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Say What? Top Five IT Quotes of the Week

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 31, 2013

"Android may not be my or your first choice of Linux, but it is without doubt an open source platform that offers both practical and economic benefits to users and industry."

Ubuntu Linux Founder Mark Shuttleworth declaring bug #0 as closed (InternetNews)

"The Catalyst 6500 is absolutely the switch that runs the world, every enterprise, every public sector has got the Catalyst 6500 at the core of their networks. "That's over $50 billion of switches sold to date."

Rob Soderberry, Cisco SVP and GM Enterprise Networking at Cisco (EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet)

"Once an exploit is on the Internet, the cat is pretty much out of the bag, and rebagging cats is difficult, painful, and largely pointless"

Tod Beardsley, Metasploit engineering manager at Rapid7, commenting on Google's new 7-day disclosure policy (eSecurityPlanet)

"Normally we have a good batch of features for everyone in a new release, and this time around a lot of it is under-the-hood kinds of stuff"

Fedora Project Leader, Robyn Bergeron commenting on the new Fedora 19 Linux Beta (ServerWatch)

"It's realistic to say that as long as people are writing C and C++ code, there will memory safety issues"

Johnathan Nightingale, VP of Firefox Engineering at Mozilla (eSecurity Planet)

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Mozilla Based Open Source Camino Mac Browser is Dead - Is anyone surprised?

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 31, 2013

caminoFrom the 'Firefox Ate the SeaMonkey' files:

The open source Camino web browser is no more.

Camino, much like SeaMonkey on Windows was kinda/sorta an extension of the historical Netscape/Mozilla browser, except Camino was for Mac OS X.

Reality is of course that with Chrome, Firefox and even Safari now all are very good browsers, the need for Camino was somewhat diminished.

The first time I wrote about Camino was February of 2006 when Camino 1.0 was released. It should be noted that it took four years for Camino developers to hit 1.0, so no this was never really a fast-track release.

As to why Camino is being terminated now a message on the Camino site stated:

Camino is increasingly lagging behind the fast pace of changes on the web, and more importantly it is not receiving security updates, making it increasingly unsafe to use.

Unsafe to use. That's really the kicker isn't it?

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Shuttleworth Fixes Ubuntu Linux Bug #1 - But It's Not Really Fixed Is It?

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 30, 2013

Mark ShuttleworthFrom the 'Mission Accomplished' files:

The very first bug that Mark Shuttleworth ever entered for his nascent Ubuntu Linux distribution back in August of 2004 has now been fixed.

Microsoft has a majority market share

Microsoft has a majority market share in the new desktop PC marketplace. This is a bug which Ubuntu and other projects are meant to fix.

With the rise of new forms of embedded and portable computing, most notably Android smartphones and Tablets, the market has shifted and Microsoft no longer dominates all forms of personal computing.

In his bug note explaining why he considered bug #1 fixed Shuttleworth stated:

"Android may not be my or your first choice of Linux, but it is without doubt an open source platform that offers both practical and economic benefits to users and industry. So we have both competition, and good representation for open source, in personal computing. ..

Even though we have only played a small part in that shift, I think it's important for us to recognize that the shift has taken place. So from Ubuntu's perspective, this bug is now closed."

While I agree with Shuttleworth that Microsoft isn't the force it once was, I disagree that this bug is anywhere near to being fixed.

The reality is that if you walk into any major computing retailer in the world, the vast majority of PCs offered are still Microsoft Windows based. With Windows 8 and the Secure Boot fiasco, I think it's safe to argue that the landscape for non-Windows PCs is now more hostile than it was in 2004. After all, I could easily buy any PC in 2004 that I wanted and simply install Linux on top of its. I can't do that anymore.

For Shuttleworth to declare 'Mission Accomplished' now is a bit pre-mature.

Yes there is a shift underway and certainly the decline of the PC overall is a key factor. Linux never did beat Microsoft dominance on the PC, though it has clearly beaten it everywhere else.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

[VIDEO] Former Microsoft Exec Embraces Linux for Networking Software

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 29, 2013

From the 'Resistance is Futile' files:

For more years than I care to count, I read statements and saw Microsoft server events where Bob Muglia declared why Microsoft's server was so good.

Muglia no longer works for Microsoft (he moved to Juniper two years ago) and he no longer oversees a software portfolio that is based on Windows either.

Juniper, like nearly every other networking vendor on the planet -- uses Linux.

