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LXer Article

In the LXWR this week we have part 1 and 2 of Steven Rosenberg’s farewell to Fedora. why Glyn Moody is rooting for Microsoft, a long overdue look at XFCE, Dr. Tony Young’s final (or is it?) installment in his switching to KDE 4.4 adventures and the Linux foundation releases their annual list of who writes Linux. Enjoy!

Goodbye Fedora, welcome back Debian, Part 1: I really did like Fedora 13. I liked it enough to solve more than a handful of problems. I liked it enough to use a proprietary graphics driver for the first time (didn’t like that; not only was it outside the package-management system and hard to update, it didn’t perform so well either). I love the Fedora community, the openness that’s everywhere, the lack of pretense. But just as everything was roses, furry kittens and such when I first ran Fedora 13 with the 2.6.33 Linux kernel, it started to go dark with the change — in mid-cycle, mind you — to the 2.6.34 kernel.

Open Source Does Not Need Monetising: It’s common to hear commentators and business leaders justifying practices that wouldn’t be recognised as “open source” by many of us on the grounds that they have to make money somehow. Actions that deny the software freedoms of end users – and even developers – appear like a fungus, spuriously justified by the need for profit. Phrases like “we can’t give everything away” garnish the thought, and it’s easy to be drawn into sympathising with them. But they are wrong. Open source itself is not about making money – that’s the job of its participants. Open source is the pragmatic product and projection of software freedom.

How a “Welded-to KDE 3.5 User” Began a Move to KDE 4.4 – Part 2: In this second part of a two part guest editorial and tutorial Dr. Tony Young (an Australian Mycologist by trade) shares his trials, tribulations, successes and disappointments in working with the new version of KDE. In this installment he configures media players, K3b, Crossover Office, Lucid and Post Script and his final thoughts on his adventures.

Why I’m Rooting for Microsoft: It will not have escaped your notice that the patent system has been the subject of several posts on this blog, or that the general tenor is pretty simple: it’s broken, and nowhere more evidently so than for software. Anyone can see that, but what is much harder is seeing how to fix it given the huge vested interests at work here.

The bad guys are worried – did we win?: Recently two pieces of first class anti-free software diatribe hit the headlines. The first is Microsoft’s “please don’t use OpenOffice.org” video and the second is Steve Jobs’ anti-Android rant. Both are pretty shallow attempts at deflection and have been rightly called out as actually endorsing the subject of the attack as a valid opponent. In both cases it does seem to say that Microsoft and Jobs are concerned enough about OpenOffice.org and Android respectively that they need to tell the rest of us how bad they are.

6 Best Linux Terminal Applications for Linux: A Quake-style terminal is a drop-down terminal which can be shown/hidden just like the console in Quake (and most of the first-person shooter games out there), using the press of a key (~ in Quake). Guake is a terminal application written in GTK which uses the F12 keyboard shortcut by default to show or hide it.

Goodbye Fedora, welcome back Debian, Part 2: Review of Debian Squeeze: I’ve been keeping my eye on Debian Squeeze (and Sid) for the past few months via live images, and in the course of the release’s life there have been changes in the application lineup. Notable inclusions in the now-frozen Squeeze are the Ubuntu Software Center as an alternative way of managing applications. Yep, you read right: Debian is using the Ubuntu Software Center. It looks like Debian’s developers are in a more cooperative mood than they get credit for. I for one am glad to see such cross-pollination between Ubuntu and Debian.

A Long Overdue Look at XFCE: Here at MakeTechEasier, we’ve covered Linux desktop issues of all kinds, and we’ve examined desktop environments both well known (Gnome and KDE) as well as somewhat obscure (Window Maker, LXDE). For some reasons, we’ve never taken a close look at the very popular XFCE desktop environment. It’s nearly as feature-rich as Gnome, but with a smaller footprint. As it’s been a big name in the Linux desktop world for quite a few years now, it seems we’re long overdue to check out this polished and useful collection of software.

