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Links 16/9/2011: Unity Contributor Report, Archos G9 Linux Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 6:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Kolab Groupware Solution wins CH Open Source “Community Award” 2011

    Kolab Groupware Solution wins the 2011 CH Open Source Awards in the category “Community Award” for contribution towards Free Software / Open Source which is awarded upon criteria of activity, participation, ease of contribution and participation in the community, usage of Open Standards and quality of the solution. The award was presented 13 September 2011 during a ceremony at the Hub Zürich.

  • ‘Fenix’-like rise into open source profits

    Four years ago, Fenix pivoted its business model when Ms. MacKinnon decided to make a risky change and become an open source developer. Clients were becoming more concerned, she thought, with being locked into proprietary systems. What if your vendor tanks? Who will support your applications then?


    It also helps that Fenix has become known as an Ottawa-based open source shop. That’s its differentiated value. Ms. MacKinnon even gets calls asking Fenix to audit work done by other developers in this space.

  • Events

    • Taking LCA to places never explored

      “The idea of linux.conf.au Ballarat was first jokingly thrown around when a group of us were out one night during the conference in Dunedin,” Stewart told iTWire. “I’d been attending linux.conf.au since 2005 and loved it every year, but at the time our group was really nothing more than a few guys barely out of uni, laughing about how crazy you’d have to be to try and run the event in Ballarat. There was no Linux User Group and the size of the conference would make it one of the largest ever held in the city.”

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla: A study in organizational openness

        My theme this week is organizational openness and transparency and today I’d like to highlight a fantastic example of an organization that has built a culture with openness at its core: Mozilla.

        Most of you probably know Mozilla as the organization famous for its open source Firefox web browser. But what you may not know is that open source is more than just a technology decision for Mozilla; the open source way is deeply ingrained in every aspect of its culture.

      • Mike Shaver Leaves Mozilla, again
  • Oracle/Lawsuits

    • Google Wins a Part of Its Motion for Summary Judgment

      At least he does rule that Google is not guilty of violating copyright on the names of the APIs. Why does that concept not penetrate when it comes to names of the variables and structures without which the API is useless? Good luck using those APIs without the names. Sigh… Let’s hope jurors are awake.

    • Oracle v. Google – Google Denied Summary Judgment on Copyright
    • Oracle v. Google – Google Still Trying to Suppress the Lindholm Email

      Google is still working hard to suppress the Lindholm email. They believe the magistrate got it wrong, so they filed a motion for relief from the magistrate’s order [408, PDF]. But Judge Alsup had the motion stricken because Google did not follow proper procedure under Rule 72 and request the court’s permission to file the motion. [412, PDF]. Fortunately, the Judge also ruled that they would be considered to have made the précis request in a timely manner if they did so immediately.

    • A Needle in a Haystack: A Case of Criminal Charges for Copyright Infringement

      Last Thursday, a case of criminal copyright infringement popped up like a weasel. A subsidiary of the software company SAP was charged for having downloaded Oracle Corp’s programs and having converted those programs to serve clients of SAP. The defendant later announced that it would plead guilty for the twelve counts related to the theft of software. The investigation revealed that SAP employees would log on to Oracle’s computers using customers’ passwords. They downloaded thousands of copies of Oracle’s software-related materials. The feud between SAP and Oracle has reached a new high. Recently, a jury had awarded $1.3 billion to Oracle in a civil lawsuit between the two companies, only for a judge to reject the decision as “excessive” and to ask Oracle to settle at $272 million or go for a new trial.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Explaining Open Source to students in 2015

      I get the biggest laugh when I tell them that grown people actually payed for restricted-use software that was available for free as Open Source and worked just as well.

    • It’s time to bring FPGA design to the masses

      Unlike what happens with Free Software, or even with Arduino, making custom integrated circuits at home is still a relatively unknown concept, even if the technology is now affordable. Many people, including hobbyists, don’t really know or ever think about this. Certain activities are still considered as very esoteric, highly difficult and specialized jobs for very gifted, full time professionals. There is no doubt that this is still the case when you need to push technology to the limit, but the barrier to use FPGAs for something useful for normal folks is much lower today.

  • Business

    • What is OpenERP? Open Source ERP Software Explained
    • Open source: Driving change in the software industry

      Open source has been one of the most significant cultural developments in IT and beyond over the last two decades, and has shown that individuals, working together over the Internet, can create products that rival and sometimes beat those of giant corporations. It has also shown how companies can become more innovative, more nimble and more cost-effective by building on the efforts of community work. If you are an open source advocate, you should be excited. Open source is continuing to grow in importance as the framework for intelligent computing from enterprise environments to smartphones to yes – the car in your driveway.

  • Licensing

    • Big data meets Bruce Perens: an open-source “covenant”

      Balancing an open-source community with commercial interests can be difficult, which is why HPCC Systems sought the help of Bruce Perens before open-sourcing the code for its eponymous big-data-processing software. I covered the open-source news last week. Afterward, open-source pioneer Perens directed me to an essay he wrote on the HPCC Systems site explaining the new licensing model he helped create for the software that aims to disrupt Hadoop’s big data dominance.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Open Access/Content

    • ICFOSS launches open access journal

      Heralding a new era in publishing, the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software (ICFOSS) launched its open access journal ‘Journal of Free Software and Free Knowledge’ at a function here on Monday.

