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November 2017

System76 will disable Intel Management engine on its Linux laptops

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Security

System76 is one a handful of companies that sells computers that run Linux software out of the box. But like most PCs that have shipped with Intel’s Core processors in the past few years, System76 laptops include Intel’s Management Engine firmware.

Intel recently confirmed a major security vulnerability affecting those chips and it’s working with PC makers to patch that vulnerability.

But System76 is taking another approach: it’s going to roll out a firmware update for its recent laptops that disables the Intel Management Engine altogether.

Read more

KDE: Qt 3D Studio 1.0 Released, KDE's Goals for 2018 and Beyond

Filed under
KDE
  • Qt 3D Studio 1.0 Released

    We are happy to announce that Qt 3D Studio 1.0 has now been released. Qt 3D Studio provides a 3D user interface authoring system that caters for both software developers and graphic designers.

  • Qt 3D Studio 1.0 Released, Powered By NVIDIA's Open-Source Code

    The Qt Company is today shipping Qt 3D Studio, its new 3D user-interface authoring system for both developers and designers.

    Qt 3D Studio 1.0 has a Studio Editor for creating interactive 3D presentations and applications, the Qt 3D Studio Viewer for testing new 3D designs in action, and is supported across Windows / macOS / Linux.

    Of course, this new 3D Studio is powered by the Qt5 tool-kit. This new software package is made possible and based upon NVIDIA's huge code contribution to Qt earlier this year of opening the NVIDIA DRIVE Design Studio that became the basis for Qt 3D Studio.

  • KDE's Goals for 2018 and Beyond
  • KDE's Goals for 2018 and Beyond

    The KDE community has spoken and it has chosen the proposals which will define the general direction of the KDE project over the next three or four years.

    How does the KDE community decide where it wants to take the project? Well, every once in a while, we hold a Request for Proposals, if you will. All members of the community are encouraged to submit their grand ideas which will lay out long-term targets. Proposals are voted on democratically, again, by the community. This ensures it is truly the community that guides the KDE project to wherever the community wants it to go.

How Open Source Will Enable Smart Cities

Filed under
OSS

Go back a hundred years and services like electricity and running water — let alone phones — would have all been considered luxuries. Now, we see these services as critical infrastructure that could cause a serious threat to life and societal order if they were to break down.

As the Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a bigger part of our world, creating a marriage of software and hardware that ranges from the exceedingly useful to the overly creepy, it is also finding its way into many of the utilities that we depend on for modern living.

What we define as infrastructure is being rapidly altered by the growth of IoT and the move towards smart cities. We depend on traffic lights, security cameras and garbage removal to keep our cities livable, and we would quickly take notice if these services faltered.

As these devices and systems start to get brains, they become vulnerable to attacks like Mirai or the one that targeted the Ukrainian power grid. There is the added challenge of how to protect smart infrastructure, recognizing that it has major differences from the way that we defend power plants.

Historically, critical infrastructure projects have been tougher targets for hackers as their operational technologies (OT) relied on legacy systems that were not widely connected to the internet. As cases such as Stuxnet and more recent cyberattacks on electrical power systems have shown, these systems are vulnerable to external hackers, despite their supposedly high level of security and regulation.

Read more

Security: Uber, Amazon, Updates, Reproducible Builds, Mirai and Tizi

Filed under
Security

Open Source Operating Systems: FreeRTOS and Genode OS

Filed under
OS
OSS
  • Announcing FreeRTOS Kernel Version 10

    The number of connected IoT devices worldwide is in the billions and growing rapidly. Many of these edge devices – from fitness trackers to sensors to washing machines to automotive transmissions – use low-cost, low-powered microcontrollers with extremely limited memory and compute capability. For some IoT use cases, very predictable response times can also be critical (think: automotive). A standard operating system won’t work here: you need a real-time operating system (RTOS) that works in very constrained systems.

  • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 17.11

    In contrast to most releases, which are focused on one or two major themes, the development during the release cycle of version 17.11 was almost entirely driven by the practical use of Genode as a day-to-day OS by the entire staff of Genode Labs. The basis of this endeavor is an evolving general-purpose system scenario - dubbed "sculpt" - that is planned as an official feature for the next release 18.02. The name "sculpt" hints at the approach to start with a minimalistic generic live system that can be interactively shaped into a desktop scenario by the user without any reboot. This is made possible by combining Genode's unique dynamic reconfiguration concept with the recently introduced package management, our custom GUI stack, and the many ready-to-use device-driver components that we developed over the past years.

  • Genode OS 17.11 Reworks Its "Nitpicker" GUI Server

    Genode is the open-source operating system framework designed for "highly secure" special-purpose operating systems from embedded platforms to desktops while subscribing to a Unix philosophy and going for an L4 micro-kernel approach. The Genode OS 17.11 represents another quarter's worth of changes.

    A lot of the work represented by Genode OS 17.11 is on beating the operating system platform into shape to be a day-to-day OS. Among the changes to find is its GUI stack being reworked, scroll-wheel emulation and pointer acceleration finally, other input handling improvements, all x86 micro-kernels now using the GRUB2 boot-loader, Nim programming language usage, and more.

Kernel: Linux 4.14.3, 4.9.66, 4.4.103, 3.18.85 and Linux Foundation Pieces

Filed under
Linux
  • Linux 4.14.3
  • Linux 4.9.66
  • Linux 4.4.103
  • Linux 3.18.85
  • Four new stable kernels

    Greg Kroah-Hartman has announced the release of the 4.14.3, 4.9.66, 4.4.103, and 3.18.85 stable kernels. As usual, they contain fixes throughout the tree; users of those series should upgrade.

  • A Closed-Source Apple File-System APFS Driver For Linux Announced

    With macOS High Sierra finally ditching the HFS+ file-system and switching all macOS users over to Apple's new file-system, APFS, you may find the need to read a APFS file-system from another non-macOS device. Now it's possible with an APFS Linux file-system driver, but it's closed-source and doesn't yet have write capabilities.

    Paragon Software who has also developed a commercial Microsoft ReFS Linux file-system driver as well as an EXT4 driver for Windows has now developed an Apple File-System (APFS) driver for Linux systems.

  • What OPNFV Makes Possible in Open Source

    OPNFV provides both tangible and intangible benefits to end users. Tangible benefits include those that directly impact business metrics, whereas the intangibles include benefits that speed up the overall NFV transformation journey but are harder to measure. The nature of the OPNFV project, where it primarily focuses on integration and testing of upstream projects and adds carrier-grade features to these upstream projects, can make it difficult to understand these benefits.

    To understand this more clearly, let’s go back to the era before OPNFV. Open source projects do not, as a matter of routine, perform integration and testing with other open source projects. So, the burden of taking multiple disparate projects and making the stack work for NFV primarily fell on Communications Service Providers (CSPs), although in some cases vendors shouldered part of the burden. For CSPs or vendors to do the same integration and testing didn’t make sense.

  • The Evolving Developer Advocate Role — A Conversation with Google’s Kim Bannerman

    At this year’s Cloud Foundry Summit Europe, the story was about developers as the heroes. They’re the ones who make the platforms. They are akin to the engineers who played such a pivotal role in designing the railroads, or in modern times made the smartphone possible. This means a more important role for developer advocates who, at organizations such as Google, are spending a lot more time with customers. These are the subject matter experts helping developers build out their platforms. They are gathering data to develop feedback loops that flow back into open source communities for ongoing development.

Faulty Graphics Driver From NVIDIA

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
  • NVIDIA Confirms Linux Driver Performance Regression, To Be Fixed In 390 Series

    If you think recent NVIDIA Linux driver releases have been slowing down your games, you are not alone, especially if you are running with a GeForce graphics card having a more conservative vRAM capacity by today's standards.

    Long time ago Nouveau contributor turned NVIDIA Linux engineer Arthur Huillet confirmed there is a bug in their memory management introduced since their 378 driver series that is still present in the latest 387 releases.

