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But another approach is being worked on, as the open source Intensity Engine (itself based on Cube 2/Sauerbraten) has a proof of concept browser plugin (which is a perfect fit, as the Intensity Engine already uses web-related technologies like Google V8 and Django, and has a web interface for managing assets and servers). Since the Intensity Engine is already stable (it's used in production in Syntensity), this would give the open source community a complete solution for all kinds of 3D games, from co-op FPSes to platformers, both inside browsers and out. Feedback and help is welcome!
Disclaimer: The relationship between Syntensity and the Intensity Engine is like the relationship between StatusNet and identi.ca, or WordPress and WordPress.com. In other words, all the code is open source, and we thought to make a profit off of services somehow — but no idea if it will work out, feedback about that is also welcome!" top
Thomson makes the proprietary bibliography software EndNote, and claims that Zotero is causing its commercial business "irreparable harm" and is wilfully and intentionally destroying Thomson's customer base. In particular, Thomson is demanding that GMU stop distributing the newer beta-version of Zotero that allegedly allows EndNote's proprietary data format for storing journal citation styles to be converted into an open-standard format readable by Zotero and other software. Thomson claims that Zotero "reverse engineered or decompiled" not only the format, but also the EndNote software itself. [...] The company is seeking a minimum of US$10 million in damages annually until GMU halts distribution of Zotero's new feature.
Thomson is claiming on the grounds that GMU has a site licence to EndNote, and that Zotero's actions breach the terms of the licensing contract.
Is there any legitimacy in protecting a business by suing those that interoperate with your data format? Especially if the sued party is a public university?" Link to Original Source
kripkenstein writes "Starting with the beta version of OpenOffice.org 3.0 later this year, Sun will upgrade the license of OpenOffice.org from the LGPL 2.1 to the LGPL 3.0:
Sun is changing the license for the OpenOffice.org codebase to the more flexible and protective LGPL v3 , effective with the beta of OpenOffice.org 3.0 which is due later this year. This change is supported by the OpenOffice.org Community Council.
This move forward is the natural evolutionary step to take for a codebase using a license from the FSF license family. The drafting process for the license involved substantial FOSS community input and we will benefit from this work. In particular, the new license includes additional protections for the community against software patents.
steve_jobless (913150) writes "Perhaps Slashdot readers will have an idea for me. I'm just now finishing a Ph.D in a machine-learning/statistics related area — mostly theoretical work, i.e., math, but also some practical aspects — and starting to look for employment. Thing is, I'm not sure I want to work at a conventional job doing data analysis of some sort and making a lot of money (which is basically all I see when I search in the standard places online). Now, aside from my Ph.D, the thing that excites me is free and open source software, I find myself doing quite a bit of that sort of thing in my spare time. What would be great is some sort of career related to FOSS that requires Ph.Ds like me, that is, that are good at math and not just programming. Money isn't an issue, as long as it's enough to live off of, so nonprofits are a welcome idea.
Oracle's press release stresses Oracle's various contributions to FOSS. Given that Oracle is now the largest corporation selling and and contributing to Linux (in terms of overall revenue at least; not Linux-specific), the FOSS community's reaction to Oracle's Linux moves is becoming increasingly important. Will Oracle be welcomed, or scorned?" Link to Original Source top
kripkenstein (913150) writes "After years in which many in the Linux community criticized Skype for lack of development of their Linux client, Skype has released a beta version of its popular application for Linux which, for the first time, supports video calling.
While open-source video calling applications exist, such as Ekiga, they lack the features and reliability of Skype (a FOSS fan myself, I admit this with sorrow). Now that the lack of a good video calling application seems to be solved, has another obstacle in the way of Linux on the desktop been removed?" Link to Original Source top
The total of 311.85 euros of the overall purchase price of the notebook of 599 euros [...] was made up of 135.20 euros for Windows XP Home, 60 euros for Microsoft Works, 40.99 euros for PowerDVD, 38.66 euros for Norton Antivirus and 37 euros for NTI CD Maker.
In the ruling, Acer was forced to refund the cost of the software, which the purchaser returned and did not want. If this price ratio is representative of other computers, is the 'Windows Tax' even worse than previously speculated, especially with more expensive Microsoft OSes such as XP Professional or Vista Home Premium and above?" Link to Original Source top
At one time, Sun was an SCO supporter. [...] Sun's Jonathan Schwartz — then Sun VP of software and today Sun's president and CEO — said in 2003 that Sun had bought "rights equivalent to ownership" to Unix.
