The CDiT has decided to strengthen its free software expertise. It has
signed an MoU with OSS-Kochi for working together to promote free software
usage in goverment sector.
Kannur Science Park ( A project by Kannur District Panchayath) has decided to
use free software alone for its science exhibition needs. It has plan to
network different schools in Kannur and Kasaragod district. Kannur Science
Park would like to provide latest scientifc information to these schools.
They have invited suggestion for materialising their ideas. Can any one help
Please get a copy of 'Vivara Vicharam' published by ATPS(Appropriate
Technology Promotion Society, a non-profit making charitable society at
Kochi). The magazine mainly focused on free-software. Suggestions are invited
for its improvement.
Goldman Sachs: Fear the Penguin
By James Maguire
Part of the NewsFactor Network
January 15, 2003
Goldman Sachs believes that Linux' emergence "will most directly benefit independent PC semiconductor companies (Intel and AMD) and Intel-based server businesses (Dell)."
Linux will emerge as the dominant operating system in corporate data centers, according to a new study by Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS).
According to the study, IT buyers will use Linux to take advantage of lower-cost, higher-performance Intel-based servers -- and to avoid "premium-priced proprietary systems." Eventually, systems running Linux will displace systems based on Unix and RISC processors.
"Many observers confine Linux's enterprise opportunity to the market for low-end 'edge' servers such as file, print, Web, and e-mail servers," the study, entitled "Fear The Penguin," notes. "But we are confident that the technical developments and market forces are in place for it also to become the dominant OS on the higher-end servers of the enterprise data center."
Forrester (Nasdaq: FORR) research director Josh Walker agreed that Linux is on a path to dominate the data center. "The cost pressures that IT departments are under makes Linux a very compelling purchase," he told NewsFactor.
But Walker said he believes that although Linux will displace many high-end systems, it will not replace them all. "There will always be the 20 percent that require the high overhead of better load balancing and fault tolerance" of RISC-based units, he noted.
Winners and Losers
Goldman Sachs believes that Linux' emergence "will most directly benefit independent PC semiconductor companies (Intel and AMD) and Intel-based server businesses (Dell)." It also will benefit "open" infrastructure software vendors, such as BEA Systems (Nasdaq: BEAS) , BMC Software, Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) and Veritas.
Yet the rise of Linux will have a mixed impact on proprietary systems companies like Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) , IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Sun Microsystems (Nasdaq: SUNW) , the study says, also claiming that "it may negatively impact overall software pricing."
While Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT) is "well on its way to establishing a definitive standard for enterprise Linux," Goldman Sachs acknowledges, "we also believe it is primarily a service provider and that it should be valued as such."
Pace of Adoption
The study also notes that while many observers expect Linux' emergence to be rapid, it is instead likely to "follow the more measured pace of server hardware upgrade cycles."
One important factor slowing adoption will be lagging support from packaged Linux application vendors. On the other hand, "Trends such as server consolidation and wider deployment of J2EE-based computing models could significantly accelerate rates of adoption," the study suggests.
Linux vs. Windows
Unlike in the server market, Goldman Sachs believes Linux will not win market share from Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) in the desktop market in the near term. Forrester's Walker agreed, saying that "the cost savings [of switching to Linux] would be very high, but companies shy away from that because of the training needed."
However, the study notes, Linux will "hamper the movement of Windows into the enterprise data center, an area that Microsoft has only recently begun to target for growth." It will do this by providing an easier migration path from current Unix-based deployments.
"This shift will limit Windows' market opportunity in the data center for both its OS and its applications that run on that platform," the study concludes.
***********************************************************************y Posted by N.S. Soundara Rajan, Freelance IT journalist, Columnist "Deccan Herald",
Spoken English Teacher and Knowledge networker
...connecting people to people, and people to knowledge
Birth of another clone of WTO - Going by this report (The Hindu 13/01) it
appears that Microsoft, Intel and Sandhill Systems (a proxy ?) are all set to
establish a world standards committee (regulatory authority) on e-Governance,
first draft to be produced before March 2003.
