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Posts published in “Business”

Mandriva to be Forked Into New Distro: Mageia

We reported on Friday that Mandriva’s financial situation continues to worsen and that nearly all paid staff have been laid-off. Soon after publishing that report, we received news from Paris, where Mandriva is headquartered, that a group of the distro’s former employees and contributors have decided to fork the project into a new distro that will be called Mageia.

According to an announcement posted on the new distro’s web site, the decision to create a new distro from the Mandriva code base stemmed primarily from the current situation at the financially beleaguered company:

Friday FOSS Week in Review – Novell & SCO Dance Separately

The more things change, the more they stay the same! During the last year we’ve become used to seeing Novell and SCO in the news, and usually they’re mentioned in the same breath, given the legal battle between the two over who owns UNIX. This week they’re both in the news again, but in what appears to be separate stories. But things are seldom what they seem, especially when SCO is involved, so we’ll see.

Novell Finds Buyers

The Wall Street Journal, in a story now confirmed by several other news sources, says that Novell has found buyers. Yes, that’s buyers with an “s.” According to the latest reports, the company will be split in two. As yet, it’s uncertain whether the Novell brand will survive the deal. My guess is that it will, but only in a small way.

Christine Hall

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

Can Android be More Open?

M. G. Siegler is right. Android is not as open as many of us would like, at least for the user. But while it’s certainly not as open as any garden-variety Linux distro, it’s certainly much more open than the norm for Linux embedded on a device – and let’s face it, an Android smartphone is nothing but an embedded device. The functionality of your device is determined not by you the user, but by a combination of the handset maker and the carrier. According to Siegler, that needs to change – and I agree.

In case you missed the article, Android Is As Open As The Clenched Fist I’d Like To Punch The Carriers With, which appeared last Thursday on TechCrunch, Siegler has a variety of complaints about Android handsets, beginning with one that will be very familiar to anyone who’s ever bought a computer from Dell with Windows preinstalled:

Christine Hall

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

Android’s Market Share

First the good news: According to Gartner, Android is now the number two mobile OS worldwide, right behind Symbian and slightly ahead of Research in Motion. Gartner is also predicting that Android’s market share will continue to grow, from it’s current 17.7% share to 29.6% by the end of 2014. Although this would seem to be great news for those of us in the FOSS community, I’m not sure the seers at Gartner have considered all the facts in making their predictions.

The problem is Apple.

Christine Hall

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

Changing of the Guard Brings Copyleft Under Attack

It’s been said that desperate times call for desperate actions, and the last decade or so has certainly been an era of desperation for the old guard in the music biz. Indeed, the havoc the Internet has wrought on the recording industry would’ve been unthinkable back in the mid to late sixties when Jefferson Airplane and other “San Francisco Sound” groups were struggling to wrest control away from the major music labels to bring “free music” to the people.

Record labels become more irrelevant every day. Don’t believe me? Quick, what label releases Lady Gaga’s music? Back in the sixties, every teenager in America could tell you that the Beatles were on Capitol, Dylan and The Byrds were on Columbia, the Airplane on RCA and Sonny and Cher on Atco. Now an artist’s label hardly matters. When all is said and done, all music is on iTunes.

Christine Hall

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

Why Buy a “White Box” Instead of a Dell?

On Friday, when I went to start up the main computer at our office I found it had died. I turned on the surge protector and hit the start button, only to hear none of the familiar sounds of a computer firing-up. No whine or clicking from the hard drive, no beeps from the self-diagnosis, not a noise except for an almost silent whir from a cooling fan.

This wasn’t entirely unexpected. The box was probably ten years old, and a few years ago we’d replaced a failed motherboard on it with a board that’d been salvaged from a worn out HP. The computer had served us well, but it was time for it to go.

Christine Hall

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

Android’s Nuclear Football

The day after I pat Google on the back for doing something right, they go screw it up. What’s got me and others scratching our heads is there doesn’t seem to be a reason for it.

I’m talking about the so-called “kill switch” built into Android that lets Googlefolk remove installed applications from Android phones. We’ve known about its existence since the beginning of Android, it’s mentioned in the terms and conditions at the Google app store and the mainstream press took note as early as October of 2008. But, to me at least, it’s been something akin to the U.S. intercontinental nuclear arsenal. I don’t like it’s existence, but I figure that sane people are in charge and it’ll never get used.

Christine Hall

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

GPL: The Google Public License

Until a few years ago, hardly a day went by without an article being featured on Linux Today about how “the year of Linux” had arrived. Every Linux user with a blog was willing to bet, year after year, that this was finally going to be “the year of Linux.” This was going to be the year when the public got wise, quit paying the Microsoft tax and moved over to the obviously superior Linux.

And year after year, it didn’t happen.

Christine Hall

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

Mandriva Finds Angels

According to an exclusive article posted yesterday on the French language web site LeMagIT, it appears that Mandriva has found investors to stave off financial failure at the French Linux company. Mandriva announced on May 11 they were disparately seeking buyers. If buyers were not found, they said, the company would be forced to shut their doors.

The article on LeMagIT was later covered in English by Caitlyn Martin at the O’Reilly web site. According to Martin, the French article quotes Mandriva Director General Arnaud Laprévote:

Christine Hall

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

OEM Branded Linux

Last week on Computerworld, Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols posted a blog about HP’s forays into the Linux world. Specifically, he wrote about HP’s recent acquisition of both Palm, which gave them the Linux based mobile platform WebOS, and Phoenix Technologies’ HyperSpace, one of those instant-on Linuxes that resides in the BIOS of a laptop to allow users to check email and surf while waiting for the system’s main OS, presumably Windows, to boot.

Vaughan-Nichols thinks HP is planing on developing both platforms, and using them extensively in their products. WebOS, he thinks, will be what HP will build their tablets around, now that they’ve wisely dropped Windows 7 as their tablet OS. He also thinks WebOS will show up in a variety of other HP offerings, in everything from smartphones to Internet connected printers.

Christine Hall

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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