Google Gets to the Root of the Problem
It was this time last year — almost to the day — that Google revealed their plan for gaining a share of the ever-so-profitable mobile phone market. Though we all thought it would be a true gPhone — designed, manufactured, and marketed entirely by Google — we were nonetheless excited and intrigued by what was actually revealed: Android, an Open Source, Linux-based mobile OS.
The path through Android's development to the eventual release of the first "Googlephone" — the T-Mobile G1 — had its fair share of bumps and potholes. Post-release is proving to be rather rough as well: A high-profile vulnerability discovered in late October and patched last week brought the company criticism not only over the flaw itself, which involved a long-since-patched vulnerability, but more so over Google's response to security-researcher Charles Miller's public disclosure of the vulnerability. Now, a new vulnerability has come to light and has drawn the search giant even more fire.
The latest flaw — which is in the process of being patched via an over-the-air and reportedly involuntary update — was disclosed last week in what was characterized as a "jailbreak" of the G1. At first glance, most sources believed the glitch to allow as-needed root access to the phone, providing users with the opportunity to bypass limitations on the phone and run applications outside the "sandbox" designed by Android's developers. However, it was quickly discovered that the issue was not a "jailbreak," but rather a serious flaw in Android's code which caused a root shell to run invisibly on the device — a root shell which received and executed every keystroke entered on the device. rm -rf, anyone?
Though obviously embarrassing for Google, the bug is not out-of-the-ordinary, and was likely a debugging hack that failed to find its way out of the production release. Some — presumably before learning the full extent of the vulnerability — were quick to criticize Google, comparing the company's actions to Apple's ironfisted control of the iPhone. Questions were raised over Google's commitment to keeping Android an Open Source project — questions which echo, though in a radically different context, ones raised just a few months ago.
This time at least, it appears Google's motives lacked sinister overtones of corporate control — but who knows what evil lurks in the code of Android?
Justin Ryan is a Contributing Editor for Linux Journal.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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- Rogue Wave Software's Zend Server
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- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide