Linux in the news
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See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
PBS's Robert X. Cringely has written a column looking at the resurgence of Java. He thinks that the "universal language" aspect of Java is finally heading toward reality. The article finishes with a look at operating systems: "If Java is the universal language, Linux is emerging as the universal operating system. IBM has Linux running on practically every computer technology it makes, including its largest mainframes... Everyone who sells a UNIX operating system is considering the option of ditching their UNIX OS and going with Linux. Why? Because Linux is good, it's cheap, and it has name recognition with everyone right up to the CEO." (Thanks to James Cownie).
Here's an Information Week article about open source software and security. "For those who are truly after total security, the ability to grab an application or operating system's source code and modify it to meet their own requirements can have an amazing impact on system security. Again, however, this ability is a double-edged sword. Those who don't have the time or skill to modify an application to suit themselves are left at the mercy of whatever the open-source designer built into the program."
Information Week also looks at Linux training and certification. "While [LPI chair Dan] York acknowledges that adoption by businesses is the primary goal of any Linux certification process, he says there's a slew of other reasons also dictating the need for a vendor-neutral training process."
The latest Linuxcare 'Dear Lina' column looks at problems with diskette drives and Samba performance. "Try using ftp for the same content. Windows boxes come with a minimal ftp client and if it is just as slow, then hon, maybe your hard disk needs a new drummer."
The first issue of LinuxMonth, a new monthly e-magazine, has been released. It includes articles on setup and networking, an interview with UserFriendly author Illiad, and a discussion of "the real issue with LinuxOne."
Here's a "tongue-firmly-in-cheek" Freshmeat piece on "how to" make submissions to the site. "You might be thinking that you are now ready to hack some code and submit it to Freshmeat, but golly gee, whatever should you work on? You could perhaps find a lacking feature in Linux and implement it, or find a radical new concept and make it a reality. But until you've been in this business as long as Stallman, you probably want to take it easy and hone your hacker skills. Clearly, the best way to do this is to reinvent the wheel."
An interview with Richard Stallman has been posted on the olinux.com.br site. "Our community has grown much the way many third-world cities have grown: too fast, and without incorporating the newcomers into civic affairs. Today the Open Source Movement attracts many users to the GNU/Linux system, citing only practical advantages such as power, reliability, and inexpensiveness. That movement studiously avoids mentioning idealistic concepts such as freedom and community, and as a result most of the newcomers have no idea that you can think of free software in those terms."
Byte interviews kernel hacker Andrea Archangeli. "In fact, in the Linux kernel there is one goto for about 80 lines of code. Although all OS kernels have to use gotos for the sake of efficiency, Linux has by far the biggest share of gotos in the source code. As long as geniuses like Andrea understand it, it's OK." (Thanks to Lenz Grimmer).
The Wall Street Transcript interviews Kenton Chow, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Cobalt Networks. "All of our products are Linux-based. Linux is currently the dominant open source operating system platform because of its reliability for Internet-oriented applications. We have been developing Linux systems since 1997, long before the current wave of interest in Linux. However, our commitment is to focus on open source."
Yahoo has put up an interview (in German) with SuSE CEO Roland Dyroff. English text may be had via Babelfish.
Here's a Forbes article about the future of SGI. "The thinking at this point is that the most likely buyer would be a company like VA Linux, the maker of Linux-based workstations. Acquiring SGI would give that young company established engineering skills, plus entry into businesses that already use SGI systems."
The Australian Financial Review ran this brief article ahead of the upcoming Linux Open Source Expo. "Companies could no longer afford to dismiss Linux as a marginal operating system, industry analyst IDC Australia said yesterday ahead of a major conference in Sydney today and tomorrow."
Here's a News.com article about Linuxcare's IPO. "Of the roughly $56 million it expects to raise, Linuxcare plans to spend $32 million on sales and marketing and $19 million on information technology in 2000, the company said."
ComputerWorld took this look at the upcoming Linux IPOs. "The consensus from the analysts: LinuxCare Inc. (Nasdaq:LXCR proposed) looks promising, but be careful with Caldera Systems Inc. (Nasdaq:CALD proposed) and stay away from LinuxOne Inc. (Nasdaq:LINX proposed)."
