LinuxWorld Powered by Windows Part II

Some of you may remember a previous blog entry I penned that looked at Linuxworldexpo.com. In that entry, I discussed the fact that the website linuxworldexpo.com for the LinuxWorld Expo 2006, one of the largest Linux trade shows in the world, is powered by Windows Server.

Some comments on this article when it hit the newswires at Lxer were that it was spotted previously by a site member. I revisit some articles from time to time just to clean up appearance and layout (since I’ve migrated site themes, been doing this quite a bit) and I noticed that Linuxworldexpo.com isn’t the only website that is powered by Windows. LinuxWorld leaves many of its sites to be powered by Bill and the gang:

  1. Linuxworldexpo.co.uk (previously reported by theregister)
  2. Linuxworldexpo.com (netcraft report)
  3. linuxworldexpo.com.au (netcraft report)
  4. linuxworld.idg.se (netcraft report)
  5. linuxworldchina.com (netcraft report)
  6. linuxworld.dk (netcraft report)
  7. Linuxworldsummit.com (netcraft report)

Some of these sites above aren’t live… but most of them are from the same netblock, Level 3 Communitcations, Inc. Some side info to note: Level 3 is having SEC problems currently and the Yahoo Finance Boards are a hoppin with various messages with some predicting a huge fall and others comparing it to Worldcom. Now back to our subject. We’ve identified the netblock, but let’s get a bit deeper and find out other information.

A quick “jwhois linuxworldexpo.com” yields the following information:

Registrant:
International Data Group, Inc. (DOM-373431)
5 Speen Street Framingham MA 01701 US
Domain Name: linuxworldexpo.com Registrar Name: Markmonitor.com
Registrar Whois: whois.markmonitor.com
Registrar Homepage: http://www.markmonitor.com

Administrative Contact:
International Data Group, Inc. (NIC-14208833) International Data Group, Inc.
5 Speen Street Framingham MA 01701 US
legal@idg.com +1.5089354686 Fax- +1.5084244807
Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
Donna Moschella (NIC-14208849) IDG World Expo Corp.
3 Speen Street Framingham MA 01701 US
donna_moschella@idg.com +1.5084244801 Fax- -

Created on…………..: 1998-Sep-30.
Expires on…………..: 2007-Sep-29.
Record last updated on..: 2006-May-17 11:10:55.

Domain servers in listed order:

DNS1.EMARKMONITOR.COM
DNS2.EMARKMONITOR.COM

MarkMonitor.com – The Leader in Corporate Domain Management

A quick lookup on markmonitor.com and we see that it’s not really a host per se…but a domain management service provider. I did a quick search for Linux on their site which yields no results. This quick search doesn’t really tell us if LinuxWorld has a choice in the matter of hosting…it seems they’re given a platform on which to run via MarkMonitor.com through the Level 3 netblock. Taking a look at NetworkWorld, their parent company, we find a Linux Host? That’s a bit odd. Their old parent company IDG.com was always running on Windows but it seems they should have a choice for themselves (Linux and Windows hosting platforms) since their parent company is powered by Linux right? Are they letting their services purchased expire? Are we set to see mad changes for Linuxworld domains? Who knows. We can only comment on the current.

So one would hope that LinuxWorld would have the ability to ‘choose’ what platform to run on. It seems that this may not be the case. As stated, some of these sites don’t resolve aka they have no public face and resolve to nothing. If you’re an avid Linux enthusiast and think that any Linux News site should ‘walk the walk’ when they ‘talk the talk’ then LinuxWorld might be one of the places you avoid…at least until they can show that they deserve to wear the Linux name by hosting on Linux. Afterall, what would Microsoft.com hosted on Linux be? A laughing stock one could bet.

I do recall a time when LinuxWorld was one of the only magazines and sources for enterprise Linux news. It seems they’ve gone downhill quite a bit…according to alexa.com, their traffic has dropped through the floor during the past year. Not only that, but since the relaunch around the first part of June 2006 in which they were put under new ownership from Network World, they’ve had little activity on their website. For example, look at their <sarcasm>wildly active forums</sarcasm>…spammers don’t even try hard to post there…and why would they? Is anyone reading it?

