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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.

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OSWALD #499 Period ending 27 August 2013

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

This week has two "big" Snowden related stories. The first, and most important, is the closure of Groklaw off the back of the Lavabit revelations a little while back. Second is the detention of David Miranda as he entered the UK. It is a pity to see Groklaw go, not least because it was a good news source (so OSWALD will be smaller for a while!). Several of my articles have seen the light of day on the site over the years.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Groklaw closes down

I'm really sorry that it's so. I loved doing Groklaw, and I believe we really made a significant contribution. But even that turns out to be less than we thought, or less than I hoped for, anyway. My hope was always to show you that there is beauty and safety in the rule of law, that civilization actually depends on it. How quaint.

***** Off Topic

The NSA Reveals That It Does 20 Million Database Queries Per Month

As we noted earlier today, the NSA's two key "defenses" of the thousands of abuses and violations of the law that recently came out thanks to a leaked document are that there wasn't "intent" to abuse the system

David Miranda detention: a betrayal of trust and principle

David Miranda's detention should be seen in the context of the implicit acceptance by the Home Office, which is bringing forward the current changes, that parts of the law are too sweeping. But Mr Miranda's detention is extraordinary nevertheless. It raises important new issues that parliament cannot now ignore and will have to debate if its terrorism law reform bill is to be in any way meaningful, just or proportionate.

Windows 8 banned by worlds top benchmarking and overclocking site

This is due to a fault in Windows 8′s real-time clock (RTC), which all benchmarking tools use as a baseline.

***** Government/Policy

Open Source Meets Textbook Publishing - Much Cash Freed Up

What do you get when you take the open source approach and apply it to textbook publishing? Answer: a whole lot of happy students, thrilled at the chance to save a whole lot of cash.

LEAKED: German Government Warns Key Entities Not To Use Windows 8 Links The NSA

It allows Microsoft to control the computer remotely through a built-in backdoor. Keys to that backdoor are likely accessible to the NSA – and in an unintended ironic twist, perhaps even to the Chinese.

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

FRAND licensing, chip suppliers, and interplay of patent exhaustion/defensive suspension clauses

Finally, Motorola argues that there is no basis for Microsoft to argue that an SEP holder’s RAND commitment entitles an implementer (Microsoft) to a license from a supplier (Marvell) via the supplier’s license agreement with the SEP holder (Motorola).

Mark Lemley Asks: Are Short Patent Trials a Rush to Judgment?

Professor Mark Lemley’s new paper challenges the conventional wisdom that short trials favor patentees and questions whether trial location determines the outcome – the general perception in the patent bar is that the best place for patentees to file their suit is the Eastern District of Texas.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Open-source project Pixy aims to give vision to hobbyists' robots

The Pixy camera sensor board, being developed by Charmed Labs and Carnegie Mellon University, can detect objects based on seven colors, and then report them back to a computer.

Dev kit runs Linux on quad-core Cortex-A9 SoC

Direct Insight has launched a $200 development kit built around its Linux- and Android-ready Triton-TX6Q computer-on-module based on Freescale’s quad-core i.MX6Quad ARM Cortex-A9 system-on-chip.

HDMI-stick mini-PC runs Android on quad-core ARM SoC

China-based Ugoos announced a quad-core, HDMI-stick style mini-PC available for a special price of $65 (normally $100).

Unleash your team potential with Feng Office

Feng Office's tag line is: Unleash your team's potential. It's an open source collaboration platform for teams and businesses that began as an academic project at UdelaR University.

3D Photo Maker by DVDVideoSoft Goes Open Source

DVDVideoSoft 3D Photo Maker has just been released as open-source, which means that the program is freely available now, the source code can be changed to make the program behave exactly as a user wants it.

Nginx introduces updated version of open source software

US based open source software developer Nginx has released the updated version of its open source software, NGINX Plus with new features.

Suitable Tech propels Linux-powered Beam bot forward

Beam was created to enable individuals to “travel instantly to remote locations, using video conferencing on a mobile platform,” says the company.

2014 Pioneer car audio line supports Android over USB

The addition of MTP controls is a nice feather in Pioneer's cap following up on its AppRadio line of receivers adding more and more Android functionality with each generation, putting the new line of CD receivers on the radar for Android users who would like to access their music without fiddling with their handsets.

***** Reports

IBM Boosts Power to Linux Servers for Big Data, Cloud

The PowerLinux 7R4 is the high-end addition to IBM's line-up of Power Systems PowerLinux servers running industry standard Linux from Red Hat and SUSE.

Android is Linux

There's more to the platform wars than mobile - Android is starting to take off in non-mobile markets in a massive way - Internet of Things, Television (Chromecast), etc.

