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09 July 2013, 16:08

Open Recall: Defending against PRISM, LibreOffice 4.1 RC2, Odin.js

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Open Recall is a space on The H for those stories which are worth mentioning. In this edition – defending against PRISM, the second release candidate for LibreOffice 4.1, a new Clonezilla version, a HTML5 game engine, patent litigation records and LegacyOS 2.1 Gamer.

  • Defending against PRISM – Peng Zhong's web site PRISM Break curates software alternatives for services and applications that have been noted to have a connection with the NSA's PRISM intelligence programme. The site offers links to everything from private browsing tool Tor, to alternatives for Google services, open source IM and VoIP applications and easy-to-use Linux distributions.
  • LibreOffice 4.1 RC2 – The second release candidate for LibreOffice 4.1.0 has been released and includes 86 bug fixes over the RC1 release from last month. The developers point out that are still working on a bug that means testers of the release candidate build will lose their style's font settings in the Impress and Draw applications.
  • Clonezilla 2.1.2-20 – The latest version of the live distribution for imaging and cloning hard drives includes a new Linux kernel (3.9.8) and updated base packages. A new version of the Partclone imaging tool introduces better disk caching. Clonezilla 2.1.2 can also now clone a partition into one that is smaller, if the source partition includes less actual data than the target partition can store. The new Clonezilla version can be downloaded from the project's web site.
  • Odin.js – Developed by lonewolfgames, Odin.js is a 2D game engine written in HTML5 and JavaScript. The code base is still in its early development phase, but a number of core mechanics, including collision detection, are already implemented. The source code for the engine is available on GitHub.
  • "A banner year for patent litigation" – Open source developers ongoing worry is the use of patents against their creations. There seems little sign of that worry going away as there are more and bigger patent cases going to court. According to the 2013 Patent Litigation Study by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), 2012 was "a banner year for patent infringement litigation". The firm says that, in the US, there were only three patent cases that eclipsed $1 billion in damages awarded prior to 2012 but that in the last year alone, three judgements in such cases included damages exceeding $1 billion. PwC also saw the so-called "non-practicing entities" (NPEs) continue to play an significant role in this area. Overall, the number of total patents granted and patent litigation cases being filed continued to rise sharply from previous years.
  • LegacyOS 2.1 Gamer – The developers of the Puppy Linux-based LegacyOS distribution have released a version for gaming enthusiasts with LegacyOS 2.1 Gamer. The image for the distribution fits on a single CD and includes around 100 games, including Duke Nukem 3D and PrBoom, the open source version of the classic game Doom. The distribution uses the IceWM window manager and is able to run on older machines with Pentium 3 and 4 CPUs; however, it does not include WiFi or Bluetooth drivers. LegacyOS 2.1 Gamer can be downloaded from SourceForge.



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