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Ask Slashdot: Best Tablet For Running a Real GNU/Linux Distribution? 277

bmsleight writes "Android is nice, but I do not want to pay to print or be beholden to the cloud to do everything or chroot. I just want a tablet that can run a MythTv-client, OpenOffice.org and good old apt-get instead of an app market. I have a Joggler — which costs £60 — I'd like something similar but with a battery, a bigger screen, and other modern tablet features. So, what's the best tablet for running a real GNU/Linux distribution (ideally Debian)? Bonus points for the best apt-get-able distribution that works with a tablet."

Researchers Expanding Diff, Grep Unix Tools 276

itwbennett writes "At the Usenix Large Installation System Administration (LISA) conference being held this week in Boston, two Dartmouth computer scientists presented variants of the grep and diff Unix command line utilities that can handle more complex types of data. The new programs, called Context-Free Grep and Hierarchical Diff, will provide the ability to parse blocks of data rather than single lines. The research has been funded in part by Google and the U.S. Energy Department."

OpenDNS Releases DNS Encryption Tool 94

wiredmikey writes "It's not news that some of the underlying foundations of the DNS protocol are inherently weak, especially what they call the "last mile" — or the part of the internet connection between the client and the ISP. To address this, OpenDNS has released a preview of DNSCrypt, a tool that enables encrypted DNS traffic, much in the same way SSL enables encrypted HTTP traffic. DNSCrypt will stop DNS replay, observation, and timing attacks, as well as Man-in-the-Middle attacks and resolver impersonation attacks. The tool, available already compiled for OS X, will also run on OpenBSD, NetBSD, Dragonfly BSD, FreeBSD, and Linux. There is no Windows client, which is odd considering a majority of the 30 million OpenDNS users run Microsoft's operating system."

Ask Slashdot: Ubuntu Lockdown Options? 387

First time accepted submitter clava writes "We have a desktop Java testing application that is going to be administering tests to students on lab computers running Ubuntu 10.x. These computers are used by the students for other purposes and we're not allowed to create special users or change the OS configuration. When the testing app is launched, we need to restrict users from exiting the app so they can't do things like search the internet for answers or use other applications. Is there a good way to put an Ubuntu machine in kiosk mode or something via our application and have exiting kiosk mode be password protected? Any ideas are appreciated."

GNOME Shell Extensions Are Live 204

DrXym writes "GNOME Shell has been criticized for certain shortcomings when compared to GNOME 2.x. Chief amongst them was that 2.x offered panel applets whereas 3.x is seemingly lacking any such functionality. What most people don't know is that GNOME Shell has a rich extension framework similar to Mozilla Firefox add-ons. Now, the official site to install extensions has gone live. So if you yearn for an application menu, or a dock, or a status monitor, then head on over. Extensions can be installed with a few clicks and removed just as easily."
Christmas Cheer

Linux Advent Calendar: "24 Outstanding ZSH Gems" 46

First time submitter Manko10 writes "After the Advent series last year, there is again a Linux Advent calender. The topic of this year's Advent series is '24 Outstanding ZSH Gems'. Every day from December 1st until December 24th an article will be published each covering a special feature of the Z Shell you might not have known yet."

OpenMoko's FreeRunner Rises From the Ashes 133

ChristW writes "Remember OpenMoko's first free and open source phones, the GTA-01 and GTA-02 (also called FreeRunner)? There is a new project called Phoenux. The German company Golden Delicous is building a new main board (called GTA-04) for the GTA01/02 case. The new hardware features a DM3730 (800 MHz) processor, a GTM601W UMTS (HSPA) module, and lots more." Would you pay extra for a phone that comes with a Debian build?
Operating Systems

Red Hat's Linux Changes Raise New Questions 433

itwbennett writes "Last month two Red Hat developers proposed to replace the 30-year-old syslog system with a new Journal daemon. Initial reaction was mostly negative and 'focused on the Journal's use of a binary key-value form of data to log system events,' says blogger Brian Proffit. But now, says Proffitt, it seems that the proposal to replace syslog has less to do with the fixing syslog's problems than with Red Hat's desire to go its own way with Linux infrastructure."

Linux Mint 12 Released Today 396

An anonymous reader writes "Linux Mint 12 was released today. It includes the new 'MGSE' (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions), a desktop layer on top of Gnome 3 that makes it possible for you to use Gnome 3 in a traditional way. MGSE's Gnome-2-Like experience includes features such as the bottom panel, the application menu, the window list, a task-centric desktop and visible system tray icons. MGSE is a 180-degree turn from the desktop experience the Gnome Team is developing with Gnome-Shell. At the heart of the Gnome-Shell is a feature called 'the Overview': 'The Shell is designed in order to minimize distraction and interruption and to enable users to focus on the task at hand. A persistent window list or dock would interfere with this goal, serving as a constant temptation to switch focus. The separation of window switching functionality into the overview means that an effective solution to switching is provided when it is desired by the user, but that it is hidden from view when it is not necessary.' The popularity of Mint 12 with MGSE may be an excellent barometer as to whether users prefer a task-centric or application-centric desktop."

