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Red Hat Used by NSA Spies, SELinux Possibly Bypassed

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SELinux is a product of the NSA and some worried when it was added to Red Hat, Fedora, and later many other distributions. Even before Snowden revealed the massive government spying, having the NSA anywhere near Linux activated certain Spidey-senses. Now we learn that SELinux may have had an exploit for bypassing the security enforcements. Italian software company Hacking Team, who admits to providing "technology to the worldwide law enforcement and intelligence communities," has been selling technology to governments (most with bad human rights records) to assist in gathering surveillance data on citizens, groups, journalists, and other governments. Recently Hacking Team was hacked and their information has been leaked onto the Internet. Besides the SELinux exploit, it's been reported that the FBI, U.S. Army, and the Drug Enforcement Agency are or were customers of Hacking Team's services.

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Fedora Pinos to do for Video what PulseAudio did for Audio

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There were quite a few interesting headlines in the reader tonight. First up, Linux Mint 17.2 was released and openSUSE Tumbleweed is back on a roll. Christian Schaller recently said that Fedora is planning to do for video what PulseAudio did for audio. Several reviews warrant a mention and RedMonk published their bi-annual programming language rankings report. Sourceforge is forming a community panel and Linus Torvalds was interviewed over at Slashdot.

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OpenMandriva 2014.2 and openSUSE 42

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Today in Linux news Kate Lebedeff announced the release of OpenMandriva Lx 2014.2, a major update to 2014.1 released September 2014 and the first to support UEFI. In other news, Douglas DeMaio announced openSUSE 42, the next release of the gecko emblazoned Linux due in November. Elsewhere, Jack Germain reviewed Makulu 9 Aero and Alap Naik Desai reported Friday Microsoft hinted at a Linux OS at Microsoft Ignite in Chicago last month.

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Red Hat 7.2, Kubuntu's Riddell Resigns, and OSS Users

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Attendees were treated to a peak into upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.2 with Denise Dumas today during Red Hat Summit 2015. Elsewhere, Jonathan Riddell resigns his post at Kubuntu and Bodhi Linux founder Jeff Hoogland describes the four basic types of Open Source users. Lastly, Linux Voice wants to know which company does the most for Linux.

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Mageia 5, Ubuntu Phones, and Tumbleweed

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Red Hat is dominating the headlines today with their announcements and related from the Red Hat Summit 2015, but several interesting tidbits appeared from other projects as well. Tumbleweed hasn't been updated in quite a while, Neil Rickert knows why. Christine Hall reviewed Mageia 5 Monday and Dark Duck posted more screenshots today. Fedora and Korora 20s have reached their end of life and a new Ubuntu phone hits e-shelves.

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More Ubuntu Phone:

  • Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition now available in Europe

    Another Ubuntu phone, the Meizu MX4 Ubuntu Edition, has been made available in Europe - but you'll have to jump through a few hoops to secure one.

    Canonical finally delivered the first smartphone powered by the Linux-based Ubuntu OS earlier this year. It swiftly followed up on the launch of the BQ Aquarius E4.5 with news of a follow-up, the Aquaris E5 HD Ubuntu Edition, which will also be made by Spain's BQ.

  • New Ubuntu phone boasts best design yet

    It’s only been a few weeks since Canonical unveiled a new Ubuntu phone, but the company is already back with another handset for the European market. This time the hardware comes from Chinese firm Meizu, packing a slick design and some pretty nice specs.

Red Hat Richer, Systemd Alternatives, and Antergos

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Red Hat
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Red Hat Inc. today released their quarterly earnings report saying revenue increased 14% and profits rose 28%. All Things Linux has an article out highlighting some distributions without systemd and Jack Germain reviews Arch-based Antergos Linux. Phoronix reported today on the disappearing Assembly code in Linux and Mark Gibbs looked at some commandline monitoring tools.

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Mint 17.2 RC, Linus Plan B, and Debian Spyware

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The Clement Lefebvre today announced the release of Linux Mint 17.2 RC in Cinnamon and MATE varieties. Newly released MATE 1.10 and Cinnamon 2.6 are among the features. Elsewhere, Debian may have let Google put spyware on users' machines and Gearhead Mark Gibbs suggests using Linux AIOs for full enjoyment. Ashlee Vance scored an afternoon drive with (and several quotes from) Linus Torvalds and Christine Hall asks if the end of Open Source is nigh.

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antiX, Debian, Fedora, and More

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The Fedora Wiki got a new entry last month that makes one wonder if Fedora really wants users at all. If folks complain it's because they didn't read the information provided or don't understand what they're reading. Users are too dumb or lazy to file bugs reports and would rather complain than test "every possible feature and/or configuration switch." Hardly anyone bothers to read the source code or its license and, if they do, they'd rather complain than write the code to fix whatever their complaint is themselves. If they do write the fix and it's not committed, then they'll complain rather than learn from it. Folks are going to complain, so just ignore it.

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Mint Simplicity Versus Calculate Complications

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Speaking of Mint 17.1, Jack Wallen said to new Mint users, "Linux Mint 17.1 is that it is an ideal platform for any user." He said that while other distributions run to the latest "shiny, touch-friendly" gizmos, Mint has remained true to its roots. "With just the slightest of tweaks, Mint has gone boldly into that good night while keeping a foot deeply planted in the familiar." From there Wallen demonstrated why Mint is a good choice for desktop users and concluded, "If you’re looking for a new operating system, one that you can depend on and get up to speed with quickly, you’d be remiss not to give Linux Mint 17.1 “Rebecca” a glance before any other distribution."

