SourceForge takes liberties with open-source software, uses it to push advertisements

sourceforge hijacks gimp installer laces it with ads
High Tech Edge
For many, open-source image editing tool GIMP is the ideal low-cost alternative to Adobe Photoshop — but it seems that code repository SourceForge has found another use for the software. The site has apparently taken control of the account that hosts the program on SourceForge servers, and is manipulating the installer available to users.

The application is intended to be distributed freely, but SourceForge has sneakily crammed a few ads for services like Norton AntiVirus and MyPCBackup into its installer. Users smelled a rat, and the tool’s developers were just as surprised, according to a report from Ars Technica.

Jernej Simončič, the developer behind the Windows version of GIMP, operates a SourceForge account to act as an alternate method for users to download the software. Simončič is no longer able to access that account, which has been transferred to SourceForge staff user ‘sf-editor1’.

SourceForge is defending the practice by claiming GIMP’s account was abandoned. Members of the software’s open source community dispute that claim, however. The website didn’t directly address the addition of ads to the software, instead directing to an earlier blog post about how the site’s users can help find and remove unwanted ads.

The account-snatching doesn’t seem to stop there. A number of other open-source programs have reportedly been claimed by ‘sf-editor1’, including some very broadly used applications. Mozilla Firefox, VLC media player, the WordPress CMS and many of the Apache Foundation’s projects are among the pieces of software affected.

It seems that the individual accounts that uploaded these applications to the site have been closed, but SourceForge staff has made the decision to keep the files available for download. That could be viewed as a way to help this open-source code reach as many people as possible, but the addition of ads to installer clients will likely raise the ire of many users.

Whatever the reasoning behind the ads, locking developers out of the process seems like risky ground for SourceForge to be walking. The open-source movement is founded on trust and respect for one another’s work — abusing it may well come back to bite the site if their next move doesn’t demonstrate some good will towards the development community.

Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.

3DMark’s Port Royal lets you benchmark ray tracing on Nvidia’s RTX cards

UL is adding another benchmarking utility to its popular 3DMark suite to help gamers measure their graphics card's ray tracing performance. You'll soon be able to measure how Nvidia's RTX 2070, 2080, and 2080 Ti stack up.
Home Theater

Sling TV ramps up its base programming with Discovery Networks for free

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.

Luminar’s new libraries don’t even need you to manually import images

Luminar 3's new libraries feature doesn't require importing -- images are automatically added after clicking on a folder. The long-promised libraries feature gives editors a Lightroom alternative with organization tools as well as syncing…

Windows 10 user activity logs are sent to Microsoft despite users opting out

Windows 10 Privacy settings may not be enough to stop PCs from releasing user activity data to Microsoft. Users discovered that opting out of having their data sent to Microsoft does little to prevent it from being released.

Intel's discrete graphics will be called 'Xe,' IGP gets Adapative Sync next year

Intel has officially dubbed its discrete graphics product Intel Xe, and the company also provided details about its Gen11 IGP. The latter will include adaptive sync support and will arrive in 2019.

Intel answers Qualcomm's new PC processors by pairing Core and Atom in 'Foveros'

Intel has announced a new packaging technology called 'Foveros' that makes it easier for the company to place multiple chips together on one package. That includes chips based on different Intel architectures, like Core and Atom.

Razer’s classic DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse drops to $40 on Amazon

If you're looking to pick up a new gaming mouse for the holidays, Amazon has you covered with this great deal on the classic Razer DeathAdder Elite gaming mouse with customizable buttons, RGB lighting, and a 16,000 DPI optical sensor.

Intel's dedicated GPU is not far off -- here's what we know

Did you hear? Intel is working on a dedicated graphics card. It's called Arctic Sound and though we don't know a lot about it, we know that Intel has some ex-AMD Radeon graphics engineers developing it.

Firefox 64 helps keep your numerous tabs under control

Mozilla officially launched Firefox 64 by placing new features into the laps of its users including new tab management abilities, intelligent suggestions, and a task manager for keeping Firefox's power consumption under control.

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.

Apple MacBook Air vs. Microsoft Surface Pro 6

The MacBook Air was updated with more contemporary components and a more modern design, but is that enough to compete with standouts like Microsoft's Surface Pro 6 detachable tablet?

Installing fonts in Windows 10 is quick and easy -- just follow these steps

Want to know how to install fonts in Windows 10? Here's our guide on two easy ways to get the job done, no matter how many you want to add to your existing catalog, plus instructions for deleting fonts.

Email take-backsies! Gmail's unsend feature is one of its best

Everyone has sent a message they wish they could take back. How great would it be if you could undo that impulsive email? If you're a Gmail user, you can. Here's how to recall an email in Gmail.