...making Linux just a little more fun!


By Howard Dyckoff and Samuel Kotel Bisbee-vonKaufmann



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News in General

thunderboltCitrix to Acquire XenSource for $.5b

Citrix Systems agreed to acquire XenSource, an open source leader in virtual infrastructure solutions. Originally created at the University of Cambridge, the Xen virtualization "engine" is now developed collaboratively by an active open source community of senior engineers at many of the industry's most innovative infrastructure companies, including leading hardware vendors like Intel, IBM, HP and AMD. This open collaborative approach significantly accelerates the innovation of the Xen engine, leading to continual state-of-the-art improvements in performance, scalability and cross-platform support. The next-generation Xen architecture is widely acknowledged for its industry-leading performance, efficiency, security and native support for the latest hardware-assisted virtualization features. The acquisition announcement follows a substantial new release of XenEnterprise, the company's flagship commercial product line powered by the Xen engine.

With this deal, it appears that the Xen hypervisor and virtualization technology will tilt even more toward Windows use and more inter-play with Microsoft's Veridian technology. It may also allow Citrix to offer more than just plain Windows sessions with its terminal servers. Other virtualization technologies, like OpenVZ, may get more attention in the wake of this acquisition.

thunderboltLinuxWorld Awards Go to Ubuntu 7.08, EnterpriseDB, and Unicon.

LinuxWorld.com and IDG World Expo, producers of major trade shows and events, announced the winners of the LinuxWorld.com "Product Excellence Awards" at the recent San Francisco LinuxWorld Conference.

The awards distinguish product and service innovations by LinuxWorld exhibitors in different areas, including an overall "Best of Show" award. "Best of Show" went to Unicon Systems for their System On Display product, the world's smallest Linux computer with a touch screen. The winners were recognized during a ceremony at the annual LinuxWorld and Next Generation Data Center Conference & Expo in San Francisco. System-on-Display (SoD) is an ultra-slim Chip-on-Film (CoF) platform based on ARM9 CPU, running full Linux 2.6.19 and attached to the back of a desirably-sized touch screen. The reference design based on SoD is a platform with multiple connectivity options including WiFi, high speed USB, GSM, BlueTooth and security.

Ubuntu 7 was awarded as the best desktop solution. Other notable winners included EnterpriseDB Advanced Server 8.2 for Best Database Solution. A complete list of winners is available here: http://www.linuxworldexpo.com/live/12/media//news/CC915442

IDG World Expo, the hosts of LinuxWorld and the Next Generation Data Center Conference (NGDC), announced that the two conferences attracted more than 11,000 participants and 200 exhibitors. The events showcased open source and data center technologies with more than 100 educational sessions featuring desktop Linux, mobile Linux, and virtualization in the data center.

Ubuntu also won Enterprise Open Source Magazine's Readers' Choice Award for the "Best Linux Distribution," winning a vote by members of the open source community. The award was announced at the 2007 Enterprise Open Source Conference in New York.

thunderboltIBM Consolidates ~4000 Servers with Linux

In a major transformation of its worldwide data centers, IBM launched an effort to consolidate almost 4,000 computer servers onto about 30 refrigerator-sized "System z" mainframes running Linux, a ratio of 133:1. This mainframe and virtual server environment will consume about 80 percent less energy and save more than $250 million over five years in energy, software and system support costs. The initiative is part of "Project Big Green", a broad commitment that IBM announced in May to sharply reduce data center energy consumption and make infrastructure more flexible to evolving business needs. IBM has over 8,000,000 square feet of data center space (equivalent to 139 football fields) and operates the world's largest data center operations, with major locations in New York, Connecticut, Colorado, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia. IBM's new global infrastructure will run on Linux and support over 350,000 users.

"As one of the world's largest technology providers, IBM consistently assesses how our systems can be maximized to support our employees and clients," said Mark Hennessy, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Enterprise On Demand Transformation. "A global account consolidation truly demonstrates that IBM is committed to driving stronger energy and technology optimization, and cost savings."

