Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Multimedium has run this lengthy article (in French) arguing for the use of Linux in Quebec schools. It argues several points, from the purely financial to the issue of getting control of school computers out of the hands of private companies. English text is available via Babelfish. (Found in Portalux News).
Gateway Internet Appliance.
ZDNet ran this column on how the new Gateway "home appliance" shows that Transmeta is a threat to Microsoft. "Pay attention: This is the first time that a Top 5 PC maker has stepped out like this, flipping a middle finger in Redmond's direction. (Note that Gateway and AOL, among others, were part of the group providing Transmeta with about $88 million in funding.)"
The New York Times ran this AP article on the new Linux-based "home appliance" system from Gateway. "A Transmeta-Linux combination offers consumers an alternative to the combination of computers with Intel processors running on Microsoft's Windows operating system, analysts said." Note that the New York Times is a registration-required site. (Thanks to Paul Hewitt).
Reuters looks at the Gateway home appliance. "Analyst Gwennap added that: 'It may be a little bit harder for Microsoft than Intel because Linux definitely has some attractive features. First of all, it's free and, second, the vendors can access the source code and make whatever alterations they need to suit their needs.'"
According to this Reuters article, Gateway and AOL will be announcing an "Internet home appliance" system that will be based on the Transmeta Crusoe processor and Linux.
Federal Computer Week looks at WordPerfect for Linux. "WordPerfect Office for Linux represents a significant milestone for the Linux desktop movement in that it is the first commercially established productivity suite to be ported to Linux. As such it brings the same level of functionality and features that have come to be expected from most Windows-based products."
This ZDNet column laments the failure of the Corel/Inprise merger. "A Corel/Inprise pairing might have given desktop and personal Linux systems the same synergy that worked so well for Windows. We might have seen Corel's consumer-friendly platform (at least compared with many other Linux distributions) with the company's capable suite of mass-market applications, augmented by the robust Borland tools for writers of more exotic software: tools that could have been sold on a break-even basis, or even as loss leaders, instead of needing to pay their own way."
CNet was quick to follow up on Corel's announcement of a deal with Canaccord with their own article, but provided few additional details from the press release. "Corel did not disclose its cash reserves because it is in a quiet period in advance of its quarter closing on May 31, but insisted it can meet its financial obligations."
The Ottawa Citizen reports on Corel's falling stock. "The stock fell more than twice as far as anticipated after Corel announced it will sell up to $30 million in stock through Cannacord Capital. "
News.com reports on morale at Corel. "Morale took another hit last week when Corel employees traveling for trade shows were forced to pay hotel bills with their own credit cards after learning the company's credit cards had been cancelled."
ZDNet interviews Red Hat CTO Michael Tiemann. "In Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, one of the paradoxes presented is that if people had proof of God, their belief would be fact-based instead of faith-based, and the loss of faith would cause God to cease to exist. The way Linux standards work, you've got to believe. If people believe, then standards are widely accepted. If people don't believe, then everyone's off doing their own thing. In the LSB, there's kind of a schizophrenia."
Internet Week reports on Google's use of Linux. "Support was another factor in choosing Linux, Google said. The company has Linux expertise in-house, and values the ability to look at the source code to correct problems, rather than having to rely on a vendor. And where the in-house expertise fails, Google has found the Linux community responsive with fixes."
The San Francisco Chronicle looks at the history of BSD. "The group evolved formal procedures for incorporating improvements made by others into the core system, and thousands of programmers worldwide eventually made contributions to the effort. In effect, the BSD project defined the model later followed -- with variations -- by other open-source development projects, most notably Linux."
Also in the Chronicle: this article about FreeBSD in particular. "On the other hand, by next fall, the companies Infonetics surveyed expect to have Linux on 18 percent of their servers and Solaris on 47 percent; FreeBSD's share is projected to drop to 13 percent."
