IRC Proceedings: August 17th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 11:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

IRC Proceedings: August 16th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 11:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz




#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

Mike Masnick: More Software Patents Getting Rejected

Posted in Courtroom, Patents at 6:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mike Masnick
TechDirt’s Mike Masnick

Summary: Why the courtroom is tossing more software patents out and why the US political and patent systems are unlikely to just altogether forbid software patenting any time soon

EARLIER today, our reader Jose told us about this new analysis from Mike Masnick, who interprets the news we wrote about last night as meaning that software patents are weakened in the US system of courts. Quoting part of the blog post:

Well, this is getting interesting. Last year, when the Supreme Court ruled very narrowly in the Bilski case, without making any explicit statement (as precedent) on overall software or business model patents, many people were frustrated. Here was a situation where the Supreme Court could have drawn a much clearer map, but it declined to do so. Of course, we wondered if this would just mean that another case would have to make its way to the Supreme Court to get a clearer ruling on software patents. In effect, with Bilski, the Supreme Court basically said “this one test you use is fine, but it’s not the only test.” It didn’t say what those other tests should be, but basically left it up to the courts to decide. However, it did reject the specific Bilski patent for being an “abstract” idea, saying that this was not patentable under Section 101 of the Patent Act.

What’s been interesting is that this seems to have emboldened a few judges to apply new or different tests (with clear reasons and caselaw for why they do so)… and some of this is leading to more software patents getting rejected. In a new ruling at the Federal Circuit appeals court (CAFC), the court appears to open up a potentially broad path for rejecting all sorts of bad (mostly software) patents by deciding that the Supreme Court’s Bilski ruling might not have been so narrow after all.

We might be approaching the elimination of software patents. it is one thing for software patents to be approved by the USPTO (which makes money from it) but entirely another for those patents to withstand scrutiny from the defendant and the judge/jury. Of course it might take a while for silly SCOTUS to do what’s right for the population and not what’s good for very large corporations, but politicians too — not just the legal system — can make an impact. The problem is that the term “reform” got hijacked to mean the wrong reform that mostly benefits very large corporations, not the population. As one new article puts it:

According to Bernard Codd, an intellectual property partner with McDermott Will & Emery, the proposed “first to file” provision “would be a fundamental change to patent law.” The U.S. is among the only developed countries that clings to the “first to invent” system, he explained, which tends to inspire litigation over who actually invented a particular product or system. Under a first to file system, the first party to file is the presumed inventor, which creates what some refer to as a race to file.

Not everyone is happy about this likely change, with opponents claiming it unfairly favors large companies that can more easily afford the relatively expensive and complex process of filing patent applications. However, Codd thinks this characterization of the first to file system isn’t entirely accurate. Ultimately, he said, it means “you can’t afford to sit on ideas anymore,” regardless who you are, because if the guy across the street files first, you get nothing.

It might actually end up leveling the playing field for small businesses, according to him. Large companies often go through elongated processes when filing patent applications, Codd explained, and they’ll have to adapt to the new system. He added that there’s a tactic called the provisional patent application that should become a lot more popular. Codd thinks provisional applications will be a godsend for small inventors because they can draft and file a provisional application in a day and then have a year to undertake the laborious patent-application process.

Of course, this assessment comes from an “intellectual property” people, who is biased by the nature of his financial interests. They’re hijacking this debate, too. A few days ago we were approached by an analyst/researcher for a survey about Acacia (for its valuation). It turned out that he had only surveyed “intellectual property” people, who told him how wonderful and valuable Acacia was. As long as the legal system and political system are both run by people from law schools, we’re all deep in trouble.

Amid Equilibrium in Patent Deterrence, Apple’s Patent Attacks on Linux a Sign of Losing

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google at 6:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Reagan and Gorbachev

Summary: Balancing of patents between the Android side and the non-Android side ensures that Apple would have to reassess its embargo-to-compete strategy

APPLE’S empire is heavily built upon trademarks, probably more so than lock-in or any genuine technical merit. What Apple fears the most is that people may start realising that they overpay for junk they can get elsewhere for half the price and with twice the number of features. For Microsoft it’s the same problem, but rather relying on trademarks, Microsoft is relying on kickbacks, other dirty dealings, and technical lock-in. Linux is to proprietary software what the industrial revolution was to Luddites.

