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Microsoft Promises Not To Sue Moonlight 2.0 Users 233

darthcamaro writes "Moonlight 2.0, Novell's open source implementation of the Microsoft media framework, is now available and comes with a new patent promise from Microsoft. Any Linux user can use it now without worrying about being sued: '"A really important change in how the community and individuals will see and use Moonlight is a change and extension to the patent covenant that Microsoft provides to Novell and its end users," Brian Goldfarb, director of Web and user experience platforms at Microsoft, told "We're now increasing the reach of the agreement — Microsoft's commitment not to sue Novell or Novell's customers now extends to redistributors."'"

Windows Server Trusts Samba4 Active Directory 182

Darren Ginter writes "A group of Samba v4 developers recently spent a week in Redmond to work with Microsoft on Active Directory interoperability(?!). The result? Windows Server will now join, trust and replicate a Samba-based Active Directory using Microsoft-native protocols. Although Samba v4 is still in the alpha stages, this is a huge step for open source. Or it could be a trap."
GNU is Not Unix

Microsoft Makes Second GPLv2 Release 218

angry tapir writes "Microsoft has made its second release under the General Public License in two days with software for Moodle, an 'open-source course management system that teachers use to create online learning Web sites for their classes[, which] has about 30 million users in 207 countries.' It comes on the heels of Redmond contributing drivers to the Linux community. No reports as yet on dropping temperatures in hell."

Microsoft Releases Linux Device Drivers As GPL 362

mjasay writes "Microsoft used to call the GPL 'anti-American.' Now, as Microsoft releases Hyper-V Linux Integration Components (LinuxIC) under the GPL (version 2), apparently Microsoft calls the GPL 'ally.' Of course, there was little chance the device drivers would be accepted into the Linux kernel base unless open source, but the news suggests a shift for Microsoft. It also reflects Microsoft's continued interest in undermining its virtualization competition through low prices, and may suggests concern that it must open up if it wants to fend off insurgent virtualization strategies from Red Hat (KVM), Novell (XEN), and others in the open-source camp. Microsoft said the move demonstrates its interest in using open source in three key areas: 1) Make its software development processes more efficient, 2) product evangelism, and 3) using open source to reduce marketing and sales costs or to try out new features that highlight parts of the platform customers haven't seen before."

Startup Seeks To Preempt Patent Trolls 117

anaesthetica writes "The WSJ reports that a San Francisco startup is buying up patents with the promise never to assert them in order to help large corporations hedge against patent trolling firms. The company, RPX Corp, receives an annual fee in exchange for licensing the patents it has purchased. Cisco and IBM have already signed up for this service of 'defense patent aggregation.'"

Microsoft Woos Developers Under the Silverlight 300

CWmike writes to tell us that with the impending release of their Silverlight 2.0 product, Microsoft is poised to enact the next phase of their plan, wooing developers and designers directly. Microsoft is funding a French open-source project designed to allow programmers to utilize the Eclipse framework to build Silverlight apps. "Microsoft is also releasing for free a set of programming templates called the Silverlight Control Pack under its Microsoft Permissive License, as well as the technical specification for Silverlight's Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) vocabulary via Microsoft's Open Specification Promise. The latter, said Goldfarb, should make it easier for would-be Silverlight developers."

Stallman Says Cloud Computing Is a Trap 621

stevedcc writes in to tell us about an interview with RMS in The Guardian, in which he gives his views on cloud computing, with a particular focus on user access to data and the sacrifices made for convenience. "'It's stupidity. It's worse than stupidity: it's a marketing hype campaign,' he told The Guardian. 'Somebody is saying this is inevitable — and whenever you hear somebody saying that, it's very likely to be a set of businesses campaigning to make it true.'" Computerworld has a summary of some of the blogosphere's reaction to RMS's position.
GNU is Not Unix

Number of GPL v3 projects tops 2,000 116

Da Massive writes "The number of open-source projects that use the GNU General Public License Version 3 has grown to more than 2,000, according to Palamida, which sells software and services for tracking open-source code within a customer's code base. 'Our database now contains over 2,000 projects that are using the GPL v3. "At this rate the GPL v3 is being adopted by 1,000 projects every 4-5 months, and if the trend continues, the license will be used by 5,000 projects by the end of the year," states a recent posting on Palamida's blog.'"
The Courts

