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February 2017

today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc

Linux Devices: Tizen and Pi Zero

Filed under
Linux
  • Samsung Z4 SM-Z400F could be the phone that runs Tizen 3.0 out of the box

    It has been over six months since the launch of the last Tizen Smartphone which was the Samsung Z2 and hence we should soon be seeing a successor to refresh the series. Earlier today, we reported on the leaked specifications and features of one such upcoming Tizen device which is the highly anticipated Samsung Z5. Now, we are getting hints on another Tizen device in the making bearing the Model name SM-Z400F which should logically be the Samsung Z4.

  • Smartphone Game: Dinosaur Simulator: Dino World platform Tizen

    Dino Simulator Dino World is a game where you are a dinosaur causing chaos all over the place. There is one objective and that is to kill, destroy, and to destroy more!!! By causing destuction to innocent people’s lives (and proberably killing those innocent people), you get points! (YAY!).

  • Pi Zero Wireless out now for $10

    Today, on the fifth anniversary of the release of the original Raspberry Pi, the Foundation has released Pi Zero W, a Pi Zero with built-in WiFi and Bluetooth, for $10.

    The original Pi Zero was great (and still is!)—but many people found its lack of wireless connectivity an inconvenience. Now with Zero W, you can connect to the Internet without using any adapters, and you can even use a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard rather than wired USB, or use a Bluetooth speaker for audio.

FOSS Licensing: ZFS in Debian and Creative Commons

Filed under
OSS
Legal
  • On ZFS in Debian

    I’m currently over at FOSDEM, and have been asked by a couple of people about the state of ZFS and Debian. So, I thought I’d give a quick post to explain what Debian’s current plan is (which has come together with a lot of discussion with the FTP Masters and others around what we should do).

    [...]

    Debian has always prided itself in providing the unequivocally correct solution to our users and downstream distributions. This also includes licenses – we make sure that Debian will contain 100% free software. This means that if you install Debian, you are guaranteed freedoms offered under the DFSG and our social contract.

  • Complying with Creative Commons license attribution requirements in slides and powerpoint

    When I was at Mozilla and WMF, I frequently got asked how to give proper credit when using Creative Commons-licensed images in slideshows. I got the question again last week, and am working on slides right now, so here’s a quick guide.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing/Transparency

Filed under
OSS
  • ‘Use open source software for GIS mapping’

    Open sourcing of data for Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping will create a huge potential for employment and transparency in administration, secretary of OSGEO-India V. Ravi Kumar has said.

    Proprietary software for GIS costs up to Rs. .30 lakh. Instead, utilising tools developed using open software and training youth would help in creating employment locally, he said. Money will be spent on those working using GIS but not for the software, he said.

  • ESI Group: Acquisition of Scilab Enterprises, Publisher of Scilab Open Source Analytical Computational Software
  • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 17.02

    After the revision of Genode's most fundamental protocols in the previous release it was time to move our attention upwards the software stack. The current release largely revisits the integration of the C runtime with the Genode component API as well as the virtual-file-system (VFS) infrastructure. The two biggest challenges were making Genode's VFS capable to perform I/O asynchronously, and to make the C runtime compatible with the state-machine-based execution model of modern Genode components. This line of work is described in detail in Sections Enhanced VFS infrastructure and New execution model of the C runtime. One particularly exciting result is the brand-new ability to plug the Linux TCP/IP stack as a VFS plugin into any libc-using component by the sole means of component configuration.

  • Genode OS 17.02 Released With Improved VFS, New Input Event Processing

    Genode OS 17.02 has been released today as the latest version of this open-source operating system framework.

    Accomplished for Genode OS 17.02 were ABI improvements, a much better virtual file-system (VFS) implementation, new input event processing capabilities, and a dynamic component-composition engine.

  • heads 0.0 is out!

    heads 0.0 is a preview live CD of what heads is going to be about. This release is not intended to be used from a security point of view, but as a showcase and testing point of view.

    I am not even completely sure everything is torified, but hey, that's what testing is for, no?

  • IKEA's Idealistic Open Source Garden Orb
  • Denmark’s draft IT architecture open for comment

    Denmark’s Agency for Digitisation (Digitaliseringsstyrelsen - DIGST) is inviting comments on its draft IT architecture for digitalisation of the public sector. The document sets out the IT principles for the country’s 33 digitisation initiatives.

  • Norway working on first IT procurement frameworks

    Norway’s government procurement centre (ANS) and the Agency for Public Management and e-Government (Difi) are preparing the country’s first procurement frameworks related to IT. The first call, on telephony services, will be published in the next few days. The second call, for telephony and PC workstations, is expected around 24 April. Calls will be published on both Norway’s and Europe’s procurement portals, Doffin and Ted.

