The H Week
This week, Microsoft GPL'd its Linux virtualisation drivers, there was yet more news in the SCO vs. Linux saga, signed mobile phone trojans appeared, another zero-day vulnerability was found in Adobe's products and there were several new beta releases for popular open source applications.
Open Source News
On Monday, Microsoft surprised the open source community by announcing that it would release it's Hyper-V Linux drivers as GPL licensed software. The drivers allow Linux operating systems, running as guests of Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualisation, to bypass the emulation of hardware and talk directly to the hypervisor for I/O operations, improving the performance of the hypervisor and the guest operating systems. Suggestions that this was because Microsoft had been caught violating the GPL were rebutted by the company.
A post to the Launchpad mailing list gave notice that the open sourcing of Canonical's Launchpad, the software and site that drives Canonical open source and project collaboration, would be delayed until thorough testing was completed. As it turned out testing proceeded smoothly and the launch followed the original schedule.
Mozilla awarded the best new Tab ideas in its recent Mozilla Labs "Design Challenge Summer 09" competition and Google released version 1.7 of its Google Web Toolkit (GWT), adding support for Internet Explorer 8, Firefox 3.5 and Safari 4. On Tuesday, The H covered KDE's millionth commit, the release of the source code used by the Apollo command module and Lunar module guidance systems into the public domain. Following the release of its Linux virtualisation drivers at the beginning of the week, Microsoft released its Windows Live services plug-in for the Moodle Course Management System under the GPL.
Reports surfaced from IBM lawyers that in 2008 SCO boss Darl McBride made personal payments to Steven Norris via an intermediary; Later in the week, according to submitted testimony, SCO confirmed that it paid $100,000 to Norris and that the money didn't actually come from SCO's German subsidiary, but rather from its Japanese subsidiary.
On Wednesday The H published a feature that explored the roots of the free software movement in "Hams, hackers, hobbyists and model railways" and reported on the formation of the Open Source For America coalition.
Adobe released the Open Source Media Framework (OSMF) and the Text Layout Framework (TLF) as open source on Thursday and KDE 4.3 reached its third release candidate. Mozilla was also busy this week with the release of the third beta for Thunderbird 3, its popular open source email and news client, and the release of the first beta for SeaMonkey 2.0, its "all-in-one internet application suite", a successor to the old Netscape Communicator and Mozilla Application suites. Canonical released the latest development version of its upcoming Karmic Koala Linux distribution, Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 3, and the Miro developers launched version 2.5 of their cross-platform open source HD Internet TV / podcast downloader and player.
On Friday news broke that Google's started work on integrating its O3D plug-in for hardware accelerated 3D graphics support into its Chrome web browser. . Google has also started beta testing version 3 of Chrome.
Following an advisory from Trend Micro showing that the Symbian Foundation had digitally signed a trojan for its Symbian mobile phone operating system by mistake, the Symbian Foundation said that it plans to revise its procedures for testing and signing software. An advisory from Secunia noted that Adobe is still distributing an insecure version of its Reader on its "Get Reader" web page.
For users that haven't already updated to the latest Firefox 3.5 release, Mozilla released a security update for Firefox 3 to correct five critical vulnerabilities and Wireshark, Helix Server and WordPress also received important updates this week to patch various security problems. A root vulnerability was discovered in the DD-WRT free router firmware used by Linksys, D-Link Buffalo, ASUS and others that lets attackers run programs with root privileges on the router.
A new zero-day critical security vulnerability has been found in Adobe's Flash Player for Windows, Macintosh and Linux that also affects Adobe Reader and Acrobat 9.x for all platforms. HSBC, Europe's largest bank, was fined a record total of £3.2 million by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) on Thursday for losing personal data.
On Friday, The H published a new feature called "Protecting SSH from brute force attacks" that described how users can protect themselves from login attacks and Microsoft announced that it plans to improve security in Office 2010 by using a sandbox for suspect files.
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