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Linux

Devices/Embedded: Nintendo Switch, Advantech, Renesa, PocketBeagle

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Linux
Hardware

Samsung Launch ‘Linux on Galaxy’ Survey

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Android
GNU
Linux

Samsung has launched a survey to find out what users want and expect from the Linux on Galaxy idea.

The ‘Linux on Galaxy’ project allows a regular desktop Linux distro to run on select Samsung smartphones by sharing the same Linux kernel used in Android.

Users can then connect their smartphone to a Samsung DeX dock to convert their Samsung smartphone in to a normal desktop PC with an external monitor, bluetooth keyboard, mouse and so on.

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Q4OS Makes Linux Easy for Everyone

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OS
Linux

Modern Linux distributions tend to target a variety of users. Some claim to offer a flavor of the open source platform that anyone can use. And, I’ve seen some such claims succeed with aplomb, while others fall flat. Q4OS is one of those odd distributions that doesn’t bother to make such a claim but pulls off the feat anyway.

So, who is the primary market for Q4OS? According to its website, the distribution is a:

“fast and powerful operating system based on the latest technologies while offering highly productive desktop environment. We focus on security, reliability, long-term stability and conservative integration of verified new features. System is distinguished by speed and very low hardware requirements, runs great on brand new machines as well as legacy computers. It is also very applicable for virtualization and cloud computing.”

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Linux Foundation: CNCF, Linux Foundation Networking Fund (LFN), Open FinTech Forum (OFTF)

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Linux
  • The CNCF takes steps toward serverless computing

    Even though the idea of ‘serverless’ has been around since 2006, it is a relatively new concept. It’s the next step in the ongoing revolution of IT infrastructure that goes back to the days when one server used to run one application.

  • Spirent joins Linux Foundation Networking Fund (LFN) to support new Open Source ecosystem

    Spirent Communications joined the Linux Foundation Networking Fund (LFN), an umbrella group created by The Linux Foundation for its various networking initiatives. Spirent said it's the first test product vendor to support the development of a new Open Source ecosystem for telecom service assurance. Open Networking Automation Platform (ONAP), Open Platform for NFV and OpenDaylight gained widespread endorsement in 2017 from service providers, as de facto industry standards.

  • Linux Foundation launches OFTF event to include blockchain

    The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit focused on open source innovation, has announced a new event with a cumbersome name: “Open FinTech Forum: AI, Blockchain, Kubernetes & Quantum on Wall Street” (aka OFTF). It will take place on October 10-11, 2018 in New York City.

Raspberry Pi Projects: Things Gateway by Mozilla, Bang and Olufsen and HiFiBerry

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Linux
Hardware

RISC-V Latest

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Linux
Hardware
  • First Open-Source RISC-V SoC for Linux Released

    Only months after debuting the Freedom U540, the world's first Linux-compatible processor based on the open-source RISC-V chip architecture, RISC-V chipmaker SiFive has surprised the open-source community again by unveiling a full development board built around the ISA.

    Called the HiFive Unleashed, the new development board is built around SiFive's Freedom U540, which is based on the company's U54-MC Coreplex. The chip is a 64-bit, 4+1 multicore processor that fully supports Linux, as well as other operating systems such as FreeBSD and Unix. The development board itself features a 8GB of DDR4 with ECC, a gigabit ethernet port, 32 MB of quad SPI flash memory, a MicroSD card slot, and an FPGA mezzanine card (FMC) connector for allowing peripherals and other expansion devices to be attached to the board.

  • RISC-V plans to fulfill open-source architecture innovation dreams

    Digital transformation and the proliferation of big data are driving a renaissance in software development, requiring new advancements in hardware and processors. With a range of needs from a variety of users and platforms, standard instruction set architectures are no longer fulfilling all use cases as the demand for flexibility and improved performance increases.

    “The world is dominated by two instruction set architectures. … Both are great, but … they’re owned by their respective companies. RISC-V is a third entrant into this world … it’s completely open source,” said Martin Fink (pictured, right), chief technology officer of Western Digital Corp. Through the RISC-V initiative, Fink and Dave Tang (pictured, left), senior vice president of corporate marketing at Western Digital, are working to provide an instruction set that can be freely shared to encourage innovation.

