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Friday, 30 Sep 16 - Tux Machines is a community-driven public service/news site which has been around for over a decade and primarily focuses on GNU/LinuxSubscribe now Syndicate content

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A quick introduction to Audacity for teachers

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OSS

School's back in session, and kids love the creative arts. One of my favorite open source creative tools is Audacity, the open source audio recorder and editor. Students love manipulating digital sound with Audacity: making podcasts, learning languages, recording interviews, and recording and mixing music.

I use it to record podcasts for students to provide instructions about classroom procedures and tests. Foreign language students use Audacity to record and play back their lessons. Students can download music and other types of audio tracks for sharing and re-use from Creative Commons and Wikimedia, and dub their own voices onto music tracks, the sounds of birds chirping, whales and dolphins in their natural habitats, and more.

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KDE's Kirigami UI Framework for Mobile and Convergent Apps Hits 1.1 Milestone

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KDE

On September 26, 2016, the KDE developers proudly announced the availability of the first point release for their recently introduced Kirigami UI framework to create mobile and convergent applications.

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How Red Hat is making money on the public cloud with a hybrid approach

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Red Hat

Red Hat hasn't traditionally played much of a part in public clouds, a fact its CEO Jim Whitehurst underscored in Red Hat's recent earnings call. Though the company is now dabbling in a true elastic/consumption-based delivery and pricing model via OpenShift, Red Hat remains a primarily on-premises business that only feints toward a true cloud model in terms of service delivery.

Ironically, the hybrid cloud may be the trend that gets Red Hat fully planted in the public cloud.

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GE, Bosch and open source could bring more IoT tools

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OSS

The two companies, both big players in industrial IoT, said they will establish a core IoT software stack based on open-source software. They plan to integrate parts of GE's Predix operating system with the Bosch IoT Suite in ways that will make complementary software services from each available on the other.

The work will take place in several existing open-source projects under the Eclipse Foundation. These projects are creating code for things like messaging, user authentication, access control and device descriptions. Through the Eclipse projects, other vendors also will be able to create software services that are compatible with Predix and Bosch IoT Suite, said Greg Petroff, executive director of platform evangelism at GE Software.

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Unsafe at any clock speed: Linux kernel security needs a rethink

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Linux

The Linux kernel today faces an unprecedented safety crisis. Much like when Ralph Nader famously told the American public that their cars were "unsafe at any speed" back in 1965, numerous security developers told the 2016 Linux Security Summit in Toronto that the operating system needs a total rethink to keep it fit for purpose.

No longer the niche concern of years past, Linux today underpins the server farms that run the cloud, more than a billion Android phones, and not to mention the coming tsunami of grossly insecure devices that will be hitched to the Internet of Things. Today's world runs on Linux, and the security of its kernel is a single point of failure that will affect the safety and well-being of almost every human being on the planet in one way or another.

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Linux Foundation and Linux

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Linux
  • ONOS Hummingbird SDN release touts core control function improvements

    ON.Lab’s ONOS Project noted its eighth SDN platform release expands southbound and northbound protocol, legacy device support

    The telecommunications market’s choice of software-defined networking platforms continues to blossom, with the Open Networking Laboratory’s Open Network Operating System Project releasing its latest SDN platform variant under the “Hummingbird” tag.

  • OPNFV Heads Down Colorado Trail

    OPNFV today issued its third software release, ending the agonizing six-month period in which folks had to pronounce and spell Brahmaputra. (See OPNFV Issues Third Software Release.)

    This latest release continues the river theme but is sensibly named Colorado: It has other advantages as well, namely support for key features such as security, IPv6, service function chaining (SFC) testing, virtual private networks and more.

    In addition, Colorado is laying some key groundwork for what lies ahead as the industry comes to terms with the MANO (management and network orchestration) dilemma, says Heather Kirksey, Open Platform for NFV Project Inc. 's executive director.

