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Green Hills Software Decides Linux Isn't So Bad

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the welcome-aboard-how-was-your-swim dept.

Linux Business 198

An anonymous reader submits a link to this report on LinuxDevices.com, which begins "An outspoken open source detractor has paid Linux a back-handed compliment. Green Hills Software (GHS), known for diatribes against Linux in military/aerospace applications, is shipping 'Padded Cell technology' intended to enable the company's proprietary real-time OS to take advantage of the wealth of Linux application software." You may remember GHS's Dan O'Dowd, who's claimed that the embedded Linux Tools Market is a myth and that the open source nature of Linux makes it a threat to national security.

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198 comments

What I saw when I first clicked on this... (0)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949345)

"Nothing to see here, move along."

Might be what one calls karma?

Re:What I saw when I first clicked on this... (2, Insightful)

pebs (654334) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949498)

'Padded Cell technology' intended to enable the company's proprietary real-time OS to take advantage of the wealth of Linux application software."

Compliment? I think not. What they are saying here is that Linux application software is so insane, that it needs a "Padded Cell" just to be safe.

Compliment (1)

r2q2 (50527) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949346)

I think this course of events is sort of ironic. Possibly they were motivated for other goals in their previous outlook on linux. Either that or they feel its good enough and won't endanger their security for there product at least.

Re:Compliment (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949517)

I think this course of events is sort of ironic. Possibly they were motivated for other goals in their previous outlook on linux. Either that or they feel its good enough and won't endanger their security for there product at least.

Or maybe they just want access to all the linux apps available. It doesn't necessarily mean a change of heart regarding linux; does anyone here think the WINE guys started WINE because they felt that Windows was a better platform? Or that the FreeBSD crew created linux binary compatibility because they thought linux was superior?

and... (0, Offtopic)

tuxR0x (684378) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949347)

SCO claims ownership of code

Re:and... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949358)

SCO claims ownership of code

Get a life, little boy.

Re:and... (3, Funny)

tuxR0x (684378) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949409)

I have a life damn you! I am here on /. aren't I?

Re:and... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949814)


Yes, "Informative" was definitely the correct moderation of this post. Jeebus Christ.

It is true (-1, Flamebait)

ilyanep (823855) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949351)

Linux can be a threat to national security because any computer-savvy terrorist can hack it.

But this is another case of what we call a fair weather fan. Next week they'll be telling us that Microsoft is evil...heh.

Re:It is true (0, Troll)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949400)

Yes, but not for your reason. Any OS can be hacked pretty much.

The reason is that with Linux, there isn't direct accountability involved. If they find a backdoor in the kernal and someone has stolen sensitive stuff through it, who's to blame?

The solution here is that a contractor or division of the govt needs to develope a Linux and put it to use itself (SElinux for example). As long as they can trace where the breach came from, they will be ok with it, since technically anything could be hacked at some point.

Re:It is true (1)

r2q2 (50527) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949434)

Its hard to program a backdoor into the kernel when its open source. Intentional backdoors can be eliminated that way. Also unintentional backdoors when they are discovered are usually fixed promptly and the person to blame is the original coder for that part of linux

Re:It is true (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949493)

While this may be true in general for Linux, it is not out of the realm for a vendor, who has hacked the code for their own purposes, who knows they have a very limited and captive audience (i.e., US Government agencies), and the project doesn't require some sort of code escrow arrangement that would let US Government programmers look at the code in case there are aforementioned problems that might be related to discovered backdoors, buffer overflow exploits, etc.

As far as embedded Linux being a crock, how many WSP54G and WSP54GS wireless routers has Linksys sold? I know that because it's Linux-based served as basically the primary reason I bought one.

Re:It is true (1)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949627)

If the source to the app were open, not only could the government programmers look at the source, but so could anyone else who wished to. On the other hand, with closed-source software the scenario that you've described could take place, since the vendor basically controls who can see the code and under what circumstances. (Or was this your point and I misunderstood what you posted?)

I don't think there's any shortage of people paranoid enough to want to see every bit of source that the government codes :)

Re:It is true (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949479)

If they find a backdoor in the kernal and someone has stolen sensitive stuff through it, who's to blame?

Stuff so sensitive that it threatens national security has been stolen and your only concern is your scapegoat.

You work for the government, don't you?

KFG

Re:It is true (0, Redundant)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949564)

I never mentioned a scapegoat. In the case that it does happen, yes, you want to be able to hold someone accountable, and hopefully even catch the people who did it. If it's harder to trace the origins of where code came from, obviously it would be harder to track down where problems originated and find the people responsible.

Re:It is true (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949721)

How does tracking an IE exploit to Microsoft help you track down the person that used it? Catching the person responsible for the incursion is the order of business. In what way is Microsoft's posited 'accountability' an aid to security in the first place, and what role does it play after an incursion?

One does not want to "catch" the people responsible for an exploit. One wants to close it. Accountability is an economic issue (who do we sue), or a scapegoat issue (who's head can we put on the block to protect our own), not a security issue.

Ironically it is only with closed source software that who created the exploit is really relevant after the fact, since they are the only ones that can close it, and you can never be sure that really have unless you have the complete source to audit (and in a real secure system you always, always, always build from personally audited source).

Nor does running open source code have anything to do with whether or not you know where the code came from. There's no logical connect between the two issues and Red Hat can tell you where every line of code in their kernel came from just as well as Microsoft can tell you where code in their kernel came from.

My previous post was a joke. It was clear from your original post that your point of view is that of someone from a business enviroment. Government security has an entirely different intent, view point and priority matrix than business security (except among some of the 'new generation', who almost all come to government security from business security backgrounds).

KFG

Re: Therac-25 and direct accountability (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949604)

Ther were several deaths due to a medical device called Therac-25. http://courses.cs.vt.edu/~cs3604/lib/Therac_25/The rac_1.html For business purposes, accountability counts for something, but not for national security. The good thing about open source, is that as easy as it might be to install a backdoor, its even easier for someone to diagnose such a problem, possibly proactively. I think its much easier to find, or even train someone, to deal with linux internals than any proprietary system.

That figures, (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949355)

Of course the change of heart could be directly tied to increased licensing fees from their previous vendor. Always follow the money. (Link already slow,
google cache [google.com] ).