“Linux is to proprietary software what the industrial revolution was to Luddites.”While many know that this site is against Samsung, it is clear that when it battles against Apple over the use of Android, the decision may matter to a lot of companies which distribute Linux. “Samsung’s Lee eyes deals to boost software prowess,” writes Reuters, noting that “Lee made similar remarks in late July, urging managers to boost its software prowess, patent pools and talent at the firm’s annual event comparing Samsung’s vast product portfolios ranging from televisions, handsets and computers against those of its rivals.”

Notice the part about patent pools and mind the endless FUD about Google’s purchase of part of Motorola. The real news is that Google sought patent deterrence, not an Android monoculture. As one article put it, “the manufactures are tit-for-tatting over software patents, those ridiculous monstrosities of failed policy.” Mike Masnick’s headline was “Motorola Deal Showing Massive Loss To Innovation Caused By Patents” and Dr. Glyn Moody wrote:

I am really quite relieved Google is trying to acquire Motorola Mobility. Not because I think it will solve all the problems of Android – it’s far too early to say anything like it; but simply because, at last, Google has done something that might begin to address them.

I was fast coming to the view that Google was, if not completely clueless in the face of multiple patent assaults on its Android platform, at least pretty rudderless. When it eventually lost the battle for Nortel – after offering the most absurd bids that involved things like pi billion dollars – I really doubted it had any idea how serious things were getting.

The matter of fact is, Samsung is likely to become more heavily dependent on Linux, the main problem (or one among several) is that it pays Microsoft for Linux. The good thing is that Samsung — like HTC — is unwilling go do the same with Apple, whose embargo attempts against Galaxy Tab are failing [1, 2]. It looked very different earlier this month, but it didn’t last long for Apple.

Not so big now, are you Apple?

Microsoft’s Proxy Fights (via Patent Trolls) Emerge in the Courtroom

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 6:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Intellectual Ventures’ connections to Lodsys are being shown to the judge by DriveTime, which also uses the recent NPR article (about Intellectual Ventures) as evidence

The Oracle vs. Google case that Groklaw keeps track of may as well be motivated by part of the cartel Google spoke about. We have already written very extensively about the relationship between Apple and Oracle. But another fascinating battle comes from Microsoft’s alter ego, Intellectual Ventures (IV), which is the world’s largest patent troll.

According to this new article from Groklaw, Lodsys may be also an “alter ego” of Intellectual Ventures, as we mentioned before [1, 2, 3, 4]. To quote Groklaw‘s Professor Webbink:

Lodsys – DriveTime Says It Suspects Lodsys is an “alter ego” of Intellectual Ventures, Asks to Do Discovery

DriveTime Automotive Group has filed a motion, Motion For Leave To Conduct Jurisdictional Discovery And To Stay Response To Motion To Dismiss, in its Arizona declaratory judgment action against Lodsys. That is a mouthful for saying they believe Lodsys does, in fact, have jurisdictional ties to Arizona (where DriveTime is located) and that they should be allowed the opportunity to conduct limited discovery against Lodsys for the purpose of proving that point before the court simply grants Lodsys’ motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction

DriveTime is asking the Arizona federal district court to let it do discovery to flush out any Intellectual Ventures ties to Lodsys. DriveTimes says they “strongly suspect, as do others, that Lodsys is a spin-off and the alter ego of a company called Intellectual Ventures (“IV”), known as “patent troll public enemy #1.”

It quotes from the recent NPR article implying such a connection, and attaches it as an exhibit [PDF], and it describes how patent trolling works, saying that trolls often assert baseless claims, and it says that Lodsys’s claims against it are precisely that, baseless. So it would like to do discovery to flush out all the secret corners of the claim against it:

DriveTime seeks leave to conduct jurisdictional discovery because much of Lodsys’s licensing and enforcement efforts, and certainly its relationship with IV, are not a matter of public record. Specifically, DriveTime seeks permission to take written discovery and depositions on the following:

* (i) Lodsys’s licensing and enforcement activities in Arizona and/or with companies residing and/or doing substantial business in Arizona, including the nature of those licenses and whether they include any affirmative obligations on the part of Lodsys;
* (ii) Lodsys’s qualification as a patent troll that has attempted to manufacture jurisdiction in the Eastern District;
* (iii) the relationship between Lodsys and IV, and IV’s contacts with Arizona; and
* (iv) the baseless nature of Lodsys’s infringement claims in its cease and desist letters.

Such discovery will uncover facts to demonstrate this Court has jurisdiction over Lodsys.

If the judge agrees, it looks like we’ll finally get evidence one way or the other regarding the Intellectual Ventures’ connection.

There are all sorts of patent trolls at play and they are being used by real companies (with products) to launch legal attacks on the competition. This way they can pretend not to use their patents offensively and they cannot be sued back, either. One of the trolls which gets used by Apple and Microsoft is MPEG-LA, which is generally busy attacking Google, with support from Microsoft boosters. By E-mail correspondence we are starting to piece together an accurate picture of which company uses which troll/s. We’ll publish the details about this some time this year (some mail is explicitly confidential and some is out of date or inaccurate, so more research or organisation is required).

Yesterday Eben Moglen was quotes as saying that the “big challenge is software patents.

“Companies are acquiring munitions to destroy Linux. We’ve been preparing for this 2 decades…”

Parody: Royal Dutch Shell Group Acquires Apple Trademarks for $135 Billion

Posted in Apple, Humour at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


LONDON, England – August 18, 2011 UTC – Royal Dutch Shell Group, an internationality-known Big Polluter (BP), has purchased Apple’s product line of trademarks. Apple, a company that specialises in creating a culture around commodity-but-overpriced products, will complement Royal Dutch Shell Group in the most desired areas.

“Blind faith from the public is always what we sought,” explained Ollie Black, the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Group. “With the purchase of Apple’s logos and names,” he relented, “people will no longer judge us by our actual behaviour.”

“Royal Dutch Shell is a splendid example of innovation in the field of dilution and shipping,” wrote the CNN hours before the official announcement, which brought 5,000-10,000 people out to the streets of London where they queued up to take a glimpse at Mr. Black signing the deal. “Royal Dutch Shell makes the best oil you can conceivably get,” contented one of the adolescents who queued up for 40 hours, according to a report from the independent magazine, AppleUniverse. In the press conference, Black assured the audience that choice will not be available. The product will be available in one colour, black, and confusion will be eliminated by ensuring there is only one single product for the purpose. The audience reacted enthusiastically with a round of standing ovations. “This is what makes Royal Dutch Shell so brilliant,” explained one of the attendants, miss Bott, only minutes after the ceremony had ended. “This is the brilliance of it, we no longer ever have to choose. Did you see the new logo? Who would have thought of a piece of fruit? I love it!”

“With the purchase of Apple’s logos and names people will no longer judge us by our actual behaviour.”
      –Ollie Black
The acquisition of trademarks from Apple comes only weeks after rumours that Royal Dutch Shell would seek to issue an injunction against BP’s import of “black stuff,” to use the words of Royal Dutch Shell’s Vice President of legal affairs. In an interview with MSNBC, a GE company masquerading as a news avenue, he strongly denied allegations that he had colluded with Exxon to raise the price of oil.

Mr. Black has assured reporters that Royal Dutch Shell will continue with its current practices, which are, to use his words, “magical.” The innovative product of Royal Dutch Shell will continue to be available to the public under its old banner, “Shell”, however reporters are strongly encouraged to refer to the company as Apple. Analysts have re-raised speculations that Royal Dutch Shell might go after Carl Icahn next, forcing him to change his surname or face shutdown. “This is perfectly decent and the right thing for Royal Dutch Shell to do,” explained to us a Royal Dutch Shell fan outside the Black Shop, “because if Mr. Black says Icahn is a trademark violation, then I trust him.”

