April 29, 2002

Weekly news wrap-up: Gates testifies, Klez worm is another reason to switch to Linux

- By Grant Gross -

Microsoft head dude Bill Gates was spotted in the wild this week, testifying at the sanctions portion of the Microsoft antitrust trial. Sightings of Gates outside the Microsoft Fortress in Redmond always get a lot of attention, but this was especially interesting because of him taking the time to testify in person. Our own Jack Bryar suggests Gates may have saved the day for Microsoft after a line of bumbling witnesses for our favorite monopolist.
However, C|Net noted Gates' admission that a stripped-down version of Windows, sans browser, could be configured to run on consumer PCs. Gee, if Microsoft just would have admitted that a couple of years ago ...

Away from the trial, our friends at The Register reported on Gates taking more pot shots at the GNU General Public License, although he seemed to have less trouble with BSD-style licenses. To combat that bad, bad GNU GPL, which has the quaint idea of requiring that you give back to the community when you use Free Software code, Microsoft has launched a Unix migration campaign to keep companies using Unix from switching to Linux.

Another reason to switch from Windows

The Klez worm was running wild this week, apparently infecting Windows machines when a user does something as simple as previewing an infected attachment. The problem with all these Windows people getting this worm was that perfectly innocent Linux users can get blamed, because Klez spoofs email addresses of people in infected people's address books. Imagine getting a worm from yourself (supposedly) -- that's what happened to me this week, even though my Linux machine wasn't infected.

You'd think Windows users would finally get the hint after getting infected dozens of times with Windows-only viruses and worms. Our own Robin "Roblimo" Miller notes that the Klez worm should be enough of a reason to switch to Linux. He also suggests that people who require you to send them documents in Microsoft Word format are being rude (have you checked the price of Word these days?), when a good, free alternative like OpenOffice, which reads Word .doc format, is available.

More on Mozilla

The Mozilla browser project is getting lots of attention as it sneaks toward its 1.0 release. Robin lists three reasons to fall in love with Mozilla, while no less than Time.com called Mozilla "the browser that roared." ZDNet also had a mostly positive review of Mozilla this week.

Success story of the week

ZDNet also reported that a New Zealand bank has switched to Linux from Unix to avoid updating hardware. The bank considered Windows NT but rejected it because of license fee concerns.

Newly released

We don't often note a release of a new Linux kernel, because they happen so often, but Linux kernel 2.5.10 is a nice, round number to make note of.

KOffice 1.2beta1 was released.

As was PHP 4.2.0.

Newly reviewed

Our own Jeff Field test drives the Linux-powered TiVo Series|2 personal video recorder and says it'll make watching television fun again.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols gave us his ode to Mailman, a mailing list software package.

The Linux Game Tome looks at BillardsGL and likes what it sees.

LinuxLookup checks out VMware GSX Server for Linux and gives it a very good grade.

OSNews looks at Hancom Office 2.01 Standard for Linux and finds a useable program, although it has some bugs.

New at NewsForge/Linux.com

Among the other stories we reported first this week:

Matt Butcher talks to a DreamWorks employee about the studio's use of Linux in its new animated film, "Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron."

Russell C. Pavlicek explains how he's controlling the lights in his house with Linux and a Firecracker home control kit from X10.com (yes, that's the annoying popunder ad company.

Stock news

The Nasdaq ended the week at 1,663.89, a dive of more than 160 points from April 19's close of 1,796.83. It was the worst week for U.S. stocks since September, with analysts blaming the loss on that nebulous cause, "worried investors."

Our list of Open Source-related stocks didn't buck the trend; all 11 experienced losses for the week. Here's how Open Source and related stocks ended this past week:

Company Name Symbol 4/19 Close 4/26 Close
Apple AAPL 24.98 23.01
Borland Software Int'l BORL 12.21 10.78
Caldera International CALD 1.17 1.09
Hewlett-Packard HWP 18.69 16.96
IBM IBM 89.00 84.71
MandrakeSoft 4477.PA e2.85 e2.65
Red Hat RHAT 5.18 4.62
Sun Microsystems SUNW 9.15 8.05
TiVo TIVO 4.95 4.04
VA Software LNUX 1.44 1.27
Wind River Systems WIND 12.13 10.69
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