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Mozilla WebThings, Mozilla VR and Google Surveillance

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  • Empowering User Privacy and Decentralizing IoT with Mozilla WebThings

    Smart home devices can make busy lives a little easier, but they also require you to give up control of your usage data to companies for the devices to function. In a recent article from the New York Times’ Privacy Project about protecting privacy online, the author recommended people to not buy Internet of Things (IoT) devices unless they’re “willing to give up a little privacy for whatever convenience they provide.”

    This is sound advice since smart home companies can not only know if you’re at home when you say you are, they’ll soon be able to listen for your sniffles through their always-listening microphones and recommend sponsored cold medicine from affiliated vendors. Moreover, by both requiring that users’ data go through their servers and by limiting interoperability between platforms, leading smart home companies are chipping away at people’s ability to make real, nuanced technology choices as consumers.

    At Mozilla, we believe that you should have control over your devices and the data that smart home devices create about you. You should own your data, you should have control over how it’s shared with others, and you should be able to contest when a data profile about you is inaccurate.

  • Mozilla VR Blog: Making ethical decisions for the immersive web

    One of the promises of immersive technologies is real time communication unrestrained by geography. This is as transformative as the internet, radio, television, and telephones—each represents a pivot in mass communications that provides new opportunities for information dissemination and creating connections between people. This raises the question, “what’s the immersive future we want?”

    We want to be able to connect without traveling. Indulge our curiosity and creativity beyond our physical limitations. Revolutionize the way we visualize and share our ideas and dreams. Enrich everyday situations. Improve access to limited resources like healthcare and education.

  • Google finds ways to cover your mobile in even more advertising

     

    This week's Google Marketing Live event produced several new options to make Android and iOS just that little bit more ad-heavy. For 'little', read 'understatement'.
     

    They include 'gallery ads' which will allow you to swipe through images, which will become part of the search process on mobile. They'll also form part of the 'Discover' option in the Google Assistant screen and on Google's mobile home page.

More in Tux Machines

Programming: Kyma, Microsoft Entryism, Python, Go, and Fedora Summer Coding interns

  • Kyma - extend and build on Kubernetes with ease
    According to this recently completed CNCF Survey, the adoption rate of Cloud Native technologies in production is growing rapidly. Kubernetes is at the heart of this technological revolution. Naturally, the growth of cloud native technologies has been accompanied by the growth of the ecosystem that surrounds it. Of course, the complexity of cloud native technologies have increased as well. Just google for the phrase “Kubernetes is hard”, and you’ll get plenty of articles that explain this complexity problem. The best thing about the CNCF community is that problems like this can be solved by smart people building new tools to enable Kubernetes users: Projects like Knative and its Build resource extension, for example, serve to reduce complexity across a range of scenarios. Even though increasing complexity might seem like the most important issue to tackle, it is not the only challenge you face when transitioning to Cloud Native.
  • A panel with the new Python steering council [Ed: Microsoft bought PyCon and and now it's stuffing/stacking Python panels to push proprietary software with back doors (or its 'free bait')]
    Brett Cannon is a development manager for the Python extension to Visual Studio Code at Microsoft. [...] [I would like to thank LWN's travel sponsor, the Linux Foundation, for travel assistance to Cleveland for PyCon.]
  • Run your blog on GitHub Pages with Python [Ed: Why does Red Hat's site help Microsoft devour blogs with its  surveillance and lock-in machine?]
  • Testing a Go-based S2I builder image
  • EuroPython 2019: Monday and Tuesday activities for main conference attendees
    Although the main conference starts on Wednesday, July 10th, there’s already so much to do for attendees with the main conference ticket on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th.
  • Test and Code: 75: Modern Testing Principles - Alan Page
  • Shaily and Zubin: Building CI pipelines and helping testers
    This post is the third introduction to the Fedora Summer Coding interns Class of Summer 2019. In this interview, we’ll meet Shaily Sangwan and Zubin Choudhary, who are both working on projects to improve quality assurance processes in the Fedora community.

Security: Curl, OpenSUSE, Equifax and Kubernetes

  • Report from the curl bounty program
    We announced our glorious return to the “bug bounty club” (projects that run bug bounties) a month ago, and with the curl 7.65.0 release today on May 22nd of 2019 we also ship fixes to security vulnerabilities that were reported within this bug bounty program.
  • OpenSUSE Adds Option To Installer For Toggling Performance-Hitting CPU Mitigations
    With the newly released openSUSE Leap 15.1 they have added an option to their installer for toggling the CPU mitigations around Spectre / Meltdown / Foreshadow / Zombieload to make it very convenient should you choose to retain maximum performance while foregoing the security measures. But it also allows disabling SMT/HT from the installer should you prefer maximum security. When installing openSUSE Leap 15.1 today, I was a bit surprised to see a "CPU mitigations" option that allows toggling the value similar to the mitigations= kernel command line option.
  • Equifax just became the first company to have its outlook downgraded for a cyber attack
  • Equifax just became the first company to have its outlook downgraded for a cyber attack
    Moody’s has just slashed its rating outlook on Equifax, the first time cybersecurity issues have been cited as the reason for a downgrade. Moody’s lowered Equifax’s outlook from stable to negative on Wednesday, as the credit monitoring company continues to suffer from the massive 2017 breach of consumer data. “We are treating this with more significance because it is the first time that cyber has been a named factor in an outlook change,” Joe Mielenhausen, a spokesperson for Moody’s, told CNBC. “This is the first time the fallout from a breach has moved the needle enough to contribute to the change.” Equifax could not immediately be reached for comment.
  • Kubernetes security: 4 strategic tips
    As with all things security-related, “fingers crossed!” isn’t exactly a confident posture. Kubernetes offers a lot of powerful security-oriented features, and the community has shown a strong commitment toward the security of the project. But it’s always best to be proactive, especially if you or your teams are still relatively new to containers and orchestration. The fundamentals of security hygiene still largely apply, as we noted in our recent article, Kubernetes security: 5 mistakes to avoid. There’s also some new learning to be done to ensure you’re proactively managing the risks inherent in any new system, especially once it’s running in production.

