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Moz/FF

Mozilla: Motion, Contributors, Testday, ActivityMonitor, San Francisco Oxidation

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Moz/FF
  • Firefox has a motion team?! Yes we do!

    Motion may sometimes feel like an afterthought or worse yet “polish”. For the release of Firefox Quantum (one of our most significant releases to date), we wanted to ensure that motion was not a second class citizen and that it would play an important role in how users perceived performance in the browser.

    We (Amy & Eric) make up the UX side of the “motion team” for Firefox. We say this in air quotes because the motion team was essentially formed based on our shared belief that motion design is important in Firefox. With a major release planned, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to have a team working on motion.

  • Firefox 61 new contributors

    With the upcoming release of Firefox 61, we are pleased to welcome the 59 developers who contributed their first code change to Firefox in this release, 53 of whom were brand new volunteers!

  • QMO: Firefox 61 Beta 14 Testday Results

    As you may already know, last Friday – June 15th – we held a new Testday event, for Firefox 61 Beta 14.

    Thank you all for helping us make Mozilla a better place!

  • IOActivityMonitor in Gecko

    This is a first blog post of a series on Gecko, since I am doing a lot of C++ work in Firefox these days. My current focus is on adding tools in Firefox to try to detect what's going on when something goes rogue in the browser and starts to drain your battery life.

    We have many ideas on how to do this at the developer/user level, but in order to do it properly, we need to have accurate ways to measure what's going on when the browser runs.

    One thing is I/O activity.

    For instance, a WebExtension worker that performs a lot of disk writes is something we want to find out about, and we had nothing to track all I/O activities in Firefox, without running the profiler.

    When Firefox OS was developed, a small feature was added in the Gecko network lib, called NetworkActivityMonitor.

  • San Francisco Oxidation meeting notes

    At last week’s Mozilla All Hands meeting in San Francisco we had an Oxidation meeting about the use of Rust in Firefox. It was low-key, being mostly about status and progress. The notes are here for those who are interested.

Mozilla: WebVR and Rust

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Moz/FF
  • WITHIN creates distribution platform using WebVR

    Virtual Reality (VR) content has arrived on the web, with help from the WebVR API. It’s a huge inflection point for a medium that has struggled for decades to reach a wide audience. Now, anyone with access to an internet-enabled computer or smartphone can enjoy VR experiences, no headset required. A good place to start? WITHIN’s freshly launched VR website.

    From gamers to filmmakers, VR is the bleeding edge of self-expression for the next generation. It gives content creators the opportunity to tell stories in new ways, using audience participation, parallel narratives, and social interaction in ever-changing virtual spaces. With its immersive, 360-degree audio and visuals, VR has outsized power to activate our emotions and to put us in the center of the action.

    WITHIN is at the forefront of this shift toward interactive filmmaking and storytelling. The company was one of the first to launch a VR distribution platform that showcases best-in-class VR content with high production values.

  • This Week in Rust 238
  • What do you think are the most interesting/exciting projects using Rust?

    Jonathan Turner suggested I write up the responses as a blog post, and here we are.

Mozilla: Firefox for ALSA, OverbiteNX, Scripts on GitHub

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Moz/FF
  • Building Firefox for ALSA (non PulseAudio) Sound

    I did the work to built my own Firefox primarily to fix a couple of serious regressions that couldn't be fixed any other way. I'll start with the one that's probably more common (at least, there are many people complaining about it in many different web forums): the fact that Firefox won't play sound on Linux machines that don't use PulseAudio.

    There's a bug with a long discussion of the problem, Bug 1345661 - PulseAudio requirement breaks Firefox on ALSA-only systems; and the discussion in the bug links to another discussion of the Firefox/PulseAudio problem). Some comments in those discussions suggest that some near-future version of Firefox may restore ALSA sound for non-Pulse systems; but most of those comments are six months old, yet it's still not fixed in the version Mozilla is distributing now.

