Archive for March, 2010
Sony has announced that a new firmware upgrade for the PlayStation 3, to be released on April 1st, will remove the “Install Other OS” option from all versions of the console. The announcement in the company blog cites “security concerns” as the reason for the removal.
The “Install Other OS” option allows users to install Linux on the Sony console, a capability which Sony did not support on the new “Slim” version of the PS3, released in August 2009. At the time Sony explained that adding the feature to the “Slim” PS3 would have added to development and support costs, but assured developers that the feature would not be removed from previous models of the PlayStation 3.
The ability to install Linux had allowed some groups to sell clusters of the games console and run software which made use of the Cell processor for computation. PS3 clusters have been used, for example, for cracking cryptography.
Linux and other operating systems on the PlayStation 3 run within a managed hypervisor which limits access to the physical hardware to prevent hackers from tampering with the console’s content protection features. Although Sony do not specify the precise reasons for the removal of the other OS feature It is possible that the company has found, or been made aware of, vulnerabilities in the hypervisor implementation that allow the content protection to be compromised.
It has become common behavior it today’s IT world to reboot workstations and sometimes even servers when something isn’t working as expected. I myself am as guilty of this as many others The joke goes that if a user complains about an IT problem the IT admin should first ask the user if they have rebooted twice.
This seems to have evolved from historical reliability issues in Microsoft’s line of Windows operating systems. These OS’s (mainly the older but still often used versions) and some applications that run on them seem to have so many minor issues that cause long-term uptime and reliability issues and it is impossible to expect users to troubleshoot them. Given this, it has become common to just expect to have to reboot occasionally or when problems arise, and that usually “fixes” the situation.
However, administrators I know from a unix/linux background tend to never ever reboot. In fact, many of them seem to hold their servers’ uptimes as a point of pride. When something goes wrong instead of rebooting immediately they figure out what is wrong and they fix it and usually without a reboot! (yes, some even spend many hours of their free time just to not have to reboot)
The problem arises now that linux is becoming a little bit more mainstream (in some areas – for example secrity technology) and accessible to all sort of users. Given our windows-bred behavior if a problem arises with a linux server we just bounce the box and hope it doesn’t come back… If someone asks about the issue we quickly declare “A reboot fixed it” and move on with our lives. If I received a nickel each time I heard this I could start my own small venture capital fund.
The reality is that you should not have to reboot windows or linux machines. If you are having to rebooting your servers you *do* have a problem and the reboot is not really ”fixing” anything – it’s only removing the symptoms for a period of time. Unless you are prepared to deal with continuous rebooting any other possible side effects I’d advise you do a couple things when problems are encountered:
First, classify the problem very specifically. The problem isn’t that “My computer doesn’t work” or “The internet is down.” What specifically isn’t working? Second, collect as much relevent information as you can and then some. Often “irrelevent” information is quite relevent as the core cause is not always where one expects. Finally, Troubleshoot the issue. If you are unsure how to troubleshoot the issue – DO NOT REBOOT. If you want to fix the issue go find someone who can help you and describe the problem very specifically and give them your gathered information (or maybe fix it yourselfe if you know how to and have the time to research the issue). If you do reboot, you’ve erased all the symptoms and made finding the problem much more difficult.
The current version of the ZeuS botnet uses classical copy protection mechanisms to prevent the use of unlicensed pirate copies. ZeuS is a malware toolkit used, for instance, to steal online banking data. The basic version currently costs about $3,000 to $4,000.
Security firm SecureWorks has discovered that the ZeuS server only works with a system specific key. Similar to the Windows OS, the malware creates a kind of fingerprint of the respective hardware configuration when first started. The vendor then provides the user with a personalised licence key for this configuration.
The ZeuS server is responsible for controlling the botnet. It communicates with the infected computers – the bots –, it receives the data they provide and issues commands, etc. The client software injected on victims’ systems of course does not require a licence key. Extensive division of labour has existed in the malware scene for some time. Many gangs use the professional ZeuS software which is modular and can – for a fee – be extended to include, for instance, different Windows versions or browsers. By using a licence management system, the product has reached a new level of professionalism.
You couldn’t make it to the MIX10 at the 15-17th march 2010 in Las Vegas? Don’t worry! - You can watch online many Videos and other informative posts at http://live.visitmix.com/
While it isn’t the same as attending MIX10, Microsoft has made it possible to watch the keynotes and sessions (posted within 24 hours after they happened) and also to interact with the MIX Online community. Visit the MIX10 site now to see what you’ve missied. Learn about the next generation of Windows Phone 7 Series, Internet Explorer 9 and the future of Web Design and User Experience.
If you are interested in modern technologies, climate change, nuclear power or how the feature power-solutions will look like, then you should watch this really good talk by Bill Gates:
In a move that might rewrite the entire search market, Google is rumored to be creating a system that will let allow web publishers to submit content to Google for search indexing in real-time.
This of course follows the introduction of PubSubHubBub by Google, a tool to move syndicated content in real-time to aggregators. PubSubHubBub has become a hit among publishers looking to get their information into the market as quickly as possible.
This move by Google, if it comes to fruition, would be a super-PubSubHubBub, not just moving your content into Google Reader at light speed, but also into the hands of the tens of millions of people searching Google every few hours. It would be a bigger move towards a real-time web than Twitter will ever be.
Of course, this would give Google a strong leg up on Bing, and would tie internet publishers even tighter to the internet giant. Many already depend on Google Analytics and Feedburner in their publications Now with PubSubHubBub and the new tool, publishers not working on a Google platform would still be using Google tools to publish.
Is there no corner of the world where Google will not expand into?
Sure to be lost in any discussion are the internet searchers, who will benefit greatly from having the best data in real-time, all the time. Who loses? Microsoft, and any publisher not smart enough to jump on board.
Marshall Kirkpatrick has an excellent discussion of the technical aspects of the project, which we recommend that you read if you are a publisher.
When will this come out? We are not sure at the moment, but when it does, the earthquakes we resonate in search for years to come.
I just found this nice video in Youtube:
You think thats impressive? Me too Looks cool – but do you really need all this eyecandy stuff? I like Windows 7 because it is just the right amount of visual cool looking stuff so you are able to work as efficient as possible. But this varies between each person.
PS: I have UBUNTU 9.10 as second multiboot system and it is really helpfull to impress other people