QT 5 Will Be Available For Raspberry Pi 80

New submitter sirjohn writes with the good news that "A small group of ICS and Nokia engineers have started working on a minimal bootstrap to bring fully functional Qt 5" to the Raspberry Pi, writing "Do you want to create the next big thing on embedded devices and have $35 to invest? You can now have a complete development environment with accelerated graphics for basically nothing. I think it's a big deal ..." Plus, Nokia is funding 400 of the boards and looking for ideas (and developers) to use them. The competition is stiff; there are already quite a few impressive ideas listed.

Linaro Releases Ice Cream Sandwich Builds For iMX53 and Other Boards 20

New submitter b0101101001010000 writes with some news for developers who'd like to work with the newest version of Android: "We've just released preview ICS builds of Freescale's iMX53, ST Ericsson's Snowball, Samsung's Origen and TI's Panda boards (AOSP supports Panda out of the box; this just contains a kernel that based on Linus' HEAD). This should give Android platform developers on these platforms a good base to work from."

Secure Syslog Replacement Proposed 248

LinuxScribe writes with this bit from IT World: "In an effort to foil crackers' attempts to cover their tracks by altering text-based syslogs, and improve the syslog process as a whole, developers Lennart Poettering and Kay Sievers are proposing a new tool called The Journal. Using key/value pairs in a binary format, The Journal is already stirring up a lot of objections." Log entries are "cryptographically hashed along with the hash of the previous entry in the file" resulting in a verifiable chain of entries. This is being done as an extension to systemd (git branch). The design doesn't just make logging more secure, but introduces a number of overdue improvements to the logging process. It's even compatible with the standard syslog interface allowing it to either coexist with or replace the usual syslog daemon with minimal disruption.
Operating Systems

Tool Kills Hidden Linux Bugs, Vulnerabilities 47

mask.of.sanity writes with this excerpt from SC Magazine: "Australian researcher Silvio Cesare has released a tool capable of automatically detecting bugs and vulnerabilities in embedded Linux libraries. The script correlates vulnerability advisory CVEs for third-party libraries to determine if holes have carried over to Linux platforms or have not been patched. Such holes often escape the eye of developers because the libraries may not be kept updated with sources. This is further compounded because vulnerabilities in cross distributed packages can leave Linux platforms vulnerable."

Canonical Drops CouchDB From Ubuntu One 93

rsk writes "Since the Ubuntu One desktop synchronization service was launched by Canonical it has always been powered by CouchDB, a popular document-oriented NoSQL data store with a powerful master-master replication architecture that runs in many different environments (servers, mobile devices, etc.). John Lenton, senior engineering manager at Canonical, announced that Canonical would be moving away from CouchDB due to a few unresolvable issues Canonical ran into in production with CouchDB and the scale/requirements of the Ubuntu One service. Instead, says Lenton, Canonical will be moving to a custom data storage abstraction layer (U1DB) that is platform agnostic as well as datastore agnostic; utilizing the native datastore on the host device (e.g. SQLite, MySQL, API layers, 'everything'). U1DB will be complete at some point after the 12.04 release."
Operating Systems

Andrew Tanenbaum On Minix, Linux, BSD, and Licensing 480

An anonymous reader points out an interesting, detailed interview with Andrew Tanenbaum at Linuxfr.org; Tanenbaum holds forth on the current state of MINIX, licensing decisions, and the real reason he believes that Linux caught on just when he "thought BSD was going to take over the world." ("I think Linux succeeded against BSD, which was a stable mature system at the time simply because BSDI got stuck in a lawsuit and was effectively stopped for several years.")

2-Year Study Shows Mac Users Downloading More Open Source Software 203

AmyVernon writes "We combed through about two years' worth of data on SourceForge, looking at the platforms of the users who downloaded projects, and millions more Mac users are downloading open source projects now than were in February 2010. In the same time, Windows downloads have increased by a much smaller percentage and Linux downloads have actually declined." I wonder how much of this last part can be chalked up to the ever-better download infrastructure that the various Linux distros have. (Note: SourceForge and Slashdot are both part of Geeknet.)

Desura Game Distribution Service Releases On Linux 77

An anonymous reader writes "Desura is a digital distribution platform for video games, focusing on releases from indie developers and mods rather than AAA titles. After a two-month beta period, Desura has launched a Linux client, which supports the installation and patching of games on any Linux distribution. With this release, Desura is the first client to work on both Windows and Linux systems, enabling games to be installed with a click. They're currently in discussions to release the code under the GPL."

OpenSUSE 12.1 Released 174

MasterPatricko writes "The openSUSE project is proud to present the release of openSUSE 12.1! This release represents more than eight months of work by our international community and brings you the best Free Software has to offer. Improvements include the latest GNOME 3.2 desktop as well as the newest from KDE, XFCE and LXDE; your ownCloud made easy with mirall; Snapper-shots of your file system on btrfs; and much, much more. Other notable changes include moving from sysvinit to systemd, improving the boot process, and being built on GCC 4.6.2 including link-time optimization. More packages than ever are available from the openSUSE instance of the Open Build Service, and soon you'll be able to create customized respins on SUSE Studio."