Red Hat Asks Court To Limit Patents On Software

Posted on in Categories GNU/Open source, Linux, RedHat/Fedora Linux last updated April 8, 2008

Red hat’s Open Source Assurance program is already used to safeguard customers developing and deploying open source solutions. Red hat now asking court to limit patents on software:

Open source software is one of the most dynamic, innovative sectors of the U.S. economy, but the U.S. patent system is a costly hindrance to open source innovation. We believe that although the patent system was created to foster innovation, it’s simply not an engine for innovation for open source. Software patents were barely recognized when open source began, and so the hope of obtaining a patent did not motivate the first developers. Those pioneers were generally opposed to software patents. The open, collaborative activity at the heart of open source is at odds with the patent system, which excludes the public from making, using or selling a patented invention. Open source developers seek to contribute code to the community – not to exclude others from using the code.

There is also Open Invention Network (OIN) backed by IBN, Red Hat, Novell, Sony and others. OIN is a company that acquires patents and offers them royalty free “to any company, institution or individual that agrees not to assert its patents against the Linux operating system or certain Linux-related applications”. On a related note, Microsoft has claimed that free software such as OpenOffice.org and the Linux kernel violate 235 Microsoft patents and said that it will seek license fees.

=> Read more : Red Hat Asks Federal Court To Limit Patents On Software

Open Source Will Quietly Take Over

Posted on in Categories Business, GNU/Open source, Linux, News last updated April 5, 2008

According to Gartner, almost all businesses will use open source software:

Open-source promoters have welcomed the endorsement by what is seen as a conservative commentator, but predict the changes will go further than Gartner assumes.

“By 2012, more than 90 percent of enterprises will use open source in direct or embedded forms,” predicts a Gartner report, The State of Open Source 2008, which sees a “stealth” impact for the technology in embedded form: “Users who reject open source for technical, legal or business reasons might find themselves unintentionally using open source despite their opposition.”

=> Gartner: Open source will quietly take over

Red Hat Open Sourced Identity, Policy, Auditing Management Security Framework Tool

Posted on in Categories Linux, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Security last updated March 20, 2008

Red Hat has open-sourced its identity-management and security system to promote its assertion that open-source software provides the most secure infrastructure. From the press release:

Red Hat Certificate System was acquired from AOL three years ago as part of the Netscape technology acquisition. In keeping with our commitment to open source software, today Red Hat has released all of the source code to Red Hat Certificate System. Much of the technology in Red Hat Certificate System was already open source, including the Apache web server, Red Hat Directory Server and the FIPS140-2 level 2 validated NSS cryptographic libraries, but today’s move further demonstrates Red Hat’s belief that the open source development model creates more secure software.

I think the freeIPA project is really good addition. It provides central management of identity, policy, and auditing for Unix and Linux using open-source and open-standards technologies.

freeIPA under Fedora Linux
(Fig. 01: freeIPA running under Fedora Linux [Image Credit freeIPA project])

Create Encrypted System Partition Under Linux / Windows / Mac OS X

Posted on in Categories Download of the day, File system, Howto, Linux, Linux desktop, OS X, Windows last updated March 14, 2008

TrueCrypt is a software application used for on-the-fly encryption (OTFE). It is free and open source software. TrueCrypt is available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. This software can protect date. It encrypts data stored on a computer’s disk and transparently decrypts the information when a user requests it. No special action by the user is required. From the Linux.com article:

Last month the TrueCrypt Foundation released TrueCrypt 5.0, which finally introduces a Linux GUI for the cross-platform encryption application. TrueCrypt 5.0’s numerous other enhancements include a Mac OS X port, XTS operation mode, the ability to encrypt a system partition or drive under Windows, and the addition of the SHA-512 hash algorithm

=> Encrypt volumes through a cross-platform GUI with TrueCrypt 5.0

Open Source Software and Hardware Inventory Management Software

Posted on in Categories Hardware, Linux, Linux desktop, UNIX, Windows, Windows server last updated March 11, 2008

I’m looking for good open source software and hardware inventory management software. A quick search on sourceforge returned following inventory management system / software management apps:

=> OCS Inventory NG, Open Computers and Software Inventory Next Generation is an application designed to help administrator keep track of the computers configuration and installed softwares. Low network traffic HTTP communications between agents and server. I’m currently testing this software and I will update all of you about my results.

Other old (outdated) softwares

=> PcInventory Web-based system to track the Pc and the installed peripherals.

=> phpMyInventory is a web-based hardware, software, and peripheral inventory system using PHP & MySQL. Currently stable on PHP version 4xx only!

=> Windows Inventory. A Computer Hardware and Software Inventory system. Based around wmi, vbscript, mysql & php. Expandable via modules to include software distribution, remote control, event viewer, disk monitoring, etc.

Most of these software are outdated. Basically, I need to keep inventory for following items

  • Open source inventory asset management software
  • Should able to track inventory
  • Auditing feature
  • Inventory of equipment owned and leased (including lease expiry)
  • Software inventory for both Windows and UNIX systems
  • Import / Export function etc

Do you have any recommendations for me? Please add them in the comments.

