July 15, 2002

Weekly news wrap-up: County says no thanks to Linux, an Open Source business plan

-By Grant Gross -

Members of the Phoenix Linux Users Group ran into some resistance this week while meeting with Maricopa County officials. The county has a clause in its procurement rules that allows it to stop doing business with companies convicted of illegal business practices, and PLUG members used that clause to question the county's continuing relationship with convicted monopolist Microsoft.
But the county said, thanks, but no thanks. Essentially, the word from county officials was that they are happy with Microsoft products. But PLUG members said they were encouraged by the county's willingness to listen, and they'll keeping plugging away. Check out the discussion on this story for some interesting debate on Linux evangelism as well.

P2P for you and me

EFF cc-founder John Gilmore is funding the Public Software Fund's first project, a P2P file-sharing program for RPM packages, with the goal of competing with several for-pay offerings from Linux companies. There's some interesting discussion on this story, too, with several wondering why the Public Software Fund wants to take business away from companies like Red Hat.

IMs for you and me

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols runs through some of the more popular IM clients for Linux and offers suggestions, depending on your needs.

Tina Gasperson also has a story about why the Jabber open IM standard is so important. What if your favorite IM provider suddenly decides it doesn't want to provide the service for free any more?

Odds 'n' ends

A former Microsoft fan makes a confession, by saying "loyalty can cause a scientist to cling too long to a discredited theory."

Gnutella creator Gene Kan died at age 25 this week.

Success story of the week

A Florida private school is among the several schools using the Linux Terminal Server Project to power its computer labs. A whole lab is controlled by one terminal server, making for fewer crashes and allowing students to customize and save their own desktops, then use that desktop on different machines.

Newly released

The KDE folks have released KDE 3.1 alpha1, for all you who want to run the very newest stuff, or who just want to see what KDE's up to.

openMosix for the 2.4.18 kernel was released.

Newly reviewed

OfB.biz asks if SuSE 8.0 is superb (only with a cute way of capitalizing SuPERB to make it look like SuSE). The answer is a resounding "maybe."

LinuxPlanet looks at Gentoo Linux and admits it has a soft spot for the new kid on the block.

New at NewsForge/Linux.com

Among the other stories we reported first this week:

Robin "Roblimo" Miller suggests there's a business to be made out of an Open Source word-processing program customized for writers' needs. Maybe other specialized needs can be met by Open Source businesses as well.

Tina Gasperson reports that Outpost.com is offering a PC line preloaded with ThizLinux.

Stock news

The Nasdaq closed Friday at 1,373.50, down yet again for the week, and closing lower than the market crashes after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The tech-centric market closed at 1,448.36 July 5. Of our 11 Open Source-related stocks, eight were down, with Linux companies Red Hat and Caldera two of the three that were up.

Here's how Open Source and related stocks ended this past week:

Company Name Symbol 7/5 Close 7/12 Close
Apple AAPL 18.74 17.50
Borland Software Int'l BORL 9.13 6.93
Caldera International CALD 0.661 0.91
Hewlett-Packard HPQ 16.30 15.27
IBM IBM 73.50 69.21
MandrakeSoft 4477.PA e2.30 e2.20
Red Hat RHAT 5.39 5.70
Sun Microsystems SUNW 5.39 5.27
TiVo TIVO 3.65 3.59
VA Software LNUX .90 .85
Wind River Systems WIND 5.15 5.30
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