Interestingly enough, macworldexpo.com is also running on Windows, which is silly to me as well. Oh well, life is full of conundrums right? Perhaps LinuxWorld being powered by Windows is meant to be? Who am I kidding! Roast those turncoats! lol.

Devnet

Once Upon a Time, in DRM Land

When his defense asked,”Which computer has Jon [DVD Jon] trespassed upon?” the answer was: “His own.”

Once upon a time there was a man named Frank. Frank was just like any other Frank, albeit a bit more cynical and curious. Frank was walking through the park one day when he happened upon a curious sight of a glowing doorway. Being curious, he investigated this curious phenomenon with infinite impetuosity. Unbeknownst to him, this doorway led to the future. The sights he beheld on the other side of this time warp doorway continued to pique his innate curiosity. Frank wanted to know what was going on at the other side of this door and he quietly slid through it.

Frank was astounded at what he saw. There were no cars on the road. People were walking everywhere. He grabbed a newspaper that blew slowly past him on the wind and was surprised that the date was 10 years ahead of the date he saw in his morning newspaper. Frank quickly came to terms with what had just happened…he had found a doorway through time which propelled him 10 years into the future.

He sat down on a bench with millions of thoughts whizzing through his brain. Questions began popping in his thoughts. He decided to investigate this future world so that he could find out where society was headed.

Frank quickly located someone walking by, stood up and asked the question, “Excuse me but, I don’t see any vehicles, why is that?”

The person looked at Frank with wide eyes and said, “Well, no one uses vehicles anymore since the RM Movement restricts types that can be used in different regions of the country”

“RM Movement?”

“Yes, Rights Management Movement. A few years ago, the Digital Rights Management act was passed which allowed for the regulation of consumers right to use digital media as they saw fit in the privacy of their own home. This paved the way for the Rights Management Act to go into effect a few years later.”

“But I don’t understand…this is America right? There’s no way we could restrict rights like this.”

The person responded in kind, “It was much easier when the Patriot Act became permanent.”

Frank pondered the point a minute and asked, “But this still doesn’t explain where the vehicles went!”

“Well, yes it does. With Rights Management, vehicle manufacturers required that you register the vehicle with them and buy a license to operate that vehicle on top of the operators license the government has. This license limits you to drive their cars in certain areas of the United States. This is one of those areas. For example, you can’t drive Fords in Kentucky since its region code is a 2, which is for Chevy’s only.”

“Region codes?” Frank interrupted. “You mean like DVD’s?”

“Yes, region codes like DVDs…although Blu-Ray and HD-DVD antiquated the region requirement for media, automotive manufacturers picked up the region idea from DVDs. The US has been divided up into regions where rights are managed according to physical location. Companies purchase rights in these different regions through the government so that their products can be sold and used in these regions.”

“But how can they expect to tell me what to do with something that I BOUGHT?” Frank exclaimed

“Well, they started it with Digital Rights Management. DVD’s and Music were first and since these are just creative works…the Rights Management spread to other creative works. Since an automobile is just a product of manufacture like a computer or DVD player the line was blurred as to how much control companies could put on their products. With the DRM Act, you couldn’t play a DVD on any player other than the ones approved of by that DVD company…they regulated where and how you could play it”

“But that’ s idiotic” Frank said, “I bought the stinkin’ thing, I should be able to do whatever I want with it after I buy it. If I want to use it as a Frisbee or drive it off a cliff, I should be able to do so!”

“With the DRM and RM Acts, you can’t. The company reserves the right to have you use their product the way they intended it to be used.”

“But doesn’t this stifle creativity?” Frank asked. “Doesn’t this limit things considerably? For example, Post Its would never have been invented because they used an adhesive that was already available right? So that would have been illegal because the adhesive wasn’t being used in the right way and if 3M didn’t own the adhesive..”

“Well,” the person responded, “if Post Its had been invented after this act and 3M didn’t own the adhesive, I guess they’d have been outlawed…but since it happened before, they slip past regulation.”

