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Red Hat's Billion-Dollar Coup
April 05, 2012
We've all known for some time now that Red Hat would soon be FOSS's first arrival to the billion-dollar club, but somehow that advance knowledge didn't make the official news any less exciting. No indeed! So when the word broke late last week that that much-anticipated milestone had finally been achieved, cheers and fanfare could be heard throughout the land.
Is It Wrong to Make a Profit From FOSS?
March 19, 2012
There's just never a dull moment here in the Linux blogosphere, whether there's big news being made at the moment or not. Some weeks, we have wild activity. Even in other weeks, though, where the news days might seem slower, there's never a shortage of things to talk about. Case in point? Just last Monday, when all the Linux world was still waking up from the weekend, a lone voice rang out with the question, "is open source anti-profit?"
Open Source Coopetition Fueled by LF Growth
March 13, 2012
The Linux Foundation has come a long way since initiated in 2007 as the fusion of the Open Source Development Lab and Free Standards Group. It has gained some significant members and new groups of collaborators -- the latest batch including graphics and microprocessor giant Nvidia. I believe the move was driven primarily by Nvidia's desire to participate, integrate and collaborate on Linux as the open source operating system continues to grow.
Canonical's Ticking Time Clock
February 28, 2012
"Bug #1 - Microsoft has a majority market share." - Ubuntu bug tracker. Much has changed since Canonical started on its quirky quest to "fix bug #1." Seven years ago Microsoft was seen as stagnant, ripe for plucking. Longhorn was still MIA, and Microsoft users were busy patching XP against the latest threats. Apple? Apple was still recovering from its near-death experience.
BT Goes for Android's Jugular With Patent Claims
December 20, 2011
British Telecom has filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming the Android operating system infringes of six of its patents. The suit attacks Google on a number of fronts, including Google Maps, Google+ and Google Music. While the technology in question has been used by Google for years, it may have taken the experts at BT some time to prepare their claim.
Samsung Catches a Break in Australia Patent Tiff
December 01, 2011
Samsung has scored a victory against Apple in a legal skirmish in Australia that is part of a larger, global battle between the two over their respective patent rights. An Australian appeals court overturned a preliminary injunction that barred Samsung from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in the country.
The Flowering of Open Innovation
November 29, 2011
Henry Chesbrough and Eric von Hippel promoted the idea of open innovation as a new paradigm for corporations to reach beyond their own walls as they develop and bring to market new products and services. The idea covered a number of channels for work and ideas, including customers, users and partners.
Linux, Open Source Still 'Money' in Financial Services
November 08, 2011
Linux and open source software are spreading out -- cloud computing, mobile computing, supercomputing -- and an increasing number of use cases large and small. One area where Linux and open source have history and continue to remain strong is banking and financial services, highlighted by the latest open source messaging technology in the space: the new OpenMAMA middleware messaging project and the AMQP messaging standard.
Android's Biggest Fan Is Microsoft, of Course
October 31, 2011
It's been obvious for some time now that Microsoft is a big Android fan, thanks to the tidy sums of cash the software giant has managed to extract from the companies that use it. What wasn't necessarily apparent until recently, however, is just how far Redmond's devotion goes. With last week's addition of Compal Electronics to Microsoft's Android licensing lineup, it's becoming truly clear.
ITC Ruling Pushes HTC Onto Thin Ice in Apple Patent Brawl
October 18, 2011
Apple did not violate four HTC patents, an International Trade Commission judge has ruled. HTC filed a complaint with the commission in May 2010, alleging Apple infringed on several mobile patent technologies, including those for power management of mobile devices and phone dialing.
Microsoft Adds a Notch to Its Gun Belt With Quanta Licensing Deal
October 14, 2011
Quanta Computer has agreed to pay Microsoft a license fee for devices that run Google Android or Chrome. It is the latest deal in a series that Microsoft has inked with manufacturers using Android, and more lately, Chrome, in their products. Other notable wins for Microsoft have been Samsung and HTC.
Red Hat Grabs Gluster in Big Data Play
October 05, 2011
In a move to expand its enterprise cloud storage capabilities, Red Hat will spend $136 million to acquire Gluster, a storage company that builds management tools for data centers and cloud services. The companies announced the deal Tuesday, and the deal is expected to close by the end of the month.
