Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Nickolas Petreley has resigned as Editorial Director for LinuxWorld, though he will continue to write a column for them. He explains this decision in the introduction of this article on InfoWorld. "Last week I resigned as Editorial Director of LinuxWorld to focus my time on Linux Standard Base. Caldera Systems is generously sponsoring an "artist in residence" position to make this possible." The article itself focuses on the money to be made in supporting open source.
ZDNet has published this article by Evan Leibovitch about Sun and Microsoft's recent marketing attempts. "Given the choice between getting bullied and being finessed, consumers will look at the brutal candor of the free software movement -- where what you see is what you get -- and find that it makes more sense than ever."
Freshmeat has published an editorial on UCITA by Skip Lockwood, the director of 4CITE.org. "UCITA unnecessarily reverses hard-won developments in consumer protection law that we now take for granted. It also tilts the playing field in favor of large software vendors and publishers."
We got some notes about the passage of UCITA in Virginia from Ran Cabell:
Salon reports on the DeCSS Decoy that was recently posted to throw a smokescreen up against lawyers looking for the real thing. "Still, not everyone thinks the prank is such a great idea. In fact, the cascading style sheet stripper called DeCSS will probably divert attention from more serious arguments about the original DeCSS -- such as whether or not software code can be protected by the same laws that guarantee free speech". [Found in LinuxWorld.]
LinuxPlanet takes a look at Linux on the IBM S/390 mainframe. Turns out, it is here and it is looking good. "It took only a few minutes to convince me that this was no 'lab queen' toy. The kernel level was 2.2.13--not absolutely the latest, but near enough to be interesting. (I understand that 2.2.15 is out now.) All the standard filesystems were there and (after we extracted a post-installation tarball) populated. The bash shell works just as you would expect it to. Instead of a 3270 screen-at-a-time terminal mode, you can telnet directly to Linux and enjoy the keystroke-level responsiveness of any other Linux version." (Thanks to R McGuinness.)
News.com covers the release of gcc for IA-64, along with a mention of SGI's separate compiler release. "The SGI and Red Hat [gcc] compilers will be released as open source, meaning that anyone may modify the workings of the software. Both packages will be released under the Gnu General Public License, which means theoretically that the two compilers could be merged."
Here's an article on IBM DeveloperWorks on Linux-based thin client systems. "If you are considering thin client technology for your organization, it is important to understand your options. If you really want to save money, and do what you can to ensure success, then you should avoid proprietary versions of the technology, and look for a truly open solution, based on commodity hardware and Open Source software."
LinuxPower speaks up on why and how to encourage responsible Linux businesses. "Linux is not just about the cool technology. Make an effort to find out more about the movement behind it that brings you so much power, flexibility, savings, and freedom. And when you are evaluating a Linux product or a service, be sure to find out about that business' contribution to Linux." Hear, hear ... though we might also extend the "contribution to Linux" out to "contribution to free software".
BusinessWeek Online takes a look at "the rocket ride of VA Linux Systems and its CEO, Larry Augustin". "Augustin devised a hybrid of the strategies of two very successful companies, Sun Microsystems and Dell Computer. Like Dell, VA Linux builds computers to order and can do it very efficiently. And like Sun, his company integrates software with the hardware."
Transmeta claims the new Crusoe chips are doing well in Taiwan, so far. "Jim Chapman, Transmeta vice president of marketing, told a news briefing in London that Taiwan, which makes many of the world's PCs, had rushed to adopt the company's low-power Crusoe chips using the Mobile Linux operating system."
News.com reports on Red Hat's new enterprise editions which were recently announced. "Offering packages of software tuned to work together is nothing new for the computer industry. Such packages, often termed 'solutions,' have long been a staple of sales to corporate customers who have high demands for reliability and no desire to spend lots of time testing and configuring products. 'But ultimately its attractive price is what will keep Red Hat ahead of competitors such as Santa Cruz Operation, Microsoft or Sun Microsystems,' McNamara said."
Here's ZDNet's take on Red Hat's recent announcement for the release of Enterprise Edition Linux, which will include CA, Oracle and SAP R/3 sofware. "All of these customized changes are making some open-source advocates wonder if Red Hat is wandering into building proprietary additions to Linux. To this charge, a Red Hat representative replies 'that [Red Hat] will continue to freely share all modifications to the Linux OS with the open-source community under public licenses.'"
This MacNN article interviews LinuxPPC's Jeff Carr at MacWorld Expo in Tokyo. "Jeff Carr, the primary developer and promoter of LinuxPPC, is a rather busy man at this year's Macworld Expo in Tokyo. LinuxPPC 2000 arrived at the Expo and admittedly Carr does have some impressive features to show off. He isn't, however, much of a fan of what Steve Jobs has been showing off with Mac OS X."
John Zedlewski comments on theCorel/Inprise Merger. "But, as much as I love these companies separately, I don't see how they could possibly fit together".
This article in CNEWS says that Linux is going into embedded systems because it can't make it on the desktop. "If you look at desktop computers, Linux is about as threatening as a blind gerbil. It's used by less than 10 per cent of IBM-compatible PC users and since it can't run Microsoft Windows software, that number won't be changing anytime soon."
ZDnet asked whether ISPs are doing enough to protect their customers security, citing the threatened net boycott of the @HOME domain and the recent Distributed Denial of Service attacks. Unfortunately, one bright idea brought up seems more about how to make money from the situation than how to solve the security issues. "We are in discussion with several ISPs that are thinking about rolling out a security service," he [Greg Gilliom, CEO of Network Ice] said. "They can charge the end user $3 to $5. "
Linuxcare has challenged Microsoft to deliver its Windows code to the Open-Source community. Arthur Tyde, executive vice president and co-founder of Linuxcare said, "We recognize that it would be a massive undertaking to wade through 35 million lines of code, but we are up to the challenge if Microsoft decides to take its chairman's comments seriously."
