Burz writes: Invisible Things Labs has released Qubes OS 3.1. Some of the features recently introduced into this secure concept, single-user desktop OS are Salt management, the Odyssey abstraction layer, and UEFI boot support. The 3.x series also lays the groundwork for distributed verifiable builds, Whonix VMs for Tor isolation, split-GPG key management, USB sandboxing, and a host of others.
Embodying a shift away from complex kernel-based security and towards bare metal hypervisors and IOMMUs for strict isolation of hardware components, Qubes seals off the usual channels for 'VM breakout' and DMA attacks. It isolates NICs and USB hardware within unprivileged VMs which are themselves are a re-working of the usual concept, each booting from read-only OS 'templates' which can be shared. Graphics are also virtualized behind a simple, hardened interface. Some of the more interesting attacks mitigated by Qubes are Evil Maid, BadBIOS, BadUSB and Mousejack.
Burz writes: AFP reports that a propulsion safety expert warned Virgin Galactic about their choice their choice of propellant for the ill-fated SpaceshipTwo. “Based on the work we’ve done, including me writing a paper on the handling of nitrous oxide, we were concerned about what was going on at Virgin Galactic,” she told AFP. “I sent copies of the paper to various people at Virgin Galactic in 2009, and they were ignored.”
Whether or not the crash was caused by the populsion system, this does make the company's attitude toward safety look questionable. Condsidering SpaceshipTwo was a civil passenger vehicle, were Virgin Galatic's engineers pushing the envelope too fast?
Burz writes: Ubuntu Edge may not have made it off the drawing board, but more ambitious FOSS-oriented devices have:
FairPhone has garnered over 32,000 orders for its socially-conscious design of the same name, overshooting the original 25k target in the time they allotted (a second run for the same model will start in January). Unfortunately, this sexy phone starts out as an EU-only product. The FairPhone is priced at 325 euros and will come loaded with Android 4.2, a 4.3" touchscreen, dual SIM slots, replaceable battery, and an admirable array of ports and sensors. What FairPhone aren't interested in selling you, however, is another charging brick-- bring your own!:)