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News Bytes
By Michael Conry

News Bytes


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. Submit items to gazette@linuxgazette.net

 October 2002 Linux Journal

[issue 102 cover image] The October 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 older than three months are available for public reading at http://www.linuxjournal.com/magazine.php. Recent articles are available on-line for subscribers only at http://interactive.linuxjournal.com/.

Legislation and More Legislation

 Venezuela and Other Government News

The Register reported that Venezuela has adopted a pro-GPL policy for government software. All software developed for the government must be GPL, and GPL is preferred for off-the-shelf software. As described in LinuxToday's coverage, it would appear that Dr. Felipe Pérez-Martí, Venezuelan Planning and Development Minister is well acquainted with open-source, free software and the ideas behind these buzz words.

Use of Open Source has also been recommended by a South African Government Advisory body. The Ukrainian government is also considering expressing legal preferences for open source solutions.

On a third front, the UK Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, has concluded that open source and avoidance of restrictive licensing conditions is essential to developing countries future progress. This report was also covered by Linux Weekly News and by the Economist.

 FSF changes focus

NewsForge has reported that The Free Software Foundation is changing its priorities to focus less on development, and to concentrate more on fighting digital rights management and enforcing the GPL. At the same time, Richard Stallman is planning to take a lower profile role in the organization.

Richard Stallman has recently written on the issues of open-source, free software, and security. The article takes the form of an open letter responding to an earlier contribution by SecurityFocus' Jon Lasser. He asserts the importance of being mindful of the very political underpinnings of free software, and the differences between what is meant by the terms free software and open source software. Now, if only we could all remember to say GNU/Linux!


Two documents worth reading regarding Microsoft's Palladium project, and potential future ramifications are the guides written by Ross Anderson and by Seth Schoen.

 Adobe Bitten by DMCA

Linux Weekly News have a commentary on an ironic development whereby Adobe is being attacked using the DMCA for a feature included in Acrobat which could be construed. Meanwhile, Wired report that Elcomsoft have not allowed their DMCA difficulties to cramp their style and are continuing to sail perilously close to the wind in their software development.

While on the topic of the DMCA, Robert Cringely has published an interview with Mark Ishikawa, a prominent enforcer of the DMCA. Also of interest is LawMeme's dissection of Cornell's DMCA Policy (courtesy NewsForge).

Linux Links

Some links of particular interest from the O'Reilly stable of websites:

Some links from Linux Weekly News:

Some links from Slashdot which might be of interest:

RPM PBone is a searchable index of RPMs, and an alternative to Rpmfind.

Salon report on how recycled PC's can be a tool of anti-globalization and empowerment.

Moblix.org have released a Linux Infrared-HOWTO, providing an introduction to Linux and infrared devices and to the software from the Linux/IrDA project.

OSNews article on Gentoo Linux.

Some links from Linux Journal

Some links from The Register:

Upcoming conferences and events

Listings courtesy Linux Journal. See LJ's Events page for the latest goings-on.
O'Reilly Mac OS X Conference
September 30 - October 3, 2002
Santa Clara, CA

IBM eServer pSeries (RS/6000) and Linux Technical University
October 14-18, 2002
Dallas, TX

SANS Network Security
October 18-25, 2002
Washington, DC

Strictly Business Solutions Expo
October 23-24, 2002
Houston, TX

Third LCI International Conference on Linux Clusters: The Linux HPC Revolution
October 23-25, 2002
St. Petersburg, FL

USENIX 16th Systems Administration Conference (LISA)
November 3-8, 2002
Philadelphia, PA

SuperComputing 2002
November 16-22, 2002
Baltimore, MD

November 18-22, 2002
Las Vegas, NV

SD East
November 18-22, 2002
Boston, MA

USENIX 5th Symposium on Operating Systems Design and Implementation (OSDI)
December 9-11, 2002
Boston, MA

Consumer Electronics Show
January 9-12, 2003
Las Vegas, NV

LinuxWorld Conference & Expo
January 21-24, 2003
New York, NY

O'Reilly Bioinformatics Technology Conference
February 3-6, 2003
San Diego, CA

Game Developers Conferenc
March 4-8, 2003
San Jose, CA

March 7-11, 2003
Austin, TX

March 11-13, 2003
Vancouver, BC

March 12-19, 2003

4th USENIX Symposium on Internet Technologies and Systems
March 26-28, 2003
Seattle, WA

April 7-9, 2003
New York, NY

SD West
April 8-10, 2003
Santa Clara, CA

COMDEX Chicago
April 15-17, 2003
Chicago, IL

USENIX First International Conference on Mobile Systems, Applications, and Services (MobiSys)
May 5-8, 2003
San Francisco, CA

USENIX Annual Technical Conference
June 9-14, 2003
San Antonio, TX

CeBIT America
June 18-20, 2003
New York, NY

O'Reilly Open Source Convention
July 7-11, 2003
Location: TBD

12th USENIX Security Symposium
August 4-8, 2003
Washington, DC

LinuxWorld Conference & Expo
August 5-7, 2003
San Francisco, CA

News in General


The XVID project scored a GPL win by persuading Sigma Designs to cease infringing on GPL'ed code developed by the group. 24 hours after the XVID team announced they would cease all future development of the project, Sigma Designs relented and made their sources available.


