THIS WEEK BEGINS with an update on Jide's Remix OS, which brings a hybrid of Android and desktop, and you may have noticed that we rather love it. But the company came in for some criticism this week after failing to publish its source code, which is, of course, the done thing in open source circles.
At present, the company isn't allowed to include Google services out of the box with the Remix OS for PC offering, and a failure to comply with GPL licensing rules is not going to do the company any favours.
The Flash Tool alone that allows Remix OS to run on a USB stick is written in Linux, and that means publishing the code. Jide has now started publishing those bits to GitHub, but has yet to publish the full whack.
Android is built on Linux, so some are arguing that Jide is not in compliance until it does so. Jide, on the other hand, argues that their version of Android is built on Android-x86, but not in itself open source, though it does acknowledge there is some confusion. Some requests for code have been greeted with the rather ominous response "No. You are not Partners of Jide". BURN!
We think it's down to naivety rather than mercenary motives, but in the language of the streets, Boy Better Know.
A Jide spokesperson said in a statement: "Based on the information listed on the Android-x86 website, it was our understanding that Android-x86 was an open source project based only on the Apache License.
However, we have since discovered that some of the files from the project are under GPL license and so we will be opening our code modifications up to the public with immediate effect, to ensure that we are fully compliant with GPL. All open source code can be found here - https://github.com/jide-opensource
"In addition, any other changes to open source code, such as those that are kernel-based, will be released to the public community as quickly as possible. To ensure that there is no uncertainty, we will also have a disclaimer included in our next release package that states details of our compliance."
We're not sure if this will placate the Linux community or not, but we're hoping that this blows over soon, there's too much potential here for it to crash over licensing. We hope.
Meanwhile, at Google proper, we've already told you about the arrival of the ability to install Android apps from a search, and that Google Chrome is getting a potential speed boost of up to 25 percent.
In fact, all in all, it's been a bit of a dull week at Google itself, but there are lots of other companies doing interesting things instead. That's just how it goes sometimes. Did we mention, for example, that Skype for Android now lets you schedule calls and sync with your calendar?
There is one other bit of Google news this week that makes for an '... and finally'. So ... And finally, Google Maps has been updated and to celebrate there's some brand new immersive experiences. Now you can use Street View to explore the top of Mont Blanc. Or if that's not exciting enough, there's a Google Cardboard exploration of the Great Barrier Reef.
And then to cap it all off, you can now go on a virtual tour of the inside of Buckingham Palace. See the splendour! See the history! See the Duke of Edinburgh on the loo!
OK. Perhaps not the last one. Better go. Till next week.
(Incidentally, does anyone else think Partners of Jide would make a good name for a cult?) µ
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