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GDP-ivi: Linux In-Vehicle Infotainment Platform

The GENIVI Alliance has just released GDP-ivi9, an open source demo platform for in-vehicle infotainment developers and manufacturers. The GNU/Linux-based platform allows developers to showcase how the middleware of a free in-vehicle infotainment system will work.

This beta software comes in the shape of a downloadable virtual machine that simulates the inner workings of GENIVI's in-vehicle infotainment system. You can, for example, tweak the audio signals (music, phone, text to speech), try out the widgets used to create interfaces, or see a simulation of the 3D navigation system.

GDP-ivi is designed for the engineers who implement the system; that is, it is an interface to the middleware, not for the end users. The system showcases many GENIVI projects that are already available as free software: https://at.projects.genivi.org/wiki/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=2785429.

Members of the GENIVI Alliance include auto industry heavyweights such as BMW, Renault, Honda, Volvo, Jaguar, and more, alongside automotive component manufacturers and middleware, hardware, and service suppliers.

You can read more about GDP-ivi9 and download the virtual machine from GENIVI's open source site: https://at.projects.genivi.org/wiki/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=11567210.

Google Announces End to Flash Ad Support

The embattled Flash framework just received another blow as ad giant Google announced an end to its support for Flash display ads. According to the announcement, Google's AdWords and DoubleClick digital marketing units will cease to accept ads built in the Flash platform starting June 30, 2016. Ads in the Flash format will no longer appear on the Google Display network after January 2, 2017.

Web surfers around the world are accustomed to the animated Flash ads that appear on websites. Google has revolutionized the ad business and now pushes ads out to millions of websites that didn't use to have them.

Flash has been in the news recently for numerous security problems, but even apart from the security issues, the Flash format is fast becoming obsolete. New features available in HTML5 provide a wide range of animation and graphic capabilities that used to require Flash.

Google's position in the market as the world's largest ad server means this change will likely result in other similar services pulling their support for Flash.

President Obama Launches New Cybersecurity Initiative

President Obama signed two executive orders to improve security on US government networks. The executive orders are reflected in the 2017 budget the president sent to Congress, which calls for $19 billion in upgrades for government information technology.

One of the orders creates a Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity, which makes recommendations for building better security on both public and private networks. The second order launches the Federal Privacy Council, which will bring together privacy officials from 25 government agencies to help ensure more uniform protection of citizen information.

The initiatives are intended to promote better security and privacy practices throughout the government and to keep the emphasis on replacing out-of-date infrastructure. In his press conference launching the programs, Obama pointed out that the Social Security Administration system runs on a 1960s-era platform written in COBOL, which requires up to 400 people to maintain it.

The administration says the plan does not rely on increased funding but shifts existing priorities within the government. See the report at USA Today for more information on the announcement: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/02/09/obama-signs-two-executive-orders-cybersecurity/80037452/.

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