  • France prepares next Open Government action plan

    The 2017-2019 Open Government Action Plan is being prepared by the government modernisation unit (Secretariat-General for Government Modernisation, SGMAP). This week, on Tuesday, SGMAP is hosting a public workshop, where it will present a draft of the plan. The final text is expected in September.

  • Make food production data open source, urges MIT Media Lab

    Agriculture production data should be public and the open source movement should be the model for analysing it, according to the Open Agriculture initiative at MIT Media Lab.

    This could involve making the data from every farming IoT sensor public - so you could use the climate data to understand how best to grow what and where, or use other IoT data points to trace where the food has come from across the whole supply chain.

Security News

Filed under
Security
  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • EU updates smartphone secure development guideline

    The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has published an updated version of its Smartphone Secure Development Guidelines. This document details the risks faced by developers of smartphone application, and provides ways to mitigate these.

  • CloudLinux 7 Users Get New Beta Linux Kernel Update That Addresses CVE-2017-6074

    CloudLinux's Mykola Naugolnyi announced today the availability of a new Beta kernel for the CloudLinux 7 operating system series, which patches a recently discovered and critical security flaw.

  • Linus Torvalds shrugged off warnings about 'insecure' SHA-1 in 2005

    LINUX FOUNDER Linus Torvalds was warned in 2005 that the use of the SHA-1 hash to sign code in Linux and Git was insecure and urged to shift to something better protected, but rejected the advice outright.

    Free software evangelist John Gilmore warned Torvalds ten years ago that "SHA1 has been broken; it's possible to generate two different blobs that hash to the same SHA1 hash".

    Gilmore penned his warning to Torvalds in April 2005, when MD5 had already been cracked and SHA1 remained "hard to crack" - but still crackable.

  • Subversion SHA1 Collision Problem Statement — Prevention and Remediation Options

    You probably saw the news last week that researchers at Google had found a scenario where they were able to break the SHA1 algorithm by creating two PDF files with differing content that produced the same hash. If you are following this story then you may have also seen that the Webkit Subversion repository had problems after a user committed these example files to their repository so that they could be used in test cases for SHA1 collisions.

  • making git-annex secure in the face of SHA1 collisions

    git-annex has never used SHA1 by default. But, there are concerns about SHA1 collisions being used to exploit git repositories in various ways. Since git-annex builds on top of git, it inherits its foundational SHA1 weaknesses. Or does it?

  • SSH Fingerprint Verification via Tor

    OpenSSH (really, are there any other implementations?) requires Trust on First Use for fingerprint verification.

    Verification can be especially problematic when using remote services like VPS or colocation.

    How can you trust that the initial connection isn’t being Man In The Middle’d?

  • Almost all Windows vulnerabilities are enabled by liberal 'admin rights'

    NEARLY OF THE VULNERABILITIES THAT AFFECT Microsoft's Windows operating system could be mitigated through a little careful control.

    Avecto, a security company, is the source of the latest revelation in this direction, and it says that 94 per cent of security problems could have been killed off if admin rights had been removed from the affected computer.

    This makes a lot of sense, since a computer that cannot be molested by a user cannot be molested by a third party. 94 per cent is just one example of the differences that can be made and Avecto says that in the case of Internet Explorer 100 per cent of risks are mitigated when rights are removed.

  • More on Bluetooth Ingenico Overlay Skimmers

    This blog has featured several stories about “overlay” card and PIN skimmers made to be placed atop Ingenico-brand card readers at store self-checkout lanes. I’m revisiting the topic again because a security technician at a U.S.-based retailer recently shared a few photos of several of these devices pulled from compromised card terminals, and the images and his story offer a fair bit more detail than in previous articles.

Linux and Linux Foundation

Filed under
Linux

GNOME News

Filed under
GNOME
  • Hands on with the new Night Light feature in GNOME 3.24

    We take a look at GNOME Night Light, a blue light filter that is included in the GNOME 3.24 desktop and adjusts the color temperature of the display.

  • New Printers Panel

    As I mentioned in my previous post about the New Users Panel, we are happy to be able to include a new Printers panel in GNOME 3.24.

    The Printers panel is also part of the GNOME Control Center redesign effort which intents to introduce the new shell in 3.26

  • Profiling Flatpak’d applications
  • Attended FOSDEM 2017

    Containerised applications solve these issues. Maybe. He mentioned Flatpak, snappy, and Appimage. The former is the oldest technology dating all the way back to 2003. The solutions have in common that they bundle the app and run it in some kind of container or sandbox. From his criteria, the compatibility issue is solved, because the libraries are in the bundles. Portability is solved, because all dependencies are shipped in the bundle. And the pace of change is up to the app developer.

