Secure OS Tails 3.0 Launches With Debian 9 Base, Redesigned Interface

Tails, the “read-only” Linux-based operating system that routes all internet traffic through the Tor anonymity network, has now reached version 3.0. The new release dropped 32-bit support to increase security and adopted the latest Tor Browser 7.0, and it also comes with a more polished desktop interface.

How Tails Works

Tails, the operating system that Edward Snowden used to reveal the NSA documents, is typically run from a DVD or USB stick (the latter is less secure) in a “read-only” mode so that malware can’t be written on the storage. Malware can still be activated in RAM during a Tails session, which is why it’s important to keep the sessions short and reboot the Tails operating system often. At reboot, you get the same clean image you have on your DVD.

Because of how it works, Tails is not well-suited for everyday computing (Qubes OS would be preferable for that); it’s for moments when you most need that increased anonymity. It also means that you need to write a new DVD or install it again on your USB stick every time there are new security patches out, to minimize the risk of hacking.

Security Improvements

The new Tails 3.0 dropped 32-bit support because of potential attacks against weak ASLR protection. Support for “No Execute” (NX) bit is also mandatory, but this feature should already be available on all 64-bit computers. The NX bit separates areas of memory that are used for the storage of processor instructions from areas used for processor data storage, offering increased resistance against hacking.

The Tor Browser 7.0 comes pre-installed, so Tails users can take advantage of an overall faster and more reliable browser due to the new multi-process architecture enabled in Firefox ESR 52, as well as the content sandboxing functionality.

Debian 9 Base With Redesigned Interface

The new Tails 3.0, which is now based on the latest major version of the Debian operating system, brings a new more modern-looking Gnome interface, too. Because Tails’ focus has been primarily on user anonymity, the interface has been lacking over the years; having a good user experience is key for user adoption, so the new look is an important development.

The Tails Greeter, which is the application that is used to configure Tails at startup, has been completely redesigned for ease of use. Now, all options are available from a single window, including the language and region settings, which should simplify the setup process for international users.

The shutdown experience has also has also been redesigned to make it more reliable, as well as more discrete so that it looks “less suspicious.”

The “Files” application has also been redesigned to reduce clutter and make the interface easier to use. The developers also added the ability to rename multiple files at the same time and extract compressed files without a separate application.

The notification area has been improved, as well. It now allows easy access to previous notifications, and the notification pop-ups have been made more noticeable.

Shortcut windows have also been added to help users discover keyboard shortcuts in applications.

Software Upgrades

Some of the first-party applications have been updated to their latest versions, too, as part of the migration to the latest Debian 9 base:

  • KeePassX from 0.4.3 to 2.0.3
  • Your password database will be migrated automatically to the new format of KeePassX2.
  • LibreOffice from 4.3.3 to 5.2.6
  • Inkscape from 0.48.5 to 0.92.1
  • Audacity from 2.0.6 to 2.1.2
  • Enigmail from 1.8.2 to 1.9.6
  • MAT from 0.5.2 to 0.6.1
  • Dasher from 4.11 to 5.0
  • git from 2.1.4 to 2.11.0

If you want to maximize your anonymity–when the Tor Browser running on Windows is just not good enough for you–you can now download Tails 3.0 from the project’s website. Those who are already using an older version of Tails should also upgrade to patch multiple security bugs.

Nokia smartphones launched in India for Rs 9,499 onwards

HMD Global, which holds the global rights to market the iconic Nokia brand, today unveiled three smartphones in the Indian market that will compete with the likes of Samsung and Apple.

The Android-based devices will be available from June 16, priced Rs 9,499 onwards.

“Nokia is a people’s brand and has had a phenomenal legacy. The brand is based on reliability and trust and that is what the new smartphones promise to deliver,” Nokia India Vice-President Ajey Mehta told reporters here.

Last month, HMD had introduced its iconic 3310 feature phone in a new avatar in India.

HMD has an exclusive 10-year brand licensing agreement with the Finnish telecom giant for mobile phones and tablets globally.

Nokia 3 and Nokia 5 smartphones will be available only in retail stores for Rs 9,499 and Rs 12,899, respectively. Nokia 3 will be available from June 16 while Nokia 5 will be up for grabs for pre-booking from July 7.

Nokia 6 — the flagship — is priced at Rs 14,999 and will go for pre-booking from July 14, exclusively on Amazon.in.

 Nokia

“These phones are based on three principles — real life experience, world-class design and regular Android updates that ensure we continue to deliver on the promise of quality and reliability that Nokia is known for,” said Pranav Shroff, Nokia Director Global Portfolio Strategy and Planning.

In India, HMD has partnered with 400 exclusive distributors reaching over 80,000 retail points.

India is one of the fastest growing smartphone markets globally. As per IDC, According to research firm IDC, sales grew 4.7% to 27 million units in January-March 2017 compared to the previous quarter.

Samsung continued to dominate the market with 28.1% share. Xiaomi followed with 14.2% while Vivo, Lenovo and Oppo had 10.5%, 9.5% and 9.3% share, respectively.

Previous Nokia smartphones were based on Microsoft Windows operating system.

In 2014, US-based Microsoft had acquired Nokia’s handset business for $ 7.2 billion.

Tesla’s Original Designer Created a New Car and It Charges in Just 9 Minutes

Fisker Inc. has released details concerning their first electric car, the EMotion. The EV is set to be a game changer in the electric car market due to its impressive milage, high top speed, and fast charging time.

If competition drives innovation, a crowded electric vehicle (EV) market may be the best way to save the environment. One of the latest competitors to enter, Henrik Fisker, just announced a new electric car that may instigate an innovation war that leads to the next wave of cool, high-performing — and most importantly — climate friendly EVs.

The EMotion — the luxurious sibling to the as-yet-unannounced mass market design — ostensibly has a range of 643 kilometers (400 miles), a not insignificant improvement on the 563 kilometer (350 mile) range of Tesla’s Model S. With a top speed of 259 km/h (161 mph) and a nine-minute charging time, the EV lays down a serious benchmark for Tesla.

Fisker is best known for designing some of the most iconic luxury car models in history, including ones that were used in James Bond films. The EMotion is the first car to be produced by his EV company, Fisker Inc.

Although details concerning the vehicle’s price, launch date, and autonomous capabilities have not yet been revealed, the EMotion’s announcement is a welcome update for the people who have been waiting with baited breath to see what the car would look like and how it would compare to Musk’s designs.

The Fisker EMotion. Image Credit: Fisker Inc.
The Fisker EMotion. Image Credit: Fisker Inc.

Electric cars are a pivotal part of the global fight against climate change, and the efforts of several car manufacturers — including Toyota and Porsche — to make them faster, sleeker, and more luxurious are helping EVs break into the supercar sector of the automotive market. Once there is an EV to meet the taste and desires of every driver, we can start to really phase out the vehicles’ gas-guzzling counterparts.