Grub and Windows 7

I’m not sure why it is so difficult to make Windows and Grub to co-exist. Oh, they do work. They work like a charm. The issue surfaces each time there is a new iteration of the latest Windows OS, in this case Windows 7. It blows off the Grub configuration and makes it unusable. It rewrites the Master Boot Record deeming your Grub configuration unusable.

How rude it is for Microsoft to assume that Windows is the only operating system available on a computer. One more thing, if you are going to have a dual boot system, it is advisable to install Windows first. If you install Windows last, it will rewrite the MBR making it impossible for you to get to your Linux distro. It’s not really gone. Windows just screwed up Grub and overwritten the MBR. You have to boot from a Linux CD and restore Grub.

I just wished Windows would behave well and co-exist with Linux. It’s this kind of provocation that alienates Linux users even more.

Ten Blockbusters Made With the Help of Linux

What would movies be without the aid of Linux? Debatable. Here are at least ten blockbuster movies that were produced with the help of Linux systems. The list starts out with the latest, Avatar, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Shrek the Third, X-Men the Last Stand, King Kong, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars Episode 2, Gladiator, Matrix and Titanic.

I woke up this morning to see an article entitled, “Open Office is a piece of crap, Or is it?” Just the fact that it’s not Microsoft Office doesn’t mean it’s junk. Many governments, schools, universities, non-profit organizations use Open Office Suite of as an alternative. There were other worthy word processors before Word became the defacto.

If you are a Gimp fan, check out these brushes you can add to Gimp.

For OpenSolaris fans. A distro worth trying?

Finally, all you need to know about ICMP in “ICMP Explained.”

Running Out of IPv4 Addresses

Apparently, IPv4 is running out of IP addresses according to NRO (Number Resource Administration). The number of available IP addresses is less than 10 percent and will run out by 2012. What this means is we will see IPv6 being implemented sometime next year. It’s up to ISP’s and router manufacturers to include IPv6 functionality to make the change. Local network administrators can switch their local networks now, independent of whether their ISP make a switch sooner or later. Most operating systems including Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Mac OS and Linux already support IPv6.

Hardware Issues

My Linux desktop is sick. It’s having a hardware problem. It’s causing the kernel to panic. The mouse freezes and keyboard is flashing. At times, it causes the OS to shutdown. It doesn’t matter what distro I install. I tried the last 4 Ubuntu releases, Linux Mint 7, Linux Mint 8 and Fedora 12. I haven’t figured out yet if it’s a memory or a motherboard problem. I have eliminated just about everything else including power supply, CD, DVD, sound card and graphics card. It’s probably a memory issue. So now, I’m stuck on a Windows XP machine.

Interesting news today. The French and German government are sending out warnings to those who use IE as the fallout of the Google and China IE Zero Day security hack reverberates worldwide. Microsoft is directing users to use IE 8 instead. I say move to either Firefox, Safari or Chrome. I abandoned IE 5 years ago for the same reason. Some call for dumping IE now.

If you contemplating in interviewing with Google, better Google about what Google could possibly ask you during the interview, because Google, the company, tend to ask very tough interview questions. It’s interesting to hear about Google’s hiring policy, in that it focuses on super bright, intelligent people, which doesn’t seem to always translate to the best workers or workers with great interpersonal skills or better yet, workers with common sense.

Should Fedora release Fedora 13? For superstitious folks, thirteen is an unlucky number. Nevertheless, Fedora is forging ahead. Fedora 13 benchmarks are out, along with Ubuntu 10.04.

Kaiser Permanente Stolen Hard Drive

From eSecurity Planet:

More than 15,000 Kaiser Permanente patients in Northern California this week are being notified that their personal information, including birth dates, addresses, phone numbers and medical-record numbers, was exposed last month after an unencrypted external storage drive was stolen from an employee’s car.

Kaiser Permanente officials said the theft occurred in early December after an employee left the drive inside the car at her home in Sacramento. A week after the break-in, the unidentified employee notified hospital officials of the potential data breach.

Kaiser then notified state and federal regulatory agencies as well as the Sacramento Police Department.

All the affected patients are being notified of the incident through the mail, Kaiser officials said.

The culprit: an employee.

The employee was fired for violating Kaiser’s security policies after she stored the patient files on a personal device without encryption and failed to receive permission to remove the data from the hospital.

Miguel de Icaza is Microsoft MVP

Suprise, surprise. Actually, not. Todd Bishop writes.

Miguel de Icaza, Microsoft MVP?

Yep, it’s true. The open-source rabble-rouser who was prevented from hosting a session inside Microsoft’s 2005 Professional Developer Conference has been accepted into the ranks of the company’s “Most Valuable Professionals” less than five years later. He announced the news on his blog.

De Icaza is the leader of the open-source Mono project, sponsored by Novell, which previously set off alarm bells inside Microsoft for its ability to expand Microsoft .NET applications to other platforms, including Linux. Relations between de Icaza and Microsoft have warmed following the Redmond company’s partnership with Novell.

He’s also on the board of the Microsoft-supported CodePlex Foundation, Meanwhile, Mono spin-off project Moonlight, an open-source implementation of Microsoft’s Silverlight interactive technology, has won the blessings of the Redmond company.

De Icaza was accepted as a Microsoft MVP for C#, the .NET programming language.

“This will be a great opportunity to build more bridges with Windows developers and show them that there is an ECMA CLI (Common Language Infrastructure) life in the other side of the OS spectrum,” he writes in his post, adding, “Looking forward to the group picture!”

Another IE Hole

Well, another IE hole. This is from the Dow Jones Newswires:

The cyberattack that has prompted Google Inc. (GOOG) to threaten to pull out of China exploited a previously unknown vulnerability in Microsoft Corp.’s (MSFT) Internet Explorer browser, a security research firm said Thursday.

The attackers took aim at Google and numerous other corporations by targeting one or a few key individuals in each company, tricking them into clicking on a link or a file that appeared to have been sent from a trusted source, said McAfee Inc. (MFE) Chief Technology Officer George Kurtz in a blog post.

This enabled malicious software to be downloaded and installed on the targets’ corporate computers, opening back doors that allowed the attackers to perform reconnaissance and gain complete control over the compromised systems, said Kurtz.

The attackers, believed to be in China, had identified high value targets with access to intellectual property and were able to siphon off valuable data from the companies, he said.

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The Ubuntu Manual

The next release of Ubuntu, Lucid Lynx will come with a comprehensive manual, with guides, how-to, and pretty much everything you need to know about Ubuntu. From Learning Ubuntu:

In the next Ubuntu release, 10.04 Lucid Lynx, there will be a comprehensive manual included which will cover a number of guides, how-tos, and everything a new user needs to know after installing Ubuntu.

The Ubuntu manual will be distributed as a PDF file, and will be updated every six months. The first alpha release of the Ubuntu manual is set to be ready by February 10th, but an early release is available for download.

The title page for the Ubuntu manual has still not been decided, but there has been several title mockups already submitted. One of the most polished title mockups submitted was this particular piece.

Gmail now with default HTTPS

This is good news for security conscious folks. GMail now comes with https set as default. From ZDNet:

A day after confirming a major security breach by Chinese hackers looking for GMail account information, Google has turned on default “https:” access for its popular Web mail service.

Google had previously added the option for GMail users to “always use https” back in July 2008 but it was turned off by default.

At least you can also count on the Chinese hackers to force securities measures to be put up.