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Google

Google: Replacing Google Chrome, AMP and Titan Security Keys

Filed under
Google
Security
Web
  • The top 5 alternatives to Google Chrome

    Google Chrome is the most popular web browser on the market. It provides a user-friendly, easy-to-use interface, with a simple appearance featuring a combined address and search bar with a small space for extensions.

    Chrome also offers excellent interconnectivity on different devices and easy syncing that means that once a user installs the browser on different devices, all their settings, bookmarks and search history come along with it. Virtually all a user does on Google chrome is backed up to Google Cloud.

    Chrome also offers easy connectivity to other Google products, such as Docs, Drive, and YouTube via an “Apps” menu on the bookmarks bar, located just below the address/search bar. Google Translate, one of the best translation applications currently available on the internet, is also included.

  • Google unplugs AMP, hooks it into OpenJS Foundation after critics turn up the volume [Ed: Microsoft Tim on Google passing a bunch of EEE to a foundation headed by a Microsoft ‘mole’, 'open'JS ]

    AMP – which originally stood for Accelerated Mobile Pages though not any more – was launched in 2015, ostensibly to speed up page loading on smartphones. The technology includes AMP HTML, which is a set of performance-optimized web components, and the AMP Cache, which serves validated AMP pages. Most AMP pages are served by Google’s AMP Cache.

  • Google USB-C Titan Security Keys Begin Shipping Tomorrow

    Google announced their new USB-C Titan Security Key will begin shipping tomorrow for offering two-factor authentication support with not only Android devices but all the major operating systems as well.

    The USB-C Titan Security Key is being manufactured by well known 2FA key provider Yubico. This new security key is using the same chip and firmware currently used by Google's existing USB-A/NFC and Bluetooth/NFC/USB Titan Security Key models.

Chrome users gloriously freed from obviously treacherous and unsafe uBlock Origin

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
OSS
Web

Thank you, O Great Chrome Web Store, for saving us from the clearly hazardous, manifestly unscrupulous, overtly duplicitous uBlock Origin. Because, doubtlessly, this open-source ad-block extension by its very existence and nature could never "have a single purpose that is clear to users." I mean, it's an ad-blocker. Those are bad.
Really, this is an incredible own goal on Google's part. Although I won't resist the opportunity to rag on them, I also grudgingly admit that this is probably incompetence rather than malice and likely yet another instance of something falling through the cracks in Google's all-powerful, rarely examined automatic algorithms (though there is circumstantial evidence to the contrary). Having a human examine these choices costs money in engineering time, and frankly when the automated systems are misjudging something that will probably cost Google's ad business money as well, there's just no incentive to do anything about it. But it's a bad look, especially with how two-faced the policy on Manifest V3 has turned out to be and its effect on ad-blocker options for Chrome.

It is important to note that this block is for Chrome rather than Chromium-based browsers (like Edge, Opera, Brave, etc.). That said, Chrome is clearly the one-ton gorilla, and Google doesn't like you sideloading extensions. While Mozilla reviews extensions too, and there have been controversial rejections on their part, speaking as an add-on author of over a decade there is at least a human on the other end even if once in a while the human is a butthead. (A volunteer butthead, to be sure, but still a butthead.) Plus, you can sideload with a little work, even unsigned add-ons. So far I think they've reached a reasonable compromise between safety and user choice even if sometimes the efforts don't scale. On the other hand, Google clearly hasn't by any metric.

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Google Helps With Linux Scheduling With SchedViz

Filed under
Linux
Google

Google has just open sourced a tool that lets you visualize how your program is being treated under Linux scheduling. The idea is that you can use SchedViz to tune the system.

We all know the best scheduling algorithm to use - my program runs, everything else is suspended. Effective, but not cooperative. To achieve the same result while allowing other programs a chance to use the CPU we need to tune, and perhaps even select, the scheduling algorithm.

