Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “News”

Finnix Finishes First, MS Wants to Own Cloud, Google Beefs Portfolio & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Cool beans, it’s Friday! Time to get out of the office and enjoy! Trouble is, here at FOSS Force the temps and humidity are so high there won’t be anything to do but stay inside and hug the air conditioning. Anyway, this week’s Friday review is mostly good news for a change, and that’s good news, no?

And the Winner Is …Finnix!

On Monday, Linus Torvalds announced the official release of the new 3.0 Linux kernel and on Tuesday Softpedia announced the first distro to use the new kernel as the default install:

SUSE & Patent FUD: Who Do We Boycott Now?

Now that Microsoft and SUSE have announced they plan to continue sleeping together, I wonder if the folks at Techrights are rethinking their plans to pull the plug on Boycott Novell?

In case you don’t know, Boycott Novell is a project started by Techrights in response to Microsoft’s and Novell’s announcement, in 2006, that they would be collaborating on Windows and Linux interoperability and support. The deal had Redmond shoveling money to Novell’s Linux distro SUSE in $100 million increments, and included an agreement that Novell’s customers wouldn’t be sued by Microsoft for patent infringements.

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

Grocklaw: Schwartz Publicly Praised Android as Java Platform

Yesterday’s column on Android’s Patent Wars was written on Friday and scheduled for publication on Monday. Over the weekend, the folks at Groklaw dug-up an old page from the Wayback Machine that would seem to bode well for Google in their patent fight with Oracle concerning Android and Java.

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 Patent Wars – A Checklist

It’s not looking good for Android. Congress could fix this in a heartbeat by doing away with software patents, the only solution that makes sense, but they’re otherwise engaged right now and not likely to be much help. In the meantime, Android is involved in so many patent disputes it’s hard to keep count. Oracle’s suing Google, Apple’s suing HTC, and Microsoft is suing, or threatening to sue, anyone who makes a handset with the Android brand. Even with Groklaw doing their best to supply legal ammunition for Android’s defenders, it’s not looking like Android is going to get out of this unscathed, which will only cost consumers and enrich the trolls

Here’s a quick rundown on Android’s patent ills, just to help you sort out the players. The game is changing daily, so I may have left something or someone out. If so, please forgive me.

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

Google’s Problems with Android Apps, Webmaster Tools and Oracle – RMS Says “Don’t Go There”

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Google’s been everywhere in the news this week, so much so that I’ve considered calling this week’s column “Friday Google Week in Review.” It’s not all Google, however, but it is all interesting – at least to me.

8% of Android Apps Leak Data

On Tuesday, security site Dark Reading reported that Neil Daswani, CTO for security firm Dasient has found that about 8% of Android apps leak user data. In a study that will be released in full at next month’s Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, Daswani found that 800 out of 10,000 applications tested were found to be leaking personal data. Eleven of the apps were sending mobile spam, SMS messages, to other smartphones.

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

IBM Backs OOo, Evil Empire in Decline & Apple Bakes Patent Pie

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Lots of interesting news this week as we reboot Friday FOSS Week in Review – so let’s get going.

IBM Lines-up Behind OpenOffice.org

Is it really a news story that IBM has decided to support OpenOffice.org? Considering the fact that Oracle’s move to push the project over to Apache was at Big Blue’s prodding, I’d say not. Still, at least now the players are clearly defined. In addition to lending moral support and giving Larry Ellison a shoulder to cry on, IBM is also donating the code from IBM Lotus Symphony.

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

Microsoft Tax on Linux Devices

Not long ago, penguinistas were bemoaning the fact that the purchase of a new computer almost always came with a built-in “Microsoft tax,” since all major OEMs wouldn’t sell a computer without Windows pre-installed. Now that things have changed and it’s relatively easy to purchase a new PC or laptop either with no operating system installed or already preloaded with Linux, that issue should be far behind us.

Guess again.

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

Kattoons are Back – Spencer F. Katt Purrs Again!

OMG, I’m reading eWeek again. Spencer F. Katt has returned!

For years, as soon as my copy of eWeek arrived by mail, I’d immediately flip to the last page inside the cover and read Mr. Katt’s column. After that, I’d turn to the software reviews and see what sort of programs the eWeek folks were putting to the test. This weekly ritual, always a high point of my week, crashed and burned sometime around January of 2009 when the magazine’s editor reported that beginning the following week, Spencer F. Katt would be no more. He was going away into the happy (or not) land of retirement.

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

Groklaw to Continue Without PJ

Yesterday we got some good news and bad news on the Groklaw front. First the good news: Pamela Jones has changed her mind about her plans to quit publishing new content on Groklaw and announced that the site will be continuing it’s coverage of legal issues that challenge FOSS projects. The bad news is that, for the most part, Groklaw will be going on without Ms. Jones.

The new person at the helm is Mark Webbink, a lawyer who certainly has the credentials for the job. His history with Groklaw goes back to 2003, when he allowed Jones to use a previously published article on open source software. At the time he was the first general council for Red Hat, a position he held until 2004 when he became the company’s deputy general counsel for intellectual property. He’s currently a visiting professor of law at New York Law School, where he’s the Executive Director of the Center for Patent Innovations, and is also a senior lecturing fellow at Duke University law school. Since 2007, he been a board member of Software Freedom Law Center.

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

Evil Empire Buys Skype

Hmm…. I never had a chance to use Skype.

All of my friends are using it; talking to lovers in Europe, or to spouses in other states, or to FB “friends” who are who-knows-where. It sounds so cool, so romantic, sitting in the familiar confines of one’s living room in front of a laptop webcam, conversing with a friend across the continent or across the ocean as if they were right there in the same room. Until now it seemed so cool that I just knew I’d have to be a Skyper soon.

But then Skype went and got sold to the Evil Empire for $8.5 billion, which seems to be an awful lot to pay just to keep me from becoming a Skyper.

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

Security Risk in Firefox & Chrome

Many of us who use Firefox or Chrome browsers do so for security reasons. Unfortunately, this lulls many of us into a false sense of security, as there’s really no such thing as “safe” browsing. This has become increasingly true in recent years, as major content providers have insisted that a feature rich web experience should trump security, with the folks at Mozilla and Google seemingly willing to lend a helping hand.

According to James Forshaw with the security firm Context, there is a new security threat to worry about in the form of WebGL, which is enabled by default in Firefox 4 and Chrome. According to Forshaw, the risk is substantial – both to your data and to your hardware. Just to give you an idea:

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

Breaking News: