August 25, 2002

Weekly news wrap-up: Studies and surveys supporting Linux, Turbolinux sold

-By Grant Gross -

One group is focusing on a study of how well Open Source tools work in schools, and another has published a survey designed to encourage retailers to demo Linux in their stores. Open Source activism takes many forms.
Early in the week, we reported that the Open-Source Software Institute was working with Mississippi education institutions to craft a study on how well Open Source software works in schools. The sponsors hope to have the study completed in about 18 months, and they believe the results will give schools concrete evidence about using Open Source software. Judging by the comments on the article, it's a good idea.

In a quasi-related story, there was a lot of reporting this week on the University of Maastricht's Free/Libre/Open Source Software study, which recommends more governments should consider Open Source software.

Later in the week, Tina Gasperson reported on WeWantLinux.org, a grassroots group trying to show retailers that there's a demand for hands-on Linux machines in their stores. After just a few days, the survey has about 550 responses.

Turbolinux changes hands

There were several stories this week about Turbolinux being sold. Here's one at Linux and Main. Here's one from Japanese publication NIKKEI. And here's one from Internetnews.com. The bottom line: Japanese software company Software Research Associates purchased the Linux software business from Turbolinux.

Sigma Designs vs. the GPL?

Sigma Designs got some bad press this week when the XVID project accused the company of ripping off its MPEG-4 video codec. XVID leaders suggested the copying of the code without attribution contributed to a violation of the GNU GPL, the license the XVID work was released under. Late this week, Sigma apologized for the copied code, saying it was one programmer's doing, and released its REALmagic codec under the GPL. Those moves may not be quite enough to make the XVID team happy, however.

Odds 'n' ends

osOpinion talks about making money with Linux and Open Source. "One of the biggest criticisms of open source is that it can't make money ... But I think these critics are missing the point. Linux makes money for the companies that use the software, not the companies that sell it."

Wired.com talks about the prevalent use of Linux at the U.S. Open tennis tournament. "Laptop computers running Linux will be used on the tennis courts to collect and transmit scores during the games."

Success story of the week

InformationWeek.com covers Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery's decision to switch to Linux. The winery was unhappy with Windows' performance, and is one of many companies not excited about Microsoft's new licensing scheme. The story also adds: "The change from Microsoft to the Linux open-source operating system is necessary to help the company keep costs down and prepare for nationwide expansion."

Newly released

A new version of Security-Enhanced Linux, the distribution being worked on by the U.S. National Security Agency, was released this week.

The Internet Document and Report Server 2.0 Alpha 4 was released.

KDE 3.1 beta 1 was released this week. KDE 3.0.3 also hit the download sites this week.

Newly reviewed

Time Magazine gives its readers an overview of Linux. There wouldn't be anything new in the article for a regular NewsForge/Linux.com reader, but there are a couple of Time readers who aren't NewsForge/Linux.com readers.

Linux and Main looks at the new GCC 3.2, and says it's "pretty amazing."

New at NewsForge/Linux.com

Among the other stories we reported first this week:

Tina reports on efforts of MandrakeSoft to raise money by calling in outstanding stock warrants. The Linux company has extended the deadline to cash in a couple of times.

Robin "Roblimo" Miller comments on how the lack of applications for Linux is still holding back some people from adopting it. " The one thing commercial software publishers that expect to compete in the Linux marketplace must bear in mind is that there is still going to be plenty of volunteer-written Linux software out there, and it is going to improve steadily as the people who write it become more sophisticated and user-oriented. This means commercial software for Linux must offer substantial advantages over the 'free competition' if it is going to be successful."

Stock news

Call it a rally. The Nasdaq was up for the third week in a row, closing at 1,380.62, up from 1,361.01 August 16. All this despite a nearly 3% drop on Friday. Of our 11 Open Source-related stocks, seven were up for the week, with MandrakeSoft staying even. Hardware-related companies HP, Apple and Sun Microsystems fell for the week.

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

Company Name Symbol 8/16 Close 8/23 Close
Apple AAPL 15.81 15.73
Borland Software Int'l BORL 9.77 10.459
Caldera International CALD 1.4792 1.98
Hewlett-Packard HPQ 15.06 14.70
IBM IBM 79.35 80.40
MandrakeSoft 4477.PA e2.20 e2.20
Red Hat RHAT 5.09 5.25
Sun Microsystems SUNW 4.21 4.18
TiVo TIVO 3.32 4.57
VA Software LNUX 1.39 1.45
Wind River Systems WIND 4.80 5.13
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