The problem is that the basic Linux tools to do the job are lacking and what generally happens is that you guess what might be best. In a modern system such a guess is unlikely to be correct because there are too many variables. Each thread has a priority and these interact under the scheduling policy. It can make a difference which core a thread is assigned to and changing cores is something best avoided.

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Browsers: Opera 64 (Proprietary), Firefox and Chrome Benchmarks, New Firefox Features

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Opera 64 is out: New tracker blocker promises you up to 20% faster page loads

    Browser maker Opera is releasing Opera 64 to the stable channel, offering users improved privacy protections from online tracking and updates to its Snapshot tool.

  • Firefox 69 + Chrome 77 On Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu / Clear Linux Benchmarks

    With running some fresh cross-OS benchmarks now that Ubuntu 19.10 is imminent followed by Ubuntu 19.10, a new Windows 10 update coming in the days ahead, and also the release of macOS 10.15, a lot of fun benchmarks are ahead. In today's article is a quick look at the Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 19.10 vs. Clear Linux web browser performance for both Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

  • Firefox 71 Landing Wayland DMA-BUF Textures Support

    Landing recently into the Mozilla code-base for the Firefox 71 release is DMA-BUF textures support on Wayland. When using Firefox with the OpenGL compositor enabled, the DMA-BUF EGL texture back-end is used that allows for sharing of buffers between the main/compositor process, working directly in GPU memory, and other benefits with this DMA-BUF usage. That code has been merged as another step forward for Firefox on Linux/Wayland.

Codecs and Google

Filed under
Google
Movies
OSS
  • Google Has Been Developing "libgav1" As New AV1 Decoder

    While there exists DAV1D as one of the most promising AV1 decoders to date, Google has been developing libgav1 as its own AV1 decoder and focused on Arm-powered Android devices but also x86_64 desktop CPUs as well.

    Google made its first libgav1 code drop on Friday for this AV1 decoder focused on AV1 profile 0 and profile 1 content. GAV1 is focused on decoding IVF files and so far features the likes of Arm NEON and x86 SSE4.1 CPU optimizations.

  • DAV1D vs. LIBGAV1 Performance - Benchmarking Google's New AV1 Video Decoder

    With the surprise code drop of Google developing a new open-source AV1 video decoder as "libgav1", I set out this Saturday to run benchmarks on various systems for seeing how the performance is looking for this CPU-based decoder in relation to the more well known DAV1D decoder.

    Libgav1 is now available alongside the many other video encoders/decoders for benchmarking via the Phoronix Test Suite with OpenBenchmarking.org. I fired up a number of different Linux systems so far in seeing how the performance compares with a wide array of AMD and Intel processors.

Google Uncovers CPU Bug For Geminilake, Affecting At Least Firefox & Chrome

Filed under
Google
Security

We were alerted this morning to a CPU bug resulting in crashes for Intel Geminilake processors. At least Chrome and Firefox are affected but sounds like other software may be affected too, just that Google has enough engineering resources for investigating the issue.

Google's Chrome team have been receiving "many "impossible" crashes on Intel Gemini Lake, Family 6 Model 122 Stepping 1 CPUs" in recent months. These crashes happen with 64-bit Chrome and span multiple versions of Chrome.

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Related: Google Finds Hundreds Of Data-Race Conditions In The Linux Kernel

Systemd Starts Tapping ChromeOS For USB Devices That Support Auto-Suspend Well

Filed under
Linux
Google

Systemd has begun harvesting the automatic suspend rules from ChromeOS for determining which USB devices support automatic suspend well out-of-the-box on Linux.

Thanks to Google's extensive testing infrastructure and validation of devices around ChromeOS, systemd is now using rules setup by ChromeOS for also marking those same USB device IDs as fine for enabling automatic suspend under Linux. Adapting the auto-suspend rules list from ChromeOS to systemd was done by Dell's Mario Limonciello and should mean more USB devices seeing auto-suspend power savings by default.