So after two decade of being a Microsoft-guy, Muglia now oversees a software portfolio that relies on Linux.

Check out the video below for Muglia's comments on Linux:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

What Will Follow OpenStack Havana?

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 28, 2013

OpenStack - RoundedFrom the 'open source naming' files:

The current OpenStack open source cloud platform release is named Grizzly - due to the fact that OpenStack had a Summit in San Diego, which is in California, which has a Grizzly bear on its flag.

The next release of OpenStack is codenamed Havana, which an unincorporated community in Oregon where the last OpenStack Summit in Portland was held.

So what will the next release of OpenStack be called? The next Summit is in Hong Kong so something China related?

The four candidates currently being voted on by the OpenStack community are:

* Icehouse
* Ichang

In case you were wonder, all of those names are streets in Hong Kong.

Voting is happening here:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Is Google Code In Trouble? No More Open Source Downloads For You

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 24, 2013

From the 'Don't Download This' file:

Google Code got started back in 2006 as an alternative open source code hosting repository and google codecollaborative development site. At the time of its creation, I had thought that it would competitive with Sourceforge (which it was), but as it turns out Sourceforge will now get the last laugh.

This week after seven years of enabling developers to host code that could easily be download, Google in its wisdom is shutting down the Google Code Download services.

"Downloads were implemented by Project Hosting on Google Code to enable open source projects to make their files available for public download," Google stated. "Unfortunately, downloads have become a source of abuse with a significant increase in incidents recently. Due to this increasing misuse of the service and a desire to keep our community safe and secure, we are deprecating downloads."

Google is now recommending that developers use Google Drive to host files instead. Yeah good luck with that Google, remember Sourceforge?

Sourceforge is now offering Google Code devs the ability to host download code on Sourceforge.

Personally, I think developers want to have code development and hosting download in the same spot -- it's just easier. Though of course, open source software has a long history of mirror download sites and such, so perhaps this isn't a big deal after all?

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Pidora: Fedora Linux for the Raspberry Pi ARMs Up (Thanks to Seneca)

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 23, 2013

pidoraFrom the 'Good Things Come in Small Packages' files:

You can now add another Linux distro to the list that will run on the Raspberry Pi. The core distro for the small device is the Debian based Raspian and there is also an Arch based Linux for the Pi too.

And now once again, we've got a Fedora Remix for the Raspberry Pi as well.

Dubbed Pidora - the distro is a new ARMv6 build of Fedora 18.

Fedora didn't just port the arch, the Pidora spin also has been specifically compiled for Pi's hardware and there are specifical module for the graphical firstboot for it as well.

The Pidora effort was not undertaken by Red Hat staff, it was build by Fedora community members at Seneca's Centre for Development of Open Technology in North Toronto. Seneca's relationship with Fedora is no surprise to many, in fact fudcon was held up at Seneca a few years back (the only fudcon i've actually been too!)

Chris Tyler at Seneca noted that:

Pidora contains a number of Raspberry Pi-specific Python modules and native libraries, such as WiringPi, bcm2835, and python-rpi.gpio. The kernel is also compiled to expose the Raspberry Pi interfaces such as I2C, SPI, serial, and GPIO, and several of these can be accessed with /sys file interfaces (even from bash) without using any special libraries or modules. In addition, Pidora contains Raspberry Pi-specific utilities and libraries for access to the Broadcom Videocore IV GPU.

I think it's great that Fedora is back on the Raspberry Pi, I think it's even better that the work is being done in Toronto. The Seneca team is no stranger to ARM and had been operating the Fedora ARMv5tel/armv7hl build farm over the past three years.

"The armv5tel/armv7hl build systems were successfully relocated to new enterprise ARM systems at the Fedora data centre facility in Phoenix, Arizona earlier this year," Tyler said. "The armv6hl build systems will remain in Toronto since there is no intention to make armv6hl an official Fedora secondary architecture.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Google Accelerates Open Source Chrome 27 Browser

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 21, 2013

Chrome 27From the 'How Fast Can You Go?' files:

Google keeps pushing Chrome performance and the new Chrome 27 release is no exception. The top line new item if the new Chrome 27 release is simply stated by Chrome developers as:

Web pages load 5% faster on average

The full detail on why/how Chrome is now 5 percent faster is really quite interesting. It has to do with parser scheduling. The TL;dr version is that by way of resource preloading, earlier 'first paint' of a page and a reduction of the number of images that are loaded in parallel - Chrome is now - that much faster.