    • ‘Open Courses, Open Teaching, This Is Dangerous’

      Though it is a muggy late-spring day in Edmonton, it is comfortable inside the conference room of the Mayfield Inn. Along with a group of other education geeks, I am seated around a table strewn with the usual continental breakfast detritus — empty coffee cups on saucers along with small plates with balled-up muffin wrappers, strawberry stems and melon rinds. What is unusual, however, is the half-dozen or so smartphones resting on the table. No one is texting, reading Twitter feeds, or checking on their stock prices. Instead, we are hanging on every word from the man at the podium, Stephen Downes of the National Research Council Canada.


      What I really like about this arrangement, and this is where the “open” part comes in, is that I can go into the back of each course and modify the course content, and all of its settings, so that I can have my own version that works the way that I want it to.

  • Programming


  • Google opens Google+ up for developers
  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Cablegate

    • AP Review Finds No WikiLeaks Sources Threatened

      An Associated Press review of those sources raises doubts about the scope of the danger posed by WikiLeaks’ disclosures and the Obama administration’s angry claims, going back more than a year, that the revelations are life-threatening. U.S. examples have been strictly theoretical.

  • Finance

    • The Limping Middle Class

      THE 5 percent of Americans with the highest incomes now account for 37 percent of all consumer purchases, according to the latest research from Moody’s Analytics. That should come as no surprise. Our society has become more and more unequal.

      When so much income goes to the top, the middle class doesn’t have enough purchasing power to keep the economy going without sinking ever more deeply into debt – which, as we’ve seen, ends badly. An economy so dependent on the spending of a few is also prone to great booms and busts. The rich splurge and speculate when their savings are doing well. But when the values of their assets tumble, they pull back. That can lead to wild gyrations. Sound familiar?

    • Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult

      Those lines of dialogue from a classic film noir sum up the state of the two political parties in contemporary America. Both parties are rotten – how could they not be, given the complete infestation of the political system by corporate money on a scale that now requires a presidential candidate to raise upwards of a billion dollars to be competitive in the general election? Both parties are captives to corporate loot. The main reason the Democrats’ health care bill will be a budget buster once it fully phases in is the Democrats’ rank capitulation to corporate interests – no single-payer system, in order to mollify the insurers; and no negotiation of drug prices, a craven surrender to Big Pharma.

    • On Lehman Day, Elizabeth Warren Runs Against “Wall Street’s Favorite”

      Warren spoke directly to Bay Staters when she said: “I have stood up to some pretty powerful interests. Those interests are going to line up against this campaign and that is why I need you.”

      This may be the understatement of the year.

      Warren has been described as “Wall Street’s worst nightmare” by reporters. How did this soft-spoken mom, who appears to wear JC Penny off the rack, earn such an appellation?

    • GOP Backs Insurance Industry-Friendly, Anti-Consumer Bills

      House Republicans, unable to repeal President Obama’s health care reform law outright, have decided to go after it piece by piece. If they are successful, what’s likely to remain is the kind of reform the insurance industry dreamed of, but never really thought could be the law of the land.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • CMD and The Nation Magazine Win the Sidney Award for Investigative Journalism

      The Sidney Hillman Foundation selected the Center for Media and Democracy and The Nation magazine for its prestigious “Sidney Award” this month. The award recognizes our investigative journalism exposing the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which the Foundation called “an obscure but powerful conservative group that brings state legislators and corporations together to write laws.”

  • Copyrights

    • A year after shutdown, LimeWire still hugely popular

      LimeWire has been shut down for almost a year, but the former file sharing service is still hugely popular with people looking to download free music and other forms of media. An injunction by a U.S. District Court ordered LimeWire to suspend its operations in October 2010, and the company’s website has been replaced with a single splash page informing users about the injunction ever since. However, that page saw more than 1.1 million unique visitors in August alone, according to Google Analytics statistics obtained by GigaOM, which makes one wonder: Was the decision to shut down LimeWire, rather than allowing the company to launch a licensed music service, a mistake?

    • The copyright revolution at US art museums

      Every once and a while an art museum (or two or three) does something so jaw-droppingly clever that in hindsight it seems like an obvious thing to do. So it is with the decision by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum and various entities at Yale University to make high-resolution images of art from their collections available for anyone to use, for any purpose, copyright-free. (At Yale special credit goes to the Yale Center for British Art, which got out ahead of the rest of the school’s similar efforts.)

      As a result, if you want to make a t-shirt, a tote bag or a beach towel out of a YCBA Rubens, just download-and-go. If you’re a PhD student who wants to publish her dissertation about Constable as an e-book, here are scores of Constables you can download and e-publish free of charge.

    • Newzbin2 claims it can beat BT’s block

      USENET INDEXING WEB SITE Newzbin2 claims it has developed software that will defeat a block about to be imposed by BT.

      Legal action by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in July resulted in BT being ordered to block access to Newzbin2.

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