Unfortunatley the Iberian lynx is endangered with some estimates putting the numbers as low as 150 animals remaining. So at Canonical we’ve decided to give our users the chance to help the people at the charity SOS Lynx.
Archive for April, 2010
Canonical has published the release candidate for Ubuntu 10.04–code-named Lucid Lynx–which offers a new look, better integration with cloud infrastructure, and features designed to be more consumer-friendly. More here
As a long-term support (LTS) edition of Ubuntu, Lucid Lynx will be supported for three years on the desktop or five years for the server version, in contrast to the 18 months of support for standard releases. It is intended as a significant update, putting into place new features the company intends to develop in coming releases, according to Canonical.
Steve Jobs has used an open letter to defend Apple’s decision not to allow Flash on many of the firm’s products. Neither the iPod, iPhone nor iPad can run the software despite the widespread use of Flash technology on websites for video and animations. He said Flash was made for an era of “PCs and mice” and performed poorly when translated to run on touchscreen smartphones and handheld devices.
The head of Adobe called the highlighted problems “a smokescreen”.
The letter comes soon after Flash creator Adobe announced it would stop making tools that allow developers to quickly translate Flash code to run on Apple gadgets. These allowed developers to make applications once and then distribute them for use on various phones and operating systems, including Apple’s iPhone.
Adobe’s announcement followed a change to the terms and conditions of the licence that software developers must sign when writing code to run on Apple products. That change banned developers from using automatic translation tools, effectively forcing them to develop two applications – one for Apple products and one for everything else.
Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that “when you resort to licensing language” to restrict development, it has “nothing to do with technology.” He said it was now “cumbersome” for developers who were forced to have “two workflows”.
In his lengthy open letter titled Thoughts on Flash, Mr Jobs said the reason Apple did not want people to use Adobe’s automatic translation tools was because experience had shown it results in “sub-standard apps”.
He described Flash as a closed system and said that it was bad for the smartphone era because it did not support multi-touch systems and helped drain battery power unnecessarily. He also pointed out that there were now alternatives to flash technology, particularly for web video. The Apple boss added that Flash fell short on security and was “the number one reason Macs crash”.
But Mr Narayen said that if Flash crashed Apple products it was something “to do with the Apple operating system.” He said he found it “amusing” that Mr Jobs thought that Flash was a closed platform. “We have different views of the world,” Mr. Narayan told the Wall Street Journal. “Our view of the world is multi-platform.
The letter provoked an avalanche of comments online, with many saying Apple’s restrictions on what can be done with its software go far beyond those on Flash.
The competition aims to find those with relevant analytical, forensic and programing skills using web-based games and challenges. Without more computer security experts the UK will not be equipped to handle rising cyber crime, say professionals.
The challenge hopes to encourage many of those that complete the games to take up a career in computer security. “We are increasingly dependent on networks and computer systems,” said Judy Baker, director of the Cyber Security Challenge (CSC). “The whole digital economy and society is structured around them.”
A survey conducted by the competition suggests that many security companies are already having problems recruiting enough skilled people to cope with all the potential work. CSC is backed by the Cabinet Office, the Metropolitan Police, Qinetiq, Royal Holloway college and the Institute of Information Security Professionals, among others.
Ms Baker said the series of challenges and games that would test the talent and skills of people were currently being drawn up. They will be built around eight key skill areas which include digital forensics, network analysis and logical thinking. The games aim to find people with the right skills who will then be invited to take part in the second stage of challenge. This is likely to include face-to-face tests such as the technical assault courses many computer professionals complete.
The challenge officially starts on 27 April and is aimed at those who are aged 16 or over. Prizes will be given to top performers that will include scholarships, training courses and mentoring to help people hone their skills.
“There’s a real need for people with these skills and they can give great value back to the nation as a whole,” said Ms Baker.
Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, today announced that it will provide its own fully-independent certification for junior-level system administrators to help them with Ubuntu deployments in their office environments. The e-learning course version will be available shortly after the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS (Long Term Support) release on 29 April 2010 with students able to study in the classroom from June 2010 and the new exam available from October 2010.
The Ubuntu Certified Professional course was previously attached to the Linux Professional Institute’s LPIC-1 programme, with students required to complete LPI plus Canonical exams in order to become certified. Over its four year lifespan the certification has proven to be popular with many students, and there was consistent demand for an ‘Ubuntu-only’ certification with examination specific to the distribution. Hence, the decision by Canonical to certify the course itself.
“We are really excited to support the Ubuntu 10.04 LTS release with a fresh course and certification programme,” said Billy Cina, Director of Training at Canonical. “Having delivered hundreds of courses over the last four years, we listened to the requests from training partners and students for more Ubuntu-specific content. We have responded and are confident that the change will benefit students globally. This will also enable us to move from a multiple-choice- to a ‘Live labs’-type exam which is entirely web-based, testing students’ ability and Ubuntu skills far more effectively.”
