation Agreement (EPLA). "Florian Mueller, the founder of the award-winning NoSoftwarePatents campaign that helped to defeat the EU software patent directive last year, was one of the speakers at the hearing. He said in his speech that the EPLA "is just another attempt to give software and business method patents a stronger legal basis in Europe than they have now. [...] From a software patents point of view, the EPLA would have far worse consequences than the rejected patentability directive would have had: not only would software patents become more enforceable in Europe but also would patent holders in general be encouraged to litigate.""

Full Story (comments: 10)

French law affects copyright, DRM, Apple (Macworld UK)

Macworld UK reports on a new copyright law in France. "The French law on authors' rights orders the creation of a new regulatory authority to ensure companies using DRM respond to requests for interoperability information. DRM technology developers may prevent publication of source code based on the information they disclose if they can show that it hurts their system's security. That's bad news for programmers wanting to distribute alternatives under an open-source licence, said noted free software campaigner Richard Stallman. "If they are allowed to provide such information under NDA, then it would not be possible to develop free software using the information," since the NDA - or nondisclosure agreement - would forbid publication of the source code, Stallman said at a conference in Paris on Monday." (Thanks to Max Hyre.)

Comments (4 posted)

Ubuntu open to aiding derivative distributions (NewsForge)

NewsForge looks at GPL compliance and the derivative distribution. "The article revealed that many distributions' maintainers were erroneously assuming that they did not need to provide source repositories for packages they did not modify, so long as the original upstream distribution did provide the source code. This responsibility is by no means new, but seems to have been widely overlooked. David Turner, GPL compliance officer at the Free Software Foundation, suggested that these distros might come into compliance by making some arrangement with the upstream supplier."

Comments (5 posted)

Source Distribution and the GNU GPL (NewsForge)

Richard Stallman looks at source distribution compliance for the GPL v2, and how it could change in GPL v3. "The goal of the GNU GPL is to ensure that all users have the four essential freedoms -- (0) to run the program, (1) to study and change it, (2) to redistribute it, and (3) to distribute modified versions. Access to the source code is essential for freedom 1 and freedom 3. Thus, we designed the GNU GPL to insist that all redistributors make the source code available to their users. This requires them to do a little extra work, but that work is generally necessary for the sake of the users' freedom. Keeping source code conveniently and reliably available for the users is more important than saving distributors a little effort."

Comments (4 posted)

Net Neutrality Advocates Face Off (eWeek)

eWeek covers a debate over network neutrality between Vinton Cerf and David Farber. "What Farber is most worried about, he said, is poorly drafted legislation that would leave regulation of the Internet open to broad interpretations that could lead to unintended restrictions on the use of the Internet . He said that regulators, in an attempt to somehow make the Internet more fair, could actually end up restricting access. "The network never has been a fair place," he said. Cerf responded, saying that the Internet flourished when common carriage rules applied, but Farber argued that such regulation could become a slippery slope if Congress gets involved."

Comments (none posted)

Interviews

People Behind KDE: Ellen Reitmayr (KDE.News)

KDE.News has announced a new People Behind KDE series interview. "Today on People Behind KDE we introduce you to Ellen Reitmayr, one of KDE and OpenUsability.org's top usability experts. Ellen has done a lot to help the usability of Kontact and other applications but is now focusing on a consistent user experience for the whole KDE desktop. In her interview we get to find out about her "denkbrett" and "liebsters"."

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Interview: JRuby Development Team (Linux Journal)

Pat Eyler interviews the JRuby development team. "Alternative Ruby implementations seem to be on the move throughout the Ruby community. JRuby is the furthest along at this point, so I decided to talk to Charles Nutter and Thomas Enebo, two of the principal programmers on the project. Read on to hear what they have to say about Ruby, JRuby, and the art of re-implementing Ruby."

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Michlmayr: QA brings together the cathedral and the bazaar (NewsForge)

NewsForge talks with Martin Michlmayr. "In the last two years, Martin Michlmayr has gone from serving as Debian Project Leader to studying for a doctorate at the Centre for Technology Management, University of Cambridge. His dissertation, tentatively titled "Quality Improvement in Volunteer Free Software Projects: Exploring the Impact of Release Management," is sponsored by Google, Intel, and other companies with an interest in free software development. Michlmayr told NewsForge he sees the need for quality assurance as the price that many projects must pay for their popularity and growing maturity. However, in order to perceive this need correctly, he believes, projects need to take a revised look at the familiar dichotomy of the cathedral and the bazaar."

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Resources

Updating and installing software in Ubuntu (Linux.com)

Linux.com has produced a pair of videos on Ubuntu package management. "The first video in this pair shows you how to update all the software in your Ubuntu GNU/Linux installation in a single, big gulp. The second video shows you how easy it is to install and remove software with the Synaptic Package Manager."

Comments (none posted)

Accessing network resources in a mixed environment (Linux.com)

Linux.com has published an article on using NFS across multiple operating systems. "The first thing that comes to most sysadmins' minds when they hear about file and print services in mixed Windows and Linux environments is probably Samba, but you can also make a rock-solid system for sharing resources via NFS on the *nix platform and DiskShare on Windows. What's wrong with Samba? Nothing. I use DiskShare on Windows instead of Samba's SMB/CIFS sharing because I need a fileshare on Windows storage (SAN) to be accessible by Solaris clients, and unfortunately there is no SMB/CIFS support in the Solaris kernel yet."

