Security is nothing new to Linux distributions. Linux distros have always emphasized security and related matters like firewalls, penetration testing, anonymity, and privacy. So it is hardly surprising that security conscious distributions are common place. For instance, Distrowatch lists sixteen distros that specialize in firewalls, and four for privacy.
Most of these specialty security distributions, however, share the same drawback: they are tools for experts, not average users. Only recently have security distributions tried to make security features generally accessible for desktop users.
At the Embedded Linux Conference in April, Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF) Executive Director Mike Richmond concluded his keynote on the potential for interoperability between the OCF’s IoTivity IoT framework and the AllSeen Alliance’s AllJoyn spec by inviting to the stage Greg Burns, the chief architect of AllJoyn. Burns briefly shared his opinion that not only was there no major technical obstacle to combining these two major open source IoT specs, but that by taking the best of both standards, a hybrid could emerge that improves upon both.
Later in the day, Burns gave a technical overview of how such a hybrid could be crafted in “Evolving a Best-of-Breed IoT Framework.” (See video below.) Burns stated in both talks that his opinions in no way reflect the official position of OCF or the AllSeen Alliance. At the time of the ELC talk in April, Burns had recently left his job as VP of Engineering at Qualcomm and Chair of the Technical Steering Committee at the AllSeen Alliance to take on the position of Chief IoT Software Technologist in the Open Source Technology Center at Intel Corp.
LinuxCon North America concluded in Toronto, Canada on August 25th, the day Linux was celebrating its 25th anniversary. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, and Dirk Hohndel, VP and chief of open source at VMware, sat down for a conversation at the event and reflected upon the past 25 years. Here are some of the highlights of that conversation.
Red Hat was founded in 1993, two years after Linux was announced and the company has been one of the top contributors to Linux. There is a symbiotic relationship between the company and the project. Whitehurst pointed out that it’s hard to talk about the history of Red Hat without talking about Linux and vice versa.
Two or so years back or so it was looking hopeful that the mainline Linux kernel would finally have a proper VIA DRM/KMS driver for the unfortunate ones still have VIA x86 hardware and using the integrated graphics. However, that work was ultimately abandoned but there is talk of it being restored.
A new attack called FaireWare Ransomware is targeting Linux users where the attackers hack a Linux server, delete the web folder, and then demand a ransom payment of two bitcoins to get their files back. In this attack, the attackers most likely do not encrypt the files, and if they do retain the files, probably just upload it to a server under their control.
This has been a pretty wild week, more wild than usual I think we can all agree. The topic I found the most interesting wasn't about one of the countless 0day flaws, it was a story from Slate titled: In Praise of the Private Email Server
The TL;DR says running your own email server is a great idea. Almost everyone came out proclaiming it a terrible idea. I agree it's a terrible idea, but this also got me thinking. How do you explain this to someone who doesn't really understand what's going on?
There are three primary groups of people.
1) People who know they know nothing
2) People who think they're experts
3) People who are actually experts
Linux is “open source” which means anyone can look at the code and point out flaws. In that sense, I’d say Linus Torvalds doesn’t have to be as omniscient as Tim Cook. Linux source code isn’t hidden behind closed doors. My understanding is, all the Linux code is out there for anyone to see, naked for anyone to scrutinize, which is why certain countries feel safer using it–there’s no hidden agenda or secret “back door” lurking in the shadows. Does that mean Android phones are safer? That’s up for debate.
The Peppermint Twist Is Still Cool
Peppermint is a solid Linux operating system with a record for good performance and reliability. It is an ideal choice for handling everyday computing chores.
LXDE provides a fast and friendly desktop environment. The entire desktop package and tweaked Peppermint 7 settings give you lots of options for creating a comfortable platform. My only dissatisfaction is the lack of much in the way of desktop animation effects. All it provides are semi-transparent application interfaces in the background.
The Peppermint community is headed by the Peppermint OS LLC, a software company based in Asheville, North Carolina. Founded in 2010, the open source company issues one major release per year. A partial upgrade rolls out periodically.
Canonical Patches Eight Linux Kernel Vulnerabilities for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Just a few minutes ago, Canonical published multiple security advisories to inform the Ubuntu Linux community about the availability of new kernel updates for all of its supported Ubuntu OSes, including Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus).
In the tech job market race these days, hardly any trend is drawing more attention than Big Data. And, when talking Big Data, the subject of Hadoop inevitably comes up, but Spark is becoming an increasingly popular topic. IBM and other companies have made huge commitments to Spark, and workers who have both Hadoop and Spark skills are much in demand.
With that in mind MapR Technologies and other providers are offering free Hadoop and Spark training. In many cases, the training is available online and on-demand, so you can learn at your own pace.
Since I've created the phpMyAdmin container for Docker I've always felt strange about using PHP's built in web server there. It really made it poor choice for any production setup and probably was causing lot of problems users saw with this container. During the weekend, I've changed it to use more complex setup with Supervisor, nginx and PHP FPM.
As building this container is one of my first experiences with Docker (together with Weblate container), it was not as straightforward as I'd hope for, but in the end is seems to be working just fine. While touching the code, I've also improved testing of the Docker container to tests all supported setups and to better report in case of test fails.
There is an ongoing campaign for motion comic. It will be done entirely with FLOSS tools (Blender, Krita, GNU/Linux) and besides that, it really looks great (and no, it is not only for the kids!). Please support this effort if you can because it also shows the power of Free software tools. All will be released Creative Commons Atribution-ShareAlike license together with all sources.
The world’s most famous fossil is now open source. 3D scans of Lucy — a 3.18-million-year-old hominin found in Ethiopia — were released on 29 August, allowing anyone to examine her arm, shoulder and knee bones and even make their own 3D-printed copies.s
Myself and others at First Draft frequently receive emails from a whole range of people asking how they can start doing the sort of online open source investigation and verification that they’ve seen us doing. The skills and methodologies used are all something that can be learnt through a little persistence, but here are a few pieces of advice to get you started.
Microsoft’s Bing made the grave mistake on relying on data collected by Wikipedia for its mapping software and lost Melbourne.
While Melbourne might not be the nicest it place to live, there were a fair few who felt that Bing Maps moving it to the wrong hemisphere was not exactly fair dinkum.
Apparently Vole made the mistake when it collected the data. Ricky Brundritt, a senior program manager at Bing Maps, said that the outfit does not normally rely that much on Wackypedia, but sometimes it uses it.
FarmBot is a robotic open hardware system that assists anyone with a small plot of land and a desire to grow food with planting, watering, soil testing, and weeding. It uses a Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and other awesome components, including weather-resistant materials.
Avidemux 2.6.13 Open-Source Video Editor Gets AAC/ADTS Import and Export
The developers of the Avidemux open-source and cross-platform video editor software have announced a new maintenance update in the 2.6 series, bringing multiple improvements, bug fixes, and a handful of new features.