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Research Shows Chromebooks Doing Very Well in the Education Market

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OS
Google

For more than a year now, sales have been downright dreary for PCs and PC equipment makers, but new-generation Chromebooks running Google's Chrome OS platform have shown signs of bucking the trend. Late last year, there were many reports that Chromebooks were not selling well at all. For example, a ZDNet column cited some IDC research that apparently showed Chromebooks struggling.

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Was Apple involved in the death of Pear OS?

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OS
Linux

Was Apple involved in any way with the death of Pear OS? The conspiracy-minded among us probably think that might be a real possibility, particularly if Apple acted behind the scenes via a shell company. Apple has been known to do just that in years past when it wanted to negotiate for something without having its real identity known.

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A review of the Printrbot 3D printer

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OS

If you're looking around for 3D printers that are both inexpensive and open source friendly, the Printrbot Simple Kit will probably catch your attention.

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Khronos Releases SPIR 1.2 For OpenCL

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OS

The SPIR 1.2 specification announced today provides non-source encoding and binary level portability for OpenCL 1.2 programs. Besides the new specification they're putting otu today, the Khronos Group is also publishing code to a modified Clang 3.2 compiler that can generate SPIR from OpenCL C 1.2 programs, a SPIR module written as an LLVM pass, and a header file with all enumerated values of the SPIR 1.2 specification.

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Pear OS Is No Longer Available for Download

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OS
Linux

We are extremely sorry to inform all users of the Pear OS Linux operating system that David Tavares, the creator of Pear OS, has announced a few minutes ago on Google+ that the Pear OS distribution will no longer be available for download.

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Unleashing the Best Open Source Social Networking Software

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OS

Social networking is only going in one direction - up. The huge social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have become a necessity for businesses. They increasingly recognise the importance of incorporating social networking features with their content strategy. The benefits are broad and wide. Social networking helps to increase brand awareness, improve social signals, offers word-of-mouth advertising, and boosts audience reach and influence.

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The First Totally Open Source Laptop Is Almost Real

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OS
Hardware

Is your laptop secure? In the age of widespread snooping from the NSA and so many others, do you really know that your machine is safe? Is every part of it steeled against attack from miscreants across the web? Those may seem like questions born from paranoia. But recent revelations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have shown us that, in many ways, we’re right to be paranoid.

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What open source means to a young programmer

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OS

In the sometimes dark and mysterious world of computers, I see open source programming and community around it as a force of good. Open source sparks and kindles a connection between people that I think is hard to find elsewhere in programming. Working with open source, a programmer builds important and powerful collaboration skills. This is significant because many of us (programmers and self-proclaimed nerds) are rather antisocial. Open source programming helps us cultivate social behaviors like sharing, improved communication, and collaborating towards a common goal.

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Android 4.4 KitKat starts to hit Galaxy Note 3

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OS
Linux

Owners of the international version of Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 should expect Android 4.4.2 KitKat to flavor their phablets before too long.

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Firefox OS Tablets, TVs and More to Arrive This Year

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OS
Gadgets

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took place this week in Las Vegas, and Mozilla officials made headlines there as they revealed plans to take the Firefox OS mobile platform to devices other than smartphones, and a new deal between Panasonic and Mozilla to drive smart, HTML 5-fluent televisions. It's all part of Mozilla's ongoing effort to focus on mobile technology and new platforms.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: BSD

