Brendan Scott
+61 414 339 227

lists at
Linked In Profile

OSWALD Newsletter Archives (by issue #, click to view)

The Open Source Law Weekly Digest or OSWALD first launched late in 2002. Since then it has been regularly providing updates on all things open source related. The focus of this newsletter is on business, rather than technical developments in open source. Another strong component of the newsletter is IP news, as it is of interest to me and has an effect on open source.

[508] [507] [506] [505] [504] [503] [502] [501] [500] [499] [498] [497] [496] [495] [494] [493] [492] [491] [490] [489] [488] [487] [486] [485] [484] [483] [482] [481] [480] [479] [478] [477] [476] [474] [473] [472] [471] [470] [469] [468] [467] [466] [465] [464] [463] [462] [460] [459] [458] [457] [456] [455] [454] [453] [452] [451] [450] [449] [448] [447] [446] [445] [444] [443] [442] [441] [440] [439] [438] [437] [436] [435] [434] [433] [432] [430] [429] [428] [426] [425] [424] [423] [422] [421] [420] [419] [418] [417] [416] [415] [414] [413] [412] [411] [410] [409] [408] [407] [403] [389] [378] [375] [374] [373] [372] [371] [370] [369] [368] [367] [366] [365] [364] [363] [362] [361] [360] [359] [358] [357] [356] [355] [354] [353] [352] [351] [350] [349] [348] [347] [346] [345] [344] [343] [342] [341] [340]

OSWALD #423 Period ending 31 October 2011

Welcome to the Open Source Law Weekly Open Source Digest (OSWALD)

An interesting (off topic) story about cracking an 18th century secret society cipher - the translation is mind boggling - a lot of people obviously had too much time on their hands! Also an interesting post by Zed on why he has chosen to licence under the GPL (in response to criticism he received). Other themes include OpenStack's cloud computing, webOS is dead and Apple patents slide to unlock (aka a door latch).

Good luck if you have a flutter on the races today.

Check my Posts on Authorization in AU/iiNet:

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Open Standards/ODF

Apple open sources its ALAC lossless audio codec

Apple has announced the release of its ALAC lossless audio codec as open source. The Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC) is used to compress the size of digital audio files without losing any of the original information, making a decoded ALAC stream "bit-for-bit identical to the original uncompressed audio file".

***** Off Topic

Aging ‘Privacy’ Law Leaves Cloud E-Mail Open to Cops

President Ronald Reagan signed sweeping privacy legislation in 1986 that has morphed into a government backdoor to acquire Americans' online communications

Google shows the limits of a free web

For the six-month period ending June 30, 2011, Google received approximately 1,000 requests to remove approximately 8,400 pieces of content (it doesn’t give exact numbers for some countries), and it complied with 64 percent of them. In the United States, Google received 92 requests requesting the removal of 757 items total, and it complied with 63 percent of them. According to Google, the number of U. S. requests increased 70 percent over the previous six-month period, while U. K. requests increased by 71 percent.

Computer Scientist Cracks Mysterious 'Copiale Cipher'

The manuscript seems straight out of fiction: a strange, handwritten message in abstract symbols and Roman letters meticulously covering 105 yellowing pages hidden in the depths of an academic archive.

***** Government/Policy

Kickstarter for Open-Source Projects?

Recently, we've seen open-source projects use Kickstarter, and it seems like a great idea. If you see a program idea you like, send money, and if the creators reach their goals, they'll create the programs. Because it's open source, the benefit is obvious: you get to use the program when it's complete.

Utah-based Novell, Microsoft joust over Windows 95 feature

A software developer testified Monday that a decision by Microsoft in the 1990s meant that Novell would have had to release an inferior product when Windows 95 was launched. Instead, Utah-based Novell contends its attempt to compete was severely damaged after it had to delay releasing a version of WordPerfect compatible with Microsoft’s new operating system.

Why I (A/L)GPL

However, the unwritten contract between firms and open source developers is now gone. I have no reason to give them unrestricted use of my software since they are only interested in turning my software into a hot IPO 2–5 years from now.

