Linux in the news
All in one big page
See also: last week's Linux in the news page.
Making Copy Right for All (Wired). Wired examines the Creative Commons. "Inspired in part by the Free Software Foundation's General Public License (GPL), Creative Commons is developing a Web application that will be launched this fall to help reduce legal barriers to creativity."
New alternatives to the standard copyright are part of the scheme: "Creators will be able to go to the Creative Commons website to choose from a set of custom licenses that will allow them to indicate, in a machine-readable format, how others may use their intellectual works."
Bell, Torvalds usher next wave of supercomputing (CNN). Here's an article from CNN, covering the unveiling of a new, compact supercomputer. "Gordon Bell, one of the original brains behind the minicomputer, and Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux operating system, joined a collection of scientists for the unveiling of the supercomputer, a Beowolf cluster called Green Destiny that was built from hundreds of so-called blade servers -- compact servers stripped down to their most basic components."
Is mainframe Linux toast? (ZDNet). ZDNet looks at two opinions on the future of Linux on the mainframe. "Here's something you don't see every day. Two reputable and veteran IT research outfits --- Giga and META --- taking diametrically opposite positions on an issue. The META Group has released a stinging report that essentially says there is no future for Linux on the mainframe. Meanwhile, Giga says there is."
Linux, GNU, and freedom (LinuxWorld). LinuxWorld is running a column by Richard Stallman where he responds to various criticisms and goes on the attack himself. "The use of Bitkeeper for the Linux sources has a grave effect on the free software community, because anyone who wants to closely track patches to Linux can only do it by installing that non-free program. There must be dozens or even hundreds of kernel hackers who have done this. Most of them are gradually convincing themselves that it is ok to use non-free software, in order to avoid a sense of cognitive dissonance about the presence of Bitkeeper on their machines."
The DMCA: It's Now Comedic (PC Magazine). John Dvorak writes about the DMCA in this PC Magazine column. "A long-term attack on freedom of speech is what is really going on here. Just ask that poor Russian kid who was arrested for doing nothing more than talking about the Adobe copy-protection schemes in a public forum. These are the same folks who want to license software in such a way that critical reviews would be deemed illegal by license agreement. This is serious stuff. The fact that the general news media seems nonplussed by all this concerns me greatly."
The DMCA Is the Toast of D.C. (Wired). Wired reports on a party that was held to celebrate the DMCA. "Nearly everyone who has or hopes to have influence on copyright legislation showed up for the shindig, including luminaries like Jack Valenti of the Motion Picture Association of America; Hilary Rosen of the Recording Industry Association of America; Marybeth Peters, the Register of Copyrights; and key Bush administration officials.
The official justification for the celebration, hosted by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), was to cheer a global copyright treaty that takes effect on Monday. But an equally important, unofficial reason was to demonstrate broad support among key legislators and industry groups for the DMCA, which has come under ever-increasing attack in the courts and from technologists. "
2600's DMCA Challenge Blocked (Wired). Wired covers the attempt by 2600 Magazine to combat the DMCA. "On Thursday, a federal appeals court unceremoniously rejected the latest attempt by 2600 magazine to fight the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals said in a one-line ruling that it was not going to revisit an earlier decision in which 2600 was found to be unlawfully distributing a DVD-descrambling utility."
Door-to-Door for DMCA Reform (Linux Journal). Linux Journal covers the efforts of a group of people in New York who are working for reform of the DMCA. "In response to the growing threat of digital rights management systems and legal extortion that threatened our public libraries, and public school system, a few of us joined together last May for the first meeting of NY Fair Use at the Killarny Rose in downtown NYC. Through that summer and through the most difficult fall anyone could ever imagine, NY Fair Use has been a beacon for freedom, individual rights and political action, and it continues on. Every week we knock on doors in targeted congressional districts, fighting to save libraries from the AAP and collecting signatures."
Embedded Linux crying out for standards (ZDNet). ZDNet reports on Linux domination at the Embedded Systems Show in London. "[ELC chairman Inder] Singh framed the choice between Windows CE and Linux as a matter of freedom against outside control: Linux allows companies to make choices for themselves, while choosing Windows means companies must toe the Microsoft line. "With Windows CE you're stuck with Microsoft's choices, while Linux has an open market mechanism," he said."
Open source review would aid Windows security: Gartner (Register). The Register reports on a Gartner Group suggestion that Microsoft open up its source for security audits. "The open source review bit is something so utterly alien, communist and horrible to the mind of Bill Gates that it's almost worth us running a competition to find what he'd rather do (Sacrifice of firstborn? Auction mother on eBay? Tell Steve Jobs he was right?)..."
Trial date set for ElcomSoft case (News.com). News.com covers Elcomsoft vs. the DMCA. The trial is scheduled to start August 26 in San Jose, Calif., federal court.
