Jack M. Germain

About the Author Jack M. Germain


Reviews

GeckoLinux: A Polished Distro Just Got Smoother

GeckoLinux offers both seasoned users and new distro adopters an easy way to try an openSuse-based spin that is loaded with features and an ample inventory of the leading Linux desktops. The developer released a major update of GeckoLinux earlier this week. I enjoyed testing the beta version last fall, and I was even more pleased with the added embellishments packed into this final version.

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Community

Massive Intel Chip Security Flaw Threatens Computers

A design flaw in all Intel chips produced in the last decade is responsible for a vulnerability that puts Linux, Windows and macOS-powered computers at risk, according to multiple press reports. The flaw reportedly is in the kernel that controls the chip performance, allowing commonly used programs to access the contents and layout of a computer’s protected kernel memory areas.

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Reviews

If You’re Ready for Arch, ArchMerge Eases the Way

Newcomer ArchMerge Linux offers a big change for the better to those switching from the Debian Linux lineage to the Arch Linux infrastructure. ArchMerge Linux is a recent spinoff of ArchLabs Linux, which is a step up from most Arch Linux offerings in terms of installation and usability. Arch Linux distros are notorious for their challenging installation and software management processes.

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Software

Fixes MIA for Many Linux Kernel Flaws

A Google code security researcher’s recent discovery of 14 flaws in Linux kernel USB drivers led to last-minute fixes in the Linux 4.14 release candidate code set for distribution on Sunday. The flaws, which Google researcher Andrey Konovalov disclosed this week, affect the Linux kernel before version 4.13.8. All 14 have available fixes. However, there are other flaws that have not been fixed.

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Developers

Companies Turn Blind Eye to Open Source Security Risks

Many software developers and enterprise users have been lax or oblivious to the need to properly manage open source software. A new report highlights the consequences of failure to establish open source acquisition and usage policies, and to follow best practices. Flexera polled more than 400 commercial software suppliers and in-house software development teams within enterprises.

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Enterprise

Container Runtime Brings Greater Flexibility to Kubernetes and BOSH

The Cloud Foundry Foundation has launched Container Runtime as the default deployment and management platform for containers using Kubernetes and BOSH. The foundation announced Container Runtime at its annual European user conference. Cloud Foundry is an open source Platform as a Service offering used for building and managing applications in the cloud or in data centers.

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Software

RoboCyberWall Aims to Block Linux Server Hacks

RoboCyberWall has launched its proprietary precision firewall solution bearing the same name. RoboCyberWall is designed to protect HTTP and HTTPS ports on Linux-based Apache2 and NGINX Web servers. The patent-pending firewall blocks all known exploits and zero-day attacks on Apache2 and NGINX Web servers, according to the developer. The Linux server firewall solution targets small and mid-sized business users.

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Community

Open Source Survey Exposes Community Troubles

GitHub has released the results of its survey on open source software development, practices and worldwide communities. Responses from more than 6,000 participants reveal some of the problems missing or poorly done documentation can have on users and project adoption. The survey also reveals an ongoing concern about nasty interactions among community members and negative attitudes toward women.

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Reviews

BitKey Unlocks Mysteries of the Bitcoin Universe

BitKey is a Debian-based live distribution with specialist utilities for performing highly secure air-gapped bitcoin transactions. This distro is not for everyday computing needs, but if you are obsessed with the use of bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, it might be just what you need. I am a high-tech sort of guy with a keen interest in diving through Linux distros both simple and complex.

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Enterprise

MariaDB Offers a Bigger Box of Transactional Tools

MariaDB last week announced the availability of MariaDB TX 2.0, a fully functional open source transactional database solution for modern application development and enterprise use cases. MariaDB TX offers a comprehensive package of technology and services, including feature-rich new releases of MariaDB Server and MariaDB MaxScale, which close the functional gap between open source and proprietary offerings.

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Reviews

Feren OS: A Linux Desktop Game-Changer

Feren OS is a polished and well-stocked Linux distro that comes close to being an ideal replacement for Microsoft Windows and macOS. In fact, this impressive Linux OS is a very attractive replacement for any Linux distro. The only impediment to this assessment is dislike of the Cinnamon desktop. Feren OS does not give you any other desktop options, but it comes with many configuration choices.

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Enterprise

Red Hat Gives JBoss AMQ a Makeover

Red Hat on Thursday announced JBoss AMQ 7, a messaging platform upgrade that enhances its overall performance and improves client availability for developers. JBoss AMQ is a lightweight, standards-based open source platform designed to enable real-time communication between applications, services, devices and the Internet of Things, based on the Apache ActiveMQ and Apache Qpid community projects.

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Software

New Strain of Linux Malware Could Get Serious

A new strain of malware targeting Linux systems, dubbed “Linux/Shishiga,” could morph into a dangerous security threat. Eset disclosed the threat, which represents a new Lua family unrelated to previously seen LuaBot malware. Linux/Shishiga uses four protocols — SSH, Telnet, HTTP and BitTorrent — and Lua scripts for modularity, wrote Detection Engineer Michal Malik and Eset researchers.

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Software

Moby, LinuxKit Kick Off New Docker Collaboration Phase

Docker this week introduced two new projects at DockerCon with an eye to helping operating system vendors, software creators and in-house tinkerers create container-native OSes and container-based systems. The projects are based on a new model for cross-ecosystem collaboration and the advancement of containerized software. Both projects aim to help users adopt container technology.

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Software

Report: Commercial Software Riddled With Open Source Code Flaws

Black Duck Software has released its 2017 Open Source Security and Risk Analysis, detailing significant cross-industry risks related to open source vulnerabilities and license compliance challenges. Black Duck conducted audits of more than 1,071 open source applications for the study. There are widespread weaknesses in addressing open source security vulnerability risks across key industries.

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Software

Kingsoft Adds Cloud Support to WPS Office

Kingsoft had announced an expansion to its WPS Office suite to include WPS Cloud. The upgrade enables users to work in a cross-platform office suite environment with added storage, file roaming and sharing capabilities. The cloud-enhanced version is available for PCs and mobile as a fully functional free release and with premium subscriptions. It runs on Linux, Windows, Mac and Android devices.

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Reviews

Fatdog64: More Bark Than Bite

Fatdog64 has the potential to serve as an alternative lightweight OS to Linux distros such as Puppy Linux, Knoppix and Zephyr. However, it has some critical usability issues that need to be fixed first. Fatdog64 seems to have lost its performance edge over earlier versions that made it more appealing as an alternative “frugal” Linux candidate. The latest update does nothing to remedy that problem.

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Developers

Cloud Foundry Aims to Close Cloud Skills Gap

The Cloud Foundry Foundation has announced the launch of a worldwide cloud-native developer certification initiative. The foundation created the program to fill the widening gap of trained programmers for cloud apps and services. The Linux Foundation — which has trained and certified more developers on open source software than any organization in the world — will provide the instruction.

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Reviews

OpenSuse Leap Reinforces Linux Faith

OpenSuse Leap 42.2 goes a long way toward maintaining Suse’s reputation for reliability and stability. That said, new users might need a push to take the leap from their familiar distros to this latest OpenSuse release. Business users can remain confident that upgrading to the latest edition, released last fall, won’t put them too close to the bleeding edge of innovation.

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