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Security expert: Tighter measures needed (CNN). Bruce Schneier told a Senate subcommittee that companies will start to make security decisions based on insurance premiums - and the result will be a move to Linux. "What will happen when the CFO looks at his premium and realizes that it will go down 50 percent if he gets rid of all his insecure Windows operating systems and replaces them with a secure version of Linux? The choice of which operating system to use will no longer be 100 percent technical."
Free Software: Nothing is more appropriate for India (The Hindu). The Hindu covers Free Software in conjunction with Richard Stallman's visit to India. "It is clearly time for India to join the Free Software movement. Urged by this firm belief and commitment, a group of Free Software practitioners and enthusiasts in India have been successful in persuading Richard Stallman to establish an Indian Chapter of FSF. The Free Software Foundation of India (FSF-I) will be inaugurated by Stallman on July 20 in Trivandrum at the Freedom First! conference." (Thanks to Tony Stanco)
So long and thanks for all the fish! (VarLinux.org). VarLinux.org is running Paul Ferris's goodbye letter to LinuxToday. "I wish I'd had some more time to fix some more bugs in the code I've written for internet.com, but alas, that's the way things go. In addition to my new job, I've been asked to do some community service of another kind, so I'm sure you will see me around. Look for an announcement in the coming weeks."
Win an Earthlink embedded-Linux telematics system (LinuxDevices). Earthlink is sponsoring a contest for Linux, XML, Java, wireless, and Web application developers. The contest seeks creative application ideas for a prototype open-standards "Automotive Vehicle Location" (AVL) telematics platform that was created by EarthLink's R&D team.
Maddog's MS Justice (ZDNet). Linux International Director Jon "maddog" Hall speaks out on the MS Appeals Court case. "I (and various Linux International members) feel that the officers of Microsoft--both current and former--should be punished for their actions. They broke the law. They forced good companies out of business. They stifled--not encouraged--innovation."
Developing for the Linux desktop (NewsForge). This NewsForge article is aimed at the aspiring open source developer. "While simply asking about a project is not a "till death do us part" proposition, [KDE developer Andreas] Pour suggests that a better way to win friends in the developer's community is to submit a patch. A patch is an addition or enhancement to the application, like a bug fix, an additional dialog, or a driver. In other words, don't ask about helping, just do it."
Linux in a single PBGA IC package (plus 1 crystal) (LinuxDevices). Axis Communications is making Linux-based device designs even simpler by integrating over fifty components into a single 27mm x 27mm PBGA IC package. A review of the new ETRAX 100LX Multi Chip Module.
Scaling Supercomputers With Linux (TechWeb). Information Week explains how Linux is helping make scalable systems of low cost PCs. "``Lashing together tens or hundreds of thousands of processors isn't as easy as it appears when you apply it to real-world problems,'' says Gary Smaby, a supercomputing analyst and a principal of Quatris Fund, an investor in Unlimited Scale."
IBM develops wireless LAN security analyzer (CNN). IBM's Linux-based system detects wireless nodes that are vulnerable to attack. "The Wireless Security Auditor prototype presents detailed information for all access points on an 802.11 wireless network, including station and network name, address, location, and security state."
Use P2P, Go to Jail. Any Questions? (O'Reilly). According to this O'Reilly story, a systems administrator at a Georgia institute installed a screen saver that ran distributed processing and may face criminal charges - for using bandwidth at a rate of 59 cents a second. "Since most of the infringing time happened in December, when very few people were working at the school, this bandwidth usage occurred when the bandwidth was not otherwise being used. Assuming the school pays for bandwidth whether it's used or not, it's hard to understand the logic that says the school system was ripped off."
DeCSS Encryption Case Could Change Your IT Shop (TechWeb). In anticipation of an appeals court ruling sometime soon, TechWeb has posted a detailed history of the DVD case and an accompanying timeline. There won't be much new there for those who have followed the case closely, but it's a well-done piece. "Essentially, the DVD CCA alleged that the Linux hackers were pirates. It contended that if they continued to distribute DeCSS, it would lead to widespread illegal copying of DVD movies, thus injuring the profitability of the movie industry. The problem with that argument, though, is that the encryption only hinders playback. Anyone with the proper equipment can copy and reproduce DVDs without the benefit of DeCSS."
