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February 2016

Is SFLC Shooting Open Source in the Foot?

Filed under
OSS
Legal

The academic article by SFLC about ZFS is troubling and may unintentionally shoot free software licensing in the foot.

When I was at Sun (as part of the team that released the Java Programming Language by starting the OpenJDK project) I often heard community concerns about the CDDL license. At the time the big complaint was about the "Choice of Venue" clause.

I got involved because Sun had developed many essential Java libraries and distributed them under CDDL. The community requested a more permissive license and I was able to convince internal project leaders (and Sun's lawyers) to make a licensing change for a handful of these projects. And there was much rejoicing.

Based on my experience in helping Java to become open source I came to appreciate the legal hacks on copyright which make open source possible. It's the free software license which uses copyright to enable sharing (vs. the default of disabling sharing).

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GNOME Tweak Tool Review - More Powerful than You Can Imagine

Filed under
GNOME
Reviews

GNOME Tweak Tool is a powerful application for the GNOME-powered Linux distributions, and it's too often overlooked.

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GNOME Maps Review - A GNOME App That Could Do Much More

Filed under
Reviews

GNOME Maps is a rather new application in the GNOME stack that doesn't do a lot but is really promising. Here is a quick look at the latest stable edition.

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Open Source Evolution: From Making Better Code to Making Better Business

Filed under
OSS

Today, open-source software is thriving in the Cloud, with a whole new generation of projects – such as Docker, Heroku, Open Stack and others. Cumulatively, GNU is still the leading license, but MIT, Apache and other licenses are among the top licenses used in open-source projects.

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An open-source alternative to Android Wear OS for smartwatches emerges

Filed under
Android
OSS

Can the Android Wear and Tizen operating systems on smartwatches be challenged? French computer science student Florent Revest believes so.

Revest has developed AsteroidOS, a flavor of Linux for smartwatches, still in early beta. It has been tested on LG's smartwatches and a port is under way to Asus' Zenwatch 1.

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BrewDog’s open-source revolution is at the vanguard of postcapitalism

Filed under
Linux

Today, you can download the Linux version of Unix for free, confident in the knowledge that thousands of dedicated professionals are working day and night to improve it, again for free. Almost all the world’s fastest supercomputers run it.

The idea that the basic tools of modern life should be free, shareable and collaboratively improved, with nobody allowed to make them private property, was born in the free-software movement, spread via the Creative Commons movement and is gaining traction in the world of physical products. It doesn’t destroy capitalism, but it does challenge its dynamics.

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Firefox OS will Power New Line-up of Panasonic Ultra HD TVs

Filed under
Moz/FF

Panasonic announced today that Firefox OS will power the new Panasonic DX-series UHD TVs.

Panasonic TVs powered by Firefox OS are already available globally. These TVs have intuitive and customizable home screens which give you “quick access” to Live TV, Apps and personal connected devices. You can access your favorite channels, apps, videos, websites and content quickly – and you can also pin any app or content to your TV home screen.

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Elementary boss watches the Linux distro make great strides

Filed under
Interviews

elementary OS is a consumer-focused, open source, Linux-based operating system with a heavy emphasis on UX design. I am the founder of elementary (the company behind elementary OS). A great deal of my time is spent organizing our team, which is mostly made up of volunteers, but I also spend time coding for both web and desktop, triaging bug reports, providing visual and UX design, and of course interacting with our users.

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Does Linux need a data loss prevention solution?

Filed under
Linux

CoSoSys, a firm that offers data loss prevention (DLP) and mobile device management (MDM) solutions, today announced a private beta release of Endpoint Protector DLP for Linux.

Yes, Linux is secure by design, but that doesn't mean there won't be software bugs (Linus Torvalds has said as much, noting that bugs are part of the software development process). And, yes, there have been some critical security threats that surfaced in the last few years such as GHOST, ShellShock, Heartbleed, and the Glibc vulnerability

But CoSoSys is not about that security. It’s not about the security of the operating system itself. It’s about the data residing on these machines and protecting the data irrespective of the operating system.

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Solus 1.1 Is Going to Be Awesome, Developers Promise

Filed under
OS

The Solus developers are preparing for the first point release for their Linux operating system, and saying they are excited about it is an understatement.