SAP To Roll Out ERP Linux Server Appliance

Posted on in Categories Hardware, Howto, Linux, Linux distribution, Make money with Linux, News, Suse Linux last updated March 5, 2008

SAP and Intel , the world’s biggest makers of business software and microchips, will jointly offer servers pre-packaged with SAP software aimed at medium-sized firms, the two companies said.

SAP aims to provide customers with a 45% savings on implementation and a 25% savings on total cost of ownership over what they’d typically spend for a comparable hardware/software combo, said Jans Peter Klaey, president of global SME at SAP, in an interview.

The server is available in five Northern European countries and should reach 20 countries this year.

=> SAP, Intel to offer out-of-the-box servers for SME’s

Open Source Software Developers Make More Money

Posted on in Categories Business, C Programming, GNU/Open source, Links, Linux, Make money with Linux last updated March 3, 2008

If you know open source based application development, you can make more money. A report from New York City-based consulting company Bluewolf says IT salaries across the board will continue to rise in 2008:

The rise of open source software in application development puts developers with a specialization in those technologies in a position to ask for a 30 or 40 percent pay increase, Kirven says. “We’ve gotten more requests from our permanent placement division for open source developers in the last six months than in the last five or six years combined,” he says. “It’s not as easy as getting free software, someone has to get it up and running. LAMP is everywhere now — these types of technologies no one heard of 18 months ago are all the sudden becoming a hot commodity.”

Microsoft Announces Open Source Interoperability Initiative

Posted on in Categories GNU/Open source, Windows last updated February 21, 2008

Microsoft has announced Open Source Interoperability Initiative. From the announcement press release :

The Open Source Interoperability Initiative exists to foster more open engagement between Microsoft and open source communities. It will encompass a broad range of facilities, events, and resources supporting interoperability, including labs, plug fests, technical content and opportunities for ongoing cooperative development. Microsoft plans to publish APIs and protocols that are used by Windows Vista (including the .NET Framework), Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008, Office 2007, Exchange Server 2007 and Office SharePoint Server 2007 — as well as their future versions. Also Microsoft will not require developers to license or pay royalties for this information. Specifically, Microsoft is implementing four new interoperability principles and corresponding actions across its high-volume business products: (1) ensuring open connections; (2) promoting data portability; (3) enhancing support for industry standards; and (4) fostering more open engagement with customers and the industry, including open source communities.

Microsoft also agreed not to sue developers of open-source software and releasing tons of API. More information available at:
=> Microsoft Press Release

=> Annoucment about Interoperability

Legal Issues Associated with Open Source and Free Software Projects

Posted on in Categories Business, Download of the day, GNU/Open source, Howto, Linux, UNIX last updated February 20, 2008

This is a must read if you or your organization associated with open source software project. If you are interested in a basic understanding of the legal issues that impact FOSS development and distribution, this primer is for you. The guide, written for developers, has sections on copyrights, trademarks, patents, organizational structure and other legal issues:

First, we provide creative, productive hackers insight on how to interact with the legal system—insofar as it affects the projects they work on—with a minimum of cost, fuss and risk. Second, we present a starting point for lawyers and risk managers for thinking about the particular, at times counter-intuitive, logic of software freedom. While these are the primary audiences we intend to reach, we hope others will benefit from this Primer as well, and we have purposefully given it a non-lawyer style of communication (for example, by intentionally omitting dense citation of judicial or other legal authority that is the hallmark of lawyers writing for lawyers).

While FOSS development can raise many legal issues, a few topics predominate in our work; these are the issues most integral to FOSS projects. This Primer provides a baseline of knowledge about those areas of the law, intending to support productive conversations between clients and lawyers about specific legal needs. We aim to improve the conversation between lawyer and client, but not to make it unnecessary, because law, like most things in life, very rarely has clear cut answers. Solutions for legal problems must be crafted in light of the particulars of each client’s situation. What is best for one client in one situation, may very well not be best for another client in the same situation, or even the same client in the same situation at a later date or in a different place. Law cannot yield attainable certainty because it is dynamic, inconsistent, and incapable of mastery by pure rote memorization

Download Primer

The Legal Issues Primer for Open Source and Free Software Projects is available in following formats:

  1. Online HTML version
  2. PDF version [318K]
  3. Postscript version [1.2M]

Microsoft DreamSpark: Giving Away Developer Software

Posted on in Categories Linux, Windows, Windows server last updated February 19, 2008

It appears that Bill has finally figured out success of open source software. Microsoft Corp. is giving students free access to its most sophisticated tools for writing software and making media-rich Web sites, a move that intensifies its competition with Adobe Systems Inc. and could challenge open source software’s popularity. Students can download complete working set of compilers (developer tools) including Visual Studio Professional Edition, Expression Studio and XNA Game Studio 2.0. The company will also give away SQL Server 2005 Developer Edition and Windows Server Standard Edition.

The programs are available now to more than 35 million college students in the U.S., Belgium, China, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K. DreamSpark will open to high school students around the world starting in the fall and to college students in other countries in the next year.

Giving away Visual Studio, meanwhile, will help ensure a steady stream of new desktop and desktop-Web hybrid applications Microsoft hopes will keep consumers hooked on Windows PCs, even as more programs migrate to the Web.

=> Ap article : Microsoft Giving Away Developer Software

=> Students can see if they’re eligible to download the software at: MSDN website.