Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2005 18:30:10 -0400 (EDT)
From:"Linux Pipeline Newsletter" <>
Subject: [LXP] Linux Pipeline - 06.14.2005 - Linux Hits The Road Linux Pipeline Newsletter | Linux Hits The Road | 06.14.2005
Linux Pipeline Newsletter
Tuesday, June 14, 2005

In This Issue:
  • Editor's Note: Linux Hits The Road
  • Top Linux News
        - Can The U.S. Patent System Reinvent Itself?
        - Nokia, Apple Developing Open-Source Cell Phone Browser
        - 'Low Rights' IE 7 Will Have To Wait For Longhorn
        - More News...
  • Editor's Picks
        - Sneak Preview: Nokia's 770 Internet Tablet
        - Feature: Firefox Users Sound Off -- Fix Those Bugs!
        - Contest #2: The Hardware Hall Of Fame
        - More Picks...
  • Voting Booth: Is Mobile Linux Dialing For Dollars?
  • Get More Out Of Linux Pipeline
  • Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

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    Editor's Note: Linux Hits The Road

    It may be coincidence, or it may be my imagination. But since the founding member of the Anyone But Microsoft Club landed on Planet Intel last week, I'm getting the distinct impression that desktop Linux -- the longest-reigning Next Big Thing in the history of the IT industry -- may have finally abdicated the throne.

    What does that mean for the people who build, sell, use, promote, or generally carry on about desktop Linux? In the long run, not much, provided they don't have their life savings sunk in a sure-fire scheme to turn upper-middle-class, college-educated North Americans into fanatical Xandros users. Now that the Best Damn Desktop OS Ever is coming soon on a top-of-the-line Intel-powered laptop that, alas, won't double as a fire hazard, these folks are a lost cause for Linux -- a desktop OS that can match OS X in every way, except for the one that separates a good desktop OS from an Insanely Great desktop OS.

    On the other hand, we have the upside: The desktop Linux market still gets a shot at the schools, the non-profits, anyone who can't or won't pay a premium for commodity hardware, the very old, the very young, the six people on the planet who refuse to use anything except GPL software . . . oh, and about two billion Chinese, Indians, Koreans, and various other residents of the continent whose name translates to "Short MSFT."

    So that stuff I said about OS X challenging desktop Linux to adapt or die? Never mind. The folks at OSDL have the right idea: They dumped their rapidly-wasting U.S. staff assets, signed up for China Airways frequent-flyer cards, and started to get comfortable with the idea of doing business with oblique, sporadically murderous authoritarian oligarchies.

    If you don't like the sound of that, get over it. They're doing the right thing, and they're doing it at the right time: The Asian IT market over the next 20 years will be worth more money than the Western IT market will be worth during is entire first century. I don't have a single coin-op research analyst of spiffy PowerPoint slide to back up that claim, but as predictions go, I don't think this one is too likely to cause anyone a fatal brain cramp.

    Linux owns this market. Linux IS this market. Call me a fool today, but don't forget to track me down in 2025 so you can apologize and buy me a beer.

    Oh, the irony. Speaking of Microsoft, Monkey Boy just couldn't help himself: He had to dig up a "research study" claiming that SuSE and Red Hat included between five and six times as many security bugs as Windows Server 2003.

    Unlike yours truly, Ballmer apparently DID have some spiffy PowerPoint slides to back up this whopper. Since we all know that PowerPoint slides instantly reduce one's audience to a pack of drooling Cocker Spaniels, it's no surprise that he was able to say something like that to a public gathering and somehow walk away unharmed.

    Repeat after me: Friends don't let friends make software decisions based on research a head-injured turnip could tear to shreds. Nor do they allow anyone, including manic Microsoft executives, to repeat this stuff without fearing at least the possibility of mob violence.

    Two more things. Alright, that's enough out of me. Before you move down the page to read something useful, here are two quick requests: First, I'm running a new poll this week, and I'd like to get a good sense of which mobile OS, if any, you expect to see with a nice, cozy chokehold on the burgeoning smartphone market five years from now. Choose carefully, and for the love of Linus, choose honestly -- this is a technology poll, not a loyalty test.

    Second, I highly recommend perusing Part Two of our month-long struggle to give you beautiful people a free iPod and more than 30 other cool prizes. We call it the Great Tech Call-'Em-Like-You-See-'Em Contest: Every week, ten Pipeline editors pontificate on which Software, Hardware, Next Big Things, and finally Help Desk Horror Stories are worthy to be named true IT Immortals (at least until we decide to delete the whole thing to do it again in a few years). Then it's your turn: Name your choice to join the editors' Hall of Fame Picks for the week, tell us why , and then sit nervously by the phone until we call to congratulate you (which we'll probably do via email anyway, so quit it).

