USB 2 Arrives in Linux’s Unstable Kernel

The faster version 2.0 of the Universal Serial Bus connection technology, the center of some controversy with Windows, has been incorporated into the latest test version of Linux. Linus Torvalds, founder and leader of the Linux operating-system project, released version 2.5.2 of the "kernel," or core software, Monday, including initial support for USB 2.0. Linux may have lost its allure as a get-rich-quick scheme for would-be entrepreneurs, but the largely volunteer programming community that advances the core software is still functioning." Read the rest of the story at C|Net News.com. The unstable kernel 2.5.x also includes the new VM, scheduler and we hope to see the preemptible and XFS patches rolling in that source tree. In the USB 2 matter, Windows2k/XP's USB 2 stack is also not ready yet, but it has already leaked on the web.

Solaris Hole Opening Way for Hackers

"Online vandals are using a two-month-old security hole in Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating system to break into servers on the Internet, a security expert said Tuesday. Researchers witnessed the attack when one intruder broke into a Solaris server under intense observation as part of the Honeynet Project, an initiative to develop ways to turn spare computers into digital fly traps to study and document actual Internet attacks." Get the rest of the story at C|Net News.com.

The 2.4.x Kernel of Pain

"For desktops, the 2.4 version of the kernel is just fine. If you have heavy-duty processing needs, 2.4 has been a series of disappointments. Sysadmins of big iron have two choices -- go back in time or play upgrade hopscotch. Both have problems. Let's start from the beginning. In July 2001, I was responsible for upgrading a customer's server from Red Hat 6.2 to Mandrake 8.0. The machine was built from scratch, and Mandrake was installed onto a freshly formatted RAID 5 array. We then migrated the Red Hat 6.2 applications to the new machine." Read the rest of the story at InfoWorld.

Design Patterns in Qt

"The so-called GoF book Design Patterns (GoF referring to the Gang of Four -- Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vlissides -- who authored it) has been very influential in software development--and rightfully so. Every programmer has read it or at least claims to have done so. In this article, I will explore how Design Patterns are used in Qt programming. Qt article at O'Reilly site, by Matthias Kalle Dalheimer, author of Programming with Qt, 2nd Edition, a book to be released late February and it will cover the latest Qt 3.1 API.

“Designed for Windows XP” Application Test Framework

A new testing methodology to ensure that applications meet the requirements defined in "Designed for Microsoft Windows XP" Application Logo Specification can be downloaded as a 475 KB self-extracting zip file containing Word documents and related test tools in .EXE and .TXT format. The second document defines the requirements for the "Designed for Microsoft Windows XP" Logo for software and it weighs 707 KB.

THEOS Corona Now Commercially Available

Friday 11th January saw the commercial release of the THEOS Corona, a multi-user operating system for Intel PCs. Latest in a long line of THEOS products, this updated version of the popular business-oriented operating system includes support for more PCI, USB and PCMCIA devices, enhanced screen objects for different console types, integrated TCP/IP networking, large file system / long filename support, and much more. More information is available from www.theos-software.com (the US developer) or www.theos-gb.com (the UK distributor for THEOS products). THEOS was originally known as the OASIS operating system on Z80 supermicros such as those from Onyx, Altos and IBC. It was relaunched for the IBM PC-AT and compatibles in the mid-1980s and renamed as THEOS. The core development team has remained constant for all that time, with additional development for THEOS Corona being done in Madrid and the Canary Islands.

Interview with Rik van Riel

Slashdot mentions a new interview with Linux kernel hacker Rik van Riel by Andrew Scrimieri, available in Italian and English. Rik currently works for Conectiva and wrote the kernel virtual memory subsystem used in Linux 2.4 until recent versions, when Linus Torvalds replaced it. He talks about friction regarding the VM, VM specifics, kernel politics and multiple kernel trees, the kernelnewbies project, and the DMCA.

Represent OSNews at GUI Olympics

Stardock, the company behind WindowBlinds, the theme engine for the Windows operating systems, started a competition regarding GUI design. One of the categories where you can compete and win at GUI Olympics, is operating system User Interface design. By using the Stardock products in order to create compatible WindowBlind themes, you can enter the competition and you can even choose represent OSNews! Read more about the event and the cash rewards here.

Back to Beginnings for FreeBSD

"Bob Bruce, founder of Walnut Creek CDROM--the company that in 1993 first published FreeBSD--will once again be in charge of the core FreeBSD business. That's because the current owner, Wind River Systems, announced Monday that it is selling off its assets related to FreeBSD, an open-source version of Unix. Bruce has also become CEO of FreeBSD Mall, the new name of Walnut Creek CDROM and one of the FreeBSD assets that Wind River has owned." This sounds like good news for FreeBSD, especially when announced only one week before the expected FreeBSD 4.5 release.

Sun to Meet With Angered Solaris-Intel Users

"Sun dealt a double-blow to its users last week by ending the Solaris download program for Intel-based computers and saying it won't support Intel with its upcoming Solaris 9 operating system. The moves have angered some Solaris fans, who offered to start paying for the software if Sun would keep its support for Intel alive. Sun has since agreed to meet with users in the coming weeks to discuss ways that the Solaris-on-Intel program could be reinstated, said Graham Lovell, director of product marketing for Solaris. Sun has also battled with Intel over support for Solaris on Intel's 64-bit Itanium architecture. Sun started work on a version of Solaris for Itanium, but the project was later cancelled. Both companies have pointed fingers at each other for ending the work." Read the rest of the story at InfoWorld.

