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Linux in the News

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Linux has a difficult road to adoption in China, according to this Salon article. "Because of the lack of computer geeks and Linux-compatible Chinese language software applications China, Linux-based operating systems do not meet the needs of the Chinese market. But economic circumstances are also preventing Microsoft from taking over China's computer world with licensed, purchased, 'accounted for' Windows operating systems. Piracy rules -- and given the current public animosity targeted at Microsoft, most people don't see it as a problem."

The Wall Street Journal covers the Linux Beer Hike with this lengthy article. "Like acid and Jimi Hendrix at the Woodstock of old, lager and Linux drew 160 programmers to England's Lake District. So what happens when technosavants -- all but four of them men -- gather amid the majesty that inspired William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge? They compute with abandon." (Thanks to Lenz Grimmer).

News.com looks at the Caldera/SCO deal. "With its acquisition of SCO's Unix products, Caldera has inherited SCO's main sales challenge: telling customers why it's worth spending thousands of dollars on Unix when Linux is often just as good for many tasks, such as running a few dozen point-of-sale terminals in a retail outlet." (Thanks to CÚsar A. K. Grossmann).


News.com looks at IBM's Linux wristwatch (See this week's front page.) "The IBM prototypes are no ordinary wristwatches, however. On one hand, they're bulkier, and the rechargeable lithium-polymer battery lasts only two to four days. Yet the watches have as much memory and storage space as an older desktop computer. In two years, IBM expects battery life to improve to last several months..."

OpenSourceIT has run this article about Linux on the S/390. "IBM bestowed its official seal of approval on Linux for the S/390 mainframe in May, giving a boost to a platform that has been in use informally since January of this year. While IBM's recognition of the port as a fully-supported IBM product should boost acceptance of Linux S/390, Linux as a mainframe operating system still has a ways to go before it is widely accepted."

ZDNet looks at the future of SCO and Caldera. "According to Ransom Love, Caldera Systems' CEO and soon to be CEO of the combined SCO divisions and Caldera Systems, 'Caldera has a proven track record of releasing the most important stuff to the open community. We haven't decided on which license to use yet. For standards, GPL makes a lot of sense and every product we'll ship with source code.'"

Here's the Salt Lake Tribune's take on the Caldera/SCO deal. "Caldera will have exclusive distribution rights for Santa Cruz Operation's OpenServer product line. The company, known as SCO, dominates the market for computers that run on the UNIX operating system, the software that runs a computer's basic functions."

Evan Leibovitch writes about Unix in this ZDNet column. "I come not to bury Unix, but to praise it. Without Unix, there would be no Linux -- so indulge me if I'm not as quick as others to pronounce Unix dead. If anything, the recent purchase by Linux distributor Caldera of SCO's Unix assets signifies, at the very least, a rebirth of Unix rather than a death."

News.com takes a look at Sun's new T3 data storage device and Linuxcare's Linux driver for the device. "A four-person team at Linuxcare created the driver, which will be released in a week and a half at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo, said Linuxcare chief technology officer Dave Sifry. The driver will be released under the General Public License, a necessity for incorporating it into the heart of Linux, called the kernel. "

Upside looks at the Red Hat/Ericsson deal. "The deal is interesting in one respect: It formalizes Red Hat's desire to use Red Hat Linux as a base platform for embedded Linux development. Officially, the company has yet to come out with a separate embedded version of its popular Red Hat enterprise distribution, preferring to guard its own real-time embedded operating system EL/IX, acquired during last fall's merger with Cygnus Systems."

The EE Times is covering the Red Hat/Ericsson deal. "Red Hat will also help Ericsson integrate Java into such home communication platforms. Further, the leading Linux provider is expected to play a key role in establishing a community of open-source and third-party developers to write applications for Ericsson's new platform."

According to this News.com article, some people are starting to play around inside their (Linux-based) TiVo boxes. "The latest company to face hacking is TiVo, which markets a digital video recorder that saves TV shows on a hard disk. Some customers have begun tinkering with the boxes to add a second hard drive, letting them skirt an official upgrade, which is more expensive and inconvenient."


The Register looks at the adoption of Linux in China. "The penetration of Linux in China is impossible to assess accurately because it is of course copied from machine to machine, although one report attributed to a foreign PC executive suggested that around 10 per cent of new PCs in China will have Linux pre-installed this year." (Thanks to Richard Jones).

A ZDNet columnist wonders what will happen if other countries join China in backing Linux. "Think about what would happen if India, one of the largest markets for software development, also decided to back Linux. There's ample reason to do so... Together with China, that would account for roughly 40 percent of the world's population. Couple that with IBM's push to run Linux on all of its hardware platforms, and the popularity of Linux in Europe, and it's not that farfetched to see the balance of power shifting very rapidly. No wonder the folks in Redmond are worried."

