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Recent Features

LWN.net Weekly Edition for November 14, 2002

The FSF GPL Compliance Lab

LWN.net Weekly Edition for November 7, 2002

LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 31, 2002

LWN.net Weekly Edition for October 24, 2002

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The LWN.net FAQ

The LWN.net FAQ

Here is our attempt to answer the questions that come in to LWN; please let us know of questions we should add here.  
General topics

What is this LWN thing?

LWN.net aims to be the premier news and information source for the free software community. We provide comprehensive coverage of development, legal, commercial, and security issues. The LWN.net Weekly Edition is our weekly summary of what has happened in the free software world; our front page offers up-to-the-minute coverage.

How did LWN get started?

When LWN was initially designed, at the end of 1997, it was intended to be an attention-getting side project of a new consulting company called Eklektix, Inc. The initial editors (Elizabeth Coolbaugh and Jonathan Corbet) wanted to share the results of their efforts to keep up with developments from all over the Linux community. Over the years LWN has grown with Linux and become one of the definitive Linux news sites.

Where does LWN get its information?

We spend an unbelievable amount of time wandering the net in search of interesting developments to cover for our users. We also depend heavily on tips from our users; see the next section on how to send in something you have seen.

How do we contact LWN?

The most effective means of contacting LWN is via email. The following addresses should be used:
  • For story submissions, questions, and general issues, send mail to lwn@lwn.net. In most cases, we request that you use this address rather than contacting individual LWN authors directly - somebody is always watching the lwn@lwn.net address. As a special case, Penguin Gallery submissions should go to penguins@lwn.net.

  • Subscription questions should be sent to subs@lwn.net.

  • Letters to the editor, intended for publication, should go to letters@lwn.net.

  • Advertising inquiries are welcome; please send them to sales@lwn.net.

When in doubt, the lwn@lwn.net address should be used.

How can we get our press release into LWN?

Note that, for the time being, LWN has discontinued its press release section to free time for more interesting news. We are still interested in press releases, and will cover interesting commercial events. To have your press release considered, please send it to pr@lwn.net. A couple of things should be kept in mind when submitting press releases:
  • If your press release is embargoed until a particular date, please state that prominently at the top of the message.

  • We are unable to handle press releases in closed, proprietary formats. The preferred format is plain text.

How does LWN make its living?

LWN is primarily supported by its readers, through subscription fees. We also bring in a small amount of money through advertising, but that is typically less than 10% of our revenue stream.

Where is LWN's privacy policy?

Over here.

What does LWN stand for, anyway?

LWN, initially, was "Linux Weekly News." That name has been deemphasized over time as we have moved beyond just the weekly coverage, and as we have looked at the free software community as a whole. We have yet to come up with a better meaning for LWN, however.


Content questions

How do I find the current Weekly Edition?

The current Weekly Edition is always available via the top navigation bar. You may also use the link lwn.net/current (or lwn.net/current/bigpage for the "one big page" format).

Who writes this stuff?

LWN.net is currently made up of:

  • Jonathan Corbet: Front, Security, and Kernel pages, and overall "executive editor" functions.

  • Forrest Cook: Development, Press, and Announcements pages.

  • Rebecca Sobol: Distributions page and daily updates.


Subscription topics

Why should I subscribe to LWN?

Producing LWN takes a substantial amount of staff time, and that costs money. As a way of bringing in that money, the advertising model has been shown definitively not to work (and not just for LWN). Subscriptions, are the lifeblood of LWN, and the only way that LWN will continue to publish. The main reason to subscribe, thus, is to support LWN and keep it on the net.

What does an LWN subscription get me?

Beyond the knowledge that you are helping keep LWN around, subscribers currently have access to the following:
  • LWN's premium content from the moment it is published; non-subscribers must wait a week to access this content.

  • The ability to receive LWN content via electronic mail.

Other features for subscribers will be added in the future.

What does a subscription cost?

There are currently three available subscription levels:
  • The starving hacker level, at $2.50 per month. This level is intended for readers who are studying, between jobs, or in parts of the world where the "professional hacker" level is inordinately expensive.

  • The professional hacker level, $5.00 per month, is the standard LWN membership level.

  • The project leader level, at $10.00 per month, is for those who wish to support LWN at a higher level.

At this time, there is no difference in the level of access provided by the different subscription levels. We may, at some future time, reserve some content or features for the higher membership levels.

How can I pay for an LWN subscription?

We can currently accept payments via credit card (Visa, MasterCard, and American Express), PayPal, and checks drawn on a U.S. bank.

What if I don't have a credit card?

We realize that paying for subscriptions is difficult for some of our non-US readers. Given that just over half of our readers do not live in the United States, this is a problem that concerns us deeply. We are working on alternatives, but they are not easy to find.

What is a group subscription?

A group subscription is a set of LWN.net subscriptions purchased in bulk by a company, university, or other interested group. Group subscriptions offer a way to provide subscription access to LWN to a number of employees, students, or members at a significant savings in cost. Our basic group subscription offerings are described on this page, but feel free to contact us (at subs@lwn.net) if you would like to discuss other options. In particular, we offer discounted group subscriptions to universities and other non-profit groups.

How are group subscriptions managed?

There are two basic mechanisms for controlling access to group subscriptions:
  • One or more master accounts can be set up; these accounts have the ability to "bless" other LWN accounts with access to a group subscription. The master account can also track usage of the subscription, and make and track subscription payments.

  • For larger subscriptions, we can enable subscription access for anybody who logs into LWN.net from one or more IP subnetworks. This method allows for larger numbers of readers without the need to manage them separately.

Note that, in both cases, it is necessary to have an LWN account and log into it to enjoy subscription access. For subnet-based subscriptions, access will be allowed from anywhere if the account has been used from the covered subnet(s) over the last month; thus the "working at home" and "at a trade show" cases are handled properly.

Who are your group subscribers?

Not all of our group subscribers have given us permission to drop their names in public. A few that have, however, include Dell, the IBM Linux Technology Center, NEC, Trustix, Carmen Systems AB, Progeny, The Linux Box Corporation, Boston University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research library, Bibliotek-Systemer, BitMover, the SAIC Advanced Technology and Solutions Group, and Prosa.

Must I subscribe to read the Weekly Edition?

No, the Weekly Edition becomes freely available to all readers one week after its publication. If you would like to be notified when subscription content becomes free, there is a mailing list to which you can subscribe; you'll find it in the "mailing lists" section of the "My Account" page.

I'm a Debian developer, how do I access the Debian subscription?

HP has generously funded a group subscription for Debian developers; see this posting for information on how to gain access to this subscription.

What if I want to donate to LWN?

We are no longer able to accept direct donations as a result of a painful disagreement with our (former) credit card bank. We appreciate those of you who are still interested in donating to LWN, and certainly do not want to make that task difficult. The best ways of sending some extra money our way are (1) buy a gift certificate for some deserving soul, or (2) buy a text ad favoring a project you support.


Site code questions

What system is the LWN.net site running?

The LWN site code was developed in-house by Jonathan Corbet. It is written in Python, and based on the Quixote web framework and the PostgreSQL relational database management system.

Why did you write your own site code?

Essentially, the existing content management systems did not meet our needs. In particular, none had support for the creation of the LWN Weekly Edition. And, besides, it's fun to hack on Python code.

Is the LWN site code open source?

Not yet. We do intend to release our code once it gets a bit more "ready," has had one more security audit, and when we are in a position to support it as an open source project.

Copyright (©) 2002, Eklektix, Inc.
Linux (®) is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds
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