The clash of the titans over Java may end up being heard by the Supreme Court, possibly hinging on what the solicitor general has to say about it. SCOTUS has asked for advice on whether the case merits its attention. “This is going to be a true 2015 nail-biter for the industry,” said tech analyst Al Hilwa. “This is a judgment on what might constitute fair use in the context of software.”
The Supreme Court of the United States on Monday invited the Obama administration to weigh in on whether it should hear arguments in the ongoing dispute between Google and Oracle over Java copyrights.
The move is a response to Google’s October petition for a writ of certiorari following a May 2014 federal circuit court decision in favor of Oracle.
Google argued that the code was not copyrightable under section 102(b) of the Copyright Act, which withholds copyright protection from any idea, procedure, process, system, or method of operation. It also argued that the copied elements were a key part of allowing interoperability between Java and Android.
Numerous large technology companies, including HP, Red Hat and Yahoo, have filed amicus briefs supporting Google’s position.
Submitted by: Katherine Noyes
If you’ve ever wanted to make an animated film, the learning curve for such software often is really steep. Thankfully, the Pencil program was released and although basic, it provided a fairly simple way to create animations on your computer (Windows, Mac or Linux) with open-source tools. Unfortunately, the Pencil program was abandoned.
And really, that’s the coolest part of open-source software. Building on the incredible Pencil program, a new project was born. Pencil2D is under active development, and it’s a cross-platform application allowing for a frame-by-frame animation sequence to be drawn and exported.
Submitted by: Shawn Powers
With over a billion users, Facebook isn’t hurting for potential customers, but a few months ago Facebook started to explore the idea of Facebook at Work. It’s exactly what it sounds like: A version of Facebook for your office. The question is: After banning Facebook from your office network, would you use Facebook for Work in your office?
On January 14, Facebook took its first big step in turning this into a product from an in-house idea. The company is releasing Facebook at Work beta apps for iOS and on Android via the Google Play Store. But, even if you think this is the best idea since sliced bread, don’t rush out to get the apps. They will only be available for a select few beta testers.
Facebook for Work will also make much more use of one feature that’s not often used by most Facebook users: Facebook Groups. This functionality, which enables you to form your own group to share anything from family reunion plans to how you’ll launch your next widget release, has long been in Facebook.
Submitted by: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Earlier this week I posted some benchmarks showing NVIDIA’s Linux Driver Continues Running Strong Against The Windows Driver that also included the open-source Nouveau driver results in the mix too. However, due to using the Nouveau driver, the newest GeForce GTX 970/980 graphics cards were left out of testing as the open-source driver doesn’t yet fully support these newer Maxwell GPUs. In this article though we’re going back to compare the Windows vs. Linux performance of these two high-end NVIDIA GPUs at a UHD 4K resolution too.
As with the other end-of-2014 Windows vs. Linux benchmarks, Windows 7 Pro x64 with all available system updates was used and on the Linux side was Ubuntu 14.10. The latest NVIDIA Linux driver is the 346.22 driver version while the latest Windows version at the time of testing was the 347.09 driver release.
Each operating system was up-to-date and tested with its default settings. The same Intel Core i7 4790K Haswell system was used for both the Linux and Windows testing. The Seiki 39-inch 3840 x 2160 display was used for testing to run many of the OpenGL benchmarks at 4K for fully stressing these latest NVIDIA graphics cards.
Submitted by: Michael Larabel
Linus Torvalds doesn’t usually talk about things he doesn’t know, so it’s probably fair to imagine that, when he says that the HFS+ file system used on Mac OS X is garbage, he’s not wrong.
The creator of the Linux kernel and Git says a lot of things that are not too popular with some of the users, but that doesn’t mean he knows not what he’s talking about. In fact, he probably has a better grasp of file systems than many other developers, given the fact that the Linux kernel is built to run on pretty much anything and that he’s pulling FS patches all the time.
