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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.

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OSWALD #500 Period ending 11 September 2013

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

The momentous issue #500 is upon us! OSWALD has been running now for over 10 years. When it started out, I was still an employed solicitor, I lived in a different part of the city and my first child was less than a year old. At the time Sun, Pluto (as a planet) and Nokia's Mobile division still existed, but none of the following did: SCO Case, Groklaw, Android, iPhones (iPods had existed for about 12 months), App stores, OOXML, AUSFTA, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Wikileaks, "the Cloud", the Global Financial Crisis, Arab Spring, Fukushima, IP telephony, selfies, Youtube (or Facebook or Twitter for that matter).

Over the past 10 years, as many of us have expected, the Internet has both grown and decayed, with content constantly being deleted from one location and added at another. I can't seem to find issue 1 at the moment, but from issue 2 (15/12/2002) only two links still remain active.

The surviving links:

That said, issue 2 only had 13 stories in it, but still, over 80% of the links are now dead. At its initial release OSWALD (then Open Source AU) had 5 recipients, one of whom remains active as a subscriber. Prior to the demise of Groklaw (which I used as a feed) a typical OSWALD edition categorised 150-200 articles per week. That has dropped substantially with Groklaw's passing, until I can put other feeds into my review process.

In order to get through that many articles quickly I have written a custom script in Python which builds a database of articles for me (I couldn't program in Python 10 years ago either) - the main saving here is that the download time occurs before the review starts, so there is no lost time in between finishing one article and starting another. Well, almost. This year the trusty EeePC on which I had written my script died (the battery won't hold a charge) so I reimplemented my script using the amazing Kivy cross platform development toolset in order to run it on my (otherwise actually not very useful) Android tablet. Unfortunately text rendering isn't that flash in Kivy, so I now have a bit of a delay between reviews again.

Finally, over the years my internet provider's spam countermeasures have made it harder and harder for me to send out this email. Ironically, that came to a head just as I was about to send out issue #500, this issue and that has contributed significantly to the tardiness of this issue's release. As a result I have had to reengineer how I go about things, including, as you will have noticed by now, by no longer including links in the body of the email. Unfortunately, now you'll need to get a copy of the newsletter from my website.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

Open-source project links Bitcoin with publishers

The one-hour pass costs 0.0012 of a Bitcoin. Clicking the "Pay with Bitcoin" button launches Bitcoin wallet software on a person's computer. Web-based wallet software can be used by copying the payment address, Nandwani said.

Bruce Schneier's 5 tips: A guide to staying more secure

With all this in mind, I have five pieces of advice:

New discovery will allow large-scale quantum cryptography networks

Quantum cryptography shows great potential to revolutionize the way sensitive data is protected. It can be used to distribute secret digital keys with a security that is not vulnerable to advances in computing, mathematics or engineering, and means any hacker that taps an optical fiber will be detected.

***** Government/Policy

What's ahead for open source in government

More recently, open source use has grown with the rise of high profile ‘digital agendas’. As a means of enhancing civic engagement, governments are using community-powered innovation to build open data and digital services platforms that are almost entirely built on open software and applications. We may truly be on the verge of the ‘citizen CIO’.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Oculus Rift First Impressions And Official Linux Support

Headtracking is snappy and responsive. The Rift has a combination of 3-axis gyros, accelerometers and magnetometers, though as I understand it, the magnetometers aren't currently being utilised in the Rift SDK (and may or may not be included in the consumer version of the Rift).

Mini-ITX SBC runs Linux on multicore AMD R-Series APU

The Linux-friendly MB-73330 SBC features up to 16GB of DDR3 RAM, three HDMI ports and a DisplayPort, dual SATA 6.0 ports, eight USBs, dual gigabit Ethernet, and multiple PCIe and Mini-PCIe expansion options.

Samsung to unveil Android smartwatch Sept. 4

The Android-powered smartwatch, rumored to include a dual-core processor and a camera, will be the first of many Samsung and Apple smartwatches that will lead a surging 36 million unit a year market by 2018, predicts Juniper Research.

