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OPINION

The Rise of Activism in Tech Companies

Things have been changing at an almost unprecedented rate with regard to power structures. The last time I saw this happen was in the 1970s, when the EEOC took off. Suddenly a lot of the off-color, sexist and racist jokes that many executives regularly told could get them fired. A surprisingly larg...

LINUX BLOG SAFARI

Ode to Summer, Fixer-Uppers and $10 for Courage

Well, Memorial Day has come and gone in the U.S., and that means summer is upon us once again, if just unofficially. What is summer for, besides sunburns, mosquitoes and sweating? That's right, it's time for tinkering in the great, air-conditioned indoors! It wasn't too surprising, then, to see Linu...

LINUX BLOG SAFARI

FOSS Goes to Washington, and Nvidia Keeps Its Driver Code to Itself

You know it's going to be a good week when it kicks off with news that the Obama administration has officially embraced the open source content management system Drupal. Just a few days later, the Department of Defense issued an almost glowingly positive memo on open source software. "The government...

TECHNOLOGY LAW CORNER

The Rocky Legal Landscape of Virtual Worlds, Part 3: Copyrights

Copyrights are perhaps the most common type of intellectual property (along with trademarks), and are the first stop when it comes to protecting software-based products. This is because copyrights, which protect a particular expression of an idea, exist automatically upon fixation of an author's wo...

TECH BLOG

SCO Gets $100 Million, Lives to Die Another Day

Here I was all ready to post my thoughts on user interfaces and ease of use, when news surfaced that the SCO Group has received an investment of $100 million to take it private. The company once claimed to own the rights to Unix and then proceeded to sue IBM and Novell for infringing its intellectua...

OPINION

Rethinking the IBM-SCO Imbroglio

The most significant threat to open source isn't coming from SCO. It's coming from IBM. SCO isn't trying to shut down Linux. That demand for licensing fees from users was just a legal ploy -- one more step in an intricate legal dance to which IBM is calling the tune. It's well past time for IBM to a...

LINUX BLOG SAFARI

Teeth-Gnashing and Tongue-Lashing Over Desktop Linux Foot-Shooting

Lack of vendor support, lack of marketing, too much "bad techie attitude," too much infighting and not enough developer cooperation are "Five ways the Linux desktop shoots itself in the foot," contends Computerworld's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. "Every time i've ever posted on ubuntu's forum, ive bee...

HOW TO

Digital Security Is as Easy as PGP

Average computer users would be forgiven for not having any idea what PGP is. There is so much going on below the surface of the modern computing experience that even critically important security tools like PGP are tucked away. To be sure, there are specialized circles that make regular explicit us...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

Hailo Is a Hellaciously Good Taxi-Hailing App

Chicagoans and Bostonians, you have a new way of hailing a cab. It's called "Hailo," and it lets you grab a taxi by app command, rather than an arm raise at the curb. Hailo is coming soon to New York and Washington, D.C., and already is available in Toronto and several European cities. Hailo is diff...

Analyst: Flame Devs Used FOSS to Help Them Hide

The developers of the now-notorious Flame malware used command and control servers running the 64-bit version of Debian and the OpenVz virtualization technology in their work. They wrote most of the server code in PHP, researchers at Kaspersky Lab and Symantec have found during continuing investigat...

ANDROID APP REVIEW

MetroFax: Faxing on the Fly Is Almost a Breeze

Reports of the demise of the fax machine may be premature if research in Chico Harlan's article in The Washington Post last week is to be believed. Fax machines are still in 59 percent of Japanese homes, Harlan found. They are still popular because of a cultural interest in the use of pap...

LINUX BLOG SAFARI

Oracle’s Patent ‘Disaster’: Beginning of a Bright New Era?

It's been an eventful year already here in the Linux blogosphere, but it seems fair to say few events have drawn as much attention as the Oracle v. Google trial. Bloggers have been discussing it for weeks already, of course, but developments last week brought forth nothing less than dancing in the ...

LINUX BLOG SAFARI

The Linux vs. Windows Security Mystery

Of all the many winning advantages Linux has in its favor, security is surely one of the more widely known examples. Why else, indeed, would we see security experts in mainstream publications recommending it over Windows for online banking purposes? That, indeed, is part of the reason it was so disa...

LINUX BLOG SAFARI

Dell’s ‘Brilliant’ Windows vs. Ubuntu Analysis

Here in the Linux community, we're already pretty accustomed to strange behavior from hardware vendors when it comes to our favorite operating system. Sometimes, though, you just have to sit back and scratch your head. The latest example? None other than Dell. After the curious case of its disappear...

IBM Locks Horns With Tiny French Firm Over FOSS

Advocates of free and open source software were on the warpath Wednesday following the eruption of a bitter legal battle between IBM and a tiny French firm. IBM has asserted that Hercules -- an open source mainframe emulator from Paris-based TurboHercules -- infringes on numerous IBM patents, and it...

LINUX BLOG SAFARI

Can the Karmic Koala Take on Win 7?

Well the Karmic Koala finally climbed down from its eucalyptus tree last week, and the general result was feverish excitement across the Linux blogs. Reviews of the new release seem highly favorable, on the whole, as does the download process via release mirrors and torrents. Though the Koala was re...

Google Lashes Out at Android Dev

Google sent shock waves through the Android community late last week by launching a cease-and-desist order at well-regarded modder Cyanogen for bundling some of its closed-source applications with his CyanogenMod ROM. CyanogenMod is a free, heavily optimized build of Android 1.5r2 that focuses on pe...

Wikipedia’s New Editorial Line of Defense

It appears that Wikipedia's reputation as the Internet's open source encyclopedia -- where any and all can contribute -- may itself be in need of some editing. Media reports quote a spokesperson for the Wikimedia Foundation, which manages the user-generated site, as saying that the English-language ...

LINUX BLOG SAFARI

Licenses, Libraries, Laws and Loopholes

It's been a relatively quiet few days on the Linux blogs, but that didn't stop geeks from taking time out last Sunday to wish Debian a happy birthday. Yes, it was exactly 16 years ago on the 16th that Ian Murdock announced the imminent arrival of what he called the "Debian Linux Release." Happy Birt...

WEEKLY RECAP

The Downside of Ambition: Mozilla’s Crash, Teen Hacker’s Arrest

To kick off the final version of its newest Web browser, Firefox 3, Mozilla created a lot of hoopla about its goal to set a new world record for the most copies of an application downloaded in a single 24-hour period. That really wasn't very difficult, because there was no official record for that b...

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