Rocky Linux gets a new sponsor—Gregory Kurtzer’s startup, Ctrl IQ

Found on Ars Technica on Sunday, 07 February 2021
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Gregory Kurtzer, co-founder of the now-defunct CentOS Linux distribution, has founded a new startup company called Ctrl IQ, which will serve in part as a sponsoring company for the upcoming Rocky Linux distribution.

Ctrl IQ reached out due to confusion caused by the original headline of this article (since corrected). Ctrl IQ is only a sponsor of the Rocky Linux project, not a parent company.

Good luck, Rocky.

CentOS is gone—but RHEL is now free for up to 16 production servers

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 25 January 2021
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Long-standing tradition—and ambiguity in Red Hat's posted terms—led users to believe that CentOS 8 would be available until 2029, just like the RHEL 8 it was based on. Red Hat's early termination of CentOS 8 in 2021 cut eight of those 10 years away, leaving thousands of users stranded.

Although CentOS Stream could be considered appropriate and perfectly adequate for enthusiasts and home-labbers, the lack of a long, well-defined life cycle made it inappropriate for most production use and, especially, production use by shops that chose a RHEL-compatible distribution in the first place.

RedHat has axed the flagship of its portfolio and now hopes to regain some of the lost trust. For the majority, it does not work like that.

When Adobe Stopped Flash Content From Running It Also Stopped A Chinese Railroad

Found on Jalopnik on Sunday, 24 January 2021
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For a select few in China, though, the death of Flash meant being late to work, because the city of Dalian in northern China was running their railroad system on it. Yes, a railroad, run on Flash, the same thing used to run “free online casinos” and knockoff Breakout games in mortgage re-fi ads.

The railroad’s technicians did get everything back up and running, but the way they did this is fascinating, too. They didn’t switch the rail management system to some other, more modern codebase or software installation; instead, they installed a pirated version of Flash that was still operational.

It most likely won't even be fixed or migrated and just keep on running on a pirated and insecure piece of software.

Windows 10 bug corrupts your hard drive on seeing this file's icon

Found on Bleeping Computer on Tuesday, 19 January 2021
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In multiple tests by BleepingComputer, this one-liner can be delivered hidden inside a Windows shortcut file, a ZIP archive, batch files, or various other vectors to trigger hard drive errors that corrupt the filesystem index instantly.

What's worse is, the vulnerability can be triggered by standard and low privileged user accounts on Windows 10 systems.

BleepingComputer's tests also show that you can use this command on any drive, not only the C: drive and that drive will subsequently become corrupted.

A bunch of trolls and pranksters will have a fun time with that.

Firefox to block Backspace key from working as "Back" button

Found on ZD Net on Monday, 18 January 2021
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The change is currently active in the Firefox Nightly version and is expected to go live in Firefox 86, scheduled to be released next month, in late February 2021.

As with most disrupting changes like these, some users are most likely to be disgruntled about the browser maker's decision.

Hooray for Mozilla who, once again, make their browser less and less interesting.

From today, Adobe Flash Player no longer works.

Found on The Register on Wednesday, 13 January 2021
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What's happened is that Adobe snuck a logic bomb into its Flash software some releases ago that activates on January 12, and causes the code to refuse to render any more content from that date. Adobe has also removed previous versions from its site, and "strongly recommends all users immediately uninstall Flash Player to help protect their systems."

After years of assaults, and the rise of alternatives, Adobe announced the demise of Flash in July 2017, saying support will be dropped on December 31, 2020.

It was about time. Flash has been a major reason for exploits because it was riddled with bugs.

Mozilla is working on a Firefox design refresh

Found on ghacks on Tuesday, 05 January 2021
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Mozilla did change several interface elements after the release of Firefox 57, recently the controversial address bar overhaul that it launched in Firefox 75 Stable.

He notes that Firefox will look more modern when the designs land and that Mozilla plans to introduce useful improvements, especially in regards to the user experience.

Be afraid. Mozilla has a history of turning attempts at being "more modern" into horrible UI solutions.

A lightweight, fast browser that won't slurp your data

Found on The Register on Monday, 04 January 2021
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Originally written as a SVG browser ("because SVG was way faster than HTML," according to Ekioh CEO Piers Wombwell), everything is rendered entirely on the GPU.

The Flow executable weighed in at just under 34MB and was blessedly free of the chaff other browser makers tend to include with their wares. It was also, however, free of such fripperies as a history, navigation buttons, or even somewhere to type in a URL.

To be clear, this is very much a browser in development, and the fact that a small team has been able to produce a rendering engine that not only handles some of the more esoteric CSS out there but also with decent performance is not to be sniffed at.

It's great to see that new players enter the browser market.

How Long Should a Vendor Support a Distro?

Found on Slashdot on Sunday, 27 December 2020
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Long-term Slashdot reader couchslug believes that "Howls of anguish from betrayed CentOS 8 users highlight the value of its long support cycles..." Earlier this month it was announced that at the end of 2021, the community-supported rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS 8, "will no longer be maintained," though CentOS 7 "will stick around in a supported maintenance state until 2024."

That's up to the vendor, but suddenly axing the EOL in the middle of a release, along with making it effectively beta (from stable) is not the right way to communicate this.

CloudLinux to invest more than a million dollars a year into CentOS clone

Found on ZD Net on Sunday, 20 December 2020
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Igor Seletskiy, CloudLinux CEO and founder, explained, "Red Hat's announcement has left users looking for an alternative with all that CentOS provides and without the disruption of having to move to alternative distributions. We promise to dedicate the resources required to Project Lenix that will ensure impartiality and a not-for-profit community initiative. CloudLinux already has the assets, infrastructure, and experience to carry out the mission, and we promise to be open about the process of developing Project Lenix."

They just need to join forces with Rocky.