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Saturday, 21 Oct 17 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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Linux 'not just for power users'

Filed under
Linux

In a report published by research and analysis firm Quocirca, entitled "Migrating to Linux on the Desktop", the company found not only was it a myth that you had to be a power user to cope with Linux, the complete opposite is true.

Microsoft Expands Anti-Linux Campaign

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft

Microsoft is expanding its "Get the Facts" campaign against Linux by talking about the reliability of Windows versus Linux systems, a company executive said this week at the Open Source Business Conference here.

"Reliability has been challenging for us. It is an area that has been very noisy," says Martin Taylor, general manager of platform strategy at Microsoft. "Customers say that reliability is very important to them and that they are hearing that Linux and Unix are more reliable than Windows."

High-powered business coalition backs EU commission against Microsoft

Filed under
Microsoft
Legal

A five-member coalition of high-tech heavyweights, including IBM, Oracle and Nokia, has thrown its weight behind the European Commission in its anti-trust court battle with US software giant Microsoft, the group's lawyer said.

Linux forking is not likely, kernel maintainer says

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Linux

Andrew Morton clarifies his statement from November

Linux devotees need not worry about the Linux kernel ever forking into multiple, incompatible derivatives, Andrew Morton, lead maintainer of the 2.6 version of the kernel, said at the Open Source Business Conference here on Tuesday.

Government IT gets star treatment at FOSE

Filed under
OSS

The 29th edition of FOSE opened today at the Washington Convention Center with a three-day slate of exhibits, demonstrations, discussions and meetings on IT and government.

Open-Source Security Tools Touted at InfoSec

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OSS
Security

A well-known security consultant on Tuesday urged cash-strapped businesses to consider using free, readily available open-source security tools and applications to help cope with the rising spate of malicious hacker attacks.

Flaw found in Firefox

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Security

A flaw has been discovered in the popular open-source browser Firefox that could expose sensitive information stored in memory, Secunia has warned.

Yahoo's CEO cashes $230M in stocks in 2004

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Misc

Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Terry Semel took advantage of a rebound in technology stock prices and sold 10 million shares of Yahoo worth $230 million last year, making his annual haul one of the largest ever for a corporate executive.

Hardware Reviews for Sale

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Hardware

The hardware review world is going to hell in a hand basket, and the reasons are money, stupidity, and PR people that are too effective. Low morals on the part of many in the scene are also to blame, but they only contribute to the problem. Some are too stupid to do more than reword press releases and swipe slides from PDFs, others are flat out bought.

Open Source to the Rescue

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OSS

Friendster scales the network with open source

When the upstart social networking site skyrocketed to success, its engineers turned to free software to handle the load.

Windows vs. Linux in maintenance costs

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft

Windows and Linux are neck-and-neck when it comes to the cost of maintenance. Analyst Yankee Group questioned 509 companies and organisations and found that the hourly cost of Windows downtime was three- to four-times higher than that of Linux server downtime.

Open-source companies chase steady money

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OSS

When entrepreneur Byron Sebastian started his company last year, he set his sights on the business software industry's ultimate cash cow: maintenance contracts.

TV may turn four-year-olds into bullies

Filed under
Misc

Young children who watch a lot of television are more likely to become bullies, a new study reveals. The authors suggest the increasingly violent nature of children's cartoons may be to blame. "What I suspect is these violent animated shows are causing kids to become desensitised to violence."

Tiny drives set for space boost

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Hardware

Hard drives for mobiles and other portable gadgets could store up to a terabyte of data in the next few years, using a century-old recording process. Hitachi has said it can fit 230 gigabits of data per square inch on a disk using "perpendicular recording". Perpendicular recording was pioneered by the late 19th century work of Danish scientist Valdemar Poulsen, who demonstrated magnetic recording with his telegraphone.

Quake IV for QuakeCon 10th anniversary

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Gaming

For years, the fragging faithful have gathered for what has become Valhalla for worshippers of first-person shooters. The event is known as QuakeCon, and as the gathering of gamers turns 10 this year, Hollenshead states, "We'll have Quake IV multiplayer to play."

Performance Sneak Preview: Intel Dual Core Pentium

Filed under
Hardware

We recently returned from a road trip to discover a very large box waiting for us. In the package was an Intel reference white box system. The system included a motherboard built around the Intel 955X chipset and a 3.2GHz Pentium 4 Extreme Edition model 840. This particular version of the Pentium 4 contains two full processor cores, built around the Prescott architecture. So we rolled up our sleeves, cleared the lab bench off, and began installing benchmarks.

