mpol writes "KDE's Plasma Active introduced last Saturday its own 7" tablet. According to Aaron J. Seigo, 'It's the first tablet computer that comes with Plasma Active pre-installed.' The Spark, with its 7" screen, is built around a Cortex A9 with a Mali-400-gpu, 512MB RAM and an SD-card slot. It will have a 800x480 screen resolution and will cost around 200 Euro. It is actually a rebrand of the Zenithink ZT-180 C71, which comes with Android by default. On a personal note, Aaron J. Seigo will no longer be sponsored by Qt Development Frameworks to work on Qt and KDE. He will, however, stay involved with KDE and Free Software, he says."
Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive
angry tapir writes "Linux vendors are rushing to patch a privilege escalation vulnerability in the Linux kernel that can be exploited by local attackers to gain root access on the system. The vulnerability, which is identified as CVE-2012-0056, was discovered by Jüri Aedla and is caused by a failure of the Linux kernel to properly restrict access to the '/proc//mem' file."
jrepin writes "The KDE community has released version 4.8 of their Free and open source software bundle. The new version provides many new features, improved stability, and increased performance. Highlights for Plasma Workspaces include window manager optimizations, the redesign of power management, and integration with Activities. The first Qt Quick-based Plasma widgets have entered the default installation of Plasma Desktop, with more to follow in future releases. KDE applications released today include Dolphin file manager with its new display engine, ..., and KDE Telepathy reaching its first beta milestone. New features for Marble virtual globe keep arriving, among these are: Elevation Profile, satellite tracking, and Krunner integration. The KDE Platform provides the foundation for KDE software. KDE software is more stable than ever before. In addition to stability improvements and bugfixes, Platform 4.8 provides better tools for building fluid and touch-friendly user interfaces, integrates with other systems' password saving mechanisms and lays the base for more powerful interaction with other people using the new KDE Telepathy framework."
New submitter Novin writes with exciting news from the Cinnamon project. Quoting the release announcements: "Cinnamon 1.2 is out! All APIs and the desktop itself are now fully stable! I hope you'll enjoy the many new features, the desktop effect, desktop layouts, the new configuration tool, the applets, changes, bug fixes, and improvements that went into this release. This is a huge step forward for Cinnamon." The release reintroduces desktop effects, fixes a slew of bugs, and introduces a new applet API (fixing a number of issues intrinsic to shell extensions).
An anonymous reader writes "Last week's linux.conf.au saw the return of the rogue access points. These are Wi-Fi access points which bear the same SSID as official conference hotspots. Often it might be a simple mistake, but sometimes it's more nefarious. To combat the attacks this year, conference organisers installed a Linux-based Wi-Fi 'intrusion prevention and detection system' supplied by sponsor Xirrius." At most conferences I've been to, I'd be grateful just to be able to get on any access point.
For the first few years of its existence, it would have been fair to say that Canonical was essentially polishing, packaging and publishing Debian Linux (and Gnome) to create the base Ubuntu desktop, to great acclaim. For the past few years, though, the company has pushed new looks and new applications (cf. Unity and Ubuntu TV), and refused to stick with prettifying existing interfaces. Now, Barence writes with this excerpt from PC Pro: "Ubuntu is set to replace the 30-year-old computer menu system with a 'Head-Up Display' that allows users to simply type or speak menu commands. Instead of hunting through drop-down menus to find application commands, Ubuntu's Head-Up Display lets users type what they want to do into a search box. The system suggests possible commands as the user begins typing – entering 'Rad' would bring up the Radial blur command in the GIMP art package, for example. HUD also uses fuzzy matching and learns from past searches to ensure the correct commands are offered to users. Canonical's Mark Shuttleworth told PC Pro the HUD will make it easier for people to learn new software packages, and migrate from Windows to Linux software without having to relearn menus. The HUD will first appear in Ubuntu 12.04."
jrepin writes with this quote from a post at the European Commission's JoinUp site: "The administration of Spain's autonomous region of Extremadura is moving to a complete open source desktop, replacing the current proprietary desktop platform, confirms the region's CIO, Teodomiro Cayetano López. The IT department started a project to install the Debian distribution on all 40,000 desktop PCs. 'The project is really advanced and we hope to start the deployment the next spring, finishing it in December.' The project makes it Europe's second largest open source desktop migration, between the French Gendarmerie (90,000 desktops) and the German city of Munich (14,000 desktops)."
An anonymous reader writes "Next month at FOSDEM there will be an announcement of a fully open-source and reverse-engineered ARM Mali graphics driver for Android / Linux. This driver, according to Phoronix, is said to support OpenGL ES and other functionality from reverse engineering the official ARM Linux driver. Will this mark a change for open-source graphics drivers on ARM, just as the Radeon did for x86 Linux?"
MojoMax writes "The advent of Windows 8 is drawing ever nearer and recently we have learned that ARM devices installed with Windows 8 will not be able to disable the UEFI secure boot feature that many of us are deeply concerned about. However, UEFI is still a very real danger to Linux and the freedom to use whichever OS you chose. Regardless of information for OEMs to enable customers to install their own keys, such as that published by the Linux Foundation, there are still very serious and as yet unresolved issues with using secure boot and Linux. These issues are best summarized quoting Matthew Garrett: 'Signing the kernel isn't enough. Signed Linux kernels must refuse to load any unsigned kernel modules. Virtualbox on Linux? Dead. Nvidia binary driver on Linux? Dead. All out of tree kernel modules? Utterly, utterly dead. Building an updated driver locally? Not going to happen. That's going to make some people fairly unhappy.'"
angry tapir writes "Women's participation in open source development is at a far lower level than women's participation in proprietary software development. One of the groups that aims to change this is the Ada Initiative: A non-profit organization formed last year. I recently caught up with its two founders, Linux kernel developer Valerie Aurora and comp sci PhD student Mary Gardiner, to discuss the project."
LinuxScribe writes "As predicted last September, Samsung has announced plans to merge Tizen with its own Bada platform to create a new mobile OS that will fit well on low- and high-end smartphones. Last year, Bada had more global phone deployments than Windows Phone 7. The merger means each Linux-based platform will have access to more native- and HTML5-based apps."
fwarren writes "One of the main complaints heard around here on why some Slashdotters don't run Arch Linux is that the packages are not signed. Fear no more: Arch Linux and Pacman now allow for package signing."
Timothy Lord caught up with Raspberry Pi product leader Eben Upton at CES. The long-awaited $25 Linux single-board computers are finally being shipped from the Chinese factory where they're being assembled and will be available for sale in just a few weeks. Eben talks not only about the Raspberry Pi boards and the add-on Gertboard, but about the eBay auction that helped finance Raspberry Pi. Timothy says he considers Eben Upton one of his "personal tech-world heroes." After watching this video, maybe he'll be one of yours, too. Read on below to watch.
New submitter Microlith writes "Microsoft has updated their WHQL certification requirements for Windows 8, and placed specific restrictions on ARM platforms that will make it impossible to install non-Microsoft operating systems on ARM devices, and make it impossible to turn off or customize such security. Choice quotes from the certification include from page 116, section 20: 'On an ARM system, it is forbidden to enable Custom Mode. Only Standard Mode may be enabled' — which prevents users from customizing their security, and in section 21: 'Disabling Secure MUST NOT be possible on ARM systems' to prevent you from booting any other OSes."