  • Fedora/RISC-V: Runnable stage 4 disk images

Linux and DRM, Verizon Lockdown

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Linux
  • HDCP Content Protection Support Called For Integration In DRM-Next / Linux 4.17

    In November of last year is when we reported on a Google developer proposing HDCP patches for Intel's DRM Linux driver. In this case, DRM as in the Direct Rendering Manager but HDCP as in the controversial High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. HDCP is the digital copy protection for DP/DVI/HDMI for preventing HDCP-encrypted content from being played on unauthorized devices.

  • Verizon Begins Locking Down Its Phones Again, Purportedly To 'Stop Theft'

    If you've been around a while, you probably know that Verizon has an adversarial relationship with openness and competition. The company's history is rife with attempts to stifle competing emerging technologies that challenged Verizon's own business interests, from its early attempts to block GPS and tethering apps so users would have to subscribe to inferior and expensive Verizon services, to its attempts to block competing mobile payment services to force users (again) onto Verizon's own, inferior products. And that's before you get to Verizon's attempts to kill net neutrality and keep the broadband industry uncompetitive.

    In the earlier years, Verizon had a horrible tendency to lock down its devices to a crippling and comical degree. But with the rise of net neutrality, competition from carriers like T-Mobile, and open access conditions affixed to certain spectrum purchased by Verizon, the company slowly-but-surely loosened its iron grip on mobile devices. But let's be clear: the company had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the new, more open future we all currently enjoy, where (by and large) you can install whatever apps you like on your device, and attach most mainstream devices (with some caveats) to Verizon's network.

    That's why more than a few eyebrows were raised after Verizon gave CNET the early exclusive news (apparently in the hopes that they'd frame it generously, which they did) that the company will soon be locking down its smartphones as part of a purported effort to "combat theft." Carriers have been justly criticized (and sued) for doing too little to prevent theft, in part because they profit on both sides of the equation -- both when a customer comes crying to Verizon to buy a new phone, and when the user with the stolen phone heads to Verizon to re-activate it on a new line.

What is a Linux "oops"?

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Linux

If you check the processes running on your Linux systems, you might be curious about one called "kerneloops". And that’s “kernel oops”, not “kerne loops” just in case you didn’t parse that correctly. Put very bluntly, an “oops” is a deviation from correct behavior on the part of the Linux kernel. Did you do something wrong? Probably not. But something did. And the process that did something wrong has probably at least just been summarily knocked off the CPU. At worst, the kernel may have panicked and abruptly shut the system down.

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FOSS Project Spotlight: LinuxBoot

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Linux

The more things change, the more they stay the same. That may sound cliché, but it's still as true for the firmware that boots your operating system as it was in 2001 when Linux Journal first published Eric Biederman's "About LinuxBIOS". LinuxBoot is the latest incarnation of an idea that has persisted for around two decades now: use Linux as your bootstrap.

On most systems, firmware exists to put the hardware in a state where an operating system can take over. In some cases, the firmware and OS are closely intertwined and may even be the same binary; however, Linux-based systems generally have a firmware component that initializes hardware before loading the Linux kernel itself. This may include initialization of DRAM, storage and networking interfaces, as well as performing security-related functions prior to starting Linux. To provide some perspective, this pre-Linux setup could be done in 100 or so instructions in 1999; now it's more than a billion.

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Linux: CI Testing, seL4, Meltdown and Spectre Mitigations, and More LWN Coverage (Now Outside Paywall)

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Linux
  • Initial Icelake Support Heading To Linux 4.17, Many Bug Fixes Thanks To CI Testing
  • Mixed-criticality support in seL4

    Linux tries to be useful for a wide variety of use cases, but there are some situations where it may not be appropriate; safety-critical deployments with tight timing constraints would be near the top of the list for many people. On the other hand, systems that can run safety-critical code in a provably correct manner tend to be restricted in functionality and often have to be dedicated to a single task. In a linux.conf.au 2018 talk, Gernot Heiser presented work that is being done with the seL4 microkernel system to safely support complex systems in a provably safe manner.

    The world contains an increasing number of "cyberphysical systems" implementing various types of safety-critical functionality. Fly-by-wire systems for aircraft and factory automation systems are a couple of examples. These systems are subject to an expensive safety-assurance process with costs that scale linearly (at least) with each line of code. When one considers that an Airbus A380 jetliner contains around 120 million lines of code, one can understand that developing that code can be a costly business.

