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China's Anti-Windows 8 Tirade
June 10, 2014
China's ambivalence about American technology has long been clear, but recently the nation kicked off what appears to be a fresh, trash-talking effort targeting Windows 8, in particular. First, China banned the OS from its government computers late last month, citing security concerns in the wake of XP's end of life. Then came the suggestion that Windows 8 is a threat to its national security.
TrueCrypt's Mysterious Vanishing Act
June 02, 2014
Anyone would be distressed to discover the disappearance of a favorite piece of software, but when the software in question was open source and endorsed by Edward Snowden -- and when the developer's site begins offering instructions for migrating to a Microsoft product instead -- alarm bells are sure to begin ringing throughout the FOSS world. That, sure enough, is just what's been going on.
Heartbleed-Weary Tech Firms Show OpenSSL a Little Love
May 30, 2014
Remember Heartbleed? Several weeks ago, the exposure of this security bug chilled the Internet, highlighting once again that even the seemingly unbreakable can be hacked. In the case of the Heartbleed vulnerability, encrypted data was at risk of theft. Sites potentially vulnerable to Heartbleed -- from Canada's Revenue Agency to AWS to Yahoo to Reddit -- urged users to change their passwords.
Next on the Open Source Horizon: 3D Printing
May 28, 2014
3D printing is not yet a mainstream business activity, but the technology has progressed to the point where users can print three-dimensional objects and manufacture their own prototypes and replacement parts with relative ease. Three-dimensional printing is much more than a hobby industry today. Home users can download design files from websites and print a variety of products for their own use.
Tales of Distros Tried and True
May 27, 2014
It was another tempestuous week here in the Linux blogosphere, thanks not just to the controversy over Systemd, but also the apparent arrival of DRM on none other than our favorite free and open source browser. "Mozilla holds its nose and supports DRM video in Firefox" is Linux Girl's favorite headline of the lot; "Can This Web Be Saved? Mozilla Accepts DRM, and We All Lose" is a close second.
Microsoft Opens .Net, Hops on Devops Bandwagon
May 23, 2014
Microsoft recently established a .Net foundation and open sourced substantial parts of the popular programming language, continuing to spread its newfound love for open source software. However, devops may be more of a driving factor. In establishing the independent .Net Foundation and making more key pieces of .Net open source, Microsoft was promoting collaboration and community, it said.
The Inescapable Logic of Language Localization
May 20, 2014
Tailoring language translations for software documentation and GUIs can make or break an open source project. Localizing language is a unique undertaking, with a number of moving parts. The process of translating language in releases for different target markets presents costly cultural and language translation barriers that often are beyond the financial abilities of the open source community.
The Neverending Systemd Saga
May 19, 2014
Here in the Linux blogosphere, controversies come and go like the wind, leaving a trail of broken chalk and empty whiskey bottles in their wake. Most pass quietly into the annals of time of their own accord, however, so when a luminary such as Eric Steven Raymond weighs in with an opinion, it's a safe bet there's something big going on. That's what happened in March on the topic of Systemd.
Ending the Embedded Linux Patent War Before It Begins
May 13, 2014
The Open Invention Network was created in 2005 as a white hat organization to protect Linux. It has considerable financial backing from Google, IBM, NEC, Novell, Philips, Red Hat and Sony. More than 800 organizations worldwide have joined the community by signing the free OIN license. A clamor recently has been growing for OIN to take steps to protect embedded Linux from patent pillagers.
Linux Pros' Top Command Line Secrets
May 12, 2014
It was a relatively quiet week here in the Linux blogosphere, giving residents a long-overdue opportunity to enjoy a few Tequila Tux cocktails and take stock of all the FOSS-related happenings that have taken place over the past few weeks. Among the highlights were the awarding of the IEEE Computer Society's 2014 Computer Pioneer Award to none other than Linus Torvalds.
GitHub Unleashes Atom Into Open Source Realm
May 06, 2014
After launching its Atom text editor into beta back in February, GitHub on Tuesday announced that the software is now fully open source under the MIT License. "Much of Atom's functionality is provided by packages, and every Atom package has been open source since the day we launched the beta," explained GitHub developer Nathan Sobo. "Today, we're open sourcing the rest of Atom."
Sexism in FOSS Rears Its Ugly Head Again... and Again
May 05, 2014
It seems there's always some kind of conflict at work in the FOSS community lately, whether it's based on race, on gender or something else. Most recently, it's the gender issue that has been felt most keenly. Not only have we seen the whole GitHub debacle unfold and explode, but then a certain post appeared online that got the Linux community upset all over again.
