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12.14.08

Links 14/12/2008: Myst Online is Open Source, Glimpse at Lancelot

Posted in News Roundup at 11:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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  • Required Reading: News

    As some of you remember, just over a year ago I reported that I was shifting my academic (and activist) work from free culture related issues to (what I called) “corruption.”

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    The recession is hitting everyone. But print media companies — newspapers, books and magazines — are getting hit harder and sooner than most.

    It’s their own damned fault. Like the US automakers and the music industry, print media companies squandered most of their time and money during boom times clinging to the past rather than preparing for the future. And now they’re left totally unprepared for the bust.

    How bad is it? It’s bad.

    The Tribune Company filed for bankruptcy Monday. The company publishes the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and other daily newspapers. The New York Times Co. intends to pawn its shiny new Manhattan building to borrow a quarter of a billion dollars just to stop the bleeding. Other major dailies are either for sale, or rumored to be so, including the Rocky Mountain News, the Miami Herald and others. The Cox newspaper group is closing its Washington bureau. Most newspapers have announced layoffs, or will do so soon.

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15 Comments

  1. David Gerard said,

    December 14, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    Gravatar

    When done by FOSS, a single source of apps is a repository or a ports tree. When done by proprietary software, a single source of apps is the iPhone App Store.

    However, a FOSS repository for Windows would be a damn fine thing. Not quite Cygwin (which is also one), but a one-stop source of shiny shiny things that are available for Windows. Start with Firefox, OpenOffice.org and GIMP and work down from there – Inkscape, etc.

    This stuff really does work as a gateway drug, y’know. That’s why the Eee 701 worked so well IMO – Firefox 2 on Xandros is identical to Firefox 2 on Windows.

  2. Doug said,

    December 14, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Gravatar

    Sun patents JAVA method .. (I thought Sun had open sourced JAVA ?)

    http://www.mbtmag.com/articleXml/LN898192000.html

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Gravatar

    Sun is weird when it comes to patents, but don’t expect them to go after Linux.

  4. AlexH said,

    December 14, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    Gravatar

    @Doug: it’s free software, so it comes with a patent grant. You’ll find Sun are an extremely active patenter I’m afraid, but it’s not really something to worry about with respect to Java.

  5. Doug said,

    December 14, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Gravatar

    “a FOSS repository for Windows would be a damn fine thing”, David Gerard

    What about the licensing implications, who do I pay my Intellectual Property dues to, Red Hat, Novell or directly to Microsoft ?

  6. AlexH said,

    December 14, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Gravatar

    @Doug: no royalties are due on any free software, on any platform.

  7. Doug said,

    December 14, 2008 at 2:32 pm

    Gravatar

    “it’s free software, so it comes with a patent grant .. it’s not really something to worry about with respect to Java”, AlexH

    Except such patenting of the fundamental particles of programming makes it virtually impossible for anyone to not to violate some patent, unless you get a lawyer to go through it line-by-line, therefore making it impossible for anyone but the major players to write software. The hidden and very real agenda of this patent land grab. How soon wil it be before you have to have your source verified (at great expense) by the BSA?

  8. Doug said,

    December 14, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Gravatar

    “@Doug: no royalties are due on any free software, on any platform”, AlexH

    I sorry Alex, but does that mean I can use an unlicensed copy of Windows and run my FOSS stack on it without violating the Windows EULA. If not, then who do I pay and for what?

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 14, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft already has some FOSS installer/s for Windows. It’s an anti-GNU/Linux move.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 14, 2008 at 2:38 pm

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    I’ve just found our latest post about it.

  11. AlexH said,

    December 14, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    Gravatar

    @Doug: well, Windows isn’t free software, so no. My point only relates to free software.

    @Roy: it’s not “anti-GNU/Linux”. See e.g. the Fedora Mingw project.

  12. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 14, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Gravatar

    I know about Mingw (and equivalents), but this does not change my argument.

    Regarding software patents and Java, big companies need to step up and burn them in a big fire. It’s like IBM promotes possession of nuclear missiles by big nations; it just doesn’t trust ‘terrorists’ with this technology (trolls). Disarmament is the best solution.

  13. Chris said,

    December 14, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Gravatar

    And why would they do that as long as the american patent law isn´t changed?

    Once again you are not only beating a dead horse but the wrong one as well …

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 14, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Gravatar

    Have you been following the Bilski case? This is not about pigs and wings.

  15. Doug said,

    December 14, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Gravatar

    “well, Windows isn’t free software, so no. My point only relates to free software”, AlexH

    How can software be free if someone has patented the equivalent of the callback function, matters not if Sun gives the enduser a royalty free patent grant. What about the developers who put similar functionality in their applications?

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