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Linux

Linux Foundation's Desktop Linux Survey Results 172

DeviceGuru writes "While the Linux Foundation's third annual desktop Linux survey doesn't officially end until November 30th, the number of daily respondents have shrunk to a trickle and the Foundation is working on analyzing the results. They now have up an early look at the raw data. For starters, almost 20,000 self-selected users filled out this year's survey compared to fewer than 10,000 in 2006's survey. Not surprisingly, the Ubuntu family of Linuxes is the most popular among organizations, at 54.1 percent. This was followed by the Red Hat family — RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux/Fedora/CentOS) — with 50.2 percent. The Novell SUSE group — SLED (SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop) and openSUSE — came in third, with 35.2 percent."
Software

How Fast is Your Turnaround Time? 418

petrus.burdigala writes "I work for a mid-sized commercial software company (~20 Mloc) and we are frequently challenged by our supervisors to get fixes around the clock. Overall, we manage to get a 'bullet-proof' patch in about 4-5 weeks (from coding->QA->Build/Packaging->shipment), which I consider not so bad. But the other day, we got an urgent request from our support team to come up with a decent fix in 48 hours. I think they're a tiny bit unrealistic. So I wanted to get feedback from my peers: are we doing that bad? It takes months for other software vendors to issue zero-day exploit fixes, are our customers being unreasonable?"
Censorship

Submission + - Myspace eliminates "Gay" option

ishboo writes: "Just recently myspace abolished the option to select "Gay" as a sexual preference in your profile while still leaving bi and lesbian. This comes form chairman of News Corps. (Myspace's parent company) Rupert Murdoch who made this choice based on "Personal Family Values" who has a history of being accused of being homophobic. http://rawstory.com/news/2007/MySpace_deletes_abil ity_of_users_to_0503.html"
Security

Submission + - Wikipedia admins go on rampage

joeszilagyi writes: After their passwords got cracked: At least four different Wikipedia administrators have had their weak passwords taken in the past 24 hours. They deleted the home page repeatedly, and one person even put Tubgirl on the "Site notice", which is a global header for all of en.wikipedia.org. How did it happen? Weak logon security measures — there is no CAPTCHA; crappy passwords, and on top of that, while there is an encrypted SSL logon page, it's hard to find. The scariest thing is that people with passwords of "password" are entrusted as sysops and administrators on one of the Top 10 websites on Earth. They even blocked Jimbo Wales repeatedly from his own website!
Intel

Submission + - Intel to launch Linux-powered mobile Internet devi

daria42 writes: Intel is developing its own take on the mini-tablet, with a new ultra-mobile PC platform to be announced at this week's Intel Developer Forum in Beijing. The big surprise? It's based on Linux. Called a Mobile Internet Device (pic), or MID, the devices will have screen sizes from 4.5 to six inches with a target audience described as "consumers and prosumers" rather than mobile professionals.
Businesses

Lenovo Tops Eco-Friendly Ranking 94

gollum123 writes to tell us that according to a recent list compiled by Greenpeace, Lenovo has topped the list of "eco-friendly" companies scoring an 8 out of a possible 10 while Apple fell to the bottom of the list with only a 2.7. "Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace international toxics campaigner, said the industry had made some positive steps in the last 12 months with firms starting to act rather than just issue statements of intent. Of the 14 companies profiled, said Ms Kruszewska, nine now score more than five out of 10."
Security

VBootkit Bypasses Vista's Code Signing 210

An anonymous reader writes "At the Black Hat Conference in Amsterdam, security experts from India demonstrated a special boot loader that gets around Vista's code-signing mechanisms. Indian security experts Nitin and Vipin Kumar of NV labs have developed a program called the VBootkit that launches from a CD and boots Vista, making on-the-fly changes in memory and in files being read. In a demonstration, the 'boot kit' managed to run with kernel privileges and issue system rights to a CMD shell when running on Vista, even without a Microsoft signature. The demo was run on Vista RC2. The researchers say the only reason they didn't do it on Vista final was cost. Schneier blogged the exploit."

MS Four Points of Interoperability and Adobe 274

Andy Updegrove writes "Recently, spokespersons for Microsoft's standards group have been promoting 'design, collaboration and licensing' as alternatives, rather than supplements to, open standards. There's an important difference between an open standard and any of these ad hoc arrangements among companies, however, and that is the fact that with a standard, everybody knows that they can get what everybody else can get, and on substantially the same terms. With a de facto standard, that's not the case - as Microsoft itself found out last week when Adobe refused to offer the same deal on saving files in PDF form that Apple and OpenOffice enjoy."

Google's Insular Nature 188

stockpicker_dude_78 writes "Robert Cringley has written a thought-provoking article on Google's insular nature, and compares them to the similar environment at Microsoft." From the article: "Google is secretive. This started as a deliberate marketing mystique, but endures today more as a really annoying company habit. Google folks don't understand why the rest of us have a problem with this, but then Google folks aren't like you and me. The result of this secrecy and Google's 'almighty algorithm' mentality is that the company makes changes -- and mistakes -- without informing its customers or even doing all that much to correct the problems."

Microsoft Joins OpenDocument Alliance 256

Jim writes "Microsoft has joined a committee that has a key role in the ratification of OpenDocument as an international standard, leading to accusations that it intends to sabotage the process. Microsoft has denied this accusation, claiming that the only reason why Microsoft employee Jim Thatcher has joined the group was to get involved in the ISO standardisation of its own file format." From the article: "'There sits Microsoft, waiting, like a spider,' wrote Jones, in a posting on her site. 'I am imagining ODF plodding along, with Microsoft asking questions, fine-combing through the comments, did you mean this or that?, getting bogged down in minutia until, lo and behold, either Microsoft's XML makes it as an ISO standard first, or they arrive neck and neck.'" More information here on a subject we touched on in a recent Slashback. update a few readers have asked for the clarification that MSFT has not joined ODF, but rather the "INCITS/V1 Technical Committee"

Mozilla Firefox 2.0 Alpha Peeking Out (Or Not) 216

anadgouda writes "Mozilla Firefox 2.0 alpha is released. The links for download were not available directly on Mozilla.com website. Being Alpha, all features might not work and most of the plugins might not be compatible." Reading thru the comments, it appears there's some disparity as to whether or not this is actually just a naming scheme that they use; but let me reiterate that there has been no official announcement from Mozilla, so take with a giant grain of salt. Some good screenshots at OSdir.

Everglide s-500 Headphone Review 190

Lincoln 'PrOpHeT' Grixti writes "The Everglide s-500 Headphone is the ultimate tool for gamers that pass long hours using their headset for their gaming needs. It has been designed for gamers, by gamers, with the aid of leading world-wide professionals such as Sander "Voo" Kaasjager and other CPL World Tour Winners. The headset is available for sale with a price tag of $99.99 from Everglide Store. Some might say it's quite expensive for a headset, but when compared to other professional gaming headsets, the price is quite cheap." update Sorry folks, apparently the linked website barfed.

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