IBM bundles up Linux (vnunet). Vnunet looks at IBM's Integrated Platform on Linux. "IBM will initially offer its xSeries Intel-based servers with the WebSphere Application Server and DB2 database for Linux."
Microsoft dealt another blow on Lindows (News.com). News.com reports on developments in the Microsoft/Lindows trade name case. "Microsoft's claim to the word 'Windows' suffered another blow this week when a federal judge again questioned the company's assertion that the term is not generic."
Sun grants unlimited copies of StarOffice 6.0 to China (DesktopLinux.com). DesktopLinux.com reports that Sun Microsystems has donated unlimited copies of StarOffice 6.0 to China's Ministry of Education. (Thanks to Rick Lehrbaum.)
Linux Looks For Enterprise Success (TechWeb). This TechWeb article says Linux is gaining ground in the corporate environment. "Still, it's always on the verge of a business breakthrough: Linux server sales continue to grow faster than sales of Windows or Unix servers. What's more, hardware and software vendors are learning they can't ignore the platform. The open-source OS battle is being waged day by day, with free-and-reliable beating expensive-and-easy more often than you might think."
Top IT Spending Priority Is Cutting Costs, Investors Told (TechWeb). TechWeb examines survey results that say the top enterprise IT spending priority is cutting costs. Ironically, the survey listed Linux servers as the lowest ranked priority. "Products that ranked highest on the survey included: security software, Windows 2000, and security hardware. The lowest-ranked product, according to the survey, is Linux servers, which Sherlund noted "was very popular in the dot-com community but has moved to the back burner.""
Linux grabs big win with Reuters (News.com). Reuters plans on making its financial information software available on the Linux platform. "Reuters will announce plans Thursday to bring its financial information software to Linux in conjunction with Red Hat, Intel and Hewlett-Packard, sources said, a major achievement for the comparatively young open-source operating system."
New Number One Linux Vendor to Port Reuters Financial App (Linux Journal). Linux Journal chimes in on the HP, Red Hat, Intel, Reuters deal. "The Reuters software is designed to integrate market data and news for thousands of users within a financial institution. Financial institutions are demanding that more and more software run on Linux. Tom McDonald, executive director at Morgan Stanley, said "Support for this platform from Reuters is important to our efforts and is strategic to Morgan Stanley.""
Shoring up software is new group's aim (News.com). This News.com article looks at some proprietary code from Carnegie Mellon that's aimed at making software more reliable, secure and less buggy. "The open-source software community is already raising concerns about the licensing terms for the technology resulting from the SCC's efforts, [SCC director, Bill] Guttman said."
Open source shunned by monopolists' 'good code' initiative (Register).
The Register covers the
Sustainable Computing Initiative (SCI), a joint effort between Microsoft,
Cisco, Oracle and NASA; engineered by Carnegie Mellon University.
"Leading lights from the software libre community were sounded out
about support for the project, but discovered that any innovations would
be owned by CMU. Which meant that the University owned the code, leaving
it in prime position to exploit it commercially.
Mere Open Source (Open For Business). Here's a look at the definition of open source from Open for Business. "What is Open Source? It is a simple enough question, yet the answer has become so obscure that it is anything but simple. The phrase is undisputedly at the core of what drives the Linux community even while it eludes nearly everyone as to what its exact definition is."
Mozilla: The King of All Browsers (LinuxGuru). Linuxguru reviews Mozilla. "Sometimes you just need a bit more besides a browser. Mozilla comes with some extra 'goodies', as does Netscape. Mozilla currently ships with ChatZilla, an IRC (Internet Relay Chat) client, Mozilla Mail, an address book, and Mozilla Composer, a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML Editor. Mozilla also has the capabilities to have separate 'profiles' or users with different bookmarks and screenames (found in Mozilla's home directory)."
Boffins work on Napster successor (vnunet). Vnunet takes a look at the Open Content Network. "The Open Content Network aims to be the world's largest content delivery network, based on P2P technology known as the Content Addressable Web (CAW) which, in turn, relies on individual contributions to the open source movement through donations of spare bandwidth and disk space."
The value of StarOffice (IT-Director). Here's a positive review of StarOffice in IT-Director. "Let's face it, this is a major product still being sold much cheaper than the established competition. It will meet the needs of all but a few. This is a choice worth paying for."
Why it's real hard not to try StarOffice (ZDNet). Here's a review of StarOffice with a nod to OpenOffice. "A better question is, why pay $76 when you can download the free open-source equivalent from openoffice.org?"
