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August 2018

Limiting Free Licences and New FUD From Veracode/CA

Filed under
OSS
Security
Legal
  • ​Javascript Tool Maker Relents After Mixing Immigration Politics with Open Source Licensing

    In very short order, Lerna, a company that offers some Javascript tooling, has learned the hard way not to mess with the integrity of an open source license. In other words, don’t decide you’re going to take an existing OSI-certified open source license, modify it to suit your agenda, license your code under the newly derived license, and still continue to refer to your offering as "open source.”

    First, this analysis piece is really just a follow up to my previous post about why it’s time to reject the latest attack on open source software (OSS). The main point of that post was to point out that all of us who have experienced the benefits of open source (ok, that’s nearly all human beings) should play a role in defending it. Otherwise, it will whither and so too will the benefits most of us have come to enjoy, blind to the fact that open source is playing such an important role in our lives.

  • Does Redis' Commons Clause threaten open-source software?
  • Get a Jump on Reducing Your Open Source Software Security Risks [Ed: Anti-FOSS firm Veracode/CA pays IDG for spam which stigmatises FOSS as lacking security]

Software: gPodder, Puppet Bolt and Last howtos for the Week

Filed under
Software
HowTos
  • gPodder – podcast client written in Python

    gPodder is an open source tool that downloads and manages free audio and video content (“podcasts”) for you. The software is written in Python and sports a simple GTK interface. The software package also includes a command-line interface which is called gpo. It lets you listen to podcasts on your computer or on mobile devices. The software is very mature; it’s been in development since 2005.

  • FOSS Project Spotlight: Run Remote Tasks on Linux and Windows with Puppet Bolt

    Puppet, the company that makes automation software for managing systems and delivering software, has introduced Puppet Bolt, an open-source, agentless multiplatform tool for running commands, scripts, tasks and orchestrated workflows on remote Linux and Windows systems.

    The tool, which is freely available as a Linux package, Ruby gem and macOS or Windows installer, is ideal for sysadmins and others who want to perform a wide range of automation tasks on remote bare-metal servers, VMs or cloud instances without the need for any prerequisites. Puppet Bolt doesn't require any previous Puppet know-how. Nor does it require a Puppet agent or Puppet master. It uses only SSH and WinRM (or can piggyback Puppet transports) to communicate and execute tasks on remote nodes.

    Despite its simplicity, Puppet Bolt can execute all your existing scripts written in Bash, PowerShell, Python or any other language, stop and start Linux or Windows services, gather information about packages and system facts, or deploy procedural orchestrated workflows, otherwise known as plans. You can do all this right from your workstation or laptop.

  • How to install MediaWiki on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
  • How to Install MyWebSQL 3.7 on CentOS 7
  • Fix GTK File Chooser Cannot Add/Remove Bookmarks
  • Docker Guide: Deploying Ghost Blog with MySQL and Traefik with Docker
  • Move the Ubuntu Launcher to Bottom or Right

Linux Kernel up to 4.15-rc3 Crypto Subsystem memory corruption

Filed under
Linux
Security
  • Linux Kernel up to 4.15-rc3 Crypto Subsystem memory corruption

    The weakness was shared 08/30/2018 as bug report (Bugzilla). The advisory is available at bugzilla.redhat.com. This vulnerability is traded as CVE-2018-14619 since 07/27/2018. Local access is required to approach this attack. A single authentication is needed for exploitation. The technical details are unknown and an exploit is not available. The structure of the vulnerability defines a possible price range of USD $5k-$25k at the moment (estimation calculated on 08/31/2018).

  • CVE-2018-14619: New Critical Linux Kernel Vulnerability

    A new Linux kernel vulnerability identified as CVE-2018-14619 has been discovered by Red Hat Engineering researchers Florian Weimer and Ondrej Mosnacek. More particularly, the flaw was found in the crypto subsystem of the Linux kernel.

Security: Alexa Holes, Zemlin on CII, and Apache Struts Patches

Filed under
Security
  • Amazon Alexa Security Risk Allows Hackers to Take Over Voice Commands, Steal Private Information

    The world is changing and in the modern era, we are becoming reliant on our Internet of Things devices by the day. But this reliances could cost us everything, it could allow someone to steal our identity, bank information, medical history, and what not.