Here's the one bit from the Chrome Speed Team's doc on how they made Chrome faster that really stuck out to me:

"The old scheduler had no limit. The new scheduler will only load 10 images in parallel."

In parallel, with the speed effort Google is also patching a pile of flaws for which it is paying out $14,633 in bug bounties. The most notable flaw in the pile is a 'leet' $3,133.70 aware to Atte Kettuen for a quartet of Memory Safety issue in Web Audio.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Firefox 23 set to boost open source dev tools

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 21, 2013

firefoxFrom the 'Descendants of View Source' files:

Mozilla REALLY cares about developers (as it should). To that end, more Firefox releases than not cater to developers with tools integrated into the browser that provide visibility into how a website or web app works. I have learned more about web dev by using Mozilla's tools and looking at the guts of website than any other source (by far).

The upcoming Firefox 23 release, currently scheduled for General Availability on August 6th is set to include a pile of developer tools that are both unique and at the same time, very familiar.

One of the improved 'familiar' tools is the Network Monitor. Chrome users already enjoy an awesome network monitor type tool that is in the 'inspect element' feature. Firefox kinda/sorta has pretended to have something similar (via Inspect element/web console) but with Firefox 23 the plan is to fully realize network visibility into page traffic

Firefox 23 is also set to enable a functional App Cache.

"If you have ever used the application cache you will probably be familiar with how easy it is to break offline functionality and how difficult it is to work out why things are broken," Mozilla developer Mike Ratcliffe, wrote in a blog post. "I guess that what I am saying is that the application cache is a douchebag."

The other interesting bit from my very narrow perspective is a small bug fixthat will now make URLs clickable in the Style Inspector.

It's the little things that count after all...

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Open Source WordPress Grows on Yahoo Tumblr Buyout

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 20, 2013

wordpressFrom the 'open source rulez' files:

The big news in the tech world that emerged over the weekend is that Yahoo is set to repeat its decade old mistake and acquire Tumblr (Geocities redux) for $1 Billion.

I'm not a fan of Tumblr, but I am a fan of freedom and WordPress, both of which are apparently now 'winning' as a side effect of this deal. While it's still unclear precisely how Yahoo's ownership may/may not affect Tumblr, users are already voting with their blogs.

WordPress Founder Matt Mullenweg wrote in a blog post Sunday night that:

"Imports have actually spiked on the rumors even though it’s Sunday: normally we import 400-600 posts an hour from Tumblr, last hour it was over 72,000"

To be fair, Mullenweg also noted that there is often an import/export of blogs both ways between WordPress and Tumblr. This is a good thing after all, it means that the content is free and is not locked in.

He also noted that Tumblr got started by first being hosted as a blog on is of course, the hosting service that Mullenweg operates, but users can easily run their own free open source WordPress blog anywhere they want. That's the power of open source, it's not just about the content, it's about delivery too.

While I'm no expert on Tumblr or acquisition pricing, I do understand software freedom.

No self-aware user wants to be locked in. While Tumblr does offer an interesting dashboard view of the Internet and an easy way to blog, so too does WordPress. WordPress is in fact the most popular Content Management System on the web today and will remain so due to its ease of use, features and the fact that it remains open source.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Open Source Zend Framework 2.2 Brings PHP to OpenStack Cloud

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 17, 2013

From the 'PHP on Python' files:

I've been tracking the Zend Framework since 2005when Zend co-founder Andi Gutmanszend framework first launched the effort as a sort-of PHP middleware effort.

Over the years, Zend Framework has grown and this week, Zend Framework 2.2 is being officially released. This latest Zend Framework has lots of goodness in it, but for me one thing stands out - OpenStack support.

OpenStack has emerged to become a cloud standard platform in recent years with major IT vendors including, IBM, HP, Dell and Cisco all embracing the open source cloud platform. OpenStack itself is written in Python - but now thanks to Zend Framework 2.2, PHP devs might feel a bit more welcome.

The ZendService_OpenStack, extends the long Zend Framework tradition of enabling APIs on web platforms.

"The goal of this component is to simplify the usage of OpenStack in PHP, providing a simple object oriented interface to its API services. This component is based on ZendService_Api, giving us a flexible way to update the HTTP specification with the future API versions."