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Calculate Installation Fail, Almost

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This evening I decided to install Calculate Linux, so I threw in the LiveDVD and rebooted. The installer was interesting, easy to use, but I wonder why it asked which I/O scheduler I wished to use. Okay, I get asking the filesystem choice, but the last I even thought about I/O schedulers I was building a kernel - and I don't recall when exactly that was but I think it started with a 2.4. I tried to select default (one of the choices that sounded safe) but it kept going back to BFQ. The remaining steps proceeded fine until time to install GRUB. That failed with the error couldn't find update-grub.new. Hmm. So, next reboot I get dropped to a grub terminal. Yippie.

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Leftovers: OSS

  • The FCC Builds Open-Source Video Calling For The Deaf
    The FCC has gotten behind a new platform that helps the deaf talk to each other over video link. The idea of Accessible Communications for Everyone, or ACE as it’s being called, is that it lets all kinds of different apps talk to each other. It’s kind of how you can email anyone without worrying what app they use, only for video, and text and audio, all together.
  • Why Intel made Stephen Hawking's speech system open source
  • NodeConf EU all set for blarney in 'Nodeland'
    It's NodeConf EU time again -- the third annual gathering of what is hoped to be 400 of the top influencers in Node.js at Waterford Castle from September 6th to 9th.
  • 3 steps for planning a successful open source meetup
  • Starting in September, Chrome will stop auto-playing Flash ads
    Google has announced that, beginning September 1, Chrome will no longer auto-play Flash-based ads in the company's popular AdWords program
  • Apache Software Foundation Makes Lens, a Big Data Tool, a Top Level Project
    Whenever the Apache Software Foundation graduates an open source project to become a Top Level Project, it tends to bode well for the project. Just look at what's happened with Apache Spark, for example. Now, the Foundation (ASF), which is the steward for and incubates more than 350 Open Source projects, has announced that Apache Lens, an open source Big Data and analytics tool, has graduated from the Apache Incubator to become a Top-Level Project (TLP).
  • Intel Pumps OpenStack Up
  • LibreOffice 5.0.1 released, to keep the momentum going
  • First Update to LibreOffice 5 Lands
    The Document Foundation today announced the first update to the milestone LibreOffice 5.0 released a few weeks ago. This is a bug fix release bringing over 75 commits since version 5.0 was unveiled August 5. It is recommended that those using the 5.0 branch upgrade their LibO installs with today's update.
  • Salesforce Aura ventures into open source -- to a point
    Salesforce's splashy new UI, the Lightning Experience, is more than a pretty face. It was built with Aura, the company's open source UI framework, available for use independent from Salesforce's services. With Lightning -- and Aura -- Salesforce emphasizes how users can design applications that not only look great, but plug into more than Salesforce. Where, then, does Salesforce's open source offering end with Aura, and where do its own services begin?
  • Infosys talks open source, cloud and value
    Last year, when Infosys hired Abdul Razack to own the company’s platform division, he came with a mandate to use open source first. Eleven months on and Infosys Information Platform (IIP) is flourishing with 120 projects on the go, some proofs of concept, many moving to production, but with open source at their heart in most situations.
  • Eclipse Foundation Moving to Donations to Support Open Source Projects
  • Intel invests $60 million in drone venture
    Intel is investing $60 million in UAV firm Yuneec, whose prosumer “Typhoon” drones use Android-based controllers. Intel Corp. CEO Brian Krzanich and Yuneec International CEO Tian Yu took to YouTube to announce an Intel investment of more than $60 million in the Hong Kong based company to help develop drone technology. No more details were provided except for Krzanich’s claim that “We’ve got drones on our road map that are going to truly change the world and revolutionize the industry.” One possibility is that Intel plans to equip the drones with its RealSense 3D cameras (see farther below).
  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: August 28 [Ed: out fo date now]
    Join the FSF and friends every Friday to help improve the Free Software Directory by adding new entries and updating existing ones.
  • What Will Become of the World’s First Open Source GPU?
    Dr. Karu Sankaralingam, who led the team’s effort at the University of Wisconsin, where the project is based, says that building an open source or any other hardware project is bound to incur legal wrangling, in part because the IP almost has to be reused in one form or another. Generally, he says that for open source hardware projects like this one, the best defense is to use anything existing as a base but focus innovation on building on top of that. He says that to date, AMD has not been involved in the project beyond a few individuals offering some insight on various architectural elements. In other words, if the team is able to roll this beyond research and into any kind of volume, AMD will likely have words.

Security Leftovers

  • Friday's security updates
  • Security updates for Thursday
  • nsenter gains SELinux support
    nsenter is a program that allows you to run program with namespaces of other processes
  • Iceland boosts ICT security measures, shares policy
    Iceland aims to shore up the security of its ICT infrastructure by raising awareness and increasing resilience. And next to updating its legislation, Iceland will also bolster the police’s capabilities to tackle cybercrime.
  • A Project to Guarantee Better Security for Open-Source Projects
    Open-source developers, however, can take steps to help catch these vulnerabilities before software is released. Secure development practices can catch many issues before they become full-blown problems. But, how can you tell which open-source projects are following these practices? The Core Infrastructure Initiative has launched a new "Best Practice Badge Program" this week to provide a solution by awarding digital badges to open-source projects that are developed using secure development practices.

Hortonworks and NSA