September 18, 2000

Weekly news wrapup

Author: JT Smith

By Grant Gross
Managing Editor
And the medal goes to ...

It's time to go for the gold, give your best effort, beat the competition in a mano a mano struggle, all that jazz. Yes, the summer Olympics are happening as we speak, but I'm talking about the spin about a couple of new projects coming out of the tech world this week.

Apple has finally released a beta version of OS X (those cool Roman numerals make it look all Olympic-like), and some developers claimed it was the "holy grail." How's that for claiming the gold medal? Open Sourcers were mostly concerned about how OS X would use Unix; one review at MacWorld said OS X "provides all the power of Unix with very few compromises."

Another company getting its horn tooted this week (some of the hype by the company itself) was Hewlett-Packard, which along with competitor IBM, introduced new Unix servers. HP's Superdome garnered good reviews, and the company received a good stock rating following the Superdome release. An HP bigwig went so far as to say, the Superdome was the "mother of all computers." No settling for silver for these guys.

Red Hat, MontaVista earn the bronze?

Linux distributor Red Hat may have thought it struck gold with its earnings report this week, but the street seemed to think otherwise. Red Hat announced an adjusted net loss of $1.9 million, or 1 cent a share, which was better than Wall Street predictions, but that didn't stop ABM AMRO from downgrading the stock, and shares from falling 8 percent Friday.

An unresolved competition this week: Who's the "first" company to deliver "hard real-time Linux," which MontaVista Software has claimed. A chorus of other software companies stepped up this week to dispute that claim, and LinuxDevices put together a story for those of us asking, "what the heck is this real-time Linux stuff anyway?"

For those whose idea of fun is watching a penguin compete with a dinosaur (small and scrappy beats extinct any day), Australian IT talked with one Mr. Bill Gates, who made this statement: "Linux can't compete." The Linux community fired back, of course.

New in NewsForge reports

Among the original reporting at NewsForge this past week:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is asking Linux users for help after using a large chunk of its budget defending two DVD-sharing cases. NewsForge freelancer Nathan L. Walls reports from a California LUG meeting.

Columnist Jack Bryar examines whether Open Source companies are any different than the tech-company pack on age discrimination.

A bunch of policy wonks in Washington talked about ways to protect personal privacy online. Some prefer more laws, some prefer that corporations have free rein, Editor-in-Chief Robin Miller reported.

NewsForge posted about 410 stories this past week, from Sunday evening to Sunday evening. Maybe I'm the only person who's still counting.

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