Oracle to Announce Linux Distro Tomorrow

It’s a rumor, and in all fairness my track record on the last couple has not been good, but according to a number of open source industry insiders, Oracle is going to announce at LinuxWorld tomorrow their own branded version of Linux based on the Red Hat distro. Previous speculation had them announcing something at their analyst meeting in October, but with the penguin festival this week in SF it makes perfect sense.

This is a smart move on their part for a couple of reason. First and foremost, by forking off Red Hat they compete with Red Hat without having to deal with product issues. It’s all about support and the ability to offer a top-to-bottom stack. I think it also sets up the eventuality that Oracle could acquire Red Hat and realize the all important consolidation objective. Either way, this is a problem for Novell.

It’s a problem for SAP as well, although not as severe as Oracle would like to believe. We’re finally turning the corner on open source at a couple of levels, even though we haven’t been publicly talking about much there is in fact a lot going on.

UPDATE: Oracle’s investor relations group is now saying that the announcement will be pushed out possibly past OpenWorld in October. Will keep you updated as I hear more, but they are now saying not to expect anything at LinuxWorld. What does this mean? Probably not a lot other than there is a lot of “chatter” but the signal to noise ratio is low. It may be that this is something that Larry wants but the rest of the management team is less sure about.

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Another argument for renewable energy

Coming off my earlier post about Khosla’s oil company tax initiative, I thought I would post something that supports renewable energy without prejudice. I found what has to be one of the more interesting cases in favor of renewable energy, and on top of that from a very unlikely place… Iraq.

Commanders have done the math and realized that, if they could use renewable forms of energy at bases in western Iraq, fewer truckloads of fuel would be required, and more combat troops out there could be chasing hostile forces. As a result, the commanders are calling for immediate shipments of solar panels, wind turbine generators and fuel cell generators.

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You can’t google, you have to Google

You kind of have to wonder if this is a case of lawyers gone wild… the fact that “to google” has entered the popular lexicon is nothing if not an enormous branding gift to the company.

Independent Online Edition > Business News:

Search engine giant Google, known for its mantra “don’t be evil”, has fired off a series of legal letters to media organisations, warning them against using its name as a verb.

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Blogging tools, not writing about Windows Live Blogger today

Be prepared for 150 posts about Windows Live Writer today on Techmeme… I’m not going to write about it.

However, all the interest in blogging tools made me think to check in on the status of the next version of my favorite blog editor, Ecto. If you were to give me a new computer and tell me I could only have 5 applications on it, Ecto would surely be on that list. It is indispensable because it delivers on it’s promise so thoroughly and does it in such a way as to not ask much from me as a user… I don’t have to use only the services that are wired into the app, can upload images easily (and convert them to jpg as well), I can easily switch between html and wysiwyg modes, and I can manage multiple blogs efficiently. If Windows Live Writer can do all that then hats off to Microsoft… although I have to wonder why it’s taken them so long and also to ask how many people they had working on it compared to the grand total of 1 working on Ecto.

ecto3 progress notes:

By the way, the old ecto has 46,132 lines of code, the new one has 23,342. Almost half. It will have more once it’s done, but it will still be far less.

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Is the Ballot Box the New VC Model?

I noticed something interesting on a television commercial for Yes on 87, the voter initiative that would tax oil companies in California $4 billion. Check out the “major funding” statement below…

Considering that the aforementioned $4b in taxes will go into a fund for the financing of alternative fuel research, a well known cause for Khosla, I am left to consider that maybe getting taxpayers to foot the bill for research and development of new technology is the new venture capital model.

This comes on the back of another Kleiner funded taxpayer initiative, the now infamous Stem Cell Proposition 71 (which still hasn’t funded any research).

Finally, on the measure itself, I find the creation of these quasi-pivate/public entities out of taxpayer funds (and whether or not it’s industry or individuals, they are private sector) troubling. In picking on popular causes such as taxing oil companies and stem cell research the backers of these initiatives are playing on the emotions of the average citizen without ever asking them to consider the ideological considerations of public funded private sector research, and more importantly, whether these investment schemes ever succeed, which is something the history record would not support.

BTW, who wouldn’t want to tax oil companies, right? Oil companies are evil, right? Before you consider that you should read up on the history of windfall profits taxes, which the last time they were imposed during the Carter administration (Steve Westly’s claim to fame before joining Ebay) raised little in the way of revenue and ultimately were responsible for declining investment and a loss of production. Big oil is rich and they don’t need any tax subsidies, a point even President Bush made last year, but to propose taxing them just because they are front and center of everyone when they fill up their car with gas is plain and simple pandering to voter emotions.

UPDATE: a little research reveals that John Doerr, Larry Page and William Hearst (all associated with Kleiner) have also contributed significantly to this campaign.

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