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Exploring the Future of Computing
Updated: 59 min 21 sec ago

DenyHost adds support for PF firewall

Monday 10th of November 2014 10:14:04 PM
One common method attackers use when attempting to compromise a server is brute forcing login credentials. Given enough time, automated tools can guess a person's username and password, granting the attacker access to an unprotected server. To counter these sorts of attacks, where passwords are guessed by trial and error, several tools have been created. Utilities such as Fail2Ban and DenyHost monitor login attempts and automatically block the computers performing these types of attacks. Last week the DenyHost project added a feature which allows the utility to block attacks by using the PF firewall. PF is typically used on the OpenBSD and FreeBSD operating systems to block or forward network traffic. The project's website reports: DenyHost 2.9 adds one new feature, the ability to work with the PF packet filter, popular on BSD systems such as FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, PC-BSD and TrueOS. The DenyHost daemon will now work with existing PF tables in real time, allowing administrators to block incoming secure shell connections at the firewall level. Examples of how to set up the appropriate PF rules and enable DenyHost to work with PF are available in the DenyHost configuration file (denyhosts.conf).

AnandTech's Apple iPad Air 2 review

Monday 10th of November 2014 03:54:43 PM
AnandTech on the new iPad Air 2: Overall, the iPad Air 2 is likely to be one of the only tablets worth buying on the market today. While iOS isn't perfect, it's definitely delivering the best tablet experience as its app support is second to none. While other OEMs may have more features, iOS manages to hold on by virtue of its superior polish and integration with Apple hardware. While I'd like to see Apple push the envelope further with the iPad line, it's hard to argue this when other OEMs seem to be content with the status quo. While it's likely that Apple will be able to hold on to its tablet lead, it remains to be seen if Google's Nexus 9 can prove to be a viable competitor to the iPad Air 2. Still the best tablet you can buy.

Obama says FCC should reclassify internet as a utility

Monday 10th of November 2014 03:45:15 PM
President Obama has come out in support of reclassifying internet service as a utility, a move that would allow the Federal Communications Commission to enforce more robust regulations and protect net neutrality. "To put these protections in place, I'm asking the FCC to reclassifying internet service under Title II of a law known as the Telecommunications Act," Obama says in a statement this morning. "In plain English, I'm asking [the FCC] to recognize that for most Americans, the internet has become an essential part of everyday communication and everyday life." Good news, but for now, these are nothing more than mere words - which politicians have in abundance - and not an actual law or policy. The FCC is free to make its own decisions, and could just as easily toss all this aside. With the pendulum of American politics currently firmly in the Republican camp, it just seems unlikely that this will actually become policy.

Firefox Developer Edition

Monday 10th of November 2014 02:51:47 PM
Firefox Developer Edition replaces the Aurora channel in the Firefox Release Process. Like Aurora, features will land in the Developer Edition every six weeks, after they have stabilized in Nightly builds. By using the Developer Edition, you gain access to tools and platform features at least 12 weeks before they reach the main Firefox release channel.

Motorola, Sony, Samsung gearing up for Android 5.0 updates

Saturday 8th of November 2014 10:11:25 PM
Update: LG will begin updating its G3 phone to Android 5.0 starting next week. It's pretty clear by now that things have changed with regards to Android updates. Very good. In the last few years, we've gotten used to OEMs either delaying updates for seemingly an eternity or not delivering them at all. This time, I sense a disturbance in the force lately - and I'm not referring to platform/external/jarjar in the actual Android source code. Vendors are now seemingly trying to compete which each other to see which will release Lollipop first. Sony, Motorola (already releasing Lollipop for select Moto X models!), and Samsung all seem to be quite far along in updating to Lollipop. Great news for consumers.

Scientists ask Supreme Court to rule APIs can't be copyrighted

Saturday 8th of November 2014 10:08:17 PM
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a brief with the Supreme Court of the United States today, arguing on behalf of 77 computer scientists that the justices should review a disastrous appellate court decision finding that application programming interfaces (APIs) are copyrightable. That decision, handed down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in May, up-ended decades of settled legal precedent and industry practice. Signatories to the brief include five Turing Award winners, four National Medal of Technology winners, and numerous fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery, IEEE, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The list also includes designers of computer systems and programming languages such as AppleScript, AWK, C++, Haskell, IBM S/360, Java, JavaScript, Lotus 1-2-3, MS-DOS, Python, Scala, SmallTalk, TCP/IP, Unix, and Wiki. You can always count on the EFF to do the right thing.

Google wants to store your genome

Friday 7th of November 2014 09:21:01 PM
Google Genomics could prove more significant than any of these moonshots. Connecting and comparing genomes by the thousands, and soon by the millions, is what’s going to propel medical discoveries for the next decade. The question of who will store the data is already a point of growing competition between Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. This seems like a great technology to help advance medicine, but this being Google, one does have to wonder just what Google will do with data like this - or, better put, what can be done with data like this at all beyond its intended and promised purpose.