“Quite frankly, HFS+ is probably the worst filesystem ever. Christ what [expletive] it is. NTFS used to have similar issues with canonicalizing utf8 (ie using non-canonical representations of slashes etc). I think they at least fixed them. The OS X problems seem to be fundamental. ”
Submitted by: Silviu Stahie
In September 2014, Microsoft made available as a limited preview its Migration Accelerator (MA) tool, designed to help users migrate their on-premises Windows Server workloads to Azure.
On January 14, Microsoft added support to MA for Linux. Using the MA preview tool, users can migrate Linux physical and virtual machines to Azure. The new release supports the migration of Cent OS (6.4, 6.5) and Oracle Linux (6.4, 6.5) to Azure.
Submitted by: Mary Jo Foley
Google is launching a new Classroom-branded mobile app aimed at encouraging digital collaboration between teachers and students.
Google Apps for Education counts more than 40 million students, teachers and administrators among its user base, according to the Internet giant’s estimates last fall. Classroom itself debuted roughly six months ago in an effort to make Google Apps for Education simpler for educators to use.
Among the available features for educators include helping students keep track of upcoming assignments followed by the ability for instructors to mark assignments as “done” upon completion.
Since launching, more than 30 million assignments have gone through Classroom, noted Jorge Lugo, a software engineer on the Google for Education Classroom team.
The mobile version of Classroom, Lugo explained, is designed to further facilitate communications between teachers and students, namely through the addition of a teacher assignments page and the ability to archive classes.
Submitted by: Rachel King
Canonical published some details about a Git vulnerability that has been found and fixed in Ubuntu 14.10, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS operating systems.
Each new Git version usually lands with security fixes and the same happened with the latest branch. The developers explained that Git could have been made to run programs if it received specially crafted changes from a repo.
This is the same issue that managed to get Linus Torvalds upset about the poor condition of the HFS+ file system.
Submitted by: Silviu Stahie
First details of the Ubuntu Phone emerge from Canonical:
The user experience for smartphones has revolved around apps and its icon grid since the very first iPhone. Key mobile services on iOS and Android are delivered via apps in a fragmented manner and controlled by platform owners such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, which has put OEMs and Operators into a secondary role.
Users deserve a richer, faster and unfragmented experience built around the things they do most on their devices.
With the Ubuntu phone we are moving away from the app grid towards integrated content and services. And we do this by providing a user experience that is centered on bringing the key mobile digital life services directly to the screen, which at the heart we call ‘scopes.’
Scopes are a way of delivering unified experiences for various service categories, front and centre to the user, without hiding them behind a sea of apps and app icons. They are created via a simple UI toolkit with much lower development and maintenance costs than apps. There are two types of scopes – aggregation and branded.
Aggregation scopes define the device’s default experience and what makes Ubuntu phones valuable to end users. They allow OEMs and Operators to create a user experience that is unique to their devices such as the NearBy scope that aggregates local services centered around what you’re doing. We’ll go into more detail on the other aggregated scopes in an upcoming Phone Glimpse mailer.
Branded scopes are app like experiences delivered directly to the screen, fully branded. Discoverable through the default store, from a feed in an aggregation scope, or as a favourited default screen. A faster way for developers to build a rich and easier to access branded experience on a device.
The “problem” with new releases of Dropbox is that most are virtually identical to the last. While good in that no senseless changes arrive solely for change’s sake, it’s bad in that it makes for very droll “news” coverage!
Thankfully this release does have a bit more meat on its free range bones. As we showed you back in July, the UI changes in Dropbox 3.0.x are noticeable — and not just because the blue panel icon is now white!
Another change making the jump from the July preview is the all-new setup wizard. Nothing too fancy here, but a big reduction in the number of hoops one jumps through on a fresh install.
Submitted by: Joey-Elijah Sneddon
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Full Circle is a free, independent, monthly magazine dedicated to the Ubuntu family of Linux operating systems. Each month, it contains helpful how-to articles and reader submitted stories.
Full Circle also features a companion podcast, the Full Circle Podcast, which covers the magazine along with other news of interest.