  • OPNFV's Third Release Includes Security Enhancements
  • ONOS, OPNFV Introduce Latest Open SDN, NFV Releases
  • OPNFV Issues Third Software Release
  • The Linux State Of AMD's Zen x86 Memory Encryption

    With AMD's forthcoming Zen processors is support for some new memory encryption technologies that are of particular benefit for virtualized environments.

    I wrote about Linux patches for AMD memory encryption earlier this year while since then more information has come to light. At last month's Linux Security Summit, David Kaplan presented on these technologies coming with Zen; only today I had come across the slide deck for this presentation.

    The technologies come down to Secure Memory Encryption (SME) and Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV). SME provides memory encryption on a per-page-table basis using AMD's ARM-based security co-processor. AMD SME + SEV are designed against both user-access attacks and physical access attacks with a particular focus on VM / hypervisor security.

  • Improving Fuzzing Tools for More Efficient Kernel Testing

    Fuzz testing (or fuzzing) is a software testing technique that involves passing invalid or random data to a program and observing the results, such as crashes or other failures. Bamvor Jian Zhang of Huawei, who will be speaking at LinuxCon Europe, realized that existing fuzz testing tools -- such as trinity -- can generate random or boundary values for syscall parameters and inject them into the kernel, but they don’t validate whether the results of those syscalls are correct.

  • X.Org's GLAMOR 2D Performance Continues To Be Tuned

    While GLAMOR has already been around for a number of years as a means of providing generic X11 2D acceleration over OpenGL for the X.Org Server, it's a seemingly never-ending process to optimize its code-paths for best performance. More improvements are en route for making GLAMOR 2D faster, which should especially be helpful for Raspberry Pi users making use of the VC4 driver stack on this very slow-speed hardware.

    Benefits to the GLAMOR code in the X.Org Server obviously have the potential to benefit all users of this acceleration mechanism for code going into the xorg-server code-base as opposed to an individual GL driver, but for Raspberry Pi users in particular there is some efforts ongoing by Broadcom's Eric Anholt as well as Keith Packard's never-ending tinkering with the X Server code. GLAMOR continues to be used by default for all AMD GCN GPUs, Nouveau for the latest generations of GPU too, VC4 2D is only supported with GLAMOR, and optionally by other DDX drivers too.

Security News

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Security
  • Canonical Patches OpenSSL Regression in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, 14.04 LTS & 12.04 LTS

    After announcing a few days ago that a new, important OpenSSL update is available for all supported Ubuntu Linux operating systems, Canonical's Marc Deslauriers now informs the community about another patch to address a regression.

    The new security advisory (USN-3087-2) talks about a regression that was accidentally introduced along with the previous OpenSSL update (as detailed on USN-3087-1), which addressed no less than eleven (11) security vulnerabilities discovered upstream by the OpenSSL team.

  • Patch AGAIN: OpenSSL security fixes now need their own security fixes
  • Bangladesh Bank exposed to hackers by cheap switches, no firewall: Police
  • This is the Israeli company that can hack any iPhone and Android smartphone

    If Cellebrite sounds familiar, that’s because the name of this Israeli company came up during Apple’s standoff with the FBI over breaking iPhone encryption. The agency managed to crack the San Bernardino iPhone with the help of an undisclosed company. Many people believe it was Cellebrite that came to the rescue. Meanwhile, the company revealed that it could hack just about any modern smartphone, but refused to say whether its expertise is used by the police forces of repressive regimes.

  • Reproducible Builds: week 74 in Stretch cycle
  • East-West Encryption: The Next Security Frontier?

    Microsegmentation, a method to create secure, virtual connections in software-defined data centers (SDDCs), has already emerged as one of the primary reasons to embrace network virtualization (NV). But some vendors believe that East-West encryption of traffic inside the data center could be the next stop in data-center security.

