LXer Weekly Roundup for 15-Aug-2010

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Aug 16, 2010 3:39 AM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 15-Aug-2010

The big news this week is a double shot of Oracle both suing Google for supposed Java copyright infringement in Android and the killing of OpenSolaris. Our own Hans Kwint expounds the merits of anticipating lock-in and much more in this weeks LXWR. Enjoy!

Android 3 plans ahead: Android 3.0 is readying for an October launch. What you can expect. Most Android users are only now upgrading to version 2.2 of Google's mobile phone operating system but with version 3.0 expected in October, it's worth taking a look at what to expect.

Legal DVD Playback Coming to Linux?: In a country where the legal system is based on precedents, a judge's recent decision just may make the use of Linux a whole lot easier. From nearly the beginnings of entertainment DVDs, Linux users in certain countries either had to break the law to watch their legally obtained media on their computer, boot a Windows system, or not use them. Many chose to break the law and install decryption software. Perhaps those days are over.

My first-ever Windows installation experience, a Fedora 13-Windows 7 dual-boot: I've done between 60 and 200 (who can remember?) installations of Linux and the various BSD operating systems over the past few years, and while there's plenty of discussion about how hard it is to install a Linux distribution, nobody talks much about how easy/hard/frustrating it is to install Windows. I've never done it myself — install Windows, that is. Over the years I've upgraded a few boxes from Windows 98 or Me to Windows 2000, I've put a few Service Packs into 2000 and XP, but I've never done the whole thing — put Windows on a bare drive.

Linux is winning: Linux doesn't have a CEO. Consequently, there's no annual keynote hosted by a charismatic alpha male. But if it did, and if there were a conference covering the first half of this year, the first speech would start with three words: "Linux is winning". Firstly, a market research firm in the US called The NPD Group revealed that sales of Google's Android platform overtook those of Apple's iPhone in the first quarter of 2010, propelling itself into second place behind the waning RIM.

Exit costs of lock-in: Anticipate or it's too late!: When discussing 'migration' costs from one platform or piece of software to another, I noted many people fail to understand the idea of 'exit costs'. In this article, I present my explanation of exit costs, and I hope this article may serve as a reference to exit costs in the future. Especially people involved with decision-taking in IT are encouraged to read this article!

Canonical explain the new Ubuntu census package: Canonical developer Rick Spencer has blogged about the recent discovery of a canonical-census package in the Ubuntu repositories. Although initial speculation suggested Canonical was tracking the users of pre-installed systems with Ubuntu, Spencer points out that the idea of the census package is actually to count the number of OEM installed Ubuntu system without identifying the users of those systems.

Patenting Software: The Business Responsible Thing to Do: Those who are in favor of open source frequently become near apoplectic at the thought that open source software can be, and in fact should be, patented. The reality is that forward thinking companies that operate in the open source space do make use of the patent system. A quick search of Freepatentsonline.com shows that Red Hat, Inc., one of the preeminent open source companies in the world, is named as the assignee on some 263 US patents or US patent applications. So if you are about to make an enormous mistake and listen to the “open source means free” community, ask yourself why a highly successful company like Red Hat uses the patent system and acquires patents. If patents are good for Red Hat, an open source company not at all enamored with the existence of software patents, then why are software patents bad for you? Shouldn’t you model your business off successful companies?

5 More Linux Games You Probably Haven’t Played: Linux is not known for gaming, and when most people think of Linux games, they think of a few free and open source games that are good but not numerous. Nevertheless, there is a growing pool of free and commercial independent gaming developers who are pushing the envelope by offering their games on multiple platforms, including Linux. They are available for purchase and download right over the Internet (often DRM-free), and some of them are pretty high quality. Here are five more you might not have played but are definitely worth giving a try.

Oracle sues Google for Java copyright infringement in Android: Oracle Corp. said Thursday it has filed a copyright-infringement lawsuit against Google Inc., alleging that the Internet search giant infringed on intellectual property related to the Java software that Oracle acquired when it purchased Sun Microsystems Inc.

Initial Thoughts on Oracle vs Google Patent Lawsuit: Today Oracle sued Google over Java patents and copyrights that they claim Google's Android OS infringes. The lawsuit claims that Google knowingly infringed on those patents, and that the continued distribution of Google's Android is harming Oracle's Java Business.

The final verdict is in: OpenSolaris is no more: In what is supposedly a leaked internal memo to Oracle staff, the adoptive parent company of Sun’s OpenSolaris had announced the fate the project’s (and binary release’s) future. That is, they will support it no more outside of CDDL’d package updates for future Solaris (i.e. Solaris 11) releases.

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