Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Time to rewrite the DMCA (News.com). News.com is carrying a column by U.S. Representative Rick Boucher on why the DMCA should be rewritten. "In the three years since the law was enacted, we have not seen the promised new digital content. Instead, we have seen a rash of lawsuits; the imprisonment by U.S. authorities of a Russian computer programmer who had come to the United States to give a technical talk; and, more recently, the release of compact discs into the market that cannot be played in computers or even some CD players, and thus cannot be used to create custom compilations of consumers' favorite songs." Worth a read.
Torvalds, developers at odds over Linux (News.com). News.com covers the Linux kernel 'patch penguin' debate. "Eric Raymond, a well-known open-source evangelist and maintainer of the Linux Help system, said that he had to submit six patches to the system a total of 33 times to get them included. Each time the kernel changed without the inclusion of his changes, he faced extra work to make sure that his software fixes worked with the latest version of the kernel."
BBC backs MP3 alternative (vnunet). vnunet reports on the BBC's experimentation with Ogg Vorbis. "Ogg is an open source audio compression codec set to rival the popular MP3 format. Its development has drummed up enormous interest in the media industry largely because it's free; the current licence for the MP3 codec works out at about £5.30 per device."
Moscow firm seeks dismissal of U.S. suit (News.com). News.com reports on the next step in the ElcomSoft trial: a motion to dismiss charges. "But defense attorney Joseph Burton of lawfirm Duane Morris in San Francisco said ElcomSoft makes software that allows people with lawful rights to copyrighted material to use the material in reasonable ways for personal use. 'If you have lawful access to the copyrighted material you can circumvent controls in order to exercise a fair use right,' he said."
Can WINE Ferment Move to Linux? (Wired). Wired looks at the Wine project. "[CodeWeavers CEO Jeremy] White and other Linux gurus are quick to clear up the misconception that WINE is merely an emulator program, which attempts to duplicate the environment of a particular operating system. WINE is a layer of software that acts as a sort of mediator, translating instructions between Unix and Windows applications."
Flashing Blue Lights Appear in Microsoft's Mirrors (IT-Director). IT-Director reports on the UK police and their study of Linux. "Over the last year or so, developments in open source software tools have continued apace, a record that has surprised many observers and illustrating the resilience and commitment of the whole community over an extended period of time. Indeed such has been the progress made that more and more organisations have already launched projects to investigate the potential of the tools currently available to satisfy many of their office application requirements in 'real world' settings."
Teaching Robot Dogs New Tricks (Scientific American). Scientific American has an article about the Sony Aibo, those who would reprogram it, and the DMCA. "Still the world may not be a safe place for teaching robot dogs new tricks. The DMCA remains the law of the land and what AiboPet does breaks it. Sony retains its right to crack down on AiboPet and others like him, but chooses not to exercise it, for now."
Net patent tax - W3C publishes revised draft (Register). The Register follows up on the 23C RAND licensing issue, finding a compromise that is pretty hostile to the RAND concept. "So RAND remains on the table, for bidders wishing to risk the flak, which won't please GPL developers one bit. On the other hand, even if a RAND specification reaches the end of the procedural assault course, and gets the directors blessing as a W3C standard, it may be so poisonous that no one (apart from IBM), would want to touch it."
Embedded Linux alive and kicking (ZDNet). Here's a ZDNet article about MontaVista Software. "Customers include Ericsson, Sony, IBM Microelectronics and Nokia. IBM hired the company to bring Linux to its PowerPC chips and their cousins for network equipment. Nokia is using MontaVista software on networking equipment for carrying both voice and data traffic using the Internet's communication standard."
IBM: Linux investment nearly recouped (News.com). According to this News.com article, IBM claims to have made back nearly all of the money it has invested in Linux. "IBM has lured some prestigious customers along the way. E*Trade is moving to a Linux-only operation, starting with IBM Intel servers that replace Sun Microsystems systems, [IBM manager Bill] Zeitler said. Digital-animation studio Pixar is replacing the SGI machines used to animate 'Toy Story 2' and 'Monsters, Inc.,' with IBM Linux workstations, Zeitler said."
IBM to sell Linux-only mainframe (News.com). Here's a News.com article on the new IBM mainframe system, which only runs Linux. " Because the Linux-only system doesn't need to support all the features that a regular mainframe needs, its hardware and software is simpler and its price is dramatically lower--not to say it's actually inexpensive. A system with one of its four processors activated costs about $400,000..."
