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Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

Security

Torvalds Calls OpenSUSE Security 'Too Intrusive' 311

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the permission-denied dept.
jfruh writes "The balance between security and ease of use is always a tricky one to strike, and Linux distros tend to err on the side of caution. But no less a luminary than Linus Torvalds thinks openSUSE has gone too far. When his kid needed to call from school for the root password just so he could add a printer to a laptop, that's when Linus decided things had gone off the rails."
Hardware

Raspberry Pi Now Has Distributors -- and Will Soon Have Boards for All (Video) 304

Posted by Roblimo
from the my-computer-is-smaller-than-yours dept.
In an exclusive Transatlantic Skype conversation with Slashdot editor Timothy Lord recorded on Feb. 22, Raspberry Pi project leader Eben Upton talks about the state of Raspberry Pi, and tells us that yes -- finally -- they now have distributors in the U.S. and other countries instead trying to ship every unit from the U.K. Even better, instead of buying a batch of boards, selling them, and only then ordering another batch, the new distribution agreements mean they can keep a steady flow of orders coming in and going out. One slight downer is that people who have donated to the project may not get their Pi(s) right away; the distributors have spoken for all of the current order. Eben talks about this, and about how Raspberry Pi is going to take care of contributors, starting at about 4:15 in the video. You can also look at an in-person interview Tim did with Eben in January -- or wait until the end of today's video for a list of other Raspberry Pi videos.
IT

Ask Slashdot: Best Practices For Leaving an IT Admin Position? 290

Posted by Soulskill
from the many-bosses-are-panicking-while-reading-this dept.
An anonymous reader writes "I've been the server admin at a university for the past five years. Recently, I was given the chance to move from servers to networking, and I jumped at it. I now find myself typing up all my open-ended projects, removing certain scripts and stopping others. What would the community recommend as best practices for passing on administration of some servers? I am trying to avoid a phone call that results in me having to remote in, explain something, jog to the other side of campus to access the machine, etc. Essentially, I'm trying to cover all my bases so any excuse my replacement has to call me is seen as nothing but laziness or incompetence. I am required to give him a day of training to show him where everything is on the servers (web and database), and during that day I'm going to have him change all the passwords. But aside from locking myself out and knowing what is where, what else should I be doing?"
Software

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Install Ubuntu On 30 Laptops and Keep Them In Sync? 202

Posted by timothy
from the not-gonna-pay-a-lot-for-this-muffler dept.
New submitter spadadot writes "I am setting up a new event in France (Open du Web), where between 15 and 30 laptops running Ubuntu Linux will be available. They came with Windows preinstalled and it must stay for other purposes. I'd like to take care of only one of them (resize the hard drive, install Ubuntu, add additional software and apply custom settings) and effortlessly replicate everything to the others including hard drive resizing (unattended installation). After replicating, what should I do if I need to install new software or change some settings without manually repeating the same task on each one of them? Should I look into FAI, iPXE, Clonezilla, OCS Inventory NG? Other configuration management software? I would also like to reset the laptops to the original environment after the event."
Google

Cambridge's Capsicum Framework Promises Efficient Security For UNIX/ChromeOS 87

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-spicy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Communications of the ACM is carrying two articles promoting the Capsicum security model developed by Robert Watson (FreeBSD — Cambridge) and Ben Laurie (Apache/OpenSSL, ChromeOS — Google) for thin-client operating systems such as ChromeOS. They demonstrate how Chrome web browser sandboxing using Capsicum is not only stronger, but also requires only 100 lines of code, vs 22,000 lines of code on Windows! FreeBSD 9.0 shipped with experimental Capsicum support, OpenBSD has patches, and Google has developed a Linux prototype." While the ACM's stories are both paywalled, the Capsicum project itself has quite a bit of information online in the form of various papers and a video, as well as links to (BSD-licensed) code and to various subprojects.
Open Source

Canonical Puts Ubuntu On Android Smartphones 155

Posted by timothy
from the maybe-my-phone-would-crash-less dept.
nk497 writes "Canonical has revealed Ubuntu running on a smartphone — but the open source developer hasn't squashed the full desktop onto a tiny screen. Instead, the Ubuntu for Android system runs both OSes side by side, picking which to surface depending on the form factor. When a device — in the demo, it was a Motorola Atrix — is being used as a smartphone, it uses Android. When it's docked into a laptop or desktop setup, the full version of Ubuntu is used. Files, apps and other functionality such as voice calls and texting are shared between the two — for example, if a text message is sent to the phone when it's docked, the SMS pops up in Ubuntu, while calls can be received or made from the desktop." ZDnet has pictures; ExtremeTech has a story, too, including some words from Canonical CEO Jane Silber.
OS X

With Push for OS X Focus, CUPS Printing May Suffer On Other Platforms 267

Posted by timothy
from the long-predicted-effect dept.
CUPS is the popular open-source printing system that many projects have used successfully as a core, for desktop printing and as the basis of dedicated print servers. Reader donadony writes with word that Apple "has chosen to abandon certain Linux exclusive features, [while] continuing with popular Mac OS X features. The changeover is being attempted by Apple to set new printing standards that will not require 'drivers' in the future." However, as this message from Tim Waugh at Red Hat points out, all is not lost: "Where they are of use for the Linux environment, those orphaned features will continue to be maintained at OpenPrinting as a separate project."
Open Source

