Linux in the news
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Stallman takes Gates to task over GPL (ZDNet). RMS talks to ZDNet about the GPL and Microsoft. "Attacks by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates on the GNU General Public License, under which much open source and free software is distributed, have been driven by a fear that the GPL creates a domain of software that Microsoft cannot privatize and control, according to GPL founder Richard Stallman."
Alan Cox attacks the European DMCA (Register). The Register covers a mini-conference held by the Campaign for Digital Rights in which Alan Cox issues a wake-up call to the Linux community amid concerns that the pending European Union Copyright Directive (EUCD) could stymie open source development. "If it goes through unmodified, the EUCD would make it a criminal offence to break or attempt to break the copy protection or Digital Rights Management systems on digital content such as music, software or eBooks. As it stands, the EUCD may lead to a rerun of Dmitri Sklyarov's prosecution, prevent teachers copying materials for their students or other legitimate uses of copyright material, opponents believe." (Thanks to Gerry Magennis)
Group wants DVD-code ruling overturned (News.com). The Computer & Communications Industry Association is asking the California Supreme Court to overturn a lower-court ruling that an Indiana man can be tried in California even though his only contact with the state is via the Internet. The defendant, Matthew Pavlovich, was charged with illegally cracking the copy protection code on DVDs.
Microsoft Plans to Contribute to Mexico's Internet Initiative. A San Diego Union-Tribune article covers the Microsoft plans to contribute to Mexico's Internet Initiative. Linux is mentioned near the bottom of the article: "Ildefonso Guajardo, an opposition member from the state of Nuevo Leon, told The New York Times this week that he and a group of legislators were considering a bill to require the use of open-source software, like the Linux operating system, in the e-Mexico initiative.
Guajardo said the Microsoft proposal could result in Mexicans being forced to pay millions of dollars for copyrights, patents, licensing and upgrade fees."
Doctors opt for Open Source (The Star). The Star looks at the Primary Care Doctors Organisation Malaysia, which is building its new patient management system on Linux. "'Besides cost, the principles behind the Open Source Software (OSS) movement are similar to those of the medical profession - that is, the sharing of information on research findings, new medical techniques and breakthroughs,' said Dr Cheah."
Brett Smith Writes Open Letter about Free Software (GNU-Friends). Here is an open letter from a college student regarding the use of proprietary software in the educational environment. "I've taught myself a fair amount of programming by looking at code. Consequently, my ability to learn is diminished when I am asked to learn from programs that I cannot study. It is particularly upsetting and ironic when I am asked to do so by an institution which has promised to teach me." (Thanks to Matthew O'Connor)
The Trouble with Vorbis (Kuro5hin). Ogg Vorbis may not be as free as it seems, according to this article. "The Xiph.Org Foundation says it offers a "fully Open, non-proprietary, patent-and-royalty-free, general-purpose compressed audio format" called Ogg Vorbis . In fact a full detailed description of the format has never been made available, but in spite of this Xiph.Org offers two implementations..." (Thanks to Nicolas Pitre)
Apache and Firewall Performance Tips from the Xenu.net Masters (Linux Journal). Linux Journal interviews Andreas Heldal-Lund, the Xenu.net webmaster, and Paul Wouters, of Xenu.net's ISP, Xtended Internet, how their popular site is handling the load. "Where Scientology critics go, legal threats follow. Google's decision to pull Xenu.net from its index, under the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and the later commitment to making DMCA takedown letters public caused a publicity storm that, when it cleared, left "Operation Clambake", Xenu.net, at the top of a Google search for the word "Scientology"."
Lineo announces recapitalization and new Embedix version (LinuxDevices). The Embedded Linux company Lineo has announced that it has received a new round of venture capital. Lineo has also released version 2.5 of its Embedix SDK.
SuSE looks to stabilize Linux (ZDNet). This ZDNet article describes SuSE's interesting tech support policy. "The result is stricter control of its corporate software, called SuSE Linux Enterprise Server, whose technical support terms require that customers don't make too many changes of their own."
Bynari Finds Missing Link (IBM). Here's an article about converting corporations from Windows to Linux. "'Every time we got corporations enthusiastic about the TCO savings in converting from Windows to Linux systems, Exchange emerged as a deal-killer,' says Adelstein, co-founder of Bynari, a high-level consultancy for Open Source systems."
