Tag Archive | mac

El Conquistador! (Revisited)

I’m soooooo glad that the PC Weenies have taken the time to explain the Microsoft commercial! The Shoe Circus is a Mac Store slam and Microsoft’s future is a fried snack.

P.S. You probably know by now that I believe in supporting artists, and revelations like this don’t come along everyday, so please commemorate this occasion by ordering a copy of this cartoon on card stock today!

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Trial By Hacker

In the fifth installment of my Top 10 List of Linux FUD patterns, I discussed various security measures used in Linux distros. Last week, the CanSecWest security conference invited hackers to circumvent security on three fully-patched computers running different operating systems: OS X, Windows Vista & Ubuntu 7.10. The OS X machine reportedly fell first, requiring only two minutes to exploit a vulnerability in the Safari browser! Vista fared well on its own, but an attack on Adobe Flash in the last day marked the end for Windows. At the end of the three-day contest, The Ubuntu machine was the only one left standing! This is good news indeed!

I’d like to note that while this is a great PR victory for Linux, please bear in mind that the parameters of the contest were controlled. Given the right circumstances and/or enough time, the outcome may have been different, and in the real world, windows of opportunity are left wide open all the time – so, protect yourself. It was also interesting to me that the Mac fell first because it was an ‘easy target’ and that the exploit that took out Vista could easily be tweaked to work on any platform.

Cheers!
-Brandon

Note: my original references for this post were articles on eFluxMedia and The Register.

FUD Alert! Vista Security Report Card

I saw this article summarized on Slashdot this morning. Headline: Microsoft Claims ‘Vista Has Fewer Flaws Than Other First-Year OSes.’ According to the article, Vista released 17 security bulletins and fixed 36 vulnerabilities in the first year, which is a big improvement over XP’s hit counts of 30 and 65 respectively. The article continues by comparing these figures to the first-year vulnerability numbers for Red Hat (360), Ubuntu (224) and Mac OS X (116). One security specialist is quoted, stating that these numbers “prove that [Vista] is quantitatively more secure.” He then chastises other OS vendors for their negligence in QA and security testing.

When you read this article, does it make you doubt the security of Linux and OS X? That’s the intended message, no?

I find this article misleading for a few reasons:

  • Vista numbers are based on actions Microsoft decided to take: release bulletins and fix vulnerabilities. There is an element of subjectivity here.
  • The article discloses that 30 Vista vulnerabilities remain, which brings the number of known vulnerabilities to 66. Sometimes, ‘known’ translates into ‘disclosed’.
  • An assumption is made that the writing of Vista and the compilation of a Linux distro are comparable activities. They are not, and the vulnerabilities associated with these activities likely have different statistical distributions.
  • The scope and risk of the vulnerabilities fixed are not discussed. Microsoft may have fixed 17 big problems, where as Ubuntu fixed 224 small ones. For all we know, the cumulative effect could be equal.
  • The security specialist states that Vista underwent more testing than the other OSes. He makes no reference to the relative quality of that testing. “More” doesn’t mean “better.” And what does “more” mean anyway? Was the testing measured in dollars spent? Number of testers? Number of test cases?

An analysis of the actual report would probably provide more clarity. Moreover, independent verification of the numbers would boost the integrity of the conclusions drawn. The validity of the actual results, however, does not change the intent of those who report on them. FUD, I say!

Cheers!
-Brandon

Who Says Linux Doesn’t Have an Extraordinary MMORPG Game?

Who Says Linux Doesn’t Have an Extraordinary MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) that’s extremely easy to install (yes, like in Microsoft Windows)?? I love this game!

I started playing this game about a year ago in Windows, but I’m not a big gamer and I’m mostly in Ubuntu and it was not available for Linux at the time, so I didn’t continue playing after my trial.

But now it’s available for Linux — actually, it has been for a while, including a Mac client.

Eve Online Gameplay Screenshot

The name of the game is Eve. Or more accurately (at this posting) Eve Online: Trinity.

EVE Online is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) that takes your real-world intellect and tactical knowhow, and places you in the throes of intergalactic battle for racial supremacy. As a pilot within the EVE universe, you’ll commandeer a variety of ships through distant solar systems in a quest for EVE dominance.

Unlike most MMOs, EVE Online takes place within one persistent universe, where all players exist. And like the real world, the clock’s always ticking. Lead or follow; fight or flee; destroy or become cannon fodder. Whichever path you take, your fate awaits you.

Watch a wicked sweet trailer of it:

Eve gamers will already know that it’s available for Linux, but for those who have never played Eve Online and who crave a good game in Linux, give this one a try.

What’s great about it is using Linux/Ubuntu/Gnome’s Workspace Switching between the game and the Eve online forums or anything else you want to do in your other workspaces/desktops.

See it in all its Ubuntu glory below:

I’ve installed it in Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 and played it without any problems. It was so satisfying to be playing an incredible game in Linux! Can you say, “Microsoft, go format yourself!“?

Download a 14-day trial at eve-online.com and join the world’s largest game universe.

www.eve-online.com

Again, it’s available for Ubuntu (or any Linux distribution), it’s free to try, and you’ll experience something quite unique and awesome.