The 3,900 servers - almost 25% of 16,000 servers at IBM worldwide - will be recycled by IBM Global Asset Recovery Services, which will process and properly dispose of the 3,900 reclaimed systems. Newer units will be refurbished and resold through IBM's sales force and partner network, while older systems will be harvested for parts or sold for scrap. Prior to disposition the machines will be scrubbed of all sensitive data. Any unusable e-waste will be properly disposed following environmentally compliant processes. The IBM mainframe's ability to run the Linux operating system is key to the consolidation project and leverages the ability of a single mainframe to behave as hundreds of individual servers. Each of these virtual servers acts like a physical machine. The links between virtual servers, provided by HiperSockets technology on System z servers, provides faster communication when compared to Ethernet links. The plan calls for v-server migration only using a portion of each mainframe, leaving room for future growth.

More information on IBM's data center consolidation is available at: http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/optimizeit/cost_efficiency/energy_efficiency/services.html
Project Big Green information is at: http://www.ibm.com/press/greendatacenter

thunderboltIBM Expands Support for the Solaris OS on x86 Systems

Turning the data center world upside-down, IBM will now distribute the Solaris's Operating System (OS) and Solaris Subscriptions for select x86-based IBM clients. The agreement is an extension of IBM's existing support for the Solaris OS on select IBM BladeCenter servers.

One reason that IBM is now supporting Solaris is that the OS is supported on more than 820 x86 platforms and runs more than 3,000 unique x86 applications including IBM Websphere, Lotus, DB2, Rational and Tivoli. IBM and Sun's support of interoperability via open standards also helps customers by connecting new platforms easily while preserving their initial investments.

As part of the deal, Sun and IBM will invest in testing and system qualification so joint customers will realize Solaris' leading performance and reliability on BladeCenter and System x servers. IBM servers that will support the Solaris OS include: IBM BladeCenter HS21 and LS41, and IBM System x3650, System x3755, and System x3850 servers.

In the teleconference announcing the deal, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz called it "...a tectonic shift in the market landscape."

"IBM is the first major x86 vendor to have such an agreement with Sun, and the first big vendor apart from Sun to offer Solaris on blade servers. Today we expand that agreement to help clients migrate to Solaris on IBM x86-based System x servers," said Bill Zeitler, Senior Vice President and Group Executive for the IBM Systems and Technology Group.

The Solaris OS was recently open-sourced and offers Solaris ZFS, Predictive Self-Healing, and Solaris Dynamic Tracing (DTrace) to improve uptime and cut operational costs.

IBM's "Implementing Sun Solaris on IBM BladeCenter Servers" Redbook on-line: www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/redp4269.html

thunderboltIBM and Novell Join Forces on Open Source Collaboration

At the opening of LinuxWorld in San Francisco, IBM and Novell announced that they will join forces in the growing open source application server market. Under the agreement Novell will deliver and support WebSphere Application Server Community Edition (WAS CE) as part of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. The two companies will also work on an open collaboration client for Linux desktop users.

The agreement comes on the heels of the one millionth distribution of WAS CE, which is based on Apache Geronimo and free to download and use. IBM and Novell will offer support and migration tools to help customers using JBoss to quickly and easily move to WAS CE. Combining WAS CE with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server from Novell provides an unbeatable combination for the small and medium-size business market, where Novell excels, and a compelling offering for enterprise customers with distributed computing environments. IBM and Novell will team up on joint marketing and sales campaigns targeting customers around the world.

The partnership will provide customers with an enterprise-ready open source alternative to JBoss, while developers will have the opportunity to build on a tested platform in WAS CE, with the full support of IBM, Novell, and the open source community.

"Customers today are looking for an integrated solution to solve their application development needs," said Roger Levy, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Open Platform Solutions for Novell. "Novell and IBM have partnered to bring customers a best-in-class experience by delivering two powerful software platforms through one channel. Now, when customers need support for their open source operating system or their open source application server, they can get it with one phone call to Novell."

In addition to the agreement with Novell, IBM is introducing WAS CE 2.0. WAS CE 2.0 will have full Java EE 5 standard support. A research report from Evans Data found that WAS CE is growing quickly and has gained market share nearly three times as fast as JBoss in 2006.

WAS CE 2.0 will be available later this year.