  • Custom terminal titles are back in Fedora

    Almost four years ago, in GNOME 3.12, the ability to have custom terminal titles was removed from gnome-terminal. As is wont to happen, users who dealt with scores of similar looking terminal tabs and windows were quick to express their grief at this loss.

Red Hat News

Filed under
Red Hat

today's howtos

Filed under
HowTos

Gemini PDA is like a tiny Android/Linux laptop with premium specs (crowdfunding)

Filed under
Android
Linux

Are physical keyboards for mobile devices making a comeback? TCL and BlackBery just launched a new phone with a QWERTY keyboard. A keyboard module for the Moto Z smartphone is generating some buzz. And an Indiegogo campaign for a 7 inch, pocket-sized Windows notebook has raised over $1.7 million (so far).

Now the folks at UK-based Planet Computers want to bring back the idea of a small, clamshell computer. And they’ve partnered with the designer of the classic Psion Series 5 to do it.

Read more

More in Tux Machines

Linux 5.2-rc2

Hey, what's to say? Fairly normal rc2, no real highlights - I think most of the diff is the SPDX updates. Who am I kidding? The highlight of the week was clearly Finland winning the ice hockey world championships. So once you sober up from the celebration, go test, Linus Read more Also: Linux 5.2-rc2 Kernel Released As The "Golden Lions"

Audiocasts/Shows: Linux Action News, Linux Gaming News Punch, Open Source Security Podcast and GNU World Order

Review: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0

My experiment with RHEL 8 got off to a rough start. Going through the on-line registration process produced some errors and ended up with me getting the wrong ISO which, in turn, resulted in some confusion and delays in getting the distribution installed. Things then began to look up as RHEL 8 did a good job of detecting my system's hardware, registered itself without incident and offered good performance on physical hardware. I was particularly pleased that the distribution appears to detect whether our video card will work well with Wayland and either displays or hides Wayland sessions in response. I did have some trouble with the GNOME Classic Wayland session and GNOME Shell on X.Org was a bit sluggish. However, the Classic session on X.Org and GNOME Shell on Wayland both worked very well. In short, it's worthwhile to explore each of the four desktop options to see what works best for the individual. The big issues I ran into with RHEL were with regards to software management. Both GNOME Software and the Cockpit screen for managing applications failed to work at all, whether run as root or a regular user. When using the command line dnf package manager, the utility failed to perform searches unless run with sudo and occasionally crashed. In a similar vein, the Bash feature that checks for matching packages when the user types a command name it doesn't recognize does not work and produces a lengthy error. There were some security features or design choices that I think will mostly appeal to enterprise users, but are less favourable in home or small office environments. Allowing remote root logins by default on the Workstation role rubs me the wrong way, though I realize it is often useful when setting up servers. The enforced complex passwords are similarly better suited to offices than home users. One feature which I think most people will enjoy is SELinux which offers an extra layer of security, thought I wish the Cockpit feature to toggle SELinux had worked to make trouble-shooting easier. I was not surprised that RHEL avoids shipping some media codecs. The company has always been cautious in this regard. I had hoped that trying to find and install the codecs would have provided links to purchase the add-ons or connect us with a Red Hat-supplied repository. Instead we are redirected through a chain of Fedora documentation until we come to a third-party website which currently does not offer the desired packages. Ultimately, while RHEL does some things well, such as hardware support, desktop performance, and providing stable (if conservative) versions of applications, I found my trial highly frustrating. Many features simply do not work, or crash, or use a lot of resources, or need to be worked around to make RHEL function as a workstation distribution. Some people may correctly point out RHEL is mostly targeting servers rather than workstations, but there too there are a number of problems. Performance and stability are provided, but the issues I ran into with Cockpit, permission concerns, and command line package management are all hurdles for me when trying to run RHEL in a server role. I find myself looking forward to the launch of CentOS 8 (which will probably arrive later this year), as CentOS 8 uses the same source code as RHEL, but is not tied to the same subscription model and package repositories. I am curious to see how much of a practical effect this has on the free, community version of the same software. Read more

GNOME 3.34 Revamps the Wallpaper Picker (And Fixes a Longstanding Issue Too)

The upcoming release of GNOME 3.34 will finally solve a long standing deficiency in the desktop’s background wallpaper management. Now, I’ve written about various quirks in GNOME wallpaper handling before, but it’s the lack of option to pick a random wallpaper from a random directory via the Settings > Background panel that is, by far, my biggest bug bear. Ubuntu 19.04 ships with GNOME 3.32. Here, the only wallpapers available to select via the Settings > Background section are those the system ships with and any top-level images placed in ~/Pictures — nothing else is selectable. So, to set a random image as a wallpaper in GNOME 3.32 I tend to ignore the background settings panel altogether and instead use the image viewer’s File > Set as background… option (or the similar Nautilus right-click setting). Thankfully, not for much longer! Read more