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Trinity drinks deeply at learning's open source (IT News). This article shows how an Australian college dumped its WindowsNT environment in favor of a thin client based Linux/GNOME/Python solution for its students. "Although the lab uses Debian with the GNOME desktop environment, Trinity was stuck with its Windows 2000 desktop licences. They sit, unused and unopened, in a cupboard. After being assured the HP clients would run Linux, "we couldn't get through to anyone who could give us boxes without Windows," says Wraith."
Code-Breakers Go to Court (Wired). Wired News reports on the lawsuit filed by Prof. Edward Felten and associates against the SDMI, the RIAA, and others. They hope to get a judgment ensuring their right to publish the details of their attack against the SDMI watermarking technology this summer. "'Studying digital access technologies and publishing the research for our colleagues are both fundamental to the progress of science and academic freedom,' said Felten, an associate professor of computer science. 'The recording industry's interpretation of the DMCA would make scientific progress on this important topic illegal.'"
Gartner: 8.6%, Miller: no way, UK Gov't: We'll try. (The Register). A trio of stories came to us from the Register. The first is another account of the recent Microsoft-sponsored Gartner group data showing only 8.6% of the servers in the US run Linux. These numbers are refuted by Robin Miller of Newsforge, who says units shipped hardly reveals units in use for open source operating systems. Finally, the UK Government's e-Envory portal designer has gotten religion and is adding open source connectivity to phase 2 of that project. (Thanks to Dave Killick for all three stories)
Battle brews over Linux server share(ZDNet). Gartner says Linux accounts for only 9% of server sales, but IDC says preinstalled systems are only a small part of the total Linux server usage. The Gartner number would be "quite reasonable" if it simply surveyed those new servers that came with Linux preinstalled, [IDC analyst Dan] Kusnetzky said. "But our research is that this is not how most users get their Linux," he said. "We found that just 10 to 15 percent of Linux adoption comes from preinstalled machines. It's a very small part of the market. For every paid copy of Linux, there is a free copy that can be replicated 15 times."
HP expands deal with programming site (News.com). CollabNet's expansion into proprietary software for distributed development brings HP in deeper to their business. "HP will pay CollabNet for use of Internet tools that enable worldwide programming efforts, with features such as tracking changes to software and permitting authorized business partners to contribute."
Novell tows VMware into education market (News.com). VMWare is looking to expand its academic distributions, starting with a deal with Novell. "The most complex Novell course requires a student to use four operating systems, said Aaron Osmond, director of business development for Novell's education program. Novell has made VMware-based education kits for four courses and has five more of these Quick Classroom products under development."
Sun woos fans for open-source Jxta (ZDNet). Sun tries to entice open source developers to the JXTA way, but research shows the convert count is small so far. "In an effort to whip up enthusiasm and win new disciples, the tousle-haired Joy spent much of his time sketching out a new vision of the Internet's evolution, a world where cell phones, handheld devices and ordinary PCs would wield the same power as massive Web servers."
Caldera loss exceeds estimate (News.com). C|Net's News.com summarizes Caldera's recent earnings report. "Like other Linux companies, Caldera has faced an increasingly difficult challenge as investors have left their initial giddiness for Linux behind. The company went public in March 2000 at $14 a share and recently has been trading below $2."
Investor rage gets ugly (Red Herring). The Red Herring reports on "investor rage," which comes from having lost large amounts of money on dotcom stocks. "'My kids' ages are off limits, because of security. We get death threats at work from dissatisfied shareholders,' says Matthew Szulik, CEO of Red Hat, whose stock plummeted from a high of $143 in December 1999 to a low of $5 a year later, erasing $23 billion worth of market capitalization. 'People bought in when the stock was hot and the movement was hot,' Mr. Szulik groans, 'and now they're pissed.'"
Microsoft, Red Hat set open-source debate (News.com). C|Net reports on the upcoming Microsoft vs open source debate that will take place at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention in San Diego in late July. "Mundie is expected to explain why Microsoft's vision of "shared source" software, where the software giant makes the source code of some of its products available to customers and partners while still maintaining the intellectual property rights, is better than open source. Michael Tiemann, chief technical officer of Red Hat, will present the case for open source."
Hacking Ellison's NIC for fun and profit (LinuxDevices). Jerry Epplin takes The New Internet Computer Company's Linux-based "NIC" Internet appliance for a spin and reviews his findings in LinuxDevices.com. "From my perspective as an embedded system developer, it wouldn't have killed them to provide a serial port on the unit -- although such an interface is admittedly unnecessary for the home market to which the NIC is targeted, and minimizing costs was clearly an overriding concern."
Volution Product Review (Linux Journal). Linux Journal reviews Caldera's web based systems management solution, Volution. "Volution is a systems-management product. It is not an operating system management product. The distinction between the two is gray and Volution crosses the line on both sides. For example, I can have the machine alert me if I have more than 15 users logged in, but Volution in its current state will not let me add or delete users. "
Linux Device Drivers Update (O'Reilly Network). The O'Reilly Network talks with LWN editor Jonathan Corbet about Linux device drivers (and, of course, about the upcoming second edition of the Linux Device Drivers book). "In this interview, Jonathan discusses the changes in the device driver world since version 2.0, takes an educated guess or two at what's coming down the pike, and provides a few insights into the actual development process for these very important tools."
Want Linux on your desktop? Nine reasons to forget about it (ZDNet). AnchorDesk's David Coursey gives 9 reasons why he thinks Linux won't make it as a desktop. "Linux will never become common as a desktop operating system, and no amount of believing will change that. It only makes adherents look stupid. Why? Because Linux is too complex, and there isn't enough money to make it worth someone's time to build a really great environment for desktop apps." In a debate often ripe with opinion and little fact, Coursey is no different. While he is entitled to his opinion, he doesn't back it up with any research.
Linux Myths and Mythconceptions 101 (AboutLinux). AboutLinux responds to the ZDNet "Linux Desktop is Dead" article and picks apart the arguments presented in that opinion piece one by one to dispell this myth. "I will freely admit that David raises some valid concerns, however I have to point out that most of his "reasons" have absolutely nothing to do with Linux on the desktop; and calling them reasons for forgetting Linux on the desktop is ... interesting."
Is BSD getting lost amid the open source salvos? (ZDNet). ZDNet wonders whether BSD's silence over the Microsoft attacks is because they view the GPL the same way Redmond does. "The ambivalence of the BSD crowd to Microsoft's attacks is due, I think, to the fact that while they may be put off by the overall attack, they agree with Microsoft's complaints about the GPL. The fact that it is so difficult to build a business plan around GPL code--a key point of the Microsoft platform--is a point BSDers have been making for a long time."
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
June 14, 2001