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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 522

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Welcome to this year's 34th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Software freedom is an important aspect of the GNU/Linux community. The concept and practice of sharing source code and taking steps to make sure the code remains available for people to use, modify and redistribute is a key part of what makes the Linux ecosystem work. Free software isn't just a development model, it is also a philosophy which conveys rights to the individual users of the software. This week we focus on software freedom, first by looking at a GNU/Linux distribution which is sponsored by the Free Software Foundation. The project, called gNewSense, provides highly valued software freedom, but how does it stand up to less-free distributions with regards to functionality? Read Jesse Smith's review to find out.

We will also be talking about the Parted Magic project's decision to start charging for downloads, the reaction of the Parted Magic community and what the GNU General Public License has to say about cases such as these. In other news, Canonical is finalising plans to ship the Mir display server in Ubuntu 13.10 and the Ubuntu Edge crowd source project has reached its conclusion. Plus there is interesting news coming to the surface about why some USB devices disconnect unexpectedly from Linux machines. We also cover the releases of the past week and look forward to distribution releases to come in the future.

We wish you all a wonderful week and happy reading!

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Intel Cache Allocation Technology / RDT Still Baking For Linux

Not mentioned in my earlier features you won't find in the Linux 4.9 mainline kernel is support for Intel's Cache Allocation Technology (CAT) but at least it was revised this weekend in still working towards mainline integration. Read more Also: Intel Sandy Bridge Graphics Haven't Gotten Faster In Recent Years

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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