By: J.D. Hildebrand
Abstract: Corporate investments in Linux. Love for sale. Oracle pulls plug on Netware support. Tech industry out of ideas? Cyber-crime treaty meets criticism. SDMI brouhaha continues. Test-driving JRun Studio. Hacker's guide to OpenOffice.
By J.D. Hildebrand
Today is the
293rd day of 2000; 72 days remain in the year.
FOLLOW THE MONEY. Linux Today has published an intriguing
analysis of corporate investments in Linux and open source companies. These
investments don't raise eyebrows anymore -- it's as if we expect established
high-tech companies to help fund Bazaar-style startups. But why are the larger
companies investing? Do the investments reflect growing confidence in
Bazaar-style business models, or are the larger companies simply hedging their
bets? Author John
Wolley doesn't have all the answers, but it's about time someone asked the
LOVE FOR SALE. It's one of those ideas that must have looked good on
Let's say you're involved in Microsoft's Pocket PC initiative, the latest
incarnation of Windows CE. You're proud of the work the engineers have done, but
you're getting the stuffing knocked out of you in the marketplace, because the
darn Palm platform is so popular.
What do you do? Why not invite authors, reviewers -- heck, even frequent
newsgroup posters -- up to Redmond for a feel-good event. Show 'em what you've
been up to, treat 'em right, let the marketing team at 'em. And send each one of
'em home with a couple brand-new handheld computers running Pocket PC OS, $1,400
worth of goodies. Once they try it, they'll never go back to the Palm.
Reads like a paranoid fantasy, doesn't it? But according to this
article by ZDNet's Richard Shim, "Pocket PC Wireless and Beyond"
really happened. Maybe the freebies will get the journalists, reviewers, and
opinion leaders to adopt and promote the new platform, and Pocket PC can grow
beyond its current 9.7 percent market share.
ORACLE PULLS PLUG ON NETWARE SUPPORT. In a surprise move, Oracle has
apparently resolved to end "error correction support" for Oracle
products on Novell Netware at the end of next year. Oracle will recommend that
customers upgrade to Linux, Solaris, or HP-UX. Read all about it here.
TECH INDUSTRY OUT OF IDEAS? In this USA Today Tech
Report, Kevin Maney says this year's Agenda conference didn't serve up the
usual bounty of hot new ideas. Is the industry headed into a lull? Where are the
new ideas coming from?
INTERNATIONAL TREATY PROPOSAL MEETS CRITICISM. The international
cyber-crime treaty I told
you about a few days ago is generating the anticipated outrage among
thoughtful people everywhere. The proposed treaty -- read it here
in .DOC form -- would criminalize a whole set of activities across all signatory
companies, and it would even set recommended penalties, extradition policies,
and procedures for international cooperation in prosecution. Criticism of the
proposed treaty is summarized here
SDMI BROUHAHA CONTINUES. In other Old Business, we find that the
did-they-or-didn't-they speculation about SDMI is continuing.
SDMI, remember, is an
organization that exists to create watermarks for digital music files, making
the files traceable. SDMI developed a set of six proposed watermark-encoding
schemes and posted encoded files at its Web site, challenging
hackers to break the encoding. Leaders of the open source movement urged
programmers to boycott
the challenge, charging that SDMI was counting on them to take on unpaid QA
responsibility for a project whose goals were contrary to the open source
In due course, Salon
published a report
stating that all six watermarks had been cracked, based on information from
anonymous sources. SDMI denied
the report, saying that it had only begun to evaluate the submitted hacks.
In response to an Inside.com interview in which SDMI director Leonardo
Chiariglione declared that Salon's story was "completely wrong, unfounded,
anonymous slander," Salon went back to its sources for further information.
The updated report appears here.
The Register, meanwhile, is reporting
that Salon was right the first time, and that the watermarks have certainly
fallen under hacker attack.
I'll continue to cover this bizarre story as it develops.
TEST-DRIVING ALLAIRE'S JRUN STUDIO. eWeeks Labs has published this
report on Allaire Corp.'s JRun Studio 3.0, which it describes as a
first-rate JSP development environment for programmers who don't mind writing
their own HTML code. Some important features don't work under Windows 9x,
OK, YOU DOWNLOADED IT. NOW WHAT? Have you grabbed the source and
binaries for OpenOffice yet? Wondering what's next? How to contribute to the
code base, sign up to hear about updates, participate in the community? Check
out the "Hackers
Guide to Participating in OpenOffice.org," a white paper at the
OpenOffice Web site.
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