Linux in the news
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See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
MS in Peruvian open-source nightmare (The Register). The Register reports on Microsoft's efforts to derail the Peruvian government's migration to open source software. "Apparently, the Peruvian government is considering a bill mandating open-source software for all public bureaux. From the congressman's letter, we gather that MS had circulated a FUD communiqué calculated to frighten world + dog with images of collapsing domestic software markets, spiraling costs and systems migration nightmares."
Linux operating system comes of age (Arab News). For a different perspective, here's an introductory article in Arab News. "Linux is no longer the OS of university computer labs. For the Kingdom, the Middle East and the developing world, Linux is the OS of the future."
Open-Source Software Opens New Windows to Third-World (Linux Journal). Linux Journal looks at the use of open source software in the third-world. "'Don't be surprised if we become the first country in the world to say that all (government-run) services are going to be GNU/Linux based,' [Pakistan Ministry of Science and Technology advisor Salman] Ansari says enthusiastically."
The Challenge That Is Linux (TechWeb). TechWeb looks into the details behind growth in the Linux server sector. "The number of Linux servers at U.S. companies is growing quickly, faster than Windows servers and Unix licenses, which have become a smaller percentage of the overall server market. Sure, Linux's growth is from a smaller installed base than that of older operating systems. But where's it coming from?"
StarOffice to eat MS share (probably) (Register). The Register has published a ComputerWire article about potential gains in market share by the Star Office office suite. "Technology analysts at Gartner Group predict that Sun has a 'slightly better than 50:50 chance' to win a 10% slice of business away from Microsoft, as organizations start to count the cost of licensing changes being brought about with the introduction on August 1 of Microsoft's new Software Assurance renewable subscription scheme."
University systems a haven for hackers (News.com). This News.com article looks at a talk given by David Dittrich at the CanSecWest security conference. " At the University of Washington, for example, Dittrich, two other security engineers and several network engineers have to deal with network outages, compromised computers, rogue libraries of pirated media and software, and students who can't get online to get their homework done because of all of the illicit traffic."
Study: Music Swappers Buy More (Reuters). Just as the availability of cheap video recording equipment failed to bring down the movie industry, Reuters reports that file sharing services are actually helping to sell commercial CDs. "Internet users who download songs for free from unauthorized "peer to peer" services are more likely to increase their music purchases than regular Internet users, according to a report released Friday." (Thanks to Michael Walma.)
Silent Mayday (Linux Journal). Here's a story from Linux Journal about the Copyright Arbitration and Royalty Panel. "The top internet radio stations are running a day of silence to warn listeners--and everybody else who cares about the Net--about what will happen if CARP rules go into effect later this month."
Community-Based Recording Studios: A Look into the Future (Linux Journal). Linux Journal writes about building free recording studios. "This broadens the base of our precious Public Domain and, at the same time, offers musicians and artists an alternative professional track to the monopolized track offered by the RIAA."
Capellas: New HP ready to prove itself (News.com). News.com looks at the new HP (after the merger with Compaq). "The new HP in many ways will resemble the old Compaq. The company's strategy will largely revolve around aligning itself with technology giants such as Microsoft and Intel and large consulting firms to deliver products that will be cheaper than those from companies such as IBM and Sun Microsystems, which tout their own internal developments."
Don Capellas articulates HPaq's vision thing (Register). Here is the Register's take on the HP/Compaq merger. "But there was nothing about an R&D strategy for software, and no claim to wrestle the middle ground from the web services war going on between Microsoft, IBM and Sun. This is where you might expect an HP to come out as heroic peacemaker, but Capellas doesn't seem to have a vision for software at all. He doesn't have the will to compete. It's all going to be commoditized, so fuggedaboutit. From which we surmise: if you work for Bluestone, get your CVs over to systems management and storage toot-sweet."
The week in review: HP clears the way (News.com). News.com reports that Walter Hewlett's suit over the HP-Compaq merger has been dismissed by a Delaware judge. "Just hours after the judge revealed his decision, Hewlett abandoned his challenge to the merger, saying he would not further contest the outcome of the shareholder vote. Hewlett said that although he disagreed with the merits of the deal, he said he would now 'do everything possible to support the successful implementation of HP's acquisition of Compaq and encourage others who have shared my views in the past several months to do the same.'" The merger is back on track.
IBM pushes the Penguin harder (IT-Director). IT-Director covers the resources that IBM has available for Linux developers. "The investment program is continuing with a newly announced service, which is being pushed with the slogan "Speed Start your Linux app". It is a free service that it hopes will assist developers to become more proficient in developing Linux applications and will encourage them to use IBM software products."
IBM servers: Who needs humans? (CNET News.com). IBM is selling software that monitors, detects, and repairs problems with IBM servers. The Dallas Morning News has also posted a story about this software.
