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Zorin Grid will make managing large Linux rollouts simple

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Linux

Zorin OS is one of those Linux distributions that never ceases to amaze. It offers a user interface that can be configured to look and feel very much like other operating systems, and targets users new to Linux. Although it succeeds quite well with that target audience, the platform has a feature arriving sometime in Summer 2020 that is sure to turn admin heads.

That feature is Zorin Grid.

This new feature will enable businesses, schools, and other organizations to easily manage all of their computers from a single point of entry. With Zorin Grid you'll be able to set up, manage, and secure an entire rollout of Zorin OS-powered computers.

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Solus Linux Creator Ikey Doherty Enters the Game Dev Business With a New Open Source Game Engine

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You are here: Home / Games / Solus Linux Creator Ikey Doherty Enters the Game Dev Business With a New Open Source Game Engine
Solus Linux Creator Ikey Doherty Enters the Game Dev Business With a New Open Source Game Engine
Last updated February 28, 2020 By John Paul Leave a Comment

Ikey Doherty, the creator and former lead dev of Solus, is back with a new project. His new company, Lispy Snake, Ltd, uses open source technology to create games, with a focus on Linux support.

I asked Ikey some questions about his new project. Here are his answers.

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Huawei’s plan to escape Google could fix Android for everyone

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Android

Huawei has stopped sidestepping the unavoidable question – no Google, what next? After suggesting it could (eventually) make its own smartphone operating system, built on Harmony OS in 2019, Huawei is now unequivocal – for the foreseeable future, it’s all in with its Google Mobile Services (GMS) free version of Android.

The long term partnership with Google saw Huawei launch the jewel in its crown, the P30 Pro, which, a year on, is still an easy phone to recommend. But, there’s a big question mark over its more recent, arguably better-specced devices like the Mate 30 Pro and upcoming Huawei Mate Xs, given the fact they don’t support essential features like access to the Google Play Store.

Rather than serve as an indictment on Huawei’s inability to step up and deliver an alternative within months, however, this is part of a much bigger question. Is Android really open source, or have developers, manufacturers and, ultimately, all of us as Android users been sleepwalking into a state of total dependence upon Google?

It’s important to note that if Google had its way, we could say with some assurance, it would keep working with Huawei. After all, this political fallout highlights just how hoodwinked the world is into thinking the Android we’ve been using is an open-source alternative to iOS.

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Zorin OS For Windows Users

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OS

Dear former Microsoft users, after Windows 7 (W7) officially discontinued early this year, how about looking at alternative operating system called Zorin OS? Zorin is computer operating system for everybody that is user-friendly and familiar. You can get Zorin gratis and free, you and your family can use without learning much, prepare to live peacefully without virus & antivirus, and you will be happy you can revive old computers with it. This article gives you sights on Zorin from perspective of a W7 user and see if you find it interesting. Enjoy Zorin!

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Dual-Boot GNU/Linux and Android

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Android
GNU
Linux
  • Planet Computers' clamshell phone can dual-boot Android and Linux

    Planet Computers' laptop-like Cosmo Communicator phone just became that much more useful to its audience of very particular power users. The Cosmo now supports a promised multi-boot function, letting you run Android (both regular and rooted), Debian Linux and TWRP on the same device without one replacing the other. You'll have to partition your storage and know your way around a boot menu, but this will give you a way to run Linux apps or otherwise experiment with your phone.

    You won't lose over-the-air updates for Android by installing Linux, Planet Computers said.

    The multi-boot firmware is available for free, and there are instructions for installing Debian and other software. This still isn't for the faint-hearted. However, it also represents one of the few instances where a phone maker has officially enabled support for operating systems besides the one that ships with the device. The Cosmo is also fairly well-suited to Linux thanks to its keyboard -- you won't have to jump through hoops to use the command line.

  • How can IT manage Android Things devices in the enterprise?

    Recent versions of Google's Android OS support a wider range of devices via the Android Things program's APIs and managing some of the newer devices can seem complicated at first.

    Thankfully, the underlying OS is essentially the same on all Android devices, so the EMM platform management and enrollment processes are usually similar for Android Things devices. The challenge for mobile admins is to develop a version of Android -- using the Android SDK and Android Things APIs -- that functions on these dedicated devices.