UpsideToday takes a look at how and why IBM has been so fast to pick up and deploy Linux. "'We learned a lot from the Internet,' says Frye. 'Most importantly, we learned about the value of open standards, how you can make a lot of money owning a piece of an open standard as opposed to a little bit of money owning the entire thing.'"
Tom Nadeau speculates on IBM's possible plans for OS/2 Warp, in a world where they continue, slowly, to move towards using open source in more areas of their business. "IBM has rewritten the Warp 4 kernel in the latest Fixpack 13 as well as the upcoming Convenience Packs. What if the cumulative rewrites over the past four years have finally eliminated the co-owned code? Then Microsoft would have to keep its mouth shut and watch IBM open a "second front" in the war on Windows."
Computer Reseller takes a look at IBM's new hardware and their plans for Linux. "While IBM's server lines currently support Linux, the company plans to utilize some of the NUMA-Q capabilities to push the upstart operating system into the enterprise, said Fry. 'Linux is typically deployed in smaller machines,' Fry said. 'Our goal is to drive Linux to mission-critical applications.'"
Computer Reseller News reports that Compaq may open-source parts of Tru64. "During a news conference on the company's new AlphaServers, Compaq Chief Executive Michael Capellas was hesitant when asked if the company had a place for Linux in its high-end hardware offerings. Capellas said he saw Linux as an operating system that could reach 'edge of network' solutions such as Web servers or departmental servers, leaving Tru64 and proprietary Unix to deliver where high-octane computing was needed."
ActiveState uses Mozilla in its new IDE, code-named "Komodo". This Upside article takes a look. "No, it isn't the latest Japanese monster film remake. On Wednesday, Activestate, a Vancouver, Canada, company specializing in Perl-based software development, announced that it will use the open source Mozilla browser as a framework for building its new Perl- and Python-integrated development environment, or IDE. "
This News.com article looks at the merger of LinuxMall.com and EBIZ. "Though unfavorable market conditions contributed to LinuxMall's decision to derail the IPO, that consideration was secondary in the merger, [LinuxMall CEO Dave] Shaw said."
Here's an Interactive Week column about Scriptic's name change. "The company produces a Tcl Pro toolkit as well as continues development of the open source code Tcl scripting language, Ousterhout said. "
News.com covers the release of AllCommerce by OpenSales. "OpenSales, a 45-person company based in San Mateo, Calif., filled out its management roster and won $10 million in venture capital earlier this month. With its e-commerce software, the company hopes to reproduce the success of open-source software such as Linux, Sendmail and Apache, which have established solid followings against competition from companies such as Sun Microsystems and Microsoft."
LinuxMall.com takes a look at QNX, a company working with embedded systems in an "Open-Source like" development model. "Paul Leroux of QNX's corporate communications division discussed QNX's partially Open Source developmental model. 'A very small percentage of developers would understand the microkernel well enough anyway,' he stated. 'It is not of benefit to provide that code.'"
News.com has posted this article about the VA Linux Itanium compile farm. "To get access to the system, people must sign a nondisclosure agreement that requires them not to release information about how fast the systems perform..."
Evan Leibovitch's latest editorial speculates on potential Linux mergers that could produce some strong competition for the Linux market, now that the IPO route is seen as less dependable. "So... how might things shape up? Here are some match-ups that could be interesting, if they ever were to happen:"
A brief, introductory article on Beowulf comments, "Linux clustering means cheap supercomputing". To be more specific, "...a large Beowulf cluster should cost from one-third to one-tenth the price of a commercial parallel supercomputer. Even so, this really is a technology for organizations, not home hobbyists."
News.com looks at the new budget Beowulf cluster in Kentucky. "AMD's 3DNow technology was designed to improve the 3D graphics of games. But the feature can also be used to speed up mathematical calculations, said Hank Dietz, a professor at the University of Kentucky and the architect of a new 64-processor Linux supercomputer built out of 700-MHz AMD Athlon microprocessors."
