LXer Weekly Roundup for 27-Sept-2009

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Sep 28, 2009 11:37 PM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 28-Sept-2009

eyeOS: Your Own Private Linux Cloud that You Control (part 1): Cloud computing is a relativity new computing concept where resources are provided via the Internet instead of on the local computer or network. It's virtualization over the Internet. Eric Geier introduces eyeOS, the do-it-yourself cloud that keeps control in your hands.

Why virus writers are turning to open source: Malware developers are going open source in an effort to make their malicious software more useful to fraudsters. By giving criminal coders free access to malware that steals financial and personal details, the malicious software developers are hoping to expand the capabilities of old Trojans. According to Candid Wuest, threat researcher with security firm Symantec, around 10 percent of the Trojan market is now open source.

IBM Linux chief: Chasing desktop Windows a 'dead-end': IBM says that battling for desktop market share against Windows is a "dead-end" for Linux. Bob Sutor, IBM's vp of open source and Linux for IBM, opened the inaugural LinuxCon conference held in Portland, Oregon on Monday with predictions for the open source desktop, telling developers they won't thrive unless they specialize. Given his connections to Big Blue, Sutor unsurprisingly (and justifiably) praised Linux for its cloud, mainframe, and hardware-specific ubiquity. But he opined that winning hearts in the general market is a different story altogether.

The Possible Futures of the Linux Desktop: What is the future of the Linux desktop? According to Bob Sutor, vice president of open source and Linux at IBM (NYSE: IBM), it's not about dominating the desktop landscape or being a drop-in replacement for Microsoft Windows. In fact, during his keynote at the LinuxCon conference today, Sutor said he doesn't see Linux ever dominating the desktop space. "I think trying to make it a complete drop-in replacement is a dead-end strategy," Sutor said. "They've got a little bit more money, and even more important than that is they've got the market share and the mind share."

Linus calls Linux 'bloated and huge': Linux creator Linus Torvalds says the open source kernel has become "bloated and huge," with no midriff-slimming diet plan in sight. During a roundtable discussion at LinuxCon in Portland, Oregon this afternoon, moderator and Novell distinguished engineer James Bottomley asked Tovalds whether Linux kernel features were being released too fast, before the kernel is stabilized. Citing an internal Intel study that tracked kernel releases, Bottomley said Linux performance had dropped about two per centage points at every release, for a cumulative drop of about 12 per cent over the last ten releases. "Is this a problem?" he asked. "We're getting bloated and huge. Yes, it's a problem," said Torvalds.

Microsoft accused of 'ulterior motive' in Linux patent sale: Does the troll-blocking organization that recently secured a set of supposedly Linux-related patents from Microsoft need sizing for a penguin-shaped tinfoil hat? Or was the IP sale really Redmond's secret scheme to "create fear, uncertainty, and doubt" in the open-source community?

Mr. Torvalds, Shrink That Kernel: Linus Torvalds, creator of the Linux kernel, said at the LinuxCon in Portland yesterday that, "We are not the streamlined, small, hyper-efficient kernel I envisioned 15 years ago," he said. "Our kernel is huge and bloated. Whenever we add a new feature, it only gets worse." It's time to put Linux on a diet. What we need is a very small kernel that loads support via external files. Though Linux is a modular kernel, it seems that everything gets compiled in to the central code slug but I have a solution.

Ellison: No MySQL spin off: Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, has made it clear that he is not prepared to spin off Sun's MySQL business in an attempt to placate the European Commission investigation of competition issues with Oracle's planned acquisition of Sun. The deal has already been approved by US authorities and Ellison thinks that the European Commission will follow saying "I think once they do their job, they're going to come to the same conclusion".

Does the Linux desktop need to be popular?: Does Linux desktop even need to be popular? There are, shall we say, differing options among the open source cognoscenti gathered in Portland, Oregon this week for the annual LinuxCon. For the last eight years, we've been told it's the year of the Linux desktop. Yet penetration figures have remained somewhere in the region of 0 to 1 per cent. The top brass at the Linux Foundation don't seem particularly interested in desktop uptake these days. They prefer to press towards successes in end-user device and mobile phone markets rather than worrying about turning hearts against Windows and OS X.

Bob Sutor - Here Are Your "Dead Ends": Hey...slip off that 1000 dollar suit Bob and change into jeans and a t-shirt, swap out those Gucci loafers for a pair of 25 dollar sneakers and spend some time with me. I'm going to show you why Linux on the Desktop is anything but a dead end. Meet just a few of those that would call you "disconnected" for your statements.

Microsoft and Intel port Silverlight to Linux: Intel and Microsoft have announced a new port of Silverlight to Linux, specifically for the Intel-sponsored Moblin operating system running on Atom-powered devices such as netbooks. The port enables Intel to include Silverlight as a supported runtime in the Atom Developer Program, which will feed an iPhone-like App Store. Microsoft has already provided Intel with Silverlight source code and test suites. Intel will build an optimized Moblin version of Silverlight, which Microsoft will supply to OEMs. There are a couple of surprising aspects to the announcement. One is that a Linux implementation of Silverlight already exists, the open source Moonlight project. We asked Microsoft’s Brian Goldfarb, director of the Developer Platform Group, why Moonlight was not being used for Atom devices.

Microsoft: Google Chrome Frame makes IE less secure: The release of Google Chrome Frame, a new open source plugin that injects Chrome's renderer and JavaScript engine into Microsoft's browser, earlier this week had many web developers happily dancing long through the night. Finally, someone had found a way to get Internet Explorer users up to speed on the Web. Microsoft, on the other hand, is warning IE users that it does not recommend installing the plugin. What does the company have against the plugin? It makes Internet Explorer less secure.

Could Windows 7 Lead Us From Recession: It's always hard to believe pre-release hype where Microsoft is concerned, but if Windows 7 is as stable as early reports suggest, it could mean more companies bent on using Microsoft anyway, will make the switch, and when they do chances are they'll need to upgrade their hardware. And that could be an economic boost.

Flip Flops Are Evil: It's always interesting, as well as incredibly frustrating, when a company takes a stand on an issue and then switches back and forth based on what best suits it on any particular day. There's a word for taking a stand against something and then doing it yourself, but we're not going to use that word. More than a few people have been using it to describe a growing feud between two of the biggest names from the old order and the new.

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