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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.

Symbian Out, Linux In at Nokia

Linux continues to gain ground on mobile devices, and it’s not all Android.

On Thursday, Finnish phone maker Nokia announced it’s dropping Symbian and replacing it with the Linux OS MeeGo on their top-of-the-line handsets. The N8 is slated to be the last of Nokia’s N-series phones running Symbian. “Going forward, N-series devices will be based on MeeGo,” Nokia spokesman Doug Dawson told Reuters.

For the time being, Nokia intends to keep Symbian alive on its cheaper sets, but the handwriting’s on the wall, Symbian is rapidly approaching its end of life, which will doubtlessly come as a shock to those who’ve become fans of the OS over the years. Symbian has a long, rich history as an OS for hand-held devices, and can be said to be the first smartphone OS.

Christine HallChristine 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 HallChristine 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 HallChristine 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 Offers New Open Source Video Standard

Yesterday was a great day for open source at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

At the I/O developers’ conference, host Google finally announced they are open sourcing the VP8 video codec they acquired with their purchase of On2 Technologies back in February. Google is packaging VP8 as part of a format they’re calling WebM, which will include Ogg Vorbis for audio playback. WebM is being released royalty free under a BSD-style license.

Christine HallChristine 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

Happy Belated Birthday Groklaw!

Was it really seven years ago yesterday that Groklaw came into being? Time flies when you’re having fun (and at my age, it flies even when you’re not).

If you don’t know who or what Groklaw is, you’re either new to the open source world, or you’ve been spending the last seven years trying to find online help for your old install of Caldera Linux. Grocklaw is a legal blog started by paralegal Pamela Jones, who’s affectionately known as “PJ” by her legions of fans. In a prerecorded message at the Free Software Foundation’s 2007 Free Software Awards (Groklaw won for Projects of Social Benefit), Jones explained her vision of Groklaw as:

Christine HallChristine 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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