Critics of the deal allege that it is being used by Royal Dutch Shell to attract gullible and impressionable young men who will pretend that oil spills are beneficial to the environment and that Royal Dutch Shell’s products — even though they come from the very same source as the competition’s — are by merit of their own branding “superior”.

Starting September 5th, Royal Dutch Shell will broadcast and officially launch a new marketing campaign, whose motto will be, “I’m an Apple/Shell, and I’m just oil”.

Links 18/8/2011: Linux Conference, Open Source Milestones

Posted in News Roundup at 4:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • SGI Folds In CFD Business

      The OpenFOAM acquisition brings the entire OpenCFD team onto SGI’s payroll along with a commitment to continue the development of the software under the GNU General Public License (GPL).

  • Kernel Space

    • Imagining a World Without Linux: Jim Zemlin Opens LinuxCon North America

      Despite Microsoft and SCO, Zemlin says that Linux is the “largest force in computing,” because of freedom. Linux, says Zemlin, is larger than one product or one company and it’s not just the technology. “Sharing works,” says Zemlin.

      “It’s not about the $10 billion invested in Linux… It’s about something all of you have taught the rest of the world, there are 100s of bestselling books that chronicle what you have accomplished… that you can better yourself while bettering others. That no one of us is smarter than all of us. You have shared this with the world, and that is an incredible accomplishment.”

      Thanks to Linux, says Zemlin, “the world is not a scary, black and white, place where the wicked witch rules, it’s a colorful place… thanks to all of you.”

    • LinuxCon: The Right Side of History

      Vancouver. LinuxCon 2011 officially kicked off this AM as the celebration of the 20th anniversay of Linux begins.
      One of the first things that attendees will see at the show is the 20th Anniversary of Linux showcase loaded with all kinds of Linux memorabilia and a timeline of history. The items range from a book about TurboLinux (remember them?) to an iconic Red Hat (donated by Red Hat, who else?).

    • Imagining a World Without Linux: Jim Zemlin Opens LinuxCon North America

      What would the world be like without Linux? That’s the question posed by Jim Zemlin in the opening keynote for LinuxCon North America 2011. At first glance, it might seem like a world without Linux would be much the same — but if you think about it (as Zemlin has) things would be a lot different.

    • After 20 Years, Linux Looks Better Than Ever

      The Linux Foundation’s annual LinuxCon North America event kicks off today in Vancouver, B.C., and its primary focus this year is the 20th anniversary of the free and open source operating system.

    • A Conversation with Linus Torvalds
    • Do You Like Tux the Penguin?

      In another episode of Open Ballot, TuxRadar is now asking its readers “Does Tux help or hinder Linux?” They concede that penguins are cute, but is Tux a good mascot for an operating system? “Would a more conventional logo make us look more professional?”

      Well, I think Linus Torvalds’ view is germane to the debate. According to Wikipedia, he chose the penguin as the mascot after being nipped by a penguin at a zoo and contracting penguinitis. Wikipedia writes, “Torvalds was looking for something fun and sympathetic to associate with Linux, and a slightly fat penguin sitting down after having had a great meal perfectly fit the bill.”

  • Applications

    • Linux Backup Utility Provider Grows Market Share
    • CA Ramps Up Linux Mainframe Developer Tools

      CA Technologies (the company formerly known as Computer Associates) has announced a new version release of its CA VM: Manager Suite for Linux on IBM System z and a new capability for CA Solve Operations Automation.

      Targeting Linux on the mainframe with this product, CA maintains that this is a fast-growing segment of the data management market. More specifically, CA is directing this product at enterprise Linux application developers looking to “optimize management of their Linux apps and resources” in mainframe and hybrid computing environments.

    • Best Video Converters for Linux

      Linux, with the massive usability leaps it has made over the years, is inching closer towards becoming the perfect Windows and Mac replacement. However, there are some areas in which Linux still lags behind the two bigwigs.

      A few years ago, watching a video was just limited to the PC or DVD. But now, all kinds of gadgets have sprung up which allow you to watch the same video anywhere you want to. As convenient as it may seem, the average gadget-blessed Linux user usually runs against a stonewall while getting that video to work on his or her device (s).