    Amazon Alexa has been criticised for having a number of security flaws but Amazon has been quick to deal with them. However, this new security flaw may not have a fix at all. And this could be the most dangerous security threat yet.

    According to research conducted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), Amazon Alexa’s idiosyncrasies can be exploited through voice-commands to route users to malicious websites. Hackers are targeting the loopholes in machine learning algorithms to access private information.

  • Researchers show Alexa “skill squatting” could hijack voice commands

    The success of Internet of Things devices such as Amazon's Echo and Google Home have created an opportunity for developers to build voice-activated applications that connect ever deeper—into customers' homes and personal lives. And—according to research by a team from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)—the potential to exploit some of the idiosyncrasies of voice-recognition machine-learning systems for malicious purposes has grown as well.

    Called "skill squatting," the attack method (described in a paper presented at USENIX Security Symposium in Baltimore this month) is currently limited to the Amazon Alexa platform—but it reveals a weakness that other voice platforms will have to resolve as they widen support for third-party applications. Ars met with the UIUC team (which is comprised of Deepak Kumar, Riccardo Paccagnella, Paul Murley, Eric Hennenfent, Joshua Mason, Assistant Professor Adam Bates, and Professor Michael Bailey) at USENIX Security. We talked about their research and the potential for other threats posed by voice-based input to information systems.

  • The Linux Foundation Set to Improve Open-Source Code Security

    CII is now working on further trying to identify which projects matter to the security of the internet as a whole, rather than taking a broader approach of looking at every single open-source project, he said. In his view, by prioritizing the projects that are the most critical to the operation of the internet and modern IT infrastructure, the CII can be more effective in improving security.

    "You'll see in the next three months or so, additional activity coming out of CII," Zemlin said.

    Among the new activities coming from the CII, will be additional human resources as well as new funding. The Linux Foundation had raised $5.8 million from contributors to help fund CII efforts, which Zemlin said has now all been spent. Zemlin that CII's money was used to fund development work for OpenSSL, NTP (Network Time Protocol) and conducting audits.

  • Apache Struts 2.3.25 and 2.5.17 resolve Cryptojacking Exploit Vulnerability

    Information regarding a severe vulnerability found in Apache Struts was revealed last week. A proof of concept of the vulnerability was also published publicly along with the vulnerability’s details. Since then, it seems that malicious attackers have set out to repeatedly exploit the vulnerability to remotely install a cryptocurrency mining software on users’ devices and steal cryptocurrency through the exploit. The vulnerability has been allotted the CVE identification label CVE-2018-11776.

    This behavior was first spotted by the security and data protection IT company, Volexity, and since its discovery, the rate of exploits has been increasing rapidly, drawing attention to the critical severity of the Apache Struts vulnerability. The company released the following statement on the issue: “Volexity has observed at least one threat actor attempting to exploit CVE-2018-11776 en masse in order to install the CNRig cryptocurrency miner. The initial observed scanning originated from the Russian and French IP addresses 95.161.225.94 and 167.114.171.27.”

Gnome 3 & best extensions

Filed under
GNOME

There you go. Writing this article got me thinking. Gnome 3 is like Firefox 57. It brought about a radical change, made a lot of what made the original version great redundant, and hid options from users, making customization difficult. Gnome 3 also fights hard against extensions. But these are the bread and butter of what makes it useful, practical and appealing to users. The same is also true of Cinnamon, which has also partially been afflicted the same way. Technically, one may claim that extensions are a poor excuse for bad design, but then, in general, history has shown that they do make products more engaging in the long run. Collective intelligence can be a good thing, especially when harvested for free.

I am still convinced that Gnome 3 is doing it wrong, and that Plasma, Unity or even MATE are much better solutions on all levels. But then, if you do want to use this desktop environment, there are several handy extensions that can truly transform the experience. The must-have set, and then a sweetening of five nice little extras, which help make the desktop more useful and fun. If you have any other suggestions, this is a good time to use your email sending skills. And we're done.

Read more

Games: Scarecrow Studio, RAZED, XCOM 2

Filed under
Gaming
  • Colourful comedy adventure '3 Minutes to Midnight' planned to release for Linux

    Scarecrow Studio [Official Site] have officially announced that their colourful comedy adventure 3 Minutes to Midnight with a trailer and it's coming to Linux.

