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Mozilla and Chrome/Chromium News

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Google
Moz/FF
  • Working for Good: Metrofiets Cargo Bikes

    The web should be open to everyone, a place for unbridled innovation, education, and creative expression. That’s why Firefox fights for Net Neutrality, promotes online privacy rights, and supports open-source tech around the globe. We strive to make the online community a better place. We also know people everywhere work tirelessly to improve their own communities. In this series, we’re profiling businesses that work to make the world better—and use Firefox to support a healthy, open, and safe internet.

  • Mozilla All-Hands Tips

    Twice a year, Mozilla gathers employees, volunteers, and assorted hangers-on in a single place to have a week of planning, working, and socializing. Being as distributed an organization as we are, it’s a bit rare to get enough of us in a single place to generate the kind of cross-talk and beneficial synergistic happenstances that help us work smarter and move in more-or-less the same direction. These are our All Hands events.

  • metricsgraphics movements
  • A Privacy-Conscious Approach to Sponsored Content

    Content on the web is powerful. It enables us to learn new things, discover different perspectives, stay in touch with what’s happening in the world, or just make us laugh. Making sure that stories like these—stories that are worth your time and attention—are discoverable and supported is central to what we care about at Pocket.

    It’s important for quality content like this to thrive—and a critical way it’s funded is through advertising. But unfortunately, today, this advertising model is broken. It doesn’t respect user privacy, it’s not transparent, and it lacks control, all the while starting to move us toward low quality, clickbait content.

  • Ryan Harter: PSA: Don't use approximate counts for trends

    Counting stuff is hard. We use probabilistic algorithms pretty frequently at Mozilla. For example, when trying to get user counts, we rely heavily on Presto's approx_distinct aggregator. Roberto's even written a Presto Plugin and a Spark Package to allow us to include HyperLogLog variables in datasets like client_count_daily.

  • TenFourFox FPR7b3 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 7 beta 3 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). This version includes some last-minute tuning to garbage and cycle collection frequency, a couple more hosts for basic adblock, and (the big change) a major fix to DOM keyboard events which caused some sites to fail to respond to keyboard input (like this Applesoft BASIC implementation in JavaScript -- thanks Martin Kuka&ccaron for the more easily debugged test case). There are also some additional security fixes and there will be a few more prior to release on or about May 8.

    For FPR8 the original plan was to get a decent implementation of CSS grid support working, but same-site cookies have risen in priority as they are now being required as a security measure on many sites including one I personally use frequently. If there is time left once that particular major upgrade is functional, I will then work on CSS grid and (as it slowly progresses) native date-time pickers. The FAQ is also dreadfully out of date, so I'll be spending some time on that too.

  • Chrome 67 Beta: WebXR Origin Trial, Generic Sensors

    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 67 on ChromeStatus.com.

  • Chrome 67 Beta Adds "Formdata" Event, Arbitrary Precision Integers

    Following the release of Chrome 66 earlier this month, Google developers working on the Chrome/Chromium web-browser have officially promoted Chrome 67 to beta.

    The Chrome 67 beta release comes with the Generic Sensor API for accessing generic sensors like accelerometer/gyroscope/motion devices, WebXR / VR improvements, web pages can now process mouse events, support for arbitrary precision integers, and other JavaScript/API enhancements.

Fuchsia and Android

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OS
Android
Google

Microsoft's Decline, NSA Back Doors, and Google's Patches for Chrome OS

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Google
Microsoft
Security
  • Microsoft Windows adapts as its business importance declines [Ed: Calling everything "cloud" to simulate 'growth']
  • PyRoMine Uses NSA Exploit for Monero Mining and Backdoors

    The ShadowBrokers leaked a whole treasure chest of hacking tools and zero-day exploits in 2017, attributed to the Equation Group, which is believed to be an arm of the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations unit. They target Windows XP/Vista/8.1/7/10 and Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016, taking advantage of a pair of vulnerabilities, CVE-2017-0144 and CVE-2017-0145. Microsoft patched these very quickly after the tools were made public.

  • Google Releases Major Chrome OS Update for Chromebooks with New Meltdown Patches

    Google has released on Friday a new stable Chrome OS update for Chromebooks, adding new mitigations for the Meltdown security vulnerability, as well as numerous new features and improvements.

    Google updated its Linux-based Chrome OS operating system for Chromebooks to version 66.0.3359.137, a major release that introduces KPTI (Kernel page-table isolation) mitigation patches against the Meltdown security vulnerability for Intel-powered Chromebooks running on Linux kernel 3.8.