Slashdot noted the emergence of two new Linux worms, Slapper.B and Slapper.C, which exploit a buffer overrun in OpenSSL. If you haven't upgraded to OpenSSL 0.9.6g (or at least e), now is a good time. A guy suspected of being the original Slapper author has been arrested.

Noel Davis at O'Reilly has recently looked at the Linux Slapper worm and other vulnerabilities.

 Bruce Perens

As mentioned last month, Bruce Perens has left HP. As reported by The Register this split was quite amicable, but it stemmed from Bruce's policy of openly confronting and "baiting" Microsoft. Taking advantage of his new freedom, Perens has launched the Sincere Choice initiative, a reaction to Microsoft's Software Choice, which he earlier denounced as a sham. Newsforge have an interview with Perens where he expands on the ideas behind his new project.

Distro News


Debian Weekly News reported on a Security Notification Script announced by Rob Bradford. The script compares locally installed packages with those on security.debian.org, and provides a description of the problem and the name of the Debian advisory if the package is mentioned in the DSA RDF file.

Those who own an X-Box, may want to try running Debian on it.

 Linux From Scratch

The first test release of the upcoming LFS-4.0 book is uploaded and available for download now. Head over to http://www.linuxfromscratch.org to view and/or download it.


the latest SuSE Linux version, SuSE Linux 8.1, will be available by the beginning of October.


UnitedLinux, founded by Linux industry leaders Conectiva S.A., The SCO Group, SuSE Linux AG, and Turbolinux, Inc., have announced the appointment of Paula Hunter, an experienced technology executive and consortium leader, as its worldwide general manager. Hunter's appointment is effective immediately. The group also announced the open availability of the beta version of its UnitedLinux product on Sept. 23. The open beta source code is available for download at no charge from download.unitedlinux.com.

Unfortunately, UnitedLinux has lost some goodwill among the open-source development community, and in particular the Free Software Foundation which published an open letter expressing concerns about UnitedLinux's closed beta and the manner in which it was distributed. UnitedLinux member Connective has responded to these concerns.


WinLinux 2003 is a major upgrade of the WinLinux system. WinLinux is claimed to be fully compatible with Windows 95/98/Millennium. WinLinux is also compatible with Red Hat Linux on the Linux side offering the benefits of both systems. WinLinux 2003 full version on CD with online support can be ordered from the website.


Slashdot linked to the story on OSNews previewing beta 3b of Xandros Desktop. Xandros is the current custodian of what once was Corel Linux.

Software and Product News

 Linux Game Publishing News Mailing List

Linux Game Publishing has announced a partnership with Pyrogon Inc. to bring their latest games to the Linux market. This process will begin with Candy Cruncher, a fast paced puzzle game. Please see the press release for details.

 TinyTERM 4.3

Century Software has announced the release of TinyTERM Version 4.3. TinyTERM lets you use your Windows PC to easily and accurately access character based data and applications hosted on UNIX, Linux and IBM servers. It includes 20 emulations, network utilities, secure file transfer and free technical support. TinyTERM is available for download

 Kerio MailServer with integrated McAfee anti-virus program

Kerio Technologies are offering a Linux based mail server product, the Kerio MailServer 5.1.6. It has an integrated McAfee anti-virus program, and runs on Linux RedHat. KMS offers a broad range of features and a user-friendly interface in one package. Kerio claim that no other comparable solution has the McAfee Anti-Virus program integrated.

 IBM alphaWorks posts porting manager

AlphaWorks has posted a free "porting manager" that enables the porting of C and C++ applications from Solaris to zSeries Linux, ensuring fast deployment of applications to the Linux platform.

 Ximian Offers Customized Opera for Linux with Red Carpet

Opera has announced that its sales referral partner Ximian will include a customized version of the Opera Web browser as a download option in its Red Carpet software management program for Linux users. Red Carpet is a software management solution used by many Ximian Desktop users, which keeps Linux systems up to date efficiently and securely. The program allows users to install, update and maintain software over the Internet from Ximian, leading Linux distribution providers, and other independent software vendors.

 ActiveState Unveils Komodo 2.0

ActiveState Corp., has announced a new IDE that provides a powerful workspace for cross-platform, open source language programming. Komodo 2.0 affords greater power, flexibility and automation, including the ActiveState GUI Builder, Visual Package Manager, Source Code Control, Project Manager, Macros, Web services generation, and more. The only unified open source programming language IDE, Komodo enables editing, debugging, and testing in a single workspace.

Komodo is optimized for Perl, Python, PHP, Tcl, XML, XSLT, and supports numerous other languages, including Ruby and JavaScript.

Copyright © 2002, Michael Conry. Copying license http://www.linuxgazette.net/copying.html
Published in Issue 83 of Linux Gazette, October 2002

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