DuckDuckGo Ups Ante: Gives $300K to 'Raise the Standard of Trust'
For the seventh year in a row, the search engine that promises not to stalk your online moves puts its money where its mouth is, this year by donating $300,000 to organizations that
System76 Saying Goodbye to Bland Design
Considering that System76 chose to unveil its new design plans to The Linux Gamer -- no invite went to FOSS Force, BTW -- we can't help but wonder if a System76 Steam Machine isn't in the works.

The Screening
The Great Debian Iceweasel/Icedove Saga Comes to an End
Now that Thunderbird is back in the Debian repositories, the decade long dispute that led to all Mozilla products in Debian being rebranded has ended.

The hatchet is finally completely
Back Yard Linux
It's not as lonely being a Linux user as it once was. These days you're liable to find people throughout your neighborhood using Linux.

My how times have changed.

It wasn't long ago that Linux
No, Evil Hackers Aren't After You
Humankind has outgrown the need to have monsters hiding under our beds. Now we let them hide in our phones, computers and microwave ovens.

Roblimo's Hideaway

OMG! I think I see a giant camera lens on
Should the U.S. Army Have Its Own Open Source License?
Should the U.S. armed forces begin releasing software under an OSI approved open source license rather than as public domain?

Roblimo's Hideaway

This question has generated many pixels'
GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath on Open Source
Did you know that the software Stephen Hawking uses to speak is open source and that it's available on GitHub? Neither did we.

The Screening Room

At the Computer History museum, GitHub CEO Chris
December 3rd, 2016

New IoT Botnet, Attackers Target Tor, and More…

Also included, Flash on life support, Mageia’s new release, Ubuntu sets date for “Zesty Zapus” and our News Wire gets an RSS feed.

Tor logo

FOSS Week in Review

Outside of FOSS, the news becomes too depressing and repetitive to read. Gamergate has taken over our country and is set to move into the White House and to have free rein in the halls of congress. Roles are being reversed and it’s rapidly becoming politically incorrect to express concerns for our mother the earth or for the creatures who inhabit it, while it’s perfectly fine to label anyone who advocates for equality as a “social justice warrior” who should have no place within any organization.

If you think I’m bummed out, you’re right. At least for the time being, in the world of FOSS life goes on as usual…

Another nail in the coffin of Flash: It appears that Flash is nearing the end of its rope. With this week’s release of Chrome 55 (is that a version number or a speed limit?), we find that the browser defaults to HTML5 wherever it can. Sites that only support Flash are exempted for a year, as are ten of the most visited sites on the web, which gives Yahoo, Facebook and Amazon a bit of a reprieve. Users who visit a page that only supports Flash will be prompted to enable it.

I’m tempted to write “RIP” just to be nice, but I think I’ll write “good riddance” instead.

There’s a new Internet of things botnet: CloudFlare, one of the largest CDN service providers, has reported that since the day before Thanksgiving (that’s November 23 for those of you outside the U.S.) it’s been seeing DDOS attacks from a new botnet that’s been targeting undisclosed sites located mainly on the West Coast. Like Mirai, the IoT based botnet that’s been wrecking havoc since September or so, this new botnet is composed primarily of compromised IoT devices.

So far these attacks haven’t reached the terabyte size we’ve seen from Marai, with Ars Technica reporting Friday that the average size at about 400Gbps. Give them time to do a little more recruiting and that number is sure to rise.

Firefox’s emergency security patch: If you use Firefox at all, and I’m assuming that most of you do, you might want to run an update to get the latest security patch from Mozilla. The patch was rushed to market on November 30 to fix a zero day vulnerability that was being exploited in the wild to attack the Firefox based Tor browser.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Mozilla’s security head Daniel Veditz wrote, “The exploit in this case works in essentially the same way as the ‘network investigative technique’ used by FBI to deanonymize Tor users…. This similarity has led to speculation that this exploit was created by FBI or another law enforcement agency. As of now, we do not know whether this is the case. If this exploit was in fact developed and deployed by a government agency, the fact that it has been published and can now be used by anyone to attack Firefox users is a clear demonstration of how supposedly limited government hacking can become a threat to the broader Web.”

Quick takes: One of my favorite distros, the RPM and KDE based Mageia, has come out with a new release, version 5.1. According to the distro’s website, this one is basically a respin of Mageia 5, but “incorporating all updates to allow for an up to date installation without the need to install almost a year and a half worth of updates.” … Canonical has announced that Ubuntu 17.04 will be released April 13, 2017. This one is called “Zesty Zapus,” which has me wondering what letter comes after “Z.”

Parting shot: Last week I told you about the new and expanded coverage on the FOSS Force News Wire, but I neglected to mention that the news wire also has it’s own custom RSS feed.

That does it for this week. Time for me to get back to worrying about the state of the world. Until next time, may the FOSS be with you…

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Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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