The addition of OpenStack is three years after Microsoft Azure was added in Zend Framework 1.10(but then again zend has a strategic relationship with Microsoft and OpenStack after all is only three years old..).

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Mozilla Plans to Renumbers Open Source Firefox Security Updates

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 16, 2013

firefoxFrom the 'enterprise browser' files:

Ok, I know... the 'E' in Firefox ESR does not stand for 'Enterprise', but it should. The ESR - Extended Support Release is an effort to help organizations stay with a secure version of Firefox for longer period of times than the current fast track six-week release cycle of Firefox.

I rely on Firefox ESR and I recommend it to lots of people because it's a much safer version of Firefox to use with custom apps that sometimes - break - with the fast release cycle of Firefox.

The most recent Firefox mainline release is version 21, while the current Firefox ESR is 17. The next Firefox ESR is currently schedule to coincide with the Firefox 24 mainline release.

While the feature bits of the ESR only change every 7 Firefox mainline releases, the security fixes (and there are always security fixes) are backported for each ESR.

With Firefox 21, the new ESR security update was numbered Firefox ESR 17.0.6. A new bugzilla entry proposes that the numbering system be changed to make it easier to associate versions.

Mozilla developer Alex Keybl wrote:

"We'd like to use the second number in the ESR (and mainline Firefox) version number for planned security releases of a single Gecko version."

In that way the first security update for Firefox ESR 24 would be 24.1 and not 24.0.1. The same 'should' hold true for mainline Firefox releases as well. So if there is is a security update inside of the six week release train (which does happen, sometimes) the Firefox 24 security update would be Firefox 24.x instead of Firefox 24.0.x.

Seems like an obvious idea to me.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Java Release Numbering Gets Re-Numbered

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 14, 2013

From the 'What's in a Number' files:?

Are you confused by the recent spate of Java SE updates?Java

You ain't seen nothing yet.

While Oracle has diligently been updating Java for security flaws (and some features too) in recent months, it has been hard to keep track of version numbers. Oracle is not introducing new nomenclature that might make it easier or harder, depending on your perspective.

The plan is to increment security update numbering differently than limited update functionality releases. Security updates will increment in odd numbers while the limited feature releases will increment in 20's

So here's the boxscore:

The next Limited Update for JDK 7 will be numbered 7u40, and the next 3 CPUs after that will be numbered 7u45, 7u51, and 7u55. The next release will be a Limited Update 7u60, followed by CPUs 7u65, 7u71, and 7u75.

Frankly, I was kinda/sorta ok with the n+1 numbering scheme. I understand the reasons why Oracle is taking a new approach and am cautiously optimistic that it will reduce confusion, instead of expanding it.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Cinnarch Linux Reborn as Antergos

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 14, 2013

antergos linuxFrom the 'Linux Desktop Follies' files:

I like Arch and I like Cinnamon, so for me Cinnarch Linux was an obvious fit. Except for the fact that apparently Cinnamon doesn't work so well with Arch.

In early April Cinnarch devs decided to throw in the towel on their distro stating that:

"While Cinnamon is a great user interface and we’ve had a lot of fun implementing it, it’s become too much a burden to maintain/update going forward."

The successor to Cinnarch has now emerged under the name Antergos. The word Antergos is, "galician word to link the past with the present."


But here's the kicker. Cinnamon is still supported (though it's not the default).

Cnchi has now the ability to install your favorite desktop. Right now you can choose between a Gnome, Cinnamon, Xfce or Razor-qt installation, being Gnome the default choice.

Alright, so Cinnamon is no longer the default choice, but it's still a choice.

So the long story short on this distro dying and coming back is an exercise in rebranding.

On a lazy day, sure I prefer to have my distro all nice and packaged up and Cinnarch provided that. But as a sometimes Arch user, power setting and the ability for extreme per-arch customization is why I use it - so for now this (sometimes) Arch user will just use the mainline of Arch.

Antergos is part of a breed of Linux distros (and I'd include the defunct Fuduntu in that category) that I would classify as being somewhat ephemeral. They serve a need at a point in time, but when it comes to medium-long term usage, they aren't going to go the distance.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Linux 3.10 - The biggest Linux RC 1 Ever?

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 13, 2013

From the 'big, bigger, biggest' files:

Late Saturday night, Linus Torvalds released what could well be the largest incremental Linux kernel update in history with 3.10 rc 1

"So this is the biggest -rc1 in the last several years (perhaps ever) at least as far as counting commits go, even if not necessarily in actual lines (I didn't check the statistics on that)," Tovalds wrote in a mailing list message.

