On the Desktop
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Engelbart to Help Prodigy Fight BT Lawsuit (Linux Journal). Software patents are the focus of this Linux Journal article. British Telecom (BT) is suing the ISP Prodigy for patent infringement. BT claims to have a patent on hyperlinks. "'I can't imagine it. We were using hyperlinks way back', [user interface pioneer Douglas] Engelbart said. He said that he and his colleagues had hyperlinks working in 1965 or 1966. He added that he would prefer not to testify in the case, and would rather help Prodigy's lawyers behind the scenes. Last year, slashdot.org suggested videos of Engelbart's 1968 hypertext demo 'knock BT's patent for hyperlinking out of the water'."
IBM's graffiti ads runs afoul of city officials (CNN). Here's the fun news for the day, from CNN. It seems that IBM has gotten in trouble in San Francisco for spray-painting penguins on the sidewalk. "The signs are made from biodegradable chalk, [an IBM spokesperson] added, and can be removed easily. 'It washes right off, so it will be removed the next time it rains.' It rained in San Francisco Wednesday evening, but the penguins were still there Thursday morning, smiling broadly."
Peace, love and...Linux? (ZDNet). ZDNet covers IBM's Peace, Love and Linux sidewalk campaign. "According to Christine Falvey of the San Francisco Department of Public Works, IBM's timing was bad considering the recent Clean City Summit and a general push to keep San Francisco city streets clean."
TuxBox: Rising from Indrema's ashes (NewsForge). NewsForge has a story about the TuxBox project, which wants to pick up Indrema's work and produce a Linux-based gaming console. "The plan is to have 20 to 30 games, a combination of freeware and commercial titles, ready for the TuxBox when it's available to buy, and the TuxBox team hopes to offer at least one commercial game with the console."
Developer sites expanding (ZDNet). ActiveState's online resources are examined in this ZDNet article. "Although ActiveState did not have specific figures, [company founder and CEO Dick] Hardt said that in the few days since the launch of the online network, traffic to the company's Web site has been heavier. ActiveState normally gets more than a million visitors a month, he said."
Thieves R Us (Law.com). Mike Godwin writes about hardware that assumes everybody is a copyright outlaw in this Law.com article. "Put more broadly: Technologies that empower people don't discriminate between good uses and bad. So if we build constraints into our computer systems that prevent infringement, we're also making it impossible for users to engage in all sorts of lawful copying."
Embedded Linux flexes its muscles at ESC 2001 (LinuxDevices). Here's the traditional report on all things Linux from LinuxDevices.com, at the recent Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) 2001. "Just to be absolutely clear about what I'm saying, in my opinion the "big three" embedded OSes are, at the moment: (1) VxWorks, (2) Embedded Linux, (3) Embedded Windows -- or (1) VxWorks, (2) Embedded Windows, (3) Embedded Linux -- depending on how you count. These days, I doubt if you can find an embedded software or hardware vendor that doesn't attribute "must-support" status to Linux, or a developer who doesn't feel compelled to investigate Linux as an embedded OS option in the course of a new product development cycle."
Commentary: Apple increases its OS X options (ZDNet). Despite Michael Dell's views, Apple won't go the way of SGI according to this ZDNet commentary. And the reason is open source. "The real future of Mac OS X, however, lies in the development of Darwin, the open-source Unix foundation of Mac OS X, and in its eventual migration to the PC platform."
IBM targets Linux interoperability with AIX 5.1 (ZDNet). More on the release of IBM's latest version of AIX, targeted at Linux compatibility (through recompiles), comes in this article from ZDNet. "Among the other significant features of 5.1 are increased scalability, with the JFS2 file system enabling storage of large files of up to 4 Petabytes. The Java 2 Technology edition provides a cooperative interface between AIX and Java for increased application scalability."
IBM confronts Sun in Unix face-off (News.com). IBM is set to roll out a set of Unix servers in its battle with Sun, according to this C|Net News.com story. "The "Linux affinity" feature of AIX 5L means that Linux software can be more easily brought to IBM systems by software companies or customers who have access to the "source code" underlying the software. The feature allows Linux programs to take advantage of AIX features such as higher performance and control over how many computing resources different programs get, Kerr said."
Sun to open 'expanded Web' with Jxta (News.com). Part of the launch of Sun's new Jxta environment, Collab.net is set to announce an open-source programming community for the software according to this report from News.com. "Sun will release the software Wednesday under a license similar to that which governs the open-source Apache Web-server software--after Linux probably the most famous open-source effort--Sun said."
Hitachi unveils Crusoe/Linux tablet Net appliance (CNN). Hitachi placed its newest table on sale in Japan, complete with Crusoe processor and Midori Linux. "The built-in modem supports the IEEE 802.11b wireless networking standard and speeds of up to 11M bps (bits per second), although no base station is provided. Users will have to also buy a 802.11b-based home networking system or modem adapter with wireless support to connect to the Internet."
An Upgradable Appliance (ZDNet). ZDNet reviews the New Internet Computer (NIC), an inexpensive computing device that runs the Linux OS and Netscape browser from a CD.
The PictureBook, a.k.a Sony VAIO PCG-C1VN (Linux Journal). Linux Journal examines the Sony VAIO PictureBook (that's V-A-I-O, despite the article title) as a Linux system. "If these features aren't enough, toss in a built-in camera that, under Linux, can capture JPGs or write an AVI file. The mouse is one of those little pencil eraser-like gizmos but, on the plus side, it has three buttons rather than the more standard and expected two."
Linux takes another step forward (ZDNet). ZDNet examines Red Hat Linux 7.1 and its inclusion of the 2.4 kernel. "Red Hat 7.1 installs more securely out of the box than Version 7.0 did. By default, it installs firewall settings that block incoming IP traffic on ports below 1024 (with the exception of ports used for automatic IP address assignment) plus higher-numbered ports used by Network File System and X Window."
Alternative OS: Red Hat Linux with Nautilus (ZDNet). PC Magazine looks at running Red Hat Linux with Eazel's Nautilus. "Users can install Nautilus via the Web to machines running Red Hat 6, an extremely rare convenience in the Linux world. Linux enthusiasts will also appreciate that it can be obtained as an rpm, a package format that allows for relatively easy installation."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
April 26, 2001