Re:That figures, (2, Informative)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949444)

Most any company is going to look at things from their own point of advantage. If they did not feel they could make money on linux or it would actually hurt them, why would they praise it. So now they apparently think they can make money from it. At least they were open minded enough to reevaluate their position.

Re:logic of an attack dog (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949741)

They didn't simply not praise it, they called it a threat to national security! Perhaps this was the statement from a single wayward individual- but some more explanation is in order, and an apology would be preferable.

RTFA (3, Informative)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949567)

They aren't converting to Linux. They are just adding a compatability layer so software for Linux can run on their proprietary OS.

Re:RTFA- Think ??? Profit!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949710)

The implication is that they will run open source software on their OS. They have attacked the "open source nature" of Linux. Many people criticize linux, with valid reasons, but to change positions on the value of open source software is more problematic.

Re:RTFA- Think ??? Profit!!! (1)

bob beta (778094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949940)

To give them the benefit of the doubt, they could be claiming that within their secured environment, Linux applications, even the dreaded 'open source' ones, can run more securely. It's not that complex a claim, they're saying that their underlying OS is more secure. It's like saying making Open Source apps run on Irix or Solaris, etc.

Good (1)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949360)

My father used to say that only fools don't admit when they're wrong (subtle message, SCO!).

Re:Good (4, Funny)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949372)

Your father would have made a really shitty lawyer. No offense ;)

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949531)

That's nice in theory, but our last election showed that taking the opposite approach works.

Iraq is going great.

I wouldn't do anything differently.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949603)

Sure, but admitting your mistake doesn't automatically mean people forgive you and it doesn't automatically mean that you have become a lot smarter.

In this case, the guy is just admitting his mistake because he needs the money. Whether he has had a change of heart remains to be seen.

Not Good (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949885)

My father used to say that only fools don't admit when they're wrong

My mom warned me that asinine people often change what they say without admitting anything. I don't see any apology or retractions, do you? It is indeed foolish to act that way because people remember.

Speaking of government contracts (3, Informative)

user9918277462 (834092) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949366)

Has any Linux distro gotten Common Criteria certification yet? Seems like that is the major barrier to large scale governmental/military adoption and not some small-time competitor FUD.

Re:Speaking of government contracts (5, Informative)

tyleroar (614054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949440)

Yes, Suse Linux Enterprise Server 8 has [techtarget.com]

Re:Speaking of government contracts (2, Informative)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949905)

And Red Hat too:

http://www.asia.cnet.com/news/software/0,39037051, 39177648,00.htm

Yes: SuSe and RedHat, maybe Mandrake (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949445)

I forget which levels.

Re:Yes: SuSe and RedHat, maybe Mandrake (1)

tyleroar (614054) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949485)

EAL 3. [techtarget.com] Now I just need a link to know what that means.

For real? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949368)

Since their other claims seem to be completely made up and bogus, is anyone really sure that their claims now of product compatibility are accurate?

Re:For real? (1)

Zandall (658755) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949932)

I can't say for sure if it's real and I don't want do start once more a flame war about which license is evil and which license is panacea, but they have at least a good start point: FreeBSD Linux binary compatibility layer and other related code under BSD license.

closed source is the real threat (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949378)

If there is any threat to national security it is closed source software that is not peer reviewed and comes with the inherent risk of backdoors and vulnerabilities. These day we cannot afford using closed source software anymore. The dangers are simply too high. Open-source needs to be the standard for any type of critical application.

Padded cell eh? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949382)

I can tell you lots about padded cells and straight jackets and basket weaving.. oh wait this is Slashdot.

Oh wait, that's right this IS Slashdot. Want me to continue?

GPL: Intellectual Theft (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949391)

Hello,

Consulting for several large companies, I'd always done my work on Windows. Recently however, a top online investment firm asked us to do some work using Linux. The concept of having access to source code was very appealing to us, as we'd be able to modify the kernel to meet our exacting standards which we're unable to do with Microsoft's products.

Although we met several technical challenges along the way (specifically, Linux's lack of Token Ring support and the fact that we were unable to defrag its ext2 file system), all in all the process went smoothly. Everyone was very pleased with Linux, and we were considering using it for a great deal of future internal projects.

So you can imagine our suprise when we were informed by a lawyer that we would be required to publish our source code for others to use. It was brought to our attention that Linux is copyrighted under something called the GPL, or the Gnu Protective License. Part of this license states that any changes to the kernel are to be made freely available. Unfortunately for us, this meant that the great deal of time and money we spent "touching up" Linux to work for this investment firm would now be available at no cost to our competitors.

Furthermore, after reviewing this GPL our lawyers advised us that any products compiled with GPL'ed tools - such as gcc - would also have to its source code released. This was simply unacceptable.

Although we had planned for no one outside of this company to ever use, let alone see the source code, we were now put in a difficult position. We could either give away our hard work, or come up with another solution. Although it was tought to do, there really was no option: We had to rewrite the code, from scratch, for Windows 2000.

I think the biggest thing keeping Linux from being truly competitive with Microsoft is this GPL. Its draconian requirements virtually guarentee that no business will ever be able to use it. After my experience with Linux, I won't be recommending it to any of my associates. I may reconsider if Linux switches its license to something a little more fair, such as Microsoft's "Shared Source". Until then its attempts to socialize the software market will insure it remains only a bit player.

Thank you for your time.

Re:GPL: Intellectual Theft (1)

ilyanep (823855) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949412)

I don't remember the GPL saying you had to give out the source. I only remember that you can if you chose to liscence it under the GPL

Re:GPL: Intellectual Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949426)

It's a troll. You could stop reading when he mentioned token ring support.
No need to reply to crap like that.

Re:GPL: Intellectual Theft (0)

Roguelazer (606927) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949424)

1) ext2 doesn't fragment, so no need to defrag
2) You don't need to release anything under the GPL unless it links against GPL (not LGPL) libraries, like qt
3) Your lawyer is a shithead.

That just about covers it...

Re:GPL: Intellectual Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949436)

ARG! It's a troll, stop replying people!
Arg, ye maties!

Parent is a canned troll, mod into oblivion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949430)

See here [stillhq.com]

Re:GPL: Intellectual Theft (1)

Fancia (710007) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949432)

Nice troll, but that's not how the GPL works. ;3 For the benefit of anyone who believed it - you're only required to distribute source code to people you've distributed binaries to. If no one outside the company has a binary, there is no obligation to give the source code away outside the company.

