Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Lawyer says Internet outside U.S. law (News.com). News.com is carrying this Reuters article on Elcomsoft vs. DMCA. "The government originally jailed Dmitry Sklyarov, the 27-year-old Elcomsoft engineer who wrote the program, but released him, agreeing to drop the charges against him in exchange for his testimony. Sklyarov has said he will also testify on behalf of his employer."
Adobe Hackers: We're Immune (Wired). Wired covers the opening arguments in the Elcomsoft trial. "Joseph Burton, Elcomsoft's attorney, told U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte that Elcomsoft's actions 'occurred in Russia or on the Internet, and we take the position that the Internet is a place' outside of U.S. jurisdiction."
Tux Takes its Seat in Germany's Federal Parliamentary (Heise Online). According to Heise Online, the committee that is responsible for setting IT standards for Germany's Bundestag (Parliament) has decided to recommend the use of open-source software as part of its IT infrastructure. "Hence from the year 2003 onwards the solution implemented for the 150 servers will largely be one based on Linux, whereas that for the 5000 working computers will initially feature Windows XP." (Thanks to Werzinger Lothar.)
Bundestagskommission empfiehlt Linux statt Windows (Yahoo.de). Like the title, the text of this Yahoo.de article (about Linux deployment in the German Parliament) is in German. It also includes a nice picture of German chancellor Gerhard Schröder with Tux. (Thanks to Christof Damian)
Florida School Deploys KDE/GNU/Linux On Thin Clients. KDE.News discusses a Florida school's Linux-based network. "St. Mary's Catholic School in Rockledge, Florida has demonstrated the obvious: that KDE/GNU/Linux (KGL) is great for kids and schools. Working with volunteers from the Melbourne Linux Users Group (that's Melbourne, Florida), I.D.E.A.L. Technology and IXC Telecom, the school deployed the K12 Linux Terminal Server Project, a thin client enterprise solution."
Enterprise PDAs: Set your priorities (ZDNet). Here's a ZDNet article on PDA systems. "A host of Linux-based PDAs are trying to bring Linux's open source advantages to a mobile platform. That will keep device costs down, as manufacturers don't have to pay to license the operating system, and probably will allow you to run the same applications on your handheld as you can on your Linux desktop. (You all have Linux desktops, don't you?)"
Raymond: Cheap PCs will doom Microsoft (ZDNet). Eric Raymond predicts upcoming troubles for Microsoft. "'When the price of a PC falls below $350, Microsoft will no longer be viable,' Raymond said in an interview with ZDNet UK. 'The reason is that if you sell something below that price, you can't afford to pay the Microsoft tax and still make money.' He said the best illustration of this is the handheld PC market, where Microsoft software powers relatively expensive devices, but has no presence in the lower-end market."
Microsoft's Mundie slams Liberty at WCIT (ZDNet). Microsoft's Craig Mundie criticizes the GPL at an Australian conference. "The problem with general public license advocates is that they don't understand that people need the opportunity to commercialize software".
Industry of Change: Linux Storms Hollywood (Linux Journal). Linux Journal reports on the migration of visual effects companies to Linux. "This isn't a story about one or two studios adopting Linux as servers in their renderfarms, those back rooms full of servers used to produce the individual sets of frames used in a movie. We're talking about the entire industry--from Rhythm & Hues to Pixar, from Digital Domain to DreamWorks."
Linux kernel patching in crisis - Raymond (Register). The Register covers a talk given by Eric Raymond in London. "He said Linus has 'reached his stress limit' and that no one person can deal with the number of kernel patches coming forward from kernel maintainers. Patches, many of which would help in the further development of Linux, are being dropped without good reason, Raymond observed." Eric, of course, is increasingly frustrated that his patches have not yet gone in...
Video I/O on Linux: Lessons Learned from SGI (LinuxPower). LinuxPower has posted a lengthy, detailed article on mistakes made in SGI's video API, and how Linux can do better. "It turns out that 99% of video applications which record, process, edit, and play video just want a simple set of calls that will just hand them the raw video data in memory or take it from memory. And they want the API to work without modification or recompilation on lots of video boards. That's it!"
AMD touts Linux support for new chips. News.com looks at AMD's announcement that it will work with SuSE and Linux. "Although x86-64 has enjoyed support from Linux developers since its introduction, and versions of the operating system have been modified to support Hammer chips, the move by SuSE would provide more of an official stamp by writing support directly into the kernel."
