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Why the world needs reverse engineers (ZDNet). Here's a ZDNet column in defense of reverse engineering. "There are now black boxes, whether in hardware or software, that are illegal to peek inside. You can pay for it and use it, but you are not allowed to open up the hood. You cannot look to see if the box violates your privacy or has a security vulnerability that puts you at risk."


Tech giants give $30 million more to TurboLinux (News.com). News.com reports on the latest investments in TurboLinux. "One source familiar with TurboLinux's plans said the company's IPO schedule is moving along, though, and the company intends to file its initial public offering plans with federal regulators soon. An investment bank has been selected to lead the IPO, the source said."

Learning the ways of Mozilla (Upside). Upside looks at the Mozilla project and the difficulties that outsiders have sometimes encountered when trying to participate. "All told, [Mozilla 'Chief Lizard Wrangler'] Baker says the ratio of Netscape to non-Netscape developers has steadily declined since the first source code release in April 1998. With Mozilla currently preparing to pass its final milestone prior to its official 1.0 release -- an event Baker currently predicts to be in the second quarter of 2001 -- the days of Mozilla's reputation as the Winchester Mystery House of open source projects are coming to a quick close."

Open source uncertainty over Microsoft-Corel (Upside). Upside looks at Microsoft's investment in Corel. "As for Corel and its own future as a Linux operating system and application vendor, company president Derek Burney, who replaced the outgoing Cowpland last month as chief executive officer, says the company is already evolving beyond operating system concerns."

Refreshed Corel gets down to business (Ottawa Citizen). The Ottawa Citizen looks at the changes at Corel. "In what is perhaps a sign of things to come, Corel has cancelled the annual gala that Marlen Cowpland, Mr. Cowpland's wife, used to sport revealing, attention-getting outfits. At the 1999 gala, she wore a $1-million leather catsuit with 24-karat gold breastplate, adorned with a 15-karat diamond nipple. Corel spokeswomen Anne Vis said cancelling the gala, which had cost as much as $3 million in years past, is 'part of our cost-restructuring program and our more disciplined financial approach.'"

Sounds like good thinking on their part.... There's some serious news too: "Since Mr. Burney took over as interim chief executive, the Linux startups Corel had invested in under Mr. Cowpland have seen their financing cut and say the turnover in employees at Corel has left them with virtually no communication with the Ottawa company."

Sun's purchase of Cobalt nullifies three potential threats (InfoWorld). Nicholas Petreley points out the advantages to Sun of its purchase of Cobalt Networks. "The best news of all for Sun is that no matter how the hardware picture develops, Sun's implicit endorsement of Linux by purchasing Cobalt puts yet another nail in the coffin of Windows 2000. This helps Sun eliminate the only threat about which it can do nothing."

VA Linux creates Japanese alliance with Sumitomo (ZDNet). Looks like VA is making their move into Asia: "VA Linux Systems, Inc. and Sumitomo have invested in a new joint subsidiary, VA Linux Systems Japan, and NTTCommunicationware, NEC Technologies, Inc., and Toshiba Engineering have also indicated plans to invest in the venture."

Riding the Gnutella Wave (Internet World). Internet World looks at Gonesilent, the successor to Infrasearch. "If you want to know how revolutionary a piece of software is, you might try measuring how long it stays on the Net before it is hastily banished."

Synopsys pulls Linux into full ASIC design flow (EETimes). In what may be considered the "Oracle on Linux" announcement for the chip designing world, Synopsys Inc. is making a complete, front-end ASIC design flow available under Linux ..."a move that opens the door for the widespread adoption of Linux as the No. 2 EDA platform and very possibly writes the epitaph for Windows NT in chip design". (Thanks to Tom Verbeure).


Red Hat, SuSE CEOs: We're for Linux open source (InfoWorld). Bob Young of Red Hat and Dirk Hondel of SuSE were interviewed at LinuxWorld in Berlin: ""If permanent copyrights had existed in the time of the ancient mathematicians, every time you wanted to use the Pythagorean Theorem or an isosceles triangle, you'd have to pay royalties," said Young, remarking that scientific progress is based on the sharing of knowledge, with each researcher building on previous innovations".

Linux leader says standard version will emerge (News.com). TurboLinux CEO Paul Thomas says that Linux distributions will converge over the long run: "The world doesn't need 150" versions of Linux, he said Wednesday at a W.R. Hambrecht conference for open-source software. "Consolidation will take place."

Red Hat talks big at open-source conference (News.com). News.com reports from the W.R. Hambrecht conference on open source companies. "At today's open-source conference, [Red Hat CTO] Tiemann said Red Hat has won the 'distribution' battle, the effort to sell Linux and associated software. 'The Linux distribution game is over. Red Hat has won that game. Red Hat is the market leader in virtually every respect,' he said."

Penguins invade the orchard (ZDNet). Here's a ZDNet column on how Linux threatens Apple. "All I do know is that Linux is becoming a credible desktop far faster than most would have predicted, and Apple's pretty plastic cases and faux-open-source OS won't be enough to keep it from being the next victim of Linux's rise up the food chain."