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • Mandriva 2011 Review

        In my recent King of KDistros poll, several readers wanted me to include Mandriva in the comparison, claiming it had become a KDE exclusive distro and that it was doing a great job with its latest release, Mandriva 2011. Having tested Mandriva 2010 not so long ago and feeling disappointed by its apparent lack of progress, I decided to leave Mandriva out of the poll. I felt PCLinuxOS already somewhat represented the heart of Mandriva, but I have to admit I was not aware of the latest changes and progress at Mandriva camp.

        Intrigued by those recommendations, I decided to download Mandriva 2011 RC2, the last of the release candidates, which with the exception of a few bug fixes, should not differ much from the latest official release. I must admit Mandriva 2011 pleasantly surprised me, showcasing a lot of refreshing ideas and quite an impressive amount of customization that is not usually found in KDE releases.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Red Hat Revs up Virtualization, Without Windows

        As a Linux vendor, Red Hat obviously wants its customers to run its technologies on Linux. In the case of the Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) management system, customers to date have had to run the system on Microsoft Windows.

      • Joyent ports KVM onto SmartOS

        The cloud vendor combines the power of hardware and software virtualisation in its operating system.

        Cloud software and virtualisation company Joyent announced it has ported an open-source Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor to its operating system (OS).

        As a result, Joyent is claiming to be the first to have developed its own OS hypervisor in five years, to rival those of VMware and Citrix.

        The addition of KVM capability will enable Joyent users to run other OSs on top of its SmartOS, which basically turns a server into a multi-tenant application hosting platform.

      • Red Hat CEO: Google, Facebook owe it all to Linux, open source

        Google and Facebook owe their success largely to Linux — not the technology per se, but to the cheap innovation and mass collaboration it enables, Red Hat’s CEO says.

        Yes, free, as in freedom, but also free as in free beer, said Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat.

      • Jim Whitehurst on the next twenty years of Linux

        LinuxCon 2011 kicked off this morning with a retrospective from Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, on the accomplishments of Linux in its first twenty years. Self-professed geek and Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, whose Linux use started with Slackware in the late 90s, followed by Fedora, followed Zemlin with a keynote addressing the next 20 years of Linux.

      • Red Hat aims to double India business this year

        World’s leading open so­urce software company Red Hat targets to double busin­ess in India this year. The firm is expanding its ch­annel presence, deepening re­lationships with leading sy­stem integrators and lau­nc­hing new products in ev­olving technologies including virtualisation and clo­ud, senior firm official said.

      • Red Hat CEO At LinuxCon: I Have No Idea What’s Next

        im Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat, just delivered a terrific opening keynote presentation for LinuxCon. Whitehurst isn’t just a businessman, he’s also a geek. He used Linux and open source before joining Red Hat, and the opportunity to be CEO of the world’s most successful open source company was a dream come true for him. After a quick summary of some of the major milestones Linux has seen over the last twenty years, he jumped into the heart of his keynote: what’s next? Whitehurst wasted no time in answering this question: “I have no idea.”

      • Red Hat CEO: Linux Isn’t Just About Technology

        Jim Whitehurst took the stage at the LinuxCon conference today to provide a view of where he sees Linux going. Whitehurst stressed that while the technology is important it’s the collaborative user-driven innovation that will make the most impact in the future.

        Whitehurst told the LinuxCon audience that the general view of Linux coming from analyst groups is that Linux has done a solid job and is a viable alternative to tradional stacks. He noted that to him, that doesn’t tell the whole story.

      • Six years of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4

        Every year since Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 was released we’ve published a risk report where we look at the state of security of the distribution. We investigate the key vulnerabilities, metrics on vulnerability counts, and how users could have been exploited by them. The Six Years of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 report (PDF) covering Feb 2005-2011 was published today.

      • Red Hat: Where recessions are good news

        But at least one company must be looking at the impending doom and smiling ear to ear: Red Hat. Quarter after quarter, through good times and bad, Red Hat delivers excellent performance.

