PatrickRIot writes "Aeon Magazine ran a longform critique of Open Source politics last week titled 'Open Sesame: "Openness" is the new magic word in politics – but should governments really be run like Wikipedia?' It referenced Tim O'Reilly and the man himself has stepped in at the bottom of the page for a detailed and lengthy rejoinder. 'I'm a bit surprised to learn that my ideas of "government as a platform" are descended from Eric Raymond's ideas about Linux, since: a) Eric is a noted libertarian with disdain for government b) Eric's focus on Linux was on its software development methodology. From the start, I was the open source activist focused on the power of platforms, arguing the role for the architecture of Unix and the Internet in powering the open source movement. ... One thing that distresses me about this discussion is the notion that somehow, if open government doesn't solve every problem, or creates new problems as it solves others, it is a failed movement. The world doesn't go forward in a straight line! The "open" democracy experiment of 1776 is still ongoing; we're trying to figure out how to use technology to adapt it to the 21st century and a country with a hundredfold greater population.'"
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
Simon Phipps is President of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) at least until March 31, 2013. He is one of 11 Directors, with Legal Counsel Mark Radcliffe and OSI President Emeritus Eric Raymond serving as advisers. The main function of the OSI is to safeguard The Open Source Definition and to make sure that all software licenses it approves adhere to it. Over the years, license approvals have become contentious more than once. Lately, however, the OSI has avoided acceptance of new licenses that substantially duplicate existing ones, so a lot of the license approval furor has died down. Several recent improvements in the OSI include opening the organization to individual memberships, and setting up the FLOSS Competence Center Network, both of which will no doubt help the OSI carry out and expand its primary mission: "Open Source community-building, education, and public advocacy to promote awareness and the importance of non-proprietary software."
An anonymous reader writes "The WSJ reports that OUYA, the $100 Android-based gaming console, will reach retail availability in June. The makers have partnered with Amazon, Best Buy, GameStop, and Target for distributing the devices. The console will come with a controller (which has the traditional thumbsticks, D-pad, buttons, and triggers as well as a built-in touchpad), and additional controllers will be sold for $50. OUYA CEO Julie Uhrman said, 'For the last year or two years all we've been hearing is that the consoles are dead. The reason is there isn't new, innovative intellectual property. It's expensive to develop on it. You're seeing a major shift of games being developed on the television. Our viewpoint has always been that console gaming isn't dead, the way we think about it hasn't changed. We're bringing the best screen and the best device to interact with that by creating a platform that is open.' There was a recent 'Game Jam' to create game prototypes for the console; you can browse the 166 entries."
angry tapir writes "FreeDOS — the drop-in, open source replacement for MS-DOS — was started after Microsoft announced that starting from Windows 95, DOS would play a background role at best for users. Almost two decades later, FreeDOS has survived and, as its creator explains in this interview, is still being actively developed, despite achieving its initial aim of an MS-DOS compatible OS, which quite frankly is somewhat amazing."
An anonymous reader writes "The hardware hasn't been released yet, but AMD has made available early open-source Linux GPU driver patches for supporting the future Radeon HD 8000 series graphics cards. At this time the Radeon HD 8800 'Oland' series is supported with the Mesa, DRM, X.Org, and kernel modifications. From the driver perspective, not many modifications are needed to build upon the Radeon HD 7000 series support."
An anonymous reader writes "A copyright monitoring program called MarkMonitor mistakenly flagged HBO.com for pirating its own shows, and sent automatic DMCA takedown notices to the network. It's a funny story, until you realize that MarkMonitor is the same software that will power the U.S. Copyright Alerts System (a.k.a. "Six Strikes"), due to be rolled out by the five largest U.S. ISPs sometime in the next month."
Nerval's Lobster writes "Dell is going private again, as the result of a $24.4 billion deal involving private-equity investors and Microsoft. The deal will close before the end of the second quarter of Dell's fiscal 2014, according to Reuters. Dell founder and namesake Michael Dell, who owns roughly 14 percent of the company's common shares, will continue to lead the newly privatized venture as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. He will contribute his existing shares to the new company, on top of a 'substantial' additional cash investment. As with other hardware manufacturers in the space, Dell faces the specter of a softening PC market. And while Dell has made significant efforts to penetrate other markets—including the launch of a private cloud architecture based on the open-source OpenStack—that weakness has affected its bottom line: for its fiscal 2013 third quarter, the company reported an 11 percent decrease in revenue from the previous year; while it enjoyed an increase in revenue from its servers and services businesses, revenue from its Consumer division dipped 23 percent. Its Large Enterprise, Small and Medium Business, and Public revenue also declined." Another take at the New York Times.
