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Comment Do you actually *want* to give Canonical this info (Score 1) 548

So, I'm biased: I work for Canonical. But I'm guessing many would want to give Canonical this sort of data, so long as it's innocuously used (i.e., for the reasons stated in the original article). I don't want Canonical tracking my every move (that's Google's job ;-), but I do feel fine letting it know that I'm an Ubuntu user, so that Canonical can more effectively count users and make informed decisions based on that information.

Reading the comments above, it seems I'm not alone. I actually went out and installed canonical-census so that Canonical has data on use (i.e., I've added myself to the total Ubuntu user count), as the package is otherwise only installed on OEM installations. But how many of you others (who installed Ubuntu yourselves rather than buying it through Dell or someone else preinstalled) would like an easy, opt-in mechanism for providing this information?

I know there will be plenty with privacy concerns, and I respect that. But I'm guessing many others would be happy to provide this sort of information. (Yes, you can use Synaptic to do this, but as Ubuntu becomes more and more mainstream there will be plenty of people who don't want to get into Synaptic or a command line.)

I'm not suggesting that Canonical has plans to broaden the use of this package. So far as I know, we don't. I'm merely asking whether you'd support making it more easily available and, if so, under what conditions. (Is there some value we could be giving users in exchange for that opt-in, for example?)

Businesses

Submission + - Mickos urges EU to approve Oracle's MySQL takeover-> 1

mjasay writes: Former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos has written to EU Commissioner of Competition Neelie Kroes to urge speedy approval of Oracle's proposed purchase of Sun, including the open-source MySQL database. The EU is has been worried that Oracle's acquisition of Sun could end up hurting competition by dampening or killing MySQL's momentum. But in his letter, Mickos separates MySQL, the community, from MySQL, the company, arguing that Oracle's takeover cannot hurt the MySQL community: "Those two meanings of the term 'MySQL' stand in a close mutually beneficial interaction with each other. But, most importantly, this interaction is voluntary and cannot be directly controlled by the vendor." In a follow-up interview with CNET, Mickos indicated that he has no financial interest in the matter, but instead argues he "couldn't live with the fact that [he's] not taking action," and is "motivated now by trying to help the employees still at MySQL and Sun, and by an urge to bring rational discussion to the matter."
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Linus Torvalds: "Linux is bloated"-> 1

mjasay writes: "Linus Torvalds, founder of the Linux kernel, made a somewhat surprising comment at LinuxCon in Portland, Ore., on Monday: "Linux is bloated." While the open-source community has long pointed the finger at Microsoft's Windows as bloated, it appears that with success has come added heft, heft that makes Linux "huge and scary now," according to Torvalds. As Linux gets pulled into an ever-widening array of tasks, from mobile to data centers to desktops, it will almost certainly become even more bloated, all of which begs a question: will Linux become more like Windows over time?"
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

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."
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft releases Linux devices drivers as GPL->

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's 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."
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Crybaby (Score 2, Interesting) 141

That's the point (read the full article). We keep expecting open source to topple old hegemonies, but the reality is that it's simply helping to create them (Google) and keep them in check (everyone, including Google). That's a very important role, but it's not the BigCo Destroyer role we too often assign to open source.
Software

Open Source Facing a Difficult Battle For Cloud Relevance 141

A recent eulogy for open source's relevance to cloud computing by Redmonk analyst Stephen O'Grady caught the attention of Matt Asay, who breaks down the difficulty of this David and Goliath problem. "In a world where horsepower matters more than the software feeding those 'horses,' in terms of the entry cost to compete, and where big vendors like Amazon and Google are already divvying up the market, the odds of a small-fry, open-source start-up challenging 'Goliath' are slim. It's not a new argument: Nick Carr has been suggesting for some time that only a few, big companies can afford relevance in this hardware-intensive business. Given this fact, O'Grady thinks the best we can hope for (and he thinks it's pretty important) is 'a loose coalition or confederation of [open-source] projects and vendors that will together comprise an increasingly viable top to bottom alternative to some of the cloud providers today.' He includes projects like Puppet (Reductive Labs) and Hadoop in this mix, but is careful to point out that he doesn't see a full-fledged, open-source alternative seriously challenging the closed platforms of Google, Amazon, Salesforce, and the other mega-clouds."
Businesses