FSF should be taking this message quite seriously, and discussions should
start at all national forums to stop this 'cancer' from spreading.
Ironically, while these corporates follow the philosophy of 'invisible hand'
(unregulated, corrected by markets), most of the times when 'they' fear
getting eliminated, 'they' themselves step in to function as a regulatory
body. (Views of Samir Amin)
I see that some of you have started using and disributing TheOpenCD in India,
which is great! For our next version, due out this spring we will focus on
internationalisation by adding multiple language versions of major programs and
other CD content. The new mozilla-based CD browser now has multi-language
I see by the OpenOffice pages:
That there are some Indian language versions in the works; any further news on
the progress? It would be great if we could get some help translating our web
pages and CD-browser content!
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Brendan Nyhan passed your note on to me.
We designed Martus software to be compatible with GNU/Linux and the program
appears to work though we haven't tested it extensively. We are just
looking into working on an installation process at this time. This could be
an opportunity for designers in the free software community to have a hand
in its development.
Please let me know if there are other questions I can help out on.
Marc B. Levine
Senior Product Manager, The Martus Project
A Project of The Benetech Initiative - Technology Serving Humanity
870 Market Street, Suite 1214
San Francisco, CA 94102 USA
(415) 394-6560 (fax)
------ Forwarded Message
From: Frederick Noronha <fred(a)bytesforall.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2003 23:14:22 +0530 (IST)
To: Brendan Nyhan <bnyhan(a)benetech.org>
Cc: Niranjan Rajani <niranjan.rajani(a)maailma.net>
Subject: [bytesforall_readers] New software to assist NGO documentation of
human rights abuses (fwd)
Great! Does this work on the GNU/Linux or the Windows platform? If the
former, I could popularise it among Free Software circuits here. If not,
you could include it on the Open CD network (a CD containing GPLd software
that works with Windows). An interesting idea! FN
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Bytes For All readers -
I wanted to let everyone know that the nonprofit I work for, The
Benetech Initiative, just released our human rights software,
The Martus Human Rights Bulletin System. The release (with URL)
is below; the main Martus site where people can download the
software is http://www.martus.org.
NEW SOFTWARE PROVIDES SECURE WORLDWIDE
TRACKING AND DOCUMENTATION OF HUMAN
The Benetech Initiative and The Asia Foundation team up to
deliver The Martus(tm) Human Rights Bulletin System
Palo Alto, Calif. - Jan. 15, 2003 - The Benetech Initiative, a
Silicon Valley nonprofit, today announced the release of The
Martus Human Rights Bulletin System, an open source technology
tool designed to assist human rights organizations in collecting,
safeguarding, organizing and disseminating information about
human rights abuses. Through a partnership with The Asia
Foundation, a U.S.-based nonprofit working on the ground in Asia,
Martus will first be implemented in the Philippines to provide
better resources to groups combating hundreds of human rights
violations per year.
Currently, much of the violation and abuse information gathered
by grassroots human rights groups is lost to confiscation,
destruction, or neglect, making it difficult or impossible for
prosecutors, truth commissions and others to use the information
as evidence to hold the perpetrators of human rights abuses
accountable for many of their crimes. The Martus software enables
grassroots NGOs to securely store their records on off-site
servers with easy-to-use software, preserving crucial evidence
for research, investigation and prosecutions.
"Grassroots NGOs told us it was essential that the software be
easy to use, so we modeled it after the simple interface of
email," said Jim Fruchterman, CEO of Benetech.
In the Philippines, The Asia Foundation is sponsoring and
facilitating the first implementation and training of the Martus
software in the 22 offices of the Philippine Commission on Human
Rights, and a network of domestic human rights organizations. In
February, the software will be installed on Internet-connected
workstations, allowing these organizations to securely document
and disseminate information on human rights cases for the first
time, which in turn will facilitate and improve the process of
investigation, prosecution, assistance, and advocacy for victims
of human rights violations.
"Information technology has the potential to dramatically improve
the ability of human rights groups to manage information, giving
them evidence to prosecute perpetrators," said Dr. Steven Rood,
Country Representative of The Asia Foundation in the Philippines.
