GDT::FLOSS::Electronic Rambler::Archive::Year 2006

FLOSSER
Venture Capital Monies Going Into Open Source
The FLOSSer is not surprised that more venture capitalists are getting excited about open source investment opportunities.
   "Open-source software, once seen as the province of propeller 
    heads and anticapitalist visionaries [...]"

Does "propeller head" equal geek?

   "In the last few years, venture funding for open-source companies 
    has jumped from $72 million in 2002 to $262 million in 2005, 
    according to Venture One. Meanwhile, the number of open-software 
    start-ups funded in those years climbed from 11 in 2002 to 
    30 in 2005."

The number thirty appears small with respect to newly funded open source companies.

"Waves start long before you see them on the surface," says Ann Winblad, co-founder of Hummer Winblad, a San Francisco-based venture fund. "We've long since learned that open source is not about free software."

I suspect Ann Winblad is using the word "free" as in "free beer" and not "Free Software." Linux, a successful open source project, depends on Free Software.

TheStreet.com:: Venture Dollars Flow to Open Source

[20 December 2006, top]

VA Software's SourceForge Continues To Grow
Kudo to VA Software, Inc.
   "SourceForge.net continues to grow.  With over 1.4 million registered 
    users and over 135,000 projects, SourceForge.net continues to serve 
    a tremendous amount of projects and download activity. In addition 
    to a 53% year-over-year increase in the number of downloads, we added 
    7,650 SourceForge.net projects during the first fiscal quarter."

Biz.Yahoo.com:: VA Software Comments On ScourgeForge and Slashdot

[20 December 2006, top]

Serwer Serves Up Mis-Information
I found this while doing end-of-year clean-up...

I don't know who Andy Serwer is, but he felt the need to comment about the Novell/Microsoft partnership and for some reason Money.CNN.com posted his thoughts.

   "Such a big deal? So why is Novell down in the pre-market. 
    Because it isn't that a big a deal. 

Andy... Maybe it is because the stock spiked 15% the day before.

   "I love the open source/Linux business. You 'give' your customers 
    some free software. It's impossible to use, so then you make them 
    hire your consultants to install and service. Nice. (Question: Is 
    Eric Schmidt behind all of this?)"

Serwer fails to define the word "free," but I suspect he is using in the context of "free as in free beer." If true, then he is grossly wrong.

As for open source/linux being impossible to use, that's simply not true. Serwer's commentary that was posted to Money.CNN.com is nothing more than mis-information.

[20 December 2006, top]

Novell Improves OpenOffice and MSFT Office Interoperability
I don't see any reasons why students should use Microsoft Office for learning about "word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations" when they learn about these software tools using OpenOffice. The following news from Novell is no surprise given their increased collaborative efforts with Microsoft.
   "Novell announced that the Novell® edition of the 
    OpenOffice.org office productivity suite will now support 
    the Office Open XML format, increasing interoperability 
    between OpenOffice.org and the next generation of Microsoft 
    Office. Novell is cooperating with Microsoft and others on 
    a project to create bi-directional open source translators 
    for word processing, spreadsheets and presentations between 
    OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office, with the word processing 
    translator to be available first, by the end of January 2007."

A document is a document is a document and that is what the OpenDocument format is all about. A document should not be held hostage by the software that created it.

[04 December 2006, top]

Stallman Speaks At Annual GPL Conference
Just like Linux creator Linus Torvalds "doesn't see Microsoft," Free Software creator Richard Stallman "doesn't see Open Source." Linux is GNU/Linux. Without GNU Free Software, Linux would not be of much use, yet GNU software runs on other operating systems besides Linux. The following are quotes from RMS (Stallman).
   "We're not working on open source, we're not 
    interested in open source."

   "And therefore, if you wish to have discussions with us, 
    please don't do so in a way that supposes that what we 
    are talking about is open source because we will have 
    to refuse to participate in that discussion. We are not 
    going to accept the labelling of our work as open source, 
    no matter what, so you have to use the term Free Software 
    if you wish to discuss our work with us."

In a nutshell, Open Source is not always Free Software and Free Software is not always Open Source.

