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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 this week’s LXWR we have Canonical going on record about open core, Eight reasons to give the E17 a try, Oracle wants LibreOffice members to leave OOo council, The London Stock Exchange smashes the world record trade speed using Linux and with Ray Ozzie just the latest to walk out of Redmond, is this the beginning of the end for Microsoft? Enjoy!

Web browser speed test: Chrome, Firefox, IE9, Opera and Safari head-to-head: With Internet Explorer 9 being acclaimed as the fastest ever browser client from Microsoft, DaniWeb decided to put it to the test against Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari and see just how quick it really is in a real world test of web browsing speed.

Canonical, Ltd. Finally On Record: Seeking Open Core: I’ve written before about my deep skepticism regarding the true motives of Canonical, Ltd.’s advocacy and demand of for-profit corporate copyright assignment without promises to adhere to copyleft. I’ve often asked Canonical employees, including Jono Bacon, Amanda Brock, Jane Silber, Mark Shuttleworth himself, and — in the comments of this very blog post — Matt Asay to explain (a) why exactly they demand copyright assignment on their projects, rather than merely having contributors agree to the GNU GPL formally (like projects such as Linux do), and (b) why, having received a contributor’s copyright assignment, Canonical, Ltd. refuses to promise to keep the software copylefted and never proprietarize it (FSF, for example, has always done the latter in assignments). When I ask these questions of Canonical, Ltd. employees, they invariably artfully change the subject.

Fear and loathing and open core: Bradley M Kuhn published an interest blog post at the weekend explaining why he believes Canonical is about to go down the open core licensing route and heavily criticising the company for doing so. My take on the post is that it is the worst kind of Daily Mail-esque fear mongering and innuendo. Not only does Bradley lack any evidence for his claim, the evidence he presents completely undermines his argument and distracts attention from what could be a very important point about copyright assignment. The premise? Mark Shuttleworth has admitted that he plans to follow the open core licensing strategy with Canonical.

Eight Reasons to give the E17 Desktop a Try: During the three and a half years I have spent using Linux I have tried every different type of desktop under the sun and of them all Enlightenment’s E17 is my personal favorite. The following are a few reasons why it may be worth breaking out of your Gnome/KDE comfort zone to give E17 a try.

Oracle wants LibreOffice members to leave OOo council: A group of key OpenOffice.org (OOo) contributors and community members recently decided to fork the project and establish The Document Foundation (TDF) in order to drive forward community-driven development of the open source office suite. Oracle has responded to the move by asking several members of TDF to step down from their positions as representatives on the OOo community council.

London Stock Exchange smashes world record trade speed with Linux: The London Stock Exchange has said its new Linux-based system is delivering world record networking speed, with 126 microsecond trading times. The news comes ahead a major Linux-based switchover in twelve days, during which the open source system will replace Microsoft .Net technology on the group’s main stock exchange. The LSE had long been criticised on speed and reliability, grappling with trading speeds of several hundred microseconds.

Oracle issues first OpenOffice.org 3.3.0 release candidate: Two months after the first beta arrived, the OpenOffice.org developers have issued the first release candidate (RC1) of OpenOffice.org 3.3.0, the next release of the Oracle owned open source office suite. According to the OpenOffice.org Wiki, the RC1 development version will be followed by a second release candidate and a quality assurance (QA) build prior to the final product release. Dates for the RC2, QA and Final version have yet to be confirmed.

Beginning of the end for Microsoft?: Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect, is leaving the company. There are a couple of moments in Microsoft’s long history that will be remembered as when the company changed forever. One of those is, naturally, when Bill Gates handed over the reins. The other will be the day that Ray Ozzie, Microsoft’s chief software architect, leaves the building.

WordPress Founder on the Key to Open Source Success: As a 19-year-old college student in 2003, Matt Mullenweg developed what has become the largest self-hosted blogging tool on the web. Two years later, he founded Automattic, which runs the content management system for WordPress and a handful of other web tools. WordPress — still free and open source — is currently used by more than 12% of the top million websites (this one included). In a recent e-mail exchange, Mullenweg discussed the open source movement, the shifting personal web publishing world, and the future of WordPress.

Redmond Delivers Another Big POS: In 1996, Microsoft got together with a group of companies that included NCR, Epson, and Fujitisu to produce OLE for POS (abbreviated OPOS), which stands for Object Linking and Embedding for Point of Sale.

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LXer Article

In the Roundup this week we have news of IBM deciding to back Oracle’s OpenJDK instead of Harmony, Phoronix releases the 2010 Linux graphics survey results, 5 mistakes Linux newcomers make and lastly John E. Dunn gets the crazy idea to ditch Windows for Ubuntu. Enjoy!