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What’s in a Name?

With Knoppix at least they named the distros differently. With KDE and Gnome, taking the first letter of the names was good enough. But Ubuntu and those using it have developed a silly idea and are trying desperately to make it ‘cool’. Unfortunately, most people seem to agree with them that this naming convention is just that…cool. My stomach turns…

I disagree with this notion of ‘cool’. I think it is silly and unprofessional. For those that have no idea what I’m speaking of, please take special note of the names of the following distros:

  1. Edubuntu
  2. Kubuntu
  3. Ubuntu
  4. What next?

Perhaps some of you may think I’m being harsh. I don’t think so. Adding oddly named distros of Linux that are so similar in name have a chance of confusing the general public. Is there anything to stop these projects from popping up? Will there be derrivatives such as Gamebuntu or other such oddities as GovBuntu or Serverbuntu/Mailbuntu in months and years to come? Not if good taste comes into play. I defeatedly will wait for Pornbuntu to come out sometime in the next few years (ok…perhaps I’m stretching, but you should get the picture). Why didn’t Canonical just name it Ubuntu – Education Edition, Ubuntu – KDE Edition, or something along those lines. Why try to make it ‘cool’ to have Ubuntu inside that new name for the new project? Why Why Why?

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Animosity Unfounded

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” Marcel Proust


NOTE: This post is in responses of criticisms that have arrived after the posting of an Ubuntu review by a new Linux user in our “Reviews” section.

I figured that I’d have to do something like this. Too many it seems look upon this experiment as “Just another Review” without truly figuring out what it is about. They say things like “just open a shell and do this” or “use synaptic/kpackage and install this” or “use the update client” or “how can you compare this to windows” without any understanding the scope and goals at all. They speak their mind without first understanding what it is that they are speaking on. To me, this is ignorance and looking at things in the same old way instead of with new eyes. However, this isn’t the only problem that is evident.

There are so many out there that empathize so much with a Linux distro that they feel someone is personally attacking them when their distro is trounced in a review…but also because Linux seems to have taken on a social stigma that makes it self defeating. That is, if you are inside of the ‘movement’ and decide to constructively criticize an issue in Linux…you are completely sold out by the movement you were so set on defending or helping. You are sold without a single consideration. Look at RMS…he’s been sold out as a lunatic by half of the world despite being the most clear and unwavering voice on his subject. But this lil rant isn’t about RMS…it’s about what happened when my wife reviewed, and trounced Ubuntu…because it didn’t suit her needs as a new Linux user. Things need to be said…because it is obvious that no one is getting it…and by IT I mean the whole point to the experiment and all of the reviews.

By some of the responses, it is obvious that some haven’t read all of the reviews nor the original intent of this experiment. If you haven’t, before you comment further…go back and read each and every entry under the section “Reviews” because ignorance has no place in this discussion. In order to appreciate what we were trying to accomplish, do you research. Do not speak with authority on that which you do not know.

Secondly, do not bring the GPL, freedom of speech, or anything else GNU/licensing/copyright into this experiment….it never had a place before in any other review (before ubuntu) and please do not have the audacity to bring it into the foray now. It also has no place in this experiment. This is not an experiment that has been done to debate the nuances of Free Software, the OSI, the GPL, or other such nonsense.

I say nonsense because this review is about Desktop environments of Linux. It would be asinine to not discuss how they compare to windows because windows is the de facto standard. Trying to discuss the Linux Desktop without comparing it to windows will not happen no matter how hard we want to pretend it won’t.

We can’t say Linux is better than Windows when it suits us (when we’re bragging or showing off to our friends) and then pull that card when it comes to a review. That is bias and bias has no place in this review. Mrs.D had an overwhelming task ahead of her and she trudged on and stayed fresh as she could. Did she do a good job? I believe she did.

We need to shake the mindset of the old developer who develops linux for his friends and users and start to develop Linux for EVERYONE. New users are a place that Linux has never been strong in…but as we see with this experiment, times are changing.

