Google has made it clear that it wants a faster web. Faster web means more indexing, more data for them, but everyone benefits (even if there's a don't-be-evil to contend with)
Google has open sourced an Apache server module designed to speed website performance. Presumably, the module is based on the mystery Google Web Server the company uses to serve its own pages. Known as "mod_pagespeed," the Apache module speeds performance "on the fly" in 15 separate ways, which include optimizing page caching …
Isn't Apache licensed under the GPL? And isn't there a "viral" clause in the GPL stating that any modifications made to GPL software must also be released under the GPL? So - does this mean that Google were in violation of the licence by not releasing the source code to the modification?
Technically this point is moot now that they have actually released the source, but one wonders what other GPL software they've made changes to and aren't releasing the source in violation of the licence.
Has the GPL actually been tested in court yet? I wonder if the FSF has the cash and stones to tackle a company as big as Google on this issue...
Whilst thankfully not a lawyer, I think the GPL release requirement only applies if they sell a product containing it, and I guess they are careful to only provide services using it. (So I wonder what they use in the Google Search Appliance - that surely is a product - 'Tivo' anyone?)
the specific phrasing is "distribute" which includes free distribution of said code. But as you noted, they haven't distributed the code outside their organization, so it would be in compliance with the license. The code they are distributing has been released as required under the license.
Basically you just described the main push behind GPL version 3 which would basically require any public web software as a service source code to be released (as well as stop Novell patent protection grabs). Google has exploited the loophole in GPL version 2 that doesn't require them to release their software because technically they are not distributing their software to the public just allowing the public to run it on Googles servers.
The gpl license requires that you provide source code with any binary, and allow further modifications.
Since any binaries stay firmly within Google-land, there is no requirement to distribute the source to anyone.
And in any case, Apache HTTPD use the _Apache_ license, which has no modified source distribution clauses.
So Google can do whatever the hell they want with it.
I rose to the trolling..... am I going to hell?
Isn't Apache licensed under the GPL? -- Not by a long shot.
And isn't there a "viral" clause in the GPL stating that any modifications made to GPL software must also be released under the GPL? -- Not by a long shot.
So - does this mean that Google were in violation of the licence by not releasing the source code to the modification? - Not by a long shot.
what other GPL software they've made changes to and aren't releasing the source in violation of the licence. - Not by a long shot.
Has the GPL actually been tested in court yet? - Several times over.
I wonder if the FSF has the cash and stones to tackle a company as big as Google on this issue -- Does it need to? I mean, according to someone who actually knows at least a tiny tiny tiny bit about this subject?
This is the most entertaining post I've read in weeks. Incredibly misinformed person using charmingly assertive and confident tone, almost fooling the unalert. You must be an Oracle salesperson.
> And isn't there a "viral" clause in the GPL stating that any modifications made to GPL
> software must also be released under the GPL? -- Not by a long shot.
He was wrong on this ( technically ), but he wasn't wrong by a long shot. He was wrong in that modifications to GPL software don't have to be distributed, which paved the way for the ASP loophole.
He was kinda right though, in that any releases, or redistribution made can only be done under the terms of the GPL.
Short version: NO It's not GPL licenced, it's GPL _compatible_ they are not the same thing.
Long version: jees, kids today, I modded you down because the licence for apache is a very easy thing to find if you use google.
it wouldn't have hurt you to look......
The source is right there on the googlecode page for it. However, what end users care about is that they don't need to compile it for their OS, but just download the mod and drop it somewhere that apache can see it, and immediately get to use it.
"I suppose the source code is there if you look very hard but certainly not on the downloads page."
Click link in article. Three tabs across from "Downloads" (which you presumably clicked first) is "Source", including a public, open svn repo that you can download the source from. Downloads generally means "user downloads" which means binaries. Source is ALWAYS somewhere slightly different and I don't think the bog-standard Google-code tab for "Source" is hard to find even if you've never been there before.
My google-code projects look identical, for example, and nobody's ever complained that they couldn't find the source.
