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OLPC

Negroponte: Windows key to OLPC philosophy

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OLPC

zdnet: While the news that Microsoft is developing a version of Windows for the so-called "$100 laptop" has caused some consternation, the head of the One Laptop per Child project has said the scheme could not promote openness if it blocked Windows.

OLPC experiments with cow-powered laptops (seriously)

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computerworld: The One Laptop Per Child Project (OLPC) is toying with a novel source of power for its low-cost XO laptops: cows. The goal is to develop a low-cost energy source that can be used in Indian villages.

OLPC looks for manufacturing scale, targets deep-pocketed donors

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arstechnica: The One Laptop Per Child Foundation is now targeting deep-pocketed donors for its OLPC XO laptop. A new initiative launched by the group is actively looking for charitable foundations, not-for-profit organizations, and wealthy philanthropists to give the OLPC XO a boost.

On Education, Innovation, OLPC, And Open-Source

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daveshields.wordpress: I used one of the new OLPC machines last week while attending the K12 Open Minds Conference for 2007 (k12openminds07) that was held last week in Indianapolis, Indiana. While I used the machine for only a few minutes, I came away very impressed by it, in part because of my recent thinking about the growing importance of open-source to education, and the shared sense of adventure and hope that I found at the conference.

Uruguay poised to make first governmental OLPC purchase

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linux.com: Uruguay's government this week announced the results of a study indicating that XO computers from the One Laptop Per Child project were a better value for the nation's schoolchildren than Intel's similar offering, the Classmate PC. The next step is likely to be a purchase agreement.

Another low-cost Linux laptop gets a price hike

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OLPC

c|net: Another low-cost Linux-based laptop that you'll soon be able to buy is the Eee PC from Asus. Pricing for this machine, originally expected to start at $199, is now rumored to begin at $260 when the machine goes on sale later this month, with high-end models coming in around $400.

Also: Will low-cost OLPC or Eee PCs bring changes to the notebook industry ecosystem?
And: Cheap laptops still MIA

Portables to power PC industry

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BBC: The XO laptop may have been created to help children in developing nations, but its influence is likely to be felt far beyond the classroom. The PC industry is going to be among the first to feel its impact in November 2007 when, for a week, the gadget goes on sale to almost anyone that wants one.

Negroponte to announce "Give one, get one" OLPC promotion

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tech.blorge.com: Nicholas Negroponte has publicly expressed his disappointment at the lack of orders for his low-cost computer for poor children. The situation has become so dire that Negroponte will announce a "Give one, get one" promotion in the US and Canada.

OLPC machine may cause an education revolution

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computerworld: If the One Laptop Project keeps its promises, the small green US$100 laptop could very well revolutionise teaching in developing nations. Computerworld Denmark asked Jan Soelberg, an expert from the school of education at the University of Aarhus, to try the computer.

Also: Danish school kid's verdict on the OLPC laptop: It's cool!

$100 OLPC Laptop Gets Another Price Hike

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news.yahoo.com: The $100 laptop—which was already up to a hefty $175, has gotten yet another price bump to $188. A spokesman says they're committed to keeping the price from rising above $190, and probably below $200 if at all possible.

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Events: FOSDEM Samba Talks, USENIX Enigma, LCA (linux.conf.au) and FAST18

