Linux in the news
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See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Advogato interviews Donald Knuth. "I saw that the whole business of typesetting was being held back by proprietary interests, and I didn't need any claim to fame. I had already been successful with my books and so I didn't have to stake it all on anything. So it didn't matter to me whether or not whether I got anything financial out of [TeX]."
Here is a well-written and humorous article about what is really going on with the DVD case. Worth a read. "But then the DVD Copy Control Authority (a name straight out of a James Bond movie if you ask me) attempted to sue the ENTIRE INTERNET. It's like a class action lawsuit in reverse. Even for Hollywood, this has to set some kind of record for sheer bulk corporate idiocy. The mind boggles."
Salon takes a lengthy look at Nethack, calling it one of the best computer games ever written. "...while open-source advocates are more likely to vaunt the movement's ability to transform desktop and network computing, this endearingly pokey dungeon adventure is perhaps its most accessible exemplar, demonstrating how its core virtues seem to work even in the unlikely realm of computer gaming."
Upside ran this article about Lineo's Embedix and Embedix PDA products. "Like a camouflaged predator disguising itself as the native environment, Embedix PDA hopes to devour the Windows CE operating system market by pretending to be Windows CE, giving applications a chance to ride the low-rent Linux express with zero porting costs."
Computer Chips and Embedded Systems:
ZDNet looks at Transmeta's Mobile Linux. "While the company's Crusoe processors will also work with Windows software, for information appliance applications it will push Linux. 'If Transmeta went to Microsoft and asked them to make a stripped-down version of Windows 98,' [Linus Torvalds] said, 'they would have laughed in our face. We and others want to be able to tailor the OS to our needs.'"
Trevor Turton takes a look at some history behind code-morphing technologies, then ways that Linux could improve support for chips like the Transmeta Crusoe chip.
This Reuters article credits today's jump in Linux stock prices to the progress of the Trillian project, which is bringing Linux to Intel's coming IA-64 chip. "Shares of Linux companies surged on Wednesday after a coalition of companies developing a version of the up-and-coming software system to run on Intel Corp.'s next-generation microprocessor line said they were ready to release the software to developers at large. "
ZDNet looks at Embedix, Lineo's embedded Linux distribution. "Transmeta has the thunder, but Lineo has the lightning that comes with shipping an embedded Linux first."
The storm around Linux in embedded systems is starting to develop, as noted in this ZDnet UK article. "Intel has more than 100 in-house developers working on its Linux-based platform. Companies, such as Caldera's spin-off, Lineo Inc., are cropping up to focus solely on slimming down Linux to a size capable of running on various platforms. And, on Monday, Linux developer Red Hat plans to announce that it intends to also play in the information appliance space with the release of an embedded Linux development system."
Here's an InfoWorld article about the flood of embedded Linux announcements. "Leading the march will be Red Hat Software, which is expected to roll out its first product for the embedded market. Called Red Hat for Embedded Developers, the new toolset is designed to let developers create a range of open-source applications for embedded or handheld devices that contain as little as 32KB of memory."
ZDNet ran this article about Linux in embedded applications. "Not that any user of TiVo's personal video recorder would know it had Linux inside. The fact that the recorder runs on Linux only becomes apparent when users browse TiVo's Web site, rather than surf TV channels."
AboutLinux ran this article on performing high-end scientific work on Linux systems; worth a read. "I installed reiserfs on a test machine for 2 weeks (my overclocked Celeron) and was so impressed with it that I installed it for the /scratch (9 or 11Gb) partitions on all of our Beowulf machines. I have tried it and I think it really is excellent, reboot times are now less than 30 seconds for these machines (when we reboot that is)."
News.com looks at the new Linux server offerings. "To beef up its 'Beowulf' offerings, SGI will begin selling its new Advanced Clustering Environment, [SGI manager Greg] Estes said. A 32-CPU collection of computers, complete with the management software that distributes jobs among the rest of the computers, will cost about $125,000, he said."
Brian Martin talks about Linux Security and why he is confident in its eventual success, with a mention of some of the projects in this area, such as Independence Linux and Bastille Linux. " With more and more companies adopting open source platforms for important business applications and mission critical activity, they are setting a standard and acknowledging the inherent benefits."
Reuters ran an article about IBM's announcement that its "Network Station" thin client systems can now run Linux. "The IBM executive is quick to acknowledge that while Linux is capable of handling a range of Web site management tasks, the software system will require a lot of work before it can be made ready to handle industrial-strength business tasks."
IT managers are coming around, thanks to case studies like Cisco's use of Linux in its worldwide printing systems and coverage of the stellar Linux IPOs on Wallstreet, reports Infoworld. "For the moment, it appears many IT managers are making sensible decisions about integrating Linux: Where it works, they're either using it or looking into giving it a try."
News.com reports on Red Hat's partnership with Computer Associates. "The move is a boost to Red Hat's effort to gain a greater presence in large corporations. The deal also could help Red Hat move toward its goal of making more money from services instead of sales of ordinary software."