  • Let's kill kittens with native messaging (or, introducing OverbiteNX: if WebExtensions can't do it, we will)

    WebExtensions (there is no XUL) took over with a thud seven months ago, which was felt as a great disturbance in the Force by most of us who wrote Firefox add-ons that, you know, actually did stuff. Many promises were made for APIs to allow us to do the stuff we did before. Some of these promises were kept and these APIs have actually been implemented, and credit where credit is due. But there are many that have not (that metabug is not exhaustive). More to the point, there are many for which people have offered to write code and are motivated to write code, but we have no parameters for what would be acceptable, possibly because any spec would end up stuck in a "boil the ocean" problem, possibly because it's low priority, or possibly because someone gave other someones the impression such an API would be acceptable and hasn't actually told them it isn't. The best way to get contribution is to allow people to scratch their own itches, but the urgency to overcome the (largely unintentional) institutional roadblocks has faded now that there is somewhat less outrage, and we are still left with a disordered collection of APIs that extends Firefox relatively little and a very slow road to do otherwise.

    Or perhaps we don't have to actually rely on what's in Firefox to scratch our itch, at least in many cases. In a potentially strategically unwise decision, WebExtensions allows native code execution in the form of "native messaging" -- that is, you can write a native component, tell Firefox about it and who can talk to it, and then have that native component do what Firefox don't. At that point, the problem then becomes more one of packaging. If the functionality you require isn't primarily limited by the browser UI, then this might be a way around the La Brea triage tarpit.

  • Fixing Content Scripts on GitHub.com

    Content scripts ordinarily reload for each new page visited but, on GitHub, they don’t. This is because links on GitHub mutate the DOM and use the history.pushState API instead of loading pages the standard way, which would create an entirely new DOM per page.

Mozilla Leftovers

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Moz/FF
  • Browse Websites Side by Side Using Side View Feature on Mozilla Firefox Web Browser | Test Pilot

    Mozilla Firefox Test Pilot program is intended to provide a new experimental features on the latest release of Mozilla Firefox. Here’s a new highly demanded feature many users have been waiting for is now available on Test Pilot program for Mozilla Firefox, It’s Mozilla Firefox Side View which allows you to browse websites side by side.

  • Things Gateway - Nest Thermostat & the Pellet Stove

    Back in January of 2014, I wrote a blog post called Hacking a Pellet Stove to Work with Nest. It was a narrative about trying to use the advanced features of the Nest learning thermostat to control a pellet stove in the volatile temperature environment of a yurt.

    [...]

    Once this software was complete and tested, I installed it on a dedicated Raspberry Pi, set the jumpers for controlling the relay board, wired the 24VAC thermostat relay and then wired the pellet stove components. It started working immediately. It doesn't need the Things Gateway to run in its basic mode.

    My Things Gateway doesn't run in the yurt, it lives in my office in the old original farm house. Fortunately, ten years ago, I trenched in gigabit Ethernet between all my buildings. So, while standing in the yurt, I opened the Things Gateway in Firefox running on my Android tablet. I added the Pellet Stove thing, and it all worked correctly.

    There appears to be a minor bug here. Only the "low_linger_minutes" and "medium_linger_minutes" are settable by the user. However, the Things Gateway is allowing all the other fields to be settable, too - even though setting them doesn't actually do anything. I've not yet figured out if this is a bug in my code or in the Things-URL adapter.

  • This week in Mixed Reality: Issue 9

    Next week, the team will be in San Francisco for an all-Mozilla company meeting.

Software: GNU/Linux, Chrome, and Mozilla/Firefox

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Google
Software
Moz/FF
  • Read Ebooks Quicker With This Spritz-Like Fast Reading Command Line Software

    Uniread aims at improving your reading speed by using a Spritz-like technique for fast reading. The application uses Node.js, runs on the command line, and it currently supports the EPUB ebook file format.

    According to Spritzinc, when you read "the eye seeks a certain point within the word, which we call the optimal recognition point, or ORP. After your eyes find the ORP, your brain starts to process the meaning of the word that you're viewing".

    They continue to mention that "when reading, only around 20% of your time is spent processing content. The remaining 80% is spent physically moving your eyes from word to word and scanning for the next ORP".

    This is where the Spritz-like technique / software comes in. Using it, you can read the text without moving your eyes and thus, improve your reading speed (thanks to the 80% of time gained from not having to move your eyes and by increasing the speed at which words are being displayed on screen).

