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Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

The Linux desktop battle (and why it matters) - TechRepublic - 2 views

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    Jack Wallen ponders the problem with the ever-lagging acceptance of the Linux desktop and poses a radical solution.
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    "Jack Wallen ponders the problem with the ever-lagging acceptance of the Linux desktop and poses a radical solution. Linux desktop I have been using Ubuntu Unity for a very long time. In fact, I would say that this is, by far, the longest I've stuck with a single desktop interface. Period. That doesn't mean I don't stop to smell the desktop roses along the Linux path. In fact, I've often considered other desktops as a drop-in replacement for Unity. GNOME and Budgie have vied for my attention of late. Both are solid takes on the desktop that offer a minimalistic, modern look and feel (something I prefer) and help me get my work done with an efficiency other desktops can't match. What I see across the Linux landscape, however, often takes me by surprise. While Microsoft and Apple continue to push the idea of the user interface forward, a good amount of the Linux community seems bent on holding us in a perpetual state of "90s computing." Consider Xfce, Mate, and Cinnamon -- three very popular Linux desktop interfaces that work with one very common thread... not changing for the sake of change. Now, this can be considered a very admirable cause when it's put in place to ensure that user experience (UX) is as positive as possible. What this idea does, however, is deny the idea that change can affect an even more efficient and positive UX. When I spin up a distribution that makes use of Xfce, Mate, or Cinnamon, I find the environments work well and get the job done. At the same time, I feel as if the design of the desktops is trapped in the wrong era. At this point, you're certainly questioning the validity and path of this post. If the desktops work well and help you get the job done, what's wrong? It's all about perception. Let me offer you up a bit of perspective. The only reason Apple managed to rise from the ashes and become one of the single most powerful forces in technology is because they understood the concept of perception. They re-invented th
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    Jack Wallen ponders the problem with the ever-lagging acceptance of the Linux desktop and poses a radical solution.
Paul Merrell

Testosterone Pit - Home - The Other Reason Why IBM Throws A Billion At Linux (With NSA- Designed Backdoor) - 0 views

  • IBM announced today that it would throw another billion at Linux, the open-source operating system, to run its Power System servers. The first time it had thrown a billion at Linux was in 2001, when Linux was a crazy, untested, even ludicrous proposition for the corporate world. So the moolah back then didn’t go to Linux itself, which was free, but to related technologies across hardware, software, and service, including things like sales and advertising – and into IBM’s partnership with Red Hat which was developing its enterprise operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux. “It helped start a flurry of innovation that has never slowed,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. IBM claims that the investment would “help clients capitalize on big data and cloud computing with modern systems built to handle the new wave of applications coming to the data center in the post-PC era.” Some of the moolah will be plowed into the Power Systems Linux Center in Montpellier, France, which opened today. IBM’s first Power Systems Linux Center opened in Beijing in May. IBM may be trying to make hay of the ongoing revelations that have shown that the NSA and other intelligence organizations in the US and elsewhere have roped in American tech companies of all stripes with huge contracts to perfect a seamless spy network. They even include physical aspects of surveillance, such as license plate scanners and cameras, which are everywhere [read.... Surveillance Society: If You Drive, You Get Tracked].
  • It would be an enormous competitive advantage for an IBM salesperson to walk into a government or corporate IT department and sell Big Data servers that don’t run on Windows, but on Linux. With the Windows 8 debacle now in public view, IBM salespeople don’t even have to mention it. In the hope of stemming the pernicious revenue decline their employer has been suffering from, they can politely and professionally hype the security benefits of IBM’s systems and mention in passing the comforting fact that some of it would be developed in the Power Systems Linux Centers in Montpellier and Beijing. Alas, Linux too is tarnished. The backdoors are there, though the code can be inspected, unlike Windows code. And then there is Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux), which was integrated into the Linux kernel in 2003. It provides a mechanism for supporting “access control” (a backdoor) and “security policies.” Who developed SELinux? Um, the NSA – which helpfully discloses some details on its own website (emphasis mine): The results of several previous research projects in this area have yielded a strong, flexible mandatory access control architecture called Flask. A reference implementation of this architecture was first integrated into a security-enhanced Linux® prototype system in order to demonstrate the value of flexible mandatory access controls and how such controls could be added to an operating system. The architecture has been subsequently mainstreamed into Linux and ported to several other systems, including the Solaris™ operating system, the FreeBSD® operating system, and the Darwin kernel, spawning a wide range of related work.
  • Then another boon for IBM. Experts at the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BIS) determined that Windows 8 is dangerous for data security. It allows Microsoft to control the computer remotely through a “special surveillance chip,” the wonderfully named Trusted Platform Module (TPM), and a backdoor in the software – with keys likely accessible to the NSA and possibly other third parties, such as the Chinese. Risks: “Loss of control over the operating system and the hardware” [read.... LEAKED: German Government Warns Key Entities Not To Use Windows 8 – Links The NSA.
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  • Among a slew of American companies who contributed to the NSA’s “mainstreaming” efforts: Red Hat. And IBM? Like just about all of our American tech heroes, it looks at the NSA and other agencies in the Intelligence Community as “the Customer” with deep pockets, ever increasing budgets, and a thirst for technology and data. Which brings us back to Windows 8 and TPM. A decade ago, a group was established to develop and promote Trusted Computing that governs how operating systems and the “special surveillance chip” TPM work together. And it too has been cooperating with the NSA. The founding members of this Trusted Computing Group, as it’s called facetiously: AMD, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, and Wave Systems. Oh, I almost forgot ... and IBM. And so IBM might not escape, despite its protestations and slick sales presentations, the suspicion by foreign companies and governments alike that its Linux servers too have been compromised – like the cloud products of other American tech companies. And now, they’re going to pay a steep price for their cooperation with the NSA. Read...  NSA Pricked The “Cloud” Bubble For US Tech Companies
Gary Edwards