IBM backs Oracle against Apache and Google’s Android: Oracle is no longer totally isolated on Java — IBM now stands with the giant, in a move that potentially stymies Google’s Android. IBM said Monday that it’s putting its efforts into the OpenJDK project, run by Oracle, and switching away from the Apache Software Foundation’s (ASF’s) Project Harmony on Java Standard Edition (Java SE).

Was Taken For Granted, Now Forgotten: I found a computing treasure in a local Goodwill store three weeks ago: a book about System/360 assembly language. (Assembly language is the human-readable form of the concrete instructions carried out by the computer.) In earlier years, this would have been a wonderful surprise, but a previous find precludes that from happening… Last year, I found a special treat in the discount bin of a local grocery store: a movie, in Mongolian. In the rural Midwest USA, that is difficult to surpass that for surprise finds.

2010 Linux Graphics Survey Results: Last month we carried out our fourth annual Linux Graphics Survey in which we sought feedback from the Linux community about the most common graphics drivers and hardware in use, what display/GPU-related features desktop users are most interested in, and collect other metrics to aide developers.

Linux Gaming: Wine vs. Cedega vs. CrossOver Games: In previous posts, I have highlighted some of the outstanding new native Linux games that are coming out soon or have been out but may not be well known. For many Linux gamers, however, the pool of native Linux games is still too small. As most already know, it is possible to play some Windows games in Linux using Wine. Additionally, there are two prominent commercial spin-offs of Wine that are both designed specifically for gaming: Cedega and CrossOver Games. At one time, there was little difference between the three, other than the graphical configuration interfaces

Top 5 mistakes by Linux first-timers: With the arrival of Ubuntu 10.10, the list of reasons to try Linux for your business just got a little longer. The free and open source operating system is now more user-friendly than it’s ever been before while still offering the many security and other advantages it has over its competitors. If you’re among the legions of new Linux users out there, congratulations on making a smart move! Now that you’re on your way to a lifetime of freedom from high costs, vendor lock-in, constant malware attacks, and the many other disadvantages associated with Windows and Mac OS X, you should be aware of some of the classic mistakes Linux newcomers sometimes make.

Here’s a crazy security idea – ditch Windows for Ubuntu 10.10 Linux: After some days with the latest Ubuntu Linux desktop release, I was planning to devote a few graphs to extolling its many virtues. This is not a hard exercise because Ubuntu 10.10 is exemplary, about as good as it gets at doing the main things desktop operating systems were originally invented to do. It’s refined, uncluttered, comes with plenty of apps for most people and, most of all, it’s stable and fast. It runs happily in 1GB of RAM, something no version of Windows has done since the obsolete XP. There’s even a netbook edition with larger icons.

Is Linux Gaining share at Windows Expense? Maybe, Maybe not: The study also doesn’t shed much light on potential hybrid deployments where Linux is deployed alongside Windows and Unix. “We didn’t ask that question exactly,” McPherson said. “I bet you are correct that many would be hybrid, and that would be good to ask next time.”

KDE 4 vs. GNOME 3: An Early Comparison: How will GNOME 3 compare to KDE 4? The picture is still emerging, since GNOME 3’s official release is still months away. However, with GNOME Shell available as a preview in the latest GNOME releases, a general outline is starting to be visible. Of course, some elements cannot be compared yet. It would be unfair, for instance, to compare panels in any detail, because in the previews GNOME Shell’s panel has neither applets nor configurations. Nor, for that matter, can much be said yet about the upcoming KDE 4.6, which should be the latest version when GNOME 3.0 is released.

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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 Roundup we have more on the Oracle – Google lawsuit, how corporate America went open source, games that transmit GPS coordinates, converting eBooks, a space elevator and a Happy 17th Birthday to Debian. Enjoy!

Google vows to fight Oracle lawsuit as Java creator speaks out: Google has vowed to fight Oracle’s patent lawsuit over use of Java patents in Android, claiming that Android’s Dalvik implementation is not covered. Meanwhile, Java creator James Gosling blogs that neither side in the lawsuit is without blame, but calls the suit a victory for “ego, money and power” at the expense of open software development, says eWEEK.

How corporate America went open-source: There was a time when open-source software was the domain of computer geeks and do-it-yourselfers with more time than money. But, as Oracle’s legal salvo against Google highlighted last week, those days are long gone. Oracle (ORCL), through its purchase of Sun Microsystems, has become one of the largest purveyors of open-source software in the world. Google (GOOG) makes the open-source and increasingly ubiquitous Android smartphone operating system.

