Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 16:30:53 -0400 (EDT)
From:"Linux Pipeline Newsletter" <>
Subject: [LXP] Linux Pipeline - 04.19.2006 - Larry Looms Large Linux Pipeline Newsletter | Larry Looms Large | 04.19.2006
Linux Pipeline Newsletter

In This Issue:
  • Editor's Note: Larry Looms Large
  • Top Linux News
        - Ellison: Oracle Wants Its Own Linux Distro
        - Mozilla Support Policy Spells End For Firefox 1.0.x
        - Wikipedia Founder Calls Protest Site Wikitruth 'A Hoax'
        - More News...
  • Editor's Picks
        - Podcasting In Four Easy Steps
        - Partners Give Red Hat-JBoss Union Mixed Reviews
        - Chinese Piracy Law Forbids 'Naked' PCs
        - More Picks...
  • Voting Booth: The Future Of Firefox?
  • Get More Out Of Linux Pipeline
  • Manage Your Newsletter Subscription

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    Editor's Note: Larry Looms Large

    Larry Ellison looms large in Linuxland this week. And if the reasons for his presence haven't yet given you a serious case of the creeps, it's likely that you simply aren't paying close enough attention.

    Ellison certainly turned a few heads this week, when he used an interview with a Financial Times reporter to speculate that a top-tier enterprise Linux distro just might make a suitable hood ornament for Oracle's hot-rod software stack.

    In our own coverage of Ellison's musings, Microsoft figures as the fall guy in Oracle's latest rule-the-world scheme. If Redmond can rake in the megabucks with its roach-motel OS and sad-sack software stack (Larry Ellison's opinion, not my own), then certainly Oracle can seize the advantage by integrating its application stack with a solid, top-tier Linux distro.

    Yet as the Financial Times notes, there's another, more tempting short-term target lined up in Ellison's crosshairs: the insolent peasants at Red Hat who insist upon waving their sharpened pitchforks in his general direction.

    When Red Hat bought JBoss last week, there was plenty of talk about the crazy nature of "coopetition" in the Open Source world: The lines between friend and foe have never looked so blurred, or so the story goes. Obviously, none of those stories (including my take on the subject, in last week's Editor's Note) are relevant to Ellsion and Oracle; when Red Hat bought JBoss, the company may not have realized that it would get a nemesis thrown into the deal at no extra charge.

    JBoss, for its part, had wisely run screaming from Oracle's previous advances. The JBoss management knew that an Oracle "acquisition" would likely end with the company's code residing in a shallow, unmarked grave somewhere between Barstow and the Nevada state line -- and Ellison swearing he had never heard of a company by that name. Red Hat offered a very attractive cash package, of course, but it also offered JBoss the opportunity to see its technology survive, prosper, and make a real difference.

    Oracle, of course, has a less cheerful endgame in mind for the happy couple. Ellison thinks Red Hat's market cap is nothing short of ridiculous -- and he's more than willing to "fix" the problem.

    At first, Ellison and Oracle seriously considered buying the Number Two enterprise Linux vendor, Novell, and using its SuSE product line to grind Red Hat into a rounding error on someone else's balance sheet. Yet at a market cap hovering around $3 billion, Novell, too, apparently looks to Ellison like just another hunk of Open Source fool's gold. Oracle could also, of course, build its own enterprise Linux contender from scratch, for a paltry few hundred million dollars, or -- perhaps the most cost-effective option -- sift through the dozens of other alternatives currently on the market, until it finds a promising candidate to buy and remake in its own image.

    In any case, this isn't "coopetition," or anything else you can describe with a cutesy moniker -- this is the IT industry's second-richest, and perhaps most ruthless, executive deciding how best to rub out a source of persistent irritation. Assuming Ellison pays attention to his grudge du jour long enough to follow through on his ruminations, the enterprise Linux market a year from now will consist of Oracle -- and three grease spots where Novell, Red Hat, and JBoss were last seen.

    Fortunately, Ellison's own wandering attentions are likely to keep things from getting quite that ugly -- for now.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, and stay in touch.