"The Martus software provides a platform for nongovernmental
human rights advocates to communicate with the Commission on
Human Rights in a secure manner, and will provide detailed
information to help press for broader reforms."
The software was designed in consultation with human rights
groups and experts worldwide, including Dr. Patrick Ball of the
American Association for the Advancement of Science, one of the
world's leading human rights statisticians and Senior Advisor to
the project. Beta testing took place in Guatemala, Russia, Sri
Lanka and the US.
Aspiration, an organization specializing in nonprofit technology
implementation, has supported the development and introduction of
the Martus system. Jonathan Peizer, Aspiration's President, says,
"The Martus software is essential for human rights groups working
to document abuses. We are now working actively to help support
Future applications of the Martus software for social justice
groups include monitoring other issues like violence against
women, human trafficking, environmental destruction and hate
crimes. The software and its source code are available for
download at http://www.martus.org.
The Benetech Initiative is a Silicon Valley nonprofit that
develops technology projects addressing major social problems in
areas such as disability, human rights, literacy, education, and
the digital divide. Its purpose is to use the high technology
enterprise model to address pressing social problems. Many
technologies have compelling social applications that are not
developed because such efforts do not meet investors' financial
expectations. Benetech specifically pursues endeavors with a
strong social, rather than financial, return on investment,
bringing commercial technology and private sector management
techniques to bear in creating innovative, non-traditional
solutions to problems ranging from literacy to human rights.
The Martus Project was funded by a major grant from the
Information Program of the Open Society Institute, as well as by
individual donors and the Benetech Initiative itself.
About The Asia Foundation
The Asia Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental
organization committed to the development of a peaceful,
prosperous, and open Asia-Pacific region. The Foundation supports
programs in Asia that help improve governance and law, economic
reform and development, women's participation, and international
relations. Drawing on nearly 50 years of experience in Asia, the
Foundation collaborates with private and public partners to
support leadership and institutional development, technical
assistance, exchanges, policy research, and educational
With a network of 17 offices throughout Asia, an office in
Washington, D.C., headquarters in San Francisco, the Foundation
addresses these issues on both a country and regional level. The
Asia Foundation has a proven track record of success. In just the
past fiscal year of 2002, the Foundation has provided grants,
educational materials, and other resources of more than $50
million to 21 countries in Asia and through its Books for Asia
program has distributed over 750,000 books to over 4,000 schools
and other regional educational institutions. During the past five
years, the Foundation has supported more than 800 public interest
The Asia Foundation has been working in the Philippines since 1954
and has a trusted network of partners. With funding from the U.S.
State Department, The Asia Foundation is supporting this first
implementation of the Martus system in the Philippines.
The Benetech Initiative
Jennifer C. Betti
The Asia Foundation
------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor ---------------------~-->
Turn flat surfaces into speakers with the Soundbug.
To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
------ End of Forwarded Message
---------- Forwarded message ----------
India's first computerised village council in Kerala
By Sanu George, Indo-Asian News Service
Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 14 (IANS) A Kerala village is all set to create a
record -- as the first to have a fully computerised grassroots
administration in India.
The Vellanad 'gram panchayat', or village council, 20 km south of this city,
will be declared fully computerised Wednesday by state IT Minister P.K.
The Information Kerala Mission (IKM), a project of the state-owned
autonomous institution, Centre for Development of Imaging Technology, took
up the computerisation of Vellanad.
The entire cost of computerisation came to Rs.600,000. "It took IKM almost a
year to fully computerise the village council," said the Local
Self-Government Minister Cherkalam Abdullah at a news conference here
"As a result, certificates for deaths, births, marriages and taxes will be
ready for villagers in a matter of minutes."
IKM has developed 12 different packages for application at the village
A survey of the socio-economic status of villagers, a databank on the
qualifications of the unemployed in the area and the financial position of
the administration will be among information now available at the click of a
Staff at Vellanad has undergone two computer-training programmes, and a
final one is scheduled to commence on January 20.
IKM is hoping that the forthcoming Global Investors Meet on January 18-19
will help spot a suitable investor to take up computerisation of all 1,214
local bodies in the state.
