Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Here's an interesting Inter@ctive Week article on how the world has changed while Windows 2000 was being developed. "All of which shows how much the ground is shifting beneath Microsoft's feet as it approaches the launch of its most ambitious OS to date. As Unix continues to form a difficult-to-penetrate layer above it, Windows is also under siege from below, not just from Linux on Internet servers, but from a new generation of essentially stripped-down computers popping out below the traditional turf of desktop computers and corporate servers."
Wide Open News covers the progress of UCITA in Virginia, where it has apparently passed both the House and the Senate. "To become law, the bill must first be approved by Governor James Gilmore. The Virginia Republican, who has expressed support for the bill, is expected to approve it shortly."
According to this InfoWorld story, the Virginia House has passed the UCITA bill. If it also gets past the Senate, Virginia could become the first state to turn UCITA into real law. "Opponents also do not like a provision that says users who do not uphold software licensing agreements could have their software 'repossessed' by the manufacturer. They assert that the bill would give the manufacturer the right to reach into the user's computer and disable the software." (Thanks to Gary Shears).
The Washington Post looks at attempts to pass UCITA in Maryland and Virginia. This is the beginning of the next phase of the battle over UCITA, which would give proprietary software vendors much more power over their consumers. "And once UCITA is passed in one state, softwaremakers potentially could exercise the right to have disputes over license agreements resolved there--effectively setting a national standard." (Thanks to Scotty Orr).
ZDNet's Evan Leibovitch writes about the Corel/Inprise merger. "Inprise/Borland tools may not be as well-known to the Linux community as, say, those from Cygnus, but they are familiar to Windows programmers, not all of whom may have been aware of the company's big Linux push this past year. As it should be, the target of the new merged company is not to take people away from existing Linux distributions, but to offer a comfortable point of entry to those who have never touched Linux before."
The New York Times looks at the Corel/Inprise merger. "Can two losers from the Windows world marry and find happiness -- or at least better sales -- in the Linux world?" (The New York Times is a registration-required site).
The Globe and Mail looks at Corel's acquisition plans. "Mr. Cowpland [Corel's CEO] said no deals are imminent but Corel has a war chest of at least $250-million and expects to spend a good chunk of it to bolster its Linux portfolio. He wouldn't want to spend the money all on one company, Mr. Cowpland added, but wouldn't be shy about a price that topped $100-million."
Distribution and Development News:
LinuxPower interviews David Hinds, the guy behind the PCMCIA subsystem. "...I don't have final editorial control over what goes into the kernel PCMCIA subsystem. Linus generally takes my patches as-is, but we have not always agreed on where PCMCIA development should be headed, and when we don't agree, you can guess who gets the last word."
The E-Commerce Times ran this article about SourceForge. "KDE and CMU Sphinx will join more than 1,750 other open-source projects that have access to SourceForge's 10,500 registered users and testers. The developer Web site also offers access to resources for development, such as communication and distribution, project management and bug-tracking tools, mailing lists and discussion groups, and Web, FTP and archival server space."
Information Security Magazine has put up a lengthy article about Linux security. "What makes Linux security a special case is that never before has such a powerful, adaptable and potentially dangerous operating system been made available to such a large population of novice users." Worth a read. (Thanks to Jay R. Ashworth).
TheNewOS has put up a detailed look at the Crusoe processor. "The easiest definition to understand code morphing software is x86 instructions done through software rather then hardware."
Bob Metcalfe rides again with a column trashing Transmeta for not releasing its chip designs. "Linus Torvalds gave the keynote speech at LinuxWorld Expo last month, right after announcing Transmeta Corp. Am I the only one to see that Torvalds and other open-source software revolutionaries are acting out the finale of George Orwell's Animal Farm? Orwell's farmhouse is full of open-source pigs, which are now almost indistinguishable from the proprietary humans they recently overthrew." (Thanks to Scotty Orr).
IBM's Developer site has put up a detailed article looking at Linux, with an emphasis on distributions and history. "One of the misconceptions about Linux is that it was started out of a desire to create a competitor to Microsoft[tm] operating systems. This could not be further from the truth. Like many open source projects, Linux grew out of dissatisfaction. In the case of Linux, it was Linus Torvalds' dissatisfaction with the operating systems available for the PC."
Nicholas Petreley says that multiple distributions are good in this InfoWorld column. "It occurred to me as I walked the aisles of LinuxWorld Expo in New York that the multitude of distributions is one very important reason Linux will flourish after Windows has faded into the land of legacy operating systems."