Promoter of storied Alpha shuts doors (News.com). API Networks (leaders in Alpha chip technology) will go out of business shortly, according to this News.com article. "API quickly changed its game plan in 2000. It refocused on Linux, establishing a new division called API Networks to sell Alpha-based Linux servers. Soon, in November 2000, it changed the name of the entire company to API Networks."
More FUD from Microsoft (Australian IT and The Register). Microsoft continues to spread its unique brand of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) with these two articles.
First Australian IT talks with Crag Mundie, who says MS 'loves' open source, not GPL. "LINUX distributors Red Hat and S.u.S.E are failing the technology industry by giving away software, Microsoft's chief technical officer says."
Then the Register presents Ballmer weeps for Windows, which points us to carefully-edited highlights from CEO Steve Ballmer's February 8 deposition by lawyers for the non-settling states. "Of course the states are asking for a modular version of Windows which users could trick out with whatever features and applications they please, like a Linux distribution. But MS has been so persistent in floating this fantastic nonsense about 'millions' of versions that the states have been forced to explain the obvious."
Mission Critical Linux trimming down (News.com). News.com reports on layoffs at Mission Critical Linux. "Mission Critical Linux will cease its support for more general versions of Linux and will eliminate its professional-services work."
Morpheus: Open source will resuscitate us (ZDNet). ZDNet reports on StreamCast Networks' efforts to revamp its business with software that is based on the Open-source Gnutella file sharing utility. "'We are pleased to migrate to an open protocol product with the release of Morpheus Preview Edition, which is based on the very large network of Gnutella users,' company Chief Executive Steve Griffin said in a statement."
As a result of the Morpheus change, Gnutella use has jumped 288%, according to Redshift Research. "'Though the Gnutella network has long been the sleeping giant of file sharing,' said Matt Bailey, President of Redshift Research, 'recent technical improvements, and now its adoption by Morpheus, makes it a powerful alternative to other P2P networks and a major head-ache for content owners.'"
StorageTek adds support for Linux. And another large data company enters the Linux market. StorageTech has announced that their SVAA Shared Virtual Array configuration and management software now runs on RedHat 7.1. "StorageTek is committed to enterprise disk storage, so we are aggressively enhancing our product offerings to support competing operating systems, like Linux."
Sun emphatically clarifies Its Solaris-Linux Strategy (Register). The Register looks at Sun's Linux strategy. "That Sun - and indeed any of the Unix vendors - has to embrace Linux at all is their own fault. The ghost of Unix wars past comes back to haunt. Sun, and perhaps all the Unix vendors, would have been better off if a united Unix had killed Windows before it was even born. And now, no matter how proud they are of their Unix operating systems, they all have to employ Linux as a means to fight against Microsoft's Windows platform. Sun has no choice in a world that is asking for Linux and is not asking for Solaris."
Sun Promises 'Toe-to-Toe' Pricing on Linux Servers (Linux Journal). The Linux Journal has a bit of information on Sun's upcoming Linux servers. "Vivek Mehra, Vice President and General Manager for Sun Cobalt Server Appliances, said that the new distribution will be LSB-compliant and will support .lsb (essentially RPM v3) packages, as well as the Cobalt RPM-based .pkg packages. The Cobalt packages are essentially shell scripts wrapped around RPMs to make sure that they are installed in the proper order, without creating midinstall conflicts."
OpenOffice Newsletter #4. This issue of the OpenOffice newsletter looks at marketing Open Source products. "Marketing would seem antithetical to Open Source but it isn't. In fact, Open Source is itself a kind of marketing strategy. Yet skeptics abound, as a recent article suggesting Linux could do with marketing indicates. But OpenOffice.org is way ahead of them. Our Marketing Project was created by community members six months ago and is now one of the most active and popular projects and includes people from all corners of the world interested in making OpenOffice.org succeed." They are looking for more people to help out, as well.
Centerfold: Furniture Chain Remodels Servers with Linux (TechWeb). Here's a Network Computing article about the new IT system at furniture retailer Raymour & Flanigan. "The thin-client appliances -- Neoware Systems Eon 4000s -- sit on the showroom floors as well as at the company's service centers and headquarters. Raymour & Flanigan is still in the process of replacing its old green-screen terminals with the Eon 4000s, which run Red Hat Linux and Netscape Communicator as their browser."