The Ubuntu Certified Professional course is designed for system administrators required to deploy Ubuntu into an office environment, a trend that is expected to accelerate with the release of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. Students are not required to have any previous Linux experience but IT/system administration experience is a must. The course lasts for five days in a classroom or self-paced via e-learning. The exams will last 60-90 minutes and be delivered at Ubuntu Training Partner facilities or anywhere with a secure broadband connection.
Pricing and Availability
Global pricing is yet to be finalised but it is expected that the RRP will be $300 – $350. Students interested in certifying before the new exam is launched are encouraged to follow the current curriculum and exam objectives.
Canonical is looking for students to assist in the development stage by testing the exam. Those interested in participating who possess a sound command of English and a broadband connection, should provide their details here: https://forms.canonical.com/ucp-livelabs/
More details about the new course and exam objectives will be available here in May 2010: http://www.ubuntu.com/training
Current LPI certified UCP courses are available here now:
You see, it clearly is possible to “Teach your Grandmother how to suck eggs”.
According to an Oregonian newspaper, Virginia Cambell of Lake Oswego loves to read, but has not been able to enjoy her books due to glaucoma. And then she heard the hype about the iPad.
“It’s changed her life,” said her daughter Ginny Adelsheim. Mrs Campbell told her local TV station that “when I was born in 1910, they barely had the automobile in use”. Now she has turned into a YouTube star with nearly 90,000 hits and counting.
Ms Adelsheim said her mother is so enamoured of the device that “she’s writing all of her poetry on her iPad now. Her handwriting is so scratchy. It’s so much easier because she can actually read it. Others can read it, too.”
Other tablets are of course available, but even the most hardened cynic or Apple-sceptic cannot help but crack a smile at the sheer delight Mrs Campbell seems to derive from her new toy. Plus, it also shows that you’re never too old to learn new technologies.
Over the last 10 years, Google’s efforts at being the window to the web for hundreds of millions of users across the globe has turned it into a billion dollar company and of course a verb. Now the six-year-old social networking giant is making a bid for the crown.
At its developer conference in San Francisco called F8, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg revealed the aims for the foreseeable future. A major, if not dominant, role in the future of the web which he said will be all about being social and using your friends to share and connect to a better quality of information which in turn will provide users with a better web experience.
During his keynote speech, Mr Zuckerberg announced a number of products to aide and abet that approach. They included an open graph protocol which lets partner sites leverage the user’s social connections to make the site more relevant to the individual and their social network. Then there is the “Like” button to let users rate that content by simply indicating they like something and letting their friends see that selection. Proof of the power of this tool will soon be provided given that Mr Zuckerberg said that he reckoned one billion “Likes” will be served up in 24 hours.
As Google focuses on making all the world’s information accessible and searchable and doing it better and faster than anyone else, Facebook clearly believes friends are the best way to find the most relevant information.
“In the past the web has been defined by hyperlinks linking to static content,” said Bret Taylor, head of Facebook Platform products. “We think social linking will have as big an impact on the web as hyperlinking did.”
At the moment Facebook has over 400m users, but a survey by Comscore said it is hurtling towards the 500m figure at something approaching breakneck speed.
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While most of these attacks cause no trouble, the Symantec report suggests that one attack every 4.5 seconds does affect a PC. The wave of attacks was driven by a steep rise in malicious software in circulation, said the annual report.
The number of malware (malicious software) samples that Symantec saw in 2009 was 71% higher than in 2008. This meant, said Symantec, that 51% of all the viruses, trojans and other malicious programs it has ever seen were logged during 2009. In total, Symantec identified almost 2.9 million items of malicious code during that 12 month period.
The steep rise in malware was driven largely by the growing popularity of easy to use toolkits that novice cyber criminals are using to turn out their own malware, said Tony Osborn, a technology manager for the public sector at Symantec.
Some of the kits were available for free, said Mr Osborn but others cost a lot of money. One, called Zeus, was available for around $700 (£458) and many had become so successful that their creators now offer telephone support for those who cannot get them to work.
During 2009, Symantec say more than 90,000 variants of the Zeus kit and it was responsible for the growth of one of the most prolific malware families during the year. Zeus relies on spam to lure people to websites where victims will be tricked into installing malicious code or which sneaks on to a computer via a known vulnerability. Often, said the report, this can help criminals set up botnets – networks of hijacked home PCs that can be used to send spam or plundered for lucrative personal data. In 2009, Symantec saw almost seven million distinct PCs that were members of botnets.
There was one very simple reason that novices bought and used the kits, said Mr Osborn. “It’s all about money,” he said. Established gangs were also showing no signs of holding back in their attempts to steal saleable information. “Why would they?” he said. “It’s easy money and it’s very hard to catch people.” “It’s become a day job for a lot of people,” he said.
There was evidence, suggests the report, that professional cyber criminals were tuning their tactics to try and get better results. Many now scour social network pages for details about employees inside companies and craft their spam and other messages to capitalise on the details they can gather.
The continuing growth of hi-tech crime meant that many developing nations were starting to suffer significant numbers of attacks. Brazil and India were becoming hot spots of cyber crime, said Mr Osborn.