Here's a ZDNet article on the decline of Linux stocks. The author thinks things have maybe gone too far. "We're not going to tell you it's time to buy Linux stocks, but there's a serious disconnect between Linux reality and Wall Street."
Amongst a list of computer tidbits, ComputerUser comments on the Linux growth curve. "Evans Marketing Services claims that the number of large corporations running Linux increased by 95 percent in the last half of 1999. That's a big jump, and it shows the continued trend toward Linux growth. Evans Marketing's survey also showed that the number of companies running Linux on more than 25 percent of their servers jumped from less than 2 percent in May 1999 to nearly 13 percent in December 1999. Running Linux on more than one-fourth of their servers is a big commitment for companies to make, and this shows quite startling growth in just six months."
Here's an article in The Times (London) blaming proprietary software for the recent virus problems. It gets perhaps a bit ahead of the truth, however, in looking at the alternatives. "PCs must be secure and immune to the threat from unauthorised programs. Their reliability has to be improved to that of all other products that have embedded software, such as televisions, mobile phones and cars. In this respect Linux is now ready for deployment on the desktop. Software exists that enables all existing Windows applications to run on Linux without any changes, allowing compatibility to be maintained and ensuring that user skills are not made obsolete."
The View, a BeOpen commentary, looks for Open Source Winners. "The potential winners of a MSFT break-up may not be the Operating System vendors, but rather the Open Source Application developers, most of which are still private."
Open-source becomes a model for e-governance in this article from The Hindu. "The Panchayat Level Information Network Project progressing in three grama panchayats -- Asamannur, Chottanikkara and Kunnathunad -- is using Linux as the basic operating system (OS). Linux has already attracted notice worldwide from the way it has made even Microsoft look up."
Based on the experience of deploying Linux in a Guatemalan Hospital, LinuxMedNews takes a look at the performance of Linux and Windows under pressure. "The central question: How did it [Linux] fare against Windows? Two thumbs up, it worked very well. But the reality is that it has to work with Windows for now. Even in Guatemala they had two Windows machines already in place and running, although not networked."
ZDNet has run this lengthy article on running a business without Microsoft products. "Although Linuxcare as a company uses Linux on every desktop, [CTO Dave] Sifry conceded, 'We have not been able to run a 100 percent Microsoft-free environment yet. Any company that is 100 percent Microsoft-free is either too small or not facing up to certain issues.'" (Thanks to David Emile Lamy).
Business Week proposes a remedy for the Microsoft antitrust case. "While Judge Jackson probably won't take this advice, here's another way -- and the best way -- to rein in Microsoft: Just "open-source" the Windows code. If done right, this simple move would foster competition, reduce prices for consumers, and increase the quality of the software. It might also be the smartest move Microsoft could make to ensure its future survival."
Interactive Week talks with VA Linux CEO Larry Augustin. "We're the people that want to work on Linux and open source, we're where they want to work, ok? We've had a great time going out and finding those people who are really Linux and open source developers, and being able to offer them positions here at VA, and essentially do what they love."
BeOpen interviews VA Linux CEO Larry Augustin and Samba's Jeremy Allison. "As a native of Sheffield, England -- a traditional hotbed of left-leaning UK politics -- Jeremy Allison has understandable reservations when it comes to wearing the "benevolent dictator" mantle so-often applied to open source software project leaders."
Feed Magazine interviews Martin Garbus, the EFF's lawyer in the DVD case. "Take the matter of operating systems -- there's another and very separate issue that you have with the Linux operating system. One of the reasons that there's so much interest in the DeCSS is that DVDs are not yet licensed to play on the Linux operating system. Now, to bring us back to the Betamax case, is Linux like a VCR? Can the motion-picture industry control distribution from the very beginning to the very end?"
This Andover.Net article points out that Bill Gates and Richard Stallman will both be visiting South Korea on the same day. "Though Gates and Stallman have no plans to meet, both are slated to hold talks with government officials here during their visit and may run into each other." (Thanks to Cesar Augusto Kant Grossmann).
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
June 1, 2000