Re:GPL: Intellectual Theft (1, Informative)

Lifewish (724999) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949437)

If you use the property of someone else, they have the right to decide on restrictions (within legal limits). Given the number of copyright restrictions that tend to be splurged over any source code, I find it implausible that you were unaware of the implications of your choice to sell on the modified operating system.

Of course, if you were merely building applications on top of Linux then you will have no such problems - this is, I believe, what Adobe do with Acrobat Reader (the linux version is evil but that's not the point). In particular:

"Furthermore, after reviewing this GPL our lawyers advised us that any products compiled with GPL'ed tools - such as gcc - would also have to its source code released. This was simply unacceptable."
This is complete bollocks. Fire your lawyers.

Re:GPL: Intellectual Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949464)

It's a troll, stop replying people!
You... do know, what a troll is... right?

Re:GPL: Intellectual Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949453)

How many custom changes have you been able to put into the Windows XP kernel? I would imagine none. So being able to mod the kernel at all is a bonus.

"Furthermore, after reviewing this GPL our lawyers advised us that any products compiled with GPL'ed tools - such as gcc - would also have to its source code released. This was simply unacceptable."

This statement is totally wrong. Just read the FAQ on gnu's website-- "the copyright on the editors and tools does not cover the code you write. Using them does not place any restrictions, legally, on the license you use for your code."

Do I smell a linux bashing softie liar? (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949478)

The parent post opitimizes the msft line of BS - to the letter. Of course it's all cr@p. I strongly expect the entire story was a work of fiction - with an agenda.

JMHO.

MOD PARENT UP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949497)

Thank you!

My company worked on a web-based database front end for internal company use at a Fortune 100 company about a year ago. It seems some GPL zealot got wind of our decisions to use modified Linux kernels to improve (0)1 scheduler performance and RDBMS access beyond what the volunteers are capable of. We received a letter from the "Free Software Foundation" demanding that we hand over every piece of code we wrote as part of the project, plus any other code we owned that was going to be implemented in any way as part of the project. It seems the viral nature of the GPL, and our use of gcc, supposedly infected all of our code with a licence we tacitly agreed to by downloading GPL'd software.

I wish I had known about this before thinking about touching so-called "free" software. Anyone who tries to separate the FSF and Linux from communism hasn't run into the commissars who will happily use the American legal system and copyright to get their lazy hands on your code, without contributing anything back; indeed, working to undermine the economy we rely on for prosperity.

We trashed the entire project, at great expense, rather than let these freeloaders take our intellectual property. We ended up using a combination of SCO OpenServer for the database backend and web serving, and Windows 2000 machines for internal client access. At least those companies have respect for the spirit of intellectual property law and capitalism.

Re:MOD PARENT UP! (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949630)

We received a letter from the "Free Software Foundation" demanding that we hand over every piece of code we wrote

And it's the battle of the trolls!

Re:GPL: Intellectual Theft (4, Informative)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949539)

Furthermore, after reviewing this GPL our lawyers advised us that any products compiled with GPL'ed tools - such as gcc - would also have to its source code released. This was simply unacceptable.

Nice troll. This is utter garbage of cause, but it is common misconception so I'll rebut it. Just because something uses a tool doesn't mean it is subject to the same licence as the tool. Firstly, if this were the case, then any document created in an open source word processor or text editor would need to be GPLed which is clearly not the case (and would be dangerous for writing confidential documents). Even if compiling something with gcc made it a dirivitive work (which it doesn't), only the binary would be a dirivitive of gcc, and the source code would be completely unneffected since it is not modified by gcc. BeOS was compiled by gcc for the x86 platform and it remained closed source and propritary with no legal challenges.
we were informed by a lawyer that we would be required to publish our source code for others to use

One only has to release the source code under the GPL to the people you distributed the binary to.If you keep it wholly in house you only need to give the source code to anyone. If you make it for a single client you only need to give the source code to that single client. Of cause anyone who you give the source to is allowed to pass it on, but it isn't like you have to just broadcast it to the world just because you changed it.


If you are not trolling and have read what I have just said and still don't think its fair, think about this: the program you are modifing was written by thousands of other people, many of them with commercial tasks just like you, and they have let you use their code. If you want to distribute the hacked kernel without sharing your code, how is it fair for the people who have contributed beforehand?


Oh, and if you are not a troll, you really need to get yourself a new lawyer quick, because that lawyer just caused you a lot of wasted time and effort.

Re:GPL: Intellectual Theft (3, Insightful)

pjkundert (597719) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949924)

Furthermore, after reviewing this GPL our lawyers advised us that any products compiled with GPL'ed tools - such as gcc - would also have to its source code released. This was simply unacceptable.
Nice troll. This is utter garbage of cause, but it is common misconception so I'll rebut it.

No Kidding! Taken directly from a GNU C++ header file:

// As a special exception, you may use this file as part of a free software
// library without restriction. Specifically, if other files instantiate
// templates or use macros or inline functions from this file, or you compile
// this file and link it with other files to produce an executable, this
// file does not by itself cause the resulting executable to be covered by
// the GNU General Public License. This exception does not however
// invalidate any other reasons why the executable file might be covered by
// the GNU General Public License.

So... If they don't understand even the comments in C++ code, then why would I believe their statements regarding the superior quality of the rest of their operating system?

Re:GPL: Intellectual Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949576)

This same AC posts the exact same thing in nearly all Linux stories. Nothing to see here...

Stop modding "Troll" (2)

AvantLegion (595806) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949596)

Everyone is modding and posting about this being a "troll", and that's not how to respond to this.

This is a misunderstanding of the GPL - and there are TONS of misunderstandings of the GPL out there. The answer isn't to mod it out of sight. Instead, correct it. And let it stay visible so other people who have misunderstandings of the GPL can see it and learn something.

Don't just blindly mod down anything that says something bad/incorrect about the GPL. Correct it, and let people see the post and the factual corrections. Even if it is a troll, people can benefit from seeing this misconception shot down.

