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05.28.12

Links 28/5/2012: Android 4.0 Spreads, VirtualBox 4.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 5:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • The Galician Autonomous Region of Spain has a Plan 2012 to use Free Software

    Years ago it was Extremadura switching to GNU/Linux over a weekend, more recently Andalucia switched. Now Galicia is investing nearly €1 million in promotion of FLOSS for business and government. They have already saved €2.5 million last year.

  • Puppet Partners with EMC on Open Source Razor

    The open source Puppet configuration management system is widely used to get software onto servers. Now the developers behind Puppet are going a step further, taking aim at bare metal provisioning in an open source effort with EMC called Razor.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • VirtualBox 4.1 update brings Linux 3.4 fixes

      The eighth update to the 4.1.x branch of VirtualBox has been published with compile fixes for the recently released Linux 3.4 kernel. The new version, 4.1.16, of the open source desktop virtualisation application improves the overall stability of the software by rectifying various regressions, including some that could lead to crashes, and a problem that caused some rpm-based packages to have an incorrect help file path on Linux hosts.

    • Java creator unhappy with Oracle trial outcome

      Most observers are applauding Google its successes in the Oracle v. Google case… but not everyone is thrilled about it.

      The jury for the Oracle vs. Google trial delivered their verdict for the second phase of the case–the patent phase–and as you probably know by know, found absolutely no patent infringement on the part of Google.

      With no patent infringement found, and only minor infringement found in the earlier copyright phase of the trial, Judge William Alsup dismissed the jurors early, since the planned damages phase was pretty much rendered moot by yesterday’s decision.

      The trial is not over, of course: Alsup will probably rule on damages himself, and there’s still his ruling on the copyrightability of application programming interfaces to come sometime next week. That API ruling is now arguably the most important remaining part of the case.

  • Funding

    • Help create a new free standard, by funding a great Kickstarter project!

      As part of a project to create a non-DRM fixed media standard for high-definition video releases, Terry Hancock has launched a Kickstarter campaign which will produce two Lib-Ray video titles and player software to support them (“Sita Sings the Blues” and the “Blender Open Movie Collection”).

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Flarf and the prospect of open source poetry

      From the beginnings of human literature, there has been an instinct to identify with the community, the collective, more than with any individual author. Many of our most valuable texts have been created by social groups and belong to those groups. Multiple, anonymous authorship brought China its cherished Classic of Poetry, gave England Beowulf, and even accounts for parts of the Christian Bible, such as the book of Hebrews—author unknown. The Bible, by the way, tells not one definitive account of the story of Christ, but four that contain conflicting details. So despite the current celebrity mystique surrounding the individual, named author, it’s safe to say that at the core of human civilization lie values of collaboration, shared experience, and shared ownership. And certain movements in literature today remind us of those values.

  • Programming

    • Libc++ Has Landed

      As I reported on Phoronix earlier this month and was widely-carried by other news outlets after that, FreeBSD 10 will using the LLVM/Clang compiler and deprecate GCC. The BSD camp wants to get rid of the GPL-licensed compiler from the Free Software Foundation and replace it with the younger but promising Apple-sponsored and BSD-style-licensed LLVM and Clang; see the earlier Phoronix articles on the topic for greater detail.

Leftovers

  • Microsoft corrects itself: ‘We expect fewer people to use Windows 8′

    Microsoft doesn’t really expect that 500 million “users” will have Windows 8 next year, but it’s still juggling the numbers.

    The company has said reported comments by chief executive Steve Ballmer on Windows 8 uptake in 2013 are a “restatement of data” by a company employee in December 2011, and that these stats relate to Windows 7 licence upgrades.

    Ballmer was reported by the AFP to have told the Seoul Digital Forum in South Korea this week: “500 million users will have Windows 8 next year.”

  • Finance

  • Copyrights

    • Analysis of the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2012

      There are some welcome provisions in the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2012, and some worrisome provisions. Pranesh Prakash examines five positive changes, four negative ones, and notes the several missed opportunities. The larger concern, though, is that many important issues have not been addressed by these amendments, and how copyright policy is made without evidence and often out of touch with contemporary realities of the digital era.

      There are some welcome provisions in the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2012, and some worrisome provisions. Pranesh Prakash examines five positive changes, four negative ones, and notes the several missed opportunities. The larger concern, though, is that many important issues have not been addressed by these amendments, and how copyright policy is made without evidence and often out of touch with contemporary realities of the digital era.

      The Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2012 has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, and will become law as soon as the President gives her assent and it is published in the Gazette of India. While we celebrate the passage of some progressive amendments to the Copyright Act, 1957 — including an excellent exception for persons with disabilities — we must keep in mind that there are some regressive amendments as well. In this blog post, I will try to highlight those provisions of the amendment that have not received much public attention (unlike the issue of lyricists’ and composers’ ‘right to royalty’).

    • ACTA

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