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February 2018

Stable kernels 4.15.7, 4.14.23, 4.9.85, 4.4.119 and 3.18.97

Compact module runs Ubuntu on AMD’s Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC

Filed under
Ubuntu

Seco announced an Ubuntu-ready “COMe-B75-CT6” COM Express Type 6 Compact module featuring AMD’s new Ryzen Embedded V1000, and offering support for four simultaneous 4K displays and an optional industrial temperature range.

Earlier this week, we covered Congatec’s COM Express Type 6 Basic (125 x 95mm) Conga-TR4 module, which features the 14nm Ryzen Embedded V1000, AMD’s new successor to the R-Series “Merlin Falcon.” Seco, meanwhile, announced the COMe-B75-CT6 — the first Type 6 Compact module based on the V1000 — sporting the smaller 95 x 95mm Compact form factor.

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Security: “Medjacking”, Exploding e-Cigarettes, and Linux FUD

Filed under
Security
  • “Medjacked”: Could Hackers Take Control of Pacemakers and Defibrillators—or Their Data?

    Are high-tech medical devices vulnerable to hacks? Hackers have targeted them for years, according to a new article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. But Dr. Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, senior author of the paper, says hackers have harmed no one so far.

  • Exploding e-Cigarettes Are a Growing Danger to Public Health

    Whatever their physiological effects, the most immediate threat of these nicotine-delivery devices comes from a battery problem called thermal runaway

    [...]

    Exploding cigarettes sound like a party joke, but today’s version isn’t funny at all. In fact, they are a growing danger to public health. Aside from mobile phones, no other electrical device is so commonly carried close to the body. And, like cellphones, e-cigarettes pack substantial battery power. So far, most of the safety concerns regarding this device have centered on the physiological effects of nicotine and of the other heated, aerosolized constituents of the vapor that carries nicotine into the lungs. That focus now needs to be widened to include the threat of thermal runaway in the batteries, especially the lithium-ion variety.

  • Uh, oh! Linux confuses Bleeping Computer again

    The tech website Bleeping Computer, which carries news about security and malware, has once again demonstrated that when it comes to Linux, its understanding of security is somewhat lacking.

    What makes the current case surprising is the fact that the so-called security issue which the website chose to write about had already been ripped to pieces by senior tech writer Stephen Vaughan-Nicholls four days earlier.

    Called Chaos, the vulnerability was touted by a firm known as GoSecure as one that would allow a backdoor into Linux servers through SSH.

  • Are Mac and Linux users safe from ransomware?

    Ransomware is currently not much of a problem for Linux systems. A pest discovered by security researchers is a Linux variant of the Windows malware ‘KillDisk’. However, this malware has been noted as being very specific; attacking high profile financial institutions and also critical infrastructure in Ukraine. Another problem here is that the decryption key that is generated by the program to unlock the data is not stored anywhere, which means that any encrypted data cannot be unlocked, whether the ransom is paid or not. Data can still sometimes be recovered by experts like Ontrack, however timescales, difficulty and success rates depend on the exact situation and strain of ransomware.

Red Hat News and Press Releases

Filed under
Red Hat
  • Red Hat Announces New Innovations in Management Portfolio

    Red Hat, Inc., an open source software solutions company, has introduced new innovations in its management portfolio, which include the latest releases of Red Hat CloudForms and Red Hat Satellite. The company says the new innovations are devised to speed up deployments of cloud environments powered by Red Hat and also simplify and automate current infrastructure management.

  • Red Hat and Azul Collaborate for High Density In-Memory Data Storage
  • Red Hat Honors Instructors Who Champion Open Source Education

    Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today recognized eight higher education instructors for their continuing efforts to incorporate open source philosophies, methods and tools into their academic work.

  • NETSCOUT Achieves Red Hat OpenStack Platform Certification

    NETSCOUT SYSTEMS, INC., (NASDAQ: NTCT), a leading provider of business assurance, a powerful combination of service assurance, cybersecurity, and business intelligence solutions, today announced it has joined Red Hat Connect for Technology Partner Program and has collaborated with Red Hat to achieve Red Hat OpenStack Certification. The certification demonstrates that NETSCOUT’s virtualized product, vSTREAM®, has been tested and certified for use with Red Hat OpenStack Platform to provide consistent performance and compatibility.

Benchmarking An ARM 96-Core Cavium ThunderX System

Filed under
Graphics/Benchmarks

A Phoronix reader granted us remote access to a FOXCONN C2U4N_MB system featuring two Cavium ThunderX 48-core SoCs. For those curious about the potential of a modern 96-core ARM platform, here are some basic benchmark results.

The last time I had access to a 96-core ARM configuration for testing was six years ago when helping out on a 96-core Ubuntu ARM solar-powered computer.. Back then it was built out of PandaBoard ES development boards with their 1.0GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processors while since then ARM technology has advanced a great deal.

