Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit Promotes Software Patents

Posted in America, Patents at 2:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Summary: The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) gets publicity as it’s painted as a software patents proponent

Mike Masnick denounces CAFC, noting: “We’ve written many, many times about the problems created by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, CAFC, who (among other things) is the appeals court that has jurisdiction over all patent appeals. It’s a court that has been around for 30 years as of this week, and in the opinion of many, has been an unmitigated disaster. Of course, if you’re a patent lawyer or a patent troll, you might think the opposite. As we’ve discussed in the past, CAFC has spent the last 30 years massively helping patent holders by expanding the definitions of what was patentable, and generally being much, much, much more favorable to patent holders than appeals courts had been back when jurisdiction was split among the 12 difference circuit appeals courts. With its 30th anniversary this week, Tim Lee has written a post detailing how it “wrecked the patent system.” It’s a great read, covering a number of key points.”

Timothy B. Lee accuses CAFC of legalising software patents. He defends his allegation from a patent lawyer with a big mouth. To quote his piece: “Most of the time I ignore trolls in the hope they’ll go away. But patent attorney; Gene Quinn outright accuses me of lying in his response to my recent piece on how the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals wrecked the patent system. So I thought a quick response was in order. Here’s Quinn, arguing that my claim that “software was generally considered to be ineligible for patent protection” under pre-1982 Supreme Court precedents is “completely false.”” Gene Quinn is known as Patent Watchtroll here.

“…CAFC has spent the last 30 years massively helping patent holders by expanding the definitions of what was patentable, and generally being much, much, much more favorable to patent holders than appeals courts had been back when jurisdiction was split among the 12 difference circuit appeals courts.”
      –Mike Masnick
Here is what patent maximalists say: “The Federal Circuit has refocused its attention on the question of patentable subject matter and has ordered an en banc rehearing of CLS Bank Int’l. v. Alice Corp. (Fed. Cir. 2012). In its initial panel opinion, the Federal Circuit held that, when considered as a whole, the claimed data processing invention was patent eligible. Judge Linn wrote the majority opinion suggesting that a court should only reach Section 101 issues when subject matter ineligibility is “manifestly evident”. Judge Prost wrote in dissent and argued that the majority improperly ignored the Supreme Court’s most recent statements on the topic found in Prometheus. The patentable subject matter question in CLS Bank is virtually indistinguishable from the parallel issue in Bancorp v. Sun Life. In that case, however, the Federal Circuit ruled the invention ineligible.”

Mark Webbink, a law professor, says that “Federal Circuit to Consider the Patentable Subject Matter of Software”. Here is his personal stance: “While I feel we should be restrained in our expectations of the Court establishing a more limited view of software patentability, at least they are asking the questions and inviting broad input.

“This grant of rehearing vacates the July 9, 2012 decision of the Federal Circuit panel consisting of Judges Linn and O’Malley in the majority and Prost in the dissent. That decision was roundly questioned here and elsewhere (Patently-O and IPWatchdog).”

Pogson weighed in as well. On many occasions we criticised SCOTUS (e.g. [1, 2]), but perhaps CAFC too serves corporate interests.

Judge Posner Slams the Patent System Again

Posted in America, Patents at 2:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Judge Posner

Summary: Patent dissent from sources of high authority and legal clout

Timothy B. Lee, an effective campaigner of sorts against artificial monopolies on ideas, tells us that Judge
Richard Posner (mentioned before in [1, 2, 3, 4] has gone on another rant about patents. Others covered that too and one writer says “Read Judge Posner” when he tries to back a position.

Posner had been quoted a lot by the press before he published an article that expresses his views. Even some judges are fed up with today’s patent system/s.

Patent Storms Motivate a Rethink

Posted in America, Patents at 1:55 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Time for a rewrite…


Summary: Ugly new stories about the US patent system and where it all comes from, where it should go

Companies which are obscure try finding fame with patents [1, 2] and some go as far as suing.

Even Microsoft’s friends at Amdocs [1, 2] do this, but they cannot win in Europe with their software patents. To quote Silicon Republic, “Dublin-headquartered telecoms software company Openet has won a summary judgment in a US court in a lawsuit filed by software and services giant Amdocs. The court found that Openet’s software does not infringe Amdoc’s patents.”

One parasite got over a quarter of a billion dollars (260M) from Verizon, passing the cost to customers in the US. With a rather deceiving or ambiguous headline one writer tells us that “Oracle sues to ‘free’ users from patent claims,” but to clarify, it is an apparent troll (or similar). “Oracle has filed suit against Texas company Advanced Dynamic Interfaces, seeking to have an intellectual-property action it filed against 20 users of Oracle software tossed out of court.”

One has to wonder who really benefits from all that? Surely just a parasitical minority. Speaking of parasites, a new article about patents names the Rothschild dynasty. To quote: “Thanks in part to the borderline-esoteric nature of modern software patents, most Americans don’t know the strange and fascinating historym n of U.S. patent law and the lengths inventors once had to go to gain government protection for their creations. According to the Smithsonian Institution, which once housed the U.S. Patent Office, “American patent law in the 19th century required the submission and public display of a model with each patent application.” That meant that no matter how large or intricate the patented device would be when produced for sale, it needed to be rendered in miniature. (In the spirit of job creation, most of the models were made by craftsmen who set up shop just outside the Patent Office.) At one point, the Smithsonian was home to 200,000 such models. The largest collection now numbers just 4,000 and is owned privately by collector Alan Rothschild, who has lent his pieces to the Smithsonian.”

Companies still use patents for protectionism. The ruling class needs that. It is like the sewing suing machines all over again, this time in software form as we have general-purpose programmable computers. Some companies just sell patents as though they are merchandise.

