Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
The latest installment in Andrew Leonard's 'Free Software Project' on Salon looks at the history of hacking. "Over the decades, the opportunity to harness the power of a computer to one's own selfish purposes, whatever those may be, has proven irresistibly seductive. From the '50s kids who gravitated inexorably to IBM mainframes to the Homebrew Computer Club tinkerers who built the first personal computers in the '70s to the Linux hackers exchanging tips and tricks in their user's groups in the '90s, the underlying passion is identical: It is a whole lot of fun to be the master of a Giant Brain, down to the very last binary one or zero." The real point of the piece is that free software has brought the fun back.
LinuxDevices.com is running this white paper by Kevin Morgan, MontaVista's VP of engineering. The paper looks at the business of open source from an embedded systems point of view; interesting reading. "Even with the short history of the open source approach, there is more than enough evidence to demonstrate the superiority and survivability of a royalty-free business model. Proprietary, closed source technology and binary product royalties have always been an encumbrance on embedded developers, slowing down business operations, lengthening design and development cycles, and delaying the availability of leading edge technology."
UpsideToday takes a look at Gated communities, based on licenses similar to the Sun Community Source License (SCSL), essentially calling them a form of passive resistance to a new world view. "More pernicious are the passive forms of resistance: the local corn goddess that somehow manages to sneak her way into the Christmas pageant, the Buddhist idol that bears a striking hereditary likeness to Apollo. These are the small-time heresies that keep missionaries up late at night."
Here's an Upside article about JEMini by Websprockets. "Derived from ClassPath, a clean room Java project launched by the Free Software Foundation in 1996, JEMini is a class library designed to give developers a chance to write commercial Java applications without forking over a licensing fee to Sun."
The licensing wars continue with this letter to the editor on ZDNet. "The BSD license is clearly superior and offers more options for compatibility and interoperability because it poses no risk to business and offers independent developers incentive for using the code as well."
You know you've made it when you become the primary target for new competition. This ZDNet article talks about plans to make the Inferno operating system into a Linux competitor. "Michael Jeffrey, Vita Nuova's chief executive, says the company is initiating a new, royalty-free licensing model for Inferno that takes its cue from the open-source world of Linux, but with an important distinction: Unlike a traditional source-code licensing agreement, Vita Nuova's terms do not require customers to turn the code they develop over to the Inferno community."
On the other hand, unlike the BSD operating systems which also have more lenient licensing, getting a hold of the source code will cost you money. "The company will sell annual subscriptions for access to Inferno's source code to developers; an individual developer subscription is $300 per year, and corporate subscriptions start at $1,000 per year for five developers." Inferno is certainly not joining the list of "Open Source" operating systems.
Eric Raymond started the 15th MacHack conference off with a five hour keynote speech, reported ZDNet. "Software, he said, is a service industry, not a manufacturing industry -- a point that did not go over well with the coders who were still present. Many argued that the Mac community is too small to support a service model."
Also, see this article from Upside Today on the speech. " 'Yes, I really did jam with that audience for five hours,' said Raymond, via email. 'Actually, it was closer to six. What happened was that my keynote turned into an all-night workshop and debate -- very lively and a lot of fun for all concerned.'"
CNN reports on IBM's announcement of laptops with Linux preinstalled. "In backing the upstart technology, and its ethos of collaborative development and free distribution, IBM is targeting a consumer movement. It's also, possibly, out for revenge that's been long in coming."
ZDNet takes a look at IBM's
strategy for Linux. "As IBM general manager Buell G. Duncan
III puts it, 'Education is key to the new IBM.' Duncan's statement
was a direct reference to IBM's decision to offer classroom,
satellite and Web-based courses on both Linux and open source.
These classes aren't set in a vacuum. They lead to either a Linux
Professional Institute certification or a Red Hat Certified
Engineer. But it doesn't end there. The training programs also can
lead partners to a new IBM certification, dubbed Certified for
E-business Solution Technologist.
These classes aren't set in a vacuum. They lead to either a Linux Professional Institute certification or a Red Hat Certified Engineer. But it doesn't end there. The training programs also can lead partners to a new IBM certification, dubbed Certified for E-business Solution Technologist."
PCWorld takes a look at Intel's announcement of the Dot.Station web-appliance. "Linux Inside. Another aspect of the Dot.Station is that it doesn't include any Microsoft software. The unit runs an Intel-modified version of the Red Hat Linux distribution, and initially the Netscape 4.73 browser. Later versions will run Mozilla, a Netscape-like open-source browser for Linux."
News.com looks at the latest offering from Intel. "Intel will enter the increasingly crowded field for Internet appliances today with the Dot.Station, a countertop terminal powered by Red Hat Linux that lets people surf the Web, exchange emails and make phone calls."
From Business Week: Compaq has announced a Linux version of its iPAQ handheld computer, a device that was specifically designed to run Windows CE. "Compaq has no plans to turn the Linux handheld into a commercial product. However, a number of consumer information appliances based on the free, open-source operating system will become available in coming months, including products from Intel and Gateway."
