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Submission + - Theo de Raadt gives a 10-year summary on exploit mitigation in OpenBSD

ConstantineM writes: Microsoft has all significant exploit mitigation techniques fully integrated and enabled, claims Theo de Raadt at Yandex ruBSD, whilst giving a 10-year summary of the methods employed by OpenBSD. In year 2000, OpenBSD started a development initiative to intentionally make the memory environment of a process less predictable and less robust, without impacting the well-behaved programs. Concepts like the random stack gap, W^X, ASLR and PIE are explained. Some of them, like the random stack gap, are implemented with a 3-line change to the kernel, yet it appears that some other vendors are still shipping without it.

Submission + - SteamOS Runs As Fast As NVIDIA On Windows 8.1 (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: After going under the hood with SteamOS, the Phoronix site has found out that it's possible to get Intel and AMD graphics working on Valve's Debian based Linux OS with its own custom compositor. Their tests have shown that for cross-platform OpenGL games/demos, SteamOS performance is on par with Windows 8.1 in performance frame-rates, in large part due to NVIDIA's high-performance shared-platform GPU driver.
Linux Business

Submission + - LiMux Project saved Munich €10m 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.
Privacy

Submission + - One in 10 Used Hard Drives Contains Old Personal Data (threatpost.com) 1

Trailrunner7 writes: A U.K. organization today released independent study results that show one in 10 secondhand hard drives sold online may contain "residential personal information," such as bank statements, passports and medical details.

In an effort to underscore the need to throughly scrub machines, mobile phones and memory sticks before passing them on, the Information Commissioner's Office contracted with the NCC Group to secret shop some 200 hard drives, 20 memory sticks and 10 mobile phones from primarily online auction sites in December 2010. Some also came from computer trade shows.

Using widely available freeware forensic tools, a team found more than half (52 percent) of the hard drives were unreadable or had been wiped of data. The remaining 48 percent still contained information, 11 percent of which held personal or corporate data.

In all, 34,000 files holding personal or corporate information were recovered, according to the study report.

Submission + - Children becoming addicted to video game fantasy worlds, teachers warn (guardian.co.uk) 2

silentbrad writes: From The Guardian: "A growing number of young children are acting out violent scenes from adult computer games in the playground, teachers have warned. Pupils as young as four and five are simulating car crashes and graphic injuries as a result of playing games unsupervised in their bedrooms, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) annual conference was told. Primary school teachers said the games were making their pupils far more aggressive and addicted to "fantasy worlds that separate them from reality". Doctors found children who continually play computer games may be more likely to develop tendinitis – an inflammation between the muscles and bones – and suffer from seizures, teachers said. Psychologists have expressed concerns that playing some games make children more aggressive. Alison Sherratt, a teacher at Riddlesden St Mary's Church of England primary school in Keighley, West Yorkshire, said her four- and five-year-old pupils spend their breaks pretending to "throw themselves out of the window of the play car in slow motion" and act out blood "spurting from their bodies". "We all expect to see rough and tumble, but I have seen little ones acting out quite graphic scenes in the playground and there is a lot more hitting, hurting and thumping in the classroom for no particular reason." She said her pupils believed the violence depicted in computer games was real and tried to recreate it in play. "Obesity, social exclusion, loneliness, physical fitness, sedentary solitary lives – these are all descriptions of children who are already hooked to games Sadly there is a notable correlation between the children who admit to playing games and those who come to school really tired," she said.
Patents

Submission + - iPad app that lets mute kids speak menaced by patent lawsuit (theregister.co.uk) 1

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.

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