  • NVIDIA has confirmed a driver bug resulting in a loss of performance on Linux

    It seems there's a performance bug in recent NVIDIA drivers that has been causing a loss of performance across likely all GPUs. Not only that, but it seems to end up using more VRAM than previous drivers too.

    User HeavyHDx started a thread on the official NVIDIA forum, to describe quite a big drop in performance since the 375 driver series. So all driver updates since then would have been affected by this.

Linux-Based Sailfish OS: Slush update from Jolla CEO

Filed under
Linux
  • Slush update from Jolla CEO

    It’s been busy and productive times with Sailfish OS in the past months and it is time for an update from the cockpit. It is also an exciting week here in Helsinki, Finland as we have Europe’s biggest tech conference Slush 2017 once again going on and we’re looking forward to see and discuss a lot of new innovations during these two days.

    [....]

    In this collaboration Jolla will be offering the Sailfish X as a core development environment, and Zipper develops and offers the blockchain platform for it. The platform will have its own currency ZIP to fuel the community and platform development. We are also preparing a tailored community program for developing new blockchain related applications and features to Sailfish OS, and further, our intention is to use ZIP tokens to spur community growth and contributions. We will come back to this program later on. Stay tuned!

  • Jolla's CEO Provides An End of Year Update On Sailfish OS

    Jolla CEO and co-founder Sami Pienimäki has provided an update about the company's ongoing efforts around their Sailfish OS Linux mobile operating system.

Games: MAME, GOG, Godot, and Rich Geldreich

Filed under
Gaming
  • MAME Emulator Now Supports Oriental Legend 2 and Knights of Valour 2 New Legend

    MAME, the open-source and cross-platform computer emulator software, has been updated this week to version 0.192, a release that incorporates support for new systems and games.

    One of the most important changes of the MAME 0.192 release appears to be the progress done so far for the IGS PGM2 software, which will excite lots of arcade fans. This was possible thanks to a newly built FPGA-based rig that allowed the devs to dump the internal programs from the ARM CPUs for the Knights of Valour 2 New Legend and Oriental Legend 2 games.

  • GOG now have Epic Pinball and the platformer Jazz Jackrabbit with Linux support

    GOG have revived some more classic games today as they have released Epic Pinball: The Complete Collection and Jazz Jackrabbit Collection which have Linux support.

  • Godot 3.0 Game Engine Reaches Beta

    Development on the Godot 3.0 game engine has been happening for the better part of two years while today it reached its much anticipated beta milestone that also marks the feature freeze for this open-source game engine release.

  • Dev snapshot: Godot 3.0 beta 1

    Godot 3.0's development officially entered the beta stage last week, which coincides for us with what we name the feature freeze: from now on, no new features will be merged in the master branch, as the focus will be fully on fixing existing issues to stabilize the current feature set. Don't worry though, Godot 3.1 will arrive soon after the 3.0 release to bring all the nice features that contributors are already working on.

  • Rich Geldreich On The Concerns Of Open-Sourcing In The Game Industry

    Former Valve developer Rich Geldreich who was responsible for a lot of the Linux/OpenGL work at Valve in the earlier days of Linux gaming and who has also spent time at Unity, Microsoft, and other companies before starting his own consulting firm, has second thoughts about open-sourcing in the game industry.

Red Hat News

Filed under
Red Hat

More in Tux Machines

Keeping patient data safe with open source tools

Healthcare is experiencing a revolution. In a tightly regulated and ancient industry, the use of free and open source software make it uniquely positioned to see a great deal of progress. I work at a scrappy healthcare startup where cost savings are a top priority. Our primary challenge is how to safely and efficiently manage personally identifying information (PII), like names, addresses, insurance information, etc., and personal health information (PHI), like the reason for a recent clinical visit, under the regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, HIPAA, which became mandatory in the United States in 2003. Read more

Security Leftovers

  • Indian Bank Hit in $13.5M Cyberheist After FBI ATM Cashout Warning

    But according to Indian news outlet Dailypionneer.com, there was a second attack carried out on August 13, when the Cosmos Bank hackers transferred nearly $2 million to the account of ALM Trading Limited at Hang Seng Bank in Hong Kong.