WebSphere: www.ibm.com/software/webservers/appserv/community

Conferences and Events

Calls for Papers

Main conference: http://www.socallinuxexpo.org/scale6x/documents/scale6x-cfp.pdf
Women in Open Source mini-conference: http://www.socallinuxexpo.org/scale6x/documents/scale6x-wios-cfp.pdf
Open Source in Education mini-conference: http://www.socallinuxexpo.org/scale6x/documents/scale6x-education-cfp.pdf


LinuxWorld Conference & Expo
September 3 - 7, 2007; Beijing; http://www.linuxworldchina.com

Linux Kernel '07 Developers Summit
September 4 - 6; Cambridge, U.K.; http://www.usenix.org/events/kernel07/

1st International LDAPv3 Conference
September 6 - 7, 2007; Cologne, Germany; http://www.guug.de/veranstaltungen/ldapcon2007/

Rich Web Experience Conference
September 6 - 8; Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, CA

BEAWorld 2007
September 10 - 12; Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, CA; http://www.bea.com/beaworld/us/index.jsp?PC=DEVELOPER

VMWorld 2007
September 11 - 13; Moscone Convention Center, San Francisco, CA; www.vmware.com/vmworld/

Mozilla 24
September 15 - 16; 24hr community web event; http://www.mozilla24.com

September 17 - 19; Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco, CA; http://www.misti.com/default.asp?Page=65&Return=70&ProductID=7154

RailsConf Europe 2007
September 17 - 19; Berlin, Germany

Gartner Open Source and Web Innovation Summits
September 17 - 21; Las Vegas, NV; https://www.gartner.com/EvReg/evRegister?EvCd=OS3

Intel Developer Forum 2007 September 18 - 20; Moscone Center West, San Francisco, CA; http://developer.intel.com/IDF

Software Development Best Practices 2007
and Embedded Systems Conference
September 18 - 21; Boston, MA; http://www.sdexpo.com/2007/sdbp

RFID World: Boston
September 19 - 20; Boston, MA; http://www.shorecliffcommunications.com/boston

SecureWorld Expo 2007 San Francisco
September 19 - 20; South San Francisco Conference Center; https://secureworldexpo.com/rsvp/index.php
Discount code - SNFEBG7

AJAXWorld Conference West 07
September 24 - 26; Santa Clara, CA; http://www.ajaxworld.com
Discount registration code: AJAX5000

Digital ID World 07
September 24 - 26; Hilton Hotel, San Francisco, CA; https://orders.cxo.com/conferences/enroll.html?conferenceID=8
$1,000 off with priority code "radeb"

Semantic Web Strategies Conference 2007
September 30 - October 1; San Jose Marriott, San Jose, CA; http://www.semanticwebstrategies.com


BEAWorld 2007 Barcelona
October 2 - 4; Palau de Congressos de Catalunya; http://www.bea.com/beaworld/es/index.jsp?PC=1AUGAATDM

Zend/PHP Conference & Expo 2007
October 8 - 11; San Francisco, California; http://www.zend.com/store/zend_php_conference?emlstr=en-early-bird-0708

Designing and Building Business Ontologies
October 9 - 12; San Francisco, California; http://www.wilshireconferences.com/seminars/Ontologies/

Ethernet Expo 2007
October 15 - 17; Hilton New York, New York; http://www.lightreading.com/live/event_information.asp?survey_id=306

October 16 - 18; San Jose, CA; http://www.ispcon.com

Interop New York
October 22 - 26; http://www.interop.com

LinuxWorld Conference & Expo
October 24 - 25; London, UK; http://www.linuxworldexpo.co.uk


CSI 2007
November 3 - 9; Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Washington, D.C.; http://www.csiannual.com

Interop Berlin; November 6 - 8; Berlin, Germany; http://www.interop.eu

Oracle OpenWorld San Francisco
November 11 - 15; San Francisco, CA; http://www.oracle.com/openworld

Supercomputing 2007
November 9 - 16; Tampa, FL; http://sc07.supercomputing.org

Gartner - 26th Annual Data Center Conference
November 27 - 30; Las Vegas, NV

Distro News

thunderboltOpenSUSE Beta and New Build Service

On the second anniversary of the openSUSE project in August, the community program marked two new milestones: the availability of the first Beta of openSUSE 10.3 and an expansion of the openSUSE Build Service.

OpenSUSE 10.3 offers a state of the art operating system based on Linux kernel 2.6.22 with a large variety of the latest open source applications for desktops, servers, and application development. The first Beta of openSUSE 10.3 is now available at http://www.opensuse.org/download.

