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Nokia X, We Hardly Knew Ye
July 21, 2014
"I told you so" is a refrain that's oft-heard here in the Linux blogosphere, and more often than not it refers to some fleeting Microsoft tie with FOSS that subsequently goes wrong. The latest example? It's a doozy. Redmond not only is laying off many, many thousands -- most of them in its ill-fated Nokia unit -- but also abandoning its short-lived support of Android through the Nokia X line.
Red Hat's Inktank Buy Bears 1st Fruit
July 17, 2014
Scarcely two months have passed since Red Hat announced plans to acquire open source storage company Inktank, but already the union has produced results: Inktank Ceph Enterprise 1.2, which made its debut Wednesday. Ceph is a scalable, open source, software-defined storage system that runs on commodity hardware. "Our goal is to do for storage what Linux did for servers," said Red Hat's Ross Turk.
Red Hat's Acquisition-Fueled Climb to the Cloud
June 26, 2014
Red Hat is famous for focusing squarely on a market and technology and building success from there, as it did with Linux. However, the company increasingly has diverged from its roots and historical laser focus on the enterprise x86 server market. The overarching theme and identity of Red Hat is still open source software, but the main driver for the company clearly is now cloud computing.
Tesla's Patent Giveaway Fuels Electric Car Enthusiasm
June 17, 2014
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk threw the automotive industry into a tizzy last week, when he announced that he was throwing open the company's patents. Some hailed the move as yet more proof of the abysmal state of the United States patent system; others opined that it would give the electric car industry a boost; others just penned paeans of praise to Musk. But there were cynical reactions as well.
Hiring Linux to Run Your Small Business
May 15, 2014
Individuals and businesses migrate to Linux for a variety of reasons. Disgust with Microsoft or Apple regimentation and software limitations are but two of them. For some, the greater flexibility that comes from open source software, as well as better cost and productivity controls, are the driving factors for a move to the Linux OS. The benefits vary depending on the use case.
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.
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.
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.
Eich Falls on Sword for Mozilla
April 04, 2014
Mozilla Foundation cofounder Brendan Eich -- whose recent appointment as CEO of subsidiary Mozilla Corp. sparked an uproar -- on Thursday stepped down from the post in a bid to keep the company viable. Foundation cofounder and CEO Mitchell Baker painted the move as a return to the foundation's core principles, noting that Eich made the decision "for Mozilla and our community."
Is Google Thwarting Android-x86 Development?
March 26, 2014
Has Google been spreading FUD to discourage computer makers from using an Android OS retooled to run on legacy computers? The maintainer of the Android-x86 Project has suggested that the Justice Department should investigate whether Google has been interfering with adoption of the open source code his community is developing. The FOSS development world is hardly free of rivalry and power plays.
Horvath Hurls Harassment Charges in Fiery GitHub Exit
March 17, 2014
Adding fuel to the debate over the treatment of women in tech, Julie Ann Horvath, a developer at GitHub, has stormed out of her job, accusing the company of ignoring harassment in the workplace. One of the company's three cofounders and his wife had persistently intimidated her, and an engineer had repeatedly ripped out her code after she turned down his advances, Horvath claimed.
Dear Adobe: Make Software for Linux Too
February 18, 2014
What if commercial software developers for popular Windows products sold Linux versions to a waiting market of open source users? Think in terms of paying a subscription fee to use a Linux version of Adobe's Photoshop image manipulation software, for starters. Is porting commercial products like Photoshop as a paid product for Linux a viable idea?
Red Hat and CentOS: A Great Thing or a Gates Thing?
January 13, 2014
There's no doubt privacy is a highly pertinent goal for 2014, but partnership and collaboration are nothing to sneeze at, either. That's why the news out of North Carolina last week was so exciting. "Red Hat and the CentOS Project are joining forces to build a new CentOS," the press release began, "capable of driving forward development and adoption of next-generation open source technologies."
Goodbye, Win XP - Hello, Linux?
December 11, 2013
Microsoft will stop security support for Windows XP this coming April, meaning that more than a few remaining users of the long-standing OS need to come up with an alternative plan. Almost a third of desktop computers still run Windows XP, according to Net Applications. More than 15 percent of midsize and large enterprises will still have Windows XP running on at least 10 percent of their PCs after support ends.
Build Your Own Simple Linux Banking Tool
December 03, 2013
The Linux OS lacks an effective yet simple checking and banking tool. There are money-management tools for Linux users, of course, but most full-fledged offerings are overkill for monitoring spending patterns and balancing financial accounts. In general, Linux financial applications are either too complex to use without an accounting degree or too simple to be truly useful.
How to Avoid Cloud Vendor Lock-In
November 13, 2013
Vendor lock-in has been such a standard part of enterprise IT over the years that it often goes unnoticed and unquestioned. Recently, however, that lock-in mentality has followed enterprises to the clouds. One might not think that vendor lock-in would exist for those who use open source software or open cloud solutions. Think again.
FOSS in the Enterprise: To Pay or Not to Pay?
November 05, 2013
One of the big attractions behind the growing popularity of open source software is the ability to get it and use it for free. In a world of ever-rising costs in pretty much every other aspect of business and life, "free" is an offer that's increasingly difficult to refuse. Support is one area, however, where "free" may not be all it seems -- particularly for enterprises.
How to Choose an Enterprise Server Linux Distro
October 30, 2013
Discuss the merits of the many competing desktop Linux distributions out there, and you could fill several hours with heated debate. Turn the conversation to enterprise server distros, however, and the room can become quiet very quickly. The fact is, those on the hunt for the best or easiest or cheapest enterprise Linux distro have far fewer choices.
JFrog's Fred Simon: It's All About Developer Freedom and Faster Build Time
October 29, 2013
For software developers, success is being able to maximize their chosen programming language to speed up build time. Almost as important is being able to speed up product distribution. In order to accomplish those goals, software developers need a better distribution system and access to other developers' code to build in compatibility and integration.
SalesAgility Sweetens CRM With Open Source Sugar
October 28, 2013
SalesAgility last week rolled out SuiteCRM, an application that's designed to offer a fully open source alternative to SugarCRM Professional Edition. Built upon the latest release of SugarCRM Community Edition, the software includes reporting, workflow, quotes, products, security and portal extensions designed to deliver functionality previously found only in the proprietary, paid-for editions of SugarCRM.

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