Recommended Readingexamines MySQL's success on O'ReillyNet. "So MySQL succeeds at maintaining two faces. To paying customers, it's a traditional, responsible vendor. To programmers and database administrators, it's a flexible, responsive network of independently-minded developers in free-software style." Robin Bloor's followup to his "Will Mozilla Fly?" article on IT-Director.com. "One of Microsoft's problems is that its interface designers suck. I believe that Microsoft is repeating a mistake IBM made in the 1990s. IBM was afraid of the PC market at first, but then it launched the IBM PC and very quickly took control of the market. It thought it had won, but actually it had lost. The PC players quickly got big enough and ugly enough to block IBM. The same is happening to Microsoft and Open Source is what's bringing the giant down."
Trade Shows and Conferencesreports from the Real World Linux 2004 Conference and Expo in Toronto. "Companies, [Jon "maddog" Hall] said, aren't using open source because the applications they want to use for their specific specialized purpose are not supported under Linux. The companies that make the applications don't want to make the applications available under Linux or other open source operating systems because no companies are using them. It's a vicious circle." covers day three of the Real World Linux 2004 conference in Toronto. Ed Kilroy, president of IBM Canada, delivered a keynote where he explained one Linux success story: "The 300mm wafer is for IBM's "power technology" processor, he said, and it is used in all sorts of applications, including Microsoft's X-Box game console. The assembly line is fully automated, start to finish, with no human intervention. It is controlled entirely by Linux computers and has been running 25 months without any failures or outages." attending the MySQL conference in Orlando, Florida on behalf of NewsForge. "These are not amateurs getting together to discuss their hobby. These are professionals who live and breathe databases. Their jobs depend on the databases and data warehouses for which they are responsible working correctly, securely, and all the time." a lengthy report from PyCon DC 2004. "So what is a sprint? A sprint is a group of people hacking together on the same software project.... 2003 had twice as many sprint groups as last year. There were sprint groups for the Python core, Zope, Twisted, Chandler, Plone, Docutils and Guido van Robot (a language for teaching programming fundamentals). One side benefit of sprinting is the opportunity to see Python luminaries at work, often on projects different from what they are known for."
The SCO Problemreported on Groklaw: IBM has filed a response to SCO's attempt to split IBM's patent charges from the rest of the case. "The big news is that they clearly intend to go for the jugular the minute discovery and pretrial motion practice is complete. They reveal that they will be asking for summary judgment, and they say they expect most, if not all, the issues will be resolved that way, without ever going to trial. On that basis, they argue that it's way too soon to even know what needs to be separated out, if anything." Groklaw also has the response itself available in text format.
Companiescovers Sun's release of a new J2EE application server. "Sun Microsystems, still smarting from yet another poor financial quarter -- a $760 million loss in fiscal Q3 -- Friday announced some good news: the general availability of the first J2EE 1.4-compliant standard application server. The new server follows two key Sun development product releases in the last two weeks: the open source NetBeans 3.6 and the graphical Java Studio Creator IDE."
Linux Adoptiona report about Centrelink, the Australian welfare agency, which is looking hard at Linux. "Among various projects, Centrelink was investigating the performance potential for Linux as a platform for the 400-odd servers delivering its collaboration software, Lotus Notes. Those servers presently run on Microsoft Windows server platform." examines the prospects for Linux on the desktop. "More specifically, two windows, so to speak, of opportunity appear to be opening. One is that the next version of Windows, called Longhorn, has been delayed to 2006 at the earliest, in part by Microsoft's realisation that it has to tighten up security a lot more.... If Linux can establish a good reputation during this period, it might look even more attractive once Longhorn, which will be expensive and is likely to require new hardware, is released."
Linux at Workputs together a Linux computer for his Grandmother, as described in PC World. "As I've said, Grandma has zero experience with PCs. Every single concept that gets introduced to her is going to be new, so the easier those concepts are to digest, the better; the more related to the real world that Grandma has known for the better part of a century, the better. I don't ever want her to hear the words "hierarchical file system." But she can handle putting files into folders. So I want an interface that provides the most pure, consistent, unadulterated files-and-folders experience I can find." (Found on Footnotes)
Legalis challenging Microsoft's patent on the FAT filesystem. "According to the Public Patent Foundation's request, "the '517 patent is causing immeasurable injury to the public by serving as a tool to enlarge Microsofts monopoly while also preventing competition from Free Software." "Microsoft is using its control over the interchange of digital media to aid its ongoing effort to deter competition from Free and Open Source Software. Specifically, Microsoft does not offer licenses to the '517 patent for use in Free Software."
Interviewstalks with Linus Torvalds and others about backporting. "Torvalds comments, in an e-mail interview with internetnews.com, came after SUSE'S CTO, Juergen Geck, told an audience at the Real World Linux Conference in Toronto that Red Hat's practice of backporting features from the 2.6 kernel into the 2.4 Kernel is a "bad thing" because it interferes with standardization of the open source operating system." suggests that Linux vendors should avoid cloning the Microsoft desktop experience. ""All enterprise Linux vendors are trying to push a Linux desktop that looks exactly like Microsoft [Windows desktop]. But it is difficult to compete with someone on his own territory," he said. Instead, he said, a Linux desktop that played to its own strengths would work better and be more interesting." interview with Con Zymaris of Open Source Victoria. "Con Zymaris: Open Source Victoria is an Industry Cluster consisting of over 100 Victorian firms, consultants and developers which provide services and technology related to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Victoria is one of Australia's most populous states, with a highly industrialised and business-focused capital city, Melbourne." meet Ariya Hidayat, and Indonesian hacker currently living in Germany. "At the moment my playgound is KOffice (especially KSpread), I write some code, fix bugs and possibly introduce new bugs. I also follow koffice mailing-list, either with little participation or simply in "lurking mode"." (Found at KDE.News)
Resourcesexplains font selection issues when using OpenOffice.org. "What follows is an introduction to some of the basic issues as they apply to Linux and OpenOffice.org: What fonts are available? How are they installed? What tools in OpenOffice.org allow you to make use of them? Most important of all, what do you need to consider when selecting and customizing fonts? A complete answer to even one of these questions could fill a book. However, the brief answers that follow should help you make more informed choices about using fonts."
Reviewsanother Robin Bloor column; this one describes a recent browser experience. "However, the initial (test) version of this applet was created for the Mozilla Firefox browser rather than Internet Explorer so I had to download the browser in order to try it out. So I did. It took me a whole five minutes to decide to ditch Internet Explorer and switch to Firefox." reviews O'Reilly's Linux Pocket Guide. "Users migrating to Linux are definitely in need of a book that gives them an introduction to the most relevant tools in fundamental functional areas. This first edition of the Linux Pocket Guide will indeed prove quite useful to these users, but I look forward to a slightly expanded second edition that covers more real-world examples and basic "tricks" of our favorite and most essential command line tools." reviews the capabilities of the XMMS media player on O'Reilly. "XMMS (X Multimedia System), available with just about every Linux distro, is simple enough to use, yet many users fail to reach below the surface and take advantage of its many capabilities. In this article, Rickford Grant takes you from the basics of using XMMS to its more advanced features, such as creating playlists, playing Internet radio broadcast streams, and more."
Miscellaneousreports that "hackers" have cracked into computers at Stanford University, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications and other supercomputing facilities. Systems running Linux and Solaris have been compromised. "Hackers used insecure machines to gain root privileges, which let them make the kinds of changes normally reserved for authorized administrators. But even computers with the latest patches were used to run password-decoding software after hackers logged on using a compromised account, according to the Stanford bulletin."
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