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Two patent decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued two decisions, both of which weaken the current patent regime somewhat. The San Jose Mercury News covers the ruling in ATT v. Microsoft, which decided that Microsoft is not responsible for violations of U.S. patents which happen elsewhere in the world. "'The presumption that United States law governs domestically but does not rule the world applies with particular force in patent law,' Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in the majority opinion."

This Bloomberg article covers the second ruling, which states that simply combining two inventions in a trivial way does not create a new, patentable invention. "'Granting patent protection to advances that would occur in the ordinary course without real innovation retards progress,' Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court."

Comments (9 posted)

Linux-powered robots go global (Computing)

Computing takes a look at internet-controlled wireless robots which are simple enough for "almost anyone" to build with off-the-shelf parts. "The stated goal is to make highly capable robots accessible and affordable for college and pre-college students, as well as anyone interested in robots. At the heart of each TeRK robot is a unique controller called Qwerk that combines a Linux computer with the software and electronics necessary to control the robot's motors, cameras and other devices."

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Trade Shows and Conferences

Akonadi Hacking Meeting (KDE.News)

KDE.News covers the second Akonadi Hacking Meeting. "Last weekend was not only the time for the KMail Hacking Days but also for the second Akonadi· Hacking Meeting in Berlin, Germany. 7 KDE-PIM developers came together for 2 days at the KDAB offices in Berlin's Kreuzberg district and continued to improve Akonadi, the personal information data storage for KDE 4. Meeting the other developers in real life and discussing issues face to face always helps to find new solutions and implement crucial features in a short period of time."

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Falcon to be the major piece of MySQL 6.0 (LinuxWorld)

LinuxWorld reports on the upcoming MySQL major release from the MySQL user conference. "MySQL developed Falcon in response to Oracle Corp.'s surprise acquisition of Finnish startup Innobase in October 2005. Oracle's purchase was seen by many observers as a predatory strike against MySQL, which bundles Innobase's InnoDB storage engine with its database. The acquisition also prompted MySQL to open up its database storage API (application programming interface) to third parties so companies could create their own storage engines."

Comments (3 posted)

China's Open Source Software Contest announces winners ( covers the 2007 China Open Source Software Summit. "At the 2007 China Open Source Software Summit in Beijing on March 27, China's Co-Create Software League (Cosoft) awarded prizes to 25 winners in the second China Open Source Software Contest."

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Dude, you're getting Ubuntu ( reports that Dell has teamed up with Canonical to sell Dell desktops and laptops with Ubuntu preinstalled. "Jane Silber, director of operations for Canonical, says Canonical will be working to certify certain models of Dell computers to ensure that they work with Ubuntu. The two companies are not announcing what models will ship with Ubuntu at this time, but Nick Selby, senior analyst with The 451 Group, says that there will be one notebook and three desktop systems."

Comments (51 posted)

MySQL hits $50 million revenue, plans IPO (ZDNet)

ZDNet looks at plans for an IPO by MySQL AB. "MySQL, purveyor of the open-source database of the same name, is on the road to becoming a publicly traded company, bolstered by $50 million in revenue in 2006. "It's still in the pipeline," Chief Executive Marten Mickos said of the plan to hold an initial public offering of his company's stock. He declined to discuss when the company planned to go public, but said, "We're making good progress, doing all the things we need to get done.""

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Linux at Work

U.S. schools may join inexpensive-laptop project (ZDNet)

ZDNet reports that some One Laptop per Child PCs may end up in the US school system. "Once known as the $100 laptop, the lime-green-and-white devices are inching up in price. In February, the project estimated said they would sell for $150 each. Negroponte now puts their price tag at $176 apiece. He also noted this week that the machines, which run Linux, also will be configured to run Windows as well (a fact likely to severely disappoint the open-source community). The machines would go at a higher price to U.S. schools, he said, because more resources are invested in American education than in developing nations, even in the poorest U.S. regions."

