May 27th, 2016

SuperTux Returns, Proprietary Open Source & More…

Also included: Google in a TKO over Oracle, four distro releases and Microsoft’s latest trick to force Windows 10 upgrades.

FOSS Week in Review

Today I’m finally old enough to officially take my seat on the council of the elders and let taxpayers pick up the tab for a large portion of my medical expenses. As you might notice, I’m spending the day working. But I did get a really special birthday present Thursday when Google beat Oracle. Of course, that just ends the regular season for this battle. Next up, Oracle appeals to see if there’s going to be any post season play. Read the closing play-by-play on Ars Technica.

I was going to add that this is a bad week to be Larry Ellison, but then I remembered that he’s still the richest person in California, so I guess this will concern him about as much as a pesky mosquito bite.

Microsoft’s deceptive nag screen: We can put this “new Microsoft” story in our “meet the new boss” file. It seems that the company that loves openness and transparency has added another technique to their bag o’ tricks for pushing upgrades on users. According to The Register, Redmond’s latest is another “upgrade now” nag with a twist. Click on the “X” to send the box away and Microsoft takes that as permission to update the machine immediately.

The folks in Redmond insisted there’s nothing new here in an email they sent to The Register, saying, “the UI of our ‘your upgrade is scheduled’ notification is nothing new (including the ability to just ‘X-out’ of the notification with no further action needed to schedule your upgrade) – it’s been part of the notification UI for months.” In almost all, if not all, other MS dialog boxes, clicking the “X” simply closes the box without taking further action.

Crytek logoProprietary open source: This isn’t really good news, but I suppose it’s a step in the right direction. On Tuesday, Michael Larabel over at Phoronix told us that the source tree to Crytek’s CryENGINE is now available on GitHub.

Don’t get too excited. The game engine hasn’t been released under an open source license, so we can’t add this to our file for open source gaming. However, the license does seem to grant users the right to modify the code, so that’s something at least. We’ll give them a “B minus” for making this move, and remind them they can improve their grade by using an open source license.

Another day, another distro: Birds Linux, a distro designed for students, has reached version 8.0, in a release that includes switching the Xfce desktop for GNOME….Tiny Core Linux, which can produce an entire desktop experience in 16MB, is now up to version 7.1 and ready for downloading…. Gentoo based Calculate Linux 17.17 has been released, featuring an update to KDE 5 and Faster XZ compression on multi-core processors…. And CentOS 6.8 has been released, based on the RHEL release with the same number.

Quick take: SuperTux is back, kicking butt and taking names, with version 0.4. Linux User & Developer has a review.

Parting shot: In case you missed Wednesday’s article on FOSS Force, Unixstickers, the swag company that gives back to the FOSS community, now has Ubuntu stickers. They’re also giving FOSS Force readers a 20 percent discount on any Ubuntu stickers purchased. Just use the code “FOSSUB20” (without the quotes, of course) at checkout. The offer is good until the end of June.

That does it for this week. I’m off for cake and ice cream. Until next time, may the FOSS be with you…

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Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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