World Wildlife Fund WWF format cracked!: I heard about the new .WWF format this morning. It is an initiative of the World Wildlife Fund to prevent people printing .PDF files. As a matter of fact, it is a .PDF format, but slightly modified and with the “no printing” flag enabled. But I don’t like it when people are forbidding me something. It is sending the wrong message. So I set out to crack it.

Who Writes Linux?: This is an annual report published by The Linux Foundation that measures the the rate of Linux kernel development, who is doing it (developer names) and who is sponsoring it (company names). It has become an annual check on the state of the world’s largest open source project and collaborative development effort.

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LXer Article

In the Roundup this week we have all kinds of Open Source goodness for you including the news that Novell has been acquired by a company that may or may not have ties to Microsoft, how to wake up a Linux server remotely, Part 1 of how a KDE 3.5 user moved to KDE 4.4, ARM’s co-founder says Intels days of dominating the desktop are numbered and on a personal note today is the 5 year anniversary of the day my relationship with Linux got serious. Enjoy!

What’s Microsoft’s role in the Novell-Attachmate deal?: Seattle-based Attachmate Corp. is buying Novell for $2.2 billion, the companies announced on November 22. At the same time, Novell announced the “concurrent sale of certain intellectual property assets to CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft Corporation, for $450 million in cash.” So far, Microsoft is saying little about its role in the deal.

Novell Agrees to be Acquired by Attachmate Corporation: Novell, Inc., the leader in intelligent workload management, today announced that it has entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Attachmate Corporation would acquire Novell for $6.10 per share in cash in a transaction valued at approximately $2.2 billion. Attachmate Corporation is owned by an investment group led by Francisco Partners, Golden Gate Capital and Thoma Bravo. Novell also announced it has entered into a definitive agreement for the concurrent sale of certain intellectual property assets to CPTN Holdings LLC, a consortium of technology companies organized by Microsoft Corporation, for $450 million in cash, which cash payment is reflected in the merger consideration to be paid by Attachmate Corporation.

How a “Welded-to KDE3.5 User” Began a Move to KDE4.4 – Part 1: In this first part of a two part guest editorial and tutorial Dr. Tony Young (an Australian Mycologist by trade) shares his trials, tribulations, successes and disappointments in working with the new version of KDE. As a long time KDE 3.5 user he decided to see if he could get KDE 4.4 to look, feel and work the way he was used to KDE 3.5 working. Hang on everyone, its going to be a bumpy ride..

Linux Backup Server: Remote Wakeup, Automatic Shutdown: At last I can write this up for you, my fine readers. Today we’re going to learn about using Wake-on-LAN to wake up a server remotely, and automatic shutdowns. My master plan for my backup server is to automate everything– wake it up, run backups for all the computers in my house, and then everyone shuts down for the night.

Wayland VS X – Some Perspectives: The Linux world has been very talkative for the last few weeks with the news that Ubuntu plans on switching from the classic X server to Wayland for it’s graphics environment. What is Wayland exactly and why the change?…

Top Five Linux Deployment Mistakes: The days when Linux is an unknown quantity in a business are largely over — but that doesn’t mean that every organization has tons of experience deploying Linux. Even if your organization has deployed Linux before, there are some common mistakes to be aware of. Here’s five things you need to watch for when planning a new Linux deployment.

The best open source netbook distro of 2010 revealed!: Linux User & Developer magazine reviews four of the best netbook distros currently available in a bid to uncover the ultimate open source user experience for your netbook computer…

Intel Is Dead on the Desktop, Says ARM Co-Founder: Its days are numbered and the downfall of the Wintel monopoly has been forecast for some time. Intel has indeed lost significant ground to ARM chips, and Microsoft faces equally annoying competition from the likes of Google’s Android, which is climbing onboard practically every computer that isn’t a desktop PC or server.

