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COTS and Other Electronic Voting Backdoors

  • OpEdNews; By Rebecca Mercuri, Vince Lipsio and Beth Feehan (Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Apr 9, 2007 5:12 PM EDT)
  • Story Type: News Story
In response to the growing concerns regarding H.R. 811, particularly with regard to the inspection of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) voting system components, I wanted to provide this article, previously published in the November 2006 issue of Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery. It is especially important to understand that COTS software products can include both open source (such as Red Hat Linux) and closed (or trade secret) source (such as Microsoft Windows [TM]), and that neither paradigm necessarily guarantees security. Indeed, the examination of source code for "correctness" is well known in the computer industry to be intractable (i.e. not fully solvable in reasonable time), but that does not mean that it should not be inspectable.

[It is interesting that that the voting machines are not required to be inspected, but then for those who got elected everything seems to be just fine. - Scott]

IT security firm trusts open source inside and out

An Atlanta IT security company is finding success by employing open source software, not just in the network security appliance it sells, but on its own desktops and servers.

Open Source PBX Breakthrough

Leading Asterisk developer Digium Inc. has snagged a licensing deal with a subsidiary of Japanese telco giant NTT in what it sees as a major breakthrough for the open-source PBX system in that critical market.

Linux Standard Base Updated

The Linux Foundation releases LSB 3.1 with new testing toolkits for easier cross-distribution app development.

Montavista makes new strides with latest real-time Linux offering

MontaVista Software recently released the latest version of its real-time Linux operating system (RTOS), MontaVista Linux Professional Edition 5.0. New to the product are a faster response time, an updated Linux kernel, advanced protocol support, and a host of tools for developers of RTOS systems and applications.

Learn how UNIX multitasks

On UNIX systems, each system and end-user task is contained within a process. Learn how to control processes and use a number of commands to peer into your system.

This week at LWN: Two approaches to Flash

The free software community has two independent projects working toward the implementation of a free Flash player: Gnash and swfdec. There has been some talk recently about these two projects, their goals, their accomplishments, and whether it makes sense to have them both. In an effort to bring more light to the situation, LWN held a conversation with the principal developers of both projects.

Linux: so easy a caveman could do it.

More and more of these types of articles are appearing.

Bandwidth monitoring with vnStat

If you want to monitor and manage your Internet bandwidth, perhaps to make sure your ISP is not overbilling you, try vnStat, an open source, Linux-based application that gives you a clear picture of your bandwidth usage. This command-line application is simple to install and easy to use.

Browser aims to open up the web

The key developers behind forthcoming changes to the Firefox browser reveal their plans for how the popular program will change.

Bringin' it Home - Tell Us Who You Are

There are many FOSS projects that never see the light of day. Not because they are bad or without merit...they suffocate from lack of exposure. It's not every day we can go spend a couple hours browsing Freshmeat or Sourceforge. Let's look at it this way. While all analogies eventually fail, I think I can hold this one together long enough to make the point.

Women's technical group LinuxChix announces new leader

The women's technical group LinuxChix has appointed a new international coordinator, Mary Gardiner, replacing previous coordinator Jenn Vesperman, who resigned after six years running the organization.

Review: GPL 3: Will Somebody Get Short-Changed, No Matter What?

Whether or not the GPL 3's controversial "grandfather" clause ever sees the light of day, it's sure to carry impacts of one sort or another, not just on Novell and Microsoft, but also on competitors, business customers, and smaller Linux toolmakers. Just about any way you flip the coin, somebody's bound to get short-changed (or to feel that way, anyhow).

Young Scientists Design Open-Source Program at NASA

NASA scientists plan to announce a new open-source project this month called CosmosCode -- it's aimed at recruiting volunteers to write code for live space missions, Wired News has learned.

Writing and publishing with Emacs Muse

Emacs a text editor, but it can be much more: a personal information manager, task manager, and an email client, for instance. For me, Emacs is a tool for writing and publishing -- especially when used with Muse mode.

DistroWatch Weekly: Overview of Debian and Mandriva, Debian 4.0 "Etch", SimplyMEPIS 6.5

  •; By Ladislav Bodnar (Posted by dave on Apr 9, 2007 2:35 AM EDT)
  • Story Type: Newsletter
Welcome to this year's 15th issue of DistroWatch Weekly! Debian "Etch", the long-awaited release from the largest Linux distribution project that has ever graced the Internet era, finally hit the download mirrors on Easter Sunday and provided some welcome news relief during the otherwise unexciting weekend. But the current string of important releases will not stop here; Mandriva is about to announce a new stable release of its flagship product, Ubuntu is busy preparing its first and only release candidate for "Feisty Fawn", and openSUSE is hard at work in finalising a new alpha release for delivery later this week. In other news, SimplyMEPIS announces its latest and greatest, Samuel Hocevar becomes the new Debian Project Leader, and Arch Linux changes its release policy. Finally, don't miss the third part of our overview of Top Ten Distributions. Happy reading!

Record My Desktop Review for Linux

  •; By Matt Hartley (Posted by gsh on Apr 8, 2007 11:57 PM EDT)
  • Groups: GNOME, Linux; Story Type: News Story
In the past, I have been rather put off with trying to use existing desktop recording software for Linux. Whether it is closed source or open source, it simply felt like one hassle after another just trying to keep it from crashing. Then I stumbled upon RecordMyDesktop for GNOME.

KDE Commit-Digest for 8th April 2007

In this week's KDE Commit-Digest: Bluetooth support in Solid. 'Breadcrumb" navigation widget from Dolphin is made more modular to allow use in other KDE contexts. Support for different caret (text cursor) styles in Konsole. Various bugfixes in TagLib. Better AIM protocol file transfer support in Kopete. KWord gets the ability (through Kross scripting) to use an instance to import from supported file formats. KPackage starts to be ported to the SMART package management scheme. The beginnings of user documentation for the Bovo game application, whilst the initial draft of the Mailody handbook nears completion.

Debian gets new leader as Etch emerges

The Debian GNU/Linux Project has a new leader. Sam Hocevar, a French developer, who has been with the project since 2000, was elected as leader for 2007-08 on Sunday.

Debian 4.0 finally arrives!

At long last, the Debian project team released Debian GNU/Linux version 4.0 -- codename "Etch" -- on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007. The release follows "21 months of constant development," according to the team.

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