Although Plat'Home Co., Ltd., has been serving up Linux to the Japanese market since 1992, the company is just now bringing its OpenMicroServer product to North American shores via its US subsidiary. OpenMicroServer is a small, tough, easy-to-use, easy-to-configure, low-cost Linux server solution. It provides high reliability to customers who do not have much extra room and are likely to ignore the machine for weeks or months after installation. Key features include compact design (9"x4"x1.3"), integrated Power over Ethernet, stable long-term operation up to 122°F when using PoE functionality (based on a 625-day endurance test), 400MHz AMD Alchemy (MIPS) processor, two Gigabit Ethernet ports, one 100MBit Ethernet (PoE capable) port, two USB 2.0 ports and two serial ports. Plat'Home is proud of its product's “Japanese characteristics”, meaning it doesn't stand out, and it doesn't complain. It just gets the job done.
Quicker than most to find a new and interesting open-source topic, Packt Publishing has released Deepal Jayasinghe's new book Apache Axis2. Apache Axis2 is a core engine for Web services with two different implementations: Apache Axis2/Java and Apache Axis2/C. This book takes readers through the basics of Web services and Axis2, as well as details of Axis' architecture. It is a step-by-step practical guide that uses many real-life examples. Some of the topics covered include installation, AXIOM, pipes and interceptors, module concepts, session management and more. The book assumes familiarity with Web standards, such as SOAP, WSDL and XML parsing.
Author Edward Benson's intent with his new book The Art of Rails, published by Wrox, is to pick up where the API leaves off and explain how to turn good Rails code into beautiful Rails code: simple, effective, reusable and evolvable. Benson wants you to think like a Rails developer with quality, elegance and maintainability in mind. The Art of Rails blends design and programming, identifying and describing the very latest in design patterns, programming abstractions and development methodologies that have emerged for the modern Web. Readers will learn topics such as techniques for organizing code between and within Model, View and Controller; how to think like a REST-based developer and use Rails 2.0 to translate these thoughts into code; advanced Ruby and meta-programming; design patterns for AJAX, Web APIs, HTML decomposition and schema development; and behavior-driven development. The book is designed to advance the skills of developers already familiar with Rails.
Version 1.0 of the FreeIPA Project is now official. FreeIPA is an integrated security information management solution that combines Linux (currently Fedora, Fedora Directory Server, MIT Kerberos and NTP), with a Web interface and command-line administration tools. Currently, FreeIPA supports identity management, and plans to support policy and auditing management will follow in future releases. The project developers state that the use of standard protocols, such as LDAP and Kerberos, allows for easy integration of other OSes into an IPA realm for centralized identity management. The developers also encourage testing and deployment of FreeIPA and are seeking feedback from the field.
Announcing more new games on the Linux platform is such a treat. The game developer Paradox Interactive and the two-man Swedish developer team, Frictional Games, have released a Linux version of its popular game Penumbra: Black Plague. The Penumbra series, which includes the new Penumbra: Black Plague and its prequel Penumbra: Overture, is a first-person adventure game that focuses on story, immersion and puzzles. Instead of using violence to progress, players must use their wits to guide Philip on his quest to unravel the past. Paradox says that Penumbra “is very different from other adventure games”. The games feature a 3-D engine that utilizes cutting-edge technology, and it has an advanced physics system that creates a new level of environmental interaction. Players can open drawers, pull levers, pick up objects and more, using natural mouse movements creating a highly interactive and dynamic game world. The next game in the series, Penumbra: Requiem, is due out in Summer 2008, and it also will offer a Linux version.
Trusted Computer Solutions has released version 2.0 of Security Blanket application, which also now includes an enterprise edition. Security Blanket is an automated system lockdown and security management tool for Linux. Security Blanket 2.0 enables system administrators to configure and enhance the security of their Linux platforms automatically by simplifying the hardening process that must be undertaken on a regular basis to meet security compliance requirements. Various security guidelines are included. Other key advancements in version 2.0 include the ability to manage local and remote Linux servers from a centralized management console and a Web-based interface for remote access. The application supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux versions 4 and 5, CentOS versions 4 and 5, and Oracle Enterprise Linux versions 4 and 5, and it runs on SELinux, enforcing the default targeted policy provided with the operating system.
The idea behind Tripwire Enterprise, upgraded recently to version 7.1, is to keep your IT expertise from walking out the door. The solution maximizes the use of IT expertise throughout an organization by capturing and replicating this knowledge across all IT systems. It ensures IT configuration integrity across the entire IT infrastructure and manages internal and external policies. Two key features include Golden Policies and Remediation Advisor. Golden Policies capture and replicate gold configurations and act like a “consultant in a box” that maximize the value of IT experts by replicating their IP (optimal configuration settings) across the IT infrastructure. In addition, Golden Policies help ensure IT personnel are proactively made aware of any configuration drift. The Remediation Advisor functionality provides step-by-step remediation, based on a wide variety of external IT resources, keeping staff from hours of research and reducing the time and effort needed to remediate problems.
In a move to help device manufacturers create novel mobile services of interest to large consumer audiences, Ixonos has developed a television reception solution for its Linux-based mobile platform. The solution enables reception of, among others, DVB-T and DVB-H transmissions and also can repeat them over a local area network. The video player used for TV reception also is the multimedia player for the entire platform and is based on the open-source MPlayer. Ixonos claims to be among the first companies to bring DVB-H reception to a Linux-based smartphone. The latest H.264 and AAC technologies are used as video and audio codecs.
Please send information about releases of Linux-related products to firstname.lastname@example.org or New Products c/o Linux Journal, 1752 NW Market Street, #200, Seattle, WA 98107. Submissions are edited for length and content.