LJ Archive

New Products

James Gray

Issue #272, December 2016

Dave Taylor and Brandon Perry's Wicked Cool Shell Scripts (No Starch Press)

The new second edition of Dave Taylor and Brandon Perry's classic Wicked Cool Shell Scripts features a smorgasbord of classic favorite scripts and 23 brand-new ones. Subtitled 101 Scripts for Linux, OS X, and UNIX Systems, Taylor and Perry's guide features a collection of useful, customizable and fun shell scripts for solving common problems and personalizing one's computing environment. Each chapter contains ready-to-use scripts and explanations of how they work, why one would use them and suggestions for changing and expanding them. Highlights of these not just useful but also wicked cool scripts include a disk backup utility that keeps files safe from a system crash, a password manager, a weather tracker, several games, a ZIP code lookup tool, a Bitcoin address information retriever, as well as tools for cloud services, bulk file management and image processing and editing. Whether users want to save time managing their systems or just find new ways to goof off, these scripts are just the ticket.


USMobile, Inc.'s Scrambl3

The special sauce in USMobile, Inc.'s Scrambl3, the mobile app that facilitates “the world's most private calls and messages”, is a set of open-source components that create a top-secret-grade VPN, encryption algorithms and internet protocols. USMobile says that, for myriad reasons, Scrambl3 stands head and shoulders above WhatsApp and Viber for security and privacy. For instance, new Scrambl3 Android and iOS users are asked to provide only a user name and password sans verification of a cell-phone number, access to private cell-phone contacts and email addresses, all of which is “a hassle and a violation of your personal privacy”. Scrambl3 provides many advantages since it does not rely on a cell-phone number. For example, Scrambl3 can be used on Wi-Fi-connected tablets, and attackers cannot listen in on user calls and texts by exploiting the public telephone system's SS7 security flaw. Finally, Scrambl3 users privately exchange their user names and add them to their respective Scrambl3 Black Book contact listing, making unwanted calls or messages impossible on users' private networks.


Permabit Technology Corporation's Albireo VDO for Ubuntu Server

In perfect alignment with its self-described identity as “the data reduction expert”, Permabit Technology Corporation recently announced availability of its Albireo Virtual Data Optimizer (VDO) 6 for Canonical's Ubuntu Server. VDO data reduction enables enterprise hybrid cloud data centers and cloud service providers to reduce their storage footprint, increase data density and avoid costly data-center expansions, resulting in “massive savings on data-center investment”. Permabit says its move to Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS—and imminently 16.04 LTS, as well—is the only modular data reduction solution available for the Linux block storage stack. The move occurred due to Ubuntu's place in the forefront of large cloud infrastructure deployments and its deep involvement in the OpenStack project. VDO leverages Permabit's patented deduplication, HIOPS Compression and thin provisioning technologies.


CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise

Although open-source software excels at innovation and leverages the immense power of talented developers dedicated to solving difficult problems, the focus is rarely on enterprise capabilities, asserts CloudBees, the hub of enterprise Jenkins and DevOps. Fortunate for Jenkins developers, CloudBees, Inc., has announced CloudBees Jenkins Enterprise, a Jenkins distribution aimed directly at enterprises that “ensures the highest levels of testing and verification, providing smooth upgrades and the most reliable and stable Jenkins foundation for software development and DevOps teams”. This enterprise distribution of Jenkins is possible due to CloudBees' new comprehensive testing and verification process called the CloudBees Assurance Program. Consisting of a trio of engineering, QA and machine resources, the program is dedicated to verifying the stability, security, inter-compatibility and upgradability of the Jenkins' core along with the curated set of the most popular third-party open-source Jenkins extensions that round out the distribution. As DevOps needs rapidly evolve, enterprises require confidence that they are implementing the most feature-rich, reliable and secure Jenkins-based continuous delivery platform possible, which they now have at their disposal.


Jetico's BestCrypt Container Encryption for Linux

For users in search of a commercially supported encryption tool for Linux with a backdoor-free guarantee, Jetico recommends its recently updated BestCrypt Container Encryption for Linux 3.0. Jetico's BestCrypt Container Encryption automatically encrypts any selected files or folders on an active computer, shared workstation or network storage in Linux, Windows and Mac OS environments so that nobody can gain access without the right password or keys. Jetico says that BestCrypt is easy to install, easy to use and totally transparent—meaning it actually gets used. The new version 3.0 of BestCrypt features keyfile support, one-click installation and access to binary packages for popular Linux distributions and a graphics and usability makeover. Jetico adds that while drive or disk encryption safeguards from physical threats, like lost or stolen devices, it fails to protect online storage or computers connected to the internet. Jetico's BestCrypt ensures that encrypted files stored in the cloud can be accessed on Linux.


Applied Expert Systems, Inc.'s CleverView for TCP/IP on Linux

One of the most important characteristics of the contemporary data center, notes Applied Expert Systems, Inc. (AES), is that an ever-increasing amount of the traffic is between servers. Realizing the resulting need to facilitate improved server-to-server communications, AES developed CleverView for TCP/IP on Linux v2.5 with KVM Monitoring. CleverView gives IT staff access to current and historical server performance and availability details from not only their browser desktops but also their cell phones via the CLEVER Mobile for Linux app. The highlight of this version 2.5 is the new ability to monitor KVM guest support providing clear and concise information on availability and performance. KVMView shows CPU count, memory used, max memory and CPU used with the ability to drill down into the TCP/IP statistics for the selected KVM Guest. The new enterprise-wide metrics provide a crisp, clear and concise view allowing trend, pattern and anomaly identification. Reports provide for more effective decision-making to meet today's dynamic anywhere-anytime service demand.


iguazio's Enterprise Data Cloud

The description of iguazio's new flagship Enterprise Data Cloud platform is bold and simple: the world's fastest, simplest and lowest-cost enterprise data cloud. iguazio adds that unleashing the full potential of megatrend applications and analytics for big data, IoT and cloud-native applications, it has pioneered a new service-driven approach to enterprise data management, redesigning the entire data stack to accelerate performance and bridge the enterprise skill gap. iguazio's Enterprise Data Cloud, asserts the firm, is the only secure data platform-as-a-service deployed either on-premises or in hybrid cloud architectures, with self-service portals and APIs for developers and operators. The new unified platform delivers a breakthrough in application performance and efficiency. With only four data appliances, enterprises can store up to 10 petabytes per rack, with costs starting at $0.03 per gigabyte per month. The platform delivers 10 million transactions per second and throughput of 50 gigabytes per second with sub-100 microsecond application latencies, across streaming, NoSQL, objects or files. iguazio's “revolutionary stack” supports simultaneous high-performance access through multiple industry-standard and Amazon-compatible APIs.


GENIVI Alliance's GENIVI Vehicle Simulator

By providing a realistic simulated driving experience, the new GENIVI Vehicle Simulator (GVS) assists adopters to develop and test the user interface of an open in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system safely, thereby identifying and executing necessary design changes quickly and efficiently. The open-source, extensible driving simulator was developed under the auspices of the GENIVI Alliance by Elements Design Group and the Jaguar Land Rover Open Software Technology Center. Key features of GVS' realistic driving experience include obstacle triggering, infraction logging and infraction review.


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