Moving Desktop Windows users to Linux: More than a year ago I wrote a post concerning my personal experience. I manage our computer systems at work and never tried to convert user Pc’s to Linux, instead sometimes I showed them some of the nice stuff and played with them when their windows system crashed, or simply because network printers stopped working.

Goodbye Fedora, welcome back Debian, Part 1: I really did like Fedora 13. I liked it enough to solve more than a handful of problems. I liked it enough to use a proprietary graphics driver for the first time (didn’t like that; not only was it outside the package-management system and hard to update, it didn’t perform so well either). I love the Fedora community, the openness that’s everywhere, the lack of pretense. But just as everything was roses, furry kittens and such when I first ran Fedora 13 with the 2.6.33 Linux kernel, it started to go dark with the change — in mid-cycle, mind you — to the 2.6.34 kernel.

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LXer Article

The big stories this past week included an update on how far away Chrome OS is, a Ubuntu vs.Fedora comparison, 5 unusual games for Linux and a 200 line kernel patch that makes your desktop snappy. Enjoy!

Ubuntu vs Fedora: which is best?: Linux is always in a state of flux. On any given day, millions of lines of new code are being written, tested, double-checked, merged, packaged and downloaded from software repositories delivering another dose of opensource goodness. Unlike most desktop operating systems, release schedules are based on months rather than years (well, for most flavours of Linux) and so the experience of using Linux is one of trickled iterative change.

Schmidt: Google Chrome OS ‘a few months away’: Google boss Eric Schmidt has said that Chrome OS will be available “in the next few months” — which may be an indication that the company’s browser-based operating system has been delayed. Since unveiling the Chrome OS project last year, Google has said that systems using the operating system would be available by the end of this year. But the end of the year is a mere six weeks away. As he dropped the “a few months away” line at this week’s Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Schmidt said that Gingerbread, the new version of Android, was “a few weeks away.”

Tensions Between Ubuntu, Fedora Mount Over New Website: In an ideal world, free-software developers would happily get along and cooperate towards the same ends. But the world’s far from perfect, as rising tensions between the Ubuntu and Fedora camps have made clear recently in the wake of the founding a new website intended, ironically, to promote “respect” within the open-source ecosystems.

The ~200 Line Linux Kernel Patch That Does Wonders: In recent weeks and months there has been quite a bit of work towards improving the responsiveness of the Linux desktop with some very significant milestones building up recently and new patches continuing to come. This work is greatly improving the experience of the Linux desktop when the computer is withstanding a great deal of CPU load and memory strain. Fortunately, the exciting improvements are far from over. There is a new patch that has not yet been merged but has undergone a few revisions over the past several weeks and it is quite small — just over 200 lines of code — but it does wonders for the Linux desktop.

The Linux desktop may soon be a lot faster: Linux is fast. That’s why 90%+ of the Top 500 fastest supercomputers run it. What some people don’t realize is that Linux is much better at delivering speed for servers and supercomputers than it is on the desktop. That was by design. But over the last few years, there’s been more interest in delivering fast desktop performance. Now there’s a Linux kernel patch that may give you a faster, much faster, desktop experience.

Alternative To The “200 Lines Kernel Patch That Does Wonders” Which You Can Use Right Away: Phoronix recently published an article regarding a ~200 lines Linux Kernel patch that improves responsiveness under system strain. Well, Lennart Poettering, a RedHat developer replied to Linus Torvalds on a maling list with an alternative to this patch that does the same thing yet all you have to do is run 2 commands and paste 4 lines in your ~/.bashrc file.

The Perfect Desktop – Linux Mint 10 (Julia): This tutorial shows how you can set up a Linux Mint 10 (Julia) desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge. Linux Mint 10 is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu 10.10 that has lots of packages in its repositories (like multimedia codecs, Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, Skype, Google Earth, etc.) that are relatively hard to install on other distributions; it therefore provides a user-friendly desktop experience even for Linux newbies.

