FOSDEM, the Free and Open Source Software Developers' Meeting is coming soon, and in preparation, the organizers have published interviews with some of the participants: David Faure for KDE and Michael Meeks for GNOME.
David Adams Archive
When it comes time for you to buy toys for all the good little boys and girls on your shopping list, don't forget OSNews' price comparison engine. It will help you find the best price on electronics and computer stuff, even factoring in shipping charges. There's even a new feature that allows you to search for mail-in rebate information. If you've never used the price comparison engine before, give it a try, and let us know what you think.
A survey recently released by IDC finds that large networks of Windows servers are cheaper to run and maintain than Linux servers, even taking into account the higher software licensing costs for Windows. The catch? That survey was commissioned by Microsoft. A Reuters article about the study covers mostly how this study indicates a shift in Microsoft's marketing strategy toward Linux -- moving away from criticizing open source toward focusing on Windows' benefits.
A ZDNet article details the upcoming arguments in the antitrust suit brought by Sun Microsystems against Microsoft over Microsoft's treatment of the Java platform. Sun claims that Microsoft has distributed a crippled and incompatible version of Java in its (monopoly) operating system, which serves to undermine the Java platform. The article covers mostly background and history. It's pretty clear what Sun's case is, but less obvious how Microsoft will choose to defend itself.
A Yahoo Mac Central article notes that, due to the new Apple OS' support for familiar tools and services, IT managers that formerly turned up their noses at the Macs in their organizations are now embracing them. This is particularly true in organizations with a lot of Unix workstations, of course, though the efforts that Apple has made to integrate the Unix tools that make interoperability with Windows easier have benefitted OS X in Windows-heavy offices too.
CNN is running a review of the latest Solaris Release, calling it "stylishly cryptic" -- as fitting a description of the leading commercial UNIX OS as I've ever heard. Oh, wait a second . . . Steven Soderbergh? Oops, never mind.
The Economist is running a cover article on the next great battle of the computing age, and one that may be even more far-reaching than the PC war: the truly personal computer, the so-called smart phone.
ZDNet is reporting on a recent Butler Group report that estimates that by 2009 Linux will have greater market share than proprietary OSes from Sun, HP, and IBM.
A company called Stratus Technologies, that makes expensive, multiply redundant server hardware, guarantees that its high end four processor machine running Windows 2000 Advanced Server (cost: $150,000) will not have a hardware or OS-related failure or they will pay you $100,000. Stratus works on the device drivers to further ensure that they will not bring the OS down. See a Stratus Press Release for more information.
Samsung has licensed Symbian OS for a new line of PDA-enabled mobile phones. Now all five of the major mobile phone manufacturers have licensed the OS, though only Nokia has released a major handset running Symbian. Samsung will release a phone that uses Nokia's Series 60 user interface. Some handset manufacturers have licensed more than one OS. Samsung has licensed OSes from all three major makers: Symbian, Palm, and Microsoft. A ZDNet article and and PC World article have more. Update: A PC World article reports that the first Microsoft powered smart phone has been launched by European carrier Orange SA. AT&T will be the first US-based company offering a Microsoft-powered phone, in mid 2003.
A ZDNet article discusses Microsoft's upcoming version 11 of Office, that will use XML to make Office files more interoperable with "Web Services." Analysts quoted in the article note that this is a risky strategy for Microsoft since it will chip away at the file format stranglehold that Microsoft has had for many years. The more open and interoperable Microsoft makes Office, they say, the more likely that alternatives to Office will be able to co-exist, or even replace it in the corporate sphere.
The information that I could find on the web about Sprint’s new '3G' high-speed data service was a little short on solid information, so I spoke with Kevin Packingham, Senior Manager of Business Marketing for SprintPCS’ new Vision service. I sought him out because Ubiquitous, affordable high speed wireless data services are something of a holy grail for tech-savvy road warriors like myself, so I received each morsel of information about Sprint’s new service with great interest. Mr. Packingham spoke over the phone and he clarified many of the questions that I had about the new service.
Hewlett Packard has begun to sell Intel Itanium 2-based workstations running Red Hat Linux Advanced Workstation. Advanced Workstation is the desktop companion to Red Hat's Enterprise-oriented Advanced Server. HP also sells versions of these workstations running HP-UX, and will probably sell Windows versions eventually, following a future OS release my Microsoft. This is yet more evidence that Red Hat sees some opportunity for Linux on the corporate desktop, at least in the engineering workstation area, where high-priced Unix workstations have traditionally ruled but have been pushed out by NT/2000-on-Intel in recent years. Read more about it at Silicon.com.
Lindows and Earthlink have entered into a partnership wherein Earthlink dial-up services will be pre-configured on Lindows systems, much the way that dialup access is available with a few clicks on Windows and Mac computers. More at internetnews.com.
An eWeek article notes that Apple Computer is reorganizing the OS 9 engineering effort, presumably re-assigning engineers to work on OSX-related projects. Also, a former head of OS Engineering at Apple will be moving to Apple's Powerschool division.
A builder.com article discusses the increasing use of Java as a tool for developing embedded systems. Primarily because of the portability benefits that java brings, it has become a very popular option in the past year or so. The article covers the upsides and downsides of Java in embedded systems.
The OSNews team needs to rid itself of a snazzy Sony Superslim Vaio Z505HS. It's happily running Red Hat Linux 7.2, and to sell it on eBay would mean going to the trouble of installing Windows on it again. (perhaps only to have someone buy it and want to install Linux). Instead, we've decided to see if any OSNews reader wants it. Best offer over $700 gets it. Read more for specs.
The court decided yesterday, at a trial where an internet cafe's owner was charged of letting his customers play Counter Strike, that the law that prohibited playing games is unconstitutional. This paves the way for the law to be struck down. There's some additional information at ZDNet UK.
Today is a solemn day of introspection and rememberance here in the United States, and we here at OSNews would like to send our condolances to those who lost loved ones in the attacks on the Pentagon and Twin Towers. Though most of the people of the world did not experience the attacks first hand, there are very few people in the world who were not affected by them in some way. I know it's a bit off-topic, but I'd like to open up a discussion thread today for people to air their feelings about the events of a year ago, and where they think things stand today. And if you read on, I'll get things started by talking a bit about what happened to me on that day and since.
Microsoft has posted a position available for an engineer who will be responsible for researching modification chips that can be used to circumvent security on the Xbox, according to a ZDNet article. It looks like Microsoft is interested in heading off the efforts of the Xbox Linux Project. Currently, it is possible to install Linux on an Xbox and use it like a PC, but you must install a mod chip to circumvent the Xbox's "feature" that prevents an outside OS from booting from a CD.