In June this year, we launched a new weekly feature on Opensource.com highlighting some of the most interesting open source news from around the web. Each Friday, we share our take on recent open source news from around the globe, including some stories you may know well and some you may have missed. In this Best of Opensource.com, we bring you the most popular open source news posts from the second half of 2013.
Top open source news of 2013
GitHub unveils ChooseALicense.com
GitHub tried to take some of the guesswork out of selecting an open source software license when it unveiled its license picker site in mid-July. The site is designed to help simplify open source software licensing and encourage its users to actually select a license when they publish their code.
New Zealand bans software patents
New Zealand passed a Patents Bill in August that made software patents illegal. Meanwhile, the United States is still hashing out its own patent reforms. Washington Post writer Timothy B. Lee outlined why the United States should follow in NZ's footsteps.
Groklaw says goodnight
The popular intellectual property law blog Groklaw shuttered in August when editor Pamela Jones aka "PJ" announced she no longer trusted email privacy. In her passionate final post, Jones explains that she tried to come to terms with recent National Security Agency surveillance revelations but that she values hers and her readers' privacy too much to continue blogging.
IBM invests $1 billion in Linux
IBM pledged to invest $1 billion (yes billion) to promote Linux development over the next five years. The announcement was made at LinuxCon in September. Big Blue wants to help clients take advantage of big data and cloud computing "with modern systems built to handle the new wave of applications coming to the data center in the post-PC era."
Introducing the Steam Machine
Valve officially announced plans for the "Steam Machine" in September, new gaming hardware for the living room that will run on the Linux-based SteamOS. In December, Valve shipped beta kits to lucky developers.
Stallman calls surveillance "social pollution"
In an essay published on Wired.com, Richard Stallman eloquently advocates for reducing the level of general surveillance in our society, arguing that information, once collected, will be misused. Not surprisingly, the president of the Free Software Foundation argues that using free/libre software is the first step we can take to control our digital lives and that non-free software cannot be trusted. Whether you feel surveillance should be reduced or not, this essay from October is worth a read.
Munich goes open source
City officials in Munich announced this month that the city's switch to its own version of Linux has been successfully completed. Earlier in the year the city made headlines because it talked about some of the challenges it faced while quitting Microsoft.