Clones, Pirates, Browsers

Time for another Week in Review. We had a fairly regular week this week, with the focus somehow being Mac cloners, The Pirate Bay, Mono, and Browsers were also in the spotlight this week with the release of Firefox 3.5, disagreements on the video tag codec, and talking about KHTML.

Especially the second half of the week was dominated by news on Mac clones. We learned that Psystar, kind of the Adam of the Mac clone market, crawled out of chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, to many people’s surprise. In addition, they continue to defy Apple by launching a new line of Mac clones, the Open(7).

In addition to all this, we learned late Friday night that the German Mac cloner PearC has done some major expanding, which seems to indicate that there’s a market for this kind of thing. PearC expanded its business into France, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. PearC appears to be different from Psystar in that it uses high-quality casings from Lian Li, a respected brand in this market. We also debated where on earth the idea comes from that Mac OS X’s price is subsidised by the hardware sales Apple obviously has.

The first half of the week was dominated news surrounding The Pirate Bay. The torrent search engine, fined earlier for sharing 33 songs, resulting in a massive fine and jail time, has been been acquired by the Swedish Global Gaming Factory, who revealed later what they are planning to do with the torrent site.

Mono was – again – in the news this week, since two parties made their position known on whether or not Mono should be used by or included in Free software projects. Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation took a remarkably practical stance; he advised everyone not to develop for it, but was at the same time content that Mono is at least available for those that need it. Ubuntu simply reiterated their position that since Ubuntu has received no patent threats, there’s no reason to remove it from their distribution.

On the browser front we saw the release of Firefox 3.5, which brings numerous speed improvements as well as support for various HTML5 features such as the audio and video tags. Speaking of HTML5 – browser maker were unable to settle on a codec for the video tag, mostly because Apple refuses to implement support for Ogg Theora, which all other browser makers do implement (except for Microsoft, who hasn’t implemented the video tag at all).

On a related note, we also discussed the state of KHTML, and whether or not there’s a future for KDE’s homegrown rendering engine.


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