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Roll your own Linux distribution with SUSE Studio

People have always been able to build their own Linux distributions. That's one reason why there are over a hundred Linux distributions today. But, building them easily to do a particular job and with major vendor support.... well, that's not so easy. But now Novell has made it downright easy and-pay attention ISVs (independent software vendors)--they'll also support your particular house brand Linux when you take it to market.

Novell's new SUSE Appliance Program is based on SUSE Studio, the core online Linux application builder and SUSE Linux Enterprise JeOS (Just Enough Operating System). As an ISV, or just someone who wants MyVeryOwnLinuxDistro, you just pick and choosing the components you want after logging into the SUSE Studio Web page.

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And now for some good news... How open source triumphed over Microsoft Office in Italy

Microsoft Office may have a global monopoly, but one Italian region rejected it flat out. But, why? In the stunningly beautiful Italian region of Umbria, you'll feel more at home running open source software, rather than the clunky and expensive Microsoft Office suite. Read more

Red Hat, Chilean government hold talks on open source initiative

The head of Chilean regulator Pedro Huichalaf agreed to pass information regarding the benefits of open source software to the ministerial committee for digital development Read more

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Patent Troll Kills Open Source Project On Speeding Up The Computation Of Erasure Codes

Via James Bessen, we learn of how a patent trolling operation by StreamScale has resulted in an open source project completely shutting down, despite the fact that the patent in question (US Patent 8,683,296 for an "Accelerated erasure coding system and method") is almost certainly ineligible for patent protection as an abstract idea, following the Supreme Court's Alice ruling and plenty of prior art. Erasure codes are used regularly today in cloud computing data storage and are considered to be rather important. Not surprisingly, companies and lawyers are starting to pop out of the woodwork to claim patents on key pieces. I won't pretend to understand the fundamental details of erasure codes, but the link above provides all the details. It goes through the specific claims in the patents, breaking down what they actually say (basically an erasure code on a computer using SIMD instructions), and how that's clearly an abstract idea and thus not patent-eligible. Read more