Cyber-Terrorism Analyst Warns Against Complacency

Filed under
Security

Florida-Cyber-security and counterterrorism analyst Roger Cressey on Monday pleaded with IT executives not to underestimate the threat of "national cyber-event" targeting critical infrastructure in the United States.

Google feature incorporates satellite maps

Filed under
Web
Sci/Tech

Online search engine leader Google has unveiled a new feature that will enable its users to zoom in on homes and businesses using satellite images, an advance that may raise privacy concerns as well as intensify the competitive pressures on its rivals.

the world's only blue rose

Filed under
Sci/Tech

Australian and Japanese researchers have demonstrated the application of RNAi technology for gene replacement in plants, developing the world's only blue rose.

Breeders have attempted to make true blue roses over many years, but none have successfully bred roses with blue pigment. In its first commercial application in plants, the CSIRO-developed RNAi technology was used to remove the gene encoding the enzyme dihydroflavonol reductase (DFR) in roses.

'Perpendicular recording' to boost hard drive capacity

Filed under
Hardware

The next generation of personal computers and portable music players could hold 10 times more information than current models, thanks to a different way of writing magnetic data to a hard disc.

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More in Tux Machines

Servers: DockerCon Coverage, MongoDB IPO

  • DockerCon EU 17 Panel Debates Docker Container Security
    There are many different security capabilities that are part of the Docker container platform, and there are a number of vendors providing container security offerings. At the DockerCon EU 17 conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, eWEEK moderated a panel of leading vendors—Docker, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Aqua Security, Twistlock and StackRox—to discuss the state of the market. To date, there have been no publicly disclosed data breaches attributed to container usage or flaws. However, that doesn't mean that organizations using containers have not been attacked. In fact, Wei Lien Dang, product manager at StackRox, said one of his firm's financial services customers did have a container-related security incident.
  • DockerCon EU: Tips and Tools for Running Container Workloads on AWS
    Amazon Web Services wants to be a welcome home for developers and organizations looking to deploy containers. At the DockerCon EU conference here, a pair of AWS technical evangelists shared their wisdom on the best ways to benefit from container deployments. The terms microservices and containers are often used interchangeably by people. Abby Fuller, technical evangelist at AWS, provided the definition of microservices coined by Adrian Crockford, VP of Cloud Architecture at AWS and formerly the cloud architect at Netflix.
  • Docker CEO: Embracing Kubernetes Removes Conflict
    Steve Singh has ambitious plans for Docker Inc. that are nothing less than transforming the world of legacy applications into a modern cloud-native approach. Singh was named CEO of Docker on May 2 and hosted his first DockerCon event here Oct. 16-19. The highlight of DockerCon EU was the surprise announcement that Docker is going to support the rival open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In a video interview with eWEEK, Singh explained the rationale behind the Kubernetes support and provided insight into his vision for the company he now leads.
  • MongoDB's IPO Beats the Market Out of the Gate
    The folks at MongoDB raised a whole lot of money today in their debut on NASDAQ. Yesterday the open source company announced it was going to be asking $24 a share for the 8 million Class A shares it was letting loose in its IPO, which had some Wall Street investors scratching their heads and wondering if the brains at Mongo were suffering from some kind of undiagnosed damage. Analysts had been estimating an opening price of between $20-22 per share, and on October 6 the company had estimated an opening price in the range of $18-20.

LWN on Linux: LTS, API, Pointer Leaks and Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC)

