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November 2019

Proprietary Software and Digital Jails

Filed under
Hardware
Software
  • checkra1n on Linux nearing release, Apple TV DFU helper coming too

    Despite being a closed ecosystem, iDevice users enjoy an advanced level of control over the OS through jailbreaking. But, not many opt for it because the Cupertino tech giant denies warranty claims for jailbroken gadgets.

    Moreover, one has to choose the jailbreaking tool so carefully that an incompatible selection will make your iPhone/iPad a fiasco. Owing to the frequent vulnerability fixes released by Apple, we can’t use a single tool for every iOS iteration.

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  • Jony Ive is no longer on Apple's leadership page

                         

                           

    His new firm is called LoveForm, which sounds an awful lot like LoveFilm - right down to the fact that both will score you 16 in a Scrabble match, assuming you're competing without someone that plays fast and loose with the ‘no brand names' rule. That's where the similarities end though: it's more focused on design than posting DVDs to people.

                           

    Unlike most people starting their own business, Ive won't have to hustle for new clients right away. Apple led the press release announcing Ive's exit by saying it would be one of LoveForm's clients, which is kind of like writing a blank cheque. But, hey, if anybody can write a blank cheque and not worry about the consequences then it's Cook & Co.

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  • Security firm Prosegur hit by Windows Ryuk ransomware

                         

                           

    Well-known British security researcher Kevin Beaumont was one of the first to point to a statement on on the Spain-based company's website in which it said that there had been "a security information incident on its telecommunications platforms".

                           

    Prosegur is the largest security firm in Spain and listed on Madrid Stock Exchange in 1987.

Entrapment in Microsoft GitHub

Filed under
Microsoft
  • Alibaba Cloud makes available its self-developed algorithm via open source on Github [Ed: Outsourcing one's code to a proprietary spying and censorship platform of a foreign firm and foreign regime]

    Launched in 2009 and headquartered in Singapore, the cloud subsidiary of Alibaba Group offers cloud computing services to enterprises.

  • Alibaba Publishes AI Algorithms on Github [Ed: Alibaba gives its code to Microsoft to further facilitate surveillance]
  • GitHub Seeks Security Dominance With Developers [Ed: GitHub is proprietary software in NSA PRISM, so assume back doors. Ignore these Forbes puff pieces of Microsoft (lots of them).]
  • Rav1e Picks Up More Speed Optimizations For Rust-Written AV1 Encoding [Ed: Still stuck inside GitHub]

    The Rust-based "rav1e" AV1 video encoder continues picking up performance optimizations. 

    During the month of November we've seen SSE4.1 and various x86 Assembly optimizations, other CPU performance optimizations, and also happening recently was the initial tagged release of rav1e (v0.1). 

  • Daniel Stenberg: curl: 25000 commits [Ed: Unhealthy dependence on GitHub]

    The first ever public release of curl was uploaded on March 20, 1998. 7924 days ago.

    3.15 commits per day on average since inception.

    These 25000 commits have been authored by 751 different persons.

    Through the years, 47 of these 751 authors have ever authored 10 commits or more within a single year. In fact, the largest number of people that did 10 commits or more within a single year is 13 that happened in both 2014 and 2017.

    19 of the 751 authors did ten or more changes in more than one calendar year. 5 of the authors have done ten or more changes during ten or more years.

Openwashing by Microsoft and the US Air Force

Filed under
Microsoft
  • Microsoft Teams spurs open source in Aussie channel [Ed: Gross case of openwashing. How on Earth did Microsoft manage to have proprietary software that's mass surveillance inside businesses framed as "open source"?

    Qbot is the brainchild of UNSW senior lecturer David Kellermann. Antares helped bring Qbot to life and, as it is the bot's primary developer, supports the code.

  • US Air Force says they are developing an Open Source Jet Engine

    The Responsive Open Source Engine (ROSE) is designed to be cheap enough that it can be disposable, which has obvious military applications for the Air Force such as small jet-powered drones or even missiles. But even for the pacifists in the audience, it’s hard not to get excited about the idea of a low-cost open source turbine. Obviously an engine this small would have limited use to commercial aviation, but hackers and makers have always been obsessed with small jet engines, and getting one fired up and self-sustaining has traditionally been something of a badge of honor.