Linux Gamers And Creators Should Pay Attention To Arch-Based Salient OS

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Linux
Gaming

Sometimes our field of vision or limited experience restricts us from seeing worthy alternatives. That’s especially true when it comes to desktop Linux; there is no shortage of quality Linux operating systems to test out. So when I argued here that System76’s Pop!_OS is perfect for gamers and produced this video demonstrating it, there were two passionate camps in the comments section. One side voiced cheerful agreement, but the other side basically said “Clearly you haven’t tried Salient OS.”

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Reaching Serenity: Porting Git To A Homebrew Operating System

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Development

Life is all about the little joys — such as waking up in the morning and realizing there’s still plenty of time before you have to actually get up. Or getting up anyway to watch a delightful sunrise as the city slowly wakes up, or as [Andreas Kling] chose, porting your favorite development tool to the operating system you wrote.

With the aesthetics of ’90s UI design and the functionality of a simpler 2000s Unix-style system core in mind, and personal reasons to keep himself busy, [Andreas] started SerenityOS a little while back. Of course, writing your own operating system is always a great educational exercise, but it takes a certain amount of commitment to push it beyond an experimental playground phase. So ideally, you’d eventually want to use it as your actual main system, however, as software developer, [Andreas] was missing one crucial component for that: git. Well, he decided to change that and just port it — and as someone who likes to record his hacking sessions, you can watch him along the way.

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AOSP or 'Open' Android

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Android
  • An /e/ phone in 2020

    The /e/ phone does not offer all the apps Android does, and it might not be entirely polished yet in the re-branding experience. However, it does provide a very solid, mostly Android compatible experience without the Google bits. The /e/ team offers a wider range of hardware support than most other iOS and Android competitors, it offers most of the popular Android apps people will probably want to use (I only discovered a few missing items I wanted), and the on-line cloud services are better than those of any other phone I’ve used (including Ubuntu One and Google).

    I’d certainly recommend /e/ for more technical users who can work around minor rough edges and who won’t get confused by the unusual branding and semi-frequent permission prompts. I’m not sure if I’d hand one of these phones over to an Android power-user who uses a lot of niche apps, but this phone would certainly do well in the hands of, for instance, my parents or other users who tend to interact with their phones for texting, phone calls, and the calendar without using many exotic applications.

  • A 'Pixel 5' mention spotted in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) comments

    While Google usually announces its flagship devices in October of every year, leaks and rumors of the devices begin showing up in the months leading to the launch. Details of the next-generation Pixels, however, seem to have begun leaking much earlier as there have been reports of the camera placement on Google’s upcoming flagship. Now, mentions of the “Pixel 5” in the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code comments somewhat confirm the name and existence of such a device.

    The comment on a code change for the Linux kernel mentions the “Pixel 5 with (version) 4.19”, confirming the existence of a device running version 4.19 of the Linux kernel. Reports of a device running Linux kernel version 4.19 and named “bramble” have also been previously spotted. Codenames of upcoming Pixel devices leaked last month, bearing the names “redfin”, “sunfish”, and bramble” and at least one of those devices is believed to be the mid-range Pixel 4a.

  • Google Pixel 5 make appearance in Android Open Source Project

    Over the past few weeks, we have been seeing the leaks and rumors surrounding Google’s upcoming Pixel 4a smartphone. And now, details about the Pixel 5 flagship device have also surfaced. Just recently, the alleged design of the Google Pixel 5 XL leaked online.

    Now, Google’s next flagship has also leaked in its name. It turns out that Pixel 5 is already in the works within the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code. The leak comes from a new code change for the Linux kernel of Android, where developer Elena Petrova – of AOSP – explains that it has only been tested in Pixel 4 and not in any new device.

  • Google ‘Pixel 5’ makes its first appearance in Android Open Source Project

    We now have potential confirmation from AOSP code comments that Google’s next mainline Pixel phone will, unsurprisingly, bear the name “Pixel 5.” The confirmation comes from a new code change for Android’s Linux kernel, which the AOSP developer explains has only been tested on the Pixel 4 and not the Pixel 5.