> Can't wait to use the new mod. Will it spy on me ? Steal my passwords ? Will it tell Google when I am having a poo ? That seems to be the main thrust of Google these days. You almost expect any Google product to have some built in surveillance function. All your privacy belong to us.
This is a mod for a web server, what privacy is there when you're hosting a public website anyway?
"what privacy is there when you're hosting a public website anyway?"
Website visitor statistics and monitoring.
Something that Google has been keen to find out as much as possible about in the past, what with monitoring clicks on its search engine, adsense on websites, offering google analytics to websites, offering the google toolbar to users, offering the Chrome browser to users, etc - all of which help google monitor who is visiting what website. That's the privacy area that is worth checking with this new release of code.
> Will it spy on me ? Steal my passwords?
Why don't you take a look and find out?
This is one of the major strengths of Open Source software - if you have concerns, you have both the right and the capability to inspect the source code. If it doesn't do exactly what you want, Free Software (which this is) gives you the right to change it so that it does.
> You almost expect any Google product to have some built in surveillance function.
If it does - take it out.
> All your privacy belong to us.
All your privacy belong to whomever you give it to. If you look after it yourself, that could be you...
Yes, I know how open source works. I was using humour to say something about the evolving nature of Google. They want to be seen as a benevolent provider of free info toys. But like any other company, they simply want to maximize profit. And their profit depends on targeted advertizing, and for that they need a very big, very accurate database. What's in the database ? You are. Their main business driver is to find out more about you and your family. And many of the free toys help them do that.
This mod seems good and I might use it. If it sends covert messages to Google about me, I would be annoyed but not actually surprised.
LOL, the download page says:
"Web developers that would like to evaluate the performance of their web page to improve them should download the extension.
Mozilla Firefox 3.6 and higher: download from Mozilla
Firebug Firefox Add-on 1.5.3 and higher: download from Mozilla"
Erm, so there's no Chromium extension from Google? Instead go download their competitor's browser.
I tried the apache mod on my test server and it does seem to make a significant difference.
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Google has a fresh list of reasons why it opposes tech antitrust legislation making its way through Congress but, like others who've expressed discontent, the ad giant's complaints leave out mention of portions of the proposed law that address said gripes.
The law bill in question is S.2992, the Senate version of the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA), which is closer than ever to getting votes in the House and Senate, which could see it advanced to President Biden's desk.
AICOA prohibits tech companies above a certain size from favoring their own products and services over their competitors. It applies to businesses considered "critical trading partners," meaning the company controls access to a platform through which business users reach their customers. Google, Apple, Amazon, and Meta in one way or another seemingly fall under the scope of this US legislation.
Google is winding down its messaging app Hangouts before it officially shuts in November, the web giant announced on Monday.
Users of the mobile app will see a pop-up asking them to move their conversations onto Google Chat, which is yet another one of its online services. It can be accessed via Gmail as well as its own standalone application. Next month, conversations in the web version of Hangouts will be ported over to Chat in Gmail.
Updated Another kicking has been leveled at American tech giants by EU regulators as Italy's data protection authority ruled against transfers of data to the US using Google Analytics.
The ruling by the Garante was made yesterday as regulators took a close look at a website operator who was using Google Analytics. The regulators found that the site collected all manner of information.
So far, so normal. Google Analytics is commonly used by websites to analyze traffic. Others exist, but Google's is very much the big beast. It also performs its analysis in the USA, which is what EU regulators have taken exception to. The place is, after all, "a country without an adequate level of data protection," according to the regulator.
A former Google video producer has sued the internet giant alleging he was unfairly fired for blowing the whistle on a religious sect that had all but taken over his business unit.
The lawsuit demands a jury trial and financial restitution for "religious discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation and related causes of action." It alleges Peter Lubbers, director of the Google Developer Studio (GDS) film group in which 34-year-old plaintiff Kevin Lloyd worked, is not only a member of The Fellowship of Friends, the exec was influential in growing the studio into a team that, in essence, funneled money back to the fellowship.