    The economies of scale generally dictate that anything produced in large enough numbers will eventually become cheap. But despite the fact that a few thousand of them are tearing across the sky above our heads at any given moment, turbine jet engines are still expensive to produce compared to other forms of propulsion. The United States Air Force Research Laboratory is hoping to change that by developing their own in-house, open source turbine engine that they believe could reduce costs by as much as 75%.

Red Hat, IBM and SUSE

Filed under
Red Hat
SUSE
  • Raytheon Leans on Red Hat to Advance DevSecOps

    Jon Check, senior director for cyber protection solutions for Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, said Raytheon has developed a set of DevSecOps practices for organizations building applications deployed in highly secure environments, involving government contracts.

    Raytheon and these customers have been challenged by a chronic shortage of IT professionals with the appropriate level of clearance to work on these classified projects. To overcome that issue, Check said Raytheon developed what it describes as a “code low, deploy high” approach to DevSecOps. Developers who lack security clearances can still build applications; however, those applications can only be deployed by IT professionals having the appropriate security clearance.

    In addition, Check said Raytheon has developed integrations between its DevSecOps framework and various IT tools based on the ITIL framework, which so many IT operations teams depend on to foster collaboration across the application development and deployment process. For example, he said, whenever code gets checked into a repository, an alert can be sent to an IT service management application from ServiceNow.

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  • [Older] IBM: ‘Mac users are happier and more productive’ [iophk: duh]

                         

                           

    IBM CIO Fletcher Previn talked up fresh IBM findings that show those of its employees who use Macs are more likely to stay with IBM and exceed performance expectations compared to [Windows] users.

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  • [Older] IBM: Mac users perform better at work and close larger high-value sales compared to [Windows] users

                         

                           

    Today, IBM announced some major news showing the benefits of using a Mac over a [Windows machine] at work. According to IBM research, there are 22% more macOS users who exceed expectations in performance reviews compared to Windows users. High-value sales deals also tend to be 16% higher for Mac users compared to [Windows] users.

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  • [Older] IBM: Our Mac-Using Employees Outperform Windows Users in Every Way

                         

                           

    According to IBM, one staff member can support 5,400 Mac users, while the company needed one staff member per 242 [Windows] users. Only 5 percent of Mac users called the help desk for assistance, compared with 40 percent of [Windows] users. This Mac-IBM love affair has been ongoing for a few years, and the same IBM PR points out that in 2016, IBM CIO Fletcher Previn declared that IBM saves anywhere from $273 to $543 when its end users choose Mac over [Windows].

  • Centiq receives highest SUSE Solution Partner certification to bolster best-in-class enterprise cloud application migration and implementation expertise for SAP projects
  • Noop now named none

    Lately more and more people approached me with saptune warnings regarding ‘noop’ being an invalid scheduler.
    With new Servie Packs we see a transition from non-multiqueue schedulers (noop, cfq, deadline) to multiqueue schedulers (none, mq-deadline, bfq, kyber).
    This transition will be finished with kernel 5.x (SLES 15 SP2). Only multiqueue schedulers will remain.
    Even if you do not have upgraded lately, new hardware like NVMe’s can come with multiqueue support only.

Games and Programming: Epic Games, Godot, Haskell and Python

Filed under
Development
Gaming
  • Epic Games have awarded the FOSS game manager Lutris with an Epic MegaGrant

    The Lutris team announced yesterday that Epic Games have now awarded them a sum of money from the Epic MegaGrants pot.

    In the Patreon post, the Lutris team announced they've been awarded $25,000. While this might be quite a surprise to some, Tim Sweeney the CEO of Epic Games, did actually suggest they apply for it which we covered here back in April. To see it actually happen though, that's seriously awesome for the team building this free and open source game manager.

  • Play-ing with Godot

    I’ve finally come to a point where I have a project that is useful, and at a good enough quality (anyone with graphics skills who wants to help?) to be shared with the broader world: Mattemonster. What I’m trying to say is that I just went through the process of publishing a Godot app to the Google Play store.