Among the biggest project proposals of the local self-government ministry is
one worth Rs.7.5 billion that is getting ready to be showcased at the meet.
--Indo-Asian News Service
Kannur Achieved a unique feat by implementing very cost
effective and economicaly sustainalbe( the least expensive
approach known sofar!!)computer education facilities for school
children. Children of 49 Govt. schools in Kannur parliamentary
constituency will now have access to their own computer facilities
running on GNU/Linux Operating sysytem packed with the latest GNU
free softwares.The computer facilities are being setup at schools
and the first facility setup at Valapatnam Govt Scholl will be
inagurated by Shri A P Abdullakutty, Hon. M P ( Member of
Parliamnet) of Kannur at 10 A M on 14- Jan 03.
The resource for the project comes from the Constituency
Development Fund of Kannur M P Shri A P Abdullakutty and is being
implented by Keltron who provided the hardware facilities. The
Software solution and support is provided by Swatantra Software
Solutions & Support( S2S2),at Kannur who implented the cost
effective LTSP( Linux Terminal Server) solution. The computer
facility include One P4 Sever and many diskless workstation using
etherboot to load Redhat 8 Operating system. The other GNU
software package include, Openoffice, multimdedia, programming
tools, and many applets for educational use( physics, chemistry
maths etc.) all installed using GLUE CD.
Check out the forwarded message,
which originated from the following groups.
To: linux-middleeast(a)yahoogroups.com, arab-linux(a)yahoogroups.com
From: Peters A P <peters1968(a)yahoo.com>
Date: Wed, 8 Jan 2003 03:38:36 -0800 (PST)
Subject: [arab-linux] I found this and thought this might be of interest
Aberdeen Group says Linux/UNIX is as vulnerable as Windows
Turning up the heat up another notch on a
long-simmering debate, the Aberdeen Group has
published a study comparing the security of Linux/UNIX
systems with that of the Microsoft Windows family of
"Contrary to popular misperception, Microsoft does not
have the worst track record when it comes to security
vulnerabilities. Also contrary to popular wisdom,
UNIX- and Linux-based systems are just as vulnerable
to viruses, Trojan horses, and worms," Aberdeen's
Based on CERT advisories for 2001 and 2002, Aberdeen
reached the following conclusions:
"Virus and Trojan horse advisories affecting Microsoft
products peaked at six in 2001, which then bottomed
out at zero for the first 10 months of 2002
Virus and Trojan horse advisories affecting UNIX,
Linux, and open source software products went from one
in 2001 to two for the first 10 months of 2002
Advisories affecting network equipment products jumped
from two in 2001 to six for the first 10 months of
Firewalls and other security products were affected by
just two advisories in 2001, but have been linked to
seven advisories for the first 10 months of 2002."
The report also points out that Apple is becoming
vulnerable, "now that it is fielding an operating
system [OS X] with embedded Internet protocols and
Windows vs. Linux/UNIX vulnerabilities
Aberdeen Group report, vol. 1, no. 35, is dated Nov
12, 2002, and it's a brief but interesting read. I
can't post a direct link since you have to subscribe
to see the report. But it doesn't cost anything, so I
recommend that you go to the Aberdeen site, register,
and then take a look at the entire report
Some people will dismiss the report as
Microsoft-sponsored hot air, but the raw data is there
for everyone to see in CERT's Advisories and Incident
Notes, giving legitimacy to The Aberdeen Group's
conclusion that open source operating systems in
general, the new Mac OS X, and critical security
programs themselves, aren't as safe as many proponents
The underlying data is worth a close look. No new
Windows platform virus or Trojan CERT advisories were
issued in the period of January 2002 through October
2002. CERT's confirmed vulnerabilities list shows that
the threat level is growing faster for Linux/UNIX
platforms than for Windows. This could be a
statistical anomaly due to the much larger number of
Linux/UNIX versions (although there are actually fewer
versions available now, as there has been
consolidation in both the Linux and UNIX markets in
recent years). So the number of threats is growing
while the number of Linux/UNIX versions is shrinking
Perhaps this is an indication that UNIX is becoming
less genetically diverse and therefore is more
vulnerable to attack because the market isn't so
fragmented. One Microsoft virus would attack a lot of
systems, but it used to take a slightly different
virus for every version of Linux/UNIX. That's not
