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Model train software spat threatens future of open source

A dispute over some open source software used for model railroads resulted in an important decision last week, involving the scope of open source licenses and the remedies available when they are violated. The decision has triggered alarm in the open source community, with a prominent open source licensing advocate charging that the court fell asleep at the switch in its legal analysis of the case.

Can developers reclaim donated IP?

In 2004 Daniel Robbins, the founder of Gentoo Linux, walked away from the project after creating the nonprofit Gentoo Foundation to handle its intellectual property (IP). In a blog post last month, Robbins wondered if he should take back the software, since it didn't appear the foundation was taking care of things. While Robbins didn't follow through on his thought, he raised an interesting question: Can someone convey intellectual property rights and then reclaim them?

Using kvm, or kqemu, to speed up qemu

  •; By Azerthoth (Posted by azerthoth on Aug 24, 2007 9:49 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Debian
Have you ever wanted to play with a new distro without having to burn and then reboot into a liveCD or do an install into a spare partition that you may or may not have?

Did Microsoft Buy Netcraft?

Okay, I'm not seriously suggesting Microsoft is paying off Netcraft to produce positive survey results (although this is certainly a standard operating procedure for Microsoft). But something is odd, if not rotten, in the state of Netcraft. I have often cited Netcraft web server surveys as evidence that open source beats closed source. The Netcraft surveys almost always showed Apache leading Microsoft IIS by a wide margin, and showed Apache growing as Microsoft IIS market share was shrinking. Lately, however, Netcraft began to claim that Apache market share has been shrinking rapidly while Microsoft IIS has been gaining the market share lost by Apache.

Searching database content with Sphinx

If you use Google or any other search engine, you already are a user of full text searching: the capability to search for a word or group of words within many texts for the best matches for your query. Sphinx is a full text search engine for database content, which you can integrate with other applications. (You can test it or use it with a command-line tool, but Sphinx is most useful as part of a Web site, not as a standalone utility.)

Birdsong: A requiem for DRM

Sure, it’s probably too early to dance on the grave of DRM, but we can certainly continue pounding nails in its coffin after Wal-Mart drove a stake through its heart this week. And that’s not counting all the garlic, silver bullets, and hemlock showered on DRM recently by Apple, EMI, Amazon, and Universal. It’s still twitching and gasping, and we may have some zombification ahead of us, but the tipping point is nigh. You can smell it.

Intellectual Property Cold War Rages On

  •; By Matt Hartley (Posted by gsh on Aug 24, 2007 6:10 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Community
I have pointed this out time and again. Like it or not, the patent war is already here. Luckily, if it hits full throttle, Google will be a part of it on the side of Linux vendors. Google uses Linux and is ready to battle alongside the rest of Open Invention Network, utilizing a collection of Linux patents against Microsoft if it comes down to it. In short, we have ourselves a virtual cold war of intellectual property (IP) propaganda.

Midnight Commander in Action

  •; By adz (Posted by michux on Aug 24, 2007 5:22 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Linux
There are a lot of free file managers. There is Nautilus, Konqueror, Dolphin, Thunar and more. All of them offer great functionality. However, they enjoy as a rule very intertwined interdependences, they demand a lot of libraries connected with their graphical environment, and they need X Window System server running. Of course, console zealots and users looking for “light” solutions are not left alone. They have MC!

SourceKibitzer Mobilizes all Java Developers

User-Programmed Service model allows each SourceKibitzer user to participate in programming and development of the service.

How To Use NTFS Write Support (ntfs-3g) On Fedora 7

  • HowtoForge; By Falko Timme (Posted by falko on Aug 24, 2007 3:48 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Tutorial; Groups: Fedora
Normally Linux systems can only read from Windows NTFS partitions, but not write to them which can be very annoying if you have to work with Linux and Windows systems. This is where ntfs-3g comes into play. ntfs-3g is an open source, freely available NTFS driver for Linux with read and write support. This tutorial shows how to use ntfs-3g on a Fedora 7 desktop to read from and write to Windows NTFS drives and partitions.

MainConcept: Release MainActor Into Open Source!

