Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Commerce page.
Time for a fun Linux toy. A company called "iRobot" has put out an
announcement for its new product: the "iRobot-LE." It's a
Linux-powered robot aimed at household use; it can be monitored and
controlled from anywhere on the net via a web browser. It can climb
stairs, and has sonar and infrared systems for avoiding obstacles.
Suggested uses include monitoring the babysitter, home security, and even
communication with people in the house - though the legacy "telephone"
technology still tends to work well in application as well. All for a mere
specifications page talks a bit about what's inside; it's running a 450
MHz AMD K6 processor, 64MB memory, and a 6GB disk. It has USB and wireless
ethernet connections, a video camera, and a temperature sensor. They don't
say whose distribution it is running, but the reference to "Linux 6.2"
on the FAQ page gives a
clue. It's running a version of Apache with SSL enabled.
An obvious concern with a system of this type is going to be security.
After all, some care should be taken before placing a web-controllable,
mobile device with audio and video capabilities at large on one's house.
iRobot's security seems to be based mainly on SSL security and passwords;
as long as you keep a handle on your password, the thing should be
reasonably safe. That assumes, of course, that nobody turns up a bad
Apache bug, that there are no Apache configuration mistakes on the device,
and that the robot is not running any other services which could be
compromised. Experience says that the software on this system is likely to
need an update sooner or later; one hopes that the iRobot folks have a
mechanism in place to deal with the likely trouble.
A related issue of concern: a device with a name like "iRobot" should
certainly come with a statement of compliance with the Three
Laws of Robotics, but none such appears on the web pages...
The IBM Asia Pacific Linux Initiative.
IBM's Linux support moves into the Asia Pacific region with its Asia Pacific
Linux Initiative. According to
this announcement IBM will be spending more than
$200 million over the next 4 years. The company already has
"Solution Partnership Centres" in Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul and
Bangalore. These provide a single point of contact for Linux
developers to access the systems, software and technical skills of
the online IBM resources. In addition, several "Linux Competency
Centers" will be funded throughout the area, setting up alliances,
deploying consultants, and more. The DeveloperWorks site will
appear in Japanese and Chinese versions. IBM is partnering with
TurboLinux for some of this work.
RSA patent released into public domain.
RSA Security Inc. has
announced that the RSA public key encryption patent has been
released into the public domain. The act would have been rather
more generous a few years ago - this patent is, after all, set to
expire in two weeks. It is still something to celebrate, however;
one of the fundamental cryptographic algorithms is finally free.
M-Systems and LynuxWorks announce DiskOnChip support for BlueCat Linux.
announced that LynuxWorks will be including DiskOnChip flash
memory support in BlueCat Linux.
Open Source Products.
Unless specified, license is unverified.
- AMIRIX Systems Inc. (HALIFAX, NOVA
SCOTIA, CANADA) announced the release of an open source
configuration tool for embedded Linux systems. Amirix is a
sponsor of the non-commercial 'Embedded Debian Project' whose goal is
to create a completely open, multi-vendor embedded Linux software
resource based on the Debian GNU/Linux distribution.
Commercial Products for Linux.
3R Soft (SAN JOSE, Calif.) unveiled MailStudio@MESSAGE, a
web-based e-mail server program.
Dialtone Internet, Inc. (FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla.) announced that all
its Linux Servers and Linux Cluster Servers are being updated to
deliver web content to wireless devices.
- Loki Software announced that SimCity
3000 Unlimited for Linux is now in production. The first copies
will roll off the assembly lines late next week for shipment to our
online store and other distributors.
Products with Linux Versions.
Citrix Systems, Inc. (FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.) announced the
introduction of Citrix Extranet, its new Virtual Private
Network (VPN) software solution.
easyDNS Technologies Inc. (TORONTO) announced support for
dynamic DNS updates for domain names subscribed to their DNS
Hewlett-Packard Company (PALO ALTO, Calif.) announced its family
of HP e-utilica solutions, which enable service providers and
carriers to instantly launch or augment pay-per-use application
hosting and compute capacity services.
LegacyJ Corp. (SAN JOSE, Calif.) announced PERCobol Enterprise
Version 2.5, a COBOL compiler that bridges to Java.
Media Excel, Inc. (AUSTIN, Texas) introduced SoftStream, a
real-time software encoding solution written in C language.
- Metagon Technologies, LLC (Charlotte,
NC) announced that its flagship product, DQbroker will be
available for free evaluation on September 11. DQbroker is a peer-to-peer
distributed processing solution.