  • Linux Release Roundup: Curlew, Cantata & Google Chrome

    Another week, another batch of welcome Linux app updates to round-up — and another one of these rather difficult post intros to write!

    This week we’re taking in updates from a diverse range of apps: from a nifty media converter to a nimble music player, by way of a largely unknown web browser called “Google Chrome”.

    Yes, that was an attempt at sarcasm.

  • Chrome 68 Beta: add to home screen, payment handler, page lifecycle

    Unless otherwise noted, changes described below apply to the newest Chrome Beta channel release for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows. View a complete list of the features in Chrome 68 on ChromeStatus.com. Chrome 68 is beta as of June 7, 2018.

  • Chrome 68 Rolls Out In Beta Form

    For those not satisfied by last week's Chrome 67 stable release, Chrome 68 is now available in beta form with the latest and greatest feature work.

  • @media, MathML, and Django 1.11: MDN Changelog for May 2018
  • What is Standup?

    Standup is a system for capturing standup-style posts from individuals making it easier to see what's going on for teams and projects. It has an associated IRC bot standups for posting messages from IRC.

  • Paris, Munich, & Dresden: Help Us Give the Web a Voice!

    In July, our Voice Assistant Team will be in France and Germany to explore trust and technology adoption. We’re particularly interested in how people use voice assistants and how people listen to content like Pocket and podcasts. We would like to learn more how you use technology and how a voice assistant or voice user interface (VUIs) could improve your Internet and open web experiences. We will be conducting a series of in-home interviews and participatory design sessions. No prior voice assistant experience needed!

Mozilla: Firefox 60.0.2, Pseudolocalization in Firefox, WebExtension, Voice and Side View

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Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Releases Firefox 60.0.2 for Linux, Windows, Mac, and Android

    Mozilla released on Wednesday Firefox 60.0.2, the second point release of the Firefox 60 "Quantum" web browser series with an updated NSS component and various improvements.

    Coming about three weeks after Firefox 60.0.1, this point release isn't as imperious as it, but it updates the NSS (Network Security Services) component, a set of libraries for supporting cross-platform development of security-enabled server and client apps, to version 3.36.4 from 3.36.1 used in the previous release.

  • Pseudolocalization in Firefox

    One of the core projects we did over 2017 was a major overhaul of the Localization and Internationalization layers in Gecko, and all throughout the first half of 2018 we were introducing Fluent into Firefox.

  • Browser detection inside a WebExtension

    Just for the record, if you really need to know about the browser container of your WebExtension, do NOT rely on StackOverflow answers... Most of them are based, directly or not, on the User Agent string. So spoofable, so unreliable. Some will recommend to rely on a given API, implemented by Firefox and not Edge, or Chrome and not the others. In general valid for a limited time only... You can't even rely on chrome, browser or msBrowser since there are polyfills for that to make WebExtensions cross-browser.

  • Mozilla's Common Voice Project Now Multilingual, Victory at Sea Pacific Coming Soon to Linux, Thunar 1.8 Released and More

    Mozilla yesterday announced that its Common Voice project, which is crowdsourcing a large dataset of human voices for use in speech technology, will now be multilingual. You currently can donate your voice in German, French and Welsh, and Mozilla will be adding 40+ languages soon.

  • Browse Two Websites in One Tab With Firefox Side View

    Side View is a Firefox Test Pilot project, meaning it might become part of Firefox later. This simple feature lets you browse websites using the Firefox sidebar. Here’s a quick overview:

  • Firefox dropped below the 10% share value on Netmarketshare

    Google Chrome, Firefox's biggest rival in the browser world, managed to increase its massive lead from 60.08% in June 2017 to 62.85% in May 2018.

Mozilla: Voices, JS, Side View, and Happy BMO Push Day!

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Moz/FF
  • More Common Voices

    Today we are excited to announce that Common Voice, Mozilla’s initiative to crowdsource a large dataset of human voices for use in speech technology, is going multilingual! Thanks to the tremendous efforts from Mozilla’s communities and our deeply engaged language partners you can now donate your voice in German, French and Welsh, and we are working to launch 40+ more as we speak. But this is just the beginning. We want Common Voice to be a tool for any community to make speech technology available in their own language.

