July 29, 2002

Weekly news wrap-up: RealNetworks eyes Open Source, how you can impact government

-By Grant Gross -

RealNetworks announced plans to open-source some of its code in an open standards multimedia effort called Helix. That announcement set off a cascade of debate about RealNetworks and open standards, in particular, Open Source advocate Bruce Perens urging the company to take more steps toward open code.
Two days after RealNetworks' original announcement, the company announced it was working with Xiph.org, the creator of Ogg Vorbis, to integrate the Open Source audio codec into the Helix project. So perhaps RealNetworks is real serious about this Open Source thing.

Government action

Tina Gasperson reported on Red Hat's continuing efforts to oppose UCITA, with the Linux company urging the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to end its support of the law. Tina also provides a good list of commissioners you can contact about UCITA.

The U.S. Department of Commerce said it will seek input from consumer groups about digital rights management proposals after a meeting with Big Hollywood and IT companies earlier this month got a little out of hand.

Weird ways to use Linux

How about using Linux to power the Big Mouth Billy Bass? But would you really want to?

Odds 'n' ends

Shawn Gordon, leader of theKompany.com, is suing HancomLinux for money the company apparently owes him.

Linux Weekly News announced its shutting down August 1, but avid readers continue to donate money to keep the long-running Linux news site open.

There were several reports from the Open Source Convention, including Internet lawyer Larry Lessig's revelation that he plans to stop his advocacy speeches.

Success story of the week

The Jordan Star reported on how Linux is catching on in the Middle East, especially with oil and gas companies.

Newly released

IBM released DB2 v8.1 for Linux.

NetBSD 1.5.3 was released early this week.

Mozilla.org released the Mozilla 1.1 beta.

Newly reviewed

TuxReports checks out the Mandrake 9.0 beta release. They say it's enjoyable to use, although a bit buggy (as is to be expected).

New at NewsForge/Linux.com

Among the other stories we reported first this week:

Robin "Roblimo" Miller shares his impression of a shareware developer conference and their impressions about Open Source.

Tina reports on the progress of efforts to open-source the Blender 3D computer animation tool.

Stock news

The Nasdaq continued its familiar downward spiral this past week, closing Friday at 1,262.12, down from 1,319.15 July 19. Our list of 11 Open Source-related stocks fared almost as badly, with only Borland, Caldera and TiVo posting gains for the week.

In business news: Reports of its death may be exaggerated, but Turbolinux announced it is reorganizing its U.S. operations after a key investor pulled out of its latest round of fund-raising.

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

Company Name Symbol 7/19 Close 7/26 Close
Apple AAPL 14.96 14.34
Borland Software Int'l BORL 7.58 8.05
Caldera International CALD 1.00 1.02
Hewlett-Packard HPQ 12.80 11.66
IBM IBM 72.00 66.40
MandrakeSoft 4477.PA e2.19 e2.15
Red Hat RHAT 5.65 4.71
Sun Microsystems SUNW 4.25 3.78
TiVo TIVO 2.75 3.00
VA Software LNUX .80 .66
Wind River Systems WIND 6.04 5.62
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