  • Pixel 5 surfaces in Android Open Source Project, hints at mid-range chip

    We’ve already seen an alleged render of the upcoming Google flagship, and possible codenames for the Pixel 5 and 5 XL — Redfin and Bramble — have turned up. Now, a code change submitted to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) contained comments that directly mention the Pixel 5.

An Insight to PureOS 9.0 Hephaestus

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OS

Unlike many other secure & privacy-respecting operating systems, PureOS does not get celebration in every release. Say for example QubesOS, Tails, Whonix, and OpenBSD, they all get celebrations every time they reach a new version. However, after a period of version 8.0, now PureOS reaches version 9.0 as per February 2020 I could tell. This article overviews PureOS in general and version 9.0 in particular starting from a little Librem computers intro, then things about the new Amber codename, the switch from Rolling to Stable style of release, and more. I also added valuable links at the end about its history and development. I hope this article can sum up well about PureOS for you. Enjoy!

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Solus 4.1 Budgie review - Me luck has run out

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Reviews

Sometimes, I wonder if I should stop testing Linux distributions for good. The soul toll is immense. Not just the fact that things can fail, which can be okay now and then, but the whole unnecessary rollercoaster of pointless regressions and unpredictability. My expectation is that systems should be simple, reliable - and more than that, they should be a product. A complete box of functionality that allows the user to work and have fun. Alas, every year, we're getting farther and farther away from that. It's not even the question of the Year of the Linux, or anything like that. It's the question of basic stability without which there's no foundation for anything meaningful. It's depressing me, and it's self-inflicted.

Solus 4.1 has some really cool points. I liked what I saw last year. But in 2020, things are different. Clear fonts are no longer clear. Go figure. Some library or something got changed without any testing. The problems I raised back then remain. New problems abound. And then, it killed GRUB and left my machine unbootable. All in all, Solus 4.1 is pretty, and offers reasonable connectivity out of the box, and comes with some unique features against the vastness of mediocrity that grips the Linux desktop. But these are more than offset by glitches, bugs and the installation trouble. It's a no-go. Dedoimedo, sad and out.

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today's leftovers

  • Bring your ideas to the world with kubectl plugins

    kubectl is the most critical tool to interact with Kubernetes and has to address multiple user personas, each with their own needs and opinions. One way to make kubectl do what you need is to build new functionality into kubectl. Challenges with building commands into kubectl However, that’s easier said than done. Being such an important cornerstone of Kubernetes, any meaningful change to kubectl needs to undergo a Kubernetes Enhancement Proposal (KEP) where the intended change is discussed beforehand. When it comes to implementation, you’ll find that kubectl is an ingenious and complex piece of engineering. It might take a long time to get used to the processes and style of the codebase to get done what you want to achieve. Next comes the review process which may go through several rounds until it meets all the requirements of the Kubernetes maintainers – after all, they need to take over ownership of this feature and maintain it from the day it’s merged. When everything goes well, you can finally rejoice. Your code will be shipped with the next Kubernetes release. Well, that could mean you need to wait another 3 months to ship your idea in kubectl if you are unlucky. So this was the happy path where everything goes well. But there are good reasons why your new functionality may never make it into kubectl. For one, kubectl has a particular look and feel and violating that style will not be acceptable by the maintainers. For example, an interactive command that produces output with colors would be inconsistent with the rest of kubectl. Also, when it comes to tools or commands useful only to a minuscule proportion of users, the maintainers may simply reject your proposal as kubectl needs to address common needs. But this doesn’t mean you can’t ship your ideas to kubectl users.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 9.4 Released With More Features For Open-Source, Cross-Platform Automated Benchmarking

    Phoronix Test Suite 9.4-Vestby is now available as one of our largest updates in recent years for our open-source, cross-platform automated benchmarking framework. Almost wanting to rebrand it as Phoronix Test Suite 10, sticking to conventional versioning the Phoronix Test Suite 9.4 release brings numerous result viewer improvements, a lot of polishing to the PDF result exporting, various Microsoft Windows support improvements, new statistics capabilities, some useful new sub-commands, and much more as the latest quarterly feature release.

  • Linux 5.6 Tests On AMD EPYC 7742 vs. Intel Xeon 8280 2P With 100+ Benchmarks

    The latest benchmarks for your viewing pleasure are looking at the dual Intel Xeon Platinum 8280 performance up against the dual AMD EPYC 7742 CPUs while using the in-development Linux 5.6 kernel as the first time trying out these highest-end server processors on this new kernel debuting as stable in about one month's time.

  • PyIDM – An Open Source Alternative to IDM (Internet Download Manager)

    pyIDM is a free, open-source alternative to IDM (Internet Download Manager), used to download general files and videos from youtube as well as other streaming websites. It is developed using Python (requires Python 3.6+) and relies only on open source tools and libraries such as pycurl, youtube_dl, FFmpeg, and pysimplegui. It features multiple-connections, a speed engine (and it offers high download speeds based on libcurl); resume uncompleted downloads, support for fragmented video streams, support for encrypted/non-encrypted HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) media streams. Besides, it also supports scheduling downloads, re-using an existing connection to a remote server, and HTTP proxy support. And it allows users to control options such as selecting a theme (there are 140 themes available), set proxy, selecting segment size, speed limit, maximum concurrent downloads and maximum connections per download.

  • DRM Plugin crashes after openSUSE Tumbleweed update

    A few days ago openSUSE users started complaining about DRM Plugin crashes in Firefox after running a Tumbleweed update. Netflix requires the DRM plugin in Firefox to be able to play encrypted videos. The plugin would crash due to a bug in Firefox 73. While this bug affected not just openSUSE users, but everyone using Firefox 73, it became apparent to TW users as v73 landed in the Tumbleweed repo.

  • How Melissa Di Donato Is Going To Reinvent SUSE

    SUSE is one of the oldest open source companies and the first to market Linux for the enterprise. Even though it has undergone several acquisitions and a merger, it remains a strong player in the business. It has maintained its integrity and core values around open source. It continues to rely on its tried-and-tested Linux business and European markets, and generally shies away from making big moves taking big risks. Until now. SUSE appointed Melissa Di Donato as its first female CEO. She is making some serious changes to the company, from building a diverse and inclusive culture to betting on emerging technologies and taking risks. Soon after taking the helm last year, Di Donato spent the first few months traveling around the globe to meet SUSE teams and customers and get a better sense of the perception of the market about the company. Just like Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, Di Donato didn’t come to the company from an open source background. She had spent the last 25 years of her career as a SUSE customer, so she did have an outsider’s perspective of the company. “I am not interested in what SUSE was when I joined. I am more interested in what we want to become,” she said.

  • Experimental feature: snap refresh awareness and update inhibition

    We’d like to follow up on last week’s article about parallel installs for classic snaps with another bleeding-edge topic. Today, we will discuss snap refreshes. By design, snaps come with automatic updates, and by default, the update (refresh) frequency check is four times a day. Whenever new application versions are published, they soon become available and propagate to all end-user systems. Normally, the process is transparent and seamless, but there could be exceptions. For instance, if you have an app open and running, an update could be disruptive in the middle of your work. Some developers have asked for an option to inhibit refreshes of snaps while they are running, and this is now a new, experimental feature that you can enable and test on your system. [...] The app refresh capability offers snaps users another level of control in the overall user experience. Automatic updates are geared toward security, but users can defer updates for up to 60 days, and now, they also have the ability to gracefully update applications with minimal disruption to their normal usage patterns and workflows. We very much welcome your feedback and suggestions, especially with new and upcoming features. The refresh awareness option is a good example of where the developer feedback has been valuable and useful in making the snap ecosystem even friendlier and more robust. If you have any ideas on this topic – or any other, please join our forum for a discussion.

  • How Domotz streamlined provisioning of IoT devices

    Learn how Ubuntu Core and snaps gives Domotz a competitive advantage As the number of IoT devices scale, the challenges of provisioning and keeping them up to date in the field increases. Domotz, who manufacture an all-in-one, network monitoring and management device for enterprise IoT networks, found themselves with this challenge that was further compounded by their rapid software release cadence. One of the most crucial and difficult aspects for Domotz to solve was the delivery of automatic updates to the tens of thousands of devices deployed. Domotz turned to snaps and Ubuntu Core to meet their exacting requirements. I absolutely believe that Ubuntu Core and snaps give us a competitive advantage. We are the only company in the IoT network management space that can guarantee a secure, always-up-to-date device for our customers’ on-premises deployments.

