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OSS

Git Success Stories and Tips from Tor Chief Architect Nick Mathewson

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Development
Interviews
OSS

Tor, the free and open source software for anonymous web communications, has been using the Git revision control system for more than six years. The tool is so ingrained in the project's development that Director and Chief Architect Nick Mathewson's daily work flow is built around Git, he says.

“Git's the eighth version control system I've had to use, and the first one I've seriously trusted,” Mathewson said. “Many thanks to the Git developers for all their hard work.”

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MariaDB tackles 'endless growth' with open-source database

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Server
OSS

MariaDB has announced the Spring 2015 release of MariaDB Enterprise, which will include new scalability and security capabilities.

Research from Wikibon has predicted that the Big Data database market will reach $4.5 billion in 2017, which represents a large rise from $2.7bn in 2014. It is expected that SQP will represent 64% of the database market.

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Also: ​MariaDB Corp picks off speed bottlenecks and tightens anti-SQL injection measures

Google sticks anti-SQL injection vaccine into MySQL MariaDB fork

MariaDB adds high availability, scalability and security capabilities to enterprise MySQL database

Open source won, so what’s next?

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OSS

Twenty years ago, open source was a cause. Ten years ago, it was the underdog. Today, it sits upon the Iron Throne ruling all it surveys. Software engineers now use open source frameworks, languages, and tools in almost all projects.

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Chromium Finally Gets HiDPI Support for Linux After Being Ignored for Three Years

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Google
OSS

High DPI screens are beginning to show in an increasing number of devices, and developers need to adjust their applications to support it. The Chromium developers have just added this feature for the Linux platform.

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Open source is key to the future of CMS development

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OSS

Open source will remain the best way to achieve a better developer experience, and as it grows in popularity, engaging with neighbor technology will become easier. Reusing existing components and becoming more distributed will be less complex. Thanks to open source, developers are able to work faster and more efficiently, which is good for business. But this is just the beginning. Open source has taken the CMS development experience to a whole new level, and it doesn't look like it's slowing down anytime soon.

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ScrollBack, a refreshing new community management tool

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OSS

ScrollBack is a new, open source community management tool that offers the extensive reach of social media, the engagement and archival abilities of forums, and the interactive and real time experience of chat.

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Red Hat reveals opens source challenges and opportunities

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Red Hat
OSS

Red Hat senior manager, Colin McCabe, has laid out the opportunities and possibilities businesses should consider when deciding on implementing and open source solutions.

“Open source is a great fit for any organisation that is looking to innovate more rapidly and effectively, and to save costs and increase the bottom line," he said.

“At Red Hat, we’ve been working for over two decades to maintain the open source model. It’s in Red Hat’s DNA to unravel complex technology challenges ranging from Cloud applications to content management using open source solutions. Red Hat is part of different open source communities and works on a variety of projects.

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Red Hat channel chief: Time to build an open source practice

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Red Hat
OSS

Speaking to ChannelBuzz.ca ahead of the company’s North American Partner Conference here, Mark Enzweiler, senior vice president of global channel sales and alliances at Red Hat, described a shift in the conversation his company and its partners are having with their customers. Gone are the days of convincing customers that open source is “for real” in the enterprise. Now everybody’s got an opinion on open source – not just Linux, but other major projects as well, most notably OpenStack. Now, they want to know more, and that means partners have to know more.

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Empower developers with a mix of community, communication, and custom tools

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OSS

Open source developers can create an immense amount of value for any company that relies on open source software by giving it the ability to direct and influence aspects of the open source community. This allows the company to shape the tools they rely on and make them better fit company needs, a phenomenon otherwise known as "scratching their own itch."

Although an open source developer’s primary skill is writing good code, their value extends far beyond technical skills. Adopting open source practices requires participation in diverse communities that have a number of stakeholders who each have their own itches to scratch. Open source developers find themselves in a complex position that requires them to be experts not only in their technical field, but also in communication and collaboration.

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NASA's Chris Mattmann on Apache technology

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OSS

I’ve been involved in the ASF since 2005 when I got involved in the Apache Nutch project. I was a PhD student at USC taking Search Engines class and also working at NASA JPL. My final project in the class was an RSS parsing plugin (NUTCH-30) that got integrated. It was a budding, awesome community, and I got more and more excited after my patch and started helping out on the lists. I also saw a big use for Nutch and what eventually became Hadoop at NASA.

