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FOSS Community Struggles to Patch Against Spectre, Meltdown Flaws
January 13, 2018
Many in the open source community worked feverishly this week to respond to heightened fears that software updates to fix the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities would put millions of computers at risk of slowdowns or even total disability. Updated kernels were released for mitigation of Meltdown variant 3, or CVE-2017-5754, for X86-64 architecture, said Canonical VP Dean Henrichsmeyer.
With Linux, You Don't Get One Kernel of Truth... You Get Many
January 9, 2018
As much as I love to poke at the inner workings of my computer, I'll admit that until recently, I didn't give much thought to which version of the Linux kernel my desktop system was running. For most desktop users, this isn't all that odd. Compatibility of kernel modules is often critical for servers and production systems, but day-to-day desktop usage doesn't change much from update to update.
New Open Source Mobile OS Puts Privacy Front and Center
January 5, 2018
A renowned Linux innovator has developed a new mobile operating system, called "Project eelo," in an effort to provide a level of data privacy that traditional Android and iOS devices fail to offer. The new eelo system will allow mobile phone users to regain control over their personal information at a price they can afford, said Gael Duval, who created Mandrake Linux back in 1998.
Massive Intel Chip Security Flaw Threatens Computers
January 3, 2018
A design flaw in all Intel chips produced in the last decade is responsible for a vulnerability that puts Linux, Windows and macOS-powered computers at risk, according to multiple press reports. The flaw reportedly is in the kernel that controls the chip performance, allowing commonly used programs to access the contents and layout of a computer's protected kernel memory areas.
P2P WiFi Plan Challenges ISP Dominance
December 20, 2017
Open Garden has announced the launch of a new P2P service that allows users to share Internet connections and unused plan data for free, with compensation in a new cryptocurrency as an extra incentive. The company is offering the service through an app that can be downloaded from Google Play. The system requires no hardware other than an Android phone to participate in the Internet access sharing.
Take Linux and Run With It
November 14, 2017
"How do you run an operating system?" may seem like a simple question, since most of us are accustomed to turning on our computers and seeing our system spin up. However, this common model is only one way of running an operating system. As one of Linux's greatest strengths is versatility, Linux offers the most methods and environments for running it.
IBM Adds 2 New Processors to Quantum Computing Ecosystem
November 13, 2017
IBM on Friday announced 20-qubit and 50-qubit quantum processors for its IBM Q early-access commercial systems. The 20-qubit processor -- featuring improvements in superconducting qubit design, connectivity and packaging -- has coherence times of 90 microseconds, which allows high-fidelity quantum operations, IBM said. The 50-qubit processor is an operational prototype.
Fixes MIA for Many Linux Kernel Flaws
November 11, 2017
A Google code security researcher's recent discovery of 14 flaws in Linux kernel USB drivers led to last-minute fixes in the Linux 4.14 release candidate code set for distribution on Sunday. The flaws, which Google researcher Andrey Konovalov disclosed this week, affect the Linux kernel before version 4.13.8. All 14 have available fixes. However, there are other flaws that have not been fixed.
New Collaborative Platform to Spur Open Source AI Development
November 2, 2017
The Linux Foundation has announced an agreement with AT&T and Tech Mahindra to launch the Acumos Project, a new platform for open source development of artificial intelligence. The new platform is part of a broader effort to open up opportunities for AI collaboration in the telecommunications, media and technology sectors. AT&T is a Platinum Member of The Linux Foundation.
Sonar Could Help Devs Build a Better Website
October 31, 2017
Microsoft's Sonar, released under an open source license, could help developers build more effective and secure websites. Sonar, a linting tool and site scanner, is the next evolution of the static scan tool, according to Microsoft. The team that developed Microsoft's Edge browser created Sonar as a better way for website maintainers to check performance and security issues.
Linux Foundation Launches Open Data Licensing Agreements
October 23, 2017
The Linux Foundation has introduced the Community Data License Agreement, a new framework for sharing large sets of data required for research, collaborative learning and other purposes. CDLAs will allow both individuals and groups to share data sets in the same way they share open source software code. The agreement could help foster an increase in data sharing across a variety of industries.
Samsung to Give Linux Desktop Experience to Smartphone Users
October 19, 2017
Samsung has announced a new app, Linux on Galaxy, designed to work with its DeX docking station to bring a full Linux desktop experience to Galaxy smartphone users. Samsung earlier this year introduced DeX, a docking station that connects to a monitor to give Galaxy smartphone users a desktop experience. With the Linux on Galaxy app, users will be able to run full Linux desktop distributions.
With the Shell, You Can Go Wild(card) and Follow Your Pipe Dream
October 6, 2017
There is more to the shell than commands composed of alphanumeric characters. In addition to those familiar programs, there is a whole host of processing tools hiding behind the symbols of a standard keyboard. To say nothing of their incredible potency in combination, each one is so powerful on its own that it helps to take a methodical approach to get familiar with them.
Hologram Debuts Open Source Cellular Modem for IoT
October 5, 2017
Hologram on Thursday launched Nova, the first open source modem for cellular connectivity. Nova is a USB cellular modem purpose-built for Internet of Things development. Its Hologram software tools are compatible with most single board computers, such as Raspberry Pi. The Nova modem is open source and unlocked, so its use is not limited to Hologram's SIMs.
Microsoft Digs Deeper to Bankroll Open Source Initiative
September 29, 2017
Microsoft this week became a premium sponsor of the Open Source Initiative, adding more financial heft to its growing commitment to the open source software movement. The company's new financial support will not translate into any special influence in the organization's decision making, noted OSI General Manager Patrick Masson. "OSI Corporate Sponsors have no role in OSI governance," he said.