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu 11.10′s Unity Dash is taking shape

            Mark Shuttleworth, has dedicated a blog posting to the new features that the developers plan to integrate into the distribution’s Unity interface in Ubuntu 11.10. Most of the changes affect the Dash, where “places” will increasingly be replaced by “lenses” and “scopes”.

          • Ubuntu Quietly Upgrades Firefox To Version 6
          • Taking a quick look at Ubuntu Tweak

            If there’s one thing that I like to do it’s tweak my Ubuntu system. Nothing too drastic. Just modifying the look and feel of my desktop, fiddling with how certain settings, that sort of thing. I don’t do it too often, and when I do … well, let’s just say it beats working!

  • Devices/Embedded

    • HP planning to bring WebOS to appliances, cars?

      Hewlett-Packard is currently working to bring its WebOS mobile operating system to cars and appliances, The Wall Street Journal is reporting.

      According to the Journal, HP can see a world where many of the products consumers currently use in the home or while on the road will have touch screens that connect to the Web and deliver WebOS functionality.

    • HP Pre 3 debuts in the U.K. as TouchPad struggles stateside

      The WebOS-based HP Pre 3 smartphone is now available in Europe, and will “soon” be arriving in the U.S., says HP. Meanwhile, HP TouchPad sales are sluggish despite 20 percent price cuts on the tablets, and HP is now trying to push WebOS into cars and kitchen appliances, say two separate reports.

    • Wind River Linux gets Qt-enabled GUI development stack

      Wind River has updated its Linux distro with a graphics stack based on GTK, X.Org, the Qt framework, and Wind River Tilcon Graphics Suite. Wind River Linux 4, Update Pack 2 offers Linux Standard Base (LSB) certification, Carrier Grade Linux 5.0 registration, and Intel Atom and Texas Instruments AM3x Sitara and OMAP35x processor optimization, the company says.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • Financial analytics software OpenGamma 0.9 released

    Version 0.9 of the open source financial analytics software OpenGamma is now available to download. The application, which is written in Java, is aimed at financial services companies. It queries data from a number of sources, such as Bloomberg and Thompson Reuters, and uses it to generate risk analyses and other reports.

  • Awesome but often unknown Linux commands and tools
  • Open Source The Eskimo

    While I was there recently I pondered the possibility of small amounts of residual radiation in the area. I quickly forgot the thought until I ran across a post by Jeff Keyzer (mightyohm.com) about an open source geiger counter he designed.

    Well, who could resist the chance to build a geiger counter and run it around looking for bad stuff at the former sight of a nuclear power plant. Not me. Here at Screaming Circuits, we specialize in surface mount, so I thought it would make sense to re-layout the PCB for SMT components. Which I did. That’s the cool thing about open source. (one of the cool things) The design files are accessible.

  • Social sound platform Audioboo open sources its Android app: “It suits the platform”

    The last update Audioboo will make to the Android codebase will be to enable support for blind users. It will then release the code in its entirety under a standard, free to use MIT license to enable others to tweak and reuse the components.

  • Dell tunes Crowbar tool to Cloud Foundry

    A couple weeks ago, Dell turned Crowbar toward another open source product in Cloudera’s Hadoop distribution. That partnership involves an entire package that includes a Dell hardware architecture and services, as well as the Cloudera Enterprise management software.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 13 Stable as Google Pays 17K for Bug Fixes

        Google’s Chrome browser version 13 is stable, featuring Instant Pages predictive search technology, print preview for Windows and Linux machines, as well as a better omnibox. Also featuring: 30 bug fixes.

    • Mozilla

      • Chase.com goes down, but only for Firefox users

        Firefox users may have had trouble accessing JPMorgan Chase’s website chase.com today when the bank experienced problems with an outdated security certificate.

        According to a Chase spokesman, the Firefox certificate was updated on the bank’s servers in about 45 minutes, resolving the issue.

      • At Version 6, Firefox Stabilizes And Turns Into Gmail
      • Firefox 6: 4 Reasons to Upgrade

        The first reason is speed, although that point is debatable. According to Mozilla, startup times with Firefox 6 are better than its predecessor, especially if a user is using Firefox’s Panorama feature. Panorama allows users to organize tabs into groups. Having Firefox launch several groups on startup has been a sure-fire way to bog down that process in the past.