  • Parlez-vous Deutsch? Rhagor o Leisiau i Common Voice

    We’re very proud to be announcing the next phase of the Common Voice project. It’s now available for contributors in three new languages, German, French and Welsh, with 40+ other languages on their way! But this is just the beginning. We want Common Voice to be a tool for any community to make speech technology available in their own language.

    Speech interfaces are the next frontier for the Internet. Project Common Voice is our initiative to build a global corpus of open voice data to be used to train machine-learning algorithms to power the voice interfaces of the future. We believe these interfaces shouldn’t be controlled by a few companies as gatekeepers to voice-enabled services, and we want users to be understood consistently, in their own languages and accents.

    As anyone who has studied the economics of the Internet knows, services chase money. And so it’s quite natural that developers and publishers seek to develop for the audience that will best reward their efforts. What we see as a consequence is an Internet that is heavily skewed towards English, in a world where English is only spoken by 20% of the global population, and only 5% natively. This is increasingly going to be an accessibility issue, as Wired noted last year, “Voice Is the Next Big Platform, Unless You Have an Accent”.

  • AreWeFastYet UI refresh

    For a long time Mozilla’s JS team and others have been using https://arewefastyet.com to track the JS engine performance against various benchmarks.

  • Side View is the Firefox Feature I’ve Been Waiting For

    Since its Quantum update I have to say that I’m loving Mozilla Firefox — but a promising new feature on the horizon could help me to love it even more!

    It’s called Side View and it’s an experimental feature available to try, from today, as part of the Firefox Test Pilot program.

    What’s that?

    Firefox Test Pilot is an opt-in, participatory effort that allows wily Firefox users like you and me to help test new features as web extensions before they’re ready for wider dissemination.

  • Happy BMO Push Day!
  • Happy BMO Push Day!

Mozilla: Colors And Side View, Mission Control, "Facebook Must Do Better"

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Moz/FF
  • How To Enable Firefox’s New Side View And Custom Themes Experiments?

    The features eventually make it to the public release of the web browser. For instance, the built-in Screenshot tool in Firefox was also a part of the test pilot. Recently, Mozilla has made two new additions to Test Pilot: Colors And Side View.

  • Mission Control 1.0

    In general, my hope is that this tool will provide a more scientific and accurate idea of release stability over time. There’s lots more to do, but I think this is a promising start. Much gratitude to kairo, calixte, chutten and others who helped build my understanding of this area.

  • Mozilla: Facebook Must Do Better

    The recent New York Times report alleging expansive data sharing between Facebook and device makers shows that Facebook has a lot of work to do to come clean with its users and to provide transparency into who has their data. We raised these transparency issues with Facebook in March and those concerns drove our decision to pause our advertising on the platform. Despite congressional testimony and major PR campaigns to the contrary, Facebook apparently has yet to fundamentally address these issues.

  • My 15th Bugzilla account anniversary

    Exactly 15 years ago at “2003-06-05 09:51:47 PDT” my journey in Bugzilla started. At that time when I created my account I would never have imagined where all these endless hours of community work ended-up. And even now I cannot predict how it will look like in another 15 years…

  • Announcing Rust 1.26.2

    The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.26.2. Rust is a systems programming language focused on safety, speed, and concurrency.

Mozilla: New Extensions and "Overscripted!"

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Moz/FF
  • Get All the Color, New Firefox Extension Announced

    Remember when you were a kid and wanted to paint your room your favorite color? Or the first time you dyed your hair a different color and couldn’t wait to show all your friends (or at least, wanted to)? We feel that, too, and that’s why we put the new Color Extension in the mix of add-ons available for Firefox browser.

  • It’s A New Firefox Multi-tasking Extension: Side View

    Introducing Side View! Side View is a Firefox extension that allows you to view two different browser tabs simultaneously in the same tab, within the same browser window.

    [...]

    With Side View, you can compare news stories and informational material against one another. You can also read an article on one side, and compare quoted source material to the original on the other side.

