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Red Hat Software Businesses

AOL in Negotiations to Buy Red Hat? 950

bstadil sent in this rumor. The Washington Post isn't exactly a rumor site, so there's probably truth behind it. Wow. It would make a great deal of sense for AOL/Time-Warner to acquire an operating system for leverage against Microsoft - same reason they bought Netscape.
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AOL in Negotiations to Buy Red Hat?

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  • Obligatory Errata (Score:3, Informative)

    by corby ( 56462 ) on Saturday January 19, 2002 @12:21AM (#2866499)
    ...Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 2 video-game console. Linux also runs the Sony product.

    The Washington Post may not be a rumor site, but they are not exactly Scientific American, either. Playstation 2 is not run by Linux, of course, although some of their development tools are.
  • Re:Good and Bad. (Score:2, Informative)

    by thesolo ( 131008 ) <slap@fighttheriaa.org> on Saturday January 19, 2002 @12:28AM (#2866543) Homepage
    AOL did buy Nullsoft, and then they made Winamp freeware. So, for once, AOL did good.
  • by Carnage4Life ( 106069 ) on Saturday January 19, 2002 @12:57AM (#2866690) Homepage Journal
    Netscape 4's perhaps, but with regard to IE 6 vs. Mozilla 0.9.8 (effectively Netscape 6.3; 0.9.8 is due to be released in a week), I have to hand this round to Mozilla. Mozilla starts faster than IE, supports more CSS, supports XHTML (as opposed to IE just bailing and dumping the XML tree),

    My webpage is Fully Compliant XHTML 1.0 Transitional [w3.org] and renders better in IE 6.0 than in Mozilla (as text and images not this "dumping the XML tree that you speak of). Mozilla is a great browser but when I see people spreading lies in an effort to spread its usage I feel disgusted.

    Let the browser stand on its own merits instead of spreading FUD to promote it. This sullies the name of Mozilla and all that work on it.
  • Re:Good and Bad. (Score:3, Informative)

    by jchristopher ( 198929 ) on Saturday January 19, 2002 @01:24AM (#2866799)
    And speaking of AIM, it's the only instant messaging software I can think of that actually HAS a Linux release.

    Yahoo Messenger has an official Linux client, works great. It's bit light on features compared to the Windows version, but the functionality is there.

    In fact, all it really needs is a feature to flash the icon in the taskbar when a message comes in. Anyone know how to make it do that?

    I've tried some of the other Yahoo! clients people have made. Frankly none of them compares to the "official" client.

  • What would that be? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Erris ( 531066 ) on Saturday January 19, 2002 @01:41AM (#2866869) Homepage Journal
    f there's one thing they're good at it's preserving their monopoly and they'll do what it takes to keep AOL from switching to Linux.

    What, pray tell, will M$ be able to offer AOL? Microsoft never ever held anything back. It's apparent that MicroSquish is trying to conquer all media on the PC with their goofey and inferior "standards". It's apparent that they are trying to move all PC users to the M$Notwork, with invasive advert cramming, spyware and general sleezyness for all. It's also apparent that they are trying to use their desktop share to force such bizare and awful protocalls as activeX on everyone. What will be left for anyone else in such a world? What can AOL do to help M$ achieve this, and what would they offer AOL for their complience? Will they offer to not break Netscape again? Right, who believes that one? M$ thinks it does not need AOL, and their corperate strategy makes no provisions for any other ISP but themselves.

    How wrong they are. If any sizable portion of AOL users moved to Linux, M$ would be doomed. There are 100 million or so AOL users out there, almost all of them on M$ platforms. Every year, a substantial proportion of them feel forced to "upgrade" their computer due to M$ induced bit rot. What AOL can now do is offer a free OS that works to those people, who are going to throw the old computer away! Why would they not give it a try? Then swoosh, millions of Linux users are born. Did you hear that? It's the sound of M$'s PC share going to hell and all their power with it.

  • by Jay L ( 74152 ) <jay+slash@[ ].fm ['jay' in gap]> on Saturday January 19, 2002 @01:49AM (#2866905) Homepage
    What the heck are you talking about?!

    iPlanet had VERY little to do with the AOL you hate - it was Netscape people and Sun people selling Netscape and Sun software bundles.

    Very LITTLE of AOL's infrastructure runs on Microsoft. The vast majority runs on either UNIX or on Tandem fault-tolerant minis. When I left last year, some folks were beginning to play with LINUX now that it was becoming more reliable. Only one thing I can think of runs on NT.

