In This Issue: The Controversy Over GPL 3
1. Editor's Note: New GPL License Is Coming; Linus Torvalds Wishes It Weren't
2. Today's Top Story
- The Controversy Over GPL 3
- Sidebar: Torvalds Talks About GPLv3
- Blog: In Search Of GPL Version 3: The Long Road To Nowhere
3. Breaking News
- Colorado Woman Sues To Hold Web Crawlers To Contracts
- Cisco, Microsoft Gear Up For Growing Battle
- Privacy Starts Making Sense For Google
- Net Neutrality Debate Remains Contentious
- New Way To Save Energy And Money In The Data Center
- Intel To Ship A More Secure vPro Business Desktop Platform
- Mozilla To Push Out First Firefox Security Update Beta
- SanDisk Doubles Capacity Of Memory Card
- Corporate America More Dangerous Than Hackers?
- State Lawmakers Consider Bans On Driving While Texting
- SAP Introduces RFID Tracking Of Individual Product Units
- Unwanted Wireless Signals Bounce Off This Paint
- PS3 Game Consoles To Support Scientific Research
4. The Latest Digital Life Blog Posts
- It's Not The U.S. Patent And Propaganda Office, Is It?
- Is Social Networking Destined To Go Bust?
- Why CIOs Can't Help But Care About The Environment
- Open Source: Tell Me Why I Care
5. Job Listings From TechCareers
6. White Papers
- Enabling Technologies For Power And Cooling
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day:
"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience and rebellion that progress has been made." -- Oscar Wilde
1. Editor's Note: New GPL License Is Coming; Linus Torvalds Wishes It Weren't
I was surprised in an e-mail exchange with Linus Torvalds at the depth of his criticism of the next version of the General Public License. I thought his differences with the Free Software Foundation would just fade away. Now I believe that it's not a simple issue to resolve.
InformationWeek is querying knowledgeable parties on the nature of the upcoming 3.0 revision of the GPL, the software license that has played such an important role in changing our computing landscape.
We are all indebted to Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation for their willingness to stand the defensive rights of copyright on their head. The GPL creates a more open, shared software environment. To not recognize the beneficence of this stroke is to have been asleep for the past decade, or longer.
Having said that, I'm struck by the contrast between the lofty ambitions that Stallman and the Free Software Foundation are now placing behind GPL 3.0 versus Torvalds' common sense.
The GPLv2 license adopted 16 years ago did something straightforward. It granted people the right to use the software for free in exchange for meeting one or two simple requirements: 1) Don't sue someone who's using the GPL software you're redistributing for violating one of your patents. 2) Do include any modifications you've made to the software as you redistribute it.
"I absolutely love the GPLv2 because it embodies that 'develop in the open' model," wrote Torvalds. The emphasis is his; I can honestly say he rarely uses the word "love" in connection with anything from the Free Software Foundation.
He notes GPLv3 has been criticized as a Free Software Foundation political platform. He agrees and quarrels with FSF's conception of "proprietary software as being something evil and immoral. Me, I just don't care about proprietary software. It's not evil or immoral. It just doesn't matter."
For more on Torvalds' views on the best way to write software, the ban on digital rights management, and the politics of GPLv3, read the rest of this editor's note here. And you can follow along on my road to nowhere as I sought to get an explanation from the authors of how GPLv3 was shaping up, by clicking here. Which side of the GPL debate do you fall on? Tell us who has it right, Stallman or Torvalds, by commenting at either blog entry.
Blog: In Search Of GPL Version 3: The Long Road To Nowhere
A month ago, I started down a path that I hoped would lead me to a great prize: an explanation from the authors of how the General Public License version 3.0 was shaping up. Little did I know that this journey would contain more curves than San Francisco's Lombard Street.
Cisco, Microsoft Gear Up For Growing Battle
With Cisco planning to buy WebEx and Microsoft acquiring Tellme Networks Inc., the two tech giants increasingly look like rivals as they compete to bundle e-mail, phones, and other communication tools into a single system.
Net Neutrality Debate Remains Contentious
The haggling over whether Internet service providers should be able to charge more money for some traffic, or whether the law should mandate equal access, is increasingly contentious. Here's a guide to the players.
SanDisk Doubles Capacity Of Memory Card
The higher-capacity card reflects both competitive pressure and the demand for more storage as consumers turn to digital cameras for shooting large quantities of still pictures and video.
Corporate America More Dangerous Than Hackers?
One researcher says it's corporate America, not hackers, that's putting our personal and financial information in jeopardy, and it's now at the rate of 6 million lost records a month.
PS3 Game Consoles To Support Scientific Research
PS3 systems will be able to help study the causes of cancer, Alzheimer's, and other diseases by connecting to Folding@home, Stanford University's computing project that simulates protein folding.
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It's Not The U.S. Patent And Propaganda Office, Is It?
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has done a really terrible job the last few years. But just when you think it's surely hit bottom, it sinks even lower. This week Patent Office Director Jon Dudas released a study that says peer-to-peer file-sharing services may be setting up children for copyright infringement lawsuits and compromising national security. What's that got to do with patents, you ask? My point exactly.
Why CIOs Can't Help But Care About The Environment
Trendy as the idea of "Green Computing" is these days, most CIOs aren't under any real pressure to make their operations more earth-friendly. However, the pressure to cut costs means they have little choice but to act more green.
Open Source: Tell Me Why I Care
Mitch Wagner's first panel for South by Southwest was titled, "Open Source: Tell Me Why I Care." Four advocates discussed the reasons for using open source. Pleasantly, there was almost no Microsoft-bashing and only a little discussion of using open source because it's socially the right thing to do. "One of the myths that keeps people away from open source is that it smells a little bit like patchouli," said one audience participant. Instead, the panel offered hardheaded, practical reasons why using open source makes sense. The arguments will be pretty familiar to open source advocates, but they'll be compelling to anyone who's sitting on the fence, currently committed to proprietary software and worried about the risks of using open source.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.