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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 475

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Welcome to this year's 39th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! PCLinuxOS has long been a favourite distribution among users seeking a familiar desktop environment and out-of-the box support for popular hardware, media formats and browser plugins. Recently the project founder's health issues have slowed down the development of the distro, but the community seems strong enough to carry on in the absence of their great leader. Jesse Smith takes a look at latest of the quarterly PCLinuxOS updates and the project's KDE desktop implementation in this week's feature story. In the news section, Ubuntu integrates Amazon shopping with the Unity desktop amid renewed scepticism of its users, openSUSE project leader Andreas Jaeger revels in the increasing community involvement that helps building the popular distribution, and SolusOS founder Ikey Doherty explains the upcoming switch from Debian's package management format to Pardus' PiSi. Also in this issue, a quick look at ownCloud, one of the growing numbers of online storage services providing universal file access through a web-based interface. All this and more, including the usual sections, in this week's issue of DistroWatch Weekly. Happy reading!

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Would stock Android make you more likely to buy a Chinese smartphone?

Huawei, like any manufacturer that puts time and effort into a software layer of unique features and enhancements, believes wholeheartedly in the value its interface adds to the core Android experience. As Android nerds, we naturally tend to gravitate toward a stock experience that we can customize ourselves, but we are also aware that we are hardly representative of 'average' smartphone consumers. Read more

KTU exams to run on open source software

All examinations of the A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Technological University (KTU) — which run on an online platform — would switch to open source software from the second semester onwards. For the first semester examinations, the KTU would use a proprietary, Microsoft, software. In response to demands from student organisations, the KTU has pushed back its first semester examinations by two days. The first of the examinations would now begin on December 4 instead of December 2. The first of the results would be published on December 19. Read more Also: KTU goes ahead with exam outsourcing

CMS News

Security Leftovers

  • Friday's security updates
  • Researchers poke hole in custom crypto built for Amazon Web Services
    Underscoring just how hard it is to design secure cryptographic software, academic researchers recently uncovered a potentially serious weakness in an early version of the code library protecting Amazon Web Services. Ironically, s2n, as Amazon's transport layer security implementation is called, was intended to be a simpler, more secure way to encrypt and authenticate Web sessions. Where the OpenSSL library requires more than 70,000 lines of code to execute the highly complex TLS standard, s2n—short for signal to noise—has just 6,000 lines. Amazon hailed the brevity as a key security feature when unveiling s2n in June. What's more, Amazon said the new code had already passed three external security evaluations and penetration tests.
  • Social engineering: hacker tricks that make recipients click
    Social engineering is one of the most powerful tools in the hacker's arsenal and it generally plays a part in most of the major security breaches we hear about today. However, there is a common misconception around the role social engineering plays in attacks.
  • Judge Gives Preliminary Approval to $8 Million Settlement Over Sony Hack
    Sony agreed to reimburse employees up to $10,000 apiece for identity-theft losses
  • Cyber Monday: it's the most wonderful time of year for cyber-attackers
    Malicious attacks on shoppers increased 40% on Cyber Monday in 2013 and 2014, according to, an anti-malware and spyware company, compared to the average number of attacks on days during the month prior. Other cybersecurity software providers have identified the December holiday shopping season as the most dangerous time of year to make online purchases. “The attackers know that there are more people online, so there will be more attacks,” said Christopher Budd, Trend Micro’s global threat communications manager. “Cyber Monday is not a one-day thing, it’s the beginning of a sustained focus on attacks that go after people in the holiday shopping season.”