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By: J.D. Hildebrand
Abstract: Has Linux been too successful? Home networking is next killer app. Linux in the enterprise. Python 2.0 released. SDMI watermarks intact? Latest UI breakthrough: scent.
By J.D. Hildebrand
Today is the 290th day of 2000; 75 days remain in the year.
Eleven years ago today I was working at my office in San Francisco's South of
Market district when my desk took a sickening lurch, the floor rolled, and
the lights went out. I heard windows breaking. I heard file cabinets crashing over. Then
nothing but silence and dark. I made my way down the stairs through chunks of
drywall and fallen ceiling tiles. San Francisco had just been struck by an earthquake
measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale.
I ventured out into the street, my shoes crunching shards of plate glass that
had fallen from windows in the surrounding office buildings. The electricity was
out everywhere. Twilight faded quickly to dark. Sirens wailed and the wind
smelled of smoke.
Around the corner a man called to me from the doorway of a darkened tavern.
"Hey, give me a hand!" I helped him pull tables and chairs out into
the street. I took a seat and he brought me a bottle of beer from inside, waving
aside the money I offered. We sat and looked at the destruction around us.
Dazed office workers drifted over and joined us. We huddled around candles
and speculated about the damage. Someone had a transistor radio, and every once
in a while a whispered rumor swept through our little shell-shocked community.
"The Marina is on fire!" "The Bay Bridge has collapsed!"
"They've canceled the World Series!" We faced the end of the world in
dress shoes and loosened neckties.
HAS LINUX BEEN TOO SUCCESSFUL? eWeek's Peter Galli has taken a fresh
look at widely reported delays in the introduction of the Linux 2.4 kernel.
The slow-down may not be proof that the Open Source development model is flawed,
Galli says, but a sign that Linux is successful. As more companies and
individuals adopt Linux, the pressure rises to shoehorn new features into
upcoming releases. Moreover, the exploding user base is subjecting Linux to
exploding demands: new platforms, new peripherals, new applications...all the
stresses that accumulate when you get millions of people using software in ways
the creator couldn't have anticipated.
HOME NETWORKING TARGETED AS NEXT KILLER APP. What do Cisco Systems,
Sears Roebuck, 3Com, Honeywell, Best Buy, General Motors, Panasonic, and Sun
Microsystems have in common? They've all teamed together to form the Internet
Home Alliance, a coalition that will set standards and teach consumers what
home-networking technology can do. The consortium has its eye on a market that
research firm Cahners In-Stat Group projects will grow from $600 million this
year to $5.7 billion by 2004. CNet covered the formation of the coalition in this
LINUX IN THE ENTERPRISE: A SNAPSHOT. Network World Fusion has put
together a suite of articles covering the use of Linux in corporations. This
special report includes market-research numbers as well as case histories that
illustrate what Linux is good at and what it's not so good at. Plus, there's a
pointer to a survey showing which Linux products are most popular. All in all, a
useful and interesting report. Find it here.
PYTHON 2.0 RELEASED. Have you started messing around with Python yet?
I'll be honest, I haven't either. But my old friend Bruce
Eckel gave me quite a sales pitch at this year's BorCon,
leaving me quite intrigued. The good news is that a major new release of the
language is now available from BeOpen's PythonLabs. Nab it here.
SDMI WATERMARKS INTACT? I reported Friday
that hackers had successfully met the SDMI coalition's challenge and cracked the
proposed watermark copyright-protection scheme it had posted on its Web site. My
information came indirectly from the hackers, who forwarded their solutions to Salon
and claimed success. SDMI itself, however, has yet to study all of the submitted
hacks. The organization is not yet prepared to say that even a single one of the
watermarks has been cracked. Here
is ZDNet's account of SDMI's side of the story.
THE LATEST UI BREAKTHROUGH: SCENT. HONEST. Get ready -- researchers
are getting ready to put a computer-controlled smell machine on your desktop.
Every Web site you visit will feature a characteristic scent, and...well, you
get the idea. Here is an interview
with Digiscents co-founder and CEO Joel
Bellenson, as conducted by
SiliconValley.com. Enjoy. And be sure to check out the ScentWare Web
Development Kit, which will be introduced next week at Internet World in New
York. "Digital scent will be added to streaming media, e-mail, online
games, e-commerce, and advertising," Bellenson says. "Using the
ScentWare WDK, developers can easily create unforgettable Web sites." The
WDK reportedly includes ScentWare ActiveX control, Netscape plug-in, and Flash
presentation support. To get a copy of the ScentWare WDK, become a registered
developer by visiting this
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