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15 years of whois

Filed under
Software
Web
Debian

Exactly 15 years ago I uploaded to Debian the first release of my whois client.

At the end of 1999 the United States Government forced Network Solutions, at the time the only registrar for the .com, .net and .org top level domains, to split their functions in a registry and a registrar and to and allow competing registrars to operate.

Since then, two whois queries are needed to access the data for a domain in a TLD operating with a thin registry model: first one to the registry to find out which registrar was used to register the domain, and then one the registrar to actually get the data.

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DDOS Attack Brings Tux Machines Down

Filed under
Web

Since sometime last week the popular Linux site Tux Machines has been under an apparent distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack. For the last several days, those trying to visit the site have been redirected to Tech Rights, another site operated by Roy Schestowitz, the owner of Tux Machines, to a post dated Saturday by Schestowitz which reads:

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Is Your Small Business Website Like a Bad First Date?

Filed under
OSS
Drupal
Web

Open source platforms like Drupal and WordPress provide a backend framework that small businesses can use to build and customize their websites while managing key functions like registration, system administration, layout and RSS. Users can also create their own modules to enable new functions or change the website's look and feel.

Smaller companies can use open source content management systems (CMS) to reduce or eliminate the need for coding while delivering rich media online, including text, graphics, video and audio. They can use open source assets to create responsive design sites that optimize content for viewing across multiple device types, including smartphones, tablets and laptops, while eliminating the need to scroll from side to side.

With open source tools available to help small businesses establish an online presence with robust front and backend functions quickly and affordably, there's never been a better time to focus on content excellence. And the best way to do that is to concentrate on the customer. Engage with your target customers and find out what they value the most. Use that information to develop your content, and speak directly to your customers' needs.

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MEGA has a Linux client now, offers up to 50 GB of free space and client-side encryption!

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Server
Web

For Linux users, there are plenty of Dropbox alternatives, MEGAsync being the latest entrant. The service was the brain child of Kim Dotcom, founder of now defunct Megaupload, and it was launched on 19 January 2013 to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the seizure of his previous enterprise. MEGAsync now has a dedicated Linux client as well (unlike Google Drive).

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Firefox Add-on Enables Web Development Across Browsers and Devices

Filed under
Moz/FF
Web

Developing across multiple browsers and devices is the main issue developers have when building applications. Wouldn’t it be great to debug your app across desktop, Android and iOS with one tool? We believe the Web is powerful enough to offer a Mobile Web development solution that meets these needs!

Enter an experimental Firefox add-on called the Firefox Tools Adaptor that connects the Firefox Developer Tools to other major browser engines. This add-on is taking the awesome tools we’ve built to debug Firefox OS and Firefox on Android to the other major mobile browsers starting with Chrome on Android and Safari on iOS. So far these tools include our Inspector, Debugger and Console.

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Kolab creates a privacy refugee camp in Switzerland

Filed under
KDE
Security
Web

The disclosure by NSA contractor Edward Snowden has exposed the ‘out-of-control’ surveillance system of the US and the UK. The more stories we are getting from Guardian and NYTimes, the more people are losing trust in the proprietary solutions offered by the companies which operate from the US and seemingly work closely with the spy agencies.

This is a category of people who don’t yet understand the dangers of breach of privacy, but the more we are moving our lives into the digital world, the more important it is becoming to take control of our communication and privacy from the prying hands of those for whom we are the product.

Then there are those need this privacy, due to the profession they are in or for purely sensible reasons that our privacy should be respected.

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Canonical Joins Internet Slowdown Day Protest

Filed under
Web
Ubuntu

Canonical has decided to join the fight in support for net neutrality and it will be a part of the "Internet Slowdown day" event.

If you're not yet aware of this, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in the United States has to make a very important decision that could allow ISPs to provide paid prioritization to companies, which would hugely increase the monopoly of the corporations.

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Google, Browsers & DRM

Filed under
Google
Web

A recent brouhaha concerning Google comes from an item that made the rounds in the last week or so regarding older browsers and Google search. It seems that some users of older browsers have been receiving an outdated version of Google’s homepage when attempting to make a search. Evidently, Google searches made using these browsers returned results just fine, using Google’s current results page, but users needed to return to the search engine’s homepage to conduct another search. The browsers affected are primarily older versions of Opera and Safari.

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WordPress 4.0 for Debian

Filed under
OSS
Web
Debian

Yesterday WordPress released version 4.0 or “Benny” of WordPress. I have now downloaded it and packed up for Debian users.

