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Security and DRM

Sat, 2018-11-10 10:57
  • The Morris Worm Turns 30
  • DJI Fixes Massive Vulnerability In User Accounts That Could’ve Allowed Hackers To Take Control Of Your Drone And Steal Personal Information

    DJI drones are the hot trend of 21st century. However, as functional and well built they are, some vulnerabilities in them could pose serious threat to your security. As these drones rely on a DJI account to be functional, you can land in serious trouble if a hacker gains access to your account. The hacker may access your drone and fly or crash it into a sensitive more or no fly zone. Not only that, personal information can also be accessed through the exploit and that may put you in more danger.

  • Denuvo: Every Download Is A Lost Sale For This Anonymous AAA Title We're Referencing, So Buy Moar Dunuvo!

    The saga of antipiracy DRM company Denuvo is a long and tortured one, but the short version of it is that Denuvo was once a DRM thought to be unbeatable but which has since devolved into a DRM that cracking groups often beat on timelines measured in days if not hours. Denuvo pivoted at that point, moving on from boasting at the longevity of its protection to remarking that even this brief protection offered in the release windows of games made it worthwhile. Around the same time, security company Irdeto bought Denuvo and rolled its services into its offering.

    And Irdeto apparently wants to keep pushing the line about early release windows, but has managed to do so by simply citing some unnamed AAA sports game that it claims lost millions by being downloaded instead of using Denuvo to protect it for an unspecified amount of time.

  • Denuvo Research Claims Unnamed “major sports title” Lost $21m in Revenue Because of Piracy [Ed: Amplifying the lies of disgraced DRM firm Denuvo]

    Denuvo, the infamous video game anti-piracy software provider, was acquired by Irdeto earlier this year in January. In a statement posted on Irdeto’s website, the software company shared research results which claim game piracy caused a potential loss of $21 million for an unnamed AAA sports title in the two weeks following its release.

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Linux-driven 96Boards SBC features AI and RISC-V companion chips

Sat, 2018-11-10 10:40

Bitmain announced a “Sophon BM1880 EDB” 96Boards CE SBC featuring its new Sophon BM1880 AI chip plus dual Cortex-A53 cores that run Linux. There’s also a RISC-V chip and optional Raspberry Pi and Arduino modules.

Beijing-based Bitmain, which is known primarily as a leading vendor of bitcoin mining chips and computers, also has a “Sophon” AI chip business built around its BM1680 and more recent BM1682 Tensor Computing Processor (TPU) AI chips. Bitmain recently announced a third-gen BM1880 TPU along with a Sophon BM1880 Edge Development Board (EDB) 96Boards CE SBC, referred to by 96Boards.org as the “Sophon Edge.”

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ScyllaDB Releases Scylla Open Source 3.0

Sat, 2018-11-10 00:48

ScyllaDB, the real-time big data database company, is releasing Scylla Open Source 3.0, introducing new production-ready capabilities.

The company also previewed Scylla support for concurrent OLTP and OLAP, an industry first that enables simultaneous transactional and analytical processing.

Scylla Open Source 3.0 features a close-to-the-hardware design that makes optimal use of modern servers. Written from the ground-up in C++ to provide significant improvements to throughput, latency and administration, Scylla delivers scale-up performance of more than 1,000,000 IOPS per node, scales out to hundreds of nodes, and consistently achieves a 99% tail latency of less than 1 millisecond.

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VirtualBox 5.2.22

Sat, 2018-11-10 00:12
  • Changelog for VirtualBox 5.2
  • VirtualBox 5.2.22 Released, Disables 3D For Wayland & Brings Linux 4.19 Fixes

    While VirtualBox 6.0 is in beta, VirtualBox 5.2.22 was released today as the latest stable release for this Oracle virtualization software.

    Announced earlier this week was a VirtualBox zero-day vulnerability that went public with the researcher being upset over current bug disclosure processes... That 0-day vulnerability in VirtualBox touches its PRO/1000 network adapter code and allows the guest to escape to the host's ring three and from there paired with other exploits potentially hitting the host's ring zero. Details on that zero-day via virtualbox_e1000_0day. Surprisingly though there is no word in today's VirtualBox 5.2.22 release information whether this vulnerability is addressed.

