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GNU hackers discover HACIENDA government surveillance and give us a way to fight back

Filed under
GNU
Security

GNU community members and collaborators have discovered threatening details about a five-country government surveillance program codenamed HACIENDA. The good news? Those same hackers have already worked out a free software countermeasure to thwart the program.

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Acer Offers New Desktop Chromebox

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GNU
Linux
Google

Acer, which has been rapidly gaining popularity as a portable computing hardware manufacturer, has been placing some heavy bets on Google's cloud-centric Chrome OS platform. The company has a fleet of portable computers based on Chrome OS, and is taking Chrome OS to the desktop form factor with a new system.

Acer’s Chromebox CXI system, announced on Thursday, is seen back-mounted in the photo and runs an Intel Celeron 2957U dual-core 1.4GHz processor. It also has a 16GB solid-state drive, and--like other systems based on Chrome OS--offers a fast boot-up time that Acer claims takes only eight seconds.

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Arch-based Linux distro KaOS 2014.08 is here with KDE 4.14.0

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GNU
Linux

The Linux desktop community has reached a sad state. Ubuntu 14.04 was a disappointing release and Fedora is taking way too long between releases. Hell, OpenSUSE is an overall disaster. It is hard to recommend any Linux-based operating system beyond Mint. Even the popular KDE plasma environment and its associated programs are in a transition phase, moving from 4.x to 5.x. As exciting as KDE 5 may be, it is still not ready for prime-time; it is recommended to stay with 4 for now.

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GNU hackers discover HACIENDA government surveillance and give us a way to fight back

Filed under
GNU
Security

GNU community members and collaborators have discovered threatening details about a five-country government surveillance program codenamed HACIENDA. The good news? Those same hackers have already worked out a free software countermeasure to thwart the program.

According to Heise newspaper, the intelligence agencies of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, have used HACIENDA to map every server in twenty-seven countries, employing a technique known as port scanning. The agencies have shared this map and use it to plan intrusions into the servers. Disturbingly, the HACIENDA system actually hijacks civilian computers to do some of its dirty work, allowing it to leach computing resources and cover its tracks.

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Play Hexen, Quake I, and Quake II with 4MLinux Game Edition 9.1 Beta

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GNU
Linux

4MLinux Game Edition, a special Linux distribution based on Busybox, Dropbear, OpenSSH, and PuTTY, which also happens to feature a large number of games, is now at version 9.1 Beta.

The 4MLinux distributions are among the smallest ones in the world, but that doesn't mean the developers can't add a ton of interesting games into the mix.

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SparkyLinux GameOver Is a Winning Work-Play Combo

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GNU
Linux
Gaming

This SparkyLinux game edition builds in access to a large collection of popular games compiled for the Linux platform. It brings the latest game fare via the Steam and Desura platforms. It provides handy access from a quick launch bar to a dozen plus emulators to let you run top-line games from leading gaming boxes and platforms.

GameOver does not wimp out on providing all of the needed everyday computing tools found in other Linux distros, either. It provides nearly all of the standard Linux applications out-of-the-box, so you do not have to install them on your own.

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Parsix GNU/Linux 7.0 Test 1 Is an Interesting Debian and GNOME 3.12 Combination

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GNU
Linux
GNOME
Debian

Parsix GNU/Linux 7.0 Test 1, a live and installation DVD based on Debian, aiming to provide a ready-to-use, easy-to-install desktop and laptop-optimized operating system, has been released and is now ready for testing.

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Munich Switching to Windows from Linux Is Proof That Microsoft Is Still an Evil Company

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft

Reports about the city of Munich authorities that are considering the replacement of Linux with Microsoft products mostly comes from one man, the Deputy Mayor of Munich, who is also a long-term self-declared Windows fan.

Munich is the poster child for the adoption of a Linux distribution and the replacement of the old Windows OS. It provided a powerful incentive for other cities to do the same, and it's been a thorn in Microsoft's side for a very long time.

The adoption of open source software in Munich started back in 2004 and it took the local authorities over 10 years to finish the process. It's a big infrastructure, but in the end they managed to do it. As you can imagine, Microsoft was not happy about it. Even the CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, tried to stop the switch to Linux, but he was too late to the party.

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The OS LinuX Desktop

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Mac

Reader Oliver wanted to make his Linux Mint desktop look as much like a Mac as possible so others would find it easy to use. Given some of our previous Linux featured desktops, we know it wasn't tough, but the end-result still looks great. Here's how it's all set up.

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A Linux Desktop Designed for You

Filed under
GNU
Linux

Desktop environments for Linux are not released ready-made. Behind each is a set of assumptions about what a desktop should be, and how users should interact with them. Increasingly, too, each environment has a history -- some of which are many years old.

As you shop around for a desktop, these assumptions are worth taking note of. Often, they can reveal tendencies that you might not discover without several days of probing and working with the desktop.

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More in Tux Machines

Open source software: The question of security

The logic is understandable - how can a software with source code that can easily be viewed, accessed and changed have even a modicum of security? opensource-security-question Open source software is safer than many believe. But with organizations around the globe deploying open source solutions in even some of the most mission-critical and security-sensitive environments, there is clearly something unaccounted for by that logic. According to a November 28 2013 Financial News article, some of the world's largest banks and exchanges, including Deutsche Bank and the New York Stock Exchange, have been active in open source projects and are operating their infrastructure on Linux, Apache and similar systems. Read more

Beer and open source with Untappd

Greg Avola loves beer and coding. He loves beer so much that he made an app, Untappd, where users track their favorite brews. He loves coding so much that he wrote a book about mobile web development. According to him, if it weren't for open source software, his app—and the projects of many other developers—simply wouldn't exist. Read more in my interview with Greg about his open source journey, his favorite beer, and why check-in apps are still relevant. Read more

What is Docker, Really? Founder Solomon Hykes Explains

Docker has quickly become one of the most popular open source projects in cloud computing. With millions of Docker Engine downloads, hundreds of meetup groups in 40 countries and dozens upon dozens of companies announcing Docker integration, it's no wonder the less-than-two-year-old project ranked No. 2 overall behind OpenStack in Linux.com and The New Stack's top open cloud project survey. This meteoric rise is still puzzling, and somewhat problematic, however, for Docker, which is “just trying to keep up” with all of the attention and contributions it's receiving, said founder Solomon Hykes in his keynote at LinuxCon and CloudOpen on Thursday. Most people today who are aware of Docker don't necessarily understand how it works or even why it exists, he said, because they haven't actually used it. “Docker is very popular, it became popular very fast, and we're not really sure why,” Hykes said. “My personal theory … is that it was in the right place at the right time for a trend that's much bigger than Docker, and that is very important for all of us, that has to do with how applications are built.” Read more