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KaOS Linux's November 2017 Release Adds KDE Plasma 5.11.3, Linux Kernel 4.13.12

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OS
Linux

Almost every month, KaOS developers release an updated installation medium that contains all the latest GNU/Linux technologies and Open Source applications. The KaOS 2017.11 ISO snapshot comes the recently released KDE Plasma 5.11.3 desktop environment, as well as both KDE Applications 17.08.3 and KDE Frameworks 5.40.0 software stacks, all compiled against the Qt 5.9.2 application framework.

"KaOS repositories no longer provide Qt 4," said the devs in the release announcement. "Any application that has not made the transition to Qt 5 in all this time can no longer be supported in KaOS. Either they actually are no longer maintained or their development is ignoring the implications of building on a possible insecure toolkit."

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Anonymous Live OS Tails Now Powered by Linux Kernel 4.13, Latest Tor Software

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OS
Linux

Tails 3.3 comes one and a half months after the release of Tails 3.2, and while it's still based on the Debian GNU/Linux 9 "Stretch" operating system, the OS is now powered by the Linux 4.13 kernel series, which means more excellent support for running the distro on the latest hardware out there.

This release also comes with some of the latest TOR software to provide users with the best support when surfing the Web anonymously. Tails 3.3 includes Tor 0.3.1.8 client and server for connecting to Tor anonymous networks or running a Tor relay, as well as the Firefox-based Tor Browser 7.0.10 web browser.

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Also: Linux Distro Releases: “Polished” Linux Mint 18.3 Beta And “Anonymous” Tails 3.3

Chrome OS Getting Accelerated Video Decoding and Encoding Capabilities Info Soon

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OS

François Beaufort is always teasing Chromebook users with the latest features, and today he posted a message on his Google+ page that accelerated video decoding and encoding capabilities are now available in the internal chrome://gpu page in Chrome Canary.

It appears that the functionally works if you set profiles for various of the supported video codecs by Chrome OS, which can be decoded and encoded through hardware acceleration if your Chromebook is supported, which many of them are.

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MINIX's creator would have liked to know Intel was using it

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OS

When Andrew S. Tanenbaum created the educational, open-source operating system MINIX, he did it to teach operating system principles to his students at Amsterdam's Vrije Universiteit and to readers of his classic textbook, Operating Systems Design and Implementation. MINIX would become Linux's forefather. Tanenbaum knew that. What Tanenbaum didn't know was Intel would take MINIX and embed it within its CPUs for almost a decade.

As Tanenbaum wrote in an open letter: "Thanks for putting a version of MINIX inside the ME-11 management engine chip used on almost all recent desktop and laptop computers in the world. I guess that makes MINIX the most widely used computer operating system in the world, even more than Windows, Linux, or MacOS. And I didn't even know until I read a press report about it."

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Ethical Hacking OS Parrot Security 3.9 Officially Out, Parrot 4.0 In the Works

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OS
Security

Just a minor improvement to the Parrot Security 3.x series of the Linux-based operating system used by security researchers for various pentesting and ethical hacking tasks, Parrot Security OS 3.9 is here with all the latest security patches and bug fixes released upstream in the Debian GNU/Linux repositories.

But it also looks like it ships with some important new features that promise to make the ethical hacking computer operating system more secure and reliable. One of these is a new sandbox system based on the Firejail SUID program and designed to add an extra layer of protection to many apps, protecting users from 0day attacks.

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MINIX: ​Intel's hidden in-chip operating system

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OS
Hardware
Security

Why? Let's start with what. Matthew Garrett, the well-known Linux and security developer who works for Google, explained recently that, "Intel chipsets for some years have included a Management Engine [ME], a small microprocessor that runs independently of the main CPU and operating system. Various pieces of software run on the ME, ranging from code to handle media DRM to an implementation of a TPM. AMT [Active Management Technology] is another piece of software running on the ME."

