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White House CTO calls for open source APIs, visibility for women

While Smith’s characterization of Washington as “incredibly entrepreneurial” may be a tad optimistic, she did appear sincere in her support for promoting the use of open source development, and introducing a culture of “APIs, not RFPs.” Echoing a mantra of executives at Google X, Smith also expressed a desire to find ways for the government to exhibit the sort of technological prowess that normally occurs only in wartime. She also emphasized that she and her deputy, former Twitter lawyer Alex Macgillivray, want to reduce the sort of regulatory morass that can inhibit innovation. Read more

Plasma 5.2 Is Beautiful and Featureful

Today KDE releases Plasma 5.2. This release adds a number of new components, many new features and many more bugfixes. Read more

Why screen lockers on X11 cannot be secure

Today we released Plasma 5.2 and this new release comes with two fixes for security vulnerabilities in our screen locker implementation. As I found, exploited, reported and fixed these vulnerabilities I decided to put them a little bit into context. The first vulnerability concerns our QtQuick user interface for the lock screen. Through the Look and Feel package it was possible to send the login information to a remote location. That’s pretty bad but luckily also only a theoretical problem: we have not yet implemented a way to install new Look and Feel packages from the Internet. So we found the issue before any harm was done. Read more Also: Plasma 5.2 for openSUSE? You bet!

Tiny $26 WiFi-ready IoT SBC runs OpenWRT Linux

Smart Electronics is prepping a tiny $26 open-source “Black Swift” SBC that runs OpenWRT on an Atheros AR9331 and offers WiFi, dual micro-USB, and header I/O. The Black Swift, which is set to launch on Kickstarter on Jan. 27, comes from Russian firm Smart Electronics LLC, the new name for Virt2real Ltd. This is the same company that brought us the Linux-based Virt2real WiFi controller board and robotic “Bond Car,” which is controlled by the board. Read more