A new report from security expert Bernard Marienfeldt illustrates a fairly big security hole in the way the iPhone secures user data. When plugged into a Windows or OSX box, and iPhone will only display the DCIM pictures folder. But on the newest Lucid Lynx build of Ubuntu Linux, users can get full read access to the phone. If you think setting a security PIN will help, you're wrong - it doesn't seem to do a thing.
This doesn't require the phone to be specially configured, or compromised in any way. Part of the problem is that in order to make syncing easier, the iPhone does not need any software switches to be flipped in order to exchange data with a computer. Another problem that allows this bug is the iPHone's lack of data encryption.
Marienfeldt says that full write access may be easy to gain as well with further investigation. If this is accomplished, an unauthorized party could access phone functions like calls and text messaging. The real lesson here is that maybe enterprise users should think twice about deploying iPhones. Does this change to calculation for anyone out there?
Google Chrome 5 has finally graduated from beta and is now a stable release, Google announced in a blog post on Tuesday. The latest version of Chrome also happens to be the first stable release for Linux and Mac users.
"Today’s stable release also comes with a host of new features," Google said. "You’ll be able to synchronize not only bookmarks across multiple computers, but also browser preferences -- including themes, homepage and startup settings, web content settings, preferred languages, and even page zoom settings. Meanwhile, for avid extensions users, you can enable each extension to work in incognito mode through the extensions manager."
In addition, the Chrome 5 browser incorporates several HTML5 elements, including Geolcation APIs, App Cache, web sockets, and file drag-and-drop, Google said. To try some of these features out, you can navigate to HTML5 specific websites like scribd.com, or head over to your Gmail account and drag and drop attachments.
Not included in Chrome 5 is Adobe Flash integration, though Google says this will change with the full release of Flash Player 10.1.
Opera Software on Tuesday released the first beta for version 10.53 of its Opera browser for Linux and FreeBSD. The latest beta release uses its own toolkit called Quick, and as such, there are no dependencies on GTK or Qt/KDE, so it can run on just about any version of Linux.
"If you've been waiting for Opera 10.5 to stabilize before trying it on your Linux or FreeBSD system, now is your chance," Opera wrote in a blog post. "Try it and keep reporting any issues you have, help us make this the best release for Unix ever!"
Codenamed "Evenes," Opera 10.53 features the new Vega graphics engine and support for HTML5 video courtesy of the free and open Ogg Theora codec. What you won't find, however, is support for Solaris.
"In order to ensure a consistently high quality browser across our most popular desktop platforms, we have reluctantly decided to drop support for Solaris," Opera said.
As many expected would happen, Sony has been handed a class action lawsuit for removing the 'Install Other OS' option from its PlayStation 3 console starting with the v3.21 firmware released in March.
In the lawsuit, plaintiff Anthony Ventura argues that "Sony's decision to force users to disable the Other OS function was based on its own interest and was made at the expense of its customers." Ventura also alleges deceptive business practices "perpetrated on millions of unsuspecting customers."
"On information and belief, contrary to Sony's statement, the 'security concerns' did not involve a threat to PS3 users, but rather reflected Sony's concerns that the Other feature might be used 'hackers' copy and/or steal gaming and other content," the lawsuit reads.
At the time of its release, Sony said the firmware update was optional, but any users who refused to install it would lose key features, like the ability to sign into the PlayStation network. Making matters worse, Sony soon followed up with yet another firmware update -- version 3.30 -- which was described as mandatory.
Anyone who purchased a PS3 between November 17, 2006 and March 27, 2010 and did not sell their console is eligible to participate in the suit.
Can open-source overtake the iPhone? The iPad? Apple itself? That's the dominant position of Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. But is that an idea that's based on reality? He's been trying to paint a connection between Sun and its Solaris OS--a "legacy" operating system to Linux, he suggests--and Apple's various devices. While it's all well and good to somehow consider that just because one mighty empire toppled, the next is just as likely to crack... that's just wrong. Apple has nothing to fear from the open-source world.
