LINUX GAZETTE

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News Bytes

Contents:

Selected and formatted by Michael Conry

Submitters, send your News Bytes items in PLAIN TEXT format. Other formats may be rejected without reading. You have been warned! A one- or two-paragraph summary plus URL gets you a better announcement than an entire press release.


 September 2001 Linux Journal

The September issue of Linux Journal is on newsstands now. This issue focuses on Security. Click here to view the table of contents, or here to subscribe.

All articles through December 1999 are available for public reading at http://www.linuxjournal.com/lj-issues/mags.html. Recent articles are available on-line for subscribers only at http://interactive.linuxjournal.com/.


 September/October 2001 Interactive Linux Journal

Click here to view the table of contents. US residents can subscribe to ELJ for free; just click here. Paid subscriptions outside the US are also available; click on the above link for more information.


Distro News


 Debian

The Debian Project has announced the new Debian Multimedia Distribution
The German "Lebensmittelzeitung" has reported that Globus, a German supermarket chain, converted about 480 computers in their cash desk system to Debian GNU/Linux. The entire system is designed so that two cashiers can share one computer (a 486/25MHz is used most of the time). The story is available in German.
More news available from Debian Weekly News


 SuSE

SuSE Linux has announced that it is the first provider to deliver a Linux operating system for IBM eServer iSeries, IBM's high-performance, integrated business server for small to mid-sized enterprises. In "SuSE Linux Developer Edition for IBM eServer iSeries", SuSE now offers system administrators and application developers the possibility to make use of SuSE Linux right from the outset - as an operating system basis and development platform for e-business applications across the enterprise. IBM ships the new eServer iSeries with Version 5 Release 1 of its OS/400 operating system, which now enables the use of several operating systems at the same time.


News in General


 Upcoming conferences and events

Listings courtesy Linux Journal. See LJ's Events page for the latest goings-on.


 Sklyarov, DMCA, FTAA update

As LG went to press, several events unfolded in the Sklyarov/DMCA case:


The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is speaking out against industry attempts to get controversial provisions from the US Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) put into the Free Trade of the Americas (FTAA) agreement. (The FTAA is a still-unfinished treaty that would create a free-trade zone covering North and South America.) "The FTAA organization is considering treaty language that mandates nations pass anti-circumvention provisions similar to the DMCA, except the FTAA treaty grants even greater control to publishers than the DMCA." If you feel strongly about this, the EFF invites you to try to change the situation and provides suggestions for the sort of letters you could write.


Because LG is a monthly publication, we cannot adequately address all the developments in the DMCA controversy. We refer you instead to the Linux Weekly News editorials, the EFF home page, and the various activist sites such as nodmca.org and freesklyarov.org.

LWN's August 30 editorial raises the irony of Dmitry possibly getting a longer prison sentance than "mere armed robbers, rapists and child molesters". It states, "One way or another, we are now seeing the degree of repression that the US is willing to apply to ensure that certain kinds of software are not written.... It takes very little imagination to picture a future where the general-purpose computer has been replaced by a 'trusted computing platform', and systems which do not 'seal data within domains' are treated as 'circumvention devices'. At what point, exactly, does Linux become an illegal device under the DMCA? In a world where programmers face 25-year sentences for code that was legal where they wrote it, this vision should not be seen as overly paranoid."

An older LWN editorial discusses attempts in Canada to insert DMCA-like provisions into its copyright law.


Meanwhile, Slashdot reports on an NPR article saying that many US radio stations are pulling the plug on their webcasting "due to concerns about advertising, royalties and the DMCA". Slashdot then reports on a CNN article about a study saying "people don't and won't purchase heavily restricted music online at higher prices for a less useful item." Slashdot then adds, "This is apparently a revelation to the music industry." :)


 Total Impact and Terra Soft Solutions Partner to Offer PowerPC Linux Products

Total Impact, manufacturer of G3/G4 computers, and Terra Soft Solutions, a developer of PowerPC Linux technologies, have announced a partnership for the tight integration and sales of Total Impact's briQ with Terra Soft's Yellow Dog and Black Lab Linux operating systems. Total Impact is now bundling the full Yellow Dog Linux 2.0 package with each unit sale of the briQ, enhanced with the installation of Black Lab Linux upon request. Terra Soft offers the briQ as a stand-alone Yellow Dog Linux computational node or integrated into a 4 and 8 node cluster with Black Lab Linux installed and configured.

Total Impact has also just announced availability of its new Centricity line of Render Engines beta tests are "creating anticipation that Centricity systems will revolutionize high performance computing with their small size, high processing speeds, low power requirements and ease of use".


