Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
This week's recommended reading:
- Nicholas Petreley
promises to eat his column if Bob Metcalfe does not change his mind on
Linux. "Linux will continue to erode Windows momentum for the
same reason that Windows stole the limelight from Unix. And this is
the same reason Unix stole momentum from minicomputers and
mainframes: cold, hard cash."
a "state of Linux" article in Tech Week. "Just the fact that
was invited to speak at Microsoft illustrates that the Linux
movement is gaining momentum in the corporate world."
Open Source Business:
an article in Sm@rt Reseller which looks at Eric Raymond's new
paper from a reseller's point of view. "Will these paths work
for you? Read Raymond's article and think about it. If nothing
else, his entertainingly written piece will give you food for
thought, and those thoughts may just turn into actions that will
lead to profitability."
- PC Week asks:
is open source losing its innocence?. "But just as quickly as
open source ascended, it may now be coming to an end. With the
recent rapid success of open source generally--and Linux in
particular--corporate interests have begun to loom over the
movement, influencing standards, twisting licensing plans and
generally co-opting many of the key principles of open
This Internet Week article talks about the economics of free
software, then wanders into support service. "I remain firm in
the belief that altruism does not scale very effectively and that,
in time, the market will discover mechanisms whereby producers and
consumers can trade value for value using money as the medium of
exchange. Once these mechanisms are discovered, only hard-core
ideologues will resist the siren song, after which we will look
back at the quaint beginnings of the open-source software movement
as we do on the noncommercial origins of the Internet."
- The (Canadian) Globe and Mail
reports on e-smith and their Linux distribution. "Although risky,
there are many advantages to being an open-source company, not the
least of which is that a truly mom-and-pop operation can get access
to technical material and a sophisticated distribution system for
- From Source Magazine:
this editorial on the future of free software. "The next wave of
free software needs to be not about the programmer or the power
user, but the average desktop user. It's that final mile that puts
commercial software companies at a distinct advantage..."
(Thanks to Alexander Voinov).
The Sale of Slashdot:
reports on the Slashdot acquisition. "The acquisition is another
demonstration of the transformation in recent months of the upstart
Linux operating system and of open source software from a serious
hobby to a serious business proposition."
- Wired News
interviews Rob Malda about the Slashdot sale. "We want to run a Web
site, so we decided to find people, and we looked around and got
contacted by a lot of people to basically offload that part of our
responsibility and free us up to do things we cared
Slashdot sells out says Salon Magazine. "Is Slashdot moving toward
the lucrative realm of IPOs and stock options? If so, it would be
surprising, considering Slashdot's fiercely independent voices and
the Industry Standard's take on the Slashdot sale. "Everynerd's
favorite Web site is no longer independent. Slashdot.org, a
clearinghouse of daily news, views, rants and raves about
practically everything that makes techies passionate, has been
bought by Andover.net, a more buttoned-down collection of news,
software downloads, Web-site tools and tips."
Mindcraft Benchmark Reruns:
- Performance Computing's Unix Riot column
checks out Linux at PC Expo. "Linux system vendors also made an
appearance. Rebel.com, a new company that has licensed the image of
James Dean to match its PCExpo motto, 'rebel with a cause,' showed
its Netwinder 275 Internet server appliance..." (Thanks to
- VAR Business has
a brief article on Caldera's road tour. "IBM Corp. and Oracle
Corp. are joining Caldera in the 15-city tour, which began this
month, demonstrating such solutions as Oracle 8i and IBM DB2,
running under Linux on IBM Netfinity servers."
- Inter@ctive Week has
an article about the new funding received by VA Linux Systems.
"The added capital will help the rapidly expanding VA Linux
Systems 'to meet the expectations of the growing market for
Linux-based solutions,' said Larry Augustin, VA Linux Systems
reports on the deal between TurboLinux and Sendmail, Inc. "Besides
buttressing their respective open-source initiatives, Sendmail
officials think the deal helps both companies furthers the reach of
their existing distribution channels in the United States and
- Business Week interviews
Robert F. Young, the chief executive of Red Hat Software Inc., in an
article titled 'The Linux Missionary Who's Taking on Microsoft'.
"Given Microsoft's virtual lock on the operating system market,
Young felt Red Hat had no choice but to break the mold. "You have
to change the rules under which the game is played," he says. And,
he argues, the Internet may help Red Hat make inroads against
Microsoft just as the interstate highway system enabled truckers
to overtake the railroad companies."
