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Posts published in “Business”

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.

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

Friday FOSS Week in Review: Apple Bigger than Microsoft

It’s been a relatively slow week in the FOSS world. The good news is we’ve got our monitor trouble solved for now, in a way. The ancient monitor we installed runs great in Windows, but isn’t configured properly to work in our Linux install. Anybody want to tell us how to configure our install of Linux from the command line to get our monitor working properly in X? There’s something definitely wrong about a FOSS site writer working in Windows…

And now the news…

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

World to Zuckerberg: Opt-in Not Opt-out

I have a friend who thinks Facebook’s child star Mark Zuckerberg knows exactly what he’s doing. He despises Mr. Zuckerberg and thinks the best use for him would be as a plug to stop-up the hole on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico that’s spewing oil at the rate of ten gallons every two seconds or so. Maybe he’s right about the latter, at least he’d be useful. I’m not so sure about the former though, as I really suspect Zuckerberg just doesn’t get it. I think he really doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about and why almost all Facebook users don’t want their personal information handed over to the top thousand highest bidders.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe Facebook’s Shirley Temple twin is innocent. Indeed, playing fast and loose with our private information isn’t the first time he’s betrayed those who’ve trusted him. Heck, the way I understand it, there wouldn’t even be a Facebook if he hadn’t cheated and stolen to get it. But I don’t think he thinks he did anything wrong there either. He was just being smart. Just like his idol Bill Gates was being smart when he stole his GUI from Apple. Kind of like in that movie Catch Me If You Can.

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

Windows HP Tablet Loss

When HP unceremoniously dropped plans to release the Slate tablet computer running Windows 7, we learned much about the changing relationship between Microsoft and the major computer makers. That the product was dropped after being unveiled by Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer at January’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was even more telling.

The project might have been doomed from the start. Despite the fact that the bar for tablets had yet to be raised by the iPad, reporters at CES weren’t very impressed by what they saw. Nick Mediati’s remarks on InfoWorld were typical:

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

Is This Any Way to Run a Web Site?

By now, both of the regular visitors to this site have doubtlessly discovered we didn’t publish a blog on Friday or yesterday, though neither of them have contacted me about it. Those who know me might be inclined to think the missing blogs are due to my laziness. How I wish that was so. How I wish I’d just said to myself, “To heck with the blog, I’m going to have a mint julep.” Instead, I’ve been done-in by Murphy’s Law.

My first clue that Murphy was going to strike came late Thursday afternoon, just as I was getting ready to close down the office for the evening. I was intending to go home, have a quick dinner and bang out “Friday FOSS Week in Review” and get it scheduled to publish here on Friday morning. As Google was having their big developers’ fest out west, and everybody in tech was continuing to sue everybody else in tech, this was going to be an easy column to write. But just as I was getting ready to turn off the office computer and take the trip home, I received an email with no message, just the subject line: “PLEASE REMOVE ME FROM YOUR MAILING LIST.”

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

Linux & Microsoft’s Patents

Unless Linux developers begin purposely infringing on major Microsoft patents, Redmond will not go after Linux regarding the famous 235 patents they claim the penguin already violates. They’ve waited too long; that can no longer happen. To go after Tux now would be something akin to suicide and might possibly relegate the software giant to being simply another consumer software company. Ballmer knows this; Red Hat probably knows it; the rest of us suspect it.

The reason for this centers around the enterprise. No matter how pervasive Windows may be in the consumer market, they can’t live on the money they make from supplying binary for home computers, especially given the fact that most consumers receive all their Microsoft products preinstalled when they purchase their boxes. The Microsoft tax on consumer products is hardly enough to keep the world’s largest software maker afloat, and it’s a tax they can’t raise much without creating a revolt by both consumers and OEMs that would move personal computing to Apple and Linux.

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

The Zen of Open Source

There is a spirituality involved with the open source process.

Open source proponents, especially those who earn their living distributing or supporting free products, are more often than not adamant in proclaiming there is nothing spiritual or religious about the FOSS model. They maintain the position that the GPL and other open source licenses are only ways of doing business and getting code written. Open source isn’t a New-Age-feel-good-and-meditate sort of thing. It’s a business model, pure and simple, and everyone knows that businesspeople can’t afford to get embroiled in the murky world of spirituality.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. The business world is full of people who refuse to let any sort of spirituality, be it Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or something else, intrude into any area of their lives. They are pragmatists who believe the only divine forces that need concern them are the gods of money and growth. There’s nothing particularly wrong with this viewpoint, and most of us encounter it often since it tends to be held by those at the top of the food chain, even in the open source world. These are the nonbelievers.

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

An Apple a Day Won’t Keep the Lawyers Away

There are so many legal actions now revolving around the iPhone that I can’t keep track. Maybe sometime soon Apple will have an app for that. In the meantime, I’m grabbing some peanuts and Cracker Jacks before sitting back to enjoy the game. I have no idea how many suits and other legal actions will be filed before its over, but there’s sure to be more to come. Two new actions were filed yesterday alone. I think this game might go into extra innings.

The latest round, call it the second inning, started on March 2nd, with first at bat Apple filing a lawsuit against HTC, the Taiwanese manufacturer of Nexus One (Google’s flagship Android device) and other smartphones running Google’s Linux based mobile operating system. Jobs & Company claims that HTC is infringing on 20 Apple iPhone patents, mostly dealing with the GUI and hardware/software design. Apple is seeking an unspecified amount of damages, but perhaps more importantly they are asking for a permanent injunction that would forbid HTC from importing or offering for sale any of their Android devices in the U.S.

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 Linux Reportedly at Death’s Door

The online rumor mills are spitting out reports that Mandriva, once a rising star in the Linux world, is facing grave financial difficulties. According to rumor, the distro is desperately seeking a buyer and if one isn’t found soon they will close their doors.

As of Monday, the story was being reported on at least a half-dozen sites, all coming from the same source, a short article in French on Mandriva Linux Online, which bills itself as “an unofficial site dedicated to beginners on Mandriva Linux.” The poor quality English translation of the article provided by Google is confusing and somewhat unclear, but it appears that without a cash infusion, Mandriva will not be able to make payroll much longer.

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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