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Future of Broadband: Where Data Is Broadcast Using Desk Lamps

In the future, getting a broadband connection might be as simple as flipping on a light switch. In fact, according to a group of researchers from Germany, the light coming from the lamps in your home could one day encode a wireless broadband signal. As of now, the majority of wireless in homes and businesses is achieved through a radio-frequency […]

Network booting with boot.fedoraproject.org

Network booting with boot.fedoraproject.org

Boot.fedoraproject.org (BFO) is Fedora’s implementation of boot.kernel.org, a project designed to give computers the capability to boot from a network. The actual program that provides this capability is gPXE, which evolved from the Etherboot project. Fedora’s twist on gPXE allows you to network-boot current, past and future (Rawhide) releases of Fedora. All you need to do is download a small […]

Federal Intellectual Property Enforcement Gears Up

Federal Intellectual Property Enforcement Gears Up

The Obama Administration has been slowly ramping up its attention to intellectual property issues. Over the past few months, we’ve seen an IP “summit” at the White House. We’ve seen the successful nomination of a new cabinet-level “IP Czar” position. We’ve seen the announcement of a new DOJ task force for IP issues. What does it all portend? Unfortunately, many […]

BSD Magazine: March 2010

BSD Magazine: March 2010

The March 2010 issue of BSD Magazine, a free, online magazine for the BSD community, is now available for download. The theme for this edition is “BSD as a Desktop.” The following are some of the articles you’ll find inside: Build Your Own FreeBSD Update Server – Experienced users or administrators responsible for several machines or environments, know the difficult […]

Search your Android phone with written gestures

Search your Android phone with written gestures

As mobile phones become increasingly powerful and can store more data, we’ve introduced new methods of search to get you to your content faster, such as search suggestions or search by voice. But sometimes, typing to get to the right search suggestion takes too long, and you may be in a quiet environment where speaking a query is inappropriate. Today […]

Unintended Consequences: Twelve Years Under the DMCA

Unintended Consequences: Twelve Years Under the DMCA

Twelve years after the passage of the controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the law continues to stymie fair use, free speech, scientific research, and legitimate competition. A new report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) collects reported examples of abuses of the DMCA and the ongoing harm the law continues to inflict on consumers, scientists, and small businesses. The […]

Software sniffs out criminals by the shape of their nose

Forget iris and fingerprint scans — scanning noses could be a quicker and easier way to verify a person’s identity, according to scientists at the University of Bath. With worries about illegal immigration and identity theft, authorities are increasingly looking to using an individual’s physical characteristics, known as biometrics, to confirm their identity.

File-Sharing Software Potential Threat to Health Privacy

The personal health and financial information stored in thousands of North American home computers may be vulnerable to theft through file-sharing software, according to a research study published online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. Healthcare professionals who take patient information home to personal computers containing peer-to-peer file-sharing software are jeopardizing patient confidentiality, note the authors of […]

Vine Linux

Vine Linux

Vine Linux is a Japanese, RPM-based, multi-purpose distribution. It is developed and maintained by Vinecaves, and it’s based on an earlier version of Fedora. It is one of those distributions that excludes non-free (proprietary) applications from its default installation. Unlike similar distributions, however, it has developed a smart method to make installing non-free applications very easy.

Printer configuration and management on PC-BSD 8

Printer configuration and management on PC-BSD 8

PC-BSD is a desktop-centric distribution based on FreeBSD. The latest stable version, released just this week, is PC-BSD 8. On most Linux, desktop distributions, a connected printer is automatically configured. On PC-BSD 8, however, getting a printer to work requires manual configuration. To simplify that task, a number of printer management utilities are available. You may access the main printer […]

New Security Threat Against ‘Smart Phone’ Users

Computer scientists at Rutgers University have shown how a familiar type of personal computer security threat can now attack new generations of smart mobile phones, with the potential to cause more serious consequences. The researchers, who are presenting their findings at a mobile computing workshop this week in Maryland, demonstrated how such a software attack could cause a smart phone […]

Malicious Software: Hiding the Honeypots

Armies of networked computers that have been compromised by malicious software are commonly known as Botnets. Such Botnets are usually used to carry out fraudulent and criminal activity on the Internet. Now, writing in the International Journal of Information and Computer Security, US computer scientists reveal that the honeypot trap designed to protect computers from Botnets are now vulnerable to […]

Qt + Box2D is easy!

Qt + Box2D is easy!

Box2D is an Open Source rigid body 2D physics engine for C++. It’s currently (2.0.1) released under the MIT license, which is quite permissive. Box2D is used by, among other things, Gluon (http://gluon.tuxfamily.org/), which is a game library from KDE in-the-making. Integrating Box2D into your Qt application is quite easy, and this blog shows you how to get started. First […]

3 Problems Cloud Security Certification Can Solve

What if there were widely accepted standards for cloud security and, better yet, a universally recognized designation for “trusted” cloud providers? The basic promise of cloud computing is undeniably appealing: Increase efficiency and reduce cost by taking advantage of flexibly pooled computing resources managed by somebody else. Indeed, as Bill Brenner of CSO put it, “Given how expensive it is […]

Intellectual Property and Risks to the Public

Hi, I am Victoria Espinel, the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. I am honored to have been appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve in this new position created by Congress in the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008.  Given the unique nature of this job, I’d like to describe […]

PC-BSD 8 installation guide

PC-BSD 8 installation guide

PC-BSD 8 is the latest edition of PC-BSD, a desktop distribution based on FreeBSD, with KDE as its default desktop environment. It features a graphical installation program that should be easy enough for anybody to use. However, some sections of the installer could pose some difficulty to those new to the this distribution (and to the BSDs). If you belong […]

Built to last

Built to last

It has now been almost exactly five years since kernel development community tentatively started using the git source code management system with the 2.6.12-rc2 commit. That was an uncertain time; nobody really knew how long it would take the development process to get back up to speed after an abrupt core-tool change. As it turned out, git was almost immediately […]

Why I Will Not Sign the Public Domain Manifesto

Why I Will Not Sign the Public Domain Manifesto

By Richard M. Stallman: The Public Domain Manifesto (http://www.publicdomainmanifesto.org/node/8) has its heart in the right place as it objects to some of the unjust extensions of copyright power, so I wish I could support it. However, it falls far short of what is needed. Some flaws are at the level of implicit assumptions. The manifesto frequently uses propaganda terms of […]

Open letter to Google: free VP8, and use it on YouTube

Open letter to Google: free VP8, and use it on YouTube

With its purchase of the On2 video compression technology company having been completed on Wednesday February 16, 2010, Google now has the opportunity to make free video formats the standard, freeing the web from both Flash and the proprietary H.264 codec. Dear Google, With your purchase of On2, you now own both the world’s largest video site (YouTube) and all […]

The Toyota recall and the case for open, auditable source code

Public Safety is not a matter of Private Concern In a recent article, Slate’s Farhad Manjoo attempts to play down fears of faulty software in car braking systems as a potential cause of traffic accidents. Citing numerous studies which conclude that “the overwhelming reason we get in crashes is driver error,” Manjoo reasons that “the less driving people do, the […]