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GNOME

GNOME 3.8 Released Featuring New "Classic" Mode 267

Hot on the heels of the Gtk+ 3.8 release comes GNOME 3.8. There are a few general UI improvements, but the highlight for many is the new Classic mode that replaces fallback. Instead of using code based on the old GNOME panel, Classic emulates the feel of GNOME 2 through Shell extensions (just like Linux Mint's Cinnamon interface). From the release notes: "Classic mode is a new feature for those people who prefer a more traditional desktop experience. Built entirely from GNOME 3 technologies, it adds a number of features such as an application menu, a places menu and a window switcher along the bottom of the screen. Each of these features can be used individually or in combination with other GNOME extensions."
Security

Submission + - Hole in Linux kernel provides root rights (h-online.com)

oztiks writes: A vulnerability in the 32-bit compatibility mode of the current Linux kernel (and previous versions) for 64-bit systems can be exploited to escalate privileges. For instance, attackers can break into a system and exploit a hole in the web server to get complete root (also known as superuser) rights or permissions for a victim's system.

According to a report, the problem occurs because the 32-bit call emulation layer does not check whether the call is truly in the Syscall table. Ben Hawkes, who discovered the problem, says the vulnerability can be exploited to execute arbitrary code with kernel rights. An exploit (direct download of source code) is already in circulation; in a test conducted by The H's associates at heise Security on 64-bit Ubuntu 10.04, it opened a shell with root rights.

The kernel developers have remedied the flaw in the repository, and Linux distributors will probably soon publish new kernels to close the hole. Until then, switching off 32-bit ELF support solves the problem if you can do without this function. For instructions, see: "Workaround for Ac1db1tch3z exploit".

Hawkes says the vulnerability was discovered and remedied back in 2007, but at some point in 2008 kernel developers apparently removed the patch, reintroducing the vulnerability. The older exploit apparently only needed slight modifications to work with the new hole.

 

Earth

Submission + - SPAM: Will Our Earth Blackout in 2013 ?

ninjaguitar writes: If you’ve had your fill of apocalyptic scenarios, earthquakes, volcanoes and global warming, here comes a new threat which may wipe out the world in 2013.Imagine a scene from any of Hollywood’s disaster films. An eerie scene where mobile phones go on the blink, GPS is knocked out, TVs go blank and the world is plunged into chaos.

Looks like disaster flicks aren’t too removed from reality since all this could well be the potential result of a gigantic solar storm, according to a new report by NASA. The report, a warning, says Earth and space are coming together in a way that’s new to human history. A solar storm, which is essentially violent eruptions in the sun, can eject destructive radiation and charged particles into space. These are closely connected to magnetic fields – which are hazardous for satellites and space stations...

Link to Original Source
Networking

Submission + - IEEE 802.3ba Standard Released (net-security.org) 1

An anonymous reader writes: EEE announced the ratification of IEEE 802.3ba 40Gb/s and 100Gb/s Ethernet, a new standard governing 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s Ethernet operations. An amendment to the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard, IEEE 802.3ba, the first standard ever to simultaneously specify two new Ethernet speeds, paves the way for the next generation of high-rate server connectivity and core switching. The new standard will act as the catalyst needed for unlocking innovation across the greater Ethernet ecosystem. IEEE 802.3ba is expected to trigger further expansion of the 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet family of technologies by driving new development efforts, as well as providing new aggregation speeds that will enable 10 Gb/s Ethernet network deployments.
Wine

Submission + - Wine 1.2 release candidate announced (winehq.org)

An anonymous reader writes: After evolving over 15 years to get to 1.0, a mere 2 years later and Wine 1.2 is just about here.
There have been many many improvements and plenty of new features added. Listing just a few (doing no justice to the complete change set)
    — Many new toolbar icons.
    — Support for alpha blending in image lists.
    — Much more complete shader assembler.
    — Support for Arabic font shaping and joining.
    — A number of fixes for video rendering.
    — Font anti-aliasing configuration through fontconfig.
    — Improved handling of desktop link files.

Win64 support is the milestone that marks this release.

Please test your favorite applications for problems and regressions and let the Wine team know so fixes can be made before the final release. Find the release candidate here.

Hardware

1 Molecule Computes Thousands of Times Faster Than a PC 246

alexhiggins732 writes with this tantalizing PopSci snippet: "A demo of a quantum calculation carried out by Japanese researchers has yielded some pretty mind-blowing results: a single molecule can perform a complex calculation thousands of times faster than a conventional computer. A proof-of-principle test run of a discrete Fourier transform — a common calculation using spectral analysis and data compression, among other things — performed with a single iodine molecule transpired very well, putting all the molecules in your PC to shame."
Linux

Submission + - 1 Second Linux Boot! (embedded-bits.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: Less than one second Linux boot! This post/video shows an OMAP3530 capturing video data from a camera and rendering it to an LCD display — the video appears on the LCD display in less than a second from reset.