Android game secretly transmits GPS coordinates : In a post on their Connect blog, security specialist Symantec reports on a new trojan for Android that masquerades as a free Tap Snake game, while secretly transmitting GPS coordinates to a server in the background. These coordinates can then be retrieved and displayed in Google Maps via the GPS Spy Android app sold for €5 by the same vendor, Maxicom. According to Symantec, the Tap Snake process can’t easily be killed and continues to run in the background.

Convert eBooks in Linux: Say you just bought an Amazon Kindle or a Barnes and Noble Nook. You want to convert your eBook collection to .EPUB or .MOBI format. For this, install Calibre. The application not only provides you with a graphical way to manage your eBook collection, but also comes with a set of useful command-line tools. One of these is ebook-convert. This tool can help you convert between tens of standard formats like EPUB, FB2, LIT, LRF, MOBI, OEB, PDB, PDF, PML, RB, RTF, TCR, TXT, HTML and more. Even CBR and CBZ (comic book formats) are supported.

A Space Elevator in <7: Future software advancements like cars that drive themselves will trigger a new perspective on whether we can build a space elevator, and in what timeframe.

Oracle scorns open source: How to respond?: As I’ve noted, I don’t claim to have any insight into how this lawsuit will conclude, whether it will blow up into a long and bloody battle between Oracle and Google, or whether it will be concluded by some quick and relatively amicable solution. But I do believe that whatever happens, whatever it might nominally “win”, Oracle has certainly and irrevocably lost more in terms of trust and goodwill within the free software world than it will ever understand. The message is clear: Fork all the main open source projects that Oracle owns or transfer energies to a replacement.

7 Sources of Free Sounds for Multimedia Projects: In my posts 11 Techy Things for Teachers to Try This Year and How To Do 11 Techy Things In the New School Year I mentioned podcasting and video creation. When creating podcasts and videos adding music and other sounds can enhance your students’ presentations. Here are seven tools that your students can use find and or create sounds for their multimedia presentations.

How Oracle might kill Google’s Android and software patents all at once: In reality, Oracle is a major proponent of open software, pushing Linux and taking a stand against the notion of software patents themselves. Yes, that’s right, the company filing the year’s biggest software patent infringement case is also a major critic of the idea of software patents in general. When somebody points a gun at you, you point one back even if you don’t like the idea of guns. You might even shoot first. Oracle likes Linux so much that it funds Btrfs, a GPL licensed, futuristic and advanced new file system that supports pooling, snapshots, checksums, and other features that sound a lot like Sun’s ZFS, which Oracle now also owns. The difference is that Oracle didn’t mire Btrfs in legal quandary the way Sun did with ZFS before Oracle bought them.

Like it or Not: It is a Windows World: “If you don’t like Windows so much then don’t use it!” This is something I have been told more than once (sometimes in not those kind of words) by various people when we have been discussing operating systems. As much as I would like to take their suggestion, the fact is I can’t.

Why Oracle was right to sue Google: The tech industry loves a good vendor slugfest, and the upcoming legal battle between Google and Oracle has all the makings of a truly spectacular one. At issue is Dalvik, the unique, Java-based runtime at the heart of Google’s Android smartphone OS. Oracle, which gained stewardship of the Java platform when it bought Sun Microsystems in 2009, claims Dalvik knowingly, willfully, and deliberately infringes on Java intellectual property. According to a complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco last week, Oracle is seeking a halt to any further Android development, destruction of all infringing Android software, and for Google to pay damages, both actual and statutory.

Happy 17th Birthday to Debian!: It was on August 16th, 1993 that Ian Murdock started the Debian Project. Named after he and his Wife with the idea of a ‘distribution’ collaborated on openly by people all over the world. Thank You Ian, seventeen years later Debian still rocks.

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LXer Article

The big news this week is a double shot of Oracle both suing Google for supposed Java copyright infringement in Android and the killing of OpenSolaris. Our own Hans Kwint expounds the merits of anticipating lock-in and much more in this weeks LXWR. Enjoy!

Android 3 plans ahead: Android 3.0 is readying for an October launch. What you can expect. Most Android users are only now upgrading to version 2.2 of Google’s mobile phone operating system but with version 3.0 expected in October, it’s worth taking a look at what to expect.

