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04.09.14

Programming News: Python, Java, LLVM and More

Posted in News Roundup at 2:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Python

Java

DevOps

  • You can’t have DevOps without open source

    You probably think I’m going to talk about all the reasons why you should use open source tooling as the foundation for an effective DevOps culture in your organization, but that’s not what this is about. Not to marginalize the complexity of the challenges faced by the team I work with, but I have confidence that the engineers are going to figure the tooling part out. Believe it or not, the daunting part is wrapped in cultural change.

  • DevOps is a real job, it’s official

    The ‘developer’ and ‘operations’ DevOps role is now an official part of the tech industry nomenclature.

    The number of permanent and officially recognised DevOps Engineer posts in the UK has jumped 347% in the past two years.

LLVM

  • [LLVMdev] 3.4.1 Release Plans (BSD Development)
  • LLVM Spun Off Into Its Own Independent, Non-Profit

    Chris Lattner has announced the LLVM Foundation this morning as “The LLVM umbrella project has grown over the years into a vibrant community made up of many sub-projects, with hundreds of contributors. The results of this project are used by millions of people every day. Today, I’m happy to announce that we are taking the next big step, and forming a new, independent non-profit to represent the community interest.”

  • Fake MSAA Support Added To LLVMpipe, Yields OpenGL 3.0/3.2

    Months ago there was work on advancing Gallium3D’s LLVMpipe software-based driver with its OpenGL 3.x support, including work-in-progress patches, but nothing was merged at the time. With that said, it was a surprise to see fake MSAA support added tonight for Gallium3D and used by the LLVMpipe driver so it fakes OpenGL 3.0 compliance and forces the necessary extensions for handling OpenGL 3.2.

Leftovers

GNU News: New Releases, Coreboot Milestone, GNU Linux-libre, MediaGoblin, and Compilers

Posted in News Roundup at 2:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Misc. GNU Packages

GNUnet

Kernel

  • Coreboot Adds Support For The Lenovo ThinkPad T530
  • The GNU Linux-libre 3.14-gnu Ultra-Free Kernel Released

    Following last night’s release of the Linux 3.14 kernel, the GNU folks are out with their Linux-based “Freedom Pi” kernel.

    The GNU Linux-libre 3.14-gnu kernel is the upstream Linux 3.14.0 kernel but is “100% free” and removes non-free components from the kernel source tree like firmware blobs and “[code] disguised as source code." The libre kernel flavor also disables run-time requests for non-free kernel components.

MediaGoblin

  • Meet MediaGoblin, a Decentralized Alternative to YouTube and Flickr

    Running on GNU, MediaGoblin allows user to upload videos, images, audio, and other types of digital media. But, unlike YouTube, Flickr, and Soundcloud, users control their own servers. And, if Webber, Nicholson, and the rest of the MediaGoblin community have their way, each users' media will be stored on Tahoe-LAFS, an encrypted server that does not know what data it stores.

Compiler

GMP

Philosophy

  • To Hell With Non-Free Software

    It’s clear that a lot of IT hardware is being supplied to consumers and organizations with built-in malware, stuff that spies on us and supplies people like NSA with information we don’t want them to have. Ironically, we actually subsidize this activity with our money either by taxation or the purchase-price.

  • Richard Stallman to speak at TedxGeneva2014

    Richard Stallman will be speaking as part of TedxGeneva. His speech will be nontechnical and the public is encouraged to attend.

  • Introducing Jaewoo, the Licensing Team's spring intern

    Jaewoo Cho recently started working at the FSF as a licensing intern. In this post, he writes about his experience with free software and his goals for the internship.

Links 9/4/2014: Games

Posted in News Roundup at 2:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 9/4/2014: Applications

Posted in News Roundup at 1:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Links 9/4/2014: Instructionals

Posted in News Roundup at 1:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A Call to Ban/Stop Big ‘Patent Trolls’ Like Nokia, Microsoft, and Apple

Posted in Apple, Microsoft, Patents at 5:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Patent stooges

Summary: Reporting in corporate media generally lacks focus on patent abuse by large companies, but Topix has a long noteworthy article

PATENT coverage has been scarce here recently because corporations won. They warped the debate in such a way that almost no articles criticise software patents anymore; the focus has been shifted to small trolls and politicians are, accordingly, ignoring the big issue, instead pursuing fake ‘reforms’ that hardly address any concerns, other than the concerns of big corporations (it’s like Obama’s so-called ‘reform’ of the NSA). Here for a change is a good Topix article titled “How to Really Fix Patents – and Why Congress Is Unlikely to Do It” (via Glyn Moody).

The article says: “The total loss to the economy caused by junk patents far exceeds $29 billion per year when one takes into account that big companies act like patent trolls too, by obtaining junk patents to keep out their competitors.”

