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Susan's Picks

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  • Unstable KDE, Internet without Linux

    As KDE turns 19, two reports today said that KDE isn't stable enough, one is a fairly comprehensive analysis. Elsewhere, openSUSE Leap 42.1 RC1 was released today and SUSE announced their SUSECon 2015 keynotes. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols discussed whether there'd actually be an Internet "Without Linux" and OMG!Ubuntu! got a look at Episode 2 before it was mysteriously pulled. Finally, Jack M. Germain said Robolinux 8.1 has the best MATE ever.

  • Red Hat Buys Ansible, openSUSE Leap Review

    The big news today was Red Hat's acquisition of cloud automation specialist Ansible. Ansible is located just up the road from Red Hat and was started by former Red Hat employees. In other news, Jamie Watson reported on openSUSE Leap 42.1 progress.

SFLC Confronts FCC, OSI Supports GPL Enforcement Principles

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Today in Linux and Open Source news the Software Freedom Law Center filed a comment with the FCC arguing against overly-broad regulations that eliminate Open Source alternative on wireless devices. Elsewhere, My Linux Rig interviewed FOSSforce's Larry Cafiero and Rafael Laguna released Halloween wallpapers for Lubuntu.

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Sneaky Microsoft, Citizen and Government Clouds

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Monday, October 13 was a busy day in Linux news. One of the more interesting tidbits comes from Neil Rickert who said, "Microsoft is being sneaky" in trying to covertly upgrade his Windows installs to version 10. Another from Red Hat's Eike Rathke remembered OpenOffice.org fifteenth birthday. Elsewhere, Red Hat's Nathan Jones addressed the state of government cloud and Marco Fioretti shared some thoughts on the "Citizen Cloud."

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  • Microsoft is being sneaky

    I purchased my main desktop for use with linux. But it came with Windows 8 as a discount deal from Dell. So I kept the Windows 8, and added a second hard drive for linux. I did update to Windows 8.1. I kept Windows for experimenting with dual boot on a UEFI system.

    My normal usage on this computer is to boot opensuse. But twice a week I boot to windows and update the anti-virus (Windows Defender). Once a month, I also do Windows updates. Then I boot straight back to linux.

Linux Discussion Continues, Fedora Welcomes Chromium

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Folks are still discussing the resignation of Sarah Sharp and Matthew Garrett from Linux kernel development. Jack Wallen said Sharp (and Garrett) are cases of more developers being "turned away, simply because developers had no patience for personal respect." He said Linux rules with a "sharp and iron tongue" with "foul and abusive language." He agreed with Dr. Roy Schestowitz in that all this is a "PR nightmare" threatening the "flagship of the open-source movement." He placed part of the blame on what he calls the "Internet of hate" and said if Linux is to compete with Microsoft and Apple its developers need to "start treating the legions of programmers, who are working tirelessly to deliver, as well as they treat the code itself. Open source is about community. A community with a toxic foundation will eventually crumble."

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Microsoft Ubuntu Rumors and Kernel Resignation Opinions

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The Linux Journal today addressed the Microsoft-buying-Canonical rumors saying it's against Ubuntu's founding principles. Reactions to the two kernel resignations this week are mixed and we'll take a look. Elsewhere, KDE signs the User Data Manifesto 2.0 and American Trade Journal looks at the business end of Red Hat lately.

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Kubuntu Council Welcomes New Members, Mageia 4 EOL

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Kubuntu Council member Philip Muškovac today announced three new council members replacing three recent losses including Jonathan Riddell. Mageia 4 is reaching end-of-life and Jamie Watson is back reporting if other Linux variants can handle his new Acer Aspire netbook. Elsewhere, John Grogan spoke with SUSE VP Michael Miller at LinuxCon about the future of SUSE and Linux.

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Also: New Kubuntu Council members

Riddell Answers Canonical with Own IP Policy

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In the latest salvo in the Canonical IP controversy, Jonathan Riddell today posted his own IP Policy. Elsewhere, the GNOME Foundation today posted support of an updated User Data Manifesto and SUSE today revealed some SUSECon 2015 plans. Phoronix reported Monday that ext3 will be removed from the kernel and Red Hat announced the release of 7.2 Beta.

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Google, Microsoft Create Alliance for Open Media

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The founding members are Amazon, Cisco, Google, Intel Corporation, Microsoft, Mozilla and Netflix. The goal is to "create a new, open royalty-free video codec specification based on the contributions of members, along with binding specifications for media format, content encryption and adaptive streaming." The word open is used many times in the announcement, but only once with source. Is "open" the same thing as "open source?" Roy Schestowitz at Tuxmachines.org doesn't think so. He organized the news of the AOM under the title "OpenWashing (Fake FOSS)."

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Also: Comments on the Alliance for Open Media, or, "Oh Man, What a Day"

Mozilla's mobile misstep puts the Web at risk

Firefox Fading, Ditching OpenOffice, and Containers

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Dissatisfaction with Mozilla's recent announcement to change its extension core code is being expressed across the Internet. Folks aren't happy. Elsewhere, Chris Hoffman explains why you should switch from OpenOffice to LibreOffice and the Canonical IP fight continues. In other news, several container headlines caught my eye recently.

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More on Munich, Linux Coming Out

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Last week's news of Munich considering a switch back to Windows has been clarified or rebuked today. Reports from DebConf15 refute the claims from certain city councillors complaining about the Ubuntu-based Linux. Nick Heath and Robert Pogson weigh in. Jack M. Germain chimed in today on his look at the life and times of Linux saying, "In honor of Linux's two dozen years of giving, LinuxInsider brings some gifts of praise to the party." Elsewhere, Red Hat was included in Forbes' Most Innovative Companies roundup this year.

