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08.08.14

Links 8/8/2014: Qt a Separate Company Again, KDE Frameworks 5.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 1:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Computer Dating, Linux Style

    Look…let’s face this together. Dating can suck.

    When you’re young, it’s an adventure. One has relatively little baggage, the emotional scars are few and you haven’t even begun to think about dating’s therapeutic value yet. In other words, the dating world is your oyster.

    Then you find yourself at midlife, when you’ve accumulated a large pool of of crises. You know, stuff like that divorce or two under your belt, some strong political or religious beliefs that are deeply ingrained and…oh yeah…that messy conviction for hacking that’s still on your record. These are things that tend to narrow down the potential list of candidates for life-long bliss.

  • Desktop

    • HP Slatebook price higher than expected

      Most price speculation put the device at around $399, and considered the device expensive. Now that the official price is known, the unique device seems even less appealing than before. With HP’s Chromebooks ranging from $279 to $349, and LTE models available, the Slatebook looks woefully overpriced.

    • Ubuntu Used on the International Space Station to Control Rover Back on Earth

      Ubuntu has been spotted aboard the International Space Station and it seems that it was used to control a rover back on Earth.

      Astronaut Alexander Gerst has published a photo that he took on board the ISS (International Space Station), bragging with the fact that he controlled a rover back on Earth and with his brand new “Rover driving licence.”

      Alexander Gerst is an ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut and he is currently onboard the ISS. He’s also a geophysicist and volcanologist, and now he seems to be a certified Rover driver. The image that he published on Twitter and Google+ got a lot of people interested, including Linux users…

  • Server

  • Kernel Space

    • Linux 3.16 Release: ARMed and Ready
    • ACPI 5.1, ACPI On ARM Are Among The Power Management Updates For Linux 3.17

      The generally interesting ACPI and power management pull request was sent in for the Linux 3.17 merge window.

      The changes corralled by Intel’s Rafael Wysocki for the ACPI+PM area of Linux 3.17 include an ACPICA update to bring ACPI 5.1 support, potentially faster hibernation, and basic work towards ACPI on ARM support. The faster hibernation is via using radix trees for storing memory bitmaps.

    • Many Intel DRM Changes Abound For Linux 3.17

      The Intel DRM graphics driver will feature its usual large amount of changes with the in-development Linux 3.17 kernel.

    • Linux Foundation Opens 2014 Scholarship Program for Open Source Training

      The Linux Foundation is once again this year sponsoring scholarships for students and young professionals interested in open source software development through the Linux Training Scholarship Program, which is now accepting applications.

    • Linux 3.16 Debuts Improving Samsung ARM Support

      As always there is no shortage of driver related updates in the new kernel and there are also a few interesting features too. Perhaps the most interesting is the unified control group hierarchy which is a feature that Jon Corbert of LWN has done a masterful job of explaining what it does. With Linux 3.16 and beyond there is even more fine grain feature for control and the how users are grouped for that control.

    • Linux 3.17 To Drop Old POWER Processor Support

      The PowerPC pull request for the Linux 3.17 merge window reveals that support for pre-POWER4 hardware is being eliminated. Among the affected hardware is POWER3 and IBM RS64 processors, which are from the late 90′s. POWER3 was used in IBM RS/6000 servers at the time and clocked at only a few hundred megahertz. Support for the old POWER hardware is being dropped since its Linux usage is minimal these days and the support was already regressed for some kernel releases.

    • Facebook Is Hiring To Make Linux Networking Better Than FreeBSD

      Facebook is hiring another Linux kernel engineer to join its growing kernel team. The goal for the new employee will be to make “the Linux kernel network stack to rival or exceed that of FreeBSD” and carry out other improvements to the Linux network stack.

    • Facebook wants Linux networking as good as FreeBSD

      Facebook wants better comms performance from the Linux kernel, and is recruiting developers to get it.

      Its job ad, here, says the House of Zuck wants a Linux kernel software engineer who will focus on the networking subsystem.

    • Facebook wants Linux network stack to ‘rival or exceed’ FreeBSD

      FACEBOOT IS LOOKING to hire a high-level Linux kernel developer, as it seeks to upgrade the Linux network stack to rival FreeBSD.

