Linux in the news
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Latin America in love with Linux (vnunet). Here's vnunet's take on an open source bill on the table in Peru. "The Peruvian bill is based on a document submitted to the Argentinean government last year, which was developed in conjunction with the free software community in that country and abroad."
Peru Discovers Machu Penguin (Wired News). Wired takes a look at a bill on the table in the Peruvian government that would mandate the use of free software in government computers. "In a loftier sense, many view open-source or free software as the key to the region's technological future and its widespread use a matter of national pride and autonomy. Government use of open source -- which would encourage developers to write their own software -- would foment a homegrown software industry that could compete with giants such as Microsoft, the thinking goes."
Lower Saxony Police switches to Linux (Heise). Here's an article (in German) in Heise Online describing plans by the Lower Saxony Police to install 11,000 Linux desktop systems. These systems will be running Netscape, StarOffice, and locally-written Java software; the government expects to save EUR 20 million over ten years by going with Linux. An English translation is available via Babelfish. (Thanks to Matthias Schroeter and Christof Damian).
Web standards: Why MS and IBM can't be trusted (ZDNet). David Morgenstern examines the issues behind web services and software patents on ZDNet. "'Perhaps things have to get worse before they get better,' Wilson wrote, calling for user groups to develop a new, open set of standards based on the Open Source Initiative. 'Let those carpetbaggers and charlatans try to screw us with additional royalties. They've already given the Internet cancer but they're still not satisfied. So now they're now making the disease metastasize. However, I suggest, now that we've all tasted the Internet drug and are hopelessly addicted, we'll look for a cheaper and better fix before long.'" Enter Linux.
IBM and MS Tax the Net (IT-Director). IT-Director looks at issues surrounding royalties and the settings of web standards. "IBM has made a statement to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), that indicates that the emerging standards for ebXML are likely to infringe on one or more of the patents that it holds and has indicated that it intends to apply a RAND policy to extract some royalties from users of the standard.
Microsoft is expected to follow similar lines with other, well established web services protocols such as SOAP, UDDI and WSDL. Sun, on the other hand, as the provider of much of the intellectual property for XML -- the widest used standard at this time -- is not seeking similar compensation."
Gates: GPL will eat your economy, but BSD's cool (Register). The Register analyzes remarks made by Bill Gates at the recent Government Leaders Conference in Seattle, Washington. "But back at the podium, Bill is drawing a clear line between freedom and Marxist insurgents:
'Then you get to the issue of who is going to be the most innovative. You know, will it be capitalism, or will it be just people working at night? There's always been a free software world. And you should understand Microsoft thinks free software is a great thing. Software written in universities should be free software. But it shouldn't be GPL software. GPL software is like this thing called Linux, where you can never commercialize anything around it; that is, it always has to be free. And, you know, that's just a philosophy.'"
Just a Philosophy: A Response to Bill Gates (Dissociated Press). J. Brockmeier has written an editorial about Bill Gates' speech to the Government Leaders' Conference. "I object strenously to Gates refusal to actually address the GPL as it really is and the insistence that capitalism and the 'free market' will handle everything just fine so the computer users of the world should just sit back and accept whatever Microsoft delivers. "
Office on Linux: If you can't beat Microsoft, join it (ZDNet). ZDNet examines CrossOver Office. "CrossOver lets you run some Microsoft Office applications on a Linux-based PC. So you can enjoy the full benefits of Windows apps without having to kowtow to the ruffians in Redmond by running a Windows OS."
The Penguin and the Hare..... Con Zymaris writes about Linux on the desktop. "Throughout 2001, a substantial number of industry pundits took it upon themselves to deflate or denounce Linux's chances as a desktop Operating System contender. They pointed to the fact that even after two or three years of what they called 'hype', Linux still had a minuscule proportion of the mainstream desktop market. What are its chances of catching the naturally advantaged Windows platform on the desktop, and combating the arrogant and aggressive Microsoft?"
Linux moves into the storage mainstream (ComputerWorld). This article looks at Linux in the enterprise storage market. "So far, the role of Linux in enterprise storage has been somewhat limited but recent events indicate that the operating system should now be viewed as a viable alternative to support the most demanding, data-intensive applications. It is clear that Linux is capable of keeping data continuously available and safe, and that the operating system is quickly turning into a strategic enterprise platform for storage."
