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.
All articles through December 2001 are available for
public reading at
Recent articles are available on-line for subscribers only at
A recent story on Slashdot highlighted how bad this law really is. Apparently it turns out that serial cables might be illegal. The story submitter, Colin McMillen, related how US Customs rejected entry of a PC-Sega Dreamcast serial cable into the US, even though the cable had a legitimate academic use.
In related news, Slashdot reported that Canada is to hold public hearings on digital copyright. There are various locations and dates, and it would be great if people from Canada with an interest in the Free Software movement were able to make their points of view heard at these meetings.
The following articles are in the March issue of the E-zine LinuxFocus:
The Register have featured the following stories which might interest you:
The O'Reilly stable of websites have published various articles which might be useful or interesting to you:
The Dillo web browser. Still pretty basic, no frames or style sheets, but it is VERY FAST! This is worth supporting.
Mike Orr's Linux Journal report from the Tenth International Python Conference.
Slashdot story on CodeWeavers CrossOver plugin 1.1 which plays Windows Media 6.4 under Linux.
The LinuxBIOS project.
UnixReview.com have taken a look at three Linux firewall products: SuSE Firewall on CD, Mandrake Single Network Firewall and Coyote Linux.
LinuxSecurity.com has a guide to configuring Postfix.
Newsforge reports on Fluxbox, an evolved version of the Blackbox window manager.
IBM article on clustering with MOSIX.
Linuxtoday with a Boston Consulting Group report on the mind of the average Open Source community member.
US-Patent on perfect machine translation. Quoting a little from a post by Hartmut Pilch to the European Patent Office mailing list:
"The description is very voluminous and explains a whole new cosmology, comprising insights about Buddhism illumination, androids, perpetuum mobiles, subject-object dichotomy and much more. Based on this cosmology, a solution to the above-claimed problem seems to become possible. At least it should be difficult for an examiner to refute that it does. He could ask the inventor to provide a working reference implementation, but that is not adequate, because only a key idea of a huge complex system is claimed."
Some more patents links
Wotsit.org ("What's it?") is a reference site for information on various file formats.
Listings courtesy Linux Journal. See LJ's Events page for the latest goings-on.
COMDEX (Key3Media)||March 5-7, 2002|
BioIT World Conference & Expo (IDG)||March 12-14, 2002|
Embedded Systems Conference (CMP)||March 12-16, 2002|
San Francisco, CA
CeBIT (Hannover Fairs)||March 14-22, 2002|
COMDEX (Key3Media)||March 19-21, 2002|
FOSE||March 19-21, 2002|
Game Developers Conference (CMP)||March 19-23, 2002|
San Jose, CA
LinuxWorld Conference & Expo Singapore (IDG)||March 20-22, 2002|
Software Solutions / eBusiness World||March 26-27, 2002|
SANS 2002 (SANS Institute)||April 7-9, 2002|
LinuxWorld Conference & Expo Malaysia (IDG)||April 9-11, 2002|
LinuxWorld Conference & Expo Dublin (IDG)||April 9-11, 2002|
Internet World Spring (Penton)||April 22-24, 2002|
Los Angeles, CA
O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference (O'Reilly)||April 22-25, 2002|
Santa Clara, CA
Software Development Conference & Expo, West (CMP)||April 22-26, 2002|
San Jose, CA
Networld + Interop (Key3Media)||May 7-9, 2002|
Las Vegas, NV
Strictly e-Business Solutions Expo (Cygnus Expositions)||May 8-9, 2002|
Embedded Systems Conference (CMP)||June 3-6, 2002|
USENIX Annual (USENIX)||June 9-14, 2002|
PC Expo (CMP)||June 25-27, 2002|
New York, NY
O'Reilly Open Source Convention (O'Reilly)||July 22-26, 2002|
San Diego, CA
USENIX Securty Symposium (USENIX)||August 5-9, 2002|
San Francisco, CA
LinuxWorld Conference & Expo (IDG)||August 12-15, 2002|
San Francisco, CA
LinuxWorld Conference & Expo Australia (IDG)||August 14 - 16, 2002|
Communications Design Conference (CMP)||September 23-26, 2002|
San Jose, California
Software Development Conference & Expo, East (CMP)||November 18-22, 2002|
The Register reported that this civil activity was received with hostility by Microsoft Germany, who felt they were unjustly being labelled as: "undemocratic and a hindrance to democracy". The consultants report released later on basically divided the spoils [The Register] between Microsoft (recommended for desktops) and free software (recommended in server/groupware roles). Microsoft's poor email client security was noted, but was not sufficient to tip the balance.
Also on the topic of open standards, The Register reported on the Free Standards Group, which has currently completed two standards, the Linux Standard Base (broadly covering system layout) and the Li18nux standard (covering internationalization). Happily, this initiative seems to have widespread support, and should be a significant boon to the whole Free Software movement.