Is Linux dead for the desktop? - 1 views

  • Linux never had the apps
  • Charles King, an IT analyst who follows enterprise trends, says the big change is in IT. At one time, executives in charge of computing services were mostly concerned with operating systems and applications for massive throng of traditional business users. Those users have now flocked to mobile computing devices, but they still have a Windows PC sitting on their desk.
  • Today, Microsoft's lock (on the desktop, anyway) remains secure, even in the face of Apple's surge," King says. "Ironically enough, though, the open source model remains alive and well but mostly in the development of new standards and development platforms."
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  • David Johnson
  • What corporate end users really need is familiarity, consistency and compatibility - something Apple, Microsoft and Google seem more adept at offering."
  • Can desktop Linux OS be saved? Johnson says the best example of how to save Linux OS is the Chrome OS, an all-in-one laptop and desktop offering available through major consumer electronics companies such as LG (with their Chromebase all-in-one) and the Samsung Chromebook 2
  • The problem is that Chrome OS and Android aren't the same as Linux OS on the desktop. It's a complete reinvention. There are few Windows-like productivity apps and no knowledge worker apps designed for keyboard and mouse.
  • All of experts agree - Windows won every battle for the business user.
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    "For executives in charge of desktop deployments in a large company, Linux OS was once hailed as a saviour for corporate end users. With incredibly low pricing - free, with fee-based support plans, for example - distributions such as Ubuntu Desktop and SUSE Linux Enterprise offered a "good enough" user interface, along with plenty of powerful apps and a rich browser. A few years ago, both Dell and HP jumped on the bandwagon; today, they still offer "developer" and "workstation" models that come pre-loaded with a Linux install. Plus, anyone who follows the Linux market knows that Google has reimagined Linux as a user-friendly tablet interface (the wildly popular Android OS) and a browser-only desktop variant (Chrome OS). Linux also shows up on countless connected home gadgets, fitness trackers, watches and other low-cost devices, mostly because OS costs are so low. The desktop computing OS for end users has failed to capture any attention lately, though. Al Gillen, the programme vice president for servers and system software at IDC, says the Linux OS as a computing platform for end users is at least comatose - and probably dead. Yes, it has reemerged on Android and other devices, but it has gone almost completely silent as a competitor to Windows for mass deployment. As they say, you can hear the crickets chirping."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Linux Security Guide (extended version) - Linux Audit - 0 views

