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What Does Linux and Role Playing Games Have in Common?

As a recently revived Game Master/DM going back to my RPG roots in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 1st Edition after about a 20 year absence, I find that computer technology has impacted Role Playing Games far beyond being able to play online.

People have been working over the years to "free gaming". Yes, Free in the same terms as open Source software that we use today. Both "free beer" and "Free-dom".

Linux has an Open Source License in the GPL and RPG's have the Open Game License. Due to the proprietariness of many of the original artwork and story content of the gaming modules of games like Advanced Dungeons & Dragons and other game systems, it has become very difficult to access new "modules" or published adventures in which to continue playing the game people have become so fervent over.

Thus, the Open Game License was created to allow "near beer" versions of traditional games systems that allow fans and groups to legally "side step" those proprietary concerns of the original games and still continue to publish and make available new content for game systems that are no longer sold or are out of print but still under copyright.

It's a legal tightrope walk to be sure. Avid fans and supporters work very hard to stick to the rules in order to keep their favorite games alive. The good news...it's working.

Open licenses have far trancended the software universe and continue to have meaningful impact on very diverse areas of social life. I'm not entirely sure that table top RPg's could not only continue to exist but actually are experiencing growth in the ranks, without Open licensing.

The fight for "open-ness" is a good fight and goes way beyond making access of software and media accessible to the masses. Stiking a victory for open licenses in one arena is a victory for open licences in other arenas as well.

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Zidoo's 'X1' is a $59 Android media box that touts its 4K prowess

Bottom line, the Zidoo X1 checks all the boxes when it comes to streaming and playing local media. The X1 is affordable with an MSRP of $59 USD and comes with a one year warranty. Despite its paltry specifications, the X1 was able to handle pretty much all movie files and streaming duties. The only concern would be how well Zidoo would continue to support the device via software updates. While this doesn't quite beat pricing from the likes of the Chromecast or the MK808B it does provide more features. While this is my first time with an true Android media box, I found that the experience as pretty seamless when it was all set up. While the X1 was able to stand up the challenge of 4K, the real question is: when will see more 4K UHD content that is easily accessible. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Dawn of the data center operating system
    How microservices architecture and Linux containers will tame distributed computing for developers and ops
  • 30 Sys Admins to Follow on SysAdmin Day
    Systems administrators: They keep our high-tech world up and running. From capacity planning, to 3 a.m. phone calls, to retiring that 10-year-old server that uses more power than your whole house, sys admins do it all. Open source communities would not be able to thrive without the networks, services, and tools that allow for communication and collaboration, and sys admins are the ones who work thanklessly year-round to keep them going. July 31 is System Administrator Appreciation Day, a day for all of us to express our undying gratitude for sys admins. Sure, you could buy your favorite sys admin cake and ice cream, or perhaps a nice gift card. You could even go as far as not breaking the server for just one day. You also can follow these 30 sys admins.
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  • Sparkfun's pcDuino Acadia Benchmarks Against Other ARM SBCs
    Sparkfun's pcDuino Acadia os a $119 USD development board powered by a Freescale i.MX6 quad-core Cortex-A9 SoC with Mali 400 graphics. There's 1GB of RAM and other connectivity options for this board.
  • Linux Based Solus OS Now Boots in Flat 1.2 Seconds
    Solus OS is a Linux distro that was built from scratch and uses a new desktop environment called Budgie. You can consider it as the next version of the Solus OS as it was built by the same developer team, so they didn’t bother changing the name for a new operating system.
  • Arch Linux 2015.08.01 Has Been Released. Upgrade Now!
    Arch Linux 2015.08.01 has been released and is powered by Kernel 4.1 and includes all the update patches since the 1st of July 2015.
  • uReadIt 3 – The Best Reddit Client For Ubuntu Touch
    As you may know, uReadIt is an open-source Reddit client for Ubuntu Touch, being one of the best native apps for Ubuntu mobile.
  • You Can Now Watch Flash Content With MPV On Ubuntu
    As you may know, Adobe Flash is not the safest thing on the internet this days. Mozilla even disabled it from the Firefox browser a while, due to the vulnerabilities found lately.
  • Ubuntu MATE 15.04 Running on the Rikomatic MK808B
    Ubuntu MATE, the latest member of the Ubuntu family, has been spotted running on the MK808B Plus Quad-Core mini TV box device. The device runs with Android 4.4 by default, but a third party developer has tweaked it to run Ubuntu.
  • LEGO Smart Home
    We spoke to Bhavana Srinivas and Geremy Cohen from PubNub about their LEGO Smart Home model, a proof of concept project that shows how you can use the Raspberry Pi with communication platform PubNub in order to automate your household electronics and other Internet of Things devices. You can read the full piece in the latest issue.
  • Compact module runs Linux on quad-core Braswell
    Congatec announced a compact, low power computer-on-module based on Intel’s 14nm “Braswell” SoCs, and featuring triple display outputs, and up to 4K video.

Leftovers: Software

today's howtos