Fixing Akonadi’s warning of the non-existing leap second table: Ever since I installed Kontact 4.5, it has been showing an MySQL warning when starting. The exact error in the logs is:

Can’t open and lock time zone table: Table ‘mysql.time_zone_leap_second’ doesn’t exist trying to live without them

While it’s only a warning, I don’t like to have my logs filled with warnings. Hence, I went on a hunt to prevent this warning. Lots of posts said this issue is fixed in newer versions (certainly not for me!), or it doesn’t matter. But that wasn’t good enough for me..

5 unusal games for Linux: We often hear that there are no games on Linux, or that are much worse than their counterparts for windows, so today I want to show some unusual games that run perfectly on our favorite operating system. Caph Caph is a sandbox game, based on physics. The game target is to make contact red object with green object. You can use various objects, solid, wire (rope), and bendable objects. Gravitation will help you.

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LXer Article

In the LXWR this week we have why Wayland is good for the future, Apache tells Oracle they are leaving the JCP, a music player with an ugly name, does Linux competing with Windows matter anymore? and 24 things we would change about Linux. Enjoy!

Why Wayland is good for the future…: The recent announce at UDS about the fact that the venerable X server & protocols will not be the default choice for Unity and as a consequence Ubuntu was a shock for some, it is clearly a relief for me…

Is it time for Free software to move on?: A remarkable continuity underlies free software, going all the way back to Richard Stallman’s first programs for his new GNU project. And yet within that continuity, there have been major shifts: are we due for another such leap?

24 things we’d change about Linux: If you use Linux long enough, you’ll soon discover a list of things you wished were different. Here are 24 things that we wish were different.

Linux: Does Being Competitive with Windows Matter?: How many times have you heard this statement: “It’s the year of the Linux desktop.” Not recently? Then how about “Linux is making gains on the Windows desktop”? Still leaving a bad taste in your mouth? Bet I know why. For years, both the statements above have been over-used to the point that either idea is now completely meaningless. Not due to anything negative with the Linux desktop, mind you, rather due to inherent differences in how Linux is marketed to the world, who its intended audience is and whether mainstream adoption even matters in the first place.

Apache to Oracle: We’re leaving the Java Community Process: The Apache Software Foundation is usually a nice, quiet organization that supports the development of quite a lot of open source software. Unlike the Free Software Foundation, it doesn’t usually get political or controversial. But the ASF is calling Oracle out over its handling of the Java Community Process (JCP).

What can all managers learn from Free, Open Source Software?: The 2010 edition of the Free/Open Source Software in Academia Conference (fOSSa) was an interesting event, with several talks that are quite relevant for everybody who cares about effective business and human resources management in ANY sector, not just in the software industry.

Two Features Wayland Will Have That X Doesn’t: While the discussion surrounding the Wayland Display Server and Canonical’s plans to deploy Ubuntu atop Wayland continue to be ongoing within our forums (here, here, and here) and elsewhere, some new technical capabilities and plans for Wayland have been discussed. Here’s two features that Wayland is set to have that is not currently supported by the X.Org Server.

DeadBeef – Simple, Lightweight Music Player for Ubuntu Maverick, Lucid: DeadBeef is probably the simplest and the most lightweight music player I have ever used in my Ubuntu. If you are someone who loves to keep it simple and useful at the same time, DeadBeef is one music player you definitely don’t want to miss.

Just Stop It, Microsoft: We all know that Microsoft doesn’t like people messing with their stuff. For example, Microsoft really hates the amount of piracy that surrounds Windows and Office. The company frequently releases updates that make piracy of those products harder and harder. This is completely legal considering that only Microsoft owns Windows and Office. You pay about 300.00USD to have MS Office and MS Windows, and those would be introductory versions of each. Now, apparently, the company wishes to control things even more.