 New I/O Module

MEN Micro's new PC-MIP mezzanine card featuring a 48-bit TTL I/O interface, may allow embedded system designers to quickly implement basic digital I/O without an involved development process. For simple digital I/O, such as a control switch or an actuator, the new PC MIP card can be easily added to a single-board-computer (SBC) or a PC MIP carrier card, assuring a rapid completion of the system's development. Through the MEN Driver Interface System (MDIS), the P13 is supported by drivers for a wide range of operating systems, including VxWorks, OS-9, WindowsNT and Linux.


 New Keyspan USB Products at Linux World

Keyspan has announced new versions of its USB PDA Adapter and its High Speed USB Serial Adapter. In addition to "off-the shelf" support for Linux 2.4, Keyspan's Serial-to-USB Adapters also support Windows 98, Windows Me and Windows 2000, as well as Mac OS 8.6 or higher. Beta drivers for Mac OS X are also available.


 Alabanza Gets Smarts!

Alabanza Corporation, the leading provider of automated Web hosting software, announced that it is using SMARTS InCharge Service Assurance Solutions to sustain service levels and improve the user experience for Alabanza's 500 worldwide customers and their quarter-million Web sites. Alabanza, has been an early adopter of, and is 100 percent dedicated to the Linux operating system. Alabanza said it agreed to partner with SMARTS in order to immediately identify and fix problems before they affect service delivery. Alabanza's entirely Linux-based Automated Web Hosting Software Suite is used by hundreds of Web designers and developers, systems integrators, ISPs and telecommunications carriers.


 Sair Linux and GNU Newsletter #9

SAIR Linux and GNU Certification's quarterly newsletter, SAIR Linux and GNews issue 9, is available for you to view online.


 IBM

IBM has announced the new IBM "Start Now" Solutions for e-business, a family of offerings to help small and medium businesses (SMB) rapidly implement powerful, cost-effective, e-business solutions. The eight Start Now Solutions, including three Linux-based solutions, "fulfill the requirements of e-business--from initial Internet access, through e-mail, research and information, Web site management, simple and complex e-commerce, business intelligence, integrated activities and new business opportunities". For more information on IBM Start Now solutions, visit http://www.ibm.com/software/smb.


IBM has also announced the availability of a free Software Evaluation Kit for Linux. This kit will help developers create new applications for the explosive Linux market. With the number of Linux-based applications growing over 40 percent this year, this evaluation kit will help drive new applications for a variety of industries, including finance, retail, and education. More information from www.ibm.com/linux/software and www.ibm.com/linux/.


 Book "Advanced Linux 3D Graphics Programming" available

The book "Advanced Linux 3D Graphics Programming" is now available for purchase. It is the follow-up volume to the first book "Linux 3D Graphics Programming". This second volume provides programmers who are experienced in both Linux and fundamental 3D graphics concepts with a well-rounded perspective on 3D theory and practice within the context of programming larger interactive 3D applications such as games. It covers such topics as texture and light mapping, creating compatible morph targets in Blender, creating and importing IK animations into a 3D engine, BSP trees (node and leaf based), portals, level editing, particle systems, collision detection, digital sound, content creation systems, and more. A table of contents is viewable online and if you like what you see, purchase online.


 unixboulevard.com

UnixBoulevard.com is a free and upcoming site designed to be a choice web location for those individuals and organizations that use, manage Unix based servers or Networks. The site provides product and technical support information as well as a forum for UNIX community members to interact.


 CDW is offering free VXA media for Linux

CDW a direct solutions provider of complete, customized technology solutions, is offering 5 free 33/66GB VXA V17 tapes for data storage and backup with the purchase of a VXA RakPak or VXA AutoPak. The promotion offers up to 660GB of free media at a value of more than $350 and runs through the end of September. The offer is available by visiting CDW at http://www.cdw.com and entering "VXA with free media" in the SmartSearch box on the upper right hand corner of the page.


 GX Technology Uses Linux NetworX Cluster System in Oil and Gas Exploration

Linux NetworX, a provider of powerful and easy-to-manage cluster computing solutions, announced today that seismic imaging solutions company GX Technology has purchased an 84-processor Evolocity computer cluster to be used in its oil and gas exploration efforts. This is the third cluster computer system provided to GX Technology by Linux NetworX.

Linux NetworX optimized the Evolocity cluster to work with GX Technology's seismic imaging applications to perform processes such as wave equation and Kirchhoff pre-stack depth migration and prestack time migration. The 42-node Evolocity system includes 84 1.2 GHz AMD Athlon MP processors, with each node containing 1.5 GB of memory, and two 10/100 Ethernet networks for redundancy. GX Technology also utilizes the Linux NetworX ClusterWorX management software tools, and signed an on-going service agreement to ensure system stability.