Linux Supercomputer To Cogitate For Energy Department (TechWeb). TechWeb investigates the Department of Energy's contract with HP for a Linux supercomputer. "HP is building the supercomputer--benchmarked at a peak speed of 8.3 trillion floating-point operations per second--at the department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. Installation should be complete by year's end. The lab plans to use the computer to study toxic-waste storage, materials design, geology, and genomics problems that require low latency between processors."
Department of Energy buys fastest Linux system (CNN). CNN investigates the Department of Energy's new Linux supercomputer purchase from HP. "The computer should reach processing speeds of 8.3T flops (8.3 trillion floating point operations per second) at peak performance, making it the most powerful Linux computer in the world, HP said. It will also be among the most powerful supercomputers in the world."
Stanford researchers may have largest database (CNN). CNN looks at Stanford University's BaBar database, which is claimed to be the largest database ever built. BaBar weighs in at around 500 TeraBytes in size. "The database, which collects information about subatomic particle collisions, is used by 600 physicists from nine nations taking part in the BaBar research project, Becla said Tuesday. BaBar's goal is to understand the difference between matter and antimatter and how it shaped the universe." The database runs on a collection of Sun and Linux servers.
Waging peace on the Internet (Register). This article is about freedom in cyberspace. "Hacktivismo has been working with Chinese hackers and human rights workers, and the collaboration has been both fruitful and energizing. Occasionally there are cultural conflicts, but this has nothing to do with where anyone was born, and everything to do with how people get things done. Hackers tend towards MIT professor Dave Clark's credo which states, "We reject: kings, presidents, and voting. We believe in: rough consensus and running code." Trust will come as development partners begin working more closely and learning that we aren't so different as we appear at the surface."
Thaths It: A Young Man's Story of How Linux India Blossomed into Chaos (Linux Journal). Linux Journal looks at Linux India (LI) during an interview with Sudhakar Chandrashekaran (better known as Thaths). "As for missed opportunities, I'm not sure. My one single lost opportunity would be not registering LI as an official nationwide non-profit organization. I think for a brief moment during LI's existence, there was a window of opportunity for the creation of a nation-wide body. But that window closed and the LI community began to be more regional in nature, with more active involvement of members in their local LUGs."
W3C strives for royalty-free patent policy (ZDNet). ZDNet is carrying the testimony of Daniel J. Weitzner before the United States Department of Justice and United States Federal Trade Commission during the Joint Hearings on Competition and Intellectual Property Law and Policy in the Knowledge-Based Economy: Standards and Intellectual Property: Licensing Terms. Daniel is the Technology and Society Domain Leader in the World Wide Web Consortium.
IEEE Will Drop Form Pledging Adherence to Copyright Act (Chronicle.com). The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on how the IEEE is dropping its "DMCA compliance" requirement. "The stiff opposition and the perception that the institute was siding with the government rather than with researchers prompted the decision to remove the digital-copyright provision from the form."
Hollywood vs. High-Tech (Business 2.0). Business 2.0 discusses a senate hearing on the recent Hollings bill. "Chairman Hollings was only slightly less infuriated than the two CEOs. "Where did you get all this nonsense about ... 'irreparable damage'?" he wanted to know. Eisner chimed in that Vadasz's comments were just a sample of the runaround his industry had been getting from tech companies."
The commercial salvation of Linux (ZDNet). ZDNet ponders the Cathedral and the Bazaar in the real world. "In fact, those cathedrals have a lot to teach these bazaars. I find it reassuring for the future of Linux that there are large, well-funded commercial outfits with an interest in it. Whatever problems Linux has, they are also the problem of these companies. For instance, I have my doubts about the future of pure Linux companies like Red Hat, but as bad as things would ever get for them, companies like IBM are into Linux too deep to let it languish."
Saving Cyberspace (Linux Journal). Doc Searls writes about politics in Cyberspace on Linux Journal. "What followed supports the Law of Intended Consequences. Jeff Gerhardt of The Linux Show not only got turned on by the idea, but he picked up the ball and ran it for a touchdown and extra points.
The current manifestation of Jeff's effort, with help from Paul Jones (of Ibiblio), Eric S. Raymond and myself, is a public proposal for the creation of two entities -- a consortium and a political action committee -- built for the purpose of advocating the Net to lawmakers and regulators. "
Compuserve 7.0 Ships With Netscape As Default Browser (Internet Week). Internet Week looks at CompuServe's switch to the Netscape browser. "CompuServe launched a new version of its online service this week-pretty much a non-event in the enterprise world except for one intriguing element: The release swaps out Microsoft's Internet Explorer for the latest version of Netscape's open-source browser."