SCO agreed. In 2005, SCO CEO Darl McBride said that SCO had no problem with Sun open-sourcing Unix code in what would become OpenSolaris. "We have seen what Sun plans to do with OpenSolaris and we have no problem with it," McBride said. "What they're doing protects our Unix intellectual property rights."
Sun now has a little problem, which might become a giant one: SCO never had any Unix IP to sell. Therefore, it seems likely that Solaris and OpenSolaris contains Novell's Unix IP.
It should be noted that we have no idea if Sun doesn't already have an appropriate license from Novell (if they even need one at all). But, if not, we may see some messy business between Sun and Novell, and correspondingly OpenSolaris and Linux." Link to Original Source top
Linux Foundation Calls for 'Respect for Microsoft'
kripkenstein writes "Jim Zemlin (executive director for the Linux Foundation) has said at LinuxWorld that the open source community should stop poking fun at Microsoft:
Open source vendors have to recognise that Windows is here to stay and that together with Microsoft it will form a duopoly in the market for operating systems. This also requires that the Linux community respects Microsoft rather than ridicule it.
"There are some things that Windows does pretty well," Zemlin said. Microsoft for instance has excelled in marketing the operating system, and has a good track record in fending off competition.
An interesting perspective, but saying Microsoft has "a good track record in fending off competition" is like saying Muhammad Ali was "good at hitting his opponents in the ring"." Link to Original Source top
Linux has turned out to be little more than a key bargaining chip in a high stakes game of commerce between the Chinese government and the world's largest software maker [...]
The fact that [...] Linux failed to gain a major foothold in China is yet another blow to desktop Linux. After nearly eight years of being on the verge of a breakthrough, Linux seems more destined than ever to be a force in the server room but little more than a narrow niche and an anomaly on the desktop.
With the soon-to-be largest economy standardized on Windows desktops, desktop Linux does seem to have an uphill battle ahead of it." Link to Original Source top
The first component of Launchpad to be open-sourced is Storm, described as an "object-relational mapper (ORM) for Python". A tutorial with many examples is available. The license for storm is the LGPL 2.1 (inspection of the several source files shows they contain the common "either version 2.1 of the License, or (at your option) any later version", implying that Storm is LGPLv3-compatible)." Link to Original Source top
[We can speculate about] a golden age [...] when horizontal gene transfer was universal and separate species did not yet exist. Life was then a community of cells of various kinds, sharing their genetic information [...] Evolution could be rapid, as new chemical devices could be evolved simultaneously by cells of different kinds working in parallel and then reassembled in a single cell by horizontal gene transfer.
But then, one evil day, a cell resembling a primitive bacterium happened to find itself one jump ahead of its neighbors in efficiency. That cell, anticipating Bill Gates by three billion years, separated itself from the community and refused to share. Its offspring became the first species [...] reserving their intellectual property for their own private use. With their superior efficiency, the bacteria continued to prosper and to evolve separately, while the rest of the community continued its communal life. [...] And so it went on, until nothing was left of the community and all life was divided into species.
[This period] has lasted for two or three billion years. It probably slowed down the pace of evolution considerably.
[But] now, as Homo sapiens domesticates the new biotechnology, we are reviving the ancient [...] practice of horizontal gene transfer, moving genes easily from microbes to plants and animals, blurring the boundaries between species. We are moving rapidly into the post-Darwinian era, when [...] the rules of Open Source sharing will be extended from the exchange of software to the exchange of genes. Then the evolution of life will once again be communal, as it was in the good old days before separate species and intellectual property were invented.
Certainly an unexpected context in which to see Open Source and Bill Gates mentioned in. Are biology and software more similar than we might think? And if so, what does the history of biology portend for the longevity of Microsoft's dominance?" Link to Original Source top
Dubbed the IQ PC, the machines will cost RS21,000 (about $525), are manufactured in partnership with Zenith, and will sport AMD Athlon CPUs.
In some ways, the move to sell hardware is a natural extension of Microsoft's low-cost Windows initiative. [...] It may also be a response to projects like Intel's Classmate PC and the OLPC XO.
