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Posts published by “Robin "Roblimo" Miller”

Robin "Roblimo" Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he's mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

New Open Source License Compatibility Company Debuts with a Bang

Finding compatibility issues in open source software is tedious and complex. Roblimo explains why organizations that look for compliance issues are a valuable asset to the FOSS community.

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examining code compliance compatibility

When I heard about FOSSA, my first thought was, “Don’t Black Duck and Palamida already have the FOSS license compatibility thing pretty well sewed up? Do we really need another company doing it?”

This was, of course, the question I immediately asked FOSSA founder Kevin Wang. His answer, via email:

Why I’m Not a Full-Throttle FOSS Advocate

“Software Freedom” shouldn’t mean “use free software or else.” It should mean you are free to use the software you choose.

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I have the Chrome web browser running full-screen on my Ubuntu desktop. Not Chromium, but proprietary Chrome — because it suits my needs better than open source Chromium. I also like Chrome better than Firefox, and I say this after using only Firefox for a week and trying hard to like it.

Some of this may be habit. We humans tend to prefer the familiar to the unfamiliar, and I’ll admit that I have gotten used to Chrome and its features.

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

Poverty Helps You Keep Technology Safe and Easy

In the technology age, there might be some before unknown advantages to living on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. The question is, do they outweigh the disadvantages.

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Poor Linux

Earlier this week I saw a ZDNet story titled Vizio: The spy in your TV by my friend Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. Scary stuff. I had a vision of my wife and me and a few dozen of our closest friends having a secret orgy in our living room, except our smart TV’s unblinking eye was recording our every thrust and parry (you might say). Zut alors! In this day of Internet everywhere, we all know that what goes online, stays online. Suddenly our orgy wasn’t secret, and my hopes of becoming the next President were dashed.

Except… lucky me! I’m poor, so I have an oldie-but-goodie dumb TV that doesn’t have a camera. There’s no way my old Vizio can spy on us. As Mel Brooks didn’t quite say, “It’s good to be the poverty case.”

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

Open Source Eye for the Android Guy

Android may be a free operating system, but unlike GNU/Linux, keeping it free is next to impossible if you want to make it useful.

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Android FOSS free software

Do you ever look at your Android phone and wonder how much of the software on it is open source? I just did, and I was surprised at how little FOSS I had on it. Could I change that? After a bunch of searching, I did. But only a little.

Android itself is an open source project. Google controls the main branch and can keep you from using the “Android” trademark if you fork the project, but otherwise you can do anything you like with the code.

Now let’s talk about Android applications. Maybe I shouldn’t admit this in public, but until the idea for this essay came up last week in a conversation with FOSS Force editor Christine Hall, I hadn’t thought much about Android app licenses, not even when choosing apps for my own use.

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

In Search of an Open Source DNS Server

You’d think that in this day and age finding a free and open DNS server would be easy, no? Evidently, not so much. That didn’t keep Roblimo from finding one, however.

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DNS server The Internet's Phone Book

Does it matter whether the DNS server you use is open source? Most of the good ones run proprietary code. But after some tedious shopping and testing, I finally found one that’s open source, community-owned, and (so far, at least) as reliable as its proprietary competitors.

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

The Many, the Humble, the Ubuntu Users

The proverbial “better mousetrap” isn’t one that takes a certified biologist to use. Like Ubuntu, it just needs to do its job extremely well and with little fuss.

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Ubuntu Unity

I have never been much of a leading-edge computing person. In fact, I first got mildly famous online writing a weekly column titled “This Old PC” for Time/Life about making do with used gear — often by installing Linux on it — and after that an essentially identical column for Andover.net titled “Cheap Computing,” which was also about saving money in a world where most online computing columns seemed to be about getting you to spend until you had no money left to spend on food.

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

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