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09 April 2011, 11:59

The H Week - GNOME 3.0 arrives, Android still open source & Symbian not, Epsilon breach

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The H Week In the past week, Glyn Moody looked at why he was wrong about Microsoft, the GNOME project released version 3.0 of its Linux and Unix desktop, and Google's Andy Rubin said that Android is, and will continue to be, open source. RSA blamed Flash Player for its recent break-in, millions of email addresses were stolen in a breach at US firm Epsilon and Symantec said that the UK and Germany lead Europe as sources of malicious activity.


This week, Glyn Moody discussed at why he was wrong about Microsoft after reporting on the company for his entire journalistic life. Following the release of version 3.0 of GNOME, The H took an in-depth first look at what's new in the latest version of the Linux and Unix desktop from the GNOME project.

Open Source

After nearly five years of planning and development, version 3.0 of the GNOME Linux and Unix desktop arrived, along with a new GNOME Developer Center aimed at helping new developers find their way around the desktop environment's technologies; The OpenStreetMap Project launched version 2.0 of its Potlatch Flash-based OSM editor and Project Harmony, a group focussed on creating contributor agreements for free and open source software (FOSS), launched its new web site.

Mozilla announced that it is going to be more hands-on with add-on performance and published a second beta for version 2 of its Mozilla Public License. The non-profit organisation behind the Firefox browser also confirmed that its Mozilla Messaging subsidiary was to be absorbed into Mozilla Labs and, in a draft roadmap, confirmed that version 5 of Firefox may ship on 21 June.

At this week's Collaboration Summit, the Linux Foundation announced the launch of a new video contest to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Linux operating system; it also created a High Availability Working Group to bring together leading experts in the industry to help define and speed up the development of high availability (HA) for Linux; the non-profit organisation dedicated to the task of promoting the growth of Linux also congratulated the Yocto Project on its 1.0 release and launched version 5.0 of the Carrier Grade Linux specification (CGL 5.0).

To cut costs, Canonical confirmed that it would be terminating its ShipIt programme which sent free CDs of Ubuntu to those that asked, and announced that the third Ubuntu App Developer Week will take place from 11 to 15 April; Google placed a $900 million bid on Nortel's patent portfolio and it was confirmed that the company is also working on a tablet version of its upcoming Chrome operating system (OS).

Following recent criticism after reports that Google is holding back the Android 3.0 Honeycomb source code and that it is taking more control over modifications to Android, Andy Rubin, VP of Engineering and the man in charge of Android development, said that Android is, and will continue to be, an open source platform, which, comScore says, is the most important smartphone OS in the US; Novell announced the commercial release of Mono for Android, and ASUS released the source code for its latest Eee Pad Transformer TF101 tablet, based on the Honeycomb version of Android; Nokia confirmed that the Symbian mobile phone OS is no longer open source, as the MeeGo developers work towards a tablet version of their OS.

The web site of the UK newspaper The Guardian switched development from Java to Scala, and the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) standardisation body launched two standardisation projects with the aim of realising a flexible, generally applicable framework for interoperability.

Open Source Releases

Development releases


This week, Flash Player vulnerability was blamed for the initial entry that led to the RSA break-in; Comodo put forward suggestions for limiting the mis-issue of certificates, while millions of email addresses were stolen from Epsilon, a US firm that sends emails on behalf of major on-line companies; a new version of the trojan SpyEye was reported as intercepting mTANs sent to mobile phones; and Secunia's Personal Software Inspector suffered an outage.

A vulnerability in File Reporter was patched by Novell; WordPress 3.1.1 closed three holes; the IPComp implementation in NetBSD and FreeBSD was patched; and Ruby on Rails was updated to block a vulnerability that could allow cross-site scripting or script insertion attacks.

Microsoft announced a major patch day next week to fix 64 vulnerabilities in a range of its products; the VLC Media Player was shown to be vulnerable to a stack-based buffer overflow; and details were released for future versions of Chrome to block hazardous .exe files.

Information infrastructure solutions firm EMC Corporation announced that it had acquired NetWitness, and a report from Symantec described how Germany is the top location in Europe for malware, phishing, botnets and other dubious activities, but the UK leads Europe as a source of malicious code.

Security Alerts

For all last week's news see The H's last seven days of news and to keep up with The H, subscribe to the RSS feed, or follow honlinenews on Twitter. You can follow The H's own tweeting on Twitter as honline.


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