Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Red Herring takes a look at the impact of international politics on the battle between free software and traditional, closed source binaries. They discuss recent government trends in France, Brazil and China. "A number of foreign governments are considering making open-source code mandatory for all government computing systems. It's a powerful move. Government represents one of the technology industry's largest and most lucrative customer bases and often serves as a bellwether for the industry."
News.com takes a look at Progeny Linux. "Progeny, like Red Hat and other Linux companies, hopes to make money by selling services and support to companies that want a hand using Linux, [Bruce] Perens said. Progeny looks to be different from others by offering support for a new software package called Linux NOW, which stands for 'network of workstations.'"
CNet reports that Transmeta's IPO is fast approaching. "Transmeta, developer of a new chip for mobile computing that could challenge Intel, picked Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown to arrange an initial public offering later this year, a person familiar with the matter said".
Palm Palm Technology, Korean developers of Tynux embedded Linux, announced a $6M investment in the firm. "The new funds will be used to further the company's research and development of its Embedded Linux system software, and for expansion of its business abroad including the United States, Japan, and China".
ZDNet reports on Sun's rumored plans to open-source StarOffice, releasing it under the GPL. "Releasing StarOffice under the GPL would be an important step for Sun, which has struggled with its Sun Community Source License. Several parts of the Java platform are available under SCSL, which allows developers to modify source code so long as it passes Sun's compatibility tests. Many developers find SCSL onerous, but Sun has argued that Java is not mature enough for a full open source license and that the installed base of Java applications is not large enough." (Thanks to Gary Shears).
CNet comments on Sun's rumored relicensing of StarOffice. This article mentions the use of potentially both the GPL and LGPL'd licenses; we'll have to wait for the official announcement tomorrow to be sure.
Here's an Upside article about Oracle's new NIC Internet appliance system. "The NIC is hard-drive free and, except for 4MB of Flash memory, memory-free. And most importantly, given that Ellison originally thought up the network computer in 1995 as a way to break Bill Gates' operating systems monopoly, it is completely Microsoft-free."
Newsbytes has this article from Comdex Canada covering Michael Cowpland's keynote there. "Cowpland said Corel is building on its existing presence in the Windows market - with some 50 million customers using its graphics and office productivity applications - by delivering Linux applications that look and feel exactly the same as its Windows software."
Corel Corp. CEO Michael Cowpland expects Corel to be back in the black, according to this article in the Ottawa Citizen. "'For the rest of the year, there's no more layoffs required,' Mr. Cowpland said in a brief interview after delivering a speech at Comdex 2000, a computer trade show.
He also said Corel would be back in the black in its fourth quarter. "
Here's the Montreal Gazette's take on Corel's plans to get back in the black. "The maker of CorelDraw and WordPerfect software said it will spend less on advertising and promotion by selling to computer manufacturers rather than through retailers. Computer-makers buy programs that are "bundled" and sold as a package with new computers. "
Here is an article from the Ottawa Citizen, reporting on a recent Corel SEC filing. "It said that if cost-cutting and new revenues fail to produce anticipated results, it may have to dip into the remaining reserves to meet operating capital needs after Sept. 30. It repeated earlier warnings that if the actions don't work, 'the company's ability to continue would be in substantial doubt and the going concern assumption ... may not be appropriate'".
Forbes looks at SCO's poor quarterly results and how the company may turn to Linux in an attempt to recover. "Sources say [SCO]'s working out an arrangement with France's MandrakeSoft to distribute its Linux-Mandrake operating system. SCO will use Linux-Mandrake as the base OS and add some features like clustering, which is a complex way to improve the performance and expansion of servers."
Here's an osOpinion piece speculating on the future of SCO. "The most likely scenario seems to have SCO spinning off Tarantella (probably as an immediate acquisition target), and looking for a Linux vendor to merge with the rest. If they could find some more VC cash, I think that TurboLinux could be a fairly straightforward candidate, as they could hone their focus in on Linux clustering, already their strongest point and a very promising market niche."
ZDNet takes a look at the money side of building a new business, something many free software entrepreneurs are experiencing first-hand. "There are no road maps to this fragmented world. But there are trailheads, compass points, and stories from fellow travelers, which we've assembled here to serve as your guide."
Upside reports on Lineo's deal with Hitachi. "'We tend to be OS agnostic,' says [Hitachi manager Prad] Sang. 'The reason we chose Lineo over other large companies such as Red Hat is because they seemed to be more focused on the consumer and embedded segment. Red Hat seems to have more of a server focus.'"
LinuxMall takes a look at the deal between Lineo and National Semiconductor. "But Lineo is far from being the only Linux-related company currently enjoying a partnership with National. In keeping with its perception of a "growing convergence of computing technologies with communications and consumer electronics to meet the rising demand for information access," National has courted a string of Linux companies starting in the fall of 1999, according to a company release. "
LinuxDevices.com has run this opinion piece on the new Japanese embedded Linux consortium. "The Tokyo announcement adds substantial impact to the already meteoric growth of the original Embedded Linux Consortium which, in just 120 days, has garnered support from nearly a hundred key embedded market players, including the likes of IBM, Motorola, and Red Hat."
The Irish Times has picked up this Lawrence Lessig piece against software patents. "The Americanisation of European patent law continues apace, with Germany's Supreme Court moving closer to the US practice of granting patents for software. This autumn, the European parliament will consider a proposal to extend the rule to the European Union as a whole. If the measure is approved, software in Europe, as in the US, will enjoy both the protection of copyright and patent law. But though the apparent beneficiaries of this change are software developers, those same developers are beginning to resist this expansion in their rights."
