Linux Kernel Walkthrough – Boot Process (Screencast)

Ottawa Canada Linux Users Group recently hosted another of its Kernel Walkthrough tutorials given by Bart Trojanowski. The screencast starts with a one-hour presentation on the components involved, and then dives into the code which bootstraps the kernel on the 32bit x86 platform. The first Kernel Walkthrough by the Ottawa Canada Linux Users Group covered Linux development background, file layout and data types.

The State of the Language: An Interview with Bjarne Stroustrup

DevX interviewed Bjarne Stroustrup about C++0x, the new C++ standard that is due in 2009. Bjarne Stroustrup has classified the new features into three categories Concurrency, Libraries and Language. The changes introduced in the Concurrency makes C++ more standardized and easy to use on multi-core processors. It is good to see that some of the commonly used libraries are becoming standard (eg: unordered_maps and regex).

Intel Gives ‘turbo’ Boost to Nehalem

Intel unveiled a power gate feature incorporating a "turbo" mode for its upcoming Nehalem family of processors. With the turbo mode, in a situation where not all the cores are necessary for a particular workload, the ones that are idle will be turned off and power is channeled to the cores that are active, making them more efficient. Intel also showcased the Nehalem-EX for the expandable server market, which consists of eight-core processors on a single die.

DefCon 16: Hackers and Gag Order in Sin City

"In many ways the virtues that have brought Linux from a Unix look alike pet project to a competitive operating system are the same as the ideals behind DefCon. The community stood on each other's shoulders and developed piece after piece of software to fill in the gaps that were found through use. Programmer's built on the ideas of others creating tighter and tighter code to support an increasingly complex framework."

How Many Linux Users Are There? Will We Ever Know?

The traditional market share numbers would say that Linux is currently at less than 1%, but some more recent numbers suggest that it might, in fact, be almost even with the Mac. This all brings the question of how many Linux users are there really? Unfortunately, we may never know. Certainly, there is no way of knowing currently, but it should be possible to at least get a rough estimate.

Court: ‘Violating Copyleft Is Copyright Infringement’

A federal appeals court has overruled a lower court ruling that, if sustained, would have severely hampered the enforceability of free software licenses. The lower court had found that redistributing software in violation of the terms of a free software license could constitute a breach of contract, but was not copyright infringement. The difference matters because copyright law affords much stronger remedies against infringement than does contract law. If allowed to stand, the decision could have neutered popular copyleft licenses such as the GPL and Creative Commons licenses. The district court decision was overturned on Wednesday by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The Sky Isn’t Falling: A Look at a New Vista Security Bypass

Ars Technica has analyzed recently publicized Vista's security flaws. "Unfortunate, yes, but not as was reported in the immediate aftermath of the presentation evidence that Vista's security is useless, nor does this work constitute a major security issue. And it's not game over, either. Sensationalism sells, and there's no news like bad news, but sometimes particularly when covering security issues, it would be nice to see accuracy and level-headedness instead. ... Furthermore, these attacks are specifically on the buffer overflow protections; they do not circumvent the IE Protected Mode sandbox, nor Vista's (in)famous UAC restrictions."

PHP 4 is Dead, Long Live PHP 4

For a technology that has been in stable release since May 22, 2000, PHP 4 has finally reached the end of its official life. With the release of PHP 4.4.9, official support has ended and the final security patch for the platform issued. With PHP 5 offering a viable upgrade path for the last few years, the recommendation is for addministrators and developers is to move to the PHP 5 platform (if they haven't already done so), which is currently at 5.2.6. For those who are not able to migrate their systems to the new version of PHP noted PHP security expert, Stefan Esser, will continue to provide third party security patching for the PHP 4 line through his Suhosin product.

Why Microsoft and Intel Tried to Kill the XO Laptop

"Microsoft, makers of most of the computer software in the world, tried to kill it with words, and Intel, maker of most computer chips, tried to kill it with dirty tricks. Of course, they don't admit to being attempted murderers. And when I introduce you to Intel's lovely spokesperson, Agnes Kwan, you'll realise how far their denials go. But the truth is the two mightiest high-tech companies in the world looked on Negroponte's philanthropic scheme and decided it had to die."

Is Microsoft Trying to Kill Apache?

When the story about Microsoft shelling out $100,000 to Apache for ASF sponsorship broke across my radar it rather tickled my funny bone and my curiosity. When ASF Chairman Jim Jagielski declared that "Microsoft's sponsorship makes it clear that Microsoft 'gets it' regarding the ASF" I had a fit of the giggles and then, like many others, I started to ponder on the reasons why and what it actually meant. Gary Richmond explores Microsoft's motives. You can read the full article at Freesoftware Magazine

Vista’s Security Rendered Completely Useless By New Exploit

This week at the Black Hat Security Conference two security researchers will discuss their findings which could completely bring Windows Vista to its knees. According to Dino Dai Zovi, a popular security researcher, "the genius of this is that it's completely reusable. They have attacks that let them load chosen content to a chosen location with chosen permissions. That's completely game over."

Linux Foundation Launches Killer Development Tool

"The Linux Foundation has just released a beta of a new program, Linux Application Checker (AppChecker), that's going to make independent software vendors and other programmers start to love developing for Linux." This program checks your application against different versions of the Linux Standard Base (LSB), and against all the Linux distributions in the LSB Database. After the test is done it will present a report about the compatibility status of your application with the various distributions, and which external libraries and interfaces your application uses.