Motorola unveils new Moto 360 options

Friday 7th of November 2014 04:51:30 PM
We're introducing more choice for Moto 360. From new metal watches and a selection of interchangeable bands, to enhanced experiences that promote a healthier lifestyle, Moto 360 offers a diverse portfolio of modern timepieces. I was on vacation in the US and Canada the past two weeks, and one of the things I wanted to buy there was a Moto 360. I went to Best Buy - the store that sells them - but they were all out. The sales person told me that they get new shipments every week, but that they sell out in minutes. I had no luck finding one. These new options are only going to make it sell better. I'm very curious to see just how well.

Haiku: Ohio LinuxFest 2014 report

Friday 7th of November 2014 04:45:44 PM
As I talked to many attendees about various things like our package management, scheduler update, WebPositive progress, Wi-Fi, ASLR/DEP, and anything else I could think of, and there was an overwhelming positive energy about Haiku by those who saw it in action. By far the most common question I got was "When will the next release be out?". In the past, I would say the most common question is "Why would I ever choose Haiku over any existing Linux distribution?", so it is nice to see that there was a lot more positive energy about Haiku, as well as excitement about the next release.

Debian 8.0 "Jessie" enters feature freeze

Friday 7th of November 2014 04:28:23 PM
Debian is one of the largest and longest lived GNU/Linux distributions. The project forms the foundation of many other popular Linux-based operating systems, including Ubuntu, Linux Mint, and Raspbian. The Debian project announced this week that the distribution's Testing repository, called "Jessie", has entered a feature freeze. This means Debian's Jessie branch will not receive any new features nor any significant software upgrades. From now until Debian's upcoming stable release is launched, the Jessie repository will accept only important bug fixes and updated translations. Based on the time-line presented by Debian's freeze policy it seems as though Debian 8.0 will be released in late February.

ToAruOS: hobby kernel and userspace

Thursday 6th of November 2014 08:33:01 PM
ToAruOS is a hobby kernel and supporting userspace, built mostly from scratch, in development since December of 2010. It was originally developed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For a period of time, it was the development focus of the university's SIGOps chapter. There are also instructions for testing and building.

Lenovo launches iPhone 6

Thursday 6th of November 2014 08:24:59 PM
It isn't often that we see a huge device manufacturer rip off a competitor. Sure, we've seen iPhone copies in the past, but this one comes from the third largest handset maker in the world, Lenovo. Today, the company released the Lenovo S90 "Sisley", a 5-inch phone with a Super AMOLED 720p screen, a thickness of only 6.9mm, and an incredible amount of inspiration from the most recent flagship by Apple. The perfect phone for MIUI 6.

FSF Endorsed Trisquel 7.0 Released

Thursday 6th of November 2014 05:08:12 PM
The Free Software Foundation endorses few operating systems, directing interested parties to just a handful of GNU/Linux projects that follow a strict definition of supporting and distributing free software. The Trisquel operating system is one of the few projects on the FSF's list of endorsed operating systems. The latest version of Trisquel is a long term support release, based on Ubuntu 14.04, and will be supported through to 2019. Trisquel strives to be as user friendly as possible while sticking firmly to the philosophy of free software. The distribution ships with a version of the Linux kernel that has been stripped of non-free components and is available in GNOME and LXDE flavours. Details of Trisquel's latest version can be found in the project's release announcement.

Microsoft Office now free for iPad, iPhone, Android

Thursday 6th of November 2014 02:06:38 PM
Microsoft's Office suite for iPad, iPhone, and Android is now free. In a surprise move, the software giant is shaking up its mobile Office strategy to keep consumers hooked to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. Starting today, you'll no longer need an Office 365 subscription to edit documents or store them in the cloud. The move comes just days after Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Dropbox to integrate the cloud storage service into Office across desktop, mobile, and the web. You can now download Office for iPad and store all your documents on Dropbox without paying Microsoft anything at all. Microsoft is also releasing a brand new iPhone app today, alongside a preview of Office for Android tablets, all with Dropbox integration. The news I've been waiting for. The fact that it's going to be free is very nice, but the Android tablet version specifically has me very excited. Office is the number one tool with which I earn my living, and having the proper Office on my Xperia Z2 Tablet is a godsend. The past decade of sweeping changes in the computing industry is finally truly taking hold inside Microsoft.

Hyperion to release AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition for all Amiga platforms

Thursday 6th of November 2014 02:01:11 PM
Hyperion Entertainment is pleased to announce the imminent availability of "AmigaOS 4.1 Final Edition" for all supported platforms. AmigaOS 4.1 was released in September of 2008 and has seen no less than 6 free major updates and at least 88 smaller updates released through AmiUpdate. Aside from being a rollup of all previous updates, this release also brings a bunch of improvements and fixes of its own, so it's a worthwhile update for all AmigaOS 4.x users.

