Did Apple copy Android in iOS 7?

Today in Open Source: Did iOS 7 borrow ideas from Android? Plus: Linux Defenders and dangerous patents, and the launch date of Ubuntu Touch 1.0

Did Apple Copy Android in iOS 7?

ZDNet had an article back in June that examines whether or not Apple might have copied features found earlier in Android. I'm mentioning it now because it does seem to make a relatively sound case that Apple might have borrowed some ideas from Android.

There's also a very relevant bit in a USA Today interview with Apple designer Jony Ive. I'll just let you make up your own mind about this as it relates to the graphic posted below. Hmm.

Ive says that while he keeps a keen eye on competitors' tech designs, he remains uninfluenced by them.

"We, and the people who buy our products, steer us," he says. "It's certainly not other corporations at all, and we've shown that for a long time."

Some people think Apple's forthcoming iPhone and iPad operating system iOS 7 is awesome. Others think it's awful. I think it's a derivative copycat not only of Android but of almost every other major mobile operating system out there.

More at ZDNet

Well, you know what they say. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, right?

Linux Defenders Versus Dangerous Patents

Ars Technica has an illuminating article about a group called Linux Defenders. The job of Linux Defenders is to carefully wade through thousands of software patents and identify those that might pose a real threat to open source or Linux.

In a session at LinuxCon today, Linux Defenders director Andrea Casillas explained how the group is using rights granted by the new law to fight patent applications. A project of the Open Invention Network, Software Freedom Law Center, and Linux Foundation, Linux Defenders examines the 6,000 new patent applications published each week, attempting to identify those that are potentially threatening to Linux and open source. Then, the group looks for prior art that would invalidate at least some of the claims in the patents.

The next step is working with Linux technologists to file defensive publications, which are not patents themselves but describe an invention and place it in the public record, preventing new patents from being granted that cover the same technology. These are typically two- to three-page descriptions of the technology, which the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) examiners can read when conducting their review of prior art that might invalidate or limit the scope of a new patent application. Linux Defenders has filed about 200 of these defensive publications.

More at Ars Technica

Kudos to Linux Defenders. I'm really glad there is somebody out there keeping an eye out for threats to Linux and open source. You should visit the Linux Defenders site to get more information about the group.

Check out this video:

Ubuntu Touch Launch Date Revealed?

Did an Ubuntu developer goof by revealing the launch date for Ubuntu 1.0? It seems likely, according to Softpedia's report.

Ubuntu Touch is still under heavy development, but the company has been skiddish about formally announcing a launch date. This problem has been taken care of by a Canonical developer.

“Only four and a half weeks to go and phone 1.0 will be a reality! Obviously we're all trying to finish or fix lots of things in the remaining time, but that might include hard-to-track-down and painful regressions.”

More at Softpedia

Oops! I guess that developer will be more careful next time. Still, it's good to know that Ubuntu Touch is rolling right along. I look forward to finding out more about it when it's finally released.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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