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FOSS Force

Internet: Basket In Which We Put All Our Eggs

Every school kid knows not to put all your eggs in one basket.

Up until about 1999 or so, I thought we were being cautious and smart about this newfangled Internet thing that had us under its spell. Then there was a now forgotten news story that told me exactly how completely we were being seduced by this new technology.

Microsoft was working on a new version of Windows, Whistler I think, and it got hacked. Somebody broke into the computer they had it on and downloaded it, which was big news in the tech press but hardly anywhere else. Microsoft audited the code, attempting to make sure it hadn’t been tampered with, and found it clean. There were no trojans or back doors installed. None they found anyway.

Microsoft Snoops In Skype, Dissed By HP & More

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Where has Redmond’s moxy gone?

It wasn’t that many years ago that even a giant OEM like HP wouldn’t dare release a non-Windows product if the device type was Windows supported. If this were five years ago and the tablet boom was in full bloom as it is now and Windows was tablet ready, as it supposedly is now, the HP brass wouldn’t even entertain the thought of releasing a tablet running anything other than Redmond’s finest OS–apps available or no.

Poll: Firefox Does Not Need Fewer Options

You may remember that back on March 22, Christine Hall penned an article here on FOSS Force concerning worries expressed by Alex Limi, a project design strategist at Mozilla, over configuration issues with Firefox. It seems that Mr. Limi expressed concerns on his blog over the fact that was possible for a user to “render the browser unusable to most people, right in the main settings.”

Ms. Hall agreed that it was certainly possible to “break” Firefox while attempting to configure it, but expressed concerns that the Mozilla development crew would overreact by taking control out of the hands of the user. Such actions she deemed unnecessary and explained why:

Swartz’s Last Gift, the Invasion of the Androids & More…

Friday FOSS Week in Review

Will appeals court ruling mean death to software patents?

Absolutely no one knows what a ruling handed down last week by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals will ultimately mean–but it might be very good for those of us who’ve been arguing against software patents. Indeed, the ruling had PJ at Groklaw throwing out three separate “OMG”s in her article with the announcement. In other words, she was euphoric:

Essential WordPress Security Plugins

WordPress logoA few weeks ago I told you about some security precautions to take when using the open source web platform WordPress to protect your site against brute force attacks. However, those precautions are just the beginning. A website administrator has to be forever vigilant to keep the bad guys away.

Luckily, there are many plugins available to help keep your WordPress site safe and secure. Today we’re going to discuss three security plugins that I think are essential.

Measuring Linux By the VAR Metric

I don’t think the unnamed and unknown blogger who writes under the banner of The VAR Guy would argue with me if I were to say that over at his site it’s all about the money. That’s not a bad thing. The value added resellers, the VARs who are his readers, would expect nothing else.

These are guys and gals to whom hardware and software are all part of the same packet. This is the crowd who couldn’t care less about the usability of, say GNOME, for the average home user and who might even be tempted to look for loopholes in the GPL, because it would be easier to make money with free software if it wasn’t free. In other words, these are folks who’ve traditionally mainly stood firmly in the proprietary camp, where the rules for resellers have been more clearly defined. These are the dudes and dudettes who make RMS very wary whenever he sees them coming our way.

FOSS Force Poll: We Don’t Trust Oracle Or Java

Back in March and April, when the Java browser plugin was getting hammered with security holes that were being exploited in the wild, we conducted a couple of unscientific polls here on FOSS Force to determine how our visitors were handling this security crisis.

To call the problems that Java was experiencing at the time a “crisis” is not an exaggeration. If you’ll remember, the situation was considered so serious that here in the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security was urging everyone to disable the Java plugin.

These two Java polls were among the first we conducted on FOSS Force and received about the fewest votes of any polls we’ve conducted so far. Undoubtedly, this was partially due to the fact that we were just beginning to conduct polls on the site, and so polling here was something new to our visitors. Also, our articles on Java security issues received a smaller number of page views than most articles we publish. However, low readership notwithstanding, we will continue to cover serious security issues, because we think it’s important that we do so.

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