Open Source movement steps into .NET territory (IT-Director). IT-Director reports on the Mono project. "So far the war between Microsoft and Open Source has been fought between the operating systems with Linux starting to invade the commercial user base that was once the sole domain of Windows. With this latest move, the Open Source movement are recognising the commercial and technical importance of .NET, but are also keen to open up the competition before Microsoft establish their dominance."
New front opens in Web standards war (ZDNet). Standards proponents are turning from the browser makers to the authoring tools vendors in their fight to clean up the Web. "Now, however, some standards advocates are asking developers to do their part in convincing the technology laggards to upgrade--even at the risk of alienating un-savvy Web surfers who might be challenged or intimidated by the task of downloading and installing new software. That effort is causing some tension with Web developers, who insist they, too, are eager for a more fully standards-compliant Web."
UCITA running on empty (InfoWorld). InfoWorld looks at the current status of the UCITA "shrink-wrap software" bill, and is pleased to see that things are not going very far. "Anti-UCITA 'bomb-shelter' bills, which protect a state's consumers from having UCITA invoked against them, have generally met with better reception than has UCITA itself during this year's legislative sessions. Iowa renewed the one-year bomb-shelter law it enacted last year, and West Virginia passed a similar law. Other states that have bomb-shelter bills under consideration include New York, Oregon, and Ohio."
Great Bridge Seeks Investments, Partnerships (Virginian-Pilot). The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot has run an article about Great Bridge. "[CEO Robert] Gilbert said that Landmark had been approached by someone interested in investing in Great Bridge, and that Great Bridge is examining 'more than one' possible strategic investment by outsiders."
IBM Linux Technology Center Bulletin. The biweekly IBM Linux Technology Center Bulletin is out, detailing IBM's recent contributions to the community. Most of them are kernel-oriented, but there are exceptions (internationalization patches for bash, for example).
Quarrel Dogs Open Database Effort (ZDNet). ZDNet describes the rift formed between MySQL AB and NuSphere that led to, and follows after, the announcement of MySQL.org. "Since launching its product line, NuSphere sought to submit changes to the MySQL development community at MySQL, but was confronted with a requirement that it turn over ownership of the changes to the Swedish company."
Linux lends a hand to Sun engineers (CNN). CNN reports on Sun's internal handheld project for field engineers that uses a Red Hat tweaked embedded Linux operating system. "Engineers with Red Hat did most of the work tailoring the Linux kernel for the handheld, while Sun's engineers fine-tuned a JVM for Linux. Symbol Technologies adapted one of its existing wireless handhelds, which usually runs Palm OS or Microsoft PocketPC software, for Sun. The device incorporates a bar code scanner and a wireless modem."
Turbolinux gets new CEO (News.com). The new CEO of Turbolinux comes in with 13 years of developer experience at Wang and 5 years management of the Apple OS 8 project. "Turbolinux, though, has enough cash to reach profitability under its current plan without having to raise more investments, [new CEO Ly-Huong Pham] said. The company has fewer than 200 employees. ``I'm very comfortable with our financial status, our burn rate ... and our revenue,'' she said."
Retailer Checks Out Linux (TechWeb). Burlington Coat Factory made headlines two years ago by installing a number of (Red Hat) Linux-based Dell workstations in its stores. Now the company has begun a two-year effort to switch over to Linux-based point-of-sale terminals, according to this TechWeb article. "The clothing retailer, which operates nearly 300 stores, will run Linux on all the terminals in its new stores, and expects to finish migrating older stores' terminals to Linux in the next couple of years. The company is replacing NCR registers that run on Intel 286 and 386 chips."
What is MP3? (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices examines the technologies behind the MP3 compression system. "Fraunhofer (a member of MPEG) released their new audio-compression algorithm called MPEG-1 Audio layer-3 (MP3). The good news was that MP3 could compress audio signals such as music by a factor of 10 to 12, with almost no audible loss. This breakthrough meant that songs which previously required 40 Mbytes of storage space now could fit in just 3-4 Mbytes."
Big-Time Management (TechWeb). TechWeb reviews Rebel.com's NetWinder 3100 Internet appliance. "The NetWinder runs BSD and Apache Web Server on a 533-MHz Transmeta Crusoe TM5400 processor with a 4-MB parallel boot flash that utilizes Code Morphing Software and the Linux 2.4 kernel. The 3100 we tested had a 10-GB hard drive and 128-MB PC133 CL3 SDRAM."
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
July 19, 2001