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    "With so many articles about Linux security on the internet, you may feel overwhelmed by how to properly secure your Linux systems. With this guide, we walk through different steps, tools, and resources. The main goal is to have you make an educated choice on what security defenses to implement on Linux. For this reason, this article won't show any specific configuration values, as it would implicate a possible best value. Instead, related articles and resources will be available in the text. The goal is to make this guide into a go-to article for when you need to secure your Linux installation. If you like this article, help others and share it on your favorite social media channels. Got feedback? Use the comments at the bottom. This document in work in progress and last updated in September 2016"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Linux vs. BSD: Which Should You Use? - 0 views

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    " By Danny Stieben on 13th January, 2015 | Linux | 11 Comments At MakeUseOf, we cover Linux quite a bit as the "alternative" to Windows and Mac OS X. However, those aren't the only three operating systems out there - there's also the BSD family of Unix-like operating systems, which are technically speaking different from Linux."
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    " By Danny Stieben on 13th January, 2015 | Linux | 11 Comments At MakeUseOf, we cover Linux quite a bit as the "alternative" to Windows and Mac OS X. However, those aren't the only three operating systems out there - there's also the BSD family of Unix-like operating systems, which are technically speaking different from Linux."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

How to do fast, repeatable Linux installations | Opensource.com - 0 views

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    Automate everything: Another lesson from the Linux philosophy "Some of my recent articles have been about the Linux philosophy and its impact on the daily activities of system administrators like myself. One of the basic tenets of the Linux philosophy is to use software leverage, and one of the important corollaries of that tenet is to automate everything."
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    Automate everything: Another lesson from the Linux philosophy "Some of my recent articles have been about the Linux philosophy and its impact on the daily activities of system administrators like myself. One of the basic tenets of the Linux philosophy is to use software leverage, and one of the important corollaries of that tenet is to automate everything."
Paul Merrell

'Let's Encrypt' Project Strives To Make Encryption Simple - Slashdot - 0 views

  • As part of an effort to make encryption a standard component of every application, the Linux Foundation has launched the Let's Encrypt project (announcement) and stated its intention to provide access to a free certificate management service. Jim Zemlin, executive director for the Linux Foundation, says the goal for the project is nothing less than universal adoption of encryption to disrupt a multi-billion dollar hacker economy. While there may never be such a thing as perfect security, Zemlin says it's just too easy to steal data that is not encrypted. In its current form, encryption is difficult to implement and a lot of cost and overhead is associated with managing encryption keys. Zemlin claims the Let's Encrypt project will reduce the effort it takes to encrypt data in an application down to two simple commands. The project is being hosted by the Linux Foundation, but the actual project is being managed by the Internet Security Research Group. This work is sponsored by Akamai, Cisco, EFF, Mozilla, IdenTrust, and Automattic, which all are Linux Foundation patrons. Visit Let's Encrypt official website to get involved.
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    The blurb is a bit misleading. This is a project that's been under way since last year; what's new is that they're moving under the Linux Foundation umbrella for various non-technical suoport purposes. By sometime this summer, encrypting web site data and broadcasting it over https is  slated to become a two-click process. Or on the linux command line: $ sudo apt-get install lets-encrypt $ lets-encrypt example.com This is a project that grew out of public disgust with NSA surveillance, designed to flood the NSA (and other bad actors) with so much encrypted data that they will be able to decrypt only a tiny fraction (decryption without the decryption key takes gobs of computer cycles).  The other half of the solution is already available, the HTTPS Everywhere extension for the Chrome, FIrefox, and Opera web browsers by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the TOR Project that translates your every request for a http address into an effort to connect to an https address preferentially before establishing an http connection if https is not available. HTTPS Everywhere is fast and does not noticeably add to your page loading time. If you'd like to effortlessly imoprove your online security and help burden NSA, install HTTPS Everywhere. Get it at https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Linux Kernel 4.2.4 Is Now Available for Download, Has Hundreds of Changes - Softpedia - 0 views

