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Fuchsia and Android

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More in Tux Machines

OSS Leftovers

  • We already have nice things, and other reasons not to write in-house ops tools
    When I was an ops consultant, I had the "great fortune" of seeing the dark underbelly of many companies in a relatively short period of time. Such fortune was exceptionally pronounced on one client engagement where I became the maintainer of an in-house deployment tool that had bloated to touch nearly every piece of infrastructure—despite lacking documentation and testing. Dismayed at the impossible task of maintaining this beast while tackling the real work of improving the product, I began reviewing my old client projects and probing my ops community for their strategies. What I found was an epidemic of "not invented here" (NIH) syndrome and a lack of collaboration with the broader community.
  • Open Source Program Benefits Survey Results
    There are many organizations out there, from companies like Red Hat to internet scale giants like Google and Facebook that have established an open source programs office (OSPO). The TODO Group, a network of open source program managers, recently performed the first ever annual survey of corporate open source programs and revealed some interesting findings on the actual benefits of open source programs.
  • LLVM Still Proceeding With Their Code Relicensing
    It's been three years since the original draft proposal for relicensing the LLVM compiler code was sent out and while there hasn't been a lot to report on recently about the effort, they are making progress and proceeding. Since 2015 LLVM developers have been discussing relicensing to an Apache 2.0 license to help motivate new contributors, protect users of LLVM code, better protect existing contributors, ensure that LLVM run-time libraries can be used by both other open-source and proprietary compilers.
  • Automating upstream releases with release-bot
    Good news: We have developed a tool called release-bot that automates the process. All you need to do is file an issue into your upstream repository and release-bot takes care of the rest. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, let’s look at what needs to be set up for this automation to happen. I’ve chosen the meta-test-family upstream repository as an example.

Security: Facebook, GNU Binutils and Epson/HP

  • What To Do If Your Account Was Caught in the Facebook Breach
    Keeping up with Facebook privacy scandals is basically a full-time job these days. Two weeks ago, it announced a massive breach with scant details. Then, this past Friday, Facebook released more information, revising earlier estimates about the number of affected users and outlining exactly what types of user data were accessed. Here are the key details you need to know, as well as recommendations about what to do if your account was affected. 30 Million Accounts Affected The number of users whose access tokens were stolen is lower than Facebook originally estimated. When Facebook first announced this incident, it stated that attackers may have been able to steal access tokens—digital “keys” that control your login information and keep you logged in—from 50 to 90 million accounts. Since then, further investigation has revised that number down to 30 million accounts. The attackers were able to access an incredibly broad array of information from those accounts. The 30 million compromised accounts fall into three main categories. For 15 million users, attackers access names and phone numbers, emails, or both (depending on what people had listed).
  • GNU Binutils read_reloc Function Denial of Service Vulnerability [CVE-2018-18309]
  • Security Updates Are Even Breaking Your Printer (On Purpose)
    Printer manufacturers hate third-party ink cartridges. They want you buying the expensive, official ones. Epson and HP have issued sneaky “updates” that break these cheaper cartridges, forcing you to buy the expensive ones. HP pioneered this technique back in 2016, rolling out a “security update” to its OfficeJet and OfficeJet Pro printers that activated a helpful new feature—helpful for HP’s bottom line, at least. Now, before printing, the printer would verify you’re using new HP ink cartridges. If you’re using a competitor’s ink cartridge or a refilled HP ink cartridge, printing would stop. After some flaming in the press, HP sort-of apologized, but not really.

Android Leftovers

Kernel: Keeping Control in the Hands of the User and KUnit

  • Keeping Control in the Hands of the User
    Various efforts always are underway to implement Secure Boot and to add features that will allow vendors to lock users out of controlling their own systems. In that scenario, users would look helplessly on while their systems refused to boot any kernels but those controlled by the vendors. The vendors' motivation is clear—if they control the kernel, they can then stream media on that computer without risking copyright infringement by the user. If the vendor doesn't control the system, the user might always have some secret piece of software ready to catch and store any streamed media that could then be shared with others who would not pay the media company for the privilege. Recently, Chen Yu and other developers tried to submit patches to enhance Secure Boot so that when the user hibernated the system, the kernel itself would encrypt its running image. This would appear to be completely unnecessary, since as Pavel Machek pointed out, there is already uswsusp (userspace software suspend), which encrypts the running image before suspending the system. As Pavel said, the only difference was that uswusp ran in userspace and not kernel space.
  • Google Engineer Proposes KUnit As New Linux Kernel Unit Testing Framework
    Google engineer Brendan Higgins sent out an experimental set of 31 patches today introducing KUnit as a new Linux kernel unit testing framework to help preserve and improve the quality of the kernel's code. KUnit is a unit testing framework designed for the Linux kernel and inspired by the well known JUnit as well as Googletest and other existing unit testing frameworks for designing unit tests and related functionality.