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Slashback: Vista Rewrite, Tuttle Travesty, Mac Botnets 269

Slashback tonight brings some corrections, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories including Microsoft denies Vista rewrite, Tuttle Oklahoma city manager still doesn't get it, MS Virtual Server slips and VMWare fills the gap, Samsung execs plead guilty to price fixing charges, Tux in retail part 2, a renewed bid to register the Linux trademark in Australia, OpenSPARC.net shades of the past, and a follow up on Mac botnets -- Read on for details.

Microsoft denies Vista rewrite. moochfish writes "Contrary to a heavily doubted feature earlier this week, Business 2.0 magazine reports that Microsoft will not be rewriting large portions of its operating system. From the article, 'Microsoft's own blogger Robert Scoble checked into the story and got a denial from an executive at Microsoft's PR firm, who says he's not aware of any Xbox programmers working on Windows.'"

Tuttle Oklahoma city manager still doesn't get it. gEvil (beta) writes "The Register has posted a followup to this past week's wonderfully humorous story about Tuttle, Oklahoma's technically inept city manager, Jerry Taylor. It appears that Mr. Taylor is not pleased with the publicity he has received due to the incident, despite his prior statement of, 'I have no fear of the media, in fact I welcome this publicity.' He sent an email to the Register's marketing team asking that people stop emailing him and making fun of him."

MS Virtual Server Slips and VMWare fills in the gap. nizo writes "On the heels of the announcement that Microsoft Virtual Server is slipping to 2007, VMware has announced the beta release of the VMware Virtual Machine Importer, which has the capability to convert system images stored in 3rd party formats (including Microsoft Virtual Server images) to VMware virtual machines. The good news is VMware released the importer as a free download."

Samsung execs plead guilty to price fixing charges. bdotcdot writes "Electronics News is running a story on Samsung executives who have plead guilty to the price fixing of DRAM. From the story 'According to the one-count felony charge filed in federal court in San Francisco, at various times during the period from April 1, 1999, to June 15, 2002, these three Samsung employees conspired with unnamed employees from other memory makers to fix the prices of DRAM sold to certain computer and server manufacturers in the U.S., in violation of the Sherman Act. The conspiracy directly affected sales to U.S. computer makers Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Company, Compaq Computer Corp., International Business Machines Corp., Apple Computer Inc. and Gateway Inc., the charge said.'"

Tux in retail part 2. silentbob4 writes "Mad Penguin brings us the second and final installment in their 'Tux in Retail' series, in which they interview Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony; Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos; Mepis Linux founder Warren Woodford; and Kevin Jones, Micro Center Vice President of Merchandising, to get their take Tux's jump into big box retail. The first installment was run as an earlier Slashdot article."

Renewed bid to register Linux trademark in Australia? daria42 writes "A renewed bid to register the word 'Linux' as an Australian trademark must meet an early April deadline or face defeat." From the article: "'The deadline to file a response to the Examiner's rejection has not yet passed, and LMI and its attorneys are still determining if they will respond,' a spokesperson for the body told ZDNet Australia in an emailed statement."

OpenSPARC.net, shades of the past. Andy Updegrove writes "In what must have seemed to many as a bold move, Sun Microsystems recently announced that it would release the source code for its UltraSparc T1 processor under the GPL, supported by a new organization that it calls OpenSPARC.net. But to those that have been around for a while, the announcement had an eerily familiar sound to it, and that sound was the echo of an organization called SPARC International. Formed 18 years ago to license the SPARC chip design to multiple vendors to ensure second sourcing for the hardware vendors that Sun hoped would adopt it, SPARC International seemed to be every bit as revolutionary for its time as Sun's new initiative does today. Motorola launched a somewhat similar group called 88open to support its own RISC chip design, and later IBM, Motorola and Apple launched the PowerOpen Association to promote the PowerPC. The Websites of the PowerOpen Association and 88open are long gone, and seem to have escaped even the WayBack Machine's reach. But SPARC International's site, looking very retro and neglected, can still be seen - at least for now."

Follow up on Mac botnets. An anonymous reader writes "Washingtonpost.com has an interesting follow up to skeptical claims as a result of a previous Slashdot story. Mac OS X systems have indeed been spotted in botnets, thanks largely to several worms going around that take advantage of Web-based applications running vulnerable PHP software. From the article: 'By leveraging this PHP flaw, the attackers were able to seed the Mac systems with several tools designed to turn them into drones for use in waging destructive distributed denial of service attacks.'

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Slashback: Vista Rewrite, Tuttle Travesty, Mac Botnets

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  • by anomaly ( 15035 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <3repooc.mot>> on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @08:16PM (#15022258)
    I sent this to the city manager. I have not yet received a reply.