  • Authentication and authorization in Samba 4
    Volker Lendecke is one of the first contributors to Samba, having submitted his first patches in 1994. In addition to developing other important file-sharing tools, he's heavily involved in development of the winbind service, which is implemented in winbindd. Although the core Active Directory (AD) domain controller (DC) code was written by his colleague Stefan Metzmacher, winbind is a crucial component of Samba's AD functionality. In his information-packed talk at FOSDEM 2018, Lendecke said he aimed to give a high-level overview of what AD and Samba authentication is, and in particular the communication pathways and trust relationships between the parts of Samba that authenticate a Samba user in an AD environment.
  • Two FOSDEM talks on Samba 4
    Much as some of us would love never to have to deal with Windows, it exists. It wants to authenticate its users and share resources like files and printers over the network. Although many enterprises use Microsoft tools to do this, there is a free alternative, in the form of Samba. While Samba 3 has been happily providing authentication along with file and print sharing to Windows clients for many years, the Microsoft world has been slowly moving toward Active Directory (AD). Meanwhile, Samba 4, which adds a free reimplementation of AD on Linux, has been increasingly ready for deployment. Three short talks at FOSDEM 2018 provided three different views of Samba 4, also known as Samba-AD, and left behind a pretty clear picture that Samba 4 is truly ready for use. I will cover the first two talks in this article, and the third in a later one.
  • A report from the Enigma conference
    The 2018 USENIX Enigma conference was held for the third time in January. Among many interesting talks, three presentations dealing with human security behaviors stood out. This article covers the key messages of these talks, namely the finding that humans are social in their security behaviors: their decision to adopt a good security practice is hardly ever an isolated decision. Security conferences tend to be dominated by security researchers demonstrating their latest exploits. The talks are attack-oriented, they keep a narrow focus, and usually they close with a dark outlook. The security industry has been doing security conferences like this for twenty years and seems to prefer this format. Yet, if you are tired of this style, the annual USENIX Enigma conference is a welcome change of pace. Most of the talks are defense-oriented, they have a horizon going far beyond technology alone, and they are generally focused on successful solutions.
  • DIY biology
    A scientist with a rather unusual name, Meow-Ludo Meow-Meow, gave a talk at linux.conf.au 2018 about the current trends in "do it yourself" (DIY) biology or "biohacking". He is perhaps most famous for being prosecuted for implanting an Opal card RFID chip into his hand; the Opal card is used for public transportation fares in Sydney. He gave more details about his implant as well as describing some other biohacking projects in an engaging presentation. Meow-Meow is a politician with the Australian Science Party, he said by way of introduction; he has run in the last two elections. He founded BioFoundry, which is "Australia's first open-access molecular biology lab"; there are now two such labs in the country. He is also speaks frequently as "an emerging technology evangelist" for biology as well as other topics.
  • Notes from FAST18

    I attended the technical sessions of Usenix's File And Storage Technology conference this week. Below the fold, notes on the papers that caught my attention.

Security: Vista10 and uTorrent Holes Found by Google

  • Google drops new Edge zero-day as Microsoft misses 90-day deadline

    Google originally shared details of the flaw with Microsoft on 17 November 2017, but Microsoft wasn’t able to come up with a patch within Google’s non-negotiable “you have 90 days to do this” period.

  • Google Goes Public with Another Major Windows 10 Bug
    After revealing an Edge browser vulnerability that Microsoft failed to fix, Google is now back with another disclosure, this time aimed at Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709), but potentially affecting other Windows versions as well. James Forshaw, a security researcher that’s part of Google’s Project Zero program, says the elevation of privilege vulnerability can be exploited because of the way the operating system handles calls to Advanced Local Procedure Call (ALPC). This means a standard user could obtain administrator privileges on a Windows 10 computer, which in the case of an attack, could eventually lead to full control over the impacted system. But as Neowin noted, this is the second bug discovered in the same function, and both of them, labeled as 1427 and 1428, were reported to Microsoft on November 10, 2017. Microsoft said it fixed them with the release of the February 2018 Patch Tuesday updates, yet as it turns out, only issue 1427 was addressed.
  • uTorrent bugs let websites control your computer and steal your downloads

    The vulnerabilities, according to Project Zero, make it possible for any website a user visits to control key functions in both the uTorrent desktop app for Windows and in uTorrent Web, an alternative to desktop BitTorrent apps that uses a web interface and is controlled by a browser. The biggest threat is posed by malicious sites that could exploit the flaw to download malicious code into the Windows startup folder, where it will be automatically run the next time the computer boots up. Any site a user visits can also access downloaded files and browse download histories.

  • BitTorrent Client uTorrent Suffers Security Vulnerability (Updated)

    BitTorrent client uTorrent is suffering from an as yet undisclosed vulnerability. The security flaw was discovered by Google security researcher Tavis Ormandy, who previously said he would reveal a series of "remote code execution flaws" in torrent clients. BitTorrent Inc. has rolled out a 'patch' in the latest Beta release and hopes to fix the stable uTorrent client later this week.