My esteemed friend Dr. Rich Boakes has noticed some odd behaviour in his Apache logs that turned out to be people abusing his OpenID server to make page requests to remote sites, presumably as a way of increasing clicks. He raises an interesting point as to whether this makes OpenID servers potential DDoS amplifiers (I suspect he’s right).
i4i said it has looked at OpenOffice and found it doesn’t infringe on its patents.
Which is good news for ODF, but still demonstrates what an utter minefield software patents are. The sooner they’re gone the better.
Uh oh, this sounds really bad! LWN is reporting that:
Here is a press release from legal firm McKool Smith, which is quite proud at having gotten a US court to rule that Word violates patent #5,787,499. “Today’s permanent injunction prohibits Microsoft from selling or importing to the United States any Microsoft Word products that have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML.” The text of this patent is quite vague; if it stands it could almost certainly be used to make life difficult for free software as well.
Microsoft taking a beating for this is not something to celebrate, this is yet another example of how software patents are really bad for all the players in computing.
Intel found that if a user sets up a BIOS password on the SSD, then disables or changes the password, the contents of the drive become corrupted and irretrievably lost.
Probably not an issue for HPC storage systems, more an issue for desktop ones I guess.
commit 57d7f282271a83fe4ca4bd15eee79be577210210 Author: Greg Kroah-Hartman
Date: Fri Jul 31 21:28:16 2009 -0700 TTY: Maintainer change Clearly, I am a glutton for punishment. I'll see if I can see Alan's changes through to the end, otherwise I'll be fending off a lot of bug reports for usb-serial devices. Cc: Alan Cox Signed-off-by: Greg Kroah-Hartman Signed-off-by: Linus Torvalds
So the self-described “Maintainer of Crap” has added some more dodgy code to his collection.. 😉
So a big round of applause to Alan Cox for starting this dirty nasty work off and another big vote of thanks to Greg for picking it up. A raspberry to Linus for annoying Alan enough to make him give up on a really really tough job. 🙁
Just got back from a talk Donna was doing to find that the BoM has issued a tsunami warning for Victoria after a large earthquake near New Zealand.
An undersea earthquake of magnitude 7.9 has occurred at 07:22 PM EST on Wednesday 15 July 2009 at 45.960S , 166.470E off W. COAST OF S. ISLAND, N.Z. Sea level observations have confirmed a tsunami has been generated.
The weather bureau says there is a potential tsunami threat to New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island.
No risk to us, being well inland, but hopefully those nearer the coast will be OK.
Update: Well it was tiny – 774melbourne (ABC local radio) on Twitter reported:
The project was initiated in response to the lack of quality in the Free Software-based hardware solutions currently on the market. As many reviewers and end-users have stated, the pre-installed software used by hardware vendors generated a bad image for Free Software with potentially interested end-users. Much of the software was buggy and not widely tested and device drivers were often unstable, non-free or not available at all.
There’s a lot of questions to answer yet – what form factor, what software, etc – so they are running a survey to try and gauge peoples thoughts. The site says there is a second survey planned for a later date, presumably focusing in on options once they’ve got general ideas. The other interesting thing is that they’ve apparently already got a major PC manufacturer lined up and they are aiming to be shipping by late 2009 with part of the profits going to funding FOSS projects.
There is more information in Frank Karlitschek’s presentation (PDF) from the Desktop Summit in Gran Canaria.
I suspect that the world and its dog will have heard about this by now, but in case you’ve somehow missed the announcement from Google..
Google Chrome OS will run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and we are working with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market next year. The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies. And of course, these apps will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving developers the largest user base of any platform.
If (and I emphasis if) this takes off then MS might be in for something of a rough ride in the Netbook market. The Netbook vendors have been unable to stand up to the MS monopoly with Linux on Netbooks until now, perhaps Google can start to rebalance the marked a little ?
The ABC is reporting the depressing, but not entirely unsurprising, fact that 65,000 people have joined an anti-immigration Facebook group.
I’d like to make a suggestion to all that groups members – given that you want immigrants to leave Australia perhaps you would do the rest of us the honour of going first given that your ancestors arrived here with the last 1% of the inhabited time of this continent ?
Thank you for your understanding..