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Old 11-15-2010   #221
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Ubuntu Dumps X For Unity On Wayland

"Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has
announced that Ubuntu will move away from the traditional X.org display
environment to Wayland — a more modern alternative. The move means there is now
little reason for GNOME developers to recommend Ubuntu as an operating system.
Shuttleworth said, 'We're confident we’ll be able to retain the ability to run X
applications in a compatibility mode, so this is not a transition that needs to
reset the world of desktop free software. Nor is it a transition everyone needs
to make at the same time: for the same reason we'll keep investing in the 2D
experience on Ubuntu despite also believing that Unity, with all its GL
dependencies, is the best interface for the desktop. We'll help GNOME and KDE
with the transition, there's no reason for them not to be there on day one either.'"


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Old 11-15-2010   #222
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Red Hat Releases RHEL 6

"Red Hat on Wednesday released version 6 of its Red Hat
Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution. 'RHEL 6 is the culmination of 10 years of
learning and partnering,' said Paul Cormier, Red Hat's president of products and
technologies, in a webcast announcing the launch. Cormier positioned the OS both
as a foundation for cloud deployments and a potential replacement for Windows
Server. 'We want to drive Linux deeper into every single IT organization. It is
a great product to erode the Microsoft Server ecosystem,' he said. Overall, RHEL
6 has more than 2,000 packages, and an 85 percent increase in the amount of code
from the previous version, said Jim Totton, vice president of Red Hat's platform
business unit. The company has added 1,800 features to the OS and resolved more
than 14,000 bug issues."
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Old 11-15-2010   #223
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Google Engineer Sponsors New Kinect Bounties

"Hot on the heels of the Adafruit competition, Matt Cutts (a
search spam engineer at Google) is sponsoring two more $1,000 bounties for
projects using Kinect. 'The first $1,000 prize goes to the person or team that
writes the coolest open-source app, demo, or program using the Kinect. The
second prize goes to the person or team that does the most to make it easy to
write programs that use the Kinect on Linux.'" Relatedly, reader imamac points
out a video showing Kinect operating on OS X.
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Old 11-15-2010   #224
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Windows Cluster Hits a Petaflop, But Linux Retains Top-5 Spot

"Microsoft says a Windows-based supercomputer has broken the petaflop speed
barrier, but the achievement is not being recognized by the group that tracks
the world's fastest supercomputers, because the same machine was able to achieve
higher speeds using Linux. The Tokyo-based Tsubame 2.0 computer, which uses both
Windows and Linux, was ranked fourth in the world in the latest Top 500
supercomputers list. While the computer broke a petaflop with both operating
systems, it achieved a faster score with Linux, denying Microsoft its first
official petaflop ranking." Also in Top-500 news, reader symbolset writes with
word that "the Chinese Tianhe-1A system at the National Supercomputer Center in
Tianjin takes the top spot with 2.57 petaflops per second. Although the US has
long held a dominant position in the list things now seem to be shifting, with
two of the top spots held by China, one by Japan, and one by the US. In the
Operating System Family category Linux continues to consolidate its
supercomputing near-monopoly with 91.8% of the systems up from 91%. High
Performance Computing has come a long way quickly. When the list started as a
top-10 list in June of 1993 the least powerful system on the list was a Cray
Y-MP C916/16526 with 16 cores driving 13.7 RMAX GFLOP/s. This is roughly the
performance of a single midrange laptop today."
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Old 11-15-2010   #225
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New VP8 Codec SDK Release Improves Performance

"Google released a new version of the VP8 codec SDK
on Thursday. They note a number of performance improvements over the launch
release including 20-40% (average 28%) improvement in libvpx decoder speed, an
over 7% overall PSNR improvement (6.3% SSIM) in VP8 'best' quality encoding
mode, and up to 60% improvement on very noisy, still or slow moving source
video. In other WebM news, Texas Instruments has a demo of 1080p WebM video
playing on their new TI OMAP 4 processor, in both Android and Ubuntu."
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Old 11-15-2010   #226
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OpenBSD 4.8 Released

"The release of OpenBSD 4.8 has been announced. Highlights
include ACPI suspend/resume, better hardware support, OpenBGPD/OpenOSPFD/routing
daemon improvements, inclusion of OpenSSH 5.5, etc. Nothing revolutionary, just
the usual steady improving of the system. A detailed ChangeLog is available, as
usual. Work, of course, has already started on the next release, which should be
ready in May, according to the steady six-month release cycle."
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Old 11-15-2010   #227
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Researcher To Release Web-Based Android Attack

"A computer security researcher says he plans to release code
Thursday that could be used to attack some versions of Google's Android phones
over the Internet. The attack targets the browser in older, Android
2.1-and-earlier versions of the phones. It is being disclosed Thursday at the
HouSecCon conference by M.J. Keith, a security researcher with Alert Logic.
Keith says he has written code that allows him to run a simple command line
shell in Android (video) when the victim visits a website that contains his
attack code. The bug used in Keith's attack lies in the WebKit browser engine
used by Android. Google said it knows about the vulnerability. 'We're aware of
an issue in WebKit that could potentially impact only old versions of the
Android browser,' Google spokesman Jay Nancarrow confirmed in an e-mail. 'The
issue does not affect Android 2.2 or later versions.' Version 2.2 runs on 36.2
percent of Android phones, Google says"
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Old 11-15-2010   #228
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MS Adds Security Suite To Update Service, Antivirus Rival Objects

"Microsoft has started adding Security Essentials to the optional
download list seen by US Windows users when they fire up the operating system's
update service, and antivirus rivals are crying foul. 'Commercializing Windows
Update to distribute other software applications raises significant questions
about unfair competition,' Carol Carpenter, a GM at Trend Micro, said on
Thursday. 'Windows Update is a de facto extension of Windows, so to begin
delivering software tied to updates has us concerned,' she added. 'Windows
Update is not a choice for users, and we believe it should not be used this
way.' If Windows doesn't detect working security software on the PC, Microsoft
adds Security Essentials to the Optional section of Microsoft Update, a superset
of the better-known Windows Update, or to Windows Update if it has been
configured to also draw downloads from Microsoft Update. Microsoft made a point
to say that it was not offering the software via Windows Update, but only
through the Microsoft Update service, which also offers patches for new versions
of non-operating system software, notably Office and Windows Media Player. But
most users won't understand the distinction."
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Old 11-15-2010   #229
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IE Flaw Exploit In Hacker Kit 'Raises the Stakes'

"Roger Thompson, chief research officer of AVG Technologies, said
Sunday that an exploit for the newest IE flaw had been added to the Eleonore
crimeware attack kit. 'This raises the stakes considerably, as it means that
anyone can buy the kit for a few hundred bucks, and they have a working
zero-day,' Thompson said on his company's blog. Microsoft has promised to patch
the vulnerability, but last week said the threat didn't warrant an 'out-of-band'
update. Microsoft will deliver three security updates Nov. 9, but won't fix the
IE bug then."
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Old 11-15-2010   #230
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Malicious Websites Can Initiate Skype Calls On iOS

"In this article, security researcher Nitesh Dhanjani
shows how iOS insecurely launches third-party apps via registered URL handlers.
Malicious websites can abuse this to launch arbitrary applications, such as
getting the Skype.app to make arbitrary phone calls without asking the user.
Dhanjani 'contacted Apple's security team to discuss this behavior, and their
stance is that the onus is on the third-party applications (such as Skype in
this case) to ask the user for authorization before performing the transaction.'
He also discusses what developers of iOS apps can do to design their software
securely and what Apple can do to help out."
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