The new openSUSE Build Service provides an infrastructure for software developers to easily create and compile packages for multiple Linux distros. In the first version of the build service, users of many distros - openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, or Mandriva - can search and browse for new software for their distribution. Users of the upcoming openSUSE 10.3 can install their software with one click, directly from the Web interface. In the past four months more than 13 million packages have been downloaded from the openSUSE Build Service as developers build packages for various distributions using the tool.

The openSUSE Build Service is an open source build system that helps developers provide high quality packages for multiple distributions from the same source code. With the system imaging tool, KIWI, open source developers can quickly build a Linux distribution that meets their needs, rigorously test it to ensure product quality, and easily package it for quick installation.

The openSUSE Build Service is completely open source, giving developers and users free and full access to build their choice of Linux packages. Those packages may be based on openSUSE, SUSE Linux Enterprise, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu, or other projects.

openSUSE Build Service: http://www.opensuse.org/Build_Service

thunderboltFirst Debian 4.0 "Etch" Update Released

The Debian project has announced the availability of the first point revision of Debian GNU/Linux 4.0, code name "Etch". This update adds security updates to the stable release, together with a few corrections to serious problems and miscellaneous bug fixes.

This release for Etch includes an updated installer, which includes the following changes: kernels used in the installer have been updated to ABI 2.6.18-5, updated mirror list, support added for certain USB CD drives that were not being detected, incorrect setup of GKSu fixed when user chooses to install with the root account disabled, and the removal of the vdrift package.

thunderboltMEPIS Begins a Return to Debian With Version 7 pre-Beta

SimplyMEPIS 6.9.51 pre-Beta is a preview of upcoming SimplyMEPIS 7. It is available from the MEPIS subscriber site and the MEPIS public mirrors.

MEPIS has discontinued using Ubuntu binary packages in favor of a combination of MEPIS packaged binaries based on Debian and Ubuntu source code, which is combined with a Debian Stable OS core, and extra packages from the Debian package pools.

Warren Woodford of MEPIS explains the change, "By using the latest Debian and Ubuntu source code for building user applications, we can provide the best latest versions of the applications users want the most. And by building on top of a Debian Stable core, we can provide a release that has the the stability and long life that users want."

Warren continues, "Most Linux users are tired of having to reinstall every 6 months in order to have up-to-date applications. We expect that with this approach MEPIS can offer a superior user experience that will be incrementally upgradeable for 2 years without reinstallation of the OS."

The pre-Beta includes a 2.6.22 kernel, Debian Etch core, KDE 3.5.7, Firefox, Thunderbird, and OpenOffice 2.2.1. This is an early release with many rough edges. In particular, the 'splashy' boot splash does not run reliably, some extra kernel drivers are not yet compiled, some GUI components are not themed for MEPIS, and the pre-Beta has had very limited testing.

32 and 64 bit ISO images are available in the "testing" subdirectory at the MEPIS Subscriber's Site and at the MEPIS public mirrors.

Damn Small Linux 4.0 RC1 Announced

August saw the first release candidate of Damn Small Linux 4.0 and an update of the current stable branch, the 3.4 series, to version 3.4.1. Both are available here: ftp://ftp.oss.cc.gatech.edu/pub/linux/distributions/damnsmall"

Software and Product News

thunderboltBlack Duck Tracks Open Source License Changes

At SF LinuxWorld, Black Duck Software announced protexIP 4.4, which includes features specific to recent GPL license changes. The newest version of Black Duck increases insurance that software is in compliance with licensing requirements via a significantly enhanced KnowledgeBase of open source and vendor-added code software components. This includes detailed licensing information for more than 140,000 components, a doubling from the previous version.

Last month, the Free Software Foundation released GPL version 3. By mid-August, more than 382* open source projects have published code under the new license. The protexIP application assists developers and legal counsel in managing the use of code from open source projects that have both decided to explicitly switch to GPLv3 and those that have decided not to switch.

The solution identifies components within open source projects that have decided not to switch to GPLv3, such as the Linux kernel, or have simply not made a decision. protexIP users set policies through the product to dictate whether developers can use code governed by the various licenses, and the solution ensures throughout the development process that licenses governing code are not in conflict with each other or with company policy.

