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23 April 2011, 12:49

The H Week – Google loses Linux patent suit, iPhone tracks users, Adobe patches Flash & Reader

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The H Week Logo In the past week, Google lost its Linux patent suit, the DoJ told Novell and CPTN to change their patent deal, Yahoo! joined the Linux Foundation and NetBeans 7.0 arrived. Adobe released updates for its Flash Player and Reader products, it was discovered that iPhones and iPads track users and log their locations and Oracle's patch day arrived with 73 security patches.


This week, The H published a new edition of the Kernel Log looking at the development of a new native KVM tool and the latest long-term and stable kernel updates. On Friday, Kernel Log author Throsten Leemhuis commented on how perseverance has paid off when it comes to open source Linux drivers for Wi-Fi chips and Richard Hillesley took an in-depth look at open source gaming.

Open Source

This week, Google lost its Linux patent suit; the Department of Justice told Novell and CPTN to change their patent deal; the Open Invention Network announced 70 new licensees and the Linux Foundation gained two new members, consultancy and development company Igalia and Yahoo!.

Oracle released version 7.0 of NetBeans, adding support for Java 7 features in JDK 7; planning for the next major release of GNOME began; Canonical announced that support for Ubuntu Server 6.06 would be coming to an end in June and the Debian Project re-elected Stefano Zacchiroli as its leader (DPL).

After being sidelined by Nokia, Intel and LG have joined with other companies to create a handset version of MeeGo; the OpenStack project released a new version of its Apache licensed cloud software known as Cactus. The Document Foundation responded to Oracle's "community-based" announcement; Google started to encode new uploads to YouTube in its open source WebM video format and GitHub confirmed that it had surpassed more than two million repositories.

Open Source Releases

Development Releases


This week, we learned that an open source application can display a track of location information from an iPhone; the UK's Ministry of Defence tried to redact some information from pdf files it published, but failed for anybody understanding cut and copy commands; an exploit implanted on Amnesty's web site managed to get around normal AV protections; Ashampoo had to warn customers after names and email addresses were stolen; and, a Windows memory optimisation function disables a key security protection.

A new study from McAfee and the CSIS found that infrastructure companies are increasingly at risk of cyber-attack, and not well prepared to defend against it; a Verizon report concluded that although the number of data breaches is up, the number of records compromised in those breaches has fallen dramatically; a comparison between Microsoft Office and Open Office suggested that the Microsoft version has the fewest security flaws; and, a spoof request for certification authority by one "Honest Achmed" highlighted flaws in the certificate system.

Adobe released an update for Flash Player to close a serious vulnerability exploited using web pages and Word and Excel documents; Adobe also released patches for Reader and Acrobat X earlier than expected due to the seriousness of vulnerabilities they contain; Apple also the iTunes media player to address a number of bugs and two security vulnerabilities; Wireshark was also upgraded to address vulnerabilities that could cause the application to crash or allow remote code execution; and. the Android version of Skype was fixed to addresses a vulnerability that could have allowed a third-party application to access locally stored files.

Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite can be used by US authorities now that Microsoft has produced the necessary certificate; Microsoft has released its free Microsoft Safety Scanner, a Windows malware scanner that does not need installation and can be run, say, from a pen-drive; from San Francisco the "HTTPS Now" campaign has been launched aiming to make web surfing safer and more secure; Toshiba has introduced encrypted hard-drives that can wipe sensitive data if unauthorised access is attempted; and, Fujitsu has produced a small user authentication system that scans the vein structure in a user's palm.

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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