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Roll your own secret Santa Web application
In the spirit of the season, Santa's helper Merlin Hughes, who doubles in real life as a Java developer, presents the design and implementation of a J2EE-based secret Santa Web application, along with a discussion of the tools and technologies that can be used to ease the development of such applications. The articles (also see Part 2 and Part 3) provide a broad overview of how to build a J2EE application from the ground up, using some modern tools and frameworks, with details of how these different technologies work together to produce the end result. While not intended as detailed treatises on any individual technology, these articles instead serve as guides to developing a Web application with J2EE. This first article focuses on the beans, their design and implementation, and the use of XDoclet to accelerate their development and deployment.

( Permalink: Roll your own secret Santa Web application      Submitted by Anonymous Sat Dec 20, 2003 )

Linux 2.6.0 Heart Transplant
CNet reports on Linux 2.6. Also on the new release is: The Wonderful World of Linux 2.6.
" One of the two most fundamental changes to Linux in 2.6 comes through the acceptance and merging of much of the uClinux project into the mainstream kernel. The uClinux project (possibly pronounced "you-see-Linux", but more properly spelled with the Greek character "mu") is the Linux for Microcontrollers project. This variant of Linux has already been a major driver of support for Linux in the embedded market, and its inclusion in the official release should encourage further development in this space. "

( Permalink: Linux 2.6.0 Heart Transplant      Submitted by Noel Fri Dec 19, 2003 )

arstechnica's linux.ars tells us about the Linux boot process, FreeBSD Ports, and reviews Firestarter, their cool app of the week.
"You can see that having a proper firewall protecting your LAN makes a lot of sense, and using Firestarter to set up a netfilter/iptables firewall makes it easy and inexpensive to do. Firestarter provides a wealth of functionality in a pretty, easy to use interface, making the installation and management of a Linux firewall a much less daunting task."

( Permalink: Linux.ars      Submitted by Noel Fri Dec 19, 2003 )

Interview with Jon Edney
In this interview, a key contributor to the development of IEEE 802.11 systems and author of "Real 802.11 Security" discusses various wireless security topics.

( Permalink: Interview with Jon Edney      Submitted by LogError Fri Dec 19, 2003 )

Introducing PCLinuxOS 2K4
Mad Penguin takes a look at Introducing PCLinuxOS 2K4.
"What is a live Linux CD? It's a Linux distribution that runs completely from CD, but can also be installed to the hard drive if you so desire. PCLinuxOS (as of this writing is currently at version 2K4 Preview 4) is based upon the Mandrake Linux 9.2 distro (currently kernel 2.4.22) and, despite my thoughts on Mandrake, is one of the best live CDs I have ever used."

( Permalink: Introducing PCLinuxOS 2K4      Submitted by Noel Thu Dec 18, 2003 )

USB Thumb Drive Linux
Linux Devices reports on Linux Mobile System (LMS).
"Linux Mobile System (LMS) is an implementation of embedded Linux for USB "thumb" drives that can boot most any x86 computer into a Linux environment. Unlike so-called "live CDs," LMS allows files to be stored and information exchanged between systems. An an optional boot floppy is also available, for systems' whose BIOS can't boot from a USB device."

( Permalink: USB Thumb Drive Linux      Submitted by Noel Thu Dec 18, 2003 )

Death March
Tech Book Report has a short book review of Death March.
"Death March projects are those that are doomed to failure from the word go, doomed by unrealistic deadlines and resourcing and, even though everybody involved knows what the end is going to be, nobody seems to act on the blindingly obvious.Yourdon aims to do more than characterise and report on the existence of Death March projects, which in most respects differ from the kind of projects described in most software methodology or project management texts. To this end the book opens with a chapter which defines such projects and then explores why they happen and why people take part in them."

( Permalink: Death March      Submitted by Noel Thu Dec 18, 2003 )

Linux Kernel Problems
In this weeks Security Alerts, we look at problems in the Linux kernel, rsync, cdwrite, 4inarow, CVS, Ebola, net-snmp,lftp, and irssi.

( Permalink: Linux Kernel Problems      Submitted by Anonymous Wed Dec 17, 2003 )

Migrating to Astaro Security Linux
Linux Journal takes a look at Astaro Security Linux.
"Astaro Security Linux is a perimeter security solution that combines firewalling via stateful packet inspection filters, virtual private network (VPN - IPSec/PPTP) support, anti-spam and anti-virus protection, content filtering, URL blocking, application-level proxies, load balancing, QoS and user authentication. A global database of 20 million entries based on the analyzed content of 2 billion HTML pages is used to support URL blocking. Automated updates and remote administration are performed securely over the Web."

( Permalink: Migrating to Astaro Security Linux      Submitted by Noel Wed Dec 17, 2003 )

On the GUI Selection in UserLinux
Newsforge talks about Bruce Perens' UserLinux.
"But all of the efforts to unify these two desktops do not change the fact that there are two entirely different GUI SDKs. The two competing GUIs are each of a complexity equal to or greater than that of the Linux kernel. For developers and support staff, maintaining expertise in both of two GUIs is an expensive proposition. Many IT shops, when faced with such choices, have decided to consolidate to fewer options in order to reduce expense."

