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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 521

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Welcome to this year's 33rd issue of DistroWatch Weekly! What makes a graphical interface good? That's a question that has seen many answers over the years and solutions have taken many forms. In this issue of DistroWatch Weekly we will hear from projects and commentators who offer answers to these difficult interface questions. In an interview, the elementary OS team talks about how they want to empower users and a review of the latest version of FreeNAS offers some further suggestions for interface behaviour.

While the debate for the ideal graphical interface rolls on, Jesse Smith shares some fun aspects of the Linux command line interface. Read on to learn how to add more fun to this fundamental component of GNU/Linux. In other news this week we look in on Haiku and find out how the project is progressing with packages and third-party ports. We also learn about a proposal for changing the way Fedora is developed. Might we soon see the return of Fedora Core? Plus we get a first impressions look at a Fedora-based project, Korora. The Korora distribution tries to lower the bar for users interested in Fedora's cutting-edge technology and we will find out how the latest version performs. In this issue we will look at distributions released over the past week and look ahead to exciting new developments. We wish you all a great week and happy reading!

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Distributing encryption software may break the law

Developers, distributors, and users of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) often face a host of legal issues which they need to keep in mind. Although areas of law such as copyright, trademark, and patents are frequently discussed, these are not the only legal concerns for FOSS. One area that often escapes notice is export controls. It may come as a surprise that sharing software that performs or uses cryptographic functions on a public website could be a violation of U.S. export control law. Export controls is a term for the various legal rules which together have the effect of placing restrictions, conditions, or even wholesale prohibitions on certain types of export as a means to promote national security interests and foreign policy objectives. Export control has a long history in the United States that goes back to the Revolutionary War with an embargo of trade with Great Britain by the First Continental Congress. The modern United States export control regime includes the Department of State's regulations covering export of munitions, the Treasury Department's enforcement of United States' foreign embargoes and sanctions regimes, and the Department of Commerce's regulations applying to exports of "dual-use" items, i.e. items which have civil applications as well as terrorism, military, or weapons of mass destruction-related applications. Read more

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