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+ - Is Microsoft getting paid for patents in Linux?

Submitted by
kripkenstein
kripkenstein writes "In an interview, Jeremy Allison (of the Samba project) implies that Microsoft is secretly getting paid for patent licenses on Linux-related products:

[Interviewer:] One of the persistent rumors that's going around is that certain large IT customers have already been paying Microsoft for patent licensing to cover their use of Linux, Samba and other free software projects.[...]

Allison: Yes, that's true, actually. I mean I have had people come up to me and essentially off the record admit that they had been threatened by Microsoft and had got patent cross license and had essentially taken out a license for Microsoft patents on the free software that they were using [...] But they're not telling anyone about it. They're completely doing it off the record.
If true, is this slowing down Linux adoption? Or are these just rumors — which may accomplish much the same effect?"

OpenMoko Schedule Announced 165

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the preflight-check-lists dept.
levell writes "The schedule for the OpenMoko, an open source, Linux-based Neo1973 smart phone was posted to the community mailing list by Sean Moss-Pultz this morning. On Feb 11, free phones will be sent to key community developers and the community websites/wiki/bug tracker will be available. Then on March 11 (the official developer launch) we'll be able to buy an OpenMoko for $350. After allowing some time for innovative, slick software to be created there will be a mass market launch at which point Sean hopes that 'your mom and dad will want one too.'"
Operating Systems

+ - Why isn't ReactOS gaining momentum?

Submitted by
CSMatt
CSMatt writes "I find it puzzling and interesting that, given all of Microsoft's negligence on Windows, the community still doesn't seem to support ReactOS development near as much as the Linux distributions or even the BSDs. ReactOS could easily do to Windows what the GNU project did to UNIX, but it seems like it is constantly falling short of a suitable Windows alternative due to either a lack of developers or a lack of money. Yes, I know that it takes about a decade for the community to write a complete operating system, and it will probably take at least 15 years to write one as complex as Windows, but there still seems to be something that is slowing the project down. Is it disbelief that the final version will be able to provide compatibility with Vista or Vienna programs because ReactOS will inevitably have to play catch-up with Windows? Is it the idea that it would still be used only by hobbyists and free software advocates, even though it is possible that the low price of zero might woo OEMs into preinstalling it?"
Portables

+ - Debian Linux gains faster ARM port

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes "The Debian project has just gained a whole new ARM port that promises much, much faster floating point performance, especially on phones and other mobile devices based on newer VFP-enabled ARM cores. The ARM EABI port, aka "armel," currently has about 10,000 packages, thanks to the efforts of Lennert Buytenhek, who was sponsored by board vendor ADS to sit down with three donated Thecus N2100's and compile, compile, compile. Early reports suggest that mp3 compile times drop from 68 minutes to 4 minutes, using the new ARM port."
Announcements

+ - Linux-based console to compete with Wii, 360, PS3

Submitted by Wertigon
Wertigon (666) writes "The Open Game Console Consortium aims to create an open console that will be free of royalties of any kind. Right now the project is in it's early phases, but the people behind it are hoping to make it in time to Christmas this year.

FTA:
I'm sure some are saying things like, "How is this going to be any more successful than the 3DO or Indreama?" or "Is this just another Phantom?" The 3DO was a similar idea in that it was going to allow multiple manufactures to release the same consoles; however, it was a very closed platform. If you wanted to make a 3DO compatible system you would have to license proprietary chips and software from Matsushita, and by having an open standard, with open source software and off-the-shelf PC components the barrier to entry will be much simpler and less restrictive.
"
Sun Microsystems

+ - Sun to GPLv3 OpenSolaris

Submitted by uservoid
uservoid (666) writes "Sun Microsystems is set to license OpenSolaris under the upcoming GNU General Public License Version 3 in addition to the existing Common Development and Distribution License, sources close to the company have told eWEEK. OpenSolaris currently is licensed only under Sun's CDDL, but company executives have previously floated the idea of a dual license with GPLv3. Sources told eWEEK that this is very likely to happen after the release of that version of the GPL, which currently is being rewritten and is expected to be made final soon. http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2084284,00.as p?kc=EWEWEMNL011507EP28A"

Slashdot's Vastu 386

Posted by Zonk
from the we-go-vertical dept.
nanopolitan writes "Wired has a story on harmonious website design according to Vastu, 'the Indian counterpart of feng shui'. The graphic accompanying the story has an analysis of Slashdot's design by Dr. Smita Narang. Her verdict? This site is 'in desperate need of balance'." From the article: "Thirty-year-old Smita Narang is rapidly becoming one of India's hottest Web designers. Her method: applying vastu shastra, the Indian counterpart of feng shui, to the online realm. The process entails mapping page attributes - HTML, colors, graphics - to elements like fire, water, and air. 'Any disturbance of these established elements can cause an imbalance in the site that directly affects its business,' Narang says."

