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Tales from Linux Kernel 3.11 Development

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Linus torvalds announced the release of the 3.11-rc1 kernel, noting that it had been two weeks and “the merge window [period of time early in a release cycle during which disruptive kernel changes are permitted] has closed”.

According to Linus, “[this] merge window was smaller in terms of number of commits than the 3.10 merge window, but we actually have more new lines [of code]. Most of that seems to be in staging [a part of the kernel for new driver code] – a full third of all changes by line-count is staging, and merging in Lustre is the bulk of that”. This was followed by an RC2 that added “unnamed temporary files” (O_TMPFILE) – we’ll write about this in a later issue – and (a late change) new handling for backlights on systems designed to run Windows 8. Those systems are intended not to use direct ACPI method calls to control the backlight but instead directly drive the backlight control in the graphics driver.

rest here

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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

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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.”

Openwashing (Fake FOSS)