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+ - OpenStack Was Denied Non-Profit Status->

Submitted by WebMink
WebMink (258041) writes "Seems no-one noticed back in May, but it's not just Yorba that has fallen foul of the changing outlook of the IRS concerning open source foundations. The huge OpenStack Foundation has also been denied non-profit status by the IRS. They had applied for 501(c)(6) (trade association) status like Eclipse and Linux Foundation before them, so this is all the more surprising. Has the IRS decided the expected philanthropy of open source is being gamed by corporate abusers?"
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+ - Open Source Initiative, Free Software Foundation unite against software patents->

Submitted by WebMink
WebMink (258041) writes "In rare joint move, the OSI and FSF have joined with Eben Moglen's Software Freedom Law Center to file a U.S. Supreme Court briefing in the CLS vs Alice case. The brief asserts the basic arguments that processes are not patentable if they are implemented solely through computer software, and that the best test for whether a software-implemented invention is solely implemented through software is whether special apparatus or the transformation of matter have been presented as part of the claims (the "machine or transformation" test). They assert that finding software-only inventions unpatentable will not imperil the pace of software innovation, citing the overwhelming success of open source in the software industry as proof."
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+ - Will Nokia Turn Smartphone Troll?->

Submitted by WebMink
WebMink (258041) writes "While the focus of the news of Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's devices businesses is the future of Microsoft as an Apple clone, there's another story too. What will become Nokia? Microsoft has left them with all the device & smartphone patents, plus a huge pile of cash to spend. Nokia is already aggressive with patents, but with no smartphones to sell (and thus no target for counter-suits) they have every incentive to follow the trail of others (like Kodak) before them and become a massive mobile troll."
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+ - Shuttleworth Agrees To FSF Demands For Edge Phone->

Submitted by WebMink
WebMink (258041) writes "In an interview at OSCON, Mark Shuttleworth of Canonical spoke about the vision behind the Ubuntu Edge phone as a concept device to test features the mobile industry is too conservative to try. Notably, he agreed with the Free Software Foundation's demands that the device should carry no proprietary software and have Free drivers (transcript):

So what’s going to be in there? That’s all going to be free software?
Yes, we’ll ship this with Android and Ubuntu, no plans to put proprietary applications on it. We haven’t finalised the silicon selection so we’re looking at the next generation silicon from all major vendors. I would like to ship it with all Free drivers.

"

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+ - Github Finally Agrees Public Repos Should Have Open Source Licenses-> 2

Submitted by WebMink
WebMink (258041) writes "After strong criticism last year, Github has finally accepted the view that public repositories with no open source license are a bad thing. Self-described as the "world's largest open source community," a significant number of GitHub projects come with no rights whatsoever for you to use their code in an open source project.

But from now on, creators of new repositories will have to pick from a small selection of OSI-approved licenses or explicitly opt for "no license". In Github's words, "please note that opting out of open source licenses doesn't mean you're opting out of copyright law.""

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+ - Oracle Quietly Switches BerkeleyDB To AGPL->

Submitted by WebMink
WebMink (258041) writes "A discussion in the Debian community reveals that last month Oracle quietly disclosed a change for the embedded BerkeleyDB database from the quirky Sleepycat License to the Affero General Public License (AGPL) in future versions. AGPL is only compatible with GPLv3 and treats web deployment as a trigger to license compliance, so developers using BerkeleyDB will need to check their code is still legally licensed.

Even if they had made the switch in the interests of advancing software freedom it would be questionable to force so many developers into a new license compatibility crisis. But it seems likely their only motivation is to scare more people into buying proprietary licenses. Oracle are well within their rights, but developers are likely to treat this as a betrayal. As a poster in the Debian thread says, "Oracle move just sent the Berkeley DB to oblivion" because there are some great alternatives, like OpenLDAP's LMDB."