    There is already good documentation for how you export a Godot app for Android, and detailed guides how to publish to Google Play. This blog is not a step by step tutorial, but instead mentioning some of the things I learned or noticed.

    First of all, when setting up the Android tooling, you usually have an android-tools package for your distro. This way, you don’t have to install Android Studio provided by Google.

    The configuration settings that you use to export your app goes into the export_presets.cfg file. Once you put the details for your release key in, you should avoid storing this file in a public git, as it contains sensitive data. But even before then, it contains paths that are local to your machine, so I would recommend not storing it in a public git anyway, as it makes merging with others painful.

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  • Haskell
  • Python 3.7.5 : Script install and import python packages.

    This script will try to import Python packages from a list.
    If these packages are not installed then will be installed on system.

Security: Updates, Ken Thompson's Chess Secret, Healthcare Breaches Spike in October, "Private Internet Access Sold Out!" and Undercover Mode for the Fedora Security Lab

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Friday

    Security updates have been issued by Debian (libvpx and vino), Fedora (grub2 and nss), and SUSE (cloud-init, libarchive, libtomcrypt, ncurses, and ucode-intel).

  • Friday Fluff: Chess password cracked after four decades

    A good password paired with strong encryption protects data against unexpected loss. No password is unbreakable, but some can last for quote a long time. After 39 years, recently a few old Unix passwords were cracked. Computer pioneer Ken Thompson had hidden his access behind a chess opening.

  • ThreatList: Healthcare Breaches Spike in October

    October experienced a 44.44 percent month-over-month increase in healthcare data breaches, resulting in 661,830 healthcare records exposed or stolen during the month.

    That’s according to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights’ monthly report reported via HIPAA Journal. The department said that hospitals and other healthcare organizations reported 52 breaches to HHS during the month. Year-to-date, the total number of breached healthcare records stands at 38 million, affecting 11.64 percent of the population of the United States.

  • Private Internet Access Sold Out! | Choosing A New VPN

    This video goes over the purchase of Private Internet Access and Choosing a new VPN. I also layout the 3 points you NEED when choosing a new VPN.

  • Undercover mode for the Fedora Security Lab

    Every time when there is a new release of Kali Linux it doesn’t take long till people start to ask when a feature or tool will be added to the Fedora Security Lab.

    This time the most asked feature is the “undercover mode”.

    To make it short: Never.

    The reason is that the Fedora Security Lab live media doesn’t need this. We are running Xfce (in the meantime for several years now) with the default Fedora wallpaper and a default theme. It pretty hard to tell (reading impossible if you don’t have the menu open) for a person who only get a quick look at your desktop that you have a lot of specialized tools at your disposal.

    You are even stealthier if you only add the Fedora Security Lab toolset to your default Fedora installation. This make the Fedora Security Lab the perfect tool to perform security-related tasks in an office environment at customer’s sites.

Debian and Canonical/Ubuntu: Debian's Outreachy Interns, Debian LTS and Mir/Ubuntu Core Promotion

Filed under
Debian
Ubuntu
  • Debian welcomes its new Outreachy interns

    Debian continues participating in Outreachy, and we'd like to welcome our new Outreachy interns for this round, lasting from December 2019 to March 2020.

    Anisa Kuci will work on Improving the DebConf fundraising processes, mentored by Karina Ture and Daniel Lange.

    Sakshi Sangwan will work on Packaging GitLab's JS Modules, mentored by Utkarsh Gupta, Sruthi Chandran and Pirate Praveen.

    Congratulations, Anisa and Sakshi! Welcome!

  • Mike Gabriel: My Work on Debian LTS/ELTS (November 2019)

    In November 2019, I have worked on the Debian LTS project for 15 hours (of 15 hours planned) and on the Debian ELTS project for 5 hours (of 5 hours planned) as a paid contributor.

    For LTS, I, in fact, pulled over 1.7 hours from October, so I realy only did 13.3 hours for LTS in November.

    (This is only half-true, I worked a considerable amount of hours on this libvncserver code bundle audit, but I am just not invoicing all of it).