Open-Source Debate: Today Linux, Tomorrow Solaris? (TechWeb). Tech Web looks at opinions from open-source proponents inside of Sun Microsystems. "Rob Gingell, Sun's chief technologist for software systems, wants the vendor to take an even bolder step into the world of open-source software, in which users can freely access programs and change their basic instructions. 'I keep saying, personally, that I want to go open source on Solaris,' Gingell says. 'I eventually will prevail.'"
Exec exodus continues at Sun (News.com). News.com looks into changes at Sun Microsystems. "Several other executives have recently announced plans to leave the company, raising concerns on Wall Street about the future strength of Sun's leadership ranks."
Linux man latest to go in Sun's Exec shuffle (IT-Director). IT-Director chimes in on the changes at Sun. " Stephen DeWitt, Sun Microsystem's Vice-President for Content Delivery and Edge computing is the fifth Sun Exec to leave in less than a month. The company was slow to recognise Linux but DeWitt's history as President of Cobalt, Sun's edge device, made him a key player in the company's Linux strategy. Add this to an Exec weakened by four other departures and losses in the latest quarter's results, and the future looks unsure for Sun."
Sun Cobalt Linux servers ready to roll (ZDNet). Sun Cobalt is preparing a major addition to its line of Linux-based server appliances this month, according to this ZDNet article. "Rumors of the new server appliances--the first major launch under the Cobalt brand since Sun acquired the company in autumn 2000--have been circulating for several months. The company has still not released more details, but according to sources, is planning at least one dual-processor box, possibly called the Cobalt Raq550."
Vendors Buying Into Linux (TechWeb). TechWeb looks at Linux's steady march into new areas of corporate IT, which they say is making the operating system harder for hardware and software vendors to ignore. "Shifting engineering costs from maintaining hefty operating system code bases to building new applications could ultimately spur innovation, some technologists say."
Takin' Care of Business (Dr. Dobb's). Ed Nisley writes about the business side of embedded software development on Dr. Dobb's. "Despite the firm opinions of some now-departed companies, you can't earn a living by giving away free software. You must actually sell something of value to customers while giving away the software, otherwise your business won't clear the gantry. While this may be obvious now, it was derided as old-think just a year or two ago."
A business case for open source (News.com). News.com presents a good case for using open source software. " Open source is here to stay. It's a valuable tool, and you should learn how to use it. You can be sure that your competitors will."
Open For Business (TechWeb). TechWeb looks at the adoption of Linux in a somewhat negative light. "Yet in the corporate market, Linux still faces something of a technological glass ceiling. While the Energy Department is willing to pay Hewlett-Packard $24.5 million to complete the Linux supercomputer, most business-technology managers don't yet trust the operating system with their most vital applications and data. Studham, a former IBM computer scientist, says he understands their reluctance. 'National labs are some of the early adopters of any technology,' he says. 'If I were [a corporate] IT manager this year, I'd still be experimenting on Linux.'"
Device Profile: hippo Internet Phone (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices.com looks at the hippo Internet Phone. "[hippo CTO Ritha] Pai says hippo's software developers started out with downloaded 'community' PowerPC Linux sources, but decided to move to MontaVista Software's Hard Hat Linux in order to avoid the need to deal with library mismatches and other issues associated with not starting from a prequalified Embedded Linux distribution."
Real-time Linux sub-kernels, benchmarks, and . . . contention (LinuxDevices). In part three of an Embedded Linux Journal series of articles by Kevin Dankwardt on Real-time Linux, Dankwardt reviewed the sub-kernel approach as used in RTLinux and RTAI and provided some benchmark numbers.
GNU/Linux DVD Player Review (Linux Journal). Linux Journal reviews a number of DVD playback applications for GNU/Linux. "Playing DVDs under GNU/Linux has not had the happiest of histories, what with the DeCSS debacle and subsequent legal battle. So you'd be forgiven for thinking that you will never be able to play your DVDs on your GNU/Linux system. Luckily, this is not the case, and there are several applications available for you to download and use."
George Jetson Would Be Proud (TechWeb). TechWeb investigates the Evolution Robotics Software Platform, which runs on Linux. "Much like a PC operating system, Evolution's platform contains the basic system that controls a robot, as well as lots of smaller components and drivers to operate voice recognition or control a particular tool, for example." The platform is based on licensed software.
Caldera Volution Messaging Server: A Product Review (Linux Journal). Linux Journal reviews Caldera's Volution Messaging Server (VMS), which should not be confused with DIGITAL's VMS operating system.
