"Is password protection an inherently flawed security model? A hack into a Twitter employee's Gmail provided access to a number of confidential Twitter docs housed in Google's cloud. What does that say about cloud security? Information from the docs was leaked to the media and published on various outlets." This may be a hard blow to those who have hopes in tossing sensitive data into the cloud.
That was my first reaction when I saw the headline. Should Hannah Montana and Linux even be allowed to be in the same sentence? Someone apparently thinks so. According to IT Knowledge Exchange, Hannah Montana Linux, obviously designed with Hannah Montana fans in mind, emerged recently on Twitter, being tweeted and re-tweeted so many times. It's been hosted at SourceForge and is currently available for download, but you had probably get your copy quickly because I'm sure the long, iron arm of Disney will find out about this project and quickly shut it down. Big companies are often touchy about their trademarks.
EA has already redesigned a group of its games specifically for the iPhone, and the company's been pretty successful in its plight thus far. However, they're changing their focus to design entirely new games specifically for the iPhone platform, and they've made an entire (small) studio, called 8lb Gorilla, to design and deploy said games. The first iPhone title coming from the group is, of course, all about zombies and the splattering thereof.
"CrunchBang Linux, a lightweight, Ubuntu-based, thumb-drive-friendly operating system... is now available in 64-bit editions for version 9.04.01, which also adds support for the ext4 hard drive format and more wireless networking support. CrunchBang already booted pretty darned fast in our initial tests, but long-time users are reporting noticeable improvements with the newest version. On the look and feel side, there are more themes included, and support for more theming standards in general. Transmission becomes the default BitTorrent client, and a host of usability improvements were tossed in as well."
"The Linux 2.6.31 kernel is still under active development until it is released later this quarter, but the merge window is closed and most of the work going on is to address bugs and other regressions within this massive code-base. Some of the key additions to the Linux 2.6.31 kernel include many graphics-related advancements (merging of the TTM memory manager, Radeon kernel mode-setting, Intel DisplayPort, etc), an ALSA driver for the Creative X-Fi, initial USB 3.0 support, file-system improvements, and much more. To see how the general system performance has been impacted by the new Linux kernel that is in development, we have a few benchmarks today."
Linux Mint 7 "Gloria" was released a little while ago, so before it became too old of news, I thought I'd take a whack at experimenting with it for the sake of netbookers everywhere (and for myself, naturally). As I type this on gedit after about two weeks' use, let's just say that the system on my EeePC 1000 HE is, for the most part, rather glorious-- pun intended. As a bonus, I also got Google's Chromium browser to run on it, so keep on reading to find the section on that.
Kon-Boot seems to be a similar alternative to Ophcrack that also runs on Linux as well as Windows operating systems. It doesn't crack the password but instead bypasses it and lets the user into any account. Those who are admins may want to take a gander at Kon-Boot in case someone with ulterior motives and physical access to vital computers happens to stumble across this tool. Those who have ulterior motives, enjoy. "According to the description at the tool's site, Kon-Boot alters a Linux or Windows kernel on the fly during boot up. The result is that you can login to a system as 'root' or 'administrator' without having to know the associated account password."
In the past several days, it appears that at least 35 US- and South Korea-based websites were under attack by a botnet group of computers, causing the attacked domains to become very slow and unresponsive and even putting many out of commission for periods of time. Among the domains were many government websites of their respective countries. It's unconfirmed as to where exactly the attack is being launched from, but South Korean officials believe it to be North Koran forces or those sympathetic to their cause.
Google's recent move of revealing the Chrome OS to a suspecting public has put a great many people on alert. Some say it's a major privacy issue, some say Google oughtn't to become more and more monopolistic, while others think that the wide array of popular Linux distributions shouldn't become even more fragmented than it already is. "Google's decision to create its own Linux distribution and splinter the Linux community decisively once again can only be seen as foolhardy and self-obsessive. Instead of treading its own path, Google should have sought to leverage the stellar work already carried out by Mark Shuttleworth and his band of merry coders and tied its horse to the Ubuntu cart."
It almost sounds like a joke, but it's true enough. Ever since Gmail was instituted in April of 2004 with the invitation scheme, it and many other of Google's Apps have been wearing the beta tag. At long last, however, Google's ripping it off like a bandage.