In May, we found out that AMT had a major security flaw, which had been in there for nine -- count 'em -- nine years.

"Fixing this requires a system firmware update in order to provide new ME firmware (including an updated copy of the AMT code)," Garrett wrote. "Many of the affected machines are no longer receiving firmware updates from their manufacturers, and so will probably never get a fix," he said. "Anyone who ever enables AMT on one of these devices will be vulnerable."

[...]

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has called for Intel to provide a way for users to disable ME. Russian researchers have found a way to disable ME after the hardware has initialized, and the main processor has started. That doesn't really help much. ME is already running by then.

But Minnich found that what's going on within the chip is even more troubling. At a presentation at Embedded Linux Conference Europe, he reported that systems using Intel chips that have AMT, are running MINIX.

If you learned about operating systems in the late '80s and early '90s, you knew MINIX as Andrew S Tanenbaum's educational Unix-like operating system. It was used to teach operating system principles. Today, it's best known as the OS that inspired Linus Torvalds to create Linux.

So, what's it doing in Intel chips? A lot. These processors are running a closed-source variation of the open-source MINIX 3. We don't know exactly what version or how it's been modified since we don't have the source code.

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ElectOS uses open source to restore trust in voting machines

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OS
OSS

When people doubt that an election will be conducted fairly, their trust in the outcome and their leaders naturally erodes. That’s the challenge posed by electronic voting machines. Technology holds the promise of letting people vote more easily and remotely. But, they’re also prone to hacking and manipulation. How can trust be restored in voting machines and election results?

Voting demands the ultimate IoT machine (to borrow a line from BMW). The integrity of these machines with their combination of sensors, security and data analysis produce the results that impact every aspect of all our lives.

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PinguyOS Tosses Everything at the Desktop

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OS

For the longest time, naysayers were fairly intent on shutting down anyone who believed the Linux desktop would eventually make serious headway in the market. Although Linux has yet to breach 5 percent of that market, it continues to claw its way up. And with the help of very modern, highly efficient, user-friendly environments, like PinguyOS, it could make even more headway.

If you’ve never heard of PinguyOS, you’re in for a treat — especially if you’re new to Linux. PinguyOS is a Linux distribution, created by Antoni Norman, that is based on Ubuntu. The intention of PinguyOS is to look good, work well, and — most importantly — be easy to use. For the most part, the developers have succeeded with aplomb. It’s not perfect, but the PinguyOS desktop is certainly one that could make migrating to Linux a fairly easy feat for new users.

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RaspArch OS That Lets You Run Arch Linux on Your Raspberry Pi 3 Gets an Update

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OS
Linux

It's been almost a year since RaspArch OS received an update, and the latest build (171102) brings support for installing the Arch Linux-based GNU/Linux distribution on your Raspberry Pi 3 or Raspberry Pi 2 single-board computer from a Windows machine, using the win32 disk imager utility.

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Happy birthday ROS: A decade of open-source robotics

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OS
OSS

It all started ten years ago. ROS grew out of several early open-source robotic software frameworks, including switchyard by the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

The same year, legendary research lab and technology incubator Willow Garage hired its first employees: Jonathan Stark, Melonee Wise, Curt Meyers, and John Hsu. You can point to a lot of seminal moments in robotics history, but this is a top contender for the year modern robotics was born.

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Android Leftovers

Linux 4.10 To Linux 4.15 Kernel Benchmarks

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon has been enjoying its time on Linux 4.15. In addition to the recent boot time tests and kernel power comparison, here are some raw performance benchmarks looking at the speed from Linux 4.10 through Linux 4.15 Git. With this Broadwell-era Core i7 5600U laptop with 8GB RAM, HD Graphics, and 128GB SATA 3.0 SSD with Ubuntu 17.10 x86_64, the Linux 4.10 through 4.15 Git mainline kernels were benchmarked. Each one was tested "out of the box" and the kernel builds were obtained from the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel archive. Read more