Legal DVD Playback Coming to Linux?: In a country where the legal system is based on precedents, a judge’s recent decision just may make the use of Linux a whole lot easier. From nearly the beginnings of entertainment DVDs, Linux users in certain countries either had to break the law to watch their legally obtained media on their computer, boot a Windows system, or not use them. Many chose to break the law and install decryption software. Perhaps those days are over.

My first-ever Windows installation experience, a Fedora 13-Windows 7 dual-boot: I’ve done between 60 and 200 (who can remember?) installations of Linux and the various BSD operating systems over the past few years, and while there’s plenty of discussion about how hard it is to install a Linux distribution, nobody talks much about how easy/hard/frustrating it is to install Windows. I’ve never done it myself — install Windows, that is. Over the years I’ve upgraded a few boxes from Windows 98 or Me to Windows 2000, I’ve put a few Service Packs into 2000 and XP, but I’ve never done the whole thing — put Windows on a bare drive.

Linux is winning: Linux doesn’t have a CEO. Consequently, there’s no annual keynote hosted by a charismatic alpha male. But if it did, and if there were a conference covering the first half of this year, the first speech would start with three words: “Linux is winning”. Firstly, a market research firm in the US called The NPD Group revealed that sales of Google’s Android platform overtook those of Apple’s iPhone in the first quarter of 2010, propelling itself into second place behind the waning RIM.

Exit costs of lock-in: Anticipate or it’s too late!: When discussing ‘migration’ costs from one platform or piece of software to another, I noted many people fail to understand the idea of ‘exit costs’. In this article, I present my explanation of exit costs, and I hope this article may serve as a reference to exit costs in the future. Especially people involved with decision-taking in IT are encouraged to read this article!

Canonical explain the new Ubuntu census package: Canonical developer Rick Spencer has blogged about the recent discovery of a canonical-census package in the Ubuntu repositories. Although initial speculation suggested Canonical was tracking the users of pre-installed systems with Ubuntu, Spencer points out that the idea of the census package is actually to count the number of OEM installed Ubuntu system without identifying the users of those systems.

Patenting Software: The Business Responsible Thing to Do: Those who are in favor of open source frequently become near apoplectic at the thought that open source software can be, and in fact should be, patented. The reality is that forward thinking companies that operate in the open source space do make use of the patent system. A quick search of Freepatentsonline.com shows that Red Hat, Inc., one of the preeminent open source companies in the world, is named as the assignee on some 263 US patents or US patent applications. So if you are about to make an enormous mistake and listen to the “open source means free” community, ask yourself why a highly successful company like Red Hat uses the patent system and acquires patents. If patents are good for Red Hat, an open source company not at all enamored with the existence of software patents, then why are software patents bad for you? Shouldn’t you model your business off successful companies?

5 More Linux Games You Probably Haven’t Played: Linux is not known for gaming, and when most people think of Linux games, they think of a few free and open source games that are good but not numerous. Nevertheless, there is a growing pool of free and commercial independent gaming developers who are pushing the envelope by offering their games on multiple platforms, including Linux. They are available for purchase and download right over the Internet (often DRM-free), and some of them are pretty high quality. Here are five more you might not have played but are definitely worth giving a try.

Oracle sues Google for Java copyright infringement in Android: Oracle Corp. said Thursday it has filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit against Google Inc., alleging that the Internet search giant infringed on intellectual property related to the Java software that Oracle acquired when it purchased Sun Microsystems Inc.

Initial Thoughts on Oracle vs Google Patent Lawsuit: Today Oracle sued Google over Java patents and copyrights that they claim Google’s Android OS infringes. The lawsuit claims that Google knowingly infringed on those patents, and that the continued distribution of Google’s Android is harming Oracle’s Java Business.

The final verdict is in: OpenSolaris is no more: In what is supposedly a leaked internal memo to Oracle staff, the adoptive parent company of Sun’s OpenSolaris had announced the fate the project’s (and binary release’s) future. That is, they will support it no more outside of CDDL’d package updates for future Solaris (i.e. Solaris 11) releases.

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LXer Article

Negroponte offers OLPC technology for $35 tablet: One Laptop Per Child wants to join forces to help develop the Indian government’s planned US$35 tablet. In a congratulatory note to the government, OLPC Chairman Nicholas Negroponte said the world needs the $35 tablet, and he offered the country full access to OLPC hardware and software technology.

The Jargon of Freedom: 60 Words and Phrases with Context: What exactly does it mean when Richard Stallman says that the Creative Commons’ Attribution-ShareAlike license has a “Weak Copyleft”? Why exactly is it that “Freeware” and “Non-Free Software” mean the same thing, while “Free Software” is something else entirely? And what is this business with “Free Beer”, and where can I get some? If you’ve asked yourself these questions, this column is for you.

