Who says Linux has to stay in the server room? It may not be on every desktop yet, but the operating system — and open source generally — is coming ever closer to being a household name.
Ideastorm is Dell’s Digg-like suggestion box, where users can submit their ideas and vote on them. The top-five ideas as of the writing of this blog: pre-installed Linux; pre-installed OpenOffice; a bare-bones Windows installation; a Linux laptop; and an option to just buy the computer raw, without any system pre-installed.
Microsoft may be pouring oil on the fire if Vista’s anti-piracy policies end up driving desktop users to Linux, but it probably has a bit of time. Windows is still the main operating system at companies around the world, and Linux applications may still need work before they’re ready to go mainstream.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, has issued a patent to Incipient, Inc., for its split-path architecture that performs block level storage virtualization – a core function within its Incipient Network Storage Platform (iNSP). The iNSP software suite is embedded in SAN switches and helps deliver network data mobility, network volume management and network copy services. Since October 2005, the Waltham, Mass. company has won five patents each covering key storage virtualization technologies that the company has developed.
Educate your daughters, wives, nieces and moms. I don’t want any of the women in your life getting up in front of a glamorous Oscar audience, like Little Miss Sunshine’s Abigail Breslin, to make women look tech-clueless. On Sunday, Breslin admitted that she didn’t know what her father, a computer systems analyst, did for a living. The Academy should be ashamed for writing a script like that just for a laugh. Contributors at my new favorite girl technology blog, She’s Such a Geek, agree.
Women in the technology field — as resellers, consultants, programmers, or IT personnel — are no longer a novelty. Though the field is still male-dominated, there are promising stories of women bucking stereotypes all over the news, and popular culture needs to catch up with that reality. But with this education comes responsibility.
The fact is that women are busting onto the hacking scene against all odds. Hacker Raven Alder started a movement in 2004 (whether she admits that her gender is an issue or not), and just this month, two girls from Ohio hacked into their school’s computer system to post a message that school was cancelled due to snow.
As political theorist Hannah Arendt said, “Do not do what you would undo if caught.” Criminal hackers should take this to heart. But if they don’t, make sure you’re prepared to deal with hackers of all genders, races, and ages at SearchSecurityChannel.com’s hacking tools and techniques topic center.
Though it’s hardly the most objective survey sponsor in the world, security software vendor nCircle Network Security Inc. has published results of a recent survey of 83 IT security professionals showing that nearly two-thirds or 66% said they believe their own personal data is less secure than 24 months ago. The survey was conducted by nCircle, a provider of agentless security risk and compliance management solutions. nCircle’s CEO, Abe Kleinfeld, said the results point to a “real and present danger to online data that IT security professionals see everyday.”
Sun burns brightest in latest IDC server study In the last quarter of 2006, Sun’s server revenue grew nearly 15 percent, while Hewlett-Packard took the top blade vendor spot from its longtime rival IBM, according to a study by IDC. [eWEEK]
HP pays for PolyServe while IBM and Dell watch Cluster a Go Go [TheReg]
Dell allows customers to buy new notebooks without Windows Dell decides to sell notebooks without operating systems by customer request. [DailyTech]
Flaws in tech support tools open PCs to attack The risky security holes are in tools commonly provided by software makers and ISPs to provide remote tech support. [CNET]
The movement to green facilities is nothing new. The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has been working on bringing environmental awareness to the forefront of business consciousness for some time now. Through smart building design and power usage, companies — more specifically the buildings they inhabit — are certified as green friendly.
That means the company who is certified gets to hang a plaque in the lobby of the building. While that may not sound like much, the small environmental footprint is noble goal to have. Oh, and the company running the building will save a wheelbarrow full of money each year by taking advantage of lower energy costs and other green-back saving strategies which are inherent to certification.
Now it looks like the IT community is jumping on the same bandwagon and noticing that there actually is money in doing the right thing. (I’m sure the idea of wheelbarrows full of money had something to do with the move to eco-conservatism.) The “IT titans,” as CNET so eloquently puts it, include Advanced Micro Devices, Intel, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, Rackable Systems, SprayCool, VWware and American Power Conversion. They are all member of the GreenGrid board, whose goal is to “lower the overall consumption of power in data centers around the globe.”