The first release of protexIP 4.4 will be available in September 2007. Pricing is based on the size of the code base managed by protexIP and the number of users accessing the solution. The new version and KnowledgeBase are delivered to existing protexIP customers automatically via a Web update when available.

thunderboltMagical Realism SciVee opens Alpha Website for Videos

Hoping to improve communications in the Sciences, a partnership of the Public Library of Science (PLoS), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) have initiated a service much like YouTube, but for scientists.

According to the SciVee Web page, "SciVee, created for scientists, by scientists, moves science beyond the printed word and lecture theater taking advantage of the Internet as a communication medium where scientists young and old have a place and a voice."

Scientists can upload videos and synch them to online papers and presentations. Other scientists can freely view uploaded presentations and engage in virtual discussions with the author and other viewers. The interaction can then be made available as podcast to the Internet.

SciVee applies the Creative Commons license to all of the video content.

Alpha video content: http://www.scivee.tv/video
SciVee: http://www.scivee.tv

thunderboltLenovo to Sell PCs with SUSE Linux Installed

Lenovo and Novell announced in August an agreement to preload Linux on Lenovo ThinkPad notebook PCs and to provide support for the operating system. The companies will offer SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 to commercial customers on Lenovo notebooks including those in the popular ThinkPad T Series, a class of notebooks aimed at typical business users. The ThinkPad notebooks preloaded with Linux will also be available for purchase by individual customers.

Lenovo will provide direct support for both the hardware and operating system. Novell will provide maintenance updates for the operating system directly to ThinkPad notebook customers. For several years, Lenovo has Linux-certified its ThinkPad notebook PC line. Lenovo offers Help Center support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 on the ThinkPad T60p.

Lenovo Linux notebooks will be available beginning in the fourth quarter of 2007

thunderboltOracle Offers More Linux Enhancements

Touting its commitment to enhance Linux for all users and emphasizing its goal to not become another distro, Oracle announced at LinuxWorld new projects and code contributions to augment the enterprise-class capabilities of Linux. Oracle positioned itself as a support provider with a history of contributions helping to ensure enterprises' success with Linux. Oracle offered enhancements including: development of a new file system designed for superior scaling at the petabyte level; porting the popular Yet another Setup Tool (YaST) to Oracle Enterprise Linux and the fully compatible Red Hat Enterprise Linux; open-sourcing tools to streamline testing, collaborating on an interface for comprehensive data integrity and developing a new asynchronous I/O interface to reduce complexity. These contributions will be available under appropriate open source licenses.

Oracle's Chris Mason has developed the Btrfs file system to address the expanding scalability requirements of large storage subsystems. Btrfs will allow enhanced scalability and simplified management for large storage configurations, while also adding flexible snapshotting, fast incremental backups and other features missing from Linux today.

Mason told the Linux Gazette that the work on Btrfs aimed "...to better handle failures of all kinds and to have enough check-summing to find and repair data and meta-data. The goal is to replace ext3 as the main de-facto Linux file system in the future." An alpha release of the Btrfs file system is available under the GPL license at: http://oss.oracle.com/projects/btrfs/.

Oracle is working to replace the existing asynchronous I/O interface in the kernel with a more generic subsystem. The new kernel based implementation should provide a single access point, allowing most system calls to become asynchronous, thereby reducing complexity at both the kernel and application level. The new subsystem is expected to be faster for Oracle, is intended to make it easier for other applications to benefit from asynchronous programming under any workload.

Oracle has ported the popular system management tool YaST to Oracle Enterprise Linux and the compatible Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Now available under GPL, this code can be freely accessed by anyone. Originally developed and made available under GPL by Novell, YaST has been used with openSUSE and Novell's SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) to enable easy install and configuration of system software, hardware and networks.

Now available under the GPL and Artistic licenses, the Oracle Linux Test Kit (derived from the Oracle Validated Configurations program) verifies Linux kernel functionality and stability essential for the Oracle Database. The test kit automates steps to define, execute and analyze tests and has DBT2 and DBT3 workloads as well as specialized workload simulators. The Oracle Linux Test Kit can be used for running tests on Oracle Enterprise Linux, RHEL and SLES distributions in a variety of topologies. Server and storage vendors can use the Oracle Linux Test Kit to test and verify that specific hardware and software combinations for Oracle deployments on Linux.

