Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Weekly Blog Round-up

The blogosphere's full of good reads this week:

  • I found Paul Buchheit's Amazingly Bad APIs funny because it chronicles my experience with Java quite nicely. (... and man, people do love over-complicating their abstraction patterns in Java)
  • Benjamin Otte's "Distros..." is another rant I can related to. It'd be nice if the libraries you relied on "upstream" always worked, but the truth is, they don't. I often wonder if we're the only ones who actually use a certain library (who's name I won't mention), because we seem to be the only ones complaining about certain issues we've had. (The solution? Fix it ourselves - we've started getting involved with the upstream guys to help them out....)
  • Free Gamer's still rocking, and I was pleased to read that a Linux build of SoulFu is kicking around. (SoulFu's written by the same author(s) as Egoboo, which was a little 3D hack-and-slash game.)
  • MacSlow's been working on more eye-candy goodness, this time a little video player using gstreamer, OpenGL, Cairo, and GTK+. He's hoping one day some of this stuff might end up helping beautify Totem, which I'm all for.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Dear Lazyweb: Software patent lawsuits?

Dear lazyweb,

A Microsoft exec recently remarked that they're "not litigating". Some people seemed to interpret that as meaning, "we're not going to sue users", although Microsoft wasn't explicit about who they weren't going to sue.

My question for anyone law-savvy is: Can Microsoft (or any other software company) sue users for using software which allegedly violates software patents?

For example, if I buy a DVD player which was manufactured and sold illegally without royalty payments to the DVD consortium (etc.), it's the manufacturer of the DVD player that violated the patents. If I bought and use the DVD player, how on Earth am I the one that broke the law?

Following that logic, how on Earth are users liable when it's the developers who allegedly violated the software patents?

Update: Interesting twist, which supports the growing evidence that Microsoft's statements were/are FUD.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Dell to ship preloaded Ubuntu

Dell announced today* that they're going to offer Ubuntu on some of their desktop and notebook models, which I think is great news for everyone. Dell's winning points (and more selling computers) with/to the Linux community, Canonical's completed another step in their plan for world domination, and there's a chance that all Linux users will benefit from better driver support.

A tiny bit more information is available on Canonical's site, and a bunch more on Dell's blog (including a video with Mark Shuttleworth). Check it out!

* I have to point out that I called this one in advance in my last post.