Distro Developers Need Dollars!: Distro developers work hard and could use your financial support. These are hard times, and a lot of people are hurting financially. Jobs and money are hard to come by, and many folks are just getting by. It turns out that even your favorite distro developers could use a few bucks to help them keep churning out new & updated distros for desktop use.

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LXer Article

Some of the big stories this week included Steve Ballmer saying Android isn’t free, Bruce Byfield talks about Ubuntu’s real contribution to FOSS, Google makes aggressive counterclaims in the Oracle suit, Glyn Moody asks; Is Microsoft running out of steam? and last but not least Scott Charney, a Microsoft VP says that infected PCs should be banned from the internet. You have to read it to believe it. Enjoy!

Fork You, Oracle!: The open source community viscerally reacts to Oracle’s acquisition of Sun. Well it finally happened, as we all knew it would. Oracle bought Sun and promptly pissed off a lot of people with its heavy-handed ways. Anybody who has followed Oracle’s past antics shouldn’t be surprised by its behavior since acquiring OpenOffice, nor the reaction from the open source community which can be simply summed up as follows:Ballmer: Android ain’t free. Microsoft gets paid.: On the back of the news that Microsoft (MSFT) is suing Motorola (MOT) for patent infringments related to Android, Steve Ballmer tells the Wall Street Journal that HTC is paying a license fee for its use of Android…and that other Android manufactures may be forced to do the same.

The OpenOffice fork is officially here: It’s not that Oracle wishes ill of The Document Foundation and its take on OpenOffice, LibreOffice. Oracle just isn’t going to be having anything to do with it. When The Document Foundation released the beta of LibreOffice, the group wanted to speed up the rate of changes to the notoriously slow OpenOffice office suite software project and make significant improvements to OpenOffice, such as adding Microsoft OpenXML format compatibility to the program. This suggestion received support from all the major open-source and Linux powers: Red Hat, Novell, and Ubuntu. Even Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, announced that they’d place LibreOffice in next spring’s update of Ubuntu.

Ubuntu’s Real Contribution to Free Software: Reactions to Ubuntu are rarely balanced. Too often, people love or hate it so extravagantly that the opinions negate themselves. Often, the reactions are so extreme that a fair assessment of the popular distribution is difficult. Add some genuine mis-steps, and the assessment seems almost impossible. So exactly what does Ubuntu contribute to free software? The answer, I think, is different from what those in either extreme seem to believe.

Google Answers Oracle, Counterclaims, and Moves to Dismiss Copyright Infringement Claim: Google has filed its Answer with Counterclaims to Oracle’s patent and copyright infringement complaint, and how! It’s a very aggressive and confident response to Oracle’s complaint. Google asks that Oracle’s complaint be dismissed, for a judgment in favor of all its counterclaims, for a declaratory judgment that Google has not infringed or contributed to any infringement of any of the patents, a declaration of the invalidity of all the Oracle patents, and a declaration that all Oracle’s claims are barred by laches, equitable estoppel and/or waiver, and unclean hands. It wants Oracle to have to pays its costs and expenses of this litigation, including Google’s attorneys’ fees and expert witness fees, asking for a judgment that this is an exceptional case warranting it.

Is Microsoft running out of steam?: People forget that the central purpose of patents is to encourage real innovation, not simply reward people for being the first to file for even obvious ideas with over-stretched patent offices that set incredibly low bars. The world of patents has become perverted in recent years: patents are seen as valuable things in themselves – the more the merrier – irrespective of whether they do, truly, promote innovation. Worse: in the world of software, they are actually brakes on that innovation, particularly as they begin to interact and form impenetrable patent thickets.

