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News Bytes

By Michael Conry

News Bytes


Selected and formatted by Michael Conry

Submitters, send your News Bytes items in PLAIN TEXT format. Other formats may be rejected without reading. You have been warned! A one- or two-paragraph summary plus URL gets you a better announcement than an entire press release. Submit items to bytes@lists.linuxgazette.net

Legislation and More Legislation

 Jon Johansen

As has been reported in previous months, Jon Johansen, the Norwegian man charged in relation to the DeCSS computer code, has been successful in his legal travails. Now, it has been reported that he is going to attempt to turn the tables and seek compensation from the Norwegian white collar crimes unit.


EFF is taking a weekly look at the various provisions of the PATRIOT act which could/should be allowed to lapse in December 2005. The first provision studied is Section 215 allowing the FBI access to your private records.


The DVD Copy Control Association (also known as the DVD CCA) has abandoned its case against Andrew Brunner. Brunner found himself at the sharp end of legal action as a result of having distributed the DeCSS computer code on his website. The thrust of the DVD CCA legal action was to assert that Brunner was a violator of trade secret laws. However, the legal action taken by the DVD CCA, which was one many cases, proved unsuccessful in halting the global distribution of the computer code, which is now anything but secret.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation maintains a DVD-CCA v. Brunner case archive.

Linux Links

GNUstep Live CD (based on Morphix)

Converting an existing system to use the 2.6 kernel.

An interesting article by B. D. McCullough on errors in the statistics functions of Excel and Gnumeric. The two packages shared some of the same errors, Gnumeric has been fixed, Excel has not. (courtesy Linux Today).

developerWorks on the improvements in Linux kernel development from 2.4 to 2.6.

IT Manager's Journal sees embedded Linux as a disruptive force.

PC World takes a look at Mozilla.org's new Firefox web browser

Six Things First-Time Squid Administrators Should Know

Which Linux distribution is the most popular? Which is growing fastest?

Linux and the distributed chess-brain.

Munich's switch to Linux facing a bumpy road

Tux Cookies?

Tripwire on your Fedora Box

News in General

 Nonprofit Open Source Primer

NOSI (Nonprofit Open Source Initiative), has released a primer document for nonprofit bodies considering the use of open-source alternatives to closed-source applications. The PDF document can be downloaded from their website


The Linux kernel has been updated to a new stable version: 2.6.3. Changelog is available.

The old stable line has also received an update, to a new version: 2.4.25, while the previous stable tree has also seen a fresh addition in version 2.2.26.


The browser formerly known as Firebird (and before that as Phoenix) has now changed its name to Firefox. Though you may be interested to read the background FAQ to the name-change, it is probably more useful to look at the new features included in this release


wxWindows is to change name to become wxWidgets following pressure from Microsoft regarding possible trademark infringement of Microsoft's "Windows" name. The agreement appears to be relatively amicable.

 The Battle for Wesnoth

The Battle for Wesnoth is a fantasy turn-based strategy game. Nicely, it is has been released under the GPL, and can be used on GNU/Linux, Windows, MacOSX, BeOS, Solaris and FreeBSD. You can read about the game on the project website. Linux Gaming Planet has also posted a review of the game, including an interview the project originator, David White.

Distro News


Why Linux, Why Debian?

Debian Kernel 2.6 HOWTO


Fedora, as reported by eWeek, appears to be the first major Linux 2.6 based distribution. LXer has a review of the 2.6 based distro online.

 Linux From Scratch

The LFS Development Team has announced the release of LFS-5.1-PRE1, the first pre-release of the upcoming LFS-5.1 book. You can read it online or you can download the book from to read it locally at http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/

This being a test release, the team would appreciate any feedback, in particular bugs in the installation instructions. Any and all feedback should be sent to the lfs-dev mailinglist.


The Register has reviewed Xandros Linux. "User-friendly to a fault".

Software and Product News

 REALbasic 5.5

REAL Software has released REALbasic 5.5 Professional Edition. This software enables developers to compile Visual Basic source code under Linux.

 AP Intelligent Mail SwitchT

Secluda Technologies has launched the AP Intelligent Mail Switch, an SMTP perimeter-gateway solution for e-mail productivity. With the company's existing product InboxMasterR, the AP Intelligent Mail Switch gives IT professionals greater ability to monitor and manage e-mail environments; improve the performance and reliability of e-mail applications including anti-spam filters, virus scanning, and e-mail servers; and prevent false positives and other problems caused by e-mail filters.

Secluda's AP Intelligent Mail Switch runs on SUSE, Red Hat, and Mandrake Linux, and is priced on a user/server basis starting at $195 up to $3,995 for an unlimited server license.


Mick is LG's News Bytes Editor.

[Picture] Originally hailing from Ireland, Michael is currently living in Baden, Switzerland. There he works with ABB Corporate Research as a Marie-Curie fellow, developing software for the simulation and design of electrical power-systems equipment.

Before this, Michael worked as a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University College Dublin; the same institution that awarded him his PhD. The topic of this PhD research was the use of Lamb waves in nondestructive testing. GNU/Linux has been very useful in his past work, and Michael has a strong interest in applying free software solutions to other problems in engineering.

Copyright © 2004, Michael Conry. Released under the Open Publication license unless otherwise noted in the body of the article. Linux Gazette is not produced, sponsored, or endorsed by its prior host, SSC, Inc.

Published in Issue 100 of Linux Gazette, March 2004

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