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Kernel: ABI, GNU C Library, Core Scheduling, Linux 5.4, Randomness, Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN)

Filed under
Linux
Google
Security
  • Monitoring the internal kernel ABI

    As part of the Distribution Kernels microconference at Linux Plumbers Conference 2019, Matthias Männich described how the Android project monitors changes to the internal kernel ABI. As Android kernels evolve, typically by adding features and bug fixes from more recent kernel versions, the project wants to ensure that the ABI remains the same so that out-of-tree modules will still function. While the talk was somewhat Android-specific, the techniques and tools used could be applied to other distributions with similar needs (e.g. enterprise distributions).

    Männich is on the Google Android kernel team, but is relatively new to the kernel; his background is in build systems and the like. He stressed that he is not talking about the user-space ABI of the kernel, but the ABI and API that the kernel exposes to modules. The idea is to have a stable ABI over the life of an Android kernel. He knows that other distributions have been doing this "for ages", but the Android kernel and build system are different so it made sense to look at other approaches to this problem.

  • System-call wrappers for glibc

    The GNU C Library has long had a reputation for being hostile to the addition of wrappers for new Linux system calls; that has resulted in many system calls being unsupported by the library for years. That situation is changing, though. During the Toolchain microconference at the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference, Maciej Rozycki talked about glibc's new attitude toward system-call wrappers, but also served notice that there is still significant work to do for the addition of any new system call.
    Rozycki, who put together the talk with Dmitry Levin, is not the person doing most of this work. He was, instead, "delivering a message from Florian Weimer", who was unable to attend the event.

    For those who might appreciate a bit of background: applications running in user space do not call directly into the kernel; instead, they will call a wrapper function that knows how to invoke the system call of interest. If nothing else, the wrapper will place the system-call arguments in the right locations and do whatever is necessary to invoke a trap into kernel mode. In some cases, the interface implemented by the wrapper can be significantly different from what the kernel provides.

  • Many uses for Core scheduling

    Some new kernel features are welcomed by the kernel development community, while others are a rather harder sell. It is fair to say that core scheduling, which makes CPU scheduling harder by placing constraints on which processes may run simultaneously in a core, is of the latter variety. Core scheduling was the topic of (at least) three different sessions at the 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference. One of the most interesting outcomes, perhaps, is that there are use cases for this feature beyond protection from side-channel attacks.

  • 5.4 Merge window, part 1

    As of this writing, 9,632 non-merge changesets have been merged for the 5.4 kernel. This merge window is thus off to a strong start. There has been a wide range of changes merged across the kernel tree, including vast numbers of cleanups and fixes.

  • Following Buggy AMD RdRand, The Linux Kernel Will Begin Sanity Checking Randomness At Boot Time

    The Linux kernel will begin doing a basic sanity check of x86_64 CPUs with the RdRand instruction to see if it's at least returning "random looking" data otherwise warn the user at boot time. This stems from a recent issue where AMD's RdRand behavior with some hardware (particularly, buggy motherboards) could have borked RdRand issues.

  • Google Is Uncovering Hundreds Of Race Conditions Within The Linux Kernel

    One of the contributions Google is working on for the upstream Linux kernel is a new "sanitizer". Over the years Google has worked on AddressSanitizer for finding memory corruption bugs, UndefinedBehaviorSanitizer for undefined behavior within code, and other sanitizers. The Linux kernel has been exposed to this as well as other open-source projects while their newest sanitizer is KCSAN and focused as a Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer.

  • Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN)
    We would like to share a new data-race detector for the Linux kernel:
    Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN) --
    https://github.com/google/ktsan/wiki/KCSAN  (Details:
    https://github.com/google/ktsan/blob/kcsan/Documentation/dev-tools/kcsan.rst)
    
    To those of you who we mentioned at LPC that we're working on a
    watchpoint-based KTSAN inspired by DataCollider [1], this is it (we
    renamed it to KCSAN to avoid confusion with KTSAN).
    [1] http://usenix.org/legacy/events/osdi10/tech/full_papers/Erickson.pdf
    
    In the coming weeks we're planning to:
    * Set up a syzkaller instance.
    * Share the dashboard so that you can see the races that are found.
    * Attempt to send fixes for some races upstream (if you find that the
    kcsan-with-fixes branch contains an important fix, please feel free to
    point it out and we'll prioritize that).
    