AmigaOS 3.1 is now available on diskettes again

Thursday 6th of November 2014 01:49:36 PM
Our customers have regularly been asking for replacement Workbench floppy disk sets since their older disks have either become corrupted or worn out due to age. About a year ago, we approached our friends at Cloanto to enquire about a possible solution. As a result, we are pleased to announce the immediate availability of new Workbench 3.1 Floppy Disk Set. This isn't just a really old operating system generating enough demand to be sold, but it's also on floppy. So awesome.

Haiku Developers Discuss the Future

Thursday 6th of November 2014 06:43:05 AM
Adrien Destugues sent an email to Haiku developers after the BeGeistert forum, addressing their inability to get R1 out the door, and proposed that they rededicate themselves to getting a beta out ASAP. He then asks a question that hangs above the heads of all developers of alternative and hobbyist OSes: is their goal "to create an operating system that specifically targets personal computing? Or have we evolved to the goal of a fun playground for OS-developers to play around with modern OS concepts?" He concludes ... "I do think that the PC-landscape has changed dramatically since the inception of the project, and I also underscore that there is a clear lack of focus when it comes to accomplishing our current mission. I would go so far as to say that the severe lack of interest of developers into finishing R1 is a great indication in that there really hardly seems to be any place for a new (mainstream?) desktop operating system anymore? Even the Linux on the desktop guys seem to have ceased preaching their gospel." That's some sober talk that's important for alternative OS fans to consider.

openSUSE 13.2 gets the green light

Thursday 6th of November 2014 06:23:17 AM
The openSUSE project released openSUSE 13.2 on Tuesday. The latest version of the big, green distro ships with updated desktop software, including KDE 4.14 and GNOME 3.14. The new release also features new artwork, a streamlined installer and faster YaST modules. Perhaps most importantly, openSUSE ships with the advanced Btrfs file system by default and will automatically take snapshots of the operating system whenever configuration changes are made. This allows administrators to roll back disruptive changes quickly and without using backups. Further details of the new openSUSE release can be found in the project's release announcement and in the release notes.

A Love Letter to Obsolete OSes and Emulation

Thursday 6th of November 2014 06:07:13 AM
The death of an old friend sent Paul Ford on a bender; emulating old hardware to run familiar obsolete operating systems and software, and remembering 1980s and 1990s computing culture in about the most OSNews-bait article I've ever read. It's a wonderful read, with all your old favorites: Commodore Amiga, dial-up BBSes, Xerox Alto, MacOS 6, Smalltalk-80, Plan 9, LISP, Windows 3.1, NeXT OpenStep. Nostalgic and heartwarming.

ReactOS 0.3.17 Released

Thursday 6th of November 2014 06:04:39 AM
The ReactOS Project is pleased to release version 0.3.17. A major new feature for this release is the inclusion of NTVDM, which provides support for a wide range of 16bit applications, a long requested feature by the community. NTVDM is still undergoing work but we felt that it was ready enough to provide a sneak peak to the wider community. In addition, the leadup to the 0.3.17 release saw a very impressive round of testing by the community. Several regressions and bugs discovered in the release candidates were promptly fixed and incorporated into the final release. ReactOS is quickly approaching a stage where what the releases will offer is polish compared to previous releases. That will be an important milestone, as it is then that we can begin recommending to people that they try using ReactOS for day-to-day computing.

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How AAP is shaping an open source newsroom system

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PayrollHero to release code publicly to help build open source culture in Singapore

In line with this, PayrollHero is marking their official launch in Singapore with a gift for the local Ruby community – going open source with their Singapore Payroll Gems. The startup has a history of giving back to its local community in the Philippines. They’re now bringing that practice to the island-state – starting with their CPF calculator. Not surprisingly, this was suggested by their engineers, according to co-founder Stephen Jagger. Read more

Jolla’s Open Source iPad Alternative Raises More Than $1M In Two Days’ Crowdfunding

Late last week Finnish mobile startup Jolla launched a crowdfunding campaign for a tablet running its open source Sailfish OS, smashing past its initial funding goal of $380,000 in a couple of hours. It has since pushed past the $1 million mark, with around $1.18M now pledged from more than 7,370 backers of the Indiegogo campaign. Speaking in an interview with TechCrunch prior to the campaign kicking off Jolla co-founder Marc Dillon was bullish. “I think we’re going to sell out,” he said. “I believe that we will quickly see the small initial targets, we will put up some stretch goals. I think that we’re going to sell a lot of tablets.” Read more Also: Jolla Sailfish 2.0 Tablet: ‘Open-Source iPad’ Crowdfunded Within Hours

And now for some good news... How open source triumphed over Microsoft Office in Italy

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