FSFeurope.org:: Transcript of Richard Stallman at the 5th international GPLv3 conference; 21st November 2006

[03 December 2006, top]

FLOSS Depends On "Community"
The FLOSS world requires the "community" to be successful, yet at the same time it is the "community" that makes using FLOSS too risky for many companies, institutions and organizations. I have felt for some time the reason for this is because the "community" is unstable. Example: Geek/alphageek is unemployed and has lots of "free" time; therefore, they get active in a FLOSS project. Now the geek gets a job and now they don't have the time to devote to their FLOSS project. Time and time again I have seen people come and go in the FLOSS world and this instability is a major cause of concern. I feel better about FLOSS projects that have corporate backing because they can augment the "community" when necessary.

FreeSoftwareMagazine.com:: Inside the mind of the enemy: the community

[01 December 2006, top]

Thailand Might Not Become a FLOSSer
Professor Sitthichai Pokai-udom, Thailand's ICT Minister, is not a fan of open source. Here are a couple quotes.
   "With open source, there is no intellectual property. Anyone 
    can use it and all your ideas become public domain. If nobody 
    can make money from it, there will be no development and open 
    source software quickly becomes outdated."

   "As a programmer, if I can write good code, why should I give 
    it away? Thailand can do good source code without open source."

Professor Sitt sounds a bit like Oracle's Larry Ellison who said the following about open source: "It's like Fort Knox, except everyone has the keys and takes whatever gold they want whenever they want it."

BangkokPost.net:: U-Turn at ICT Ministry

[16 November 2006, top]

Samba.org Tells Novell To Say No To Microsoft
The Samba organization is against the Novell/Microsoft partnership and it is difficult to disagree with them when you read their plea to Novell.
   "One of the fundamental differences between the proprietary 
    software world and the free software world is that the 
    proprietary software world divides users by forcing them 
    to agree to coercive licensing agreements which restrict 
    their rights to share with each other, whereas the free 
    software world encourages users to unite and share the 
    benefits of the software."

Samba.org:: Samba Team Asks Novell to Reconsider

[13 November 2006, top]

Sun Microsystems Turns Java Into Open Source
It took a while, but Sun Microsystems is turning Java into an Open Source project. Sun said it is making "nearly all of Java's source code -- excluding small pockets of code that aren't owned by Sun -- available under the GNU General Public License."

I must admit the use of the word "nearly" is potentially problematic, but opening up Java is potentially good news for Sun Microsystems.

[13 November 2006, top]

Novell To Partner With Microsoft
The last posting to this blog was about Open Source stocks and I wrote about Novell... On the next day Novell announced it is going to partner with Microsoft. The partnership calls for Microsoft to sell SUSE Linux and, potentially, work with Novell to help make SUSE Linux work well with Windows. Wall Street thought this was great news for Novell, more bad news for Red Hat, no news for Microsoft, and good news for Open Source in general (VA Software).
   NOVL...   up 15.67%... $ 6.79  [Novell]
   MSFT... down  0.14%... $28.77  [Microsoft]
   RHAT... down  2.01%... $16.10  [Red Hat]
   LNUX...   up  5.24%... $ 4.22  [VA Software] 
   SUNW...   up  0.38%... $ 5.33  [Sun Microsystems]
   SCOX...   up  2.54%... $ 2.46  [SCO Group]

[03 November 2006, top]

Novell Is a Way To Invest In Open Source
A posting made to Fool.com (Motley Fool that is) on 31 October 2006 had the title "Time to Short Open Source?" Given the increasing popularity of FLOSS, it seems an odd time to consider shorting the "industry." The poster wrote the following.
   "But the point remains: There's still room to swim in the 
    open-source pool if you know where to dive. For investors, 
    that means avoiding hot new IPOs that slap an open-source 
    sticker across a prospectus.  Instead, stick with Oracle, 
    Red Hat, IBM (NYSE: IBM), and other firms that have proven 
    their ability to deliver what customers want. Anything less 
    is simply too scary to contemplate."

I guess the Fool.com has given okay advice, but I wouldn't ignore all IPOs that might be related to Open Source.

I'm not sure why Novell was excluded from their list of "proven" open source companies. As of this posting, NOVL was $6 with a Price-Sales-Ratio of 1.74. The company had about $3.83 per share in cash with a current ratio of 2.4. On the negative side, insider ownership is less than 5%, while institutional ownership is around 81%.