Red Hat Enlarges Its Open Source Patent Promise Umbrella
September 22, 2017
Red Hat on Thursday announced major enhancements to the Patent Promise it first published 15 years ago, with the intention of providing new protections to innovation in the open source community. In its 2002 Patent Promise, Red Hat vowed not to pursue patent infringement actions against parties that used its covered Free and Open Source Software, or FOSS, subject to certain limitations.
Linux: Come for the Kernel, Stay for the Popcorn
September 20, 2017
Linux offers so much for users to sink their teeth into that even among desktop and more casual users, it's easy to get caught up in the tradecraft. It's only too tempting to put your system's technical capabilities to the test by trying out a new program or practicing a new command. As with any other interest, though, Linux is not much fun unless you can revel in it with fellow fans.
The Pirate Bay Takes Heat for Testing Monero Mining
September 19, 2017
The Pirate Bay has come under fire for testing a Monero javascript miner as a possible means for generating new revenue to replace its current model of making money through advertising on the site. It reportedly hijacked the processing power of its own users to help generate revenue. Monero is an open source digital currency, like bitcoin, with one important difference.
Apache Mounts Strong Defense, Equifax Retreats
September 12, 2017
The Apache Software Foundation has responded to accusations that the massive data breach Equifax disclosed last week resulted from a flaw in Apache's open source code. One of the largest financial data breaches in U.S. history, it exposed names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, birth dates, driver's license numbers and other sensitive information belonging to 143 million U.S. consumers.
Next US Elections: Open Source vs. Commercial Software?
September 7, 2017
San Francisco could become the first U.S. city to adopt open source software to run its voting machines. City officials last month authorized consulting group Slalom to prepare a report on the benefits and challenges involved in using an open source voting machine platform. Officials hope a move to open source will make San Francisco's voting software more transparent and secure.
Too Few Candidates to Fill Growing Number of Open Source Jobs
August 30, 2017
Open source hiring has been hampered by a lack of trained job-takers, according to The Linux Foundation, which released its sixth annual summary of career opportunities in open source last week. The report provides an overview of open source career trends, along with factors that motivate industry professionals, and methods employers use to attract and retain qualified talent.
Heading in the Right (Re)Direction
August 19, 2017
If you've taken the time to get the hang of terminal basics, you're probably at the point where you want to start putting together what you've learned. Sometimes issuing commands one at a time is enough, but there are cases when it can be tedious to enter command after command just to perform a simple task. This is where the extra symbols on your keyboard come in.
Automotive Grade Linux Reaches Key Car Platform Milestones
August 3, 2017
Automotive Grade Linux has released version 4.0 of the AGL infotainment platform and announced new projects to support telematics, instrument cluster, heads-up-display and a virtualization component. The group also announced that seven new companies have joined AGL and The Linux Foundation. The breadth of the seven new companies indicates the range of open source involvement in the auto industry.
The Elusive Total Linux Convergence Dream
July 28, 2017
Regular readers know that I usually stick to the well-charted territory of essential terminal commands and practical overviews of Linux history, since they are immediately useful to newcomers. Thankfully for beginners, the basics don't change very quickly -- but that's not to say that Linux is a stagnant ecosystem. Far from it. Linux can be found at the very frontier of emerging computer trends.
Open Source Flaw 'Devil's Ivy' Puts Millions of IoT Devices at Risk
July 21, 2017
Millions of IoT devices are vulnerable to cybersecurity attacks due to a vulnerability initially discovered in remote security cameras. Senrio found the flaw in a security camera developed by Axis Communications, one of the world's biggest manufacturers of the devices. The Model 3004 security camera is used for security at the Los Angeles International Airport, according to Senrio.
Microsoft Rolls Out Linux Support in SQL Server 2017 Release Candidate
July 19, 2017
Microsoft has announced the availability of its first public release candidate for SQL Server 2017, which includes full support for Linux. SQL Server on Linux improves on earlier previews with several key enhancements, including active directory authentication; transport layer security to encrypt data; and SQL Server Integration Services that add support for Unicode ODBC drivers.
SharkLinux OS Is Destined for Success
July 17, 2017
SharkLinux OS is one of those very rare newcomer distributions that has "Future Big Winner" written all over it. Over my many years of reviewing Linux software and distros for Linux Picks and Pans, I have found that the story of what spurred the developer to create the distro often showcases the driving power that enables open source software. That is the case with SharkLinux OS.
Fedora 26 Powers Up Cloud, Server, Workstation Systems
July 15, 2017
The Fedora Project has announced the general availability of Fedora 26, the latest version of the fully open source Fedora OS. Fedora Linux is the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL. Fedora 26 comprises a set of base packages that form the foundation of three distinct editions targeting different users. All three editions share a common base and some common strengths.
The Filesystem Hierarchy Standard Shows Which Bits Are Boss
July 11, 2017
If you've ever been curious enough to look through your system's root directory, you may have become a little overwhelmed. Most of the three-letter directory names don't tell you much about what they do, and if you ever needed to make important modifications, it would be tough to know where to look. I'd like to take those of you who haven't ventured much into your root directory on a brief tour.
OTA Report: Consumer Services Sites More Trustworthy Than .Gov Sites
June 22, 2017
The Online Trust Alliance on Tuesday released its 2017 Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll. Among its findings: Consumer services sites have the best combined security and privacy practices. FDIC 100 banks and U.S. government sites are the least trustworthy, according to the audit. The number of websites that qualified for the honor roll is at a nine-year high.
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Will Facebook be able to fix social media's biggest problems?
Yes, its return to emphasizing close relationships is a good start.
No, its efforts aren't sincere -- it only cares about its bottom line.
Yes, but only through a huge, sustained education effort.
No, people -- not the platform -- are the problem.
Yes, the problems are wildly exaggerated -- there's not much to fix.
No, and it's too big to fail, so the problems will only get worse.