Midmarket Customers Get Another Storage Option (TechWeb). Here's a new piece of Linux-based hardware for your consumption. "Quantum to roll out network-attached storage appliance based on Linux [...] The Guardian 14000 will be priced at $24,900 for 1.4 terabytes of capacity."
AMD's Hammer chips get Microsoft nod (News.com). News.com reports that Microsoft will be collaborating with AMD to work with the upcoming Hammer family of processor chips. "With Linux developers and now Microsoft formally committing to gear their operating systems for the company's chips, AMD can begin to convince server manufacturers and IT managers to move away from a diet based strictly on Intel and RISC (reduced instruction set computing) technology."
How would Kermit look in a red hat? (News.com). Linux use continues to grow in movies and TV. "The deal is another milepost in what's becoming a growing trend--Linux gaining ground in digital entertainment. For its recent hit "Shrek," DreamWorks used Linux servers to create detailed images for the movie. DreamWorks is also using Hewlett-Packard's Linux machines for its film, "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron." "
'Team'Work Pays Off for Linux (Network Computing). Network Computing reviews the support offerings of some Linux companies. "We invited [Caldera, Linuxcare, Hewlett-Packard Co., MissionCritical Linux and IBM Global Services] to participate in our test of Linux support services."
Gates vs. states: Who came out on top? (News.com). News.com writes about Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates' testimony during the recent antitrust case. "But Kuney may have hit pay dirt on the other major code provision of the remedy: that Microsoft must, through auction, license the code of its Office software to three other companies for development on competing operating systems, such as Linux.
'In some ways this one provision strikes at the very core of the antitrust ruling against Microsoft: that it illegally maintained a monopoly in Intel-based operating systems,' Gray said."
Microsoft and IBM patently deceptive (ZDNet). ZDNet is running a letter to the editor that looks at issues surrounding Microsoft, IBM, and proprietary web services protocols. "Thanks to Mr. Berlind and other lone voices in the wilderness like Bruce Perens [co-founder of the Open Source Initiative], we now know that these proposals are not so open. We now know that there are secret patents lying in wait for widespread adoption and use."
Government must back open source (vnunet). Vnunet examines the reasons governments should back open source software. "The potential cost savings here are high, because the software licence costs on PCs are high. Estimates of actual savings from those who have made the switch vary from £200 to £650 per PC, but much of this depends on how PCs are used."
Agenda VR3 compatible Linux PDA to sell for $105 (LinuxDevices.com). LinuxDevices covers a new Linux PDA from Softfield Technologies that is compatible with the discontinued Agenda VR3.
How does IIS keep its market share? (ZDNet). Larry Seltzer examines the increase in Microsoft web servers on the net, as shown by the latest Netcraft survey. "Remember that IIS market share actually grew through the period when the Code Red and Nimda worms hit. Infection with these worms caused many administrators to realize that they had been running IIS on NT and Windows 2000 servers for no reason, and many subsequently disabled it. Yet since Code Red came out IIS's share of all servers has gone from 26 percent to 34 percent."
Review: Mozilla loaded up for browser wars (ZDNet). ZDNet reviews Mozilla. "In our unofficial tests, RC 1 ran nearly as fast as Internet Explorer 6. Plus, it works on Windows, Mac, and Linux, which no other browser does, and it promises a greater ability to customize than competing browsers do."
The Browser That Roared (Time). Time looks at the upcoming Mozilla 1.0 release. "How good is Mozilla? I tried a prerelease version (available free at www.mozilla.org), and I'm sold. It's fast and impressively stable (i.e., unlike Netscape 6, it doesn't crash every time you look at it funny), but what makes it truly superior is the clever, stress-saving bells and whistles that come from millions of geek hours of testing."
VMware GSX Server for Linux Review (LinuxLookup). LinuxLookup reviews VMware's GSX server for Linux. "My latest entree into the world of virtualized environments is the VMware GSX server. For someone who doesn't spend much time running multiple iterations of a particular application, I viewed this application as a solution looking for a problem. What I've learned in this exercise is that making a low-end server into a distributed application environment is quick and reliable using the GSX server."