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Wine 3.20 and Gaming News

Fri, 2018-11-09 23:59
  • Wine Announcement

    The Wine development release 3.20 is now available.

  • Wine 3.20 Released With Several Improvements

    Wine 3.20 is now the latest bi-weekly development release for this increasingly popular code-base for running Windows programs/games on Linux and other operating systems.

    Wine 3.20 brings improvements to its IDL compiler, support for sub-storage transforms within MSIs, RPC/COM marshalling fixes, support for Unicode requests within WinHTTP, and shell auto-complete optimizations.

  • Snapshot Games have cancelled the Linux version of Phoenix Point [Ed: "It's clear Unity has had plenty of Linux issues in the past year though," Liam says. Unity uses Microsoft Mono. Be ready for Microsoft to vandalise GNU/Linux on the desktop by ALL MEANS POSSIBLE. Guess who Microsoft made GitHub's new chief: Mr. Mono.]

    Some news that I'm not particularly happy about. Snapshot Games, which includes X-COM creator Julian Gollop, have announced they've cancelled the Linux version of Phoenix Point.

    As a reminder: After having a succesful Fig campaign last year, where they raised well over $750K which went up to over $780K after it finished, Snapshot Games also gained over $1.2 million in pre-orders from their own store. Linux was a platform advertised during their crowdfunding campaign along with it being clearly listed as a platform on their official website's FAQ. They went on to release two backer builds, both of which had Linux support and ran quite well. After spending quite a number of hours in their second backer beta, I was extremely keen for the third build which was expanding the feature-set quite a lot.

    I ended up speaking to Snapshot Games, who gave me the news ahead of time so I've had a little time to think about this. Even so, I'm really not happy with the situation.

    They put up a dedicated page to talk briefly about it, after I told them not to leave the reasons why up to people's imaginations. Citing reasons like Linux requiring "specialised graphics programming" as it uses OpenGL and not DirectX, they also mentioned that Linux drivers are "not as comprehensive as for Windows and Mac" requiring them to make "adaptations to graphical shaders" to get them working. Additionally, they mentioned the issue of Linux having many distributions, Linux-specific Unity bugs like "not being able to correctly render the video player" and input issues. I won't comment much on those points, since I am not a game developer and so I've no idea how Unity handles different APIs and everything else Unity does. It's clear Unity has had plenty of Linux issues in the past year though.

  • The Wall, a rather unusual FPS game is planning to support Linux

    A recent discovery is The Wall, an usual competitive FPS now in Early Access on Steam and they're planning to support Linux.

    Speaking to the developer on the Steam forum, they said it was "Definitely" coming and then clarified it would be soon after the Early Access release which is out now.

  • Cheap Golf, a retro-styled comedy mini-golf adventure released with Linux support

    Cheap Golf from developer Pixeljam (Dino Run, Starr Mazer: DSP) is a surprisingly good and quite amusing retro-styled mini-golf adventure. A very easy game to get into, since it only requires a single hand to fling the mouse around.

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GIMP 2.10.8 Released

Fri, 2018-11-09 23:56
  • GIMP 2.10.8 Released

    Though the updated GIMP release policy allows cool new features in micro releases, we also take pride on the stability of our software (so that you can edit images feeling that your work is safe).

    In this spirit, GIMP 2.10.8 is mostly the result of dozens of bug fixes and optimizations.

  • GIMP 2.10.8 Gets Better Performance Boost On Lower-End Hardware

    It doesn't look like GIMP 3.0 will be under the tree this Christmas, but at least GIMP 2.10 continues progressing with new stable releases to provide new optimizations and enhancements.

    GIMP 2.10.8 should perform better on lower-end systems now with its chunk size being determined dynamically based on processing speed. This should make this imaging program more responsive. There is also the groundwork in this release towards delivering more performance optimizations moving forward.