It’s a good idea for these companies to make this move, but I have to wonder if it is a little late in the game. Data center managers and VARs have, I’m sure, been trying to figure out ways to lower energy consumption in server rooms and data centers for a long time. Different cooling techniques, rack configuration — I bet they’d even hang garland and sing Christmas carols year round if they thought their servers would eat less energy — aren’t exactly breaking news.
But better late than never, and I do see channel benefits in the long run. Once the bureaucracy of forming a group like this is finished and these companies do start putting out green products — products that consume less energy and have a smaller footprint, for example — VARs may be able to take the garland down.
As part of our relentless search for market-trend indicators (it was the No. 1 item in a Google on “linux market prediction”), we ran across this eruditely argued analysis of the tenuous market position of Windows and the need of the industry to move beyond its dependence on Microsoft:
Are you a Microsoft investor? Be afraid. Be very afraid. By 2010 Windows will be as dead as CP/M, and every Windows-based software vendor will be either supporting Linux or out of business.
The process is in fact 80% complete:
The end result is already obvious to bright CEOs,
Why haven’t we noticed yet?
and will shortly be obvious even to bright mainstream press columnists.
Oh. Maybe they’ll tell us.
subhed: How do you extrapolate an exponential?
Now we’re ready to believe. That subheading makes the whole thing sound like one of those papers the smart kid turned in during Advanced Physics – the ones you wanted to refute, but couldn’t figure out how.
Then we noticed the publication date: Jan 10, 1999.
Back to covering Vista.
Dell computers get Linux pre-installed After all the speculation, Dell has announced it will start selling computers with pre-installed Linux distributions instead of Microsoft Windows. [TechTree]
Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack 1 gets a due dateMicrosoft’s Exchange Server 2007 Service Pack (SP) 1 now has an official due date: Same time as Longhorn Server in the latter half of 2007.
[All About Microsoft]
Intel pushes denser data centres Intel has kicked off a campaign to make data centres more efficient and less environmentally damaging. Paradoxically, one of its key messages seems to be that companies need to refresh their servers – ie. buy new ones – more often. [TheReg]
IBM not ready to say Oracle’s Linux compatibleIBM is not ready to guarantee that its computer programs are compatible with Oracle Corp.’s recently launched version of the Linux operating system, an IBM spokesman said on Friday. [Reuters]
Our sister site SearchSecurity.com perused the blogosphere to see what people are talking about on the wire. Today’s word is that Microsoft’s pride and joy, Vista, is getting a beating over security issues.
I decided to see how people felt about Vista in general. On Microsoft’s blog newschannel, I discovered Vista’s “Wow” ad, which compares encountering Vista with seeing Apollo 11 launch, a suburban jogger encountering elk on his manicured lawn, and a panoramic view of mountainous terrain; in each scenario someone says, “Wow!” (sometimes repeatedly). Does Vista make you say, “Wow!”
Jethro Carr a systems engineer employed by Prophecy Networks is not saying “Wow!” He calls Vista a “Faustian bargain.” He airs a number of criticisms including that Vista doesn’t support HDCP — so those who want high resolution screens will have to wait for the Vista compatible hardware to come out. He also said Vista hardware requires a unique fingerprint, which will make getting specs for open-source drivers challenging. He claims that the SMB owners he’s spoken to will avoid Vista as long as possible because of the expense of upgrading all their computers.
But — despite the criticism — according to The NPD Group’s vice president of industry analysis, Stephen Baker, PC retail sales have increased significantly since Vista’s release. In a podcast interview with eWEEK’s Microsoft Watch, Baker said overall PC retail sales were up about 67% from the previous year: notebooks sales saw a 119% increase and desktop sales increased 20%. By the way, Baker recommends SMBs go with Vista Business. What do you think?
FBI shifts to watch-everyone, record-everything wiretaps After retiring “Carnivore” the FBI appear to have shifted to broad-based surveillance strategy that involves compiling massive databases of information on thousands of users at a time. [CNET]
FBI loses Iomega drive with personal info on 500K people The FBI is offering up to $25,000 for information leading to the return of a missing “Iomega hard drive.” Apparently, the drive, used to backup data on medical research, contains personal information on “at least a half-million people.” [Engadget]
Microsoft hit with $1.52 billion patent suit damages A U.S. federal jury found that Microsoft Corp. infringed audio patents held by Alcatel-Lucent and should pay $1.52 billion in damages. [Reuters]