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Reviews

Dark Water & Charlie & Choc Factory

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I saw Dark Water last weekend and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory this weekend and this is what I think about these latest productions in theaters now.

Recent Review Rounds

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I've had some successes and not so successful adventures. I got stampeded by Buffalo, a distro whose name intrigued me. I didn't achieve any yingyang with Zen, whose logo was so darn cute. And my fruit went sour with Berry, whose motif was quite appetizing.

My latest efforts are with Lunar. After I finally discovered the commands Lunar uses to install software, I was on my way. I didn't tweak any compile flags or set up distcc, but it's still kinda neato to watch it compile up your applications from scratch. I don't think Lunar is for everyone, as it's taken a little coaxing at times, but i got xorg and the kde desktop installed and running, as well as xawtv!

I been Buffalo'd

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Buffalo Linux 1.7.3 was released on May 10 and it sounded quite interesting. I'd visted their website a couple times in the past but never installed this oddly named distro. Now with the site up and running I thought the time was right.

A Month With Fluxbox - Part 2

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My month with Fluxbox can almost be officially over and it's time to report on my experiences as promised. I wish I had a long list of complaints to file or problems for which I had to find answers or even less than compelling reasons to run back to KDE (i.e. something interesting or controversial to write about). But the truth is, it sat back there serving up my windows and never once gave me reason to even notice it was there. And that's a good thing.

Mini Distro Round-Up

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Distributions that can fit on a mini-cd are today's answer to the floppy distros of yesteryear. Those floppy distros were so handy for those quick repairs, setting up a filesystem on a new harddrive, or just killing a Saturday night. Nothing like the satisfaction of overcoming the difficulties getting MuLinux to dial up to the internet or even boot into a mini X. Hal was my favorite though. I still have my Hal floppy. They were just plain fun!

Today we have our mini-distros too, some as small as 50MB. There isn't much of a challenge these days though, just boot and go. With a weekend off from work, I thought I'd get reacquainted with an old friend and hopefully make some new ones. I test drove 5 of the smallest distros I could find and I'll tell you what I discovered.

A Peak at MDK 10.2-b2 AMD64

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Submitted by Anonymous

Anonymous writes, "It took about 10-12 minutes to install. I selected the default installation. You need all 3 cd's if you are doing the default install though it appears to only need 3-4 packages from the 3rd cd.

Boot up speed was about the same as the x86 version. The noticable difference came after logging into the desktop. This is where you begin to notice the speed difference from accessing the menus to launching applications.

KDE user's look at Gnome-2.10

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I guess it's no secret that I'm a KDE user. But every once in a while I like to login to others to see what's new. As such, this will be a newbie's look at gnome.

Cooker (Mandrake 10.2b3) Woes

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Since my not-so-kind review of Mandrake's latest beta release, I've been trying in vain to update to the latest cooker in hopes of putting out a more positive review for them given their popularity and loyalty of users. The issues I mentioned were not isolated to my install and I've been hoping for some fixes.

Slackware 10.1

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On February 7 Slackware released its 10.1 version of its famous linux distribution. With the death of one of my harddrives the other night and the resulting loss of 10.0, I finally found the time to give it a try.

