Archive for LINUX

LINUX Suffers From Serious Encryption Bug

Posted in Commentary with tags , on April 7, 2014 by itnerd

Usually, LINUX users like to look derisively at those who use Windows and Macs and their security issues. And laugh about how secure they perceive themselves to be. Here’s an example of where that isn’t true. According to an article at Ars Technica, a major security bug faces Linux users, akin to the one recently found in Apple’s iOS and OS X. Here’s what the article says:

“The bug is the result of commands in a section of the GnuTLS code that verify the authenticity of TLS certificates, which are often known simply as X509 certificates. The coding error, which may have been present in the code since 2005, causes critical verification checks to be terminated, drawing ironic parallels to the extremely critical ‘goto fail’ flaw that for months put users of Apple’s iOS and OS X operating systems at risk of surreptitious eavesdropping attacks. Apple developers have since patched the bug.”

As the quote states, Apple has fixed this bug. However, LINUX users are at the mercy of many vendors of different versions of the operating system rather than having to deal with a single company. Thus one vendor might fix it, but others may not be so quick to do so. Red Hat, Debian, and Ubuntu among others have this bug. So one has to wonder what these companies plan to do to address this issues and how long will it take to do so.

Does Linus Torvalds Likes Windows 7?

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on October 23, 2009 by itnerd

The Interwebs are all a buzz today over a picture of Linus Torvalds who is best known for starting the development of the LINUX kernel posing for a picture in front of a Windows 7 display in Japan and giving a thumbs up.

So does the de facto father of LINUX love Windows 7? I doubt it. So does the guy who wrote the above article:

Do I actually believe Linus was endorsing Windows 7? No, he was in town for the Japan Linux Symposium. But it shows he has a clear sense of humor, understands tolerance, and knows how to lighten up when his Free Software counterparts are frothing at the mouth during one of the most important software launch days in Microsoft’s history.

Oh, it may be of interest that this display was across the street from a LINUX Symposium that Torvalds was attending. I guess Microsoft wanted to crash the party. Still, it’s enough of a story that a Google search shows how much digital ink is being dedicated to this topic today.

I can’t wait to hear his side of this.

IBM Pushing Microsoft Free Desktops…. Cites Vista As The Reason Behind This

Posted in Commentary with tags , , on August 6, 2008 by itnerd

In another sign that Vista sucks isn’t being widely adopted by business users, IBM is partnering with Canonical/Ubuntu, Novell, and Red Hat to introduce the world to desktop computers free of Microsoft Software. As for why they’re doing this, the head of IBM’s Lotus division is quoted as saying:

“The slow adoption of Vista among businesses and budget-conscious CIOs, coupled with the proven success of a new type of Microsoft-free PC in every region, provides an extraordinary window of opportunity for Linux.” said Kevin Cavanaugh, vice president for IBM Lotus Software. “We’ll work to unlock the desktop to save our customers money and give freedom of choice by offering this industry-leading solution.”

By the way, that sound you just heard was a chair being tossed across Steve Ballmer’s office. He can’t be happy about this. But this is in line with what is written in Microsoft’s recent 10K filing:

“Client faces strong competition from well-established companies with differing approaches to the PC market. Competing commercial software products, including variants of Unix, are supplied by competitors such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems. The Linux operating system, which is also derived from Unix and is available without payment under a General Public License, has gained some acceptance as competitive pressures lead PC OEMs to reduce costs and new, lower price PC form factors gain adoption. Apple takes an integrated approach to the PC experience and has made inroads in share, particularly in the U.S. and in the consumer segment.”

It almost sounds like Microsoft is scared of competition. It gets better when you read this statement about why Microsoft’s margins are going to decrease:

“Certain “open source” software business models challenge our license-based software model. Open source commonly refers to software whose source code is subject to a license allowing it to be modified, combined with other software and redistributed, subject to restrictions set forth in the license. A number of commercial firms compete with us using an open source business model by modifying and then distributing open source software to end users at nominal cost and earning revenue on complementary services and products. These firms do not bear the full costs of research and development for the software. Some of these firms may build upon Microsoft ideas that we provide to them free or at low royalties in connection with our interoperability initiatives. To the extent open source software gains increasing market acceptance, our sales, revenue and operating margins may decline.”

