June 23, 2002

Weekly news wrap-up: Mickey meets Tux, Mandrake meets Wal-Mart

-By Grant Gross -
Disney announced this week that it's moving to Linux on workstations and servers for its animation work, following a Linux trend in the animation industry. But Disney has not exactly been the Open Source community's biggest friend, and Jack Bryar noted that several companies, including Disney that don't embrace Open Source ideals are moving to Linux anyway.
In unrelated news, Tina Gasperson reports that Walmart.com will soon sell Microtel computers preloaded with Linux Mandrake. This news comes a week after we reported that Walmart.com is also selling machines preloaded with LindowsOS. Meanwhile, the Lindows language at Walmart.com claiming the Linux OS can run most Microsoft software was changed to be a little less ... big in its claims.

Needed: A good preloaded Linux laptop

IBM is dropping its Linux support for its Thinkpads, prompting a bit of an outcry in the Linux camp. The news also caused Robin "Roblimo" Miller to suggest there really is a market for Linux on laptops, if laptop makers would listen to what the community wants.

When should you report a security flaw?

Some controversy erupted this week about reporting security flaws, with the test case being the older Apache 1.3. Security vendor Internet Security Systems released the vulnerability warning without contacting the Apache project, which seems a bit backwards. Wired.com sounded off by saying the process of reporting Web flaws is flawed, while The Register's take was that the Apache team was "screwed."

In other security-related news, a Cambridge University researcher is claiming that Open Source and proprietary software are equally secure. Most Open Source advocates wouldn't take that as a compliment. Of course, maybe if you ignored Microsoft's security record, the two might be a bit closer.

Aiming at business

Companies pitching Linux are aiming at financial services customers these days, and IBM has announced it will open a Linux technology center near Wall Street in New York.

Meanwhile, over at Sun, the company is planning a Big Bear Linux server product, also targeted at companies who need email servers, etc.

Success story of the week

More news of non-U.S. governments embracing Linux, in addition to recent moves by Germany and Taiwan. Among the reports this week are Linux moves by the French government, a state in India and the Finnish parliament.

Newly released

Slackware Linux 8.1 was released this week.

Gnome 2.0 RC1 was also announced.

OpenSSH 3.3 was released this weekend.

Newly reviewed

Joe Barr test drives KOBOL, theKompany's version of COBOL, and says it shows great promise.

WashingtonPost.com gave a positive review of the Mozilla 1.0 browser, saying you don't have to dislike Microsoft to like Mozilla.

New at NewsForge/Linux.com

Among the other stories we reported first this week:

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports on Intel's Linux efforts on its Intel-based xSeries machines. On the servers, the xSeries is really IBM's bread and butter, but Linux on workstations at IBM is hard to find.

Ben Ostrowsky reports on how librarians are using a variety of Open Source tools in their daily lives.

Stock news

The Nasdaq closed Friday at 1,440.96, sliding more than 63 points from the June 14 close of 1,504.74. The news was just as ugly for our list of 11 Open Source-related stocks, with nine down for the week, several taking 3-plus percentage losses on Friday alone. Caldera, for example, lost nearly 11% on Friday, although the actual loss was 9 cents.

Red Hat announced it had lowered its first-quarter losses from a year ago, and the company also joined an Itanium Linux alliance with Hewlett-Packard.

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

Company Name Symbol 6/14 Close 6/21 Close
Apple AAPL 20.10 16.85
Borland Software Int'l BORL 10.05 9.7698
Caldera International CALD 0.84 0.76
Hewlett-Packard HPQ 17.35 16.46
IBM IBM 76.17 68.75
MandrakeSoft 4477.PA e2.35 e2.35
Red Hat RHAT 5.44 5.20
Sun Microsystems SUNW 6.42 5.51
TiVo TIVO 4.12 4.02
VA Software LNUX .88 .94
Wind River Systems WIND 6.04 5.78
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