  •; By Matt Hartley (Posted by gsh on Aug 24, 2007 3:00 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: Editorial; Groups: Linux
This is an open letter to the creators of MainActor. MainConcept, I fully understand your need to better focus your efforts on your encoder business. But correct me if I 'm wrong, is MainActor not the perfect vehicle for moving the MPEG encoder?

LightScribe disc labeler for GNU/Linux

LightScribe technology, which allows users to etch labels directly onto CDs and DVDs, finally arrived on GNU/Linux in late 2006. LaCie LightScribe Labeler for Linux (4L) was released in October 2006, with Hewlett-Packard's LightScribe business unit releasing its own Simple Labeler a month later. Both are free downloads with proprietary licenses, but they are currently the only tools available for using LightScribe on GNU/Linux. Both offer basic labeling, but each is limited in its own way.

EU accuses Rambus of 'patent ambush'

European Union regulators have charged Rambus Inc. with antitrust abuse, alleging the memory chip designer demanded "unreasonable" royalties for its patents that were fraudulently set as industry standards.

[May not seem like a Linux article, but think of things like OOXML and the Mono Project. The European Union is acting against Rambus for submitting standards for certification without disclosing that the standards could not be met without patented technology. - dinotrac]

How do you market your FOSS project?

  • Blue GNU; By D.C. Parris (Charlotte, USA) (Posted by dcparris on Aug 24, 2007 12:38 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story; Groups: Community
Blue GNU has launched a simple poll aimed at understanding whether and how FOSS projects market themselves. The 4-week project is an effort to help the community understand marketing and its impact on the progress of various projects.

YaKuake -- Quake-style Terminal

  • Obsidian Profile; By Sean Potter (Posted by obsidianreq on Aug 24, 2007 11:51 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Reviews; Groups: KDE
YaKuake is a Kuake terminal emulator that acts like a videogame drop-down console. Perfect for accessing a console quickly, read on for a review.

Installing Fedora on Toshiba Satellite A135-S2246

Installing Fedora 5 on Toshiba Satellite A135-S2246 laptop. Includes Atheros WiFi. Interesting stuff is around getting Mobile Broadband Wireless Card via PCMCIA Slot to work including a solution for "NO CARRIER" error for Sprint Pantech PX-500 mobile broadband card.

Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Tribe 5 Screenshots

The feature freeze, upstream version freeze, and the first artwork deadline passed last week for Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon. With these freezes, Ubuntu 7.10 Tribe 5 has been released with the last of the new features until Ubuntu 8.04 LTS. Ubuntu has now adopted system-config-printer (which was originally developed by Red Hat and Fedora) for handling the printing needs that gnome-cups-manager once had controlled, CUPS being upgraded to 1.3, a plug-in finder wizard and extension manager for Firefox in Ubuntu, and the new displayconfig-gtk panel for graphically controlling your X settings. Ubuntu 7.10 is shaping up very nicely and we have one more Tribe release and then the beta release, followed by the final release of Gutsy Gibbon on October 18.


This for the “how the hell have I done this job this long & not known this already?” files. Debian has a file called /etc/rc.local which runs at the end of all the multi-user boot levels, and which you can therefore put stuff in. I’ve had trouble with autofs not starting properly on certain machines (there seems to be a correlation with SCSI or SATA rather than IDE drives, although I do not know why this should be), and putting the line /etc/init.d/autofs restart in /etc/rc.local, whilst arguably a hack, does the trick just fine.

Automated failover and recovery of virtualized guests in Advanced Platform

In our first article in this series, we introduced the Conga management interface. In this article we show how Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1’s Advanced Platform can be configured to automatically provide High Availability for Virtual Machine Guests. Using the Conga management interface, the reader is walked through the process of setting up a shared filesystem guest repository, enabling the failover settings, and demonstrating zero downtime failback.

Microsoft's Open Source Trashware

Opinion: I recently took a look at Microsoft's most active open-source projects and—there's no polite way to say this—they are all junk. OK Microsoft, you want to be taken seriously by open source? I know that's a rhetorical question, I don't believe for one moment that you're ready to really embrace open source. You just want to be able to confuse the market by being able to say that you're "open source friendly." What a crock. Microsoft is open-source friendly in the same way that a butcher is friendly to a cow.

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