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Supercomputing Freakonomics - Finding Meaning Beyond the Headlines

Twice a year, the Top500 Project publishes its list of the fastest supercomputers in the world. In the last announcement, we continue to see Linux dominating the list. This is nothing new since Linux has been dominating since the mid-2000s. In fact, Linux share in supercomputing looks a lot like Microsoft’s historical share of the desktop market. I thought it would be interesting to take a step back and look at the performance capability of these computers as a whole and also how the rise of Linux is mirroring the geographical expansion of supercomputers.

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HP to Put Linux in Printers and PC’s: It’s the End of an Era for Windows

I attended HP’s press conference this morning and Linux again took center stage as a major technology leader revealed the details of its mobile device strategy. HP announced two new WebOS phones and more importantly an impressive new tablet that is a clear contender against the iPad. While I don’t for one second underestimate Apple, that was not the most interesting part of the event for me. The most interesting part of the event came near the end when HP announced that it is going to ship WebOS not only in phones, tablets and printers, but in PC’s as well. In doing so, the worlds largest PC supplier is indicating that they are going to ship PC’s without Windows. For Microsoft - who was nowhere at this event - that has got to hurt. Perhaps this really IS the year of the Linux...

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While Apple Debates Open vs Integrated, We Want the Best of Both Worlds

Embedded systems aren’t just the fastest growing market for Linux; they are one of the fastest growing sectors of computing. And in that segment, Linux growth continues to eclipse all other platforms. Today, Linux-based systems are powering products and software that are household names: Android, Palm WebOS, Tivo, Sony, and more. But the majority of Linux use in this space is in traditional embedded systems such as machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, aerospace and defense, and networking, for example. These products typically consist of “roll your own” Linux comprised of upstream components such as the kernel, X, and glibc that run on top of a specific hardware product. Companies and developers in these markets, in particular, are able to leverage free software and build systems quickly and affordably. And while market-share clearly proves this system is working, at The Linux Foundation we have recognized there are even more places where the industry can collaborate to control costs and speed time to market. The Linux Foundation has already launched efforts to enhance the growth of Linux in the embedded markets. One example is the Open Compliance Project, which allows consumer electronic and embedded systems vendors to quickly get up to speed with how the free and open source software community works so they can make sure they comply with their legal obligations at the lowest cost possible. This effort is...

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Good News for Linux Users From Broadcom

Last week, Broadcom announced they have open sourced the drivers for their latest 802.11n chipsets. This is significant because as closed source drivers, their chipsets were basically non-functional with Linux. By open sourcing these drivers, they can now be included in the Linux kernel. Broadcom joins virtually all other chipset suppliers who have made their drivers open source and compatible with Linux for some time. This driver is now in the staging kernel tree and should be mainlined in a future version of Linux, most likely 2.6.37. We are extremely happy to see this change for multiple reasons. One: it’s obviously good to have more technology available to use; we want technology to “just work” with Linux and since Braodcom is a major technology supplier their absence from the mainline kernel was significant. Two: we have been working with our Technical Advisory Board...

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Introducing the Open Compliance Program

I’m extremely proud to launch a major addition in our legal programs today: the Open Compliance Program.   Those of you who follow Linux know its use as an embedded OS has skyrocketed in recent memory, delivering a sea change in the consumer electronics and mobile industries. We think complying with open source licenses is relatively straightforward and far easier than complying with proprietary licenses, especially in an enterprise software setting. (Just ask a CIO who has an undergone a software audit recently. And that’s most of them.) But knowledge, after all, is power. And some companies need help, especially operationally, in defining and following best practices. That’s where we come in. We have the collective experience of our staff as well as the ability to galvanize our members to deliver information, training, tools and a standard that will help the industry coalesce around best practices and save money at the same time. Just as in open source, we feel collaborative development and re-use of resources in compliance matters will deliver great efficiencies of scale. We fully expect the Open Compliance Program to deliver real cost savings to all who participate as well as enable companies to...

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