IBM to push cheaper 'Linux-only' zSeries, iSeries (Register). Here's The Register's take on the new IBM mainframes. "Calling the new machines Linux-only is a bit of a stretch, of course, since the zSeries 'Raptor' mainframes and the iSeries Model 820 servers will have z/VM and OS/400 installed on them (respectively) to act as partition managers."
Solaris on Intel out? Does that mean Linux is in? (Register). Here's an article in The Register on Sun's ending development on Solaris for the Intel platform. "Ransom Love, CEO of Caldera, thinks that Sun's move away from keeping Solaris on Intel up to date does represent an opportunity, but not for Linux, but instead for Caldera's Open Unix, its cross between UnixWare and Linux."
Linux on the Finnish Line (Open Magazine). Open Magazine looks at Finnish telecom company Sonera Entrum and its new computing structure. "The solution has turned out to be one IBM eServer zSeries - IBM's mainframe line formerly known as the S/390 - running Linux together with an IBM Enterprise Storage Server ('Shark'). This mainframe will be partitioned into 500 virtual servers each running its own copy of Linux."
Red Hat to offer high-end Linux version (News.com). News.com reports on Red Hat's new distribution, to be announced at LinuxWorld. "Red Hat Advanced Server, in beta testing now, includes features designed for more powerful servers, such as faster communications, load balancing to share jobs efficiently among several servers and 'clustering' that can let one computer take over for a crashed comrade..."
Where Is All the Linux Going? (Linux Journal). The Linux Journal wants to know who is actually buying Linux systems. "The bottom line: Linux is going into a lot of vertical applications, and it's being adopted by a lot of big, old companies with customers who are not sexy enough to show up on the what's-hip radar but who move a huge part of the economy."
Linux World: Penguins unite (ZDNet). ZDNet looks forward to LinuxWorld. "The mainframe push dovetails with a shift under way at the twice-annual Linux show, which has gradually acquired a businesslike tone and moved away from nerd-oriented features such as a protracted question-and-answer sessions with Torvalds. Two years ago, 10 percent to 12 percent of attendees were from companies with more than 1,000 employees, said Rob Schescherareg, vice president of sales, marketing and product development with show organizer IDG World Expo, but this winter it's up to more than 33 percent. Next year, he expects the figure to rise to 45 percent."
Store chain is sold on Linux (ZDNet). ZDNet reports on Boscov's, an American department store chain. "Boscov's, with 36 locations in six states in the mid-Atlantic region, scrapped its client/server architecture and is in the process of consolidating 70 IBM NetFinity 8500 and 500 servers running Windows NT 4.0, on a recently purchased IBM zSeries 900 mainframe running SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 7 as a virtual machine. Boscov's is moving its invoice processing, gift registry, and an assortment of other file and database services from the NetFinity servers to Linux. Down the road, Boscov's hopes to move additional applications, including PeopleSoft and a suite of e-commerce products."
Raising the Red Flag (Linux Journal). The Linux Journal looks at Red Flag Linux. "So Microsoft doesn't only have a 'piracy' problem in China, it has a transparency problem, as well as a determined foe on the part of the government's own Linux distro. It was a rather smooth chess move by the Chinese government to avoid copyright infringement and 'software piracy' issues by simply promoting an operating system that obviates the issues."
Ximian's Evolution 1.0 Revolutionalizes the Open-Source Desktop (TechWeb). Network Computing reviews Evolution 1.0. "Evolution 1.0 looks and feels a lot like Outlook with one glaring exception: It isn't vulnerable to the virus-of-the-week problems that have been afflicting Outlook over the past few months. While this 'immunity' isn't on Evolution's feature list, it should be."
Linux and Telematics: Building a Passenger Heatstroke Warning (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices looks at the EarthLink Simple Plug-and-Play Automotive Research Kit. "A vehicle-based embedded Linux system with nationwide wireless networking and GPS is a big task, right? Make it approachable by starting with the Earthlink SPARK system."
Tool of the Month: TWiki (Unix Review). Unix Review looks at TWiki. "Note that getting TWiki set up and functioning is not quite the same thing as getting TWiki ready to use. Once TWiki is set up, you'll just have the default TWiki and topics -- nothing too exciting. Regardless of what you're using TWiki for, you'll likely want to customize TWiki and add topics. Becoming adept at adding topics and Webs and writing in 'GoodStyle' will take more time than the actual TWiki setup."
The Linux-AMD AGP bug - who's to blame? (Register). The Register tries to explain the Athlon bug. "With our limited knowledge of PC hardware architecture - and we trust Register readers can explain this one for us - we can't quite see how that relates to the 4k/4MB page size option. Why can't a simple flush clear the cache, we wonder? Let us know." (See also last week's LWN kernel page).
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
January 31, 2002