Globalscale has released a tiny Linux PC that plugs straight into a power outlet, for a reasonable price of $150. It's the size of a phone charger, and could be good as a computer or server to write and test applications. It could also be used as a print server or as a tool to test new operating systems.
Google on Wednesday announced Android 3.0, also called Honeycomb, for tablets. The OS will power a number of tablets that have already been announced but are yet to ship, like Motorola's Xoom, LG's G-Slate and numerous tablets from companies like Asus and Dell.
Computer Lab International has announced a new Ubuntu-based Linux distribution optimized for thin clients. It seems like a distro optomized for CLI's virtual desktops, with minimal bearing to other PCs.
But a thin client distro based on Ubuntu is indeed interesting -- perhaps a sign that Ubuntu can be slimmed down for devices like tablets and smartphones?
Linux is growing, so the need of an app store for users to buy and download seems necessary. Developers writing applications for Ubuntu, Debian, Red Hat etc. are now mulling the concept of building a LInux app store. The idea is to bring together a single install package across distributions.
That helps app developers work together and more importantly, bring a semblance of unity to a highly fragmented Linux landscape. An app store has worked to popularize Android, and such an app store could certainly help the Linux desktop.
OpenOffice could be in trouble with competition brewing from upstart LibreOffice, which was released in version 3.3 on Tuesday. LibreOffice will replace OpenOffice in Ubuntu 11.04, which is codenamed Natty Narwhal, and is due in April.
There have been doubts around OpenOffice ever since Oracle acquired Sun. Oracle has dropped support for many of Sun's previous open-source efforts, including the OpenSolaris OS. There were fears that they would drop OpenOffice, so The Document Foundation started working on Libre Office.
Sifting through Android codebase, Florian Mueller of FOSS patents blog is now saying that there is new evidence that Google could have violated Oracle's trademarks related to Java.
Oracle early last year acquired Sun, who originally developed Java. A few months later, Oracle sued Google for patent infringement and violating copyrights. Google surprisingly did not countersue, which could point to the fact that it was perhaps aware of the issues at hand.
Some elements of Java allegedly have been directly copied to Android 2.2 (Froyo) and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), says well-known tech consultant Mueller, who crusades against software-related patents.
Novell's proposal to sell its patents to CPTN Holdings could soon be under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Open Source Initiative (OSI) and Free Software Foundation (FSF) have sent a letter asking the DOJ to scrutinize the proposal, saying that CPTN leaders have a "long history of opposing and misrepresenting the value of FLOSS (free/libre and open source software), which is at the heart of Web infrastructure and of many of the most widely used software products and services."
Larry Page has stepped in as Google's CEO to replace Eric Schmidt, but the company's commitment on open-source software won't waiver. The company has too much running on open-source software, and it needs help from the developer community to push its Android OS, Chrome browser and Google Docs.
The buzz is growing around Ubuntu's upcoming Linux release version 11.04, codenamed Natty Narwhal, or NN.
PC World is framing it as the best Linux release to date, with the souped up Unity 2D/3D interface coming to desktops. Unity also takes better advantage of touchscreen capabilities.
Unity is also being designed with Arm processors in mind, so a version of this release with Unity could well be headed to tablets. And even smartphones, if Ubuntu goes really slim. Ubuntu has not played in smartphones for years, but they should now sense the opportunity.