Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
DARPA funds open-source bug hunt (Register). The Register reports on the Sardonix portal. "Source code will win points as well, with which open source users can judge how safe a particular piece of software might be. A given chunk of code will be automatically rated according to the cumulative score of every person who has audited it, i.e., the overall level of experience and skill that's been brought to bear on the software."
DMCA: We're not all criminals (News.com). News.com presents Jon "maddog" Hall on the DMCA. "An example of this is the video industry's insistence of creating DVDs that can only be played in a particular area of the world. Citing issues of illegal pirating of the movies, they make it so that movies sold in the U.S. can only be played on players manufactured in the U.S. Recently I was in Britain and saw a DVD in a store that contained a movie unlikely to be promoted to the U.S market. While I was perfectly willing to pay for the British DVD, I found out that I could not play it on my U.S.-based DVD player."
DVD hacker to keep challenging ruling (News.com). CNET covers the ongoing legal battle over DVD copying. "Eric Corley, the central figure in the "DVD hacker" case who was barred by a court from posting online how to make copies of DVDs, vowed Wednesday to keep fighting the copyright law the ruling was based on, and which he says oppresses more and more people each day."
Studios close the door on DVD copying (ZDNet). Here's a ZDNet article about the film industry's latest plans to fight copying. "'If you want DVD watermarking to do what they say it's going to do, it's hard to get around the fact that they'll have to mandate this in all PCs,' said Fred von Lohmann, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Whether that happens in Congress or happens with a carrot and stick inside the market, 'that's where we get concerned,' he added."
Open source a needed outlet for programming pros (Register). Here is the Register's take on the recent BCG survey. "The chief motivations for donating time and effort to the open source community are varied, but include professional advancement; the need for mental stimulation; a personal belief that software ought to be open (not necessarily free); a chance to acquire new skills or refine existing ones; and practical needs for code which isn't commercially available."
Explain yourself Miguel, demands RMS (Register). The Register continues looking into recent comments by Miguel de Icaza that GNOME be based on Microsoft.NET APIs. "Outraged Gnome users were mailing us over the weekend vowing to abandon the platform, and GnomeVFS maintainer Ian McKellar (who we inexplicably missed when we called in on Danger the other week) took a swipe at Miguel on the Gnome hackers mailing list: "You don't speak for me and you don't speak for most of the Gnome developers I know". (He also takes a sideswipe at us - we're "usually full of FUD and lies," apparently)."
Linux for the Sony PlayStation 2: Dilemma or Dream System? (Linux Journal). The Linux Journal ponders Sony's Linux kit for the PS2. "Sony has to have their pound of flesh for every PS2 game sold, but they'd like more developers to learn the PS2 from a technical perspective. It's a tricky situation, and I applaud them for simply making the PS2 Linux kit available in the first place. But it would be even better if they could come up with some way to collect their game royalties and give the developers the freedom to make Linux-bootable games."
What's up with Agenda and the VR3 Linux PDA? (LinuxDevices). The future of the Linux based Agenda VR3 is in doubt according to this LinuxDevices article. "The Agenda developer community is said to be continuing its work on current projects, but some developers have now switched to other projects such as the Sharp Zaurus."
Penguin Power Play (IT-Director). IT-Director looks into Linux kernel management. "Since its inception, Linux has evolved with remarkably few instances of discord, but there are now the first visible indications of tension in the Linux world. The discussions are focussed on a proposal by Rob Landley calling for the establishment of a role, the 'Patch Penguin', to help integrate fixes for the numerous small problems to be found in the current Linux 2.5 kernel."
US mulls Linux for world's biggest computer (Register). Linux is one of the candidates for powering the world's biggest computer. According to the Register: "A bid is being prepared to provide the computing power behind the US government sponsored Project Purple, which will pool a vast server farm to the three leading US research labs, which is scheduled to come on stream by the end of 2004.
Linux World Coverage
Industry support for Linux gathers pace (vnunet). Vnunet covers LinuxWorld announcements from the Open Source Development Lab. "One of the key aims of the group is to make sure Linux develops in a consistent way, according to Ari Virtanen, vice president at Nokia Networks. "We must avoid fragmentation of the Linux kernel," he said."
Caldera, Turbolinux Show New Face at LinuxWorld (InternetNews). Internet News looks at how a couple of distributors have changed their approach. "Two exemplars of the new suit-and-tie face of LinuxWorld are Caldera International Inc. and Turbolinux. The two companies, once numbered among the Linux distribution cowboys of the heady early days of the open source movement, have spent the last year or so striving to create markets for themselves in a proprietary space above the open Linux kernel."