Web hosting on Red Hat Linux available from Digex Inc. (ComputerWorld). ComputerWorld covers Digex Inc.'s expansion of its hosting environments to the Linux operating system. "Digex will offer fully managed, end-to-end hosting on standardized Intel platforms under Red Hat Linux, she said, giving enterprise customers a less-costly option for needed services."
HP To Build Linux Supercomputer for U.S. (NewsFactor Network). NewsFactor Network covers the cluster that HP will be building for the Department of Energy's (DOE) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). "The computer is slated for installation at the Molecular Science Computing Facility in the department's Richland, Washington, laboratory. Scientists there are expected to study chemical problems in the areas of life sciences, subsurface transport, material design, atmospheric chemistry and combustion, as well as geochemistry and biochemistry."
IBM to sell new storage systems in 2003 (News.com). Reuters looks into upcoming Linux-based storage systems from IBM. "IBM's Sanford said that the company will incorporate standards set by an industry group into the systems and that the company's virtualization software will be based on Linux."
IBM and Sage to Bring Linux to Small Businesses (Reuters). Here's a Reuters article about an IBM and Sage Group Plc announcement that they will offer the Linux operating system to medium-sized businesses around the globe. "Sage said it would start to offer the Linux platform globally in three months time for its most comprehensive product Line 500, which lets medium-sized businesses run their finance, distribution, manufacturing and service operations."
Update on Lineo recapitalization (LinuxDevices.com). LinuxDevices.com has published an update from Lineo CEO Matt Harris regarding Lineo's ongoing recapitalization process and new funding status. "Is there any chance the process won't be over this week? No. The legal process is underway, the new money has already been coming in, the employee payments are starting, and the customer work and partner work will not miss a beat."
Red Hat Stronghold Web Server targets the Enterprise (Register). The Register reviews Red Hat's recently released Stronghold Web Server. "Stronghold Enterprise incorporates Red Hat Content Accelerator for increased web site performance, and also features support for OpenSSL, the PHP and Perl development languages and also the Tomcat Apache Java servlet container, the AxKit Apache XML application server and DAV content editing and management tools."
Sharp launches Linux PDA (vnunet). Vnunet reviews the Sharp Zaurus SL-5500 Linux based PDA. "Daniel Wan, product marketing manager at Sharp, said that Linux makes the most of the Zaurus hardware capabilities, and provides an open platform for future development. He claimed that it also differentiates the device from other PDAs on the market. 'It would have been easy to launch another PocketPC device, but this would have been a ''me too'' product,' he said. "
SuSE, Sun hook up on grid software (ZDNet). Sun and SuSE will join forces in a project that involves SuSE's bundling of Sun's Grid Engine with SuSE Linux 8.0 Professional Edition.
Sun's Evolving Role as Java Evangelist (O'Reilly). Steve Anglin examines issues surrounding Sun, Java, and IBM on O'Reilly. "Sun VP Rich Green has been quoted on countless occasions that Sun's ideal role with regards to Java is as an 'evangelist.' Sun VP George Paolini has been quoted, 'In my mind, organizations of this kind succeed when there's a technology [i.e., Java] at the center of gravity.'"
Symantec preps Linux firewall for IBM iSeries (Register). The Register reports on Symantec's firewall package that runs on an IBM iSeries Linux partition. "Symantec say that they are keen on moving into the OS/400 server space, but that there are some significant issues involved with support the open-source Linux operating system.
Because Linux is open source, anybody can, in theory, as well as in practice, go into the very guts of the Linux operating system--its kernel--and make substantial changes. This self-reliance is one of the benefits of using Linux over other operating systems. When it comes to security, however, this is a serious detriment."
More foreign banks switching to Linux (ZDNet). ZDNet looks at the banking industry's movement toward Linux. "The issue of software licensing, meanwhile, has become particularly pertinent in the recent financial climate. David Valentine, IBM Linux sales and marketing executive, cites budget cuts as a key driver. 'A lot of the customers I visit have just about digested what Microsoft licensing changes mean,' said Valentine. 'One chief information office says he is having to deal with a 15 to 20 percent budget cut each year, but his key supplier (Microsoft) is charging more for the same functionality.'"
