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Android

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

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Android
Interviews
MDV

Open source had a moral purpose when it was fighting "The Borg", Microsoft, in the 1990s, but then it fell from view. You could say it has found its mojo again, only this time it is about loosening the grip of companies built on ever more intrusive personal data processing: Google and Facebook. One of the biggest but most promising challenges is creating an Android free of Google's data-slurping.

Four years ago there were four mobile platforms, but since Microsoft and BlackBerry withdrew, it's a duopoly of Apple and Google.

The creation of a new third platform – a Google-free Android – now looks feasible, given the Great Unbundling the European Commission is likely to order. But someone has to build the damn thing – and it's going to be a mammoth task.

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Android: Fuchsia, Galaxy X, and Switching to Android

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Android

RK3399 SBC has 9-36V DC and optional 4G, WiFi, serial, and HDMI-in modules

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Android
Ubuntu

ICNexus’ “SBC3100” SBC runs Ubuntu or Android on a Rockchip RK3399 with up to 4GB RAM and 16GB flash plus HDMI 2.0, DP, eDP, MIPI-DSI and -CSI, 9-36V power, optional WiFi/BT, and a mini-PCIe slot with optional 3G or 4G.

Taiwan-based ICNexus’ SBC3100 joins a growing list of SBCs that feature, the hhigh-end Rockchip RK3399 SoC, and like most, it taps the high-end SoC to provide an extensive feature list. Unlike most we’ve seen, however, it is not publicly priced and appears to be a proprietary product, such as Aaeon’s Pico-ITX based RICO-3399.

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Trouble at CopperheadOS

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OS
Android

LWN reviewed CopperheadOS, a security-enhanced Android distribution, in 2016. Unfortunately, the company behind CopperheadOS appears to have run into internal trouble; we don't dare venture a guess as to the specifics, even after watching the situation for a few days, beyond the fact that there is clearly a dispute between the founders.

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OSS Leftovers

  • Four top open source SIEM tools you should know
    With open source SIEM tools, organizations can test out certain capabilities and reduce cost barriers before expanding their product investments. Depending on what functions you're interested in, there is a variety of software to choose from. [...] Another choice for open source SIEM tools is Apache Metron. ELK Stack is a general purpose log and data parsing tool; Apache Metron focuses squarely on security. Apache Metron provides four main capabilities. First, it offers long-term, cost-effective storage of telemetry data through its security data lake feature. Second, it features an extensible framework that collects data from a variety of sources and supports any future endpoints. Third, Metron performs normal SIEM tasks, such as data ingest and threat alerts. The fourth capability is threat intelligence driven by machine learning-based anomaly detection.
  • Open Your Own Front Page Using Firefox New Tab
    Did you know Firefox has a unique page full of great links and ideas curated just for you? In one simple click, we’ve made it faster and easier for you to find things that are important to you whenever you open a new tab in Firefox.
  • pfSense Gold Free with 2.4.4-RELEASE
    Starting with the upcoming release of pfSense® 2.4.4, all of the services previously offered under “pfSense Gold” will continue, but will be free to all pfSense users. Read on for more detail.
  • Google Fined by EU for Antitrust Violations, Qt Creator 4.7.0 Now Available, New ownCloud Version 10.0.9, pfSense Gold to Be Free with the 2.4.4 Release, Kobol Relaunches Helios4
    Netgate announces that pfSense Gold will be free with the 2.4.4 release, including all services previously offered under the pfSense Gold subscription, such as the pfSense Book and monthly online Hangouts (video conferences). In addition, AutoConfigBackup (ACB) also will be free and will conform to GDPR best practices. The 2.4.4 release is planned for September 2018.
  • Emacs & TLS
    A recent query about the status of network security (TLS settings in particular) in Emacs led to a long thread in the emacs-devel mailing list. That thread touched on a number of different areas, including using OpenSSL (or other TLS libraries) rather than GnuTLS, what kinds of problems should lead to complaints out of the box, what settings should be the default, and when those settings could change for Emacs so as not to discombobulate users. The latter issue is one that lots of projects struggle with: what kinds of changes are appropriate for a bug-fix release versus a feature release. For Emacs, its lengthy development cycle, coupled with the perceived urgency of security changes, makes that question even more difficult.
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Openwashing Latest

Security: Spectre V1, Gentoo, Google’s Servers and Denuvo DRM

  • Spectre V1 defense in GCC
  • Signing and distributing Gentoo
    The compromise of the Gentoo's GitHub mirror was certainly embarrassing, but its overall impact on Gentoo users was likely fairly limited. Gentoo and GitHub responded quickly and forcefully to the breach, which greatly limited the damage that could be done; the fact that it was a mirror and not the master copy of Gentoo's repositories made it relatively straightforward to recover from. But the black eye that it gave the project has led some to consider ways to make it even harder for an attacker to add malicious content to Gentoo—even if the distribution's own infrastructure were to be compromised. Unlike other distributions, Gentoo is focused on each user building the software packages they want using the Portage software-management tool. This is done by using the emerge tool, which is the usual interface to Portage. Software "packages" are stored as ebuilds, which are sets of files that contain the information and code needed by Portage to build the software. The GitHub compromise altered the ebuilds for three packages to add malicious content so that users who pulled from those repositories would get it. Ebuilds are stored in the /usr/portage directory on each system. That local repository is updated using emerge --sync (which uses rsync under the hood), either from Gentoo's infrastructure or one of its mirrors. Alternatively, users can use emerge-webrsync to get snapshots of the Gentoo repository, which are updated daily. Snapshots are individually signed by the Gentoo infrastructure OpenPGP keys, while the /usr/portage tree is signed by way of Manifest files that list the hash of each file in a directory. The top-level Manifest is signed by the infrastructure team, so following and verifying the chain of hashes down to a particular file (while also making sure there are no unlisted files) ensures that the right files are present in the tree.
  • Here’s How Hackers Are Using Google’s Servers To Host Malware For Free
  • Pirates Punish Denuvo-Protected Games With Poor Ratings

    Denuvo's anti-piracy technology is a thorn in the side of game pirates. While it has been defeated on several occasions recently, the strict anti-piracy measures have not been without consequence. According to new research, Denuvo has frustrated pirates to a point where they sabotage reviews on Metacritic, leading to significantly lower ratings for protected games.

Games: EXAPUNKS, Minecraft, The Station, Chicken Assassin: Reloaded, Stack Gun Heroes