udippel writes: I have been tasked to develop a beginner's course titled 'Procedural Programming' for the faculty of engineering. The 'desired' language is C. While I see many reasons for everyone to know this language, I still feel — and know from earlier experience teaching it — that its imperative character down to the gory details (data types, declaration, lack of strings, difficult syntax, etc.) tends to get in the way of actually drilling down into the basic concepts of procedural (functional) programming. I for one imagine that Python or even xxsh can significantly simplify the 'syntax hurdle' and instead offer much more space for the procedural aspects. How do you perceive these thoughts; can you provide arguments for or against C, respectively suggest another language?
udippel writes: Working in a university, to me, it looks as if recently our bean-counters were convinced by some Microsoft-Sales-Drone that Forefront would finally be the answer to their prayers. Since then, there is no Internet access to any student or staff, if not logged on to a Microsoft Domain of our institution, with NTLMv2, etc., blabla. Meaning, that we, the non-Microsofties, would not get any more software, be it Ubuntu, *BSD, or MAC. But even the users of Windows would not get updates or packages for, e.g. LaTex or R. So what we have thought of, is to propose to the management a sensible alternative. We do understand the need to authenticate users one way or another; there are just too many crooks and free-riders around. Now my question to the crowd: What do you suggest to propose in order to authenticate users, but with a cross-platform authentication method? Radius, Kerberos, or ??. My question: How do the people of the Slashdot-community solve the problem of authenticating users across platforms? And not relying on plaintext, simple Myplace123-passwords?
udippel writes: The Register made some headlines [theregister.co.uk] first, scary. There is a video [vimeo.com] that demos how to compile a small program; or upload it to your unprivileged shell, or exploit some scripting on a web server to get some shell, for example the one needed to send out mail, and off you go. Since it is the exploit of a race condition, the whole system could as well crash or hang. In its article, The Register still says "Versions 7.1 and and beyond are not vulnerable". Just one day later, the author uploaded another video [vimeo.com], demonstrating the whole process another time, this time for FreeBSD 7.2. Scary. I start to question FOSS, and wonder, how few cold eyes have reviewed this code, overlooking a NULL-dereference plus a race condition. Icing on the cake: Przemyslaw Frasunek, who discovered the misery, duly informed FreeBSD on August 29th; but his message, so the FreeBSD guys, "got lost in the slew". Is this the kind of OS we will gladly recommend for security-related applications?
udippel writes: The Register made some headlines first, scary. There is a video video that demos how to compile a small program; or upload it to your unprivileged shell, or exploit some scripting on a web server to get some shell, for example the one needed to send out mail, and off you go. Since it is the exploit of a race condition, the whole system could as well crash or hang. In the article, The register still says "Versions 7.1 and and beyond are not vulnerable". Just one day later, the author uploaded another video, demonstrating the whole process another time, this time for FreeBSD 7.2.
udippel writes: Some Boffins claim to have a process to turn waste palm-based cooking oil into bio-fuel to energise small aircraft of the type Jetpod. According to the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama), Universiti Tenaga Nasional (Uniten) has developed the new jet-fuel based on one of the major export commodities of Malaysia, palm oil, during the last 6 years. Avcen will try the new fuel within 3 months time. The production time from waste coking oil to jet-fuel takes less than 30 minutes, confirms the Vice-Chancellor of Uniten, Dr. Mashkuri. The Jetpod will be used as executive jet, military support aircraft, courier and air ambulance. It is estimated that more than two billion litres of palm-based vegetable cooking oil is consumed annually in Malaysia and the high volume is usually discarded into rivers, which eventually leads to environmental pollution and disruption in the eco-system. The biodiesel developed is said to fulfill the standard of the United States' National Biodiesel Board. "Uniten knows how to mass-produce the oil using the microwave technology and this is the technology we are interested in" said the inventor of the Jetpod
Sounds almost too good: fry your dinner and then pour the waste oil into your fly-machine for the way home, where you can take a swim in unpolluted waters in front of your home.
udippel writes: DELL has made up his / their minds: It is going to be Ubuntu, tells us The Register:
Nothing much to be added, except that I hope it will come out a great success; for Ubuntu as well as DELL.
Hey, I also hope that the boxes then will be delivered with 100% Linux-kernel compatible hardware; able to run other distros just as well.
And I wonder how DELL is going to sort the support nightmare that IMHO will creep up.
"Sun Microsystems is set to license OpenSolaris under the upcoming GNU General Public License Version 3 in addition to the existing Common Development and Distribution License, sources close to the company have told eWEEK. OpenSolaris currently is licensed only under Sun's CDDL, but company executives have previously floated the idea of a dual license with GPLv3. Sources told eWEEK that this is very likely to happen after the release of that version of the GPL, which currently is being rewritten and is expected to be made final soon."
Get-me-one-of-those-please-noooot ! writes: A bad apple — "You purchased a bad apple in the wrong country — bad luck for you !" We have many fanboys of Apple and many fans of its services. Though, this might have more to do with being in the US and strict consumer satisfaction tradition. Elsewhere, they don't seem to take things so customer-friendly. Beware buying a rotten Apple in South-East-Asia ! You might as well get the confirmation from Apple that your machine has a 'manufacturing defect' and that they would undertake some effort to repair it — during the warranty period, that is. If this does not lead to a functional system, you've gambled — and lost. Thus we can read from a very happy customer here: http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/61154
udippel writes: Huh, for you to know. You'll reject this probably as usual; and actually, the honour to submit this news should be given to a developer.
But at least, I'll do my duties as slashdot reader and so you may do yours and pull the flush. As usual.