( Permalink: On the GUI Selection in UserLinux      Submitted by Noel Wed Dec 17, 2003 )

Getting Open Source Into Public Libraries
Newsforge talks about Libraries and Open Source.
"The first reaction from the open source community is usually "Great, I'll burn a whole set of CDs and donate them to my local library." This is completely and utterly the wrong thing to do. It is wrong because you will not be taking into account the responsibilities libraries have for their patrons. The CDs you burn will have to be thrown away. You will also be trying to force libraries to do what you want them to do, and nobody likes that."

( Permalink: Getting Open Source Into Public Libraries      Submitted by Noel Tue Dec 16, 2003 )

Charming Python: Review of Python IDEs
This article looks at four open source development environments for working with Python code on Unix-like operating systems. He evaluates two general-purpose editors/environments and two Python-specific ones, and compares the merits of each.

( Permalink: Charming Python: Review of Python IDEs      Submitted by Anonymous Tue Dec 16, 2003 )

SCO UnixWare 7.1.3 Review
Despite news about SCO being all about the lawsuit, they still sell OS products and they have a presense in the server market. UnixWare is one of these OS products. Tony Bourke reviewed its latest version, 7.1.3, and even includes benchmarks among other tests. Tony concludes that the lack of commercial applications and user community, the difficulty with open source applications, the SCO litigation, and the high price are all marks against UnixWare. There are just very few reasons to adopt UnixWare as your platform, and plenty of reasons to adopt (or migrate to) other platforms.

( Permalink: SCO UnixWare 7.1.3 Review      Submitted by Anonymous Tue Dec 16, 2003 )

The False Economy of Proprietary Code
There have been many arguments being made against the open source community for its lack of controls and ownership. Many proponents of closed-source and proprietary software argue that they have spent millions of dollars developing software and therefore must be allowed to control the marketplace of ideas. Alas, poor souls, they fail to grasp the reality of the efficiency and economy of a greater power called free and open-source software.

The argument that so many are keen to make first is that the price of free software is nothing; that you cannot sell what is free source. Such is simply a prevarication as it was never the intent of the free software model to keep anyone from earning money. Instead, the idea was to keep the source code underlying the programs from being kept from the public. It allows code to be modified to fit within a unique environment. Instead of attempting to insure that one-size-fits-all (which we know does not always ring true) approach, the software can be customized for its environment.

( Permalink: The False Economy of Proprietary Code      Submitted by Chuck Talk Mon Dec 15, 2003 )

FreeBSD, SNMP and RRDTool
If you ever wanted to graph your network traffic, disk usage, system load, or anything else about your network, servers or workstations, then RRDTool is your best friend and SNMP is it's very sexy spouse.
Between the two you can collect data on almost element in your network, either local or remote, and graph it almost any way.
To learn how to start using these two in under an hour, read on at silverwraith.com

( Permalink: FreeBSD, SNMP and RRDTool      Submitted by Avleen Vig Mon Dec 15, 2003 )

Featured Articles:
Unix and Linux Podcasting Guide

Expect and SSH

The Linux Enterprise Cluster

Book Review: Podcasting: Do-It-Yourself Guide

Remote Backups With Rsync

Weakness and Security

Essential CVS

Spring Into Technical Writing

Other News:
Biodiesel Resources

Older News

Odds and Ends
(Fri Jan 24, 2003)

Book Review: Apache Administrator's Handbook
(Fri Jan 24, 2003)

SimPy Simplifies Complex Models
(Fri Jan 24, 2003)

Developing cfperl, From the Beginning
(Thu Jan 23, 2003)

FreeBSD 5.0 Offers Many New Benefits
(Thu Jan 23, 2003)

Building OpenSSH for Solaris OE systems
(Thu Jan 23, 2003)

Managing Access with CVS
(Thu Jan 23, 2003)

Advantages of OpenMosix on IBM xSeries
(Thu Jan 23, 2003)

GNU/Linux Media Player Round-up
(Wed Jan 22, 2003)

Projection Keyboards
(Wed Jan 22, 2003)

Secret preloads, Bitkeeper and TCO
(Wed Jan 22, 2003)

Customizing and Upgrading Linux, 2nd Edition
(Wed Jan 22, 2003)

Open Source Honeypots: Learning with Honeyd
(Wed Jan 22, 2003)

Keeping Users in Check
(Tue Jan 21, 2003)

Patching OpenBSD
(Tue Jan 21, 2003)

Improving Linux Kernel Performance and Scalability
(Tue Jan 21, 2003)

Avoid Wireless LAN Security Pitfalls
(Tue Jan 21, 2003)

Scaling Server Performance
(Tue Jan 21, 2003)

Wacky Little Linux Cartoon Annimations
(Fri Jan 17, 2003)

Robot Brain Surgeon
(Fri Jan 17, 2003)

Halting the Hacker: A Practical Guide
(Fri Jan 17, 2003)

Decrypting the Secret to Strong Security
(Fri Jan 17, 2003)

CUPS Vulnerabilities
(Wed Jan 15, 2003)

SCO Linux 4--Ready for the Big Time
(Wed Jan 15, 2003)

Hyper-Threading Speeds Linux
(Wed Jan 15, 2003)

Linux from Kindergarten to High School
(Wed Jan 15, 2003)

Meet the Perens
(Tue Jan 14, 2003)

Essential Blogging
(Tue Jan 14, 2003)

A Proposed Web Bug-based Micropayment Model
(Tue Jan 14, 2003)

Tip: Dual-booting Linux
(Tue Jan 14, 2003)

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