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07.26.14

FUD Entities Entering the FOSS World

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD at 11:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Symantec enters the AllSeen Alliance and Sonatype is once again trying to claim great insecurity in FOSS due to software licensing

THE surveillance-oriented AllSeen Alliance has welcomed Microsoft and other patent aggressors (such as Red Bend Software) into its ranks. Now we discover that Symantec, which has been disseminating FUD about GNU/Linux, joins this Alliance, as revealed by the Linux Foundation a couple of days ago. To quote: “Symantec is an AllSeen Alliance Community Member, one of the world’s largest software companies and a leader in security, backup and availability solutions. Roxane Divol, SVP Product and Services Acceleration Group for Symantec, shares why the company decided to join the AllSeen Alliance and how they plan to contribute to AllJoyn for a connected experience that will change the Internet of Things.”

Well, Symantec, like some other companies, has been making money from creation of fear, putting aside its Microsoft connections and history of hostility towards Linux and FOSS. Symantec is one of several.

There are those who cover a “legal” security angle (they call their licensing FUD ‘security’, as per a deceiving headline from some weeks ago). Some of those are well linked to Microsoft (e.g. OpenLogic and Black Duck) and another such player is Sonatype (it targets Microsoft’s proprietary software and .NET developers). We covered its FUD quite recently, after we had observed Sonatype’s FUD reports from last year. Watch the gross misuse of the word “suspected” to insinuate that many organisations don’t comply with FOSS licences. As if proprietary software licences are always obeyed, without leading to assaults from the BSA et al. It is not so hard — let alone expensive — to comply with FOSS licences.

Groklaw Back in the Wake of ODF in the UK?

Posted in OpenDocument at 11:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Renewed activity in FOSS-leaning legal site Groklaw amid numerous victories for FOSS

IN LIGHT of the good news about ODF, Groklaw has broken its silence and come back to life for the first time in nearly a year. The Document Foundation [1], its members [2], and some FOSS [3] or general news sites [4] have covered this as well because it’s a major breakthrough. There is other good news, such as the USPTO narrowing the scope of software patents, eliminating many of them. The “USPTO’s Scrutiny Of Software Patents Paying Off,” says this one article, which adds: “Though recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings have not provided much help, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s efforts to more closely scrutinize software patents is reducing the incentive for patent applicants to seek vague, broad claims, experts told USPTO officials at a forum Tuesday.”

No wonder Groklaw is eager to say something and perhaps come back for good. It will hopefully return to covering FOSS issues, such as the IRS assault on FOSS, patents against Android (China revealed Microsoft’s patents and Microsoft’s booster Richard Waters reveals that Qualcomm too might be affected [5]), among many other issues that never received an extensive legal coverage.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. The Document Foundation congratulates the UK government for their revolutionary and historical choice of open document standards
  2. What the UK Government’s adoption of ODF really means

    On Tuesday the news that the UK Government had decided to use ODF as its official and default file format started to spread. The full announcement with technical details may be found here; the Document Foundation published its press release on Thursday morning there.

  3. Docker acquires Orchard, SAP supports OpenStack, ODF and more
  4. UK government adopts ODF as standard document format

    The UK government has announced the open standards it has chosen for sharing and viewing official documents.

    The government has formally adopted the Open Document Format (ODF) as the standard for sharing and collaborating on documents and PDF/A or HTML as the standard for viewing documents. These standards are expected to be used across all government bodies.

  5. Qualcomm latest US tech company to reverse in China

    Qualcomm became the latest US technology company to suffer a reversal in China, as it warned on Wednesday that a government investigation there had added to its difficulties in collecting licensing fees on new mobile devices.

    [...]

    The warning follows a dent to Chinese revenues at other US IT companies such as Cisco and IBM, which have been hit by falling demand amid reports of official Chinese moves to discourage purchases of US technology in the wake of the intelligence revelations by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden.

Links 26/7/2014: New Wine, Chromebooks Strong Sales

Posted in News Roundup at 8:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • CoreOS Stable Release

    First off, Happy SysAdmin Day. We think we have a pretty good SysAdmin surprise in store for you today as we are announcing the CoreOS stable release channel. Starting today, you can begin running CoreOS in production. This version is the most tested, secure and reliable version available for users wanting to run CoreOS. This is a huge milestone for us.

  • CoreOS Experiences Its First Stable Release

    CoreOS, the lightweight Linux distribution designed for clustered deployments and depends upon utilization of Docker/LXC software containers, has experienced its first stable release.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • On LibreOffice and the Challenge to Install Linux to the New Office Computer

      Anyway, I took the leap of faith and proceeded with the installation. OpenMandriva Lx worked like a charm: it took care of the partitioning (interestingly, it said “Moondrake” instead of “OpenMandriva” :D) and installed itself in less than 10 minutes. When we booted the machine (expecting a catastrophe, if I must be honest), none of our visions of doom panned out. GRUB2 picked up Windows 7, that OS was fully operational, and OpenMandriva also launched (desktop effects included, yay!).

    • Dialogs and Coverity, current numbers

      We’ve now converted all but 54 of LibreOffice’s classic fixed widget size and position .src format elements to the GtkBuilder .ui format. This is due to the much appreciated efforts of Palenik Mihály and Szymon K’os, two of our GSOC2014 students, who are tackling the last bunch of hard to find or hard to convert ones.

  • Healthcare

    • Google Joins Samsung, Other Tech Titans, in Open Healthcare Race

      Will the next revolution in healthcare be built on open source collaboration and principles? There are increasing signs that it will be, and that the old model of scientists and doctors pursuing breakthroughs behind closed doors might be broken. Samsung, for example, has announced the Samsung Digital Health Initiative, which will be based on open hardware platforms and open software architecture. The initiative has several arms, and one surrounds an open healthcare platform called SAMI. Apple, too, announced its HealthKit at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference, although it remains to be seen how open that effort will be.

  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Program Octave

      GNU Octave is a project started by James Rawlings and John Ekerdt, but its main developer is John Eaton, with the name inspired by the chemist Octave Levenspiel.

    • Guix 0.7 Can Now Install The GNU Operating System

      The Guix package manager that’s designed to be a purely-functional package manager for GNU with an emphasis on being dependable, hackable, and liberating is out with its latest release.

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Bugcrowd Seeks to Streamline Reporting and Handling of Bugs

      “All software contains security flaws,” touts the homepage of Bugcrowd, a new site that seeks to streamline the way flaws are reported by enforcing crowdsourced “responsible disclosure” policies. The Bugcrowd statement is probably pretty close to correct, too. As we’ve reported, Google, Mozilla and other companies have had success offering cash bounties for people who find security flaws, and those who find them are often security researchers.

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