News.com reports on the final briefs filed in the DVD case. "'A better analogy is not to a barn from which the horses have all been let out, but to defendants' torpedo attack on plaintiffs' ship, which may be leaking but not fatally so,' the studios' attorneys wrote today. 'Plaintiffs believe that the damage can be patched and properly have asked the court for its help in that reparative work.'"

This Inter@ctive Week column looks at the European Commission's warning against Microsoft this week, and how it might affect Linux. "Without some sort of action, Microsoft could end up taking over the server market as it has done in the client space, despite an inferior operating system, said Rudiger Berlich, UK managing director for Germany's SuSE Linux."


Here's the weekly Embedded Linux Newsletter for August 3 from LinuxDevices.com. As usual, it contains a comprehensive rundown of embedded Linux press coverage and events for the last week.

This Wired News article looks at Extreme Blue, IBM's summer intern program. "Other Extreme Blue 2000 projects included a performance-monitoring tool for Linux applications and a Linux remote-install application. IBM has not announced the release date for these tools as yet. "


ZDNet reviews the VA Linux Systems 420 workstation. "Running Red Hat Linux 6.2, we found this system to be a compelling Linux workstation. And make no mistake about it, the word is Linux. If you already know Linux, the box is ready to go. Unlike Corel's software-only package-Corel Linux OS-this is not a system with which someone who doesn't know Linux can sit down and start working immediately."

News.com reports on the upcoming Apache 2.0 release. "Another major change to the software is the ability to plug in different core engines... Apache currently is used to deliver Web pages, a service governed by a set of rules called Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The new architecture allows the easy use of new modules that can handle other technologies, notably the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)."

LinuxToday.com.au reviews (and advocates) KMail. "Kmail is an email client which has received very little attention in the press, but is one of the sturdiest little email clients out there for Linux, and unless you're willing to delve into the command line worlds of Pine and MH, there aren't that many clients out there which old regular Joe Citizen would be willing to use."

DukeOfURL reviews SuSE 6.4 for the PowerPC. "Secondly, the manual clearly says 'Disk 4' on several occasions when referring to 'Disk 1.' I'm not sure how consistently the wrong disks are referred to in the manual, but nonetheless it is not very comforting when they don't even know where their own files are."

LinuxPlanet reviews Corel Linux OS Second Edition, looking almost exclusively at the installation process. "It may lack the sense of being uniquely slick it carried just nine or ten months ago, but it still provides one of the most unthreatening and easy introductions to Linux out there. For the most part, little new ground is broken with this edition. There are some additional tweaks and features that are very welcome, but the core distribution remains largely the same: no surprise for a point release."

The Duke of URL examines CD recording on Linux. "Did you just spend all that money on a brand-new 12x CD recorder only to find out it's IDE? Never fear, there is still hope for you-let's just hope you're hardware-savvy (which is unfortunately not the case for many IDE users), or willing to tweak a few configuration files. "


LinuxLock.org interviews Josh Guilfoyle (a.k.a. Jasta), the developer of Gnapster. "Actually, when I first started coding Gnapster I didn't really have anything in mind but trying to replace that god awful closed source console nap client. As the development went on I became more and more aware of things like security, coding style, and portability."

The Red Herring interviews Bill Gates. "There's no new features in Linux. Linux is just 1960s-era Unix deployed in a very interesting development model. But when you look at management, user interface, security -- people have to buy things to make it do those things. So, it's a competitor. But there's no place in the world where Linux has been mandated by the government."


Web Review has posted a followup article to a previous piece that wondered if open source projects lacked originality (which was covered in last week's LWN). "Readers quickly wrote to remind me of the innovations due to Free Software/Open Source: the Internet, email, news groups, the World Wide Web, Perl, TeX. The lack of originality of Free Software/Open Source is a myth, and I shouldn't be perpetuating it. Fair enough. But I think the rest of my argument still works. Free Software/Open Source is all about building on what others have done, and the admonition to steal (in the artistic sense) rather than borrow (also in the artistic sense) is still good, and still needs saying, it seems to me."

Arne Flones reports from the O'Reilly Conferences in this article on the OpenSales.org site. "At Peter B's Brew Pub evenings reached a climax. Geeks held court, discussing practical application and exchanging ideas. According to Peter B's brew master, during the last two nights of the conference over two hundred and fifty gallons of the heady brew were consumed by the nearly two thousand conference attendees. Many thanks to Sendmail, Inc. and Eazel, Inc. for the complimentary beer."

Emmett Plant reports on his experiences at the Ottawa Linux Symposium. "The best thing about the show was that it was a strictly technical conference -- no tradeshow floor, no booth babes, no T-shirt giveaways. Just tech, tech, tech, the way it should be." (Thanks to CÚsar A. K. Grossmann).

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

August 10, 2000


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