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Legal

The EPA Deserves Software Freedom, Too

Filed under
Linux
OSS
Legal

The issue of software freedom is, not surprisingly, not mentioned in the mainstream coverage of Volkswagen's recent use of proprietary software to circumvent important regulations that exist for the public good. Given that Volkswagen is an upstream contributor to Linux, it's highly likely that Volkswagen vehicles have Linux in them.

Thus, we have a wonderful example of how much we sacrifice at the altar of “Linux adoption”. While I'm glad for some Free Software to appear in products rather than none, I also believe that, too often, our community happily accepts the idea that we should gratefully laud a company includes a bit of Free Software in their product, and gives a little code back, even if most of what they do is proprietary software.

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Also: VW scandal highlights irony of EPA opposition to vehicle software tinkering

Yes, the FCC might ban your operating system

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Over the last few weeks a discussion has flourished over the FCC’s Notification of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on modular transmitters and electronic labels for wireless devices. Some folks have felt that the phrasing has been too Chicken-Little-like and that the FCC’s proposal doesn’t affect the ability to install free, libre or open source operating system. The FCC in fact says their proposal has no effect on open source operating systems or open source in general. The FCC is undoubtedly wrong.

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WordPress brings the freedom to the front

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Legal

About 75 million Web sites depend on WordPress. If you are one of its many users who recently upgraded to Version 4.3, you may have noticed something new. Recently, a coop worker-member, Pea, informed me that this version includes a new tab with a reference to the GNU General Public License. With some quizzical interest, I ran the upgrade on a WordPress instance I maintain.

I eagerly waited for the upgrade to finish. When it loaded, what I saw was typical for a WordPress upgrade, a description of the version's new features. Then I saw a tab prominently named "Freedom." I clicked on it, and boom: right there were the four freedoms of free software, starting with Freedom 0. Take a look for yourself.

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Jonathan Riddell Mocks Canonical with His Own Intellectual Property Policy

Filed under
Ubuntu
Legal

In some more relaxing news, Jonathan Riddell, leader of the Kubuntu Linux distribution, has had the great pleasure of announcing his own IP (Intellectual Property) policy, mocking Canonical's.

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Original: Jonathan Riddell™ IP Policy

FCC Fires Wi-Fi Router Salvo in Battle of DRM vs. Open Source

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Digital Rights Management (DRM), the backbone of copyright protection for every form of digital property from games and software to ebooks and music is finally coming to blows with its natural enemy: the open-source software movement.

The fight is rooted in the longstanding belief of organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) that DRM and open source are "fundamentally incompatible" and comes to the fore on an unlikely front: Wi-Fi routers.

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How to make money from open source software

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Legal

Last month we looked at the argument that the open source business model is flawed because selling maintenance and support subscriptions doesn't provide companies with enough revenue to differentiate their products from the underlying open source software or to compete with the sales and marketing efforts of proprietary software companies. The argument was advanced by Peter Levine, a venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz.

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Also: Community Versus Funding: What Open Source Needs Most

Deb Nicholson Talks (What Else?) Software Patents

Filed under
Interviews
Legal

My work at OIN involves a lot of research. I read academic papers on litigation trends and try to stay on top of who’s getting sued this week. It also involves a lot of behind the scenes emailing. I have lots of informal conversations with people about how you run a free and open source software project. Sometimes, they don’t realize that lots of other companies are succeeding with FOSS business models and shared community resources. Once they see that it can be done, they often feel more confident.

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New FCC Rules May Prevent Installing OpenWRT on WiFi Routers

Filed under
Linux
Legal

Many cheap WiFi routers are sold with the vendor firmware, but the most popular ones likely also support OpenWRT, which some users may prefer as it is much more customizable. However, this may soon become more difficult according to a talk at the upcoming “Wireless Battle of the Mesh” which will take place on August 3-8 in Maribor, Slovenia.

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Oracle tries to beef up copyright case against Android

Filed under
Android
Google
Legal

With Oracle and Google headed back to court soon to resume their dispute over Android, Oracle is seeking to update its lawsuit to reflect the huge gains Android has made in the five years since the case began.

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Advanced spyware for Android now available to script kiddies everywhere

Filed under
Android
Security
Legal
  • Advanced spyware for Android now available to script kiddies everywhere

    One of the more recent discoveries resulting from the breach two weeks ago of malware-as-a-service provider Hacking Team is sure to interest Android enthusiasts. To wit, it's the source code to a fully featured malware suite that had the ability to infect devices even when they were running newer versions of the Google-developed mobile operating system.

