Linux in the news
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See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Why software should be free (BBC). Here's a BBC interview with RMS. "Richard Stallman is a pioneer of the free software movement. His vision is of software that has no secrets, that people can share freely. He told BBC News Online's Alfred Hermida why free software could replace proprietary programs."
Arbitron Throws the Book at CARP (Linux Journal). Now Internet radio receives some support against CARP (Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel). "So naturally Arbitron has an interest in the future of the internet radio business. That's why the company has come down hard on the CARP report , which proposes fees and other requirements for internet radio that effectively prohibit the business from ever establishing itself, an effort made relatively cheap and easy by Linux and other open-source software."
Dutch court stuns music industry (Reuters). Reuters reports on a ruling by a Dutch court which allows Kazaa to continue the distribution of its file sharing software. "The Amsterdam Court of Justice ruled that Kazaa was not liable for any individuals' abuse of its software, which is being used by millions of people around the world every day to swap copyright-protected games, music, pictures and films." This represents a bitter-sweet victory though, Kazaa had to sell most of its assets to an Australian company. (Thanks to Michael Walma.)
Guard Copyrights, Don't Jail Innovation (BusinessWeek). BusinessWeek provides some cluefull comments following Senator Hollings introduction of the CBDTPA. "America was built on the freedom of information and the spirited atmosphere of innovation. The technologies that have transformed society and the world have revolved around the flow of information, from the printing press and radio broadcasts to videocassette players and e-mail. Not coincidentally, most of these breakthrough technologies presented new threats to copyright when they first came out. But these fears were vanquished when enterprising industries learned to use the new technologies to deliver a better product." (Thanks to Kyle Roberson)
Howling Mad Over Hollings' Bill (Wired). Here's a view of CBDTPA from Wired. "With the full support of Hollywood and the major music labels, Hollings introduced the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act, which would require all new hardware and software products be embedded with copy protections that limit how people are able to watch and listen to digital files."
Copyright holders turn to technology (CNN). CNN takes a closer look at Sen. Hollings' proposed CBDTPA bill. " The bill is seen primarily as a vehicle for voluntary standards. But based on initial reactions, it seems difficult to imagine how that will be achieved. Both sides on the issue have financial reasons to stake out strong positions. Recorded music sales were reportedly down 10 percent last year, in part because of pirating. But anticopying technology on PCs, handheld devices and other technologies could hurt those markets."
Stallman: Patents victimize developers (ZDNet). ZDNet reports on a recent speech by Richard Stallman concerning software patents. "Stallman kicked off his talk by explaining that he does not have a problem with patenting individual programs -- 'that would be harmless' -- but with patenting ideas. 'That is what makes them (patents) a dangerous obstacle to software development.'
Equally, the term 'intellectual property' should not be used, according to Stallman, because it is biased. 'It makes the assumption that you should treat what you're talking about as property. That is not conducive to clear, open-minded thinking.'"
Linux makes life better: Open Source at BioIT World (NewsForge). NewsForge reports on the Linux presence at the Bio-IT conference. "One indicator (or symptom) of an emerging niche's market validity is being the focus of a topically dedicated trade-show event, as opposed to just being an area in some bigger show. IDG, owner of the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, just put together its first BioIT World Conference and Expo, held last week in Boston. It's inarguable that bio-informatics constitutes a serious hardware market."
Web servers: MS sneaks up on Linux (ZDNet). The latest Netcraft results are the subject of this ZDNet UK article. "Network Solutions shifted several hundred thousand sites from an iPlanet system at Web hosting firm Digex to Microsoft-based systems at Interland during March. Thousands of the Network Solutions sites at Interland were defaced shortly afterwards."
Could Microsoft have killed Linux? (ZDNet). ZDNet discusses comments made by Eric Raymond in an interview concerning the timing of Microsoft's attacks on open-source software. "'If they had done that in mid-1998...they might have buried (open source),' he told ZDNet UK in a recent interview. 'I was seriously worried that was a possibility, that they would turn on the hype machine before we had enough success stories and enough corporate backing to be able to counter that.'"
Vision of Flash-based Web raises doubts (News.com). News.com looks at issues surrounding the Macromedia Flash player that is used for web animations. "'If the Web becomes dependent on closed standards, be they Flash or RealAudio or Windows Media Player, then it becomes difficult for new browsers to be created, it becomes difficult to place the Web in embedded appliances, it becomes difficult to have any experience outside what those companies define,' said Bruce Perens, a co-founder of the Open Source Initiative. "
JavaOne: Sun lends a hand to open-source Java (CNN). CNN covers Sun's new position that allows Java Specification Requests to be submitted under open-source licenses. "Sun Microsystems Inc. answered a long-standing call from open-source software developers Tuesday, saying Java fans will be able to submit some changes for the platform under open-source licenses and receive financial support from Sun for their projects. "
Apple Ousts Coder for Being Young (Wired). Apple enforced a rule requiring all open source Darwin coders to be over 18 years of age, leaving 15-year-old Finlay Dobbie unable to contribute to his favorite project. "One open-source expert said that Apple's decision is surprising given the company's efforts to market to kids, and the number of kids who are very involved in computing."