    • Out-Of-Tree “BLD” Kernel Scheduler Updated
    • BLD-3.16 release

      It’s been quite a long time since the announcement of the Barbershop Load
      Distribution (BLD) Algorithm. Quite a few changes have been made, since then.
      Now it more reflects what it really should be Wink. It’s a simplistic approach
      towards load balancing, typical x86 SMP boxes should run okay (tested personally)
      , but, yes it can break your boxes too. I’m looking forward to get some feedback,
      to keep further development up and going.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Linux 3.17 DRM Pull Brings New Graphics Driver

        The new DRM/KMS driver for the Linux 3.17 release is the STI KMS driver for STMicroelectronics with their STIH416 and STIH407 chipsets. Nouveau is missing out on changes for this pull request due to Ben Skeggs still tracking down a longstanding Nouveau issue but he’s expected to send in a separate Nouveau pull request in the days ahead that will have the new improvements for the open-source NVIDIA driver.

      • NVIDIA 343 Linux Driver Improves EGL Support, Fixes Many Bugs

        NVIDIA today has announced their first beta Linux/Solaris/FreeBSD driver release in the 343.xx driver series. As expected, this release drops pre-Fermi hardware support from the Linux mainline driver code-base.

        As we have known for months, those with GPUs older than the GeForce 400 “Fermi” series, you’ll need to use NVIDIA’s 340.xx legacy driver from here on out until you’re able to switch over to the open-source Nouveau driver. The NVIDIA 340 legacy driver will still maintain support for newer Linux kernel and X.Org Server releases along with prominent bug-fixes, but won’t otherwise receive new driver features, etc. NVIDIA’s now maintaining multiple legacy drivers and they’ve been doing a good job at still supporting these drivers for vintage hardware for several extra years.

      • NVIDIA 343.13 Beta Driver for Linux Has Bug Fixes and It Can Uninstall Older Versions

        NVIDIA has just announced that a new version of its Beta driver for the Linux platform, 343.13, has been released and is ready for download and testing.

        The new driver from NVIDIA doesn’t feature anything out of the ordinary, but the developers have made a series of changes and improvements, which should translate in better support and performance.

      • Broadcom VC4 Gallium3D Driver Soon To Merge Into Mesa

        The Broadcom VC4 Gallium3D driver, which provides the open-source user-space component to an OpenGL driver for the Raspberry Pi, will soon likely be added to mainline Mesa.

    • Benchmarks

      • Perf-Per-Watt: Catalyst vs. Radeon Gallium3D

        In continuing of yesterday’s tests of comparing the OpenGL performance of the latest Radeon Gallium3D and Catalyst drivers with an array of AMD Radeon HD/Rx graphics cards, here’s some complementary data including the performance-per-Watt and overall system power consumption for a few of the different AMD GPUs of recent generations.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Digia To Spin Off Qt Business Into Its Own Company

        Digia has officially announced today they will be spinning off their Qt division into its own company (still wholly-owned by Digia) that will focus exclusively upon Qt development.

      • Defragmenting Qt and Uniting Our Ecosystem

        Over the last years, many changes have been happening in the Qt ecosystem. One of the biggest was the creation of Qt Project where Qt is now being developed as an open source project. The Qt Project was created to provide a space open for all to further develop and foster innovation for the Qt technology.

      • Digia spins Qt unit as a separate company

        As the adoption of Qt is increasing in commercial as well as Open Source projects the company behind the project, Digia, has decided to spin Qt unit as a new company.

        Digia has been facing a resource challenge with Qt as 75% of the contribution comes from Digia employees. Qt has dual presence one at qt.digia.com and one at qt.project.com and these two sites or two entities have drifted apart instead of coming closer. Now what is the difference between the two? Same as with any open source project and commercial product. qt.digia.com is all about commercial offering whereas qr-project is all about the community.

      • Plasma-nm 0.9.3.4 is out!

        After 5 months we are releasing a new version of plasma-nm for KDE 4.x containing a lot of bugfixes, minor design improvements and internal changes (see my previous blog post). This is probably last major release since we are now focused to KF5/Plasma 5 version, but we will be still backporting all fixes and you can expect at least one more bugfix release in future.