Time to abolish patenting altogether, say some people. One type of patents at a time perhaps? Starting with software? Genetics? Business methods?

Betrayals in Europe Over Software Patents

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Words are coming out from a debate that can bring software patents to the EU

Glyn Moody explains “Why ECJ Must be Ultimate Arbiter of the Unitary Patent” and April has disturbing news to share today. To quote: “On Thursday, October 11th, 2012, the Legal Affairs (JURI) Committee of the European Parliament held an exchange of views regarding the Unitary Patent. Despite a rather short debate, some important issues were discussed by MEPs, who focused on the Council’s attempt to reduce the role of the European Parliament in the co-decision process. Everything is still on the table, with a real possibility for MEPs to step up and affirm their role on defining the scope of patentability.”

“Pressure is required from the public to counter corporate pressure.”This whole situation in the EU was explained here days ago and a site fully dedicated to this issue says: “For a couple of years, patents have hit the headlines with companies struggling to buy out portfolios of bankrupted competitors, with more and more ridiculous obvious patents granted by patent offices, or with “trials of the century” going on and on. This inflation of concerns around patents has culminated on August 24th, 2012, with Samsung being found liable for infringing some of Apple’s mobile patents by a Californian jury. This over one billion dollars fine has given concrete expression to Steve Jobs’ testimony, as laid down in his posthumous biography: “I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product, I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.””

The author tied that to the unitary patent debate, which the FSFE’s president attends and blogs about.

The EU Commission organizing a workshop on Implementing FRAND standards in Open Source with EPO. Yes, it says Open Source and FRAND as though these are compatible. It ought to say “versus”, not “and”, and the two terms should be swapped because it’s FRAND which attacks FOSS.

Those in power surely cannot be trusted to pass reasonable and fair laws. Pressure is required from the public to counter corporate pressure.

The Press Turned Against Patents

Posted in America, Europe, Google, Patents at 1:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Examples from the press of anger directed at patents and a face-saving attempt from the USPTO to avert criticism

Web sites across the world challenge the idea that ideas can be ‘stolen’ as more and more people feel personally affected. “As the Apple vs. Samsung dispute wages on,” writes TuxRadar, “with both sides arguing about rounded corners and rectangles; for this week’s podcast, we want to know what can Linux really take from Apple?”

Apple wants billions in so-called ‘damages’ and unrest against patent law grows as even the New York Times calls for change, especially “When Patents Become Weapons”. There is an article titled “Smartphone wars: Patents are the new weapons” in Times of India and it is increasingly important when Microsoft partners like Infosys arm themselves. “How patents slow down the pace of technological innovation” is another noteworthy article from the Asian press.

“The premise that monopolies are beneficial for innovation is utterly flawed…”The legal press plays along with the broken patent system which is ignoring the actual source of the problem (patents are inherently problematic, not just the review process). Articles say that the USPTO is trying to patch up a broken system with help from Google. This latter article says that “Stack Exchange and Google are teaming up to make it easy for geeks to shoot down overbroad and ridiculous patents,” but this is not an effective approach as it helps further legitimise all those patents which cannot be shot down.

The USPTO has inherently philosophical problems. The premise that monopolies are beneficial for innovation is utterly flawed, so asking the public to participate is just adding insult to injury. This is not the first time that Google helps patent offices whilst also applying for more software patents. As one writer put it, “I don’t mean to come down on Google. Their patent policies are much better than those of most tech companies. But I bet most Google engineers — along with the overwhelming majority of software engineers in general — would agree with the following statement in a heartbeat: most software patents are total bullshit.”

People are getting broad patents on abstract ideas and Google does not do much about it except participate in this whole mess. Google is schizophrenic about it because lawyers join the engineers there. Google did this in the EPO too. This is where crucial debates carries on with software patents at stake. We will cover that in the next post.

Links 11/10/2012: Ubuntu Donations, Humble Bundle

Posted in News Roundup at 9:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • How to Watch HDTV from Internet on your TV with Linux PC (Legally)

    Hooray! The Airbus finally brought me to the land where law is taken slightly more seriously than in Russia. With great responsibility, however, usually comes great power, and a lot of absolutely legal video streaming services are available in the U.S. Moreover, my corporate-sponsored temporary apartment has a large, like, 30-inch TV, and it would be a sin to just let it collect dust in silence.

    No, I couldn’t just watch cable TV! The very idea that I watch something on a predefined schedule is not appealing to me. I’d have to spend money on a TiVo or something that records TV shows anyway. And what about DVDs and feature movies? TV shows isn’t the only thing I watch, by the way. And what about shows that are not airing? how to watch older seasons? No, TV is for the weak.

  • Coming To A Car Near You: Linux Goes Automotive, Signs Up Harman, Intel, Toyota, Samsung’s Tizen, More

    If, one day, we really are all going to be carted around in driverless cars from the likes of Google and others, then we may as well have some apps on board to keep us occupied. Today, the Linux Foundation announced that it was throwing its hat into the car-apps ring, with the creation of the Automotive Grade Linux Workgroup. Early sign-ups among car companies include Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Toyota. Tech companies include Harman, Intel, NEC, NVIDIA, Samsung, and Texas Instruments, along with Tizen, the Linux-based platform backed by Samsung and Intel.

    The Linux Foundation is not exactly an early mover here. We’ve already seen “car of the future” odes from the likes of Ford and Honda – not to mention Google — even some suggestions that Apple is working on concepts, too. The point with the Linux news, it seems, is to try to keep it relevant in that wider picture of development, and to try impart some standards in the process.

  • Open source’s secret ally: Moore’s Law

    Linux went from being a cool personal hack in a bedroom to software that would eventually change world just over 21 years ago when Linus sent out his famous “Hello everybody out there using minix” message that invited people to join in. As I noted last month, that open, collaborative approach was really quite new and proved key to the uptake and development of Linux.