This Sm@rt Reseller columnist won't be changing over to Windows 2000 anytime soon... "It doesn't help that all 63,000 known problems, and the tens of thousands yet to reveal themselves, are hidden away. One thing that open source really does well is let everyone know what's wrong and what's being done to correct that. For example, if you want to know even the minutest details of what's wrong and what's being fixed in the next version of Linux, you go to Alan Cox's checklist for Linux 2.4."
There are a couple of stories out there saying that Bill Gates has offered to open up the source to Windows to settle the antitrust trial:
It-Analysis published a piece about the rumored opening of Windows code. They seem to get it only partly right. "It is a fact that Linux is being chosen as an embedded operating system for a wide variety of devices, from video recorders to the aforementioned WebPads, because it does not incur software licensing costs. Microsoft knows that it can only really establish itself in the device-driven market if it cuts its licensing fee structure to the bone, or if it drops it altogether." They did miss the idea that other issues besides price might be driving people to use Linux.
The Associated Press looks at what happened while the world was waiting for Windows 2000. "Windows 2000, the successor to NT, will be launched Thursday, a year late. Meanwhile, companies large and small - tired of waiting for its promised new features and bug fixes - have turned to Linux to run their computer systems."
ZDNet claims to have seen a Microsoft memo stating that Windows for the IA-64 processor won't be out for some time - leaving Linux as possibly the only operating system that will work on it at its launch. "Sun and Microsoft aren't the only major OSes working feverishly to deliver 64-bit offerings simultaneously with Intel's Itanium. But of all these offerings, only 64-bit Linux is at the beta testing stage at this point. The others are in alpha or pre-alpha."
Liberation covers (in French) the launch of Windows 2000, but devotes more space to Linux than Windows. There is also a story about MandrakeSoft and its business model. English text is available via Babelfish, but it quits partway through. (Thanks to Stefane Fermigier).
AboutLinux.com reports on the fact that Microsoft is about to own 4% of Corel. "Some people are bound to get upset at Microsoft owning a piece of a Linux distributor. My message to them is chill out."
LinuxMall.com has put out a press release to tell the world it's not worried about Windows 2000. "We feel confident that a substantial number of Windows NT users will be upgrading to Linux rather than migrating to Windows 2000."
A nice headline grabber, this press release is entitled "New Survey Reveals Continued Dominance of Enterprise Computing by Microsoft Windows through 2001 Despite Linux Challenge". Reading through it, other, equally applicable, titles come to mind, based on quotes within the press release, like "... open-source UNIX (OSU), especially Linux, will make astonishing gains over the next two years -- between 100% and 700% gain in server share -- on eight major enterprise server applications ...".
TechWeb article mentions opposing viewpoints of what the result on
innovation has been so far and what it will be if Judge Jackson finds
in favor of Justice on the anti-trust issue.
'I think the case itself has spawned a degree of
freedom. That movement was going to occur to some degree anyway. They were
going to commercialize some of the open source software. But I think the
case may have had some impact in accelerating that,' he said."
'I think the case itself has spawned a degree of freedom. That movement was going to occur to some degree anyway. They were going to commercialize some of the open source software. But I think the case may have had some impact in accelerating that,' he said."
The O'Reilly Network has posted an interview with Eric Raymond and Tim O'Reilly. "I like Gilmore's quote about the Internet interpreting censorship as damage and routing around it. These days I like to generalize it to: The Internet interprets attempts at proprietary control as damage and routes around it."
The O'Reilly Network has an interview with Mendel Rosenblum, VMWare's co-founder and chief scientist. "If you have Windows 98 running right next door on the same machine, you can just switch to it and run Office on it and read it that way. So, what you can see here is people are running an operating system and they want to run applications that may not, have not been ported to that operating system..."
The Far Eastern Economic Review has a couple of nice articles up today, an article on China Joins the Linux Bandwagon and an interview with Linus Torvalds. "At first glance, closed, uptight, communist China and open, free, libertarian Linux make a strange pair. But Linux computer-operating software is gaining favour in China and could ease the country's fears of foreign domination and what it sees as security risks--specifically with Microsoft Windows. In addition, the new kid on the software block could speed the entry of China's fledgling computer industry into the global software market."
The Albuquerque Journal attended a Linux users group meeting. "Microsoft argues that its products are easy to use. It banks on its already widespread acceptance, the fact that it's almost become a de-facto standard for computing, to ensure its continued success. That doesn't impress Linux users, who brag about their operating system's technical prowess. It's fast, efficient and almost never crashes, they say. But more than that, the Penguinistas talk about taking control of their computing lives."
Linuxcare has put out the next stage in the story of Kristine, A rose is a rose is a rose, which takes a look at the recent LinuxWorld conference in New York City. "Kristine has attended many trade shows, but this was her first computer show. She is an above-average computer user and understands how Linux fits into the scheme of things. So her perspective on the events were of interest to me."
TheNewOS has posted a review of Heretic 2 for Linux. "Unfortunately, the Linux version is also one of the most bug-ridden programs I've ever encountered. You can count on the software crashing at least once per game, and occasionally spawning a system consuming run-away process. In some areas of the game, you can expect it to crash regularly, making certain sequences frustrating to get through."
Morning Edition on NPR had this story about high-tech education in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. (RealAudio player required. 3min. 16sec.)
Salon's Thomas Scoville reviews Jon Katz' book, 'Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho'. "In arranging his investigation as he has, Katz finds himself a victim of induction; inferring the great truths of the geek nation from a sample size of two may not have been the best plan of attack".
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
February 24, 2000