Robert Morris, a mathematician and cryptographer who was among the top U.S computer security experts and a leading developer of widely used UNIX operating system, died on June 26th at age of 78yrs.
Morris began his work on the groundbreaking OS back in 1970 at AT&T's Bell Laboratories, where he played a major role in developing Unix's math library, password structure and encryption functions. His cryptographic exploration continued into the late 1970s, when he began writing a paper on an early encryption tool from Germany. But the paper would never see the light of day, thanks to a request from the NSA, which was concerned about potential security ramifications. Instead, the agency brought Morris on board as a computer security expert in 1986.
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May his soul rest in peace.
Just three months after the release of Firefox 4, Mozilla has pushed out Firefox 5 for the desktop and Android devices. That is a big change from the two years it took to move from Firefox 3.5 to Firefox 4.
Firefox 5 is part of Mozilla’s new rapid release development cycle. This cycle (which is more akin to what Google does with its Chrome browser) promises faster, more iterative updates. With any luck, Mozilla expects Firefox to hit version 7 by the end of the year.
Visually, Firefox 5 looks identical to Firefox 4. Every feature that Firefox 4 had applies to this release. Rather than reinventing the wheel, Mozilla has added better support for web standards, fixed some bugs, made performance enhancements and added a few additional code touches.
In another move that mimics what Google does with Chrome, Mozilla now has more options for users who want to partake in the beta and testing process. In addition to nightly and beta channel releases, users can also opt to use the new Aurora channel, which will give users access to features before they hit beta, but with limited QA testing that you don’t get with nightly releases. This is akin to Chrome’s developer channel.
In most tests, Firefox 5 has been fast — even faster than Firefox 4. Most people also love the more frequent update cycle, because it means that the browser will be more able to support the latest and greatest browser features. To update to the latest Firefox, click on the “check for updates” button in the “About Firefox” menu.
Lagos State government introduced an education software known as e-tutor in its schools, as part of its continuous efforts to improve the quality of education in the state.
The software, which was launched, in collaboration with an IT firm, Cognitive Solutions, would complement class teachers' efforts and enable students to learn at their own pace and have fun in the process.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony, Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Education, Mrs. Omolara Erogbogbo said the move was part of the state government's efforts aimed at exploring additional positive ways of improving on the delivery of quality education to students in its schools.
She said the software, which comes in 15 subjects for secondary schools, was developed after some years of research, which revealed that there was a huge gap between examiners' expectation and students' performance, especially in Mathematics and the Sciences.
According to her, the software has been installed in 28 of the 35 schools approved for the first phase, while the Teachers' Establishment and Pensions Office has trained 1,516 teachers on the use of the software.
“This pilot scheme was encouraged because the government observed that the children, while enamoured of ICT through the use of computers, very often, only play games or chat on-line with their friends. However, with e-tutor, more of our children can now use computers for more rewarding activities that impact directly on their education beyond games, movies, music and word processing.”
She added that the software would assist in integrating information technology into the mainstream of education, as students could study and evaluate themselves at their own pace, using either the practice centre or test centre available in the software, while the counseling centre would counsel them on preparation for examinations, common errors, as well as on subjects leading to career choices. “Additionally, the burden on teachers is eased since it can serve as resource and instructional materials centre to teachers and thus make their jobs easier.”
Another distinctive feature of the software, she said was that it had the added advantage of providing blind students the opportunity of comprehensive self study using materials prepared by the best teachers in the subject fields, thus giving them a fair playing ground.
Chief Executive Officer of the IT Firm, Mr. Kola Omotunde-Young said. “Every child is unique and learns best through a combination of various learning method, which may be different from that of his or her colleague and e-tutor recognises this uniqueness and offers the students variety of ways to learn and have fun doing so.”
Adobe announced it's eLearning Suite 2, a significant upgrade to its tightly integrated, end-to-end solution for easily creating, reviewing and maintaining eLearning content. The suite, now natively compatible with Mac OS in addition to Windows, enables eLearning professionals, educators and trainers
to turn creative ideas into dynamic eLearning materials that engage learners with multimedia and interactivity.