    That was possible because the internet was sufficiently widely available for enough people to join Linus’ distributed team of volunteers. In other words, the rise of free software is intimately bound up with the internet. Indeed, the rapid take-off of Linux compared with the rather slower progress of the GNU Project is probably due, at least in part, to the fact that the latter could not take global connectivity for granted. It was thanks to this that Richard Stallman was able to live off the sales of GNU Emacs, which he sent out on tapes.

  • Top 5 security Myths about Linux; and their realities

    Linux, unfortunately has been long surrounded by myths. Despite the speedy adoption of Linux as mainstream operating systems for enterprises particularly, the common misconceptions about Linux seem to continue. The post enlists five traditional myths about Linux Security and attempts to debunk each; discussing real facts.

    There exist mainly two schools of thoughts regarding security of Linux. One group that assumes ‘ Linux is Virus Proof’ and the other, advocating a completely contrary thought i.e. ‘Linux is more insecure (when compared to contenders), as it makes source code available to everyone’. Let’s investigate in detail.

  • Desktop

    • Desktop Linux: Diversity is the New Reality

      Everyone agrees that desktop Linux has become more diverse in the last couple of years. But how diverse? And how are the dethroned dominant environments responding?

      Those are questions that nobody is asking — although they probably should.

      So far, 2012 has yet to see one of those magazine polls that are our main — although imperfect — indications of what desktop environments users prefer. However, with a little digging, a few indicators can be unearthed.

      Several indicators are available from Distrowatch, the site that attempts to track distributions.

    • Linux and Windows: Peaceful Coexistence

      Like an evangelist, I frequently tell people about a free Windows-like alternative that is faster and more secure than Microsoft’s OS. The most common response I get is, “Linux, what’s that?”

      Often I also hear, “I can’t switch systems. I am too busy to start from scratch with all my files.” Or, “I’m too busy to go back and forth between two sets of files, one on my Windows computer and the other in my new Linux set up.”

    • 2012 Desktop Shootout

      I didn’t blog yesterday. I’m sorry. I know the internets were in a frenzy arguing over whether I quit or gave up or what have you, but I didn’t. I was just busy doing boring stuff that wasn’t worth blogging about.

    • CAINE 3.0 review

      CAINE, acronym for Computer Aided INvestigative Environment, is a Linux distribution specially crafted for performing computer (digital) forensics. It started life as the graduate thesis of Giancarlo Giustini at the Information Engineering Department of the University of Modena e Reggio Emilia, Italy. It is now a project of Digital Forensics for Inter-department Center for Research on Security (CRIS) at the same university.

  • Server

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Podcast Season 4 Episode 19

      In this episode: More jury confusion on the Apple vs. Samsung case. Blue Systems sponsors KWin. Linux kernel 3.6 is out, and 3.7 is going to be ARM-unified. You can now shutdown Gnome 3.6 and the French adore le logiciel libre. Plus, hear our discoveries, our rants and raves, and your own opinions in the Open Ballot.

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.8 Kernel May Have Better Nouveau Re-Clocking

      While it will still be a while before the Linux 3.7 kernel is even released, the Linux 3.8 kernel may end up having better Nouveau driver re-clocking support for the common “NV50″ NVIDIA GPU family.

      In the forum discussion surrounding the significant underlying Nouveau driver changes found in Linux 3.7, Nouveau’s Martin Peres wrote, “No luck for this kernel, but I think I’m not that far from delivering good reclocking support for the nv50 family. Maybe next kernel?” His comments were in response to a Phoronix reader asking about dynamic re-clocking and voltage changes.

    • How To Boot Linux In Under One Second
    • 30 Linux Kernel Developers in 30 Weeks: Mauro Carvalho Chehab
    • Korea Linux Forum Hosts Kernel Collaboration Gangnam Style

      This week The Linux Foundation is hosting its first-ever event in South Korea, the Korea Linux Forum in the Gangnam District. This was planned long before PSY’s Gangnam-style videowent viral but who are we not to do our part in contributing to this craze and honoring our host location?

    • Graphics Stack

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Snowlinux 3.1 GNOME 2 & XFCE 4.8 & E17 released!

      Snowlinux 3.1 is a bug fix release for GNOME, XFCE and E17. It solves many bugs and it also brings many features to the users. CTRL_ALT_Backspace restarts the x-server if it has hung up. Click on tap was activated and lots of bugs were solved.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE’s KWin Gears Up To Advance At Faster Pace

        With the push towards Wayland and other various advancements being desired out of KDE’s compositing window manager, Martin Gräßlin is joining Blue Systems to further work on KWin.

        Beginning a new blog post by Martin, “Very soon after joining the KWin development team almost five years ago, I realized that KWin would need at least one full time developer. It is one of the most important parts for the user experience of the KDE Plasma Workspaces and we have seen quite often that important changes for the user experience could not be implemented due to lack of manpower.”

      • KWin maintainer to join Blue Systems

        KDE developer Martin Gräßlin has announced that he will be joining Blue Systems to continue his work on KWin window manager for the KDE Plasma Desktop full time. The developer says that soon after joining the KWin development team nearly five years ago, he realised that the project would eventually need at least one full time developer. “With the upcoming required changes like Qt 5 and Wayland the need for developers is increasing,” noted Gräßlin.

      • Possibility to use KLook from File->Open/Save dialogs
      • KDE Publishes Its Manifesto

        Citing the benefits of a KDE project the site says: Being part of the international KDE community conveys certain benefits and rights.