  • Build smart display devices with Mir: fast to production, secure, open-source

    Mir is a library for writing graphical shells for Linux and similar operating systems. Compared to traditional display servers, it offers numerous benefits that are important for IoT devices: efficiency, speed of development, security, performance, and flexibility. All are required by the devices of today, and even more so for the devices of tomorrow. In this whitepaper we’ll explain how Mir, alongside Ubuntu Core and Snapcraft, lets developers build devices that are ready for the future of IoT, while offering stable, secure and performant solutions to the problems the industry faces today.

More in Tux Machines

Microsoft Exchange Autodiscover protocol found leaking hundreds of thousands of credentials

A flaw in Microsoft's Autodiscover protocol, used to configure Exchange clients like Outlook, can cause user credentials to leak to miscreants in certain circumstances. The upshot is that your Exchange-connected email client may give away your username and password to a stranger, if the flaw is successfully exploited. In a report scheduled to be published on Wednesday, security firm Guardicore said it has identified a design blunder that leaks web requests to Autodiscover domains that are outside the user's domain but within the same top-level domain (TLD). Exchange's Autodiscover protocol, specifically the version based on POX XML, provides a way for client applications to obtain the configuration data necessary to communicate with the Exchange server. It gets invoked, for example, when adding a new Exchange account to Outlook. After a user supplies a name, email address, and password, Outlook tries to use Autodiscover to set up the client. Read more

Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome

  • Firefox Add-on Reviews: YouTube your way—browser extensions put you in charge of your video experience

    YouTube wants you to experience YouTube in very prescribed ways. But with the right browser extension, you’re free to alter YouTube to taste. Change the way the site looks, behaves, and delivers your favorite videos. [...] Though its primary function is to automatically play all YouTube videos in their highest possible resolution, YouTube High Definition has a few other fine features to offer.

  • Location history: How your location is tracked and how you can limit sharing it

    In real estate, the age old mantra is “location, location, location,” meaning that location drives value. That’s true even when it comes to data collection in the online world, too — your location history is valuable, authentic information. In all likelihood, you’re leaving a breadcrumb trail of location data every day, but there are a few things you can do to clean that up and keep more of your goings-on to yourself. [...] For some apps, location helps them function better, like navigating with a GPS or following a map. Location history can also be useful for retracing your steps to past places, like finding your way back to that tiny shop in Florence where you picked up beautiful stationery two years ago. On the other hand, marketing companies use location data for marketing and advertising purposes. They can also use location to conduct “geomarketing,” which is targeting you with promotions based on where you are. Near a certain restaurant while you’re out doing errands at midday? You might see an ad for it on your phone just as you’re thinking about lunch. Location can also be used to grant or deny access to certain content. In some parts of the world, content on the internet is “geo-blocked” or geographically-restricted based on your IP address, which is kind of like a mailing address, associated with your online activity. Geo-blocking can happen due to things like copyright restrictions, limited licensing rights or even government control.

  • An update on Memory Safety in Chrome [LWN.net]

    The Google security blog provides an overview of what is being done to address memory-safety problems in the Chrome browser.

  • Chrome 94 Released for Android, macOS, Windows, Linux: What's New | Technology News

    Chrome 94 stable update has been released by Google for Android, iOS, Mac, and Windows operating systems. The update will be rolled out over the coming weeks and it brings new security features, new functionality, and bug fixes. Google Chrome 94 stable is the first version of Chrome of the new four-week release cycle. Previously, Chrome update was released every six weeks. Its features include HTTPS-First mode that makes users browsing more secure. Also, Google said that 19 different security issues were fixed in the Chrome 94 version. The update for Google Chrome was announced through a blog post on September 21. Chrome 94 introduces HTTPS-First mode. It is available in Chrome for desktop systems and for Android. HTTPS is a more secure version of HTTP and many websites support it. With the latest update, the browser will also show a full-page warning when the user loads a site that doesn't support HTTPS. This ensures privacy when using public Wi-Fi. Google says this was previously planned for Chrome 92.