[01 November 2006, top]

Forbes Speaks With Richard M. Stallman (rms)
This is a bit old, but it is always interesting to find out what Richard Stallman is thinking and doing these days. Stallman remains a leader in the Free Software movement. The Forbes writer wrote the following about Stallman.
   "He aims to impose new restrictions on IBM and any 
    other tech firm that distributes software using even 
    a single line of Linux code. They would be forbidden 
    from using Linux software to block users from infringing 
    on copyright and intellectual-property rights ("digital 
    rights management"); and they would be barred from suing 
    over alleged patent infringements related to Linux."

Forbes concluded their essay stating "long ago Stallman was a gifted programmer." Stallman might not do much coding these days, but once a "gifted" programmer always a "gifted programmer."

Forbes.com:: Toppling Linux

[31 October 2006, top]

Yahoo! To Open Up Yahoo! Mail
Yahoo! announced it opening up its code for Yahoo! Mail. The goal is to "encourage software developers to build new email-based applications." Yahoo! Mail is used by approximately 257 million people. Yahoo! is quoted saying: "Yahoo is a very large company but we can't build every application that a user might want. You can imagine tens of thousands of niche applications (springing) from Yahoo Mail."

[07 October 2006, top]

Open Source Like Fort Knox (L. Ellison)
During August of 2006, Forbes.com posted an interview they conducted with Larry Ellison (founder and CEO of Oracle). The topic of open source came up in the interview.
   "Forbes.com: They were certainly paying attention."

   "Ellison: Oh yes, they paid attention. But what I said was that 
    the interesting thing about open source is that the intellectual 
    property is available to all of us. So what that means is that 
    any company can take the Red Hat Linux and use it at no cost, 
    so long as they're willing to support themselves."

   "Well, that actually includes us. We could take the Red Hat Linux, 
    as long as we're willing to support it. In fact, we can redistribute 
    it to others and provide support. So why would we buy Red Hat Linux, 
    when we can just take it for nothing?"

   "Forbes.com: In open source, your innovation is quickly your rival's."

   "Ellison: Exactly. It's like Fort Knox, except everyone has the keys 
    and takes whatever gold they want whenever they want it."

The amount of good stuff available in the FLOSS world is mind boggling giving it a Fort Knox like value.

[09 September 2006, top]

Indiana's ACCESS Program Likes Linux
The state of Indiana has a program called ACCESS (Affordable Classroom Computers for Every Secondary Student).
   "More than 20,000 Indiana students are now Linux-enabled 
    under a state grant program to roll out low-cost, 
    easy-to-manage workstations, which are running various 
    flavors of the open-source operating system."

This year Linux desktop deployments are expected to grow from "24 high schools to 80 high schools." A popular Linux choice so far in Indiana is SLED 10, which is Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop system. Ironically, I installed SUSE version 10.1 on my computer office computer yesterday.

CRN.com:: Hoosier Daddy? In Indiana Schools, It's Linux

[Extra] "SUSE® Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 was named 'Best of Show' at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San Francisco this week. In addition, SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop was named 'Best Desktop Solution,' and Novell AppArmor earned 'Best Security Solution' honors."

[17 August 2006, top]

Thank Goodness the Internet has DNS
Domain Name Services (DNS) called a "hero of the Internet."
   "DNS is the quiet hero of the Internet. For nearly 20 years, 
    since 1987, DNS has translated human-readable addresses into 
    the numerical locations that computers demand. Easy-to-remember 
    names (e.g., craigslist.org) become the numbers (e.g., 66.150.243.20) 
    that load the popular classifieds website."

Wired.com:: Site-Lookup Service Foils Fraud [via Slashdot]

[14 August 2006, top]

OpenOffice Less Secure Than Microsoft Office?
FLOSS must be more secure than Windows; otherwise, a plus for using FLOSS is eliminated. This is especially true when it comes of OpenOffice versus Microsoft Office.
   "A number of the problems described in the report have 
    to do with the basic design of the software. For example, 
    OpenOffice.org does not perform adequate security checks 
    on the software it runs, the researcher said. And because 
    of the extreme flexibility of the free office suite, there 
    are many ways for writers to create malicious macros, the 
    researchers found."

This just reeks of future buffer overflows.

OpenOffice.org must tighten up their project in order for OpenOffice to remain a valid alternative to Microsoft Office.