Lenovo To Shun Linux 462

Posted by Zonk
from the what-did-tux-ever-do-to-you dept.
dominique_cimafranca writes "CRN reports that Lenovo will not install or support the Linux operating system on any of its PCs. Lenovo is positioning itself as an exclusive partner of Microsoft, several weeks after the companies announced they were 'reaffirming' global market development and cooperation agreements." From the article: "A Lenovo spokesman later said the non-Linux strategy is also applicable for the company's Thinkpad brand of notebooks, although Lenovo will provide advice to customers who insist on deploying desktop Linux systems in some fashion. While Lenovo and Microsoft have had a long OEM relationship that pre-dates Lenovo's takeover last year of the former IBM PC Co., IBM had been supportive of Linux throughout its product line -- including preloading it on Thinkpads -- before the sale to Lenovo."

Oracle Exec Strikes Out At 'Patch' Mentality 264

Posted by Zonk
from the this-post-to-be-patched-later dept.
An anonymous reader writes "C|Net has an article up discussing comments by Oracle's Chief Security Officer railing against the culture of patching that exists in the software industry." From the article: "Things are so bad in the software business that it has become 'a national security issue,' with regulation of the industry currently on the agenda, she said. 'I did an informal poll recently of chief security officers on the CSO Council, and a lot of them said they really thought the industry should be regulated,' she said, referring to the security think tank."

Student Faces Expulsion for Blog Post 1045

Posted by samzenpus
from the complaining-only-makes-things-worse dept.
ThPhox writes "A student in the Plainfield School District in New Jersey is facing expulsion from the school district for a post made on his personal blog during non school hours. From the article: "A 17-year-old student who posted on his blog site that he was being bullied and threatened by the Plainfield School District will face an expulsion hearing this week, a local attorney said.""

Vista Beta 2 has Major Problems 683

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the so-does-every-version-of-windows dept.
WebHostingGuy writes "In a review by Gary Krackow from MSNBC who reviewed Vista Beta 2 over the last week he had very disappointing problems. "for me [it] was one of the worst operating system experiences that I've ever encountered." Built-in audio and wireless didn't work on his Levono laptop. It took four days to get the first installation."

Sun Announces $100k Contest for Grid App Developers 80

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the win-some-megabucks dept.
C-Shalom writes "EWeek reports that Sun announced a contest where developers can compete for $100k in prizes for developing applications that utilize the Grid. This is in addition to 100 free CPU hours on the Grid. From the article: 'Sun is hosting a competition where developers can compete for $50,000 in prize money. The winners of the Sun Grid Compute Utility Cool Apps Prize for Innovation contest will be determined based on the software they develop on the grid, MacRunnels said. Sun is planning additional contests for later in the year, which will bring the total potential winnings to $100,000.' The press release contains more info not included in the article."

The World's Largest Scavenger Hunt Returns 102

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the still-haven't-found-what-i'm-looking-for dept.
mresolver writes "University of Chicago students have once again emerged from the library after a long winter to participate in the world's largest scavenger hunt. The multiple day event is famous for the working breeder reactor that students managed to build during the 1999 hunt. This year, the official list (PDF) includes a superconductor, working wood refrigerator, hot air balloon made to Montgolfier specifications, one-way funhouse mirror, and a walk-in Kaleidoscope."

Bird Flu Drug Mass Production Technique Discovered 252

Posted by Zonk
from the yay-for-smart-people dept.
creepygeek writes to mention a New Scientist article detailing a new process for creating Tamiflu, an antiviral drug currently thought to be our best defense against the bird flu. From the article: "Making Tamiflu is slow, partly because shikimic is hard to get, but also because one step in the process involves a highly explosive chemical called an azide. As a result, Tamiflu can be made only in small batches of a few tens of litres at a time. But Elias Corey of Harvard University - who won a Nobel prize in 1990 for chemical synthesis - and colleagues have devised a new way to make the drug from two cheap, plentiful petrochemicals, acrylate and butadiene."

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