It also states that: “The real costs of junk patents are easy to imagine when you consider some of the egregious patents that should never have existed to begin with. Patent No. 5,851,117 was granted in 1998 to a company for using an illustrated book to teach janitors how to clean a building. Clearly that is not such an original idea that it deserves to be patented. Luckily the economic impact of that patent was likely very minimal.”

And finally: “Patent trolls should be dealt with, but if big companies are able to continue to obtain junk patents for things that are not inventions and then act like patent trolls, then they will be able to continue to corner markets and ensure that new emerging technologies can’t compete with them.”

We recently wrote about Apple's "holy war" against Linux/Android — a subject that was mentioned by a lot of media [1, 2, 3, 4]. Nokia‘s patent deal with Apple, which had already cross-licensed with Microsoft for quite a long time (we have written about this triangle for a number of years), helped show how this “holy war” was going on. This new article states that “Nokia makes up about 80% of them [...] the vast majority of licensing fees Microsoft collects — about $15 per device — comes from the Finnish company. Those fees are about to become an internal exchange once the acquisition deal closes between the two companies.”

The ultimate victim will be Android. They are working on it.

To make matters worse, Microsoft and Nokia feed Android-hostile patent trolls like MOSAID, passing patents for no purpose other than harassment (patent-stacking).

This is trolling. The European authorities have already warned/reprimanded Nokia.

What needs to change right now is the debate. We need to reject the idea that there is this thing called “patent trolls” which basically means small companies with patents and that this alone is the issue with patents. There are much bigger issues.

Season of Disinformation About FOSS, Courtesy of ‘Compliance’ Firms

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD at 5:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Proprietary but pretending to be pro-FOSS

Ceramic

Summary: Tech City News, Black Duck, and Protecode (in SD Times) show their hostility towards the principles of code-sharing

EVERY ONCE in a while we see articles which are exceptionally hostile towards Free software in the sense that they compare it to a disease. They use words like “contaminate” and “infect”. Here is a new article of this kind. This is the type of FUD that companies like Black Duck, whose latest voice hijack we mentioned twice this month alone, habitually spread. They monetise it. There is more of them in the press and pundits like Mac Asay [1] help them get their message out. Well, they are trying to change perceptions and set trends. Asay is close to them because they helped sponsor events that he was organising. But they are not to be viewed as FOSS proponents. They are a proprietary software company with software patents; they only pretend to care about FOSS and they pretend to be spokespeople for FOSS. Their founder is a marketing man from Microsoft.

Similarly, some proprietary software company called Protecode (with a similar business model) pushes similar messages, having been given a platform at SD Times which is sometimes composed by patent lawyers (and is funded in part by Microsoft). The article then led to more from Adrian Bridgwater.

What we generally have here is a bunch of proprietary players (some with clear connections to Microsoft) talking about how complying with FOSS is risky. They never mention the risk of proprietary software licences that ‘expire’ and can lead to expensive litigation if not obeyed. The only surprising thing is that they continue to receive press space.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The Reasons Businesses Use Open Source Are Changing Faster Than You Realize

Miguel de Icaza and Xamarin Become More Tightly Integrated With Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft, Mono at 4:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mole

Summary: Microsoft creates an alliance with the controversial firm of FOSS mole Miguel de Icaza while trying to openwash .NET (creating the illusion that it is “open”)

WE RECENTLY showed how the Microsoft press was openwashing .NET. It’s a PR charade. Watch this shameless new plug from Microsoft Mary at CBS/ZDNet/CNET (cross-posted in several CBS sites for increased exposure). It’s Microsoft evangelism disguised as journalism and there’s more of it at IDG. It should be remembered that .NET is proprietary. Nothing has really changed. Microsoft already controls a considerable chunk of Mono and now it’s trying to openwash .NET itself, presumably with help from Miguel de Icaza and other turncoats whom Microsoft Mary is naming. The goal is to confuse people and lead them to the misguided feeling that .NET is now “open” (to Windows) and is therefore on par with Java.

Last month there were reported of acquisition talks between Microsoft and Xamarin, which already receives funding from Microsoft people. Well, Microsoft has no need to buy them if they can be used as outsiders/proxies, a bit like Yahoo or Novell. So this news report [1] titled “Microsoft, Xamarin Form Open Source Tech Alliance” is not too shocking. It just helps show another step in alignment of those two companies. In practical terms, Xamarin is now serving Microsoft but it is not officially part of Microsoft.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft, Xamarin Form Open Source Tech Alliance; Miguel de Icaza Comments

    Microsoft and Xamarin have partnered to establish a technology consortium that aims to help developers build computing applications based on Microsoft’s .NET programming framework.

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