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+ - TuxMobil turned ten today

Submitted by
Andi
Andi writes "One of the oldest Linux related projects celebrated its 10th birthday today. TuxMobil provides thousands of laptop Linux installation guides and inside information on Linux compatibility of various mobile devices in general.
Some of you may remember the site from when it still was called Mobilix and got sued by the "Asterix and Obelix" guys forcing the owner to change the name (Slashdot reported)."

How Do You Know Your Code is Secure? 349

Posted by Zonk
from the batten-down-the-hatches-mates dept.
bvc writes "Marucs Ranum notes that 'It's really hard to tell the difference between a program that works and one that just appears to work.' He explains that he just recently found a buffer overflow in Firewall Toolkit (FWTK), code that he wrote back in 1994. How do you go about making sure your code is secure? Especially if you have to write in a language like C or C++?"
Software

Software Used To Predict Who Might Kill 361

Posted by kdawson
from the three-psychics-in-a-pool dept.
eldavojohn writes "Richard Berk, a University of Pennsylvania criminologist, has worked with authorities to develop a software tool that predicts who will commit homicide. I could not find any papers published on this topic by Berk, nor any site stating what specific Bayesian / decision tree algorithm / neural net is being implemented." From the article: "The tool works by plugging 30 to 40 variables into a computerized checklist, which in turn produces a score associated with future lethality. 'You can imagine the indicators that might incline someone toward violence: youth; having committed a serious crime at an early age; being a man rather than a woman, and so on. Each, by itself, probably isn't going to make a person pull the trigger. But put them all together and you've got a perfect storm of forces for violence,' Berk said. Asked which, if any, indicators stood out as reliable predicators of homicide, Berk pointed to one in particular: youthful exposure to violence." The software is to enter clinical trials next spring in the Philadelphia probation department. Its intent is to serve as a kind of triage: to let probation caseworkers concentrate most of their effort on the former offenders most likely to be most dangerous.

Second Life Hit By Massive In-Game Worm 249

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-touch-that-ring dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "At 2:46 CST today, the game Second Life was hit by a massive attack by a rogue programmer. Spinning gold rings began to appear in the air and on the ground, and as users interacted with them they began to chase and replicate. Apparently, most people are willing to touch an object they've never seen before and this invoked a worm script that was designed to multiply and spread across the 2,700+ servers run by Linden Labs in California, the game's owner. Many of the six hundred thousand active users experienced serious lag and lost connectivity to the servers, making it one of the largest known denial-of-service attacks in an online game. Linden Labs had to invoke martial law and lock out all logins by users except their staff as they began the task of cleaning the servers of what they began to term 'the grey goo.'" Comments in the SL blog entry indicate that Linden Labs had already deployed a "grey goo fence" before this worm struck, but someone found a hole in it.

Patches For Pine Going Away 177

Posted by kdawson
from the pining-for-the-fjords dept.
md8mart writes to let us know about the imminent shutdown of the site that distributes Pine patches. From the RSS feed of Patches for Pine we read the following bad news for all Pine users: "The Department of Mathematics of the University of Washington will close the account that hosts my Patches for Pine site. I would like to thank the Department of Mathematics for having hosted this site for so many years. I do not have current plans to move this site, but this site will disappear on December 15, 2006. Thank you to everyone who supported me by positive feedback and encouragement to do this work through the years. I will update this information as it becomes available."

Vista's Limited Symlinks 271

Posted by kdawson
from the link-this dept.
An anonymous reader writes, "Symlinks haven't really been added to Windows Vista. It seems that the calls to the Windows Vista symlink API only occur during the creation of such files or when accessing them from Windows Explorer. What this means is, you can't access symlinks from another OS. To be fair, you probably didn't expect to be able to dual-boot into XP and suddenly have access to the symlinks you created on the Vista partition earlier that day. But then again, you probably expected to be able to access these symlinks through a network share/UNC path or as files on a webserver. But you can't." From the article: "Clearly, Vista's symlink API isn't complete — hopefully this is something that can be patched via a hotfix and that we don't have to wait for Fiji to get something as simple as UNC support built in."

The Hacker Profiling Project 122

Posted by Zonk
from the they-know-who-you-be-lads dept.
NewsForge writes "NewsForge is running a story about a project aiming to profile hackers like the police do with common criminals. Not based out of the U.S. per se, this project falls under the auspices of the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). The project was co-founded by Stefania Ducci, in 2004, along with Raoul Chiesa." From the article: "NewsForge: What would the project concretely produce as final output? Stefania Ducci: The final goal is a real and complete methodology for hacker profiling, released under GNU/FDL. This means that, at the end of our research project, if a company will send us its (as detailed as possible) logs related to an intrusion, we — exactly like in the TV show C.S.I. when evidence is found on the crime scene — will be able to provide a profile of the attacker. By 'profile' we mean, for example, his technical skills, his probable geographic location, an analysis of his modus operandi, and of a lot of other, small and big, traces left on the crime scene. This will also permit us to observe and, wherever possible, preview new attack trends, show rapid and drastic behavior changes, and, finally, provide a real picture of the world of hacking and its international scene."

Hitch-Hackers Guide To the Galaxy 84

Posted by Zonk
from the using-a-towel-while-coding dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Jay Beale, of Bastille Linux fame, has written a hacking puzzle short story based on Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. It's called Hitch-Hackers Guide to the Galaxy. The short story is pretty funny and the puzzle lets you have some quick fun with web hacking. There are prizes for best technical answer and most creative (while technically correct) answer."

Microsoft To Announce Linux Partnership 534

Posted by Zonk
from the shout-at-the-devil dept.
Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "Microsoft is entering into an unusual partnership with Novell that gives a boost to Linux, people familiar with the companies tell WSJ.com. From the article: 'Under the pact, which isn't final, Microsoft will offer sales support of Suse Linux, a version of the operating system sold by Novell. The two companies have also agreed to develop technologies to make it easier for users to run both Suse Linux and Microsoft's Windows on their computers. The two companies are expected to announce details of their plan today at a press conference in San Francisco. In addition, Microsoft won't assert rights over patents over software technology that may be incorporated into Suse Linux, the people said. Businesses that use Linux have long worried that Microsoft would one day file patent infringement suits against sellers of the rival software.'"

Optimizing Page Load Times 186

Posted by kdawson
John Callender writes, "Google engineer Aaron Hopkins has written an interesting analysis of optimizing page load time. Hopkins simulated connections to a web page consisting of many small objects (HTML file, images, external javascript and CSS files, etc.), and looked at how things like browser settings and request size affect perceived performance. Among his findings: For web pages consisting of many small objects, performance often bottlenecks on upload speed, rather than download speed. Also, by spreading static content across four different hostnames, site operators can achieve dramatic improvements in perceived performance."

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