      • KDE Pens Manifesto
      • KDE Commit-Digest for 5th August 2012
      • Roktober 2012
      • Amarok Celebrates 10 Years

        Amarok, popular KDE music manager, is turning 10 years old this month and the project is taking this opportunity to review the last year and look head to the future. Amarok 3 will debut at FOSDEM next February, and planning has already begun. So, it’s time for the team to raise some money.

      • KDE Commit-Digest for 12th August 2012
      • KDE Commit-Digest for 19th August 2012
      • KDE4 Plasma Active

        I’ve recently replaced Unity, on the little MSI Netbook, that I wrote about recently after installing Ubuntu/Unity on it.

  • Distributions

    • Review: Cinnarch 2012.10.01

      I haven’t gotten the chance to do a review in a while. It’s a long weekend, so I finally do have some more free time now, and I need to take a break from the otherwise endless stream of work, so I’m taking a look at Cinnarch now.

      Cinnarch is a relatively new distribution on the scene. True to its name, it is based on Arch Linux and uses GNOME 3/Cinnamon as its primary DE. At first I figured that the packaging would be fairly stock, but as it turns out (and as you will see later in this post), there are a few other mild customizations present as well.

    • Zorin Linux Is Heavy on the Windows Dressing

      For many newcomers to Linux, Zorin has a deal maker that is unmatched in any other Linux distribution. It comes with several integrated tools that let you modify Zorin’s appearance. Look Changer lets you decide how the desktop looks and acts. You can tweak the look and feel even more with Splash Screen Manager, Internet Browser Manager and Background Plus.

    • OS4 13 Screenshots
    • New Releases

      • GeeXboX 3.0 released
      • Zentyal 3.0 integrates Samba 4

        Version 3.0 of the Zentyal small business server is now available; the new version upgrades the underlying operating system and integrates Samba 4. Aimed at small and medium businesses (SMBs), Zentyal is a Linux-based server distribution that can act as a Gateway, Unified Threat Manager, Office Server, Infrastructure Manager, or Unified Communications Server, or as a combination of these. The system can also be extended using over 30 modules, such as HTTP Proxy, firewall and the Zarafa collaboration platform.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 10 introduces MATE edition

        Sabayon 10, the latest release of the Gentoo-derived Linux distribution, introduces a new edition of the operating system with version 1.4.1 of the MATE desktop, a fork of the older 2.x branch of GNOME. For the first time, Sabayon also provides Amazon Machine Images (AMI) to deploy the distribution on Amazon’s EC2 cloud platform.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Expands OpenShift Ecosystem with Zend Partnership

        Red Hat has expanded its OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) ecosystem by collaborating with Zend, the PHP Company.

        The new Zend Server for Red Hat OpenShift gives professional-grade PHP development and runtime environment, alongside the benefits of the OpenShift PaaS. PHP applications deployed to Zend Server for OpenShift can access built-in debugging, monitoring and application performance tuning capabilities, making application development and management easier.

      • Red Hatters seal chumship with Zend on OpenShift PHP cloud

        Red Hat is still only previewing its OpenShift platform cloud, and one of the reasons why is because it had not yet inked a deal with Zend Technologies, the commercial entity that is to the PHP programming language as Linux Torvalds and Red Hat together are to the Linux operating system.

      • Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst to Discuss the Information Revolution at TEDx Raleigh
      • Red Hat makes APAC appointments

        Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced six appointments across the Asia Pacific region to support market interest in open source technologies and the company‘s growth plans across the region.

      • Fedora

        • Fedora 18 To Be Delayed By Another Week

          Fedora 18 Beta codenamed Beefy Miracle is going to be delayed by another week. This is mainly because of unfinished/non-testable nature of its build. The decision was taken in Fedora 18 Beta Change Deadline readiness meeting and its expected that this delay will make the beta release possible soon.

        • Name Suggestions For Fedora 19 Now Open

          Naming suggestions are now open for Fedora 19, which is scheduled to be released sometime next year. The upcoming release, Fedora 18 Beefy Miracle is going to release end November 2012. Fedora maintains a 6 month release cycle while older releases get unsupported after a period of 1.5 years.

        • Is that Fedora running on a Raspberry Pi?

          That was a popular exchange at the Fedora booth during this year’s Ohio LinuxFest. The iconic Model B Raspberry Pi, running Fedora Remix and proudly displaying the Beefy Miracle fireworks on a XFCE desktop, was drawing lots of attention.

    • Debian Family

      • CrunchBang ‘Waldorf’ – Second Time Lucky

        As we all know ‘Waldorf’ is the testing branch of CrunchBang Linux based on the upcoming Debian ‘Wheezy’. Two weeks ago I wrote a shortish post about how the latest testing image failed to install, and promptly an update got released with the release announcement pointing to a known bug in the Debian installer. So, time to try again now that we’re back home.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Tweak 0.8.0: The Apps Generation

            It’s almost half year since the last major release of Ubuntu Tweak. In 0.7.x release, I polished the UI of Ubuntu Tweak, and also brought back the App Center & Source Center that you miss.

          • Canonical Opens Up Donations For Ubuntu

            Canonical has opened up donations for the Ubuntu project and users who do not have much time to contribute to the project in kind, now can help it in cash. The donation mechanism is similar to the Humble Bundle, where users will be able to select the exact usage of the donations.

          • Ubuntu Linux: Donationware?
          • Easier Financial Contributions To Ubuntu
          • Upgrading to Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Server
          • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 286
          • The Ubuntu architect: why it’s important to attract all users

            Allison Randal is such a brilliant speaker that she could keep us interested in anything, for hours.

            Fortunately, when our sister title Linux Format met her she was talking about the best ways to engage the next wave of Ubuntu users to join in and become good citizens.

