UpFront

Stop the Presses, LJ Index and more.
Now Everybody Knows Where You Live

Wonder what the weenies at Google are up to, besides finding ways to make 17,000+ Linux servers search for everything in nothing flat? Try finding out where you live. It's easy. Maybe too easy.

Substitute your name for these: John Doe KY (in other words, first name last name two-letter-state-abbreviation). If they get enough information from some white pages directory, they might even come up with a Yahoo! map to your house.

Want to de-list? Go here: www.google.com/help/pbremoval.html.

And, for more information, go here: www.google.com/help/features.html#wp.

—Doc Searls

LJ Index—June 2001
  1. Uptime in percentage claimed by Chek: 99.928

  2. Uptime in percentage claimed by some Microsoft ads: 99.999

  3. Billions of unique lines of C/C++ software code eligible for migration to the Itanium 64-bit platform: 100

  4. Percentage of Kuro5hin readers who watch TV less than one hour a day or not at all: 65

  5. Sum SuSE is charging high school students for its Linux distribution: 0

  6. Number of Linux boxes SuSE is initially sponsoring for high schools in the US: 2,000

  7. Billions of dollars professional venture funds invested into new startups over the past two years: 160

  8. Millions of hits per day at the Apache.org web site: 2

  9. Peak bandwidth demand on the Apache.org web site in Mb/sec: 15

  10. Number of sites in millions found by Netcraft to be serving with Apache: 17.238

  11. Number of Jabber servers: 35,000

  12. Millions of wireless shoppers by 2004: 373

  13. Number of Americans in 70 now on the Wireless Web: 1

  14. Number of Americans in 3 expected on the Wireless Web by 2005: 1

  15. Percentage of Cingular's 20 million cell phone customers that access the Web: 50

  16. Range in billions of dollars on wireless ads by 2005: .89-6.1

Sources:
  • 1: e-mail from Chek

  • 2: Microsoft advertising

  • 3: Aberdeen Group, www.migratec.com

  • 4: Kuro5hin.org

  • 5-6: SuSE

  • 7: Red Herring

  • 8: Brian Behlendorf, speaking to the Apache Software Foundation Meeting in April

  • 9-10: Netcraft www.netcraft.com

  • 11: Jabber.org

  • 12-16: Graeme Thickens, reporting on what was said at an Industry Standard conference on Wireless. David Weinberger adds, “Attending the conference were between 200 and 300,000,000 people.”

Apache Keeps Rocking

Maybe it was the long-awaited Apache 2 beta release in March, or maybe it was the “increasing returns” economics by which the huge get ubiquitous while the small get trivial. Any way you look at it, it's hard to beat the increasing majority Apache—which is open source—enjoys as a server of web content to the World.

Netcraft's April 2001 survey finds nearly 18 million sites serving with Apache, or 62.55% of the total population of 28,669,939 surveyed sites. That's a 2.3% gain. Microsoft's IIS also gained .89%, achieving 20.64%. Sun/Netscape's iPlanet beat even with a .03% gain, for a 6.27% share. The rest, in total, were down.

Here are some of the improvements in the Apache 2 beta:

  • Runs in a hybrid multiprocess, multithreaded mode.

  • New Apache Portable Runtime and multiprocessing modules.

  • Filtered input/output modules.

  • IPv6 support.

The Apache Software Foundation is at apache.org.

Netcraft also reported that Compaq and AltaVista have followed Amazon's lead by moving its servers to Linux. Both were on Tru64 (formerly Digital UNIX, which was bought by Compaq along with the rest of Digital Equipment Corp). Compaq moved off Tru64 to Windows in January 2001, before moving to Linux. Netcraft is at http://www.netcraft.com/.

—Doc Searls

Stop the Presses: Linux on the PDA Agenda (and Vice Versa)

It's starting to look like a tsunami of Linux-based PDAs is about to spread out of Asia. From Japan, Sharp recently announced that it would roll out a new PDA based on Linux rather than an OS from Palm or Microsoft. The Korea-based G.Mate Yopy is a PDA that uses a speech interface from Conversay, a company headquartered in Redmond, Washington. Ericsson Singapore and Singapore's Centre for Wireless Communications have announced a jointly-developed “handheld computer” called the DelphiPad that runs Linux, features a 10-inch touch screen and is scheduled to sell in the fourth quarter of 2001 for under $1,000 US. VTech has the Helio. And you can put several forms of embedded Linux into Compaq's iPAQ and other PDAs.

But the PDA with major momentum at the moment, judging from the sudden upswelling of buzz in the Linux community, is the Agenda VR, from Agenda Computing. While Agenda is owned by Kessell International of Hong Kong, which also handles manufacturing, the company's whole agenda (pun intended) seems to originate out of its Irvine, California offices, where the company is run by its president, Bradley La Ronde.

Recently I was on The Linux Show with Brad, who seemed to be at least as committed to mobilized Linux as the OS' famous creator. I got the distinct impression that Agenda is a harbinger of change in the consumer electronics business, from one controlled by corporate giants to one controlled by small developers who take advantage of freely available technologies that are constantly improved by their surrounding development communities. I later found out that this particular show was one of the most popular in the history of the program.

Then a couple days ago I got this unsolicited e-mail:

Went to my first linux users group meeting in like a year last night (http://www.nblug.org/, North Bay Linux Users Group) and the CEO/President/Developer from Agenda Computing was there giving a demonstration and talk about the VR3 Linux-based PDA's they're putting out....Don't know if you've checked them out before, but they're actually a lot cooler and more usable than I thought they would be.

Later he added,

They're a little slow—but a big part of the discussion revolved around various ways of solving that. It was very, very cool to have a realistic, technical discussion with a CEO about their product. I spoke with him afterwards, and we agreed on some points where they're going to have difficulty in the marketplace, but the part I cared most about was his honesty. Very clued, in my view.

And that was just one guy. Agenda is clearly making some smart moves with the Linux community. From the start, Agenda's agenda has been to put out an inexpensive ($249 MSRP) basic PDA that runs Linux in a form so inviting to Linux hackers that they'll jump in and write all kinds of stuff for it. This appears to be exactly what's happening. There are a growing pile of independent developer sites, which, together with Agenda, have put together a rapidly growing pile of apps for the Agenda VR—and, presumably, for other LinuxVR-based (linux-vr.org) devices, which also include PDAs from Vadem, Casio and Everex.

In the words of Ian LeWinter, Agenda's VP Marketing, the Agenda VR will compete with Palm, Handspring and other PDA companies for a reason that has nothing to do with Linux' hermit crab-like ability to run in almost anything. The whole look and feel of the device “screams cool”. It's truly palm-sized (4.5" x 3.0" x 0.8"), comes in three colors, runs on NEC's 66MHz 32-bit MIPS processor, with 8MB RAM + 16MB Flash Memory, both IrDA and its own peripheral ports. Audio, too.

According to the independent supermegamulti.com/agenda/ site, there were 93 Agenda VR3 programs in the on-line software depsitory. Those include 23 apps, 16 games and 22 utilities. By the time you read this the number will certainly be much higher.

A review of the Agenda VR is in the works for a future Linux Journal.

—Doc Searls

______________________

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