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Security News

  • Tuesday's security updates
  • New Open Source Linux Ransomware Divides Infosec Community
    Following our investigation into this matter, and seeing the vitriol-filled reaction from some people in the infosec community, Zaitsev has told Softpedia that he decided to remove the project from GitHub, shortly after this article's publication. The original, unedited article is below.
  • Fax machines' custom Linux allows dial-up hack
    Party like it's 1999, phreakers: a bug in Epson multifunction printer firmware creates a vector to networks that don't have their own Internet connection. The exploit requirements are that an attacker can trick the victim into installing malicious firmware, and that the victim is using the device's fax line. The firmware is custom Linux, giving the printers a familiar networking environment for bad actors looking to exploit the fax line as an attack vector. Once they're in that ancient environment, it's possible to then move onto the network to which the the printer's connected. Yves-Noel Weweler, Ralf Spenneberg and Hendrik Schwartke of Open Source Training in Germany discovered the bug, which occurs because Epson WorkForce multifunction printers don't demand signed firmware images.
  • Google just saved the journalist who was hit by a 'record' cyberattack
    Google just stepped in with its massive server infrastructure to run interference for journalist Brian Krebs. Last week, Krebs' site, Krebs On Security, was hit by a massive distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack that took it offline, the likes of which was a "record" that was nearly double the traffic his host Akamai had previously seen in cyberattacks. Now just days later, Krebs is back online behind the protection of Google, which offers a little-known program called Project Shield to help protect independent journalists and activists' websites from censorship. And in the case of Krebs, the DDoS attack was certainly that: The attempt to take his site down was in response to his recent reporting on a website called vDOS, a service allegedly created by two Israeli men that would carry out cyberattacks on behalf of paying customers.
  • Krebs DDoS aftermath: industry in shock at size, depth and complexity of attack
    “This attack didn’t stop, it came in wave after wave, hundreds of millions of packets per second,” says Josh Shaul, Akamai’s vice president of product management, when Techworld spoke to him. “This was different from anything we’ve ever seen before in our history of DDoS attacks. They hit our systems pretty hard.” Clearly still a bit stunned, Shaul describes the Krebs DDoS as unprecedented. Unlike previous large DDoS attacks such as the infamous one carried out on cyber-campaign group Spamhaus in 2013, this one did not use fancy amplification or reflection to muster its traffic. It was straight packet assault from the old school.
  • iOS 10 makes it easier to crack iPhone back-ups, says security firm
    INSECURITY FIRM Elcomsoft has measured the security of iOS 10 and found that the software is easier to hack than ever before. Elcomsoft is not doing Apple any favours here. The fruity firm has just launched the iPhone 7, which has as many problems as it has good things. Of course, there are no circumstances when vulnerable software is a good thing, but when you have just launched that version of the software, it is really bad timing. Don't hate the player, though, as this is what Elcomsoft, and what Apple, are supposed to be doing right. "We discovered a major security flaw in the iOS 10 back-up protection mechanism. This security flaw allowed us to develop a new attack that is able to bypass certain security checks when enumerating passwords protecting local (iTunes) back-ups made by iOS 10 devices," said Elcomsoft's Oleg Afonin in a blog post.
  • After Tesla: why cybersecurity is central to the car industry's future
    The news that a Tesla car was hacked from 12 miles away tells us that the explosive growth in automotive connectivity may be rapidly outpacing automotive security. This story is illustrative of two persistent problems afflicting many connected industries: the continuing proliferation of vulnerabilities in new software, and the misguided view that cybersecurity is separate from concept, design, engineering and production. This leads to a ‘fire brigade approach’ to cybersecurity where security is not baked in at the design stage for either hardware or software but added in after vulnerabilities are discovered by cybersecurity specialists once the product is already on the market.

Ofcom blesses Linux-powered, open source DIY radio ‘revolution’

Small scale DAB radio was (quite literally) conceived in an Ofcom engineer’s garden shed in Brighton, on a Raspberry Pi, running a full open source stack, in his spare time. Four years later, Ofcom has given the thumbs up to small scale DAB after concluding that trials in 10 UK cities were judged to be a hit. We gave you an exclusive glimpse into the trials last year, where you could compare the specialised proprietary encoders with the Raspberry Pi-powered encoders. “We believe that there is a significant level of demand from smaller radio stations for small scale DAB, and that a wider roll-out of additional small scale services into more geographic areas would be both technically possible and commercially sustainable,” notes Ofcom. Read more

nginx

Case in point: I've been using the Apache HTTP server for many years now. Indeed, you could say that I've been using Apache since before it was even called "Apache"—what started as the original NCSA HTTP server, and then the patched server that some enterprising open-source developers distributed, and finally the Apache Foundation-backed open-source colossus that everyone recognizes, and even relies on, today—doing much more than just producing HTTP servers. Apache's genius was its modularity. You could, with minimal effort, configure Apache to use a custom configuration of modules. If you wanted to have a full-featured server with tons of debugging and diagnostics, you could do that. If you wanted to have high-level languages, such as Perl and Tcl, embedded inside your server for high-speed Web applications, you could do that. If you needed the ability to match, analyze and rewrite every part of an HTTP transaction, you could do that, with mod_rewrite. And of course, there were third-party modules as well. Read more

Linux and Open Source Hardware for IoT

Most of the new 21 open source software projects for IoT that we examined last week listed Linux hacker boards as their prime development platforms. This week, we’ll look at open source and developer-friendly Linux hardware for building Internet of Things devices, from simple microcontroller-based technology to Linux-based boards. In recent years, it’s become hard to find an embedded board that isn’t marketing with the IoT label. Yet, the overused term is best suited for boards with low prices, small footprints, low power consumption, and support for wireless communications and industrial interfaces. Camera support is useful for some IoT applications, but high-end multimedia is usually counterproductive to attributes like low cost and power consumption. Read more