Mozilla says there are still 12 million Internet users rocking Firefox 3.5, and as far as Mozilla is concerned, that's 12 million too many. As such, the open source browser maker is planning a funeral for Firefox 3.5 and has come up with a plan to get stragglers to step up to a newer version, preferably the latest build.
Don't worry about the cold and rainy weather sweeping through parts of the country, it's okay to bust out your open source swimming trunks anyway. Canonical today invites you to dive into Linux with the release of Ubuntu 11.04, otherwise known as Natty Narwhal. This latest Linux distro, which has been in beta form for about the past month, supports laptops, desktops, and netbooks, and supersedes Ubuntu Netbook Edition for all PC netbooks, Canonical says.
It’s hard not to look a gift horse in the mouth when you’re told it’s a potential thoroughbred capable of racing in the Kentucky Derby, but later find out it’s limping on two legs short of a set and isn’t even fit for making glue. That’s what we think about ClamWin, a free, open-source antivirus program that comes saddled with “gotchas.”
In an encouraging sign for Google's Android platform, new statistics reveal that the vast majority -- over 90 percent -- of Android devices accessing the Android Market are rocking version 2.1 of the open source OS or later. Of those, Android 2.2 (Froyo) sits on top with a dominant 61.3 percent share, compared to 29 percent of Android devices running 2.1, and under 8 percent kicking it old school with version 1.5 or 1.6.
Linus Torvalds, the father of Linux, announced the release of the 2.6.38 Linux kernel, which he says includes "deep changes." It's the second major Linux kernel to come out this year, and it comes with a number of improvements that should have a positive impact on performance, making open source operating systems faster than ever before.
Microsoft’s controversial decision to ban certain types of open source software had the company defending itself last week from both from the blogging community, and embarrassingly enough, their own internal legal department who was forced to admit they would have to kick themselves out to be in compliance with the new marketplace rules.
Red Hat EMEA evangelist Jan Wildeboer came across an interesting detail of Microsoft's developer agreement, and is now bringing it to everyone's attention. According to Microsoft's own Application Provider Agreement for the Windows Marketplace, apps that fall under an "Excluded License" will not be permitted. What is an Excluded License? Microsoft explains in another part of the document that an Excluded License is one that requires the opening of source code and distribution at no charge. Affected are open source licenses like GPLv3, LGPLv3, Affero GPLv3. Bummer.
Denver-based patent pool outfit MPEG LA, which licenses the H.264 codec, has called upon holders of “patents essential to the VP8 video codec” to join the VP8 patent pool it’s trying to assemble. As some of you might recall, MPEG LA has time and again questioned VP8’s royalty freeness, all along threatening a VP8 patent pool. I guess you are familiar with the "hit the jump" routine.
Google has had some pretty remarkable new technologies emerge from 20 percent side projects, but few match the promise of Pubsubhubbub. If you haven’t heard of it before don’t feel bad, its adoption is even worse than the RSS standard it seeks to replace. The elevator speech for Pubsubhubbub is pretty simple, it’s RSS, only in real time. This is a huge improvement over the current system which periodically polls the content servers to look for changes which waste both time and bandwidth. Think of it as push notifications for your favorite websites.
The creators of Pubsubhubbub Brad Fitzpatrick and Brett Slakin haven’t gained much traction as of yet, but the two have already moved on to a more ambitious project codenamed “Camlistore”. As with anything Google engineers touch, Camlistore is actually a code name for “Content-Addressable Multi-layer Indexed Storage”. Put in plain English Camlistore is described as a new way to store, sync, share, and back up content. The team doesn’t compare itself to Dropbox or MySQL, though they admit it could be adapted in the future to provide similar functionality.
The open source project is still in its infancy at this point, but I for one am pleased to see Googler’s embracing a cloud computing strategy that embraces both online and local storage. Dropbox has proven that a happy medium can exist between the two, which makes us optimistic for the future of Camlistore.
Head on over to camlistore.org if you want to learn more or sign up to help the developers.
Going forward, Ubuntu's developers decided it is in the best interest of the open source OS to ship with LibreOffice for its productivity suite, replacing the Oracle-owned OpenOffice that previously came pre-installed. That includes Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), which will be available April 28, 2011, ZDNet confirmed.
LibreOffice is a fork of OpenOffice, which came into being after contributors for the latter became fed up with how Oracle was handling (or not handling) things, and thus LibreOffice was born.
"Oracle needs to see where we're going, and the momentum, and what they can provide," LibreOffice developer Michael Meeks told THINQ last year. "It takes a long time for people steeped in ten to fifteen years of proprietary development to understand free software, and if you look at how that community was structured inside OpenOffice, there were many obvious weaknesses and it's a shame that their experience has been that free software does not provide compelling value [to Oracle]."
The decision by Ubuntu makes it the first major Linux distro to ship with LibreOffice, assuming the due date doesn't get pushed back. Fedora 15, due out on May 10th, will also ship with LibreOffice.