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    "All users of the Linux 4.2 kernel must upgrade It looks like it's still October 22 in some countries, so Greg Kroah-Hartman announced just a few minutes ago the immediate availability for download of the fourth maintenance release of Linux kernel 4.2."
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    "All users of the Linux 4.2 kernel must upgrade It looks like it's still October 22 in some countries, so Greg Kroah-Hartman announced just a few minutes ago the immediate availability for download of the fourth maintenance release of Linux kernel 4.2."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

blag linux and gnu by le brixton linux action group - 0 views

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    [blag - News blag 140000 (Spartakus) is out now! There are Live CDs for x86 and x86_64 boxes. Live CD ISOs are there: ftp://blag.fsf.org/140000/en/iso/ More coming soon! blag - Important There is a blag group on facebook. It is not an official one since blag isn't on facebook and support FSF campaign "You won't find us on facebook". But blag is on identi.ca blag - le brixton linux action group works to overthrow corporate control of information and technology through community action and spreading Free Software. blag - blag linux and gnu blag is an operating system. blag has a suite of graphics, internet, audio, video, office, and peer to peer file sharing applications. you can replace a windoz installation with blag. if you would like to install and run blag, download and burn it to cd. blag - Icecat This release of BLAG has GNU IceCat as the default browser. You may learn more there: GNUzilla and IceCat blag - Sylpheed Sylpheed is now Blag mail client by default. More: Sylpheed]
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

How do we know that Linux doesn't have a government backdoor? : linux - 2 views

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    "I'm a big advocate of Linux and one of the reasons for that is because I believe it is more secure than other proprietary operating systems and hopefully less likely to include some sort of government backdoor. With the recent US government surveillance scandals going on it has me thinking, is Linux really more secure?"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Linux and Unix Port Scanning With netcat [nc] Command - 1 views

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    "by Vivek Gite on July 12, 2007 last updated November 27, 2015 in Linux, Networking, UNIX How do I find out which ports are opened on my own server? How do I run port scanning using the nc command instead of the nmap command on a Linux or Unix-like systems?"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Lynis 2.2.0 Released - Security Auditing and Scanning Tool for Linux Systems - 0 views

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    " Lynis is an open source and much powerful auditing tool for Unix/Linux like operating systems. It scans system for security information, general system information, installed and available software information, configuration mistakes, security issues, user accounts without password, wrong file permissions, firewall auditing, etc."
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    " Lynis is an open source and much powerful auditing tool for Unix/Linux like operating systems. It scans system for security information, general system information, installed and available software information, configuration mistakes, security issues, user accounts without password, wrong file permissions, firewall auditing, etc."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

A Memory Comparison of Light Linux Desktops | l3net - a layer 3 networking blog - 0 views

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    "After I install a new version of Linux, I usually take a good look at the screen. Does it have a task bar? Can I find my window after it was minimized? The direction some desktops are going is not clear. Making it easier for current users or for the people coming from Windows or Mac is not a goal anymore. User complains are dismissed, chalking it up to the fact that people don't like change."
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    "After I install a new version of Linux, I usually take a good look at the screen. Does it have a task bar? Can I find my window after it was minimized? The direction some desktops are going is not clear. Making it easier for current users or for the people coming from Windows or Mac is not a goal anymore. User complains are dismissed, chalking it up to the fact that people don't like change."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

5 Best Linux Distros for Security - Datamation - 0 views

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    "Linux distros have has long emphasized security and related matters like firewalls, penetration testing, anonymity, and privacy. These distributions pay special attention to security."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

AppImage | Linux apps that run anywhere - 0 views

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    ""As a user, I want to download an application from the original author, and run it on my Linux desktop system just like I would do with a Windows or Mac application." "As an application author, I want to provide packages for Linux desktop systems, without the need to get it 'into' a distribution and without having to build for gazillions of different distributions.""
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Five lightweight Linux desktop worlds for extreme open-sourcers * The Register - 0 views

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    "9 Jul 2015 at 18:27, Scott Gilbertson Screenshots Linux long ago reached parity with Windows and OS X. That's great for the average user looking to make the switch from either platform to Linux. Indeed distros like Ubuntu, with its Unity desktop, make switching relatively painless."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

At the Heart of OpenStack Evolution | Enterprise | LinuxInsider - 1 views

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    "As it matures, OpenStack's parallel to Linux is clearer. Linux emerged 20 years ago as a somewhat exotic challenger to proprietary operating systems. Today, it is one of the most popular and widely used OSes. However, Linux still exists in a market of mixed use. It's likely that OpenStack will be subject to the same effect, becoming a viable option among a number of cloud infrastructures."
Gary Edwards

Google's ARC Beta runs Android apps on Chrome OS, Windows, Mac, and Linux | Ars Technica - 0 views

