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SocializedSoftware's blog

Xandros Acquires Linspire

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News

Today Linux desktop manufacturer Xandros acquired Linspire for an undisclosed amount. Xandros will also be keeping existing engineering, support, and key sales employees and long-time Linspire employee and CEO Larry Kettler will be joining the Xandros executive team as the VP of Business Development. While Xandros didn't mention their total employee numbers Xandros CEO Andreas Typaldos claims Xandros to be the third largest Linux company in the world after the acquisition. Former Linspire CEO Kevin Carmony has some harsh criticism of the deal on his blog.

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Are Google and Amazon the Next Great Hope for the (Linux) Desktop?

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Linux

There was a time when I thought the Linux desktop was going to take a market share at least equal to Apple’s. Maybe even 5% or 10% of the total desktop market. I had high hopes that the One Laptop Per Child Initiative would put Linux laptops in the hands of impressionable young minds who would never have the chance to become dependent on Windows. Though that plan has fallen through the cracks. I don’t hate Microsoft Windows I just don’t have a desire to see any operating system dominate the market in such a way that the lack of competition stifles innovation and forces users into an endless upgrade cycle, offering progressively smaller incremental value.

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Socialized Software: Microsoft ISV Benefits from Open Source Development Model

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News

When I think of open source software Microsoft is rarely the first word that comes to mind. Actually it’s not even on of the first ten words. However, there are probably more Microsoft Windows users using open source software than on any other operating system. Despite this Microsoft’s stance on open source is changing evidenced by recent initiatives into open source software development.

The Little "3" of Open Source Systems Management

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News

Last year open source analyst Michael Coté of Redmonk coined the term Little Four to describe four up-and-coming open source management vendors and as a foil to the Big Four of systems management.

How Open Source (Ideas) Can Win the War and Save the Auto Industry

I am often dismayed by the misappropriation of the term open source. Companies apply the term to products that are free though not open source. It’s a classic marketing maneuver to leverage that already has broad recognition.

WordPress 2.5 Review

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Reviews

Yesterday the long awaited and somewhat delayed WordPress 2.5 was released. Today, I updated my installation today and though I had a few problems the upgrade to the new version was definitely worth it.

Future Open Source Superstars

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Linux

This week’s Open Source Business Conference was a strange meeting. What is apparent is that in the open source software Red Hat’s no longer exciting. Here are some of the companies that may well be the new open source superstars.

OpenMicroServer: Tiny Footprint Linux Server

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News

I saw an announcement that the OpenMicroServer (OMS) is now available in the U.S. It has been produced in Japan for some time but has just been made available domestically. What's cool about it is that it is small  and can be powered from an Ethernet port. It reminded me of the BlackDog USB Server that made a splash a couple years back.The little OMS only measures 9'' x 4'' x 1.3' It's officially supported for Debian (Etch) and NetBSD. Plat'Home also maintains their own OS SSD/Linux which is a combination of Linux and BSD code. I love little gadgets like these and try to figure out some innovative ways to use them.

Open Source Deki Wiki by Mindtouch

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Reviews

About three months ago I was looking for a wiki for a private project and used WikiMatrix to figure out what wiki software best met my needs. My main requirements were that the software was open source, easy-to-use, and there was a free hosted version to play around with.

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More in Tux Machines

Australian Securities Exchange completes Red Hat migration

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has completed the migration of "mission-critical" legacy applications to the Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBoss EAP). ASX first deployed JBoss EAP in 2011 to modernise its legacy technologies and to facilitate the introduction of new web applications after it realised its legacy application server platform was becoming increasingly inconsistent, unstable, and expensive. After the initial ASX Online Company migration was complete in 2012, ASX used JBoss EAP to build the ASX.com API, as well as its Sharemarket Game, which gives players the opportunity to learn how the share market works. Read more

