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By: Karen Blenker

Abstract: Daily news summary for 16 November 1999. By Karen Blenkner.

Red Hat to acquire Cygnus Solutions

Red Hat and privately held Cygnus Solutions announced today that they have signed an agreement in which Red Hat agrees to purchase Cygnus -- probably in late January 2000. The merger will create an open source behemoth, intent on accelerating the adoption of Red Hat Linux and open source solutions. The acquisition is said to make Red Hat the worldwide leader in providing open source technology, information, and services. The company will offer a vast array of open source software and support -- from enterprise deployments to embedded and handheld platforms. 

"Cygnus has enormous experience and technology leadership in software development and embedded platforms," said Matthew Szulik, president of Red Hat. "The merger will create a single, worldwide source that lets developers rapidly create Linux applications for servers and small devices -- accelerating the adoption of open source technologies in enterprises worldwide.''

"This merger will create a software company for the 21st century, spanning powerful servers, Internet infrastructure, and pervasive, post-PC-centric computing platforms,'' said Alex Daly, president and CEO of Cygnus. "Both Red Hat and Cygnus have vast engineering and development expertise, successful and growing service offerings, and two of the most trusted and respected open source brands in the world.''

International Data Corp. research states that Linux was the fastest-growing server operating environment in 1998, growing more than 190 percent in that year alone. IDC also states that Red Hat Linux is by far the most popular distribution, preferred by 68.7 percent of U.S. Linux users.

Essentially, you're all set

Up to your ears in software project-management details? Would you like some relief? Software Productivity Centre just may have what you're looking for in EssentialSET Enterprise 1.0.

EssentialSET Enterprise provides process infrastructure for software development teams and projects. By managing the step-by-step progress of key project processes, and incorporating industry standards such as ISO 12207, CMM, and proven best practices, EssentialSET Enterprise becomes your team's right hand.

An extensive library of predesigned, customizable software process templates allows development teams to:

  • maintain a master file for all policies, procedures, and standards for team collaboration.
  • identify weak areas in the process and prevent oversights.
  • closely manage schedules, preventing time and money overruns.
  • identify repeatable processes that work within an organization.

A five-user EssentialSET Enterprise 1.0 starter pack sells for US$6,450.

And they're off

Apparently Seastrom Associates Ltd. was waiting in the wings for the DOJ v. Microsoft decision. Stating that "to maintain its monopoly, Microsoft acted unlawfully, anticompetitively, and abusively," the Manhattan-based advertising agency has filed suit in New York State Supreme Court. Although it does not specifically reference Judge Thomas P. Jackson's conclusion that Microsoft raised prices because its monopoly power gave it "substantial discretion to do so," the Seastrom lawsuit repeatedly refers to Microsoft as a monopoly and asserts that Seastrom purchased a Windows 98 upgrade last year.

New York antitrust lawyer Joseph Angland of Dewey Ballantine states, "Historically, judgments in any government cases have normally been followed by a slew of private actions, and there's no reason not to expect that here."

Asked for a statement on the pending legal action, Microsoft spokesman Jim Cullinan said, "From what we hear, it appears to be a groundless lawsuit, especially when the Windows operating system is priced less than our competitors."

TKO by FCC pro DSL?

Those of us who are hooked on the speed of DSL may get an early holiday bonus from Uncle Sam. Later this week, the FCC will rule on whether DSL carriers must rent local loop from their regional Bell operating companies or allow the carriers to share a single line into a customer's premises. Industry analysts expect the ruling will be in favor of the DSL industry, saving the consumer an estimated US$20 per month on access fees.

Last March, the FCC ruled that line sharing is technically feasible. Should it become reality, it is expected that state utility commissions will set line-sharing fees.

Got bug spray?

It seems every time you turn around there is a newer, meaner virus being discovered. Sometimes the bug report bulletin boards read like the Centers for Disease Control. Today we have a new specimen of the Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express variety. Virus writers can take advantage of what's being called the Active Setup Control Security Loophole to save an infected e-mail attachment without your knowledge.  

Good news: There is an antidote. The first line of defense: Always save attachments to disk. If you simply open the attachment, both Outlook and Outlook Express save a temporary copy to disk. Code embedded in the e-mail message can then execute the copy.

Microsoft has also released a patch to the Active Setup Control.

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