October 15, 2001

Weekly news wrap-up: Linux companies think proprietary, Navy considers Open Source

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross -

This week, the Open Source community gained a couple of high-profile converts, and a couple of high-profile Open Source companies said they may branch out into proprietary software.

First the converts: Finland's leading broadband Internet provider, Sonera Entrum, is replacing Windows NT and Unix servers with Linux. The new configuration will be one IBM machine containing 500 virtual servers running Linux software installed by Red Hat and SuSE. It uses less energy and less space than the 60 NT and Unix boxes it's replacing.

Also, the U.S. Navy announced this week it would study how to use Open Source. The Naval Oceanographic Office will work with the Open-Source Software Institute to examine how the Navy can benefit from using Open Source software.

While the Open Source way of doing things gains converts, Open Source companies are looking at closed-source business models. This week, Red Hat's Michael Tiemann suggested that "there are some proprietary technologies out there that may ultimately be relevant to Red Hat's open source strategy."

Over at Turbolinux, like Red Hat a Linux distribution company, the leadership is doing more than exploring closed-source software, they're embracing it. CEO Ly-Huong Pham tells NewsForge's Jack Bryar that several of the company's new products will be proprietary.

Mandrake CDs: Coming later, rather than sooner?

Mandrake 8.1 has been available for download since late September, but don't look for it on CD immediately, at least if you live in the United States. MandrakeSoft says it's having problems moving manufacturing operations to the United States.

DMCA isn't a free speech issue?

At least that's the position of the U.S. Department of Justice, which is seeking to have a Princeton professor's lawsuit against it and the Secure Digital Music Initiative dismissed. Supposedly, the music industry's threat to pursue a DMCA lawsuit against Professor Edward Felten if his team published their SDMI research doesn't count as an attempt to silence his free speech, at least according to the Justice Department.

LWN to be silenced?

No, our friends at LWN.net aren't facing a DMCA lawsuit, but they are facing tough times because of the current economic downturn. LWN is asking readers for ideas to keep the site going, through a mailing list. If you'd like to subscribe or have other ideas, let them know.

New in NewsForge

Stories NewsForge reported first this week:

Jeff Field reviews the new AMD Athlon XP chip. But he puts it through the paces using Linux, not the operating system after which the chip is named. Oh wait, that's not released yet, never mind.

We cover a Free Software conference in Washington, D.C., where the movement's leaders predict they'll defeat the proprietary way of doing things. But they tell the audience members they need their help.

Tina Gasperson reports on a new Linux certification program, called OpenCERT, which focuses on systems integration skills.

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