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Apple Patents Gestures, Secure Boot Is Here, Android Bests iPhone

Friday FOSS Week in Review

It’s been a busy week. So busy, in fact, I was unable to make my deadline for FWIR, so here I am with a special Saturday edition. Just so you know, there’s a precedent for this. Back in the days when ABC ran “Monday Night Football” they called any NFL game they ran “Monday Night Football,” no matter what the day of the week. Hence, we were often treated to “Monday Night Football, Special Thursday Edition” and such. In that spirit, I offer you “Friday FOSS Week in Review, Special Saturday Edition.”

Of course, if I’m going to get busy and miss deadline, it’ll happen on a busy week in FOSS news. The fates work that way, I’m convinced. Indeed, after a couple of ho-hum weeks, the news flew fast and furious this week. Hold on, it’ll be a hell of a ride!

More Apps Downloaded to Android than to iPhone

It was reported on Tuesday that ABI Research says Android now leads the pack in the number of apps downloaded. According to their figures, 44% of all mobile apps downloaded are headed for Android devices, with 31% going to the iOS platform. These figures are miles away from what the research firm predicted back in 2009 as the mobile wars were just getting heated up:

ESR Defends RMS, Google the Musical & MS Plays Bad

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Another typical week in the FOSS world. Mainly, the proprietary guys have been busy bad-mouthing the competition, while the FOSS folks have been busy finding solutions.

ESR Defends RMS on Jobs

This week I ran across a blog by Eric Raymond that was posted on October 8, in which Raymond defends the now infamous remarks made by Richard Stallman on his blog shortly after the death of Steve Jobs. I found this to me more than a little interesting, because Raymond and Stallman don’t always see eye to eye on FOSS issues. Indeed, he even manages to take a swipe at RMS while speaking in his defense:

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, Spilt Blackberries & Redmond’s Lies

Friday FOSS Week in Review

It would seem to be another slow week in the FOSS news world. As always however, there were a few tidbits, and the passing of a computer pioneer who’s work has effected everyone who’s ever sat in front of a monitor and keyboard.

U.S. Predator and Reaper Drones Hit by Virus…or Not

We learned on Monday from ars technica that the U.S. Predator and Reaper drone fleet has been hit by a virus. According to the report, the malicious code logs the keystrokes of those in the “cockpit” flying missions over Afghanistan and “other war zones:”

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 Death of Zune, the Resurrection of WebOS & Kernel.org Returns

Friday FOSS Week in Review

It was already a slow week when the news came on Wednesday of Steve Jobs’ demise. Since then, most tech sites have been reporting on not much else. As always, however, there were a few things to note…

Privacy Issues with Kindle Fire’s Silk Browser

Almost as soon as Amazon unveiled their new Kindle Fire tablet last Wednesday, Naked Security raised some privacy concerns about the device’s browser, called Silk. It seems the browser, in order to offer a quicker user experience, does most of it’s heavy lifting in the cloud:

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 Penguins Dance on a Dell, Will Reiser File Again, Are Samsung and Intel Going to the Prom?

Friday FOSS Week in Review

The biggest news this week has centered around fears that Linux may become uninstallable on Wintel machines from the big OEM’s. But there’s been more. Some fun stuff. Some silly stuff. Some stuff that might eventually develop into something important…

Secure Boot Has Penguinistas Buzzing

Last week on FWIR I mentioned there was a storm beginning to brew around Windows 8 and secure boot, which could potentially keep Linux from being installed on some computers once they’re implemented. Well, it’s not just brewing anymore, it’s a full fledged storm with hurricane force winds.

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

Will Oracle Turn MySQL Into ‘Crippleware?’

Since Oracle obtained MySQL in the Sun takeover, many FOSS folks have been wary of Oracle’s plans for the open source database, a wariness that wasn’t eased by Oracle’s handling of the OpenOffice/LibreOffice split. When a couple of weeks ago we learned that Oracle has added three commercial extensions to MySQL, many figured that was the beginning of the end of MySQL as a free and open project.

According to The Register, the commercial extensions offer “…thread pool scalability, a pluggable API for PAM and Windows authentication, and additions to Oracle VM and Windows Server failover clustering support within MySQL Enterprise.”

From the moment this story was published, Oracle’s been working to spin this as “good for FOSS.” The Register article mentioned above quotes Giuseppe Maxia, former MySQL community team member, who predicts the negative response from the FOSS community, which he then pooh-poohed:

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

HP Board Misses One Shot Opportunity

HP’s Board of Directors could’ve solved a lot of their problems with the single action of replacing failed CEO Léo Apotheker with a competent executive capable of managing a diversified (some would say bloated) giant like HP. The CEO job would not be a position to fill with haste, which the board seems to have done.

HP Welcome Sign outside corporate headquarters.Sure, Meg Whitman is something of a minor CEO rock star insofar as her name has a brand recognition. That brand is connected to her performance leading eBay to über success and to a failed bid to become California’s governor. As has been pointed-out countless times since Thursday, when when she was hired as HP’s latest CEO, however, eBay is not a technology company but is an auction house that happens to reside in cyberspace. As for her venture into West Coast politics – does blowing $144 million of her own money (and an additional $34 million of other people’s money) in a failed election bid instill confidence in her ability to make sound decisions?

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

Phone 7 FUD, Windows 8 Lockout, Samsung Takes Off Gloves

Friday FOSS Week in Review

This week’s biggest story in FOSS was the quick changing of the guard over at HP. Although HP isn’t really a FOSS company, they do of course sell Linux servers and were recently considered to be on the verge of becoming a major FOSS player with their webOS. There’s no need to cover any of that here, however, as I posted my viewpoints on this fiasco last night.

DigiNotar Put out of Business by Hackers

You know, when you’re a security firm it pays to have your security in place. I mean, it doesn’t look even a little good when you’re hacked, especially when your business is telling other people how not to get hacked. This is a truth that became much more self evident early this week when Dutch security firm DigiNotar announced they were going into voluntary bankrupcy and putting themselves out of business as the end result of a hacking incident that began last July. It seems that attackers gained access to the firm’s internal systems and issued a slew of fake certificates that allowed the hacker/crackers to impersonate web firms like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Skype. Evidently, the certificates were used to gain access to over 30,000 Google email accounts.

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

Tech Firms Facing the Abyss

There seems to be quite a few tech companies in trouble these days. In fact, in an article published yesterday on 24/7 Wall Street, tech firms represent six out of the eight major companies listed as being in troubled financial waters. There aren’t any surprises here for anyone who’s been paying attention, but a year or so ago most of us wouldn’t have suspected that some of these companies would even be capable of falling on hard times.

Topping this list is Best Buy. Although we’ve known for some time that the company is ailing, this is still something of a surprise given the recent history of consumer electronics retailing. After all, it was only a couple of years ago that Best Buy’s main competitor, Circuit City, floated to the surface face down, killed by intense competition from…you guessed it, Best Buy. For the latest quarter, the chain’s net income dropped $77 million from the same quarter last year, from $254 million to $177 million.

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

More Linux Site Hacks, ReactOS Ready to Go, Obama Signs ‘America Invents Act’

Friday FOSS Week in Review

In many ways, FOSS news this week is like a soap opera with lots of stories being continuations from last week’s items. However, there is some new stuff to report. If you’re like me, all FOSS news is interesting….

Bartz Resigns from Yahoo Board

After being fired by telephone last Tuesday, Yahoo’s former CEO Carol Bartz resigned from the Internet company’s board on Friday. According to a Reuters report posted on Yahoo, the resignation was made public on Sunday and first reported by The Wall Street Journal:

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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