Linux Puts On the Formal Wear (Wired). Wired says that LinuxWorld 2002 isn't quite somber, but it's certainly serious. "Gone are the interesting giveaways, the company-sponsored lavish parties, and gone for the most part are the guys with purple hair and tattered black T-shirts. LinuxWorld is all about business this year."
The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C., Technology Column. The Raleigh, N.C. News & Observer covers the LinuxWorld Expo. "But IBM is doing what it can to steal the show. Big Blue is the Switzerland of the Linux world, refusing to ally itself with any one provider of the operating system, preferring instead to work with all Linux flavors. At LinuxWorld, IBM is announcing a new line of servers running Linux and two high-profile, Linux-convert customers: digital stockbroker E-Trade and high-tech graphics house and movie-maker Pixar."
LinuxWorld 2002: The flock returns (News.com). CNET has posted its coverage of LinuxWorld 2002, with a look at the various event highlights.
Gadgets draw a crowd at Linux show (News.com). This LinuxWorld article focuses on the gadgets. "The Zaurus uses Lineo's version of Linux, Insignia Solutions' version of Java, Trolltech's Qtopia graphical user interface and Opera's Web browser."
Carly keeps cool on Linux (Register). The Register reports on Carly Fiorina's comments at Linux World. "Calm down, Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina told an audience at the LinuxWorld conference in New York yesterday. Despite her high-profile presence delivering the conference's opening keynote, Fiorina made it clear that HP sees Linux only as another revenue-earner, and is certainly not going to follow IBM into making any billion-dollar commitments to the open source operating system. She even risked telling the audience that Linux is no threat to Microsoft, writes Tim Stammers."
LinuxWorld New York Pictorial (Linux Journal). For those of you who have not had enough LinuxWorld news, Linux Journal has posted a page of images from the event.
Linux server start-up nabs Credit Suisse (News.com). CNET looks at Egenera, a start-up Linux company that is providing multiprocessor Linux server machines to Credit Suisse First Boston. "Egenera is taking on a difficult market. Even large, well-established server makers have been punished by the shrinking server market, and Linux-specific server sellers such as Atipa and VA Software have been forced to leave the market or change strategies dramatically. But some analysts believe Egenera has a small enough niche that it won't face much competition from the large players."
E*Trade moves to Linux servers (News.com). The E*Trade online brokerage is moving to Linux according to this CNET article. "The online brokerage is moving its computer systems over to IBM servers that run the operating system. In a statement, E*Trade cited cost savings and performance as reasons for switching to Linux.
E-Trade Taps Linux For New Web Site (TechWeb). TechWeb reports on E*Trade's new Linux-powered operation. "To power the site, the cornerstone of E-Trade's online trading business, it's ditching expensive Unix systems from Sun Microsystems in favor of Linux-powered IBM Intel-based servers. E-Trade says it could eventually save millions of dollars as a result of the move."
Hewlett-Packard CEO, IBM Exec Back Linux (Reuters). Reuters presents its view of LinuxWorld. Quoting IBM's William Zeitler: "`What people tried to do was establish a platform or control point, and having established that control point they would try to erect barriers and extract margins,'' he said. ''It is our view that the open movement is going to fundamentally make it impossible for people to have control points over customers.''"
Palmisano rides the penguin (into the IBM corner office) (NewsForge). NewsForge reports on the naming of Sam Palmisano as IBM CEO. "Palmisano has been the in-house geek-in-a-suit who has driven IBM's embrace of Linux for the last two years. In many ways, Linux was the platform Palmisano ran on to get his new job."
IBM boosts grid computing protocols (vnunet). Vnunet covers William Zeitler's comments on Grid Computing protocols at LinuxWorld. "According to Zeitler, the protocol's development and planned release is testament to IBM's commitment to the kind of open source development that spawned Linux.
'Next month, when we announce the open grid services protocols they will not be owned by IBM, they will be open,' he said."
Ellison says Oracle's 'whole business' to run on Linux (ComputerWorld). ComputerWorld reports on a speech by Larry Ellison. "Oracle Corp. is about to replace three Unix servers that run the bulk of its business applications with a cluster of Intel Corp. servers running Linux, Oracle Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison said yesterday." (Thanks to David A. Wheeler).
