Linux Lands on NSA Watch List

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Linux

New disclosures and investigations into the activities of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) have revealed fresh insights about the targets of cyber-surveillance activities. Among the new revelations are details about some of the target locations for the NSA XKeyscore system, which monitors and collects Internet data. According to a report first published in German on Tagesschau on July 3 and followed up by an English language report on DasErste, Linux users are an area of specific interest for surveillance. The report details rules in the XKeyscore source code that identify visitors to the Linux Journal Website, the Tor Onion Router site as well as the Tails Linux distribution site. NSA's interest in Tor has been previously documented in an October 2013 report.

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Newsy: CentOS 7 for x86-64 is here

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OS
Red Hat

Just announced in the last few hours, CentOS 7 for x86-64 has arrived. This is the first release under the new arrangements since Red Hat reversed into CentOS, leaving the distro independent but hiring a number of key players. Apart from this being a rapid arrival for a major new release, the announcement notes that they aim to get future updates heading out within 24-48 hours of release. There’s a new versioning system too, so this is Cento 7.0-1406,14/06 being June 2014, when Red Hat released RHEL 7.0 and the code base that this release of CentOS was built on. There’s torrents available for the DVD ISO, “Everything”, GNOME Live (the announcement has a malformed link for that.

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New low-cost electronics kit for Raspberry Pi launches at CamJam

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Linux
Hardware

The CamJam EduKit was developed in partnership by Cambridge Raspberry Jam and The Pi Hut, and launched at CamJam this month. Designed to get kids interested in the fascinating world of electronics and programming, CamJam EduKit will soon have them building their own electronic circuits, flashing LEDs, reading button presses and making beeping noises by programming their Raspberry Pi with Python.

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MIPS CPUs, the perfect Linux machines

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Linux
Hardware

When it comes to operating systems, Linux® is perhaps the world’s most popular open source OS. Linux has been running on thousands of MIPS devices that have shipped in very large volume (north of several billions of units).

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Black Lab Linux for Enterprise 5.0.3 and Black Lab Linux for Education 5.0.3 released

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Linux

Today we are pleased to announce the release of Black Lab Linux for Enterprise 5.0.3 and Black Lab Linux for Education 5.0.3.

Black Lab Linux for Enterprise and Black Lab Linux for Education are commercially supported Linux distributions targeted towards desktop computing. While other Linux distributions focus on the server our sole focus is on the desktop. We have many customers who use Black Lab Linux in different industries. Science, education, law enforcement, music, film and warehouse.

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Cisco: Linux is the “Single and Best” Tech for IoT

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Linux
Interviews

Cisco earlier this year unveiled its plans to build smarter routers and switches to help manage the massive flows of data expected between Internet-connected devices and the data center. This re-architecting of the Internet to bring computing capabilities to the edge of the network is what the company calls “fog computing” and it could help alleviate the data center strain that Gartner analysts predict will come from 26 billion installed units in the Internet of Things by 2020.

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The First Alpha Is Out Of The Qt5 Moonlight Desktop

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GNU
Linux

Moonlight v0.5 Alpha is the first release and its aimed at hackers and developers wishing to forward their dream of "a simple, lightweight, functional and beautiful desktop environment." Moonlight is written against the Qt5 tool-kit and the desktop environment is designed to be very modular. Moonlight shares some goals and code with the LXQt lightweight desktop project.

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Disagreements Arise Over the Prospects for Android Wear

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Android
Gadgets

When Android itself first arrived, it took some time succeed as well, as I noted in a post on OStatic back in 2009. Then, almost no phones shown at Mobile World Congress ran the platform. Since then, Google has shown that it can create strong markets for open mobile platforms.

In all likelihood, we'll see Google offer incentives for developers to rally around Android Wear, and incentives for buyers. There, too, Google has prior experience, as it has incentivized users and developers surrounding both Android and Chrome OS.

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Oculus VR acquires game-networking engine RakNet — and makes it open-source

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OSS
Gaming

The company announced today that it is acquiring RakNet, which specializes in a software-development engine for connecting games across an online network. RakNet, which is also the name of the technology, enables studios to quickly add voice chat, network patching, and secure connections to their products. Oculus VR, which is building its Oculus Rift virtual-reality headset, notes that thousands of indie developers and major companies like Everquest developer Sony Online Entertainment and Minecraft studio Mojang licensed the tech for their games. Oculus isn’t just purchasing RakNet, it is also making it open source, which means other developers can see the code, add to it, and use it for free.

“We’ve known Kevin Jenkins, founder of Jenkins Software and lead engineer on RakNet, for years, and we’ve used RakNet internally at Oculus for various networked systems and tools,” reads a blog on Oculus VR’s website. “After working with Kevin for a few months, we were all excited by the idea of open-sourcing RakNet to the community.”

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Mir 0.4 Released, Mir 0.5 Under Development

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Ubuntu

Canonical's Mir display server for Ubuntu Linux has cleared Mir 0.4.0 for Ubuntu 14.10 "Utopic" while Mir 0.5 is immediately under development.

Mir 0.3 was released just a few weeks ago while Canonical developers are already out with the latest release. Mir 0.4.0 brings several new features including a surface attribute for visibility, a surface orientation API, and a number of changes to the Mir Server code. Both the Mir client and server ABIs were bumped by v0.4.0. More details on the 0.4 release can be found via Mir on Launchpad.

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Frameworks 5 and Plasma 5 almost done!