Should Have Installed GNU/Linux....

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft
  • Microsoft sends recycler to jail for reinstalling obsolete, licensed copies of Windows on refurbished PCs

     

    After doing everything in its power to put this amazing, brilliant, principled man in jail, Microsoft issued a statement smearing him and calling him a "counterfeiter."
     

    As JWZ puts it: "In case you've forgotten: Microsoft is still a vile garbage fire of a company."

  • Penguins in a sandbox: Google nudges Linux apps toward Chrome OS

    This indicates it's a feature aimed squarely at developers and system administrators – a world away from the education market where locked-down Chromebooks rule.

    "Signs point to other devices, even ones with ARM system-on-chips, receiving support in the future," wrote Miyamoto. "But perhaps not quite yet for 32-bit machines. There are also hints that some parts of VM functionality required to run Crostini won't be available for devices with older kernel versions."

    More may be revealed at Google's annual developer conference, I/O, starting 8 May.

  • Crostini Linux Container Apps Getting Full Native Treatment on Chromebooks

    Another day, another Crostini feature comes to light. So far, we have the Linux Terminal installer, Files app integration, and Material Design cues already rounding out the Linux app experience. As we continue to uncover clues by the day, it seems development of the Crostini Project is full steam ahead today is no different. Each clue we uncover continues to push the entire experience closer to something I believe will be delivered to developers and general users alike.

Fuchsia OS and Android

Filed under
Android
Google

Crostini for GNU/Linux Ubiquity

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GNU
Linux
Google
  • Linux Apps On Chromebooks

    Don't you sometimes wish that you could throw the entire development stack out and start again. Yes we all do, but we all also know that if we did no-one would follow us. The reasons we use the technology we do has very little to do with good engineering and nothing at all to do with good design. We sort of struggle on from where we are to get a little further down the road. It isn't even that we know what our end point is, it is more that we inch along to a slightly better place. Viewed from 1000 feet our progress must look a lot like a random walk.

  • Chrome OS will support Linux apps — with a dash of Material Design

    A commit to Chromium’s code has revealed more about Google’s plan to support Linux apps in Chrome OS with a dash of Material Design.

    Google’s annual I/O developer conference is just around the corner, and we’re starting to see the usual early hints at what to expect. We’ve known about Project Crostini, the codename for the project to bring Linux apps to Chrome, for some time — but the UI elements have remained a mystery, until now.

    The developers behind Crostini appear to have settled on the Material Design-inspired ‘Adapta’ theme for Linux. Google may choose to create its own bespoke theme which is even closer to Chrome OS, but for now, it seems this is what’s being used.

  • “Terminal” App Brings Crostini And Linux Apps One Step Closer To Chrome OS

    Developers continue to bring together bits and pieces of the still mysterious Project Crostini and this week we see more detail of what the end-user could see whenever the new feature is made available. Yesterday, Robby shared a sneak-peek as some new UI elements that will bring a Material Design feel to the container tech as well as evidence that Crostini will have access to the Files App on Chromebooks.

  • Crostini Seemingly Gaining Direct File Access In Chrome OS

    Google Chromebook owners who frequently have to work with Linux applications can attest that one of the biggest limitations of the Crostini Linux container is that it does not have direct access to the device’s file system, but it seems that this may be changing soon. The way things work now forces files generated in the Crostini container to stay there, and keeps users from using local files inside the container’s application. A workaround is available via SSH, but it can be cumbersome. A recent code commit in the Chromium repository points to Google using Crostini’s built-in SSH and a pre-built action library to create an easier solution, essentially giving Crostini file access privileges to and from the Chromebook.

Google Just Forked a Popular GTK Theme

Filed under
GNU
Google
GNOME

Rumour is that desktop Linux apps are coming to Chromebooks, and when they do they may look rather familiar.

Like, Adapta GTK theme familiar.

Reports earlier in the year revealed plans Google has to add Linux virtual machine support in Chrome OS via LXD containers.

We speculated at the time that the move could allow end-users to run desktop Linux apps on Chromebooks without resorting to existing Crouton-based hybrid-OS solutions.

