Here's some irony for you. On one hand, Google stifles human rights by censoring Google China for the authoritarian Chinese regime. At the same time, Google Code hosts an antidote, a new human-rights monitoring program, called Karapatan-Monitor. Created and maintained by the Computer Professionals' Union in the Philippines, the open-source Karapatan-Monitor records incidents of human-rights violations and allows for classification of violations, perpetrators and victim status. Specific victim updates (for example, court cases and file attachments) also can be recorded. Now, the question remains, “Dear Google, can those who need Karapatan-Monitor most, such as our Chinese brothers and sisters, even access it?”
The battle of good vs. evil continues, with the good guys adding a sharp new arrow to the quiver: Avinti's NEWT Free Malware Security Service. Fresh out of beta, NEWT (Neutralize E-mail and Web Threats) is a freeware plugin filter for Sendmail, Postfix and (soon) Exim that addresses blended threat attacks. Avinti reported an average of 750 new threat e-mail messages per day in late 2007. The company emphasizes that “blended threats are an increasingly popular way for hackers to bypass traditional e-mail security” by sending URLs hosted on botnet-infected computers. In addition, “some of the malware also is on legitimate sites that have been injected with a cross-site scripting hack, making detection and blocking by Web filters difficult.” NEWT can block, tag or quarantine e-mail messages containing such threats. NEWT is available for free download from Avinti's Web site.
WaveMaker has declared Visual Assembly Studio & Rapid Deployment Framework, a new team of products for developing Web applications, as “Web Fast and CIO Safe”. (Do you breathe fire, as well, dear CIO?) Visual Assembly Studio provides departmental developers with a visual environment to create scalable, data-driven Web applications without complex code or portal frameworks. Meanwhile, Visual Assembly Studio enables the drag-and-drop assembly of Web applications using Ajax widgets, Web services and databases. WaveMaker claims a 67% decrease in development time and a 98% reduction in lines of code written vis-à-vis .NET. Both products are built on open source and open standards. Visual Assembly Studio is free, and the Rapid Deployment Framework is available under commercial license.
VMware, Inc., and SAP AG recently announced a partnership whereby SAP's 64-bit enterprise applications and business solutions (such as ERP, BI, CRM, SCM and so on) for Linux and Windows will run on VMware's ESX Server. Already-certified hardware includes servers from Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, IBM and Sun. Both firms will collaborate on support services and problem resolution arising from the partnership. The companies state that the partnership will “combine the powerful process management capabilities of SAP solutions with the robust data-center management and cost-saving features of VMware infrastructure.” The results are projected to provide improved management of IT resources, reduced downtime, reduced server sprawl and quick-and-easy server provisioning.
If you take advantage of the SAP-VMware deal (page 40), here's a strategically placed impulse buy: Edward L. Haletky's VMware ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers, published by Prentice-Hall. Author Haletky, an expert in large-scale ESX Server implementations, has gathered a practical, solutions-focused collection of information on the application—tips, best practices, field-tested solutions, issues, trade-offs and pitfalls. He also covers the entire life cycle, including planning, installation, system monitoring, tuning, clustering, security, disaster recovery and so on. Focusing on ESX v3.x, the book also illustrates differences with ESX v2.5.
James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal
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