Could the Mac Be the Premiere Linux Platform? (NewsFactor Network). The PowerPC is the better processor for Linux, according to this Newsfactor article. "Terra Soft co-founder and CEO Kai Staats told NewsFactor that in real-world applications, Motorola's processors are better equipped for Linux than their Intel counterparts."
Russian firm battles copyright law (News.com). News.com covers today's hearing on the ElcomSoft/Adobe case. it "At one point during the hearing, U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte questioned whether courts dealing with the DMCA should look at intent, according to an attorney for ElcomSoft.
'We're seeing the effects of this unconstitutional law all over the place,' said Cindy Cohen, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing the defendant. 'This is an opportunity for the courts to take a good hard look at it.'"
ElcomSoft squares up to Feds in Sklyarov test case (Register). The Register covers the proceedings by the US federal government against ElcomSoft. "The case against ElcomSoft and Sklyarov has become a cause celebre among white hat hackers, who objected to jailing a programmer simply for coding and distributing software. There were also concerns that, at the behest of the entertainment industry, the DMCA was being applied in a way which would stymie legitimate security research."
Judge considers dismissal of copyright case (CNN). CNN reports that the judge in the ElcomSoft trial is considering a dismissal of the charges. "Federal prosecutors acknowledged the law addresses new and unfamiliar territory surrounding the distribution and protection of digital content."
IBM readies Linux for telcos (CNN). CNN looks at IBM's upcoming telecom server systems. "Sun has benefitted from the reputation of Solaris as one of the most stable operating systems, but the strong developer community around Linux and its steady maturation has some customers thinking the two OSes can go head-to-head..."
IBM pushes Linux kit into telcos (Register). The Register reports on IBM's new Linux entry in the telco sector. "IBM has pulled out the stops again to dive into one of its favourite verticals - telcos. Yesterday the company began touting the latest iteration of its e-Series, the x383, bundled with Linux to give a low cost, powerful box - ideal for a capacity booster in the hosting hotels."
IBM and SuSE: Worldwide Alliance Provides Linux Support for Corporate Users (Linux Journal). Linux Journal looks into the recent alliance between SuSE and IBM. "In the agreement, IBM Global Services (IGS) and SuSE will collaborate on support and professional services. IBM will package and support turnkey implementations of the SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), backed by SuSE's expert development, maintenance and support teams. In addition to this complete services offering, the two organizations will also collaborate on customer engagements and supplement each other's skills to provide a formidable Linux services delivery capability for corporate customers."
IBM, SuSE team up to provide Linux support for big businesses (NewsForge). Here's a press release/story combination giving some details of IBM and SuSE's support partnership. "Really, the IBM/SuSE partnership is an expansion of a working agreement IBM and SuSE already have. But Peter Nielsen, Linux offering executive for IBM Global Services , says the partnership will extend the reach of both companies as they're pitching Linux to big businesses. SuSE benefits from IBM's global reach, while IBM benefits from SuSE's market penetration in Europe and from offering a more complete Linux package to customers."
Sun wants you in its StarOffice. ZDNet looks at Sun's announcement for the upcoming StarOffice version 6. "Major corporations in the United States 'that you have heard of' have already made pilot installations of StarOffice, Zander said. 'They aren't in full deployment, but they took a section or department and started them on StarOffice.'"
Sun's Tepid Romance With Open Source to Benefit Mobile Apps (TechWeb). TechWeb takes a closer look at Sun's recent announcement that some Web services JSRs (Java Specification Requests) will be released to the open-source community. "Sun indeed hopes to take advantage of the massive amounts of creativity available through open-source development. But rather than jump completely in bed with the open-source community, it's keeping one foot firmly planted on the ground. Sun refuses to accept any API issued under what it considers to be "viral" licensing -- the GPL (General Public License) in particular -- and will continue to maintain complete control over the Java language specification."
Wall Street Embraces Linux (Forbes). Forbes reports on the deployment of Linux at Merrill Lynch. "Merrill's plans, and others like it, are very significant because they are the first companywide--rather than departmental--Linux implementations. While not without risk, this lends an enormous amount of credence to the argument that Linux can be used in place of more established technologies like Unix."
Can Linux do Database? (IT-Director). The IT-Director wants to know who's using Linux in large database applications. "Where we have not yet seen Linux is on large database servers for big transaction systems or big data warehouses. So I guess the question is whether there is a problem with Linux here or whether the IT departments that implement such applications simply do not contemplate using Linux in such performance critical and scalable roles."
The Linux server bandwagon (ZDNet). ZDNet is running an opinion piece by Larry Seltzer about big companies and Linux servers. "Check out the IBM Web site and you'll see barely a mention of desktop systems. They simply have no interest in them, and in fact there are less for sale now than there were a few months ago. Stick a fork in the Linux desktop market.
IBM is very interested in using Linux to sell servers, though. This is the guts of what they're in business for--that and follow-on services. The fact that the server is free (as in speech) is a small point. "
Linux desktop gets boost (vnunet). Vnunet reviews CodeWeavers' CrossOver Office for Linux. "CrossOver Office is being marketed to enterprise customers migrating to the Linux operating system, IT consultants specialising in desktop management, resellers, and internet appliance and thin client users."
Mozilla Readies Browser Suite (eWeek). eWeek informs their readers of the upcoming Mozilla 1.0 release. "Version 1.0 was important as Mozilla consumers, including companies developing products, needed a stable, long-lived branch with API compatibility commitments, library version identification, enough modularity so that important core modules could stand alone, stability, good performance and memory footprint, better-than-any-competition standards compliance and usability, correctness"
Mozilla 1.0 nears release (News.com). News.com looks at the upcoming Mozilla 1.0 release. "The open-source project has gained some wind in recent weeks as reports surfaced that America Online, the corporate parent of Netscape, may start shipping the Netscape browser to its AOL members instead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer. AOL has been testing parts of the Mozilla code inside its software and inside its CompuServe service, prompting speculations that it is considering a release of the software to its subscribers."
Pretty geeky privacy (Salon). Salon looks at gnupg. "The synergies of the relationship are obvious: open-source software and cryptography are two sublimely geeky obsessions that go well together. But the story of how GnuPG is coming to the cryptogeek rescue also illuminates some of the limitations of open-source, or free software."
Sharp Zaurus PDA has all kind of potential, but some small problems (NewsForge). Here's another review of the Zaurus. "First off, I have to say this is the coolest little gadget since sliced bread. I have lived with a Palm IIIx for almost three years as my steadfast companion, but this device just blows my mind with its potential. ... Zaurus is far from perfect. There are "gotchas" a-plenty that I will elaborate on..."
Sharp's Zaurus Arrives (Forbes.com). Another Zaurus story, this one from Forbes.com. "Enthusiasts of two particularly geeky corners of the computing landscape, the Linux operating system and the handheld computer, can now buy a toy that combines the best of both worlds."
Installing Linux on a VTech Helio PDA. LinuxDevices is running a tutorial on installing Linux on a VTech Helio PDA.
ELJOnline: RTLinux Application Development Tutorial. ELJonline, a joint venture of LinuxDevices.com and the Embedded Linux Journal, present this tutorial on coding real time applications using RTLinux. "Here's how to get started developing the code for your next high-altitude atmospheric research project, or anything else where a hard real-time task needs to communicate with other software."
Upgrading the Linux Kernel by the 5 Ws Version 1.0 (LinuxOrbit). Here is a HOWTO article about upgrading the Linux kernel. "In this HOWTO, we'll take an in depth look at upgrading the Linux kernel. When you're finished, we hope you'll feel comfortable taking on the sometimes daunting task of upgrading your Linux kernel and understand a little bit more about the inner workings of Linux."
Getting IPv6 Using Freenet6 on Debian (Linux Journal). Here's how to put your Debian box on an IPv6 network. "Take advantage of the Freenet6 tunnel service to quickly move from IPv4 to IPv6."
An interview with FSMLabs president, Victor Yodaiken (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices' Rick Lehrbaum chats with Victor Yodaiken, the creator of RTLinux and President of FSMLabs. "Yodaiken: Our customers have the most cool applications! RTLinux is being used for jet engine test at Pratt&Whitney, flight simulators at FlightSaftey, talking animals at the Jim Henson Creature Shop, agricultural robots at a company in New Zealand, machine tools in China, steel mills in Korea, and there are many more."
Eric Raymond: Why open source will rule (ZDNet). Here's a two part interview with Eric Raymond. From part 1: " For evidence that open-source movement now has the mainstream credibility it lacked in the late 1990s, Raymond points to Microsoft's failed attempts last year to discredit Linux and the GNU Public Licence (GPL) on which it is based. Now Linux and the open-source development model are well-positioned to succeed in the increasingly complex world of software development."
In part 2 Eric talks about why Linux will rule the desktop. " I think Linux will take over the desktop, and I think the reason it will doesn't have much to do with whether we clean up and polish our interfaces or not. Linux will take over the desktop because as the price of desktop machines drops, the Microsoft tax represents a larger and larger piece of OEM margin. There's going to come a point at which that's not sustainable, and at which OEMs have to bail out of the Microsoft camp in order to continue making any money at all. At that point, Linux wins even if the UI sucks."
Emulate This!, Part 2 (Linux Journal). In part 2 of Linux Journal's "Linux can work with just about anything" series, the author discusses running DOS applications under Linux. "A logical question at this point is "Where to go from here?" Keeping old applications alive isn't unusual. Sometimes, it just makes sense. That said, it is possible that you have something that you would like to resurrect, but getting it working might require some tweaking. Where do you turn to for answers?"
Embedded Linux in China (LinuxDevices.com). Here's an article, written by the founders of China MobileSoft, giving "a general summary of trends, markets, and the significant Chinese providers/developers of embedded Linux."
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
April 4, 2002