  • RAZED will bring lightning-fast platformer racing to Linux on September 14th

    Soaked in some vibrant colours, lightning-fast platformer RAZED will requiring a good pair of running shoes when it releases with Linux support on September 14th.

    Developed by Warpfish Games with a sprinkle of publishing from PQube Limited, RAZED is promising an exciting speedrunning experience across the 60 levels being included at release. These levels are spreadout across six different worlds, each of them having their own unique flavour. Each world will also come with an ability to unlock, along with a boss battle.

  • XCOM 2 to possibly get another expansion with 'TLE'

    There's rumours circling around about XCOM 2 getting a new expansion and it seems whatever it turns out to be that Linux support should be there.

A Look At DragonFlyBSD's Kernel Tuning Performance On The AMD Threadripper 2990WX

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks
BSD

Last week I posted some initial tests and benchmarks of DragonFlyBSD/FreeBSD on the AMD Threadripper 2990WX. While that went well and the BSDs scale with this 32-core / 64-thread processor better than Windows, lead DragonFly developer Matthew Dillon had picked up a 2990WX system and has been tuning the kernel ever since. Here are some benchmarks looking at some of his recent optimizations.

Hours after that BSD Threadripper testing ended last week, Matthew Dillon landed some more performance tuning/optimizations to benefit the Threadripper 2990WX design. Here are some benchmarks of that original 2990WX support on DragonFlyBSD 5.3-DEVELOPMENT compared to the later daily snapshot.

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SharkLinux Distro: Open Source in Action

Filed under
Linux
OSS

Every so often I run into a Linux distribution that reminds me of the power of open source software. SharkLinux is one such distribution. With a single developer creating this project, it attempts to change things up a bit. Some of those changes will be gladly welcomed by new users, while scoffed at by the Linux faithful. In the end, however, thanks to open source software, the developer of SharkLinux has created a distribution exactly how he would want it to be. And that my friends, is one amazing aspect of open source. We get to do it our way.

But what is SharkLinux and what makes it stand out? I could make one statement about SharkLinux and end this now. The developer of SharkLinux reportedly developed the entire distribution using only an Android phone. That, alone, should have you wanting to give SharkLinux a go.

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Linux hacker board features new Allwinner SoC with analytics accelerator

Filed under
Linux

The open-spec, camera-oriented “Lindenis V5” SBC runs Linux on a new quad -A7 Allwinner V5 V100 with a visual analytics accelerator, and offers dual MIPI-CSI, GbE, and a 40-pin expansion header.

A Shenzhen, China startup called Lindenis Tech. Ltd., staffed by former Allwinner employees, has launched an open spec, 139 x 85mm single board computer that debuts a 1.5GHz Allwinner camera SoC called the V5 V100. Like the Allwinner A33, H2+, and H3 SoCs, the Allwinner V5 V100 (PDF) runs on 4x Cortex-A7 cores. However, instead of an Arm Mali GPU, there’s a custom VPU, a dual ISP, and an “AIE” acceleration engine for visual analytics, with support for motion detection, perimeter defense, video diagnosis, face detection, flow statistics, and binocular depth maps.

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More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Some Difficulty That Are Often Experienced By New Linux Users

On a Linux Users forum, I asked about the difficulties experienced by users. Apparently, I got many interesting and varied answers. Here are some of the difficulty that Linux users feel based on the opinions of people in the forum. Read more

OSI: Powering Potential and Open Source Hong Kong (OSHK)