    I appreciate that you were frustrated that your city website was
    non-functional, but it appears to me that the people to whom you
    complained were not responsible, and that the tone of your messages tended
    to be combative.

    The folks from CentOS were being polite and helpful, based on my read of
    the messages. I believe that you owe them an apology. they had
    absolutely NOTHING to do with the problems you experienced, and tried to
    assist you anyway. For you to respond with "I am sorry that we had to go
    through the process and accusations to get the problem resolved" They did
    nothing wrong. You accused them, and frankly it was uncharitable on your

    Please extend an official apology to those folks at www.centos.org. They
    deserve it.

    Please also note that I am not affiliated with CentOS in any way (except
    that I use their Linux distribution quite happliy.) I read about this
    spat on a technology-focused website known as slashdot
    http://www.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org]

  • OpenSPARC (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Brietech ( 668850 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @08:21PM (#15022299)
    I was under the impression that opening up the design of the UltraSPARC T1 was partly just to bolster interest in it (and it really is an incredible design from a hardware perspective) and partly just to allow people like EE and computer architecture students, along with hobbyists and engineers, to understand how it actually works at its most basic level. Although I realize i'm in the vast minority, as someone that actually DOES do microprocessor design in their spare time (I just completed my first working CPU design!), this is a really cool thing for them to do. I'm still learning verilog, but I would definitely like to look over some of their design docs and source sometime! I hardly think their goal is to get other people to build their own T1 processors though.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @08:38PM (#15022391)
    anyone know if i can boot my existing windows 98 fat32 partition with the free wmware player under my linux environment (debian) ???
    also, how do i do this if its possible ? i dont have enough space for a new vmware disk image file. is it possible to do this with another freeware emulator ?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @09:18PM (#15022614)
    My note:

    To the Honorable Lonnie Paxton and members of the Town Council of the City of Tuttle,

    You may want to consider hiring a new town manager, replacing Mr. Jerry A. Taylor who recently earned the City of Tuttle worldwide embarrassment with his legal threats against Centos.

    Mr. Taylor claims to have been a "Computer Systems Engineer" with 22 years of experience. However, upon discovering an extremely simple problem with the City of Tuttle web site, rather than proceeding to work with the hosting company responsible for the management of the City of Tuttle web site, Mr. Taylor chose to publicly harass and attempt to intimidate the developers responsible for designing a free operating system called CentOS.

    What is CentOS? Like the well-known Microsoft Windows, it is an operating system. More specifically, CentOS is a FREE operating system built by volunteers, largely based on the also-free GNU and Linux projects.

    Transcripts of the Mr. Taylor's juvenile threats toward CentOS are posted publicly on the Internet, and those transcripts underscore Mr. Taylor's utter incompetence, unwillingness to accept FREE help from folks who provided a FREE operating system, even though the CentOS developers have NO responsibility whatsoever to clean up Mr. Taylor's mess.

    When Mr. Taylor FINALLY agreed that the Centos folks had nothing to do with the misconfiguration problem (the problem is actually due to two parties: the company hosting the City of Tuttle web site, and Mr. Jerry A. Taylor himself) he not only was not apologetic, but downright insulting in his response.

    The City of Tuttle has earned worldwide ridicule in the face of this issue, and the dated and sophomoric appearance of Tuttle's now-well-publicized web site has earned widespread harsh criticism and ridicule as well.

    Please consider replacing Mr. Jerry A. Taylor. Many of us feel sorry for the City of Tuttle as we believe that there are many people more deserving of his salary and who can perform a much better job were they given the opportunity to fill his position. Jerry A. Taylor's salary is money wasted right now.

    Here are some of the web pages covering this story that you may wish to check out:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/24/tuttle_cen tos/ [theregister.co.uk]
    http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/03/27/ 135221&tid=133 [slashdot.org]
    http://www.digg.com/security/Why_every_city_counci l_needs_at_least_one_geek_=%5D [digg.com]
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/27/tuttle_ema il/ [theregister.co.uk]

    Mr. Taylor's outbursts and threats toward the generous CentOS folks may be seen here:

    http://www.centos.org/modules/news/article.php?sto ryid=127 [centos.org]

    As you will note, Mr. Taylor's outbursts are unbecoming of a city official and earn little respect for the City of Tuttle. Even after realizing that the CentOS representatives were not to blame, but he and his web hosts are, and even after having received hundreds of emails from kind folks all over the world who are attempting to explain to him that the CentOS developers are not to blame, he is insisting that the CentOS folks would only help him after he threatened to contact the FBI. This is not only patently false, but downright slanderous and such statements could earn a defamation of character suit from CentOS. I know if I were that developer I would consider filing suit against Tuttle over such false statements made to the media.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @10:30PM (#15022974)
    "I only got help after threatening to contact the FBI."