Monica Kumar, senior director of Linux and open source at Oracle, told the Linux Gazette that an increasing share of of its customers are choosing to run Oracle on Linux. She mentioned a GGrp study in June, by Grahm that showed Oracle holding 42% of the overall DB market , but on Linux 67%. These numbers were for revenue from commercial DB products, so the share for MySQL and other non-commercial database products is minimized.

Oracle DB on Linux grew at an 87% annual rate by revenue dollars. This is based on sales of $1.9b from Oracle on Linux in 2006.

Kumar told the Linux Gazette, "...We have two buckets of customers... the Fortune 500 and prior Oracle customers and we also have a large number of customers who are using open source and Oracle Cluster FS and are getting support from us for both Linux and OCFS. They get support for both at lower price and its better support."

On the issue of forking Linux, Kumar said, "Never... It's not in Oracle's interest to fork... there is no value proposition for us [or] for our customers. Linux is [a] commodity so our team focuses all of our energies on support. We are clear where we can add value and we are clear about not fragmenting Linux."

thunderboltAMD to release Barcelona in September

AMD is inviting partners, key customers and, analysts to a special event mid-September in San Francisco Presidio. Part of the event takes place at George Lucas's Digital Art Center.

The long awaited quad-core Opteron is supposed to pack a processor wallop and be socket compatible with the current dual core Opterons. In August, AMD announced Novell certification for the new chip with SUSE Linux and is expecting to have other OS vendors ready to support it. AMD has given samples to OS vendors so they can optimize to new features on the chip, including nested page tables for enhanced virtualization.

Meanwhile, Intel is showing its partners early samples of their new 45 nanometer chips, which are faster and consume 30% less power than the current 65 nanometer family of chips.

thunderboltCommuniGate Offers Free Usage Licenses

CommuniGate Systems has been developing Internet communication products that are based on open standards into suites aimed at larger companies. In an effort to increase their consumer pool, it was announced on August 7th that CommuniGate Systems would offer access to their hosted communications platform to the public for free for 5 years. Users are able to create their accounts at www.TalkToIP.com, CommuniGate's new portal that offers e-mail, calendar, and secure IM integration with their Flash based Pronto! interface.

Furthermore, the CommuniGate Pro Community Edition is offered for comparison by complimentary download, allowing up to five users free, full-service accounts. Those five users will be able to manage all of their Internet based communication technologies - E-mail, VOIP, IM, voice mail, a conferencing server, etc. - with this cross-platform suite.

Full Press Release: http://www.communigate.com/news/c-news_article_08072007.html
CommuniGate Systems: http://www.communigate.com

thunderboltWhite Paper on Cost and Data Retention Aware Backup Solutions

On August 13th Asigra announced the availability of a white paper entitled "Managing the Life Cycles of Backups" that it commissioned from Data Mobility Group, relating to backup life cycle management. An example of the application would be a business's tax information, which is very important in the year it must be filed, but losses importance each subsequent year. However, for accounting sake and to remain compliant with data retention laws that many countries have introduced, that data must be kept in a secure location. According to the white paper, in order to remain cost efficient the data should be kept in a central location, allowing a business's multiple locations to manage all of its data.

It is of note that the white paper does not appear to be made available to the public, forcing Asigra's consumers to rely on its press release for digestion of Data Mobility Group's findings. This is especially questionable when Asigra makes often claim that its own product was given favorable review. No response was made in time to the Linux Gazette's inquiries for this month's issue.

Asigra: http://www.asigra.com
Data Mobility Group: http://www.datamobilitygroup.com

thunderboltSolutions4ebiz Launches New Web Store for Linux Routers

On August 17th Solutions4ebiz, the Midwest distributor and online retailer of ImageStream Internet Solutions (ImageStream), launched its new online retail site: www.imagestreamsolutions.com. It offers Linux-based routers and network cards that are meant to be simple, pre-configured solutions at the home office and enterprise levels. Also featured is their bundle packages, with various configurations of routing devices, network cards, device configurations, and service contracts.

Solutions4ebiz: http://www.solutions4ebiz.com
ImageStream Internet Solutions: http://www.imagestream.com

thunderboltCentric CRM and LoopFuse Integrate Software Products

On August 21st Centric CRM, a developer of customer relationship management (CRM) software, and LoopFuse, a developer of user and web site usage tracking software, have integrated their respective products. The two companies each provide a different aspect of marketing, a sector of business that has enjoyed the Internet's tracking abilities. Software in this category often provides the ability to track sales leads, current clients (prevents overlapping in the sales department), and calculates return on investment (ROI) for marketing campaigns, all of which LoopFuse and Centric CRM will make available. Their integration will allow client history and usage data processing to interact within one application.

