An article in Baseline covers the increasing reliance that everyday appliances have on complex software, and the potentially disastrous results when that software fails. One prominent example of this is the BMW 745i, which has a sort of uber-control joystick that controls a WindowsCE-based system. This system was so buggy that BMW has done two recalls. The software was too ambitious and too poorly tested, so things like the brake lights not working and the units suddenly changing to metric are the result.
David Adams Archive
A ZDNet article covering the opening of the Linux World trade show also has a thorough "state of Linux business" overview. Some highlights: Big firms like HP, IBM, and Microsoft(!) will have a big presence; it seems like Linux willl continue its rapid rise in adoption, though it will still be difficult for firms to make the huge profits that companies like Microsoft have made because Linux resists lock-in; enterprise software vendors like BEA will continue to support Linux; and hardware vendors are embracing it more.
Infoworld is reporting that Handspring, who has been an exclusive Palm OS licensee, is interested in the RIM email software. The RIM Blackberry devices have proven very popular among business users, but the Blackberry units have limited PDA capabilities. Palm-based wireless messaging devices have been less popular. Presumably, Handspring is interested in producing a "best of both worlds" solution.
The folks at Linux Journal used a time machine to post an article from the future about Intel's compiler for Linux, and specifically about the optimizations they used to beat gcc on benchmarks. The increasing acceptance of Linux among developers and researchers has yet to be matched by a similar increase in the number of available development tools. The recently released Intel C++ and Fortran compilers for Linux aim to bridge this gap by providing application developers with highly optimizable compilers for the Intel IA-32 and Itanium processor families.
In more Linux consumer electronics news, Computerworld has a short article outlining the latest inroads that the open source OS is making in the already crowded phone-OS space. NEC Corp. said today that it's working on the development of Linux-based cell phones with MontaVista Software Inc., and an executive of the Sunnyvale, Calif., software company said it's in talks with other major cellular handset makers on similar projects.
Apple is starting to promote its public beta of X11 for OS X: "X11 for Mac OS X offers a complete X Window System implementation for running X11-based applications on Mac OS X. Based on the de facto-standard for X11, the open source XFree86 project, X11 for Mac OS X is compatible, fast and fully integrated with Mac OS X . . . Native Aqua and X11 applications run side by side on the Mac OS X desktop. You can cut and paste between X11 and Aqua windows."
ZDNet is running an article that coincides with the big consumer electonics show in Las Vegas that highlights the use of Linux in electronic (non-computer) devices. Monta Vista is the vendor that has been most successful in selling its version of "embedded" Linux into devices, and they're set to release a new version especially for consumer electronics. The article gives a good background on Linux' adoption in the consumer space, in places where people don't know, and don't care, what OS their gadget is running.
Steve Jobs just announced in his Macworld Keynote that Apple is releasing its own browser, called Safari. Its claim to fame is extremely fast performance on the Mac. The Mac platform has struggled from sluggish browser performance with IE (the old default browser). Update: According to Jobs, Safari is open source and based on khtml. It only runs on Mac OS X and will be available for download today.
SGI has a new refrigerator-sized Linux server that uses up to 64 Itanium processors. Called the Altix 3000, it's a Linux adaptation of the Origin 3000. Its most interesting capability is the ability to cluster several Altix 3000s together, with the architecture supporting up to 2,048 processors. Read more about it at ZDNet.
I ran across an "unofficial" list of proposed fixes for Windows XP SP2, so if there's a bug or hole that's been bothering you, see if it's on the list. Ethan, who is apparently maintaining the list, says that he's going to keep it up to date as SP2 comes closer to beta.
Personal Computer World is reporting that the Indian government is making efforts to allow and even encourage the use of Linux in govenrment projects.
As others looked into the past, ExtremeTech is looking forward to 2003, asking: What's in store for desktop operating systems? Will Linux and Mac OS X go the way of OS/2, or is Windows doomed?
TechTV published a look at security issues in the past year, and they found that worms, viruses, spam, and other security scourges are on the rise, and are affecting common computer users as well as big data centers: If 2001 was the year of corporate headaches, 2002 saw average PC users under attack.
I just love year-end recaps, so here's another one, from Open for Business, with an analysis of Linux in 2002: This year has proven most interesting for GNU/Linux. While there were not any amazing surprises, there were numerous events that are noteworthy for review. The upshot to all of this is that most of what happened was good overall for the Free Software community.
From all of us at OSNews, we wish our readers a happy and prosperous 2003. 2002 was a great year for OSNews. We saw steady growth in readership, a huge effort by Eugenia to make the site better, and constant support and submissions by OSNews readers that kept the wheels turning. The bad economy didn't seem to dampen the action in the OS Arena, and may have even given Linux a boost as people look for more economical solutions. We hope that the world's economy improves, that the technophiles who read OSNews have and keep good jobs, and that ad rates go up. 2003 will probably see the launch of a sister site to OSNews. Please post with any ideas you have on a tech-oriented topic that's under-covered, and we may launch a site to cover it!
Network Computing Asia published a recap of open source software's progress in 2002, and includes discussion of Linux, Apache, OpenOffice, UnitedLinux, Ogg Vorbis, Lindows.com, Sun, advances in storage options for Linux, and Linux on the desktop.
A Newsforge article posits that a lot of the action in Linux development in the near future will be in Asia. Much of this is because in many parts of Asia, the Middle East, and Africa there is not as much entrenched IT infrastructure as in Europe and North America, so consumers will chose the most apt and economical solution available, without the burden of backward compatibility or prejudice. Also, with the concentration of electronics manufacture in places like Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and China, Linux is increasingly the OS of choice for devices.
News.com has published a 2002 in Review piece on the open source segment of the technology industry. Open source had a very good year in 2002, even as (or perhaps because) the rest of the industry suffered financially. Linux made strides in adoption at large companies and saw some major improvements in power and usability, Open Office became usable, Microsoft started to get scared, and Sun finally succumbed to "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Most of all, even though scores of small companies went out of business as venture funding from the last millennium finally ran out, Open Source software is still around, and flourishing.
Nowadays, all you hear about is Windows, MacOS X, or GNU/Linux. However, what ever happened to the good old BeOS?
Japanese consumer electronics giants Sony and Panasonic announced that they will be co-developing a Linux distribution for "digital home electronic devices." As consumer electronics devices increasingly take on the capabilities of computers, makers need a sophisticated operating system to run them, and many have already turned to Linux. (like Tivo). See the Press Release.