Security and quality top companies' reasons for using open source

Why should you use open source software? The fact that it’s usually free can be an attractive selling point, but that’s not the reason most companies choose to use it. Instead, security and quality are the most commonly cited reasons, according to new research.

In fact, a full 72 percent of respondents to the eighth annual Future of Open Source Survey said that they use open source because it provides stronger security than proprietary software does. A full 80 percent reported choosing open source because of its quality over proprietary alternatives.

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Surprisingly, the fact that it's often free is not the main reason most businesses choose open source software.

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Ubuntu 14.04 beta 1 offers a sneak peek at 'Trusty Tahr'

Ubuntu 14.04 “Trusty Tahr” isn’t scheduled for final release until April 17, but because it’s a Long-Term Support version, its arrival is the focus of considerable anticipation, particularly among business users.

We won’t get to see its final form for some time, of course, but there’s nothing like a beta version to give us a sneak preview, and that’s just what Canonical released last week. The main Ubuntu Linux didn’t participate in this first beta, but numerous other spins did, including Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu and Ubuntu GNOME.

Though they’re just for testing, they can be downloaded now from the Ubuntu Wiki. Alternatively, read on for the “Cliffs Notes” version summarizing some key highlights.

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What you need to know about the GnuTLS Linux bug

A critical Linux bug that many are comparing to the “goto fail” problem that afflicted Apple last month was recently discovered, prompting Linux distribution and application developers to scramble to incorporate a new patch into their code.

The bug, which affects the GnuTLS library for implementing the SSL, TLS and DTLS, security protocols, could cause software to falsely indicate that a particular communications connection is secure, when in fact it is not. As with the Apple flaw, that opens the door to “man-in-the-middle” exploits where an attacker could secretly intercept and manipulate the user’s communication.The problem was discovered during a code audit last month. Red Hat then notified the other affected distributions, and a patch was released Monday.

“Users of Red Hat Enterprise Linux can obtain updated corrected GnuTLS packages in their usual way or see for links to our advisories,” said Mark Cox, Red Hat’s senior director for product security.

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