Items tagged with Linux

The open source community has lost a giant contributor this past Monday. His name is Ian Murdock, founder of the Debian Project, which he created while attending Purdue University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in computer science in 1996. Sadly, Murdock is dead at 42, having seemingly taken his own life just days after a tussle with San Francisco police. Leading up to his death, Murdock posted several disturbing messages on Twitter accusing the police of mistreatment and abuse. One of his posts alluded to sexual assault from a female officer who "ripped off my underwear.. I guess that's... Read more...
You never know what a new year will bring. Sometimes the thought is scary, like the unwarranted Y2K panic that had people preparing for the end of the world. And this year? The turn of the calendar caused Facebook to wig out and send notifications to several users congratulating them on "46 years of friendship" on the social network. Maybe you have been friends with someone since 1969, but it hasn't been that long on Facebook. That's because it didn't exist 46 years ago. It didn't even exist 12 years ago. Heck, the Internet wasn't a ubiquitous thing back then, yet Facebook woke up this morning... Read more...
Want to feel like the ultimate hacker, like those in the 1995 cinema classic Hackers? Quick: find the nearest Linux PC, boot to the GRUB2 bootloader, and hit Backspace 28 - and only 28 - times. Yes, really. Hector Marco & Ismael Ripoll, who are researchers for the Cybersecurity Group at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, recently discovered a flaw within the GRUB2 bootloader software that gets triggered when the Backspace key is hit a very specific number of times. At 28 presses, a memory error gets triggered that lets someone access the entire PC via GRUB's rescue shell. From there, data... Read more...
Where Linux is concerned, no one's opinions are weighed quite as heavily as Linus Torvald's, so when he makes a bold claim, it's worth paying attention. At LinuxCon Europe this week, the Linux creator partook in a fireside chat with Intel's Chief Linux and Open Source Technologist Dirk Hohndel, and from the conversation, a few interesting things were revealed. First and foremost, Linus gave a major pat on the back to ARM by saying that he suspects 2016 will be the "year of the ARM laptop". He's willing to adopt one himself, saying, "One of these days, I will actually have a machine with ARM." It's... Read more...
We recently set out to design a mini desktop computer with the wildly popular Raspberry Pi single board computer. The Raspberry Pi is a Linux-driven, ARM processor-based micro computer that is known for its low cost and small size. People use the device for a variety of projects, from micro-servers to low cost media players. Basically, our goal was to turn what is currently one of the cheapest bare-bones computer boards  into a fully enclosed mini desktop computer that could be taken anywhere without the need for cabling or setup. One of the high level goals of this project was also to learn... Read more...
Remember when getting hacked meant loss of control of your PC and/or stolen data? It could be embarrassing, sure, and you could even be fired if a weak password contributed to the theft of sensitive company information. However, more recent hacks of shown a frightening trend towards causing physical harm. Earlier this month, security researchers demonstrated the ability to remotely hijack virtually all controls in a Jeep Cherokee, including steering and braking. And now we're finding out that hackers can disable or change the target of a computer-aided sniper rifle. Scary times we live in, folks.... Read more...
Intel is getting ready to release a version of its Compute Stick that runs Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (64-bit). You may recall that we tested a version running Windows 8.1 32-bit, and at around $149 street, we felt it was a decent value overall. The Ubuntu version (Intel product number STCK1A8LFC) will be even more affordable at around $110 when it ships out this week. One thing that's important to point out is there are some hardware differences between the two. The Ubuntu version will come with 1GB of single-channel DDR3L-1333 memory and 8GB of eMMC storage, both of which are soldered inside the Compute... Read more...
Last week learned that the Oculus Rift will be delivered to paying customers starting in Q1 2016. Oculus also took the time to show us what the final version of the Rift will look like once it begins shipping. During the reveal, the company stated, “In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming to the Rift.” That time has come, and Oculus has handed down the recommended minimum specs “for the full Rift experience” on PC systems. You’ll need: NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greaterIntel... Read more...
Researchers from security outfit ESET discovered that several thousand servers running Linux and BSD have unwittingly been sending out spam as a result of a previously undiscovered malware infection. This has been going on for more than 5 years, as the malware was able to stay hidden all this time due to its sophistication and because the spammers haven't been constantly infecting new machines. "We were able to identify victimized system and began the process of notifying its owners," said Lead ESET security researcher Marc-Etienne M. Léveillé. "This is not trivial, as we identified over 8500 unique... Read more...
Intel's much-anticipated 'Compute Stick' has just hit e-tail, with the most notable e-tailer to stock it right now being Amazon. Right now, there's a 32GB version being sold that packs in an inactive Windows 8.1 installation as well as Android 4.4, and it's priced at $108.83. Amazon lists these specs: Intel Atom Z3735F quad-core, 32GB storage, 2GB RAM, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, HDMI, dual microUSB ports, one USB 2.0 port, and a microSD card slot. There's also a power button in case you don't want the device to be running all the time. As an Android device, the Compute Stick would have a... Read more...
Conventional wisdom in years past was that hackers didn’t bother to exploit Apple’s OS X operating system because its relatively insignificant market share didn’t warrant wasting resources to exploit it. The reasoning was, why bother with OS X when Windows was pushing over 90 percent of the worldwide OS market? However, in recent years, Apple has seen an uptick in Mac sales and pretty much dominates the field when it comes to notebooks priced over $1,000. The higher sales profile for Macs running OS X also means more attention from nefarious parties that are ready to strike. The latest report from... Read more...
Red Hat has announced that it has issued a complete set of patches to battle the 'Shellshock' Bash bug that it revealed to the world last week. You might notice that I said "patches", and that's because shortly after the initial CVE-2014-6271 was discovered and patched, more vulnerabilities came to the surface. These were not nearly as severe as the original, but they had to be taken care of as soon as possible nonetheless. These additional vulnerabilities are assigned CVE-2014-7169, CVE-2014-7186, and CVE-2014-7187. At this time, your Linux distribution of choice should have the full set of patches,... Read more...
It's being called a worse threat than Heartbleed, but unlike Heartbleed, "Shellshock" can affect home users just as well as servers. The bug is tied to the Bash Unix shell, one that's pretty much de facto in Linux, and can be found in all Mac OS X releases. While you'll be in a Bash environment whenever you open up a terminal, there are many cases where Bash will run in the background as well - such as with SSH, which constantly listens for connections. The bug was reported to Red Hat last week and published just yesterday. The report reads: "A flaw was found in the way Bash evaluated certain specially... Read more...
News and rumors about Valve's (possibly) upcoming Source 2 engine have been buzzing for months, but a recent update to DOTA 2 contains the most persuasive evidence yet that a major engine is in the works. After the last patch, the game now contains a number of programmed default paths, directories, and file names that didn't previously exist. Source-related DLLs and executables (engine.dll, vconsole.dll) have been updated to "engine2.dll" and vconsole2.dll."     The tileset editor has a default Source path. There's also now an option to save files as "Source 1.0 Map Files" where... Read more...
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