One Billion Dollars! Wait… I Mean One Billion Files!!!: The world is awash in data. This fact is putting more and more pressure on file systems to efficiently scale to handle increasingly large amounts of data. Recently, Ric Wheeler from Redhat experimented with putting 1 Billion files in a single file system to understand what problems/issues the Linux community might face in the future. Let’s see what happened…

Whither the weather? Linux CLI solutions: Command line weather app is example of why the cli is good. The command line is a great place to get weather information. Here, I discuss one cli-app for current conditions and forecasts, in the larger context of why you would ever want to use the command line anyway. There are several ways to use your computer to check the weather. One is to use the Nakob Weather Rock method. Suspend the computer using a rope from a tripod of sticks. If the computer is swaying, that means it is windy. If the computer is wet, that means it is raining.

Mozilla upsets net world order with Bing on Firefox: The Firefox 4 search toolbar will offer Microsoft Bing as an alternative to Google, as Mozilla takes another step towards its traditional nemesis — and apparently hedges its bets against its traditional sugar daddy. As Mozilla announced this morning with a blog post, the latest English-language version of Mozilla’s open source browser — due for release in November — will retain Google as the default search engine. But for the first time, Bing will be listed in the pull-down that lets you change the default. Google will be first on the menu. Yahoo! — now powered by Bing — will be second. And Bing will be third.

Are there too Many Consortia?: Companies that participate in hundreds of standard setting organizations (SSOs) often bemoan the continuing launch of more and more such organizations. Why, they are wont to ask, are so many new ones being formed all the time? And indeed, the aggregate participation costs for such companies in terms of membership dues and personnel are very high.

Sick PCs should be banned from the net says Microsoft: Virus-infected computers that pose a risk to other PCs should be blocked from the net, a senior researcher at software giant Microsoft suggests.

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LXer Article

In this week’s LXWR OpenOffice.org gets liberated, a nice review of Linux Mint, The GNU Project celebrates its 27th birthday, Jono Bacon talks about how Ubuntu gets built, a case for Linux in schools, Rad Hat’s CEO makes it on Mad Money, Microsoft sues Motorola because of Android and a LXer Feature by our own Hans Kwint on the choices Windows and Linux users both have. Enjoy!

LibreOffice: OpenOffice.org Liberated: It has been a long time coming, but finally it happened: OpenOffice.org has been forked under the name of LibreOffice. The Document Foundation will oversee the development of LibreOffice. According to the press release, “The Document Foundation is the result of a collective effort by leading independent members of the former OpenOffice.org community, including several project leads and key members of the Community Council.” Red Hat, Canonical, Google, and Novell are among the backers of The Document Foundation and the new fork.

Goodbye OpenOffice. LibreOffice, Here I Come!: I was ecstatic today to hear the news that former members of the OpenOffice.org Foundation have decided to create a fork of OpenOffice called LibreOffice. This fork will be a democratic and community-driven project, free from the dubious motivations of Oracle Corporation. I suspected that someone would eventually do something like this, but I was not expecting it so soon.

Windows users face as many choices as Linux users: A while ago, Graham Morrison wrote: “The trouble with Linux: there’s too much choice”. Implicitly, the article refers to “more choice than with Windows”. The article led to reactions from Carla Schroeder, Caitlyn Martin, Alastair Otter and Ron Miller. While the articles provided for an interesting discussion, none of them addressed the fundamentals of Linux distributions and choice of desktop software in my opinion. Because from an objective point of view, Windows users face as many choices as Linux users do. But most Windows users are just not aware of all the choices they’re making.

5 Intriguing KDE Apps : The beauty of an open development platform is that anyone can take a stab at creating an application. KDE, which is built upon the Qt application and UI framework, is a shining example of this. A quick look at KDE-Apps.org reveals that new apps are added daily. I periodically browse through the latest KDE apps to see if anything stands out, and I found these five, some of which are in early development.

Linux Mint: the tastier Ubuntu: Launched in October of 2004, Linux Mint has rapidly emerged as one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions. In this review, LinuxTrends takes a look at the latest Linux Mint release and finds it to be preferable to Ubuntu (on which it’s based) in several significant ways.

