Future versions of Android will be more resilient to exploits thanks to developers' efforts to integrate the latest Linux kernel defenses into the operating system.
Android's security model relies heavily on the Linux kernel that sits at its core. As such, Android developers have always been interested in adding new security features that are intended to prevent potentially malicious code from reaching the kernel, which is the most privileged area of the operating system.
The team behind LaunchKit, a set of tools that helps developers launch their apps, is heading to Google and joining the Developer Product Group.
It doesn’t look like LaunchKit’s products are moving over to Google, so the team decided to open-source its products and make them available on GitHub. LaunchKit’s hosted services will be available for the next 12 months. After that, they will be discontinued.
LaunchKit currently offers four tools and developers will now be able to take them and run them themselves: Screenshot Builder for easily creating annotated screenshots for Apple’s and Google’s store, App Website Builder for creating responsive landing pages for new apps, Review Monitor for — well… — tracking reviews in Apple’s App Store, and Sales Reporter for keeping track of sales. The team has also written a couple of how-to guides for developers, too.
It's no secret that Chrome OS has not been the same striking success for Google that the Android OS has been. And yet, Chromebooks--portable computers running the platform--have not only found their niche, but they are also introducing a new generation to cloud computing. Chromebooks are firmly entrenched in the education market, where many young users have become used to the convention of storing apps and data in the cloud.
Now, according to new research from Gartner, Chromebooks are ready to hit new milestones. Analysts there report that Chromebook shipment growth will be in the double digits this year. At the same time, though, Chromebooks have not become fixtures in the enterprise, replacing Windows PCs.
The Nouveau open-source NVIDIA DRM driver changes have been queued in DRM-Next for the Linux 4.8 kernel.
Nouveau updates this time around include GK20A/GM20B Tegra K1/X1 voltage and clock improvements as well as initial support for GP100 and GP104 GPUs. The latter provides initial KMS support for the GeForce GTX 1000 series. While NVIDIA did release some Pascal firmware, it ended up being only for the GP100 and not the GP104 or GP106. Thus with Linux 4.8 there isn't any hardware-accelerated support for the consumer GeForce GTX 1060/1070/1080 cards on the open-source driver stack. For those cards it comes down to un-accelerated kernel mode-setting support until NVIDIA releases the rest of the Pascal firmware in the future.
The tooling around Linux containers has matured to the point that they are now a viable method of software packaging and deployment. The developer side of the containers equation has gotten a lot of emphasis. However, in order for containers to be a complete solution, they must not only be easy to build, but easy to deploy reliably at scale.
A company that arguably has more experience than any other company in deploying Linux containers at scale is Google. They have been running conatiners in their own datacenters for over a decade, contributing to the upstream Linux kernel in the areas of cgroups and namespaces. Using an internal system named Borg, Google deploys about 2 billion containers per week.
Google’s “Project Bloks” education platform is built around a Raspberry Pi Zero that controls baseboards that talk to “Puck” inputs via a capacitive sensor.
Google announced a Project Bloks hacker platform for kids, developed with IDEO and Paulo Blikstein of Stanford University. A prototype has been built based on the Linux-driven Raspberry Pi Zero SBC, and now Google is seeking researchers, developers, and designers who are interested in using the technology “to build physical coding experiences.” Later this year, Google will conduct a remote research study with the help of these partners.
A nice surprise landed on my Chromebook Flip when I checked for updates late last week. The dev channel running on Chromebook was ready with the much awaited 53.0.x update that brings the Google Play Store to Chrome OS devices. I updated it and I have been running Android apps on my Chromebook Flip since Friday.
For now, there's only one Chromebook that will do it, the ASUS Chromebook Flip, but soon most newer models Chromebooks will be able to run most of the 1.5 million Android apps.