  • A birthday gift: 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 now only $35

    TL;DR: it’s our eighth birthday, and falling RAM prices have allowed us to cut the price of the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 to $35. You can buy one here.

  • The RedMonk Programming Language Rankings: January 2020 [Ed: Redmonk uses to assess programming languages use only projects that Microsoft (a Redmonk client) controls. Some 'research', eh?]
  • Announcing Rust 1.41.1

    The Rust team has published a new point release of Rust, 1.41.1. Rust is a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software. If you have a previous version of Rust installed via rustup, getting Rust 1.41.1 is as easy as: rustup update stable If you don't have it already, you can get rustup from the appropriate page on our website.

  • This Week in Rust 327
  • Zip Files: History, Explanation and Implementation

    I have been curious about data compression and the Zip file format in particular for a long time. At some point I decided to address that by learning how it works and writing my own Zip program. The implementation turned into an exciting programming exercise; there is great pleasure to be had from creating a well oiled machine that takes data apart, jumbles its bits into a more efficient representation, and puts it all back together again. Hopefully it is interesting to read about too.

    This article explains how the Zip file format and its compression scheme work in great detail: LZ77 compression, Huffman coding, Deflate and all. It tells some of the history, and provides a reasonably efficient example implementation written from scratch in C. The source code is available in hwzip-1.0.zip.

    I am very grateful to Ange Albertini, Gynvael Coldwind, Fabian Giesen, Jonas Skeppstedt (web), Primiano Tucci, and Nico Weber who provided valuable feedback on draft versions of this material.

Netrunner Linux Still Goes Its Own Way at 'Twenty'

The Netrunner distro used to be a bleeding-edge choice among KDE options. With little that's new and must-have, this release takes the edge off the bleeding. I wasn't nudged away from my preferred competing KDE distro -- the new Feren OS Plasma edition. While Netrunner 20.01 provides a fairly solid integration of classic KDE desktop performance, this release is a departure, in that it is not a step or two ahead of most other KDE-integrated Linux OSes. I Netrunner attracts two types of typical users. One fancies a more friendly desktop environment. The second wants the freedom to tweak more extensively than other desktop environments allow. Hardware requirements include a minimum CPU of 1.6 GHz Intel Atom N270 or greater and at least 1 GB of RAM with at least 10 GB hard drive space. Also, the computer should have Intel GMA 945 graphics card support with 128+ MB of video memory. Netrunner is a unique distro with its own spin on the K Plasma desktop environment. Seasoned Linux users who like to fiddle and tweak an OS into their own platform will love how this distro integrates the KDE Plasma desktop. Newcomers can be quite content using the out-of-the-box settings. Read more

Wind River launches dev site with TensorFlow for Linux and a free VxWorks download

A new “Wind River Labs” developer site hosts projects including TensorFlow for Wind River Linux, the first free VxWorks SDK, and VxWorks BSPs for the Raspberry Pi and UP Squared. One would think that when Wind River decided to launch a public-facing developer site, it would showcase the Yocto Project based Wind River Linux, which is available in a GPL-licensed release on GitHub in addition to the standard commercial version and new continuous integration version. Yet when Wind River announced its new Wind River Labs site this week, its proprietary VxWorks was the star of the show — but with a twist. There’s a new free VxWorks SDK for evaluating the RTOS for non-commercial purposes, as well as open source VxWorks BSPs for the Raspberry Pi and UP Squared boards. Read more

Security, Proprietary Software and Openwashing

  • Linux 4.4.215 / 4.9.215 / 4.14.172 / 5.5.7 Kernels Bringing Intel KVM Security Fix

    A few days back we reported on a security vulnerability within Intel's KVM virtualization code for the Linux kernel. That vulnerability stems from unfinished kernel code and was fixed for Linux 5.6 Git and is now being back-ported to the 4.4 / 4.9 / 4.14 / 5.5 supported kernels. Back on Monday when the CVE-2020-2732 patches first came to light, little was publicly known about the issue but that it stemmed from incomplete code in the vmx_check_intercept functionality in not checking all possible intercepts and in turn could end up emulating instructions that should be disabled by the hypervisor.