Looking through the commits, obviously there are a lot of driver updates (as there always are). Linux continues to be enable for new hardware faster than ever (and before other OSes too.)

Linux 3.10 also looks to be a massive landing pad for KVM virtualization improvements too. Red Hat developer Gleb Natapov's tree got pulledin for the Linux 3.10 rc1 milestone.

Filesystem caching could also be in line for a big performance boost thanks to the new bCache framework which has landed in the 3.10 rc1 milestone.

According to the Linux git documentation fileon bCache:

Say you've got a big slow raid 6, and an X-25E or three. Wouldn't it be nice if you could use them as cache... Hence bcache...t's designed around the performance characteristics of SSDs - it only allocates in erase block sized buckets, and it uses a hybrid btree/log to track cached extants (which can be anywhere from a single sector to the bucket size).

Still very early days for Linux 3.10, with at least five more weeks of development, but it's exciting to see that the pace of Linux development continues to accelerate in 2013.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

The Internet of Everything and Basketball Star Kyrie Irving #Interop

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 08, 2013

kylieFrom the 'cool keynotes' files:

LAS VEGAS - The Internet of Everything is literally everywhere.

Even in Basketball shoes and basketballs. At the Interop show I just saw 2012 Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving get on the keynote stage with Rob Soderberry GM of Cisco's Enterprise Biz unit, shooting hoops.

Apparently those sensors can make Kyrie a better players...and considering how many shots he missed on stage, he can use the little bit of extra help.

"Information about my speed and anything i can do to get better I'm ready to do," Irving said.

Soderberry added that he's looking forward to seeing the tech in the NBA too, but from a macro POV the whole point of the discussion is about planting some seeds about how the network of all things will enable people to do new and amazing things.

As a sports fan i'm sold.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Open Source and SDN #Interop

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 07, 2013

stu bailey interopFrom the 'Vendor Defined' networking:

LAS VEGAS- For me, open source is mother and it is father. It is a better way to build software and it's also a better way to build networking too.

I sat in a session today at the Interop conference, led by Stuart Bailey, a name that is familiar to me as the leader of a commercial networking vendor infoblox. As it turns out, he's also Open Network Foundation Spec Editor, SDN Design Team Member, Working Group Vice-Chair and an OpenFlow Open Source Contributor.

Bailey went through an (IMHO incomplete) list of open source SDN networking efforts, but that's not the point. The point is that when it comes to SDN, open source is how the industry is moving forward.

Whether it's OpenFlow (technically an open spec) or the Floodlight SDN controller or Infoblox's own LINC SDN controller, controlling SDN is a big area for open source.

Though to be fair, these are still early days, multiple vendors including HP and Juniper are both building proprietary controllers (that leverage open standards) and jury is still out on whether OpenDaylight will amount to anything. OpenDaylight is a big multi-stakeholder effort to build open source framework platforms (i.e. a controller) for SDN.

A few things that Bailey said really stuck out in my mind.

1)"If you are just learning about SDN you are not late to the party."

2) Remember the thrill of getting Linux running? that thrill is here as the paradigm shift is key."

That's right the 'tinkering' nature of getting something to work that is awesomely powerful and open to learn from is what Linux and open source SDN efforts are all about.

Again still very early days, but there is no mistaking a clear trend here, open source and networking are here to stay.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Say What? Top Five IT Quotes of the Week

By Sean Michael Kerner   |    May 03, 2013

"I put down a lot of my success in OpenStack to the fact that I've been through this before with GNOME"
Red HatSenior Principal Software Engineer, Mark McLoughlin. (InternetNews)

"Virtualization gives you efficiency, but it doesn't give you speed"
Saar Gillai, SVP and GM for Converged Cloud at HP (Datamation)

"The bad guys get to choose what vulnerabilities they go after"

Jeremiah Grossman, Founder Whitehat Security (eSecurity Planet)

"SDN is now just an umbrella term for cool stuff in networking."

Martin Casado, co-founder to VMware Nicira and the original author of OpenFlow (Enterprise Networking Planet)

"The government vertical was most notably below our original forecast with particular weakness due to sequestration"

Jerry M. Kennelly, co-founder, executive chairman, CEO, and president of Riverbed, said during his company's earnings call. (Enterprise Networking Planet)

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.