Drug companies' 'war' on Pharmac [NZ]

Leaked documents from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement show giant drug companies are trying to control prices and deprive New Zealanders of cheaper medicines, opponents say.

Microsoft Throws More Lobbyists Into the Ring to Ban Linux Phones

Microsoft front group Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) is gaming the US government, trying to establish an embargo on certain Android phones while pretending to represent “small businesses”

Open Source: You Know, For Kids!

A few years ago, when I was working as a print magazine editor, a young girl approached my booth at LinuxFest Northwest in Bellingham, Washington. She was probably 12- or 13-years old, and she gave me some of the best feedback I'd ever had on our products.

White Paper: Secure Boot impact on Linux

Any new Windows 8 PC will have Secure Boot switched “ON” when it leaves the shop and will be able to boot Microsoft approved software only. However, you will most likely find that your new PC has no option for you to add your own list of approved software. So to install Linux (or any other operating system), you will need to turn Secure Boot “OFF”.

Apple’s ‘Slide to Unlock’ patent worries Taiwanese government, forces investigation

Apple’s recent success in patenting the ‘Slide to Unlock’ gesture used on its iOS devices has the Taiwanese government worried, causing the country’s Premier (Prime Minister), Wu Den-yih, to direct a number of government agencies to assess whether Taiwanese companies will be affected by a possible restriction on the gesture.

***** Patent/CR/DRM News+Policy

Purchase my eBook: Mark-Up and Commentary on the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act

I have received a number of requests for an electronic mark-up of the recently passed patent reform act - the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. In response, I have created a 230 page volume in eBook format that is intended to serve as a helpful tool in understanding the implementation of the new provisions and should be especially helpful for those wanting to understand how the law has been changed.

Jay Walker Sues Google, Microsoft The Same Day His Patent Comes Through

The patent is connected to earlier patent applications that Walker and his colleagues began filing in 2000.

All patents are theft

Pablo Picasso is supposed to have said that “all art is theft”. The assertion may be controversial, but the intention is clear – the creative process, which relies on the evolution of techniques, observation and criticism, is an assimilation of that which has gone before, and all creativity, whether artistic, technological or scientific, walks a thin line between innovation and originality, plagiarism and parody.

Amazon reveals its patent lawsuits are on the rise

Amazon has revealed that 11 companies have filed patent lawsuits against it since the start of the year - more than three times as many as in all of 2010.

Oracle-Google trial won't start until next year; case will be divided in 3 segments

VS Tech v. Twitter: Patentable Subject Matter

The patent office simply isn’t set up to say no to a persistent applicant, and the patent lawyers know that as well as anybody.

***** Applications/Gadgets

World's Cheapest Tablet Running Android for educational institutions

Akash tablet was developed jointly by India, with the UK Based company Datawind. The tablet will run Google’s Android 2. 2 (Froyo) and a 7 “inch LCD, 800×480 resolutions. Akash tablet has 256 MB of RAM and 32 GB of expandable memory with two USB ports.

Opscode Brings Chef to Windows

The Chef system enables administrators to leverage 'recipes' that define configuration for automated deployments.

Digium Confirms Asterisk 10 Release, Media Engine Gets Makeover;jsession

Digium Thursday confirmed the release of Asterisk 10, the latest version of the 12-year-old Asterisk open-source telephony platform that's slowly but surely gaining traction in the broader telephony market.

***** Reports

Android 4.0 developers will get their source code dessert

Call it delayed gratification, but it looks like developers will be able to get their hands on Android 4. 0 source code (code-named "Ice Cream Sandwich") after all.

Microsoft signs another Android (and ChromeOS) patent deal

The tone of Microsoft's press release on its patent agreement with Compal Electronics, Inc. was dry and unremarkable compared to the legal team's blog about the same agreement, which seemed positively bellicose in comparison.

Build the 2006 prototype of Raspberry Pi's $25 PC

Eben Upton, director of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, has been working on the project for many years, and decided to share a couple of very early prototypes for the $25 PC with the community.

Open Source Life Science Projects "Bioinformaticized"

The Outercurve Foundation has announced the acceptance of the . NET Bio project into the "research accelerators" gallery, which it oversees as a not-for-profit open source foundational body.

