Firefox 1.5.0.1 released

Firefox 1.5.0.1 was released and it offers many stability and security updates.

Here’s what’s new in Firefox 1.5.0.1:

  • Improved stability.
  • Improved support for Mac OS X.
  • International Domain Name support for Iceland (.is) is now enabled.
  • Fixes for several memory leaks.
  • Several security enhancements.

Due to the automatic update feature in 1.5, I just had to use the Check for updates feature in the Help menu. Beware not all your extensions may not work in the new update.

firefox, browser, mac+os

Open AJAX – Sets Standards for AJAX framework

IBM and dozen others have united to create an open source Ajax project to unify the lack of common tool for the popular technology of the day.

The project, called Open Ajax, aims to create a single framework that standardizes development and debugging on a common library of Ajax widgets that could run on multiple Ajax runtimes. Like J2EE before it, Open Ajax is all about assembling critical mass convergence around a stack to prevent Microsoft from co-opting it. And, like Linux before it, it’s about vendors trying to hop a train that was already leaving the station with or without their support.

The goal of Open Ajax is to standardize around a common set of widgets, interfaces, and plug-ins to Eclipse so it can morph into an industrial strength rich web development environment. And with the standards, any Eclipse-compliant Ajax toolkit should be able to plug into any compliant Ajax run time, regardless of browser client or server deployment platform.

Open Ajax is endorsed by IBM, BEA, Borland, the Dojo Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, Google, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla, Novell, Openwave, Oracle, Red Hat, Yahoo, Zend, and Zimbra.

[from Computer Business Review Online]

ajax, open+ajax, ibm, google, j2ee, microsoft

25+ reasons to switch to Linux

The Linux users group (LUG) of Bellevue, Washington, recently published an article titled “25 Reasons to Convert to Linux” on the group’s Web site. The comprehensive list discusses the well-known reasons why “Businesses, educational institutions, governmental agencies and other organizations around the world are converting their computer operating systems from Microsoft Windows to Linux at an increasing pace”–cost, licensing issues, support from the community and security.

Other reasons on the list for switching center around ideas of openness, in terms of the source code and file formats, and the benefits that openness offers users. By the end of the list, which also notes that Linux is an ethical and law-abiding computing option (unlike others).

Though the rate of acceptance of linux is increasing, I wonder how much it has penetrated the Indian market. Even in my college, there are systems with Red Hat Linux(old version), it coexists along with Microsoft Windows. And to my knowledge, they are used only by the final year students who do their projects. But, one real good thing is that we are accustomed to Mac OS and we have 70% of systems as iMac and EMac.

What steps can we take to improve the penetration on GNU/Linux in Colleges and Schools?

linux, gnu, mac+os, imac, emac, windows

WordPress 2.01 released

WordPress 2.0 made big waves at the blogging world, and soon everyone upgraded to the new wordpress blog engine. But, there were some bugs and sometimes I felt that the older 1.5 version was better. But, the import tool for Blogger was really nice and I love it. Exactly 1 month after version 2.0 was released, the 2.01 version has been released. The wordpress development team has squashed out 114 bugs. To summarize:

  • You can now specify an upload directory, and whether to use date-based storage or not.
  • Caching has been fixed under certain PHP enviroments.
  • Permalinks have been fixed for weird enviroments as well.
  • XML-RPC uploading works.
  • Compatibility with older versions of PHP.
  • Several WYSIWYG fixes and cleanups.
  • Imports now use much less memory.
  • Now works with MySQL 5.0 in strict mode.

Some users complain that wordpress doesn’t provide the support found in other proprietary blogging softwares(like Movabletype). In my opinion, the users in the IRC channel of wordpress(#wordpress) are very helpful and I was able to correct a small problem within minutes. What is your opinion on this and have you experienced any problem with any of the blogging softwares?

wordpress, wordpress+2,movabletype,mt, wp, blog, weblog, blog+software

ODOC: nameif

nameif — NAME network InterFaces based on MAC addresses.

Summary :

nameif is used to rename the network interfaces based on MAC addresses. It is useful, when you have more then one network interfaces/cards & you want to specify the name (eth0, .. ) for each interfaces.

Example:

# nameif — Read the config info from /etc/mactab file.

# nameif -s — Same as above. But error messages goto the syslog.

# nameif -s eth0 00:0D:87:77:74:5C — Name the card with specified MAC as eth0 and error goto syslog.

Note:

  1. Nameif should be run before the interface is up, otherwise it’ll fail.
  2. Format of the /etc/mactab file:
    # Comments
    eth0 00:0D:87:77:74:5B
    eth1 00:0D:87:78:7D:6B

Read: man nameif

nameif, odoc, linux, gnu/linux,network

Nmap 4.0 released

Nmap (“Network Mapper”) is an free open source utility for network exploration, administration, and security auditing. It uses IP packets in novel ways to determine which hosts are available online (host discovery), which TCP/UDP ports are open (port scanning), and what applications and services are listening on each port (version detection). It can also identify remote host OS and device types via TCP/IP fingerprinting. Nmap offers flexible target and port specifications, decoy/stealth scanning for firewall and IDS evasion, and highly optimized timing algorithms for fast scanning. Nmap runs on all popular operating systems, including Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Solaris, and OpenBSD. Download command-line or graphical versions of Nmap and its documentation from Insecure.Org. There are many substantial changes after the previous stable release 3.50 and it is recommended to install the new version. Are there any other tools that your would recommend for securing your system?

nmap,nmap+4.0, security, linux, unix, network