      • First Update to KDE Frameworks 5

        KDE has today made the first update to KDE Frameworks 5. Frameworks are our addon libraries for Qt applications which provide numberous useful features using peer reviewed APIs and regular monthly updates. This release has 60 different frameworks adding features from Zip file support to Audio file previews, for a full list see KDE’s Qt library archive website Inqlude. In this release KAuth gets a backend so you can again add features which require root access, KWallet gets a migration system from its KDELibs 4 version and support has been added for AppStream files.

      • KDE Frameworks 5.1 Officially Released, Plasma Desktop Now Uses OpenGL
      • KDE Ships First Update To Frameworks 5
      • Plasma Addons – Where we are in Plasma5

        When we were building towards 5.0, we made the choice to focus all the effort on the core, and not release plasma-addons. It would have been simply too much work and quality of the core would have suffered.

        The intention was to start bringing them back from 5.1, which will be in approximately 2 months from now.

        The amount of stuff in plasma addons is huge.

      • KDE Frameworks 5.1 released

        The KDE Community has released Frameworks 5.1. KDE Frameworks is the evolution of KDE Libraries which is now extremely modular and optimized for Qt applications. This modular nature of KDE Frameworks makes is easy to use for Qt developer as now they can choose only those libraries that they need instead of having to install the entire set which would as one may say ‘bloat’ the system.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • GTK+ 3 Plugins in WebKitGTK+ and Evince Browser Plugin

        The WebKit2 GTK+ API has always been GTK+ 3 only, but WebKitGTK+ still had a hard dependency on GTK+ 2 because of the plugin process. Some popular browser plugins like flash or Java use GTK+ 2 unconditionally (and it seems they are not going to be ported to GTK+ 3, at least not in the short term). These plugins stopped working in Epiphany when it switched to GTK+ 3 and started to work again when Epiphany moved to WebKit2.

      • GUADEC 2014

        This year’s GUADEC was in Strasbourg, a very beautiful city with its old streets and architecture.

      • Post-GUADEC
      • GUADEC 2014: the aftermath
      • GTK Text Editor CherryTree 0.34.3 Gets New Keyboard Shortcuts

        CherryTree 0.34.3, a hierarchical note-taking application that features rich text and syntax highlighting, storing data in a single XML or SQLite file, has been released and is now available for download.

      • A pile of reasons why GNOME should be Debian jessie’s default desktop environment

        GNOME has, for some reason or another, always been the default desktop environment in Debian since the installer is able to install a full desktop environment by default. Release after release, Debian has been shipping different versions of GNOME, first based on the venerable 1.2/1.4 series, then moving to the time-based GNOME 2.x series, and finally to the newly designed 3.4 series for the last stable release, Debian 7 ‘wheezy’

  • Distributions

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Gesture-controlled home automation hub runs Linux

      Sydney, Australia-based Ninja Blocks was one of the earlier entries in the Linux home automation game. The startup’s open source Ninja Block hub launched on Kickstarter in 2012, and began shipping in a more advanced version last October. The $199 Ninja Block Kit integrated a BeagleBone Black SBC and an Arduino-compatible microcontroller, and offered remote access via smartphone apps and a cloud service. Using a 433MHz RF radio, it controlled vendor-supplied sensor inputs including motion detectors, contact closures, temperature and humidity sensors, and pushbuttons.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Android Captures 85 Percent of Smartphone Market Worldwide
        • Google adds a callback button to Android Device Manager

          Stolen or lost phones have been a big headache for some Android users. There’s almost nothing worse for some folks than realizing that their phone is no longer in their possession and that they have no idea where it went. Now Google has released an update to its Android Device Manager that may help recover lost or stolen Android phones.

        • CyanogenMod improves their information portal with the ‘Device Status Roster’

          CyanogenMod have today launched a central device information point on the CM website. The ‘Device Status Roster’ is an extremely easy to navigate point of reference for anyone looking to install CM or find the latest download available.

        • Sony gives up on PlayStation Mobile for Android

          Sony has announced that it will no longer support the Android side of PlayStation Mobile, its initiative to support cross-platform indie game publishing for the PS Vita and Google’s OS. The service will continue to operate on PlayStation Certified devices running Android 4.4.2 and below, but from Android 4.4.3 and up, Sony can’t guarantee that games will play correctly or that users will be able to access the store. Phones and tablets on Android L, the upcoming major refresh, won’t have store access at all, and Sony says it has no plans to give any more devices PlayStation Certified status.