            As technical architect of Ubuntu, it’s her job to, as she puts it: “champion the community’s vision for Ubuntu; to facilitate conversations as we integrate multiple perspectives and balance multiple needs; to ask good questions that help us find better solutions.”

          • Ubuntu Made Easy: Interview With The Authors

            A couple weeks ago, I reviewed the book Ubuntu Made Easy, and a few days after that, I thought “why not do an interview to the authors”? So, here it is. Rickford Grant and Phil Bull both agreed on making it. I also got a few questions from you on Reddit, which got asked here.

          • Ubuntu’s Jono Bacon Talks Open-Source Community Management

            Jono Bacon, the community manager for Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux, believes in open-source software, but even more, he believes in the ability of open-source communities to help move code forward to drive success for enterprises. By getting their developers more involved in open-source communities, Bacon believes that enterprises will reap far more than they sow by benefiting from better code that helps solve their business challenges. That’s why, he argues, more enterprises today are correctly hiring community managers to nurture and grow such efforts. Bacon was in San Francisco Oct. 8 to speak on the subject at the Liferay Symposium. There he sat down with eWEEK’s Todd R. Weiss to answer questions about the state of open- source software in 2012 and why participation in open-source communities should be taken even more seriously by enterprises. Bacon authored a book on the topic, “The Art of Community,” which was updated in a second edition this past May by O’Reilly Media, and is the founder of the Community Leadership Summit. Begun in 2009, it’s been held each year in Portland, Ore., just before the O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON).

          • Ubuntu’s Shopping Lens Might Be Illegal in Europe

            The new Shopping lens that received so much publicity in the last month, both positive and negative, could be illegal in Europe.

          • Ubuntu 12.10 ‘Quantal Quetzal’: Beta 2 Sneak Peek

            Ubuntu 12.10 ‘Quantal Quetzal’ is due for release in approximately one week. But before we start preparing a full review of the new version, we thought we’d give Unixmen readers a small preview of what we should all expect from the ‘Quantal Quetzal’.

            I’ve spent some time with the latest Beta 2 in the last few days. And I must admit, the past few releases of Ubuntu I have found to be rather uninspiring and I think there are much better Linux based operating systems currently available. Yet, I think 12.10 could be the version that gets back my respect for Ubuntu.

          • DVDs For Approved LoCo Teams
          • Ubuntu Prompts For Donations When Downloading

            Just a few weeks after Canonical integrated Amazon product results into Unity’s Dash in an effort to generate more money through affiliate/referral revenue, they have taken another step today to try to increase their cash flow.

            Ubuntu has long accepted donations for the project, but now they have made it more apparent with changes to the Ubuntu web-site.

          • Install Ubuntu and contribute to Canonical

            Ubuntu is a free operating system, free as in speech and free as in beer. And Canonical are keen to reinforce this Richard Stallman ethos as they announce a new way for users to optionally contribute to Canonical before they download the desktop version of Ubuntu.

          • How Ubuntu Intel Graphics Changed In One Month

            Here’s a look at how the open-source Intel Linux graphics performance has changed in Ubuntu 12.10 when comparing benchmarks results of Ubuntu Quantal development snapshots from the end of August to the beginning of October.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Bodhi Linux 2.1.0 arrives with new file manager

              With the 2.1.0 update release, the developers of the minimal desktop distribution Bodhi Linux have introduced a new file manager, improved the login manager and given users four new themes for their desktop. Bodhi Linux is based on the Enlightenment E17 desktop and the latest version drops the PCManFM file manager in favour of the desktop’s own alternative called Enlightenment File Manager (EFM).

            • AriOS 4.0 Review: Polished, attractive and functional Ubuntu 12.04LTS

              Debian gave birth to Ubuntu and Ubuntu, in turn, gave birth to hundreds of other distros like Linux Mint, Pinguy OS, Zorin, Crunchbang, Pear OS, Luninux, OS4, Super OS, Ultimate OS, Kiwi, etc. to name a few apart from the usual Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu. When I read the release news of AriOS 4.0 on distrowatch, I was expecting something in the similar lines – just another remix of Ubuntu with plenty of necessary and unnecessary applications and other stuff! Needless to say, once you have a Linux Mint, do you really need any other Ubuntu derivative? These days, Linux Mint is my benchmark after my experiment with 20 odd Linux distros and I start comparing any distro I test with Linux Mint. If Linux Mint is 100, where do others lie?

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Two developer contests from Qualcomm

      The open source AllJoyn framework is designed to enable peer-to-peer communication between mobile devices without the need for servers to be involved in the process. The Apache 2.0 licensed framework supports near field communication (NFC), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and can be used for a variety of tasks. Accordingly, there are several different application technologies for the Peer-2-Peer App Challenge, including Best Gaming App, Best Educational App, Best Social App and others. Qualcomm is providing prizes with a total value of $170,000. The application deadline is 27 December.

    • The Raspberry Pi gets a turbo mode

      The Raspberry Pi Foundation has performed testing on the effects of overclocking and overvolting, and is now providing what it calls a “turbo mode” for the Raspberry Pi mini-computer. While the Foundation has always supported these kinds of modifications, they have in the past voided the customer’s warranty for the product – a sticky bit in the BCM2835 chip makes sure this operation cannot be performed undetected. The turbo mode option enables users to get more performance out of their Raspberry Pis without having to be afraid of affecting their warranty.

    • Phones

      • Meg Whitman says HP has to ‘offer a smartphone’

        HP bet big on the smartphone world when it purchased Palm, but the company fell flat on its face and webOS failed to take off. The reasons for the failure are numerous, but the new CEO Meg Whitman is smart enough to realize it can’t simply abandon the market entirely. In an interview with Fox Business, she said that HP “ultimately has to offer a smartphone.”