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More in Tux Machines

Proxmox VE 4.3 released

Proxmox Server Solutions GmbH today announced the general availability of Proxmox Virtual Environment 4.3. The hyper-converged open source server virtualization solution enables users to create and manage LXC containers and KVM virtual machines on the same host, and makes it easy to set up highly available clusters as well as to manage network and storage via an integrated web-based management interface. The new version of Proxmox VE 4.3 comes with a completely new comprehensive reference documentation. The new docu framework allows a global as well as contextual help function. Proxmox users can access and download the technical documentation via the central help-button (available in various formats like html, pdf and epub). A main asset of the new documentation is that it is always version specific to the current user’s software version. Opposed to the global help, the contextual help-button shows the user the documentation part he currently needs. Read more

Games for GNU/Linux

Security News

  • Tuesday's security updates
  • New Open Source Linux Ransomware Divides Infosec Community
    Following our investigation into this matter, and seeing the vitriol-filled reaction from some people in the infosec community, Zaitsev has told Softpedia that he decided to remove the project from GitHub, shortly after this article's publication. The original, unedited article is below.
  • Fax machines' custom Linux allows dial-up hack
    Party like it's 1999, phreakers: a bug in Epson multifunction printer firmware creates a vector to networks that don't have their own Internet connection. The exploit requirements are that an attacker can trick the victim into installing malicious firmware, and that the victim is using the device's fax line. The firmware is custom Linux, giving the printers a familiar networking environment for bad actors looking to exploit the fax line as an attack vector. Once they're in that ancient environment, it's possible to then move onto the network to which the the printer's connected. Yves-Noel Weweler, Ralf Spenneberg and Hendrik Schwartke of Open Source Training in Germany discovered the bug, which occurs because Epson WorkForce multifunction printers don't demand signed firmware images.
  • Google just saved the journalist who was hit by a 'record' cyberattack
    Google just stepped in with its massive server infrastructure to run interference for journalist Brian Krebs. Last week, Krebs' site, Krebs On Security, was hit by a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that took it offline, the likes of which was a "record" that was nearly double the traffic his host Akamai had previously seen in cyberattacks. Now just days later, Krebs is back online behind the protection of Google, which offers a little-known program called Project Shield to help protect independent journalists and activists' websites from censorship. And in the case of Krebs, the DDoS attack was certainly that: The attempt to take his site down was in response to his recent reporting on a website called vDOS, a service allegedly created by two Israeli men that would carry out cyberattacks on behalf of paying customers.
  • Krebs DDoS aftermath: industry in shock at size, depth and complexity of attack
    “This attack didn’t stop, it came in wave after wave, hundreds of millions of packets per second,” says Josh Shaul, Akamai’s vice president of product management, when Techworld spoke to him. “This was different from anything we’ve ever seen before in our history of DDoS attacks. They hit our systems pretty hard.” Clearly still a bit stunned, Shaul describes the Krebs DDoS as unprecedented. Unlike previous large DDoS attacks such as the infamous one carried out on cyber-campaign group Spamhaus in 2013, this one did not use fancy amplification or reflection to muster its traffic. It was straight packet assault from the old school.
  • iOS 10 makes it easier to crack iPhone back-ups, says security firm
    INSECURITY FIRM Elcomsoft has measured the security of iOS 10 and found that the software is easier to hack than ever before. Elcomsoft is not doing Apple any favours here. The fruity firm has just launched the iPhone 7, which has as many problems as it has good things. Of course, there are no circumstances when vulnerable software is a good thing, but when you have just launched that version of the software, it is really bad timing. Don't hate the player, though, as this is what Elcomsoft, and what Apple, are supposed to be doing right. "We discovered a major security flaw in the iOS 10 back-up protection mechanism. This security flaw allowed us to develop a new attack that is able to bypass certain security checks when enumerating passwords protecting local (iTunes) back-ups made by iOS 10 devices," said Elcomsoft's Oleg Afonin in a blog post.
  • After Tesla: why cybersecurity is central to the car industry's future
    The news that a Tesla car was hacked from 12 miles away tells us that the explosive growth in automotive connectivity may be rapidly outpacing automotive security. This story is illustrative of two persistent problems afflicting many connected industries: the continuing proliferation of vulnerabilities in new software, and the misguided view that cybersecurity is separate from concept, design, engineering and production. This leads to a ‘fire brigade approach’ to cybersecurity where security is not baked in at the design stage for either hardware or software but added in after vulnerabilities are discovered by cybersecurity specialists once the product is already on the market.

Ofcom blesses Linux-powered, open source DIY radio ‘revolution’

Small scale DAB radio was (quite literally) conceived in an Ofcom engineer’s garden shed in Brighton, on a Raspberry Pi, running a full open source stack, in his spare time. Four years later, Ofcom has given the thumbs up to small scale DAB after concluding that trials in 10 UK cities were judged to be a hit. We gave you an exclusive glimpse into the trials last year, where you could compare the specialised proprietary encoders with the Raspberry Pi-powered encoders. “We believe that there is a significant level of demand from smaller radio stations for small scale DAB, and that a wider roll-out of additional small scale services into more geographic areas would be both technically possible and commercially sustainable,” notes Ofcom. Read more