        • Forked Android devices might be a threat to Google’s control
        • Google under threat as forked Android devices rise to 20% of smartphone shipments

          Android dominates the world’s smartphone market. A new report from analyst firm Strategy Analytics pegs the Google-owned operating system’s global market share at 85 percent. That means that nearly nine in ten phones shipped are built on Android.

        • Android head-up display responds to voice and gestures

          Navdy’s Android 4.4 based automotive head-up display (HUD) combines a projected display with voice and gesture controls to interact with smartphone apps.

          Transparent head-up displays (HUDs) are becoming increasingly available as pricey options for luxury cars, promising to improve driver safety by keeping eyes on the road. Now, San Francisco-based startup Navdy is introducing a one-size-fits-all aftermarket solution for the 99 percent. The Navdy HUD is available at a steep discount of $299 throughout August before moving to $499, and will ship in early 2015.

        • This month’s best Android tablets

          There are a lot of different Android tablets, but sometimes it can be a time-consuming headache to find the best ones. ZDNet has a helpful roundup of the best Android tablets for this month, and there’s even one from Nvidia that will appeal to Android gamers.

        • Best Android tablets (August 2014 edition)

          Given the broad choice, and combine that with rock-bottom prices, there’s never been a better time to pick up a new Android tablet.

        • How Google Benefits From The Increased Market Share Of The Android Open Source Project

          Recent numbers from ABI Research on the market share of mobile smartphone platforms splits out the two major variants of Android. Both Google’s flavor of Android (namely the Android variant used by members of the Open Handset Alliance, with the Google Play support and services), and the Android Open Source Project, which is free for any manufacturer to base their handset on, are listed.

        • For Google, the Open and Less Open Channels for Android are All Good

          Android’s march to the top of the smartphone field has been nothing short of meteoric. Back in 2008, there were still questions about the viability of the platform. But in July, Strategy Analytics researchers delivered their latest smartphone market share numbers, which showed Android reaching new highs at a record 84.6 percent share of global smartphone shipments. That is commanding share.

          Some people forget, though, that Google steers a preferred version of Android (the version used by members of the Open Handset Alliance, with Google Play support and services), while the Android Open Source Project walks its own path. The fact is, though, both channels benefit Google in big ways.

        • Android/Linux Smartphone Results
        • Android Device Manager Updated To v1.3.8, Adds Convenient Callback Button To Remotely Locked Phones

          One last app came rolling in at the tail end of update Wednesday. This time, we’ve got a relatively small update to Android Device Manager, Google’s answer for lost or stolen phones. The changelog hasn’t been posted on the Play Store, but a quick teardown told us everything we needed to know. There’s a new callback feature that makes contacting the owner a one-touch operation.

        • OnePlus One is capable of 60 hours continous music playback claims Qualcomm

          Qualcomm were quick to add that the success of such power capacity during playback was largely due to their Snapdragon processor. The Qualcomm 801 processor contains a ‘Qualcomm Hexagon DSP’ “a technology block found inside certain Snapdragon processors” which works harmoniously with the One’s 3100mAH battery. Qualcomm suggest while other processors rely on CPU to playback media the Snapdragon is able to “funnel” the media through the DSP thus limiting battery consumption.

        • Google update Android L developer preview for Nexus 5 and 7

          Shortly after Google’s I/O event we announced the release of a developer preview of the upcoming and hotly anticipated L preview. This was specifically for Nexus 5 and 7 devices and allowed users to get a taste of what L might eventually look like when it is released in the fall.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Optimizing the front door (your website) for your open source project

    An open source project’s website is the main gateway for potential users and contributors to learn about your project, and it assists existing community members to contribute to the project. But it has to do it right. Does your website clearly present your project, its goals and status, and assist your community members to efficiently communicate with each other? Is it attracting new contributors?

