News briefs for December 19, 2018.
Linux Mint 19.1 "Tessa" Cinnamon was released today. This is a long-term support release, which will be supported until 2023. New features include a brand-new panel layout, the Nemo file manager is three times faster than before, a "huge number of upstream changes were ported from the GNOME project" and much more. Read about all the new features here and download here.
VirtualBox 6.0 has been officially released. This is a major update with tons of new features including support for exporting a virtual machine to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, a major rework of the user interface, a new file manager, major update of 3D graphics support for Windows guests and much more. See the Changelog for the full list of new features and fixes, and visit the Downloads page for links to VirtualBox binaries and source code.
Facebook provided other companies—such as Microsoft, Amazon and Spotify—far greater access to its users' private data than it previously has disclosed. The New York Times obtained hundreds of pages of records showing the extent of the data-sharing practices. NYT reports that "Facebook allowed Microsoft's Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users' friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users' private messages." The Times article also notes that the deals benefited more than 150 companies, and that the applications "sought the data of hundreds of millions of people a month, the records show. The deals, the oldest of which date to 2010, were all active in 2017. Some were still in effect this year."
Purism's Librem 5 dev kits are shipping, and backers should receive their dev kits before the end of the year. The Purism blog post notes that "Our backers who are receiving the dev kits will also have access to a Matrix channel for dev kit owners. This channel will be staffed by our engineering team who will be on hand to answer questions, work with the community on merge requests, and be available for those who are using the dev kits. But by no means is this an exclusive channel and all of you are welcome to join in as well! Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being added to the group." In addition, the Librem 5's early-bird price of $599 ends January 7th, and the preorder price will increase to $699 to help fund further engineering of the phone and upstream projects.
The Open Compute Project announces Future Technologies Symposium to be held at the 2019 OCP Global Summit in San Jose, California and invites students and researchers from around the world to submit posters. Draft submissions are due January 31, 2019. The theme for this year is "Open Together" and the announcement says "We welcome submissions in computer storage, networking, or any of the OCP project tracks; as well as those which are multi-disciplinary and cover leading technology solutions, such as edge computing." See the OCP Symposium website for more information.