PCM2 writes: Kids these days just don't care about open source. That's the conclusion of the Software Freedom Law Center's Aaron Williamson, who analyzed some 1.7 million projects on GitHub and found that only about 15% of them had a clearly identifiable license in their top-level directories. And of the projects that did have licenses, the vast majority preferred permissive licenses such as the MIT, BSD, or Apache licenses, rather than the GPL. Has the younger generation given up on ideas like copyleft and Free Software? And if so, what can be done about it?
PCM2 writes: The Register reports that Security Explorations' Adam Gowdiak says there is still an exploitable vulnerability in the Java SE 7 Update 7 that Oracle shipped as an emergency patch yesterday. 'As in the case of the earlier vulnerabilities, Gowdiak says, this flaw allows an attacker to bypass the Java security sandbox completely, making it possible to install malware or execute malicious code on affected systems.'
PCM2 writes: Malware experts from Kaspersky Lab have asked the programming community for help identifying the programming language, compiler, or framework that was used to write an important part of the Duqu Trojan, in the hope that it could reveal clues about who created it or why. "The mysterious programming language is definitively not C++, Objective C, Java, Python, Ada, Lua, and many other languages we have checked," Soumenkov said, adding that Kaspersky's research team has spent countless hours analyzing the code.
PCM2 writes: Residents of California who participate in the Amazon Associates Program received an email today warning them that the program will be terminated as soon as a new California law goes into effect. The law, which CA governor Jerry Brown signed today, would require online retailers to collect sales tax on purchases. According to Amazon's statement, 'We oppose this bill because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive. It is supported by big-box retailers, most of which are based outside California, that seek to harm the affiliate advertising programs of their competitors.'
PCM2 writes: The Register is reporting that Oracle has decided not to allow Solaris 11 to install on older Sparc hardware, including UltraSparc-I, UltraSparc-II, UltraSparc-IIe, UltraSparc-III, UltraSparc-III+, UltraSparc-IIIi, UltraSparc-IV, and UltraSparc-IV+ processors. The Solaris 11 Express development version released in November did not have this restriction, which suggests that the OS would likely run on these models. Unfortunately, the installer won't. All generations of Sparc T series processors and Sparc Enterprise M machines will be able to install and run Solaris 11, however.
PCM2 writes: "If you thought Microsoft's days of strongarming the PC industry were over, think again. As Windows 8 approaches, Microsoft wants to "work more closely" with hardware vendors to make sure their products are aligned with Redmond's expectations. Among the things Microsoft wants its say in are "such details as the aspect ratio they choose for displays, where buttons and radio antennas are located, and even the width of the bezel, or rim, around the edge of the screen.""
PCM2 writes: Recently, Anonymous took down the Web sites of network security firm HBGary. Ars Technica has the scoop on how it happened. Turns out it wasn't any one vulnerability, but a perfect storm of SQL injection, weak passwords, weak encryption, password re-use, unpatched servers, and social engineering. The full story will make you wince — but how many of these mistakes is your company making?
PCM2 writes: ABC News is reporting that the U.S. Secret Service is in dire need of server upgrades. "Currently, 42 mission-oriented applications run on a 1980s IBM mainframe with a 68 percent performance reliability rating," says one leaked memo. That finding was the result of an NSA study commissioned by the Secret Service to evaluate the severity of their computer problems. Curiously, upgrades to the Service's computers are being championed by Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, who says he's had "concern for a while" about the issue.
PCM2 writes: Whether it’s free laundry service, a loaner umbrella when it’s raining, a loaner bicycle to get from building to building, or a help-yourself bucket of gummi worms, Google provides everything — if you're a Google employee, that is. But as I learned last week, visitors aren't so lucky — especially if all you want is a drink of water. It seems Google has 'gone Green,' and the rest of us should just shut up and drink our juice.
PCM2 writes: Variety is reporting that an upcoming comedy special featuring Family Guy stars Seth McFarlane and Alex Borstein has lost sponsorship from Microsoft over 'content concerns.' According to the article, 'The program included MacFarlane and Alex Borstein — the voice of "Family Guy" matriarch Lois — pitching Windows 7. For most of the special, however, MacFarlane and Borstein made typical "Family Guy"-style jokes, including riffs on deaf people, the Holocaust, feminine hygiene and incest. Such material was apparently a bit much for Microsoft.' More interesting, perhaps, is the revelation that Microsoft has inked a deal with "a wide range of News Corp. properties to promote the launch of the computer giant's Windows 7 operating system."
PCM2 writes: "Film critic Roger Ebert has posted a long, scathing, often hilarious editorial lambasting game show host Ben Stein and "Expelled," the pro-Intelligent Design film he helped to produce. It's well worth a read (as Ebert's work often is). From the editorial: "Ben Stein, you hosted a TV show on which you gave away money. Imagine that I have created a special edition of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' just for you... you are faced with two choices: (A) Darwin's Theory of Evolution, or (B) Intelligent Design. Because this is a special edition of the program, you can use a Hotline to telephone every scientist on Earth who has an opinion on this question. You discover that 99.975 of them agree on the answer (A). A million bucks hangs in the balance. The clock is ticking. You could use the money. Which do you choose? You, a firm believer in the Constitution, are not intimidated and exercise your freedom of speech. You choose (B).""
PCM2 writes: "InfoWorld is running a massive round-table discussion on the past, present, and future directions for open source software. It suffers somewhat from strange pagination, but it consists of seven individual questions/topics that span several pages each (printer-friendly versions available). Among the participants are Bruce Perens, Eric Raymond, and representatives from a number of companies, including MySQL's Zack Urlocker, Google's Chris DiBona, and even Microsoft's Sam Ramji. It's interesting reading with plenty of nuggets — ESR can't resist a dig on the FSF, for example, while DiBona thinks Ubuntu is just about perfect."
PCM2 writes: "New Scientist reports that, like checkers before it, the Rubik's Cube has now been 'solved' via computer analysis. According to scientists at Boston's Northeastern University, any Rubik's Cube position can be returned to a fully-solved state in just 26 moves. Pretty amazing for an object that has a reported 43 quintillion combinations — but then again, not necessarily surprising if you've ever watched a Rubik's Cube competition."
PCM2 writes: "Scientists from Nasa say that Mars has warmed by about 0.5C since the 1970s. This is similar to the warming experienced on Earth over approximately the same period. Since there is no known life on Mars it suggests rapid changes in planetary climates could be natural phenomena."
PCM2 writes: "Debian founder Ian Murdock has taken a job at Sun Microsystems. 'While Ian is not giving out too much information yet about what he will be doing, we can tell you that he will be responsible for building a new strategy to evolve both Sun's Solaris and GNU/Linux,' says Sun PR rep Bob Wientzen. More info on Ian's own blog."