  • 4 lessons from the trenches of community management

    Since the very beginning, I knew that we wanted to build a community around the philosophy of the open source way at Opensource.com. That would be easy because once people understood the benefits of open source, they’d be onboard, right? But, what would be the best way to reach new people? Who would participate? How and why would they want to? All of these questions were swimming around in my head. When I set out to find the answers, I could tell it wouldn’t be easy. Understanding group dynamics is a complex beast, but one that comes with satisfying rewards.

  • Open Prosthetics Founder: Challenges Ahead for Open Source Medical Devices

    Before he lost his arm serving as a Marine in Iraq in 2005, Jonathan Kuniholm was pursuing a PhD in biomedical engineering. Now as a founder and president of the Open Prosthetics Project Kuniholm is working to make advanced, inexpensive prosthetics available to amputees around the globe through the creation and sharing of open source hardware designs.

  • Basho Adds Scalability, S3 API Compatibility to Riak NoSQL Storage

    Riak CS 1.5, the latest release of the open source distributed NoSQL database for cloud storage from Basho, is out this week, with new features aimed at enhancing performance, scalability, Amazon S3 compatibility and more.

  • Even Cities Are Jumping on the Open Source Bandwagon

    When most people think “open source” they think of software Github projects and hackers determined to code for the Greater Good. But it’s also a wholesale philosophy that can be applied to many aspects of society—like running a city.

  • Scale like Twitter with Apache Mesos

    Twitter has shifted its way of thinking about how to launch a new service thanks to the Apache Mesos project, an open source technology that brings together multiple servers into a shared pool of resources. It’s an operating system for the data center.

  • Open vs Proprietary? A question of practical philosophy

    Within our industry, there is a growing divide between two schools of thought; between those companies that believe that the future of the network lies in openness, and those that think a proprietary approach is the compelling way to go.

  • Salil Deshpande: Software Engineer. Venture Capitalist. Open Source Investor.

    Midas List VC Salil Deshpande talked to TechRepublic about why he’s betting on open source software and what he thinks about the future of IT.

  • New Zenoss Open Source Project Powered by Docker

    Zenoss Inc., the leading provider of unified monitoring and analytics solutions for physical, virtual, and cloud-based IT, today announced Zenoss Control Center, an open source project.

  • How an open source software pioneer made his millions: Best of the Web
  • Open Source Partnership Between 2600hz and Range Networks Give Mobile Carriers a New Option

    Move to commodity hardware: All elements of the system run on low-cost standard Linux servers, signifying a transition away from traditionally proprietary, closed hardware systems to a software-based, IP network future.

  • Build an Open Source Community Platform With New York Times, Washington Post and Mozilla
  • Top 10 Best Open Source Softwares that Rocks World Wide Web

    Open-source software is also called as OSS, which is a computer software program designed and deployed with its source code made available and licensed with a free license in which the copyright holder provides the rights to an anonymous entity for any purpose. People using OSS can distribute the software to anyone and for any purpose because Open-source software is very often developed in a public, collaborative manner. Open-source software is the most prominent example of open-source development and often compared to (technically defined) user-generated content or (legally defined) open-content movements.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Best Chrome Apps and Extensions for Foodies

        Chrome is not just a browser. It has managed to reinvent itself by first turning into a full-fledged operating system, and then an ecosystem. Thanks to the relative openness of the platform and the plethora of efforts developers have put in, extensions and apps on Chrome offer pretty much the same functionality as a big ol’ desktop.

      • Google Chrome 38 Dev Lands with Improvements for X11

        The Development branch of Google Chrome, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, has advanced to version 38.0.2114.2 for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.

  • SaaS/Big Data

  • Databases

    • NoSQL startup MongoDB names BladeLogic founder as new CEO

      MongoDB has appointed venture capitalist and former entrepreneur Dev Ittycheria as its new chief executive, adding fuel to speculation that the NoSQL database firm may be planning to go public soon.

    • The Story Behind Acquisition of ‘MySQL’ by Sun Microsystem and the Rise of ‘MariaDB’

      A database is an information organized in such a fashion that a computer program can access the stored data or a part of it. This electronic file system is stored, updated, selected and deleted using a special program called Database Management System (DBMS). There is a huge list of DBMS, a few of which makes to the list here are – MySQL, MariaDB, SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, LibreOffice Base, Microsoft Access, etc.

