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Kernel Archives Hacked, SCO Dies Again, More HP Changes & More

Friday FOSS Week in Review

It’s been a busy week in the FOSS world. Evidently everyone’s been in a hurry to make some news happen before leaving town for the Labor Day weekend. Well, lots of FOSS news is good for me, makes my job easy, so here goes…

HP Makes PR Changes After WebOS/PC Fiasco

I’ve been working on a story all week on the mess at HP caused by the all-at-once and probably premature announcement they’re dropping WebOS, smartphones and consumer PCs. One trouble, I keep having to go back and rewrite stuff, because the story is still very, very fluid and new aspects keep popping up almost daily.

On Monday, Bloomberg Businessweek announced that HP’s chief communications officer, Bill Wohl, will be moving to a “special assignment.” Chief Marketing Officer Marty Homlish will be picking up the slack with the corporate communications team and Lynn Anderson will take care of PR’s day-to-day operations, at least for the time being. According to the Bloomberg, both Wohl and Homlish have a history with CEO Leo Apotheker that predates his tenure at HP:

Top 10 Reasons Why Red Hat is Moving to Downtown Raleigh

It’s Thursday, and you know what that means? Even if we can’t get Christine to wake-up long enough to write one of her articles, you can always depend on us to be here like clockwork for the Top 10 List.

A while back, Red Hat announced they might be leaving the big city of Raleigh to find a new location to continue tweaking their code. A little later, they announced they’d decided to remain in the North Carolina capital city after all – but they’d be looking for new digs since they were getting somewhat crowded at their old location. This week they announced they’d found their new home, a big ol’ office tower in Raleigh’s downtown.

Obviously, much thought went into the decisions to stay in Raleigh and in deciding where in the city to relocate. Since we’re located just up the road from them, in Winston-Salem, we were able to infiltrate their organization with one of our agents, code name Ms. Dos, who was able to discover the Top 10 reasons why Red Hat is moving to downtown Raleigh…

  1. “Fedoras and panama suits are always in style!”
  2. “Moonshine – America’s open source likker.”
  3. “That wacky way the city ignores all rules of spelling.”
  4. “How ’bout them Canes, eh?”
  5. North Carolina – if it’s good enough for FOSS Force, it’s good enough for us!”

Content Thieves Are on the Prowl

This morning I found a rather weird pingback on this site. Weird because although the pingback appeared in the comments to the article I’d written about Steve Jobs resignation from Apple, it was a pingback to yesterday’s Friday FOSS Week in Review article. Being the curious sort, I clicked on the link and was taken to a site called TheoryReport, where I indeed found my Friday FOSS Week in Review article.

The article was posted in it’s entirety, but with two small differences. First, Joe Lovrek is listed as the author of the post, with no mention anywhere that the post was copied from FOSS Force or that it was written by me. Also, seemingly random words are inserted into the post, in an obvious attempt at keyword spamming for the “benefit” of search engines. The page contains Google Adwords, so the idea is evidently to garner some free clicks without having to work at actually creating content.

Happy Birthday Tux, Android Number One in Malware & Kubrick to the Rescue

Friday FOSS Week in Review

I’m back from vacation and raring to go. Of course, when I decided to take time off, all heck broke out in the tech world – isn’t that the way it always goes. Now that I’m back, things will probably slow down and I’ll find myself begging for things to write about. Of course, the biggest story this week has little direct connection with FOSS, but has to do with Apple…

Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple’s CEO

By now, I assume everyone’s heard the news about Steve Jobs’ resignation as CEO of Apple, presumably due to health reasons. For the time being he’ll be staying on as board chairman and will continue in some undefined role as an “employee.” He’ll be replaced as CEO by chief operating officer Tim Cook, who’s worked closely with Jobs for thirteen years. By all accounts Cook is capable and is credited with solving the company’s supply problems early in his tenure at Apple. To my thinking, it’s much too soon to tell how Jobs departure will affect Apple, though it’s certain his absence will be felt.

Top 10 Announcements to Expect from HP CEO Leo Apotheker

It’s Thursday – time for another Top 10 list.

When we came up with the idea for this weekly tongue-in-cheek look at the tech world, we were afraid we’d have trouble keeping to topical subjects. Well, that hasn’t been a problem this week, as the movers and shakers of the tech world have given us enough ammunition to keep the Top 10 list going for months to come. However, one incident seemed to be particularly appropriate for us to put in the sites of our humor guns, and that was HP CEO Leo Apotheker’s wacky announcement last week that he was throwing out the baby with the wash to rebuild HP in IBM’s image, acting under the old adage that the best way to separate yourself from the crowd is to be like someone else.