Submission + - Does the bazaar need the cathedral?->

Matt Asay writes: "Walk the halls of any open-source conference and you'll see a large percentage of attendees with ironically un-open-source Apple laptops and iPhones. One reason for this seeming contradiction can be found in reading Matthew Thomas' classic "Why free software usability tends to suck": open-source advocates like good design as much as anyone, but the open-source development process is often not the best way to achieve it. Open-source projects have tended to be great commoditizers, but not necessarily the best innovators. Hence, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst recently stated that Red Hat is "focused on commoditizing important layers in the stack." This is fine, but for those that want open source to push the envelope on innovation, it may be unavoidable to introduce a bit more cathedral into the bazaar. Without an IBM, Red Hat, or Mozilla bringing cash and discipline to an open-source project, including paying people to do the "dirt work" that no one would otherwise do, can open source hope to thrive?"
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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft losing 10% IE market share every 2 years->

mjasay writes: "Mozilla's Asa Dotzler points to some interesting long-term trends in browser market share, noting that "browser releases aren't having any major impact on the macro trends," which suggests that a better IE will likely have little impact on its sliding market share. The most intriguing conclusion from the data, however, is that Firefox could surpass IE market share as early as January 2013 if Firefox continues to gain 5 percent every year, even as IE drops 5 percent each year. In the past, Microsoft might have fought back by tying IE to the browser to block competition, but with the EU keeping a close antitrust eye on Microsoft and the U.S. Obama administration keen to make an example of an antitrust bully, Microsoft may have few good options beyond good old fashioned competition, which doesn't seem to be working very well for the Redmond giant, as the market share data suggests. Microsoft's loss of IE market power, in turn, could have serious consequences for the company's efforts to compete with Google on the Web."
Link to Original Source
Businesses

Submission + - Is Apache or GPL better for open-source business?->

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. In sum, the old GPL vs. BSD/Apache debate may not be about developer preferences so much as new business realities."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

Submission + - The coming Microsoft/open source duopoly->

mjasay writes: "Mozilla's Firefox 3 is now Europe's dominant Web browser with 35.05 percent market share, beating out Internet Explorer (IE) 7's 34.54 percent share, according to data released by StatCounter and reported by Reuters. In a separate market, Linux is supplanting UNIX in server operating systems, leading to a showdown between Linux and Windows over enterprise data centers. Though these are just two examples, is it possible that we're rapidly nearing an industry-wide duopoly between open source and Microsoft? Though Microsoft has recently been offering an olive branch to the open-source community, it's likely that an embattled Microsoft will turn to legal maneuvers like its TomTom lawsuit and the monopolistic practices that have earned it the enmity of the European Commission, and could require government intervention to overcome, as Mozilla's Mitchell Baker has argued. In short, a duopoly between open source and Microsoft sounds like a serious cage match, and only one of the contestants has shown a propensity to carry a switchblade into the ring."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

Submission + - Steve Ballmer pleads for openness to beat Apple-> 1

mjasay writes: "At the Mobile World Congress, Steve Ballmer took aim at Apple's closed iPhone ecosystem with an ironic plea for openness: "Openness is central because it's the foundation of choice." Ballmer has apparently forgotten his company's own efforts to vertically integrate hardware and software (Zune, XBox), vertically integrating software (Tying SharePoint into Office, IE, SQL Server, Active Directory, etc.), as well as years of illegal tying of Windows to Internet Explorer that only the U.S. Justice Department could undo. Indeed, Microsoft's illegal tying in the browser market has pushed Mozilla to get involved in a recent European Commission action against the software giant, with Mozilla's Mitchell Baker recently declaring that "A number of illegal activities were also involved in creating IE's market dominance," now requiring government intervention to open up the browser market to fair competition. Putting aside Microsoft's own tainted reputation in the field of openness, is Ballmer right? Should Apple open up its iPhone platform to outside competition, both in terms of hardware and software? Or does anyone want Windows Mobile running on an iPhone?"
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft and Red Hat team up on virtualization->

mjasay writes: "For years Microsoft has insisted that open-source vendors acknowledge its patent portfolio has a precursor to interoperability discussions. Today, Microsoft shed that charade and announced an interoperability alliance with Red Hat for virtualization. The nuts-and-bolts of the agreement are somewhat pedantic, providing for Red Hat to validate Windows Server guests to be supported on Red Hat Enterprise virtualization technologies, and other technical support details. But the real crux of the agreement is what isn't there: patents. Red Hat has long held that open standards and open APIs are the key to interoperability, even as Microsoft insisted patents play a critical role in working together, and got Novell to buy in. Today, Red Hat's vision seems to have won out with an interoperability deal heavy on technical integration and light on lawyers."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft the copycat?->

mjasay writes: "Microsoft celebrated its 10,000th patent this past week, declaring that "Logging the 10,000th patent really is a testament to all of the innovation that has been taking place." Unfortunately, history isn't kind to this idea that Microsoft is rich in innovation. Microsoft celebrated its moment of innovation by...following Apple into retail stores. From the Zune (iPod) to Live Search (Google, Yahoo) to Office (WordPerfect), Microsoft's history is that of a fast follower, but not an innovator. But is this so bad? Microsoft almost certainly doesn't invent much, but shouldn't we give it credit for making others' innovations easier and cheaper to use? Or we content to criticize Microsoft because it's so quick to point to open source as an imitative copycat and thief of its IP? Pot calling the kettle black?"
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