    • Out in the Open: The Abandoned Facebook Tech That Now Helps Power Apple

      Facebook engineers Avinash Lakshman and Prashant Malik originally built Cassandra to power the engine that let you search your inbox on the social network. Like other so-called “NoSQL” databases, it did away with the traditional relational model—where data is organized in neat rows and columns on a single machine—in order to more easily scale across thousands of machines. That’s vitally important for a growing web service the size of Facebook. Lakshman had worked on Amazon’s distributed data storage system called Dynamo, but the two also drew inspiration from a paper Google published in 2006 describing its internal database BigTable.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Meet Solaris 11.2, where SDN means ‘Software-Defined Net profit’

      Larry Ellison’s Oracle bowled out Solaris 11.2 last week – and what does this Unix-like give us? Cloud computing, yes, but also a stab at a datacenter-in-a-(large)-box.

    • Oracle Solaris 11.2 Officially Released

      Oracle Solaris, one of the most widely deployed UNIX operating systems, which delivers critical cloud infrastructure with built-in virtualization, simplified software lifecycle management, cloud scale data management, and advanced protection for public, private, and hybrid cloud environments, has finally reached version 11.2.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • Does having open source experience on your resume really matter?

      “Code is the next resume.” These words by Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation tell profoundly about how our technology industry, and the many businesses that depend on it, are transforming. The unprecedented success of open source development methodology in the recent past raises some fundamental questions about the way the businesses are designed, the structure of the teams, and the nature of work in itself.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU ease.js v0.2.4 release
    • GNU Health patchset 2.6.2 released
    • GNU APL 1.4.released
    • More Details On GCC & LLVM Collaboration

      Last month in Cambridge was the 2014 GNU Tools Cauldron where GCC as a JIT compiler and other interesting topics were discussed by developers. One of the topics discussed was surrounding better collaboration between GCC and LLVM developers.

    • Roll Your Own YouTube/Flickr with MediaGoblin

      Everyone has wasted an afternoon on YouTube clicking through videos of talking cats, screaming goats and bad-lip-reading renditions of popular movies. Heck, there are plenty of YouTube videos of me doing odd and silly things as well. (Does anyone remember ‘Buntu Family Theater?) For important family videos, however, I much prefer to control my own data. I’ve tried over the years to keep an archive of home movies and such in a folder on a server somewhere, but they never get seen because getting to them in inconvenient. That’s where MediaGoblin comes in.

    • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: August 8
    • FSF Talks Up Libreboot As New Coreboot Downstream

      The laptop that the Free Software Foundation awarded last year as the first laptop they endorsed that “respected your freedom” was the Gluglug X60, old refurbished models of the IBM ThinkPad X60. These old laptops that were recommended by the FSF came loaded with Core Duo/Solo processors and GMA950 graphics along with other outdated specs, but were free of needing any firmware blobs or binary drivers. The Gluglug X60 ships with Coreboot as its boot-loader and since the initial announcement the Gluglug company has evolved into offering a “Libreboot” project.

  • Project Releases

  • Public Services/Government

    • What Immigration did with just $1m and open source software

      The Department of Immigration has showed what a cash-strapped government agency can do with just $1 million, some open source software, and a bit of free thinking.

      Speaking at the Technology in Government forum in Canberra yesterday, the Department’s chief risk officer Gavin McCairns explained how his team rolled an application based on the ‘R’ language into production to filter through millions of incoming visitors to Australia every year.

    • GSA’s open source first approach gives more software options, better savings

      The General Services Administration last week announced a new policy requiring open source software be given priority consideration for all new IT projects developed by the agency. And while some may question whether open source software will be as effective as its conventional, proprietary counterpart, Sonny Hashmi, GSA’s chief information officer, is confident this new IT model will put the agency in the best position to procure and develop software in the most cost-effective manner.

    • GSA pushes open source, cloud for all new IT projects

      The General Services Administration will require all new IT projects be open source, according to a policy announced by the agency Aug. 1.

    • Russian Ministry of Health to Replace Microsoft and Oracle Products with Linux and PostgreSQL

      The Russian government is considering the replacement of Microsoft and Oracle products with Linux and open source counterparts, at least for the Ministry of Health.