Nokia gives Qt open-source governance

The Qt project, where all development of Qt will take place, went live on Friday. Lars Knoll, Nokia's research and development director, said the move to open governance is a necessary step in making Qt genuinely open and free from the Finnish handset maker's control.

Top 10 Tips for Improving Your Open Source Software Governance

Keeping the following 10 tips and considerations top-of-mind will help your organization maximize the business value of open-source components and minimize the risk of open source as you design, develop, build, test and move applications into production.

Neo Launches Open Source NoSQL Graph Database

Eifrem said a graph database can then attach key value pairs to nodes and their relationship. He noted that the way nodes are connected is a first-class citizen in the graph data model.

Google's Android beats Apple in mobile app downloads

“Android’s open source strategy is the main factor for its success. Being a free platform has expanded the Android device install base, which in turn has driven growth in the number of third party multi-platform and mobile operator app stores. These conditions alone explain why Android is the new leader in the mobile application market. ”

SUSE Builds OpenStack Diablo Appliances

So instead of just 'pledging' to work with OpenStack and have some kind of OpenStack based solution, SUSE is actually providing OpenStack, running on SUSE Enterprise Linux.

Consumer Electronics Linux Initiative Starts

LTSI will provide a common Linux base for use in a variety of consumer electronics products. Its purpose is to create and maintain a long-term industry tree, which will be stable for the typical lifetime–two to three years–of a consumer electronics product.

Red Vs. Green: SUSE Backs OpenStack, Red Hat Stands Alone

This week, SUSE announced that it had joined OpenStack and today the company announced a development preview of SUSE Cloud which is powered by OpenStack. With the green team at SUSE behind OpenStack, along with Canonical, does that make OpenStack the de facto open source cloud? Not so fast – I wouldn't count Red Hat out just yet.

Facebook Opens Up Open Compute,2817,2395468,00.asp

Facebook initially announced the Open Compute Project in April of this year. Today, Facebook took the next step with the formal announcement of the creation of the Open Compute Foundation to help lead the effort forward.

First OpenStack cloud now open for business

It’s a big day for OpenStack, the open-source cloud computing platform designed to rival VMware and create competition for Amazon Web Services, but it’s likely only the first of many.

All prospects for an internal HP webOS largely destroyed

"If they wait until November 21, there won't be a webOS team to do anything with," an insider within the webOS group told AppleInsider, referencing the recent, public departure of Richard Kerris, who served as HP's vice president of worldwide developer relations for webOS. After leaving HP this week, Kerris immediately joined Nokia to act in an identical role serving that company's third party developers.

Samsung's Smartphone Sales Surpass Apple's

Samsung in the July-to-September period surpassed Apple Inc. as the leading seller of smartphones by shipping around 28 million, about four times the number it achieved a year earlier, in a rapid transformation of its biggest business by sales.

IBM Beats Oracle, Microsoft With Big Data Leap

IBM is beating Microsoft and Oracle to market with a production-ready cloud service (whereas Microsoft's year-end release will be a beta service), but the company is not the first company to make Hadoop available in the cloud. Amazon released a Hadoop-based Elastic MapReduce service on its Elastic Compute Cloud last year.

***** Snippets

Linux Kernel 3.1 Released, Adds Support for NFC Chips

Cloudy prognosis for mainframes

Ubuntu Linux will try for the business desktop

Best Robotics Software for Linux

Flash Support among other features coming soon to Firefox for Android

jQuery's New Project Will Fight for Every Developer Lost in the Web Standards Pit of Despair

Google Releases Chrome 15 Stable for Linux
This Digest is sponsored by Open Source Law
see also:
Join: email with "Subscribe oswald" in subject line
Leave: email with "Unsubscribe oswald" in subject line
Note: This email list is manually generated.
Archives: (not maintained)
General disclaimer: I am a member of Open Source Industry Australia Limited

Recent Papers:

Research Note: Trade Practices Implications of Infringing Copies of Open Source Software
Software Patents: Microsoft Jumps the Shark
Reading the BSD License in Isolation
  View other publications