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/03/27/tuttle_ema il/ [theregister.co.uk]

    Dear Mr. Mayor,

    I wrote you earlier concerning your city manager, Jerry A. Taylor.

    Mr. Taylor does not recognize that the kind and helpful man at CentOS didn't help him because he 'threatened to contact the FBI'. He received help because the man at CentOS chose to help him.

    From an update I read this evening:

    >Taylor - who once proclaimed to the CentOS staff, "I have no fear of the >media, in fact I welcome this publicity" - has asked us to put a halt to the >publicity.

    Mr. Taylor did not know what he was talking about. Had he called the FBI, it might have led to amusement on their part, but a waste of their time as well. They have better things to do than teach "IT expert Taylor" about web pages and server administrators.

    If Mr. Taylor manages by "threatening to contact the FBI" in a situation like this, I must wonder if his basic management style is to use threats, bullying, intimidation, and abusive language; these are not traits that develop overnight.

    Mr. Taylor writes:

    >I do not follow instructions that show up when a website that I am not >familiar with appears on my computer and I do not think anyone with experience >would do so either.

    The instructions Mr. Taylor chose to ignore:

    ***begin quote***

    If you are a member of the general public:

    The fact that you are seeing this page indicates that the website you just visited is either experiencing problems or is undergoing routine maintenance.

    If you would like to let the administrators of this website know that you've seen this page instead of the page you expected, you should send them e-mail. In general, mail sent to the name "webmaster" and directed to the website's domain should reach the appropriate person.

    For example, if you experienced problems while visiting www.example.com, you should send e-mail to "webmaster@example.com".

    If you are the website administrator:

    You may now add content to the directory /var/www/html/. Note that until you do so, people visiting your website will see this page and not your content. To prevent this page from ever being used, follow the instructions in the file /etc/httpd/conf.d/welcome.conf.

    You are free to use the images below on Apache and CentOS Linux powered HTTP servers. Thanks for using Apache and CentOS!


    CentOS is an Operating System and it is used to power this website; however, the webserver is owned by the domain owner and not the CentOS Project. If you have issues with the content of this site, contact the owner of the domain, not the CentOS project.

    Unless this server is on the CentOS.org domain, the CentOS Project doesn't have anything to do with the content on this webserver or any e-mails that directed you to this site.

    For example, if this website is www.example.com, you would find the owner of the example.com domain at the following WHOIS server:

    http://www.internic.net/whois.html [internic.net]

    ***end of quote***

    By the way, had a "hacker" really gotten into Tuttle's computers, someone with Jerry A. Taylor's technical skills would not have known until his credit cards were maxed out, and the FBI arrived to shut down the kiddie-p0rn server running as a 'service' from his desktop PC. (Yes, it is very possible to do that to the technically inept or uninformed. Jerry A. Taylor is technically inept and uninformed.

    If "hackers" had wanted to actually deface Tuttle's website, they would have done so in a quite "colorful" style. (They still may, actually.) It's unlikely they would have left a email contact address had they done so.

    Mr. Taylor should apologize to the CentOS developer who helped him, then thank him for doing so, not continue to take apparent satisfaction in "having received help after threatening to contact the FBI".

    Thank you,

  • by Chr0nik ( 928538 ) on Wednesday March 29, 2006 @11:54PM (#15023446)
    How big do you guys think the Windows group is at Microsoft? We're not talking about 20 or 30 guys tinkering around with an operating system here. That MAY be the numbers for one of the large sub groups like Kernel or something. But there are scores of subgroups with subgroups of their own, many of which borrow guys from completely disparate groups that have nothing to do with windows per-se. These guys are very focused doing everything from security, to graphics, to media, to whatever.... 1000Kloc is not that big a deal to these folks. And 1000Kloc where? Is that a total number of all the code in the various parts of the OS than need re-writing? If not, what part of the operating system? Which group? Does everyone split this load evenly? I doubt it. Also mis-statements can easily be made in situations like this. If a few major parts of the operating system need perhaps a moderate percentage of the code re-worked, in a few large groups that make up 60%, some moronic spokesperson spits out 60% when it's actually like 10-15%. We probably won't know the real situation till it's release party.
  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) ( 193358 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @02:41AM (#15024230) Homepage Journal
    Should he be a noun, as in "that move was a real Jerry Taylor"?

    Or is a verb phrase more appropriate, such as "pull a Jerry Taylor", "Jerry Taylorize", or "go totally Jerry Taylor on $INNOCENT_TARGET"?

    Or should the winning entry be an adjective, as in "that email was *so* Jerry Taylor"?

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich