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July 10th, 2015

Microsoft Writes Check, Free OSCON Passes & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Money: Can’t live with it, and can’t live without it. OK, maybe you actually can live with it, but money seems to be the overriding theme this week when it comes to FOSS news. With this being payday for most of you, try not to spend too much mental currency on some of the developments this week, like:

OpenSSH logoMS Writes a Check: Well, this was probably inevitable. With a generous donation, Microsoft has become a gold contributor to the OpenBSD project — the first gold contributor — in an effort to get OpenBSD’s help in porting OpenSSH to Windows. This comes from a report on ZDNet, where Steven Vaughan-Nichols tells the tale of checkbook participation in open source as “the best option…for our team to adopt an industry proven solution,” says Microsoft’s Angel Calvo. A gold contributor writes a check for anywhere between $25,000 to $50,000, so even at the minimum, the OpenBSD Foundation scores big. In exchange, Microsoft gets to port OpenSSH, which arguably is the gold standard for remote administration. Of course, it isn’t revealed how much, in code, Microsoft is going to contribute going forward, but as long as the money is there…I guess the money is there.

Kubuntu logoIs Kubuntu done? Speaking of a large sum of money, like how the more than $140,000 in donations to Ubuntu projects cannot be accounted for, Jon Gold at Network World reports the non-news that Jonathan Riddell has tendered his long-sought resignation to the long-seeking Ubuntu Community Council. Between bringing up the unaccounted-for donations and Canonical’s iffy arrangement with developers, Riddell was shown the door and, wisely perhaps, he walked out of it. However, in a twist, the article reports that it appears that Kubuntu 15.10 may be the last Kubuntu as we know it. Toward the end of the article is this morsel: “Morale at Kubuntu, in the wake of Riddell’s removal and subsequent resignation from all governance roles at the project, is low…. The team plans to publish version 15.10 in October, but could decide to stop work on the project after that.” It’s somewhat inconceivable that Ubuntu would drop a flavor featuring one of the most popular — and in some circles, the best — desktop environments, but there you have it. Personally, I’d like for Gold to be wrong about this, but we’ll have to see.

No excuse now: Thank us later for this. You can now attend OSCON for free with the free Expo Plus passes our friends at O’Reilly have authorized us to offer. OSCON, the largest open source conference in North America, is held from July 20-24 in Portland, Ore., and is a good place to sharpen your skills and discover important trends. And now you have no excuse not to go: We’re giving you an Expo Plus pass. Here’s a list of what you can get for free, saving the $49 the Expo Plus pass normally costs. So click on the button at the bottom of the page linked above to register, using the code PCEXPOPLUS to get your free Expo Plus pass. And if you see me at OSCON, you can thank me by buying me coffee.

One more thing: You may have noticed that we’ve added a new writer to the FOSS Force staff, and that would be long-time FOSS advocate, “Bash-master,” and all-around good guy Don Parris. Don joins Christine, Ken and me at FOSS Force, where he brings his wide range of experience and certifications to our humble site. Don will be writing on security issues, as well as putting pixels to screen with tutorials on Bash, KDE, LibreOffice and PostgreSQL. When he finally puts the cape aside after a hard day of fighting for truth, justice, and FOSS, he enjoys watching the Charlotte Independence soccer team play, making ceviche with his wife, and writing about his travels in Perú. Welcome, Don!

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Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

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