This osOpinion column claims that Mozilla and Wine are leading open source in the wrong direction. "The new mutants of Mozilla and Wine are unfortunately a peek of the perverted future we face. AOL's announcement of releasing Netscape 6.0 and Corel's release of Wordperfect 2000 for Linux this spring are clear examples of the philosophical rift that exists between two different species."
The Linux Show has run this wild rant against LinuxOne, which results from the author's discovery that "LinuxOne Lite" is a repackaged version of Phat Linux. "It is one thing to rip off a billion dollar corporation. It is another thing to rip off a 16 year old kid. It may not be illegal, but MAN THIS SUCKS!!!!! Linux One is nothing, it is a hollow shell of a company, and I have proof." It seems that LinuxOne didn't bother (or know) to clean up the bash history file for the root account...
Internet Week trots out the old fragmentation fear. "...the multitude of different Linux distributions have their own installation programs, management tools, user interfaces and add-ons such as clustering technology. Moreover, without a single authority to enforce APIs, there is nothing to prevent a vendor from coming out with a distribution of Linux that breaks compatibility with other vendors' versions of the operating system, critics said."
ZDNet UK reports on Nokia's home networking plans. "Telecoms giant Nokia has attacked Sky and other digital content providers, claiming their use of proprietary technology is holding up the market for converged digital TV and Internet services. The solution says Nokia, is in open source, which will drive the uptake of networks in the home. Putting its money where its mouth is, Nokia announced its home networking product strategy Thursday, with its prototype digital Media Terminal -- much like a set top box -- running Linux and the Mozilla browser."
The Arizona Republic looks at VA Linux Systems in this article (reprinted from the New York Times). "So far, VA Linux's major customers are all Web start-ups themselves, companies like Akamai Technologies and eToys, and most are less than 2 years old. But Augustin, whose buttoned-down shirts, neatly creased khakis and well-trimmed hair may qualify as the height of formality among Linux users, has positioned himself as the person to take the Linux message to corporate America."
La Tribune reports (in French) on the French Ministry of Culture, which is deploying a Linux-based server network. They eventually expect to have some 6500 Linux systems installed. Babelfish doesn't like this article, but the new beta version does - you'll need to feed it the URL yourself, however. (Found in Portalux News).
Linux.com ran this editorial about the Andover.Net acquisition - and about how it won't affect things. "How can we make such a sweeping statement about VA policy when we, as volunteers, obviously have little to no knowledge about what happens behind their doors? It's rather simple, really. VA didn't get where they are by being stupid. They have to know that the community backlash against them for such actions would be far worse than any fallout they could suffer based on a little article."
The latest "Dear Lina" column from Linuxcare looks at time synchronization and X server access control. "Finally, darling, I assume you've already passed your ssh key along to your other self, so ssh won't ask silly questions of its own while you're merging X access data around."
The BBC's "The Money Program" ran a 20-minute segment on Linux as a competitive threat to Microsoft. A summary of the piece can be found here, and it's possible to see the program via RealPlayer as well. (Thanks to James Heald).
Computer Weekly looks at the future of Windows and its competitors. "Microsoft's Windows 2000 Professional product marketing manager, David Weeks, says one of the biggest problems for Linux is the variety of versions that have appeared from companies such as Red Hat and Caldera. 'There isn't one standard thing, like Windows, which is tried and tested,' he says." (Thanks to Alan J. Wylie, who warns that Computer Weekly stories can crash Netscape 4.7 on Linux, though your editor did not experience that).
Here's an Upside article commenting on the lack of response to the Windows 2000 release from the Linux community. "Do the Linux companies that once sponsored and participated in media events such as 'Windows Refund Day' see the bout as already decided or do they simply think their time could be better spent elsewhere? [IDC analyst Dan] Kusnetzky, an admitted Linux community outsider, assumes the latter explanation is more realistic. 'My sense is that the members of the Linux community are too busy doing what they're doing to worry about Microsoft products.'"
News.com has chimed in with a "life is not all roses for Windows 2000" article. "Linux, for instance, has altered the assumption that Microsoft operating systems will be the de facto choice for low-end servers. At the same time, Sun Microsystems has strengthened its position in the market as the dominant choice for servers to power corporate sites."
The Ottawa Citizen has run this introductory article. "For many people, Linux represents a return to the good old days, when someone would disappear into their garage for a month and come out with a really cool new way of doing things. The community could embrace the idea, and the individual who created it didn't need to have a strategy in place to deal with Microsoft -- and a ready bank of lawyers."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
February 17, 2000