Polishing the Rare Gem That Is Linux
April 28, 2014
"Love is blind," as the old saying goes, and that can be just as true when the object of love is a thing -- an operating system, say -- as a person. Case in point? Linux. Fans of the operating system love it, perhaps even to the point where they can no longer see its -- gasp! -- imperfections. Fortunately, the Linux community includes some clear-eyed observers and thinkers.
The Exploitation of OpenSSL
April 26, 2014
The Web has been abuzz with discussion of the HeartBleed flaw. Security vendors and experts have been falling all over themselves to offer advice on detecting or mitigating the flaw, and consultants have been offering businesses advice on how to deal with the problem. The NSA has been accused of having known about -- and exploited -- the vulnerability.
Reading Into the Red Hat CentOS Deal
April 23, 2014
There was a somewhat quiet, cost-free acquisition of sorts in the Linux world earlier this year when Red Hat announced it was joining forces with Red Hat Enterprise Linux community clone CentOS. The move, which effectively brings organization, governance, backing and technology of CentOS under Red Hat's brim, is interesting for a few reasons.
GitHub Cofounder Resigns but Denies Harassment
April 22, 2014
GitHub cofounder Tom Preston-Werner has resigned following an investigation into harassment charges made by developer Julie Ann Horvath, who departed the company last month. "The investigation found no evidence to support the claims against Tom and his wife of sexual or gender-based harassment or retaliation," said Chris Wanstrath, GitHub cofounder and CEO.
Heartbleed and Heartache in FOSS Town
April 21, 2014
Well it's been a wild few weeks here in the Linux blogosphere, thanks not just to XP's demise but also the long-overdue discovery of the all-pervasive Heartbleed bug. That the bug is "catastrophic" appears to be beyond dispute; in fact, "some might argue that it is the worst vulnerability found ... since commercial traffic began to flow on the Internet," as at least one commentator suggested.
Adobe's Open Source Tightrope Walk
April 19, 2014
Open source software continues to gain momentum -- but what is not growing is an open desire among individual software developers to port their commercial Windows wares to Linux. Open source support is not a mere in or out decision. Some software makers shape their business models to take advantage of open source support for some products but not others.
Mozilla in the Eye of the Storm
April 15, 2014
The uproar that erupted over Mozilla Foundation cofounder Brendan Eich's appointment as CEO of its subsidiary Mozilla Corp. and resulted in his stepping down perhaps was symptomatic of the troubles the foundation is going through, in that opposition to his taking the post had both political and technological dimensions. Politically, the firestorm was over Eich's anti-gay marriage stance.
Linux and the Post-XP Cry for Help
April 14, 2014
Well the Linux landscape shifted dramatically last week, and not just because of the discovery of the Heartbleed bug. No indeed, there's another key reason this little planet of ours isn't the same as it was a week ago, and that's none other than Windows XP's long-anticipated end of life. "As of April 8, 2014, support and updates for Windows XP are no longer available," wrote Microsoft.
Desperately Seeking Linux Programmers
April 11, 2014
Help Wanted: computer programmers needed to code and maintain Linux systems. The Linux operating system and Linux servers are so widely used today that not enough Linux-trained coders and system techs exist. Software developers and enterprise IT departments have jobs but no takers. To fill this shortage, the Linux Foundation has partnered with edX to offer a free online course.
SDF Cofounder Chris Davis: Bad Guys Will Need a New M.O.
April 09, 2014
In the war against malware, a new strategy is taking shape. The good guys are preparing to demolish the bad guys' most effective weapons: rogue websites. The Secure Domain Foundation will tackle the identification and prevention of Internet cybercrime through a series of steps designed to interfere with the way cybergangs operate online. SDF made its debut last month at ICANN 49 in Singapore.
FOSS Community Hustles to Fix Gaping Heartbleed Flaw
April 08, 2014
A flaw in OpenSSL that has been around since 2011, the Heartbleed Bug, lets hackers steal information protected by the SSL/TLS encryption used to secure the Internet. Codenomics, which co-discovered the flaw at about the same time as Google's Neel Mehta, tested some of its own services and found it could steal "the secret keys used for our X.509 certificates, user names and passwords" and more.
Lessons Learned from Mozilla's Edgy Eich Episode
April 07, 2014
It seems fair to say that we here in the Linux blogosphere are no strangers to difficult topics, but over the past few weeks FOSS fans have been struggling with what may be one of the trickiest yet. It is, of course, the matter of Brendan Eich. Cofounder of Mozilla, creator of JavaScript, Mozilla CTO for years and then CEO for just 10 days, Eich's term at the helm was cut short as a result of a firestorm of protest.

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