      • Android

        • LG Nexus 4 To Release On October 29

          French publication “Le Figaro “says that LG Nexus 4 is scheduled for a worldwide release on October 29. With Nexus rumors at its peak, this news has certainly been the most delighting of all for all the Nexus fans.

        • Razr i Boasts 2GHz Intel Atom, Respectable Battery Life

          More significantly, the battery is claimed to last much longer than on earlier phones featuring Medfield chips. Battery life has long been a challenge for Atom-based mobile devices, but if Motorola’s claims are true, the issue may be moot. The Razr i and its 2000mAh battery is claimed to offer up to 20 hours of use — almost as long as the long-lasting Razr Maxx and 40 percent longer than the iPhone 4S.

        • Affordability is the key factor in Android adoption

          Apple iPhones aren’t seeing the uptake in some markets due to price. Android devices are more affordable and therefore more accessible.

        • HTC Flyer 2 coming with an extremely slim anodized aluminum body, Snapdragon S4 chip

          HTC will not be making a Windows 8/RT-based tablet, but that might turn out to be a good thing for competition as now more details surface about an upcoming HTC Flyer 2, the second generation of HTC’s 7-inch Android tablet.

          The second-gen Flyer is said to feature a 7-inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels and the same gorgeous anodized aluminum body like the HTC One S, according to a source in the know

        • Eric Schmidt talks up new Android numbers

          According to him, Android is now at 480 million install base and is growing at a rate of 1.3 million per day.

        • Tablet shipments now expected to hit 117 million this year
        • MOGA Mobile Gaming System Coming To 7,000 US Stores

          MOGA, the first complete mobile gaming system for Android devices, will be available in more than 7,000 stores in the U.S. starting on October 21, 2012.

        • Hopes For The Aakash Android 4.0 Being Released On Nov 11

          Telecom minister Kapil Sibal hopes that the Aakash tablet will be launched on 11th November. Speaking at the Economic Editor’s Conference, he said, “Hopefully on November 11, you will see the President talking to 20,000 students across the nation who will have their hands on Aakash”.

        • Sprint Announces Four New 4G LTE Android Devices

          Sprint is lining up four new 4G LTE Android phones – Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, LG Optimus G, LG Mach and Sprint Plug-in-Connect Tri-mode USB. The company is holding back on pricing and availability for the moment.

          Features to attract your interest include, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 is the first tablet to combine the benefits of Sprint 3G and 4G LTEand comes with a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich and a 1.5GHz dual-core processor.

        • Android 4.1.2 AOSP Update Released for Nexus 7

          The release of Android 4.1.2 to AOSP was announced by Jean-Baptiste Queru, (Technical Lead, Android Open Source Project, Google) today via Android Building Group. This will just be an incremental update over Android 4.1.1, as stated by the update notification “improves performance and stability and fixes bugs.” Nexus 7 tablets will be the first to receive these updatess.

        • Landscape mode comes to Nexus 7
        • New Linux and Android Game Platforms Gaining Momentum

          Things are heating up on the open source gaming front. The buzz continues over the open source Ouya gaming platform. A Los Angeles-based project, Ouya is billed as “a new kind of video game console” and famously pulled down millions in funding on Kickstarter. As Ouya’s plans ramp up, there are also new details emerging about Steam for Linux, which looks like it may include many more advanced games than previously thought.

        • MetroPCS adds $150 Coolpad Quattro 4G to lineup

          MetroPCS today announced yet another affordable 4G LTE Android with the debut of the Coolpad Quattro 4G. As the second smartphone of its kind to cost less that $150, the handset runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread and features a 1GHz processor. Additional details include a 4-inch touch display, a 3.2-megapixel camera, front-facing VGA camera, and your standard fare of connectivities.

        • Archos debuts 7-inch Android-powered GamePad
        • Huawei Launches the Ascend G600 Smartphone – More Visual Clarity, More Speed and More Power
        • Huawei intros ‘fashion forward’ MediaPad 7 Lite

          Huawei announced at IFA that they’ve got a 7-inch tablet for those of you with eye for both fashion and function. Called the MediaPad 7 Lite, the device runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and features a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 7-inch 1024×600 IPS display, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage, and pair (3.2-megapixel rear, .3-megapixel front-facing) of cameras.

        • Motorola unveils its first Intel-powered smartphone: Razr i
    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • Children, beware! This monster came for you!

        Today, I discovered that the Quiros-Tanzi Foundation, the NGO that handles the XO computers of OLPC, launched its first TV campaign to promote the goal of distributing the inexpensive computers. The TV ad features a simple concept: children are afraid of a hideous creature called “The Browser,” who can find them anywhere. The point of the ad is that children should not see technology as a monster. Interestingly, this 2009 video proves that even adults ignore what a browser is!

      • Acer outs £180 Iconia Tab A110 Android tablet

        The new tablet, which has disadvantages and advantages when compared with the Google Nexus 7, is clearly priced as a reaction to that and other recent devices – the last Acer seven-incher launched at £300.

      • PCs hit a high for customer satisfaction — boosted by tablets

        Labeling desktops, laptops, and tablets all as personal computers, the ACSI gave the category a grade of 80 out of 100. That proved a 2.6 percent gain over the 78 score earned last year and in 2010. Though some may disagree with the tagging of tablets as PCs, the iPad and its brethren were partly responsible for the bump in satisfaction among computer buyers.

      • Source: Barnes & Noble prepping Nook Tablet followup with ‘incredible display’ for fall release

        This week may belong to Amazon and whatever information the mega-retailer decides to drop on our heads tomorrow at its press conference in Santa Monica, but Barnes & Noble’s apparently won’t be letting the Kindle maker hog the spotlight for too long.