The first of the DVD trials, this one against Eric Corley, for posting the DeCSS software on the Internet, began today, reported CNet. "The defendant is not charged with developing the software or copying video disks himself; Corley is accused of posting the underlying source code of the program on the 2600 Web site, allowing other programmers to copy and use DeCSS".
The Chinese government moved its plans for Linux more directly into the open, according to this San Francisco Chronicle article. "``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.''" Note: this is a free version of a 'registration required' article that ran last week.
trplayer is a command-line based RealMedia player from Matt Campbell, who also developed ZipSpeak Linux distribution. trplayer uses a command-line interface rather than a GUI interface to make the software fully accessible to the visually impaired. LinuxNews reported on the player. "Although Campbell prefers Linux for visually impaired users, he realizes that the OS isn't perfect. 'Some things still aren't available to blind Linux users, and I'm addressing this problem through trplayer,' he said. 'One reason why I prefer Linux in programming for blind people is that Linux has great promise for these people, but there are still some areas that need improvement, and I'd like to help.'"
Nicholas Petreley tries to figure out why he doesn't like Zope in this LinuxWorld article. "As much as I dislike using Zope, it always sounds so much better than Enhydra when I try to describe them. I can't help but feel that if I simply use Zope for another week, I'll become a Zope addict. But weeks go by and I'm still just as sour on Zope. Perhaps that magic week will come someday. I'll let you know."
GnuLinux.com has posted what could well be the quickest ever introduction to vi. "This by no means is an exhaustive list of vi commands, but it will definately [sic] get you started in learning the ins and outs of one of the most popular (and oft time, misunderstood) Linux text editors."
According to this Wired News article, the Free Software Foundation has petitioned ICANN to create a ".gnu" top level domain. "[FSF managing officer Timothy] Ney said the foundation currently hosts about 4,000 electronic mailing lists and is prepared to be the registrar for the .gnu domain. Under the proposal, the foundation would only grant domains to approved individuals or organizations. They would do so in exchange for a small fee."
Upside reports on the Linux software reviews controversy and a few other topics as well. "You know the dog days of summer are here when reporters and editors have nothing better to do than complain about rival media organizations. Chad Simonds, webmaster for Tucows Linux, gets credit for kicking off this week's most interesting flamefest with his article bemoaning the lack of objectivity in most online software reviews."
VAR Business talks with Mark Bolzern about LinuxMall.com. "Although Linux is becoming increasingly mainstream, much of the innovation that keeps it evolving comes from code writers who contribute their efforts to the greater good. This lack of compensation for work--and the occasionally eccentric characters who performed it--initially raised questions about whether Linux was ready for prime time. Now, said Bolzern, it's more accurate to ask whether enterprises are ready for Linux."
The Duke of URL has put up this article comparing NVidia and 3dfx video cards. He provides Linux-based benchmark comparisons between the GeForce2 GTS and two Voodoo cards. " 32 bpp tells much the same story, but the Voodoo5 actually beats the GeForce2 at 1600x1200! All this as a crippled card, since it only utilizes one of the VSA-100 processors. This fits the analogy perfect that many people use:The GeForce2 is a Ferarri, while the Voodoo5 is a monster truck."
More games for Linux. CNN reports on the release of Sim City 3000: Unlimited, coming to Linux this summer, courtesy of Maxis, Sim City developers and Loki Software.
News.com reports on the Indrema game console. "But the company's success ultimately will rest on whether it can convince developers to write games. Here, too, the company is leaning on philosophy from the open-source community that collectively developed Linux, often with no profit motive whatsoever. Unlike current game consoles, developers will be able to offer programs nearly for free, paying only a fee to have programs certified..."
Richard Stallman has issued a response to comments about the GPL made by Warwick Allison of Troll Tech in a previous interview. "...Allison's implication that the GPL is meant to stop someone from making money is just plain wrong; in fact, the freedom to sell copies for a profit is part of the freedom that the GPL protects. Being for freedom and community does not mean being against profit."
KDE is 2 years old now and LinuxPlanet has this article wishing KDE a happy birthday. "However things turn out, the people of KDE have already achieved a very great deal. If you're one of the millions of happy KDE users, it might be a nice thing to take a minute today to drop a note to one or another of the KDE developers, just to say thanks."
Here's an osOpinion piece calling for the end of the X Window System. "Well, I hate to burst your bubble, folks: Linux (and even the FreeBSD to a lesser extent) is just as overweight as most other operating systems these days. The kernel alone (when compiled), can take up anywhere from 700K to 1.2MB, depending on the configuration and whether drivers are compiled in. The GNU C library is likewise huge, nearly twice the size of the comparable BSD C library. But the most egregious offender in this area, the reigning champ of bloat, is the X Window System."
This ZDNet article starts off on Microsoft, but skip to the bottom for a fun historical tidbit on our friend, Jon "Maddog" Hall. "Swaying back again: If you've paid any attention to the Linux arena, you've spotted one Jon "Maddog" Hall, executive director of Linux International, a group that promotes Linux. How did this hulking, bearded and bespectacled fellow get his nickname? Does he foam at the mouth? Does he bark? No, but this seemingly taciturn soul does have a temper."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
July 20, 2000