InfoWorld.com:: OpenOffice.org security 'insufficient'

[14 August 2006, top]

Parens No Longer an SPI Director
Bruce Parens was one of the early advocates of Open Source. At one point and time, Parens was the leader of the GNU/Debian project. Over a decade ago, Parens founded SPI--Software in the Public Interest. Parens says he just doesn't have the time anymore to sit on SPI's board of directors.
   "SPI and Debian are something I feel strongly about, but 
    don't really have time for any longer as there are more 
    important fights to be carried out for Open Source."
   -- Bruce Parens

SPI's homepage says it is a "non-profit organization which was founded to help organizations develop and distribute open hardware and software. We encourage programmers to use any license that allows for the free modification, redistribution and use of software, and hardware developers to distribute documentation that will allow device drivers to be written for their product."

[09 August 2006, top]

Open Source System Can Be Too Complex
A general computing rule of thumb is that increased flexibility implies increased complexity. Software systems that get used tend to grow. I use to teach programming students the following edict: Program for change. If programs are not programmed for change, then they get complicated fast when changes occur.
   "One of the beauties of the open-source model is that 
    you get a lot of flexibility and componentization. 
    The big downside is complexity." 
    -- Ryan Gavin of Microsoft

Having multiple Linux distributions along with a glut of software licenses greatly complicate matters.

Finally, too many programmers make programs more complicated than they need to be. In other words, it is difficult (i.e. boring to many) to practice the "keep it simple stupid" philosophy.

ZDnetAsia.com:: Microsoft: Open source is too complex

[08 August 2006, top]

U.K. Academic Institutions Like FLOSS
It appears academic institutions in the U.K. are using more FLOSS.

Via Slashdot.org...

   "A positive picture of the use of OSS (Open Source Software) 
    emerges in both HEs (Higher Education institutions) and FEs 
    (Further Education institutions). Although there are considerable 
    differences between the two types of institutions, in general OSS 
    is used more often than in 2003 and institutions have higher levels 
    of skills and experience of OSS compared to 2003. This survey shows 
    that it is likely that, in the future, use of OSS will continue and 
    expand alongside the use of PS (Proprietary Software)."

OSS-Watch.ac.uk:: OSS Watch Survey 2006

[04 August 2006, top]

OSCon 2006 Sounds Like It was a Success
This year I wandered the Exhibit Hall of the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCon) and I am hoping to do the same next year. Heck, I might allocate a full day (or two) to attend the convention and hear some keynote speakers. Regardless, the Exhibit Hall was fun and I came home with three new t-shirts.

Business.NewsForge.com:: Final thoughts on OSCON

[02 August 2006, top]

Google Working to Attract Open Source Projects
It is no surprise that Google understands the value of Open Source projects. Google Code is a collection of resources for developers to "exchange open source software and collaboratively work on projects."
   "Code.google.com is our site for external developers interested 
    in Google-related development. It's where we'll publish free 
    source code and lists of our API services."

Code.Google.com:: Google's Developer Network

[01 August 2006, top]

Torvalds Not Happy with GPLv3
Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, remains unhappy with the proposed version three of the GPL (Gnu Public License). According to CNET, "Torvalds' concern is with the clause in the GPLv3 second draft regarding digital rights management (DRM) technology, which puts controls on how computers can run software or supply content such as movies or music."

Torvalds is quoted as follows.

   "Say I'm a hardware manufacturer. I decide I love some 
    particular piece of open-source software, but when I 
    sell my hardware, I want to make sure it runs only one 
    particular version of that software, because that's what 
    I've validated. So I make my hardware check the cryptographic 
    signature of the binary before I run it. The GPLv3 doesn't seem 
    to allow that, and in fact, most of the GPLv3 changes seem to 
    be explicitly designed exactly to not allow the above kind of 
    use, which I don't think it has any business doing."

It appears as though Linux itself is not directly affected by GPLv3.

CNET News.com:: Torvalds critical of new GPL draft

[29 July 2006, top]

Gates Wants AIDS Research "Open Sourced"
Note: This is a ZDNet blog posting.
   "Bill Gates is demanding that AIDS researchers share 
    or open source their results if they're to get some 
    of the $287 million the Gates Foundation is putting 
    into the search for AIDS vaccines."

Kudos to Gates, if true.