For example, a company can track what products a potential client views, links they click on, how often they visit, what they purchased, and their exact browsing history on their web site. This allows the company to calculate how likely it is that the user will buy a new product, become a client, etc. This requires a closer relationship between marketing and sales departments, as the data from one passes to the other: the marketing department issues a new advertisement campaign and they track who clicks on those advertisements. The sales department then tracks how many of those leads turn into sales, producing a click-to-purchase ratio. These, and other, numbers allow marketing to evaluate the success of their investment in the advertisement campaign.

[ Centric CRM correctly claims that they provide an open source solution when referencing their product Centric Team Elements. However, this is a very minor product in their catalog. Their primary product is Centric CRM, which is licensed with a proprietary license that is far from open source. Their usage of the "OSI Certified" logo appears to be legitimate, as it is only used in text referencing Centric Team Elements. --S. Bisbee ]

Full press release: http://www.linuxfriends.net/142/misc/lg_bytes/centricpressrelease.txt

Centric CRM: http://www.centriccrm.com
LoopFuse: http://www.loopfuse.com

thunderboltITerating Provides New Software Tracking Service

ITerating, a "Wiki-based Software Guide" announced on August 27th that it will be providing up-to-date information on more than 17,000 software products via a free Semantic Web service. This should allow other software information repositories, IT professionals, and other end users to pull ITerating's repository data. For example, users can select specific products and receive a feed of information on the latest updates, drivers, etc. The information is kept up-to-date by its users, utilizing wiki techniques.

"Our goal is to offer the world's first comprehensive software guide that is always up-to-date," said Nicolas Vandenberghe, CEO of ITerating, in the company's press release. "By combining a Wiki format with Semantic Web services, we are able to ensure that the information on the ITerating site is both comprehensive and up-to-date. Now everyone has the opportunity to use this powerful but simple tool to organize, share and combine information about software on the web."

ITerating has already been offering user reviews and ratings, blogs, and various methods you would expect to filter through software.

Full press release: http://www.iterating.com/aboutus?page=Press
ITerating: http://www.ITerating.com

W3C's Semantic Web specifications: http://www.w3.org/2001/sw/

Talkback: Discuss this article with The Answer Gang

Howard Dyckoff

Bio picture

Howard Dyckoff is a long term IT professional with primary experience at Fortune 100 and 200 firms. Before his IT career, he worked for Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine and before that used to edit SkyCom, a newsletter for astronomers and rocketeers. He hails from the Republic of Brooklyn [and Polytechnic Institute] and now, after several trips to Himalayan mountain tops, resides in the SF Bay Area with a large book collection and several pet rocks.

Howard maintains the Technology-Events blog at blogspot.com from which he contributes the Events listing for Linux Gazette. Visit the blog to preview some of the next month's NewsBytes Events.

Samuel Kotel Bisbee-vonKaufmann


Sam was born ('87) and raised in the Boston, MA area. His interest in all things electronic was established early by his electrician father and database designer mother. Teaching himself HTML and basic web design at the age of 10, Sam has spiraled deeper into the confusion that is computer science and the FOSS community. His first Linux install was Red Hat, which he installed on a Pentium 233GHz i686 when he was about 13. He found his way into the computer club in high school at Northfield Mount Hermon, a New England boarding school, which was lovingly named GEECS for Electronics, Engineering, Computers, and Science. This venue allowed him to share in and teach the Linux experience to fellow students and teachers alike. Late in high school Sam was abducted into the Open and Free Technology Community, had his first article published, and became more involved in the FOSS community as a whole. After a year at Boston University he decided the experience was not for him, striking out on his own as a software developer and contractor.

Copyright © 2007, Howard Dyckoff and Samuel Kotel Bisbee-vonKaufmann. Released under the Open Publication License unless otherwise noted in the body of the article. Linux Gazette is not produced, sponsored, or endorsed by its prior host, SSC, Inc.

Published in Issue 142 of Linux Gazette, September 2007