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Oracle Adds Support for Linux Kernel 4.15 to Its Latest VirtualBox Release

Filed under
Linux

VirtualBox 5.2.8 is now available to download, finally bringing support for the latest Linux 4.15 kernel series for Linux-based guest operating systems you might want to run on your virtual machines. Also, this means that various of VirtualBox's modules can now be compiled against Linux kernel 4.15.

Also, VirtualBox 5.2.8 finally addresses that annoying black screen issue that occurred when 3D was enabled in some Linux guests, and adds support for suppressing setuid and setgid in shared folders. For Windows guests, the update fixes an incorrect function error that occurred when using shared folders with certain apps.

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Hands-On with Ubuntu's New "Minimal Installation" Feature in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Filed under
Ubuntu

The feature is called "Minimal Installation" and it's an option that will be available for those who need it on the "Preparing to install Ubuntu" screen of Ubuntu's installer, right after you select the keyboard layout. As you can imagine, the option is disabled by default.

Enabling it will install Ubuntu with a minimal desktop environment consisting of a web browser and the standard utilities, at least that's what option's description tells us. So we took it for a test drive and installed the current development version of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with the Minimal Installation option in a VM.

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today's leftovers

Filed under
Misc
  • Purism Integrates Trammel Hudson’s Heads security firmware with Trusted Platform Module, giving full control and digital privacy to laptop users
  • Librem adds tamper-evident features, now most secure laptop under full customer control
  • Looking Back: What Was Happening Ten Years Ago?

    A decade passes so quickly. And yet, ten years for open source is half its life. How have things changed in those ten years? So much has happened in this fast-moving and exciting world, it's hard to remember. But we're in luck. The continuing availability of Linux Journal's past issues and website means we have a kind of time capsule that shows us how things were, and how we saw them.

    Ten years ago, I was writing a regular column for Linux Journal, much like this one. Looking through the 80 or so posts from that time reveals a world very different from the one we inhabit today. The biggest change from then to now can be summed up in a word: Microsoft. A decade back, Microsoft towered over the world of computing like no other company. More important, it (rightly) saw open source as a threat and took continuing, wide-ranging action to weaken it in every way it could.

    Its general strategy was to spread FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). At every turn, it sought to question the capability and viability of open source. It even tried to convince the world that we no longer needed to talk about free software and open source—anyone remember "mixed source"?

    Alongside general mud-flinging, Microsoft's weapon of choice to undermine and thwart open source was a claim of massive patent infringement across the entire ecosystem. The company asserted that the Linux kernel violated 42 of its patents; free software graphical interfaces another 65; the OpenOffice.org suite of programs, 45; and assorted other free software 83 more. The strategy was two-fold: first to squeeze licensing fees from companies that were using open source, and second, perhaps even more important, to paint open source as little more than a pale imitation of Microsoft's original and brilliant ideas.

  • Chrome OS may allow for running Linux apps via Containers

    While the average Chromebook user tends to stick with Chrome OS, Chromebooks are really just lightweight Linux machines capable of a lot more. For years, crafty Chromebook owners have been using Crouton (Chromium OS Universal Chroot Environment) to run Ubuntu, Debian, and Kali Linux systems within Chrome OS. When set up properly with an extension called Xiwi, you can use a keyboard shortcut to switch between Chrome OS and a standard Linux desktop environment. It’s a hack, but it looks a future version of Chrome OS will add native support for Linux applications via containers.

  • AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Updated With Better Vega Support, VR Fixes

    The AMD developers working on their official, cross-platform "AMDVLK" Vulkan driver code have just pushed out another batch of changes to their open-source code repository.

  • RADV Now Exposes Async Compute Support For Southern Islands

    For those of you with a Radeon GCN 1.0 "Southern Islands" GPU, the RADV Vulkan driver support for these first Graphics Core Next graphics processors continues to be improved.

  • Kernel Team summary: February 27, 2018

    On the road to 18.04 we have a 4.15 based kernel in the Bionic repository.

  • Ubuntu Server development summary – 27 February 2018

    The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team. If you would like to reach the server team, you can find us at the #ubuntu-server channel on Freenode. Alternatively, you can sign up and use the Ubuntu Server Team mailing list.

More in Tux Machines

OSS and Openwashing Leftovers

  • Why retail marketers must get CX right the first time and how open source plays a key role

    One of the great things about technology is that it has raised all of our expectations. Once upon a time, people worried that controlling their television with a remote would make them lazy. Now, we don't even have to find the remote. We just talk to the TV — literally. We access hundreds of goods and services easily, without leaving the comfort of our chairs: we download games, order the supermarket shop, watch films and read books online. It really is a brave new world. But with new worlds come new challenges, and the challenge of the new, tech-driven, marketplace is to make your business stand out in a global crowd. Of all the businesses in all the world, why should your customers choose (and stick with) you? Lots of people will tell you that the key to gaining market share lies in improving the customer experience. And they'll be right. A combination of the need to impress and increased customer expectations have combined to make CX fundamental to gaining and retaining custom.

