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Japan To Launch Solar Sail Spacecraft "Ikaros" 138

separsons writes "On May 18th, Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will launch Ikaros, a fuel-free spacecraft that relies completely on solar power. The spacecraft's 46-foot-wide sails are thinner than a human hair and lined with thin-film solar panels. After a rocket brings the craft to space, mission controllers on the ground will steer Ikaros by adjusting the sails' angles, ensuring optimal radiation is hitting the solar cells. If the mission proves successful, the $16M spacecraft will be the first solar sail-powered craft to enter deep space."

Submission + - Oracle's Unbreakable Linux attacks Microsoft apps (

OSS_ilation writes: Is Oracle Linux, a clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, a legitimate threat to Red Hat? At first glance the answer is yes: Oracle undercut Red Hat support by 50% when it announced the Unbreakable Linux program in 2006, and at OpenWorld Oracle executives couldn't wait to talk about the 1,500 new customers it signed throughout 2007. But Red Hat's strong quarterly results tell a different story (revenue was up to $400 million in 2007), as do Oracle's own actions when it comes to wooing customers running Microsoft applications like SQL Server. Basically, many observers today see Oracle's anti-Red Hat stance as window dressing for an overall strategy to take Microsoft out of the enterprise. A win for Linux is a win for Oracle, some say, as it immediately eliminates SQL Server, Exchange, and Visual Studio from the equation and increases the likelihood that a customer will choose Oracle applications.

Submission + - Paravirtualized Ubuntu shows performance promise

OSS_ilation writes: "Early testing has shown that Ubuntu, when run as a virtual guest taking advantage of the new paravirt-ops paravirtualization interface, runs faster and more efficiently that it would as an unmodified guest. Ubuntu, a Linux distribution maintained by corporate sponsor Canonical Ltd., is the first commercially shipping operating system to support the paravirt_ops standard. Paravirt_ops is an open interface that was developed by members of the Linux kernel community, including commercial vendors Red Hat, VMware, IBM and XenSource. It is designed to improve Linux virtualization performance by allowing the kernel to directly communicate with the hypervisor. It is based on the VMware's Virtual Machine Interface (VMI) proposed standard, and has been included in the mainline Linux kernel. Apparently, it delivers as advertised."

Submission + - Nagios founder gives in to commercial support (

OSS_ilation writes: Ethan Galstad, creator of the Nagios network monitoring project, has created Nagios Enterprises LLC to provide commercial support and consulting services for his nine-year-old open source project. "Two years ago, I left my day job to work on Nagios full time, and I realized very quickly that it would take a lot to fund development time on an open source project," Galstad said. "I looked at where I wanted to take Nagios in the future — especially in terms of new features — and I decided I wanted to really speed up development time." Galstad said commercial support would be the best way to generate the revenue necessary to fund the ramped-up development effort. For the time being, Nagios support will be handled by Galstad and several active Nagios community members, he said.

Submission + - Server enhancements, security top Ubuntu 7.10 (

OSS_ilation writes: The 7.10 release of Ubuntu, a freely available Linux distribution based on Debian, will feature several new server features designed to advance the application's standing among enterprise users, said its founder on Tuesday. Mark Shuttleworth, CEO of the Ivory Coast-based Canonical Ltd., said that enhancements to Ubuntu's security and virtualization features will go a long way toward increasing the number of major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) that now pre-install Linux on servers. Ubuntu 7.10, formerly known as Gutsy Gibbon, launches Oct. 18. "[Ubuntu] is free and always will be, with no software audits, no byzantine licensing schemes, no [digital rights management]," said consultant Conrad Knauer. "In a [Linux] market that appears to be growing, that certainly sounds tempting for businesses, especially startups."

Submission + - Linux kernel 2.6.23 breaks VMware Server (

OSS_ilation writes: Does the Linux kernel 2.6.23 update woo KVM and Xen but break VMware Server? One blogger seems to think so, with one major change and one minor change doing the dirty deed. There are fixes for the problems 2.6.23 creates for VMware server, apparently, but "neither solution is nice because one involves maintaining a custom Kernel and custom vmmon module, and the other involves changing the vmmon module license without permission," said blogger Andrew Kurtz. Allegedly, a long-term solution is needed where either the Kernel developers change set_dumpable to be exported out from underneath the aegis of the GPL, or for VMware to license the vmmon module under the GPL or create some type of GPL-compatible shim module that in turn calls the proprietary code in vmmon. Perhaps most interesting of all is the timing. The same Kernel that provides extended support for Xen and KVM also breaks VMware Server. Coincidence?

