Archive | November, 2006

Java: free at last

InfoWorld: Top News comments Sun open sources Java under GPL.

“It's no surprise that Sun Microsystems is making its core Java platform freely available; what is somewhat unexpected is the vendor's choice of open-source license.”

Cool. Not just free, but very free. Java is the glue holding together lots of enterprise-level projects, and removing the barrier of uncertain licensing from Java will only help it spread. Bravo, Sun!

Veteran's Day, 2006

Veteran's Day, 2006: Thanks to all who served, in peacetime and in war, declared and undeclared. Thanks to those who volunteered, and to those who answered the draft. Thanks for fighting to keep us free, a battle we continue at home as well as abroad. Thanks for risking your lives. And thanks to far too many for giving up their lives. Rest in peace and be remembered.

The war is over and Linux won?

Dana Blankenhorn opines, “The war is over and Linux won.” Ah, if it were only that simple. I think we've seen a turning point, but unlike wars with surrenders and treaties and armistices, commercial and non-commercial software will always live with some dynamic tension, and plots by one to eradicate the other will continue. There has been a sea-change though: vendors are learning to accomodate Linux as an alternative choice of their customers.

Groklaw: Microsoft Patent Pledge Useless

Groklaw is reporting SFLC's Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter to the FOSS Development Community Regarding Microsoft's Patent Promise. The Software Freedom Law Center's CTO Bradley Kuhn has issued a statement regarding the Novell-Microsoft agreements and how they will impact FOSS developers. They have analyzed in particular Microsoft’s Patent Pledge for Non-CompensatedDevelopers and see little value and in fact say it's worse than useless, because it creates an illusion of safety and because it limits severely what that developer is allowed to do with his work: read more

Electronic Voting is still not ready for prime time…

InfoWorld: Top News is reporting Florida e-voting: 18,000 'missing' votes in close race.

“Government watchdog group Common Cause has called for an investigation of electronic voting machines used in Florida's 13th congressional district because of 18,000 missing votes…. About 18,000 people who cast votes in other races in Tuesday's election failed to record a vote for either candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives. At last count, Republican candidate Vern Buchanan led Democratic candidate Christine Jennings by less than 400 votes in the race to succeed Republican Katherine Harris, who ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate.”

… But her spirit lives on.

“This is part of the reason we've been calling for a paper trail,” Wilcox said… Ironically, Sarasota County voters on Tuesday approved a ballot measure requiring paper trail ballots to be used as a backup to the e-voting machines.”

Whether by programmer error (certainly possible), operator error (easy enough), configuration problem, or tin-foil-hat-conspiracy, electronic voting is not an improvement on paper ballots. Unless and until we can make a system than makes voting more accurate, we ought to just wait until the paper ballots get counted.

Granite State goes blue

The election results were amazing here. New Hampshire was thought of as the flinty, practical, down-to-earth Yankee Republican bastion of “Live Free or Die.” However, yesterday's election was a landslide for Democrats: Governor Lynch was re-elected by the largest margin ever, the state Senate went Democrat for only the second time since the nineteenth century, the state House of Representatives went blue from red by a huge margin – a first since 1922! – and even the Executive Council, the inner cabal that rules the governor, went Democratic. Both U.S. Reps, incumbent Republicans both, were turned out. It was a tsunami. Best wishes.

No, they're not! Yes, they are!

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols responds, Novell is not SCO. Novell is accepting around $350 million dollars from Microsoft to allow Microsoft to indemnify Novell customers from patent infringement claims, which Novell insists is not a problem. Steven, who admins he is not a lawyer, believes he understands the way they thread that needle without violating the GPL. SJV-N notes, “In the long run, Microsoft will shaft Novell. Just ask Stac, Lotus, WordPerfect… oh, wait. Novell is still suing Microsoft for that last one! Could it be that Novell already knows that they're supping with the devil? Why, yes I think they do.”

So, they're taking money for desparate short-term gain, despite knowing long-term liabilities? Aiding Microsoft in spreading the chilling effects of bogeyman legal threats that will damage its Linux business as well as everyone elses? A dangerous game they are playing.

Novell turns to the dark side

OSNews links to a Register story: Perens: 'Novell Is the New SCO'. “Often cast as the peacemaker in free software disputes, Bruce Perens is on the warpath. When we caught up with him, he wasn't in a mood to be charitable to Novell.”

“Novell is violating the GPL,” he tells us. “It's up to the Free Software Foundation, which owns the copyright, to pursue this. But the FSF owns the C library and the compiler outright. There isn't much Novell can do without either.”

Subversion 1.4.2 released

From the Project RSS Feed for Project subversion“>subversion project comes the news Subversion 1.4.2 released.. “I'm happy to announce Subversion 1.4.2… You can find list of changes between 1.4.2 and earlier versions at: ” Sounds cool! Read the notes carefully for some cautions on working with differing versions of the clients and servers. The svnsync feature opens up some interesting opportunities to publish and subscribe, perhaps into a QA or backup repository.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.