Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Back page page.
PenguinApps is a Linux download site put together by the 32bitsonline folks. It looks an awful lot like an attempt to recreate what Tucows has done - complete with penguin ratings.
Creative Linux is a site aimed at those wishing to create multimedia content with Linux. Applications like the Gimp are obviously of interest to these folks, but they look at a lot more obscure stuff as well.
Section Editor: Jon Corbet
January 20, 2000
Letters to the editor should be sent to email@example.com. Preference will be given to letters which are short, to the point, and well written. If you want your email address "anti-spammed" in some way please be sure to let us know. We do not have a policy against anonymous letters, but we will be reluctant to include them.
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 06:10:55 -0600 From: Paul Hawkins <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: IBM moves toward Linux I work for a company owned by IBM (so I work for IBM), and I have been to seminars by IBM on Linux, and read their internal Web pages on Linux. IBM is a big company, so they move slow. Also, everyone involved in Linux at IBM is making the point that the OSS movement is different than anything IBM is use to. And that IBM needs to move slowly to ensure we work with the community, and not appear as if we are giving it a big Blue bear hug. IBM would like nothing better then to make the OS a commodity. IBM has earned more on its services then its' hardware & OS for awhile now. Linux will only help them. This is a good thing for all. These opinions are my own, and not IBM's. -- Paul Hawkins - Software Engineer - Tivoli Systems, Inc. email: firstname.lastname@example.org "Chase the dream, not the competition"
From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 11:03:10 +0000 Subject: IBMs presence in the Linux community. Hi all, Just a few comments... Since IBMs big announcement of getting more behind Linux, they have been slated as touting/talking more than actually doing, indeed your article dated 13/01/2000 had a slight negative tone regarding substance from IBM. I feel this is unfair, IBM released DB2 for Linux long ago, and numerous other projects. Most recently of course, they have ported Linux to the S/390 mainframe! How many other companies can claim that they have "single handedly" (for want of a better expression) ported the kernel to a major piece of hardware, and then released it OSS/GPL back to the community? The community needs to back off from slating IBM, and appreciate what they have done. Dave Peacock - email@example.com
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 10:12:35 GMT From: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Shrink Wrap Licenses in the EU > You might like to know that under UK law, accoridng to various > genuine lawyers, all the "by openning this envelope oyu > agree to the licence" stuff is illegal and therefore void. I suspect > the sales of goods and services act (and similar legislation elsewhere) > makes many of the disclamimers illegal as well. The EU gives me an > inalienable right to reverse-engineer for any purpose other than cloning > a product, which would make a successful procession for this hard work > (can you *prove* I was intending to cloen your product?). > It would be interesting to know how much of these contracts is actually > valid under various different juristictions. The UCITA is something > that is unlikely to apply anyware outside the US (and would contravene > EU law even if anyone was sufficiently bribed to propose it) This is not true, the genuine Lawyers you have consulted obviously haven't read their case law... The Case of Beta Computers vs. Adobe Systems, proved very interesting, rightly or wrongly, the Sheriff has ruled the the Shrink Wrap license is enforceable, curiously in this case, the benefit was in favour of the defendant, since under the provision of the license the software was returnable. An interesting view of this is presented here...http://elj.warwick.ac.uk/JILT/cases/98_2rob/robertsn.htm. This applies to Scots Law, a very different animal to English Law, and of course obviously quite different to the mythical UK Law that our learned correspondent quotes. This case is a very interesting read... Kevin McDermott
From: David Woodhouse <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: UCITA Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 10:28:56 +0000 I was quite surprised at your claim on the front page of this week's LWN: > One needs look no further than the current DVD case for a graphic > example of what could happen here. The DeCSS code was not written to > make illegal copies of DVDs (it's not needed for that); it was written > so that people could play DVDs on Linux systems. UCITA would criminalize > this sort of activity. I think you partly miss the point. The DVD code was reverse-engineered in the Free World, not in the United States. The situation in the USA was already too bad for residents to risk persecution. Cryptography code, and the DVD code, was written outside the USA because the USA _already_ has insane laws on such matters. I agree that UCITA would make matters even worse, but it wouldn't have made the DVD reverse-engineering illegal, because the DVD reverse-engineering wasn't done under US jurisdiction. -- dwmw2