Q&A: Red Hat CEO says Linux won't rule (ZDNet). ZDNet interviews Red Hat founder Bob Young (the 'CEO' in the title is incorrect). "The point is, you rely on a car company to take all the pieces out of the very creative automotive industry and turn it into a useful product for you. That's what Red Hat does. IBM has indicated they have no interest in doing that. They understand that the moment they build an IBM Linux operating system, they're going to end up in a bit of a niche, because all the other hardware guys are going to avoid the IBM version in the same way they avoided OS/2."
Taking Red Hat beyond geek chic (News.com). News.com profiles Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik as part of its "Vision Series." "A hard-charging executive who does not suffer fools gladly, Szulik has won wide praise among Linux supporters for his fierce loyalty to a cause sometimes described as high-tech socialism . Now the software veteran must find a way to turn a profit on this grassroots alternative-operating system movement, taking Red Hat beyond its geek-chic origins to the wider business market in a hostile high-tech economy." (Thanks to Peter Link).
SuSE revamps, expects to breakeven (ZDNet). ZDNet covers SuSE's expected financial results. "SuSE has three main elements to its business strategy, Burtscher said: selling boxed copies of its version of Linux, selling consulting services that take advantage of SuSE's Linux expertise, and piggybacking its products on servers sold by mainstream computer companies."
Lindows offers a software sampler (ZDNet). Here's another Lindows article. "Robertson hints that Lindows will change substantially before its public release, scheduled for the first half of this year. "LindowsOS is not ready for use as your everyday desktop, but hopefully (the) Sneak Preview demonstrates that we've shaken the vaporware label," he stated."
Unsung Heroes, Part 3 (Linux Journal). Ping, pong and spong. From the SysAdmin Corner of Linux Journal comes this look at spong. "Spong is a flexible web-enabled network monitoring system. It also employs a client-based architecture that lets you monitor remote system resources such as disk space, CPU usage and processes. All this in addition to network services such as ping, HTTP, IMAP and others. Configuration is simple and file-based. You can group hosts or deal with them on a one-to-one basis. Finally, Spong can be configured to send out e-mails or pages if certain alarm conditions are met. Have a look at the cool screenshot below, and then I'll tell you how to get Spong working for you. Oh yeah, Spong is freely distributed under the GPL."
Galeon: Speeding up Mozilla and more for GNOME users (LinuxOrbit). LinuxOrbit reviews the Galeon browser. "Although Mozilla is a fine browser, and one I'd grown quite comfortable with over the past year, Galeon's minor intrusion on my desktop has been a surprising and pleasing experience. In addition to the speed improvments, the additional intuitive interface touches have improved upon an already solid foundation. If you're a GNOME user, you owe it to yourself to give Galeon a try."
Looking for a few good 'code demons' (ZDNet). ZDNet talks to Rhys Weatherley, author of Portable.NET, a Linux version of .Net. "A year after Australia's one-man army started pounding out code for GNU/Linux's version of .Net, he's looking to double the quarter of a million lines of code already written before done, and hopes to do so in six months if he can convince some new "code demons" to sign up to the cause."
Two more FOSDEM speaker interviews. Two more FOSDEM speaker interviews are available, one with Adam Fedor, the GNUStep project leader, and another with Vincent Rijmen, co-creator of the Advanced Encryption Standard.
Consortium releases Linux standards (ZDNet). ZDNet takes a look at Linux standards, recently released by the Free Standards Group. " The standard, along with software that checks whether a version of Linux or software that runs on Linux complies with the standard, governs some basic parts of Linux--for example, which "libraries" of reusable software components are available, what basic commands Linux can execute, or where to find specific programs in the file system."
Who needs Linux standards? (Register). Here's a Register article on the latest Linux Standard Base release. "'By the end of the year, all distributions will be conformant or compliant,' Scott McNeil, executive director of the Free Standards Group told us."
Bridging Linux language barriers (News.com). CNET reports on standardization efforts from the Free Standards Group. "The Free Standards Group released version 1.1 of the Linux Standard Base (LSB) as well as the first version of the Linux Internationalization Initiative standard to deal with Linux language barriers.
The standards will make it easier for software companies such as Oracle to bring their programs to Linux, said Scott McNeil, executive director of the Free Standards Group, at a news conference. Oracle will know what Linux features can be expected, not only from one company's version of Linux to another, but across newer versions of the same company's product."
Rants & Raves (Wired). For your amusement: here's a Wired letters to the editor column. "The open source movement wants Microsoft's source code because they just want to copy it and put a Linux badge on it. That's real innovation!"
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
February 7, 2002