    For example, VMware says it is looking at encrypting East-West traffic inside the data center, adding another layer of security to the SDDC. Why is that important? Today, most firewalls operate on the perimeter of the data center – either guarding or encrypting data leaving the data center for the WAN. And some security products may encrypt data at rest inside the data center. But encrypting the traffic in motion between servers inside the data center – known in the business as the East-West traffic – is not something that’s typically done.

  • DHS Offers Its Unsolicited 'Help' In Securing The Internet Of Things [Ed: In the UK, GCHQ meddles in the Surveillance of Things in the name of 'security' while at the same time, with Tories' consent, cracking PCs]

    It's generally agreed that the state of security for the Internet of Things runs from "abysmal" to "compromised during unboxing." The government -- despite no one asking it to -- is offering to help out… somehow. DHS Assistant Secretary for Cyber Policy Robert Silvers spoke at the Internet of Things forum, offering up a pile of words that indicates Silvers is pretty cool with the "cyber" part of his title... but not all that strong on the "policy" part.

Uruk GNU/Linux 1.0

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Reviews

Uruk GNU/Linux appears to be a fairly young project with some lofty goals, but some rough edges and unusual characteristics. I applaud the developers' attempts to provide a pure free software distribution, particularly their use of Gnash to provide a pretty good stand-in for Adobe's Flash player. Gnash is not perfect, but it should work well enough for most people.

On the other hand, Uruk does not appear to offer much above and beyond what Trisquel provides. Uruk uses Trisquel's repositories and maintains the same free software only stance, but does not appear to provide a lot that Trisquel on its own does not already offer. Uruk does feature some add-ons from Linux Mint, like the update manager. However, this tends to work against the distribution as the update manager hides most security updates by default while Mint usually shows all updates, minus just the ones known to cause problems with stability.

As I mentioned above, the package compatibility tools talked about on the Uruk website do not really deliver and are hampered by the missing alien package in the default installation. The build-from-source u-src tool may be handy in some limited cases, but it only works in very simple scenarios with specific archive types and build processes. Hopefully these package compatibility tools will be expanded for future releases.

Right now I'm not sure Uruk provides much above what Trisquel 7.0 provided two years ago. The project is still young and may grow in time. This is a 1.0 release and I would hold off trying the distribution until it has time to build toward its goals.

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OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 Beta2 OpenSUSE Leap 42.2 Beta2

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Reviews
SUSE

Leap 42.2 Beta2 is looking pretty good, except for the problems with Plasma 5 and the nouveau driver. That’s really an upstream issue (a “kde.org” issue). I hope that is fixed in time for the final release. Otherwise, I may have to give up on KDE for that box.

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Unimpressive Yakkety Yak, Plasma 5 Issues in Leap

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-s

Today was a rough day in Linux distro news, Scott Gilbertson reviewed the Beta of upcoming Ubuntu 16.10 saying there's not a whole lot to recommend in this update. Neil Rickert test drove openSUSE's latest beta and had issues with his NVIDIA. Jesse Smith couldn't tell what was added to Uruk over base Trisquel and Gary Newell didn't see much point to portable Porteus since most stuff didn't work.

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Also: Indicator Sound Switcher Makes Switching Audio Devices on Ubuntu a Snap

BeagleBone Black Wireless SBC taps Octavo SiP, has open design

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Linux
Hardware

BeagleBoard.org’s “BeagleBone Black Wireless” SBC uses Octavo’s OSD335x SiP module and replaces the standard BeagleBone Black’s Ethernet with 2.4GHz WiFi and BT 4.1 BLE.

BeagleBone Black Wireless is the first SBC to incorporate the Octavo Systems OSD335x SiP (system-in-package) module, “which integrates BeagleBone functionality into one easy-to-use BGA package,” according to BeagleBoard.org. Announced on Sep. 26, the OSD3358 SiP integrates a TI Sitara AM3358 SoC along with a TI TPS65217C PMIC, TI TL5209 LDO (low-drop-out) regulator, up to 1GB of DDR3 RAM, and over 140 passives devices including resistors, capacitors, and inductors, within a single BGA package. The Linux-driven hacker SBC also adds TI WiLink 8 WL1835MOD wireless module with 2.2 MIMO.