IBM's Entire eServer Family To Run Linux (ZDNet). IBM is preparing it's entire hardware server line to run all four major distributions of Linux - Caldera, Red Hat, SuSE, TurboLinux.

InfoWorld Announces Top 10 Innovators. InfoWorld has a top 10 list available that includes some well known names in the Open Source field: Apache, Tim Berners-Lee, Richard Stallman and Phil Zimmerman.

Operating System Invades Jim Henson's Creature Shop (LinuxNews.com). LinuxNews.com reports on the use of Linux at Jim Henson's Creature Shop. " While the original Muppets will remain unchanged, old favorites as well as new characters are performing in online and real-time computer graphics venues, as well as preparing for new adventures on the silver screen, through a new Linux-based control system."

Microsoft `Gets It': Does the Linux Community? (LinuxNews.com). LinuxNews.com is carrying a story on how middleware will become the most important factor in the Internet age: "It will be the next "big thing" because Middleware will ultimately shape and define what the INTERNET becomes. The ability to identify, authenticate and authorize delivery of information will become fundamental to conducting business in the next generation of the INTERNET economy. It will encompass and pervade the information supply chain, all the way from your wrist watch access device to serving as the basis for building virtual corporate collaborations. It will ultimately call fundamental questions on the issue of privacy and the protection and maintenance of one's identity."

Open sourcerers tweak Linux for access (EE Times). EE Times looks at open source programs for disabled users. "The recent commercialization of Linux has brought with it mass appeal, with its open-source status allowing those masses to more easily share tools and solutions. But ease of use is a different issue for the nation's 54 million disabled citizens, and accessibility is a somewhat complex proposition to define."


Linux 2.4 kernel release delayed (ZDNet). ZDNet reports on Linus's announcement that the 2.4 kernel is at least two months away. " Open-source backers haven't been forgiving when for-profit software makers -- most notably, Microsoft Corp. -- let development schedules slip. But when it comes to Linux, they claim expectations aren't the same thing as release dates. 'We don't do deadlines in the open-source world, which is a major reason our stuff is right when it comes out,' said open-source leader Eric Raymond." (Thanks to Rolf Heckemann).

New Linux shows promise in heavy-duty business use (News.com). C|Net's News.com is carrying a story on what the scalability in the Linux 2.4 kernel will mean. "The next version of the core of Linux, the 2.4 kernel, is up and running on Sun Microsystems' top-end E10000 server with 24 processors...Solaris...works on computers with up to 105 CPUs ... and Microsoft has just released a version of Windows that can use 32 CPUs."


Embedded Linux Newsletter, October 5, 2000. The latest Embedded Linux Newsletter from LinuxDevices.com has been published.

Comparing real-time Linux alternatives (LinuxDevices.com). LinuxDevices.com has this whitepaper on alternative approaches to adding real-time capabilities to Linux. "Lately, the question of whether (and how) Linux can be made to serve the needs of real-time applications has been the subject of much debate, in a discussion made complicated by a multitude of definitions for real-time. We see the terms 'hard', 'firm', and 'soft' real-time being used. These, along with 'guarantee', 'deterministic', 'preemptible', 'fully preemptible', and 'latency', often pepper the discussions. "


Organized bookmarks? Who'd have thought it! (Canada Computes). Canada Computes reviews Gnobog, the GNOME bookmark organizer. "We're not talking rocket science here, but it amazes me that there aren't more programs like this that do to the job well. Oh well, Gnobog is definitely worth the download if you obsessively bookmark sites like I do."

Making Linux Work in the Workplace: GIMP vs. Photoshop (LinuxOrbit). LinuxOrbit compares Photoshop and the Gimp. "Using the whimsically titled, yet professionally powerful GIMP, one begins to feel that this whole Open Source deal just might work. Here is a piece of freeware going against the best in the business, and giving it a real run for the money." (Thanks to John Gowin).


IBM: The Big Blue support for the Linux community (O Linux). O Linux talks with the IBM Linux Technology Center staff. "We base our decisions on customer demand. While Debian is well thought of, our customers have consistently expressed an interest in Red Hat, SuSE, TurboLinux and Caldera - and that's what we're giving them."

Sir(e) Ian Murdock (Andover News). Andover News profiles Ian Murdock. "Over the last ten years he has nursed a degree, fathered an operating system, nurtured the community that supports it, continues to parent four dogs, a company, and now, at last, a baby girl." (Thanks to CÚsar A. K. Grossmann).


Which is it: -ible, or -able? (LinuxDevices.com). You may have thought that the furor over MontaVista's "fully preemptable kernel" announcement had died down, but this LinuxDevices.com article shows that the real battle has yet to be fought. "But that's not where the debate ends. Nobody thought of questioning another aspect of MontaVista's release -- namely: had they spelled 'preemptable' correctly?"

Tackling The Digital Divide -- Without Linux (TechWeb). A conference to tackle the "digital divide" facing third world countries is taking shape with leaders from many big computing companies, but apparently without input from the Linux world. "But no one from the fast-growing and generally lower-cost Linux community was invited to the table, officials from the sponsoring organization, the World Resources Institute, acknowledged on Thursday".

Section Editor: Rebecca Sobol

October 12, 2000


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