Red Hat's Jolly Journey to the Billion-Dollar Club
September 29, 2011
It's been clear for some time now that Red Hat is well on its way to being the first all-open source vendor to achieve billion-dollar revenues, but that doesn't mean the FOSS community can't cheer every time it gets a step closer. Take last week, for instance. Red Hat reported its second quarter results on Wednesday, and the prospect was nothing if not cheerful.
How NOT to Push a New Open Source License, Part 2
September 16, 2011
Maybe it's time for yet another open source license. Consider this: The Respect The Programmer License (RPL) Version 0.3. The RPL addresses one problem prevalent in most licenses, including the BSD, MIT, and GPL -- it's easier to just edit the file in front of you to fix a bug or add a feature than it is to contact the author and make sure everyone benefits.
How NOT to Push a New Open Source License, Part 1
September 15, 2011
Bruce Perens recently introduced what he calls a "Covenant" open source license on behalf of Lexis-Nexis, owned by Reed Elsevier, aka "the scientific journal paywall people," for one of Lexis-Nexis' internal projects. It didn't take long for readers on both slashdot and lwn to rip it apart. Of particular concern was the requirement that contributors assign their copyrights to Lexis-Nexis.
Heeding the Lessons of SCO, or Not
September 13, 2011
We recently saw what is being described as the ending of the seven-year-old SCO contract and intellectual property dispute that dragged Linux through the mud before it propelled the open source OS into much broader enterprise use and credibility. You'd think the lessons of SCO would be a shining example for technology companies of what not to do in order to maintain leadership and relevance.
FSF's Star Turn in the Android FUDathon, Part 4
September 09, 2011
"Strike while the iron is hot" -- and the usual suspects have made Android licensing a hot issue. However, the title of the FSF article, "Android GPLv2 termination worries -- one more reason to upgrade to GPLv3," gives the game away. This is about politics, not licensing. About pushing a specific agenda. About promoting the GPLv3 license at the expense of the GPLv2, Linux, Android and reality.
FSF's Star Turn in the Android FUDathon, Part 3
September 08, 2011
Where did this "you are permanently barred from distributing" stuff originate? In digging around, I found a post titled "A Practical Guide to GPL Compliance" at the Software Freedom Law Center dated August 26, 2008, written by the team of Bradley M. Kuhn, Aaron Williamson and Karen M. Sandler.
FSF's Star Turn in the Android FUDathon, Part 2
September 07, 2011
Mr. Smith was kind enough to reply two days later: "Hi Barbara, Thanks for your feedback. I've responded to some your specific points below. I'm aware that a license change in Linux would require significant effort. However, that doesn't mean it can't or shouldn't be done. I wish it was easier for them, but we think they stand to benefit from upgrading even in this current situation. ..."
FSF's Star Turn in the Android FUDathon, Part 1
September 06, 2011
My first thought was that someone was engaging in click-bait journalism. Even the title of the post -- "Android GPLv2 termination worries - one more reason to upgrade to GPLv3" -- is something I would expect from anti-Android trolls, not the Free Software Foundation. The conclusion at the bottom of the article, that companies using Android should urge Linux developers to switch to the GPLv3, is so bad it's not even wrong.
A Tale of Two Licenses
September 01, 2011
Well the wild ride that was August appears to have tapered off a bit as the month drew to a close, so Linux bloggers have finally had a few days to stop and catch their breath. Bartenders throughout the blogosphere have had a chance to restock their supplies, and conversations have, for the most part, returned to normal volumes. There's one exception, however.
Shelter for Linux in the Software Patent Storm
August 18, 2011
Patents, patents, patents. Such a to-do about software patents! The news this week has focused on little else, thanks in large part, of course, to Google's much-discussed purchase of Motorola Mobility. It's fairly widely agreed that patents were the motivating factor behind that purchase -- not at all surprising, given the virtual lawsuit-fest the mobile world has become.
Microsoft's 'Linux Threat Level': Down to Green or Redder Than Ever?
August 15, 2011
Now that Microsoft wants to be Linux's new best friend, there's bound to be no end of sweet nothings and touching gestures emanating out of Redmond. After all, we're pals now, right? Lo and behold! For all you skeptics who doubted the software behemoth's amorous words, consider a few phrasing changes it recently made in its last two annual financial filings.
Commercial Gains Mean Growing Pains for Open Source Community
August 05, 2011
Recent conversations at OSCON, which I've attended since 2004, as well as observations through talks with vendors, users and developers in open source all indicate a common theme: With commercial successes for open source software come some community growing pains. This was also illustrated to some extent by the attendance, content and vibe at this year's OSCON.

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