Off-the-shelf product briefs
Red Hat debuts more scalable Linux
BY Nancy Weil and John Zyskowski
Red Hat Inc. launched a new version of its Linux operating system this week
that is designed to let the open-source operating system handle bigger workloads,
potentially a big selling point for agencies concerned about the system's
Red Hat Linux 6.2 features load-balancing technology the company calls
"Piranha." The aim of the technology is to allow multiple small World Wide
Web servers to behave like one larger Web server, said Michael Tiemann,
the company's chief technology officer. That makes it especially useful
for growing e-commerce systems.
The new version also uses the Beowulf open-source clustering software.
And the clustering features can now be administered by a new Web-based management
console. Besides offering greater scalability, the ability to run on clusters
of servers also makes the OS more reliable, because it can switch to another
server in the event one server fails.
Version 6.2 is available now and comes in three editions. The Professional
Edition, priced at $179.95, includes the most extensive help desk support
services and add-on applications. The Deluxe Edition costs $79.95. And the
Standard Edition costs $29.95.
— Weil is senior U.S. correspondent for IDG News Service
Top speech recognition vendors to merge
BY Douglas F. Gray
Speech technology company Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products Inc. has
agreed to acquire competitor Dragon Systems Inc. in a deal that will eventually
involve a consolidation of the two product lines into one.
LH will continue to produce and support products from both companies in the short
term, but "in the long term the goal is to ultimately have a single product,"
said Jo Lernout, LH's co-chairman of the
The first step L&H will take after the acquisition is to try to get more copies of both companies' software on the desktop. "Today, only half of one percent or so of all
personal PCs are enabled with voice technologies," Lernout said. "That is
an enormous drought and there is deman
The company also has designs on the mobile Internet market. "It's very hard to surf the Net with a 1 and one-half inch screen and no keyboard," Lernout said. "And when you are driving,
you need to keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road," he added,
referring to Internet-enabled automobiles.
The company will continue to expand its relationship with Microsoft
Corp., which, in addition to having a $60 million investment in the company,
offers LH's translation service on its Microsoft Office Web site.
— Gray is London-based correspondent for IDG News Service
ERDAS geographic information software passes Windows 2000 test
BY Natasha Haubold
ERDAS Inc. has had its ERDAS IMAGINE 8.4 geographic information system certified
to run on Microsoft Corp.'s new Windows 2000 operating system.
Designed to capture the process experts use to analyze and compare results
to arrive at a solution, ERDAS allows someone who is not an expert in the
field to extract information from digital photographs and radar images for
spatial analysis, map creation, 3D and 2D feature collection, and stereo
The software gives users the ability to view accurate 3D images of elevations
and clean up images by removing speckles, analyzing image textures and merging
images from several mediums, including satellite pictures, 35mm film and
Pricing varies depending on the range of modules acquired and customized
configurations. The starting price for IMAGINE 8.4 operating on Windows
is $2,000 and $3,000 for UNIX. Discounts are available for educational programs
and government organizations.