Actually, “franchise” is a financial term for the way that “character franchises” are sold and/or retained as intellectual property, so you may have to bear with me on stretching the meaning a bit (or maybe not—hold that thought).
I have recently been asked to attend the GPLv3 conference later this month in Boston at MIT, and so I thought this was a good time to share how I personally view the GNU General Public License (GPL), and how it has touched my life.
This was the year of Linux on the desktop, at least for my family. I’ve been using a succession of free systems for years, switching at a whim between FreeBSD, Gentoo, and Debian; I’m the household geek though, so that doesn’t mean much. However, the real turning point came when we decided to build a little computer out of spare parts as a Christmas present for my in-laws. Rather than giving them an old licensed version of Windows, or shelling out much more than the value of the computer for a new copy of XP, I decided to install Ubuntu.
I mean Microsoft Internet Explorer, of course.
Scanit, an internet security company, has reported that in browser vulnerability tests, Microsoft's Internet Explorer was unsafe 358 days out of 365. On the other hand, the Mozilla family of browsers together were left exposed for only 56 days out of the year. The company monitors known vulnerabilities and security patch availability, and reports the number of days each browser is exposed to risk. Read the report for more...
Sometimes first impressions are totally wrong. Other times, they turn out to be right—usually by complete coincidence. My first impression of the “$100 Laptop” idea developed and promoted by Nicholas Negroponte and colleagues at the MIT Media Lab is that it’s brilliant. Since then, I’ve heard a lot of criticism, and I think some of it is justified. In the end though, I still think it’s brilliant. Maybe it isn’t the best plan imaginable and maybe the agents making it happen aren’t doing it “all for the right reasons”, but in the end, those are trivialities.
This article compares two development platforms: Java and Mozilla. The object of this comparison is not to establish which one is best, but rather to measure the maturity, the advantages, and the disadvantages of Mozilla as a platform from the point of view of a Java programmer (as I am).
SEOBOOK: Search Engine Optimization is one of those informative texts that every person who is trying to make their website successful and well known should get their hands on and now. No, I’m not exaggerating. Aaron Matthew Wall, the author, is a testament to that. How do I know? When I type “seo” into Google. Wall’s site about SEOBOOK is on the first page of over twenty-five and a half million entries. Convinced yet? You should be! SEOBOOK is an accessible, relevant, and genuinely helpful text.
There’s a nice, lengthy interview with Richard Stallman at ZNet. The interview goes into depth on a number of social and political issues surrounding the free software movement. While most of this is well-known to the freedom fighters here at FSM, you might be interested in Stallman's comments about capitalism and identification as an anti-Bush liberal.
Software is a tool, a compilation of code that directs computer hardware, a program that empowers people to work more productively. Before Richard Stallman founded the GNU Project, many outside of hacker communities would have reasonably asked: why on earth is the ethics of software distribution philosophically interesting?
Last week’s winner Rhys Moyne has sent us his thanks. And here’s a picture...
Well done Rhys, we hope you enjoy it.
There’s an interesting link on News Forge today to this article about FOSS insurance. The issue here is whether it’s advisable for companies using FOSS to take out insurance policies protecting them against possible FOSS-related patent infringment. This article doesn’t really take a position, but does provide some considerations for IT managers.
This week we are giving away a copy of Write Portable Code by Brian Hook.
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As far as hosting services are concerned, WordPress is a good example. At its heart, WordPress is a simple blogging application, and it can be used as such, but behind the basics of the ability to blog comes an array of powerful features and the ability to extend the functionality of your blog through the use of various plug-ins.
There is currently a competition going on between two types of business model. Each have their strong advocates, supporters and enemies. Flame wars have raised the temperature of various communication channels. So called “independent” analysts have thrown in their lot with one, singing the praises of their choice, while condemning to the depths of Hades the other, regardless of the facts. In short, it’s good old fashioned fun for all and sundry.
Zope is a web application server, similar in concept to proprietary products like Cold Fusion. However, it is free software that is available under the GPL-compatible Zope Public License, which is very similar to the BSD License. Zope was designed with the specific goals of creating a powerful, secure framework for the development of robust web-based services with a minimum of effort.
How many times do programmers have to port software written to run on one particular architecture into another (or more than one) architecture? Does it always go smoothly? If you answered “yes”, you might not need this book. But if your answer was “no”, then this book is for you.
Brian Hook is a professional software developer, and has worked primarily in the gaming and entertainment industry. He collected his experiences in this book in order to advise us on how to write portable software.
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This article looks at the management of the private key for the Software Publishing Certificate (SPC). SPCs are used to digitally sign binaries that are produced by software development vendors. Digitally signing executables proves the identity of the software vendor and guarantees that the code has not been altered or corrupted since it was created and signed. Signing the code requires access to the SPC and the Private Key (PVK) associated with the SPC.