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2000 03:42:50 -0800 (PST) From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?J=E9r=F4me_Loisel?= <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Nikolai Bezroukov's "papers" Dear LWN editors, I have a rather long comment on Nikolai Bezroukov and his articles which I would like to share with you. But first, some (related) personal thoughts. Many of us do not have the chance to encounter true intellectuals. By intellectuals, I do not mean "highly intelligent people," -- as the word is often used --, but "highly cultured, aware and articulate people," which is a competing, IMHO preferable definition. I have personnally met very few in person, and certainly do not claim to be one. (Much as most coder do not claim to be a Richard Stallman.) But I now tend to know one when I read one's texts... More than that, I think I have grown to recognize the arrogant and untalented wannabes. And it is my belief that Mr. Bezroukov is one such. I have tried to read Mr. Bezroukov's texts... But they are not mind-expanding, simply mind-numbing. The man believes that peppering his text with quotes from George Orwell, Mark Twain and Albert Einstein will make him look intelligent, whether or not the quotes have any relevance (most of them don't). The most painful part is the fact he uses the most oft-heard ones, those very ones we are all deathly tired of reading in sigs. Nikolai Bezroukov also cannot understand plain English. He quotes Eric Raymond as having written: "[...] if Brooks's Law were the whole picture, Linux would be impossible," yet his *first* *main* point resumes itself to: "One of the most indefensible ideas of CatB is that Brooks' Law is non-applicable in the Internet-based distributed development environment [...]" Can't he see that this precisely the opposite of what Raymond is contending? One would think that the word "truism" would give him a clue. In the end, Mr. Bezroukov simply does not have the elementary finesse to understand the distinction between "is true but is only one of many factors," (which Raymond is saying) and "is false in such case" (which he is certainly not in the quote!). His "paper" (hey, at least he did not call it a "research paper") is chock-full of inane comments that he does not even try to establish on firm factual or logical ground. A few gems: "To be fair, 'the average quality of software' for the Windows community [...] is also exceptionally high despite weaknesses of the underlying OS." Of course! Whenever I am forced to use a Windows machine, I am thrilled as well by the overall quality of the applications. "Even superficial analysis of the Bugtrack archive confirms that most developers prefer making their own bugs, not fixing bugs of others." Whatever that means... But he goes on: "For accidental contributions to the kernel, the situation can be even worse." Yes... don't you just hate it when people accidentally contributes to the kernel? Some flaws which I will not elaborate further on: the only facts appearing in this "paper" belong to the "anecdotal evidence" category; Mr. Bezroukov demonstrates very little respect for standard practices such as providing references for quotes; large portions of his "paper" simply elaborate on his opinions (as though we deeply care) without attempting to establish anything; and finally, my dog writes better prose. Proving all of those statements is left as an exercice for the extremely bored reader. What can I say? Arrogance from the untalented and uninsightful drives me nuts. Link to him if you must, but please do not try to be more complimentary than needed: that text is bottom-of-the-barrel quality, intellectually speaking, and deserves no praise. Jerome Loisel
Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 14:04:01 -0600 From: "Chris Browne" <Chris_Browne@amrcorp.com> To: <email@example.com> Subject: Kermit The January 13th issue indicates the "freer Kermit license," and comments that due to it not going quite far enough, "As a result, C-Kermit is not likely to meet the Debian Free Software Guidelines anytime soon." It is true that the license may not qualify C-Kermit to be considered "free" software by Debian rules. Nonetheless, the licensing changes permit its inclusion in things like the Debian nonfree tree, which was previously forbidden. The license changes permit Kermit's inclusion with Linux distributions in general, which was previously forbidden by the documentation inclusion requirements. (In brief, in order to redistribute Kermit, you used to be required to include the full Kermit book.) This is extremely encouraging; Kermit has a long history of being an exceptionally good data transfer system. It used to be the one of the best interoperability systems to transfer data between UNIX, DOS, VMS, and mainframe systems. The popularity of TCP/IP and decline of widespread mainframe use has diminished the value somewhat (who uses non-TCP/IP networking anymore?), but I'm pleased to see it able to be used with Linux. -- "It is the user who should parameterize procedures, not their creators." -- Alan Perlis firstname.lastname@example.org - <http://www.ntlug.org/~cbbrowne/lsf.html>