PPSSPP An Open Source Sony PSP Emulator

So if you are a fan of Sony's PSP and love emulation you have a chance at playing some of the games on your Linux box thanks to PPSSPP.

Open-Source Drone Hits Kickstarter

The project's page explains that "Spiri is a versatile, airborne Linux device with sensors, cameras, wifi, cloud support, development tools and more," designed to be customizable.

Linux-ready COM packs 2.7GHz quad-core Haswell

The module’s Haswell processor is supported by Intel’s mobile-oriented QM87 Express Chipset, and is accompanied by up to 16GB of dual-channel DDR3L SDRAM (in dual stacked SODIMM sockets).

Tiny $45 cubic mini-PC runs Android and Linux

The CuBox-i devices run Android 4.2.2 and Linux, offer HDMI, S/PDIF, IR, eSATA, GbE, USB, WiFi, and Bluetooth interfaces (depending on model), and are currently available for pre-order starting at $45.

Twitter open sources Storm-Hadoop hybrid called Summingbird

Twitter has open sourced a “streaming MapReduce” system called Summingbird that makes Hadoop and Storm play nicer together so applications that require both batch and stream processing can do their jobs with as little complexity as possible.

New open source tech Marathon wants to make your data center run like Google's

There’s a new open source project called Marathon that’s designed to let users intelligently run a wide variety of their applications and services — Hadoop, Storm and even standard web apps — on the same set of servers.

Itsy-bitsy $45 computer sports Android and Linux$45-computer-sports-android-and-linux/,24121.html

I wouldn't call most computers "cute," but I'll make an exception for the CuBox-i mini-computer from SolidRun. It fits all of its hardware, including an HDMI port, IR receiver, and USB ports, into a 2-inch square black box. It runs Android and Linux. It's like a pet rock that's actually useful.

***** Reports

Nginx, the popular open-source Web server, goes commercial

Now, in order to leapfrog IIS and claim the No. 2 spot for itself, Nginx (pronounced Engine-X) has announced the availability of Nginx Plus, a fully supported version of the server program.

2014 Pioneer car audio line supports Android over USB

Pioneer joins the all-too-short list of car audio manufacturers to support media playback and browsing on Android phones with the announcement and launch of its 2014 lineup of CD receivers:

Red Hat Launches IaaS OpenStack Certification Program

"Our goal is to bring our enterprise experience to the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) market and provide an OpenStack platform that our customers can trust," Red Hat's announcement stated. "We are committed to providing services that help our customers use OpenStack to get their products to market faster."

Australian government can't recruit fast enough for open source

Speaking at Forrester's Summit For CIOs in Sydney today, Sheridan said that when he first rose through the ranks in government, open source was not an option for government because when it failed, it would not be easy to explain to senators in Senate Estimates.

Linux Foundation Collaboration Gets Biological

The Linux Foundation is growing its roster of collaboration projects by expanding from the physical into the biological realm with the OpenBEL (Biological Expression Language)

Intel ships high-powered C++ compiler for native Android apps

Intel has released the Intel C++ Compiler v13.0 for Android OS, its first attempt at delivering an optimizing C/C++ compiler designed specifically for Google's mobile platform.

SUSE Linux Lands on VMware Hybrid Cloud

The SUSE Linux Enterprise Server can now be run on VMware instances on-premises or in the cloud.

Red Hat Launches New Training Program, Certification for Cloud Pros

The Linux vendor launches new certification to validate infrastructure-as-a-service OpenStack expertise.

Man Crosses Twitter and Google Reader to Create Open Source Love Child

Michael Powers wants to do what so many others have failed to do: build an online social network that’s outside the grip of any one company — and that people like you will actually use.

The Funding Crowd 24 (Aug 22nd-27th) Linux Games Crowdfunding Overview

This time neither the good nor the bad news have prevailed: there are as many from one type as from the other. But considering many of the failed projects still have a chance of becoming finished games someday, we have reasons to feel optimistic about the overall results:

Will Firefox OS beat Ubuntu in smartphone sales?

