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Howto: Building a Cheap Nettop Media PC

The origin of this project was an article on Lifehacker, however, i've expanded on it, and can point you in the way of actually getting this working. because i found the lifehacker article a good stating point for what I wanted, but left me short of sound and other items.

As with the lifehacker article, i too bought a nettop, the ASRock ION 330 is a good deal (which we have reviewed previously), with a decent sized 320GB hard disk and a good 2GB of RAM, and most importantly a NVIDIA ION graphics card. Which as the reviewer on lifehacker points out "NVIDIA ION graphics chip that can handle meaty HD video and export through an HDMI cable." This is important as the device will be plugged into my Samsung 37" HD TV. The unit is also quiet, and i mean REALLY quiet, unlike my Apple G5 which you know it is on, this thing, with the BIOS set to LED's turned off, its actually difficult to know if its powered on, its that silent. (Quieter than a Popcorn Hour as well), the added bonus as a media player, is the Multi region DVD drive. allowing you to play DVD's as well as stream media from a NAS or from the WWW. The unit is a glossy finished device, so if you have small ones with stiky fingers, this will get a bit messy looking on the outside.

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Security: Updates, 2017 Linux Security Summit, Software Updates for Embedded Linux and More

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • The 2017 Linux Security Summit
    The past Thursday and Friday was the 2017 Linux Security Summit, and once again I think it was a great success. A round of thanks to James Morris for leading the effort, the program committee for selecting a solid set of talks (we saw a big increase in submissions this year), the presenters, the attendees, the Linux Foundation, and our sponsor - thank you all! Unfortunately we don't have recordings of the talks, but I've included my notes on each of the presentations below. I've also included links to the slides, but not all of the slides were available at the time of writing; check the LSS 2017 slide archive for updates.
  • Key Considerations for Software Updates for Embedded Linux and IoT
    The Mirai botnet attack that enslaved poorly secured connected embedded devices is yet another tangible example of the importance of security before bringing your embedded devices online. A new strain of Mirai has caused network outages to about a million Deutsche Telekom customers due to poorly secured routers. Many of these embedded devices run a variant of embedded Linux; typically, the distribution size is around 16MB today. Unfortunately, the Linux kernel, although very widely used, is far from immune to critical security vulnerabilities as well. In fact, in a presentation at Linux Security Summit 2016, Kees Cook highlighted two examples of critical security vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel: one being present in kernel versions from 2.6.1 all the way to 3.15, the other from 3.4 to 3.14. He also showed that a myriad of high severity vulnerabilities are continuously being found and addressed—more than 30 in his data set.
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