  • Google emits Chrome 94 with 'Idle Detection' API to detect user inactivity amid opposition

    Google has released Chrome 94 for desktop and Android, complete with an "Idle Detection" API to detect user inactivity, despite privacy concerns expressed by Mozilla and Apple. New and changed features in Chrome 94 are listed here and include the removal of the AppCache feature, described as a "security and stability liability", and something which has "imposed a tax on all of Chrome's significant architectural efforts." There is also a new VirtualKeyboard API with more control over its shape and an event fired when it covers page content; more efficient low-level access to media encoders and decoders; and a new JavaScript Self Profiling API which enables developers to collect JavaScript performance profiles from end users.

Kernel: Google, Xen, and Mesa

  • Google Finally Shifting To "Upstream First" Linux Kernel Approach For Android Features

    Google's Android had been notorious for all of its downstream patches carried by the mobile operating system as well as various vendor/device kernel trees while in recent years more of that code has been upstreamed. Google has also been shifting to the Android Generic Kernel Image (GKI) as the basis for all their product kernels to further reduce the fragmentation. Looking ahead, Google is now talking of an "upstream first" approach for pushing new kernel features. Google's Todd Kjos talked today during Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC2021) around their Generic Kernel Image initiative. With Android 12 and their Linux 5.10 based GKI image they have further cut down the fragmentation to the extent that it's "nearly eliminated". With the Android 12 GKI, most of the vendor/OEM kernel features have now either been upstreamed into the Linux kernel, isolated to vendor modules/hooks, or merged into the Android Common Kernel.

  • Google Finally Shifting To 'Upstream First' Linux Kernel Approach For Android Feature
  • Clang-format for Xen Coding Style Checking Scheduled - Xen Project

    At the moment there is no tool that would allow to format patches in Xen. The idea of Xen-checker is to use the clang-format approach as a base for Xen ‘checkpatch’ process. The new tool consists of modified .clang-format configuration file to automate Xen patches format checking and reformatting. The tool can be used as a pre-commit hook to check and format every patch automatically. Some features are missing in the clang configurator, so new clang-format options have been proposed for more flexible code formatting. Also, the purpose of the topic is to start the discussion about the existing rules for Xen code formatting to eliminate possible inaccuracies in the work of the Xen checker. This will make it easier to adhere to the unanimous decision.

  • Mesa Merge Pending For Vulkan Ray-Tracing On Older AMD GPUs - Phoronix

    Merged yesterday for Mesa 21.3 was open-source Vulkan ray-tracing for AMD RDNA2 / RX 6000 series GPUs with the RADV driver. Opened today now is a merge request that would provide Vulkan ray-tracing with RADV to pre-RDNA2 GPUs on this driver going back to the likes of Polaris, granted the performance is another story. Joshua Ashton known for his work on DXVK and other Direct3D-on-Vulkan efforts for Valve has opened the merge request to enable RADV Vulkan ray-tracing for older generations of AMD GPUs.

Astro Pi Mk II, the New Raspberry Pi Hardware Headed to the Space Station

While Izzy and Ed are still going strong, the ESA has decided it’s about time these veteran Raspberries finally get the retirement they’re due. Set to make the journey to the ISS in December aboard a SpaceX Cargo Dragon, the new Astro Pi MK II hardware looks quite similar to the original 2015 version at first glance. But a peek inside its 6063-grade aluminium flight case reveals plenty of new and improved gear, including a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 8 GB RAM. The beefier hardware will no doubt be appreciated by students looking to push the envelope. While the majority of Python programs submitted to the Astro Pi program did little more than poll the current reading from the unit’s temperature or humidity sensors and scroll messages for the astronauts on the Astro Pi’s LED matrix, some of the more advanced projects were aimed at performing legitimate space research. From using the onboard camera to image the Earth and make weather predictions to attempting to map the planet’s magnetic field, code submitted from teams of older students will certainly benefit from the improved computational performance and expanded RAM of the newest Pi. As with the original Astro Pi, the ESA and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have shared plenty of technical details about these space-rated Linux boxes. After all, students are expected to develop and test their code on essentially the same hardware down here on Earth before it gets beamed up to the orbiting computers. So let’s take a quick look at the new hardware inside Astro Pi MK II, and what sort of research it should enable for students in 2022 and beyond. Read more