The Ubuntu Edge smartphone today failed by about $19 million to make its $30 million Indiegogo funding goals, and the roughly 20,000 investors will receive refunds. Earlier this week, the first Firefox OS phone available in the U.S. and U.K. -- the unlocked version of the low-end, 3.5-inch ZTE Open handset – sold out on eBay in three days.

Steam's August Hardware Survey, Linux Dips Below 1%

There is this long bug report on Valve's github where a fair few users are stating they have never even seen the survey under Linux. I am one of them, yet I am logged in everyday.

Commercial Support Is Now Available for Kubuntu

The Kubuntu Community was pleased to announce a few minutes ago, September 2, 2013, that professional and commercial support for the Kubuntu Linux operating system is now available for purchase.

Open Source Python Code Sets New Standard for Quality: Study

The defect density in Python programming language code improved to 0.005 defects per thousand lines of code, a new study finds.

VMware, Microsoft Clouds Need Red Hat Linux

Microsoft and VMware have impressive cloud computing strategies. But neither company truly supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux in their respective IaaS clouds: Windows Azure and vCloud Hybrid Service. That's a mistake.

University System of Maryland to test open-source pilot program

A student-driven initiative plans to turn the page on skyrocketing textbook costs by promoting an affordable, online educational resource that’s picking up steam across the nation: open-source textbooks.

OpenProject: Team collaboration redesigned

The mission of OpenProject can be quickly summarized: we want to build excellent open source project collaboration software. And when I say open source, I meant it. We strive to make OpenProject a place to participate, collaborate, and get involved—with an active, open-minded, transparent, and innovative community.

Open Source Career Opportunities Continue to Abound

Goli says that the open source's community approach to development is what makes it so appealing, because it can accelerate an organization's technology development and adoption.

Google Strikes Bizarre Licensing Deal With Nestle To Name Next Android Kit Kat

Google has apparently struck a wild licensing deal with Nestlé to use the name ‘KitKat’ for its next version of Android. Though the announcement of the name by Google’s Sundar Pichai this morning struck off an immediate wave of commentary, it seems to go deeper than just a name.

Obama reassures Europeans over US surveillance

President Barack Obama sought Wednesday to reassure Europeans outraged over U.S. surveillance programs that his government isn't sifting through their emails or eavesdropping on their telephone calls. He acknowledged that the programs haven't always worked as intended, saying "we had to tighten them up."

Half-Life 1 SDK Updated For Linux Support

Ah Valve they do seem to rather love Linux don't they? They recently added Linux support to the Half-Life 1 SDK so that mods using it can be ported to Linux!

Accelerating Linux Advancements via Crowd-Funding

Despite major hurdles such as my lack of previous experience as a Mesa developer and limited exposure of the campaign due to the majority of Linux news related websites not wishing to publish news about it (this probably comes back to my lack of previous experience with Mesa) the campaign was an overwhelming success finishing at $3205 after 30 days with a initial funding goal of just $2500.

SUSE Forms Partnership to Support LibreOffice

In a press release, SUSE announced its LibreOffice team would be teaming up with Collabora Productivity to support LibreOffice commercially.

Linux 'Hand of Thief' bank Trojan is not viable malware, says RSA

The 'Hand of Thief' (HoT) Linux banking Trojan that was offered for sale on the criminal underground this summer is a primitive "prototype" that poses little real threat to users of the OS, a new analysis by RSA has reported.

The Truth About the Open Cloud: What Really Matters

Simply using an open-source technology does not make a cloud open in my opinion, and it's an argument that I've made every time anyone ever asks me. I like to think like a user, and frankly users in the cloud (and elsewhere) typically have one primary concern—and that's about data.

Ubuntu Laptops Arrive in Over 1,000 Chinese Stores

On September 5, Canonical, through Maria Bonnefon, proudly announced that Chinese customers will be able to purchase Dell laptops pre-loaded with the Ubuntu Linux operating system from even more stores over the next few weeks.

