Down the rabbit hole, part 5: Secure and private instant messaging

By Bryan Lunduke

Instant messaging is hard.

There are untold numbers of instant messaging networks (not even taking SMS into consideration)—with companies like Google having, all by themselves, created a half dozen competing applications and networks. And, if you want those messages to be secure? Well, things get even more difficult—there simply aren’t many options.

In my ongoing quest to make my life as secure and private as possible, I’ve found three instant messaging networks that are worth talking about. They’re not perfect, but they are significant improvements over using the many, astoundingly insecure platforms out there (such as Google’s Hangouts or Apple’s iMessage). Let’s go over those here, with their benefits and pitfalls.

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From: Network World

System76 brings Ubuntu to $699 laptop with Kaby Lake chips

By Agam Shah

If Windows 10 isn’t your cup of tea, System76 has a new Ubuntu laptop with Intel’s Kaby Lake chip that won’t burn your wallet.

The 14-inch Lemur laptop starts at $699, a more affordable price for cost-sensitive users than Dell’s Ubuntu-based XPS 13 Developer Edition, which starts at $949.

“We don’t have any Mac tax or Windows tax that goes into [Lemur],” said Ryan Sipes, community manager at System76.

Despite having a free OS, Dell’s XPS 13 laptop has been criticized for being more expensive than the XPS 13 with Windows 10, which starts at $799.99. The Lemur is has many features in common with the XPS 13 DE, though it isn’t as slick-looking.

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From: Network World

If Linux never was: Imagining an alternate reality without Linux

By Bryan Lunduke

Ever read a story so depressing, so utterly devoid of happiness, that you wonder why on Earth any fool would take the time to write it down? Just solid sadness beginning to end.

This, right here, is one of those stories.

This dismal little tale also makes use of what is quite possibly the most over-used (and over-rated) plot device in the history of mankind: the butterfly effect. You know: the notion that a simple little thing can have extreme consequences. A butterfly flaps its wings in Sheboygan, and two days later, a hurricane hits Walla Walla. Because—the butterfly effect. Just a dreadful crutch used by hack writers to move forward a story when they can’t come up with any original ideas.

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From: Network World

Step-by-step guide to setting up dual boot on your PC or laptop

By Susan Perschke

Are you tired of your operating system dictating what you can and can’t do with your PC or laptop? Need more control over your computing environment? Dual boot might be the answer. I have a dual boot dream machine running both Windows 10 and Linux Mint 18. What I can’t do with one OS, I can do with the other.

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(Insider Story)

From: Network World

Easy-to-exploit rooting flaw puts Linux computers at risk

By Lucian Constantin

The maintainers of Linux distributions are rushing to patch a privilege escalation vulnerability that’s already being exploited in the wild and poses a serious risk to servers, desktops and other devices that run the OS.

The vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2016-5195, has existed in the Linux kernel for the past nine years. This means that many kernel versions that are used in a variety of computers, servers, routers, embedded devices and hardware appliances are affected.

The Red Hat security team describes the flaw as a “race” condition, “in the way the Linux kernel’s memory subsystem handles the copy-on-write (COW) breakage of private read-only memory mappings.” This allows an attacker who gains access to a limited user account to obtain root privileges and therefore take complete control over the system.

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From: Network World

Celebrating 12 years of Ubuntu

By Jon Gold

birthday ubuntu 1
Happy birthday

Founder Mark Shuttleworth announced the first public release of Ubuntu – version 4.10, or “Warty Warthog” – on Oct. 20, 2004. The idea behind what would become the most recognizable and widely used Linux distributions ever was simple – create a Linux operating system that anybody could use. Here’s a look back at Ubuntu’s history.

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From: Network World

IDG Contributor Network: Ubuntu 16.10 targets hybrid cloud deployments, supports Unity 8 development

By Dan Kusnetzky

Canonical, developer of Ubuntu, a distribution of Linux, released a new version of its software that targets hybrid cloud deployments. Ubuntu is often mentioned as one of the top 3 distributions of Linux when shipments are considered, depending upon which research firm one cites.

What Canonical has to say about Ubuntu 16.10

Canonical pointed out that this release of Ubuntu targets high-performance network deployments, including hybrid cloud implementations. The following summarizes the announcement:

  • Ubuntu is the platform used in the majority of cloud deployments worldwide.
  • Version 16.10 includes tools or hybrid cloud operations, bare-metal cloud performance.
  • It provides enterprises with the ability to “lift and shift” 80 percent of Linux virtual machines to machine containers.
  • It includes Kubernetes for process-container coordination.
  • It also includes full container support in OpenStack, as well as “telco-grade” networking latency enhancements.

Canonical went on to discuss other features of this release:

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From: Network World

elementary OS 0.4: Review and interview with the founder

By Bryan Lunduke

Last month the elementary team released elementary OS “Loki” 0.4.

Needless to say, I wasted no time downloading and installing that bad boy on one of my machines. Even though I tend to use openSUSE on most of my desktops and laptops, I’ve had a soft spot for elementary since its very first release. It’s always been a high-quality, polished system—and the team behind it clearly care a great deal about the user experience.

+ Also on Network World: Highly social Linux nerds worth following +

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From: Network World

6 reasons to try Linux today

By Brad Chacos

There’s never been a better time to give Linux a try.

Wait, don’t slam on that back button! I’m not one of those rabid “Year of the Linux desktop” types. Windows works just fine for hundreds of millions of people, and—sorry, Linux lovers—there’s little to suggest Linux usage will ever be more than a rounding error compared to Microsoft’s behemoth.

That said, there are some pretty compelling reasons you might want to consider switching to Linux on your computer, or at least give it a hassle-free trial run.

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From: Network World

Google Graveyard: What Google has killed in 2016

By Bob Brown

google graveyard 2016 1

From: Network World