Chrome Frame, Bloated Linux

We didn’t have a Week in Review last week, and I’m sorry for that – I was swamped with other things (hence no podcast either last week, we did record one today). This past week saw news items on a wide variety of topics, ranging from Google fixing Internet Explorer to Linus calling Linux bloated.

EFI-X Violates LGPL, Uses Community Code without Attribution – There are several options out there if you wan to run Mac OS X on your non-Apple labelled computer, but one of them appears to be in serious trouble. It has been uncovered that the EFI-X module is nothing more than a USB stick with a DRM chip, with code from the hackintosh community on it – without attribution. On top of that, its firmware update utility uses LGPL code – again, without attribution.

Linus: Linux ‘Bloated and Huge’, Development Process Working – During the roundtable discussion at LinuxCon this year, Linus Torvalds made some pretty harsh remarks about the current state of the Linux kernel, calling it “huge and bloated”, and that there is no plan in sight to solve the problem. At the same time, he also explained that he is very happy with the current development process of the kernel, and that his job has become much easier.

Reminiscence: Macintosh Plus, System 6, Beige Beauty – We all have our most favored machines of yesteryear; in this I assume that most people are like me, anyway. Breaking away from the mundane every-day news of boring (I jest) new technologies such as touchscreens the size of a wall and upcoming operating systems that support graphics cards with 1.5 GB of vRAM, take a walk down memory lane– or “Neurological Alley” as I like to call it– and take a look inside, outside, and in all of the nooks and crannies in between the circuits of the Macintosh Plus and its accompanying System 6, fresh from the splendor of 1986.

Google Fixes IE For Microsoft, Adds HTML5, Fast JS and More – Google Chrome Frame is an open-source plugin that adds HTML5, Canvas, a fast JavaScript engine and more to Internet Explorer; in fact it just swaps out Trident with Webkit! Developers can opt-in to the feature on their sites via a meta-tag / HTTP-header and prompt users to install Google Chrome Frame if they don’t have it. Update: Correction, they don’t support the HTTP Header.

USB-IF Sides with Apple, Slaps Palm – We have a new chapter in the Palm Pre and iTunes saga. We all remember that the Pre could sync with iTunes, but that Apple wasn’t particularly keen on this. The Cupertino company issued an iTunes which intentionally broke Pre syncing, but Palm retorted by re-enabling it not long after. Palm also sent a complaint to the USB Implementers Forum about Apple’s behaviour, but the USB-IF squarely sides with Apple.

Firefox 3.7’s UI: Who Littered All These Widgets All Over the Place? – We’ve already talked about the proposed interface changes for Firefox 3.7 (and 4.0) which are coming to the Windows platform. However, those were anything-goes sketches, and now it seems as if the team has more or less settled on what Firefox 3.7 will look like on Windows. I’ll reserve final judgement until I have used it, but my first thought was: who littered all these different widgets all over the place?

RMS: De Icaza Traitor to Free Software Community – If you don’t like personal, blog-style reporting, you might want to skip this item. A few days ago, during a speech at Software Freedom Day in Boston, Richard Stallman has, at least in my book, crossed a line that I thought he would never cross.

The Difference Between EULAs and Open Source Licenses – In France, the GPL has scored yet another major win in court. What makes this infringements case special is that it was filed not by the developers of the infringed-upon code, but by users, demonstrating that they, too, can successfully enforce the GPL. Since I noted on a few threads here on OSNews that a lot of people still fail to grasp the difference between an open source license and an EULA, I figured I’d take this opportunity to explain the difference one more time – using hand-crafted diagrams!

Microsoft Releases Code for ‘Multikernel’ Research OS ‘Barrelfish’ – Most of us are probably aware of Singularity, a research operating system out of Microsoft Research which explored a number of new ideas, which is available as open source software. Singularity isn’t the only research OS out of Microsoft; they recently released the first snapshot of a new operating system, called Barrelfish. It introduces the concept of the multikernel, which treats a multicore system as a network of independent cores, using ideas from distributed systems.


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