    And this is a really great use of Side View: Comparing revisions of documents and images to note changes and see if the new version looks and reads better than the old version. Version control—all in the same window!

  • Latest Firefox Test Pilot Experiments: Custom Color and Side View

    Before we bring new features to Firefox, we give them a test run to make sure they’re right for our users. To help determine which features we add and how exactly they should work, we created the Test Pilot program.

    Since the launch of Test Pilot, we have experimented with 16 different features, and three have graduated to live in Firefox full time: Activity Stream, Containers and Screenshots. Recently, Screenshots surpassed more than 100M+ screenshots since it launched. Thanks to active Firefox users who opt to take part in Test Pilot experiments.

    This week, the Test Pilot team is continuing to evolve Firefox features with two new extensions that will offer users a more customizable and productive browsing experience.

  • Introducing Firefox Color and Side View

    We’re excited to launch two new Test Pilot experiments that add power and style to Firefox.

  • Overscripted! Digging into JavaScript execution at scale

    As champions of a healthy Internet, we at Mozilla have been increasingly concerned about the current advertisement-centric web content ecosystem. Web-based ad technologies continue to evolve increasingly sophisticated programmatic models for targeting individuals based on their demographic characteristics and interests. The financial underpinnings of the current system incentivise optimizing on engagement above all else. This, in turn, has evolved an insatiable appetite for data among advertisers aggressively iterating on models to drive human clicks.

  • Overscripted Web: a Mozilla Data Analysis Challenge

    What happens while you are browsing the Web? Mozilla wants to invite data and computer scientists, students and interested communities to join the “Overscripted Web: a Data Analysis Challenge”, and help explore JavaScript running in browsers and what this means for users. We gathered a rich dataset and we are looking for exciting new observations, patterns and research findings that help to better understand the Web. We want to bring the winners to speak at MozFest, our annual festival for the open Internet held in London.

    [...]

    Cryptojacking: websites using user’s computers to mine cryptocurrencies are mainly video streaming sites

  • Management books in review

    I became a manager of a fantastic team in February.  My standard response to a new role is to read many books and talk to a lot of people who are have experience is this area so I have the background to be successful.  

4 Firefox extensions worth checking out

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Moz/FF

I've been a Firefox user since v2.0 came out about 12 years ago. There were times when it wasn't the best web browser out there, but still, I kept going back to it for one reason: My favorite extensions wouldn't work with anything else.

Today, I like the current state of Firefox itself for being fast, customizable, and open source, but I also appreciate extensions for manifesting ideas the original developers never thought of: What if you want to browse without a mouse? What if you don't like staring at bright light coming out of the monitor at night? What about using a dedicated media player for YouTube and other video hosting websites for better performance and extended playback controls? And what if you need a more sophisticated way to disable trackers and speed up loading pages?

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

Graphics: Wayland, RadeonSI, NVIDIA and More

  • Session suspension and restoration protocol
  • A Session Suspension & Restoration Protocol Proposed For Wayland
    KDE Wayland developer Roman Gilg who started contributing to Wayland via last year's Google Summer of Code is proposing a new Wayland protocol for dealing with desktop session suspension and restoration. This protocol extension would allow for more efficient support for client session suspension and restoration such as when you are logging out of your desktop session and want the windows restored at next log-in or if you are suspending your system. While Roman Gilg is working on this protocol with his KDE hat on, he has been talking with Sway and GNOME developers too for ensuring this protocol could work out for their needs.
  • RadeonSI Lands OpenGL 3.3 Compatibility Profile Support
    Thanks to work done over the past few months by AMD's Marek Olšák on improving Mesa's OpenGL compatibility profile support and then today carried over the final mile by Valve's Timothy Arceri, Mesa 18.2 now exposes OpenGL 3.3 under the compatibility context. Hitting Git tonight is the enabling of the OpenGL 3.3 compatibility profile for RadeonSI.
  • NVIDIA Releases DALI Library & nvJPEG GPU-Accelerated Library For JPEG Decode
    For coinciding with the start of the Computer Vision and Patern Recognition conference starting this week in Utah, NVIDIA has a slew of new software announcements. First up NVIDIA has announced the open-source DALI library for GPU-accelerated data augmentation and image loading that is optimized for data pipelines of deep learning frameworks like ResNET-50, TensorFlow, and PyTorch.
  • NVIDIA & Valve Line Up Among The Sponsors For X.Org's XDC 2018
    - The initial list of sponsors have been announced for the annual X.Org Developers' Conference (XDC2018) where Wayland, Mesa, and the X.Org Server tend to dominate the discussions for improving the open-source/Linux desktop. This year's XDC conference is being hosted in A Coruña, Spain and taking place in September. The call for presentations is currently open for X.Org/mesa developers wishing to participate.
  • Intel Broxton To Support GVT-g With Linux 4.19
    Intel developers working on the GVT-g graphics virtualization technology have published their latest batch of Linux kernel driver changes.