    The leak of the code base for RCSAndroid—short for Remote Control System Android—is a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it provides the blueprints to a sophisticated, real-world surveillance program that can help Google and others better defend the Android platform against malware attacks. On the other, it provides even unskilled hackers with all the raw materials they need to deploy what's arguably one of the world's more advanced Android surveillance suites.

  • Security tool bod's hell: People think I wrote code for Hacking Team!

    A respected security researcher has denied any involvement with Hacking Team after open-source code he wrote was found in smartphone spyware sold by the surveillance-ware maker.

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More in Tux Machines

Microsoft Still at It

5 open source RSS feed readers

When Google Reader was discontinued four years ago, many "technology experts" called it the end of RSS feeds. And it's true that for some people, social media and other aggregation tools are filling a need that feed readers for RSS, Atom, and other syndication formats once served. But old technologies never really die just because new technologies come along, particularly if the new technology does not perfectly replicate all of the use cases of the old one. The target audience for a technology might change a bit, and the tools people use to consume the technology might change, too. Read more

Leftovers: Software and OSS

  • 10 Portable Apps Every Linux User Should Use
    Portable apps are great invention that not many people talk about. The ability to take any program to any PC, and continue using it is very handy. This is especially true for those that need to get work done, and don’t have anything with you but a flash drive. In this article, we’ll go over some of the best portable Linux apps to take with you. From secure internet browsing, to eBooks, graphic editing and even voice chat! Note: a lot of the portable apps in this article are traditional apps made portable thanks to AppImage technology. AppImage makes it possible to run an app instantly, from anywhere without the need to install. Learn more here.
  • Linux Watch Command, To Monitor a Command Activity
    Recently i came to know about watch command, from one of my friend when i have a different requirement. I got good benefit from watch command and i want to share with you people to get more benefit on it, when you have a problem on Linux system.
  • Gammu 1.38.2
    Yesterday Gammu 1.38.2 has been released. This is bugfix release fixing for example USSD or MMS decoding in some situations. The Windows binaries are available as well. These are built using AppVeyor and will help bring Windows users back to latest versions.
  • How a lifecycle management tool uses metrics
    Greg Sutcliffe is a long-time member and now community lead of the Foreman community. Foreman is a lifecycle management tool for physical and virtual servers. He's been studying how the real-world application of community metrics gives insight into its effectiveness and discovering the gap that exists between the ideal and the practical. He shares what insights he's found behind the numbers and how he is using them to help the community grow. In this interview, Sutcliffe spoke with me about the metrics they are using, how they relate to the community's goals, and which ones work best for them. He also talks about his favorite tooling and advice for other community managers looking to up their metrics game.
  • Build a private blockchain ecosystem in minutes with this open source project Join our daily free Newsletter
  • Becoming an Agile Leader, Part 5: Learning to Learn
    As an Agile leader, you learn in at least two ways: observing and measuring what happens in the organization (I have any number of posts about qualitative and quantitative measurement); and just as importantly, you learn by thinking, discussing with others, and working with others. The people in the organization learn in these ways, too.
  • Is Scratch today like the Logo of the '80s for teaching kids to code?
    Leave it to technology to take an everyday word (especially in the English language) and give it a whole new meaning. Words such as the web, viral, text, cloud, apple, java, spam, server, and tablets come to mind as great examples of how the general public's understanding of the meaning of a word can change in a relatively short amount of time. Hence, this article is about a turtle and a cat who have changed the lives of many people over the years, including mine.

Linux and FOSS Events

  • Keynote: State of the Union - Jim Zemlin, Executive Director, The Linux Foundation
    As the open source community continues to grow, Jim Zemlin, Executive Director of The Linux Foundation, says the Foundation’s goal remains the same: to create a sustainable ecosystem for open source technology through good governance and innovation.
  • Open Source for Science + Innovation
    We are bringing together open source and open science specialists to talk about the “how and why” of open source and open science. Members of these communities will give brief talks which are followed by open and lively discussions open to the audience. Talks will highlight the role of openness in stimulating innovation but may also touch upon how openness appears to some to conflict with intellectual property interests.
  • Announcing the Equal Rating Innovation Challenge Winners
    Six months ago, we created the Equal Rating Innovation Challenge to add an additional dimension to the important work Mozilla has been leading around the concept of “Equal Rating.” In addition to policy and research, we wanted to push the boundaries and find news ways to provide affordable access to the Internet while preserving net neutrality. An open call for new ideas was the ideal vehicle.