Can Red Hat stay red hot? asks Business Week. They aren't
convinced. "For now, all this market share isn't producing much
in the way of revenue. Indeed, that may be because Linux' biggest
selling point--its reliability--leads corporate users to believe
they can run it without paying for support. Red Hat's largest
corporate user, Burlington Coat Factory Warehouse Corp. (BCF),
bought 1,250 Linux-based PCs for its 250 retail stores but didn't
buy tech support." (Thanks to Lenz Grimmer).
- Linux-related IPO's are the subject of
this USA Today article. "Analyst Bob Austrian of Banc
of America Securities cautions investors about rushing into
Linux-related stocks. 'It is difficult to ferret out the
difference between a great technology and a great investment,'
says Austrian, who would not comment on any specific
a Reuters article on Linux IPO's. "One of the risks these
companies face in going public is the potential impact that an IPO
boom could have on the Linux community, which is a group of
eccentric developers, some of whom work on Linux in their spare
time, for free."
Denver joins Linux bandwagon discovers the Denver Business Journal.
The article is mostly about ESoft and Ecrix, to the exclusion of a
number of other Linux-oriented businesses in the Denver area.
"Esoft is just one of many high-tech firms in the metro area
aligning themselves with Linux technology and the company believes
it's a strategy that will soon pay off as this operating system is
fast approaching a critical mass."
- Sm@rt Reseller ran
an article on how IBM sees Linux. "Even as IBM promises to
support every major version of Linux, the vendor downplays the
possibility of Linux becoming a true alternative to Windows."
For some reason, they thought this article was so important they
even put out
a press release announcing its existence.
- The E-Commerce Times
reports on possible Microsoft plans to battle Linux.
"Suppose that instead of fighting Linux, Microsoft decides
to embrace it? What if Microsoft suddenly develops its own free
brand of Linux and distributes it throughout its monster network?
What if Bill Gates and company also decide to develop Linux
desktop applications and flood the market with Microsoft-branded
- Alexander Voinov pointed out
this table on Deja.com summarizing the results of their recent
network operating system poll. Few people will be surprised to see
which system came out on top (or which came out on the bottom, for
that matter). Alexander also pointed out that, interestingly, the
GNU HURD fared reasonably well, beating systems like Digital Unix
- Free software really is communistic, claims
this osOpinion article. "It should not be assumed that because
governmental communism failed to effectively compete with
capitalism while allowing the freedom of workers as envisioned by
Marx, that it could not be created in the new digital economy in
spite of government."
- Performance Computing
looks at Linux security tools. "It's wise to view all open-source
software downloaded from public domain sites with suspicion. It is
important to ensure that the downloaded software is the intended
product. After all, what good does it do to download tainted
- Robin Miller's
Andover News Network Column contemplates how the operating system tends
to disappear behind the applications it is running. "So, aside
from the fact that StarOffice is free for personal use and
Microsoft Office 2000 costs a bundle, does it really make any
difference which operating system or which software package I use?
Of course not. And a whole lot of people are starting to figure
an introductory article in Source Magazine. "A third benefit
is stability. Linux machines typically stay up for months before
needing to be rebooted, and application failures almost never crash
the entire system. General Protection Faults become a thing of the
past on Linux; it sure is nice not having to babysit a
- Wired News trashes
Linus's talk at the Lotus Developers Conference. "Following
a rapturous reception, people were soon staring at the floor,
looking at their watches, and closing their eyes. In an otherwise
silent auditorium, the sounds of coughing, fidgeting, stifled
yawns, and whispered conversations were disproportionately
amplified. Instead of a string of clever wisecracks and laughs at
the expense of Microsoft, as most expected, the audience was
subjected to 40 minutes of platitudes."
- The Detroit Free Press has concluded
that Linux is too hard to install and doesn't have enough
applications. "But I'm not going to be hard on myself, or
Linux. No one buys a PC today without an operating system already
installed. Putting Windows or the Mac OS onto a blank PC would
probably be just about as difficult as installing Linux."
- We normally avoid Microsoft trial articles - they aren't Linux,
after all. But
this InfoWorld article about difficulties between Microsoft and
Intel has a fun Bill Gates quote: "In our world, software has to
be small, has to be debugged, has to ship as part of a major
initiative, has to avoid compatibility problems, has to avoid end
a strange Byte column allegedly about the culture of Linux.
"There are at least six distributions of Linux worth getting
excited about. This doesn't bifurcate the market for Linux; rather,
it's a great deal like boxers, briefs, thongs, and assorted
Section Editor: Jon Corbet
July 1, 1999