Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at Techarraz.com. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.
Digg users all over the world are particularly unhappy about the redesign and the Digg V4. However, another faction on the internet, the redditors have seen an increase in traffic after the Digg redesign.
From the very first day of the redesign, Digg saw a usurping revolt. The first page was flooded with Reddit links as a protest. The redesign has also brought some undesirable changes as the first page only shows links from top-notch blogs like Engadget. However, Digg has been biased about undoing the change and believes that it will get acceptance someday.
Reddit, on the other hand is enjoying this show as its own traffic has gone up by twenty-four percent. The coincidence of numbers is amusing even though their relation might be irrelevant. Everyone who leaves Digg will not necessarily join Reddit.
This war between Digg and Reddit took and interesting phase and the redesign being a #fail, Digg’s growth is a big question mark now. On one hand, it has already lost too much to continue any further while on the other hand, the growth and acceptance it was expecting will never realize down if Digg reverts to the earlier design. Digg has to decide and decide fast and right.
The future of Mandriva is unclear and it is more likely to die alone. However, recently, the Mandriva project has claimed that it still has some blood left to fight. To have a better picture, here is a series of events that usurped this reaction.
Firstly, Mandriva is almost regarded as dead by many and this notion is fueled by the birth of Mageia, a fork of Mandriva that also claims Mandriva’s death and has declared itself as the successor. It already claims support from earlier employees and this you can see more on this fork at its official website.
The Mandriva mailing list gets serious on this matter and a direct question is posed. This can be found here.
Mandriva has responded by saying that it is going strong and will now focus on the ARM architecture for tablets and low-power PCs. It is also developing a cloud solution and is hiring around twenty developers in Brazil. The statement on the official blog appeared here. According to it, Mandriva has recovered from a huge debt.
The question to ask here is whether Mandriva is actually in a state to continue or it is trying to cling to some false hopes. As far as I know, it was acquired by Linagora and we covered it a few days ago too. What is the guarantee that this this situation will not repeat? Will it at all be able to handle the situation in future? What led Mandriva to make this resurrection? Until these questions are answered, I doubt Mandriva will get back its reliability.
Adobe is out to change the very face of photography with a new technology that computes an image instead of simply displaying it. This new technology uses plenoptic lenses to capture a series of images over certain depth range. The result? You may have guessed by now that the images thus generated can be focused (not just zoomed) in and out after being captured.
The breakthrough was presented at a keynote speech at the Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference. The technology is more of a proof of concept that ready for mass production but hey, it works! This can also make it
possible for the camera to capture 3-D images.
The concept has been proven and what remains is creating software for the cameras to do this magic. There is no word on when that will happen though, the concept is already enthralling to photographers.
Canonical has a high expertise in providing cloud computing solutions with the Ubuntu cloud. It has been running the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud service for too long now and offers security as well as a cost effective solution.
The Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud is explained as,
Cloud support with Ubuntu Advantage gives you the assurance of being able to call cloud experts whenever you face a problem or have a question about your Ubuntu cloud platform. Our cloud experts will not only resolve your current issue, but will offer guidance on the best way to prevent the issue from recurring.
Open Source has been a much advocated part of the tech industry and is extremely popular for its ideology. However, there was a general belief of lack of profits from Open Source business and there was no top-notch Open Source company to prove this wrong.
Red Hat is out to set a record by becoming the first billion dollar Open Source Company in the world leaving Oracle behind in the competition. Almost 20% of the one billion alone comes from this quarter’s profits and Red Hat is performing remarkably well in its business. The overall revenue itself has increased by 20% and Red Hat is showing signs of immense growth.
The closest competitor Oracle’s cheap stunts have failed to impress customers enough. We all know of the cheap RHEL knockoff it was trying to sell. Oracle is doing it once again and this time, it has claimed that the new Linux it has developed is 75% faster than RHEL. However, we know how benchmarks can be manipulated and I mean technically.
Charlie Peters, Red Hat’s Executive VP and CFO says,
Our revenue and operating income growth continued this quarter with strong double digit gains in both, despite the foreign currency head wind. It is clear that our value proposition is resonating with customers.
It feels god to see that at least one Open Source company is going strong.
Really, what is the deal with Stuxnet anyway? When it was detected back in June and Pallab at Techie-Buzz covered it back in July, we hardly knew it would end up in so much of badassery. Throwing some light on the issue,
The Shell Shortcut Parsing vulnerability is a particularly worrisome bug because there are not a lot of things a user can do to protect himself. Even if autorun and autoplay is disabled, users can still get infected. All that the user is required to do is to open the compromised device, network share or WebDav.
From that time on and today, Stuxnet has grown to be the most sophisticated piece of attack and for the first time in the history of worms, is posing serious threat to a specific infrastructure type.
As reported at BBC, the worm attacks power plants, water plants and industrial units, proof being a high concentration of attacks in Iran and a possible attack on its nuclear power plant. Stuxnet is like one of those dark programs we see in sci-fi movies that eat into your infrastructure. It is rightfully termed as a weapon. It does not steal information but cripples the system as a whole. The vulnerability is so serious and put simply, hardwired that a simple software patch will not help at all.
