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29 December 2012, 11:04

The H Roundup 2012 - September to December

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The H Roundup 2012 As the end of the year approaches, The H's weekly roundup expands its scope and looks back, month by month at 2012, sharing the most read stories and features for each of those months. In the first two parts we looked at January to April and May to August. In this part, we head into the winter, looking at September to December...


The jQuery developers decided to reduce confusion by dropping the GPL dual licencing for its popular JavaScript library. Mozilla took time to show what the Firefox OS smartphone operating system looks like and the founder of the Linux Mint project joined in the complaints about the changes to GNOME's Nautilus file manager – he later decided to fork the project and, like Cinnamon, aims to take it in its own direction. WhatsApp was back in the news and broken as it was, users found that there was almost no protection for their account information. Meanwhile, NVIDIA appeared to be working on adding Optimus support to its drivers on Linux.

Connecting up more than just standard peripherals to the Raspberry Pi is easy as Andrew Back showed in his feature article for The H, while Jürgen Schmidt demonstrated that CloudCracker was a fatal blow for a number of encrypted connection implementations.


A "by design" issue in Google Drive was seen to be opening a backdoor to Google accounts. Mozilla's Sweet.js was released to help sweeten up JavaScript syntax and Oracle showed which way they planned to take Java in the coming years. Routers are a valuable attack vector and a report from Brazil showed that millions of them had been hacked to redirect their owners to malware. NVIDIA opened a can of kernel worms when it suggested that the GPL flag be removed from a particular Linux interface.

Two big arrivals were featured this month: Thorsten Leemhuis wrote up the complete overview of what was new in the latest Linux kernel, 3.6, and Fabian Scherschel looked at the release of Ubuntu 12.10 which got slightly mired in controversy. Scherschel also talked with Rasterman, the man behind the Englightenment environment as it was confirmed that the E17 desktop was finally due to arrive. Andrew Back got a taste of the open GSM future when he put a sysmoBTS system through its paces.


How do you insert malicious iFrames into web server traffic? In November it was found that one way was to create a rootkit which hid as a driver and manipulated network traffic to do just that. Times got harder for open source developers at AMD as the company dismissed a number of them. On the good news front though, Munich showed how it saved €10million by using Linux in local government and Linus Torvalds noted that the Linux/Android situation was improving when speaking at LinuxCon Europe. Tiny Core Linux brought in support for "Self Contained Modules" to make it easier to manage applications on the minimalist Linux distribution.

While at LinuxCon Europe, Glyn Moody sat down with Linus Torvalds and found out how Torvalds world view had changed since Moody last met him in 1996. And as Linux 3.7 approached, The H published Thorsten Leemhuis's detailed previews of what was coming in the new kernel, as we do for every forthcoming kernel release.


Build an open source laptop? The man behind the Chumby did, and the initial board designs showed an ARM-based power house with FPGA's onboard available to boost performance further. Enlightenment 0.17, also known as E17, finally arrived bringing a visually rich desktop which doesn't need GPUs to Linux. WhatsApp was back again – even after an update, hijacking holes still existed in the instant messaging app which were, at least, fixed on some platforms but not others. As Linux 3.8 was being planned and specified, one change was confirmed – the end of 386 chip support in Linux.

As previewed in the previous month, Linux 3.7 arrived and Thorsten Leemhuis took us through an overview of what had been delivered in the release. Meanwhile, Oliver Diedrich compared two German cities, Munich and Freiburg and their differing results with the introduction of Linux or open source software.


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