  • How to Protect Yourself Against a SIM Swap Attack

    A sobering caveat: If a skilled SIM hijacker targets you, there’s realistically not much you can do to stop them, says Allison Nixon, threat research at security firm Flashpoint. “In most of the cases that we’ve seen, a sufficiently determined attacker can take over someone’s online footprint,” she says.

    That’s because ultimately, the machinations behind SIM swaps are largely out of your control. [...]

  • Open Source Security Podcast: Episode 110 - Review of Black Hat, Defcon, and the effect of security policies
    Josh and Kurt talk about Black Hat and Defcon and how unexciting they have become. What happened with hotels at Defcon, and more importantly how many security policies have 2nd and 3rd level effects we often can't foresee. We end with important information about pizza, bananas, and can openers.

YunoHost 3.0.0.1

At this point I have only set up YunoHost, created a few user accounts and installed a handful of applications. While I may play with it further, my main focus going into this trial was how well the framework of the distribution functions. That is: is it easy to install, how hard is it for new users to add services and accounts, and is it straight forward to keep the system up to date? Basically, I wanted to know whether I could give this distribution to someone who wanted to set up home-based network services for the first time and expect them to be able to use it. Based on my experiences so far with YunoHost, my answer is: probably. The distribution does make it pretty easy to create user accounts and install web-based services. In fact, YunoHost does this quite well. The admin panel is very streamlined, uncluttered and easy to navigate and getting something like a game of Hextris or a media streaming service installed is about as easy as a few mouse clicks. Managing the firewall, monitoring the system and creating backups are nearly as easy. The administrator still needs to figure out how to get backup archives off the disk to another location for safe keeping, but the bulk of the work in backing up and restoring the operating system is done for us. Where I feel the distribution runs into trouble is mostly little details, and a few general concepts. For example, asking the user to create an "admin" password but leaving the root password as the default is both likely to confuse people and leave a permanent security hole on the servers of most inexperienced hobbyist administrators. On the topic of accounts, it makes sense, from a security standpoint, to separate web accounts from system accounts. But, this means there may be some confusion as to why, once an account has been created, it cannot log into the system. Little concepts like this may throw new users and I don't feel these issues are well addressed by the documentation. The first time through, the system installer failed during the partitioning section. It worked the second time though with the same settings, so I'm not sure if this is a semi-persistent bug or a one-time error with my system. On the whole, YunoHost performs well. It's light on resources, it offers a lot of common network services home administrators will probably want and it is pretty easy to run and maintain. There are a few little wrinkles in the experience, but in general I found the distribution to be straight forward to use. For people looking to set up a home server, this is probably a good platform on which to build. Read more

Software: GIMP, Password Safe, and Podcasts

  • GIMP 2.10.6 Introduces Vertical Text, New Filters, and GIMP Extension Public Repo
    A brand-new point release for popular photo editing software GIMP has been released today, bringing GIMP to version 2.10.6 – this update doesn’t bring a whole load of significant features, but there are some great improvements and new functionalities. For starters, GIMP 2.10.6 finally introduces support for vertical text (top to bottom), which has been a highly requested feature particularly for East-Asian writing systems. Thus, users can now set text in mixed orientation (as is typical in East-Asian vertical writing) or upright orientation (more common for Western vertical writing), with right-to-left, as well as left-to-right columns.
  • Password Safe is a KeePass-Compatible Password Manager for Linux
    Password Safe is an open-source KeePass-compatible password manager for Linux, designed specifically for use on the GNOME desktop.
  • Linux users finally get a decent podcasts app called, well, ‘Podcasts’
    Podcasts are a hugely popular form of “infotainment” these days, with almost any and every niche you can think of catered for with a show or a segment. If you’re not enjoying the wealth of podcasts out there, you’re really missing out. Podcasts provide you with the experience of a radio show, covering a wide range of topics ranging from gospel to science fiction to music and every thing in between. There are so many ways to enjoy your podcst. On mobile, popular apps such as PocketCast offer users a one-stop-shop for all the podcasts you can listen to. Many music streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify offer dedicated sections on Podcasts.