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Microsoft Snoops In Skype, Dissed By HP & More

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Where has Redmond’s moxy gone?

It wasn’t that many years ago that even a giant OEM like HP wouldn’t dare release a non-Windows product if the device type was Windows supported. If this were five years ago and the tablet boom was in full bloom as it is now and Windows was tablet ready, as it supposedly is now, the HP brass wouldn’t even entertain the thought of releasing a tablet running anything other than Redmond’s finest OS–apps available or no.

Swartz’s Last Gift, the Invasion of the Androids & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Will appeals court ruling mean death to software patents?

Absolutely no one knows what a ruling handed down last week by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals will ultimately mean–but it might be very good for those of us who’ve been arguing against software patents. Indeed, the ruling had PJ at Groklaw throwing out three separate “OMG”s in her article with the announcement. In other words, she was euphoric:

‘Linux Advocates’ Looks For Angels

A few months ago, while doing my daily web perusing to keep up-to-date on FOSS stuff as well as to update our Twitter and Facebook news feeds, I began running across a Linux blog I hadn’t seen before called Linux Advocates. The site caught my eye because it was well designed and laid-out–not just another generic WordPress blog, if you catch my drift.

Other than that, there was nothing that was really exceptional about the site. It was just another Penguinista blog by a blogger, Dietrich Schmitz, who was unfamiliar to me. His writing was strong, even if he did sometimes seem to be lacking in how-it-really-works insight.

He learned quickly, however. Very quickly. It wasn’t long before Linux Advocates started showing-up more often in my morning web surfing. The writing and quality of articles improved and the major Linux news aggregators began paying attention by publishing links to selected articles. It was obvious; the site was progressing.

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 Schools Require MS Office; Nokia Plays Rope-A-Dope & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Pretty fonts coming to Linux?

Most of us here at FOSS Force have been using various flavors of Linux for thirteen years or so. During that time we’ve gotten used to reading comments on the ugliness of fonts in Linux, especially when it comes to browsers.

We’ve never particularly understood this or noticed any homeliness in regards to Linux fonts. Of course, we’ve also never been able to understand reviewers who write about how unexciting they find fonts like Times New Roman or Ariel to be. In our experience, Hunter Thompson is brilliant and compelling no matter what font is being used to render his rants, while Tom Wolfe is a pompous ass, no matter how humble a typeface used to display his insufferable prose.

The Night the Digital Lights Went Out In Syria

What does it mean when a whole country’s Internet goes down? When it’s a country racked by civil war, digital silence from the entire nation can’t be a good omen, can it? The country becomes like a submarine running in silence.

Last night I first saw the news when an old colleague from Rochdale College posted an article from Umbrella Security Labs, a research division of OpenDNS, to her Facebook wall. “BREAKING NEWS: TRAFFIC FROM SYRIA DISAPPEARS FROM INTERNET.”

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

Spy vs. Spy; Wikipedia Sports New DB & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Goodbye to Fuduntu, hello to FuSE

We already knew, of course, that Fuduntu was history, that the beloved distro was to be no more, evidently due to the fact that it was becoming nearly impossible to support GNOME 2 in any sort of meaningful way. We also knew there’d been talk among the developers at Fuduntu of continuing with a new distro. Well, now it’s a done deal and most of the developers of Fuduntu will be working on a new distro based on openSUSE.

Senate To Kill Current Version Of CISPA

U.S. News & World Report was the first to announce this afternoon that the Senate will evidently not vote on the cybersecurity bill known as the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act or CISPA. According to a report published on their website, the news organization has received assurances of the bill’s death from an unnamed member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation that has been considering the bill as passed last week by the House of Representatives:

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

Obama Threatens Veto Against CISPA Unless Changed

Online privacy advocates finally got what they’ve been asking for when President Obama yesterday threatened to veto the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) if congress doesn’t amend it to include more protections of privacy and civil liberties. The administration began signalling displeasure with the bill last Thursday when Caitlin Hayden, of the National Security Council, indicated the President might not support the measure as worded, after it was approved by the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.

While that statement didn’t carry a specific veto threat, Hayden was clear in her message that the President wanted to support some form of CISPA, but that the bill did not yet contain enough privacy and civil liberty protections:

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

Demand Progress Video On Implications Of Kirtsaeng Case

The internet activist group Demand Progress has released a short 2 1/2 minute video on YouTube that explains the implications of the legal wranglings between student Supap Kirtsaeng and textbook publisher John Wiley & Sons in a case that’s already gone before the U.S. Supreme Court and is now awaiting a ruling.

At issue is the reselling of new textbooks purchased cheaply abroad in the United States. Kirtsaeng, a Thai graduate student in the U.S., sold textbooks published by John Wiley & Sons on eBay that had been purchased by relatives in Thailand. The publisher is claiming copyright infringement, and so far has won all rulings in the Federal courts.

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

Oracle Patches 2 Java Holes–At Least 5 Remain

It would seem that Oracle is getting serious about addressing security issues in Java. Late Monday the company pushed Java 7 Update 17 that fixes two security holes that were already being exploited in the wild.

The vulnerabilities addressed in Monday’s patch had been known since at least February 1 and were originally scheduled to be fixed in a scheduled security update in April, according to a security blog on the Oracle website:

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

Five, Count ‘Em, Five New Security Holes In Java

Those who thought it was safe to re-up Java on their browsers will need to go back and turn it off again.

If you listen to us, after you do you’ll never turn it back on. Browser side Java has been made pretty much obsolete by newer technologies, which means you don’t need it, especially since it’s proving to be about as easy to keep secure as ActiveX, sandbox or no. Here at FOSS Force, we haven’t had it enabled on our browsers for years, with no noticeable problems when we surf the web.

You may remember that back on January 10th it was announced that Java had a security vulnerability that was already being exploited in the wild. This security hole was serious enough to prompt the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to suggest that browser side Java be turned-off on all computers.

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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