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…all this and more in this week’s compendium of open source news!   Two Steps Forward, One Step Back Sounds like a Strauss Waltz? Almost. After 10 years the city of Munich’s love affair with open source may be coming to an end.  Despite saving $16 million by using the custom Linux distribution LiMux, the city is considering switching back to Windows due to user complaints.  Read more about the motives surrounding the discussion at Network World.    Governments on GitHub Governments across the globe have long been dabbling with open source software.  Use of Open Source products like OpenOffice, Linux and Drupal are becoming commonplace. To further this trend, many governments are beginning to open source their own code as illustrated by the 10,000 active government users on GitHub. You could argue that since it is our taxes, then the code should be open.  Read more abo... (more)

Most Popular Computer Language Keywords

Koders.com issued a summary of the most popular computer language keywords, files and projects used by developers in December, 2009. Analyzing search engine trends in a number of different computer languages, the "12 Days of Code Search" is based on hundreds of thousands of searches and downloads performed by thousands of users. Results were compiled and analyzed by Black Duck Software, the leading provider of products and services for automating the management, governance and secure use of open source software at enterprise scale. Powered by Black Duck Software, Koders.com is a free code search website serving tens of thousands of unique visitors per day. Koders.com includes 2.5 billion lines of open source code collected from more than 4,500 Internet sites. Black Duck has increased the open source software code available through Koders.com by 400 percent since acqu... (more)

Essential Cloud Computing Characteristics

If you ask five different experts you will get maybe five different opinions what cloud computing is. And all five may be correct. The best definition of cloud computing that I have ever found is the National Institute of Standards and Technology Definition of Cloud Computing. According to NIST the cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models. In this post I will look at the essential characteristics only, and compare to the traditional computing models; in future posts I will look at the service and deployment models. Because computing always implies resources (CPU, memory, storage, networking etc.), the premise of cloud is an improved way to provision, access and manage those resources. Let's look at each essential characteristic of the cloud: On-Demand Self-Service Essentially what this means is that... (more)

HP Cloud Object Storage: A Brief Overview

HP’s cloud solutions continue to expand, and more and more organizations are taking advantage of these opportunities. In the cloud storage arena, HP Cloud Object Storage provides highly durable, readily available access to your data. It’s secure, too; each object is stored in three zones of availability, all separate from one another. HP Cloud Object Storage runs on world-class HP servers, of course, giving you scalability and access on demand. Here are some things you need to know about HP Cloud Object Storage: High performance. This service runs entirely on high-end HP servers. This gives you the highest possible levels of availability and performance. Scalability. Creating containers and adding objects in order to adjust to growing storage needs is instantaneous, and you only pay for what you use. Security. The three availability zones for HP Cloud Object Storage... (more)

The Economist Reports on Cyber Warfare

"Do cyberattacks count as warfare?" in The Economist's Technology Quarterly (December, 2008) explores confusion surrounding botnet attacks on political entities.  What kind of crime are they, and how should governments react?  Read it now--after December, 2009, access is only for Economist print subscribers. ... (more)

Twittergate Reveals E-Mail is Bigger Security Risk than Twitter

First, everyone needs to calm down. Twitter.com itself was not breached. According to Evan Williams as quoted in a TechCrunch article, the attack did not breach Twitter.com or its administrative functions, nor were user accounts affected in any way. So everyone can just stop with the “Twitter needs to revamp its security!” and “Twitter isn’t secure” headlines and articles because it’s not only blatantly wrong, it’s diverting attention that should be devoted to the real problem: e-mail and account self-service. THE E-MAIL FACTOR What was compromised remains somewhat of a mystery. Following through the TechCrunch article to a blog on the same subject reveals some interesting details, however. A screen shot of what appears to be an internal memo to Twitter employees requires a change in passwords (along with instructions on improving the strength of said passwords) b... (more)

Microsoft Word Ordered Off the U.S. Market

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued a permanent injunction Tuesday prohibiting Microsoft from selling any Microsoft Word products in the United States that "have the capability of opening .XML, .DOCX or DOCM files (XML files) containing custom XML." Microsoft, which means to appeal, must comply with the injunction within 60 days. The decision impacts the current Word 2007 as well as the Professional Edition of its predecessor Word 2003 and implicates the feature, often demanded by the federal government, for creating custom tags to search files for specific information. PC World says custom XML lets people "create forms or templates such that words in certain fields are tagged and then can be managed in a database." According to Bloomberg, Merck and Bayer use i4i's widgetry to ensure people get the most up-to-date information on their me... (more)

Terremark Cloud Hosting for SAP

Terremark announced it is the first service provider to offer hosting services for SAP solutions on its cloud computing platform. Through its innovative Enterprise Cloud infrastructure, Terremark will be able to leverage its secure, top-tier data centers with access to massive and diverse network connectivity to provide customers a new, cost-effective model for hosting their SAP solutions in a live production environment. “Terremark’s hosting services will offer several benefits to both small and large SAP customers," said Michael Ressemann, global head of BPO Solution Delivery and Partner Enablement at SAP. "Our partnership with Terremark will provide customers the ability to experience significant cost savings, while not having to sacrifice the reliability of their hosted SAP applications." Powered by the VMware virtualization platform, the Enterprise Cloud allows... (more)

Managing CloudFront Private Content with CloudBerry S3 Explorer

Note: this post applies to CloudBerry Explorer 1.7 and later. CloudBerry S3 Explorer is by far the most popular Amazon S3 and CloudFront manager on Windows platform. At the same time Amazon rapidly enhance their services to meet growing customer expectations. To maintain our leadership position we are trying to say on top of Amazon developments and support all recent enhancements in CloudBerry Explorer. Today CloudFront team introduced a new exciting capability that will help to protect your content on the distributions. You might want to use CloudFront to deliver a digital asset you’ve sold online, or use it to distribute objects only to your company’s employees. In these circumstances, you need detailed control over who can download your “private” content. As a result today Amazon added an ability to handle private content in Amazon CloudFront. How CloudBerry E... (more)

Earthquake Institute Secures Critical Online Data with Comodo SSL

Italian Vulcanology Institute Selects Comodo SSL Jersey City, NJ, December 04, 2009 - Experts at the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Vulcanology (INGV) faced controversy when they decided to relocate the July, 2009, G8 Summit to l'Aquila, Italy. Deciding on an SSL certificate to protect their website was much easier. L'Aquila had been battered by a 5.6 Richter earthquake three months beforehand. The temblor had demolished buildings and ruined antiques. Upon the recommendation of the INGV, the summit moved to the battered city. Another quake during the summit might have endangered heads of state from Canada, the Russian Federation, France, German, Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as the European Council and the President of the European Commission. Fortunately, the agency's call kept the G8 leaders safe, enabling them to make... (more)

Breach and Akamai Deliver Cloud Computing Security

Akamai Session at Cloud Expo Breach Security has announced the release of the WebDefend Global Event Manager, a solution developed to work in conjunction with the new Web Application Firewall service offered by Akamai Technologies. When deployed with Akamai’s Web Application Firewall service, the WebDefend Global Event Manager is the first web application security management solution that defends against global application security threats by enabling customers to make distributed cloud and data center defense-in-depth architectures operational. The WebDefend Global Event Manager is designed to work in concert with Akamai’s solutions across joint customers’ web environments in real-time to accurately detect and block attacks, prevent unauthorized data leakage, improve performance and identify and remediate web application coding errors. The launch of the Akamai Web... (more)