always the case anymore
The open source community sometimes claims that
vulnerabilities are "more serious" in Windows, but I
don't know of an objective way to measure that. And
lacking a generally accepted method, all we are left
with are the raw numbers. Microsoft rates
vulnerabilities when it publishes a patch, but we need
a comparable way to rate Linux/UNIX bugs if we're
going to compare the seriousness of the patches
released for these platforms
It's useful to look at incidents as well as confirmed
vulnerabilities (advisories). Although this isn't
exactly the same as measuring how serious a
vulnerability is, it provides a good way for those in
the security business to judge how many attacks are
taking place, or at least how many are being reported
According to the Aberdeen report, "In 1995 the
incidents reported by CERT numbered 2,412. However,
incidents tracked by CERT skyrocketed from 21,756 in
2000 to 52,658 in 2001, and then to 73,359 for the
first nine months of 2002. Clearly, the trend in
incidents and advisories is going up, and at an
However, we should always take incident statistics
with a grain of salt. After all, vulnerabilities are
easy to count, but who knows how many attacks go
Microsoft has recently announced a new policy for
rating vulnerabilities. The company says this was due
to customer complaints about far too many "critical"
warnings, which compelled administrators to patch
vulnerabilities even when the critical rating was not
warranted by the actual risk
According to Microsoft's director of security
assistance, Steve Lipner, the new rating system will
expand the old Critical-Moderate-Low reporting scale
to include Important, which will fall between Critical
Most of the old Critical vulnerabilities will now be
labeled Important, including threats that could lead
to system penetration and file compromise. The
Critical rating will be reserved for Internet threats
(e.g., major disasters of the Code Red variety)
A new two-tier security bulletin system with a less
technical bulletin service will also be hosted at
http://www.microsoft.com/security/ to supplement the
current one, which many users found simply too
A recent eWeek report brings yet another aspect of
this subject to the forefront by pointing out that
White House Cybersecurity Tsar, Richard Clark, has
called for mandatory vulnerability reporting to a
central federal government office. This would require
any security firm discovering a new vulnerability to
report it with the goal of forcing vendors to respond
more quickly to new threats
Others feel this may lead to premature disclosure of
vulnerabilities, which happened in the past when the
FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center
attempted to coordinate reports with various vendors
The newly organized (Sept. 26, 2002) Organization for
Internet Safety is also developing a proposed set of
guidelines for timely and safe reporting of
vulnerabilities. OIS founders include Microsoft,
@stake, Symantec, Caldera, Network Associates,
BindView, and Oracle, so there may be some muscle
behind these guidelines
We will probably always be comparing apples and
oranges when we try to see how the number and severity
of vulnerabilities found in the major competing
platforms match up. But this really doesn't matter in
the real world. The bottom line is that if a
vulnerability leads to intrusions on your network,
it's a problem, and it doesn't matter whether the
vulnerability was a "high" risk or a "low" risk, only
whether it cost you time and money to deal with it
Most of us are supporting legacy systems and always
will be. Only new companies have the luxury of
selecting a platform based only on security,
performance, and initial cost. That's further limited
to only new companies that have an expert IT staff in
place to advise the company founders before they buy a
single computer. It's far more likely that a platform
decision will be based on the experience of the
founders, the vendor who gets there first with the
best proposal, or, most likely of all, which platform
runs a line-of-business application that the company
The Aberdeen Report concludes that the reduction in
Microsoft vulnerabilities is the result of the
company's much-touted new security initiative. It may
be too early to determine that, but it is a relief to
see that no major viruses have besieged Windows in
As for Microsoft's new security labeling system, I
think it is useful. It makes sense to reserve the
Critical rating for those dangerous global threats
that can spread around the world quickly and
temporarily threaten the integrity of corporate
Have a great day