  • The Future of Great Customer Experience Relies on Open Source

    A majority of U.S. consumers feel that brands don't meet their expectations. The bar for customer experience has been set high -- and its on marketers to reach it. [...] In the early 2000s, enterprise IT was dominated by proprietary software companies. Now, with the rise of public cloud computing, more and more developers are adopting open source tools within their organizations due to lower overall costs and access to the latest innovations. The adoption is spreading from IT into other sectors of the business as well, notably marketing. In total, marketing and experience cloud vendors invested over $8 billion to acquire open source companies in 2018, according to PitchBook.

  • ReactOS 0.4.12 Pulls In Wine-Staging 4.0 DLLs, Many Kernel Improvements

    ReactOS, the open-source operating system still striving for binary compatibility with Microsoft Windows as a drop-in replacement, has version 0.4.12 now available as its first big alpha update in six months. ReactOS 0.4.12 features a lot of work on its open-source kernel including some driver compatibility enhancements, rewritten write-protecting system images, Blue Screen of Death fixes, and a lot of other low-level work.

  • Tencent Offers Open-Source System for IoT Innovation

    Chinese internet giants are quickly cottoning onto the benefits of offering open-source technologies to global developers. Tencent is the latest to throw its hat into the ring. The company announced Wednesday that it is allowing developers to use an open-source operating system to create an internet-of-things (IoT) projects that will allow Tencent to improve the performance of its IoT solutions and strengthen its foothold in the sector. Called “TencentOS tiny,” the operating system is lighter, requires fewer resources, and uses less energy compared with other major systems, according to a Tencent release. The company also said it hopes TencentOS tiny will encourage developers to create IoT projects for smart cities, intelligent connected vehicles, and digital wearables — sectors that Tencent is aggressively targeting.

  • WordPress Parent Automattic Raises $300M from Salesforce Ventures

    Automattic, the company behind the open source WordPress content management (CMS) announced on Sept. 19 that it has raised $300 million in a new Series D round of funding. Of note, the entire round was contributed by Salesforce Ventures, bringing total funding to data for Automattic up to $617 million. The Series D marks the first new raise for Automattic since 2014 "This puts us at a post-round valuation of $3 billion, three times what it was after our last fundraising round in 2014," Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic wrote. "It’s a tremendous vote of confidence for Automattic and for the open web."

  • Open-source companies gather to gripe: Cloud giants sell our code as a service – and we get the square root of nothing [Ed: So openwashing gets its own summit to sell proprietary software under the false guise of "open"]
  • Software Freedom Day

    As part of its social purpose charter, all software released by Purism is free software. That means our software includes a lot of free software created by others–thank you! We make this commitment with a “free software license” that formally grants these freedoms. This means you don’t need to ask us permission to use our software–you already have it. If you are a programmer, you are free to tweak or even overhaul an application. If you are a consultant, you are free to provide supporting services. If you are an everyday user, you are free to choose whoever you like to provide programming and other services, or even learn how to do it yourself.

  • How spicy should a jalapeno be?

    Everyone has opinions and preferences, especially when it comes to food. To establish a criterion when answering "How spicy should a jalapeño be?." the Scoville Heat Scale was developed as a standard to measure spiciness. This scale allows people to communicate and share information about how spicy we like our peppers. Similarly, open source technology standards, such as USB, I2C, MQTT, and others, were developed to enable global compatibility. Furthermore, open source hardware platforms have enabled communities to “speak the same language” without reinventing the wheel. For example, Raspberry Pi makes it easy for people to use their hardware as a baseline and then add onto it. This has created a revolution in many industries by enabling individuals, startups, and large corporations to apply hardware and software to complex problems without having to design them from the ground up.

Linux 5.4 Adds Support For The FlySky FS-iA6B - A Receiver Popular With DIY Drones

The input driver updates for the Linux 5.4 kernel include the addition of an interesting, budget-friendly RC receiver that can be used for home-built drones and other use-cases while now the driver allows the receiver when paired with a supported RC controller to serve as a traditional Linux joystick input. The input updates were sent in earlier this week and among the changes are allowing drivers to support more precise timestamps for better velocity tracking, improvements to the BU21013 touchpad driver, and other changes as outlined in the pull request. Read more

Android Leftovers

GNOME: Wayland With MATE, NetworkManager and Sébastien Wilmet

  • Ubuntu/Mir Developer Issues Porting Guide To Help Port MATE To Wayland

    Canonical's Mir developers since re-shifting focus to serving as a Wayland compositor have been working with the likes of the GNOME2-forked MATE desktop environment to implement Wayland support using Mir. For helping those interested in porting MATE applications from X11 to Wayland, one of the Mir developers has now issued a porting guide.

  • NetworkManager Will Now Roam For WiFi Signals More Aggressively

    NetworkManager has shifted its threshold for a weak WiFi signal for when to begin searching for other WLAN networks. Up to now NetworkManager used a -80dBm threshold for when to roam for other network signals while now that has changed to find hopefully stronger network signals sooner. 

  • Sébastien Wilmet: Back to University

    And to avoid stress/burnout, I try to no longer work the evenings and weekends, so it drastically limits my time that I’ll devote to GNOME.