Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Tim O'Reilly writes about gated open source communities. "Perhaps the term "gated open source community" has some negative connotations, since it suggests exclusivity, but at bottom, all it means is enabling users of a particular piece of software to form their own private community for source code access and sharing. This is a very appealing scenario for vendors and customers alike. It's also a great set of training wheels for wider participation in more traditional, fully open source projects."
Upside takes a look at PenguinRadio's recent influx of capital. "At least PenguinRadio seems to be weathering the recent market fluctuations better than most Linux-related startups. Last week the company announced what it called "an infusion of venture capital" from Internet Partnership Group, a London-based tech incubator."
This NewsTraders article reports that International Data Group has filed to sell 213,195 shares of VA Linux common stock.
Also from NewsTraders: Red Hat Inc. co-founder Marc Ewing filed to sell 500,000 of the company's common shares, according to this article.
News.com reports on SCO's quarterly results. "Analysts note that SCO has been hurt by the arrival of Linux, a less expensive clone of versions of Unix such as SCO's UnixWare. SCO initially derided Linux, which like SCO's Unix, runs most often on Intel hardware. But SCO has since warmed up to the operating system."
ZDNet looks at Internet server appliances. "These machines share three characteristics: They often have an unusual design to differentiate them from typical PCs; they include Web, e-mail, File Transport Protocol (FTP) and local area network (LAN) server functions; and they do so in a single box that runs Linux or FreeBSD Unix, a low-cost Unix product."
SecurityPortal's Kurt Seifried asks the question, "Why don't vendors ship the software they use themselves?". "Most Linux vendors ship the same general packages - Sendmail for SMTP mail services, WuFTPD for FTP, Telnet for remote access and so on. The kicker, though, is that most of these vendors use different software on their servers."
Wizards of the Coast plans to release its new version of the popular role playing game "Dungeons & Dragons". "When the 3rd edition of D&D is released in August, Wizards plans to give the core rules for the game away for anyone to use and amend, hoping that when other companies publish games, whether they are supplements for the basic D&D game or new games entirely, it will lead gamers back into the fold."
Here's a lengthy introductory article in Colorado Biz. "So why Linux? Corporate customers are beginning to see Linux as an inexpensive fit for applications that run on their servers, especially those that run web sites, databases and e-mail systems. Linux is available at little or no cost and can be freely copied. Its reputation for reliability means it can take fewer people to troubleshoot a Linux system." There's also a quote from LWN editor Liz Coolbaugh.
Here is an article about Linux's success in the recent SPECWeb99 benchmark. "To us at Signal Ground, the most interesting aspect of this benchmark was the SMP scalability of the Linux systems. 1, 2, and 4-processor Linux boxes earned scores of 1270, 2200, and 4200, respectively."
ZDNet repeated the recent Netcraft results we mentioned in last week's LWN. "A real-time survey of Web servers revealed that in June the Apache Web server free software bundled with most Linux distributions has surpassed 10 million installations. That number far outstrips the 3.5 million installations of Microsoft's Web server software, according to the Internet consultancy Netcraft survey . The Apache software accounts for an increasing number of Web servers almost 63 percent in June while Microsoft's share of the market is decreasing."
Then ZDNet put up this brief item claiming that the number of Linux-based web users is declining. "Up until April, the percentage of Web surfers using Linux rode a nice upswing, doubling from .16% in January of 1999 to .32% (see below). Since then, it has dropped to .27% as of last week, according to exclusive new data from WebSideStory's StatMarket."
The New York Times takes a look at China's Linux policies. "'We don't want one company to monopolize the software market,' said Chen Chong, a deputy minister of information industries who oversees the computer industry in China. With Linux, 'we can control the security,' he added, so 'we can control our own destiny.'" (Thanks to Donald Braman and Dan Ginsberg) (The NY Times is a Registration Required site.)
La Republica looks (in Italian) at Linux in China. "E' il software dall'anima pił 'comunista' in circolazione e non sorprende che il governo cinese abbia deciso di adottarlo in massa." ("It's the most 'communist' in spirit software around and it's not surprising that the Chinese government has decided to adopt it massively"). English text is available via Babelfish. (Thanks to Massimo Marengo).
