Justin Jenkins

Peace, Love and Vandalism for Linux

The not too fledgling OS received more support Wednesday at the Linux World trade show from such computer juggernauts as IBM, HP and Compaq. Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, citing both companies' rapid adoption on the Intel Itanium platform, called the proposed HP-Compaq merger "a combination that's good for Linux."

Meanwhile, IBM paid a $120,000 settlement to San Francisco city officials owing up to a graffiti ad spree on various locations around the city. The black-stenciled markings promoted IBM's "Peace, Love, Linux" campaign, depicting a peace sign, heart and the endearing Linux penguin.

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GNU-Darwin Enters Beta

The GNU-Darwin distribution of Apple's open-source effort offically reached beta Monday. Aimed at being the most free and open of any distribution utilizing the unique Darwin/Mach Operating Environment, GNU-Darwin is not directly related to Apple. Instead, it is developed openly and based at the popular Source Forge Web site. Over one hundred packages are incorporated in the release including an Xdarwin window sever, abiword word processor, Open-SSH-2.9.9, an enhanced version of the Dillo Web browser and the GNOME desktop environment.

Mac OS X.1 users can now install the GNU-Darwin basefiles with one command as root.

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FreeBSD on its Way to Ultra Sparc

Members of the FreeBSD UNIX team have been porting FreeBSD to the Sun Ultra Sparc platform for the past few months, and first booted a machine into 'single' user mode on the 18th of October. Single user mode supports all the basic functions of FreeBSD aside from actually multi-user support.

Even though other UNIX Operating systems such as OpenBSD have had this support for sometime, they lack the program and commercial base that FreeBSD currently enjoys. As the core of Apple's new OS X and now steady on the path to Sun compatibly, FreeBSD is beginning to surface as an open source alternative to Linux or Windows based systems.

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Microsoft Continues Wireless Push With MSN Mobile 4.0

In a continued push to the mobile devices market, Microsoft announced today the release of MSN Mobile 4.0. The service is designed to work in conjunction with mobile communication devices, offering access to MSN Hotmail, as well as MSN Messenger in many popular wireless formats including SMS. This newest incarnation of the MSN Mobile service promises more customization and better functionally along with the added features.

"With this update to MSN Mobile, we are extending our capabilities to offer mobile operators an immediate opportunity to generate revenue based on two-way SMS, providing MSN Hotmail and MSN Messenger to consumers," said Vinay Kumar, Director of MSN Wireless Services at Microsoft. "Our popular communications services gives us a strategic advantage over our competitors."

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Sun, HP Lend Further Support to Open Source

Seemingly in response to Microsoft's opening of Windows CE 3.0 in its own Shared Source model, computer giants Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard also announced today products that each are opening under the fashionable rival Open Source model. Adding to a number of additional applications that it has previously opened, Sun will unwrap the source to Grid Engine, a powerful distributed computing application, at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention this week. Additionally, HP has shored up its support of the Open Source community Monday with an announcement that it will open and release a software development platform for creating mobile e-servers, christened 'Coolbase'.

Grid Engine, acquired by Sun one year ago, uses a master daemon to control thousands of processors over a network allowing maximum computer usage. Essentially, only 20% of processing power is used per system in a corporate environment; Grid Engine allows distribution over all processors available resulting in the best use of the network. Grid Engine is available for Solaris, Linux Kernel 2.2 and 2.4, and GNU C-lib 2.1.2 environments.

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Flaw Turns IIS Into Spam Tool

Intending to streamline server functions and ease the task of system administration, Microsoft enabled by default the installation of an SMTP sever on all versions of its Internet Information Server, or IIS Web sever package. SMTP, or Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, controls all e-mail sent to and from a server. Microsoft has issued a security bulletin addressing a vulnerability in this SMTP sever which allows an attacker to perform unauthorized relaying, which is responsible for much of the spam that unfortunate Web users receive everyday. The software giant has released a patch that fixes the flaw, and recommends that users disable or even remove SMTP if they do not use it.

The patch applies for both Windows 2000 Professional and Server products, but does not affect Exchange Server 5.5 or 2000 - which uses a distinct code impervious to this specific flaw. For more information and to download the update, visit Microsoft TechNet Security.

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Microsoft Refreshes IE6 Preview

A
refresh of the Internet Explorer 6 Public Preview was posted for customers to evaluate this weekend. Many bugs reported in the first build have been squashed, stability has been improved, and code optimized. This download will upgrade Internet Explorer, its base components, as well as Outlook Express for Windows 2000 users.
Additionally, it has been reported that some users encountered Apple's QuickTime browser plug-in broken after installing this update.
The refresh sports build number 6.0.2479.0006, and is the newest build publicly available.

Internet Explorer 6 includes many changes and enhanced features that bring a new way to browse the Internet. It features a new look and behavior, including innovative browsing capabilities such as enhanced Explorer bars, integrated instant messaging, media playback, and automatic picture resizing. Internet Explorer 6 can also help to maintain the privacy of personal information on the Web, and provide error reporting to identify problems to be fixed in future Internet Explorer service packs.