  • Cramming features into LTS kernel releases
    While the 4.14 development cycle has not been the busiest ever (12,500 changesets merged as of this writing, slightly more than 4.13 at this stage of the cycle), it has been seen as a rougher experience than its predecessors. There are all kinds of reasons why one cycle might be smoother than another, but it is not unreasonable to wonder whether the fact that 4.14 is a long-term support (LTS) release has affected how this cycle has gone. Indeed, when he released 4.14-rc3, Linus Torvalds complained that this cycle was more painful than most, and suggested that the long-term support status may be a part of the problem. A couple of recent pulls into the mainline highlight the pressures that, increasingly, apply to LTS releases. As was discussed in this article, the 4.14 kernel will include some changes to the kernel timer API aimed at making it more efficient, more like contemporary in-kernel APIs, and easier to harden. While API changes are normally confined to the merge window, this change was pulled into the mainline for the 4.14-rc3 release. The late merge has led to a small amount of grumbling in the community.
  • Improving the kernel timers API
    The kernel's timer interface has been around for a long time, and its API shows it. Beyond a lack of conformance with current in-kernel interface patterns, the timer API is not as efficient as it could be and stands in the way of ongoing kernel-hardening efforts. A late addition to the 4.14 kernel paves the way toward a wholesale change of this API to address these problems.
  • What's the best way to prevent kernel pointer leaks?
    An attacker who seeks to compromise a running kernel by overwriting kernel data structures or forcing a jump to specific kernel code must, in either case, have some idea of where the target objects are in memory. Techniques like kernel address-space layout randomization have been created in the hope of denying that knowledge, but that effort is wasted if the kernel leaks information about where it has been placed in memory. Developers have been plugging pointer leaks for years but, as a recent discussion shows, there is still some disagreement over the best way to prevent attackers from learning about the kernel's address-space layout. There are a number of ways for a kernel pointer value to find its way out to user space, but the most common path by far is the printk() function. There are on the order of 50,000 printk() calls in the kernel, any of which might include the value of a kernel pointer. Other places in the kernel use the underlying vsprintf() mechanism to format data for virtual files; they, too, often leak pointer values. A blanket ban on printing pointer values could solve this problem — if it could be properly enforced — but it would also prevent printing such values when they are really needed. Debugging kernel problems is one obvious use case for printing pointers, but there are others.
  • Continuous-integration testing for Intel graphics
    Two separate talks, at two different venues, give us a look into the kinds of testing that the Intel graphics team is doing. Daniel Vetter had a short presentation as part of the Testing and Fuzzing microconference at the Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC). His colleague, Martin Peres, gave a somewhat longer talk, complete with demos, at the X.Org Developers Conference (XDC). The picture they paint is a pleasing one: there is lots of testing going on there. But there are problems as well; that amount of testing runs afoul of bugs elsewhere in the kernel, which makes the job harder. Developing for upstream requires good testing, Peres said. If the development team is not doing that, features that land in the upstream kernel will be broken, which is not desirable. Using continuous-integration (CI) along with pre-merge testing allows the person making a change to make sure they did not break anything else in the process of landing their feature. That scales better as the number of developers grows and it allows developers to concentrate on feature development, rather than bug fixing when someone else finds the problem. It also promotes a better understanding of the code base; developers learn more "by breaking stuff", which lets them see the connections and dependencies between different parts of the code.

An update on GnuPG

The GNU Privacy Guard (GnuPG) is one of the fundamental tools that allows a distributed group to have trust in its communications. Werner Koch, lead developer of GnuPG, spoke about it at Kernel Recipes: what's in the new 2.2 version, when older versions will reach their end of life, and how development will proceed going forward. He also spoke at some length on the issue of best-practice key management and how GnuPG is evolving to assist. It is less than three years since attention was focused on the perilous position of GnuPG; because of systematic failure of the community to fund its development, Koch was considering packing it all in. The Snowden revelations persuaded him to keep going a little longer, then in the wake of Heartbleed there was a resurgent interest in funding the things we all rely on. Heartbleed led to the founding of the Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII). A grant from CII joined commitments from several companies and other organizations and an upsurge in community funding has put GnuPG on a more secure footing going forward. Read more

Ubuntu: GNOME, New Video, Ubuntu Podcast, Refreshing the Xubuntu Logo

  • Ubuntu 17.10: We're coming GNOME! Plenty that's Artful in Aardvark, with a few Wayland wails
    Ubuntu has done a good job of integrating a few plugins that improve GNOME's user experience compared to stock GNOME – most notably a modified version of the Dash-to-Dock and the App Indicator extensions, which go a long way toward making GNOME a bit more like Unity. It's worth noting that Ubuntu's fork of Dash-to-Dock lacks some features of the original, but you can uninstall the Ubuntu version in favour of the original if you prefer. In fact you can really revert to a pretty stock GNOME desktop with just a few tweaks. Canonical said it wasn't going to heavily modify GNOME and indeed it hasn't.
  • What’s New in Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark
  • Ubuntu Podcast: S10E33 – Aggressive Judicious Frame
    This week we’ve been protecting our privacy with LineageOS and playing Rust. Telegram get fined, your cloud is being used to mine BitCoin, Google announces a new privacy focused product tier, North Korea hacks a UK TV studio, a new fully branded attack vector is unveiled and Purism reach their funding goal for the Librem 5.
  • Refreshing the Xubuntu logo
    Earlier this year I worked a bit with our logo to propose a small change to it – first change to the logo in 5 years. The team approved, but for various reasons the new logo did not make it to 17.10. Now we’re ready to push it out to the world.