KDE releases Plasma 5.6

Also in today's open source roundup: Google will kill its Chrome app launcher for Windows, OS X, and Linux. And Android gets a patch for a critical Linux kernel bug

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Google will kill its Chrome app launcher for Windows, OS X and Linux

Google's Chrome browser has gobbled up a significant amount of market share in Windows, OS X and Linux. Despite that success the company has decided to kill its Chrome app launcher for all three platforms in July.

Emil Protalinski reports for VentureBeat:

Google today announced plans to kill off the Chrome app launcher for Windows, Mac, and Linux in July. The tool, which lets users launch Chrome apps even if the browser is not running, will continue to live on in Chrome OS.

As you might suspect, the Chrome app launcher was originally ported from Chrome OS. Google first started experimenting with bringing the app launcher to its desktop browser in May 2013. The Chrome app launcher debuted on Windows in July 2013, followed by OS X in December 2013, and finally Linux in July 2014.

But the functionality is about to disappear. In a few weeks, when a user installs their first Chrome app, the browser will no longer enable the launcher by default. If you already have the Chrome app launcher, you will receive a notification explaining that it is going away. In July, existing instances of the launcher will be completely removed for all desktop users.

So why is Google removing the Chrome app launcher from Chrome? Well, it turns out Google has finally figured out what everyone all already knew: "we've found that users on Windows, Mac, and Linux prefer to launch their apps from within Chrome."

More at VentureBeat

Android gets a patch for a Linux kernel bug

Speaking of Google, the company has also released a bug fix for Android that fixes a critical Linux kernel bug.

Darren Pauli reports for The Register:

Google has shipped an out-of-band patch for Android shuttering a bug that is under active exploitation to root devices.

The vulnerability (CVE–2015–1805) affects all Android devices running Linux kernel versions below 3.18 -- we're talking millions of gadgets and handhelds, here.

The vulnerability is a privilege elevation that lets apps execute arbitrary code in the kernel, allowing normal software to commandeer the hardware and install spyware, malware or legit custom firmware.

Affected users will need to re-flash their Android operating system to apply the fix. That can only be done with the help of manufacturers and carriers, which are lousy at distributing security patches in a hurry. Nexus phones and tablets can receive their updates direct from Google, though.

More at The Register

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