cathyreisenwitz writes "For over a year now journalists, civil liberties advocates, and members of Congress have been asking the Obama administration to release internal memoranda from the Office of Legal Counsel justifying Obama's targeted killing program. While the White House continues to deny that such memos exist, NBC is reporting that it has acquired the next best thing: A secretish 16-page white paper from the Department of Justice that was provided to select members of the Senate last June." Spencer Ackerman at Wired says the leaked rules "[trump] traditional Constitutional protections American citizens enjoy from being killed by their government without due process" by redefining the concept of "imminence."
New submitter oztechmuse writes "Australian Telco Telstra is planning to trial shaping some BitTorrent traffic during peak hours. Like all other telcos worldwide, they are facing increasing traffic with a long tail of users: 20% of users consume 80% of bandwidth. The problem is, telcos in Australia are already shaping BitTorrent traffic as a study by Measurement Lab has shown and traffic use continues to increase. Also, the 20% of broadband users consuming the most content will just find a different way of accessing the content and so overall traffic is unlikely to be reduced."
theodp writes "Back in Biblical times, creating abundance was considered innovative. That was then. Last Tuesday, GeekWire reports, the USPTO awarded Amazon.com a broad patent on reselling and lending 'used' digital goods for an invention that Amazon boasts can be used to 'maintain scarcity' of digital objects, including audio files, eBooks, movies, apps, and pretty much anything else."
ahziem writes "As author of the BleachBit system cleaner, I received a polite but firm request from Piriform, makers of the similar application CCleaner, to remove a two-year-old feature from BleachBit that allows individual BleachBit users to import winapp2.ini data files created by the community that define which files to delete for applications. Does Piriform's request have merit? Do I need a lawyer? What is a good response to avoid any ugly situation?"
dakohli writes "Currently, Canadian Fighter Pilots spend about 20% of their 'stick' time in Simulators. RCAF General Blondin states that this will rise to 50/50 in the future. The article goes on to state that the U.S. Army is moving in this direction, although the U.S. Air Force is a little more skeptical. Aircraft are expensive to fly, and if the fidelity of a simulator is good enough then perhaps real pilots will spend even less time actually in the air. Slashdotters, do you think that this will actually make recruiting pilots more difficult, or is it a sign of the things to come beyond Military Aviation?"
An anonymous reader writes "The jailbreak tool evasi0n for iOS 6.x, meaning currently iOS 6.0 and iOS 6.1, has finally been released. It can perform an untethered jailbreak of the iPhone, iPad, iPad mini, and iPod touch running either of those two mobile operating systems. Most of Apple’s latest devices can run iOS 6.0, 6.0.1, 6.0.2, and 6.1: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2, third-generation iPad, fourth-generation iPad, iPad mini, fourth-generation iPod touch, and fifth-generation iPod touch. Unlike previous jailbreak tools, this one should work on all of them as long as they have been updated to iOS 6.x. The tool won’t work for other Apple devices. Aside from your iOS 6.x device and the tool on your computer, you’ll also need a USB cable to connect the two. Backup first to ensure you won’t lose any data if something goes wrong, disable the lock passcode, and “be patient while the jailbreaking process is running.” That means don’t start iTunes or Xcode while it’s running; in fact, the creators recommend that you don’t touch the computer until the process is complete.."
The Firefox and Chrome teams have announced that their respective browsers can now communicate with each other via WebRTC for the purpose of audio and video communication without needing a third-party plugin. WebRTC is a new set of technologies that brings clear crisp voice, sharp high-definition (HD) video and low-delay communication to the web browser. From the very beginning, this joint WebRTC effort was embraced by the open web community, including engineers from the Chrome and Firefox teams. The common goal was to help developers offer rich, secure communications, integrated directly into their web applications. In order to succeed, a web-based communications platform needs to work across browsers. Thanks to the work and participation of the W3C and IETF communities in developing the platform, Chrome and Firefox can now communicate by using standard technologies such as the Opus and VP8 codecs for audio and video, DTLS-SRTP for encryption, and ICE for networking. To try this yourself, you’ll need desktop Chrome 25 Beta and Firefox Nightly for Desktop. In Firefox, you'll need to go to about:config and set the media.peerconnection.enabled pref to "true." Then head over to the WebRTC demo site and start calling."