The best thing that ever happened to Linux might have been Windows Vista. It also hasn't hurt matters that Ubuntu continues to make the open-source side of the fence more accessible to new users. While Windows 7 more than makes up for Vista's woes, there are now 12 million users rocking Ubuntu.
The upcoming Lucid release may boost those numbers even higher, but the real growth came in the pre-Windows 7 days. In 2008, Canonical estimated there were some 8 million Ubuntu users, so that means there have been about 4 million added since then. Of course, these numbers aren't exact, but they're probably pretty close.
"We have no phone home or registration process, so it's always a guesstimate. But based on the same methodology that we came up with for the 2008 number, our present belief is that it's somewhere north of 12 million users at the moment," Chris Kenyon, vice president for OEM at Canonical, told InternetNews.com.
As impressive as the numbers are, Red Hat's Fedora leads Ubuntu by a good margin with an estimated 24 million installations.
You can't walk a mile on the Internet without stumbling across the same argument over and over: iPad or Chrome? Chrome or iPad? Apple, Google, and Microsoft walk into a room: there are two bats on the ground. Who comes out alive?
The answer, of course, is the proverbial letter D: none of the above. No matter how you slice and dice the various players in the netbook/laptop/tablet/whatever markets, the consumers are the ones that ultimately suffer from today's battles. In the case of Google and Apple, the loss is one of control. And I, myself, worry how this might represent the future of general or portable computing: A time when it's the manufacturer, not the user, who dictates every bit of how you interact with your system.
With the launch of Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) slated for release later this month, the programming team felt the time was right to release a few teaser details for version which will carry the codename Maverick Meerkat. Founder Mark Shuttleworth revealed in a blog entry today that since 10.04 was a long-term support release, the primary focus was on stability and refinement, not new features. 10.10 by comparison will be all about experimentation, and could include some "potentially radical changes".
Specifically Shuttleworth hints at a new UI for netbooks, along with improving the web experience, reducing boot times, and extending social networking integration on the desktop. It sounds to us like Shuttleworth covered off all the buzz words to peak our interest, and if he delivers on all these items, he well indeed might have a much more compelling netbook offering in the future.
"This is a time of change, and we're not afraid to surprise people with a bold move if the opportunity for dramatic improvement presents itself. We want to put Ubuntu and free software on every single consumer PC that ships from a major manufacturer, the ultimate maverick move," Shuttleworth wrote in the announcement. "Meerkats are, of course, light, fast and social-everything we want in a Perfect 10."
Ubuntu 10.10 is scheduled for release in October, but with 10.04 just around the corner I'm sure Ubuntu fans will have plenty to play with between now and then.
The Gnome free-software project this week announced a new version of the Gnome desktop environment and developer platform, Gnome 2.3.
"I'm really pleased with all of the updates in GNOME 2.30," said Stormy Peters, GNOME Executive Director. "I'm excited that I can automatically sync my Tomboy notes between my desktop and laptop computer, easily configure Facebook chat in Empathy instant messenger, and do more with PDFs in Evince. GNOME 2.30 provides everything I need for work and play."
Gnome's developers say the latest release contains significant user-visible improvements and adds a bunch of platform improvements. Also included is a preview of the Gnome Shell, which will replace the existing Gnome panel in Gnome 3.0.
The new release is available now via Gnome Live Media.
It may not have been popular, or even easy, but the simple fact that a PS3 could boot and run Linux was a pretty awesome bragging right, one that will be phased out on April 1st. According to the official Playstation blog April fools day will mark the release of Firmware version 3.21, and the death of the "install other OS" option on non slim PS3's.
Sony wasn't really specific as to why support for such a long-standing feature was being dropped, but like everything that's hard to explain "Security concerns" was picked as a blanket excuse. If you followed our How To guide last year to get this up and running, now might be a good time to say goodbye to your Linux install if you plan to keep using your console for online play.
April fools day is a terrible occasion to try and convince people you're making a serious announcement, but the fact that they are giving us almost a weeks notice makes me think they are serious about this one.