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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 13 declined, 4 accepted (17 total, 23.53% accepted)

Red Hat Software

+ - Is Red Hat a software firm or a bank?->

Submitted by
SavioRodrigues
SavioRodrigues writes "My analysis of Red Hat's financial results indicate that nearly half of Red Hat's profits have little to do with their core software business...well, unless Red Hat recently picked up an investing banking division.

Over the past two years, 48 percent of Red Hat's income before taxes has come from "Other Income," specifically interest income and capital gains on investments. For comparison, "Other Income" drives well under 10 percent of Microsoft's, Oracle's, and IBM's income before taxes. I wondered if Red Hat's revenue base, (in the hundreds of millions vs. these other vendors whose revenue is in the billions), was a reason for the difference. So I selected Tibco Software, whose revenue base is within $100M of Red Hat's and was founded in 1997, two years after Red Hat. Only 12 percent of Tibco's total income before taxes comes from "Other Income." I tried to look at Novell, but they've gone through years of negative Operating Income, so the ratios don't compute."

Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - RMS & Clipperz offer freedom in the cloud->

Submitted by
SavioRodrigues
SavioRodrigues writes "I previously wrote about Clipperz because I really think Marco and the team at Clipperz have a great idea. To summarize, Clipperz has technology for "zero-knowledge web applications" which they have applied to an online password manager as a proof of concept. Marco writes:

"We simply meant that Clipperz knows nothing about its users and their data! ... As a consequence of the "learn nothing" mantra, every zero-knowledge application should be completely anonymous, or at least it should make it impossible to relate the real name or email of a user to his data"
It seems that Richard Stallman agrees that Clipperz technology could be very useful in the cloud-based computing world that awaits us.

The guys at Clipperz and RMS have been talking about how Clipperz's technology could provide freedom and privacy in the cloud. To that end, they suggest (summarized from here):
  1. Choose AGPL: If your services are based on software with an AGPL license, you have to make the source code available to anyone that uses the service
  2. Add zero-knowledge sauce: The server hosting the web app could know nothing of its users, not even their usernames
  3. Build a smarter brower: We still need to provide users of web apps with an even more flexible and secure environment.
Do you think that #1 is a requirement?"

Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Insecurity in Open Source (?)

Submitted by
savio13
savio13 writes "Benjamin Chelf, CTO of Coverity has an viewpoint at BusinessWeek that begins:

"Conventional wisdom holds that open-source software should have fewer security flaws than proprietary software. With more eyes able to look at the underlying source code, bugs should be found and squashed much faster.

But when software security and quality really matter — like crossing the Atlantic on a jet airliner — trust me, you want to fly proprietary."

His view that OSS is no more secure than commercial software is based on research that his company did with the Department of Homeland Security & Stanford. The research involved the analysis of 50 popular OSS projects and comparing the results to related commercial software products.

PS: I don't agree with the findings above, nor are they supported by my personal or professional experience with OSS, so don't shoot the messenger."
Linux Business

+ - The Cheap Revolution - Linux, OSS & Commodity

Submitted by
savio13
savio13 writes "Forbes is running a series titled "The Cheap Revolution", that is sure to get even more C-level execs excited about open source. Most of the stories focus on Linux and commodity hardware, but one goes into RMS and his impact on Linux, GPLv3, and the future of Linux adoption in the enterprise. There is also a good article on Mark Shuttleworth's support for Ubuntu.

Desktop Linux
The Problem With St. Ignucius
Really Free Software
The New Barbarians
Rent-a-Disk

Shorter sidebars:
Open-Source Networking
Computer Evolution
Cheap Revolutionaries
Linux at Your Fingertips"
It's funny.  Laugh.

+ - Oracle Implements Zero-Defect Policy for Fusion

Submitted by
savio13
savio13 writes "Apparently Oracle has implemented a zero-defect policy for Fusion Applications, its next-generation suite of ERP applications expected in 2008. "We don't think any bugs are acceptable," said John Wookey, the senior vice president at Oracle in charge of application development. "Getting it right in the first version is extremely important to us. That's an engineering issue, not something that's random at all."

So there you have it friends. All other Oracle products were baked with defects included just for kicks.

If Oracle believes they can actually write such a complex piece of software, integrating code from 3+ large software companies, and do it without defects, it makes one question the wisdom of Fusion even more."
Google

+ - Google: The IT Strategy That Makes It Work

Submitted by
savio13
savio13 writes "InfoWeek published an article on Google's IT Strategy, which can be summarized as: "Use customized open source where possible, custom build where necessary and buy if its not related to something that will give Google a competitive advantage". They interviewed several senior IT folks at Google and the article is surprisingly thorough considering Google guards information about their actual IT environment."
Sun Microsystems

+ - Dovrak wonders if Sun & Apple merger more like

Submitted by
savio13
savio13 writes "Dovrak is suggesting that Schmidt may have been brought in as the set-up pitcher for what may finally be the often rumored merger between Sun & Apple.

