Linux in the news
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SSSCA gets a hearing Oct. 25 (NewsForge). NewsForge looks at the upcoming hearing on the SSSCA, which, apparently, is set for next week. "Eben Moglen, chief counsel for the Free Software Foundation, is succinct: 'SSSCA is a deliberate attempt to destroy free software.'"
Governor Calls for 'Cyber Court' (Wired). Wired News reports on upcoming U.S. attempts to "fix" computer security through legislation. "Gov. James Gilmore (R-Virginia), the commission 's chairman, said Wednesday that federal judges have been far too sluggish in approving search warrants and eavesdropping of online miscreants. Instead, Gilmore told the House Science committee , the commission will recommend that a 'cyber court' be created with extraordinary powers to authorize electronic surveillance and secret searches of suspected hackers' homes and offices."
Net security: An oxymoron (News.com). News.com interviews Peter G. Neumann. "The open-source movement is not inherently guaranteed to come up with secure software unless there is significant discipline in the development, distribution, operation and administration of the resulting systems. So it's important to realize that we have a lot of weak links, all of which have to be addressed. The idea that hiding the source code is going to solve the problem is utterly ridiculous."
Word to the Wise: Writer 638C (LinuxPlanet). Here's a Linux Planet story about OpenOffice. "After last week's review of StarOffice 6.0 beta, a few people asked me how it compared to OpenOffice. There seems to be the assumption that there is a divergence between the two office suite applications. I am telling you now, there is hardly any difference in performance or interface between OpenOffice and its parent-child StarOffice. Certainly not in the Writer component of each suite, which is what I focused on for the purposes of this review."
Introducing HP's 'CoolBase' platform (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices.com has an introduction to HP's CoolBase platform, which is available under the GPL. "At HP Labs, we've used CoolBase to prototype several compelling applications. We've prototyped an Internet Radio that can be controlled from any web-enabled device-including a PDA, cell phone, or even your PC. We also used beacons and our Esquirt software loaded on HP personal digital assistants to create a virtual tour guide for the Exploratorium, a science museum in San Francisco, California."
Ockman: Staff cuts make Penguin Computing profitable (NewsForge). NewsForge talks with Penguin Computing founder Sam Ockman. "Ockman, a veteran Open Source advocate, said the cuts were needed to insure profitability: 'It's a shame, but it's what has to be done. The number one thing is to continue the company for our customers and be profitable every month. We're a profitable company with this restructuring.'"
Sharp announces November availability of Linux/Java PDA (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices.com has a look at the latest gadget from Sharp. "Sharp Electronics today announced November availability of developer units of the Zaurus SL-5000D, which represents the first robust Linux-based PDA from a major consumer electronics corporation."
Sony plans to launch Linux PlayStation 2 in U.S. (CNN). CNN covers Sony's announcement that Linux for the PlayStation 2 will be available in the U.S. "During the presentation, another Sony employee demonstrated Linux running on the PlayStation 2 platform, running the X-Windows graphical user interface. Show attendees were also shown demonstrations of upcoming applications. They included a word processing program, a spreadsheet program, and an MP3 player running on the system."
Can Linux systems be implemented across the enterprise today? (TechWeb). TechWeb is running a short debate on whether Linux is ready for "enterprise" use. "Each of our stores has a half-dozen computers running Linux. These systems, which provide a variety of services to our customers and associates, are linked via in-store LANs connected to our headquarters. Because of Linux's Unix orientation, the operating system lends itself to remote administration, which has worked well for us. Our stores span 42 states and are staffed by nontechnical people."
Implementing devfs (developerWorks). IBM developerWorks finishes its series on setting up devfs with a detailed, technical article on making it all work. "So, if you happen to be using a non-devfs kernel module, you'll need to create a device node in /dev manually. The problem with this approach is that this new device node will be ignored by devfsd, meaning that the next time you reboot, it will disappear. Our solution to this problem is to have the /dev-state/compat directory; if you have a non-devfs module, simply create your old-style device nodes in /dev-state/compat and they will be manually added to the devfs filesystem at boot time, thanks to the considerate steps of our handy init wrapper."
Midgard Lights An Open-Source 'LAMP.' (CMS Watch). The CMS Watch site has a review of Midgard. "The most important application for Midgard -- the one that turns Midgard from an application framework into a relatively useful content management system -- is the administrative front end."
TransGaming Interview (GameSpyDaily). GameSpyDaily interviews Gavriel State, CEO of TransGaming. "Once we have reached our subscriber goals, we will be releasing the WineX code under the much more liberal Wine license, and we will continue releasing code that way if our subscription numbers meet our targets. Thus, by subscribing, our users not only get the features and services they want to see right now, but they also help to establish the commercial viability of the Street Performer Protocol, which will have profound implications for the future of the entire information economy."
Interview: Russell King (KernelTrap). KernelTrap interviews kernel hacker Russell King. "The Linus 2.4 kernels are almost production quality, but there's still some work to do on them. Alan Cox's 2.4-ac branch is basically there. I switched the ARM community from Linus' kernels to Alan's around 2.4.8, mainly because I wasn't happy about the direction Linus was taking."
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
October 25, 2001