Archive for the ‘Microsoft’ Category

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

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

In this week’s Roundup we have; What makes Linux compelling to use? Ubuntu moves away from GNOME, Learning Linux the hardcore way with Linux from scratch, Microsoft is a dying consumer brand, Why Unity in Ubuntu is good for the future and Ronald trip’s response to why Unity is clouding up the desktop. Enjoy!

Linux: What Makes Linux Compelling to Use?: I find Linux to be an excellent general purpose computing platform for day to day personal and small business use. I like the fact that Linux does not cost me money. No, my time is not worthless, but I have wisely spent the time I needed learning how to install, configure and use Linux and the free, open source software that comes with it.

Leaving the OpenOffice.org project: Today is a special day. I feel both sad and relieved, happy and somewhat disgusted. I have officially resigned from all my duties, roles and positions inside the OpenOffice.org project. My resignation is effective immediately and I am leaving the project. I will now be contributing to the Document Foundation, while of course continuing to work at Ars Aperta and at the OASIS as a member of its Board of Director, eGov Steering Committee and ODF Committees. These past days have been tense. In a sense it was to be expected, but on the other hand I feel that it was in fact quite surprising and unprofessional.

Ubuntu moves away from GNOME: The big news at the Ubuntu Developer Summit? Moving to Unity as the default interface for Ubuntu Desktop with Natty Narwhal (11.04), rather than GNOME Shell. Earlier this year, Canonical representatives had to deny that they were forking GNOME with the work on the Unity interface. (Quick disclaimer, I’m a GNOME Member and help out with GNOME PR.) Unity is a Canonical-sponsored project that was initially delivered for the Ubuntu Netbook Remix. GNOME Shell is the interface being developed for GNOME 3.0, which was delayed to spring 2011. Apparently, Canonical were being asked the wrong question. During the opening keynote, Mark Shuttleworth has announced that Canonical is committing to making Unity the default desktop experience “for users that have the appropriate software and hardware.”

What’s The Fastest Linux Filesystem On Cheap Flash Media?: Compact Flash and SD storage cards are everywhere; gigabytes for cheap in a tiny form factor. Most come formatted with VFAT. So what is the fastest Linux filesystem for these little devices? Flash drives and SD Cards are getting bigger, faster and cheaper. They’re not just for sucking down snaps from your pocket camera any more: they’re backup storage, portable homedirs, netbook expansion … you name it.

Learning Linux the hardcore way: Linux From Scratch: I was excited to see that the Linux From Scratch (hereafter, LFS) project just released a new and stable documentation “build” for version 6.7 this past September. I have known about the LFS project for many years but I didn’t start experimenting with it until not too long ago.

Why Unity in Ubuntu is good for the future..: The hype is all about cloud and the end of the desktop as we know it. The recent move from a “pure” gnome desktop to Unity by Ubuntu/Canonical is clearly a sign that of a fast-track type of (r)evolution. Why is it good for the key-players (Ubuntu/Debian, Canonical, Gnome and … the User), what are the risk associated with this somehow bold move?

Microsoft is a dying consumer brand: After several missteps, MS is dying as a consumer brand. Consumers have turned their backs on Microsoft. A company that once symbolized the future is now living in the past. Microsoft has been late to the game in crucial modern technologies like mobile, search, media, gaming and tablets. It has even fallen behind in Web browsing, a market it once ruled with an iron fist.

Using an IMG instead of an ISO to put Debian on a USB Flash drive: Now that I have a laptop that boots from USB, I’ve been using IMG images instead of ISOs when they’re available to test new Linux and BSD systems because they’re so easy to deal with.

Adoption of Unity is the Most Significant Change Ever for Ubuntu, Says Mark Shuttleworth: It’s going to be Unity all the way for Ubuntu’s next major release codenamed Ubuntu 11.04 “Natty Narwhal”. During Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) at Florida, Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth announced that the Unity shell will become Ubuntu’s default interface not just for netbook editions, but also for Ubuntu desktop editions.

Unity Clouding Up The Desktop: Mr. Des Ligneris wrote that the adoption of Unity is a bold move and a good one for Canonical and Ubuntu, as the focus of computing is shifting wholesale to the internet and “The Cloud”. It is an interesting viewpoint from Mr. Des Ligneris. I don’t see the Unity plans as a blessing though. There is no point in turning a full fledged desktop machine into a “Mobile Internet Device”. Their use cases don’t overlap. While a desktop is certainly capable of performing MID tasks, it is not the intended operating area of a desktop machine.

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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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