Submission + - Why don't people use Computers? 3

Tibia1 writes: Many people, mostly older folks or people who don't require computers to live their dailies lives (usually involving heavy amounts of television,) do not use computers. Why not? Is it because when they first heard about computers, they were 1 million times less powerful and useful, not to mention much harder to use. And now, they feel that they cannot overcome this 'intensive learning process' that merely involves learning how to use a mouse, and to read. Some people simply think that they are useless, and because of hearing about 'virus problems' and other small issues that make computers look quite unattractive for an uninformed individual. Or, maybe they are downright against computers, and any other 'technological revolution' they can complain about while lounging in their comfy home that technology has made possible. I estimate that if you forced every person who does not use a computer in the entire world to use a computer for a week, they would have difficulty returning to normal life without that all encompassing aid. So, what's keeping people away from the biggest technological tool of the century that is getting easier to use every single day?
Science

Submission + - Colliding Particles Can Make Black Holes After All (sciencemag.org) 1

cremeglace writes: Particle physicists predict the world's new highest-energy atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva, Switzerland, might create tiny black holes, which they say would be a fantastic discovery. Some doomsayers fear those black holes might gobble up Earth--physicist say that's impossible--and have petitioned the United Nations to stop the $5.5 billion LHC. Curiously, though, nobody had ever shown that the prevailing theory of gravity, Einstein's theory of general relativity, actually predicts that a black hole can be made this way. Now a computer model shows conclusively for the first time that a particle collision really can make a black hole. No need to stock up on canned beans for doomsday though--the black holes still require energies vastly exceeding what the LHC is capable of.
Debian

Submission + - Benchmarks of Debian GNU/kFreeBSD vs. GNU/Linux (phoronix.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Debian Squeeze release is going to be accompanied by a first-rate kFreeBSD port and now early benchmarks of this port have started coming out using daily install images. The Debian GNU/kFreeBSD project is marrying the FreeBSD kernel with a GNU userland and glibc while making most of the Debian repository packages available for kfreebsd-i386 and kfreebsd-amd64. The first Debian GNU/kFreeBSD benchmarks compare the performance of it to Debian GNU/Linux with the 2.6.30 kernel while the rest of the packages are the same. Results are shown for both i386 and x86_64 flavors. Debian GNU/kFreeBSD may be running well, but it has a lot of catching up to do in terms of speed against Linux.

Submission + - Dealing with moving into open-space offices?

KlaymenDK writes: The team of developers I'm part of will soon be moving into our country headquarters from a branch office. The branch office consists of 2-3 person offices, with more space for managers and meeting rooms. The headquarters, on the other hand, was rebuilt some years ago into the then-fashionable "open-space" format; apart from the print rooms there are now only a few huge 60-80 person open-space offices; even the hallways were included so people must walk right between the tables (talking to one another or into cell phones) and there are no meeting rooms or manager's offices. Of course we have our share of colleagues who are plain noise-makers, or who just happen to have "fog horn" or "buzz saw" voices (poor souls). My awesome boss and team leader have been unable to secure any kind of "quiet space" for us developers.

So I ask: How can we, as developers, best deal with this? (I don't want to quit over it, so that's one suggestion you can skip). I could work from home several days a week, but I really don't have room for a permanent home office in my flat. I am looking into noise cancelling headphones/earbuds (I don't want to drown out noise with more noise (music), I would "just" like a bit of quiet) and even considering DIY egg-carton cubicle partitions. I am also trying to locate some of the studies and reports that debunk open-space offices (convincing management is a reeeaaal long shot, but I have to try turning every stone) so if you know where to find 'em, links please. I fear I'll be the guy who jumps up twenty times a day and shouts SHUT THE HELL UP EVERYONE! I clearly need some help before that actually happens!
Security

Submission + - Null Character Hack Allows SSL Spoofing (wired.com) 3

eldavojohn writes: Two researchers, Dan Kaminsky and Moxie Marlinspike, came up with exact same way to fake being a popular website with authentication from a certificate authority. Wired has the details: 'When an attacker who owns his own domain — badguy.com — requests a certificate from the CA, the CA, using contact information from Whois records, sends him an email asking to confirm his ownership of the site. But an attacker can also request a certificate for a subdomain of his site, such as Paypal.com\0.badguy.com, using the null character \0 in the URL. The CA will issue the certificate for a domain like PayPal.com\0.badguy.com because the hacker legitimately owns the root domain badguy.com. Then, due to a flaw found in the way SSL is implemented in many browsers, Firefox and others theoretically can be fooled into reading his certificate as if it were one that came from the authentic PayPal site. Basically when these vulnerable browsers check the domain name contained in the attacker's certificate, they stop reading any characters that follow the "\0 in the name.'

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