Fedora and Red Hat: Fedora Atomic, Fedora 29, *GPL and Openwashing ('Open Organization')

  • Fedora Atomic Workstation To Be Renamed Fedora Silverblue
    - Back in early May was the announcement of the Silverblue project as an evolution of Fedora Atomic Workstation and trying to get this atomic OS into shape by Fedora 30. Beginning with Fedora 29, the plan is to officially rename Fedora Atomic Workstation to Fedora Silverblue. Silverblue isn't just a placeholder name, but they are moving ahead with the re-branding initiative around it. The latest Fedora 29 change proposal is to officially change the name of "Fedora Atomic Workstation" to "Fedora Silverblue".
  • Fedora 29 Will Cater i686 Package Builds For x86_64, Hide GRUB On Boot
    The Fedora Engineering and Steering Committee (FESCo) approved on Friday more of the proposed features for this fall's release of Fedora 29, including two of the more controversial proposals.
  • Total War: WARHAMMER II Coming to Linux, Red Hat Announces GPL Cooperation Commitment, Linspire 8.0 Alpha 1 Released and More
    Starting today, Red Hat announced that "all new Red Hat-initiated open source projects that opt to use GPLv2 or LGPLv2.1 will be expected to supplement the license with the cure commitment language of GPLv3". The announcement notes that this development is the latest in "an ongoing initiative within the open source community to promote predictability and stability in enforcement of GPL-family licenses".
  • Red Hat Launches Process Automation Manager 7, Brackets Editor Releases Version 1.13, Qt Announces New Patch Release and More
    Red Hat today launched Red Hat Process Automation Manager 7, which is "a comprehensive, cloud-native platform for developing business automation services and process-centric applications across hybrid cloud environments". This new release expands some key capabilities including cloud native application development, dynamic case management and low-code user experience. You can learn more and get started here.
  • A summer reading list for open organization enthusiasts
    The books on this year's open organization reading list crystallize so much of what makes "open" work: Honesty, authenticity, trust, and the courage to question those status quo arrangements that prevent us from achieving our potential by working powerfully together.

Server Domination by GNU/Linux

  • Security and Performance Help Mainframes Stand the Test of Time
    As of last year, the Linux operating system was running 90 percent of public cloud workloads; has 62 percent of the embedded market share and runs all of the supercomputers in the TOP500 list, according to The Linux Foundation Open Mainframe Project’s 2018 State of the Open Mainframe Survey report. Despite a perceived bias that mainframes are behemoths that are costly to run and unreliable, the findings also revealed that more than nine in 10 respondents have an overall positive attitude about mainframe computing. The project conducted the survey to better understand use of mainframes in general. “If you have this amazing technology, with literally the fastest commercial CPUs on the planet, what are some of the barriers?” said John Mertic, director of program management for the foundation and Open Mainframe Project. “The driver was, there wasn’t any hard data around trends on the mainframe.”
  • HPE announces world's largest ARM-based supercomputer
    The race to exascale speed is getting a little more interesting with the introduction of HPE's Astra -- what will be the world's largest ARM-based supercomputer. HPE is building Astra for Sandia National Laboratories and the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA). The NNSA will use the supercomputer to run advanced modeling and simulation workloads for things like national security, energy, science and health care.

HHVM 3.27 Released