Read more

GNU/Linux on Chromebooks

Filed under
Android
GNU
Linux
Google

Android/ChromeOS/Google Leftovers

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Android
Google

Android/Chrome: GNU/Linux on Chrome OS and Surveillance 'Apps' on Android

Filed under
Android
Google
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More in Tux Machines

Automatically Change Wallpapers in Linux with Little Simple Wallpaper Changer

Here is a tiny script that automatically changes wallpaper at regular intervals in your Linux desktop. Read more

EU Law Threatens Free/Open Source Software

  • EU votes on copyright law that could kill memes and open source software
    The European Union has passed an initial vote in favour of the Copyright Directive, a legislation experts say "threatens the internet". As reported by Wired, the mandate is designed to update internet copyright law but contains two controversial clauses. Ultimately, it could force prominent online platforms to censor their users' content before it's posted—which could impact everyone from meme creators to open source software designers and livestreamers. Despite passing a vote yesterday—held by the EU's Legal Affairs Committee (JURI)—the directive needs parliamentary approval before becoming law.
  • The EU Parliament Legal Affairs Committee Vote on Directive on Copyright, David Clark Cause and IBM's Call for Code, Equus' New WHITEBOX OPEN Server Platform and More
    Yesterday the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee voted in favor of "the most harmful provisions of the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market", Creative Commons reports. The provisions include the Article 11 "link tax", which requires "anyone using snippets of journalistic content to first get a license or pay a fee to the publisher for its use online." The committee also voted in favor of Article 13, which "requires online platforms to monitor their users' uploads and try to prevent copyright infringement through automated filtering." There are still several steps to get through before the Directive is completely adopted. See EDRi for more information.
  • GitHub: Changes to EU copyright law could derail open source distribution
  • The E.U. votes to make memes essentially illegal
    On Wednesday, European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs voted to essentially make memes illegal. The decision came as part of the approval process for the innocuously named “Article 13,” which would require larger sites to scan all user uploads using content recognition technology in an attempt to flag any and all remotely copyrighted material in photos, text, music, videos, and more. Meaning memes using stills from copyrighted films could be auto-blocked, along with remixes of viral videos, and basically anything that’s popular on live-streaming sites like Twitch.
  • Europe takes step towards 'censorship machines' for internet uploads
    A key committee at the European Parliament has voted for a new provision in a legislative act that forces tech giants and other online platforms to share revenues with publishers. It is known as Article 13, and is part of an updating of the Copyright Directive. Article 13 proposes that large websites use “content recognition technologies” to scan for copyrighted materials, though it doesn’t explain how this works in practice. This means texts, sounds and even code which get uploaded have to go through an automated filtering system, potentially threatening the creation of memes and open-source software developers.

The EC’s Expected Decision Against Android Is an Unfortunate Attack on Open Source Software

The European Commission (“EC”) is preparing to release its decision against Android, and its framing of the issues makes clear that successful open source software will have a hard time in Europe. In its Statement of Objections, the Commission signaled that Apple’s iOS, Android’s fiercest rival, would be excluded from the market definition because it is closed source and not available to other hardware makers. The decision is expected to declare unlawful strategies to monetize a free product, provide a consistent user experience to customers expecting the Google brand, and to maintain code consistency to minimize problems for developers using the platform. The decision is not expected to contain any indication on how open source platform developers can solve these problems that are fundamental to their success. Read more

Google, IBM and Microsoft

  • Five Common Chromebook Myths Debunked
    When Chromebooks first came out in 2011, they were basically just low-spec laptops that could access web apps – fine for students maybe, but not to be regarded as serious computers. While they’ve become more popular (the low cost, simplicity, and dependability appeal to businesses and education systems), as of 2018 Chromebooks still haven’t managed to become widely accepted as a Windows/Apple/Linux alternative. That may be about to change. The humble Chromebook has gotten a lot of upgrades, so let’s get ourselves up to speed on some things that just aren’t true anymore. [...] The 2011 Chrome OS was pretty bare-bones, but it’s gone to the opposite extreme since then. Not only is it steadily blurring the line between Chrome and Android, it can now install and run some Windows programs as well, at the same time as a Chrome and an Android app, if you like. And hey, while you’re at it, why not open a Linux app as well? You can already install Linux on a Chromebook if you want, but one of the next versions of Chrome OS is going to include a Linux virtual machine accessible right from your desktop (which is already possible, just not built-in and user-friendly). In sum, Chrome OS has gone from barely being an operating system to one that can run apps from four other OSes at the same time.
  • Like “IBM’s Work During the Holocaust”: Inside Microsoft, Growing Outrage Over a Contract with ICE
  • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E15 – Fifteen Minutes - Ubuntu Podcast
    ...Microsoft getting into hot water over their work with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Plus we round up the community news.