  • Let's Encrypt Has Issued a Billion Certificates

    We issued our billionth certificate on February 27, 2020. We’re going to use this big round number as an opportunity to reflect on what has changed for us, and for the Internet, leading up to this event. In particular, we want to talk about what has happened since the last time we talked about a big round number of certificates - one hundred million. One thing that’s different now is that the Web is much more encrypted than it was. In June of 2017 approximately 58% of page loads used HTTPS globally, 64% in the United States. Today 81% of page loads use HTTPS globally, and we’re at 91% in the United States! This is an incredible achievement. That’s a lot more privacy and security for everybody. Another thing that’s different is that our organization has grown a bit, but not by much! In June of 2017 we were serving approximately 46M websites, and we did so with 11 full time staff and an annual budget of $2.61M. Today we serve nearly 192M websites with 13 full time staff and an annual budget of approximately $3.35M. This means we’re serving more than 4x the websites with only two additional staff and a 28% increase in budget. The additional staff and budget did more than just improve our ability to scale though - we’ve made improvements across the board to provide even more secure and reliable service. Nothing drives adoption like ease of use, and the foundation for ease of use in the certificate space is our ACME protocol. ACME allows for extensive automation, which means computers can do most of the work. It was also standardized as RFC 8555 in 2019, which allows the Web community to confidently build an even richer ecosystem of software around it. Today, thanks to our incredible community, there is an ACME client for just about every deployment environment. Certbot is one of our favorites, and they’ve been working hard to make it even easier for people to use.

  • The “Cloud Snooper” malware that sneaks into your Linux servers [Ed: Sophos citing itself, hyping up the threat is installing malicious software on one's own server]

    SophosLabs has just published a detailed report about a malware attack dubbed Cloud Snooper. The reason for the name is not so much that the attack is cloud-specific (the technique could be used against pretty much any server, wherever it’s hosted), but that it’s a sneaky way for cybercrooks to open up your server to the cloud, in ways you very definitely don’t want, “from the inside out”. The Cloud Snooper report covers a whole raft of related malware samples that our researchers found deployed in combination.

  • OpenSMTPD Email Server Vulnerability Threatens Many Linux and BSD Systems [Ed: It is this package, not the operating systems (GNU/Linux rarely uses this)]

    A critical vulnerability has been discovered in the OpenBSD email server OpenSMTPD. Exploiting the flaw could allow remote code execution attacks. The seriousness of the vulnerability poses a threat to the integrity of OpenBSD and Linux systems.

  • A billion Wi-Fi devices suffer from a newly discovered security fla

    More than a billion internet-connected devices—including Apple's iPhone and Amazon's Echo—are affected by a security vulnerability that could allow [attackers] to spy on traffic sent over Wi-Fi.

  • New ‘Haken’ Malware Found On Eight Apps In Google Play Store

    Eight apps – mostly camera utilities and children’s games – were discovered spreading a new malware strain that steals data and signs victims up for expensive premium services.

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  • What does it take to commit to 100% open source?
                                 
                                   

    While experts in the database market in particular agree that open source is becoming the norm, the question remains, just how open is this sector’s open-source software? Can software providers realistically succeed with a company that’s 100% open source? Furthermore, would a proprietary infrastructure software provider with a freemium tier be able to achieve the same benefits as those committing to open source?

                                   

    The short answer is, yes — a proprietary infrastructure software company with a freemium tier could theoretically achieve the same benefits as companies going fully open source. However, it’s important to recognize that it would take a freemium model company a significantly longer period of time for its software to mature to the same level as that of an open-source company. Also, the loss of collaborative development and slower feedback loops would likely lead to a higher probability of the software never achieving market traction and ultimately fading away into oblivion.

  • Mirantis: Balancing Open Source With Guardrails

    Mirantis, an open infrastructure company that rose to popularity with its OpenStack offering, is now moving into the Kubernetes space very aggressively. Last year, the company acquired the Docker Enterprise business from Docker. This week, it announced that they were hiring the Kubernetes experts from the Finnish company Kontena and established a Mirantis office in Finland, expanding the company’s footprint in Europe. Mirantis already has a significant presence in Europe due to large customers such as Bosch and Volkswagen.