ZDNet.com:: Bill Gates demands open source

[24 July 2006, top]

Plan 9 Gets Slashdotted
Via Slashdot, we learned that OS News had an article about the Plan 9 operating system posted to their website.
   "Plan 9 is an operating system designed by the same 
    people who created the original UNIX. Its development 
    began in the late 1980's and it was a research project 
    intended to address a variety of system scalability issues 
    that the UNIX and LINUX kernels don't do particularly well, 
    namely, distributed computing, distributed name spaces, and 
    distributed file systems. Plan 9 is open source and its current 
    and fourth major release was in 2002."

Plan 9 is Open Source and it was interesting to see that it has a Live CD.

OSNews.com:: Investigating the Plan 9 Operating System

[24 July 2006, top]

Microsoft Supports OpenDocument Format
Microsoft, after saying "no," has agreed to create software that will convert documents created with its tool to be converted into the OpenDocument format. ZDNet.com quoted a Microsoft executive saying, "a number of governments, including those of Massachusetts and Belgium, have committed to using the OpenDocument format, and it was pressure from those governments that persuaded Microsoft to allow translation of its Office files into the competing format." Microsoft's software will be the "Open XML Translator" and the company has subsequent plans to make it available for Excel and PowerPoint.

ZDNet.com:: Microsoft Bends on OpenDocument

[08 July 2006, top]

OSDL CEO Answers Questions From Slashdot Users
Stuart Cohen is the CEO of the Open Source Development Lab (OSDL) and earlier this year he answered questions from Slashdot users. A good part of Cohen's interview had to do with Linux and Open Source usage at U.S. academic institutions.

Interviews.Slashdot.org:: OSDL CEO Answers Slashdot Questions

[05 July 2006, top]

Sun's OpenSolaris is Doing Well
Sun Microsystems announced the following...
   "Since open sourcing the Solaris(TM) Operating System (OS) 
    in June 2005, Sun has seen the OpenSolaris community grow 
    to more than 14,000 members while Solaris 10 has exceeded 
    5 million registered license shipments -- more than its 
    competitors have shipped collectively in the last 18 months, 
    and more than all current Solaris OS versions combined."

Sun's open source motto is: "Open Source is about participation."

Sun.com:: OpenSolaris

[20 June 2006, top]

Lessig Writes About Free Culture
I've always thought the ideas behind Free Software and Open Source should be popular with the masses, but getting the masses exposed to it is difficult because many powerful companies, organizations, and individuals don't want the masses to learn anything about it. Kudos to Lessig.
   "The analogy with Richard Stallman's GNU General 
    Public Licence is evident: 'I think of the free 
    culture movement as inspired by the free software 
    movement,' Lessig says. 'I think it's going to be 
    a more significant movement than the free software 
    movement because whatever the importance of the freedom 
    of coders, coders will still be just a tiny proportion 
    of the public, but culture is ... much broader.'"

Guardian.co.uk:: Freedom fighter with a guilty conscience

[Extra] Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig. Subtitled--"How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity."

[09 June 2006, top]

O'Reilly Open Source Convention Occurs Late July, 2006
I am looking forward to wandering the Exhibit Hall of this year's O'Reilly Open Source Convention being held in Portland, Oregon, from 24 July 2006 to 28 July 2006. Although I'm only doing the Exhibit Hall, the featured speaker list is fun: Rasmus Lerdorf (PHP), Dave Thomas (the Pragmatic Programmers), Chris DiBona (Google), Marten Mickos (MySQL) and Tim O'Reilly.

OReillyNet.com:: O'Reilly Open Source Convention

[07 June 2006, top]

Stallman (RMS) Charges for His Autograph
Richard M. Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, was a Free Software related event and he charged people for his autograph.
   "Just for fun, or a clever, highly effective protest? 
    Hackers, geeks and nerds gathered together at the 7th 
    FISL - Internacional Free Software Forum, in Porto Alegre 
    (Brazil) last week, were astounded when they got word that 
    Richard Stallman, the founding father of the Free Software 
    Foundation and creator of the GPL, was charging R$ 10 
    (about US$ 3) for an autograph and R$ 5 (less than 
    US$ 2) to get his picture taken by free software 
    enthusiasts at the event floor."

NewsForge contacted RMS about this and the following is part of his reply.

