From Ars Technica: Linux 3.7 released, bringing generic ARM support with it

Linus Torvalds has officially announced that version 3.7 of the Linux kernel has gone stable, and that means good news for developers who work with ARM-based CPUs: among its other changes, Linux 3.7 is the first Linux kernel to include generic support for multiple ARM CPU architectures, reducing the amount of effort required to get Linux-based operating systems running on phones, tablets, and ARM-licensed developer boards like the Raspberry Pi.

At present, every time a developer wants to port a Linux system to an ARM system-on-a-chip, they have to build a new kernel to support that processor’s particular architecture. Additionally, differences between ARM chips from different companies means that porting that same Linux-based OS to another ARM processor—for example, taking code running on a Samsung SoC and making it run on a Qualcomm SoC—requires another kernel. The work required to maintain these separate kernels for each ARM SoC is a major roadblock for the architecture compared to x86 chips traditionally used in desktops and laptops, and overcoming this issue will be a major step forward for Linux and its forks, including Android.

This work mirrors the effort that Microsoft also exerted for Windows RT, which likewise supports many different ARM architectures with the same kernel.

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From Ars Technica: Netflix says Google Fiber is “most consistently fast ISP in America”

Sure, you can run or max out your BitTorrent download, but as we found out last month, it’s hard to get a good gauge of how fast and consistent an ISP is using real-world, high-bandwidth applications.

But Netflix, as one of those high-bandwidth services, is taking matters into its own hands and has published its first monthly ranking of major ISPs, “based upon their actual performance across all Netflix streams.”

On Tuesday, Netflix wrote that Google Fiber, which is limited to a few hundred users in Kansas City (Kansas), “is now the most consistently fast ISP in America.”

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From Ars Technica: “Dexter” malware steals credit card data from point-of-sale terminals

Enlarge / Administration panel for Dexter, a malicious application that steals credit card data from point-of-sale systems. The malware was recently found on hundreds of computers around the world.

A researcher has uncovered new malware that steals payment card data from point-of-sale terminals used by stores, hotels, and other businesses.

Dexter, as the malware is called, has infected hundreds of point-of-sale computers at big-name retailers, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses, according to a report issued by Aviv Raff, chief technology officer of Israel-based security firm Seculert. Businesses infected in the past three months are located in 40 different countries, with 30 percent of those compromised located in the US, 19 percent in the UK, and nine percent in Canada. Malware that infects point-of-sale terminals can be one of the most efficient ways to carry out payment card fraud because it targets machines with access to large amounts of the required data.

“Instead of going through the trouble of infecting tens of thousands of PCs or physically installing a skimmer, an attacker can achieve the same results by targeting just a few POS systems with specially crafted malware,” Raff wrote. “Dexter is one example of such malware.”

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From Ars Technica: Australian travelers stranded in wilderness because of iOS 6 maps

The edge of Murray-Sunset National Park on the border of South Australia and Victoria.

We had a good run mocking iOS 6 maps for its wrong turns and bizarre aerial shots, but that’s all over now that Australian police have actually deemed the app a danger to the public.

A statement on the Victoria police website has officially decreed Apple’s contribution to the navigation world untrustworthy, after several users ended up 70km (about 43.4mi) off-course stranded in the wilderness and had to be rescued by police.

“Local police have been called to assist distressed motorists who have become stranded within the Murray-Sunset National Park after following directions on their Apple iPhone,” reads the statement from the Mildura police department.

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