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18 December 2010, 12:00

The H Week - a busy week for Google, H.264 Firefox add-on & a back door for the FBI

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The H featured several stories about Google this week ranging from new releases and updates, to Richard Stallman's criticism of Chrome in a national newspaper and questions over poor results in a malware detection test. Although Mozilla has declared it is ideologically opposed to H.264, Microsoft released a Firefox Add-on that enables H.264 playback on Windows 7 systems. Huge numbers of passwords were published after an attack on Gawker servers and OpenBSD programmers were accused of installing a back door for the FBI.


This week in his Completely Protected feature Juergen Schmidt explained how to combine and manage free anti-malware components to protect a Windows system and we published Part 3 of our Kernel Log series on the 2.6.37 Linux kernel.

Open Source

There was quite a bit of Google related news this week; the Android Market received a new look with an update, TedT'so announced that Android 2.3 will use the Ext4 file system and Google announced Apache Extras – a portal for Apache related projects that don't strictly conform to the Apache Foundations project requirements. Speaking to the Guardian newspaper Richard Stallman criticised Chrome OS for encouraging careless computing, two Google developments became Eclipse projects and App Inventor went on general release.

Microsoft responded to the interest in its Kinect device and released some open drivers. Although Mozilla may have refused to support the proprietary H.264 video codec, Microsoft released an H.264 Add-on for Firefox running on Windows 7.

The Business Intelligence application Palo gained the ability to utilise Amazon cloud GPU clusters. Embedded Linux received a boost when the CE Linux Forum announced a sponsorship program for project proposals. Another legal battle over Java licensing broke out, with Oracle suing the Myriad Group for unauthorised use of Java while Myriad sued Oracle for charging unreasonable licence fees.

Open source releases


A break in at the Gawker blogging site resulted in the publication of a very large number of passwords and a subsequent analysis of the password data showed a surprisingly high number of people still choose very simple and easily guessed passwords.

A scandal emerged when it was claimed that various developers had accepted payment by the FBI to insert a back door into the OpenBSD IPSec stack. An experimental tool called HeapLocker promises to compete with Microsoft's EMET and an exploit that runs on SmartCards was announced.

In further Google related news, Google and Microsoft web sites fell prey to a simple trick and as a result briefly distributed malware laden advertising banners to other sites. Google released updates for the Chrome browser into its Beta and Dev channels and questioned the results of tests that appeared to show Chrome has very poor threat detection.

Security Alerts

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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