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19 February 2011, 11:59

The H Week – Meego disappointment, Java patents, HBGary calamity

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Disappointment with Nokia's MeeGo moves, Java patents re-examined, US Security firm HBGary humbled, Linux out at German Foreign Office and the GPL3 out at Microsoft's Marketplace. Catch up with the past seven days with this week's edition of The H Week.


This week, The H featured a look at Linux-based PC rescue tools with Richard Hillesley, Glyn Moody considered if hopes of an open source cloud were fading and Thorsten Leemhuis brought the latest details of what is coming in the next release of the Linux kernel in the Kernel Log.

Open Source

Nokia's dropping of MeeGo as its primary smart phone platform led to much disappointment and some anger in the development community, though Intel said it would carry on with MeeGo and a MeeGo-based Splashtop fast boot OS appeared.

In standards news, MPEG called for a new royalty-free web video codec, which could be as good as H.264, and the roadmap for HTML5 put the arrival of the final version of the markup language for the web as far away as 2014. The London Stock Exchange turned on its new Linux-based trading floor, but news from Germany has the Foreign Office there removing desktop Linux.

Canonical is disabling the Amazon music store in Banshee and it's GNOME Foundation fund raising in the next Ubuntu release, because it clashes with Ubuntu One's music store. It also released an update for Ubuntu 10.04, the long-term supported version of the operating system. Ports of Canonical's Unity desktop to other Linux distributions stalled as developers lacked free time.

The Oracle/Google battle over Java moved on as Google looked to the US Patent Office to re-examine four of Oracle's patents. Google says it plans to reunite the Android Gingerbread and Honeycomb branches in a future version of the mobile operating system. Microsoft made efforts to block free software from its online marketplace and the Limo Foundation reminded people it was still about with the announcement of the Limo 4 platform for mobile Linux.

Oracle moved Hudson's source code to GitHub, repeating the move that lead to the community fracturing. The Document Foundation started to raise funds to become a fully fledged legal entitity, and Document Freedom day was planned to take place on 30 March. Eben Moglen moved his plans for a decentralised social network forward with the Freedom Box Foundation.

Open Source Releases
Development releases


Oracle announced it was getting into the database firewall business and two open source projects were announced to create cloud-based web application firewalls. Someone who could have done with a better firewall is HBGary, the security company that has found itself exposed by hackers from Anonymous.

Stuxnet was analysed further and its launch pads discovered. Debate continued over the price of exploits in the black market while malware toolkits were seen as driving the botnet epidemic. Microsoft admitted it was still silently releasing fixes to some security issues; that didn't help though, when a new Windows file sharing vulnerability was found this week.

In the UK, hardware keyloggers were found being used in public libraries and the BBC's 6Music and 1Xtra web sites were hacked to serve malware. Java SE 6 update 24 fixed the floating point bug found recently and closed a number of other holes in the Java runtime.

For all of last week's news see The H's last seven days of news and to keep up with The H, subscribe to the RSS feed, or follow honlinenews on Twitter. You can follow The H's own tweeting on Twitter as honline.


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