  • Meltdown and Spectre mitigations — a February update

    The initial panic over the Meltdown and Spectre processor vulnerabilities has faded, and work on mitigations in the kernel has slowed since our mid-January report. That work has not stopped, though. Fully equipping the kernel to protect systems from these vulnerabilities is a task that may well require years. Read on for an update on the current status of that work.

  • 4.16 Merge window part 1

    As of this writing, just over 6,700 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 4.16 development cycle. Given that there are a number of significant trees yet to be pulled, the early indications are that 4.16 will be yet another busy development cycle. What follows is a summary of the significant changes merged in the first half of this merge window.

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Today in Techrights

Security Leftovers

  • One-stop counterfeit certificate shops for all your malware-signing needs

    The Stuxnet worm that targeted Iran's nuclear program almost a decade ago was a watershed piece of malware for a variety of reasons. Chief among them, its use of cryptographic certificates belonging to legitimate companies to falsely vouch for the trustworthiness of the malware. Last year, we learned that fraudulently signed malware was more widespread than previously believed. On Thursday, researchers unveiled one possible reason: underground services that since 2011 have sold counterfeit signing credentials that are unique to each buyer.

  • How did OurMine hackers use DNS poisoning to attack WikiLeaks? [Ed: False. They did not attack Wikileaks; they attacked the DNS servers/framework. The corporate media misreported this at the time.
    The OurMine hacking group recently used DNS poisoning to attack WikiLeaks and take over its web address. Learn how this attack was performed from expert Nick Lewis.
  • Intel didn't give government advance notice on chip flaws

    Google researchers informed Intel of flaws in its chips in June. The company explained in its own letter to lawmakers that it left up to Intel informing the government of the flaws.

    Intel said that it did not notify the government at the time because it had “no indication of any exploitation by malicious actors,” and wanted to keep knowledge of the breach limited while it and other companies worked to patch the issue.

    The company let some Chinese technology companies know about the vulnerabilities, which government officials fear may mean the information was passed along to the Chinese government, according to The Wall Street Journal.

  • Intel hid CPU bugs info from govt 'until public disclosure'

    As iTWire reported recently, Intel faces a total of 33 lawsuits over the two flaws. Additionally, the Boston law firm of Block & Leviton is preparing a class action lawsuit against Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich for allegedly selling a vast majority of his Intel stock after the company was notified of the two security flaws and before they became public.

  • Intel did not tell U.S. cyber officials about chip flaws until made public [iophk: "yeah right"]

    Current and former U.S. government officials have raised concerns that the government was not informed of the flaws before they became public because the flaws potentially held national security implications. Intel said it did not think the flaws needed to be shared with U.S. authorities as hackers [sic] had not exploited the vulnerabilities.

  • LA Times serving cryptocurrency mining script [iophk: "JS"]

    The S3 bucket used by the LA Times is apparently world-writable and an ethical hacker [sic] appears to have left a warning in the repository, warning of possible misuse and asking the owner to secure the bucket.

  • Facebook's Mandatory Malware Scan Is an Intrusive Mess

    When an Oregon science fiction writer named Charity tried to log onto Facebook on February 11, she found herself completely locked out of her account. A message appeared saying she needed to download Facebook’s malware scanner if she wanted to get back in. Charity couldn’t use Facebook until she completed the scan, but the file the company provided was for a Windows device—Charity uses a Mac.

  • Tinder plugs flaw that enabled account takeover using just a phone number

    As Tinder uses Facebook profile pics for its users to lure in a mate or several, the 'dating' app is somewhat tied to the social network. When a swipe-hungry Tinder user comes to login to their account they can either do so via Facebook or use their mobile number.

  • `

Android Leftovers

Report from Debian SnowCamp and a Look at Solyd XK, a Debian-Based Distribution

  • Report from Debian SnowCamp: day 1
  • Report from Debian SnowCamp: day 2
    Of course, we’re still sorely lacking volunteers who would really care about mentors.debian.net; the codebase is a pile of hacks upon hacks upon hacks, all relying on an old version of a deprecated Python web framework. A few attempts have been made at a smooth transition to a more recent framework, without really panning out, mostly for lack of time on the part of the people running the service. I’m still convinced things should restart from scratch, but I don’t currently have the energy or time to drive it… Ugh.
  • Installing Solyd XK, a Debian based Linux distribution : Cooking With Linux
    It's time for some more "Cooking With Linux" without a net, meaning the video you are about to watch was recorded live. Today, I'm going to install a new Linux distribution (new to me, anyhow) called Solyd XK.