Programming/Development: GAPID 1.0 and Atom 1.23

  • Diagnose and understand your app's GPU behavior with GAPID
  • GAPID 1.0 Released As Google's Cross-Platform Vulkan Debugger
    Back in March we wrote about GAPID as a new Google-developed Vulkan debugger in its early stages. Fast forward to today, GAPID 1.0 has been released for debugging Vulkan apps/games on Linux/Windows/Android as well as OpenGL ES on Android. GAPID is short for the Graphics API Debugger and allows for analyzing rendering and performance issues with ease using its GUI interface. GAPID also allows for easily experimenting with code changes to see their rendering impact and allows for offline debugging. GAPID has its own format and capturetrace utility for capturing traces of Vulkan (or GLES on Android too) programs for replaying later on with GAPID.
  • Hackable Text Editor Atom 1.23 Adds Better Compatibility for External Git Tools
    GitHub released Atom 1.23, the monthly update of the open-source and cross-platform hackable text editor application loved by numerous developers all over the world. Including a month's worth of enhancements, Atom 1.23 comes with the ability for packages to register URI handler functions, which can be invoked whenever the user visits a URI that starts with "atom://package-name/," and a new option to hide certain commands in the command palette when registering them via "atom.commands.add." Atom 1.23 also improves the compatibility with external Git tools, as well as the performance of the editor by modifying the behavior of several APIs to no longer make callbacks more than once in a text buffer transaction. Along with Atom 1.23, GitHub also released Teletype 0.4.0, a tool that allows developers to collaborate simultaneously on multiple files.

Red Hat GNU/Linux and More

Security: VLC Bug Bounty, Avast Tools, Intel ME

  • European Commission Kicks Off Open-Source Bug Bounty
    The European Commission has announced its first-ever bug bounty program, and is calling on hackers to find vulnerabilities in VLC, a popular open-source multimedia player loaded on every workstation at the Commission. The program has kicked off with a three-week, invitation-only session, after which it will be open to the public. Rewards include a minimum of $2,000 for critical severity bugs, especially remote code execution. High severity bugs such as code execution without user intervention, will start at $750. Medium severity bugs will start at a minimum of $300; these include code execution with user intervention, high-impact crashes and infinite loops. Low-severity bugs, like information leaks, crashes and the like, will pay out starting at $100.
  • Avast launches open-source decompiler for machine code
    Keeping up with the latest malware and virus threats is a daunting task, even for industry professionals. Any device connected to the Internet is a target for being infected and abused. In order to stop attacks from happening, there needs to be an understanding of how they work so that a prevention method can be developed. To help with the reverse engineering of malware, Avast has released an open-source version of its machine-code decompiler, RetDec, that has been under development for over seven years. RetDec supports a variety of architectures aside from those used on traditional desktops including ARM, PIC32, PowerPC and MIPS.
  • Avast makes 'RetDec' machine-code decompiler open source on GitHub
    Today, popular anti-virus and security company, Avast, announces that it too is contributing to the open source community. You see, it is releasing the code for its machine-code decompiler on GitHub. Called "RetDec," the decompiler had been under development since 2011, originally by AVG -- a company Avast bought in 2016.
  • The Intel ME vulnerabilities are a big deal for some people, harmless for most
    (Note: all discussion here is based on publicly disclosed information, and I am not speaking on behalf of my employers) I wrote about the potential impact of the most recent Intel ME vulnerabilities a couple of weeks ago. The details of the vulnerability were released last week, and it's not absolutely the worst case scenario but it's still pretty bad. The short version is that one of the (signed) pieces of early bringup code for the ME reads an unsigned file from flash and parses it. Providing a malformed file could result in a buffer overflow, and a moderately complicated exploit chain could be built that allowed the ME's exploit mitigation features to be bypassed, resulting in arbitrary code execution on the ME. Getting this file into flash in the first place is the difficult bit. The ME region shouldn't be writable at OS runtime, so the most practical way for an attacker to achieve this is to physically disassemble the machine and directly reprogram it. The AMT management interface may provide a vector for a remote attacker to achieve this - for this to be possible, AMT must be enabled and provisioned and the attacker must have valid credentials[1]. Most systems don't have provisioned AMT, so most users don't have to worry about this.