From the RingRing dept.:
anonical today announces it has signed agreements with mobile device manufacturers bq (www.bq.com) (Spain) and Meizu (China) to bring Ubuntu smartphones to consumers globally. Canonical is working with these partners to ship the first Ubuntu devices on the latest hardware in 2014. Ubuntu has also received significant support from the worldâs biggest carriers, some of which intend to work with OEM partners to bring phones to market this year.
From the oh Barf dept.:
Mozilla will soon sell ads within its Firefox browser, the company announced Tuesday.
...The ads will appear within the tiles of Firefox's new tabs page, which will also begin to suggest pre-packaged content for first time users. Mozilla is calling the new initiative "Directory Tiles."
"Some of these tile placements will be from the Mozilla ecosystem, some will be popular websites in a given geographic location, and some will be sponsored content from hand-picked partners to help support Mozilla's pursuit of our mission," the company said in a blog post. "The sponsored tiles will be clearly labeled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy."
From the X-Spam dept.:
This is a major release. It introduces over two years of bug fixes and features since the release of SpamAssassin 3.3.2 on June 16, 2011. 3.4.0 includes the Bayes Redis (http://redis.io/) back-end (bug 6879), EDNS0 changes (bug 6910), native IPv6 support, numerous URIBL.pm changes or features and a small API change in libspamc (bug 6562) with many other subtle changes.
From the Go Get 'Em dept.:
The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the release of Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS (Long-Term Support) for its Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products, as well as other flavours of Ubuntu with long-term support.
As with 12.04.3, 12.04.4 contains an updated kernel and X stack for new installations on x86 architectures.
As usual, this point release includes many updates, and updated installation media has been provided so that fewer updates will need to be downloaded after installation. These include security updates and corrections for other high-impact bugs, with a focus on maintaining stability and compatibility with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.
Kubuntu 12.04.4 LTS, Edubuntu 12.04.4 LTS, Xubuntu 12.04.4 LTS, Mythbuntu 12.04.4 LTS, and Ubuntu Studio 12.04.4 LTS are also now available.
From the Chill Out dept.:
First, the deal will bolster both Samsung and Google's patent positions against patent infringement allegations and subsequent litigation from competitors, and specifically Apple, which has been involved in acrimonious, multinational patent battles worth billions of dollars against Samsung for years now, over Samsung's Android-powered range of Galaxy smartphones and tablets.
Second, it is a sign of how Google continues to put the patents it gained from its $12.5 billion Motorola acquisition to good use across the Android ecosystem. The ecosystem part is key here. I personally wouldnât be surprised to see deals like this one appear with other OEMs.
From the Other White Meat dept.:
The FreeBSD Release Engineering Team has announced the release of FreeBSD 10.0. Some highlights include; clang has replaced GCC as the default compiler on some architectures, Unbound has been imported as the local caching DNS resolver, BIND has been removed, make has been replaced with bmake, ZFS improvements, major enhancements in virtualization, and more.
From the Bonding dept.:
Key members of the CentOS Project have joined Red Hat's Open Source and Standards team. "Working alongside the Fedora and RHEL ecosystems, we hope to further expand on the community offerings by providing a platform that is easily consumed, by other projects to promote their code while we maintain the established base." The announcement also welcomes new members to the CentOS Board.
From the Nuh uh dept.:
RSA has hit back at allegations stemming from Edward Snowden's latest whistleblowing â specifically, the claim that it secretly took US$10m from the NSA in exchange for using the deliberately knackered Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator (Dual EC DRBG) in its encryption products.
....RSA, as a security company, never divulges details of customer engagements, but we also categorically state that we have never entered into any contract or engaged in any project with the intention of weakening RSAâs products, or introducing potential âbackdoorsâ into our products for anyoneâs use.
From the Do No Evil dept.:
Yesterday, we [EFF] published a blog post lauding an extremely important app privacy feature that was added in Android 4.3. That feature allows users to install apps while preventing the app from collecting sensitive data like the user's location or address book.
After we published the post, several people contacted us to say that the feature had actually been removed in Android 4.4.2, which was released earlier this week. Today, we installed that update to our test device, and can confirm that the App Ops privacy feature that we were excited about yesterday is in fact now gone.
From the Steamian dept.:
An initial unstable release of Valve's SteamOS distribution is available for download. A look at the SteamOS FAQ is recommended as a first step, though. It is based on Debian wheezy with some backports and proprietary bits added on top. There is a new custom compositor that only supports NVIDIA chipsets in this release.
Want a good-paying Linux job, but don't have the skills? The Linux Foundation is setting up a new program of online classes for you.
Yes, GnuTLS has major security holes. So what? Almost no one uses it in ways where it could be vulnerable to fraud.
In a surprising move, Red Hat will enable users to run .NET applications and SQL Server on its OpenShift Platform-as-a-Service cloud.
If you're a government worker and have been wanting to run Red Hat Enterprise Linux securely on your Amazon cloud, it's your lucky day. The popular open-source operating system is finally available on Amazon Web Services.
Other Linux distributions are moving to MariaDB for their default database management system, but Ubuntu is standing by Oracle's MySQL. Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth explains why.
When Canonical introduced its new Ubuntu Unity interface, a major design element was a global, universal menu that all apps would use. Things have changed. Canonical is switching back to local app menus.
Nokia may be making the Android X, X+ and XL handsets, but at the end of the day it was Microsoft's call to produce Android phones. This is bad news for Windows Phone.
IBM thinks that opening its middleware stack to the cloud in BlueMix will prove to be winning bet.
RiskIQ, an Internet security company, claims that malicious apps have grown by almost 400 percent on Google's Android Play store.
The first native Ubuntu smartphones are expected to be in customers' hands in 2014.