The Boston Review is carrying a lengthy article by Jonathan Zittrain
on protecting the net from security threats. In your editor's opinion, the analysis of the problems is good, while the proposed solutions are a bit more questionable. "What might this system look like? Roughly, it would take the form of toolkits to overcome the digital solipsism that each of our PCs experiences when it attaches to the Internet at large, unaware of the size and dimension of the network to which it connects. These toolkits would run unobtrusively on the PCs of participating users, reporting backto a central source, or perhaps only to each otherinformation about the vital signs and running code of that PC, which could help other PCs determine the level of risk posed by new code.
A number of responses have been posted, including one from Richard Stallman. "With free/libre software, no one has the power to make a malicious feature stick. Since the source code is available to the users, millions of programmers are in a position to spot and remove the malicious feature and release an improved version; someone will surely do so. Others can independently compare the two versions to assure you which version treats you right. As a practical fact, free software is generally devoid of designed-in malware."
Comments (9 posted)
ars technica takes a detailed look at the patent reform bill
currently being considered in the U.S. Congress and comes away unimpressed. "Although the legislation includes provisions that are likely to moderately reduce the toll that patents take on high-tech innovation, none of the proposals address the fundamental problems that have cropped up in recent years. Opponents of software patents, in particular, will find the provisions of the Patent Reform Act underwhelming. Their best hope is that the Supreme Court tackles the issue in the coming years. If that doesn't happen, then they will likely need to wait for the situation to deteriorate further before there will be sufficient political will for serious reforms.
Comments (4 posted)
a hardware donation to KDE by 3DConnexion.
"A couple of weeks ago Hans Bakker, who had never touched KOffice code before, started hacking on a Krita plugin for the 3DConnexion SpaceNavigator. Within a week or two he had a working plugin for Krita and it quickly became clear how cool these little devices are and how many possibilities for new user interaction paradigms they afford. So Hans suggested contacting Ettore Pasquini from 3DConnexion about the possibility of them donating a SpaceNavigator to the KOffice project for testing purposes. Well, that was only last week, and this week a box with three SpaceNavigators already landed on my desk.
Comments (none posted)
that India has voted No to OOXML. "There is a difference, in other
words, between supporting XML, what you might call pro forma support, and
supporting OOXML as a standard. For that matter, there is a difference
between support for Microsoft Office 2007 and support for OOXML. They are
not the same thing, so when OpenOffice.org announces native read and write
support for Office 2007 documents, that is all it means. It doesn't mean
OpenOffice.org supports OOXML as a standard. No matter what Microsoft folks
try to tell you.
Comments (2 posted)
From virishi.net comes a tale of woe in trying to use Meraki hardware
to provide internet to part of Vancouver, British Columbia. It seems that this MIT Roofnet project
commercial spin-off keeps changing its pricing models and licensing on the free software-based devices. "Then in February Meraki announced a change to their EULA (End User Licence Agreement) which precluded anyone from changing any of the software that they install on their units. This meant that from that point forward we would be breaking their rules, and maybe the law, by installing our own work on their hardware. Of course this could not be applied retroactively so we were free to continue to work with the hardware that we'd already bought but we intensified our search for alternatives to the Meraki hardware.
" (Seen on Slashdot
Comments (6 posted)
a look at KDE 4.1
with lots of screenshots. "You don't always
see this in the official changelogs but the KDE 4 development is
progressing in an extraordinary speed. After a deep look at rev 777000 we
are presenting you a new visual review of changes made to KDE 4 during the
last couple of weeks.
" (Found on KDE.News
Comments (none posted)
at the Xenomai/SOLO project. "Newly available open source
software could significantly increase Linux's utility in industrial
computing applications. The Xenomai/SOLO project aims to provide VxWorks
and other RTOS emulation in user-space on most any Linux kernel, and to
deliver short, bounded application latency on kernels with built-in
Comments (1 posted)
a Linux-powered wireless security system.
"A British startup called AlertMe.com has introduced a remotely managed security system that runs off a Linux-driven Hub. The AlertMe Hub tracks various sensors via Zigbee, and then reports back to AlertMe.com's servers, which in turn relay alarm events to the customer via SMS or email.
Costing $800 plus $23.50 a month, the system alerts remote customers to events such as an intruder or a fire, says the company. The battery-powered, ZigBee-enabled devices in the AlertMe network include door and window sensors and alarm detectors that listen for existing smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.
Comments (6 posted)
Page editor: Forrest Cook
Next page: Announcements>>