David Adams Archive

A $100,000 Bet on Windows

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.

The State of the “Smart Phone” OS Market

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.

Microsoft to Open Up Office File Formats?

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.

Sprint PCS’ Vision 3G Phone Service: A Closer Look

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.

HP, Intel, and Red Hat Launch “Advanced Workstation”

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.

Who Wants a Linux Laptop?

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.

Greek Anti-Game Law Declared Unconstitutional

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.

Remembering a Year Ago Today

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.

Help Wanted: Hacker with Mod Chip Experience

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.

Apple’s Chief in the Risky Land of the Handhelds

A thought-provoking New York Times article examines the evidence that Apple may secretly be working on a PDA/Phone device. It cites some cryptic statements by Steve Jobs about how PDAs are going to be replaced by phones, and some not-so-cryptic ones about the sorry state of the handheld offerings today. The article's main evidence, though, is the interesting proliferation of features in Max OS X.2 that have more immediately applicable benefit in a handheld, like handwriting recognition and the "internet distilled" functionality of Sherlock (also seen in the shareware app Watson). Apple already has a license to use the iPod software in a second device.

Follow-up on Removed Microsoft Web Fonts

Mark Hachman at Extreme Tech saw our report on Microsoft removing the commonly-used free web fonts from its download site and called Microsoft for comment. Microsoft denies that the move was aimed at any particular Free Software users, despite the fact that it happened on Linux World's opening day. They claim that the free fonts were being "abused." Poor, poor fonts. They just couldn't protect themselves. See more at Extreme Tech

FBI in Panic Over Warchalking

The media's ability to turn a cute idea into a raging hype feedback loop has crossed with the post Sept 11th paranoia factor yet again as an FBI field office in Pittsburgh warns businesses of the pernicious new pastime of "Warchalking." See this Computerworld story. Warchalking is the latest non-trend to sweep the internet, and it involves scrawling information about close-by wireless networks on the streets in chalk. Despite the fact that nobody is actually doing it, just about every media outlet in the world has reported on it.

Microsoft Pulls Free Web Fonts

In a move that could have repurcussions in the alternative OS world, Microsoft has pulled the free web fonts (Verdana, Courier New, Tahoma, Trebuchet MS etc.) that were downloadable from its site for some time. This is significant since several Linux distributions provide automatic installers for these fonts to improve the default fonts. Also, these fonts are essential for a bettet web browsing. Hopefully, distributors will now spend some money to design a good standard set of free fonts of their own.

UnitedLinux Beta Forthcoming

Plenty of Linux news today due to LinuxWorld Expo being in full swing today. According to a ZDNet News article, UnitedLinux, the project uniting the Linux distributions from Caldera, Conectiva, SuSE Linux and Turbolinux, will be rolling out a two-stage beta program, first a private beta for partners, and then an open beta for the Linux-using public. These releases are scheduled for late August and September, respectively.