    The only "AOL infrastructure" that relies on Microsoft is the word-processing infrastructure.

    Jay, the ex-Mail Guy
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19, 2002 @03:07AM (#2867239)
    You said about Opera:
    • It blocks pop-up ads
    • stores your info for when you have to fill out forms
    • you can put on skins, or even make your own
    • has a built-in Google search on the adress bar
    • has a very nice mail and news client built in

    FWIW, Mozilla does all these things.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19, 2002 @03:11AM (#2867252)
    Take a look at his resume:


    Be sure to check the first entry under the "professional" experience section.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 19, 2002 @03:32AM (#2867294)
    Hmm, looks like IE doesn't render the blank lines between paragraphs in the left side table, while Mozilla puts in twice as much as you'd expect.
    Otherwise it's identical.
  • by DrSkwid ( 118965 ) on Saturday January 19, 2002 @11:04AM (#2868137) Homepage Journal
    you know, the actual differences between the IE, Moz & Opera clients is easier to code round than all that if(NS) else if(IE) crap

    for instance

    IE lacks getElementById for a document

    so the solution is far simpler than

    el = document.all["someID"]
    el = getElementById["someID"]

    just add the functionality to the document

    if (IE)
    getElementById = function (id) { return document.all[id] }

    than your code can become more cross platform

    I use this technique in my JS and it works a treat

    NS doesn't have pixelWidth
    solution :
    if (NS) {
    getPixelWidth = function (el) { // el is a CSSStyleDeclaration
    return el.width;
    setPixelWidth = function (el, w) {
    el.width = w;
    return el.width;
    } else {
    getPixelWidth = function (el) {
    return el.pixelWidth;
    setPixelWidth = function (el, w) {
    el.pixelWidth = w;
    return el.pixelWidth;

    these are examples without error checking etc. but using this technique is pretty time saving I can tell you because you gradually build a library of the stuff you use and all the browser dependent stuff only gets executed once at page load.
  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) on Saturday January 19, 2002 @01:10PM (#2868565) Homepage Journal
    I just extracted emails and address book for a former AOL user. AOL uses some foully nonstandard database to store 'em in, but the essentials are still there in text. I had only a small job to do so just used LIST (yes, Vern Buerg's old LIST.COM, in a DOS window) to read the raw files and copy out the needful data. For a larger job, try XRAY, which you can get from Simtel, IIRC in the DOS/TextUtils section. It does a really good job of extracting whatever ASCII text is inside ANY file. Redirects to a file or an external viewer (frex, List :) in the usual manner for DOS utils.

    I've also used XRAY to extract the meat from Word documents that were mangled beyond repair.

    And still they try to tell us DOS is dead. :)
  • by dhogaza ( 64507 ) on Saturday January 19, 2002 @01:42PM (#2868686) Homepage
    And their excellent AOLserver [aolserver.com] is open source, too. They bought NaviServer and shortly thereafter offered binary downloads for free, then switched to a fully open source model two-three years ago.

    AOLserver [aolserver.com]runs big parts of aol.com and digitalcity.com. Say what you may about the quality of AOL's services, but when was the last time you heard of either of those websites going down? Or getting hacked?

  • Override Windows? (Score:2, Informative)

    by pressman ( 182919 ) on Saturday January 19, 2002 @06:30PM (#2869883) Homepage
    Taken from an article on MSNBC [msnbc.com]

    The AOL online software, which consumers can install for free from the Web or a compact disk, is now designed to run on Microsoft's Windows operating system. But the AOL software could be configured to override Windows and launch a version of Red Hat's Linux operating system, sources said.

    I hope this wouldn't be done by default. There had better be a lot of warnings indicating that the disk was about to be reformatted and that data could (and probably would) be lost.

    Now, I have no problem with Windows being overwritten. I just hope end users are made fully aware of the potential risks to their data.
  • by RallyDriver ( 49641 ) on Saturday January 19, 2002 @07:18PM (#2870037) Homepage
    I don't think that your point holds now, though it may have when you first signed up with AOL UK.

    Over the holidays I was back to the UK and just switched my mother over to BT openworld's 24x7 thing - unlimited use via 0800 number, 15 quid a month all in, works fine with Linux (I even used RH7.2 GUI dialup config). I don't see a big benefit of using AOL over that.

    Being stuck with AOL just because you have an aol.co.uk address is a different matter - I guess you could use AOL's mail server from someone else's dialup, but that adds cost and defeats the purpose

    Maybe OFTEL should get involved and enforce "email portability" on ISP's?

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