Submission + - Windows-dominated CASL program sees Linux surge (

OSS_ilation writes: When you're a Microsoft Windows-dominated shop but your super secret CIA and NSA research and development work is done on nothing but Linux HPC clusters, what do you do? If you're the University of Maryland's Center for Advanced Study of Language, you start installing agents on those Linux servers that allow them to be managed and authenticated using Active Directory. While using AD to manage Linux servers may sound like sacrilege to some, it's actually part of a rising trend in a cross-platform management field of third party applications that just got a little more crowded in September thanks to Symark Software.
Linux Business

Submission + - Pre-installed Ubuntu on servers 'reasonably soon' (

OSS_ilation writes: As Canonical readies another major release for its Ubuntu Linux operating system (code-named Gutsy Gibbon), one executive hinted that a pre-installed server initiative would arrive soon if customer demand remains high. Gerry Carr, marketing manager for Canonical, said Canonical was exploring deals with Dell Inc. and other unnamed hardware manufacturers to bring Ubuntu pre-installed on x86 commodity servers in the near future. Carr said that while the deal will "hopefully be with Dell," Canonical is also considering server vendors other than Dell. "This doesn't mean a deal is imminent, but those who want and require Ubuntu on the server will have something available reasonably soon," he said.
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - Sun runs virtual Linux inside Solaris Containers (

OSS_ilation writes: Sun Microsystem's tricky Linux dance continued today with the release of Solaris Containers for Linux Applications. The new technology, part of Update 4 for Solaris 10, will enable Sun customers to run unmodified Linux binaries made for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and CentOS. The update will be released at no charge to existing Solaris customers and at least one analyst believed that having virtual Linux instances on Solaris machines would bode well for a peaceful coexistence between Solaris and Linux at Sun.
Linux Business

Submission + - IDC: Cost trumps code access with open source (

OSS_ilation writes: In a conference call held this week to preview the upcoming LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San Francisco IDC analyst Matthew Lawton cited an April 2007 IDC report that asked IT managers about top decision-making and purchasing criteria. The functionality, scalability and reliability of open source software topped the list. "The ones at the bottom of the list were protection from vendor lock-in, indemnification concerns, source code access and the ability to redistribute code," Lawton said. In short, end users today care less about whether they can tweak code and more about what the software does and how. The good thing for Linux is that a growing majority of end users still agree that the use of Linux results in considerably lower total cost of ownership (TCO) when compared with closed source proprietary alternatives.

Submission + - Linux authentication issues? Try Active Directory (

OSS_ilation writes: In a heterogeneous data center, administering access and managing identity can be time-consuming any way you slice it. With user data scattered within metadirectories or elsewhere in a company, creating single sign-on techniques for disparate data is vexing for many IT departments. Further complicating things, solutions for Linux authentication in heterogeneous data centers are legion. Finding the right fit can be as difficult as managing the problem itself. And as system administrators weigh the options, a central question is, Do any of the alternatives trump Microsoft's Active Directory (AD)?
Sun Microsystems

Submission + - OpenSolaris devs grill Murdock at NY users meeting

OSS_ilation writes: Apparently, Sun Microsystem's Ian Murdock did not receive the warm welcome he may have hoped for last night at a meeting of New York City's Unix and OpenSolaris user groups. The room held approximately 50 people and a good number of those were OpenSolaris users there to hear about Project Indiana. One observer said, "What I saw at the OpenSolaris user group meeting was a shock to me. Ian was on the defensive for most of the entire meeting. And it was their own user base that was fighting back!" Why the angst? OpenSolaris users and Linux users alike were confused about Sun's strategy to make OpenSolaris more "Linux-like," and decided to let their voices be heard when Murdock showed up to talk about Project Indiana. Another unidentified attendee reportedly blurted out "all this does is help Sun, what does this do for someone using Linux?"

Submission + - First WiiWare developer says process began in 2006 (

OSS_ilation writes: Nintendo only just announced that WiiWare games would go live sometime in 2008, but an interview over at reveals that talks between the Big N and the first "indie developer" Bplus started taking place back in 2006. Bplus formally announced the first WiiWare title earlier this month: a puzzle/painting game called Plattchen. The Infendo interview reveals that it was actually Nintendo that found Plattchen and sought out the developer to promote its game on WiiWare. Bplus's Jennifer Fellnhofer says the fact that Nintendo sets the pricing for games and leaves everything else up to the developer is "win win." "We think that Nintendo made exactly the right decision on this issue. They are forcing some kind of win-win-situation for both Nintendo and the developers by keeping the prices for original game titles affordable while ensuring that the profit a developer raises fits exactly the depth of the game and the investments that were made during development," she said.

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Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (7) Well, it's an excellent idea, but it would make the compilers too hard to write.