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12 December 2009, 08:00

The H Week – Kernel 2.6.33 begins, Thunderbird 3.0, Win 7 patches and Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha

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This week sees the start of the next development cycle of the Linux Kernel, Mozilla pledging to speed up Thunderbird development as it releases version 3, another Microsoft Patch Tuesday with patches affecting Windows 7, Microsoft finally re-releasing WUDT after embarrassment over including GPL code, Oracle accusing the European Commission of lack of impartiality and security holes closed in the Linux Kernel.


Our feature for the week is another in our 'Health check' series, this time looking at the present position and future direction for Red Hat, one of the most well established open source based companies and the developer of a leading Linux distribution.

Open Source News

Mozilla say that Thunderbird development will be ramped up in 2010 as the company intends to steer the product into a stronger position as an all purpose communications application. JavaScript 5 has passed muster and been approved as a standard in the form of ECMAScript 5. Microsoft violated the GPL and had to re-release its Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool (WUDT) under GPL2. The Oracle takeover of Sun Microsystems drags on, with Oracle accusing the European Commission of bias. With the completion of the Linux Kernel 2.6.32 the cycle begins anew and The H publishes its first Kernel Log for 2.6.33.

Security News

In another step in the war against botnets the German government has said that in 2010 it will set up a centre to coordinate the battle against botnet infections on home computers. WPA Cracker are offering a cloud based service to crack Wi-Fi passwords, ostensibly for IT managers to check the strength of passwords used on their wireless networks. This months Microsoft patch day included patches that affect their latest, and they say, most secure, operating system - Windows 7. Several holes have been found in the most recent Linux Kernels and distributors are working on incorporating the required patches into their distributions. A format string vulnerability caused by a flawed implementation of the dtoa C function that's been known since June was found to be present in Thunderbird 2.x.

Open Source Releases

Plenty of releases this week, even ignoring the development alpha and beta releases. Notably Mozilla's Thunderbird 3 was finally released (with Mozilla promising to do better in future). Google released both a performance analysis tool for Chrome and version 2.0 of the Web Toolkit and Sun Microsystems, perhaps wanting to prove it can still be productive despite the delicate state of the Oracle takeover, released three Java related products.

To see 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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