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Submission + - Keeping up with security requirements in Linux.

ers81239 writes: I've recently become a Linux administrator within the Department of Defense. I am surprised to find out that the DoD actually publishes extensive guidance on minimum software versions. I guess that isn't so surprising, but the version numbers are. Kernel 2.6.30, ntp 4.2.4p7-RC2, openssl 9.8k and the openssh to match, etc. The surprising part is that these are very fresh versions which are not included in many distributions. We use SUSE Enterprise quite a bit, but even openSUSE factory (their word for unstable) doesn't have these packages. Tarballing on this many systems is nightmare and even then some things just don't seem to work. I don't have time to track down every possible lib/etc/opt/local/share path that different packages try to use by default. I think that this really highlights the tradeoffs of stability and security.

I have called Novell to ask about it. When vulnerabilities are found in software, they backport the patches into whatever version of the software they are currently supporting. The problem here is that doesn't give me a guarantee that the backport fixes the problem for which this upgrade is required (My requirements say to install version x or higher). There is also the question of how quickly they are providing the backports.

I'm hoping that there are 100's of DoD Linux administrators reading this who can bombard me with solutions. How do you balance security with stability?

Comment Re:Yes! (Score 2, Interesting) 345

I just want to highlight your second point. I believe that THE most important thing gained from code reviews is the spreading knowledge and gaining understanding. New development is always great, but most programming is maintaining/fixing/improving existing projects. A code review is a great way to really learn about code readability. You actually get to see other people read your code and you get to read other people's code. All of this code is fresh in someone's mind so it can be explained, and how to make it more readable can be discussed. I learned a ton about writing maintainable code at my first job where we did regular code reviews.

On the more technical side, often once the code is discussed much simpler ways to solve the problem is discovered. It isn't about the individual bug fixes/improvements that can come from a code review. Its really a way to improve your programmers.


Submission + - AMD 690 Series IGP Chipset Launched

MojoKid writes: AMD has taken the wraps off their first product in the chipset arena since the acquisition of ATI last year. Here is a preview look at AMD's new 690 series chipset with integrated Radeon X1200 graphics. Poised at taking on NVIDIA's long since mature nForce 430 chipset, AMD has provided a competitive new offering in the IGP space it seems. The RS690's integrated Radeon X1250 sports a 400MHz, 128-Bit graphics engine, is Direct X9 compatible and has a maximum resolution of 2048x1536 with 32-Bit color. In addition, both VGA and HDMI outputs can run independently and its HDMI interface supports the 1.2 specification as well as HDCP 1.1.

Feed What Would Jesus Wiki? (

Conservapedia is the web's go-to reference for conservative Christians, but for everyone else it's one of the biggest laughs on the net. By Michael Calore.


Submission + - New technique for recycling PCBs

MattSparkes writes: "PCBs from discarded computers, cellphones and other devices could be recycled less harmfully using a technique developed by researchers in China. Unlike current methods, it can be used to reclaim metals such as copper without releasing toxic fumes into the air. Only a small numbers of PCBs are currently recycled."

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