The Stuxnet worm spreads by USB drives and has the ability of reprogramming the programmable logic controller or PLC. The PLC, essentially a digital computer is the main interface between the electrical signals from the computer and the mechanical actions from say, the assembly line and other actuators. It is used extensively for the automation of these mechanical tasks.
Currently, Stuxnet is being reverse engineered and Langner Communications seems to be the only expert on it. From their analysis, it is clear that this attack is too well engineered to be the work of hackers who do it for fun. Anyone who worked on this was serious about getting back at some industries.
There was a time when James Gosling was living a life of pride. His company Sun Microsystems was on a good head start and Java was moving closer to being a decisive platform in the world of programming. In the midst of all this, Sun forgot to manage their income source and invest in some finance improvement. Result: Sun came plummeting down and Oracle took the opportunity in buying it.
James Gosling, the lead Java developer gave an exclusive interview to eWeek outlining these details;
Just about anything, I could say that would be accurate and honest would do more harm than good. There is actually a long list of things that played into my leaving Oracle; here were things like my salary offer. After getting my offer from them, I tried to figure out what my compensation would be like on my W-2 form and it was a major hit. They copied my base salary!
The reason as given by James Gosling is,
Oracle is an extremely micromanaged company. Therefore, I and my peers in the Java area were not allowed to decide anything. All of our authority to decide anything evaporated.
Oracle has full power and authority over the intellectual property of Java and this upsets James Gosling.
Google provides the governments with access to user data and a certain level of control over its storage at Google. This is a part of Google’s openness but governments are not exactly happy at this feature. In fact, just the amount of data that Google admits to have aggregates has been enough to baffle numerous governments.
Reportedly, Google has served 1,343 data requests over the period of January to June this year. That averages at seven requests per day. The requests consist of YouTube and Gmail data and the government is using this as a free ride to gathering some well-aggregated data. The US government itself has made 4,287 requests followed by 2,435 requests from Brazil and 1,430 requests from India. The data requested mainly includes identity information like IP address and registration information.
While Google is advocating free flow of information with its transparency reports service, governments are looking down upon this service, as they clearly do not like critical statistical data revealed like this. The governments are serious about this and are even willing to go to court for this. This attitude of governments is quite disturbing and this over enthusiasm about privacy and control over data is quite disturbing.
You can access the Google Transparency service here.
Tumblr and Posterous have fought a tough battle over the last few years for supremacy in the short-blogging service. Each one tried to attract users with more features. However, now the battle is nearing its end and Tumblr stands at a much better position.
Considering the fact that even as I started my short-blog a few days ago, I chose Tumblr over Posterous, I am happy to be with a better service. My idea of Tumblr and the notion about Posterous (which eventually cancelled it off my choice list) was developed after a simple opinion search on Google. Almost everyone prefers Tumblr to Posterous. Put simply, my point here is, Tumblr had won long before I or Richard MacManus at the ReadWriteWeb covered this.
The view has already been shared by a co-author here at Techie-Buzz, Tehseen Baweja who correctly predicted the scenario some months ago in this coverage.
Tumblr lost a considerable amount of customers when Posterous came into existence and lured them away. ReadWriteWeb’s coverage shows Compete and Quantcast stats as considerable proof of the fact. So, the question here is, what made Tumblr stand the tides of time and survive?
Tumblr has the advantage of being the first name in the field. This allowed it to start the show and many corporate brands started their blogs on Tumblr. The unique features of Tumblr was viewing and commenting on friend blogs from the dashboard. This allowed Tumblr to socialize its blogs and build a network around them all.
When combined, it created a perfect blend of things you would want to do on a blogging service like WordPress as well as on a microblogging service like Twitter.
Tumblr might be the next big thing and now is the right time to join it. You can also also setup Tumblr on your personal domain and this desktop client makes using Tumblr a lot easier.
No matter how much of computing power we pack into our hardware, one fact still remains. They are powered by age-old connections, the ones that had powered US Telegraph lines around a hundred and fifty years ago. Yes, I am talking about those copper wires. A nuisance as they should have become by now, IBM has finally realized the fact and come up with a better solution using an optical bus.
IBM has made this breakthrough by using photons to transfer the signals, which has been done by electrons all this while. This will record a new era of computing, which will be accompanied by massive parallelism. This simply means better implementations of Artificial Intelligence but it is not limited to that. We can reopen areas where development has been strictly theoretical or stagnant because of the lack of the necessary computing power.
What is interesting is that although Big Blue has claimed this breakthrough, the idea was also developed at Sun Microsystems, which was further funded by the DARPA. However, IBM had the advantage of stability and self-sufficiency. Therefore, it has been developing the technology on its own. In the meanwhile, Sun went down the Oracle drain and now, we have IBM taking away all the credit.