Apple is looking to make a splash in the server market to solidify its position there, but it does not have the credibility of a Dell, HP, IBM or a Sun. On the other hand, Sun is positioned to make another run at server dominance as this is written, thanks to its superstar engineer and co-founder Andreas von Bechtolsheim. Bechtolsheim, known to the locals as "Andy," was one of the first investors in Google and is a good friend of Schmidt and may be, in fact, behind the scenes promoting any Apple-Sun deal.

If this deal were to happen, maybe Tom Yager's prediction of Apple Unix surpassing Linux market share would have a better chance than a snowball in hell."
The Internet

+ - What you've always wanted: An Online B/S Detector

Submitted by
savio13
savio13 writes "The Japanese government is funding a ($3 million USD) project to help online readers discern the cream of the cr*p with the cream of the crop.

The project is aiming to deliver an automated fact-checker that draws on related information to spot how likely something is to be untrue. By the sounds of it, if the document you're reading doesn't conform to the consensus view on something, it could be classified as less than fact.

A little more info here and here. PS: This story appears to be here on Slashdot Japan, but not sure many of us can read it."
Graphics

+ - Video: Minority Report Like Screen Demo from TED

Submitted by
savio13 writes "Jeff Han, a research scientist at NYU demonstrates his interface-free, completely intuitive, multi-touch-driven screen. The presentation was recorded at TED earlier this year. The screen allows one to zoom, pan, animate and visualize in a new way. (Hint: Think about the computer interface/screens from Minority Report...just don't think about Mr. Cruise). The video at youtube is about 9 min long, but it's well worth a look."
Patents

+ - Patent Law Ruling Threatens FOSS

Submitted by
savio13 writes "The EFF has asked the US Supreme Court to overturn a patent law ruling that could pose a serious threat to Free and Open Source Software projects. A recent Federal Circuit Court of Appeals decision required that even the most obvious incremental advances can be patented unless it can be proved that someone else suggested it prior to the patent being filed. As such, many 'bad patents' are being used as roadblocks for legitimate innovators, especially those working for FOSS projects (who have better things to do then search through thousands of technical papers for some mention of the obvious).

Read the full breif here or the story at the EFF website."
Google

+ - Get organized with Gmail - GTDGmail Firefox addon

Submitted by
savio13 writes "For Gmail fans that want to organize their lives a bit more...check out GTDGmail. It's a Firefox extension that integrates the Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology into Gmail. You can read more about GTD at wikipedia

BTW, as they point out, any page modifications are against the GMail Ts&Cs, but this is a cool and useful tool. Maybe we'll see Google Gadgets for GMail?

geter done"
Microsoft

+ - Mozilla developers invited to Redmond

Submitted by
savio13 writes "Sam Ramji, Microsoft's director of its Open Source Software Lab has invited 4 Mozilla developers to spend 4 days with Microsoft's Vista Readiness ISV team. The invite can be found here mozilla.dev.planning and was posted on Saturday (Aug. 19).

Schroepfer replied by indicating that Microsoft and the Moz guys are already in contact via email and will follow up on the offer there.

This is interesting because Sam posted the offer in a public forum (and indicated that he'd sent a PM, but was posting in case they had an @microsoft.com email filter). Sam also made a point of stating that the Vista ISV Readiness offer is typically only for commercial ISVs."
Communications

+ - Quantum Leap for Cell Phones - phones w/o buttons

Submitted by
savio13 writes "On Aug. 21, designer Pilotfish and sensor maker Synaptics are releasing a prototype of a cell phone without any buttons. The phone, (named Onyx), understands signs and gestures, via a sensitive touch pad covering most of its surface. It opens and closes applications when swiped by one or two fingers. The phone recognizes shapes and body parts so when you lift Onyx to your cheek and it will pick up a call."
Businesses

+ - GPLv3 - A Primer: Open Warfare in Open Source

Submitted by
savio13 writes "A BusinessWeek article about GPLv3 starts to shed some light on where things are in the process and what the hold up is. While the article is very high level, ( a la the non-tech audience BW reaches), it's important because it'll mean more C-level execs have open source licensing on their minds, to some degree at least."

Money doesn't talk, it swears. -- Bob Dylan

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