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+ - Do Open Source Projects Really Need Tax-Exempt Status?->

Submitted by WebMink
WebMink (258041) writes "Turns out the IRS is lumping open source projects with Tea Party organizations as possible tax scams. While the most likely explanation is they just don't understand open source (maybe having had it conveniently mis-explained to them), it raises the question: do open source projects really need tax-exempt status anyway? Are people who support their mission really incented by the chance to save on income tax? Or are we mistaking IRS endorsement of accounting practices for validation that a community is really doing the right things?"
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Open Source

+ - Python Trademark Filer Ignorant Of Python?->

Submitted by
WebMink
WebMink writes "Is it possible that the CEO of the company that's trying to file a trademark on "Python" was unaware of Python's importance as a programming technology? That's what he claims — despite running a hosting company that's trying to break into cloud computing, where Python is used extensively. Still, he also regards the Python Software Foundation as a hostile American company and thinks that getting attention from half the world's geeks is a DDoS..."
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Microsoft

+ - Microsoft Shipping GPLv2 Code->

Submitted by
WebMink
WebMink writes "It was remarkable enough that Microsoft chose to implement Git rather than inventing its own DVCS in Visual Studio this week. But they have done so using libgit2, which is licensed under GPLv2 and developed by GitHub. Microsoft are not only shipping it; they are also contributing to the project. Remember, the GPL was what made Steve Ballmer call Linux a "cancer" and has been the focus of Microsoft's fear of FOSS for a decade. Has hell frozen over?"
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Microsoft

+ - Does Microsoft have the best app store for open source developers?-> 2

Submitted by
WebMink
WebMink writes "Microsoft seems to have been in combat against the GNU GPL throughout the history of free and open source software. But that may be changing. They have recently updated the terms of use for software developers in their Windows Phone app store to allow any OSI-approved open source license — even the GPL. They include extraordinarily broad language that gives the open source license priority over their own license terms, saying:

if your Application or In-App Product includes FOSS, your license terms may conflict with the limitations set forth in Section 3 of the Standard Application License Terms, but only to the extent required by the FOSS that you use

Could it be that the most open source friendly app stores will be the ones run my Microsoft?"
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Science

+ - Crumpled Graphene and Rubber Combined to Form Artificial Muscle->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Despite its numerous wondrous properties, a propensity to stick together and be difficult to flatten out once crumpled can make working with graphene difficult and limit its applications. Engineers at Duke University have now found that by attaching graphene to a stretchy polymer film, they are able to crumple and then unfold the material, resulting in a properties that lend it to a broader range of applications, including artificial muscles."
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+ - Half of GitHub Code Unsafe To Use->

Submitted by
WebMink
WebMink writes "GitHub is a great open source hosting site, right? Wrong. There's no requirement that projects on GitHub provide any copyright license, let alone an open source one, so roughly half the projects on GitHub are "all rights reserved" — meaning you could well be violating copyright if you make any use of the code in them. And GitHub management seem just fine with this state of affairs, saying picking a license is too hard for ordinary developers. But if you're not going to give anyone permission to use your code, why post it on GitHub in the first place?"
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Chrome

+ - Ditching a MacBook for a ChromeBook->

Submitted by
WebMink
WebMink writes "Just how good is Google's Chromebook? It's selling well on Amazon (#1 selling computer today) but is it actually any use? Turns out it's surprisingly good, providing everything necessary for mobile working — to the point of leaving a Macbook Pro gathering dust. Could this be the first commercially viable Linux laptop?"
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Patents

+ - Research Proves Patent Trolls Harming The Economy->

Submitted by
WebMink
WebMink writes "It used to just be speculation, but the numbers are now in — patent trolls are costing America jobs and economic growth. Newly-published research using data commissioned by Congress shows big rises in patent troll activity over the last five years — from 22% to 40% of all patent suits filed, with 4 out of five litigants being patent trolls. Other papers show that jobs are being lost and startups threatened, while VC money is just making things worse by making startups waste money filing more patents. Worst of all, it's clear this is just the tip of the iceburg; there's evidence that unseen pre-lawsuit settlements with patent trolls represent a much larger threat than anything the research can easily measure.

At least there is a little good news though; the fact Congress commissioned research on patent trolls means there are legislators taking the problem seriously at last,"

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