"Create like it's 1790," exhorted Lawrence Lessig before a packed house at OSCON 2002 last month. In a speech that weaved historical references with the refrain, "Ours is less and less a free society," Lessig urged the open source community to "...remind the rest of the world of what it was like when creativity and innovation were a process where people added to common knowledge."
Lessig's call to action masked this warning to his audience: "if you don't do something now, this freedom that you built, that you spend your life coding, this freedom will be taken away. Either by those who see you as a threat, who then invoke the system of law we call patents, or by those who take advantage of the extraordinary expansion of control that the law of copyright now gives them over innovation."
If you missed hearing Lessig's inspired keynote, we have the
complete transcript of his presentation from July 24, 2002. Read
why he thinks the only solution to ever-encroaching copyright laws
and the "regulation of creativity" is for the community to get
more involved in the political process.
Also this week, we have Michael Lucas's column on how using groups
minimizes the need to give people the root password. He says the
strategic use of groups can eliminate having to give out the root
password to users, while still allowing them to do their job.
Using Groups to Eliminate Root
We also have a look at PHP References. Similar to C-style pointers,
a PHP Reference is a variable that "references" the contents of
another variable. John Coggeshall explains how to get started
And if you're interested in SSH, check out the O'Reilly book
excerpt from "SSH, The Secure Shell: The Definitive Guide" that
covers public-key authentication. Passwords--even encrypted ones--
sent over the Internet can still pose a security problem. However,
with public-key authentication, you don't need to send passwords
SSH Public-Key Authentication
If you missed Noel Davis's Security Alerts column, this week he
reviewed buffer overflows in
calloc(), Sun's ONE/iPlanet Web Server,
dietlibc, OpenAFS, Kerberos 5 Administration System, and PNG libraries; and problems in FreeBSD's Berkeley Fast File System, CVS, iSCSI, Red Hat Secure Web Server,
tinyproxy, and IRIX
C Call Vulnerabilities
To subscribe to the Linux newsletter (or any O'Reilly Network newsletters), visit https://epoch.oreilly.com/account/default.orm and select the newsletters you wish to receive in your user profile (you'll need to log in with your existing O'Reilly Network account -- if you don't yet have an account, you'll need to create one).
To change your newsletter subscription options, please visit https://epoch.oreilly.com/account/default.orm and click the"Manage My Newsletters" link. For assistance, send email to
Finally, here's a chance to voice your opinion. In Tim O'Reilly's
Weblog this week he talks about how legislation to require open
source software in California opens Pandora's box. Read Tim's take
on this issue, and then check out the growing discussion by
clicking over to Slashdot. Let us know what you think.
The Growing Politicization of Open Source
Thanks for reading,
Tara A. McGoldrick
Return to list of Linux Newsletters.
Return to the Linux DevCenter.
Copyright © 2009 O'Reilly Media, Inc.