Tech chiefs' consigliere (News.com). This News.com article proves that some people still don't get it. "...Linux does drive up costs in some way. Does the world need another operating system? If I'm a CIO, every time I have to support another operating system...(it's) driving my costs up. Who is going to pay for those costs? In the end, my customers will pay."
Agent forwarding and keychain improvements (developerWorks). Here's a detailed developerWorks article on using OpenSSH agent forwarding for secure authentication. "Authentication forwarding allows remote ssh processes to contact the ssh-agent that is running on your local trusted machine -- rather than requiring a version of ssh-agent to be running on the same machine that you are sshing out from. This usually allows you to run ssh-agent (and keychain) on a single machine, and means that all ssh connections that originate (either directly or indirectly) from this machine will use your local ssh-agent."
March Embedded Linux Journal. The March Embedded Linux Journal is online, via LinuxDevices.com. The articles include an RTLinux application development tutorial, a look at Qtopia, a piece on the preemptible kernel, and several more.
Workshop: Modular Authentication for Linux (Network Computing). Network Computing is running a tutorial that details the process of authenticating a Linux box from an NT server. "Times are changing. For those Linux users in corporate environments, being able to share files securely--both with other Linux users and with Windows users--still means remembering a set of passwords for Linux and a set for other platforms. But there's a better way: You can set up your systems so Linux users can gain secure authentication against a Windows NT Domain."
Embedded PCI and Linux (ELJonline). ELJonline, a joint venture of LinuxDevices.com and the Embedded Linux Journal), delve into Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) technology and Linux. "Our iterative process indicated Linux as a possible choice for our operating system quite early in the process. Based on previous work, use of closed-source OSes for embedded projects has created problems with code debug and trace during development. Another important consideration is off-the-shelf support for different filesystems, network stacks and peripheral devices. Finally, support for a wide range of hardware platforms is important for future development projects that require application migration to higher levels of performance. An analysis of available options quickly identified Linux as the OS of choice."
Dan Frye and the Linux Technology Center (ConsultingTimes). Consulting Times interviews Dan Frye, head of the IBM Linux Technology Center. "Our basic mission is to help make Linux better -- not make Linux better for IBM products, just make Linux better, period. So we have about 250 people in eight countries -- 25 cities -- around the world who work all in open source, as peers in the community."
Cox: Cheaper chips give new life to Linux (ZDNet). ZDNet talks with Alan Cox. "The home market is the toughest market to crack in many ways, he said, because of the particular needs of consumers. Ultimately, though, the all-purpose PC as championed by Microsoft may prove to be less attractive to home users than a simpler, less expensive machine specialized for applications like Web use and productivity tools. Linux is ideal for such machines because of its low cost, reliability and flexibility."
Interview: Rik van Riel (KernelTrap). KernelTrap interviews Rik van Riel. "The fact that my VM code is no longer in the kernel has two positive effects. First I don't have to worry too much about stability or code freezes, I can just develop the code in the direction of better quality without having to be afraid of changes. Secondly I can integrate bugfixes much quicker."
How Will History View Richard Stallman? (O'Reilly). O'Reilly interviews Sam Williams, author of Free as in Freedom, a biography of Richard Stallman. "As the leader of the free software movement, Stallman is one of the most influential and controversial personalities in hacker culture today. Through extensive interviews with Stallman, his family, and fellow hackers, author Sam Williams has created an intimate portrait of this freedom fighter."
SwitchSniff (Linux Journal). How secure are Ethernet switches? Not as secure as many people think according to this article. "While I was at university, I once discussed the topic of sniffers with an experienced network administrator. He casually mentioned that he was not bothered by sniffers, as all his machines were connected to switches. This was someone who was paranoid about security and read almost all security newsgroups religiously, but he was living in complete ignorance about the threat to his network."
Looping e-mails: Curse of the Net? (ZDNet). ZDNet reports on an email loop that caused a shutdown of email@example.com, after members were subjected to hundreds of spam emails apparently from the list. "The problem was that people around the world were apparently getting spammed by SuSE and up to 20 other companies. And the victims were not getting just one spam from each company, but hundreds. To make matters worse, every time one victim sent an e-mail reply to complain, that e-mail was forwarded on to everybody else on the list. Far from abating the torrent of spam, each complaint merely exacerbated the problem."
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
March 7, 2002