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More in Tux Machines

Games: All Walls Must Fall, Tales of Maj'Eyal

  • All Walls Must Fall, the quirky tech-noir tactics game, comes out of Early Access
    This isometric tactical RPG blends in sci-fi, a Cold War that never ended and lots of spirited action. It’s powered by Unreal Engine 4 and has good Linux support.
  • Non-Linux FOSS: Tales of Maj'Eyal
    I love gaming, but I have two main problems with being a gamer. First, I'm terrible at video games. Really. Second, I don't have the time to invest in order to increase my skills. So for me, a game that is easy to get started with while also providing an extensive gaming experience is key. It's also fairly rare. All the great games tend to have a horribly steep learning curve, and all the simple games seem to involve crushing candy. Thankfully, there are a few games like Tales of Maj'Eyal that are complex but with a really easy learning curve.

KDE and GNOME: KDE Discover, Okular, Librsvg, and Phone's UI Shell

  • This week in Discover, part 7
    The quest to make Discover the most-loved Linux app store continues at Warp 9 speed! You may laugh, but it’s happening! Mark my words, in a year Discover will be a beloved crown jewel of the KDE experience.
  • Okular gains some more JavaScript support
    With it we support recalculation of some fields based on others. An example that calculates sum, average, product, minimum and maximum of three numbers can be found in this youtube video.
  • Librsvg's continuous integration pipeline
    With the pre-built images, and caching of Rust artifacts, Jordan was able to reduce the time for the "test on every commit" builds from around 20 minutes, to little under 4 minutes in the current iteration. This will get even faster if the builds start using ccache and parallel builds from GNU make. Currently we have a problem in that tests are failing on 32-bit builds, and haven't had a chance to investigate the root cause. Hopefully we can add 32-bit jobs to the CI pipeline to catch this breakage as soon as possible.
  • Design report #3: designing the UI Shell, part 2
    Peter has been quite busy thinking about the most ergonomic mobile gestures and came up with a complete UI shell design. While the last design report was describing the design of the lock screen and the home screen, we will discuss here about navigating within the different features of the shell.

GNU: GLIBC and GCC News

  • Recent GNU* C library improvements
    As technology advancements continue, the core technology must be updated with new ideas that break paradigms and enable innovation. Linux* systems are based on two main core technologies: the Linux Kernel project and the GNU C Library (GLIBC) project. The GLIBC project provides the core libraries for the GNU system and GNU/Linux systems, as well as many other systems that use Linux as the kernel. These libraries provide interfaces that allow programs to manipulate and manage files, memory, threads and other operating system objects. The release of GLIBC version 2.27 marks a new step on the Linux technology roadmap, with major new features that will allow Linux developers to create and enhance applications. This blog post describes several key new features and how to use them.
  • What Makes GLIBC 2.27 Exciting To The Clear Linux Folks
    Released at the beginning of February was Glibc 2.27 and it's comprised of a lot of new features and performance improvements. But what's the best of Glibc 2.27? One of the Clear Linux developers at Intel, Victor Rodriguez Bahena, put out a blog post this week outlining some of the most exciting features for this GNU C Library update. While most Linux distributions tend to be conservative in rolling out new GLIBC updates, Clear Linux is already on v2.27 and even had back-ported some of the performance patches prior to the official 2.27 debut.
  • GCC 8 Will Let You -march=native Correctly On ARM/AArch64
    Linux developers and enthusiasts on x86_64 have long enjoyed the ability to use the -march=native option for having the GCC compiler attempt to auto-detect the CPU and set the appropriate microarchitecture flags. That support is finally being offered up for ARM with GCC 8. This week -march=native now works on AArch64 as well as for ARM in general too.

Open Source Color Management is broken

Since I am now in the business of photography and image processing (see my travel photography blog here), I thought it was time to finally get proper monitors and calibrate them. I wanted to do this with Open Source tools and use the calibration data for my Linux desktop, so I ordered a ColorHug2 colorimeter, which is Open Hardware compliant and all the tools are FOSS licensed. And from then on everything just went downhill. Read more