Merlin Software Technologies International Inc. (BURNABY, British
Columbia) announced it will provide support for Sun's Solaris
operating system, IBM AIX and RedHat SPARC in the upcoming release of
- Pixami, Inc. (SAN RAMON, CA), a B2B
infrastructure company formed to provide digital imaging technology to
the online photo industry, announced it will now begin offering its
complete suite of online photo enhancement technologies on the
Linux operating system.
- Rational Software (PHILADELPHIA, Pa.)
announced Rational SiteLoad, a Web-based load testing product
designed to help e-businesses avoid costly and highly visible Web site
RSA Security Inc. (BEDFORD, Mass.) introduced the latest version
of its RSA BSAFE Crypto-C security software.
- Sensiva, Inc. (Mountain View,
California) unveiled a line of Internet navigational software
that provides a consistent interface across different applications,
different platforms and different languages.
Zero G (SAN FRANCISCO) announced the immediate availability of
version 3.5 of the InstallAnywhere product line, a multi-platform
software deployment system.
Inprise/Borland (SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.) announced Borland
JBuilder 4, the latest version of its pure Java cross-platform
Vertel Corporation (WOODLAND HILLS, Calif.) announced the e*ORB
Java Edition, mediation software, tested on Linux.
Books & Training.
IDG Books Worldwide (FOSTER CITY, Calif.) announced a rebirth of
its Visual(TM) brand (formerly the 3-D Visual(R) series). Some
Linux related titles are included in the series.
- O'Reilly (Sebastopol, CA) just
released the second edition of "Java Network Programming".
Corel Corporation (MILPITAS, Calif.) announced it will partner
with PCTEL, Inc. to support a Linux-compatible software modem.
EdgeMatrix (HONG KONG) has clinched a deal with Brighton
Technologies to WAP-enable mobile shares trading in China.
EdgeMatrix software run on Linux.
Embarcadero Technologies, Inc. (SAN FRANCISCO) and Red Hat,
Inc. announced the immediate availability of Embarcadero's
ER/Studio, Rapid SQL and DBArtisan database management solutions for
Red Hat Linux.
Loki Software Inc. (TUSTIN, Calif.) and Trolltech announced
a strategic alliance to provide business and end-user programs for
Merlin Software Technologies International Inc. (BURNABY, British
Columbia) announced an agreement with Servicios Humanos
Especializados en Computo, S.A. under which S.H.E.C will
distribute PerfectBACKUP+ throughout Mexico.
Minerva Networks (SANTA CLARA, CA) announced a partnership with
SGI. Minerva has integrated its IP Television service
management software with Linux-based SGI 1200 and SGI1450 servers.
NeTraverse Inc. (AUSTIN, Texas) and RedFlag Software Co.,
Ltd. announced a strategic partnership and alliance. RedFlag will
standardize the NeTraverse Win4Lin Desktop and Server products to run
Windows applications on RedFlag Linux.
RadiSys Corp. (HILLSBORO, Ore.) has signed a partnership agreement
with MontaVista Software Inc. to promote the Linux operating
system on RadiSys' embedded solutions.
Baymountain, Inc. (RICHMOND, Va.), a provider of Linux-based ASP
services announced that Barry Bryant has joined the company as Chief
Lineo, Inc. (LINDON, Utah) named Bob Waldie, formerly of Moreton
Bay, as Chief Operations Officer.
(Mountain View, CA) announced the resignation of Richard Kraus, CEO
Linux At Work.
SurfControl plc (LONDON) announced a contract with Concert, the
AT&T/BT global communications venture, to supply Concert with the
new Linux-compatible version of its Internet filtering software.
Bluepoint Linux Software Corp. (LOS ANGELES) announced that it
received two awards on " 'Yesky Cup' 2000 Computer Week Reader Survey
Award Banquet" held on August 31 in Beijing, China.
- A new magazine called
Genome Technology will publish its first issue this month.
Included is a feature story on one of the world's largest production
Linux installations at Incyte Genomics in Palo Alto.
InfoWorld magazine (REDWOOD SHORES, Calif.) awarded Oracle8i
Release 2 on Linux the highest overall Test Center rating of
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) (NEW YORK) announced the opening
of four new offices located in New York City; Round Rock, TX;
St. Louis, MO; and Phoenix, AZ. The Round Rock office will serve as
the home base for TCS' Linux Research and Development activities.
TechMetrix Research (BOSTON) announced the availability of its
newest study, Open Source and Free Software Report.
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol.
September 7, 2000