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Android Leftovers

OSS Leftovers

  • 8 hurdles IT must overcome if they want open source success
    Open source software has the potential to drive innovation and collaboration across an enterprise, and can transform the way developers work together. "Open source is now part of the evaluation criteria when deciding on a software platform, so much so that it is expected," said Matt Ingenthron, senior director of engineering at Couchbase. "In this way, open source has somewhat faded into the background in a positive way. Just like no consumer would inquire if a mobile phone had internet access or text messaging, choosing an open source solution is almost always an option."
  • Sprint calls on open source analytics to prevent cyberfraud
    Mobile phone-related fraud is big business. Fraudsters, hackers, and other bad actors employ creative techniques to compromise networks, hijack user information, and piece together customer identities that are then sold for big bucks on the dark web. To protect its customers, Sprint needed to transform the way it detected and blocked fraudulent activity. “In the mobile phone business, there’s no markup on selling devices — our bread and butter is the network and the services that are delivered on that network, through the devices,” says Scott Rice, CIO of Sprint. “Identity theft is a huge problem and the ability for nefarious actors to use that theft of information to impersonate our customers means we were eating the costs of the devices and the costs of services delivery.”
  • Open Source Platform Delivers LDAP Integration
    The latest release of InfluxData, an open source platform for metrics, events, and other time series data, adds LDAP integration, new advanced analytics, and self-healing capabilities in the time series database platform. According to the company, time series data, collected and stored with InfluxData’s Time Series database platform is integral to observability and is becoming mission critical for organizations. Enhancements to InfluxEnterprise make it easier for administrators to keep this mission critical data available and secure by checking and verifying every requested action. This includes creating databases, storing data and running queries – against a user’s stored authorizations and role.
  • YOYOW-WeCenter Special Edition Release: Free and Open Source
    The YOYOW-WeCenter Special Edition, customized and developed by YOYOW and based on WeCenter Q&A community framework, has been released on GitHub. Compared to regular WeCenter frameworks, YOYOW is providing free open source services and will be continually iterating products and will be introducing an incentive mechanism. Each Q&A community can directly integrate into YOYOW's bottom layer network and enjoy the network services provided by YOYOW.
  • Add-on Recommended By Mozilla Caught Logging Users’ Browsing History
    According to the reports by Mike Kuketz, an independent security blogger from Germany and uBlock Origin, an add-on named “Web Security” has been caught collecting users’ browsing history. [...] Soon after this discovery by Hill, Kuketz added a post on his blog about the same extension pointing to the same strange behavior of the add-on. A user on Kuketz’s blog decoded the garbled data and found that the add-on was collecting users’ browsing history and sending it to a German server.
  • Zombies: Top 5 Open Source Vulnerabilities That Refuse To Die [Ed: Microsoft partner WhiteSource continues to stigmatise FOSS as a security nightmare, using bugs branded by other Microsoft partner for extra panic]
  • How a civic hacker used open data to halve tickets at Chicago's most confusing parking spot
    Matt Chapman used the Freedom of Information Act to get the City of Chicago's very mess parking ticket data; after enormous and heroic data normalization, Chapman was able to pinpoint one of the city's most confusing parking spots, between 1100-1166 N State St, which cycled between duty as a taxi-stand and a parking spot with a confusingly placed and semi-busted parking meter. After surveying the site and deducing the problem, Chapman contacted the alderman responsible for that stretch of North State Street, and, eight months later, the signage was cleaned up and made more intuitive. Followup data analysis showed that Chapman's work had halved the number of parking tickets issued on the spot, with 600-odd fewer tickets in the past 20 months, for a savings of $60,000 to Chicago motorists.
  • Bluespec, Inc. Releases a New Family of Open-Source RISC-V Processors
    Bluespec Inc. has released Piccolo, its first in a family of RISC-V open-source processors provided as a vehicle for open innovation in embedded systems. Piccolo is a 3-stage RV32IM processor whose small “footprint” is ideal for many IoT applications. The repository (https://github.com/bluespec/Piccolo) contains a royalty-free synthesizable Verilog core that can be easily integrated and deployed into an ASIC or FPGA. Bluespec, Inc. will actively maintain Piccolo. It also offers commercial-grade tools for the customization and verification of RISC-V cores. Configurations will be continually added to provide the full spectrum of embedded controller features. Companies or universities interested in contributing to the Piccolo project should contact Bluespec, Inc. (add contact – RISC-V open source support).

KDE Applications 18.08 Open-Source Software Suite Released, Here's What's New

Being in development for the past several months, KDE Applications 18.08 goes stable today and will hit the software repositories of various popular GNU/Linux distributions during the next few days. This is a major release and brings numerous new features and improvements across multiple apps, including Dolphin, Konsole, Gwenview, KMail, Akonadi, Cantor, Spectacle, and others. "We continuously work on improving the software included in our KDE Application series, and we hope you will find all the new enhancements and bug fixes useful," reads today's announcement. "More than 120 bugs have been resolved in applications including the Kontact Suite, Ark, Cantor, Dolphin, Gwenview, Kate, Konsole, Okular, Spectacle, Umbrello and more!" Read more

Security Leftovers

  • How to Protect Your PC From the Intel Foreshadow Flaws
  • AT&T Sued After SIM Hijacker Steals $24 Million in Customer's Cryptocurrency
    It has only taken a few years, but the press, public and law enforcement appear to finally be waking up to the problem of SIM hijacking. SIM hijacking (aka SIM swapping or a "port out scam") involves a hacker hijacking your phone number, porting it over to their own device (often with a wireless carrier employee's help), then taking control of your personal accounts. As we've been noting, the practice has heated up over the last few years, with countless wireless customers saying their entire identities were stolen after thieves ported their phone number to another carrier, then took over their private data. Sometimes this involves selling valuable Instagram account names for bitcoin; other times it involves clearing out the target's banking or cryptocurrency accounts. Case in point: California authorities recently brought the hammer down on one 20-year-old hacker, who had covertly ported more than 40 wireless user accounts, in the process stealing nearly $5 million in bitcoin. One of the problems at the core of this phenomenon is that hackers have either tricked or paid wireless carrier employees to aid in the hijacking, or in some instances appear to have direct access to (apparently) poorly-secured internal carrier systems. That has resulted in lawsuits against carriers like T-Mobile for not doing enough to police their own employees, the unauthorized access of their systems, or the protocols utilized to protect consumer accounts from this happening in the first place.
  • Voting Machine Vendors, Election Officials Continue To Look Ridiculous, As Kids Hack Voting Machines In Minutes
  • Security updates for Thursday