  • Licensing

    • Contract corner: open sourcery

      Back in the good ol’ days, a customer could reasonably add a representation to a software or development agreement that promised “no open-source materials will be provided in the work product/software.” Those days are long gone because nearly every product incorporates open source. It seems that every vendor has a list of open-source software that is incorporated into its products and is more than eager to share the list with customers.

  • Openness/Sharing

    • From bench scientist to open science software developer

      When I was at school, computers were only really just beginning to show their promise and few people had Internet access. I remember begging my Mum for a ZX Spectrum and using it to write basic code to draw things on the screen. From then on I was hooked, but didn’t really know if there were careers programming computers, and it wasn’t at all clear whether this was of any use if I wanted to do scientific research. As I moved to a much faster Amiga 500 Plus, I continued to enjoy programming as a hobby and loved writing simulations to understand mathematics and physical phenomena.

    • Real debate between citizens and officials with DemocracyOS

      Mancini and her colleagues at Democracia en Red, though, might just have the answer to that. It’s called DemocracyOS, and it’s an open source platform that enables citizens to debate proposals that their representatives are voting on. It’s also a place for voters to present projects and ideas to their representatives for debate.

    • Open Hardware

      • LowRISC: Trying To Bring Fully Open Hardware In A High Risk World

        LowRISC is a new venture that’s “open to the core” with a goal of producing fully open hardware systems.

        A Phoronix reader wrote in this week to share lowRISC, a hardware platform aiming to be open-source from its System-on-a-Chip (SoC) to the development boards. As implied by the name, lowRISC is based upon the 64-bit RISC-V instruction set.

  • Programming

    • Parse Releases Official Open-source PHP SDK

      Parse released the Parse PHP SDK, aimed at enabling Parse integration “for a new class of apps and different use cases.” The company also said that this is its “first SDK for a server-side language, and the first to be truly open-source.”

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Beyond Open Standards and Open Access

      A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the huge win for open standards – and thus, by implication open source – in the realm of document formats in the UK. There’s an interesting Cabinet Office document from 25 March that is the record of the meeting where the final decision to go with PDF, HTML5 and ODF was taken.

      [...]

      The issue of patents rather hinges on the new Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court, both of which I expect to be bad news for free software. There’s not much we can do about it until we know exactly what the problems are, and even then it’s not clear how much we can change things.

      The point about fonts is a good one, and something that several people have mentioned to me after I published my article on the ODF decision. The issue is that it is all very well setting ODF as the standard for exchanging documents, but if everyone is using different sets of fonts, there could be interoperability problems. So we need to draw up some basic list of such fonts, and make them part of the new government standard.

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    Evidence serving to show that EPO Vice-Presidents are still intentionally misrepresenting EPO staff representatives and misleading everyone in order to defend Battistelli



  4. Battistelli the Liar Causes a Climate of Confrontation in French Politics, Lies About Patent Quality (Among Many Other Things)

    Battistelli's lies are coming under increased scrutiny inside and outside the European Patent Office (EPO), where patent quality has been abandoned in order to artificially elevate figures



  5. The Collapse of Software Patents and Patent Law Firms Trying to “Overcome” Alice

    The United States continues its gradual crackdown on software patents (which are viewed as abstract and thus unpatentable), whereas in Europe things are murkier than ever



  6. Apple's Patent Wars Against Android/Linux Make Patent Trolls Stronger

    Apple's insistence that designs should be patentable could prove to be collectively expensive, as patent trolls would then use a possible SCOTUS nod to launch litigation campaigns



  7. Links 22/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC3, Linux Mint 18 “Sarah” KDE Beta

    Links for the day



  8. Links 21/8/2016: Apple and Microsoft Down, Systemd Spreading to Mount

    Links for the day



  9. Links 20/8/2016: Android Domination, FSFE summit 2016

    Links for the day



  10. Patents Roundup: Trolls Dominate Litigation, PTAB Crushes Patents, Patent Box Regime Persists, and OIN Explains Itself

    Another roundup of patent news from around the Web with special focus on software patenting



  11. The Cost/Toll of the 'New' EPO and Where All That Money Goes or Comes From

    The European Patent Office has become a servant of the rich and powerful (including large foreign corporations) and even its own employees now pay the price associated with misguided new policies (or 'reforms' as Battistelli habitually refers to these)



