LXer Weekly Roundup for 06-Jun-2010

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Jun 7, 2010 12:41 PM
LXer Linux News; By Scott Ruecker (Phoenix, U.S.)


LXer Feature: 07-June-2010

Some of the big stories this week include Google switching out Windows for Linux and Mac, hackers promise a demo of Android rootkit, Linux users vs. Linux Culture, does the Internet make you smarter and a whole lot more. Enjoy!

Google staff dropping Windows for Macs, Linux PCs: Google is abandoning the use of Windows by its staff as it's too much of a security threat, multiple staffers said Monday night. Recent concerns about Chinese hacks have the search firm requiring either a Mac or Linux for all new recruits to provide better security. Those who want Windows now often require explicit approval from executives and may not have any choice on desktops where it's only an option for notebooks.

The biggest and best run Linux: More than 90% of the world's largest supercomputers now run Linux - here are the fastest supercomputers in the world. The biannual Top500 report on the world's biggest and best supercomputers has been released and shows that almost all of the top 500 now run Linux.

Hackers promise demo of Google Android rootkit: Security researchers will demonstrate a malicious "rootkit" program they've written for Google's Android phone next month at the Defcon hacking conference in Las Vegas.

A Novell Auction Would Be Bad for Open Source: Once again, the buzz has grown surrounding rumors that Novell may soon be snapped up in a buyout. As many as 20 companies may have registered bids for the company, according to the Wall Street Journal. Matt Asay notes that an auction of the company could become a patent troll bonanza, and I have to agree. Let's remember that Novell is no spring chicken. It owns lots of patents and lots of legacy applications. Overall, it would not be good to see Novell bought out, partly because it's one of the few U.S.-based public companies focused primarily on open source.

Ubuntu Linux for Windows Users: With the 10.04 version of Ubuntu Linux, there is now a way to install Ubuntu Linux onto a Windows Computer without having to repartition the hard drive. This feature alone has the potential of increasing the Linux User Base dramatically. No longer do you have to worry about "messing up your system" or try to figure out how to get rid of the Grub Boot loader and delete Linux Partitions. With using the Ubuntu Linux Windows Installer, if you don't like running Linux, you simply have to remove it from within Window's Add/Remove Programs Control Panel Applet (which only takes a few seconds to uninstall).

Intel answers Microsoft's Linux 'noise' with MeeGo show: Microsoft and Intel are fighting for the affections of hardware makers as the PC industry tries to answer Apple's iPad. The world's biggest software company used the annual Computex show in Taiwan to release a preview of Windows Embedded Compact 7 — the latest rebranded version of Windows CE, which has been promised on tablets from Asus, LG, and MSI.

Linux Users vs. Linux Culture: In my line of work I get to test, try and evaluate all kinds of new open source software and the occasional new distribution flavor of the month. Sometimes it's a smooth process but other times I find myself casting a line in the lake of forums hoping to get a bite. In a lot of ways, this is how it was when I was first introduced to Linux in the late 90's. When I look back and compare my experiences then with my experiences now I see the progress we've made in a number of areas but I am left with one conclusion: we're not quite there yet.

If Mono innovates then I’m the King of Canada: The SD times has announced their ‘SD Times 100‘ for 2010. The SD Times recognizes top leaders and innovators of the software development industry. However upon looking at the list you’ll see two names that stick out like sore thumb: ‘Microsoft‘ and the ‘Mono Project‘.

Google's $124.6m open codec hits Chrome dev build: Google has added the newly open-sourced VP8 video codec to the latest developer-channel build of its Chrome browser. The codec is already part of developer builds from Mozilla and Opera, and it was rolled into Chromium, the open source incarnation of Chrome, in late May. But this marks its debut in Chrome itself. Version 6.0.422.0, available in the developer channel here, also includes various bug fixes.

Does the Internet Make You Smarter?: Digital media have made creating and disseminating text, sound, and images cheap, easy and global. The bulk of publicly available media is now created by people who understand little of the professional standards and practices for media. Instead, these amateurs produce endless streams of mediocrity, eroding cultural norms about quality and acceptability, and leading to increasingly alarmed predictions of incipient chaos and intellectual collapse.

How Linux works: The main problem you face when you're attempting to lift the lid on what makes Linux tick is knowing where to start. It's a complicated stack of software that's been developed by thousands of people. Following the boot sequence would be a reasonable approach, explaining what Grub actually does, before jumping into the initiation of a RAM disk and the loading of the kernel. But the problem with this is obvious. Mention Grub too early in any article and you're likely to scare many readers away. We'd have the same problem explaining the kernel if we took a chronological approach.

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