Lindows Pleads for Technical Dismissal

"Lindows.com, an OS software startup sued by Microsoft last month for alleged trademark infringement, is hoping to have the case thrown out of court on a technicality, its chief executive said Friday. Lindows.com, which is based in San Diego, California, has since argued that it can't be sued in a state that it has never done business in, Lindows.com Chief Executive Officer Michael Robertson said. Lindows.com filed a motion to dismiss the case on Jan. 2 in which it urged the Washington court to throw out Microsoft's case because Lindows.com is outside the Washington court's jurisdiction." Read the rest of the story at InfoWorld. In the meantime, the Lindows company gave to Microsoft the names, snail mail addresses and email addresses of the people who have registered so far to have access to the Preview version of LindowsOS, when that would be available. They were compelled to do so, the Lindows CEO said.

Palm Strongly Declines BeOS Licensing to BeUnited

There have been many BeOS items in the news lately, not all so good for the BeOS community, though. BeUnited, the organization which tried to license BeOS from Palm, has received today a final answer from Palm: "...we have made a firm decision NOT to license any part of this technology other than that which we incorporate into the Palm OS". It is already known that the new 32-bit PalmOS will feature some elements of the Be technology, but that OS is built for PDAs, not for the desktop. OSNews learnt that BeUnited will now focus into fully support the Open BeOS and maybe even the BlueOS efforts. YellowTAB, the company that is preparing a BeOS 5 updated version, has no ties to BeUnited, but it is safe to assume that Palm won't license anything additional (things like BONE or GL, let alone "BeOS 6") to them either, and we are not sure, judging from Palm's standpoint today, if they will even be allowed to distribute BeOS NG (their deal is not set in stone yet, Be stopped negotiating with YellowTAB when the time was near to sell their IP to Palm). Read More for David Nagel's (CEO of the Palm subsidiary, PalmSource, which controls Be's IP) full email reply.

Longtime (old) QNX User Stories

"Since qnxZone was launched, I have been thinking that the stories of some of the long time QNX users may be of interest to the community. As one of the longer time (older) users, I figured I would start it off. Now this story starts in 1986, but in order for it to make more sense, you have to go back to the late '70s when I was in high school. I went to high school with Dan Hildebrand, who went on to become a significant player in the QNX community. We went to school in Winnipeg, but after high school I joined the Canadian Military and took off for other parts of the country. I lost touch with Dan other than the occasional contact when I was back in Winnipeg visiting family and such. By 1986 I was stationed in Victoria, BC, going to university under a program in the military." Read the rest of the story at QNXZone.

YellowTAB to Release Updated BeOS 5 Version

A German-based organization, called YellowTAB, sent out a press release stating they will be releasing an updated version of BeOS 5 Pro, under the name "BeOS NG". The group was closely working with KochMedia (the German/UK publisher of BeOS) and Be, but when Be started talking to Palm about their take over, they stopped being so cooperative. The new BeOS version will include lots of software (software that can also be found at BeBits) and it will be based on a plain BeOS 5 Pro, plus some patches and a brand new Installer. Unfortunately, their version will not be based on BeOS 6, a version that OSNews learnt and confirmed, is extremely updated (more drivers, new Interface Kit/App_Server, double buffering etc). Frank Paul Silye, part of the YellowTab group, answers some of the questions we had regarding the product.

Concept PC Design from Intel

From ArsTechnica: "...I figured I'd show you guys what next-generation, avante garde computer design would probably look like were Jobs and Co. to be swallowed up in an earthquake or choke on their granola or something. Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes on these monstrosities: Intel's Concept PC Gallery , part of their Ease of Use Initiative. The fellow Mac user who sent me these aptly quipped, "Looks like they were designed people who were laughed straight out of Infinite Loop during their job interviews." A few of them actually look like they were designed by Georgia O'Keefe. (Ok, I'll concede that there are one or two interesting designs in there.)"

Press Responds With Mixed Reactions to Flat-Panel iMac

While most Macintosh sites have welcomed the new flat panel iMac, some Mac-only journalists, most analysts and other serious publications were not so impressed and some were actually seemed worried about Apple's future. The main theme of their reviews is that Apple this time has done more damage than good with the extreme hype they spread, that iMac is not exactly what someone would call 'revolutionary', that pricing is not acceptable for the price cautious PC users especially when there is some resession in the global economy and that the Apple market share has shrank (and continues shrinking dangerously) to 2.9% of the desktop market since last year where it had 3.3%. Read the articles at BusinessWeek, ZDNet, C|NET, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News and Business 2.0. A good part of the Mac community was shocked because of no announcements whatsoever about the PowerMac line of computers and the corporate Apple market, but hope is still strong that new, G5 computers will be announced in spring. Update: Add ArsTechnica and I,Cringely to the opinion soup critisizing the "Jobs Distortion Field".

Were These Screenshots Taken from BeOS 6?

Four screenshots that supposed to come from an unreleased internal version of BeOS have emerged on the net. The BeOS info panel in one of the screenshots says that the kernel was built on November 15th 2001, and it has the codename 5.1d0. The BeOS community is arguing that the shots are either fake or original. It is already known (through the BeOS source code leak that happened a few months ago) that Be had a version of an updated Interface Kit and App_Server that would support themes, full double buffering etc, but no more details became known, as Be's legal department took immediate action back then. Our Take: Speaking as a web designer, if these screenshots are actually fake, the artist has done a pretty good job. Update: At least the WindowBlinds skiners are working hard. Just today, one day after OSNews helped spread the news about the existance of the screenshots in question, JT Folden has created a 'BeOS 6' skin for the WindowBlinds theme engine that runs under Microsoft Windows. UPDATE 2: A former Be engineer, who wishes to remain anonymous, confirmed to OSNews that the specific screenshots are likely real. The version of BeOS shown in the pictures is the BeOS desktop-version that was in use internally at Be for development of BeIA (otherwise known as the "BeIA Development Platform").