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5 things you need to know about the Raspberry Pi’s Epiphany web browser

Filed under
Linux
Web

Epiphany is a new web browser for the Raspberry Pi. It’s been modified to be faster, smoother and more powerful than the previous web browser, Midori, meaning it possible to watch 720p YouTube videos and browse more Javascript-heavy websites like RaspberryPi.org and RasPi.Today.

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Security News

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    Windows 10 was the least secure of of current Windows versions in 2016, with 46% more vulnerabilities than either Windows 8 or 8.1, according to an analysis of Microsoft's own security bulletins in 2016. Security firm Avecto said its research, titled "2016 Microsoft Vulnerabilities Study: Mitigating risk by removing user privileges", had also found that a vast majority of vulnerabilities found in Microsoft products could be mitigated by removing admin rights. The research found that, despite its claims to being the "most secure" of Microsoft's operating systems, Windows 10 had 395 vulnerabilities in 2016, while Windows 8 and 8.1 each had 265. The research also found that while 530 Microsoft vulnerabilities were reported — marginally up from the 524 reported in 2015 — and 189 given a critical rating, 94% could be mitigated by removing admin rights. This was up from 85% in 2015.
  • Windows 10 Creators Update can block Win32 apps if they’re not from the Store [Ed: By Microsoft Peter. People who put Vista 10 on a PC totally lose control of that PC; remember, the OS itself is malware, as per textbook definitions. With DRM and other antifeatures expect copyright enforcement on the desktop soon.]
    The latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build doesn't add much in the way of features—it's mostly just bug fixes—but one small new feature has been spotted, and it could be contentious. Vitor Mikaelson noticed that the latest build lets you restrict the installation of applications built using the Win32 API.
  • Router assimilated into the Borg, sends 3TB in 24 hours
    "Well, f**k." Harsh language was appropriate under the circumstances. My router had just been hacked. Setting up a reliable home network has always been a challenge for me. I live in a cramped three-story house, and I don't like running cables. So my router's position is determined by the fiber modem in a corner on the bottom floor. Not long after we moved in, I realized that our old Airport Extreme was not delivering much signal to the attic, where two game-obsessed occupants fought for bandwidth. I tried all sorts of things. I extended the network. I used Ethernet-over-powerline connectors to deliver network access. I made a mystic circle and danced naked under the full moon. We lost neighbors, but we didn't gain a signal.
  • Purism's Librem 13 Coreboot Port Now "100%" Complete
    According to Purism's Youness Alaoui, their Coreboot port to the Librem 13 v1 laptop is now considered complete. The Librem 13 was long talked about having Coreboot over a proprietary BIOS while the initial models still had shipped with the conventional BIOS. Finally in 2017, they have now Coreboot at what they consider to be 100% complete for this Linux-friendly laptop.
  • The Librem 13 v1 coreboot port is now complete
    Here are the news you’ve been waiting for: the coreboot port for the Librem 13 v1 is 100% done! I fixed all of the remaining issues, it is now fully working and is stable, ready for others to enjoy. I fixed the instability problem with the M.2 SATA port, finished running all the tests to ensure coreboot is working correctly, fixed the headphone jack that was not working, made the boot prettier, and started investigating the Intel Management Engine issue.
  • Linux Update Fixes 11-Year-Old Flaw
    Andrey Konovalov, a security researcher at Google, found a use-after-free hole within Linux, CSO Online reported. This particular flaw is of interest because it appears to be situational. It only showed up in kernels built with a certain configuration option — CONFIG_IP_DCCP — enabled.

Kerala saves Rs 300 cr as schools switch to open software

The Kerala government has made a saving of Rs 300 crore through introduction and adoption of Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) in the school education sector, said a state government official on Sunday. IT became a compulsory subject in Kerala schools from 2003, but it was in 2005 only that FOSS was introduced in a phased manner and started to replace proprietary software. The decision made by the curriculum committee to implement it in the higher secondary sector has also been completed now. Read more

Tired of Windows and MAC computer systems? Linux may now be ready for prime time

Are you a bit tired of the same old options of salt and pepper, meaning having to choose only between the venerable Windows and MAC computer operating systems? Looking to branch out a bit, maybe take a walk on the wild side, learn some new things and save money? If so, the Linux operating system, which has been around for a long time and is used and loved by many hard-core techies and developers, may now be ready for prime time with the masses. Read more

Braswell based Pico-ITX SBC offers multiple expansion options

Axiomtek’s PICO300 is a Pico-ITX SBC with Intel Braswell, SATA-600, extended temperature support, and both a mini-PCIe and homegrown expansion connector. Axiomtek has launched a variation on its recently announced Intel Apollo Lake based PICO312 SBC that switches to the older Intel Braswell generation and offers a slightly reduced feature set. The board layout has also changed somewhat, with LVDS, SATA, and USB ports all changing location. Read more