StarOffice suite may be bitter pill for MS to swallow (ZDNet). ZDNet gives a fairly positive review of StarOffice 6.0. "Anyone who was paying attention as Microsoft wasted Lotus, WordPerfect, and then Corel in the office-suite contest, might well wonder what in the world Sun is thinking by trying seriously to rejoin the contest with its StarOffice 6.0 product at this late date. "
Amateur Video Production Using Free Software and Linux (Linux Journal). In this Linux Journal article, the author looks at converting VHS tapes to DVDs, using free software of course. "Even when compressing a video stream before writing it, hard disk speed is important in digitizing video. It follows that the filesystem used is a large factor in performance. I have experimented with the ext2, ReiserFS and XFS filesystems. My experience is that capturing video to an XFS filesystem generally outperforms capturing to ext2- or ReiserFS-formatted disks. XFS has the additional benefit over ext2 of being a journaling filesystem."
Installing Red Hat 7.3 using NFS (Aynik). In an article on Aynik (All You Need Is Knowledge), Aschwin Marsman shows how to do a text-based install of Red Hat version 7.3 over NFS.
802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide (Linux Journal). Linux Journal reviews '802.11 Wireless Networks: The Definitive Guide'. "When its time to microwave your house, neighbors or office, this is the book you need. (Microwave as in wireless Ethernet, that is.) With some minor exceptions, this book is a great reference for all things WiFi."
Email filtering: Stopping viral attachments with Exim Version 1.0 (LinuxOrbit). LinuxOrbit has published a HOWTO that explains spam filtering with Exim.
The Debian Packaging System (Linuxguru). Linuxguru.net explains the operation of Debian's dpkg package management system.
Linux System Administration Tools (Linux Journal). The Linux Journal has posted a survey of Linux administration tools. "Linux old-timers revel in reminding newcomers that they used to have to do everything by hand, at the command line, uphill, both ways, with duct tape for shoes. What really gets some of these folks sputtering is today's collection of system administration tools that introduce quite a bit of automation. There's good reason for this, actually; if you don't know how to administer your system by hand then you are sunk if something goes wrong. However, this factor doesn't mean you shouldn't take advantage of available helping hands."
Eric van der Vlist on W3C XML Schema (O'Reilly). O'Reilly's xml.com features an interview of Eric van der Vlist on the topic of the W3C XML Schema. "XML was born as a simplification of SGML, to make it usable on the Web. The most effective part of this simplification is the rejection of a mandatory DTD (which is a type of XML schema language). The current tendency to systematically use a schema and to build new base specifications such as XPath and XSLT 2.0 on top of W3C XML Schema can thus be considered a regression; was it necessary to remove the SGML DTD to impose W3C XML Schema, which is not really a simple specification?"
Interview with the Chair of the ELC's Core Platform Working Group (LinuxDevices). LinuxDevices.com's Rick Lehrbaum interviews Mark Brown, Chair of the Embedded Linux Consortium's Core Platform Working Group. "Brown: I (and others) agree that the IPA needs a set of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers to simplify understanding. The ELC is virtually an all-volunteer organization looking for some qualified individuals from our membership to help develop that set of FAQs. If no one steps up to the challenge, the ELC Board will have to find others ways to fill the gap."
A Scan to Monitor Earth's Health (Wired). Wired looks at how scientists are monitoring the health of the planet using open source tools. "...the huge amount of computing power required to conduct planetary-sized scans made such projects impossible. But mega-computing power is increasingly available to scientists through connected computer projects such as The Grid."
You Can Hear Andy Warhol Roll Over In His Grave (TechWeb). TechWeb reports on a display at the New Museum of Contemporary Art which features Hacking as Art. "In one installation, visitors can scan the network-security condition of servers at a business without actually accessing data. "
Wired covers the story with a little more detail.
Special Report: Linux Goes Mainstream (Business Week). Business Week is running several articles under broad heading of "Linux Goes Mainstream". (Thanks to Stefane Fermigier)
Part one covers the increasing popularity of Linux. "For Mindbridge Chief Operating Officer and founder Scott Testa, the impetus for shifting to Linux came from a change in Microsoft's licensing policies. The new licenses, which push customers to pay annual subscription fees, would have boosted software costs at Mindbridge, a 300-employee intranet software company, by tens of thousands of dollars annually. "
There is an interview with Red Hat CEO Matthew Szulik for part two. "Szulik believes the world has moved from laughing at Linux to fighting it. At least, the part of the world that Microsoft rules, one of the few places in the information-technology universe where Linux has remained systema non grata."
Part three looks at the software counter culture, beginning with a shop called Zumiez. "By the end of May, the 1,200-employee, privately held chain will have installed open-source software on the PCs at all its retail locations."
Part four delves into legislative issues. "Linux guru and Hewlett-Packard consultant Bruce Perens says Hollings-style copyright protection schemes are "a high-level concern" for open-source advocates, a point he has made to Hollings' aides and to protechnology Representative Rick Boucher (R-Va.)."
Section Editor: Forrest Cook
May 23, 2002