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Canonical: Surveillance ("Big Data") and "Smart" Kiosks

Fri, 2018-11-09 23:21
  • How to harness big data for maximum business value

    Canonical and Spicule have joined forces to bring your business a better option for open source big data and streaming analytics.

    You can learn more about us at some of our upcoming events – read on to find out more.

    Or, jump right in and get started using JAAS to deploy a fully supported Hadoop stack for interactive SQL based analytics.

  • The rise of the Digital Smart Kiosk

    The adaptability of smart kiosks makes them a compelling option for all sorts of projects. Essentially, if you have information to deliver visually in a public or semi-public setting, a smart kiosk can probably work. The benefits of smart kiosks extend well beyond this, though, for the reason that they can basically pay for themselves.
    Digital smart kiosk screens are, essentially, digital signage screens in miniature, and advertisers are eager to get their content up on those screens where users can see them. After all, it’s rare for more than one or two kiosks to be in a given area, meaning busy locations can expect their kiosks to get a fair bit of traffic.

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Mesa 18.3 RC2

Fri, 2018-11-09 23:19
  • mesa 18.3.0-rc2

    The second release candidate for Mesa 18.3.0 is now available.

  • Mesa 18.3-RC2 Released With RADV, Wayland & NIR Fixes

    The second weekly release candidate of Mesa 18.3 is now available for testing of these open-source OpenGL / Vulkan drivers.

    Mesa 18.3-RC2 comes with several RADV Radeon Vulkan driver fixes, Wayland WSI updates, a few Intel/NIR changes, some minor Android updates, Gallium Nine built with Meson now is linked against pthreads, and various other alterations.

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Evaluate Linux server distros for your data center

Fri, 2018-11-09 23:17

Most data centers include Linux, but there are many Linux server distros to choose from. Deciding which one is the right fit for your data center can be confusing, but there are three main options: Ubuntu Server, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CoreOS.

Linux is flexible, reliable, agile and secure, which makes it a strong contender for enterprises and SMBs. If you want your Linux OS to cover a wide range of use cases, you cannot go wrong with Ubuntu Server 18.04. This Ubuntu version is a long-term support release, and it's capable of serving large scale-out needs, as well as some more specific workloads, such as database servers, web servers, lightweight directory access protocol servers and OpenStack.

Ubuntu Server supports the ZFS volume management/file system, which is ideal for servers and containers because it includes all the tools you need for containers and clustering, as well as snap universal package support. It is also certified as a guest on AWS, Microsoft Azure, Joyent, IBM, Google Cloud Platform and Rackspace.

When it comes to Linux server distros, Ubuntu Server has many customization options and few system requirements. Ubuntu Server is terminal-only; you can install a GUI desktop environment, but that can consume precious system resources.

Also: Docker invites elderly Windows Server apps to spend remaining days in supervised care

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Sony Needs Free Software

Fri, 2018-11-09 22:02
  • Sony using open source emulator for PlayStation Classic plug-and-play

    ReARMed is a popular, modernized branch of the original PCSX emulator, which was actively developed from 2000 to 2003 for Linux, Mac, and Windows. A new branch called PCSX Reloaded picked up that development later in the decade, adding new features and fixing bugs and eventually leading to the ReARMed fork. The emulator supports network play and a "save rewind" feature that lets you easily reverse recent gameplay, two features that seem to be missing from the PlayStation Classic.

  • Playstation Classic is using the open-source PCSX emulator in order to play its games

    A lot of console gamers were hyped when Sony announced the Playstation Classic. However, it appears that Sony has not developed its own emulator and instead it is using the open source PCSX emulator that most PC gamers have been using all these years.

    What ultimately this means is that the overall emulation may not be that “authentic” as some gamers may have expected. We’ve seen this happening in SNES classic and to be honest I was expecting Sony to put some more effort to it.

  • PlayStation Classic Using Open Source Emulator, 50Hz Versions of Games in Europe

    The PlayStation Classic has always seemed like a bit of a hasty attempt by Sony to try and cash in on the popularity of the NES Classic Mini and SNES Classic Mini’s success. Which is fine, of course—the PlayStation brand has a history and a legacy that deserves to be celebrated, too.

