Sunday, February 28, 2010

OpenOffice.org-3.1(patched) vs. OpenOffice-3.2

Ubuntu put out a patch for OpenOffice.org-3.1 while the rest of the world downloaded OO-3.2. I choose to take the Ubuntu route because its the one with the most minimal impact. Ubuntu gave the security patch needed but no new features. I'll wait for Lucid thank you. I feel that any additional speed added by OO-3.2 isn't enough to move me to install the new OO and go through all the trouble.

What are Drive-by Download Exploits

What are drive-by download exploits?
The mere act of visiting a website results in the download of malicious software without user consent. This is drive-by download exploits. Of course you can choose not to visit questionable web sites and also those that have been tagged by other users as laden with malware.
In the drive-by exploit world, the most targeted application is the Adobe pdf reader accounting for more than half of exploits. The other applications in the study that are most exploited are Internet Explorer, Sun Java and Flash.
[tags malware,exploits]
[end]

Saturday, February 27, 2010

A Brave New World

It used to be that private e-mail accounts are a no-no in the workplace.  You use the e-mail account the company gave you. 

Now that everybody (arguably) has an account in Facebook and Twitter,  some of my co-workers are calling them work tools with very good reasons. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Phoronix Tests Linux File System

Phoronix did benchmark testing using their Phoronix Test Suite on EXT3, EXT4 and Btrfs file systems.  These are the most popular file system in Linux so its very interesting to see which file systems the current Linux kernel versions like best.  For the test they used the Samsung NC10 netbook using the Intel Atom N270 cpu at 1.60GHz, with an Intel Mobo and 2GB RAM.

In general, the EXT4 file system provided performance boosts both on Karmic and Lucid (development).  In some tests the speeds are almost twice the rest of the pack.

I guess it is safe to say that EXT4 will remain the Linux default file system for now.
[tags phoronix,ext4,ext3,btrfs,linux,file system]
[end]

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Use No Script

Do you use No Script?

I was using it in Firefox in Windows XP.  In 2005 at the height of browser hijacks, the only friend I have was No Script.  Changing from Internet Explorer to Firefox then was a bit maverick.  That is not the case now.  Today I am using No Script in Firefox in Ubuntu Linux.  Things are a lot more secure, my exposure to risks from the internet is down, and I disable Flash and Javascripts unless I absolutely need it. 

A security firm has reported that 80% of malware attacks used Flash vulnerabilities.

Their numbers are from the last 3 months of 2009.  The attacks also used Adobe's pdf reader and its installer.  Adobe has been blamed for being too slow to act on their software weaknesses. 

Apple has been critical of this situation with Adobe and Steve Jobs decided to not use Flash in the iPad.  This is what is needed.  A big player like Apple rejecting a technology that is not up to the challenges of the wild web, should be the wake up call for Adobe.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tray Icons In Lucid

Lucid is the next upgrade to Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distro out there.  Tray icons will undergo a radical makeover in Lucid. 

Tray icons will not only look good, they will blend with the desktop theme.  They will not only look good but actually do something when clicked.  Right and left click menus will be standardized.  I am interested about these changes because I actually use tray icons even now in their pre-Lucid implementation. 

It would be nice to see tray icons work to their full promise.

[tag tray icons,lucid]
[end]

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sun is Out, Oracle is In

The end users and customers of Sun are up in the air.  No word yet on what will happen to the products and services being handed over by Sun to Oracle.  What are these?

I can only name a few, uhm, OpenOffice, MySQL and OpenSolaris.  Perhaps to me and to the average computer user, OpenOffice is the most familiar of these.  OpenOffice is MSOffice counterpart in the open source world. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

Kitten Neuroscience

    Why is it that the tinier things get the cuter they are?  It seems that to make it look like we comprehend it, we shrink it to manageable sizes?

  Here is an illustration from the staff of boingboing.  Cats anyone?
[tags cats,boingboing]
[end]

Iran Will Offer A National E-mail Service

Like the boy who is desperately trying to plug the water leaks with his fingers, Iran has decided to block Google services and has decided to launch a national e-mail service.

  One reply to this post from boingboing says:   "I hear Iran's national email service has a really great spam filter.  NOTHING GET'S THROUGH."
[tags iran,boingboing,spam,email]
[end]

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Yet Another IE Bug

Yep, there's another bug in Internet Explorer and this one turns your system into a public file server.  This bug gives access to your hard drive if you're running Internet Explorer.  I run a different browser, I should be safe, right? 

Unfortunately, IE comes with all Windows and you need it if you want to get updated.  It's the only browser that the MSN website permits.  Plus any application in Windows (Outlook, for example) that has to connect to the web uses at least a component of IE.  So you have to wonder what else is vulnerable in Windows/Vista. 

Windows is like a nasty habit, you want to stop and the only advice I have for you is do that.  Stop.

[tags IE,bugs,security]
[end]