Security Leftovers

  • Stop using SHA1 encryption: It’s now completely unsafe, Google proves
    Security researchers have achieved the first real-world collision attack against the SHA-1 hash function, producing two different PDF files with the same SHA-1 signature. This shows that the algorithm's use for security-sensitive functions should be discontinued as soon as possible. SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm 1) dates back to 1995 and has been known to be vulnerable to theoretical attacks since 2005. The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology has banned the use of SHA-1 by U.S. federal agencies since 2010, and digital certificate authorities have not been allowed to issue SHA-1-signed certificates since Jan. 1, 2016, although some exemptions have been made. However, despite these efforts to phase out the use of SHA-1 in some areas, the algorithm is still fairly widely used to validate credit card transactions, electronic documents, email PGP/GPG signatures, open-source software repositories, backups and software updates.
  • on pgp
    First and foremost I have to pay respect to PGP, it was an important weapon in the first cryptowar. It has helped many whistleblowers and dissidents. It is software with quite interesting history, if all the cryptograms could tell... PGP is also deeply misunderstood, it is a highly successful political tool. It was essential in getting crypto out to the people. In my view PGP is not dead, it's just old and misunderstood and needs to be retired in honor. However the world has changed from the internet happy times of the '90s, from a passive adversary to many active ones - with cheap commercially available malware as turn-key-solutions, intrusive apps, malware, NSLs, gag orders, etc.
  • Cloudflare’s Cloudbleed is the worst privacy leak in recent Internet history
    Cloudflare revealed today that, for months, all of its protected websites were potentially leaking private information across the Internet. Specifically, Cloudflare’s reverse proxies were dumping uninitialized memory; that is to say, bleeding private data. The issue, termed Cloudbleed by some (but not its discoverer Tavis Ormandy of Google Project Zero), is the greatest privacy leak of 2017 and the year has just started. For months, since 2016-09-22 by their own admission, CloudFlare has been leaking private information through Cloudbleed. Basically, random data from random sites (again, it’s worth mentioning that every site that used CloudFlare in the last half year should be considered to having fallen victim to this) would be randomly distributed across the open Internet, and then indefinitely cached along the way.
  • Serious Cloudflare bug exposed a potpourri of secret customer data
    Cloudflare, a service that helps optimize the security and performance of more than 5.5 million websites, warned customers today that a recently fixed software bug exposed a range of sensitive information that could have included passwords and cookies and tokens used to authenticate users. A combination of factors made the bug particularly severe. First, the leakage may have been active since September 22, nearly five months before it was discovered, although the greatest period of impact was from February 13 and February 18. Second, some of the highly sensitive data that was leaked was cached by Google and other search engines. The result was that for the entire time the bug was active, hackers had the ability to access the data in real-time by making Web requests to affected websites and to access some of the leaked data later by crafting queries on search engines. "The bug was serious because the leaked memory could contain private information and because it had been cached by search engines," Cloudflare CTO John Graham-Cumming wrote in a blog post published Thursday. "We are disclosing this problem now as we are satisfied that search engine caches have now been cleared of sensitive information. We have also not discovered any evidence of malicious exploits of the bug or other reports of its existence."

Security Leftovers

  • Change all the passwords (again)
    Looks like it is time to change all the passwords again. There’s a tiny little flaw in a CDN used … everywhere, it seems.
  • Today's leading causes of DDoS attacks [Ed: The so-called 'Internet of things' (crappy devices with identical passwords) is a mess; programmers to blame, not Linux]
    Of the most recent mega 100Gbps attacks in the last quarter, most of them were directly attributed to the Mirai botnet. The Mirai botnet works by exploiting the weak security on many Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The program finds its victims by constantly scanning the internet for IoT devices, which use factory default or hard-coded usernames and passwords.
  • How to Set Up An SSL Certificate on Your Website [via "Steps To Secure Your Website With An SSL Certificate"]
  • SHA-1 is dead, long live SHA-1!
    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you heard that some researchers managed to create a SHA-1 collision. The short story as to why this matters is the whole purpose of a hashing algorithm is to make it impossible to generate collisions on purpose. Unfortunately though impossible things are usually also impossible so in reality we just make sure it’s really really hard to generate a collision. Thanks to Moore’s Law, hard things don’t stay hard forever. This is why MD5 had to go live on a farm out in the country, and we’re not allowed to see it anymore … because it’s having too much fun. SHA-1 will get to join it soon.
  • SHA1 collision via ASCII art
    Happy SHA1 collision day everybody! If you extract the differences between the good.pdf and bad.pdf attached to the paper, you'll find it all comes down to a small ~128 byte chunk of random-looking binary data that varies between the files.
  • PayThink Knowledge is power in fighting new Android attack bot
    Android users and apps have become a major part of payments and financial services, carrying an increased risk for web crime. It is estimated that there are 107.7 million Android Smartphone users in the U.S. who have downloaded more than 65 million apps from the Google App Store, and each one of them represents a smorgasbord of opportunity for hackers to steal user credentials and other information.
  • Red Hat: 'use after free' vulnerability found in Linux kernel's DCCP protocol IPV6 implementation
    Red Hat Product Security has published details of an "important" security vulnerability in the Linux kernel. The IPv6 implementation of the DCCP protocol means that it is possible for a local, unprivileged user to alter kernel memory and escalate their privileges. Known as the "use-after-free" flaw, CVE-2017-6074 affects a number of Red Hat products including Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 and Red Hat Openshift Online v2. Mitigating factors include the requirement for a potential attacker to have access to a local account on a machine, and for IPV6 to be enabled, but it is still something that will be of concern to Linux users. Describing the vulnerability, Red Hat says: "This flaw allows an attacker with an account on the local system to potentially elevate privileges. This class of flaw is commonly referred to as UAF (Use After Free.) Flaws of this nature are generally exploited by exercising a code path that accesses memory via a pointer that no longer references an in use allocation due to an earlier free() operation. In this specific issue, the flaw exists in the DCCP networking code and can be reached by a malicious actor with sufficient access to initiate a DCCP network connection on any local interface. Successful exploitation may result in crashing of the host kernel, potential execution of code in the context of the host kernel or other escalation of privilege by modifying kernel memory structures."

Android Leftovers