ZDNet ran this article about Linux in handheld systems. "But it's not necessarily all about people who hate Microsoft. Linux developers said the hardware of Windows CE devices is more suitable for Linux, compared to the relatively lower processing power of current Palm devices. 'People are making business decisions about Linux,' said Jon Prial, director of marketing at IBM's Pervasive Computing division. 'It's a minority of the people who are doing this out of anti-Microsoft sentiment.'"
InternetWeek looks at the list of companies considered "Microsoft Partners", such as Intel, Dell, Compaq, etc., and how many of them are hedging their bets with Linux. "'It's a wide open operating system war,' said Gartner Group Linux analyst George Weiss. 'They don't want to be tied to a single operating system.'".
Upside examines the affect of the Microsoft break-up on Linux. "Only two things prevent future "Baby Bills" from taking over the Linux market, Kusnetzky says. The first is the outcome of the current Microsoft appeal, which even if unsuccessful, would provide enough of a delay for current Linux distributors to build their own connections."
Licenses and Patents.
ZDNet looks at alternative operating systems. "Will the Plan 9 bunny become as popular as the Linux penguin or the BSD deamon? I don't know, but it's cute enough to have its place among the other mascots."
Here's an Upside article on software patents. "As for community-owned technologies such as Linux and Apache, [Ray] Alderman sees them as the wild card that makes the embedded systems market a particularly scary environment over the next five years. Although companies seem to accept the conditions of things like the General Public License (GNU), such conditions do not protect the underlying source code from patent claims."
The July issue
of LinuxFocus magazine has been announced (English version). Translation into other languages is on-going.
LinuxOrbit tries to install Linux on a laptop. "I wasted a couple of hours hunting down the fixes for the SuSE 6.3 install, and feel like given a little more time and effort, I could get it installed. But since I had Mandrake 7.1 available, I thought I'd let it have a shot.
The Mandrake 7.1 install was about as smooth as I could hope for. No problems encountered and the last step of the install was configuring X, which was also flawless. Very impressive. "
discusses configuration files. "Linux is famous for being
'hard to configure.'
LinuxDevices took a look at the Indrema entertainment system. "Gildred and the other Indrema founders observed that there were lots of innovations taking place for PC-based games, but not much for consumer game consoles, due to high barriers to entry for individual developers that kept them from breaking into the console market. So, they resolved to create a new game console. One designed, from the ground up, to provide a game development environment and infrastructure capable of enabling any level of developer -- from an individual to a large corporation -- to bring products to market easily, and without huge barriers to entry. And they decided that the keys to accomplishing this mission would be open source software, open APIs, and the Linux operating system."
The Duke of URL has a new review of XFree86 4.0.1. The review includes benchmarks, and overview, and the latest NVidia drivers, version 0.9-4.
IBM's DeveloperWorks site has posted this paper comparing Linux and NT in the server role. "Linux will soon surpass NT in most if not all network service applications. It is an open source, multi-vendor, and multi-platform server operating system solution. It is stable, versatile, and powerful, and it can be free. Anything Windows NT can do, it can do as well and often better; and the Justice Department is not trying to break up any Linux shops."
Tucows has run this opinion piece claiming that Linux software companies are buying good reviews with free (as in "no charge") software. "A good example of this is the new version of Mandrake that recently came out. The reviews on it were great, so great in fact, that no one mentioned anything about the down side. Now, it is a great OS for Linux, and I will be the first to tell you that, but it also has some software conflicts and bugs that were never reported in most reviews. I spoke with some of the people who wrote reviews on Mandrake and they said that they don't like writing negative things because they get all this software free from Mandrake."
ZDNet reports on Chad Simonds' Tucows article on Linux software reviews. "While some will find such claims shocking, journalists are all too familiar with such attempts to manipulate reviews. 'This is an endemic problem with publications that don't pay their writers,' claims one editor. 'You get what you pay for. And, when the only 'pay' is coming from the vendor, well what do you expect?'"
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
July 13, 2000