Blogrotate #9: The Weekly Roundup of News for System Administrators

Dec 4, 2009 / By Brad Hudson

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Here we are again, another Friday. Only it’s actually Thursday for me. I’m writing this early because I am planning to willingly allow someone to shoot lasers into my eyes in an attempt to rid myself of these wretched glasses. Here’s hoping! On to the news so far.


Big news today as Google introduces the Google Public DNS. The service is not a DNS host or TLD, it’s a replacement for your ISP’s DNS server. Google boasts that there is no parking or search page when DNS lookups fail as many ISPs do (and as Verisign failed to do for the entire net), but I feel the looming “yet” in that statement. Get more info in Google expands plan to run own internet by Cade Metz. Iljitsch van Beijnum has more in Google Public DNS service not ideal for everyone.

In a related story, ICANN to prohibit nonexistent-domain redirect for new TLDs gives some details of a draft memorandum to prevent owners of the next batch of new TLDs from hijacking requests for non-existent domains.

Operating Systems

There’s been tremendous buzz this week about the so called “Black Screen of Death”. It appears, however, that it was much ado about nothing. Microsoft has released a statement about it and they deny everything. According to their research, the registry change that was blamed for the issue was not part of their updates at all. The full response is on technet: Reports of Issues with November Security Updates. According to Emil Protalinski, the company that first reported the problem—Prevx—has apologized. Emil’s report is Microsoft says B(lack)SODs not linked to latest patches.

In more proof that no OS is safe, Dan Goodin at Slashdot reports FreeBSD bug gives untrusted root access. The FreeBSD security officer has issues this advisory with a patch, which may not be the final version.


The new version of VirtualBox has been released. This is a big one with new features such as teleportation (live migration to everyone else), advanced snapshot-ing, and improved video acceleration. While I tend to shy away from VirtualBox on servers, I use it constantly on the desktop, However, it sounds like it might become a viable solution on servers, especially with the teleportation feature. Being prudent, I’ll likely wait a couple more versions for the kinks to be worked out. You can read more about this release in VirtualBox 3.1 adds live migration and branched snapshots.

That’s about all we have time for this week. Join us next week and find out if I can see! I hope they have the machine that goes ‘ping’. It’s my favourite.

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