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The Two Faces of Open Source: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 5
February 6, 2020
The open source software movement has evolved dramatically over the past two decades. Many businesses that once considered open source a threat now recognize its value. In spite of increased enthusiasm among enterprises, consumer interest by and large has not materialized. With large companies increasingly embracing open source, what does it mean to be a part of the FOSS "community"?
Petitioners Demand Microsoft Release a Free Windows 7
January 28, 2020
The Free Software Foundation wants Microsoft to keep Windows 7 alive as a free operating system. Microsoft stopped providing free security patches and support for Windows 7 earlier this month. Although the popular operating system reached its 10th birthday last fall, some 200 million PCs around the globe still run it, according to industry estimates.
Canonical Introduces Scalable Android-Based Cloud Platform
January 21, 2020
Canonical is deploying a scalable Android-based operating system for mobile and desktop enterprise applications from the cloud. The company just announced its Anbox Cloud containerized workload platform. Anbox Cloud allows apps to be streamed to any operating system or form factor. Its uses include cloud gaming, enterprise workplace applications, software testing and mobile device virtualization.
What's in Your Containers? Try an Open Source Tool to Find Out
January 14, 2020
As most security pros know, application containers -- Docker, rkt, etc. -- and the orchestration elements employed to support them, such as Kubernetes, are used increasingly in many organizations. Often the security organization isn't exactly the first stop on the path to deployment of these tools. If it was in your shop, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.
Arduino Aims to Secure IoT With New Dev Platform, Hardware
January 10, 2020
Arduino announced a new low-code Internet of Things application development platform at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. It also introduced the low-power Arduino Portenta H7 module, a new family of Portenta chips for a variety of hardware applications. Arduino has achieved prominence as a go-to developer of an innovation platform for connecting IoT products.
Tech Firms Join Forces to Create Smart Home Connectivity Standard
December 19, 2019
Amazon, Apple, Google and the Zigbee Alliance are teaming up on a new Internet Protocol-based standard for smart home device connectivity. Connected Home over IP will be an open source project. A working group will define a specific set of IP-based networking technologies for device certification. The goal is to enable communication across smart home devices, mobile apps and cloud services.
Data-Munching Bug Throws Chrome 79 Android Rollout Into Chaos
December 17, 2019
Google has stalled the rollout of its Chrome 79 Web browser for Android devices until it can find a way to neutralize a data-destroying bug. Affected users have been vilifying Google and app developers for failing to head off the problem. The latest Chrome version contains two highly anticipated new features: phishing protection, and the ability to reorder bookmarks.
Devs: Open Source Is Growing Despite Challenges
December 10, 2019
Optimism about the future of open source is high among software developers worldwide. However, a growing number of devs worry that a lack of funding threatens its sustainability. That is a key takeaway from DigitalOcean's second annual open source survey. The online survey provides a snapshot of the state of open source, as well as a gauge of the inclusivity and friendliness of contributors.
You've Come a Long Way, Linux-Baby
November 27, 2019
When Linux first emerged from its cocoon in a frenzied Usenet thread, it is doubtful that almost anyone imagined the project would ascend to global prominence. Even more astonishingly, its dominance was driven as much, if not more, by its adoption by the private sector -- although it posed an antithesis to its business model -- as by any of its other notable traits.
How the Quantum Tech Race Puts the World's Data at Risk
November 27, 2019
The technology one-upmanship between the United States and China is fast becoming the new space race. There's been a lot of talk in the press about the competition to reach 5G, but little traction outside of the tech community about something more momentous: the dangers of computing in a post-quantum world. The recent news from Google about its quantum capabilities is exciting.
Linux Inside Azure Sphere on the Horizon
October 30, 2019
Azure Sphere will be generally available in Feb 2020, Microsoft has announced. Its scheduled arrival highlights Microsoft's readiness to fulfill its promise for better IoT device security at scale. Microsoft first introduced Azure Sphere in 2018, opting to use its own version of a Linux operating system instead of Windows 10 to drive its new Azure Sphere OS to securely connect IoT devices.
Samsung's Support for Linux on DeX Fizzles
October 22, 2019
Samsung has called quits on its effort to provide a full Linux desktop platform for Android. In an email to beta testers last week, Samsung said it would not support its Linux on DeX beta program for future OS and device releases. Samsung's announcement coincides with Google's release of the Android 10 OS update and its rollout on Samsung phones. Neither company will provide Linux on DeX support.
'Serious' Linux Sudo Bug's Damage Potential Actually May Be Small
October 16, 2019
Developers have patched a vulnerability in Sudo, a core command utility for Linux, that could allow a user to execute commands as a root user even if that root access was specifically disallowed. The patch prevents potential serious consequences within Linux systems. However, the Sudo vulnerability posed a threat only to a narrow segment of the Linux user base, according to Todd Miller, a maintainer of the open source Sudo project.
Devs Engage in Soul-Searching on Future of Open Source
October 8, 2019
Two things to avoid in online discussions are politics and religion. Open source technology may be an explosive third topic that software developers should be wary of subjecting to a virtual debate. Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg and Ruby on Rails creator and Basecamp cofounder David Heinemeier Hansson got into an all-out Twitter slugfest last week about the role of open source.