    But the hastiness of the effort seems to have compromised it. The list of games on the hardware seems to be, well, not the best, while there are basic baffling decisions like the decision to not have the controllers be the DualShock controllers, instead reverting to the no-analog original controllers.

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Solus Linux is Under New Management

Fri, 2018-11-09 21:37

Ikey made his marks on Linux over the years by contributing to a variety of projects (not limited to the Brisk Menu and Linux Steam Integration). He worked on Linux Mint for while before starting his own Ubuntu based distro. After running into development limitations, Ikey created his own Linux distro from scratch. He did this all while working for Intel on their Linux distro. Last June, Ikey took the huge step of leaving his job at Intel to work full time on Solus.

Besides being involved with Solus full-time, Ikey joined the Late Night Linux podcast. In August of 17, the show covered a news story about the Krita project running into problems with the tax man. In that episode, Ikey revealed that he intended to make sure that Solus would not suffer a similar situation. In fact, he wanted to make sure that if something happened to him, the project would survive. Kinda prophetic

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Librem 5 Development Update

Fri, 2018-11-09 21:33
  • Librem 5 Development Kits: we are getting there!

    A few weeks ago we published an update about the forthcoming of our Librem 5 development kits when we ran into some issues which caused delays. Today we’re bringing you another update on the hardware fabrication process, as well as some pictures and a video. At the same time as the last update got posted, I was on my way to California, where we are fabricating our development kit and base boards (we are bringing everything to life there, and shipping from that same facility).

    [...]

    The MIPI DSI display interface is of extremely important, and we can not order the final batch of PCBs before we know that the display (and touch controller) work perfectly. By doing the verification we also indeed discovered some problems, minor things that did not behave as expected and which we are now able to fix. Some other issues are simply mechanical issues that are hard to evaluate just from all the datasheets. And then other things happen, like parts not conforming to standards (like the M.2 WiFi/BT card, of which we got samples just a few days after doing the prototype order). For example, the M.2 card has some pretty thick components on the bottom layer and thus can not lay flush on the PCB (which had been an assumption we had when we designed the board), so we need to change the connector for the final boards.

  • Purism Still Working On Librem 5 Developer Kits, Delayed To December

    The Librem 5 GNU/Linux smartphone was originally slated to launch in January 2019 and its developer kits were supposed to ship this past summer. Now it's looking like the Librem 5 Developer Kits will hopefully arrive in December.

    This summer the developer boards were delayed to at least August and in the months since have relayed various delays. Last month they said the kits would ship "very shortly following shipping delays while now that is turning into December.

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How Do You Appreciate Fedora?

Fri, 2018-11-09 21:25

This week is the first annual Fedora Appreciation Week. As an extension of the How Do You Fedora? series, this article presents how past interviewees appreciate Fedora. The Fedora Project defines four common values that it encourages all contributors and community members to uphold. Those values are known as the Four Foundations. One such value, Friends, represents the vibrant community of contributors and users from across the world, all working towards the same goal: advancing free software.

Like any community, the Fedora community evolves over time. Each contributor’s story is a little different.

Also: FAW 2018 Day 5: “Encouraging crazy ideas”

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Security Updates and FUD

Fri, 2018-11-09 21:18
  • Security updates for Friday
  • Linux CryptoMiners Are Now Using Rootkits to Stay Hidden [Ed: This impacts already-cracked machines; unlike Windows, where rootkits come though official channels like CD-ROM (Sony)]

    As the popularity of cryptocurrency rises, so does the amount of cryptominer Tojans that are being created and distributed to unsuspecting victims. One problem for cryptominers, though, is that the offending process is easily detectable due to their heavy CPU utilization.

    To make it harder to spot a cryptominer process that is utilizing all of the CPU, a new variant has been discovered for Linux that attempts to hide its presence by utilizing a rootkit.

    According to a new report by TrendMicro, this new cryptominer+rootkit combo will still cause performance issues due to the high CPU utilization, but administrators will not be able to detect what process is causing it.

