Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Back page page.
We usually avoid this sort of site as not entirely relevant, but Matt Welsh's Boycott Microsoft site is a relatively well done collection of information. Included therein is information on Microsoft alternatives, with an emphasis on open source. (Thanks to Subhas Roy).
For a site with similar goals, and with the meanest-looking penguin around, have a look at KMFMS. You can get a cool T-shirt while you're at it.
A much more positive take on things can be found at the Why Linux? site. Here you'll find a nicely-arranged "collection of Linux propaganda."
December 17, 1998
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Subject: Development, Ethical Trading, and Free Software To: email@example.com Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 14:04:17 +1100 (EST) From: "Danny Yee" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Hi! I've written a piece on "Development, Ethical Trading, and Free Software". http://www.anatomy.usyd.edu.au/danny/freedom/ip/aidfs.html This is aimed at getting the development organisation I work for as a volunteer (Community Aid Abroad, a member of Oxfam International) to move towards free software, but should be of more general interest. Any publicity for it would be appreciated. I'm especially keen to get feedback from free software users and advocates in the "Third World" (where I'm hoping LWN has a decent reach). Danny.
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 1998 14:08:29 -0500 From: "Steven A. DuChene" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: IDG/LinuxWorld Expo alienates OSS speakers? The following quote comes from Alan Cox's diary page at http://www.linux.org.uk/diary/ (it's in the entry for Dec. 11th. <quote> I also had some non fun mail from the LinuxWorld people (ie IDG) when I asked them to clarify arrangements for speakers expenses. Answer "we wont be paying any". Thats one less speaker. I know three other speakers who will also probably be dropping out and no doubt more will follow when they discover this.<P> Now in my case sure I can probably extract the money from someone but there is a principle at stake. Many Linux hackers are in it for fun and don't get paid for it. A conference whose financial greed extends to excluding all the non commercial Linux hackers is wrong. It may be how those dreadful non technical all gloss networking/windows shows run but its not how a technical conference should be run. It's not how other Linux events are run and its not how Usenix is run. I may be a member of the small club of Linux people who can get funding to attend and speak at such an event but I want no part in it. </quote> I am one of the organizers of the Atlanta Linux Showcase since it's begining over three years ago. I think things like this are an important distinction between a Linux trade show whose sole purpose seems to be to take advantage of the Linux community in order to generate trade show revenue and ALS, which is as close as we can get to an Open Source type of Linux trade show. ALS is put on by a not-for-profit corperation made up of voluteers from the Altanta Linux Enthusiasts user group and we have always covered travel expenses for people who were willing to take time out of their busy schedules to come and speak at ALS. I feel it is important for the Linux community to be made aware of possible undesirable effects when a commercial for-profit group intends to take part in the activities of the Linux community soley as a means of generating revenue rather than contributing back to the Open Source community. ALS is put on by voluteers because we feel it is important to offer something back to Linux and the people associated with it. -- Steven A. DuChene Linux Fan! http://www.mindspring.com/~sduchene Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside a dog it's too dark to read. -- Groucho MarxEditor's note: this issue would since appear to have been resolved; interested parties can check out this Slashdot topicfor more information.
From: Craig Goodrich <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Tens of thousands .... Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 10:12:40 -0600 Bill Laberis indulges in punditry: > Microsoft is what it is because there are tens of thousands of > independent developers worldwide working on the Microsoft > platform. That isn't Linux, not today, not in 12 months, and > probably not ever. Well, Bill, I won't argue the "independent developers" number -- but I have to point out that the number of independent developers working on Linux has grown more than exponentially over the last few years and shows no sign of slowing down. Could it possibly be that you have this exactly backwards? That the tens of thousands of independent developers are working on MS platforms (and, by the way, talking about "the Microsoft platform" as though there were only one is -- right now, at least -- a mistake; differences between NT and Win9x will still bite the unwary programmer at every turn) simply because of the size of the installed base? And if that's true -- which seems much more likely -- then your punditry reduces to the near-tautological "Microsoft is what it is because of its installed base." In this industry, though, we have a near-complete turnover of the installed base -- on the desktop, at least -- two or three times a decade. If we didn't, Intel and Microsoft would suddenly stop raking in the upgrade loot. But this implies in turn that "market penetration" at any given moment is a mile wide but an inch deep, and in this dynamic market a couple of years can produce remarkable shifts in direction and corporations' relative positions -- look at what happened to IBM as a PC supplier in 1986--88: One bad mistake and they went from dominance to also-ran status almost overnight. The last-year's predictions you quote were obvious softballs (for example, I confidently predict that the link between IT and the business will remain unforged in 2025 -- as will the link between engineering and finance). I'll go out on a limb, though: Linux' share of the LAN server market will triple between December 1998 and December 1999, and its share of the enterprise desktop will quadruple. You may well say that even if this happens, Linux will still have only a small fraction of the Microsoft market share. True; and if your definition of "niche" is based purely on a static picture of the situation at any given moment, then your "niche" prediction is very nearly contentless, being equivalent to "I unhesitatingly predict that Linux will have less than 50% of the operating system market in 1999." I can't argue with that. After all, what can a bunch of small ratlike furry warm-blooded creatures do to take over the planet from these impressively huge reptiles? Best wishes for the holidays, Craig Goodrich Rural Village Systems somewhere in the woods near Huntsville, Alabama
Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 12:07:39 -0500 (EST) From: "Jason Y. Sproul" <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Pyrrhic victories Here's my response to Bill Laberis' column. His response was "Points well made and well taken. Thanks." ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 00:44:39 -0500 (EST) From: "Jason Y. Sproul" <email@example.com> To: Bill Laberis <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Pyrrhic victories In your December 14 column for ComputerWorld, you write: "Worst case scenario: The government will prove that Gates and Co. are guilty as charged of competing with ferocity, using the exact same tactics employed by their detractors, only with better results. ... Realizing it can't seek antitrust liens against an entire computer industry, which in fairness it would have to do, the government will lose its case." If the government establishes these claims, Microsoft will be found in violation of antitrust law and subject to judicial remedy. The Sherman Act (and FTC Section 7, etc.) prohibits holders of any monopoly, whether illegally attained or arising naturally, from engaging in behaviours which are legal for non-monopolists. The "protect and extend" rule prohibits these on the grounds that they pervert what might well be a natural monopoly arising from economic efficiencies into an unnatural monopoly grounded in force and coercion. What Microsoft have failed to realise is that the same "scrappy" behaviours which served them well in their ascendancy from the shadow of IBM become much less tolerable when backed with the might of monopoly power. It's rather like the village weakling who, upon winning a few fights with the village bully, becomes the next village bully himself. I firmly believe that operating systems, as a fundamental component of a commoditised mass-market computing industry, have a natural monopoly tendency. These are the grounds on which systems such as Linux and the various flavours of BSD UNIX gain credibility - not only are they technically excellent solutions to real problems, but they leverage the monopoly tendency of the market to drive further improvements. Many of the developers working on Linux, whether professionally or as hobbyists, that I have spoken to recognise this fact. Whether Linux or another open source competitor to be, large companies will inevitably realise the dangers of single-sourcing and closed software to their bottom line. I hope you find these comments useful and informative, Sincerely, Jason Y. Sproul Software Designer - ICE, Inc. ........................................................................ Jason Y. Sproul \\ // http://www.con.wesleyan.edu/~jsproul/ email@example.com \\/ firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.iced.com/ Anarchy works-or doesn't-whether you call it anarchy or the rule of law.