Dell Launches New XPS 13 9380 Developer Edition Laptop with Ubuntu Preloaded, Purism Announces Its PureOS Store to Use Flatpak, openSUSE Tumbleweed’s Latest Snapshots, Google Urged Less Protection for Activist Employees and DNS Hijacking Attacks

News briefs for January 25, 2019.

Dell launched its new XPS 13 9380 Developer Edition laptop, which runs Ubuntu out of the box. According to Forbes, highlights include Intel 8th generation i3, i5 and i7 processors; Ubuntu 18.04 LTS preloaded; InfinityEdge display with top camera placement; and much more. See for more information.

Purism yesterday announced that its free ecosystem of desktop and mobile apps for Librem products will "revolve around Flatpak, which we believe is the best technology for what we want to achieve today. We are eager to partner with the Flatpak community, and hope to rapidly build an app store centered around our core values—Free Software and Reproducible Builds." In addition, Purism announced that the Lollypop music player will be available for the Librem 5 phone and Librem laptops (or any device running PureOS) soon in Purism's PureOS Store.

openSUSE Tumbleweed recently received two new snapshots: 20190121 includes updates of KDE Applications 18.12.1 and Frameworks 5.54.0, along with several bug fixes, and 20190115 sports kernel 4.20.0 and Thunderbird 60.4.0, as well as a grep update, several performance improvements and more.

Google urged less protection for activist workers. According to Bloomberg, "While Google publicly supported employees who protested company policies, it quietly asked the government to narrow the right to organize over work email." Evidently, counter to Obama-era protections that "broadened employees' rights to use their workplace email system to organize around issues on the job", in filings in 2017 and 2018, "Google's attorneys wrote that the 2014 standard should be overruled' and a George W. Bush-era precedent—allowing companies to ban organizing on their employee email systems—should be reinstated."

The US Department of Homeland Security published a security alert earlier this week regarding recent DNS hijacking attacks coming out of Iran. ZDNet reports that the emergency directive "government agencies to audit DNS records for unauthorized edits, change passwords, and enable multi-factor authentication for all accounts through which DNS records can be managed". It also "urges government IT personnel to monitor Certificate Transparency (CT) logs for newly-issued TLS certificates that have been issued for government domains, but which have not been requested by government workers".