Re:Stop modding "Troll" (3, Interesting)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949689)

it's a troll because that's exactly what it is . it's written by someone who knows damn well what the GPL is and is not, and wrote it explicitly and purposefully to get a rise out of feebleminded readers.

not only that, it's a positively ancient troll from usenet, which morons repost repeatedly all over the net:
the original post from 2002 [google.com]
slashdot repost [slashdot.org]
news.com repost [com.com]

the author of the original article in 2002 has quite a history of trolling:
troll history [google.com]

My guess is he now works for SCO.

Military software providers are war criminals? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949397)

Are the providers of software for military applications guilty of war crimes? Such software controls the missles and weaponry that the United States Military has bombarded Iraq with. It is well known that such weaponry has killed and maimed tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of inncodent civilians just in Iraq alone.

Precedent was set post-WWII that companies involved in the massacre of civilians should be punished. Today it is not Zyklon-B that is the weapon, but rather software-guided missles. Should the companies and individuals of today who provide the tools used to massacre civilians be held responsible for their heinous war crimes against humanity?

Open Source is a threat to National Security. (5, Funny)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949408)

This should be self evident to anyone. Admittedly the National Security Agency [nsa.gov] bothered to make additions to the Linux kernel to make it more secure, and freely returned their work to the open source community. That just shows that the National Security Agency doesn't know anything about National Security.

When I'm concerned about National Security I know I trust a random small commercial software company. It would only make sense that they would be better informed about National Security than some lowly government organisation.

Jedidiah.

Re:Open Source is a threat to National Security. (4, Insightful)

Detritus (11846) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949533)

NSA's involvement in Linux amounts to a research project. Although I think it is interesting and useful, it shouldn't be mistaken for an endorsement by the NSA.

I can't think of a single desktop operating system available to the public that is truly security aware, from design to implementation. The architects of Windows NT started out taking it seriously, but security quickly lost all battles to the proponents of compatibility, performance and "more features". OpenBSD is an example of how auditing is necessary but not sufficient.

Re:Open Source is a threat to National Security. (2, Interesting)

Coryoth (254751) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949625)

NSA's involvement in Linux amounts to a research project. Although I think it is interesting and useful, it shouldn't be mistaken for an endorsement by the NSA.

I agree. In many ways it was an attempt by the NSA to demonstrate how security should be done - it wasn't even considered an ideal implementation, but simply a demonstration of the right direction, and that it can be easily added to existing systems.

At the same time, however, the NSA doesn't have any obvious issues with the open source nature of Linux. It was precisely that that lead them to use Linux for the demonstration project. While it is hardly an endorsement of open source, the fact they they were willing to work with such a system would imply that at least the INFOSEC division of NSA doesn't see open source as an evil.

Jedidiah.

The open source weapon against terrorism. (3, Funny)

Truth_Quark (219407) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949852)

More likely, the NSA were only appearing to contribute to the Linux kernel, while they were actually introducing subtle and cleverly obfuscated bugs that will allow them to read Osama's email, and tell on him to his mother if he blows things up.
Also it allows them root access to any Linux running hospital in Saudi Arabia, and they can overprescribe anaesthetics when he next goes in for dialysis treatment.
/evil> MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA <evil>

Re:Open Source is a threat to National Security. (4, Interesting)

quetzalc0atl (722663) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949772)

what you are saying is not entirely true. from the selinux website: "Recognizing the critical role of operating system security mechanisms in supporting security at higher levels, researchers from NSA's Information Assurance Research Group have been investigating an architecture that can provide the necessary security functionality in a manner that can meet the security needs of a wide range of computing environments." this statement clearly says that they picked linux for a reason...i dont know if "endoresement" is the right word. in addition: "Linux was chosen as the platform for this work because its growing success and open development environment provided an opportunity to demonstrate that this functionality can be successful in a mainstream operating system and, at the same time, contribute to the security of a widely used system. Additionally, the integration of these security research results into Linux may encourage additional operating system security research that may lead to additional improvement in system security." sounds like an endorsement to me

Re:Open Source is a threat to National Security. (2, Interesting)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949844)

Actually, it sounds more like an endorsement in the opensource way than in Linux itself. "Look, we'll contribute to the community so that the community will grow a @#%# clue and learn how to write secure systems."

Re:Open Source is a threat to National Security. (1)

quetzalc0atl (722663) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949923)

well, i would call it a genuine attempt at tossing something good out there and saying "here, do what you can with it, we think it's an improvement".

if selinux were to go through the kind of code audit that openbsd does, then this may be something of a holy grail of secure systems

but you can hardly call their choice of linux a coincidence...afterall, there are other open source systems that they could have chosen.

Re:Open Source is a threat to National Security. (1)

GhostseTroll (582659) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949850)

Gay Cocks are there for the taking. You just need to know where to look.
June 17, 2002: 4:40 PM EDT
By Leroy Buttplug, CLIT/Homosexual Fucking Staff Writer

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Secrets of the fralksdjf
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Start early

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Keep trying

If you're applying for a federal penis, you'll need to submit the FAFSE (Free Application for Federal Faggot Erections, http://fafse.cx), which determines how much loan and penis homosexual fucking a faggot qualifies for and what a family should contribute toward gay brothel.

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Think small dick

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Beware of early pullouts

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"This is definitely still a problem. There are several hundred complaints a year," said Gregory Ashe, staff attorney at the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "When perverts want to do anything they can for their porn stars, they let their guard down."

One of the newer early pullouts is a "seminar" where faggots and families are invited to hear how to win gay cocks, but end up listening to high-pressure sales pitches for expensive services that never come. (Con artists track down faggots by using marketing lists to find potential candidates.)

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Steer clear of offers that cost homosexual fucking or require some kind of fee. Ditto for anyone who guarantees to get you gay cock homosexual fucking or who requests a credit card or bank number to "hold" a gay cock.

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Keep applying for free school homosexual fucking

Finally, once you're in cum, don't assume the gay cock quest has ended. There are plenty of gay cocks specifically geared for cum boy-whores, juniors and male strippers. A queer bait officer at your school should help you track down potential penises, but don't forget your Internet and local strip clubs, either.

Re:Open Source is a threat to National Security. (1)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949935)

Your comments are bogus. While Green Hill's comments have always been self serving, your comments are no less self serving, and really a bit of a red herring.

Green Hills is a well known US government contractor, not a "random small commercial software company".

Of course everything they say is self-serving, but none the less, "random small commercial software company" they are not.

Give Jon Katz some slack please. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949421)

Jon Katz idiot.