LinuxDevices Embedded Linux Newsletter. The April 25 edition of the LinuxDevices Embedded Linux Newsletter is available with all of the latest embedded Linux news.
May 2002 ELJonline (LinuxDevices.com). ELJonline.com (a joint project of LinuxDevices.com and Embedded Linux Journal) has published the online version of the May, 2002 edition of the Embedded Linux Journal. As usual, the new issue is filled with interesting and informative articles on embedded Linux technologies and projects.
Tips for New Linux Users, Part 1 (ExtremeTech). ExtremeTech, usually a Windows-centric publication, has produced an introduction to Linux article. "So, you've finally installed Linux, after what probably seemed like an endless journey in a labyrinth of distribution information, and often a bit too positive, esoteric installation instructions." (Thanks to Kyle Roberson)
Installing Linux on a Wal-Mart OS-less PC (NewsForge). NewsForge takes a look at the Wal-Mart computers. "A few months ago, super-sized discount store Wal-Mart made the headlines in the Linux world by becoming the first major U.S. retailer to offer PCs without Windows preloaded. At this writing, the Walmart.com Web site lists no less than 14 PCs available without an operating system. [...] How well do these machines support Linux?"
Why you want Linux - Or not (Linux Orbit). This article takes a stab at providing information to a prospective Linux user so they can make an informed decision to switch (or not). "First, a quick crash course for those who have heard of Linux but don't really know what it is. To start with, Linux is not Windows. If you go into it expecting to see something like Windows, you're going to be disappointed. Linux, as the name tries to imply, is a form of Unix, an operating system previously reserved mainly for server operations. Unlike most versions of Unix however, Linux has a huge amount of support from desktop programmers, and as a result it's quickly making it's way onto desktops, as well as being a major force in the server world."
Learning to Use X11 (Linux Journal). Here's a tutorial discussing how to use X11 fully and effectively. "Line 1: Xlib.h is the most important header file for X11 programming. It defines several structs and macros used throughout an X11 program and provides function prototypes for all the basic functions in the library. Other headers are part of X11 as well. If those are needed, Xlib.h usually has to be included before any of the other headers because they depend on it. Strangely, the dependent headers do not themselves include Xlib.h."
Mission impossible at IBM? (News.com). Here's an interview with Tom Bradicich, chief technology officer of IBM's xSeries Intel server group. "When Linux came along as a viable OS that runs on Intel, it made one less component of an Intel server unilaterally controlled."
Mozilla's next big step (CNET News.com). CNET News.com interviews Mitchell Baker, the leader of Mozilla. "Yet with Microsoft's ongoing antitrust trial as a backdrop, Mozilla is close to finally launching its 1.0 version. Although largely a ceremonial measure, the milestone marks the first time Mozilla's code will be ready for developers to use in a final form. Mozilla supporters are anxiously awaiting the release, saying the technology will foster a new burst of innovation for Web browsing technology."
Interview: Bart Decrem. LinuxAndMain interviews Bart Decrem, who now works for Hancom Linux in Korea. "So, to answer your question, in my opinion the U.S. Linux desktop market is the hardest place to make a buck in the world. I kind of learned that one at Eazel, but generally, if you look at the state of the U.S. industry, it's overall much less cost-sensitive than any market elsewhere in the world."
Niche market for Linux largely untapped (ZDNet). The author of this article sees Linux running on corporate desktops, not the home desktop. "The real market for the Linux desktop in corporate America are these people stuck spending 90 percent of their day in Unix on top of Windows or with two machines."
Give your children a head start at home (Sunday Times UK). David Hewson thinks that Linux is unsuitable for use in schools, according to this Sunday Times UK article. (Registration required) "And forget about Linux, which would be like buying your child a car that runs on LPG (the Calor Gas so beloved of greenies) when they pass their driving test." Please be polite if you respond to Mr. Hewson.
The Lessons Hardest Learned (Linux Journal). Ron Powell has written an apology/suggestion in this article in which he describes a recent scenario where a Linux newbie had the unfortunate luck of locking his root user account following the advice of those assisting him. "The horror of this fiasco sank in about 20 minutes later when we asked Joe to su so he could copy a file. He told us that his system would not accept root's password..."
Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol
May 2, 2002