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Operating Systems

The Economist Suggests Linux For Netbooks 445

Trepidity writes "In its roundup of how to choose a netbook, The Economist suggests that users 'avoid the temptation' to go for a Windows-based netbook, and in particular to treat them as mini laptops on which you'll install a range of apps. In their view, by the time you add the specs needed to run Windows and Windows apps effectively, you might as well have just bought a smallish laptop. Instead, they suggest the sweet spot is ultra-lite, Linux-based netbooks, with a focus on pre-installed software that caters to common tasks. They particularly like OpenOffice, which they rate as easier to use than MS Word and having 'no compatibility problems,' as well as various photo-management software." Besides which, does Windows offer spinning cubes for coffee-shop demos?
Security

Submission + - Yahoo! Zimbra Desktop vulnerable to MiTM

holdenkarau writes: "After patching the its plaintext authentication gaffe, Yahoo! Zimbra desktop has hit another stumbling block in the security road. Yahoo! Zimbra now uses the standard authentication method used by the rest of the Yahoo! Mail family. However, unlike other implementations where invalid SSL certificates will throw up plenty of warnings for the user, Yahoo! Zimbra Desktop is trivially vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack, as it simply transmits the usernames & passwords regardless of who's picked up on the other side. With all of the news about DNS vulnerabilities, this seems like exceptionally poor timing for a MiTM. For the time being you may wish to switch to using the Yahoo! webmail interface, until this bug gets fixed."
Books

Amazon Kindle Endorsed By Oprah 197

Oprah Winfrey enthused about the Amazon Kindle on her show today — it's her "new favorite thing" — and had Jeff Bezos on to announce a $50-off offer good till Nov. 1. A plug on Oprah is ordinarily a sign that a product has crossed over into the mainstream. But her show's audience has been slipping lately, and it's unclear how many cash-strapped citizens will be willing to part with $309 (after the special offer) for a new techno-gadget, for which they then have to shell out more money for DRM-encrusted content.
Security

Submission + - Security flaw in Yahoo mail exposes plaintext auth

holdenkarau writes: "Yahoo!'s acquisition of opensource mail client Zimbra has apparently brought some baggage to the mail team. The new Yahoo! desktop program transmits the authentication information in plain text. Ironically enough, the flaw was discovered during a Yahoo "hacku" day at the University of Waterloo (the only Canadian school part of the trip). Compared to the recent hoopla about gmail exposing the names associated with accounts, this seems down right scary. So if you have friends or relatives who might have installed Yahoo! desktop and value their e-mail accounts, now would be a good time to get them to change the password and switch back to the oh so retro web interface."
Security

Submission + - Protecting IM from the NSA, a Canadian's view 3

holden writes: "Ian Goldberg, leading security researcher, professor at the university of waterloo, cypherpunk and co-creator of the Off-the-Record Messaging (OTR) protocol recently gave a talk on protecting your IM conversations. He discusses OTR and its importance in today's world with warrant-less wire tapping and all that bad stuff. With OTR users benefit from being able to have truly private conversations over IM, by using encryption to obtain authentication, deniability, and perfect forward secrecy, while working within their existing IM infrastructure. With the recent NSA wiretapping activities and increasing Big Brother presence, security and OTR are increasingly important. An avi of the talk is available by http as well as by bittorrent and a bunch of other formats."
Security

Submission + - Leading researcher Ian Goldberg on IM security 9

metaoink writes: "Ian Goldberg, leading security researcher, professor and co-creator of the Off-the-Record Messaging (OTR) protocol recently gave a talk in which he discusses OTR and its importance in today's world. With OTR users benefit from being able to have truly private conversations over IM, by using encryption to obtain authentication, deniability, and perfect forward secrecy, while working within their existing IM infrastructure. With the recent NSA wiretapping activities and increasing Big Brother presence, security and OTR are increasingly important. An XVID avi of the talk is available by http as well as by bittorrent and some other formats."
Security

Submission + - Off-the-Record Messaging: Useful Security for IM

An anonymous reader writes: The creator of Off-the-Record Messaging (OTR), Ian Goldberg, recently gave a talk about OTR to the University of Waterloo. In his talk, Goldberg discusses why existing secure/encrypted IM implementations are flawed. He notes that those that provide authentication use digital signatures, which gives proof that a message was sent by the user. He also notes that some implementations, such as Trillian, are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. Goldberg then explains how OTR is able to overcome these deficiencies, and provide deniability and perfect forward secrecy. The math behind OTR is quite interesting and requires only a minimal understanding of cryptography. The talk is available via HTTP and BitTorrent and in a variety of formats.
Security

