Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2005 20:38:51 -0500 (EST)
From:"Linux Pipeline Newsletter" <>
Subject: [LXP] Linux Pipeline - 03-15-2005 - Laptop Linux Redux Linux Pipeline Newsletter | Laptop Linux Redux | 03.15.2005
Linux Pipeline Newsletter
Tuesday, March 15, 2005

In This Issue:
  • Editor's Note: Laptop Linux Redux
  • Top Linux News
        - Mozilla To End Work On Browser Suite
        - Astaro Upgrades Linux Security Products
        - CA Bug Exploits Surface: Even Ex-Users At Risk
        - More News...
  • Editor's Picks
        - Researchers Find Windows More Secure Than Linux
        - Linux Clues: Living The Vi Life
        - Novell's Linux Shift Hits Its Stride
        - More Picks...
  • Voting Booth: Is Laptop Linux Ready For Prime Time?
  • Get More Out Of Linux Pipeline
  • Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

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    Editor's Note: Laptop Linux Redux

    Over the past few weeks, I've been following the current Linux Pipeline poll asking what you think about Linux laptop systems. It's a topic I revisit occasionally, and judging from the email I get, it's one many of you find equally interesting.

    Last week, as promised, Linux Certified sent me one of their current Linux laptop systems. The company is one of several that sell new laptops featuring the latest hardware--in this case, a 2GHz Intel Pentium M (Centrino/Dothan) CPU and mainboard chipset, along with all of the usual features you'll find on a current, top-of-the-line machine. The configuration I received is a Fedora Core 3 and Windows XP Professional dual-boot, giving me an easy way to compare the two OSes on identical hardware.

    If you know much about Fedora, you know that the Core 3 release still qualifies as bleeding-edge, especially on a Dothan chipset. That's where Linux Certified earns its keep: They ensure the device drivers all work, including the wireless driver. They also deal with other typical Linux laptop trouble spots: software suspend, power management, dedicated hotkeys, and the touchpad, along with providing extra Linux-specific documentation.

    I don't want to give away too much here; instead, I'll save it for the review I'm writing. I will say that Linux has been just as reliable and easy to use on this laptop as Windows XP, and in some notable ways it's better than Windows. That's more than I expected, and judging from the poll results, it's more than most of you would have expected, either.

    More on this--a lot more--to come.

    My favorite story on Linux Pipeline this week probably isn't a surprise: There's yet another high-profile research study claiming that Windows Server 2003 holds a better security record than Linux. There's one key question, as usual: Will the researchers' methodology hold up under the kind of critical heat that has wilted a long line of similar studies over the past few years?

    Some of these analytical train wrecks proved that sock puppets can walk, talk, and earn a good living as technology analysts. Most of the failures, however, simply couldn't account for the differences between the two platforms and the different ways they define, manage, and resolve security issues.

    In fact, these types of studies always attempt to make grand generalizations--and they fail on an equally grand scale. No matter what kinds of conclusions these types of studies reach, they're useless as practical tools for making business decisions. The companies funding these studies and the people who take them too seriously both have one thing in common: They're wasting their money.

    Have a good week.

    Matthew McKenzie
    Editor, Linux Pipeline

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    Top Linux News

    Mozilla To End Work On Browser Suite
    The Mozilla Foundation says it will halt development on its namesake open-source browser suite, allowing the group to focus its development resources on the stand-alone Firefox browser and Thunderbird email client.

    Astaro Upgrades Linux Security Products
    Astaro Corp. on Tuesday announced a new version of its Linux security suite, which is the first product of its type to include gateway-based spyware protection.

    CA Bug Exploits Surface: Even Ex-Users At Risk
    Code surfaces on the Internet that exploits a bug found in all Computer Associates products, including all Linux versions. Experts warn that even computers that uninstalled CA software are still at risk and require patches.

    Novell Ships Netware-Linux Combo Server Software
    Novell on Wednesday shipped its Open Enterprise Server: software providing file, print, directory, management, collaboration, and application services, combining the company's long-running NetWare operating system and its recently released SuSE Linux Enterprise Server.

    Mozilla Delivers Thunderbird 1.0.1 Release Candidate
    The Mozilla Foundation rolls out a release candidate for Thunderbird 1.0.1, signaling an imminent release for the group's first official update to its open-source email client.

    Weekend Hack Infects Hosting Servers
    The Internet Storm Center says attackers launched a large-scale hack of Web hosting servers over the weekend, transforming an unknown number of hosted sites into distribution points for malicious code.

    Microsoft Execs Urge U.S. Patent Reform
    Company executives release a list of suggested changes to U.S. intellectual property approval practices, including improving cooperation with other nations' patent offices and allowing interested parties to challenge patent applications during the approval review process.

    Novell's Open Enterprise Server Gets Warm Welcome
    Novell partners applaud Novell's production-ready OES release: the company's first step towards creating a converged version of its Linux and NetWare platforms for enterprise customers.

    Editor's Picks

    Researchers Find Windows More Secure Than Linux
    A new security study gives Microsoft fresh ammunition in its war of words against Linux, but critics say it's already clear that the study's authors aren't shooting straight.

    Linux Clues: Living The Vi Life
    Vi doesn't have to be a four-letter word: Learn how to keep your command-line cool with this important but sometimes confusing Linux text-mode editor.

    Novell's Linux Shift Hits Its Stride
    With its new systems management and virtual server tools, Novell continues to execute an ambitious Linux strategy that extends from data centers to everyday desktop systems.

    The Tech That Makes Google Tick
    A Google engineering executive explains some of the technology innovations that turn thousands of ordinary Linux servers into one extraordinary search engine.

    Mac Mini Walks Tall
    A Windows expert goes back to the Mac--and he finds a lot to like about Apple's new Mini desktop.

    TechWeb Spotlight: FUDBuster: Microsoft Forces Messenger Upgrade--Six Months Later
    Analysts compliment Microsoft for taking swift and decisive action in heading off a potentially harmful attack vector. Network Computing's Brad Shimmin has one question: Since when was a six-month delay considered "swift?"

    Penguin Power Struts Its Stuff
    A Google executive's recent discussion of the company's technology infrastructure gives Linux a big boost as a solid platform for enterprise utility computing projects. The revelations also added to a flurry of news about the role penguin power plays in the world of on-demand computing.

    Voting Booth: Is Laptop Linux Ready For Prime Time?

    Cast Your Vote Now!
    A few months ago, I asked Linux Pipeline readers to share their experiences with Linux-based laptop computers. The verdict was mixed: Many of you had great things to say about your Linux laptops, but some of you were far from happy.

    This time, we'd like to hear from anyone with an opinion, whether you're a laptop Linux user, know someone who is, or simply stay current on the latest Linux hardware trends: Is Linux on the laptop ready for mainstream, everyday business use? Let us know, cast your vote!

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