Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
LynuxWorks responds to Microsoft attack on Embedded Linux (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices.com is running a response to Microsoft's attack on embedded Linux from LynuxWorks. "We did some investigating of our own and are adding some commentary on the new XP release as a contender in the embedded market. In general, we found that the operating system has limited applicability in embedded markets, and doesn't have the clout to really take on embedded Linux in head-on comparisons."
A Call to End Copyright Confusion (Wired). This Wired article shows that the SSSCA remains a threat. "Jack Valenti predicts that Congress will require copy-protection controls in nearly all consumer electronic devices and PCs. The lobbyist nonpareil for the Motion Picture Association of America delivered a stark warning to technology firms on Monday: Move quickly to choose standards for wrapping digital content in uncopyable layers of encryption or the federal government will do it for you."
Charting the Web's next transformation (News.com). News.com talks with Tim Berners-Lee about the genesis of the web. "A very significant factor was that the software was all (what we now call) open source. It spread fast, and could be improved fast--and it could be installed within government and large industry without having to go through a procurement process."
Open (Source) Government (IT-Director). IT-Director.com has an article on the U.K.'s proposed open source policy. "If taken at face value, the proposals seem to be to be saying all of the right things about open source and 'value for money'. Unfortunately they manage to leave the niggling doubt that, in practice, little will change in the short term, especially given the cosy relationship that appears to exist between the senior levels of HMG and certain large commercial software companies."
UK govt seeks to embrace open source software (Register). Here's a Register article on the U.K. government's proposed open source software policy. "The government is also concerned by the security problems. 'Security of government systems is vital,' says the draft policy. 'Properly configured open source software can be at least as secure as proprietary systems, and open source software is currently subject to fewer Internet attacks.'"
Free Software in Public Administration. The Revista do Governo Eletrônico has put up a whole series of articles (in Portuguese) on free software in government. Of this series, two articles are available in English: a matched pair by Richard Stallman and Craig Mundie. "If we are moving into an information society, government has the responsibility to ensure that the information society is under the control of the citizens and benefits them generally. This means setting a course for the use of free software." (Thanks to César A. K. Grossmann).
Is Linux a black art? (IT-Director). IT-Director says that Linux has an image problem. "Linux isn't a black art but the open source community must appeal to the mass market - all the components are there, they just have to be put together in a way to appeal to any and every user."
California Digital Offers VA-designed Servers (Linux Journal). The Linux Journal has an article that may be of interest to those who used to buy computers from VA Linux Systems. "Former VA Linux Systems customers won't have to change their speed dial. The company is in Fremont, California, they make 1U and 2U Linux servers, and their phone number is 888-LINUX-4-U. VA Linux Systems? No, it's California Digital Corporation, which recently acquired the rights to manufacture VA's server designs, along with a sublease on part of VA's building."
Lineo announces $3 million funding (LinuxDevices). Here's a LinuxDevices.com story about recent events at Lineo. "The spin-offs include the removal of several Lineo hardware products, including: Availix (high-availability hardware systems / Paris); uCdimm (microcontroller hardware / Toronto); and SnapGear (residential gateway hardware / Brisbane)."
Sun saturated with StarOffice advice (News.com). News.com looks at the progress of StarOffice. "Sun Microsystems will cut off downloads of the StarOffice 6 beta software on Dec. 31 as the company prepares for a final release in the first half of 2002, the company said Wednesday." Of course, the equally-capable OpenOffice will remain available.
Linux takes obscurity route to datacentre (Register). The Register reports on the Sistina GFS 5.0 release. "Basically, Sistina tries to do what Veritas does - provide a clustered file system and lock manager for applications - only cheaper, and on Linux. More recently GFS has got more attention recently for all the wrong reasons. At LinuxWorld in August, Sistina announced that it would no longer be available under GPL. But it remains the most used Linux clustered file system, despite several academic rival projects (Andrew and Coda) and recent competition from Compaq's decision to open source its Non Stop Cluster work." They neglected to mention the OpenGFS project
Qmail -- Secure, high-performance MTA for Linux, UNIX and BSD systems. (ServerWatch). ServerWatch reviews qmail 1.0.3. "Although qmail claims to be simple, that is not entirely correct. Because qmail has so many different modules (six in the core itself) it can get confusing to anyone that is not a *nix expert. Although each module itself is simple, their interaction can be like that of a major ballet, neural network, or anything highly coordinated and complex."
Essential GIMP for Web Professionals: A Book Review (Linux Journal). Here's a review of Essential GIMP for Web Professionals on the Linux Journal site. "If considering purchasing this book, be aware of one thing: there is more discussion than exercises. If the user is slightly overwhelmed by the features of The GIMP and would like to hear from a design professional how certain features operate and can be implemented, the book is good. If the user wants to streamline his or her workflow from imaging to HTML/scripting, it is also good. If, on the other hand, the user wants a guide on how to use The GIMP, with complete tutorials to promote methods for creating images, this may not be it."
The Boston Globe Upgrade Column. Here's a Boston Globe column about OS X. "For all the massive pro-Linux hype of recent years, it's mostly used to run Web servers and low-cost supercomputers. Hardly anyone puts it on a desktop. Suddenly, there's a mostly open-source Linux-line operating system with a superb user interface, with a target market of 25 million faithful Macintosh users."
Interview of Bernhard Herzog (Advogato). Advogato interviews Bernhard Herzhog of Intevation, a German free software company. Herzog is also the author of the Python based Sketch drawing program. "I am a scientist by heart. Computers are tools for me. As tools computers are very universal, almost as important as written speech was for humankind. I see computers at the heart of science and society and therefor improving them has a high potential of good effects."
MPlayer: The project from hell (LinuxWorld). Joe Barr describes his mplayer nightmare in this LinuxWorld story. "The MPlayer gang seems to relish nothing more than belittling their users and reminding them of just how little they know about Linux and computing in general. I don't know about the rest of you, but I suffer enough of that on my own. I do not need any outside assistance to reinforce that point of view."
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
December 20, 2001