    There are a few open questions:
    * The big one: most of the reported races are due to unmarked
    accesses; prioritization or pruning of races to focus initial efforts
    to fix races might be required. Comments on how best to proceed are
    welcome. We're aware that these are issues that have recently received
    attention in the context of the LKMM
    (https://lwn.net/Articles/793253/).
    * How/when to upstream KCSAN?
    
    Feel free to test and send feedback.
    
    Thanks,
    -- Marco
    

OverGrive is the Linux Google Drive client you've been waiting for

Filed under
Linux
Google

If there's one piece of advice I always give Google Drive power users it's that they should make sure to back up their data. Period. Yes, it should be assumed that Google has your back. After all, they are a massive company, storying enormous amounts of data in the cloud. However, you simply never know when disaster might strike. And it does strike. Should that occur, you'll be relieved to know you have a backup copy of your data.

But how do you backup a Google Drive cloud account? For Windows and macOS users, there's the official Google Drive desktop client. For Linux users, there are a few options, many of which are not truly viable for business or other types of Google Drive power users. That brings me to Insync. I've been using that tool for quite some time, with fairly good results. However, upon upgrading from version 1.x to 3.x, my Insync license was invalidated. Being the paranoid person I am (and always wanting to make sure I have a backup), I sent them a message with the assumption they wouldn't get back to me right away. And so, I went in search of a replacement.

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Google: Chrome OS 77 and FOSS on Android (Isolated Space on Android With Shelter)

Filed under
Google
  • Chrome OS 77 Brings Google Assistant to More Chromebooks, Updated Files App

    Google has begin the rollout of the latest Chrome OS 77 operating system for Chromebooks, a release that brings the Google Assistant to more devices and several other updates.
    Google's Linux-based operating system for Chrome devices, Chrome OS, has been promoted to version 77, based on the recently released Google Chrome 77 web browser. Chrome OS 77 is here to bring the Google Assistant intelligent voice assistant to more Chromebooks, making it easier for users to do things on their devices and be more productive.

    "The Assistant on Chromebook helps you stay productive, control your smart devices, and have a little fun along the way. To get started, enable the Assistant in your Chromebook's settings and then try asking or typing some of these queries," said Alexander Kuscher, Director of Chrome OS. "It’s starting to roll out now to more non-managed, consumer devices."

    Google Assistant will help you quickly create new documents, sheets or slides in your Google Drive account, check your schedule or add a new event to your calendar, set reminders, play music through supported speakers, control smart devices in your home, as well as thousands other actions.

  • Shelter, Application To Create An Isolated Space On Android!

    Creating an application clone on a smartphone is one way to open 2 different accounts for an application for certain purposes. Actually, cloning an application is not necessary when the application has a feature to open more than one account. Examples are Applications made by Google.

    Many applications created by Google are connected to our Google account, so we only need to add the desired account to open several Google applications such as Youtube, Gmail, Drive, and others. In fact, Telegram has also added features to be able to use more than one telegram account in one application. However, some applications not provide this feature. we need an application to create multiple applications in one devices.

    One application that can be used to create multiple applications is Shelter. Shelter is an application that is included in the FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) category. You will not find ads on this app. In fact, you can find the source code from shelters on this site.

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More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: GNOME/GTK, Android-x86, Fedora, LibreOffice and More

  • g_array_steal() and g_ptr_array_steal() in GLib 2.63.1

    Another set of new APIs in the upcoming GLib 2.63.1 release allow you to steal all the contents of a GArray, GPtrArray or GByteArray, and continue using the array container to add more contents to in future. This is work by Paolo Bonzini and Emmanuel Fleury, and will be available in the soon-to-be-released 2.63.1 release.

  • GNOME Shell Hackfest 2019

    This week, I have attended the GNOME Shell Hackfest 2019 held in Leidschendam, The Netherlands. It was a fantastic event, in a fantastic city! The list of attendees was composed of key members of the community, so we managed to get a lot done — a high amount of achievements for only three days of hackfest, in fact.

