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Posts tagged as “apple”

Poll: Don’t Help Government Unencrypt Devices

The FOSS Force Poll

The results of our “Apple vs. the FBI” encryption poll are in. Most of our readers agree with Apple CEO Tim Cook’s decision to stand up to the FBI.

Often when we run a poll on FOSS Force, the results only go to confirm what we already know. Our latest completed poll is an example. What we got was exactly what we expected. You don’t think the makers of encrypted devices, or encryption software, should help the G-Men get inside — not even with a warrant.

Our ‘Breaking Encryption for the Man’ Poll

First it was the NSA, the FBI and every big city cop shop on the planet insisting we need legislation to force safe, secure and for their eyes only back doors in damn near every device on the planet, presumably including light switches, garbage disposals and dishwashers. Eventually they came to see that doors, hidden or not, are merely temptations for hackers to break on through, and just decided to go on the down low for a while so they could pull a sneak attack later when we least expect it, which is a favorite trick of government types.

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

Apple Takes a Bite of Open Source

Unless you’ve been incommunicado due to a stint in the Witness Protection Program, stranded on a deserted island, or sleeping under a rock — or possibly any combination thereof — you have already heard that Apple announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference this week that the kings of closed-source software based in Cupertino will open-source its programming language Swift.

Swift logoWhile there have been no injury reports yet from the multitudes simultaneously jumping on the Swift-as-open-source bandwagon — and no shortage of “Apple to tailor Swift to open source” headlines (can someone hand me an air-sickness bag?) — you’ll have to excuse me if I don’t share the rampant enthusiasm for a couple of reasons.

Larry Cafiero, a.k.a. Larry the Free Software Guy, is a journalist and a Free/Open Source Software advocate. He is involved in several FOSS projects and serves as the publicity chair for the Southern California Linux Expo. Follow him on Twitter: @lcafiero

Torvald’s Thumbs Up, Gates’ Computer Skills & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Canadians spy at airports

The more we see of the Snowden revelations the more we wonder, when did the English speaking world become a police state?

The latest news was reported January 30th by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), from which we learned that all the electronics eavesdropping hasn’t been being conducted solely by the U.S. and the Brits. The Canadians have had their hand in it too.

It seems that Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), a Canadian spy agency, has been using the free Wi-Fi at “a major Canadian airport” to track wireless devices, which presumably would include laptops as well as phones and tablets. The surveillance would continue for days after visitors passed through the airport.

2013 — That Was the Year That Was

Now that the celebrating is out of the way, I thought it might be time to take a look at some of the stories we covered on FOSS Force this year.

1. The NSA. The biggest story to come down the wire this year undoubtedly had to do with Edward Snowden’s revelations about the National Security Agency’s bag of dirty tricks. Even those of us who have long understood that the Internet isn’t necessarily a place to expect privacy were surprised at how deeply the NSA has managed to reach into the Internet. Odds are, if you’ve been using social networks, everything you’ve posted is now on file with the NSA. What’s worse, every email you’ve sent probably has a copy resting on a NSA server somewhere.

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

Is Rockstar Android’s SCO?

Am I the only one who’s been having a bit of SCO déjà vu when it comes to Rockstar’s suit against Google and a bevy of Android handset makers?

You remember SCO, don’t you? They’re the company, once a major Linux player with the Caldera distro, that bought the rights to Unix then turned around and sued IBM for $1 billion, claiming that Big Blue had been copying Unix code into Linux. They’re also the company that sued two of their former clients, AutoZone and Daimler Chrysler, for moving to Linux. Trouble was, they had nothing, not even the copyrights to the code they claimed had been infringed.

SCO logoThere’s plenty about Rockstar vs Everybody Android to remind me of the SCO fiasco. Enough so to make me wish we still had PJ and Groklaw to take care of the play-by-play. Last week, Google returned fire. Wouldn’t it be nice to have PJ’s take on this?

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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