How about the fact that people in the open source world take what few original ideas that Microsoft has and improves upon them so that they work for a broader community of users? Hmmm?

I guess Microsoft is surprised that computer users simply want a choice. I guess Vista has been the catalyst to make computer users look at other options such as Linux or the Macintosh and away from Microsoft.

Frankly I’m not at all surprised, and it’s about time.

Select Dell Computers Now Available With LINUX….. Take That Microsoft!

Posted in Products with tags , , on July 18, 2008 by itnerd

This news must make Ballmer want to pick up a chair and throw it across his office.

According to the Direct2Dell website, the dudes at Dell have announced that you can get the Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) flavor of LINUX on the XPS M1330N and Inspiron 1525N notebooks as well as the Inspiron 530N desktop. But apparently there’s more coming:

“In early August, we will also add the XPS M1530n and Studio 15n to the line-up. This is just in time for LinuxWorld where we will participate in a number of the conference sessions. That will be your chance to hear directly about what’s been accomplished over the last year and where we see it going in 2009.”

It’s nice to see a mainstream computer company step up to the plate and support LINUX. But I do have one question. Right now if I phone Dell, they are versed in the hardware and supporting the Windows install that comes with it. Will the same hold true for LINUX? After all, you’ll likely to attract some LINUX newbies who don’t know a bash shell from a DOS prompt. They’re likely to require more hand holding than the average Windows user. My feeling is yes, but I’d love to know for sure. Anyone from Dell care to comment as I do know that people from Dell read my blog?

Mandriva LINUX – Great For Newibes Who Want To Test LINUX

Posted in Products with tags , on May 1, 2008 by itnerd

Let’s say that you want to dump Windows, but you don’t want to go to Mac? That leaves LINUX as your only option. But you’re scared about moving to LINUX as you’re not sure that it’s right for you. No problem, there’s a LINUX for you and It’s called Mandriva LINUX One. I tried this out a week ago and it is nothing short of amazing!

First off the installation is dead easy. Simply boot your computer with the CD (which you download the disk image from their site and burn) and follow the wizard. Within 15 minutes or less you’ll be up and running. That’s right, I said 15 minutes or less. It was that quick to install the OS onto my Pentium 4. Compare that to an hour for Windows or Mac OS X. Plus you can play games while waiting for it to install. Finally it allows you to easily configure the various devices on your system with literally one push of a button. This makes it accessible to a large group of users who might be afraid of LINUX.

Secondly, it comes with a ton of stuff included. When I installed it I had chose all the categories except server and LBS from the Custom path, which gave me a system with 3.9GB worth of applications, including Firefox 2.0.0.6, GIMP 2.4.0 rc2, and OpenOffice.org 2.2.1. Not only that, but it includes some multimedia applications that allow you to create and edit sound files. You can edit video, watch DVDs too. There’s even a music player included.

Third, you can still run your Windows games. Mandriva includes an application called Cedega which allows you to run some (but not all) of your Windows games. I had half decent results with it.

Fourth there’s a utility that migrates all your Windows stuff easily called “Import Windows documents and settings.” This utility does as the name implies and works fairly well (at least it did for me). There’s also a Mandriva Linux Starter Guide, which is written primarily for new LINUX users. If you’re new to LINUX you’ll thank them for putting this in as it is very comprehenshive.

Oh yeah, all of this is FREE.

The bottom line is this: Mandriva is a great LINUX distribution and the hardest part about setting it up was downloading the disk image via BitTorrent (because my ISP throttles BitTorrent… grrrr. Though you can download it via a web browser too. But it will take longer). If you’ve been looking for a way to experiment with LINUX, this is the best way to do it. I highly recommend it.