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Also: Epiq Solutions' Sidekiq M.2

NAS-targeted Skylake Mini-ITX loads up on SATA, GbE, PCIe

Android Leftovers

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Android
  • 6 open source fitness apps for Android

    A key part of developing a good fitness routine is creating a solid workout plan and tracking your progress. Mobile apps can help by providing readily accessible programs specifically designed to support the user's fitness goals. In a world of fitness wearable devices like FitBit, there are plenty of proprietary apps designed to work with those specific devices. These apps certainly provide a lot of detailed tracking information, but they are not open source, and as such, do not necessarily respect the user's privacy and freedom to use their own data as they wish. The alternative is to use open source fitness apps.

    Below, I take a look at six open source fitness apps for Android. Most of them do not provide super detailed collection of health data, but they do provide a focused user experience, giving the user the tools to support their workouts or develop a plan and track their progress. All these apps are available from the F-Droid repository and are all licensed under the GPLv3, providing an experience that respects the user's freedom.

  • Roku Express, Roku Premiere, and Roku Ultra announced, starting at $29.99

    Roku Inc, maker of the popular Roku line of home media players, has just refreshed their entire product lineup at once. The existing lineup of flagship Roku boxes (but not the Roku Streaming Stick) has been replaced by three new products (with upgraded models for each); the Roku Express, the Roku Premiere, and the Roku Ultra.

  • This is what the Chromecast Ultra will look like

    Google is ramping up for their major October 4th event. In addition to seeing the Pixel and the Pixel XL formally unveiled, we’re also expecting a new Chromebook and the Chromecast Ultra. Until today, we had no idea what to really expect from the new Chromecast device in terms of design, but now we’re finally getting a sneak peek.

  • Android + Chrome = Andromeda; merged OS reportedly coming to the Pixel 3

    It has been almost a year since The Wall Street Journal dropped a bomb of a scoop on the Android community, saying Chrome OS would be "folded into" Android. The resulting product would reportedly bring Android to laptops and desktops. According to the paper, the internal effort to merge these two OSes had been underway for "roughly two years" (now three years) with a release planned for 2017 and an "early version" to show things off in 2016. It seems like we're still on that schedule, and now Android Police claims to have details on the new operating system—and its first launch device—coming Q3 2017.

Fedora 26 Linux OS to Ship with OpenSSL 1.1.0 by Default for Better Security

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Red Hat

Fedora Program Manager Jan Kurik informs the Fedora Linux community about a new system-wide change for the upcoming Fedora 26 operating system, namely the addition of the OpenSSL 1.1.0 libraries by default.

It appears that current Fedora Linux releases ship with OpenSSL 1.0.2h, which has been patched with the latest security fixes, but the team decided it was time to upgrade the OpenSSL libraries (libssl and libcrypto) to a newer, more advanced branch. Therefore, Fedora 26 Linux will ship with OpenSSL 1.1.0 by default, which will have a massive impact on the overall stability and security of the OS.

"Update the OpenSSL library to the 1.1.0 branch in Fedora to bring multiple big improvements, new cryptographic algorithms, and new API that allows for keeping ABI stability in future upgrades. We will also add compat openssl102 package so the applications and other dependencies which are not ported yet to the new API continue to work," reads the proposal.

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Also: GLPI version 9.1

Lenovo Anti-Linux, Layoffs, and Openwashing

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Android
GNU
Linux
Microsoft
  • Microsoft, Lenovo Accused Of Blocking Linux On Signature Edition PCs

    Laptops today are increasingly powerful. Right now, if you get a new laptop, the probability is that it comes with the new Windows 10 operating system but there are some people that prefer to have a choice when it comes to OS selection. While some people are fine with Windows 10, there are those who might want to have a dual OS system running. A few people who bought Lenovo laptops like the Yoga 900, 910S, and 710S, found that Lenovo was blocking Linux.

