Linux Blog

Recent Software Updates.

Filed under: The Linux Blog News — at 8:53 am on Monday, September 8, 2008

The Kernel was released at 11:47UTC with a lot of fixes. Notably the eeepc-laptop module got a fix that should stop it from failing to unload if anyone has an eeepc and had that problem. There were 40 unique commits to this update and I think that everyone involved should be thanked for their hard work.

A new Wine was released on Friday the 5th putting Wine on version 1.1.4, so those of you that use Wine may want to update to see if your apps run better. They’ve fixed a lot of applications and reimplemented parts of WinHTTP. Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ll know about Google Chrome, and this Wine version includes several fixes to better support this. I might do a writeup of getting Google Chrome to work under Linux.

In security its just about the usual, SQL injections and XSS holes everywhere. Tomcat has some information disclosures that if your running the newest versions will not affect you.

Wireshark has some denial of service attacks and possibly arbitrary code execution, but only the DOS attacks have been confirmed. Your distribution probably has an older version in its repositories so, unless your running 1.0.3 which was released on September 3rd, you may want to update if your mission relies on this.

If you run postfix and notice your mail servers load is unusually high, look out for a denial of service against that also.

This ones an oldie but a good one: Get Pwnd by your Coffee machine of course its just one coffee machine, but as we see more household appliances being connected to the web. Which might get you thinking about Linux on Household Appliances.

Linux on Household Appliances

Filed under: General Linux — at 9:52 am on Monday, September 3, 2007

Linux is a versatile enough operating system that it could virtually run on anything. Me and some friends have joked about installing Gentoo on toasters but in reality how far away are we from this? For example lets take the Smart Fridge. Its basically a fridge that keeps track of what you have in it. Its packed with lots of features my favorite is its ability to tell you what recipes you can currently make with the ingredients that are in it. The smart fridge could easily be developed with Linux as its plat from.

Next lets look at other house hold items that we take for granted such as washers and dryers. Almost every house hold that owns a computer will have a washer and dryer. I would like to be able to have my washer and dryer notify me via e-mail, on screen display or other means when the cycle is finished. This would be easy to implement with an embedded OS such as Linux. There would be no extra electronics on the appliance because all of the required electronics are already in place. A simple serial or parallel interface would have enough bandwidth to give a detailed information on the current cycle or status.

What else is there? Ovens, Microwaves, Dishwashers or any other house hold appliance. Even simple tasks such as turning them on and off remotely would make sense. For the hardware hacker these features are easy to implement.

I don’t think that we are far from having these features. Take the VCR for example, once the record feature was mainstream some one came up with the idea to schedule recording on the units. A while later we got the Tivo DVR which has even better options for scheduling.

Is Linux going to be running on mainstream appliances? I believe it could be in time. Its already running on so many networking applications. Linksys run a modified version of it on their routers and on network attached storage devices. So I think it will only be a matter of time before it works its way into other mainstream devices. All that is needed is for a company to implement these features and a good marketing campaign. I know I would buy an intelligent household appliance if it would make my daily tasks easier.