    "We recently encountered a cryptocurrency-mining malware (detected by Trend Micro as Coinminer.Linux.KORKERDS.AB) affecting Linux systems," stated a report by TrendMicro. "It is notable for being bundled with a rootkit component (Rootkit.Linux.KORKERDS.AA) that hides the malicious process’ presence from monitoring tools. This makes it difficult to detect, as infected systems will only indicate performance issues. The malware is also capable of updating and upgrading itself and its configuration file."

  • Linux cryptocurrency miners are installing rootkits to hide themselves [Ed: By hiring Catalin Cimpanu CBS ZDNet basically imported the same misleading headlines and style as the sensationalist Bleeping Computer (above, where he came from). Because all CBS judges "success" by is clicks and ad impressions.]

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2018 Mac Mini blocks Linux, here are alternative small form factor PCs

Fri, 2018-11-09 20:44

Apple's long-awaited refresh of the Mac Mini includes a component called the "T2 Security Chip" which Apple touts as having "a Secure Enclave coprocessor, which provides the foundation for APFS encrypted storage, secure boot, and Touch ID on Mac," as well as integrating "the system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller, and SSD controller," which were separate components in previous Mac systems. Because of the extent to which T2 is involved with the boot sequence of this new hardware, Apple controls what operating systems can be loaded onto their hardware.

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Import your files from closed or obsolete applications

Fri, 2018-11-09 20:34

One of the biggest risks with using proprietary applications is losing access to your digital content if the software disappears or ends support for old file formats. Moving your content to an open format is the best way to protect yourself from being locked out due to vendor lock-in and for that, the Document Liberation Project (DLP) has your back.

According to the DLP's homepage, "The Document Liberation Project was created to empower individuals, organizations, and governments to recover their data from proprietary formats and provide a mechanism to transition that data into open and standardized file formats, returning effective control over the content from computer companies to the actual authors."

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Essential System Tools: journalctl – query and display messages from the journal

Fri, 2018-11-09 20:28

Systemd (stylized as systemd) is a suite of software that provides fundamental building blocks for Linux. It’s a Linux-specific system and service manager, offering an init system used to bootstrap the user space and to manage system processes after booting. The software provides a standard process for controlling what programs run when a Linux system boots up. Systemd, was created by Red Hat’s Lennart Poettering and Kay Sievers. It provides more than running core programs. It also starts a journal of system activity, the network stack, a cron-style job scheduler, user logins, and many other jobs.

systemd has courted a lot of controversy with some legitimate concerns about its design details (for example, the decision to use binary logs), and debate about whether it extends its reach too far. Nevertheless, this system and service manager has been adopted by many popular Linux distributions such as Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, openSUSE, and Arch. Why? Essentially, because it offers a fast boot-up, parallelizing the boot process, as well as being designed with security in mind with most daemons running at minimal privileges. It also unifies system objects, and offers a simple configuration file language.

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Why you should care about RISC-V

Fri, 2018-11-09 19:56

If you haven’t heard about the RISC-V (pronounced “risk five”) processor, it’s an open-source (open-hardware, open-design) processor core created by the University of Berkeley. It exists in 32-bit, 64-bit, and 128-bit variants, although only 32- and 64-bit designs exist in practice. The news is full of stories about major hardware manufacturers (Western Digital, NVidia) looking at or choosing RISC-V cores for their product.

But why should you care? You can’t just go to the local electronics boutique and buy a RISC-V laptop or blade server. RISC-V commodity hardware is either scarce or expensive. It’s all still early in its lifespan and development, not yet ready for enterprise tasks. Yet it’s still something that the average professional should be aware of, for a number of reasons.

By now everyone has heard about the Meltdown and Spectre issues, and related “bugs” users have been finding in Intel and AMD processors. This blog is not about how hard CPU design is – it’s hard. Even harder than you realize. The fear created by these bugs was not that there was a problem in the design, but that users of these chips had no insight into how these “black boxes” worked, no way to review code that was outside their control, and no way to audit these processors for other security issues. We’re at the mercy of the manufacturer to assure us there are no more bugs left (ha!).

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