Although not a product per se, the Free Software Foundation's (FSF's) newly minted GNU Affero General Public License Version 3 (GNU AGPLv3) will affect many forthcoming works of software artisanship. Based on version 3 of the GNU General Public License (GNU GPLv3), the new Affero “fork” includes additional terms that allow users who interact with the licensed software over a network to receive the source for that program. With Affero, FSF seeks to foster user and development communities around network-oriented free software. FSF claims that the GNU AGPL will enable the same kind of massive collaboration among developers around Web services and other networked software that the GNU GPL has fostered over the years with non-networked applications.
Further boosting Norway's place in global open-source development, eZ Systems recently released version 4.0 of eZ Publish, the company's enterprise content management system. eZ Publish is an application for creating Web sites, on-line stores, intranets and extranets. New features in 4.0 include full PHP 5 compatibility, full support for using eZ Components in plugins, improved internal XML handling and an updated Web site interface. The product is available as either an out-of-the-box or a tailor-made solution, depending on the varying needs of clients. GPL'd Linux and Windows versions are available for download at eZ Systems' Web site.
Perforce wrapped up 2007 announcing a new version of its Fast Software Configuration Management (SCM) System, Perforce 2007.3. SCM is an application version lifecycle management (ALM) tool that versions and manages source code and digital assets for enterprises of all sizes. The most significant component of this release is the new SDK for the Defect Tracking Gateway, which allows customers and vendors to develop improved integrations to commercial and in-house tracking systems. Perforce also claims an advantage from its ability to integrate with other tools rather than being a one-stop shop, allowing customers to add the project management and process automation tools of their choice. A 45-day full version of Perforce with support and a free, two-user version are available from the firm's Web site.
Fidelity National Information Services announced new performance benchmarks on FIS Profile, its real-time technology solution for the commercial and retail banking industry, now that it runs on Linux. By running FIS Profile on Red Hat Linux Enterprise 5 and the HP ProLiant DL580 G5 server platform with four Intel Quad-Core Xeon Series 7300 processors, the solution can manage a bank with 25 million accounts, running core banking processes in real time on a single server. Fidelity claims that the solution offers a tenfold improvement in cost performance per account while maintaining the reliability and security required by the commercial-banking industry. This solution is intended to replace the mainframe-based systems for mid-tier banks that were developed in the 1980s. Both Red Hat and Intel were involved in developing the integrated platform.
New in the SAS space is AMCC's 3ware 9690SA Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) RAID Controller whose sales proposition includes the flexibility offered by its three PCI Express low-profile controller choices: eight internal ports, eight external ports or four internal/four external ports. The 3ware 9690SA provides 2–24 ports of SATA connectivity and maximized SAS expandability for up to 128 devices per controller. The SAS controllers include AMCC's unified RAID management interface and software suite, enabling a simplified configuration experience irrespective of its storage interface. The product is destined for data-center environments needing expanded connectivity and high levels of read and write performance. Targeted applications include databases, NAS storage, Web servers, cluster servers, supercomputing, near-line backup and archival, security systems and pro audio and video editing appliances.
Cray Inc., progeny of the storied Cray Research, recently released its XT5 family of Linux-based supercomputers. Cray says the XT5's massively parallel processor (MPP) system includes a new eight-socket compute blade that quadruples local memory capacity, doubles processor density and improves energy efficiency. Other features include single-fan vertical cooling, compute blades designed for optimal airflow and CPU configurations up to 192 processor sockets or 768 CPU cores. To improve scalability, the Cray XT5 family also includes the industry's first integrated hybrid supercomputer, the Cray XT5h system. The XT5h integrates multiple processor architectures—including vector processors, GPUs, accelerators and FPGAs—with a complete software development environment into a single system supporting diverse work flows.
At Supercomputing 2007, Appro unveiled its forthcoming Xtreme-X Supercomputer Series, a product line based on scalable clusters that provide cost-effectiveness, energy efficiency and scalability. The series is designed to scale out data centers for medium- to large-scale enterprises and HPC deployments. The first model in the series, the Appro Xtreme-X1, will ship in the first half of 2008 and is based on dual-socket, Quad-Core Intel Xeon processors. Besides its 128 nodes/512 processors and 6TF of computing power in a single 42U equipment rack, the product has Appro's new Directed Airflow cooling configuration, which the company says will reduce data-center floor space by 30% while maximizing power and cooling efficiency. In addition, the Xtreme-X1 features redundant (Dual Rail) InfiniBand connections with low-latency Mellanox ConnectX host channel adapters and Ethernet management fabric and network switches, with all critical components being easily accessible, hot-swappable and redundant.
No Starch Press continues its tradition of naughty geek entertainment with the 2nd edition of Hacking: The Art of Exploitation by Jon Erickson. Although other books in this genre show not only how to run other people's exploits but also how to perform and write them on your own, Erickson uses examples to illustrate the most common computer security issues in three related fields: programming, networking and cryptography. Some examples include stack-based overflows, heap-based overflows, string exploits, return-into-libc, shellcode and cryptographic attacks on 802.11x. A live Linux CD also is included.
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