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Apple- and Microsoft-backed patent group ends its war on Android

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OS
Android
Microsoft
Mac
Legal

And just like that, the Rockstar Consortium's lawsuit campaign against Android is over. The patent holding group (backed by Apple, BlackBerry, Ericsson, Microsoft and Sony) has sold all of its commonly held patents to clearinghouse RPX for $900 million, or a fraction of the $4.5 billion the total patent pool was worth a few years ago. Rockstar will accordingly drop the lawsuits that it still had left, including those leveled against HTC, LG and Samsung. Don't worry that RPX will promptly turn around and sue someone else, either. It already has a deal to license those patents for defensive purposes to a group of 30-plus companies, including Google and Cisco, while the Rockstar companies get to keep their licenses.

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nOS Infinity Is a Unique-Looking OS Powered by KDE – Gallery

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OS
KDE

nOS Infinity is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu that uses the KDE desktop environment. It's built for old and new computers and it's quite different from what you might expect.

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Jolla's Sailfish OS Update 10 Is Now Available

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OS
Linux

The tenth update to Jolla's Sailfish mobile operating system is now available. This update is version 1.1.1.26 and is codenamed Vaarainjärvi.

This latest update to Jolla's Sailfish OS includes the device lock now supporting alpha-numeric codes, copy-paste support between Android and native Sailfish apps, Mail app improvements, new overlays for maps, search improvements, unification to the accounts framework, new MMS settings, UI improvements, and an assortment of other improvements.

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Efl and Elementary 1.12.2 releases

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OS

Here is another update for the 1.12.x series for EFL and Elementary, courtesy of the EFL team. The Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) is the prefered native development framework for Tizen and provides all the libraries you need to create powerful applications.

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Inside CoreOS Linux, Why Fleet and etcd Matter [VIDEO]

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OS
Linux

CoreOS has emerged over the course of 2014 to become an interesting approach to building and deploying a Linux distribution, focused on container deployment.

Helping lead the development of CoreOS is CTO Brandon Philips. In a video interview with ServerWatch, Philips explains how the key components of Linux ServerCoreOS, including Fleet and etcd, come together and how the Linux distribution works.

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Linux Lite 2.2 Is a Light and Fun OS for Users Disappointed in Windows

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OS
Ubuntu

The final version of Linux Lite 2.2, a distribution based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS created to show people just how easy it is for non-technical folks to use a Linux distribution, has finally arrived and it's packed with a lot of changes and improvements.

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Arch-Based Manjaro Users Express Concern Over Update Strategy

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OS

While I've ran benchmarks of the Arch-based Manjaro Linux distribution in the past and found it a convenient way to play with Arch and overall a nice distribution, it seems for users running it day in and day out aren't entirely satisfied with the update strategy of Manjaro.

Manjaro's stable repository isn't frequently updated but the developers strive to update it about bi-weekly and by default there's no continual flow of fresh packages from Manjaro. Right now though Manjaro's stable repository hasn't been updated in over one month -- since 25 October -- and that includes no security fixes.

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GenodeOS 14.11 Now Supports Intel's Wireless Hardware

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OS
OSS

Released today was version 14.11 of the Genode OS Framework, an interesting open-source OS research project we've been following for a few years now.

The big addition to Genode OS 14.11 is the addition of an Intel wireless stack. The latest Intel WiFi hardware is now supported by Genode thanks to its developers porting the Intel WiFi driver from Linux (iwlwifi) along with WPA supplicant application support to enable WiFi WPA access.

Genode OS 14.11 also brings an implementation of a trading scheme for CPU resources. There's also a new dynamic linker, Raspberry Pi networking support, new GUI components, and other changes.

More details on the new release of Genode OS 14.11 can be found at Genode.org.

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Ubuntu 14.10 MacBook Air Tests With Linux 3.18, Mesa 10.5

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OS

This week I posted some OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 benchmarks from a Haswell-based Apple MacBook Air. Ubuntu 14.10 out-of-the-box was largely performing better than Apple's latest OS X Yosemite release while today are some more Ubuntu OpenGL numbers tossed in for the graphics tests when upgrading against Intel's latest HD Graphics code for Linux.

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Parted Magic 2014.11.19 Now Has Boot Repair Option

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OS
GNU
Linux

Parted Magic is a Linux distribution that features numerous tools for disk management, such as GParted and Parted. It’s one of the best distros of its kind, but also a commercial OS.

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More in Tux Machines

Networking and Security

  • FAQ: What's so special about 802.11ad Wi-Fi?
    Here are the broad strokes about 802.11ad, the wireless technology that’s just starting to hit the market.
  • 2.5 and 5 Gigabit Ethernet Now Official Standards
    In 2014, multiple groups started efforts to create new mid-tier Ethernet speeds with the NBASE-T Alliance starting in October 2014 and MGBASE-T Alliance getting started a few months later in December 2014. While those groups started out on different paths, the final 802.3bz standard represents a unified protocol that is interoperable across multiple vendors. The promise of 2.5 and 5 Gbps Ethernet is that they can work over existing Cat5 cabling, which to date has only been able to support 1 Gbps. Now with the 802.3bz standard, organizations do not need to rip and replace cabling to get Ethernet that is up to five times faster. "Now, the 1000BASE-T uplink from the wireless to wired network is no longer sufficient, and users are searching for ways to tap into higher data rates without having to overhaul the 70 billion meters of Cat5e / Cat6 wiring already sold," David Chalupsky, board of directors of the Ethernet Alliance and Intel principal engineer, said in a statement. "IEEE 802.3bz is an elegant solution that not only addresses the demand for faster access to rapidly rising data volumes, but also capitalizes on previous infrastructure investments, thereby extending their life and maximizing value."
  • A quick fix for stupid password reset questions
    It didn’t take 500 million hacked Yahoo accounts to make me hate, hate, hate password reset questions (otherwise known as knowledge-based authentication or KBA). It didn't help when I heard that password reset questions and answers -- which are often identical, required, and reused on other websites -- were compromised in that massive hack, too. Is there any security person or respected security guidance that likes them? They are so last century. What is your mother’s maiden name? What is your favorite color? What was your first pet’s name?
  • French hosting provider hit by DDoS close to 1TBps
    A hosting provider in France has been hit by a distributed denial of service attack that went close to one terabyte per second. Concurrent attacks against OVH clocked in at 990GBps. The attack vector is said to be the same Internet-of-Things botnet of 152,464 devices that brought down the website of security expert Brian Krebs. OVH chief technology officer Octave Klaba tweeted that the network was capable of attacks up to 1.5TBps.
  • Latest IoT DDoS Attack Dwarfs Krebs Takedown At Nearly 1Tbps Driven By 150K Devices
    If you thought that the massive DDoS attack earlier this month on Brian Krebs’ security blog was record-breaking, take a look at what just happened to France-based hosting provider OVH. OVH was the victim of a wide-scale DDoS attack that was carried via network of over 152,000 IoT devices. According to OVH founder and CTO Octave Klaba, the DDoS attack reached nearly 1 Tbps at its peak. Of those IoT devices participating in the DDoS attack, they were primarily comprised of CCTV cameras and DVRs. Many of these types devices' network settings are improperly configured, which leaves them ripe for the picking for hackers that would love to use them to carry our destructive attacks.

Android Leftovers

  • Goodbye QWERTY: BlackBerry stops making hardware
    BlackBerry CEO John Chen has been hinting at this move for almost a year now: today BlackBerry announced it will no longer design hardware. Say goodbye to all the crazy hardware QWERTY devices, ultra-wide phones, and unique slider designs. Speaking to investors, BlackBerry CEO John Chen described the move as a "pivot to software," saying, "The company plans to end all internal hardware development and will outsource that function to partners. This allows us to reduce capital requirements and enhance return on invested capital." The "Outsourcing to partners" plan is something we've already seen with the "BlackBerry" DTEK50, which was just a rebranded Alcatel Idol 4. Chen is now betting the future of the company on software, saying, "In Q2, we more than doubled our software revenue year over year and delivered the highest gross margin in the company's history. We also completed initial shipments of BlackBerry Radar, an end-to-end asset tracking system, and signed a strategic licensing agreement to drive global growth in our BBM consumer business." BlackBerry never effectively responded to the 2007 launch of the iPhone and the resulting transition to modern touchscreen smartphones. BlackBerry took swings with devices like the BlackBerry Storm in 2008, its first touchscreen phone; and the BlackBerry Z10 in 2013, the first BlackBerry phone with an OS designed for touch, but neither caught on. BlackBerry's first viable competitor to the iPhone didn't arrive until it finally switched to Android in 2015 with the BlackBerry Priv. It was the first decent BlackBerry phone in some time, but the high price and subpar hardware led to poor sales.
  • Oracle's 'Gamechanger' Evidence Really Just Evidence Of Oracle Lawyers Failing To Read
    Then on to the main show: Oracle's claim that Google hid the plans to make Android apps work on Chrome OS. Google had revealed to Oracle its "App Runtime for Chrome" (ARC) setup, and it was discussed by Oracle's experts, but at Google I/O, Google revealed new plans for apps to run in Chrome OS that were not using ARC, but rather a brand new setup, which Google internally referred to as ARC++. Oracle argued that Google only revealed to them ARC, but not ARC++ and that was super relevant to the fair use argument, because it showed that Android was replacing more than just the mobile device market for Java. But, here's Oracle's big problem: Google had actually revealed to Oracle the plans for ARC++. It appears that Oracle's lawyers just missed that fact. Ouch.
  • Understanding Android's balance between openness and security
    At the 2016 Structure Security conference, Google's Adrian Ludwig talked about the balance between keeping Android as open as possible, while also keeping it secure.
  • Google's Nougat Android update hits the sweet spot: Software 'isn't flashy, but still pretty handy'
    Nougat, Google's latest update of its Android smartphone software, isn't particularly flashy; you might not even notice what's different about it at first. But it offers a number of practical time-saving features, plus a few that could save money — and perhaps even your life. Nougat is starting to appear on phones, including new ones expected from Google next week.
  • How to change the home screen launcher on Android
  • Andromeda: Chrome OS and Android will merge
  • Sale of Kodi 'fully-loaded' streaming boxes faces legal test
  • Android boxes: Middlesbrough man to be first to be prosecuted for selling streaming kits

Endless OS 3.0 is out!

So our latest and greatest Endless OS is out with the new 3.0 version series! The shiny new things include the use of Flatpak to manage the applications; a new app center (GNOME Software); a new icon set; a new Windows installer that gives you the possibility of installing Endless OS in dual-boot; and many bug fixes. Read more

Expandable, outdoor IoT gateway runs Android on i.MX6

VIA’s “Artigo A830” IoT gateway runs Android on an i.MX6 DualLite SoC and offers HDMI, GbE, microSD, numerous serial and USB ports, plus -20 to 60° operation. As the name suggests, the VIA Technologies Artigo A830 Streetwise IoT Platform is designed for outdoor Internet of Things gateway applications. These are said to include smart lockers, vending machines, information kiosks, and signage devices that run “intensive multimedia shopping, entertainment, and navigation applications.” The outdoors focus is supported with an extended -20 to 60°C operating range, as well as surge and ESD protection for surviving challenges such as a nearby lightning strike. Read more