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Linux Beats XP to the Itanium

Following Intel's release of its new family of Itamium processors yesterday, a number of Linux distributions today made available their various flavors of Linux for the new 64-bit processor. Among them Red Hat, SuSE and Turbolinux, all beating Microsoft by over four months if the 64-bit XP rolls out as expected on October 25. By years end Intel will have a number of major UNIX and Linux distributions, as well as a special version of Windows XP for the Itamium platform.

Intel expects approximately 25 computer manufacturers to offer more than 35 Itanium-powered models this year, providing support for Hewlett Packard's HP-UX 11i v1.5 and IBM's AIX-5L, along with Linux and Windows.

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SGI Gives Linux XFS

Once again, SGI has stepped in to give Linux something to brag about. The OS now has a port of the robust XFS services, a journaling filesystem that provides rapid recovery from system crashes and the ability to support extremely large disk farms. XFS is the default filesystem for all SGI customers running its IRIX OS, and has been in production since 1994. XFS 1.0 is the first journaled filesystem for Linux available with a proven track record and strengthens this fledgling OS’s robustness as a whole. XFS 1.0 is licensed under GPL.

Along with XFS, SGI has also released Linux FailSafe. Linux FailSafe plug-ins provide a robust clustering environment with resilience from any single point of failure. Utilizing these plug-ins, system administrators can give NFS, Samba and Apache applications the ability to re-integrate with another system if a failure occurs, allowing users to sustain access to their data.

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Connectix Offers Virtual PC Preview

Long known for its Macintosh products, the Connectix Corporation is now offering a PC version of their key product, Virtual PC. Virtual PC works similar to the well-known VMWare, creating a "virtual machine" that runs an additional operating system inside the one currently running. This Technology Preview is aimed at weeding out last-minute bugs and issues that may arise before the final release. Set to hit the streets at $200 USD, you can download a copy for free right now.


Virtual PC is designed to make it easy to utilize multiple operating systems without the hassle of rebooting or setting up multiple computers. All system information is stored in a single file on the host, while the guest OS handles all network, sound and video features available. Be it Linux, Windows 2000, 98, NT, or Me, Connectix hopes that its technology and experience in the Macintosh emulator PC market will produce a superior product.

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Internet Explorer 6 Public Preview

UPDATE: You can download the offical release here.
BetaNews has received word on the soon to be available Public Preview of Internet Explorer 6.0. Microsoft currently has set up a bug reporting Web site that confirms Microsoft's plan to release the preview shortly. Internet Explorer 6 will include a slew of new features, including a Personal Bar, an Image Toolbar, Auto Image Resize, Media Bar, Contacts/Instant Messaging Integration and increased Web privacy. Read on for more information.

Here is the complete notes on the upcoming beta:

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Microsoft Announces Earnings Date

After many high tech companies warned of quarterly loses, Microsoft has announced that it will release its quarterly earnings on April 19th at 5:30 p.m. EST. You will be able to listen live via a webcast given by John Connors, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Scott Boggs, Vice President and Corporate Controller. Visit Microsoft's investor Web site for more info.

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Red Hat, Techs Shine as Market Dims

In a day when the Dow dropped at one point to the sub-10,000 level, the Nasdaq up 67.47, saw Red Hat announce that it had beaten its fourth quarter estimates and broke-even as compared with a loss of $5.6 million last year. Revenues more than doubled to 27 million, from 13.1 million last year. Many Wall Street analysts had anticipated Red Hat to report an operating loss of one cent a share.

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British Robodog, Taking its 'Walkies'

Who says you can't make a new dog and teach it old tricks? Not this British inventor, Nick Wirth and his company Roboscience have released their RS-01 "Robodog" for public approval today in London. The robot at 33 inches long, 27 inches tall and 15 inches wide (about the size of a full grown Labrador) can read out e-mails, via a permanent wireless internet connection, be controlled remotely via the internet and even show the master what he's seeing through a color web-cam placed in his "eyes."

Though the RS-01 will not be available for sale, the soon to come "puppies" (Lets call them Robodog 2.0) will be able to do the same tasks and tricks as their father. The synthetic dogs can "climb over obstacles, play football, do handstands and even move like a crab" and will be a bit more expensive then their natural counterparts at $21,500 a piece.

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Microsoft Extends Mobile Reach

On the heels of possible new cell phone jamming legislation in Canada, Microsoft today made moves to strengthen it’s wireless market with the launch of a two-way pager and a mobile phone with built-in color screen to browse the Web. The two-way pager, built by Motorola, will carry a version of Microsoft’s MSN Messenger and Hotmail services, while the cell phone produced by Mitsubishi will contain a compact version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Web browser. Microsoft also announced a deal to make a phone based on the company's "Stinger" phone platform, and another with Hewlett-Packard to offer a low-end model of its Jornada Pocket PC handheld computer. For more information on Microsoft's upcoming products, visit the CTIA Web site.

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