Crazy Compiler Optimizations

Kernel development is always strange. Andrea Parri recently posted a patch to change the order of memory reads during multithreaded operation, such that if one read depended upon the next, the second could not actually occur before the first. The problem with this was that the bug never could actually occur, and the fix made the kernel's behavior less intuitive for developers. Peter Zijlstra, in particular, voted nay to this patch, saying it was impossible to construct a physical system capable of triggering the bug in question. And although Andrea agreed with this, he still felt the bug was worth fixing, if only for its theoretical value. Andrea figured, a bug is a bug is a bug, and they should be fixed. But Peter objected to having the kernel do extra work to handle conditions that could never arise. He said, "what I do object to is a model that's weaker than any possible sane hardware." Will Deacon sided with Peter on this point, saying that the underlying hardware behaved a certain way, and the kernel's current behavior mirrored that way. He remarked, "the majority of developers are writing code with the underlying hardware in mind and so allowing behaviours in the memory model which are counter to how a real machine operates is likely to make things more confusing, rather than simplifying them!" Still, there were some developers who supported Andrea's patch. Alan Stern, in particular, felt that it made sense to fix bugs when they were found, but that it also made sense to include a comment in the code, explaining the default behavior and the rationale behind the fix, even while acknowledging the bug never could be triggered. But, Andrea wasn't interested in forcing his patch through the outstretched hands of objecting developers. He was happy enough to back down, having made his point. It was actually Paul McKenney, who had initially favored Andrea's patch and had considered sending it up to Linus Torvalds for inclusion in the kernel, who identified some of the deeper and more disturbing issues surrounding this whole debate. Apparently, it cuts to the core of the way kernel code is actually compiled into machine language. Read more

Mozilla: BigInt, WebRender, Mozilla Localization, Firefox 67 Release and More

  • Andy Wingo: bigint shipping in firefox!
    I am delighted to share with folks the results of a project I have been helping out on for the last few months: implementation of "BigInt" in Firefox, which is finally shipping in Firefox 68 (beta).
  • Mozilla GFX: WebRender newsletter #45
    Hi there! I first published this newsletter episode on May 21st and hitting the publish button at the same time as Jessie who wrote an excellent announcement post about WebRender on the stable channel. We decided to unpublish the newsletter for a couple of days to avoid shadowing the other post. WebRender is a GPU based 2D rendering engine for web written in Rust, currently powering Mozilla’s research web browser servo and on its way to becoming Firefox‘s rendering engine.
  • Mozilla Localization (L10N): L10n report: May edition
    Firefox 68 has officially entered Beta. The deadline to ship localization updates into this version is June 25. It’s important to remember that 68 is going to be an ESR version too: if your localization is incomplete on Jun 26, or contains errors, it won’t be possible to fix them later on for ESR. A lot of content has landed in Firefox 68 towards the end of the cycle. In particular, make sure to test the new stub installer in the coming weeks, and the redesigned about:welcome experience. Detailed instructions are available in this thread on dev-l10n. You should also check out this post on how to localize the new “Join Firefox” message. Partially related to Firefox Desktop: Facebook Container is quickly approaching version 2.0, adding several informative panels to the initial bare UI.
  • Firefox 67 Released With Improved Performance
    Mozilla team has released Firefox 67 (May 21, 2019) today. In this article, we will show you what’s new in Firefox 67. Mozilla Firefox (known as Firefox) is a free and open-source web browser developed by the Mozilla Foundation. Firefox is available for Windows, OS X, Linux and mobile for Android.
  • Emblematic Group and Mozilla Team Up to Showcase Next Generation of Storytelling on the Web
    Everything you share on the internet is a story. You read blog posts and watch videos that make you feel connected to people across the world. Virtual Reality has made these experiences even stronger, but it wasn’t available to most people as a storytelling tool, until now. This breakthrough in accessibility comes from VR pioneer and award winning journalist, Nonny de la Peña, who is founder & CEO of the immersive technology company Emblematic Group. Their newest initiative was to launch a browser based platform that allows anyone to tap into the immersive power of virtual reality, regardless of their technical background. That is exactly what they did with REACH. With support from like minded partners such as Mozilla and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, de la Peña launched the platform at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. REACH completely simplifies authorship and distribution of virtual reality experiences using a simple drag and drop interface which anyone can access from any device, including a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.