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A Thorn in the MPAA's Side (Wired). Wired News talks with Dave Touretzky, the creator of the Gallery of CSS Descramblers. "'Even if we get this (DeCSS) code distributed everywhere, it's just going to strengthen the hand of the content companies to argue that people can't be trusted to have control of their own computers and the government must enforce controls over computers,' Touretzky said."
Freenet: Will It Smash Copyright Law? (NewsBytes). NewsBytes looks at the FreeNet project. "[FreeNet developer Ian Clarke] thinks that copyrights in general have lost their place in the digital age. 'In my view,' he said, 'copyright has been a failure, in addition to being based on something that simply isn't true: namely, that information is property.'"
Virus plague causes charity to consider Linux (Register). According to The Register, the charity "ActionAid" has gotten fed up with viruses, and is considering a switch to Linux in order to be rid of the problem. "As well as promising 'virus free' computing, adopting the open source operating system might also save the charity much needed funds particularly with the increasing cost of Microsoft's software." (Thanks to Richard Jones).
Open Source Is Alive and Well in Arizona (AZtechBiz.com). Arizona Cooperative Power is managing a Linux project called the MyLinux Pocket Linux Workstation (PLW) Project, which AZtechBiz says is reaching critical mass. "The Hitachi SuperH 32-bit RISC Engine designed into the MyLinux architecture is ideally suited for low-power, high-performance portable applications. It is an advanced processor technology that inspires software and hardware engineers among many others including vendors of components. Epson, Micron Technology, Sharp, Xilinx and Hitachi are among the many MyLinux PLW Project contributors of code, resources, design assistance, support and components. Because of the high-end quality of these components used in the MyLinux PLW, engineers of all types are drawn to the project as excitement and word about it travel the globe via the Internet."
Linux standardization efforts move ahead (News.com). Here is a brief CNET article on the recent progress over at the Free Standards Group. "On Monday, developers released version 1.1 of the Linux Development Platform Specification, said Scott McNeil of the Free Standards Group. ... In addition, on Wednesday the consortium released for public review version 2.2 of its Filesystem Hierarchy Standard, which governs the location of key files used by Linux and Unix".
Red Hat Drops Anonymous up2date Services, Introduces Service Fees (LinuxToday). Red Hat is dropping its free update services and going to a fee based model. According to this LinuxToday article, that move fits well with Red Hat's partnership with Nautilus maker, Eazel. "Marshall, however, says Red Hat's model will fly based on the fact that Red Hat and Eazel are partnering around Red Hat's deployment of Nautilus as the default file manager on Red Hat distributions in a deal with undisclosed financial elements that will involve the companies sharing revenues from the use of Nautilus as a conduit for Red Hat's update services."
Take a Letter, Rex! Applixware is Coming to System/390 Linux (Enterprise Linux Today). This story from Enterprise Linux Today suggests that the VistaSource acquisition by Parallax Capital Partners is unlikely to be the death of ApplixWare. "Zimmer says VistaSource hasn't set a release date for the S/390 port yet, and that "many things have yet to be determined" about product announcements after the acquisition. This doesn't mean, however, that the S/390 product is vaporware. In fact, Applixware Words and Applixware Spreadsheets are already running in the development environment, with the other components of Applixware Office following close behind."
IBM steps up storage support for Linux (ZDNet). ZDNet reports on IBM's move to put Linux into external storage. "One IBM hardware product that will support Linux is the Enterprise Storage Server, code-named Shark, which IT managers can connect to an IBM z900 or S/390 mainframe."
Rigging For Tech (ZDNet). Schlumberger, the oil drilling giant, makes its foray into open source with the launch of MetaDot. "The start-up will provide custom open source-based Web software and systems integration services to small and midsized companies, selling software to link multiple facets of a company's operations to a Web-based interface."
Embedded Linux vendors assess the impact of Midori (LinuxDevices). Looking at industry reaction to Transmeta's Midori Linux project, LinuxDevices speaks with Bryan Sparks of Lineo, Michael Tiemann of Red Hat, and Kevin Morgan of MontaVista. "Sparks: With Transmeta technology being open source, we believe the Linux community and all companies that utilize embedded Linux technologies will gain advantages from [Transmeta's] research and development efforts, especially in the area of enhanced power management."
IBM recovering from Sun blindness (News.com). Here's a News.com article on IBM's server business. "Perhaps more important, Linux has changed IBM's popularity among programmers and has raised the company's profile in a very similar way to what Sun accomplished with its Java software."
Economies of Scale: IBM And Sun Vie for the Glass House (Internet.com). Linux on big iron is a cost saving measure, according to this article on Enterprise Linux Today. "Mainframe hardware is not cheap, and neither is the software that controls it. While Linux itself is free or (in a commercial package) nearly so, the underlying VM operating system that allows hundreds or thousands of Linux instances to coexist is considered a costly line item even in mainframe circles. Administering System/390 Linux itself is very similar to administering Linux on other platforms, but getting the underlying mainframe systems up and running requires some specific talent that might not exist in an otherwise-Linux-only shop."