The Ars Technica summary is careful to state that they seriously doubt this will lead to Microsoft selling PCs in the US, yet the question must be asked: After Microsoft mice and keyboards, then the XBOX and Zune, Microsoft is increasingly becoming a hardware vendor. Is it only a question of time before Microsoft starts to compete directly with the likes of Dell and HP?" Link to Original Source top
Note that this feature is covered by several Microsoft patents and should not be activated in any default build of the library.
As reported on and discussed here and here, this matter may be connected to the Microsoft-Novell deal. If so, Novell should have received a license for the Microsoft patents, assuming the deal covered all relevant patents. Does the license therefore extend only to SUSE, but not openSUSE?" top
kripkenstein writes "Ben Galbraith reports from a recent talk by Sam Ramji, in charge of Open Source Technical Strategy at Microsoft. Ramji is quoted as saying,
"Would I like to contribute to Samba? You bet. Am I constrained by the fact [Jeremy Allision] testified against us in the EU and the general politics between Steve [Ballmer] and Jeremy [Allison]? Yes. My hands are tied. That sucks.
(Jeremy Allison is part of the Samba project.) Ramji's approach to the connection between Microsoft and FOSS seems to by crystallized by quotes such as these:
If someone upgrades to Vista because they hear that Firefox runs better on Vista than on WinXP, I'm happy with that. [...]
In 1995, Microsoft was the company that missed the Internet. In 2005, I don't think you could say that. [In 2005 it] was the company that missed open-source. In 2015, I don't think you're going to be able to say that.
So, by 2015, will FOSS have been Embraced and Extended by Microsoft?" top
kripkenstein writes "A seemingly minor change in Ubuntu Edgy — making/bin/sh point to dash instead of bash — has caused a lot of breakage. Ubuntu stand by their decision to use the faster dash, which complies with standards but not with existing practice. However, as can be seen by the numerous comments on the bug report, many opportunities for Ubuntu to be deployed in server settings appear to have been lost. For example, one comment states
I have already moved away from [Ubuntu], stopped deploying it on server systems. I am glad this [happened] before i started using it on production servers here at work.
Ubuntu is a popular desktop OS among Linux users, but is the decision to use dash costing it its credibility in the server arena?" top
kripkenstein writes "According to a quoted intern's comment during the recent Ubucon at Google NY, Google uses Google Docs & Spreadsheets internally and thus avoids document interoperability issues between Windows and Linux PCs:
A funny moment near the beginning was when we were asking a Google intern questions. Apparently only the engineers all get Ubuntu on their machines, and other staff have windows because it's "easier." Somebody asked how they deal with interoperability between OO.o and MS Office, and he said "Well, you know we have this product called Google Docs..."
I guess in the case of Google itself, using Google Docs & Spreadsheets means you are still saving your data in-house. Also interesting in the quote is that Google engineers apparently use Ubuntu, while other staff use Windows." top
[Interviewer:] One of the persistent rumors that's going around is that certain large IT customers have already been paying Microsoft for patent licensing to cover their use of Linux, Samba and other free software projects.[...]
Allison: Yes, that's true, actually. I mean I have had people come up to me and essentially off the record admit that they had been threatened by Microsoft and had got patent cross license and had essentially taken out a license for Microsoft patents on the free software that they were using [...] But they're not telling anyone about it. They're completely doing it off the record.
If true, is this slowing down Linux adoption? Or are these just rumors — which may accomplish much the same effect?" top
kripkenstein writes "The big media companies immediately assume you are guilty by your mere presence on a Bittorrent swarm, an interesting report reveals. Turns out companies like BayTSP will send shutdown notices to ISPs without any evidence of copyright infringment; all they feel they need in the form of evidence is that you are reported by the tracker to be in the swarm. As the report states,
For my investigation, I wrote a very simple BitTorrent client. My client sent a request to the tracker, and generally acted like a normal Bittorrent client up to sharing files. The client refused to accept downloads of, or upload copyrighted content. It obeyed the law. [...] With just this, completely legal, BitTorrent client, I was able to get notices from BayTSP.
To put this in to perspective, if BayTSP were trying to bust me for doing drugs, it'd be like getting arrested because I was hanging out with some dealers, but they never saw me using, buying, or selling any drugs.
The report also has other interesting details about how companies like BayTSP operate."