  • You're Invited: Celebrating Powering Potential.
    OSI Affiliate Member Powering Potential Inc. (PPI) is currently preparing for their annual fundraising event scheduled for Wednesday, June 5, 2019, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at NoMad Studio, located at 29 W. 39th Street, 10th Floor, in New York City. This year PPI celebrates their 10 Year Partnership with the Segal Family Foundation. The close, long-time relationship has been a key factor in the amazing progress PPI has made in bringing their “Educating through Technology” programs to the rural students in Tanzania. Proceeds from this year’s event will go towards the Sazira Secondary School SPARC+ Lab Upgrade impacting 800+ students in rural Tanzania: an ambitious project needing $23,500. While this is significant, The Collegiate Churches of New York recently awarded Powering Potential a generous grant of $13,000 towards this goal. PPI has an incredible event planned for their guests. Back by popular demand, Tanzanian dancers performing traditional dance led by Justa Lujwangana, CEO and founder of Curious on Tanzania will provide entertainment for the evening. A buffet will also feature authentic Tanzanian dishes based on menus from Taste of Tanzania by Miriam Malaquais. The author has donated twenty of her books for sale at the event with proceeds going to PPI.
  • Open Source Hong Kong Becomes an OSI Affiliate Member
    The Open Source Initiative (OSI), the founding organization of the open source software movement, is excited to announce the Affiliate Membership of the Open Source Hong Kong (OSHK). For ten years OSHK has worked across Asia to support open source communities, foster open source development, and increase the use of open source software, their recent OSI Membership highlights both organizations' desires to collaborate across communities. “OSHK mission is promoting Open Source Software projects in Hong Kong and foster its development by connecting to the global open source community. In joining OSI as an Affiliate Member, OSHK connects with OSI, and other open source organizations, to support the promotion of open source,' said Sammy Fung, President of OSHK. "Open Source Software is not just about viewing the source code, it also guarantees the right to use the software, and modify it for our own use. By working together, I believe both organizations will be able to extend our reach and missions." “We are excited to welcome OSHK as an OSI Affiliate Member,” said Molly de Blanc, OSI President. “The open source community truly is global, and their dedication to that idea is what inspires us as an organization. Our work for the future of open source is driven by that global community, and having the voices of OSHK in our affiliate membership helps us meet our goal in promoting and protecting open source and communities. We look forward to supporting their efforts and collaborating to help spread the message of open source even further.”

Games: GOG, Zork and Epic Games

  • GOG are revamping GOG Galaxy, to help you manage multiple launchers and still no Linux support
    It's like a much fancier version of Steam's own ability to add games installed from other sources, as Galaxy 2.0 will also support cross-launcher friends lists and chat making it sound pretty darn handy. They do also state you can "Connect more platforms and add new features with open-source integrations.". Those hoping that is some kind of olive branch being extended for Linux will likely be disappointed though, going by their FAQ on the newer dedicated Galaxy site it sounds more like it's simply for adding other services into the client itself for those GOG haven't yet done. This would have been the perfect time to finally announce the ridiculously long-overdue Linux support for GOG Galaxy (especially with the Epic Store also not supporting Linux), sadly GOG are continuing to leave Linux out. In response to a user question on Twitter about Linux, the GOG team simply said "GOG GALAXY 2.0 will be available for Windows and Mac.". While an honest answer, it's also pretty blunt. No mention of it coming, just a whole lot of nothing.
  • Zork And The Z-Machine: Bringing The Mainframe To 8-bit Home Computers
    Computer games have been around about as long as computers have. And though it may be hard to believe, Zork, a text-based adventure game, was the Fortnite of its time. But Zork is more than that. For portability and size reasons, Zork itself is written in Zork Implementation Language (ZIL), makes heavy use of the brand-new concept of object-oriented programming, and runs on a virtual machine. All this back in 1979. They used every trick in the book to pack as much of the Underground Empire into computers that had only 32 kB of RAM. But more even more than a technological tour de force, Zork is an unmissable milestone in the history of computer gaming. But it didn’t spring up out of nowhere. [...] While home computers were still scarce, the concept of selling software to regular consumers was also new. This was the time when the Atari 2600 had just gone on sale, starting the second generation game consoles that were expandable to play more that one game through the use of plug-in cartridges. It was a new market, with many questions among MIT, Stanford and other students regarding the open hacker culture versus the world of commercial software. Some, like Richard Stallman, not changing their stance on this much since their student days at MIT. As the Zork developers were graduating, they realized that with the success of Zork on their hands, they had this one chance to commercialize it, taking their lives and careers into an entirely different direction from their original goals. With little standing in their way, Infocom was founded on June 22nd, 1979.
  • Gaming Platform War Update: Epic Games Store Suspends Accounts...For Buying Too Many Games
    As we've talked about before, it seems an era of gaming platform wars is upon us. While Valve's Steam platform mostly only had to contend with less-used storefronts like GOG and Origin, a recent front was opened up by the Epic Games Store, which has promised better cuts to publishers to get exclusive games and has attempted to wage a PR battle to make people mad at Steam. It's all quite involved, with opinions varying across the internet as to who the good and bad guys in this story are.