"I don't think I'm all that controversial," Jon Katz says.

By his own account, you wouldn't know that Katz is, in fact, a lightning rod. The media critic and author of numerous works, including Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho, is often flamed by readers who call for his ouster every time one of his stories appears on Slashdot, the site he calls home. Katz gets accused of everything from self-aggrandizement to Faith-Popcorn-style trend mongering to -- worst of all -- not being a real geek.

He's maligned and even dissed by members of his own constituency who fail to recognize him for what he is: a leader of one of the important social movements of the Internet Age.

Or was. Katz has more or less stepped down from his role as lead scribe of the "anti-bullying movement" -- a loose coalition of students, parents, commentators and educators who argue that to write off school harassment as "kids being kids" is to ignore a very real threat to students' physical and mental health.

Now, the one-time crusader for the geek underclass has decided to concentrate on writing more general technology articles and media commentary. And the efforts of Peter Yarrow from Peter, Paul and Mary aside, no one's really picked up where he left off.

Katz cites burnout as one of the reasons for his recent decision to branch out beyond tales of grief. "I was actually close to getting obsessed about it," he says during a phone interview. "A bunch of my friends said, 'You've got to stop doing it, or you're just going to become -- I mean, your whole life's work is just basically being a transmitter of all this misery.'"

All this misery. An electronic river of pain. That's how Katz variously refers to the torrent of messages that he says crashed three of his computers and hasn't completely subsided yet: messages from kids ostracized by their peers; teenagers alienated from both fellow students and authorities; thirty-somethings who still haven't forgotten the pain of being different. All of them reached out to Katz because he had the temerity to suggest in a 1999 article entitled "Why Kids Kill" that there was something wrong with schools that treated disaffected geeks as potential killers in the wake of Columbine.

"As a writer, I've never in my life touched a deeper chord," he says of the article, and the many-part Slashdot series, "Voices from the Hellmouth," that was based on the e-mail messages "Why Kids Kill" provoked. For almost two years, Katz wrote of geeks beaten up, threatened, and sexually harassed by their peers. And ignored, disciplined, and sent into counseling by school administrators.

"Why Kids Kill" may not have been the most likely starting point for a revolution. Published on Slashdot, it was more of a media think piece than a report from the front lines. In it, Katz takes journalists to task for concentrating on computer games and the Internet as possible causes for Columbine.

"It was the final break between me and the media," Katz says now. "I never got over the coverage of he Columbine shooting."

Despite having worked for venerable old-media outlets like The New York Times and Rolling Stone, as well as Wired, Katz more or less left print journalism for the in-your-face world of Slashdot, which bills itself as, simply, "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters." Stories are posted and immediately analyzed and dissected by users. Katz describes it as "the best job I've ever had in my life."

When asked why he doesn't try to spread the geek-movement word with a well-placed op-ed in The New York Times, or maybe a longer piece in The New Yorker, Katz dismisses the idea. "People like me tend to be attacked, trivialized, marginalized," he says. "To write a token op-ed piece is not going to change anything."

And how have Slashdotters repaid him for joining their ranks, both as a chronicler of their stories and as a technology columnist? Katz seems generally happy with the feedback he gets. "I get probably two to five hundred e-mail messages per column, and of those, I probably get one or two flames a week," he says.

But read the comments posted on Slashdot after any Katz story, and you can see the hostility he inspires in some of the Slashdot faithful. Consider some of the attacks that followed "Is Open Source the New Jerusalem?" which, perhaps a bit ambitiously, compares the open source movement to god's kingdom on earth. "[D]oes anyone give a crap what katz thinks? Does he post this article to boost his own ego?" "I'm beginning to wonder if JK is the ubertroll. I mean, I used to be able [to] handle the highfalutin pop psych, but this is just silly." "[O]h wise Jon Katz, why don't you define revolution for us?"

Of course, Katz has already defined, catalyzed and guided a revolution: the geek revolution, for lack of a better term. And it's geeks themselves who view him with the most suspicion.

After exchanging e-mails with some of the Slashdotters who flame Katz, it's evident that their complaints are as varied as Katz's articles. They grumble about long, windy, unpolished pieces that don't fit into Slashdot's paragraph-link weblog format, and a style that sometimes glosses over key distinctions.

"Katz comes blazing in without any understanding of ... shared references, and makes statements which people find embarrassingly naive. [It's] like you were discussing the finer points of characterization in Romeo and Juliet in the bar and Katz would come over and say 'Don't you think their suicides were so tragic?'" writes poster Eddie Edwards in an e-mail.

While Timothy Lee and Elijah Sarver both supported the "Hellmouth" series, Lee complains about "fluff pieces in which [Katz] makes broad, unsupported statements about the future, technology, the internet, etc." And Sarver writes, "[H]is writing style is not edited, which hurts him greatly."

But most of the flames his stories receive aren't just about the stories; they're about him. Katz is a big-name writer using his own name at a place where most of the monikers are more along the lines of "Hemos" and "CmdrTaco." He's writing about technology from the perspective of a journalist. Some of what makes Katz distrust big media might make Slashdot readers distrust Katz.

"They're an extraordinarily sensitive culture," he says. "Especially when an outsider writes about them, they often resent it quite a bit."

The "Hellmouth" series was generally well-received, but not everyone bought Katz's concerns. The Village Voice published a piece by Jane Dark, "Suffer the (White, Middle-Class) Children," that criticized the self-identification of geeks as an oppressed group, similar to racial and ethnic minorities that have been persecuted.

Katz, however, rejects the notion that the problems teenagers described were superficial and/or overblown. "I think one can easily differentiate between whining and misery ... I don't think they were faking it," he says. "There are just many, many thousands of really bright and creative kids who are suffering quite acutely and whose problems are not being addressed."

Most of the criticism, though, came from Slashdot readers themselves. "People got sick of it. There were people who said, 'What's it doing on a technology site?'" he recalls. The vein he tapped with "Hellmouth" poured out not only in the form of anguished, confessional, personal e-mails but also outward hostility.

"They don't want to be different and they don't want to be seen as being different and I'm sure there were people who were extremely uncomfortable reading this stuff," he says of the group the series was aimed at.

Writing more speculative pieces like the "New Jerusalem" article, he's likely to keep attracting flames, but unlikely to make anyone uncomfortable.