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FSF's Brett Smith Answers Your GPLv3 Questions (Groklaw)

FSF Licensing Engineer Brett Smith answers questions from Groklaw readers about GPLv3. "I won't deny that GPLv3 is more complex than GPLv2. That's because we live in a more complex world now, where people interact with software in lots of ways besides sitting down in front of a box that runs their code, and some developers want to have all the advantages of freedom with none of the obligations. You can use simple language if all the participants have shared understanding. Unfortunately, not everybody groks freedom yet."

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Tom Albers (People Behind KDE)

Here's a People Behind KDE interview with Tom Albers. "In what ways do you make a contribution to KDE? Currently I'm developing Mailody, an alternate mail client for KDE. It only supports online IMAP and I want to bring a new way of reading and handling email. I can't tell what things I have in mind, because there is competition with other mail clients, some of which can implement things much faster than we can ;-)." (Found on KDE.News)

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Josh Berkus: KDE Aids The PostgreSQL Team (KDE.News)

Aaron J. Seigo talks with PostgreSQL contributor Josh Berkus. "During FISL 8.0 I caught up with PostgreSQL contributor Josh Berkus who was there to present on PostgreSQL and meet up with the local PostgreSQL community. Josh is a member of the PostgreSQL core team and works at Sun Microsystems as part of their open source database team. Over lunch, Josh shared how KDE plays an important role in the release coordination process which Josh oversees."

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First interview: Sam Hocevar, new Debian Project Leader ( has an interview with Sam Hocevar. "Sam Hocevar recently became the next Debian Project Leader (DPL), defeating seven other candidates while running on a platform that emphasized ways to improve how project members interact. Hocevar's election comes at a time when Debian may be losing mindshare among both users and developers to Ubuntu, and looking for ways to improve its efficiencies and to mend internal divisions. Recently, discussed these challenges with Hocevar via email in his first interview since his election."

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Sebastian Trüg on K3b 1.0 and More (KDE.News)

KDE.News has an interview with Sebastian Trüg. "Today we talk with the author of the K3b Project, the well known application that lets you burn CDs/DVDs and that lets you rip music from CD audio and films from DVD Video. We are going to talk with Sebastian about his story: when he started using KDE, when he started to create K3b and to talk about his plans in KDE 4 with a new KDE 4 project."

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Something's Happening Here (Linux Journal)

Dave Phillips covers several topics in this blog entry. "I love my 64-bit machine. It's fast and stable, and I can run all my favorite sound and music software on it (largely thanks to the work of the 64Studio team, a.k.a. Daniel James and Free Ekayanaka). Alas, some software awaits being ported to 64-bit versions, including Adobe's ubiquitous Flash technology. I had thought my machine was doomed to life without YouTube and Homestar Runner, but recently I discovered Gwenole Beauchesne's nspluginwrapper. This little program performs a neat trick: It convinces 64-bit Mozilla/Firefox that the browser can handle a 32-bit helper application (such as Flash) with the same transparency as the true 32-bit Firefox."

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The Rise of Functional Languages (Linux Journal)

Pat Eyler looks at functional programming languages. "Functional Languages seem to be pushing for the title of the next cool thing. Talks and tutorials about them are starting to show up in conferences and conventions, books about them are hitting the shelves, people are even asking about talking about them in blogs and mailing lists devoted to some of the current hot languages."

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Linux Gazette #138

The May issue of the Linux Gazette is out. Topics this month include an introduction to R, Debian on a Slug, a couple of book reviews, and more.

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The rise of Alfresco: ECM that people will really use (LinuxWorld)

LinuxWorld looks at Alfresco. "Alfresco is an enterprise content management system that, according to some users, is beating legacy content management systems in speed, quality and ease of use. It has been around since 2005, but the open source, open standards, enterprise scale content management system offered by Alfresco is winning the trust of the marketplace."

Comments (7 posted)


Wikipedia co-founder wants open-source search engine (ZDNet)

ZDNet looks at the Wikia project. "Jabber founder Jeremie Miller has signed on to help develop Wikia's open-source search engine project, the organization announced. The Wikia project aims to develop a search engine, crawlers and other indexing tools through a collaborative, open-source process."

Comments (2 posted)

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