Securing the modern web: Open sourcing the future of IAM

Every CIO needs a reliable identity and access management (IAM) system for protecting employee, customer, and partner data and for years, they have relied on traditional, proprietary IAM vendors to secure their user identities and data behind the company firewall.

Can there be open source music?

But there have been limits to the reach of Wikipedia, in part because many cultural artifacts that could be part of the commons are instead enclosed by seemingly perpetual copyrights.

How writing about Linux boosts your IT career. Interview with Jason Hibbets, Red Hat

Numerous ways are available for an IT professional to establish their Web presence. One of them is writing about GNU/Linux or, in general, free or open source software. It is extremely beneficial for your IT career to publish on Linux related websites as a volunteer writer and, at the same time, enhance your Web presence.

VeriSign Embraces Open-Source FreeBSD for Diversity

Relying on more than one OS helps ensure the online availability and reliability of the Internet's global DNS infrastructure, according to VeriSign.

ProcessMaker 2.5: Open source workflow made faster, simpler

ProcessMaker 2.5 is the latest iteration of Colosa's open source BPM/workflow solution for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as business unit projects.

Mailpile Is A Pro-Privacy, Open Source Webmail Project That’s Raised $100,000 On Indiegogo

Mailpile is a relatively rare thing: a software project that looks certain to achieve its crowdfunding goal. The Mailpile Indiegogo campaign is less than $5,000 away from its $100,000 target, still with 22 days left to run, so it’s clearly struck a chord with its close to 2,000 backers. Still, it’s not hugely surprising — given how timely this pro-privacy project is.

Linux hackers rebuild internet from their Silicon Valley garage

This isn't an OS for running desktop PCs or laptops or tablets. It's meant to run the hundreds of thousands of servers that underpin the modern internet.

Pivotal Extends Cloud Foundry PaaS With Piston OpenStack

The open-source Cloud Foundry platform-as-a-service is embracing the open-source OpenStack platform to provide infrastructure-as-a-service for its users.

Android games now out-selling games for Sony and Nintendo handhelds

A new report by research firm IDC and analytics company App Annie undermines that with its claim that Google Play generated more spending on games in the second quarter of this year than Nintendo and Sony's gaming handhelds combined.

OpenLogic Open-Source Services Vendor Gets Acquired

Privately held open-source services and support vendor OpenLogic is being acquired by software services development firm Rogue Wave Software.

Avaya Looks to OpenStack Horizon for the Software Defined Data Center

Avaya has been talking about its approach to Software Defined Networking (SDN) for some time, including in a recent video interview Mark Randall, general manager of Avaya Networking, gave to Enterprise Networking Planet.

Student programming with Scratch and The Finch

The Finch is a programmable robot for computer science education by Carnegie Mellon University. Designed and developed in collaboration with educators and students, The Finch is an engaging and low-cost gateway to practical coding and engineering.

Ballmer's Exit Marks the End of an Era at Microsoft and the Victory of Open Source

In 2013, Microsoft's Windows is struggling in a desktop PC world that has gone off a cliff and a server world where Linux and open-source technology usage continues to grow in the new cloud era.

***** Snippets

Open Source PHP Gets Updates for Stability, Security

GLib 2.37.5 Implements the Desktop Action Specification

I need an operating system more customisable than Ubuntu

Linux reaches out to hobbyist developers

Descent|OS 5 Will No Longer be Based on Debian

(Opinion) Android is better, and American startups need to realize that

The Chaos Engine Remake Hits PC, Mac, Linux Aug 29th

Free and Inexpensive Ways to Pick Up Open Source Tech Skills

All About the Linux Kernel: Cgroup’s Redesign

Groklaw, NSA and FUD

Linux offers real diversity on the desktop

Hacking on Tizen produces several apps

Talking open source sense in the public sector

Does VMware Need Its Own OpenStack Distribution?

The last days of Unix

Browse and Get Google Web Fonts in Ubuntu Desktop Using TypeCatcher

Interesting facts about Debian Linux

Is Android really a Linux distribution?

Malware and Antivirus Systems for Linux

Firefox 24: The Road to Australis

Google Releases Chrome 29 Stable for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows

Top 50 Linux Distros

Ubuntu Edge: Is there life after an unsuccessful crowd-funding campaign?

Debian Package Managers

OpenELEC 3.1.6 released, includes Raspberry Pi tweaks

How to find Android tablet apps

Crunchbang - Beautiful Minimalism

Pipelight: Use Silverlight In Your Linux Browser To Watch Netflix, Maxdome Videos

Tech industry slips into a surprising slump,0,871392.story

In Emerging Markets, New Competition For Apple, Android

Key Lime Pie could boost Android to Linux Kernel 3.10

C4 Engine, An Alternative To Unity And Leadwerks?

What Linux really needs is more fun
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