Submission + - Off-the-Record Messaging: Why You Should Use It (uwaterloo.ca)

Andareed writes: Ian Goldberg, co-creator of the Off-the-Record Messaging (OTR) protocol discusses OTR and its importance in today's world. Many instant messaging applications offer some form of encryption and authentication. However, most implementations are deficient. For example, Trillian's implementation is vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. Most implementations also use digital signatures to authenticate, providing proof that you sent a certain message. OTR is designed to provide authentication while ensuring deniability and perfect forward secrecy. Plugins for Pigin/GAIM, Trillian, MSN, and others are available at the OTR website. With the recent NSA wiretapping activities and increasing Big Brother presence, you can't afford not to use OTR.
Security

Submission + - World Famous research Ian Goldberg talks on OTR

metaoink writes: "World famous security researcher and professor Ian Goldberg recently gave a talk on securing instant messaging using his invention, OTR.Instant messaging (IM) is an increasingly popular mode of communication on the Internet. Although it is used for personal and private conversations, it is not at all a private medium. Not only are all of the messages unencrypted and unauthenticated, but they are all routed through a central server, forming a convenient interception point for an attacker. With OTR users benefit from being able to have truly private conversations over IM, by using encryption to obtain authentication, deniability, and perfect forward secrecy, while working within their existing IM infrastructure. Many slashdot readers will have probably heard of OTR which is available for Gaim/Pidgin, and this talk outlines the motivation and implementation of OTR. An XVID avi by http of the talk is available as welll as by bittorrent and some other formats"
Math

Submission + - The history behind the first Faculty of Math 1

holden writes: "Ralph Stanton, the man behind the founding of the first faculty of math, recently gave a talk on its unique history. The group went on to spawn a large number of spin-offs, such as Watfor,Sybase, etc. His talk looks at the politics behind starting a faculty of math, as well as the benefits and freedoms it has allowed both Mathematicians and Computer Scientists."
Microsoft

Submission + - Bill Gates on software, from 1989 1

An anonymous reader writes: The University of Waterloo has uploaded a talk by Bill Gates, on software, that took place there in 1989. Available here, the talk was only recently digitized and contains many predictions from someone who was already starting to become an industry leader at that time. Many are surprisingly accurate and quite relevant today.
Programming

Submission + - The Software Tools Business, a Microsoft View

holden writes: "Rico Mariani, an eighteen-year veteran at Microsoft, spoke to the University of Waterloo Computer Science Club, sharing his unique take on the history of, and controversies surrounding, Microsoft and the software tools industry in general. His responses in the q&a session to free software advocates is particularly interesting. The talk bas been digitized and is now available online."
Privacy

Submission + - Protecting Privacy by Design 2

holdenkarau writes: "Linux.com has an article on a talk entitled Privacy By Design recentlly given by Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Canada's Information and Privacy Commissioner.The talk starts of by covering the basics of privacy, and privacy law, and then moves onto the important component, how to design software that properly protects users privacy. The majourity of the time is spent on design principles, but also examines specific technologies (such as Elliptical Curve Cryptography)."
Privacy

Submission + - Designing software with Privacy in mind 6

dalektcalum writes: Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Canada's Information and Privacy Commissioner, recently gave a talk entitled Privacy by Design. The talk starts of by covering the basics of privacy, and privacy law, and then moves onto the important component, how to design software that properly protects users privacy. The majourity of the time is spent on design principles, but also examines specific technologies (such as Elliptical Curve Cryptography).
Privacy

Submission + - Privacy By Design (holdenkarau.com) 3

holdenkarau writes: Canadian privacy commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, recently gave a talk entitled Privacy by Design to the University of Waterloo. The focus of the talk is how to use technology to enhance and protect privacy. Some of the technologies discussed included instant messaging, RFID tags and Elliptical Curve Cryptography (ECC). Then Dr. Cavoukian explained the "7 Privacy — Embedded Laws" followed by a discussion on a biometrics solution to encryption.

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