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The Latest Relicensing Stories

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  • RISC OS goes Open Source, supports royalty-free Raspberry Pi projects

    As the new owners of Castle Technology Ltd, RISC OS Developments Ltd are proud to announce that RISC OS, the original OS for ARM processors is now available as a fully Open Source operating system (OS), via the Apache 2.0 licence under the continued stewardship of RISC OS Open Ltd.

    A high performance, low footprint OS, incorporating the world-renowned "BBC BASIC" provides a modern desktop interface coupled with easy access to programming, hardware and connectivity. RISC OS was one of the first operating systems to support the massively successful Raspberry Pi, for which it remains an ideal companion. Now truly Open, RISC OS make an ideal choice for royalty-free ARM-based projects.

  • Finally! The Venerable RISC OS is Now Open Source

    It was recently announced that RISC OS was going to be released as open-source. RISC OS has been around for over 30 years. It was the first operating system to run on ARM technology and is still available on modern ARM-powered single-board computers, like the Raspberry Pi.

  • Making the GPL more scary

    For some years now, one has not had to look far to find articles proclaiming the demise of the GNU General Public License. That license, we are told, is too frightening for many businesses, which prefer to use software under the far weaker permissive class of license. But there is a business model that is based on the allegedly scary nature of the GPL, and there are those who would like to make it more lucrative; the only problem is that the GPL isn't quite scary enough yet.

    The business of selling exceptions to the GPL, where one pays the copyright holder for a proprietary license to the code, has been around for a long time; MySQL AB was built on this model, for example. Companies that buy such a license normally do so because they fear that their own code may fall under the requirements of the GPL; vendors tend to take an expansive view of what constitutes a derivative work to feed those fears and encourage sales. It is a model that has been shown to work, and it has generally passed muster even with organizations that are committed to the spread of free software.

More in Tux Machines

Dell XPS 13 and XPS 13 Developer Edition—side-by-side review

Physically, the only difference between the XPS 13 Developer Edition and the plain-vanilla XPS 13 we'd already tested is the color—where the Windows system had the optional, $50 more-expensive "Alpine White" interior, the Developer Edition system used the standard "Black." In theory, the outsides are different, too—the Windows machine's exterior was "Frost White" and the Linux machine's is "Platinum Silver." But in most lighting, you'd be hard pressed to tell the two apart without opening them up. There were some significant hardware differences, as well—you can't buy the regular XPS 13 with more than 16GiB RAM in it, while the XPS 13 Developer Edition can be spec'd up to 32GiB. Our particular XPS 13 DE also had a 4K UHD+ touchscreen, instead of the 1920x200 FHD+ touchscreen on our Windows system—but that, like the color, can be configured the same on either version. Read more

Android Leftovers

Wayland Status update for Plasma 5.19

We have been busy recently on the Wayland Goal. A few of those points were already highlight on Nate's excellent blog. But some were missing, and I wanted to highlight those dedicated to Wayland with more context. The changes I mention here will be present in Plasma 5.19, but they are exhaustive. Read more

Raspberry Pi 4 B: How Much RAM Do You Really Need?

The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B single-board computer launched last year in three variants, the first time the family had been broken into more than one variant per model: An entry-level version with 1GB of RAM, designed to hit the increasingly-challenging and shrinking-through-inflation $35 target price point; a more expensive 2GB version, designed as to the go-to model; and a 4GB variant for power users. In the months since, the Raspberry Pi team has had a rethink: The 1GB model has been retired, while the 2GB model has been moved down to the headline-grabbing $35 entry point. Now the 4GB sits in the middle, with a brand-new Raspberry Pi 4 8GB model taking the top spot - but how much RAM does a single-board computer really need? Read more