Bank's faith in Linux pays dividends (vnunet). Here's another "Linux in banks" story; this one is on vnunet. "Financial giant Credit Suisse First Boston has increased system performance twenty-fold by moving its mission critical application infrastructure from Risc-Unix to a Lintel environment. While incumbents continue to dismiss Linux as unfit for serious enterprise applications, the bank has proved the opposite by trusting its global trading system, Agora, to the operating system"
Left Behind (TechWeb). This article on informationweek mentions the use of Linux in the airline travel reservation business. "Orbitz, which is owned by American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, and United, uses Intel-based servers running Linux to grab fares directly from ATG Co., the company that collects fares from the airlines and feeds them into the global distribution systems. Orbitz also pulls schedules directly from OAG Worldwide Ltd., which distributes airfare schedules to global distribution systems.
'Since we're using Intel and Linux, the processing power is cheap, so we can apply hundreds of machines to a search, which gives us more results,' Zoghlin says."
A Kylix 2 Open Edition Primer for Windows Delphi Programmers (Linux Journal). Linux Journal reviews Borland's Kylix 2 on Mandrake Linux. "Maybe someday a Kylix program of mine will run on a different Linux distribution. Heck, some day I might give a different user access to it; I think that's simply a matter of putting the stuff in /usr/sbin or something. But I still have no idea how to make a nice desktop icon appear automatically; but then again, apparently neither does Jbuilder."
MandrakeSoft, SuSE Move Forward (Open For Business). Open For Business examines new releases of SuSE and MandrakeSoft Linux. "The two Linux distributions best known for Desktop-computing focus both started shipping new releases of their respective packages today. With large strides in usability being made in the last few months, these distributions promise to continue the drive toward the open source desktop."
Core Perl: A Book Review. Paul Berry reviews the book 'Core Perl', by Reuven M. Lerner.
Samba runs rings around Win2000 (vnunet). Vnunet has published a positive review of Samba. "In terms of scalability, the results show that Linux and Samba can handle four times as many client systems as Windows 2000 before performance begins to drop off. Consequently firms can save money on hardware and software upgrades, and can avoid the administrative and financial costs of licensing Windows file servers, by using the Samba alternative. "
Linux turns the lights on with X10 (NewsForge). Russell Pavlicek talks about using X10 device controllers with a Linux PC. "Thankfully, several industrious people had already set about the task of controlling the Firecracker interface under Linux. I found two projects to be of particular value: a command line utility called BottleRocket and a Tcl/Tk application called RocketLauncher. The home page for RocketLauncher seems to have disappeared, but I have posted a copy of it on my Web site."
IBM middleware for Linux CD set. IBM has announced the release of a set of two CDs that contain middleware software for Linux. "The latest IBM middleware for Linux (DB2 Universal Database, WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Studio Application Developer, and Lotus Domino) is being provided, at no cost, on a 2 CD set, along with Web Services technologies, Linux technical articles, Linux Redbooks, and the very popular Java battle-bots game Robocode." The CDs run on Red Hat 7.1, 7.2, and SuSE 7.3.
Emulate This!, Part 3 (Linux Journal). Marcel Gagné examines software and hardware emulation in part 3 of a Linux Journal article. "In this article, I'm going to take you a little deeper into the world of emulation, from software emulation to hardware emulation. This is a story about thinking inside the box or, rather, inside the Bochs."
Open Office Newsletter #5. The 5th edition of the OpenOffice newsletter is out. Check it out for the latest project news. Lots of work is being done in the area of XML support.
Jurassic Computer Park (Linux Journal). The Linux Journal looks at the Alameda County Computer Resource Center, a nonprofit recycling operation. "A Microsoft-free organization, ACCRC donated more than 5,000 computers last year at no cost to recipients. Thanks to a donation from SuSE, every computer that ACCRC distributes runs a full copy of SuSE Linux."
Apple promotes 'Godless Darwinism and Communism' (Register). Just when you thought you'd heard it all, The Register has published a satirical piece about a Dr. Richard Paley from the Fellowship University who has apparently damned open-source software. "The real operating system hiding under the newest version of the Macintosh operating system (MacOS X) is called... Darwin! That's right, new Macs are based on Darwinism! While they currently don't advertise this fact to consumers, it is well known among the computer elite, who are mostly Atheists and Pagans. Furthermore, the Darwin OS is released under an 'Open Source' license, which is just another name for Communism."
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
April 25, 2002