Spotlight on Cybersecurity Awareness: Own IT, Secure IT, Protect IT
September 27, 2019
Cybersecurity should be a concern for all businesses -- large and small. Cybersecurity also should be a concern for consumers, government agencies, and basically anyone who relies on the Internet in our increasingly connected world. Among efforts to focus attention on the threatscape is designating October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Pine64 Teases $25 Linux Smartwatch
September 17, 2019
While open source enthusiasts still await the year of the Linux desktop, hardware developer Pine64 is advancing the cause of a $25 Linux-powered smartwatch, dubbed "PineTime." The Pine64 community has invited developers with an interest in smartwatches to join in its efforts to bring the product to market. Pine64 makes inexpensive Linux-based single board ARM computers that cost $15 to $20.
Drauger OS Makes a Capable Linux Game Console Platform
August 29, 2019
Drauger OS is a relatively new Linux distro for users with a penchant for games. Several design elements make this Linux gaming platform different from typical distributions that merely pack digital titles. However, it lacks a few productivity tools that otherwise would make it a daily computing driver out of the box. This is a distro targeting game players who want good desktop performance.
GitHub Blocks Devs in US-Sanctioned Regions
July 30, 2019
GitHub is blocking users in Crimea, Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Syria from accessing its services to comply with U.S. trade control laws. The Microsoft-owned company disclosed the action on a support page as a courtesy, noting that GitHub users ultimately are responsible for ensuring that their use of GitHub's products and services complies with all applicable laws and regulations.
Microsoft, OpenAI Shoot for the Stars
July 23, 2019
Microsoft wants to empower its Azure cloud computing service with yet-to-exist artificial general intelligence technologies to create new goals for supercomputing. It has announced a $1B investment through a partnership with OpenAI to build new AI technologies. The two companies hope to extend Microsoft Azure's capabilities in large-scale AI systems.
The Router's Obstacle-Strewn Route to Home IoT Security
July 10, 2019
It is newly minted conventional wisdom that not a single information security conference goes by without a presentation about the abysmal state of IoT security. While this is a boon for researchers looking to make a name for themselves, this sorry state of affairs is definitely not beneficial for anyone who owns a connected device. IoT device owners aren't the only ones fed up, though.
Next-Gen Raspberry Pi 4 Packs Power Plus Potential
June 25, 2019
The next big Raspberry Pi thing is now here, with lots more computing power and more options. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced the availability of Raspberry Pi 4, a comprehensive upgrade that touches nearly every element of the computing platform. Users have a choice of three memory capacities. The entry-level 1 GB RAM retains the signature $35 price; 2 GB costs $45; 4 GB sells for $55.
GitHub Opens New Door to Financial Support for Open Source Devs
May 29, 2019
GitHub has made it easier for open source developers to garner financial support as recipients of paid sponsorships. GitHub Sponsors, launched in beta last week, is a new funding mechanism that enables open source users to make recurring payments, much like crowdfunding services such as Patreon and managed open source subscription services like Tidelift.
Digging for Bitcoin Is a Labor of Love
May 16, 2019
It would have been reasonable for those attending Josh Bressers' session at CypherCon -- myself included -- to expect a presentation by a cryptocurrency expert. It was billed as a talk about plumbing the depths of the bitcoin blockchain. When Bressers admitted that his material grew out of a hobby, I was surprised. Still, the talk was far from disappointing.
Microsoft Becomes Master of Its Own Linux Kernel
May 9, 2019
Microsoft has announced that its own full Linux kernel will power WSL2, the newest version of the Windows Subsystem for Linux. This marks the first time that Microsoft will include the Linux kernel as a component in Windows. Microsoft also introduced a Windows command line terminal that will add functionality to PowerShell and WSL. Both are intended primarily for developers.
Open Source Flaw Management Shows Signs of Improvement: Report
April 30, 2019
Almost two years after the infamous Equifax breach, many organizations still struggle to identify and manage open source risk across their application portfolios. Meanwhile, the latest report tracking open source security shows a 40 percent rise in the average number of open source components detected in each codebase analyzed. The scanned software includes commercial applications.
Red Hat Breathes New Life Into Java
April 23, 2019
Red Hat is the new keeper of the keys to two popular versions of the open source Java implementation, OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11. The company has taken over stewardship from Oracle, which ended commercial support for Java 8 and the Oracle JDK 8 implementation of Java SE last year. Oracle left the enterprise Java business when it transitioned support and maintenance to the Eclipse Foundation.
Qualcomm: Rethinking AI in a 5G Quantum World
April 15, 2019
It is expected that 5G will move aggressively into the market, with near-complete major metropolitan coverage by the end of the year. This technology is a game-changer, but it doesn't come without issues, one of which is the massive change in network loading. 5G will shift the bottlenecks from the wireless networks to the backhaul, where the expected massive increase in traffic will force some rather impressive network upgrades.
Microsoft's Edge Goes With the Chromium Flow
April 10, 2019
Microsoft has released the first Dev and Canary channel builds of the next version of Microsoft Edge, based on the Chromium open source project. The company last year revealed that it was reworking its browser to be based on Chromium. Now the latest developments are ready for early testers on several versions of Windows and macOS. So far, however, no support is available for Linux.
Telegram Provides Nuclear Option to Erase Sent Messages
March 26, 2019
Telegram Messaging has introduced a new feature that allows user to delete not only their own comments, but also those of all other participants in the message thread on all devices that received it. Although the move is meant to bolster privacy, it's likely to spark some controversy. Telegram, a cloud-based instant messaging and VoIP service, is similar to WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
MOREbot Introduces Kids to Robotics Using 3D Printed Parts
March 19, 2019
MORE Technologies last week launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $20,000 for development of its open source robot ecosystem. The company will fund the project if it reaches its goal by April 21. It teaches real tech skills to the next generation of innovators and problem solvers using MOREbot -- a series of open source, customizable robotics kits.
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