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Linux vs. Linux: The Battle for the Desktop

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Linux

So, you have mastered every aspect of computing (or maybe not), and you are bored with the Internet. What can you do to bring back the thrill that you had the first time you fired up the latest Windows operating system? How about downloading or purchasing Linux? Linux is an "open-source" operating system that is mainly built by a dedicated community. Even for the most literate users, experimentation into new areas of computing can be a fun and an interesting challenge; therefore, trying out one of the latest Linux distributions is an excellent way to venture into the world of Unix based operating systems.

Many Linux advocates claim that Linux is now ready for primetime, stating that even the novice users can get around in Linux without too many headaches. In the past, it could take days for a new user to figure out how to "mount" his CD drive and access it. Of course in Windows all you need to do is click on the icon and your drive is "mounted" and ready for use. Is Linux really this user friendly today? When they say Linux is ready for novice user, are they referring to someone with absolutely no experience? How do we define "novice users"? What are the qualifications and experience needed to install and use Linux?

The good news is that Linux seems to have reached a point where it can begin to compete with Microsoft Windows, to an extent. The open-source operating system offers a variety of free software that is equal to and possibly superior to some professional level software for the Windows platform. Linux can be molded and configured with your choice of GUI (Graphical User Interface) and allows you to control your system to a much higher extent than Microsoft Windows ever will. Many distributions even come with developer tools for you to develop software for the operating system. It's almost a dream come true for someone who wants no restrictions in his computing environment (including licensing fees). All of these advanced features and serious system tweaks require the knowledge of an expert user. What about those who could care less about such tools and only wants to check their e-mail, browse the Internet, do a bit of word processing and maybe use the computer for some multimedia activities?

Let us not forget that the vast majority of computer users would qualify as novices; those who know enough to accomplish the basic tasks (check e-mail, browse the Internet, etc.). These users, in most cases, don't care about how a computer works or how software and hardware are inter-related. As long as the computer works, they are fine with it, but as soon as they experience something out of the ordinary, these users are on the phone with technical support personnel or a knowledgeable friend or relative.

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today's leftovers

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

Security Leftovers

  • Chrome vulnerability lets attackers steal movies from streaming services
    A significant security vulnerability in Google technology that is supposed to protect videos streamed via Google Chrome has been discovered by researchers from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Cyber Security Research Center (CSRC) in collaboration with a security researcher from Telekom Innovation Laboratories in Berlin, Germany.
  • Large botnet of CCTV devices knock the snot out of jewelry website
    Researchers have encountered a denial-of-service botnet that's made up of more than 25,000 Internet-connected closed circuit TV devices. The researchers with Security firm Sucuri came across the malicious network while defending a small brick-and-mortar jewelry shop against a distributed denial-of-service attack. The unnamed site was choking on an assault that delivered almost 35,000 HTTP requests per second, making it unreachable to legitimate users. When Sucuri used a network addressing and routing system known as Anycast to neutralize the attack, the assailants increased the number of HTTP requests to 50,000 per second.
  • Study finds Password Misuse in Hospitals a Steaming Hot Mess
    Hospitals are pretty hygienic places – except when it comes to passwords, it seems. That’s the conclusion of a recent study by researchers at Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania and USC, which found that efforts to circumvent password protections are “endemic” in healthcare environments and mostly go unnoticed by hospital IT staff. The report describes what can only be described as wholesale abandonment of security best practices at hospitals and other clinical environments – with the bad behavior being driven by necessity rather than malice.
  • Why are hackers increasingly targeting the healthcare industry?
    Cyber-attacks in the healthcare environment are on the rise, with recent research suggesting that critical healthcare systems could be vulnerable to attack. In general, the healthcare industry is proving lucrative for cybercriminals because medical data can be used in multiple ways, for example fraud or identify theft. This personal data often contains information regarding a patient’s medical history, which could be used in targeted spear-phishing attacks.
  • Making the internet more secure
  • Beyond Monocultures
  • Dodging Raindrops Escaping the Public Cloud