Here's an infoworld story about the deal between Computer Associates and Red Hat. "The closer ties will mean that Red Hat can integrate and distribute CA's management packages. Specifically, ARCserveIT for storage, InoculateIT for virus prevention, MasterIT for Web-based systems, and NetworkIT for networks will come bundled with the Red Hat Linux Enterprise Edition series."
Evan Leibovitch takes a look at the moribund state of CDE and Motif. "In Motif and CDE we have two technologies that offer a microcosm of what's always been wrong with commercial Unix."
News.com covers Linuxcare's alliance with Compaq. "Under the deal, Linuxcare will provide technical and engineering support for those who need help with the upstart, open-source operating system. In essence, Linuxcare will help software companies revamp their programs so they works on Linux."
Here's another Red Herring article about the Solaris 8 announcement. "Despite Linux's growing popularity and Sun's moves to react to the trend, [Sun president and COO Ed] Zander claimed that he was supremely confident about Solaris. His confidence stems from his belief that Linux will ultimately become balkanized into splintered factions supporting a variety of versions, whereas Solaris will remain standardized and reliable. He even went so far as so to say that 'there's no such thing as a Unix marketplace -- there's only a Solaris marketplace.'"
This osOpinion column looks at the Solaris source release. "Sun is giving the open source movement a vote of confidence and proclaiming our credibility! Remember: Solaris is threatened by both Linux and NT, and yet, to improve their attractiveness, isn't it curious they chose to be more like Linux and less like NT? Imitation, even cheap imitation, is, after all, a most sincere form of flattery."
Dave Winer discovers software patents. "The Internet is a public space. Anyone who tries to own the Internet, as Amazon and Geoworks have, will be routed around."
TJ Miller jr points out that issues of freedom are not new in the world of motion pictures. This time, Hollywood is on the wrong side. "If you look back to the history of filmmaking, back when the motion pictures were first invented, you'll find Thomas Edison's monopoly in New York City. His company held an exclusive and tight stranglehold over all film projectors, film, movie rights, and nearly anything associated with motion pictures. ... A small group of filmmakers decided to revolt, proclaiming that one should be free to create and show films without kow-towing to some huge conglomeration. To escape Edison and Co., they moved everything they had to a far-away place...a small town known as Los Angeles, California."
From Humorix, it's the Corporate Media Conglomerate HOWTO. "How can you fight back? Well fortunately, the Recording and Movie Industries(tm) have already laid the groundwork for you to maintain your iron grip on freely available and widely adopted technology and information. Here's how:"
Solutions Integrator raises the "Linux fragmentation" fear. "The gap between distributions of Linux has been kept to a minimum because of community pressure and the necessary blessing of Linus Torvalds. With the rise of Red Hat as the dominant commercial distribution of Linux, the cracks between the distributions are threatening to become full-blown canyons." (Thanks to Cesar A. K. Grossmann).
Wired News covers the worries of some prominent open source advocates. "[Tim] O'Reilly likened the current state of open source software to the early days of the Internet, which has shifted in the last few years from a medium full of cooperative idealists into 'a competitive, dog-eat-dog environment.'"
News.com looks at Corel's response to the Corel Update bug. "Fixing the vulnerability is a 'top priority for Corel,' the company said, and a fix will be posted on the company's Web site." Of course, this bug was reported in LWN two weeks ago, so Corel can only be said to be hurrying so much...
FreeOS.com has put up this interview with Corel CEO Michael Cowpland. "We did look at several distributions but found them very limited. They were difficult to install and use and required an expert, which we did not find acceptable. In Linux, when something is not happening, the best thing is to do it yourself and that is exactly what we did."
ZDnet UK has started up their Linuxworld coverage; check this article for a round-up of the press releases, if you haven't already had enough of those.
In recognition of the Linux mania in progress at LinuxWorld, Jesse Berst has marshalled together statistics and press releases in his article Blow Your Boss Away with Linux Firepower. "To get your company on the Linux fast track, you'll need to placate execs with statistics, surveys, research. Don't have the time? Below is all the ammo you'll need to convince your boss to embrace Linux".
ZDNet UK ran this article about the clustering talks to be held at LinuxWorld. "In a talk scheduled for this Wednesday, Peter Braam of Stelias Computing will review progress on the cluster project, outlining new cluster programming interfaces and functional specifications."
Replacing People Magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" Contest, Geek & Guru is sponsoring a 'Sexiest Geek Alive' Contest instead. "The finalists will be chosen from their online questionnaire responses, knowledge of Star Trek trivia, and how well they wear a pocket protector-by a panel of High Tech geeks." This is not a gender-specific contest. Promoter Steven Phenix assures us they already have entries from several sexy women well qualified in the "geek" arena.
ZDNet UK looks at the threat of Chinese Linux viruses. "Most observers however, including programming guru and authority an all matters Linux, Alan Cox, suggest the warning from Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab Anti-Virus was nothing more than a marketing ploy, designed to talk up a new market."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
February 3, 2000