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December 11th, 2015

Dell Frees UEFI, iXsystems Wins Double Silver & More…

FOSS Week in Review

I honestly wish this news was better: Please allow a moment of silence for what seems to be the passing of Firefox OS. As a ZTE Open owner and a one-time regular user of that phone (until I needed something more dependable), this hits a sentimental note with me, since I was truly hoping that Mozilla would get the OS for the phone up to speed so it wouldn’t — oh, just to give a personal example — abandon users while performing important, job-dependent communications, for example.

And now, for the wrap:

Fedora logoDell Fixing UEFI for Linux? Linux users may be able to update their UEFI firmware on devices, if Dell has their way. The computer manufacturing giant is looking at making things easier for Linux users, and Richard Hughes writes on his GNOME blog that this capability might be available as early as Fedora 24. “With Dell on board, I’m hoping it will give some of the other vendors enough confidence in the LVFS to talk about distributing their own firmware in public,” Hughes writes, and we have our fingers crossed here.

iXsystems Wins Industry Awards: iXsystems, a San Jose-based manufacturer of server hardware and the corporate steward of FOSS projects like FreeNAS and PC-BSD, has taken the Silver in the Product Line of the Year category for its Enterprise Storage Product Line and another Silver in the Most Customer Friendly Company of the Year category in Best in Biz Awards, an awards program judged by members of the tech press and industry analysts. Congratulations, iXsystems: A long-time FOSS advocate gets the recognition it deserves.

LibreOffice Gets Another Update: Italo Vignoli announced the final minor update to the conservative “Still” branch of development of LibreOffice 4.4.7. “This is a bug and security fix release and users are urged to upgrade,” Vignoli writes in a blog post. “Only 14 fixes this time that include the loss of bullets when saving in PowerPoint format, misaligned paragraphs in documentation, and a regression that caused Open Document formats to take a “looong time” to open.” Thank you for fixing that PowerPoint conversion issue, guys and gals — that was a big one.

Linux Certs Available for Microsoft Azure: Some FOSS hearts have been all atwitter this week with the news that Microsoft and the Linux Foundation have introduced a new certification combining Linux system administration with Microsoft Azure skills. This heart beating behind this sternum is not as atwitter as others — perhaps this is an inevitability and some may argue that this is just a corporate fact-of-life. But to use a sports metaphor, when you let your opponent back in the game, you risk losing it at the final gun. There’s the argument that because Microsoft “loves” Linux (and War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength) we should be more inclusive, but this is the company that considered Linux a cancer and has fought FOSS for decades. Rather than throw the Microsoft that is treading water a life preserver, I still think throwing it an anchor would be more fitting.

So while I figure out what I’m going to do with my ZTE Open phone, I’ll see you next week.

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Larry Cafiero

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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2 comments to Dell Frees UEFI, iXsystems Wins Double Silver & More…

  • Vignoli writes in a blog post. “Only 14 fixes this time that include the loss of bullets when saving in PowerPoint format, misaligned paragraphs in documentation, and a regression that caused Open Document formats to take a “looong time” to open.” Thank you for fixing that PowerPoint conversion issue, guys and gals — that was a big one.

    Yeah, the paragraph misallignment was a PITA and it seemed that a professional project like this should have addressed this long ago.

    As well Larry. Contact me off list about that phone. Gmail is working for me.

  • Duncan

    While I wish neither firefoxos nor thunderbird harm, nor their users, as I commented on one of the mozilla trying to dump tbird articles, it didn’t make sense to have them continuing to spend all that money on firefoxos, when they can’t seem to (at least happily) even keep tbird on the basic life support updates it has been getting. Tbird is a sunk cost and an existing user base, with relatively little investment necessary going forward. Not so firefoxos, with I’d guess more or less the same number of existing users, so if they’re no longer rolling in money and trying to scale down to keep spending below income, dropping the one they’re going to need to continue spending huge amounts on first would seem to make more sense.

    So at least this seems equitably bad to the tbird news, unlike when we only had the tbird news.

    Tho as others commented, it /would/ be interesting to see if libreoffice is interested in tbird, and what they’d do with it if so.

    Meanwhile, tho mozilla has announced abandoning the phone focus, seems that firefoxos will continue at least for now with a things-internet focus, but I’ve seen no coverage of where that might go or whether it is in fact viable. But it does at least make more sense than the phone focus, as things-internet tends to be more embedded, with manufacturers developing and providing most of the apps at purchase and perhaps firmware updates, so there’s /far/ less need to get thousands or tens of thousands of app-devs interested in ordered to develop and keep a healthy apps environment then there is on phones, and that, as people predicted, was the biggest challenge with the phone target. Without that and with manufacturers needing to do roughly the same purpose-built apps-dev for things-internet hardware regardless of the chosen platform, firefoxos arguably does have a better chance with that target. Time will tell…