   "Shortly after I arrived in FISL, someone asked me to 
    sign his convention badge. I realized that thousands 
    of people might attend, and signing thousands of convention 
    badges could take hours. Therefore I said I would sign it in 
    exchange for a contribution of 10 reais (5 dollars) for the 
    Free Software Foundation. Likewise, I realized that hundreds 
    or thousands might ask me to pose with them for photographs. 
    So I decided to ask 5 reais for this, about $2.50, also for 
    the Free Software Foundation."

Note: Stallman's response came attached with the following copyright notice.

   "Copyright 2006 Richard Stallman. Verbatim copying and 
    distribution of this entire response are permitted 
    worldwide without royalty in any medium provided this 
    notice is preserved."

NewsForge.com:: Stallman sells autograph for the cause

[01 May 2006, top]

ExplorerDestroyer.com Likes Firefox
Firefox is an Open Source web browser that is a sound alternative to using Microsoft's Internet Explorer. The following quote is from the homepage of ExplorerDestroyer.com.
   "Get this tool for switching people from IE to Firefox.
    For each person you switch, Google gives you $1, Microsoft 
    loses marketshare, and an angel gets its wings."

But how will we know an angel gets its wings?

The founders of ExplorerDestroyer.com say the following when asked why they created their website.

   "Mozilla built us a wonderful tool. Google gave us a carrot. 
    Now take the stick and beat IE's ass."

ExplorerDestroyer.com:: Switch to Firefox, Make money from Adsense Referral

Explorer Destroyer

[28 April 2006, top]

Mozilla Foundation Donates To OpenSSH Project
Kudos to Mozilla Foundation for providing a financial donation to the OpenSSH project. OpenBSD is a solid operating system and OpenSSH improves computer security when using the Internet for machine-to-machine communication.

UnDeadly.org:: Donations Update [via Slashdot]

[05 April 2006, top]

FLOSS Needs Better Looking FLOSSers
From the "sad, but probably true department" comes the following two quotes...
   "The lax dress code of the open-source community is one 
    of the reasons behind the software's slow uptake in 
    commercial environments, says former Massachusetts 
    chief information officer (CIO) Peter Quinn."

I have zero doubts that well dressed and neatly groomed people are infinitely more smarter than those who aren't.

   "In terms of public sector implementation, Quinn said 
    political considerations in the United States had prevented 
    many technology workers from going public about their support 
    for open-source software solutions and projects being undertaken 
    across government."

In many cases it is a question of "why rock the boat." You can only bang your head against the brick wall so many times before your IQ drops below 75.

ZDNet.com.au:: Sandals and ponytail set cramp Linux

[29 March 2006, top]

Richard Stallman Speaks About GNU GPL v3
Richard Stallman is the "main author" of the GNU GPL (General Public License). Version three of the GPL has been written and it undergoing review by the community at large. Stallman has been doing interviews with respect to that GNU GPLv3 is about. In a nutshell, there are no major changes to the GPL. RMS believes GPV version will be completed late 2006 or early 2007. Here is a RMS quote from a recent interview.
   "Among the changes, the most important four, I will say, 
    concern dealing with software patents, compatibility with 
    other licences, the definition of which parts of the source 
    code and what constitutes the source code that must be included 
    in it, and dealing with Digital Restrictions Management."

IFSO.ie:: Transcript of a talk by Richard Stallman about GPL v3

[Extra] In his interview, RMS mentions AACS. Stallman refers to AACS as "Treacherous Computing or Digital Restrictions Management." {Wikipedia.org:: Advanced Access Content System}

[24 March 2006, top]

Forbes Interviews Ballmer About FLOSS
Ballmer's reply when asked why people buy Microsoft product when there are FLOSS alternatives (many of which are free).
   "One, people value their time. Our stuff does more, 
    and they like that. Two, people value their time, 
    and those [free] things tend to be clunky."

Ballmer continue by saying the following.

   You know, IBM doesn't stand behind Linux. They promote Linux, 
   but if there's a bug in Linux, IBM is not the responsible party 
   to fix that. It's whoever in the community. And you know, let's 
   say that person has a death in the family. I'm not saying we're 
   perfect, but at least you can expect appropriate commercial 
   responses out of a commercial entity. I think those things 
   are important to enterprise users."

Ballmer has a point--certain FLOSS communities are not reliable; people become active participants and then they fade away. There are some FLOSS projects where sustainability is an issue.