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GNU
KDE
Linux

KDE Frameworks 5 is due out today, the most exciting clean-up of libraries KDE has seen in years. Use KDE classes without brining in the rest of kdelibs. Packaging for Kubuntu is almost all green and Rohan should be uploading it to Utopic this week.

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Playing with LXLE 14.04

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Reviews

Generally speaking, I enjoyed my time with LXLE. The distribution got off to a good start with a smooth installation process and the project features clear documentation and release notes, letting people know exactly what to expect from the distribution. I like the LXDE desktop as I feel it does an excellent job of balancing user friendliness, performance and features. The LXLE feature which allows us to change the look of our desktop session is a nice bonus and may make it easier for Linux newcomers to navigate the LXDE interface. The distribution ships with a lot of great desktop applications, almost all of them worked well for me. I feel that most people will be able to sit down and just start using this distribution without worrying about configuring software or downloading additional applications. The interface was responsive, the distribution doesn't use a lot of memory (even with preload enabled) and all of my hardware was handled properly.

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Benchmarking Deepin 2014 With DDE 2.0 Using Linux Games

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GNU
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Moz/FF
Gaming

The Deepin Desktop Environment is written using Google's Go language and makes use of heavy HTML5. DDE also uses Compiz as its compositing window manager. As in the past some desktop environments / window managers have impaired the full-screen Linux gaming performance, I ran some simple Linux gaming benchmarks on Sunday to see if the Deepin 2014 performance differed at all from upstream Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. Ubuntu 14.04 was tested with the stock Unity 7.2 desktop using Compiz, GNOME Shell 3.10.4, and Xfce 4.10 all from the stock Trusty Tahr archive.

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GNOME DOCUMENTATION VIDEO: STATUS AND EXPERIENCES

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Movies
GNOME

The last animations has been finished and I can now render out a full-fledged video about GNOME’s documentation efforts.

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Using Udev Without Systemd Is Going To Become Harder

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Linux
Red Hat
Gentoo

Samuli Suominen of Gentoo expressed some hesitation about this change, "I'd really hate to be forced to fork (or carry huge patchset) unnecessarily (I'm not a systemd hater, I'm not a eudev lover, I'm simply working on what is provided to me by *you*, udev upstream)." Lennart countered, "Oh god. You know, if you come me like this as blame me that I would 'force' you to do something, then you just piss me off and make me ignore you. Anyway, as soon as kdbus is merged this i how we will maintain udev, you have ample time to figure out some solution that works for you, but we will not support the udev-on-netlink case anymore. I see three options: a) fork things, Cool live with systemd, c) if hate systemd that much, but love udev so much, then implement an alternative userspace for kdbus to do initialiuzation/policy/activation. Also note that this will not be a change that is just internal between udev and libudev. We expect that clients will soonishly just start doing normal bus calls to the new udev, like they'd do them to any other system service instead of using libudev. Good luck."

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Linux Kernel 3.14.11 Is Now an LTS (Long-Term Support) Release

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Linux

“I'm going to be maintaining the 3.14 kernel as a ‘longterm’ kernel for the next two years, so mention that on the kernel.org site,” Greg Kroah-Hartman said in a short email on July 3, 2014...

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Ubuntu saves Munich millions -- should all governments switch to Linux?

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GNU
Linux
Ubuntu

Trust in government is not exactly at an all-time high. Sure, there are oppressive governments such as Iran and China that filter and block web content, but even the USA has a spotty record. With all the news of PRISM and other spying programs, it is hard to tell which way is up anymore.

One way to solve this dilemma is through transparency and honesty. Unfortunately, as long as governments use closed-source software, it is hard to audit and trust the actions. Today, Canonical announces that not only has Munich taken an open approach to computing with Ubuntu, but the city is saving millions of euros too. Using open-source software and saving money? Hell, maybe all governments should make the switch to Linux.

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The Linux Kernel Might Use FreeBSD's Capsicum Security Framework

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Linux
BSD

A Linux kernel developer is working on porting FreeBSD's CAPSICUM security framework over to the Linux kernel.

In announcing his work at the end of June that's now being discussed amongst kernel stakeholders, David Drysdale wrote, "The last couple of versions of FreeBSD (9.x/10.x) have included the Capsicum security framework, which allows security-aware applications to sandbox themselves in a very fine-grained way. For example, OpenSSH now uses Capsicum in its FreeBSD version to restrict sshd's credentials checking process, to reduce the chances of credential leakage. It would be good to have equivalent functionality in Linux, so I've been working on getting the Capsicum framework running in the kernel, and I'd appreciate some feedback/opinions on the general design approach."

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Out in the Open: The Crusade To Bring More Women to Open Source

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OSS

Recent reports from Facebook and Google confirmed what we’ve known all along: the giants of tech have a diversity problem. But in the world of open source, the problem is even worse.

According to a survey conducted last year, only about 11 percent of open source contributors are women. Meanwhile, women account for 23 percent of all computer programmers and 39.5 percent of web developers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Linux Receives Its First Batch of Unreal Engine 4 Demos

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Gaming

There is no questioning the power of Unreal Engine 4, but Linux users so far had nothing official to test this awesome engine.

However, the wait is finally over, as Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 has officially received its first batch of demos for the users of Linux.

The demos introduced to the operating system include the Elemental Demo, Effects Cave Demo, Realistic Rendering Demo, Reflections Subway Demo, Mobile Temple Demo, Sci-Fi Hallway Demo, Stylized Demo and Blueprint Examples Demo.

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Also: Crytek In Trouble, Could Be Bad News For Homefront On Linux

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