Linux Professional Institute puts Linux in the classrooms

According to the LPI, "The LPI Academy program empowers educators to prepare students for an entry-level Linux Essentials course (a globally recognized "Certificate of Achievement") and to further students' or employees' career path as a Systems Administrator via LPI's professional certification track."

***** Snippets

Red Hat to Advance CloudForms for Cloud Management

Pear OS 8 Beta 1 Is Now Available for Testing

Linus Torvalds marks 22 years of Linux with nostalgic message

10 open-source alternatives for small business software

GNOME 3.10 Will Bring New Map App

Has Apache Software Foundation Lost Its Way?

Elementary OS - Sleek, stylish and elegant

Linux Top 3: Linux Turns 22, OpenSUSE Goes Evergreen and Ubuntu Goes Over the Edge

50 Noteworthy New Open Source Apps

openSUSE 13.1 to be Next Evergreen Release

The complete guide to using SwiftKey on Android

Bridges are Being Created Between Hadoop and Powerful Tech Tools

GNOME System Monitor 3.10 Beta 1 Fixes Numerous Bugs

Nagios Menu Modifications

Using Drupal distributions for speedier deployment

Beyond Chef and Puppet: Ubuntu Juju

The Security of Smart Buildings

Hand of a Thief malware targets Linux users' bank accounts

Android's Hugo Barra Departs Google for China's Xiaomi

The Growing Role of Linux in the Cloud

KWheezy 1.1 Full Review - A Debian Based OS for Linux Beginners

New LibreOffice Update Released

Big Data: 10gen VP Describes NoSQL Database Partner Program

Open-source code: by the people, for the people

Apache and Linux: A tale of two open source projects

Cloverleaf to Become openSUSE Add-on

Symphytum, a Personal database for Linux

SODIMM-style COM runs Linux on Freescale Vybrid SoC

Graying Linux developers look for new blood

Install App Grid in Ubuntu 13.04

Folks 0.9.5 No Longer Supports Multiple IndividualAggregator Instances

phpMyBackupPro - A Web Based MySQL Backup Tool for Linux

Pressy Is The Customisable Hardware Button Your Android Phone Has Been Waiting For

LibreOffice 4.1.1 Released Fixing 101 Bugs

Disti deal boosts new ARM/x86 COM standard

Kevin Mitnick Details Modern IT Threats

Apache and Linux: A tale of two open source projects and Linux: A tale of two open source projects

GNOME Web To Abandon Google Search

Best Android smartphones (September 2013 edition)

Linux 3.11 for Workgroups Adds Lustre

Are There Too Many Linux Distros?

What is good photo editing software for Linux?

Install iRedMail main server on CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu

Linux Kernel 3.0.94 LTS Is Available for Download

Debugging failed Asterisk calls - the local network

4 favourite C's in Ubuntu setup

GNOME Online Accounts 3.10 Beta 2 Uses WebKitGTK+ 2.2 Beta 1

Kubuntu Linux Emerges From Ubuntu's Shadow

GhostBSD 3.5 Beta 2 Is Based on FreeBSD 9.2 RC2

Sony HDMI plug-in Google TV adapter photos leak

Open Source Apache Traffic Server 4 Accelerates the Web

Rackspace Offers $10K Prize to Google Glass Android Developer

Fedora 20 Will Be Named Heisenbug

Open-Source LibreOffice Gets Commercial Support

Apache Software Foundation: 10 Projects That Are Making a Difference

Apache Delivers Cassandra 2.0 Open-Source NoSQL Database

Back to school with open source: Five tools for less stress and better learning

Rhythmbox 3.0 Has Been Officially Released

11 Myths About GNU/Linux Operating System

Best Android tablets (September 2013 edition)

XBMC 13 Alpha 7 released with major new features

Red Hat's JBoss Developer Studio 7.0 Serves Up Cool Tools

Download Oracle Java JRE / JDK in linux using wget by bypassing license

VirtualBox 4.2.18 Improves Support for Linux Kernel 3.11

Have Linux geeks gotten too fat?

Indian companies opt for open-source softwares to cut costs

Fedora 20 Release Schedule

More Changes Afoot at KDE
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