UPFRONT

Stop the Presses, LJ Index and more.

Who says computer mags have to be dry? We've wetted this issue by hiding a bottle of beer somewhere within its pages. So put on your 3-D glasses (or don't—it will probably make it harder) and look for the bottle. If you find it, send the page number to beer@ssc.com by May 31st. The first 100 people to send correct answers will receive a “Powered by Linux” license plate frame and one of each of our popular Linux bumper stickers.

The Largest Open-Source Event in Latin America to Happen May 2-4. 2002

Richard Stallman is one of over 200 speakers set to talk at the largest open-source event in Latin America. Every year, thousands of members of the Open Source community meet at the Fórum Internacional do Software Livre, scheduled this year from May 2-4, 2002 in Brazil.

Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state in Brazil and host of the event, is a leader in the adoption of open source by the government and commercial users. The state has specific legislation regulating the use of software by government agencies, giving preference to open-source software.

More information on the Fórum can be found at the official site, www.softwarelivre.rs.gov.br/forum (Portuguese) or by e-mail at contato@softwarelivre.rs.gov.br.

—Marcio Saito

Linux Bytes Other Markets: Linux Helps Make Meals Special

Ypsilanti, Michigan, February 4, 2002—Linux, the open-source operating system, is at the heart of a popular new recipe service, recipesbyemail.com. Developed by Tap Internet, this service allows anyone with an e-mail client to search hundreds of recipes quickly and easily.

“It was something originally done as a proof-of-concept for a client—a database searchable through e-mail”, said Michael Kimsal, director of Tap Internet.

But soon after we'd finished the core technology, we decided to put up a “sample” to show other clients. Recipesbyemail.com has quickly become a staple for many users on the Internet to find just the recipes they're looking for.

A sizable percentage of the loyal users have turned out to be blind, due primarily to the fact that many web sites are so wrapped up in JavaScript rollovers and fancy flash animation that users relying on text-to-speech systems cannot use them at all. “It was quite interesting to get e-mails from some of these users because it was something I'd never even considered before”, said Kimsal.

“We intentionally keep the e-mails text-only to ensure maximum compatibility whether you're using Outlook or a Palm Pilot or a cell phone”, said Kimsal. “By building on Linux, we were able to do this on a shoestring and still provide value to the users, many of whom don't have very fast connections or modern browsers.” The system is built on Slackware Linux, using a combination of Perl, MySQL, procmail and PHP.

“We will be introducing a new feature soon to allow users to send in their own recipes, which we hope will help increase interest in the system even more.”

—Recipesbyemail.com

LJ Index—May 2002
  1. Pentagon transactions, in trillions of dollars, for which there is no accounting: 2.3

  2. Approximate amount, in millions of dollars, wasted by the Pentagon in the last two minutes: 2

  3. Number of moons in the solar system with diameters larger than the planet Pluto: 8

  4. Number of kilometers by which the diameter of Earth's moon exceeds that of Pluto: 1,176

  5. Hours between the crawling of a barely exposed web page by an e-mail-harvesting robot and the arrival of its first spam: 8

  6. Estimated ten-thousandths of a second that Earth's rotation will be slowed by global warming by 2100: 1

  7. Percent by which the world's over-65 population will grow by 2025: 100

  8. Percent by which the world's number of children will grow by 2025: 3

  9. Number of wireless public “hot spots” scheduled for deployment in Korea before the Soccer World Cup this summer: 25,000

  10. Percentage of users who arrive at web sites by direct navigation or bookmarks (rather than search engines), as of February 6, 2002: 52

  11. Same as above, one year earlier: 46

  12. Millions of dollars in reported Yahoo profits in 2000: 71

  13. Billions of dollars in losses Yahoo would have had in 2000 if option expenses had been factored in: 1.3

  14. Percentage of engineers whose career interests solidified before or during 10th grade: 59

  15. Percentage of engineers who “decided to pursue their careers because of an affinity for math and science and their desire to innovate and explore new approaches to everyday actions”: 79

  16. Billions of dollars in pocket change circulating in the United States: 7.7

  17. Number of operating systems bundled with a $399 US PC at Walmart.com: 0

  18. Number of Wal-Mart stores worldwide: 4,382

  19. Low end of estimated range of Linux users: 2,403,060

  20. High end of estimated range of Linux users: 60,076,500

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