  • Motorola, Lenovo lay off over a thousand more people
  • New Lenovo layoffs at Moto, company has now lost over 95% of employees in four years

    Speaking to Droid-life, both sources inside the company and Motorola itself confirmed today that Lenovo has conducted a brutal round of layoffs at Moto. According to DL, over 50% of Motorola's existing US staff have lost their jobs. A 20-year veteran of the company allegedly posted on Facebook that he had been laid off, so it looks like Lenovo is cutting deep at the device-maker.

    One source told them that over 700 employees would be asked to leave of the over 1200 Motorola currently employs. No doubt Lenovo hopes to cut costs by integrating much of Motorola's software and hardware development into its own smartphone unit. Sensible or not, it's still rather sad to watch the once-proud brand slowly be swallowed by The Great Lenovo Monster. The lack of critical or consumer hype around the company's new Moto Z line hasn't helped matters, and while the refreshed Moto G franchise was generally well-received, it's the expensive phones that make the money, and I have a hard time believing the Z series is a runaway sales success.

  • Lenovo Courts Devs WIth Moto Z Source Code Release

    Lenovo, which owns Motorola, last week released the kernel source code for the Moto Z Droid smartphone on Github. The move follows the company's posting of the Moto Z Droid Moto Mods Development Kit and Moto Mods on Github this summer. This is the first kernel source code made available for the Moto Z family of devices. Releasing the kernel source code seems to be another step in Lenovo's attempt to get devs to build an iPhone-like ecosystem around the Moto Z family. The Z family is modular.

Linux Foundation and Linux

Filed under
Linux
  • security things in Linux v4.3

    When I gave my State of the Kernel Self-Protection Project presentation at the 2016 Linux Security Summit, I included some slides covering some quick bullet points on things I found of interest in recent Linux kernel releases. Since there wasn’t a lot of time to talk about them all, I figured I’d make some short blog posts here about the stuff I was paying attention to, along with links to more information. This certainly isn’t everything security-related or generally of interest, but they’re the things I thought needed to be pointed out. If there’s something security-related you think I should cover from v4.3, please mention it in the comments. I’m sure I haven’t caught everything. Smile

    A note on timing and context: the momentum for starting the Kernel Self Protection Project got rolling well before it was officially announced on November 5th last year. To that end, I included stuff from v4.3 (which was developed in the months leading up to November) under the umbrella of the project, since the goals of KSPP aren’t unique to the project nor must the goals be met by people that are explicitly participating in it. Additionally, not everything I think worth mentioning here technically falls under the “kernel self-protection” ideal anyway — some things are just really interesting userspace-facing features.

  • Open Source NFV releases third platform, offers additional testing capabilities

    The OPNFV Project, an open source project set on driving the evolution of network functions virtualization (NFV) components, has made its OPNFV Colorado release available.

    As the third platform release, OPNFV Colorado includes feature enhancements across security, IPv6, Service Function Chaining (SFC), testing, VPN capabilities, and support for multiple hardware architectures.

    Specifically, OPNFV Colorado address three main areas: core feature upgrades, enhanced testing capabilities, and infrastructure and testing environment advancements.

  • Serro CEO to Participate on Prominent Keynote Industry Panel at the Linux Foundation's Upcoming OpenDaylight Summit in Seattle
  • The Linux Foundation and edX Roll Out a Free OpenStack Cours

    The market for OpenStack training continues to surge, and training is now offered by vendors such as Mirantis and independent organizations such as The Linux Foundation. Overall training for OpenStack surged last year. According to the OpenStack Foundation, since the launch of the OpenStack marketplace in September 2013, training offerings grew from 17 unique courses in eight cities to 119 courses in 99 cities.

