Linux in the news
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How to End Microsoft's Monopoly (Law.com). This Law.com article argues, in a halfhearted manner, that the best way for the government to deal with the Microsoft monopoly is to support Linux. "The federal government, with its huge base of personal computers, could make the open source Linux a viable contender to Windows simply by licensing and using it. But this is easier said than done. Indeed, Linux appears to have only a miniscule share of the federal personal computer market. There are reasons for this."
Linux-based GUIs: A perspective (ZDNet). ZDNet has a lengthy comparison of Linux desktop environments written by the Gartner Group. "On the development side, various thumbnail comparisons cite KDE as more developed and stable and GNOME as more customizable. KDE, despite being developed by scores of contributors in the open source tradition and perhaps because of its head start, is a more integrated system of parts working together. GNOME, by contrast, does not, for example, have its own window manager but works with several different ones produced in the open-source community."
How safe is any Platform? (IT-Director). IT-Director questions the statistics on web site defacements. "However, what is obvious is that Windows is the most defaced platform around and Microsoft needs to address the vulnerabilities urgently. However, Linux vendors and users can see that they are in no position to relax and the same can be said for Solaris as well."
IBM and Citizen Watch develop Linux-based 'WatchPad' (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices.com has posted a look at the latest Linux-powered watch prototype from IBM and Citizen. "The watch contains a high speed, low power 32 bit MPU, 16 megabytes of flash memory, and QVGA liquid crystal display. The watch has both voice-enabled Bluetooth and infrared red wireless connectivities. Users interact with the WatchPad through a touch panel, button, and modified winding crown. In addition, accelerometer is embedded to study if arm movement to become a potential input method."
Newest Mandrake Linux delayed (News.com). News.com reports on the delay in shipping Mandrake Linux 8.1. It seems that moving CD production to the U.S. has not gone as smoothly as they would have liked. "MandrakeSoft is based in France, but most of its business is in North America, Chief Executive Jacque le Marois said in an e-mail interview. Half of sales are in the United States and 4 percent are in Canada, while France accounts for 5 percent of sales."
Progeny reborn as Linux services company (News.com). News.com looks at the changes at Progeny Linux Systems. "In addition to easing the strain on Progeny's checkbook, the move means the company won't create a proprietary version of the free operating system, a possibility that worried some Linux developers. However, by moving away from a proprietary version and rejoining the original Debian Linux effort, Progeny is favoring a Linux distribution that is the slowest to integrate new software developments."
Will You See Open Source J2EE Implementations? (OnJava). OnJava looks at obstacles to an open source J2EE implementation. "Another problem -- and this leads us to the Lutris case -- is that Sun has taken the position that any licensee of the J2EE specification is privy to Sun's intellectual property, and can't legally release an open source implementation. (In particular, they have told Lutris that they may not apply an open source license to their Enhydra J2EE platform.)"
Copy Protection Robs The Future. Here's an essay by Dan Bricklin pointing out another problem with copy protection schemes. "I believe that copy protection will break the chain necessary to preserve creative works . It will make them readable for a limited period of time and not be able to be moved ahead as media deteriorates or technologies change. Only those works that are thought to be profitable at any given time will be preserved by their 'owners' (if they are still in business)."
Netfilter and iptables: Stateful firewalling for Linux (ZDNet). ZDNet looks at the Netfilter system in the 2.4 kernel. "For sites already using Linux for firewalling, the move to this new infrastructure can be difficult, as it requires administrators to learn the new interface. But it's well worth the effort; the vast improvement in security justifies the move to Netfilter and iptables, especially for sites still using ipchains."
A developer's review of MontaVista's Hard Hat Linux SDK (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices.com is running a lengthy review of Montavista's Hard Hat Linux 2.0 software development kit. "Target deployment is perhaps the weakest area of Hard Hat, having the poorest documentation. Support for target deployment consists of the following statement in the manual: 'You can now use fdisk, mke2fs, and lilo to format and install the target environment on a hard disk attached to the target.' Clear enough for an experienced Linux user, perhaps, but a novice will need a bit more detail."
Interview With Linus Torvalds (OSNews). OSNews interviews Linus Torvalds. "I don't want to open a 2.5.x development tree until I'm happy with the pending issues for 2.4.x - it's taken longer than I hoped for, but it's getting there. Within the month."
Interview: Robert Love (Kerneltrap). Kerneltrap is running an interview with Robert Love. "First, the kernel would degenerate into a pile of cat phlegm with me at the helm. For whatever complaints I or others have against Linus, he is not just an incredible hacker but a superb manager. Linux needs him."
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
October 18, 2001