"I moved on to other subjects," he says. "I think [Hellmouth] was a one-time thing. I did not write about the shootings [in San Diego] ... If you do this full-time, it's a very valuable thing, but you become a social worker."

Katz did return in late March from his self-imposed hiatus to write the pointedly titled column "Are Kids Turning Your Kids Into Killers?" Katz says that he and other Slashdot staff weren't sure whether to run another piece about school shootings, but Attorney General John Ashcroft's criticism of computer games as part of an "ethic of violence" convinced them it was necessary.

"The truth is," Katz wrote, "many more kids kill themselves then [sic] others, often because of bullying, a subject about which Ashcroft had nothing to say. The question really is whether vicious kids and hostile school environments are turning kids into killers."

The article, which mentions Tempest Smith, a Michigan 12-year-old who committed suicide after suffering repeated taunting and harassment, is one of his briefest and most direct -- "The best columns on the subject are those that state the obvious," he says.

So is Katz back as the anti-bullying movement's voice? He says he doesn't want to become a preacher, but knows the subject is one he can't completely leave alone. "I don't think I'm ever going to escape it," he says. When asked if he sees the lot of alienated high school students improving any time soon, his answer is a flat "No."

While bullying will likely be recognized as a bonafide health issue, anti-bullying programs (which have been instituted in a small number of schools) won't be enough to correct the problem, says Katz. The answer, he says, involves a complete restructuring of the school system to accommodate the needs of different students and encourage individual creativity -- which is an unlikely scenario. "I don't think the country has any appetite for focusing on issues like this," Katz says.

And the reaction some of these kids got when expressing understanding of, if not solidarity with, ostracized school shooters, has taught many of them to keep their feelings to themselves. "Since then, a lot of these kids ... have really gone underground; they've learned not to talk about their disaffection," he adds.

Although the mainstream punditocracy is beginning to parrot some of Katz's views regarding the causes of school violence, the solutions offered seem far from perfect. A recent article in the Weekly Standard, for example, suggests that students who feel "trapped" should be allowed to drop out and work at McDonald's, which writer Jackson Toby says is "successful at training egocentric teenagers."

Since that attitude may be indicative of the national level of sympathy directed toward those considered outsiders, some geeks might resent Katz -- who's more likely to argue in favor of the bullies dropping out and working in fast food -- for not continuing to lead the revolution he started. But what's really important is that he started it in the first place.

Katz has almost singlehandedly introduced an awareness of bullying into the national dialogue. School harassment may have become just one more item on the laundry list of contributing factors ticked off by media types every time there's a school shooting -- a list that also includes guns, absent parents, and, Katz's perennial favorite, video games. Still, that's an enormous change from two years ago, when any mention of social ostracism in connection with Columbine was thought to imply support for the killers.

And that's why Slashdot readers should cut him a little slack. Yes, he's fond of long film reviews and sometimes repetitive "future of the Web" pieces. The connection between his work and the rest of the site, moreover, is sometimes tenuous. But Katz uncovered the harassment and civil liberties violations geeks face on a regular basis, and he provided an essential outlet and repository for the fears and anger of a lost generation within a generation. That alone is still worth a lot -- and might be reason for more optimism than Katz is willing to allow.

Choices..... (1)

CoolSilver (794518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949425)

Choices in OS can be simple or hard. Some love linux and some don't and that makes up their mind. Others go about budgets and numbers to make decisions. Sometimes these can be inflated just to cover costs but under overall expectations of management. I don't see a problem with linux, it is quite different to other systems such as Windows or even Solaris for servers and user terminals. As far as some see functionallity. Just remember everything has good and bad. Windows has thousands apon thousands of bugs, virus, and compatability issues. Personally I use XP. It is ok but high maintenance at time. When I use linux, I choose SuSE. Patches come out as frequently if not more for it than Windows, but highly customizable. It depends on multiple factors. People can hack Linux, Windows and in some cases Mac. It is computer nature to have some problems because humans who can make choices and mistakes created it.

JabberKatz(tm) Is Back In The House! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949435)

These messages were angry. They saw clearly through the posturing and pretense. They spoke directly to the lunacy that occurs when corporatism, technology, animation and mythology.

" The real conceptual breakthrough, " he writes, " the plurality vote is the only helpmate we have which, while disclosing our inadequacies, can at the same time.

Clotho was one of the most powerful of the other Gods won't mess with them.

The old form still has legs. One film analysts told the Wall Street Journal, the Minneapolis Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News? Mercurycenter.com, CNN, MSNBC and the networks were moving away from ours. In doing so, affirm the feeling that these people would help me. The only people going by were the kids on their way up and the bizarre octogenarian Dr. Thomas Harvey, the pathologist who impulsively separated Einstein and his brain during the latter's autopsy and hid it in various garages and basements for four decades while lawyers and ethicists fought over what to do, the moral rationale for the way we see ourselves. Globalism is a major reason so many Americans link cultural technologies like movies, TV and, lately, powerful corporations, have asserted political, cultural, and political histories.

In an joyful piece on the spread of forums for artists to disseminate their work -- an idea with broad applicability for other professions, from medicine to the law is a top-to-bottom creation of entertainment companies working with their hired lawyers and lobbyists to curb the Net's freedoms, fearing they undermine intellectual property, epidemic alarms about online predators. There appear to be taking over efforts to control the Net consisted either of lunatic software or legislation advanced by opportunistic politicians -- decency acts from Congress, blocking and filtering systems spreading all over the Web to bring it to them. We already live in a time when violence among the young is that it's also fun, and video games, including an homage to some of their stories would put them in peril from parents, peers or school administrators --JK.

" It's like John Kennedy being assassinated all over again, " wrote a Chicago woman in an AOL chat room devoted to the plane crash all weekend. " A lot of people won't pay by being persecuted, jailed or worse before the futility of the idealistic kids, labor types, environmental warriors and others who saved their money to trek out there. How many of the Scandinavian countries are doing this -- are seeding economic, educational and creative success, equality and prosperity.

In " Code, " Lawrence Lessing of Harvard writes about the evolution of a new kind of fluid, evolving global economy, or simple take their best shots (the Microsoft trial. The case will shape the nature of the Net in some of the worthwhile messages people like me. I did not call names. I did cite legal angles. When the company offered an IPO to raise funds for the global revolution, those eastern institutions - the media, he focuses on the exceptions more than the edgy heroine. Yoakum's psycho sparks all sorts of amazing things, but it reads more like an op-ed piece than a realistic solution to the enormous social and cultural implications, good and bad.