Adobe Captivate 5 — includes Adobe Flash Professional CS5, Adobe Dreamweaver CS5, Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro, Adobe Presenter 7 and Adobe Soundbooth CS5.
According to senior vice president, Print and Publishing at Adobe, Naresh Gupta said Today’s educational and professional learning departments are under enormous pressure to deliver impactful content quickly and efficiently.
eLearning Suite 2 addresses the challenge with its tightly integrated toolset that allows content creators to develop powerful media-rich eLearning experiences without the time and expense of programming.
Adobe eLearning Suite 2 enhances productivity with smarter aggregation capabilities included in Adobe Captivate 5, eLearning extensions for Dreamweaver and Flash, and new application round tripping workflows between authoring and asset creation tools. For example, a course designer can now insert Adobe Photoshop CS5 (PSD) files as smart objects into an Adobe Captivate project and update the images with one click should the original files change without having to resave and reinsert images. Similar workflows exist between the other eLearning Suite components including Adobe Captivate, Soundbooth and Flash.
Adobe eLearning Suite 2 and Adobe Captivate 5 are expected to be available via Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/store in June. Customers can pre-order Adobe eLearning Suite 2 and Captivate 5 today. Estimated street price for the suite is US$1799; upgrade pricing starts at US$599. Estimated street price for Adobe Captivate 5 is US$799; upgrade pricing starts at US$299. Educational pricing is available for both products.
Both products are compatible with Mac OS X v10.5.7 or v10.6, Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended), Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 or Windows 7 (certified for 32-bit Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7). The Mac OS version of eLearning Suite 2 does not contain Adobe Presenter.
Mozilla has released Firefox 3.6.2 about a week ahead of the original schedule. The update addresses some stability issues and a number of security vulnerabilities, most notably the critical security flaw described in Bug 552216, which could allow an attacker to execute malicious code on the target system
Firefox is the number two Web browser behind Microsoft Internet Explorer, and is widely used as the de facto replacement for Internet Explorer in businesses around the world. Internet Explorer and Firefox combined have over 85 percent market share--leaving less than 15 percent to be divided among the remaining players.
Firefox experienced a dramatic spike in downloads--at least in Germany--following the discovery that a zero-day exploit in Internet Explorer was leveraged to launch attacks against Google and other companies in China. Germany, followed closely by France, recommended that businesses and users abandon Internet Explorer to ensure they could not be impacted by the zero-day attacks.
Now, Firefox finds itself on the other end of that same equation. Germany officially recommended that businesses and users drop Firefox in favor of another Web browser as a defense against the recently discovered security flaw.
The Firefox security issue does have a limited scope, though. Only Firefox 3.6 is affected, and the exploit will only work on Firefox running on Windows XP or Windows Vista. IT administrators need not worry about the millions of Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows 7 systems running Firefox.
Addressing the security issue as quickly as possible--and preventing any sort of German mass exodus off of the Firefox browser--is likely the main reason for the earlier-than-planned Firefox 3.6.2. It also seems likely that Mozilla wanted to ensure the most current, patched, and up to date version of its Web browser possible leading up to the CanSecWest security conference.
Web browser vendors don't want the notoriety that comes with being the browser platform hacked the fastest, or the Web browser that allowed an attacker to take control of the computer it's running on, so it makes sense to try to address as many issues as possible. Unfortunately for Mozilla, Apple, and others, they can only patch flaws they're aware of, and Pwn2Own contestants keep newly discovered vulnerabilities and exploits as closely-guarded secrets until the event so they can capitalize on them to capture the cash and the bragging rights that come with winning the contest.
A post on the Mozilla Developer News blog stresses "We strongly recommend that all Firefox users upgrade to this latest release. If you already have Firefox 3.6 you will receive an automated update notification within 24 to 48 hours. This update can also be applied manually by selecting "Check for Updates..." from the Help menu."
Businesses have no reason to be concerned with which browser gets compromised the fastest at CanSecWest, but any business using Firefox 3.6 on Windows XP or Windows Vista has a very good reason to upgrade to Firefox 3.6.2 as soon as possible.