IBM to expand Linux storage products (Upside). Here is a short article from Upside which covers IBM's recent commitments to Linux for its storage product lines. "But today, the company said it will Linux-enable linear-tape backup products, its modular storage servers on Intel-based and Alpha platforms and its FAStT200 and FAStT500 storage servers for disk storage".
Compaq invests in Linux company SuSE (News.com). News.com looks at events at SuSE, including an investment from Compaq. "In addition, SuSE has replaced Volker Wiegand, the former president of North American operations. SuSE Chief Technology Officer Dirk Hohndel has taken over, while Wiegand is returning to Germany as part of SuSE's professional services group, the company said."
China invests in Linux revolution (News.com). The Chinese government is investing in Red Flag Linux, hoping to curb Microsoft's control of the the Chinese software market. "Red Flag will have more commercial opportunities and enjoy more favorable policies than other software makers with support from the government and technology help from the Academy of Science, said Wang Bo, chief financial controller at Red Flag."
Linux slips slowly into the enterprise realm (NetworkWorldFusion). Another look into the way Linux is making its way into the enterprise market, this article examines the cost of real world open source installations. "'They build it once and then chop it up and distribute it,' [IDC analyst] Kuznetsky says. 'If you were doing this for 2,000 sites using SCO UnixWare at $4,500 per license, it would cost $9 million for just the system software.' He says Windows would cost $8 million, but with Linux a user can get off for $180 if they buy Red Hat Linux. And they can replicate it as many times as they want. "
Embedding Linux in a DiskOnChip (ZDNet). ZDNet's John Lombardo discusses the installation of Linux on the DiskOnChip module in a tutorial article. "Sometimes you can't justify the time and expense of developing a dedicated hardware platform for your embedded application. Perhaps the quantities are too small or the market is unproven. However, even under these circumstances you still don't want to ship a big klunky box with a hard drive. Hard drives wear out over time, they draw lots of power and get very hot. Besides, customers know a PC when they see one."
IBM's Linux Wristwatch (FreeOS.com). FreeOS.com examines IBM's Linux Wristwatch. "The wristwatch runs the Linux 2.2.1 kernel with the ARM patch from Ben Williamson. According to IBM, there are certain issues regarding the non-availability of this patch in the latest stable kernel release. The ARM processor that powers the watch runs at 19MHz, is RISC based and which according to estimates is almost equivalent to a 100 Mhz Pentium. The motherboard for the watch was fabricated at IBM's Japan research center. The kernel, which required some massive hacking including the shell that the watch runs, was `tweaked' at Big Blue's research center at Bangalore."
.comment: A Whole New Desktop with Anti-Aliasing (LinuxPlanet). LinuxPlanet is running a lengthy article on using antialiased fonts with KDE. "As you have probably heard, Keith Packard's Xft extension, which had been available hacked into versions of QT since 2.2.3, took up permanent and official residence there with last week's release of QT-2.3.0. This means that if you build QT with the -xft compile option (or obtain a binary that has it compiled in), and you do a few more things I'll discuss in a moment, you'll have anti-aliased screen fonts. They are a joy."
An interview with Ericsson's "blip" project R&D manager (LinuxDevices.com). LinuxDevices.com interviews Kjell Svenson, R&D manager for the uClinux driven BLIP project at Ericsson. "All code generated to support the BLIP board (including its BSP) will be openly available through the Developerszone program. Beyond this, since the stock uClinux userland collection contains so much useful stuff, we have not yet really needed to implement any more generically useful software that would be worth releasing as open source. "
The Berlin Project: An interview with lead developer Stefan Seefeld (LinuxPower). LinuxPower interviews Berlin hacker Stefan Seefeld. "In the mozilla sources, you won't find many templates, exceptions, namespaces, or similar recent things. This is the price you pay for being portable. Berlin, on the other hand, is designed for tomorrow. Since we are not compatible with anything else anyway, we better use that fact to our advantage. This keeps the code clean and makes maintenance relatively easy. By the time Berlin is usable at large, the platforms will have evolved sufficiently to make portability easy."
The status of the Linux ACPI support (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices.com looks at Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) support within the Linux kernel. "The big deal is that Linux is not a plug-and-play OS and ACPI assumes one. In Linux 2.5, there will be major changes to the OS initialization sequence to support ACPI. In addition, the Linux driver model needs to change to support both power management and plug and play. This is required before a system can successfully sleep and wake using ACPI mechanisms."
Bridging the digital divide for inner-city residents (MARstar). Members of the D.C. area Linux user group helped put together a Linux network to help inner city residents. "This software is superior to the vendor-provided software and it's cheaper," John said. "The `digital divide' is a very real problem in neighborhoods like this one. People are not getting the knowledge they need and are locked out of society."
A Flower's Family Tree (NCSA). J. William Bell writes about genetic research on plants that was performed using a Linux supercomputing cluster. "Using the 512-processor LosLobos Linux Pentium III supercomputing cluster at the Albuquerque High Performance Computing Center, the team has created a phylogeny reconstruction-or evolutionary history of 12 bluebell species, predicting all of the steps that take these species back to a single common ancestor."
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
March 22, 2001