Parsix GNU/Linux 8.15 "Nev" Is in the Works, to Ship with the GNOME 3.22 Desktop

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GNU
Linux
GNOME

We told you the other day that the Parsix GNU/Linux development team informed the community that new security updates are available for the current stable Parsix GNU/Linux 8.10 "Erik" and Parsix GNU/Linux 8.5 "Atticus" releases.

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IPFire 2.19 Linux Firewall OS Patched Against the Latest OpenSSL Vulnerabilities

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Linux
Security

Only three days after announcing the release of IPFire 2.19 Core Update 104, Michael Tremer informs the community about the availability of a new update, Core Update 105, which brings important OpenSSL patches.

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Top Web Browsers for Linux

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Linux

No matter which Linux distro you prefer, I believe the web browser remains the most commonly used software application. In this article, I'll share the best browsers available to Linux users.

Chrome – No matter how you feel about the Chrome browser, one only need to realize the following: Local news still streams in Flash and Chrome supports this. Netflix is supported using Chrome. And of course, Chrome is faster than any other browser out there. Did I mention the oodles of Chrome extensions available including various remote desktop solutions? No matter how you slice it, Chrome is king of the jungle.

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Linux Kernel 4.4.22 LTS Brings ARM and EXT4 Improvements, Updated Drivers

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Linux

Immediately after announcing the release of Linux kernel 4.7.5, renowned kernel developer and maintainer Greg Kroah-Hartman informed the community about the availability of Linux kernel 4.4.22 LTS

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Android Leftovers

Licensing resource series: Free GNU/Linux distributions & GNU Bucks

When Richard Stallman set out to create the GNU Project, the goal was to create a fully free operating system. Over 33 years later, it is now possible for users to have a computer that runs only free software. But even if all the software is available, putting it all together yourself, or finding a distribution that comes with only free software, would be quite the task. That is why we provide a list of Free GNU/Linux distributions. Each distro on the list is commited to only distributing free software. With many to choose from, you can find a distro that meets your needs while respecting your freedom. But with so much software making up an entire operating system, how is it possible to make sure that nothing nasty sneaks into the distro? That's where you, and GNU Bucks come in. Read more

Linux 4.7.6

I'm announcing the release of the 4.7.6 kernel. All users of the 4.7 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 4.7.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.7.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st... Read more Also: Linux 4.4.23

Linaro beams LITE at Internet of Things devices

Linaro launched a “Linaro IoT and Embedded” (LITE) group, to develop end-to-end open source reference software for IoT devices and applications. Linaro, which is owned by ARM and major ARM licensees, and which develops open source software for ARM devices, launched a Linaro IoT and Embedded (LITE) Segment Group at this week’s Linaro Connect event in Las Vegas. The objective of the LITE initiative is to produce “end to end open source reference software for more secure connected products, ranging from sensors and connected controllers to smart devices and gateways, for the industrial and consumer markets,” says Linaro. Read more Also:

  • Linaro organisation, with ARM, aims for end-end open source IoT code
    With the objective of producing reference software for more secure connected products, ranging from sensors and connected controllers to smart devices and gateways, for the industrial and consumer markets, Linaro has announced LITE: Collaborative Software Engineering for the Internet of Things (IoT). Linaro and the LITE members will work to reduce fragmentation in operating systems, middleware and cloud connectivity solutions, and will deliver open source device reference platforms to enable faster time to market, improved security and lower maintenance costs for connected products. Industry interoperability of diverse, connected and secure IoT devices is a critical need to deliver on the promise of the IoT market, the organisation says. “Today, product vendors are faced with a proliferation of choices for IoT device operating systems, security infrastructure, identification, communication, device management and cloud interfaces.”
  • An open source approach to securing The Internet of Things
  • Addressing the IoT Security Problem
    Last week's DDOS takedown of security guru Brian Krebs' website made history on several levels. For one, it was the largest such reported attack ever, with unwanted traffic to the site hitting levels of 620 Gbps, more than double the previous record set back in 2013, and signalling that the terabyte threshold will certainly be crossed soon. It also relied primarily on compromised Internet of Things devices.