Happy 27th Birthday GNU Project!: A hearty Happy 27th Birthday to the GNU Project! Here is a link to the original announcement of the GNU Project posted by Richard Stallman on September 27, 1983. Without the GNU project FOSS as we know it today would not exist. Thank You to everyone who works and has worked on the GNU project over the last 27 years. You have helped make the world a better place. We at LXer take our hats off to you.

How we build Ubuntu: Ubuntu is one of the most polished Linux distributions available, fusing the work of a global community of contributors who provide a diverse range of skills to make Ubuntu what it is. While we all enjoy the fruits of a new Ubuntu release every six months, many people have asked the team over the years how this wide range of contributors manage to come together to build a new Ubuntu release.

Linux in Schools: Why schools should have students use and learn Linux instead of some other OS. What computer operating system should students learn at school? Most schools use MS Windows or Mac, but a number have switched or are in the process of switching to Linux. For schools the advantages are lower costs, greater security, no viruses or spyware, easier upgrades and better reliability. Lastly, there are very few licensing hassles or concerns about pirated software.

Red Hat Linux is Mad Money: Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of different people try and explain the economic proposition that open source and Linux offers. One of the best such explanations I’ve ever heard came on CNBC’s Mad Money show this week during which host Jim Cramer was interviewing Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst. With Red Hat, Cramer noted that it is a disruptive force and that’s what makes it attractive. His view is that in tech, disruptive forces are the most valuable types of companies.

Microsoft sues Motorola over patents, citing Android phones: Microsoft has filed suit against Motorola, alleging that the mobile phone maker’s Android-based smartphones violate nine of the Redmond company’s patents. Motorola promised to “vigorously defend” against the allegations, citing the strength of its own intellectual property portfolio.

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LXer Article

Could things be more exciting in the the world of FOSS right now? Yes it could, but let’s not be too hasty..

Oracle buys Sun and proceeds to use its patent portfolio to sue Google for infringement. Openoffice.org is going to have to split off or separate itself from Oracle somehow or change its licensing to remain free. Paul Allen unloads a patent Gatling Gun on every big name is the Tech industry. Is it going to be Red Hat or VMware that will take over the ailing Novell? Mandriva has broken into pieces. I’ll keep going if you let me..

It seems that the SCO trial has finally come to an end but even in the settling of the dust the lawyers can’t stop filing motions. The Oracle-Sun deal looks to be the next long term big story in FOSS I believe. The possible implications for FOSS with Oracle now owning one of the most extensive technology patent portfolios outside of IBM mean that there are more exciting times ahead, if that is what you want to call it.

All the while Microsoft still puts out tasty pieces of FUD every so often and I have come to find it reassuring in its consistency. But again Oracle could easily displace Microsoft as the Darth Vader of FOSS if they decide to go on the offensive with their patents, which looks likely to me. Larry Ellison is certainly tall enough for the part..

Ubuntu continues to grow, deepen its impact and cement its status as “The other word for Linux” to those who probably have no idea what FOSS is but are ten times more likely to have heard the word Ubuntu before Linux. I say that because I have been the person talking about Linux and/or Free and Open Source Software with someone for their very first time, many many times. I have seen how in the last several years Ubuntu has permeated the tech industry, just in name alone most of the time, many people having heard of it but not knowing exactly what it is. It is truly amazing.

It has looked to me like the tide continues to rise in the world of FOSS and as such its visibility does too. Things have continued to change at an ever quickening pace since my time managing our newswire. In the past decade alone Linux and FOSS have gone from their stone age to the space age. Could it be that FOSS is growing up too fast for its own good? Much like in the 19th century American West? Are we getting too big for our own britches?

Something I am starting to see as well are the beginnings of the far-reaching effects of Open Source ideals in communication and philosophy, which have the possibility of positively touching everyone on the planet. I can only imagine what the impact of FOSS on human society will look like in the next 20 or 30 years. I have started to see these things and ask myself these questions recently and I wonder what others would say in response to them. So I’m asking, what do you think?

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