December 4, 2000

Weekly news wrapup: Doubters in Open Source Land?

Author: JT Smith

- By Grant Gross-

It seems as if the mood is a bit low in the Open Source community these days, at least among those watching the stock market. A column at LinuxPlanet asked the question: "Is anyone making money on free software?" The column's answer: The author's company, set up to sell his books on Linux, is pulling a profit, even if few other Open Source companies are.

Another article, this one from Linux World, examined how companies could make money on Open Source products. Among the answers: hardware and embedded Linux.

Then this came along: A column at Business 2.0 asks, "How long will it be before a Net business is run on only open source software?" Ummmm, gee, let's poll the dozens of Open Source companies out there and ask them how many closed-source tools they're using. (The article does end up focusing on Lutris' Enhydra application business server.)

Guerrilla marketing

It's probably not the best way to win converts. A computer virus posing as a Shockwave movie hit Windows late last week. The "Prolin" virus (for pro-Linux) renamed all JPG and ZIP files on the victim's computer with the appendage "change atleast now to LINUX." It then drops a text file saying: "Hi, guess you have got the message. I have kept a list of files that I have infected under this. If you are smart enough just reverse back the process. i could have done far better damage, i could have even completely wiped your harddisk. Remember this is a warning & get it sound and clear... - The Penguin." No points for spelling and grammar. Security experts later said the virus wasn't all that serious.

BSD on the rise

The BSD community saw a major release this week, with OpenBSD 2.8 becoming available. Among the many improvements: hardware support is improved, and OpenBSD 2.8 will run on Apple iMac, G3, G4, and G4 Cube machines.

If you've noticed any rivalry between the BSD and Linux camps, here's another salvo: A ZDNet column suggested BSD could soon pass Linux in number of users, partly because of the upcoming release of Apple's Darwin. Meanwhile, NewsForge reports on a developer who wants to create a GNU version of Darwin by adding free software tools to the Apple licensed OS.

Poles like penguins

Check out the Polish News Team's report about the Polish Parliament installing Linux, complete with pictures, and even in English.

New at NewsForge this week

Editor-in-chief Robin Miller reports on noises coming from VistaSource that the company is giving up on marketing the Applixware Linux office suite. Apparently, there's some disagreement in the company about this happening.

Santa likes Linux, according to news editor Tina Gasperson, but there are some things he'd like to change about his favorite operating system.

Business columnist Jack Bryar isn't surprised that doubts about wireless businesses are starting to surface. After all, WAP still has a lot of work to do before it works the way it should.

NewsForge editors read and respond to comments posted on our discussion page.

Click Here!