      • Sony Xperia Tablet S now available in the USA
      • Google to Partner with Samsung For Nexus 10

        A 10 inch tablet from Google is on its way, presumably the Nexus 10. CNET has learned from Ricard Shim (analyst at NPD DisplayDearch), that Google will partner with Samsung to produce this device and it is going to be a high end device compared to the $199 Nexus 7 or rumored $99 Nexus tablet.

      • Nexus 7 Wins T3 Gadget Of Year

        The blockbuster Android Tablet, Nexus 7 from Google has added another jewel to its crown. Nexus 7 by Asus has won the T3 Gadget Awards for “Tablet of the Year” as well as the “Gadget of the Year.

      • This is the new Amazon Kindle Fire

        The Verge has obtained images of what appears to be the next version of the Kindle Fire, Amazon’s Android-based tablet that’s expected to be announced next week, following news that the current model is “sold out.” We’re being told that a “pair” of Fires is likely — a 7- and a 10-incher — though it remains unclear whether both models will be introduced at the same time. We’re not sure which model we’re looking at here, but the scale of the keyboard suggests that seven inches is more likely.

      • Oregon Scientific debuts $150 MEEP! Tablet for kids
      • Top 10 Android Tablets Shipping Today

Free Software/Open Source

  • Synnex Partners Discover Open Source for Business

    At Synnex National Conference, scores of VARs last week discovered open source business solutions from Digium, Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) and Open-Xchange. Many of those channel partners investigated Asterisk (an IP PBX), unified communications, virtualization and cloud-based email solutions that leverage open source at the core. This certainly is not Synnex’s (NYSE: SNX) first move to promote open source business partners. But it may be the most successful effort yet. Here’s why.

  • Server-side enhancements for OpenGeo Suite 3.0

    The developers at OpenGeo worked on improving the server side of their geodata platform in version 3.0 of the OpenGeo Suite to make it a more comprehensive platform for processing spatial data on the web. Features include a OGC Web Processing Service (WPS) which allows geospatial processing to be run against the GeoServer, rendering transformations for cartography and support for serverside scripting in Python and JavaScript.

  • Open source computing started with the bicycle

    Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst used his company’s Boston user summit this June to explain the core concept behind open source innovation and Computer Weekly reported on the former Delta Airlines chief’s comments at that time.

    Whitehurst reminded us that it was only 100 years between the invention of the ‘autolathe’ machine to manufacture “standard components parts” in physical engineering such as the standard screw and, then, subsequently, the invention of the combustion engine and the jet plane.

  • NoteCase Is Back in Pro Form – but There’s a Hitch

    NoteCase Pro’s forte is organizing notes in a sensible, tree-like system. Note-taking is not confined to data you manually enter. Rather, it stores scanned images and customizable text formatting for fonts. These include bold, italic, strike-through, text and background color. One of the most useful features is the ability to embed pictures in the text note.

  • Open vs. Closed: The Cloud Wars

    For all the freedom promised by cloud computing, businesses may be really looking at less choice and more constraint than ever before. Whether that happens is the technology industry’s next great battleground.

    On one side are large incumbent tech providers like Oracle and Hewlett-Packard, who already have broad portfolios of technology and deep corporate relationships after years of selling products. On the other are younger companies, whose products and services were built for cloud computing and thus may offer more innovative approaches.

  • Events

    • Registrations Now Open For FOSS.IN 2012

      Registrations are now open for India’s one of the largest conferences on free software and open source. The normal entry fee is Rs 2500, but you can get it at early bird discount of Rs 1500 till October 21st.

      The event will be held in Bangalore, India from November 29th to December first. If you are looking to attend this event, this will be a good time to purchase your tickets and save a lot.

    • Open Forges Summit 2012: 11th October, Paris (OWF)
  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox 16 Released With An Amazing Developer Toolbar

        The Mozilla Foundation has released a new version of the popular and free web browser, Firefox. This version comes with a developer toolbar that will make web developer’s life even easier.

        Firefox makes developing for the Web faster and easier with a unique Developer Command Line. The new tool provides easy keyboard control over Firefox Developer Tools and is intuitive, completing commands and parameters for you.

      • Firefox 16 Available in Stable Channel
      • Firefox Debuts New Developer Toolbar
      • Mozilla Firefox 16 Delivers More Dev Tools. Hello Browser IDE

        Mozilla’s Firefox 16 open source web browser is now generally available and with it comes more goodies for developers.

        That’s right. While Firefox has long positioned itself as browser for users, the focus since moving to the rapid release train cycle has clearly shifted – towards developers. I personally think that’s a good thing because it’s not something that any other major browser vendor does.

        The Mozilla focus on developers means that developers will use Firefox more than other browsers. If developers use it more, I suppose that the prevailing notion is that they will also be more prone to recommend it to others, thus feeding a virtuous cycle of referrals and future adoption.

      • Download Mozilla Firefox 16.0 for Linux

        Mozilla has uploaded a few minutes ago, October 9th, the final packages of the Mozilla Firefox 16.0 web browser for all supported platforms, including Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

      • Firefox 16.0 Officially Lands in Ubuntu
      • Firefox 16, a treat for developers
  • SaaS

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • CMS

    • Joomla 3.0 optimized for mobile devices

      The recently released Joomla 3.0 upgrade will be a treat for web content producers that want to improve the functionality for mobile users.

      Most notably, version 3.0 leverages Bootstrap, Twitters’ tool collection for creating websites and web applications, for ntaively optimizing how content is displayed on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

  • Education

    • Zimbabwe pushes for open education despite oppression

      Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. For many years, it was regarded as the breadbasket of Africa. But since Zimbabwe gained independence from Britain in 1980, Robert Mugabe has been the leader, and the fate of the country has largely been tied to him and his policies.