    Give it a shot: It's free, it's easy, and it's more fun than an "E" Ticket Ride at Neverland.

    Until next time . . .

    Matthew McKenzie
    Editor, Linux Pipeline

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    Top Linux News

    Can The U.S. Patent System Reinvent Itself?
    A heavy-hitting group of political, legal, and business interests are backing the most ambitious patent reform effort in a half century. But while critics say the current system is costly and rife with abuse, a proposed reform package carries its own legal and economic risks.

    Nokia, Apple Developing Open Source Browser For Mobile Phones
    Nokia is working with Apple to develop a Web browser for advanced cellular phones, based on the same open-source core components used to build Apple's Safari desktop browser.

    'Low Rights' IE 7 Will Have To Wait For Longhorn
    The additional safety provided by a "low-rights" mode in Internet Explorer 7 won't work until it can plug into the security architecture planned for Microsoft's next major Windows release, currently scheduled to appear in late 2006.

    Apple's Move to Intel Keeps Looking Better
    A relatively easy software migration process, and the prospect of dual-booting Windows and Mac OS X, are combining to generate growing support and approval for for Apple's decision to shift its entire personal computer line onto Intel processors..

    Firefox Closes In On 'Mainstream' Market Status
    A growing number of analysts say Firefox is making its move into the U.S. consumer technology mainstream, approaching 10 percent of the browser market -- most of it at the expense of Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

    Apple Issues Fresh Batch Of OS X Security Patches
    An OS X security update, including 11 separate patches, covers problems ranging from buffer overflows to unauthorized wireless Bluetooth access to denial-of-service vulnerabilities.

    San Francisco Tops Free Wi-Fi City Survey
    A survey finds that San Francisco is the best place to geek out gratis, hosting more than twice as many free hotspots as the second-place city, Chicago.

    Firefox Paradox: Is Slowing Growth Proof Of Success?
    Firefox continues to gain users in Europe, just as it does in the U.S, but in both cases the rate of increase appears to be slowing. Is it a sign the browser's fat times are past, or proof that it has already built a world-class user base?

    Report Finds Linux Growth Slowing In Corporate Market
    A recent corporate IT survey finds that Linux adoption may be "hitting a wall," citing a slight drop in the number of firms using Linux during the past nine months -- although the survey also shows Linux adoption grew during the past year.

    Business Intelligence Goes Open Source With Birt
    It's now easier for Java developers to build reporting and analysis capabilities into enterprise applications, thanks to the what-can't-it-do wonder that is the Eclipse developer workbench.

    Editor's Picks

    Sneak Preview: Nokia's 770 Internet Tablet
    Nokia breaks new ground with this intriguing twist on the PDA. But while this Linux-powered Internet device turns out to be usable and well-designed, it also suffers from significant, often frustrating performance issues.

    Feature: Firefox Users Sound Off -- Fix Those Bugs!
    There's one way to make great software better: Find and fix the bugs. We asked people to share what bugs them about Firefox, along with some ways to address the problems. Here's what you had to say.

    Contest #2: The Hardware Hall Of Fame
    As promised, it's your second of four chances to win an iPod or 36 other prizes in the Great Tech Call-'Em-Like-You-See-'Em Contest. Tell us what you think is the most important new piece of hardware produced during the past decade, and you're in the hunt!

    Firefox Fixes: Curing The Crash
    Firefox has crashed, and now it won't relaunch. What to do? Here's a simple, highly effective solution that doesn't involve throwing anything out of a window or getting your chain saw out of storage.

    Linux Tips: Our Favorite Sysadmin Mistakes
    All Linux sysadmins get things wrong sometimes. But if you avoid these common sysadmin mistakes, at least your screw-ups will show some originality.

    Firefox Fixes: Locating Erring Extensions
    Sometimes, a Firefox problem is in an extension that isn't behaving itself. Here's how to find out which one wont' play nicely with the others, and how to get rid of it.

    Voting Booth: Is Mobile Linux Dialing For Dollars?

    Cast Your Vote Now!
    This week's poll looks ahead to the rapidly growing -- and extremely important -- smartphone market. With PalmOS trying to navigate a major transition to Linux, Microsoft pouring resources into Windows Mobile, and Symbian intent on holding its substantial market share, this is a market in turmoil, but eventually a dominant OS is bound to emerge. Or is it?

    Time's up, get into that voting booth and do your duty.

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