An interesting article, this details the experiments and procedures Vik Singh performed to test the latest versions of several open source search engines, particularly Lucene, Xapian, zettair, sqlite, and sphinx. It tests them by indexing Twitter results in varied categories as well as the amount and relevancy of medical journals for a certain query, providing comparative system stats and relevancy scores. All of the benchmark code is open source as well.
We all remember the saliva-inducing CrunchPad whose photos were "leaked" back in April; the tablet has a yummy 12" touchscreen, boots straight into a customized Webkit browser running atop a Linux core, has an Intel Atom processor, and is designed to be sold for under $300. As it turns out, it's nigh on to be released as Michael Arrington, the one behind the idea, will be debuting the device at "an event" later in July or early in August. After that, the tablet is supposed to be available "as soon as possible," though just when and where is still unknown. Hopefully "as soon as possible" is a matter of a few weeks after the event. The sub-$300 idea is giving me itches for it to be on sale now.
There haven't been too many iPhone exploits, it seems, despite the popularity of said devices. However, Charlie Miller, a security researcher, recently uncovered a vulnerability in the iPhone OS that could possibly "allow an attacker to run software code on the phone that is sent by SMS over a mobile operator's network. The malicious code could include commands to monitor the location of the phone using GPS, turn on the phone's microphone to eavesdrop on conversations, or make the phone join a distributed denial of service attack or a botnet." Scary, isn't it? They say it's not very likely that others will exploit it even on a small scale before Apple issues the patch, but having a hole like that just sitting there makes me glad right now that I don't own an iPhone.
The folks over at Phoronix had an interesting interview with Linux game porter, Frank Earl. Despite the apparent decline in PC gaming, Earl has worked for Linux Game Publishing for several years and was seeking input from the community at large for game suggestions at Phoronix. He's also done work independently on porting various software over from Windows. The interview covers work that Earl has done, difficulties that arise in porting commercial games to Linux, successes they've had, his views on Linux in general, and his thoughts on the future of gaming in Linux.
Chances are that you've already heard of and even visited Bing, Microsoft's new search offering launched earlier in June, replacing the Live search of yesterday. It's new, shiny, and has pretty pictures, but does it really have much effect on the market? There have been those headlines claiming it's "taken a bite out of Google," but, looking at the statistics, it hasn't really affected the search industry at all.
While traversing about the web this afternoon, I came across a rather funny subject title for a forum post. The person asked if any "normal" people use Linux, but went on to ask forgiveness for the lack of a better word than "normal." He wonders if anyone who isn't an open source, uber-geeky, stay-up-until-dawn-exploring-code fanatic actually uses Linux. Though the congregation here at OSNews is (obviously) comprised of very many of the aforementioned fanatics (in a sense; wear the title with pride), I also believe there to be many readers who are more or less "normal," for the lack of a better word, and plenty who may fall in between both spectrums of nerdiness.
Currently the fastest supercomputer in Europe, the Jugene can process one trillion operations per second, has 294,912 cores that comprise 32-bit PowerPC 450 processors at 850 MHz, has 144 terabytes of RAM, has a bandwidth of 5.1 gigabyte/second with a mere 160 nanosecond latency, and is one heck of a machine mounted on 72 racks. I wouldn't mind having one of these in my basement regardless of the power bill. For pictures and more information, read the linked article.
If the title didn't cause you to spit up your morning/afternoon drink of preference, perhaps this will: the mouse is specially designed to reduce noise pollution by 22.5 dB so that the precious ears of your fellow office workers or the kids running about your house won't be disturbed. Protect your eardrums from the menace to society (the mouse, of course) for only $30 US.
Back in April after the four involved in the Pirate Bay scuffle were declared guilty of helping to break copyright law, the judge who gave the verdict, Thomas Norstrom, was found to probably be biased due to his involvement in several pro-copyright groups. After a long, cold, hard bout of deliberation, the Swedish Court of Appeals has actually found Norstrom unbiased, something rather surprising. This means that the charges against the guilty still stand.
IBM has built a new sort of supercomputer that is not only more energy-efficient than supercomputers cooled traditionally with air-conditioning, but the excess heat from the computer can be used afterwards to heat a building. Water siphons off the heat via tubes and small capillaries that take the liquid very near to the chips, cooling it at 60 degrees Celsius. IBM says that the new supercomputer design, which they call "Aquasar," will reduce overall energy consumption by 40 percent as well as 30 tons of carbon dioxide. The heating function of the system will only help reduce heating costs a little, but it has some very promising applications in the future.