    Matt McKenzie
    Editor, Linux Pipeline

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    Top Linux News

    Ellison: Oracle Wants Its Own Linux Distro
    CEO Larry Ellison said that Oracle is looking into acquiring its own Linux distro, and the company has considered buying Novell for its Linux product, the Financial Times reported this week.

    Mozilla Support Policy Spells End For Firefox 1.0.x
    Mozilla outlines a new, "consumer focused" support policy that gives holdouts using older versions of Firefox a choice: Upgrade to the current release within six months, or go it alone -- and that includes security patches.

    Wikipedia Founder Calls Protest Site Wikitruth 'A Hoax'
    A group claiming to include a dozen Wikipedia administrators launch a Web site protesting what they see as a decline in the online encyclopedia's standards; founder Jimmy Wales, however, insists no Wikipedia admins are involved in what he labels a "hoax."

    Firefox Update Tackles Pack Of "Critical" Security Flaws
    Mozilla Corp. updates its Firefox browser, Thunderbird email client, and other software products to address a long list of bug fixes -- including some involving potentially dangerous _Javascript- and Cascading Style Sheet-related vulnerabilities.

    MySQL Fills InnoDB Void With 'Solid' Open Source Newcomer
    MySQL ends its search for a new database engine: It announces a deal with Solid Information Systems, a specialist in OLTP storage engines that will make the deal its first-ever foray into the Open Source world.

    Tivo Wins Patent Case Against Rival EchoStar
    A federal jury in Texas has awarded TiVo $74 million in damages in patent lawsuit against EchoStar Communications Corp., paving the way for Tivo to seek a permanent injunction against its rival's DVR hardware.

    Google Extends Enterprise Search With Hardware, Developer Links
    Google looks to extend its domination of Internet search into enterprise applications: The company offers a revamped enterprise search appliance and redoubles its outreach efforts with a new developer program and partnerships.

    Group Achieves Mac Triple-Boot, Adds Linux
    The open-source project that first came up with a way to dual-boot an Intel-based Mac into either Mac OS X or Windows XP has published instructions on how to add Linux to the Apple hardware mix.

    Google Offers Free Web Calendar Service
    The search giant launches a beta version of its free Web calendar service, allowing users to manage and share scheduling information -- and giving Google yet another competitive weapon against companies such as Microsoft and Yahoo.

    Mozilla Rolls Out Fans' Firefox Videos
    Mozilla Corp. debuts the first set of Firefox video commercials, which the organization solicited from diehard fans of its open-source Web browser.

    Editor's Picks

    Podcasting In Four Easy Steps
    Interest in podcasting is taking off, and so is spending among advertisers and marketing professionals. Best of all, this is a media game anyone can play: Follow these four simple steps, and you'll be podcasting like a pro in no time at all.

    Partners Give Red Hat-JBoss Union Mixed Reviews
    The marriage of Red Hat and JBoss will likely drive more revenue for the open-source channel, but it could complicate business for others, according to resellers and other solution providers currently partnered with the companies.

    Chinese Piracy Law Forbids 'Naked' PCs
    A new Chinese law mandates all computers sold in China must have paid and pre-installed operating systems -- although the initial source for the news, a Microsoft VP, makes it unclear how much the company is spinning the story in its favor. In related news, Chinese President Hu Jintao's visits Microsoft this week.

    Podcast Conference Takes On Advertising
    With experts painting a rosy picture of the podcasting market -- eMarketer estimates companies will spend $80 million this year and $300 million by 2010 on podcast advertising, reaching 25 million Americans by 2008, and 50 million by 2010 -- podcast conference organizers have adjusted their programming to stay ahead of the curve.

    Voting Booth: Firefox Faces The Future

    Cast Your Vote Now!
    This week's poll question: What will happen to Firefox when Internet Explorer 7 is released later this year? Will Microsoft finally squash Mozilla with a quality Web browser, or does Firefox still have plenty of tricks to keep Redmond second-guessing? Let us know, cast your vote!

    Next week: Our Firefox poll results -- really! -- along with a new poll question.

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