Ballmer's reply when asked about Microsoft's intellectual property being in FLOSS products.

   "Well, I think there are experts who claim Linux 
    violates our intellectual property. I'm not going 
    to comment. But to the degree that that's the case, 
    of course we owe it to our shareholders to have a 
    strategy. And when there is something interesting 
    to say, you'll be the first to hear it."

Forbes.com:: Ballmer, Bemused

[23 March 2006, top]

OSL at OSU Gets Donated Bandwidth
The state of Oregon continues to be a leader when it comes to Open Source.
   "The Open Source Lab at Oregon State University has 
    received a large donation of Internet bandwidth from 
    TDS Telecom that will allow it to more than double 
    the number of visitors it can serve, in the future 
    helping up to 50 million people a day review or 
    download free software."

The Open Source Lab (OSL) is part of Oregon State University (OSU). The OSL press release said they were receiving "600 megabits of bandwidth - a volume of Internet connectivity that is more than five times higher than the total used by the rest of the university. In addition, OSU servers will be hosted in a TDS Data Center."

OSUOSL.org:: OSL Teams with TDS for Bandwidth Increase

[07 March 2006, top]

Oracle Acquires Sleepcat Software Inc.
There had been reports that database company Oracle was looking to get into Open Source by making an acquisition. The most popularly rumored names were JBoss, Zend Technologies (PHP), and database provider Sleepycat. The reports were confirmed when Oracle announced they had acquired Sleepycat Software Inc.

Oracle.com:: Welcome Sleepycat

[01 March 2006, top]

GPL3 Okay With Sun, Not Okay With Linux
The Free Software Foundation is working on version three of the GNU General Public license. Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux, has stated the Linux kernel will not use version 3 of the GPL.

[13 February 2006, top]

Users of Open Source Linux Want Photoshop
Novell, through its CoolSolutions community-relations website, is conducting an online public survey to determine which Windows-only applications are most likely to keep Windows users from migrating to Linux. The company also wants to know which Windows-only apps would be most popular on Linux desktops if they were ported to Linux.

[13 February 2006, top]

Mitnick Thinks Open Source Should Be Easy To Crack
In a nutshell, Mitnick thinks Open Source code should be easier to crack because crackers can study the code.
   "Mitnick was arrested in 1995 by the FBI for hacking. 
    He served five years in prison."

The Open Source world claims FLOSS is more secure because people can review the code, but Mitnick reminds us that some of those people could be crackers.

Tectonic.co.za:: OSS is an easier hack: Mitnick

[01 February 2006, top]

Dept. of Homeland Security Wants Secure Open Source
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) realizes Open Source plays a critical role in today's computing world; therefore, they have a strong interest in ensuring Open Source does not contain defects that would compromise our homeland security.
   "Through its Science and Technology Directorate, the 
    department has given $1.24 million in funding to 
    Stanford University, Coverity and Symantec to hunt 
    for security bugs in open-source software and to improve 
    Coverity's commercial tool for source code analysis."

CNET News.com:: Homeland Security helps secure open-source code

[11 January 2006, top]

Schwartz Says Free Software Is Pirateless
I found an old FLOSSER news item from 2005 that didn't get posted... now it's posted.

On 16 June 2005, Jonathan Schwartz posted a message to his blog titled: "Free Software Has No Pirates." In reference to Open Solaris, Schwartz wrote the following.

   "Now, I've heard from a few stockholders saying, 'What? Sharing? 
    Free Software? What's up with that! Go make some money!' And so 
    I thought I'd put down, once and for all, why we're committed to 
    sharing, to open source, open standards, and eradicating the 
    digital divide. Ready? Because we're going to make more money."

Sun Microsystems has been doing more and more FLOSS and this is good news for the FLOSS world.

Blogs.Sun.com:: Free Software Has No Pirates

[07 January 2006, top]

About the FLOSS Electronic Rambler Blog
The FLOSSER blog is devoted to Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS). The "ER" in FLOSSER stands for "Electronic Rambler." In other words, the FLOSSER is a blog that rambles on and on and on about FLOSS. The FLOSSER was started September 2004 and as of 01 January 2006 it contained 55 postings.

[01 January 2006, top]


Author: Gerald D. Thurman [deru@deru.com]
Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 11:18:37 MST

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