Weekly News Wrap-up


Author: JT Smith

By Grant Gross

Can’t we all just get along?

After the flurry of press releases that came out of LinuxWorld the week of Aug. 14, you’d think the Open Source news cycle would slow down a bit this week. Maybe, but the NewsForge editors still posted more than 400 stories between Sunday morning, Aug. 19, and Friday evening, Aug. 25.

Media wars

Much of the news early in the week was leftovers from LinuxWorld, especially the much-hyped “war” between desktop interfaces KDE and GNOME. During LinuxWorld, GNOME announced that more than a dozen big-name companies had lined up to support the GNOME Foundation, and follow-up stories this week included ZDNet claiming, “Open Source gets bloody.” And no one at LinuxWorld reported seeing any splatter.

By mid-week, the KDE/GNOME blacklash had hit. An OSopinion columnist told both development teams to shut up, and LinuxPlanet’s attitude was, “Who cares?” By Thursday, Linux distributor Mandrakesoft stepped in and issued a press release asking for a cease fire.

Speaking of feuds, the gloves came off this week in a war of words between Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison and his former No. 2 man Ray Lane. The Wall Street Journal quoted Lane as saying that executives now reporting to Ellison “are not decision makers. They aren’t leaders. They just do what Larry says. They wouldn’t know how to make a decision without Larry making it for them.” It’s like that commercial for the dot-com employment site: “I want to grow up to be a yes man.”

Easy investment, tough to pawn without a root password

Everyone seemed to be talking about VA Linux’s quarterly earnings report this week. VA (full disclosure: They own NewsForge) beat Wall Street’s expectations, and a technology press that had been cool to Open Source investments suddenly started coming around. A ZDNet columnist said VA “delivered,” while ZDII pronounced the company was “showing signs of life,” and Worldly Investor considered VA Linux and Red Hat top prospects for investors.

Reason No. 359 to use Linux: London laptop thieves were apparently flustered when they couldn’t figure out how to get past the password prompt screen. The thief left the laptop on the train, The Register reported.

Noteworthy from the NewsForge staff

News Editor Tina Gasperson checked on two Open Source developers who went back to school. This time, they were in the popular crowd, with their homework Web site getting 2,900 hits a day.

Tony Granata, another of our news editors, described an Internet pioneer’s efforts to win a tax break for Open Source developers.

Columnist Emmett Plant takes readers through several scenarios that could be Linux’s future. Is world domination really in the future?

Finally, Editor in Chief Robin Miller chides some members of the Open Source “priesthood” for still looking down on new converts who want to be able to use a computer without knowing all about its inner workings.


  • News