12 Linux geeks worth following on social media
Social media isn't my cup of tea, but many Linux users like it and use it. And there are certainly Linux geeks worth following on various social media networks. A writer at Network World has a list of Linux notables that are worth following, and his article includes links to their social media pages.
Bryan Lunduke reports for Network World:
When most people think of "Linux nerds," the first phrase that comes to mind typically isn't "super-duper social." But it should be. If you've ever been to a Linux convention, you've seen these social Linux butterflies firsthand. And that social nature extends to social media as well.
What follows is a carefully crafted cross section of some incredibly interesting Linux nerds from the various social networks. These are not companies or projects; we're talking about actual people, speaking for themselves, who are uniquely relevant in the Linux world.
DistroWatch reviews Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS was released recently, and reviews are starting to appear on various sites. DistroWatch has a full review of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, and found it to be an excellent option for desktop users.
Joshua Allen Holm reports for DistroWatch:
After downloading the 1.4 GB ISO and copying it to a USB flash drive, I rebooted my computer and started Ubuntu 16.04 from the flash drive. I have to admit, I was extremely impressed by how quickly it started up. Even though I was using a fairly slow USB 2.0 drive, I had a fully working desktop ready to use in slightly less time than it takes for Fedora 23 to boot off the laptop's hard drive. The system was very responsive and used approximately 460MB of RAM with no applications running.
Many of the small changes are things that some people have been very vocal about on-line. The much reviled on-line search results in the dash feature now defaults to off instead of on. It is now possible to move the launcher from the left side of the screen to the bottom, but there is no setting to do so in the control panel. If you want to move the launcher, you will need to use Unity Tweak Tool or edit the setting directly using dconf. One other minor tweak is a setting to turn make it so that application menus are always visible instead of only being visible on mouse over.
Installing software is probably the most noticeable change in this new release of Ubuntu. The old Ubuntu Software Center has been replaced with Ubuntu Software, which is a re-branded version of GNOME Software. This change might take a little time to get used to for some people, but I found that Ubuntu Software performed much better than Ubuntu Software Center did in Ubuntu 15.10 on the same computer. An even bigger change than the transition to Ubuntu Software is the ability to install software using "snaps" instead of standard .deb packages. Snaps are basically containerize applications. While I found the command line interface for managing snaps easy to use, it is still too early to tell how significant the new feature will become.
Ubuntu 16.04 is a very nice release. It will be supported until 2021, so it is an excellent choice for users looking for a desktop focused distribution with long term support. The constant update cycle on non-LTS Ubuntu releases and other distributions with short support windows can become tedious. Ubuntu 16.04 provides a nice remedy to constant distribution upgrades while still offering a pleasant and fully functional desktop experience. While I found Ubuntu 16.04 to be very stable, it seems like some others have not had the same experience. Cautious users might want to wait until Ubuntu 16.04.1 is released before upgrading from Ubuntu 15.10. Users of Ubuntu 14.04, the previous long term support release, will not even be prompted to upgrade until 16.04.1 is out, but now is a good time to check out the live media and see if it is worth it for them to make the upgrade.
Pirate Bay visitors infected with crypto-ransomware
Some visitors to the Pirate Bay were recently infected with a nasty crypto-ransomware via ads on the torrent site. Ransomware has become a serious problem that doesn't seem like it will be going away anytime soon.
Liam Tung reports for ZDNet:
Visitors to The Pirate Bay may now be tossing up whether or not to pay to decrypt their files after the torrent site hosted ransomware-barbed ads over the weekend.
According to security firm Malwarebytes, the chief threats behind the attack on Pirate Bay users were the Magnitude exploit kit and a relatively new ransomware subscription service, Cerber.
The attack tool chiefly exploits vulnerable browsers and Adobe's Flash Player plugin, and has of late been delivering the Cerber ransomware.
Malvertisers place fraudulent ads with third-party ad networks, with the aim of having them distribute the ads to high-traffic sites. The attack on Pirate Bay users relied on a ‘pop-under' window to silently redirect visitors to the Magnitude exploit kit, according to Malwarebytes researcher Jerome Segura.
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