  12. Links 19/8/2016: Linux Mint With KDE, Linux Foundation's PNDA

    Links for the day



  13. The End of an Era at the USPTO as Battistelli-Like (EPO) Granting Policies Are Over

    The United States is seeing the potency of patents -- especially software patents (which make up much of the country's troll cases) -- challenged by courts and by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB)



  14. Battistelli's European Patent Office Goes to the United States to Speak About the UPC and Software Patents

    The European Patent Office is showing its utter contempt -- not just disregard -- for the very fundamental rules that put it in its place and brought it into existence



  15. Turkey Subjected to the European Patent Convention (EPC) But Benoît Battistelli is Not?

    The ‘constitutional crisis’ at the European Patent Office in the context of Turkey, which has signed "the EPC and as such recognises the competence and the decisions of the institutions which have been introduced in the convention."



  16. Links 18/8/2016: EFF Slams Vista 10, Linux Foundation Makes PNDA

    Links for the day



  17. Links 17/8/2016: GNOME and Debian Anniversaries

    Links for the day



  18. Personal Audio LLC and Patent Troll Jim Logan Demonstrate the Harms of Software Patents and Why They Must Never Spread to Europe

    Jim Logan of Personal Audio (a notorious Texas-based patent troll) is still fighting with his bogus patent, having already caused enormous damage with a single software patent that should never have been granted in the first place (due to prior art, not just Alice)



  19. The Patent Microcosm Hopes That the Originators of Software Patents Will Undermine the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

    Now that the actions of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which have been consistently upheld by the CAFC in precedential decisions, are suddenly being questioned the patent microcosm gets all giddy and tries to undermine PTAB (again)



  20. That Time When the Administrative Council Helped Battistelli Crush Oversight (Audit Committee) and What ILO Said About It a Month Ago

    Things are becoming ever more troublesome at the EPO as the Administrative Council enjoys inaction from the International Labour Organization (ILO), in spite of its role in destroying much-needed oversight at the behest of Battistelli



  21. The EPO's Administrative Council Keeps Postponing Debate About Grounds for Firing the President

    A recollection of events prior to the latest Administrative Council meeting, where Benoît Battistelli's failings and accountability for failing to correct them never even came up



  22. A Surge of Staff Complaints About the European Patent Office Drowns the System, Disservice to Justice Noted

    Self-explanatory graphs about the state of the justice [sic] system which is prejudiced towards/against EPO workers, based on internal reports



  23. Links 16/8/2016: White House Urged by EFF on FOSS, Go 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Links 15/8/2016: Linux 4.8 RC2, Glimpses at OpenMandriva Lx 3.0

    Links for the day



  25. Clawing Back the Staff Benefits at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Staff of the EPO is leaving (or retiring) in droves as abusive management continues to be the norm and staff benefits are being taken away or gradually revoked



  26. The Patent Microcosm is Panicking and Spinning Alice/§ 101 Because US Software Patents Are Still Dying

    A look at recent developments in the software patents scene in the United States, with increased focus on (or fear of) the Patent Trial and Appeal Board



  27. 21,000 Posts in Techrights in Less Than a Decade

    This post is the 21,000th post and the next one will make it more than twenty-one thousand posts in total. We are turning 10 in November.



  28. Patent Microcosm Shuts Out the Poor: Unified Patent Court (UPC) Promotion by Practising Law Institute (PLI) Only for the Wealthy

    The people who are profiting from patent feuds, disputes, lawsuits etc. are still trying to muscle their will into European law and they keep the general public out of it by locking down (or pricing out of reach) their meetings where they influence/lobby decision-making officials



  29. The United States Has a Growing Patent Trolls Epidemic as Very High Proportion of Lawsuits Filed by Them

    A look at the high proportion of patent lawsuits that are filed by entities that make nothing at all and thus serve no role whatsoever in innovation



  30. Pushers of Software Patents Outside the United States (Which is Belatedly Squashing These Patents)

    How patent law firms are distorting the debate about software patents in hope of attracting business from gullible people who misunderstand the harsh (and worsening) reality of software patenting


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