This ZDNet article will be of most interest to AMD enthusiasts, but it still takes a moment out to mention Linux. "Ruiz said to expect AMD-based Internet appliances sometime in 2001 -- possibly some of them based on the Linux operating system."
ZDNet took a moment to point out that Compaq and Dell had not joined the list of companies excitedly demonstrating Crusoe-based products at the PC Expo. Performance issues are cited as the primary reason. "According to sources, Dell has found that the performance of the current TM 5400 chips is not yet up to par with similarly rated mobile chips from Intel."
InternetWeek put out a couple of articles on the progress Linux is making. The first article takes a look at people who are happily using Linux on the desktop right now, in this case, in a thin-client environment. " Welsh, who works at Cassens Transport, a trucking company in Edwardsville, Ill., has deployed diskless PCs on his users' desktops. All desktop apps are accessed from workgroup Linux servers running VistaSource Inc.'s Applixware software suite, which includes word processing and spreadsheet tools. Welsh says the thin-client solution is extremely cost-effective and easy to manage."
The second article, entitled "Super Glue", looks at Novell's Directory Services, eDirectory, on Linux. "During our tests, we had no trouble with any feature of eDirectory on Linux. We highly recommend using Linux boxes as eDirectory replication partners to offload overhead on the main file servers and to provide fault tolerance."
This Fox News article takes a look at a step towards choosing a standard for the digital house. "This past week Intel also said it will release a UPnP development kit, in this case for Linux. The kit will allow Linux device makers to develop a control interface for UPnP, so that a device can locate and interact with other UPnP-enabled devices, even if they are Windows-based."
This ZDNet article follows products in the Mac arena. However, one of the latest additions to their list is Linux-specific. "You want big iron? Total Impact has announced its Total mPOWER PCI-based multiprocessing board. The card can be ordered with four G3 or G4 processors (pricing based on configuration), each with its own fan. But before you go dreaming of superfast Photoshop filters, be warned that the mPOWER board currently supports only Linux."
In this OSOpinion article , Ganesh Prasad makes several predictions for the future of Java, Linux, and open source software. "Open Source products cannot be defeated in the marketplace. They will become market leaders in every major software category in 3-5 years. Most successful devices will run Open Source operating systems and basic Open Source applications like browsers and mail clients."
It seems the release of Windows2000 and NT2000 has "devalued" the certifications of many "Microsoft Certified Engineers". That means they get to take all the classes over again (and Microsoft makes more money). Some of them are taking the opportunity to learn Linux instead, according to this osOpinion piece. "I've always been uncomfortable with the fact that my career has been so vendor specific. Whether it's NT, UNIX, or NetWare, you become a decibel of the company, and you serve a master that answers to stockholders. To me, that means that decisions can be made to protect the stockholders that can radically affect your career. Ask a CNE what that means."
LinuxDevices has been polling its readers about what they value about open source. "Possibly the most interesting result, is that the #1 reason doesn't even pertain to USING the source. Rather, it expresses a strong belief that open source development produces better software than traditional proprietary software development."
The Washington Post has run this article on using Linux for your daily computing tasks. "Linux may have a reputation as a specialized uber-tool, something used by computer-science graduates to run Web servers or code Internet software. But many users of this free operating system don't employ it for anything fancier than the bread-and-butter tasks familiar to most Windows and Mac users--writing letters, wasting time on the Web, editing photos, or playing a game or two."
We've published several distribution reviews from the Duke of URL (Patrick Mullen) over the past month, but managed to miss this review of SuSE Linux 6.4. Thanks to the reader who pointed out the omission. Documentation and hardware support appear to be the key areas where SuSE did best. "As far as I'm concerned, SuSE has the best hardware compatibility out of any distribution. Everything worked flawlessly and the inclusion of XFree86 4.0 only raises the bar further."
ZDNet reprinted this Inter@ctive Week article on the push to open up immigration into the USA to address the need for more highly-skilled workers. "What is needed to resolve this problem is a global exchange, a virtual marketplace in which problems and solutions can be traded. One of the oldest market mechanisms, the exchange has been used successfully for centuries to trade assets ranging from commodities to complex financial instruments to tulips. Provide an intellectual property exchange for the high-tech industry, and the face of product development will change forever."
They failed to see an example of their solution already thriving in place: the global nature of the development of free software.
Microsoft recently announced what they have dubbed their "roadmap for the Next Generation Internet", Windows.NET. Bert Garcia gave his reaction to the news via this osOpinion article. " What shocks the pixels off my display is that this Next Generation Windows Services won't be delivered for at least another generation in Internet time, 3 years. ... Me, myself and I don't plan on waiting around. We'll keep learning and using Linux, Apache, PHP, MySql, Perl and Java. We'll start creating tomorrow's web sites today with the tools we have now".
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
June 29, 2000