Transgaming WineX 2.0 Review (LinuxLookup). LinuxLookup reviews TransGaming's Wine implementation called WineX. "There was one game in particular that I was interested in running on Linux; Diablo II happens to be my son's favorite hack-and-slay game, so that was first."
Sun's OpenOffice open for business (News.com). News.com covers the release of OpenOffice 1.0. "OpenOffice is based on the same StarOffice code but does not include a database product, a dictionary or technical support from Sun."
OpenOffice suite goes 1.0 (Register). The Register devotes a few words to the recent 1.0 release of OpenOffice.org. "So StarOffice is for businesses and consumers who either want to deal with proper companies and/or don't know or care what open source is, while OpenOffice is undiluted revolution, for people who choke on expressions such as "Sun quality and assurance testing." Or something. The twin-track approach makes some sense in that many (most?) businesses can't deal with software they don't have to pay for, so even if the tab is fairly small the existence of the software in this packaging actually improves its chances of getting adopted in business and bundled with new computers, for sale to the Great Unconverted."
Linux Multimedia (Linux Journal). Here's a survey of some Linux multimedia tools from the Linux Journal. "Xine could do it, but due to legal restrictions, the makers of Xine are not willing to do it, which seems to make the use of any open-source DVD player in Linux very limited... The last options are the initiatives to provide a plugin for open-source software like Xine. As mentioned before, the big problem with this option is that it's illegal."
Robocode Rumble - Java-Battle-Bot league has been launched. Robocode is a game that teaches you Java on Linux while you build killer Java-Battle-Bots that fight each other to the death in an arena. The newest Robocode league in town, Robocode Rumble has just been launched. It's a joint effort by alphaWorks and developerWorks. If you're just getting started with Robocode, don't miss Rock 'em, sock 'em Robocode! An excellent hands-on starter. In addition Secrets from the Robocode masters, a collection of tips from the experts, presents more advanced techniques and strategies to help destroy all and be the Java-Battle-Bot King.
'First-of-a-kind' Robot Developer Kit supports Linux and open APIs (LinuxDevices.com). Build your own robot after reading this fun article. "Evolution Robotics, Inc. today began shipping its Robot Developer Kit (RDK), an 'industrial strength' kit which includes hardware and software tools to help developers and manufacturers create autonomous personal robots for the home and workplace. The kit's native programming environment is C++ and requires a GCC compiler, and it supports the use of Linux for both the development system and target system OS platforms."
The UML Sysadmin Disaster of the Month is back. User Mode Linux has announced the return of the Sysadmin Disaster of the Month, a monthly feature in which they create a system administration disaster with a User-mode Linux virtual machine and you get to fix it. May's catastrophe is a filesystem that won't boot for some reason.
Ian Clarke's peer-to-peer debate (News.com). News.com interviews Freenet creator Ian Clarke. "When I was first dreaming up Freenet, I never thought a software engineer would be jailed for writing a piece of software that let people read PDF documents. I never thought the Digital Millennium Copyright Act would be enforced in the way that it is." (Thanks to Kyle Roberson)
The Future of E-Business (Business Week). Business Week interviews Stanford University law professor Lawrence Lessig, who discusses corporate influence and the Internet. "Think about other platforms in our lives, like the highway system. Imagine if General Motors could build the highway system such that GM trucks ran better on it than Ford trucks. Or think about the electrical grid. Imagine if a Sony TV worked better on it than a Panasonic TV. The highway and electricity grids are all neutral platforms -- a common standard that everyone builds on top of. That's an extraordinarily important feature for networks to have." (Thanks to Kyle Roberson.)
MS' MIT prof witness gets toasted over KDE, GNOME (The Register). The Register has a fun report on some transcripts from today's reports of the latest day in court. "Some reports today suggest that Microsoft witness Stuart E Madnick, a computer science professor at MIT, might have made desperate claims in court that KDE and GNOME were operating systems."
SchoolForge advocates use of Open Source software when donating to schools. The SchoolForge group has an announcement countering Microsoft's policy of requiring proper licensing information on computers donated to schools. Use open source software, and skip the hassles.
Penguins invade the North Pole! (Linux Devices). Linux Devices examines a NOAA weather station and web cam that is located on the North Pole. The station uses a Linux based camera from StarDot Technologies.
Open-source . . . shoes? (Red Herring). Can the Open Source concept be used to create great shoes? Red Herring looks at a company who is trying. "The open-source movement may have but a modest foothold in the software world, but one unlikely company has taken the concept to the next step. John Fluevog, a shoe company in Vancouver, British Columbia, is encouraging people not to tweak source code, but to come up with innovative shoe designs and use the Web to place them in the public domain. The winning designs--picked by John Fluevog and by a vote on the Web site--will be manufactured and sold." (Thanks to Michael J. Hammel)
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
May 9, 2002