  • BSD

    • A Significant Release Of DragonFlyBSD Coming Up

      A new version of DragonFlyBSD 3.2 is expected by month’s end and it will possess several new features.

      DragonFlyBSD 3.2 was branched this morning as the developers of this BSD operating system prepare to release the new version on the 22nd of October. The branching announcement was made by Justin Sherrill today on the project’s mailing list.


    • GNU Xnee 3.14 (‘Lord Pi’) released

      We are pleased to announce the availability of GNU Xnee 3.14

    • FSF Launches Hardware Certification Program

      Software freedom is not just about software, it’s also about the hardware it runs on. The Free Software Foundation has launched the “Respects Your Freedom” computer hardware product certification program to encourage the production of hardware which respects user’s freedom.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • Malaysia Saves Big $ Using FLOSS

      Malaysia continues to promote and to implement FLOSS in government. Adoptions of FLOSS on servers is widespread. Adoptions of FLOSS on the desktop are ramping up. The latest figures show 33872 seats of OpenOffice.org.

    • Portuguese Vieira do Minho profits from a decade of open source

      For twelve years now, the administration of Vieira do Minho, a municipality in the north of Portugal, is using open source wherever possible. “These IT solutions are flexible, easy to study, test and switch”, says António Rebelo, head of the IT department. “It keeps us free from IT vendors and, because of the lower costs, results in a more sustainable IT infrastructure.”

  • Openness/Sharing

    • Here Comes The First Humble Ebook Bundle

      The Humble Bundle Project is now limited to games alone. While the Humble Bundle 6 finished successfully with raising over $ 2 million, the Humble Bundle team has released another Humble Bundle, but this time, with digital ebooks.

    • Beat Making Lab assembling development team

      Our Beat Making Lab is applying for an Open Art grant, which would allow us to start development on our dream: open source beat making software we are calling PAMOJA, which means oneness or solidarity.

  • Programming

    • Open Source Lives in Polyglot Programming

      The prominence and pervasiveness of open source software in cloud computing is something I’ve researched and written about quite a bit. I’ve also discussed how open source software is a key component and catalyst for the devops trend that blends application development and deployment via IT operations. Now I’m seeing the same effect from open source software yet again in a disruptive trend: polyglot programming.

    • Simple trick that lets you code twice as fast
  • Standards/Consortia

    • W3C documents the web with Web Platform Docs

      The W3C has announced the alpha release of Web Platform Docs (docs.webplatform.org), a new site which it hopes will become a comprehensive and authoritative source for web developer documentation. Such documentation has been been available, but scattered over many sites, some of which have been less up to date or less informative than they should be over how elements of HTML5 and CSS work across browsers, operating systems and devices.

    • Apple, Microsoft, Google, Others Join Hands to Form WebPlatform.org

      Tech heavyweights Apple, Adobe, Google, HP, Microsoft and many others have joined forces and launched a new resource – the Web Platform in a bid to create a “definitive resource” for all open Web technologies.


  • The Philippines’ Awful New ‘Cybercrime’ Law Put On Hold — For Now

    Last week Tim Cushing wrote about the hugely-worrying new “cybercrime” law passed in the Philippines that seemed likely to criminalize all kinds of everyday online activities. As an article on Radio Australia’s site reports, the Philippines’ highest court has now stepped in after being petitioned to block the legislation…

  • Hiring trends: Which tech skills are most in demand
  • Privacy

  • Civil Rights

    • The Supreme Court Isn’t Bothered By the NSA’s Warrantless Wiretapping

      The Supreme Court refused to hear a case on Tuesday that holds telecom companies accountable for letting the National Security Agency spy on unknowing Americans without a warrant. Dating back to 2006 when the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation first filed the class-action lawsuit, the case accuses AT&T of providing the NSA with customers’ personal information — phone calls, emails and web browsing history — without seeking a court order. Verizon and Sprint are also mentioned. The plaintiff, former AT&T technician Mark Klein, even provided internal documentation that showed evidence of the NSA surveilling Americans’ Internet traffic from a secret room in San Francisco. That case, Hepting v. AT&T, has now been thrown out, and the Supreme Court didn’t even comment on why.

      This sound very important! After all, doesn’t the Constitution protect American citizens from being spied on by their government without their knowledge or consent? Well, yes and no. Warrantless wiretapping sounds invasive and terrible, sure, but it’s actually technically legal under a 2008 law that retroactively granted immunity to all of the telecom companies that were spying on Americans at the government’s behest. Unsurprisingly, the practice can be traced back to President George W. Bush’s anti-terrorism program following the 2001 World Trade Center attacks. Once things calmed down and people actually started suing the government for eavesdropping on everyday Americans, Congress passed the FISA Amendements Act. (FISA stands for the original law, the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act.) That law is currently up for renewal in Congress.

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Google, Facebook, Amazon lead new tech lobby group

      The Internet Association, a lobbying group made up of some of the Web’s most powerful companies, has officially launched.

      The organization today announced that it’s now operating in Washington, D.C. under the leadership of president and CEO Michael Beckerman. First announced earlier this year, the Internet Association is backed by 14 giants of the Web, including Amazon, AOL, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and others. The companies hope to have their voices heard in Washington, Beckerman says.

  • Copyrights

    • ACTA

      • Confirmed ACTA-like Outrageous Criminal Sanctions in CETA!

        Brussels, 10 October 2012 – The EU Commission has confirmed that ACTA-like criminal sanctions are currently present in CETA, the Canada-EU Trade Agreement. This attempt by the EU executive to impose repression of online communications through the backdoor is unacceptable. La Quadrature du Net calls on EU citizens to demand their governments remove copyright provisions from CETA during the upcoming round of negotiations1; failing to do so, the final text would have to be opposed as a whole.

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