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Mandriva Linux on my Acer Aspire 7220

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Two weeks ago I bought a Acer Aspire 7220 laptop. Based on a AMD Semphron 3800, Nvidia Geoforce 7000M, 2 GiB DDR2 RAM and a 80 GiB HDD. Everything I could ever wish for is included, except for a webcam.

It came preloaded with Microsoft Windows Vista Home Basic (well sort of). It was on a "hidden" partition and installed itself at the first bootstrap. No DVD-ROM was provided neither a production key or certificate. I later figured out, its on bottom of the machine. Very handy indeed Smile

In my favorite Usenet newsgroup COLA, there is this character, who digs up "Linux problems" from a diversity of Linux help forums, probably to scare Linux newbies off. According to the "problems¨ this character spews, I expected some problems with Ubuntu and see if I was able to fix them.

The Ubuntu Install




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Red Hat Patch Warning

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  • Red Hat Will Revert Spectre Patches After Receiving Reports of Boot Issues
    Red Hat is releasing updates that are reverting previous patches for the Spectre vulnerability (Variant 2, aka CVE-2017-5715) after customers complained that some systems were failing to boot. "Red Hat is no longer providing microcode to address Spectre, variant 2, due to instabilities introduced that are causing customer systems to not boot," the company said yesterday. "The latest microcode_ctl and linux-firmware packages are reverting these unstable microprocessor firmware changes to versions that were known to be stable and well tested, released prior to the Spectre/Meltdown embargo lift date on Jan 3rd," Red Had added.

Android Leftovers

Security: Updates, SOS Fund, IR, ME, and WPA

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    Through working every day with organizations’ incident response (IR) teams, I am confronted with the entire spectrum of operational maturity. However, even in the companies with robust IR functions, the rapidly evolving threat landscape, constantly changing best practices, and surplus of available tools make it easy to overlook important steps during planning. As a result, by the time an incident occurs, it’s too late to improve their foundational procedures.
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    Over time, Intel imposed the Management Engine on all Intel computers, removed the ability for computer users and manufacturers to disable it, and extended its control over the computer to nearly 100%. It even has access to the main computer's memory.
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    WPA2 is a security standard that governs what happens when you connect to a closed Wi-Fi network using a password. WPA2 defines the protocol a router and Wi-Fi client devices use to perform the “handshake” that allows them to securely connect and how they communicate. Unlike the original WPA standard, WPA2 requires implementation of strong AES encryption that is much more difficult to crack. This encryption ensures that a Wi-Fi access point (like a router) and a Wi-Fi client (like a laptop or phone) can communicate wirelessly without their traffic being snooped on.

First Impressions: Asus Tinkerboard and Docker

The board's standard OS is TinkerOS - a Linux variant of Debian 9. I've also read that Android is available but that doesn't interest us here. While Android may use forms of containerisation under the hood it doesn't mix with Docker containers. Rather than trying TinkerOS I flashed Armbian's release of Ubuntu 16.04.03. The stable build on the download page contains a full desktop, but if you want to run the board headless (like I do) then you can find a smaller image on the "other downloads" link. I initially used the stable image but had to swap to the nightly build due to a missing kernel module for Kubernetes networking. Having looked this up on Google I found the nightly build contained the fix to turn on the missing module. Read more