In his complaint [PDF], filed in a California Superior Court in Silicon Valley, Lloyd lays down a case that he was fired for expressing concerns over the fellowship's influence at Google, specifically in the GDS. When these concerns were reported to a manager, Lloyd was told to drop the issue or risk losing his job, it is claimed.
After offering free G Suite apps for more than a decade, Google next week plans to discontinue its legacy service – which hasn't been offered to new customers since 2012 – and force business users to transition to a paid subscription for the service's successor, Google Workspace.
"For businesses, the G Suite legacy free edition will no longer be available after June 27, 2022," Google explains in its support document. "Your account will be automatically transitioned to a paid Google Workspace subscription where we continue to deliver new capabilities to help businesses transform the way they work."
Small business owners who have relied on the G Suite legacy free edition aren't thrilled that they will have to pay for Workspace or migrate to a rival like Microsoft, which happens to be actively encouraging defectors. As noted by The New York Times on Monday, the approaching deadline has elicited complaints from small firms that bet on Google's cloud productivity apps in the 2006-2012 period and have enjoyed the lack of billing since then.
Google Cloud's Anthos on-prem platform is getting a new home under the search giant’s recently announced Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) portfolio, where it will live on as a software-based competitor to AWS Outposts and Microsoft Azure Stack.
Introduced last fall, GDC enables customers to deploy managed servers and software in private datacenters and at communication service provider or on the edge.
Its latest update sees Google reposition Anthos on-prem, introduced back in 2020, as the bring-your-own-server edition of GDC. Using the service, customers can extend Google Cloud-style management and services to applications running on-prem.
Democrat lawmakers want the FTC to investigate Apple and Google's online ad trackers, which they say amount to unfair and deceptive business practices and pose a privacy and security risk to people using the tech giants' mobile devices.
US Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and House Representative Sara Jacobs (D-CA) requested on Friday that the watchdog launch a probe into Apple and Google, hours before the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, clearing the way for individual states to ban access to abortions.
In the days leading up to the court's action, some of these same lawmakers had also introduced data privacy bills, including a proposal that would make it illegal for data brokers to sell sensitive location and health information of individuals' medical treatment.
Spyware developed by Italian firm RCS Labs was used to target cellphones in Italy and Kazakhstan — in some cases with an assist from the victims' cellular network providers, according to Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG).
RCS Labs customers include law-enforcement agencies worldwide, according to the vendor's website. It's one of more than 30 outfits Google researchers are tracking that sell exploits or surveillance capabilities to government-backed groups. And we're told this particular spyware runs on both iOS and Android phones.
We understand this particular campaign of espionage involving RCS's spyware was documented last week by Lookout, which dubbed the toolkit "Hermit." We're told it is potentially capable of spying on the victims' chat apps, camera and microphone, contacts book and calendars, browser, and clipboard, and beam that info back to base. It's said that Italian authorities have used this tool in tackling corruption cases, and the Kazakh government has had its hands on it, too.
Special report Seven months from now, assuming all goes as planned, Google Chrome will drop support for its legacy extension platform, known as Manifest v2 (Mv2). This is significant if you use a browser extension to, for instance, filter out certain kinds of content and safeguard your privacy.
Google's Chrome Web Store is supposed to stop accepting Mv2 extension submissions sometime this month. As of January 2023, Chrome will stop running extensions created using Mv2, with limited exceptions for enterprise versions of Chrome operating under corporate policy. And by June 2023, even enterprise versions of Chrome will prevent Mv2 extensions from running.
The anticipated result will be fewer extensions and less innovation, according to several extension developers.
Brave Software, maker of a privacy-oriented browser, on Wednesday said its surging search service has exited beta testing while its Goggles search personalization system has entered beta testing.
Brave Search, which debuted a year ago, has received 2.5 billion search queries since then, apparently, and based on current monthly totals is expected to handle twice as many over the next year. The search service is available in the Brave browser and in other browsers by visiting search.brave.com.
"Since launching one year ago, Brave Search has prioritized independence and innovation in order to give users the privacy they deserve," wrote Josep Pujol, chief of search at Brave. "The web is changing, and our incredible growth shows that there is demand for a new player that puts users first."
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