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February 12, 2010

Pythian
pythian
» Blogrotate #16: The Weekly Roundup of News for System Administrators

Welcome to another edition of Blogrotate. This has been an interesting week in the IT world, with Microsoft security issues being the major focus of attention.

Security

Once again, security flaws in Microsoft Operating Systems caused major problems for system administrators this past week. It began with Microsoft’s Security Response Center’s posting of February’s security bulletin.

Microsoft’s attempt’s to fix a 17-year-old bug resulted in a large number of computers having problems restarting. More information can be found here Restart issues after installing MS10-015 and Security patch results in BSOD, stops Windows from booting. It appear that this issue may have been caused by machines being previously infected by a rootkit

Another patch from Microsoft, the reliability update for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, turned out to be not so… reliable.

But what was of most concern to many system administrators was Microsoft’s security advisory concerning a vulnerability in the TLS and SSL protocols, since this affects not only the Microsoft Windows operating system but as TLS/SSL are an Internet standard, multiple vendors. Emil Protalinski at Ars Technica provides full coverage of the TLS/SSL flaw in Windows.

Just to prove that Microsoft is not the only one with security problems, Ryan Paul at Ars Technica has an interesting article about a hack announced at Black Hat where a researcher was able to circumvent a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) component. Although it requires physical access, it does prove that even hardware-based protection mechanisms considered “unhackable” are indeed still vulnerable. Here are a second and third link for further reading: Supergeek pulls off ‘near impossible’ crypto chip hack; and Researcher Cracks Security Of Widely Used Computer Chip.

Business

Rumours that Microsoft was interested in purchasing RIM caused a stir this week.

Education

The big news on the training front was that Novell and Canonical are joining forces to bolster Linux Certification and training efforts to compete with Red Hat.

Operating Systems

More from Ubuntu, with Canonical’s new COO Matt Asay speculating that the Apple iPad is attempting to bring about a new paradigm where the operating system is largely invisible to the user and the applications themselves are the operating system.

Software

Computerworld’s Eric Lai had interesting article discussing the announcement of Ksplice Uptrack. It provides an overview of what the service is and raises concerns about security compliance, support from major vendors, and funding.

Facebook’s previously undocumented chat protocol now supports Jabber/XMPP, so a user may now communicate with contacts via third-party IM clients such as AIM, Pidgin, and so on. Facebook 24/7 anyone?

This wraps up another episode of Blogrotate. See you next week, same Blogrotate channel, same Blogrotate time.

March 22, 2009

Rick Leir
blinkmonitor
» The ecology of games : connecting youth, games, and learning

The ecology of games : connecting youth, games, and learning / edited by Katie Salen, MIT Press, 2008

This book is about the psychology of computer games. What makes a game addictive? How can games be useful in education? The book is a collection of 9 essays by academics, and conveys many interesting ideas, though game designers will not find any practical how-to. 250 pages.

Get it here at OPL

January 21, 2009

Rick Leir
blinkmonitor
» Born digital : understanding the first generation of digital natives

Born digital : understanding the first generation of digital natives / John Palfrey and Urs Gasser.

“Digital technologies are changing our kids in ways we don’t yet understand. This beautifully written book will set the framework for a field that will change that. It is required reading for parents, educators, and anyone who cares about the future” - Lawrence Lessig

Get it here from OPL

July 15, 2008

Rick Leir
blinkmonitor
» The Cambridge handbook of expertise

book coverThe Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance / edited by K. Anders Ericsson, Cambridge University Press, 2006

A compilation of academic papers on how to train and educate experts . Yikes, 900 pages!

Get it from OPL