  • Android-x86: Run Android on your PC: Release Note 7.1-r3

    The Android-x86 project is glad to announce the release of 7.1-r3. This is the third stable release for Android-x86 7.1 (nougat-x86). The prebuilt images are available in the following site as usual: https://www.fosshub.com/Android-x86-old.html https://osdn.net/rel/android-x86/Release%207.1 Key Features The 7.1-r3 is mainly a bugfixes release of 7.1-r2. It based on Android 7.1.2 Nougat MR2 security updates (android-7.1.2_r39). Some newer features are also back-ported from 8.1 release. We encourage users of 7.1-r2 or older release upgrade to this release.

  • David Cantrell: rpminspect-0.8 released (and a new rpminspect-data-fedora)

    Work on the test suite continues with rpminspect and it is finding a lot of corner-case type runtime scenarios. Fixing those up in the code is nice. I welcome contributions to the test suite. You can look at the tests/test_*.py files to see what I'm doing and then work through one inspection and do the different types of checks. Look in the lib/inspect_NAME.c file and for all of the add_result() calls to figure out what tests should exist in the test suite. If this is confusing, feel free to reach out via email or another means and I can provide you with a list for an inspection.

  • Fedora Community Blog: FPgM report: 2019-42

    Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week. Fedora 31 was declared No-Go. We are currently under the Final freeze. I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

  • New Feature in Libreoffice: Full-Sheet Previews

    The feature was developed on the cp-6.2 branch of LibreOffice code-base (which is basicly Collabora Office 6.2), and is already available in Collabora Office snaphots. And is being backported to LibreOffice master, so it will be also available in LibreOffice development builds and soon in the Collabora Office snapshots.

  • Rooting for ZFS | TechSNAP 414

    We dive into Ubuntu 19.10’s experimental ZFS installer and share our tips for making the most of ZFS on root. Plus why you may want to skip Nest Wifi, and our latest explorations of long range wireless protocols.

  • 2019-10-18 | Linux Headlines

    Researchers discover a kernel bug that can crash Linux devices, Fedora 31’s release date slips, Cedalo opens up its Streamsheets code, Google announces the Android NDK 21 beta, and Unix turns 50.

  • Google Launches A Refreshed Pixelbook Laptop At $649

    Say hello to a more affordable Chromebook that's lightweight and more fun to type on.

Proprietary Software, Games, Patent Traps/Tax and Openwashing

  • Adobe Announces Plan To Essentially Steal Money From Venezuelans Because It 'Has To' Due To US Sanctions

    Adobe has long had a history of questionable behavior, when it comes to the rights of its customers, and how the public is informed on all things Adobe. With the constant hammering on the concept that software it sells is licensed rather than purchased, not to mention with the move to more SaaS and cloud-based software, the company is, frankly, one of the pack leaders in consumers not actually owning what they bought.

  • Fantasy tactical RPG Wildermyth blends a mix of hand-painted 2D and 3D art & arrives on Steam soon

    With character art during the turn-based battles that look like paper cutouts in a 3D environment, Wildermyth certainly has a strange and lovely charm to it. Currently available on itch.io where users have been testing it for some time, Worldwalker Games have now announced that their character-driven tactical RPG will enter Early Access on Steam on November 13. In Wildermyth, your party will be tasked with defending the lands from various threats, switching between the turn-based combat and making decisions on the over-world map. It has choice-based comic-styled events, which can end up changing your heroes' appearance, personalities, relationships, and abilities.