Hackers In Space: Designing A Ground Station 95

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the dod-responds-with-orbital-defense-platform dept.
An anonymous reader writes with some new information on the happenings of the Hacker Space Program. From the article: "At the Chaos Communication Camp 2011 Jens Ohlig, Lars Weiler, and Nick Farr proposed a daunting task: to land a hacker on the Moon by 2034. The plan calls for three separate phases: Establishing an open, free, and globally accessible satellite communication network, put a human into orbit, and land on the Moon. Interestingly enough, there is already considerable work being done on the second phase of this plan by the Copenhagen Suborbitals, and Google's own Lunar X Prize is trying to spur development of robotic missions to the Moon. But what about the first phase? Answering the call is the 'Shackspace,' a hackerspace from Stuttgart, Germany, who've begun work on an ambitious project they're calling the 'Hackerspace Global Grid.'"
IBM

SCO vs. IBM Trial Back On Again 232

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-just-goes-on-and-on-my-friends dept.
D___Breath writes "The lawsuit SCO started years ago against IBM (but really against Linux) is back on again. SCO first filed this clue-challenged lawsuit in March 2003. SCO claimed Linux was contaminated with code IBM stole from UNIX and that it was impossible to remove the infringement. Therefore, said SCO, all Linux users owe SCO a license fee of $1399 per cpu — but since SCO are such great guys, for a limited time, you can pay only $699 per CPU for your dirty, infringing copy of Linux. Of course, Novell claimed and later proved in court that SCO doesn't even own the copyrights on UNIX that it is suing over. IBM claims there is no infringing code in Linux. SCO never provided evidence of the massive infringement it claimed existed. The court ordered SCO three times to produce its evidence, twice extending the deadline, until it set a 'final' deadline of Dec 22, 2005 — which came and went — with SCO producing nothing but a lot of hand waving. In the meantime, SCO filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2007 because it was being beaten up in court so badly with the court going against SCO."
GUI

WindowMaker Development Resumes, Has First Release Since 2006 192

Posted by timothy
from the now-where-was-I dept.
First time accepted submitter brad-x writes "A new team of developers has recently picked up development of WindowMaker, and they've added many new features, including improved support for the freedesktop standard menu layout and Mac OS X style application and window switching from the keyboard, culminating in a new release, 0.95.2. A basic changelog is available on the newly redesigned website."
GUI

Linux Of the Future May Be About Which Environment, Not Which Distribution 214

Posted by timothy
from the mo'-zilla-mo'-zilla dept.
itwbennett writes "In its 2012 roadmap, the Mozilla Foundation highlights plans to create its own soup-to-nuts mobile platform, known as Boot to Gecko. With this move, the Mozilla Foundation 'is finally shaking off its dependence on browser revenues and treading where Google, with ChromeOS; Canonical, with Unity on Ubuntu; and (most recently) the Plasma community's Spark tablet have already started: the creation of standards-based platforms that rely on robust web applications (in varying degrees) more than native-run apps to provide the user experience,' writes blogger Brian Proffitt. 'I very much think that we are heading for a time when Linux flavors will be identified by environments, not distributions.'"
GNOME

GNOME 3: Beauty To the Bone? 647

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the needs-more-ponies dept.
someWebGeek writes "According to the GNOME design crew, as reported by Allan over at As Far as I Know, GNOME 3 will represent a new approach to GNOME application design. The design patterns being developed and employed may effect a new, prettier interface, but more importantly a new mindset about the entire project, a mindset intended to encourage greater deep beauty in the application layers below the user interface. Maybe...for now, I'm sticking to the sinking ship of KDE in the Ubuntu ocean."
Toys

From the Nuremberg Toy Fair, a New Linux System For RC Cars 81

Posted by timothy
from the good-tech-makes-good-toys dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Last weekend, during the Nuremberg Toy Fair 2012, I spotted a really cool new system for 'professional' RC models based on Embedded Linux. The WiRC allows you to control an RC car (or any other RC vehicle) with an iOS/Android device using WiFi. The core of this system is a 240 MHz ARM9 processor, with 16 MB SDRAM and 4 MB FLASH (with 2 USB ports and 802.11b/g WiFi, a microphone input and a Speaker output). It features 8+4 channels of output. A free software SDK is now in development to code your own transmitter applications."
Handhelds

Golden Delicious Now Shipping Hackable Openmoko GTA04 71

Posted by timothy
from the price-vs-performance dept.
An anonymous reader writes with an update to the updated Openmoko phone that's long been in the works. From the story at Linux For Devices: "German manufacturer Golden Delicious has begun shipping a hackable open source smartphone that runs a variety of Linux software, including a newly optimized Openmoko distro. The Openmoko GTA04 is available as a finished phone or as a board that slips into earlier Openmoko Neo Freerunner GTA01 and GTA02 cases, providing an 800MHz Texas Instruments DM3730 processor and a full range of sensors and wireless features." It's rather expensive for a mid-range Android phone, but far more interesting than fairly ordinary phones decked out with bling.

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