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Should MS Buy Canonical, No Year of Linux Desktop

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With Microsoft and Canonical's new chummy relationship still on the minds of many, Janakiram MSV today said "Microsoft's Open Source strategy is incompletely" without them. He said with Microsoft trying to change their image away from being Windows-only, it only makes sense to buy Canonical. Ubuntu has millions of users and "an army of developers and system administrators." Besides people, Canonical comes with LXD, Snappy Ubuntu Core, and Juju - all things that could make Microsoft more competitive in the cloud and IoT. To Janakiram, there are no downsides for Microsoft.

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Snap Not Contained, Shuttleworth Says Don't Talk Back

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Ubuntu continued to dominate the headlines today with some reporting the new version being actually available and all the usual accompanying posts. One of the more interesting Ubuntu articles of the day came from Matthew Garrett who said that Snap applications could expose your private data. In other Ubuntu news, Mark Shuttleworth announced the new codename for the next release already. Elsewhere, Gentoo was hacked onto a car computer and Microsoft is hiring Linux developers.

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Also: Developer Claims That Canonical's Snap Format Isn't Secure in Ubuntu with X11 - Updated

Ubuntu 16.04 Imminent, New Slack Live Beta, Fedora 24/25 Schedules

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Canonical today announced the release of Ubuntu 16.04, although it isn't actually on mirrors yet. Eric Hameleers announced the next test release of Slackware Live whose final will be based on upcoming Slackware 14.2 and Fedora 24 may end up slipping another week causing ripple effects through version 26. Bruce Byfield today discussed the second goal of Linux and Jonathan Riddell announced a user edition of KDE neon.

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rm -rf Hoax, Well-oiled LXLE, New Debian Project Leader

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It turns out that Marco Marsala's deletion of his entire web hosting data, reported Friday, was a viral marketing campaign. Debian Project Leader elections are over and a winner emerged victorious. Several reviews caught my eye today as did Jessie Smith's look at Redox, a Unix-like operating system whose underlying philosophy is "Everything is a URL."

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rm -rf Whoops, Slackware 14.2 RC2, Shuttleworth Interview

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Mark Shuttleworth said in an interview published today that Linux would be difficult to use everyday if not for Ubuntu. Elsewhere, Patrick Volkerding announced Slackware 14.2 RC2 and one sysadmin had a real bad day after accidentally running rm -rf. Reiserfs creator and convicted murderer Hans Reiser is featured in a new motion picture that's getting mixed reviews and Neil Rickert shared his thoughts on btrfs.

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Kubuntu's Cautionary Tale, Requiem for Open Standards

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Andy Updegrove wrote yesterday, "The top IT companies are increasingly opting to use open source software to solve problems that they used to address with open standards." Elsewhere, Larry the BSD Guy said UbuntuBSD should consider what happened to Kubuntu when considering becoming an official Ubuntu flavor and Jesse Afolabi was "blown away" by Deepin OS 15. Jonathan Riddell announced a new rebasing of KDE Neon and Bruce Byfield looks at the Free Software Foundation's High Priority Projects.

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Red Hat Expansion Rumors and Easier Fedora Nightlies

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Red Hat is looking to expand their business into the Boston, Massachusetts and a version of the Red Hat logo may point where. Adam Williamson recently set up a directory where one can "easily find Fedora nightly images" and Benjamin Kerensa spoke with Vivaldi founder Jon von Tetzchner. In other news, Sasha Levin announced a new linux-stable security tree project and the Linux Foundation said the Internet is crumbling.

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New Malware Headlines, Fedora Stickers, New RMS Article

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A new Linux botnet named BillGates is making headlines today. The Russian-based Asian designed malware seems to be focusing on gaming sites. Elsewhere, Richard Stallman posted a new article today explaining the problem when free software requires non-free to function and Matt Hartley explained the difference between GNOME, Unity, and MATE. Then, for some fun, the new Plasma 5.7 wallpaper was revealed, a new Linux poll beckons, and Fedora announced a partnership with UnixStickers.com.

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LibreOffice 5.1.2, Ubuntu Numbers, OS is Dead

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The Document Foundation today announced the release of LibreOffice 5.1.2, the second update in the 5.1 Fresh branch. Nearly 90 bugs were squashed this cycle dealing heavily with rendering and placement issues. In other news, Red Hat touts a new client and Canonical is still trying to convince folks of their hundreds of millions of users. Matt Asay said today that the OS is dead thanks to the cloud and that "developers are becoming babies."

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New Vivaldi Browser, Red Hat Slapped, More Winbuntu

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One of the top stories today was the release of Vivaldi 1.0. Vivaldi is a new browser project founded by John von Tetzchner who co-founded Opera. In other news, Red Hat lost an important new client today but Jim Whitehurst is still confident of reaching $5 billion in revenue in five years. "PC-BSD 10.3 is looking great" and that Windows 10 update with Ubashu is now available.

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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

nginx

Case in point: I've been using the Apache HTTP server for many years now. Indeed, you could say that I've been using Apache since before it was even called "Apache"—what started as the original NCSA HTTP server, and then the patched server that some enterprising open-source developers distributed, and finally the Apache Foundation-backed open-source colossus that everyone recognizes, and even relies on, today—doing much more than just producing HTTP servers. Apache's genius was its modularity. You could, with minimal effort, configure Apache to use a custom configuration of modules. If you wanted to have a full-featured server with tons of debugging and diagnostics, you could do that. If you wanted to have high-level languages, such as Perl and Tcl, embedded inside your server for high-speed Web applications, you could do that. If you needed the ability to match, analyze and rewrite every part of an HTTP transaction, you could do that, with mod_rewrite. And of course, there were third-party modules as well. Read more

Linux and Open Source Hardware for IoT

Most of the new 21 open source software projects for IoT that we examined last week listed Linux hacker boards as their prime development platforms. This week, we’ll look at open source and developer-friendly Linux hardware for building Internet of Things devices, from simple microcontroller-based technology to Linux-based boards. In recent years, it’s become hard to find an embedded board that isn’t marketing with the IoT label. Yet, the overused term is best suited for boards with low prices, small footprints, low power consumption, and support for wireless communications and industrial interfaces. Camera support is useful for some IoT applications, but high-end multimedia is usually counterproductive to attributes like low cost and power consumption. Read more