FBI Posts Fake Hyperlinks To Trap Downloaders of Illegal Porn 767

mytrip brings us a story from about an FBI operation in which agents posted hyperlinks which advertised child pornography, recorded the IP addresses of people who clicked the links, and then tracked them down and raided their homes. The article contains a fairly detailed description of how the operation progressed, and it raises questions about the legality and reliability of getting people to click "unlawful" hyperlinks. Quoting: "With the logs revealing those allegedly incriminating IP addresses in hand, the FBI sent administrative subpoenas to the relevant Internet service provider to learn the identity of the person whose name was on the account--and then obtained search warrants for dawn raids. The search warrants authorized FBI agents to seize and remove any "computer-related" equipment, utility bills, telephone bills, any "addressed correspondence" sent through the U.S. mail, video gear, camera equipment, checkbooks, bank statements, and credit card statements. While it might seem that merely clicking on a link wouldn't be enough to justify a search warrant, courts have ruled otherwise. On March 6, U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt in Nevada agreed with a magistrate judge that the hyperlink-sting operation constituted sufficient probable cause to justify giving the FBI its search warrant."
Media (Apple)

iPhone SDK Rules Block Skype, Firefox, Java ... 800

An anonymous reader writes "Apple's iPhone software development kit is already drawing complaints due to the strict terms of service. Voice over IP apps like Skype that attempt to use the cellular data connection will be blocked. Competing web browsers Firefox and Opera are forbidden. Even Sun is now backpedaling on its recent announcement of a java port, noting that there are some legal issues. Critics are already comparing Apple's methods to Comcast's anti-net neutrality filtering, and Microsoft's Netscape-killing antitrust tactics. Could Apple face government regulators?"

Low-Cost Board Runs Linux, Google Apps 152

An anonymous reader writes to mention that hardware hacking enthusiasts can now get their hands on the guts of the Everex TC2502 Linux PC for just $60 (USD). The compact x86-compatible "gOS Dev Board" offers a lightweight Linux-based OS designed for use with Google Apps. " Along with a Firefox browser supporting the Google toolbar, gOS includes local productivity applications, such as However, its main goal is "coherently packaging Google Apps to give users the idea that they can use Google as their main environment," explained Paul Kim, of Everex. "

Steve Jobs Announces iPhone SDK 467

An anonymous reader writes "It finally happened. Steve Jobs announced an iPhone SDK today. The plan is to release it in February, and the suggestion is that apps will need to be digitally signed (not unlike digital signing in Leopard). Here's hoping that developing for the iPhone/Touch will be cheap (or free) enough to allow the folks who have been writing apps to continue doing so. Says Jobs: 'It will take until February to release an SDK because we're trying to do two diametrically opposed things at once--provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task.'"

Fastest Spinning Black Hole Ever Found 204

brian0918 writes, "NewScientist reports that researchers in Cambridge have detected a black hole spinning at nearly 1,000 times per second — the fastest ever recorded. From the article: 'McClintock's team examined a black hole in our galaxy called GRS 1915+105, which lies about 36,000 light years away. They found the innermost stable orbit around GRS 1915 is so close that the black hole must be spinning at nearly 1000 times per second. The finding supports the idea that only fast-spinning stars can collapse to create powerful explosions called long gamma-ray bursts.'" The Astrophysical Journal abstract is open but you have to be a subscriber to read the full article there.

How to Prevent Form Spam Without Captchas 272

UnderAttack writes "Spam submitted to web contact forms and forums continues to be a huge problem. The standard way out is the use of captchas. However, captchas can be hard to read even for humans. And if implemented wrong, they will be read by the bots. The SANS Internet Storm Center covers a nice set of alternatives to captchas. For example, the use of style sheets to hide certain form fields from humans, but make them 'attractive' to bots. The idea of these methods is to increase the work a spammer has to do to spam the form without inconveniencing regular users."

Adding features does not necessarily increase functionality -- it just makes the manuals thicker.