 Linux Links

The Duke of URL:

Linux project in Mexican schools (Red Escolar) fails, largely due to "winmodem" issues it seems. More positively, Linux seems to be finding a role in a Colorado school district. News courtesy Slashdot.

CanadaComputes.com have a round up of the Linux web browsers currently available.

Linux Journal web articles:

Suite101.com have added a new Linux site aimed at explaining to Windows users what it might be like if they changed to Linux.

The Register have reported that several Red Hat 6.2 systems with default installation were cracked in 72 hours during a security research project that intentionally left them online for intruders to find.

Evaluation of Windows XP beta compared to Linux Mandrake 8.0 from the point of view of usability and aesthetics. The review says Windows is getting better than it used to be; Microsoft is learning some of Linux's tricks.

RPM Search page on the User Friendly site.

Slashdot had a recent Slashdot talkback thread on which is the best Linux distribution for a newbie.

The State of Corporate IT: A case for Linux. "By many accounts, the largest cost of ownership increases that corporations have faced have been licensing related. As NT has become a mainstay, licensing terms have become more specific and more expensive."
This story traces a 7,000-employee company that switched from Unix/Novell to NT for "ease of administration and a lower cost of ownership, but years into the transition, administering and licensing costs soared.... While the previous Unix and Novell platforms had handled file, print and mail servers on a single server, NT now needed one machine for each service plus a dedicated backup for each..... Red Hat brought a single Pentium class system for a site visit and thanks to the early legwork their engineers had done, were able to integrate the box into the network and take over all file and print server requests for one busy segment within four hours. The system ran for the next 10 business days without any downtime, something NT machines had not been able to do very often.... Red Hat had proven to be a helpful ally. Instead of trying to push a whole-scale replacement of the infrastructure, they had worked to supplement it.... Some months later, with the market still soft and the bottom line increasingly important to shareholders, the team feels they made the right decision." Courtesy Slashdot.

The Los Angeles Times have a science fiction story about a future world in which Windows is everywhere, causing worldwide catastrophe. Courtesy Slashdot.


Software Announcements


 Loki

TimeGate Studios, Inc. and Loki Software are excited to announce that the demo for Kohan: Immortal Sovereigns on the Linux platform is now available for free download at http://www.lokigames.com/products/demos.php3 For more information, please visit the official game site. Pre-orders can be placed from the Loki webstore.


No Starch Press and Loki Software have announced the launch of the complete and authoritative guide to developing games for Linux. PROGRAMMING LINUX GAMES: LEARN TO WRITE THE GAMES LINUX PEOPLE PLAY (August 2001, 1-886411-49-2, $39.95, paperback, 432 pp., http://www.nostarch.com/?plg) guides readers through important Linux development tools and gaming APIs, with a special focus on Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL). Written by the gaming masters at Loki Software, this book is the ultimate resource for Linux game developers. Available in bookstores, from Loki Software (http://www.lokigames.com/orders), or from No Starch Press (1-800-420-7240, http://www.nostarch.com).


 eVe Visual Search Toolkit for Linux

eVision is excited to announce the release of version 2.1 public beta of the eVe visual search Java-based SDK for Linux. The toolkit lets Linux developers create search applications that use images and visual similarity rather than keywords and text. The user selects a sample query image or partial image, then the search engine finds and ranks other images that are visually similar with respect to the objects in the image and attributes such as color, texture, shape and 3D shading. This technology can be applied to image content, video content, audio content and any other digital pattern. You can sign up to download a free 500 image limited version of the SDK at http://www.evisionglobal.com/developers/sdk/


 Great Bridge WebSuite for Developers

Great Bridge, a provider of commercial service and support for the open source database PostgreSQL, has announced this morning an open source application development platform that uses the world's most advanced open source tools. Great Bridge WebSuite is an integrated open source platform that combines the PostgreSQL database, PHP scripting language and Apache Web server for building high-performance Web-based applications.


 Free APStripFiles Utility

Appligent, Inc. is offering a new utility free of charge. APStripFiles is a command line application that removes attached or embedded files from PDF documents. It enables you to protect your systems from malicious unwanted PDF file attachments.

APStripFiles for AIX, HP-UX, Sun Solaris and Red Hat Linux can be downloaded free from,, http://www.appligent.com/newpages/freeSoftware_Unix.html


Copyright © 2001, Michael Conry and the Editors of Linux Gazette.
Copying license http://www.linuxgazette.net/copying.html
Published in Issue 70 of Linux Gazette, September 2001
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