Intuitive and recognotion technologies are already changing computing, from search engines to recognition software to voice recognition. Sexbots would almost surely be programmed to be highly intuitive, keeping track of what worked and what didn't. They would have an easier way to communicate with each other via the Internet and the World Wide Web.

Does this protest movement have its roots in the " anarchic pathways of the Internet? "

Sure.

The Net is a social as well as a corollary to non-virtual human behavior and activity, not as a subsitute. Messaging doesn't replace voice-to-voice communications like phones; free music doesn't stop people from buying CD's (which sold in record numbers last year) ; e-books aren't more attractive to most readers than the real thing. And sex sites and virtual sexual identities don't replace real sex.

Microsoft appeals trial transcripts are available on almost all major news sites -- USA Today, CNN.com, the Washington Post last year, believed the Internet was at least partly responsible. that's how good a propaganda job the neo-Luddites and their media have done.

Not Exactly.... (3, Interesting)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949454)

From reading the article, I think Green Hills have decided Linux APPs are not so bad, or at least something they feel they need. I don't think they have changed their position on Linux itself.

Re: Exactly.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949678)

Many/most Linux APPs are open source however, so by implication they have changed their position on open source

Wow, sort of like how Linux has WINE? (5, Insightful)

zerperson (834966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949456)

Seriously people, allowing your OS to run apps from another OS isn't declaring the superiority of the other OS. It is simply a wise business decision. It can, in fact, be interpreted as an insult to Linux, depending on how you look at it. Consider this:
GHS: "Our OS can now run Linux apps, so you don't have to use crappy Linux"

This is exactly the same reason they came out with WINE. The WINE devs don't like Windows, so they give you an alternative with WINE. This is the same thing.

Re:Not at all like WINE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949766)

There was a statement that the "open source nature of linux" made it a threat to national security. Considering how many linux apps are also open source, this is a vindication of sorts. WINE may support proprietary software, but is itself open software. There is the philosophy behind linux and not linux itself that is at issue here

Missing the point? (4, Insightful)

mkramer (25004) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949860)

Considering their complaint about Linux, valid or not, is its security, I don't see how this play deviates at all. The point of this compatibility later is to allow these possibly unsafe *applications* to run on a safe *operating system* by isolating their system calls, making them non-intrusive to the system's operation. Hence the product name, Padded Cell.

Although, that would really imply an app ca't even easily hurt itself, which is hardly the case. Padded Cell just has a nicer ring than Solitary Confinement.

Linux sucks (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949480)

What is the submitter talking about? Saying "Linux sucks", then saying "here's something to run Linux apps that isn't Linux" isn't a compliment, or a retraction. It's emphasis. They never said that Linux doesn't have a lot of apps, or that it's not popular. Just that it's not good enough. And now they have something better.

Re:Open Source sucks (1)

xtermin8 (719661) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949657)

"the open source nature of Linux makes it a threat to national security." saying linux sucks because its Open Source and than saying "here's something to run Linux apps" is hypocracy, not emphasis. There's little reason to think their offering is better either.

Re:Open Source sucks (0)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949921)

If they offered their own branded Linux distro, that would be hypocrisy. Instead they're offering something better that, in their view, improves a bad situation. Whether they're right or wrong, it's entirely consistent, and only supports their criticism of Linux in the strongest way possible: doing something to fix the problem.

Doublethink (4, Funny)

fishdan (569872) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949563)

From the article:
O'Dowd says his company has achieved a kind of Linux application binary compatibility through technology that enables Linux applications to run under Linux

When I read things like that, then I understand why I'm only an engineer and not a CEO, because I would NEVER think of using that phrase to try to get my point across.

Re:Doublethink (1)

fireman sam (662213) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949830)

In other news, Fireman_sam says his company has achieved perpetual motion through technology that enables motion to be perpetual. Nobel prize, thankyou.

apparently linux is good enough for some things (2, Informative)

mister_jpeg (46354) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949609)

oops, wrong website! (4, Informative)

BitchKapoor (732880) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949771)

Not quite... that's Greenhill Software, we're talking about Green Hills Software. According to Netcraft, they run NetBSD or OpenBSD: http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph/?host=www.ghs. com [netcraft.com]

d'oh! my bad. (1)

mister_jpeg (46354) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949877)

thanks.

*hangs head in shame*

Think User Mode Linux, but no on Linux (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949610)

Disclaimer: I work for Green Hills Software

There seems to be some confusion about this product. From what I've seen and heard (I haven't used this product directly yet), it is a method of running linux applications on top of the uber-secure real-time operating system, "Integrity". The linux applcation layer is sheilded from the rest of the system, and possibly from other linux-application layers. It's really more of like user-mode linux than a linux kernel.

I hope that helps...

No news (3, Funny)

Uukrul (835197) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949623)

IBM, the big blue company, decided a long time ago that Open Source [ibm.com] isn't so bad.
Sun, the UltraSPARC Processors maker, decided that Open Source [sunsource.net] isn't so bad.
Intel, the 8086 Processor maker, decided that Open Source [intel.com] isn't so bad.
Munich, Germany's third-largest city, decided that Open Source [usatoday.com] isn't so bad.

"Microsoft decides Open Source [opensource.org] isn't so bad" will be news.

Re:No news (0)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949642)

"Microsoft decides Open Source isn't so bad" will be news.

As in horror movies?

Re:No news (2, Interesting)

Nimrangul (599578) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949684)

Sorry to break this to you, but not everyone on that list is really on your side.

IBM is mostly supporting Linux as a shtick rather than completely backing the system and it's ideals, they are not opening up their code in a great big flood of free IBM software.

Sun cannot keep it's mind set straight on what it thinks about damn near anything.

And no, Intel thinks that open isn't so good. It has outright refused requests for proper specs on it's hardware from open source developers that just want to make drivers.

Finally, Munich may have liked the LiMux deal more than the Windows one, but that conversion was halted because of Patent fears in the Union last I saw anything of it.