This move was so brazenly weird that we decided we’re going to hear even more wild and crazy announcements from HP in the near future, so we put our brains into overtime figuring out what we might expect. Here it is, the top 10 announcements to expect from HP CEO Leo Apotheker…

  1. “Now that we’re getting out of the consumer computer business, we’re going to be offering our remaining stock of desktops for $99 at Best Buy.”
  2. “We’re now pursuing licensing WebOS to be used to power kitchen timers.”
  3. “HP is aggressively seeking more companies to purchase for too much money and then shut down without monetizing their assets in any way.”
  4. “HP will be suing Red Hat, SUSE and Ubuntu because we just discovered WebOS code in the Linux kernel.”
  5. Holy cow! I was just informed that we’re the largest vendor of PCs in the world. I had no idea. If I’d known, I’d never would’ve abandoned our computer line. What was I thinking?”

Apple’s Jobsless Future

As a FOSS supporter, I’ve often found myself POd by actions taken by Steve Jobs, especially in recent months as he’s pulled out his patent portfolio and declared war on Android. However, I’ve never viewed his actions through the same lens I’ve used to see the anti-FOSS moves made by the likes of Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer or Larry Ellison. Indeed, I’ve always viewed Jobs as something of a kindred spirit and have understood that his commitment to protecting Apple has been brought about because he knows what it’s like to be ripped off by the likes of Microsoft. It’s happened to him in the past and he’ll be damned if he’s going to let it happen to him again. I like Jobs. I admire him. But he still pisses me off sometimes.

I also have a love/hate relationship with Apple, the company he founded and the company he rescued from oblivion with his return to the helm in 1996. Under Jobs guidance, the company has risen to the top of U.S. corporate culture not by bullying but by honest and shrewd marketing and by offering products that represent quality and value. But now Jobs is gone as CEO, and the world wonders if Apple can continue to innovate and grow without his vision.

HP Says Farewell to WebOS, Tablets & PCs

In a somewhat surprising move, HP has announced they are dropping all devices running WebOS. The announcement came in a terse two sentences included in a press release issued today on Business Wire:

“In addition, HP reported that it plans to announce that it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward.”

This announcement caught many off guard. The PR folks at HP have been busy extolling the virtues of the mobile operating system, which became their property when they acquired Palm last year for about $1.2 billion. In the April, 2010 press release that announced the Palm acquisition, a HP executive vice president saw a great future for HP and WebOS:

Top 10 Things to Call a Linux Distro from Microsoft

Gosh, how the time flies when you’re having fun! Here it is, Thursday again, time for another Top Ten list. By now, we fully expected that we’d have heard from David Letterman or his lawyers about this, but we’re beginning to suspect he doesn’t even know we’re here. Just in case, however, we’re keeping all of our legal answers ready.

This week, we wondering what we’d call a Linux distro from Microsoft…

  1. Seattle’s Best.
  2. Breakable Linux.
  3. The best thing Microsoft ever came up with.
  4. Open Windows.
  5. Something that will never happen.

Will Android Be Crushed for GPL Violations?

Yesterday, the blogosphere was abuzz that Google and Android vendors could find themselves in hot water over violation of the GPL. This mainly stems from Google’s decision back in April to not make source code for Android readily available, a decision that affected not only those parts of the OS covered under the “permissive” Apache License, but also the Linux kernel which is covered under the GPLv2, which clearly specifies that source code must be made available at the time of distribution.

When I first wrote on this story on April 5th, I expected that pressure would be put on Google and that Android would quickly be brought back into compliance with the GPL. That hasn’t happened. Pressure might have been placed on Google, I don’t know, but if so it’s done no good. Four months have passed and Android still isn’t compliant. Thankfully, it seems that era is now over, and the organizations that enforce the GPL are going to have to go after Google and all Android vendors for these violations.

Top 10 Things Linux Users Don’t Understand

Uh-oh, it’s Thursday and time for another Top 10 list. We still haven’t heard from Mr. Letterman’s lawyers, which means so far, so good.

A few weeks back when we did our list on the Top 10 Reasons to Switch to Windows, we were taken to task by a commenter for being too hard on the Microsofties. Well, as Three Dog Night said a long, long time ago, when it comes to Redmond, we find it “easy to be hard.” Anyway, this week, we’re taking that commenter’s advice and, in the interest of equal time, we’re going after our own kind, Penguinistas.

So, here it is, just to prove that we don’t always pick on Windows, ten things that Linux users don’t understand.

  1. “This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.”
  2. Blake Stowell.
  3. Office suite upgrade for $149 plus.
  4. The registry.
  5. Antivirus software.

Congress Considers Stepping on Rights, Windows Mobile Share Nil & Whose DNA Is It Anyway?

Friday FOSS Week in Review

With the Black Hat Conference going on in Las Vegas, and with Congress messing around where they shouldn’t, this has been a busy week in the FOSS world. Some of the news is good; some of the news is not so good. I’ll start with a rant…

Proposed Data Retention Bill Would Chill Free Speech

The House will soon be considering a bill that will require ISP’s to maintain logs of their customers Internet use for a 12 month period. As I understand it, the law would include a customer’s browsing history, credit card numbers, etc. The stated purpose of the proposed law is to catch pedophiles visiting child porn sites, but everybody who knows anything about the Internet agrees it won’t be very effective at doing that. What it will do, if enacted, is bring Orwell’s “Big Brother” vision a little closer to home and make your network connected devices look even more like telescreens than they do now.

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