If one Linux distro includes mp3 support…then all can. No excuses. It doesn’t even matter for licensing. Do you think PCLinuxOS isn’t sold overseas? SimplyMEPIS? Look again. Tout your licenses all you want…but they mean squat to the end user. The end user just wants something that works. They don’t want to get into the whole debate of free vs. proprietary…they want things just to work. We need to make it work for them. We need to stop squabbling because someone trounced your favorite distro and grow up.

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Are too Many Licenses a Bad Thing?

“One country . . . one ideology, one system is not sufficient. It is helpful to have a variety of different approaches . . . We can then make a joint effort to solve the problems of the whole of humankind.” Dalai Lama


Open source and Linux is currently at the forefront of the new OSI Licensing Process and the GPL version 3. This usually would boil down to nothing for me and most likely boils down to nothing for most end users. However, in the cases of both of these ‘improvements,’ there are alternative motives. Don’t fool yourself into believing that all intentions of the OSI is to make Joe Common and his laptop full of Linux happy. While they may have Joe’s best interests in mind…they have his pot on the backburner while the new Teflon coated enterprise pot is heating up nicely on the front one.

You’ve heard me talk about this before in a couple of articles [1] [2] that attempt (albeit, my first attempt so please be kind :) ) to address the issues that come into play when businesses and corporations assert their influence into open source communities and projects. Once again, I feel that not enough people are looking at the whole picture. Not to say that I have any ability to understand anything better than others; just that I make a consorted effort to always look at things in 3-5 different ways (leftover habit from college philosophy class).

What do I have a problem with this time? Let’s start with the OSI wanting to ‘trim the fat’ and drop or de-emphasize licenses. Why do we need this? Intel seems to think that it is needed and the community seems to think that there are too many licenses also. Why too many? Who says that this is needed? Can fewer licenses even be feasible?

I don’t think the OSI is actually thinking about things…they’re listening too hard to businesses and enterprise to be thinking. They’re listening to these enterprises and large businesses whine about having to hire X number of lawyers to sift through licenses to make sure that they know what they have to do in order to use the code. Notice I put emphasis on what “they” have to do i.e. the business or corporation. My reasoning lies in the fact that, by nature, a business wants to do as little work as possible to A) save money while at the same time they want to B) save time. In this case, they want to have their cake and eat it too. They want the benefit of few licenses to sift through and they want the OSI to do it for them…and for free. What’s the best way to do this? Have a keynote speaker (HP’s Martin Fink) from a company that is Linux-friendly (HP) give a call-to-arms at Linuxworld.

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Linux Swiss Cheese? Not Likely…

Linuxblog Editors Note: This article was written as a direct response to the report published by Security Innovation in March 2005 featured at various news sites.

It’s studies like the one discussed in this article that really hit nerves. Not for the reason that most people get upset about them…I hope people realize that there will always be FUD flowing from the patent pending FUD machines at M$ headquaters. One can only hope that as people become more and more computer savvy, that things will change in this respect. In the meantime, comments will flourish on subjects like this. But I’m not upset about this subject for the reasons that people think. I’m not an open source zealot proclaiming the GPL from the pulpit; rather, I am a supporter of Open Source, a user of Open Source, and a believer in Open Source. The reason this article makes my teeth gnash is the level of professionalism in the report it is discussing. What? Two Noted Doctors in the computer science field and a security author lack professionalism? You’re 100% right on that one. If they were professional, they would have made unbiased decisions AND stepped down if a conflict of interest existed. For more info, read on:

Let’s do a quick rundown of what the article is trying to say. Basically, the article states that there is something called “days of risk” that signify how many days an enterprise server has vulnerabilities that are unpatched. The study found that Microsoft 2003 server was only vulnerable for average of 30 days while Red Hat ELS 3 was open for 71 days. Considering the way in which vulnerabilities are addressed at Microsoft and their approach to solving said vulnerabilities this is highly unlikely. Let’s not worry about these ‘days of risk’ to begin with. Instead, let’s take a look at some interesting tidbits of information that one can find by reading the report and cross comparing it with a couple of websites.

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