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The MPEG-LA's Lock On Culture 457

jrepin writes in to recommend a piece by Eugenia from OSNews, which explores the depths of the MPEG-LA's lock on video. One part of the problem is that almost all video cameras, including ones that cost more than $12,000, declare in their manuals that they are for "personal use and non-commercial" purposes only. "We've all heard how the h.264 is rolled over on patents and royalties. Even with these facts, I kept supporting the best-performing 'delivery' codec in the market, which is h.264. 'Let the best win,' I kept thinking. But it wasn't until very recently when I was made aware that the problem is way deeper. No, my friends. It's not just a matter of just 'picking Theora' to export a video to Youtube and be clear of any litigation. MPEG-LA's trick runs way deeper!""

Is Apache Or GPL Better For Open-Source Business? 370

mjasay writes "While the GPL powers as much as 77% of all SourceForge projects, Eric Raymond argues that the GPL is 'a confession of fear and weakness' that 'slows down open-source adoption' because of the fear and uncertainty the GPL provokes. Raymond's argument seems to be that if openness is the winning strategy, an argument Michael Tiemann advocates, wouldn't it make sense to use the most open license? Geir Magnusson of the Apache Software Foundation suggests that there are few 'pure' GPL-only open-source projects, as GPL-prone developers have to 'modify it in some way to get around the enforcement of Freedom(SM) in GPL so people can use the project.' But the real benefit of Apache-style licensing may not be for developers at all, and rather accrue to businesses hoping to drive adoption of their products: Apache licensing may encourage broader, deeper adoption than the GPL. The old GPL vs. BSD/Apache debate may not be about developer preferences so much as new business realities."

GCC 4.2.1 Released 449

larry bagina writes "GCC 4.2.1 was released 4 days ago. Although this minor update would otherwise be insignificant, it will be the final GPL v2 release; all future releases will be GPL v3. Some key contributors are grumbling over this change and have privately discussed a fork to stay as GPL v2. The last time GCC forked (EGCS), the FSF conceded defeat. How will the FSF/GNU handle the GPL 3 revolt?"

2007 Java Predictions 284

jg21 writes "Java Developer's Journal has published the results of its end-of-year poll of various Internet technology players, from its own internal editors to industry high-ups like the founder of Apress, Gary Cornell, and including too the thoughts of professor Tony Wasserman of Carnegie Mellon West. Participants were asked to foretell what they saw happening in 2007. Among the predictions — Cornell: 'The open-sourcing of Java will have no effect whatsoever on Java's slow decline in favor of dynamic languages (Ruby, Python) and C#'; Wasserman: 'The use of the GPL 2 for open-sourcing Java will inhibit the completion and acceptance of the GPL 3 proposal'; and Rails creator David Heinemeier Hansson: 'The stigma of being a Web programmer still using Windows will increase.'"

Enabling Bittorrent at the University Level? 145

Sorthum asks: "I'm a network administrator for a small university (approximately 5000 students all told). We're running NAT in the dorms, which obviously restricts BitTorrent traffic. We do an annual student survey, on which 'Residential Network' is listed as the number 2 complaint. This translates more or less into 'Bittorrent is slow here.' My boss is in a frenzy to appease the users at virtually any cost, but it seems to me from my research that the only real way to improve Bittorrent speeds is to start assigning public IPs to the dorms. Add to that the potential liability of making a service that by most reports has upward of 90% of its traffic fall into a 'legally questionable' gray area, how can I win in this situation?"

Cheating Via the Internet at College 467

Electron Barrage writes, "An anonymous professor writes that last year about half of the seniors at his US university were suspected of cheating, mostly due to the Internet and community sites such as Wikipedia. He guesses that perhaps 25%-30% were actually guilty, a huge increase from earlier levels. According to this professor, it's nearly impossible for the universities to keep up with the new forms of cheating enabled by the Net. Will academic institutions learn to deal with this new reality? It sounds a little dubious from this professor's viewpoint." The article mentions the anti-cheating services Turn It In and iThenticate (while decrying their expense), but expresses worry over the new countermeasure represented by Student of Fortune.

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.