Mojo66 writes: News.cn reports that China has announced that it will forbid the use of the Windows 8 operating system (OS) in new government computers, a move to ensure computer security after the shutdown of Windows XP. The Chinese government obviously cannot ignore the risks of running OS without guaranteed technical support. It has moved to avoid the awkwardness of being confronted with a similar situation again in future if it continues to purchase computers with foreign OS. Apart from purchase restrictions for central government offices, China will focus on the development of its own OS based on Linux, a move which An Yang, a security expert with Qihoo 360 Technology, said was a necessity although progress has been disappointing. There are several Linux-based OS developed by Chinese companies, such as KylinOS and StartOS, but they have not proved popular. An said the first step is to promote the use of Chinese-designed OS among official users, while their popularity among civilian users will be subject to market forces.
HP recently announced shipping PCs with Kylin pre-installed, while there have been about 4 million downloads of the OS from the website so far.
Mojo66 writes: After project savings had been estimated to amount to at least €4 million in March, more precise figures are now in: Over €10 million (approximately £8 million or $12.8 million) has been saved by the city of Munich, thanks to its development and use of the city's own Linux platform. The calculation compares the current overall cost of the LiMux migration with that of two technologically equivalent Windows scenarios: Windows with Microsoft Office and Windows with OpenOffice. Reportedly, savings amount to over €10 million. The study is based on around 11,000 migrated workplaces within Munich's city administration as well as 15,000 desktops that are equipped with an open source office suite. The comparison with Windows assumes that Windows systems must be on the same technological level; this would, for example, mean that they would have been upgraded to Windows 7 at the end of 2011. Overall, the project says that Windows and Microsoft Office would have cost just over €34 million, while Windows with Open Office would have cost about €30 million. The LiMux scenario, on the other hand, has reportedly cost less than €23 million. A detailed report (in german) is available here.
Mojo66 writes: A recently reported flaw that allowed an attacker to drastically reduce the number of attempts needed to guess the WPS PIN of a wireless router isn't necessary for some Arcadyan based routers anymore. According to german computer publisher heise (google translation, original here), some 100,000 routers of type Speedport W921V, W504V and W723V are affected in Germany alone. What makes things worse is the fact that in order to exploit the backdoor, no button has to be pushed on the device itself and on some of the affected routers, the backdoor PIN ("12345670") is still working even after WPS has been disabled by the user. The only currently known remedy for those models is to disable Wi-Fi altogether.
Mojo66 writes: A company that makes specialist talking tablet computers for speech-disabled children has mounted a patent lawsuit which seems set to kill off an iPad app that does the same thing for a tenth of the price. Prentke Romich's Minspeak touchscreen devices enable mute children to communicate through a speech synthesiser controlled by an on-screen keyboard of symbols. Kids hit buttons to string together sentences. Prentke says a dynamic keyboard of symbols and the ability to redefine these keys have been patented — and Speak For Yourself allegedly violates these patents.
Mojo66 writes: Mayor Ude today reported (german)(english translation) that the city of Munich has saved €4 million so far by switching its IT infrastructure from Windows NT and Office to Linux and OpenOffice. At the same time, the number of trouble tickets decreased from 70 to 46 per month. Savings were €2.8M from software licensing and €1.2M from hardware because demands are lower for Linux compared to Windows 7.