  • So calling all developers: You can now (probably, maybe) run your Android apps on just about anything—Android, Chrome OS, Windows, Mac, and Linux—provided you fiddle with the ARC Welder and submit your app to the Chrome Web Store.
  • The App Runtime for Chrome and Native Client are hugely important projects because they potentially allow Google to push a "universal binary" strategy on developers. "Write your app for Android, and we'll make it run on almost every popular OS! (other than iOS)" Google Play Services support is a major improvement for ARC and signals just how ambitious this project is. Some day it will be a great sales pitch to convince developers to write for Android first, which gives them apps on all these desktop OSes for free.
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    Thanks Marbux. ARC appears to be an extraordinary technology. Funny but Florian has been pushing Native Client (NaCL) since it was first ported from Firefox to Chrome. Looks like he was right. "In September, Google launched ARC-the "App Runtime for Chrome,"-a project that allowed Android apps to run on Chrome OS. A few days later, a hack revealed the project's full potential: it enabled ARC on every "desktop" version of Chrome, meaning you could unofficially run Android apps on Chrome OS, Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. ARC made Android apps run on nearly every computing platform (save iOS). ARC is an early beta though so Google has kept the project's reach very limited-only a handful of apps have been ported to ARC, which have all been the result of close collaborations between Google and the app developer. Now though, Google is taking two big steps forward with the latest developer preview: it's allowing any developer to run their app on ARC via a new Chrome app packager, and it's allowing ARC to run on any desktop OS with a Chrome browser. ARC runs Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS thanks to Native Client (abbreviated "NaCL"). NaCL is a Chrome sandboxing technology that allows Chrome apps and plugins to run at "near native" speeds, taking full advantage of the system's CPU and GPU. Native Client turns Chrome into a development platform, write to it, and it'll run on all desktop Chrome browsers. Google ported a full Android stack to Native Client, allowing Android apps to run on most major OSes. With the original ARC release, there was no official process to getting an Android app running on the Chrome platform (other than working with Google). Now Google has released the adorably-named ARC Welder, a Chrome app which will convert any Android app into an ARC-powered Chrome app. It's mainly for developers to package up an APK and submit it to the Chrome Web Store, but anyone can package and launch an APK from the app directly."
Gary Edwards

Apple and Facebook Flash Forward to Computer Memory of the Future | Enterprise | WIRED - 1 views

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    Great story that is at the center of a new cloud computing platform. I met David Flynn back when he was first demonstrating the Realmsys flash card. Extraordinary stuff. He was using the technology to open a secure Linux computing window on an operating Windows XP system. The card opened up a secure data socket, connecting to any Internet Server or Data Server, and running applications on that data - while running Windows and Windows apps in the background. Incredible mesh of Linux, streaming data, and legacy Windows apps. Everytime I find these tech pieces explaining Fusion-io though, I can't help but think that David Flynn is one of the most decent, kind and truly deserving of success people that I have ever met. excerpt: "Apple is spending mountains of money on a new breed of hardware device from a company called Fusion-io. As a public company, Fusion-io is required to disclose information about customers that account for an usually large portion of its revenue, and with its latest annual report, the Salt Lake City outfit reveals that in 2012, at least 25 percent of its revenue - $89.8 million - came from Apple. That's just one figure, from just one company. But it serves as a sign post, showing you where the modern data center is headed. 'There's now a blurring between the storage world and the memory world. People have been enlightened by Fusion-io.' - Gary Gentry Inside a data center like the one Apple operates in Maiden, North Carolina, you'll find thousands of computer servers. Fusion-io makes a slim card that slots inside these machines, and it's packed with hundreds of gigabytes of flash memory, the same stuff that holds all the software and the data on your smartphone. You can think of this card as a much-needed replacement for the good old-fashioned hard disk that typically sits inside a server. Much like a hard disk, it stores information. But it doesn't have any moving parts, which means it's generally more reliable. It c
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Install and Access Facebook Messenger on Linux Desktop - 0 views

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    "linuxmessenger app is a "Facebook-like" client for Linux desktop was written in Python language. It allows you to login to your Facebook account right from the command line without installing it on your system and have chat with your loved ones with much a like a Facebook interface. If you want, you can install it as a desktop client. This application has some built-in features like desktop notifications, pop-up alert, friends request and chat sound (with On/Off options)."
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