  • SaaS

    • Open Source – Open Cloud?

      The vacation season is hitting continental Europe right now. Some of us in the more Nordic parts of Europe have already spent our vacation for this year and are back in business. Wondering what I’ve missed in the past weeks I looked through the blogosphere. The launch of the Open Cloud Initiative (OCI) caught my eye as it has close ties to the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

      I read Simon Phipps’s blog about the OCI with interest. He says, “The Open Cloud Initiative aims to reinterpret the principles of software freedom for a new generation of computing, just as OSI did at the end of the 90’s.”

    • OpenStack Turns One; What’s Next For The Open Source Cloud?

      Since OpenStack’s launch on July 19, 2010, which included 25 contributing member companies, OpenStack quickly ballooned to include 80 participating companies and 217 developers. Participating companies include major players like Cisco, Citrix, Dell and others; and startups like Piston Cloud Computing, Nephoscale and Sonian.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Whamcloud Expanding Lustre

      The OpenSFS Lustre community group has contracted Lustre services firm Whamcloud in a multi-year deal to add new functionality. Lustre is an open source storage filesystem that has its origins at Sun and migrated to Oracle after the acquisition. Whamcloud and OpenSFS have not disclosed the financial terms of the deal.

  • CMS

    • Open Source CMS No Stranger on IBM i

      There are a lot of options available to IBM i shops looking for a software package that allows them to run a website on their favorite box. But one class of tools that seems to be gaining lots of traction these days is the group of open source, PHP-based content management systems (CMS). The big three in this category include Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress, and you might be surprised to learn about some of the prominent IBM i industry websites that are using these systems.

    • Acquia Expands Drupal Professional Offerings with Security and Migration Products and Services

      Acquia (news, site), provider of Drupal services and support has announced that it is introducing two new Drupal service offerings and that it has acquired two companies.

  • Business

  • Public Services/Government

    • Romanian government tender prohibits open source

      According to a report on OSOR.eu, the EU’s Open Source Observatory and Repository, an IT procurement tender issued by the Romanian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) explicitly bans the use of open source software in any offer made in response. The tender concerns the development of an “Information System of Romanian Criminal Records (Rocris)”, with a budget of approximately 2.85 million euros.

    • RO: Interoperability requirements force Ministry to block open source

      The Romanian ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) says that internal and European interoperability requirements are forcing it to ban the use of open source software in the building of a system to manage criminal records.

    • Pentagon Software Sharing May Create Competition for Cerner
    • Opening government, the Chicago way

      Cities are experimenting with releasing more public data, engaging with citizens on social networks, adopting open source software, and finding ways to use new technologies to work with their citizens. They’ve been doing it through the depth of the Great Recession, amidst aging infrastructure, spiraling costs and flat or falling budgets. In that context, using technology and the Internet to make government work better and cities smarter is no longer a “nice to have” … it’s become a must-have.

  • Licensing

  • Openness/Sharing

  • Programming

    • Parallel programming: Intel Cilk Plus becomes open source project

      Intel Cilk Plus has become an open source project. The C and C++ extension adds three keywords that are designed to simplify the development of parallel applications. Applications that are optimised in this way reportedly perform better particularly in multi-core environments.


  • Google Apache mod speeds into outside world
  • Health/Nutrition

    • CMD Urges EPA to More Closely Regulate Nanoscale Materials in Pesticides

      The Center for Media and Democracy has joined a coalition of environmental, consumer and worker’s groups in signing onto a letter of comment by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) plan to obtain information about the presence of nanoscale materials in pesticide products.

  • Finance

    • Walker Lets Tax Cheats and Campaign Contributors Off The Hook

      As Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker pushes austerity as the only solution to reducing the state’s deficit spending, it seems as though there are a few exceptions to his idea of “shared sacrifice.” S.C. Johnson & Son, one of the state’s wealthiest firms, is one of many companies that pays nothing in state income tax — increasing the burden on citizen taxpayers, according to a new project by the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future.

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