7 Security Tools for Servers


If you have decided to use Linux or another Unix-like operating system for your dedicated server, you probably factored in security into your consideration.  Linux, BSD, and similar OSes are renowned for their inherent security features.  Nevertheless, is still important to be diligent and make sure your server is as secure as possible.  A unprotected Linux server can fall victim to security flaws just as easily as any other.  This is especially true for servers connected to the Internet.

There is unfortunately no single security tool that will make Linux rock solid for you, but with the right combination of free and open source tools you can find online, you can make your server virtually impenetrable.

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Kno Tablet for School Textbooks

Kno textbook, notes, and web browser in a tablet

Earlier in the week, “I Can’t Internet” published my article “Will tablets replace laptops and netbooks?”  Essentially, my answer was no, but there are certain niche industries where it makes sense to move to tablets.

K-12 schools spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on textbooks.  Some charge rentals fees for students, but many urban schools lend textbooks to students and never get back the money they lose when their students’ dogs invariably eat their textbooks.

Kno has a possible solution:  a tablet that displays textbooks.   The initial cost is pretty high with the Kno single screen costing $599 and the awesome-looking dual screen that opens like a book costing $899.  But the textbooks cost significantly less, meaning schools will eventually save more in the long run.  Of course, seeing as how schools can barely afford to pay teachers right now, it is doubtful if they would be willing to make the initial investment.
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6 Undercover Linux Devices

Droid, Kindle, Nook, Boxee, Roku, Revue (Google TV)

Linux has quietly inserted itself into the hands of millions of people without them evening knowing it.  Linux and free software supporters have long dreamed of the day when people would readily adopt Linux on their desktops and laptops, but it has been in the mobile and embeded markets that Linux has taken hold.  Anyway, here are 6 undercover Linux devices:

1. Roku – The tiny little media player that pumps out Netflix videos and other streaming content is Linux powered.  Unlike Linux desktops, it can play the DRM-laced videos from Netflix, but getting the Linux source code won’t help you hack it to that end.

2. Droid, HTC EVO, etc. – There are now a ton of Android phones flooding the mobile phone carriers.  Take your pick.  The Android operating system is a Linux variant, so all of them run Linux.

3. The Nook – The little e-book reader that could from Barnes and Noble is not only a Kindle killer.  It also runs Android and, therefore, Linux.

4. The Kindle – Not to be outdone by the Nook, Amazon’s own e-book reader also runs a custom Linux variant.   Nevertheless, like the odd Roku/Netflix situation, there is no desktop Kindle reader for Linux.

5. Google TV – Also Android-powered (seeing a trend yet?), Google TV will continue the Roku trend of bringing Linux to the living room.

6. Boxee Box – This aught to be called Geek Box, but people might confuse it with Geexbox.  This little cute thing can play just about anything you throw at it, making it a real competitor for Roku, Apple TV, and Google TV.  To top it all off, it runs Linux, and unlike the others, you can download Boxee for your Linux computer.

Will Linux make it into your stocking this year?

Dell Streak Tablet to Hit Stores This Week

Dell Streak Android tablet playing YouTube video of man surfing

If swirling online rumors are correct, Dell’s new Android-based tablet could be released as early as Wednesday, while some blogs claim the release will be Friday or later.

The tablet is a 5″ computer that will run Android 1.6 upon release, with updates to 2.2 (codenamed Froyo) expected later in the year. It will reportedly run a 1Ghz Snapdragon ARM processor, 5-inch multi-touch WVGA screen (800×480), 5 MP camera with LED flash, a front facing camera for video chat, integrated 3G, Wi-Fi, GSM, and Bluetooth, and a micro SD card expansion slot.

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Microsoft Security Credentials Revoked

I was writing an article that had a section about Windows Media Center, and I came across this error when searching their site on Google:

Microsoft SSL certificate revoked

“This means that the security credentials of the server presented absolutely should not be trusted.”

I don’t know if this is Google Chrome’s way of saying the SSL certificate has expired or not.  “Revoked” seems rather harsh, unless the issuer truly snatched the certificate from Microsoft’s hands.

Is this true or just Google’s latest strategy to overthrow the mighty Microsoft?