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Posts published in “Software”

You Say Microsoft Isn’t Committed To Open Source

The results are in. The votes have been counted. The outcome is no surprise.

Back on Halloween, when we ran our article on Ross Gardler’s presentation on “Microsoft and Open Source” at the All Things Open conference, we posted a poll that asked, “Is Microsoft committed to open source?” Guess what? You answered “no,” as in “nope,” “nadda” or “ain’t no way, baby.”

Linux Worm, Bad Patent Good & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Good news & bad on the patent front

This week we received some good news and bad on the continuing patent wars.

First the bad news.

Down in the northeast Texas town of Marshall, an eight person jury has found that online retailer Newegg infringed on a patent held by TQP Development because they mixed the use of SSL and RC4 on their websites. The jury awarded $2.3 million, less than half of the $5.1 million that TQP’s damage expert had thought due.

Even though Newegg had a strong case, it’s not that much of a surprise that they lost, not in Marshall, where juries are infamous for siding with the plaintiffs on patent cases. Often these judgments are overturned on appeal. Make no mistake about it, Newegg’s attorney Lee Cheng plans to appeal. He made that very plain to Joe Mullin who covered the trial for Ars Technica:

Google Pays States, Newegg Tackles Troll & More…

FOSS Week in Review

FBI claims U.S. computers breached by Anonymous

In an exclusive story published Saturday by Reuters, the FBI has claimed Anonymous has managed to hack into U.S. government computers and steal sensitive data. What’s more, they believe these intrusions have been going on for at least a year.

“The hackers exploited a flaw in Adobe Systems Inc’s software to launch a rash of electronic break-ins that began last December, then left “back doors” to return to many of the machines as recently as last month, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a memo seen by Reuters.

“The memo, distributed on Thursday, described the attacks as ‘a widespread problem that should be addressed.’ It said the breach affected the U.S. Army, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, and perhaps many more agencies.

“Investigators are still gathering information on the scope of the cyber campaign, which the authorities believe is continuing. The FBI document tells system administrators what to look for to determine if their systems are compromised.”

Matt Dugan Makes Case for Enterprise Open Source

There was nothing new in what Matt Dugan said. There were no ground breaking revelations. He just methodically made his case, point by point, explaining why open source was usually, if not always, the best solution for business.

To me, this was just what the doctor ordered. I’d just sat through a forty-five minute lecture in that very same room from an open core guy that had left me fearing that enterprise open source companies were just as greedy and potentially as unethical as the proprietary guys. Dugan fixed that and quickly reaffirmed my faith in the notion that open source is where the good guys live.

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

PHP Attacked, the Shuttleworth Tea Party & More…

FOSS Week in Review

NSA: Locking the barn door after the horse is stolen

On Monday, Reuters reported in an exclusive story that the NSA had failed to install some super duper software meant specifically to protect the agency from inside threats at the site in Hawaii where Eric Snowden downloaded thousands of classified documents. In other words, after spending who knows how much taxpayer money developing internal security software, made by Raytheon by the way, and getting it installed and tweaked at NSA installations everywhere, little Eric Snowden was shuffled off to one of the only, if not the only, locations where internal security wasn’t in place. In hindsight, this made the NSA akin to two lengths of case hardened steel chain being bound together by a link made from a paper clip.

All Things Open: On Vendor Mistrust, Containerization & Profiting From Open Source

The first ever All Things Open conference in Raleigh, North Carolina is now history–but it’s history that will repeat itself. At the sendoff after the last workshops had finished, Conference Chair Todd Lewis announced that the event had been a bigger success than expected, with something like 800 in attendance, and that the event would definitely be returning to the Old North State’s capital city in 2014.

The three presentations I was able to attend at the afternoon session started with “Open Source Communities in a For Profit World” led by John Mertic, a Solutions Architect for SugarCRM. Although Mr. Mertic is a personable enough person and his presentation was well thought out, his ideas were a bit disturbing to this dyed-in-the-wool open sourcer. I’ll save the whys and wherefores for next week’s in depth look at this workshop. Suffice it to say, right now I’m hoping that when I review his presentation I’ll find I misunderstood some of his ideas.

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

Using FOSS in a Windows-Centric Corporate Environment

FileZilla running on Windows
FileZilla, a free and open source FTP client that can run on Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux.
You have probably installed Linux on your work laptop and impress your colleagues with the style and performance of your operating systems. You promote Linux! Lucky you! I am envious!

Unlike you, I do not have this opportunity. Neither do many other office workers. That is because medium and large companies have their own policies about the software allowed to be used on their computers. More often than not, the choice of operating systems is Microsoft Windows, unfortunately. That can be because of some specific software required for business or because of management’s numbness. However, that’s not the point of this article.


DarkDuck is the author and the owner of the blog Linux Notes from DarkDuck, which was a finalist in our Best FOSS or Linux Blog competition. In addition, he publishes the site Buy Linux CDs, where you can read more about different Linux operating systems and then order disks with your favorite distribution.

SecureDrop’s Free Install, Oracle Spreads FUD & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Google wants to put your face on ads

We’ve always wanted to like Google. We want to believe them when they chant their informal motto, “Don’t be evil,” as if it were a mantra. We believe they have good intentions, just as we believe that Mark Zuckerberg is clueless when it comes to the privacy rights of Facebook’s users. We also believe it’s much too easy to convince oneself that wrong is right.

The latest news concerning Google puts Google+ in the same camp as Facebook when it comes to user privacy issues. Here at FOSS Force, we first heard about a change in Google’s privacy policy on Monday in an article posted by the BBC. It seems the search and advertising giant has modified its policy to allow it to soon pull endorsements from its user base for advertising purposes.

Windows Becomes Freeware, Adobe Cracked & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Adobe hacked

We’ve known for years that Adobe doesn’t seem to have a knack for keeping their products secure. New vulnerabilities are found almost daily in Reader and Flash, so much so that Windows users grow used to the constant updates required of them by the fine folks at Adobe. Now it appears as if the San Jose based company can’t keep their servers secure either.

Last Friday, The Australian reported that black hats had managed to steal source code and sensitive customer information:

IT-oLogy: Opening Doors in Raleigh With ‘All Things Open’

The story behind All Things Open (ATO) is IT-oLogy, the nonprofit behind the conference coming to Raleigh later this month. This occurred to me last week as I was preparing for the event, on a night when I’d decided I knew as much as I wanted to know for the moment about the speakers and their workshops and started to look into IT-oLogy.

IT-oLogy school kids
IT-oLogy working with grade school students
Like most, I imagine, I was basically ignorant about the organization. I knew a few scattered facts. I also knew that in our dealings with them, FOSS Force has been treated with respect and encouragement. As I read about them, and started to connect the dots, I began to realize that IT-oLogy and All Things Open are joined at the hip. This conference isn’t separate from them; it’s just part of what they do.

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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