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Patents are a recurring theme here, and there is a lot of good commentary on the net related to this topic. A recent development that has stirred some further debate is the release of a report by Open Source Risk Management outlining their reading of the patent issues surrounding Free and Open Source Software. OSRM has a business model built around selling legal support and indemnification to clients in the Open Source community. Some criticism of the report has focused on the potential it has to create feelings of uncertainty among businesses operating in this arena. While this is a valid concern, it is not a reason to avoid discussion of these matters. Indeed, as pointed out in Linux Weekly News, these matters of patents and possible infringements affect proprietary software developers just as much as open source software developers. A useful article at O'Reilly's linux devcenter gives a good overview of some of the issues raised by the report, and also includes responses from OSRM's Dan Ravicher to some of the criticisms and queries prompted by his work.
One way or another, discussion and debate around this issue is a good thing.
LinuxWorld.com.au has reported on the fortunes of Free software in the implementation of Australian e-voting. Encouragingly, the initial system implemented was released under the GPL, however Software Improvements, the company behind the software, has decided to release future versions under a more restrictive licence that will only allow officials to view the code. This is particularly disheartening since the Australian Capital Territory Electoral commission had ordered that the software be open source. To see the deal reneged on (in spirit if not in the legal sense) is a setback for open source software, and for e-voting in general.
Getting online with Bluetooth and GPRS
French supermarket (hypermarket?) giant Carrefour is piloting a line of PCs equipped with Mandrake Linux in its stores.
Summer vacations, bringing Linux to Nicaragua.
Custom Email Queries for handling the diverse data and file-types that turn up in your inbox.
O'Reilly book, AI for Game Developers.
Applying technical know-how to get the 9/11 Commission report to the widest audience.
The OpenCD project has announced the availability of TheOpenCD v1.4.1, a special edition for Software Freedom Day 2004 (August 28th). TheOpenCD is a collection of Free and Open Source software for Windows, and it is a good way to introduce Windows users to the world of Free software. As well as TheOpenCD, the Software Freedom Pack to be distributed on SFD will include a remastered Knoppix live CD aimed at a non-Linux using audience.
Kanotix is a live GNU/Linux CD based on Knoppix and Debian, and using mostly pure Debian/sid. Since it's a live CD, it is easy to try out without risk. Linux.com has recently reviewed the distribution.
SuSE has announced the launch of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 9, based on the new Linux 2.6 kernel.
SpamAssassin Version 3.0 has been released.
Basic Features of the players:
Real Player 10 for Linux adds the following features:
The Linux Terminal Server Project has announced the release of LTSP 4.1. It includes the following:
The Mozilla project has released new versions of its flagship programs. This means that Mozilla Suite (1.7.3), Mozilla Firefox (1.0 Pre-Release) and Mozilla Thunderbird (0.8) are now available for download. Since earlier releases have suffered from some quite recently discovered security bugs, upgrads are advisable. Since earlier releases have suffered from some quite recently discovered security bugs, upgrades are advisable.
Mick is LG's News Bytes Editor.
Originally hailing from Ireland, Michael is currently living in Baden,
Switzerland. There he works with ABB Corporate Research as a
Marie-Curie fellow, developing software for the simulation and design
of electrical power-systems equipment.
Before this, Michael worked as a lecturer in the Department of
Mechanical Engineering, University College Dublin; the same
institution that awarded him his PhD. The topic of this PhD research
was the use of Lamb waves in nondestructive testing. GNU/Linux has
been very useful in his past work, and Michael has a strong interest
in applying free software solutions to other problems in engineering.
Before this, Michael worked as a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University College Dublin; the same institution that awarded him his PhD. The topic of this PhD research was the use of Lamb waves in nondestructive testing. GNU/Linux has been very useful in his past work, and Michael has a strong interest in applying free software solutions to other problems in engineering.