Workstation Benchmarks: Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu Linux: As I alluded to recently, the second round of Windows 7 vs. Linux benchmarks — with the first round consisting of Is Windows 7 Actually Faster Than Ubuntu 10.04 and Mac OS X vs. Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu benchmarks — are currently being done atop a Lenovo ThinkPad W510 notebook that is quite popular with business professionals. With the high-end ThinkPad W510 boasting a dual quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU with Hyper-Threading plus a NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M graphics processor, we began this second round of cross-platform benchmarks by running a set of workstation tests. In this article we are mainly looking at the workstation graphics (via SPECViewPerf) performance along with some CPU/disk tests.

Android Deployments up 868%: Worldwide smartphone analysts Canalys announced that Android deployments had increased by 886 percent in Q2 2010 compared to Q2 2009. The report also showed that Nokia remained at the top of the OEM heap, selling 24 million smartphones in Q1 2010 alone.

Sun takeover latest – Oracle still painfully silent…: In the months since it completed its takeover of Sun Microsystems, Oracle has remained painfully silent over its plans for much of Sun’s treasure trove of open source assets. In the meantime, there are an increasing number of companies stepping up to shepherd Oracle’s lost sheep…

bash one-liner, Get GPS location and street Address: Combine the power of Google location services with the power of nix shell tools, and you are able to answer the age old question of “Where am I?” right from the comfort of your bash shell! This short article shows you a bash onliner that connects to Google and gets what Google thinks is your GPS location and street address. Quoting the author “If the returned information is wrong, or some kind of “unknown” .. Consider yourself lucky, very lucky! That means Google does not (yet?) know where your wifi AP is. For the rest of us .. tin-foil all the way”

Ubuntu 10.10’s New File System: btrfs, A Closer Look: Between ext3, ext4, reiserfs and others, Ubuntu has no shortage of file systems to choose from when installing a new system. And those options are set to become yet more numerous in Ubuntu 10.10, which will introduce support for btrfs. Wondering what this new file system is all about and why it might matter to you?

BCS Linux-baiting sparks flame war: An article on open source security has sparked off a furious backlash in the normally polite and businesslike world of a British Computer Society journal. Commentards have reacted furiously to a piece by Steve Smith, managing director of IT security consultancy Pentura, in the July Edition of ITNow. A lengthy first response by Luke Leighton takes the article apart paragraph by paragraph and contains a dozen expunged swearwords. The opening line of the 4,000 word rebuttal, for example, reads “the BCS is supposed to be a reputable organisation, yet this article – every paragraph – is complete [DELETED].”

Debian Developer Conference under way in New York City: The tenth annual Debian Developer Conference has opened in New York City, marking the first time the event has been held in the U.S. The event will explore the latest developments with the Debian Linux distribution, which underlies Linux distros including Ubuntu, Xandros, and Chrome OS.

Not Having Linux Skills is IT Malpractice: Some things seem so obvious I feel silly even saying them. And this is one of them: any IT staffer who only knows one operating system is not worth hiring. We see the silly Microsoft vs. Linux vs. Apple stories every day, with Ten Reasons Why This One is Better, and 7 Reasons Why That One Sucks, and Five Ways to Make Headlines With Lists. The ones that crack me up are the “10 Scary Hurdles to Migrating to Linux.” Ever notice how every single time they mention “You’ll need Linux skills!” Oh dear, no! Linux skills? Well there’s a dealbreaker! Because it is completely unreasonable to expect your current batch of delicate Windows admins to have any Linux skills. Sigh.

11 free open-source apps your small business can use now: Despite the wealth of free applications out there, many small business owners continue to spend an inordinate amount of their all-too-scarce resources on software. Microsoft Office 2010? That’ll be $499.99 — or $279.99 if you can do without the Professional version. QuickBooks 2010? $159.95 or more. Adobe PhotoShop CS5? A whopping $699. The good news is that there are free and open-source alternatives for virtually every package a small business might need, and most of them are excellent. Whether or not you’ve already made the switch to Linux — there are, after all, myriad security and other reasons for doing so — these free apps can be just what any small business needs to succeed.

Digg, dug, buried: Linux: A liberal blogger has uncovered that a “group of influential conservative members of the behemoth social media site Digg.com has just been caught red-handed in a widespread campaign of censorship, having multiple accounts, up-vote padding, and deliberately trying to ban progressives.” The blogger, Ole Ole Olson, infiltrated a group that called itself Digg Patriots. His proof is quite damning.

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