From the Good Riddance dept.:
Continuing its progress through Congress, the Innovation Act -- a bill to restrain patent trolls -- has cleared the U.S. House of Representatives with an overwhelming majority of 325 to 91 despite opposition from the organizations most likely to feed new patents to the trolls.
The bill's main sponsor, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, said in an editorial this week that "we must put an end to abuse of the patent system and make the necessary changes to ensure that it serves its constitutional purpose: protecting innovators and their inventions." Even the White House supports reform.
From the Skimming dept.:
Microsoft is generating $2 billion per year in revenue from Android patent royalties, says Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund in a new note on the company.
He estimates that the Android revenue has a 95% margin, so it's pretty much all profit.
From the Iron Grip dept.:
If you use any Google APIs and try to run your app on a Kindle, or any other non-Google version of AOSP: surprise! Your app is broken. Google's Android is a very high percentage of the Android market, and developers only really care about making their app easily, making it work well, and reaching a wide audience. Google APIs accomplish all that, with the side effect that your app is now dependent on the device having a Google Apps license.
From the Saucy dept.:
After the customary six months of incubation, Ubuntu 13.10âcodenamed Saucy Salamanderâhas hatched. The new version of the popular Linux distribution brings updated applications and several new features, including augmented search capabilities in the Unity desktop shell.
Although Saucy Salamander offers some useful improvements, itâs a relatively thin update. XMir, the most noteworthy item on the 13.10 roadmap, was ultimately deferred for inclusion in a future release. Canonicalâs efforts during the Saucy development cycle were largely focused on the companyâs new display server and upcoming Unity overhaul, but neither is yet ready for the desktop.
From the uh oh dept.:
From the Build Quality dept.:
Until now, Chromebook buyers have had to make a choice. You could get either a cheap laptop with cheap components or the premium-but-ridiculously-expensive Chromebook Pixel. When Google says that HP's new $279 Chromebook 11 is "inspired" by the Pixel, it's not about componentsâthe Chromebook 11 lacks the high-resolution touchscreen, the high-end Ivy Bridge CPU, and the solid aluminum constructionâthe Pixel's banner features. Rather, it's about making a laptop that makes enthusiasts happy without the Pixel's sticker shock.
From the Hardened dept.:
Until now, Google hasnât talked about malware on Android because it did not have the data or analytic platform to back its security claims. But that changed dramatically today when Googleâs Android Security chief Adrian Ludwig reported data showing that less than an estimated 0.001% of app installations on Android are able to evade the systemâs multi-layered defenses and cause harm to users. Android, built on an open innovation model, has quietly resisted the locked down, total control model spawned by decades of Windows malware. Ludwig spoke today at the Virus Bulletin conference in Berlin because he has the data to dispute the claims of pervasive Android malware threats.
From the Next in line dept.:
Cyanogen, makers of popular software based on Android that extends the abilities of smartphones, is making a bid for the mainstream. The four-year-old company, which began as a one-person side project, said today that it has raised $7 million from Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures. The goal is to vault past Blackberry and Windows Phone to become the third-most popular mobile operating system, after traditional Android and iOS. And the company is already closer than you might think.
From the rm -rf linux dept.:
At CloudOpen in New Orleans, KVM veterans Avi Kivity and Dor Laor revealed their latest venture, a new open-source (BSD license) operating system named OSv. OSv can run existing Linux programs and runtime environments such as a JVM, but unlike Linux, OSv was designed from the ground up to run efficiently on virtual machines. For example, OSv avoids the traditional (but slow) userspace-kernel isolation, as on the cloud VMs normally run a single application. OSv is also much smaller than Linux, and breaks away from tradition by being written in C++11.
From the B dept.:
Linux continues to dominate data centers. IBM wants more of that action to take place on its hardware.
The computer giant on Tuesday plans to pledge that it will spend $1 billion over four or five years on Linux and related open-source technologies for use on its Power line of server systems, which is based on the internally developed chip technology of the same name.
Valve's Linux-based Steam Machines gaming console starts shipping today to a few beta testers. SteamOS, it's Linux for gamers, is scheduled to be released to everyone at the same time.
Red Hat's newest enterprise Linux takes one giant step forward to its release and shifts from MySQL to MariaDB for its database management system needs.
The FSF issued the following statement in response to the recent open letter on government surveillance published by AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo.
A patent loss in a German court may lead to trouble for Microsoft's Android strategy.
KVM, the long a popular x86 Linux virtualization technology, will appear in IBM's Power architecture in 2014.
From the The One True ZFS dept.:
Today we announce OpenZFS: the truly open source successor to the ZFS project.
ZFS is the world's most advanced filesystem, in active development for over a decade. Recent development has continued in the open, and OpenZFS is the new formal name for this open community of developers, users, and companies improving, using, and building on ZFS. Founded by members of the Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, and illumos communities, including Matt Ahrens, one of the two original authors of ZFS, the OpenZFS community brings together over a hundred software developers from these platforms.
Yesterday, Microsoft announced a new effort to "[protect] customer
data from government snooping."
FSF executive director John Sullivan issued the following statement on Thursday, December 5th:
Valve has joined the Linux Foundation, making Steam Machine prototypes looking more and more like serious competition for Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4.
Best known for its Linux distribution, Red Hat's introduction of OpenShift Enterprise 2 shows that the open-source giant has its eyes on the cloud.
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Wednesday, November 27, 2013 -- The
Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced its 2013 Giving
Guide, a resource for conscientious shoppers looking for geeky
gifts that respect users' freedom. Many holiday shoppers will be
turning to gadgets and online services as gifts for friends and
family, but these gifts are often rife with proprietary software,
anti-features, or Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), all of
which restrict how the gift can be used.