Public domain software: the copyright has expired, the work was not copyrighted (released without copyright notice before 1988), or the author has released the software onto the public domain with a waiver statement (in countries where this is possible). Since public-domain software lacks copyright protection, it may be freely incorporated into any work, whether proprietary or free. The FSF recommends the CC0 public domain dedication for this purpose.
Apart from these two organizations, the Debian project is seen by some to provide useful advice on whether particular licenses comply with their Debian Free Software Guidelines. Debian doesn't publish a list of approved licenses, so its judgments have to be tracked by checking what software they have allowed into their software archives. That is summarized at the Debian web site.
At first glance, appear.in looks a lot like GoToMeeting. That's because both of them use the fledgling open-source standard called WebRTC (real time communication) to set up and connect users for video conferencing in modern browsers (Chrome, Firefox, and Opera, specifically). There are a whole slew of companies trying it, with names like Talky, imo, and Gruveo—there's even a Web RTC feature built into the Firefox browser. Appear.in outdoes them all. It has mobile apps, allows up to eight conference attendees, screen sharing, claims on customizable "rooms," and even just simple chat tools. You can even stick an appear.in room on your website.
Ubuntu updates yearly, once majorly and once with just fixes. But each iteration brings new tools and developments. Last year the Linux distro even made the leap to tablets; that after trying to power smartphones in 2015. The latest version for desktops and laptops comes with a full suite of software (including LibreOffice), access to thousands more (and many free—just look for the penguin icon throughout this story). It's the Linux of choice here at PCMag, for it's one that is easy to master by just about any user.
O&O ShutUp10 lets you manually tinker with your security settings, so you can decide what your computer accesses and how it uses the information it gathers. The tool also rates whether certain security settings are recommended, guiding you through the process. This is handy because most of us have no idea what settings strike a perfect balance between privacy and convenience.
Software that is free only in the sense that you don't need to pay to use it is hardly free at all. You may be forbidden to pass it on, and you are almost certainly prevented from improving it. Software licensed at no cost is usually a weapon in a marketing campaign to promote a related product or to drive a smaller competitor out of business. There is no guarantee that it will stay free.
The Linux kernel, started by Linus Torvalds, was released as freely modifiable source code in 1991. The first licence was a proprietary software licence. However, with version 0.12 in February 1992, he relicensed the project under the GNU General Public License. Much like Unix, Torvalds' kernel attracted the attention of volunteer programmers. FreeBSD and NetBSD (both derived from 386BSD) were released as free software when the USL v. BSDi lawsuit was settled out of court in 1993. OpenBSD forked from NetBSD in 1995. Also in 1995, The Apache HTTP Server, commonly referred to as Apache, was released under the Apache License 1.0.
“Free software” does not mean “noncommercial”. A free program must be available for commercial use, commercial development, and commercial distribution. Commercial development of free software is no longer unusual; such free commercial software is very important. You may have paid money to get copies of free software, or you may have obtained copies at no charge. But regardless of how you got your copies, you always have the freedom to copy and change the software, even to sell copies.
The best thing about some of these companies is that you don't have to "Like" them on Facebook, send messages on Twitter, or complete surveys. With the companies I've listed first, simply sign in, input your mailing information, and wait for the free sample to show up in your mail). It will take less than 15 minutes sign up and up to six weeks for samples to arrive.