Linux Weekly News (LWN) is becoming independent again. Tucows, which had acquired it, has spun it off. "As of the beginning of February, LWN will operate, once again, as an independent publication of Eklektix, Inc., which will be owned by the current LWN staff. All of our financial issues remain, and they have only gotten more pressing over time, but we will have more freedom in how we try to address those issues." LG has long been a supporter of LWN (after all, we get some of our best links from them!), and we were saddened in November to hear of their difficulties. We wish the LWN staff the very best of luck.
Distro News is based on the information sent to us by the publishers/authors of Linux distributions. This does not necessarily give a broad view of the Linux scene. One excellent resource for anyone interested in choosing a distribution or just in the state of the business is DistroWatch.com which has profiles and comparisons of almost every distribution under the sun. Another resource is the distribution section of Linux Weekly News (for example, here) which covers news regarding new distribution releases, changes/updates to existing distros, and distribution releases.
LynuxWorks have announced BlueCat 4.0 Linux and VisualLynux Integrated Development Environment (IDE) support for the for the new ARM920T processor. Developers will now be able to develop embedded Linux software applications for the ARM920T processor, which features high-performance and low-power characteristics for handheld devices, network computers, smart phones and other processor-intensive applications. LynuxWorks' BlueCat 4.0 Linux distribution is based on the 2.4 Linux kernel. With VisualLynux, developers have access to an integrated and tested cross development environment to facilitate development. VisualLynux is an extension of Microsoft Visual Studio, developed for Windows-hosted development, with the added benefit of all the commands and standard GNU tools needed to streamline the design and creation of applications targeted to run on BlueCat Linux.
In response to the growing demand for off the shelf products for desktop Linux systems, the Graphics Muse is now offering The Graphics Muse Tools CD, an easy to install package of plug-ins, scripts, and data for use with the latest version of GIMP. The Graphics Muse Tools CD V1.0.0, a suite of Plug-Ins, scripts and data designed specifically for use with GIMP 1.2 and Red Hat 7.x was released on Feb 7, 2002. This release includes 4 original plug-ins and 84 plug-ins and Perl scripts from the GIMP Registry, all compiled for use on Red Hat 7.x. This includes 16 programs that had not previously been ported to GIMP 1.2. Additionally, the CD includes over 125 new brushes and 125 new patterns.
The Graphics Muse Tools CD is available for Red Hat Linux 7.x systems and can be purchased for $12, plus shipping and any applicable sales tax, from the Graphics Muse Tools CD web site. (Should also work on SuSE 7.2 and Mandrake 8.1)
CryptoHeaven offer a set of tools and services aimed at bringing encryption technologies to a wider audience. The tools deal with such tasks as encrypting/signing emails, secure instant messaging and chatting, online encrypted file storage, key management, etc., with the emphasis on ease of use. Available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X. Free download, with charges for some services, consult website for details.
Zend Technologies have released Zend Studio 2.0: an environment for developing, debugging, and deploying PHP applications in one integrated package. Zend Studio 2.0 is intended to allow people with intermediate computer skills to develop, de-bug and deploy PHP-based applications ranging from e-commerce to Web hosting.
In cooperation with The Open Group, ICS have just released an update to the Motif GUI toolkit. Open Motif 2.2 includes 10 new user interface controls and universal tooltip support. A roadmap has also been defined that defines availability for additional functionality including anti-aliased fonts, improved imaging support (png, jpg, etc.) and canvases.
More details are available at www.motifzone.net.
Fake is a utility, released by Verge Systems, that enables an IP address to be taken over by bringing up a second interface on the host machine and using arp spoofing. This can be used to switch in backup servers on a LAN during periods of both unscheduled and scheduled down time.
Excel Software have announced the availability of two new packages for Linux. QuickHelp is a development tool for quickly creating and distributing online help for Linux applications with support for the Linux KDE and GNOME desktops. QuickHelp consists of a QuickHelp Builder for creating help systems and a QuickHelp Viewer for deploying them to end-users. The help information resides in a single XML file distributed with the QuickHelp Viewer.
QuickUML for Linux is an object-oriented design tool that provides extensive integration and ease-of-use for a core set of UML models. An entire project is accessible through a tabbed window with smooth integration between use cases, class models, object models, dictionary and code. The project is saved as an XML file that is compatible with QuickUML Windows so design work can be shared between platforms.
Team ASA have today announced the latest release in the NPWR single board networking computer series. NPWR, a first single board networking computer (SBNC) designed for manufacturers and OEMs in the Network Attached Storage (NAS), RAID, and Personal Server marketplaces, is now available with dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. The NPWR is powered by the Intel XScale processor and the standard configuration includes a 160 Mbytes per second (LVD) SCSI port, 8 Mbytes of FLASH ROM, 128 Mbytes of SDRAM and Dual Gigabit Ethernet ports.
VariCAD have announced the recent release of its MCAD - VariCAD 8.1. This CAD package features many tools for 3D modelling and 2D drafting: libraries of mechanical parts, surface development (unbending), calculations of standard mechanical components, tools for working with non-graphical information (BOM), and more. VariCAD 8.1 can also import and export common CAD file types such as DWG, DXF, and IGES.