PC Magazin has run a brief article (in German) about the "LiBex" at linux-investor.de. Thanks to Alexander Stohr for a translated version: "Stock brokers listen! After the comet alike rise of the Linux values on stocks today the SmartHouse Media has brought the first Linux Stock Index into live. Labeled bye the name LiBex (Linux Business Indes) all Linux values that are currently dealt with on market places are covered. Aside to others there are included RedHat, VA Linux, Cobalt Networks and Inprise." Of course, LWN might dispute the claim that the "LiBex" is the first such index...
Dan Gillmor looks at expanding intellectual property rights in this San Jose Mercury column. "When they wrote the Constitution, the nation's founders didn't figure on digital technology's impact. But I'm convinced they would have been appalled by the way greed has overcome the public interest when it comes to intellectual property. The entertainment and information industries are leading the charge. They make no secret of their ultimate goal -- a system where consumers pay each time we read, view or listen to anything. Today, sadly, the forces of greed have the law on their side." (Thanks to Gary Shears).
Here's a Salon article about Amazon.com's affiliate program patent. "But that's precisely why patent experts don't see much of a threat in the Amazon patent. In the time it takes to receive a patent -- typically two-to-three years -- Internet companies are made, merged and dismantled. In an age full of overnight millionaires, patent protection is about as useful as a Commodore 64."
ZDNet looks at O'Reilly's criticism of Amazon's patent behavior. "On Monday, the outspoken book chief published the column and added a petition to Amazon.com requesting it to clarify its intentions. At the same time, O'Reilly asked customers to sign their John Hancocks to the petition. Less than 24 hours later, almost 3,000 people had added their names and comments to the piece."
Upside reports on Linux-based Internet radios. "Nevertheless, in an age when your typical commercial radio advertising break lasts about as long as a Los Angeles car chase, you have to admit there's something slightly rebellious about listening to your favorite Swedish hip-hop station while sitting in Silicon Valley traffic. Maybe that's why it shouldn't be too surprising that Linux, the operating system that lives to give CFOs heartburn, is suddenly popping up as a key building block in the emerging Internet radio market."
Here's a PC World article on the "Yopy" Linux-based PDA. "Featuring a 4-inch full-color display, the diminutive device will come fully loaded with an embedded Web browser and e-mail client. It will also have personal productivity applications and software for playing back MP3 music or MPEG video files."
PC World looks at Linux and Microsoft. "Clearly, if Microsoft loses its stronghold with consumer operating systems, porting its software to the newcomer is the way to stay afloat. But the same corporate Darwinism that helped Microsoft achieve an OS stronghold may also prevent it from acting in its own best interest"
Here's an article (in Norwegian) in Klassekampen which, we're told, claims that the Norwegian government is considering replacing Windows with Linux on at least some government computers. (Thanks to Tom Grydeland).
The Red Herring compares Eazel to a rock band comeback tour. "Now, what remains to be seen is if some software virtuosos can leverage that creativity to add to their list of greatest hits. From the early looks of it, they'll at least have fun trying, even if they're closer to getting their AARP discounts than being the techno-twentysomethings who brought the Macintosh to life."
Here is a lengthy introductory article that ran in the Washington Monthly. It is mostly accurate, and it also explores the possible applications of open development processes beyond software. "A real-life example of another possible opportunity for open source comes from Harvard where law Professors Larry Lessig and Charles Nesson have started the Open Law Project, an attempt to try cases using the open-source model. Interested people sign into the Website, read what other contributors have written, and help to develop arguments and briefs." (Thanks to Willard Hall).
This osOpinion column criticises SCO's presence at the Bang!Linux conference in Bangalore. "If you're going to walk into the lion's den, the first thing you should remember is to be careful not to tread on the lion's toes. And when the opening keynote by Tony Baines of SCO appeared dedicated to telling a gathering of Linux users why SCO UNIX was more suitable for server applications than Linux, five hundred lions began to lick their lips."
Here's a brief article in the San Jose Mercury about Linus Torvalds' problems getting a green card. "As he told a congressional hearing on Friday, ``I can only say that I'm happy I'm considered a sure case, because based on my experience with the INS, I'd really hate to be in a category that is considered problematic.''"
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
March 9, 2000