Items tagged with Open Source

Most people think of malware as being disruptive, unintended software. Short for "malicious software", malware explains itself pretty well, but as GNU founder Richard Stallman can attest, our interpretations of what makes software "malware" can vary greatly. For Stallman, who just penned his insights for The Guardian, malware is software that does what it's supposed to do, but with caveats. Tracking is a major beef of Stallman's, and is his biggest target here. Even "open source" OSes like Android are not safe from being called the M-word, as it's designed to harvest an absurd amount of data on... Read more...
Ten years ago, the mere suggestion that Microsoft could one day open source Windows would have resulted in much laughter, and you might have even found yourself checked into a facility to monitor your mental health. Today, though, things are certainly different. The entire landscape has changed dramatically over the past ten - even five - years. Mobile is an order of magnitude more popular than it was when Windows Vista hit the scene, and the same could be said about cloud storage - it's now everywhere. Could Microsoft really take one of its biggest money-earners and convert it to open source,... Read more...
Interest in 3D printers continues to grow and, as time goes on, more 3D printers are being offered to consumers and professionals alike. For software giant Autodesk, it is trying to simplify 3D printing with its open source Spark platform and Ember 3D printer for a market that continues to expand. By making both software and printer open source, the company is trying to make things easier by eliminating the need for users to purchase proprietary materials from companies. Instead of being forced to buy a specific type of plastic, the open source nature of Ember will allow the printer... Read more...
There are far too many headlines about Company X suing Company Y over alleged patent infringement, and Company Z spending an inordinate amount of money on patents in hopes of not being the next to be hit with a lawsuit. It's become a game of sorts, and unfortunately it stifles innovation and growth. Luckily, not everyone wants to play. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, for example, penned a blog post about how it's tearing down its wall of patents (literally). "Yesterday, there was a wall of Tesla patents in the lobby of our Palo Alto headquarters. That is no longer the case," Musk begins. "They have been removed,... Read more...
Linux, and Ubuntu in particular, missed a golden opportunity to truly break into the mainstream market during the early days of Vista. The buggy operating system (prior to SP1) left consumers angry and willing to consider alternatives, but at the time, even Ubuntu was still a little rough around the edges to draw widespread interest among lifelong Windows users. With Canonical's release of Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) coming hot off the heels of Microsoft discontinuing support for Windows XP, could a mass migration take place? Hey, anything is possible. And unlike the early Vista era, Canonical is... Read more...
Out of seemingly nowhere, Linux is becoming a hot topic. Major technology players ranging from Google to IBM are coming forward in support of the open-source OS, and at LinuxCon 2013, IBM announced plans to invest one billion dollars in new Linux and open source technologies for IBM's Power Systems servers. As IBM puts it: "the investment aims to help clients capitalize on big data and cloud computing with modern systems built to handle the new wave of applications coming to the data center in the post-PC era." Two immediate initiatives announced, a new client center in Europe and a Linux on Power... Read more...
Historically, hardware makers in the technology space have had it fairly tough. Entry costs are extremely high, finding a manufacturing facility that meets high standards is tough, and judging just how interested a consumer base is in advance is nearly impossible to nail. But when it comes to the Raspberry Pi, that's one product that has seemingly caught fire. Of course, the open source base and the ultra-cheap pricing probably has helped tremendously, but either way, we're glad that it's living to see yet another day. Element14 has just unveiled a new 8GB Raspberry Pi Bundle, which will ship for... Read more...
It's tough to say at this point whether or not this move is more than just a PR stunt, but Verizon Wireless is the latest member to join the Ubuntu Carrier Advisory Group. Considering that VZW is America's largest mobile operator, that's a lot of notable weight being put behind an open source initiative. The carrier has professed that it will work closely with the group in order to "shape Ubuntu into the most compelling new, alternative platform for mobile.  Samir Vaidya from the Device Technology team at Verizon Wireless said: “Verizon Wireless is joining Ubuntu’s Carrier Advisory... Read more...
Following what Linus Torvalds called a "very quiet" week, the Finnish American open-source software guru officially released the Linux 3.9 kernel. The latest kernel had been in development for 10 weeks and includes a device mapper target that allows a user to configure a solid state drive (SSD) as a cache for hard disk drives (HDDs) to increase system performance. The release comes a week later than Torvalds would have liked, though he seemed more concerned with people trying to "game the system" than with the slight delay. Image Source: Flickr (LuChOeDu) "So the last week was much quieter than... Read more...
After getting delayed a couple of days, the Linux 3.8 kernel is all polished and ready to go, Linus Torvalds announced. The big new feature in the 3.8 kernel is F2FS (Flash-Friendly File system), a new file system designed specifically to take advantage of NAND flash memory-based storage devices, such as solid state drives (SSDs). "NAND flash memory-based storage devices, such as SSD, eMMC, and SD cards, have been widely being used for ranging from mobile to server systems. Since they are known to have different characteristics from the conventional rotational disks, a file system, an upper layer... Read more...
AMD isn't yet ready to welcome its upcoming Radeon HD 8000 Series graphics cards to the world, but the company is preparing for the impending launch, in part by publishing initial open source Linux drivers. Found in the Mesa graphics library, the open source drivers pertain to the Radeon HD 8870 and 8850 graphics cards. Barring any delays or issues, the new parts will arrive in the second quarter of 2013, followed by the rest of the Radeon HD 8000 Series GPUs. The Radeon HD 8850 and Radeon HD 8870 are built on a 28nm manufacturing process and both feature 3.4 billion transistors on a die that measures... Read more...
After several setbacks and delays, the folks at Fedora have just released their newest Linux distro, Fedora 18, otherwise known by its code-name "Spherical Cow." One of the big new features in Fedora 18 is that it now supports UEFI Secure Boot by using bootloaders that have been signed with Microsoft certificates. In short, you should have no trouble booting Fedora 18 with a Windows 8 PC. The new version also introduces a vastly overhauled Anaconda installer. It looks new with a modern flair, and is designed to make installing the OS both faster and easier to do. That's especially important if... Read more...
The lukewarm response to Windows 8 might be just what Linux needs to gain a wider mainstream audience. Either way, Linux is more popular than ever these days, and that's good news for Red Hat, the open source company that makes a living serving Linux to the enterprise market. Red Hat's revenue for its third fiscal quarter came out to $343.6 million, representing an 18 percent bump from one year prior, or 21 percent if measured in constant currency. Subscription revenue jumped 19 percent to $294.2 million (or 22 percent in constant currency). Red Hat headquarters. "Strong execution, industry leading... Read more...
The next version of Linux will not support Intel 386 processors. That's bad news if you haven't upgraded your machine in, oh, 20 years or so, but other than for the sake of nostalgia (and to give those old machines some real-world purpose), the discontinuation of support for old CPUs isn't likely to send shock waves through the Linux community. "This tree removes ancient 386 CPU support and thus zaps quite a bit of complexity, which has plagued us with extra work whenever we wanted to change SMP primitives, for years," Linux developer Ingo Molnar wrote in a message to Linus Torvalds. In doing so,... Read more...
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