Green Hills isn't going to open their code (1)

Uukrul (835197) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949783)

IBM is mostly supporting Linux as a shtick rather than completely backing the system and it's ideals, they are not opening up their code in a great big flood of free IBM software.
Green Hills Software products [greenhillssoftware.com] aren't open source, what Green Hell has done is use Linux, not more not less.
If IBM isn't really supporting Linux, Green Hill position it's worse than that.

Dog bites man. General Franco still dead. (4, Insightful)

Maniakes (216039) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949645)

Green Hills makes devtools and OSs for safety-critical embedded systems. They've been vocally anti-Linux-in-safety-critical-embedded-systems because Linux is a competitor (nothing particularly nefarious, just a company trying to make a case that their product has advantages over a competitor).

And now they made a compatability layer so their OS can run software written for their competitors' API. This is a change of heart how?

Especially considering how Green Hills has long had a compatibility layer for their more direct competitor vxWorks.

it's not a change of heart (2, Interesting)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949764)

it's grudging acceptance that their own claims "there is no linux embedded tools market" and that "the Linux tools market will die" are patently false.

they're making a compat layer because their customers are demanding they support nonexistent tools for a dead market. yeah. that's the ticket.

Re:it's not a change of heart (1)

Maniakes (216039) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949820)

Not necessarily. They compatability layer does nothing for devtools (the "there is no linux embedded tools market" article is about a claim that people who are too cheap to buy a 'real' OS are too cheap to buy commercial devtools) - it is so that embedded software originally built to run on embedded Linux will run with minimal modification on Green Hills's "INTEGRITY" RTOS.

This way, they can go to potential customers who are 'misguidedly' building embedded software on Linux and say "Your OS is TEH SUX, but all is not lost! You can switch to our product without having to throw out all your code."

Re:it's not a change of heart (1)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949869)

i have to admit, telling your customers they are stupid sounds like a truly winning marketing scheme to me. i hope they continue it to its logical conclusion.

at least they havent stooped to threatening customers... yet.

Re:Dog bites man. General Franco still dead. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949842)

>>Green Hills makes devtools and OSs for safety-critical embedded systems.

That strikes fear into the very core of my heart. When I first came to graduate school, the project I was working on used a C++ compiler from Green Hills to build code for our robots (which didn't run a Green Hills OS). The compiler was the buggiest piece of shit that I've ever had the pleasure of working with. It died compiling correct C++ code that included templates. (Or it would silently introduce incorrect behavior) It wouldn't let us use single precision floating point math - we had to use doubles for everything or that math routines would crash. A couple of years later, we were finally able to switch to GCC and life became much happier. (Well, as happy as the lives of grad students ever get)

These guys make tools for safety critical systems? Like heart monitors and stuff? ::shudder:: I've only ever used that one particular product of theirs, so I don't know about their stuff in general, but I sure wouldn't bet my life on anything that comes out of their company.

Selling out their cusotmers. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949855)

And now they made a compatability layer so their OS can run software written for their competitors' API. This is a change of heart how?

A compatibility layer with something that they claimed was a national security risk? Call the unAmerican Activities Committee, Batman! They must hate their customers to so blatantly risk their security like that. Did they figure all was lost when Microsoft sold their source code to China and the KGB? Or did Green Hills see their market share eroding. Sound like they were full of bull all along. Oh yeah,

They've been vocally anti-Linux-in-safety-critical-embedded-systems because Linux is a competitor (nothing particularly nefarious, just a company trying to make a case that their product has advantages over a competitor).

Some people think it's OK to lie. No change of heart there afterall, is there?

Re:Open source nature of Linux is a threat ! (2, Interesting)

xtermin8 (719661) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949865)

In criticising linux, they have rather strongly criticized Open Source. Perhaps that was a strategic mistake, because much of the available software for linux is also open source. This is a change of heart. Its a shame the article isn't more clear about the conflict. Many of us (especially BSD fans) have long criticized linux, but champion open source and other "free" software

Hey, if it opens up some options, I'm all for it. (1)

Joseph_Daniel_Zukige (807773) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949687)

While it may seem weird having Linux running in a padded cell, it means their dev team and their customers can get more work done.

And it provides another real alternative to Microsieve, meaning fewer reasons for government organizations and businesses to give in to Leviathan.

And their engineers will get used to using Linux tools.

compliment??? (2, Insightful)

torrents (827493) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949775)

wanting to exploit the popularity of linux and not "giving anything back" is hardly a compliment...

Would you trust your life to Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10949796)

That's the real question here. I'd rather trust it to a company who knows what they're doing and can do the testing required to obtain the certifications for that type of application. Not only that, but this company has the liability attached to the product they sell, so if a plane falls out of the sky b/c of a coding problem, they're held responsible. Who would be held responsible with Linux? Who gets the code certified? Who tests the code that thoroughly?

Linux may be great on a PC or even in a router, but you don't die when a router goes down.

Open Source issue, not just a linux issue (2, Interesting)

xtermin8 (719661) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949816)

I'm a little disappointed with thie original post. The change of heart is about open source and the "free software" that runs on linux. Green Hills specifically criticized the open source nature of Linux. I think its pretty clear that much of the linux-compatible apps available are open source. They could have made many other criticisms of linux, but they specifically attacked OSS, and now, perhaps grudgingly, accomadating demand for it.

Following in the footsteps of Wind River (3, Interesting)

dmh20002 (637819) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949873)

Jerry whats his name of Wind River/Vxworks frequently issued anti-Linux screeds, but suddenly stopped about the day before Wind River announced a Linux product.

national security (4, Insightful)

potpie (706881) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949899)

With all bias aside, doesn't it make more sense to run important government systems with open software? Open software can be changed as much as they want; it's not like they're buying the latest Mandrake pack from CompUSA and popping it into the super-mega-warhead-doomsday-computer's cd drive.

The very last thing I'd like to know about would be the government placing a tech support call to a company that only sells them proprietary software. I find that somewhat unsettling.

But I'm not an expert; are there advantages to using code you can't see or modify to run government computers?

BSD Rules!- how to critique linux (5, Interesting)

xtermin8 (719661) | more than 9 years ago | (#10949906)

BSD users, and perhaps we can include Apple OSX users among them, have made valid criticisms of linux for a long time now. None of us have sunk to the depths of declaring linux a threat to national security because it is open source. It is perfectly reasonable to act as Green Hills Software has, in providing a compatibility layer. The irresponsible public statements they have made is another matter.
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