Comments (none posted)

Data Protection for LAMP Applications (O'ReillyNet)

O'ReillyNet covers data security in LAMP applications. "An often overlooked aspect in the LAMP application solution is the protection of the application and configuration data. This article examines how to use available open source tools to protect the LAMP application data. The security aspects of the application data and securing the LAMP application servers is beyond the scope of this article. It is also important to test the data recovery scenarios before the actual need arises."

Comments (none posted)

Site helps developers navigate open-source jungle (ZDNet)

ZDNet covers a new web site that aims to be a directory of open source projects. "While other open-source databases offer this to some degree, many times developers are left wondering about licensing, Collison said. Accordingly, Ohloh also lists the licenses held for the open-source project, as well as a link to the full text of each license. (The name Ohloh refers to a cry of enlightenment in Buddhism and also the name of the first surfboard in Hawaii.)"

Comments (2 posted)

LastFMProxy makes a good service better (Linux.com)

Linux.com looks at using LastFMProxy with Last.fm. "In "Last.fm makes Internet music social," Dmitri Popov extols the wonders of Last.fm, a "social" music site that lets users create Internet radio stations that fits their tastes. Last.fm provides a free player for Linux, but if you want to use Last.fm with your favorite Linux player, you'll need the LastFMProxy written by Vidar Madsen."

Comments (2 posted)

Create a secure Linux-based wireless access point (Linux.com)

Linux.com looks at WPA2. "Wi-Fi Protected Access version 2 (WPA2) is becoming the de facto standard for securing wireless networks, and a mandatory feature for all new Wi-Fi products certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance. We all know the security weaknesses of its predecessor, WEP; this time they got it right. Here's how to implement the WPA2 protocol on a Linux host and create a secure wireless access point (WAP) for your network."

Comments (1 posted)

Reviews

Linux Pre-installed on a AMD 64-bit Based System for $300 (LinuxElectrons)

LinuxElectrons looks at the latest hardware from Technalign. "Technalign has said that they have partnered with Britt Systems in Florida to provide a 64-bit AMD 2800+ computer for under $300.00. The certified system will include a SATA 80 GB hard drive, CD-RW, 256 MB of memory, 1.44 MB floppy, 400-Watt power supply, and a full OEM copy of the newly released Frontier Operating System."

Comments (4 posted)

Firefox 2.0 preview (NewsForge)

NewsForge takes a look at the first beta of Firefox 2.0. "I tested the new release on Ubuntu Linux 6.06 "Dapper Drake" on two machines. On the first machine, I moved my .mozilla directory so I could start with a fresh new profile; on the second, I left my profile in place. If you're going to test Firefox 2 Beta 1, it might be a good idea to back up your ~/.mozilla directory, just in case, so that your profile isn't corrupted if you decide to switch back to the Firefox 1.5 series."

Comments (none posted)

Smart Package Manager: a better mousetrap (Linux.com)

Linux.com covers the Smart Package Manager. "The Smart Package Manager hopes to beat the native package management applications for distributions like Red Hat, SUSE, and Debian at their own game. Still in beta, it has support for most major GNU/Linux package and repository formats, with a modular codebase that hints at further compatibility. Smart introduces many innovative and useful ideas, but its killer feature, with which it purports to excel beyond its counterparts, is the algorithms it uses to select packages and versions that best resolve dependencies and ensure cooperation between the hundreds of applications and libraries on a user's system."

Comments (6 posted)

OpenOffice.org Extensions (Linux Journal)

Linux Journal takes a look at OpenOffice.org extensions. "OpenOffice.org extensions are a quick way to add functionality. Writable in a variety of languages, including Java, JavaScript, OpenOffice.org Basic, Python, and C++, they allow developers to contribute features without having to master much of OpenOffice.org's notoriously cryptic source code. For users, they provide quick fixes for commonly requested features."

Comments (none posted)

Review: Levanta Intrepid M (Linux.com)

Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier reviews the Levanta Intrepid M on Linux.com. "So, how does it work? Basically, the Intrepid M provides centralized management for Linux servers and workstations. Machines that are managed by the Intrepid, boot over the network off of images stored on the Intrepid, called Vservers. The Intrepid also provides storage for those machines, so local disks are not necessary. Once a machine boots off of the Intrepid appliance, you can manage the machine from the Intrepid interface -- so it's possible to update systems, reboot, power on or off, and even move a managed host from one physical machine to another. The most appealing thing about the Intrepid is that it abstracts the system from the hardware."

Comments (2 posted)

Ekiga 2.0.2 Review (Softpedia)

Softpedia reviews Ekiga 2.0.2, a VoIP and teleconferencing application. "Ekiga (formely known as GnomeMeeting) is an open source VoIP and video conferencing application for GNOME. Ekiga uses both the H.323 and SIP protocols. It supports many audio and video codecs, and is interoperable with other SIP compliant software and also with Microsoft NetMeeting."

Comments (none posted)

Miscellaneous

LGPL - A change on the way (Groklaw)

Groklaw covers some changes to the LGPL license, as told by Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen at the GPLv3 conference in Barcelona, Spain. "Instead of being a separate license, the LGPL will be the GPL with additional privileges, a kind of template of what additions should be. First Stallman: One of the nice things this has enabled us to do is: we have been able to rewrite the Lesser GPL - the GNU LGPL - so that it uses this clause. The GNU Lesser GPL will not have to restate most of the things in the GPL, it will say it's the GNU GPL plus these added permissions. One of the other benefits we get from this is that we make it clear that any time someone adds extra permissions on top of the GNU GPL, that when you modify the program you can take off those added permissions. You can release your version under the strict GPL and nothing more."

Comments (10 posted)

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