  • Paragon Looks To Upstream Their Microsoft exFAT Driver For The Linux Kernel

    With the upcoming Linux 5.4 kernel release there is now an exFAT file-system driver based on an old Samsung code drop of their exFAT driver support for mobile devices. This comes after Microsoft made the exFAT specification public recently and gave their blessing for a native Linux driver for the file-system. The Linux developers acknowledge though the current exFAT code is "horrible" and a "pile of crap" but is within the staging area. So in Linux 5.4's staging is this preliminary read-write driver for exFAT that continues to be cleaned up and further improved upon. Meanwhile there is also another out-of-tree exFAT Linux driver based on Samsung's sdFAT code that is said to be in better shape than the mainline code. But now there's another option with Paragon Software wanting to upstream their own exFAT driver into the Linux kernel.

  • VMware’s Joe Beda: Enterprise Open Source Is Growing [Ed: “Enterprise Open Source” means proprietary software and openwashing for marketing purposes]

    One of the fathers of Kubernetes says enterprise customers see the most benefit from the community-driven approach because their users get the opportunity to influence the direction development takes.

Linux Devices/Open Hardware

  • Site.js and Pi

    Chatting about Pi, on a Pi, with a chat server running on Site.js on the same Pi.

  • This MicroATX Motherboard is Based on Phytium FT2000/4 Arm Desktop SoC @ 3.0 GHz
  • Rikomagic R6 Review – Part 1: Android Mini Projector’s Unboxing and First Boot

    Rikomagic R6 is a mini Android projector that looks like a vintage radio, or depending on your point of view a mini vintage television.

  • Brief on Behalf of Amicus Curiae Open Source Hardware Association in Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc., No. 18-2214 (Fed. Cir.)

    Curver Luxembourg, SARL v. Home Expressions Inc. is a case of first impression for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The question on appeal is whether a design patent’s scope is tied to the article of manufacture disclosed in the patent. In this amicus brief, the Open Source Hardware Association (“OSHWA”) explains the potential effects on open source hardware development, and design practice generally, of untethering design patent protection from the article of manufacture disclosed in the patent. A large percentage of open-source hardware combines both ornamental and functional elements, and industrial design routinely involves applying design concepts from disparate fields in novel ways. To engage in this practice, open-source hardware designers need to know the universe of available source material and its limits. Further, understanding the licensing requirements of open-source hardware begins with understanding how the elements that make up that hardware may or may not be protected by existing law. Accordingly, while many creators of open-source hardware do not seek patent protection for their own creations, an understandable scope of design patent protection is nonetheless essential to their ability to collaborate with other innovators and innovate lawfully. The brief argues that the District Court in the case—and every district court that has considered the issue—correctly anchored the patented design to the article of manufacture when construing the patent. The brief explains that anchoring the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture is the best approach, for several reasons. Connecting the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture calibrates the scope of design patent protection to the patentee’s contribution over the prior art. It avoids encumbering the novel and nonobvious application of prior designs to new articles of manufacture, a fundamental and inventive practice of industrial design. It aligns the scope of design patent protection with its purpose: encouraging the inventive application of a design to an article of manufacture. This balances protection for innovative designs with later innovators’ interest in developing future designs. Finally, anchoring the patented design to the disclosed article of manufacture helps fulfill design patent law’s notice function by clarifying the scope of protection.

Graphics: Gallium3D and AMDGPU

  • Gallium3D's Mesa State Tracker Sees "Mega Cleanup" For NIR In Mesa 19.3

    AMD developer Marek Olšák has landed a "mega cleanup" to the Gallium3D Mesa state tracker code around its NIR intermediate representation handling. As part of getting the NIR support in good enough shape for default usage by the RadeonSI driver, Marek has been working on a number of clean-ups involving the common Gallium / Mesa state tracker code for NIR.

  • AMDGPU DC Looks To Have PSR Squared Away - Power-Savings For Newer AMD Laptops

    It looks like as soon as Linux 5.5 is where the AMDGPU kernel driver could be ready with Panel Self Refresh (PSR) support for enabling this power-savings feature on newer AMD laptops. While Intel's Linux driver stack has been supporting Panel Self Refresh for years, the AMD support in their open-source Linux driver code has been a long time coming. We've seen them working towards the support since Raven Ridge and now it appears the groundwork has been laid and they are ready to flip it on within the Display Core "DC" code.