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Google

Slow Connections Discriminated Against: Google Stadia and Google Chrome

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Google
  • Google reveal Stadia will only have 12 games available at launch, more later in the year

    With the Stadia streaming service from Google launching on November 19th for those with the Founder's Edition or Premiere Edition, they're finally revealing what will be available.

    It will only have 12, yes 12, titles at launch and a few of them are sequels. They are: Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Destiny 2, GYLT, Just Dance 2020, Kine, Mortal Kombat 11, Red Dead Redemption 2, Thumper, Tomb Raider + Rise + Shadow and lastly Samurai Showdown.

    The only title you will get included in the Stadia Pro subscription (three months free with the Founder/Premier Edition) is Destiny 2, all others you have to pay for. If you stop paying for Stadia Pro, you lose access to any free games claimed and only keep those you've paid for normally.

  • Google Chrome To Begin Marking Sites That Are Slow / Fast

    Chrome has successfully shamed web-sites not supporting HTTPS and now they are looking to call-out websites that do not typically load fast.

    Google announced today that they will begin marking websites that are often either loading slow or fast. Chrome developers are experimenting with ways to show whether a website typically loads fast or slow so the user is aware even before they navigate to a given web page or web app. The changes will be rolled out in future Chrome updates.

Google's Open Hardware Charm Offensive

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Google
Hardware

OpenTitan

Filed under
Google
Hardware
  • Daily Crunch: Google announces open-source chip project

    The aim of the new coalition is to build trustworthy chip designs for use in data centers, storage and computer peripherals.

    The project will allow anyone to inspect the hardware for security vulnerabilities and backdoors. It comes at a time where tech giants and governments alike are increasingly aware that hostile nation states are trying to infiltrate and compromise supply chains in an effort to carry out long-term surveillance or espionage.

  • Google Is Helping Design an Open Source, Ultra-Secure Chip

    There are some parts of the OpenTitan design that won't be public, at least for the foreseeable future. These are all related to the actual physical fabrication of chips in a factory, categories like "foundry intellectual property," "chip fabrication," and "Physical Design Kit," among others. They hint at the immense challenges that exist in creating open source hardware—fabrication of which requires massive, specialized factories and proprietary silicon manufacturing processes, not just a laptop and an internet connection. If you don't own a silicon plant or have the leverage to convince existing fabricators to make OpenTitan chips for you, you won't be able to get them. And though device-makers have an incentive to save money on licensing fees with something like OpenTitan, silicon manufacturers who impose these fees may resist dropping them.

  • Google launches OpenTitan, an open-source secure chip design project

Mozilla and Chromium Leftovers

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • The Lounge on Dokku

    Mozilla has hosted an enterprise instance of IRCCloud for several years now, and it’s been a great client to use with our IRC network. IRCCloud has deprecated their enterprise product and so Mozilla recently decommissioned our instance. I then saw several colleagues praising The Lounge as a good self-hosted alternative. I became even more interested when I saw that the project maintains a docker image distribution of their releases. I now have an instance running and I’m using irc.mozilla.org via this client and I agree with my colleagues: it’s a decent replacement.

  • Mozilla Addons Blog: Firefox to discontinue sideloaded extensions

    Sideloading is a method of installing an extension in Firefox by adding an extension file to a special location using an executable application installer. This installs the extension in all Firefox instances on a computer.

    Sideloaded extensions frequently cause issues for users since they did not explicitly choose to install them and are unable to remove them from the Add-ons Manager. This mechanism has also been employed in the past to install malware into Firefox. To give users more control over their extensions, support for sideloaded extensions will be discontinued.

    During the release cycle for Firefox version 73, which goes into pre-release channels on December 3, 2019 and into release on February 11, 2020, Firefox will continue to read sideloaded files, but they will be copied over to the user’s individual profile and installed as regular add-ons. Sideloading will stop being supported in Firefox version 74, which will be released on March 10, 2020. The transitional stage in Firefox 73 will ensure that no installed add-ons will be lost, and end users will gain the ability to remove them if they chose to.

  • Facebook Is Still Failing at Ad Transparency (No Matter What They Claim)

    Yesterday, Jack Dorsey made a bold statement: Twitter will cease all political advertising on the platform. “Internet political ads present entirely new challenges to civic discourse: machine learning-based optimization of messaging and micro-targeting, unchecked misleading information, and deep fakes. All at increasing velocity, sophistication, and overwhelming scale,” he tweeted.

    Later that day, Sheryl Sandberg responded: Facebook doesn’t have to cease political advertising… because the platform is “focused and leading on transparency.” Sandberg cited Facebook’s ad archive efforts, which ostensibly allow researchers to study the provenance and impact of political ads.

  • Chrome 79 Beta Adds The WebXR Device API For VR On The Web

    Following last week's release of Chrome 78, Google today promoted Chrome 79 to their beta channel.

    The Chrome 79 Beta most notably comes with WebXR Device API support for supporting VR head-mounted displays from the browser. The WebXR Device API will be the cross-browser standard for VR content on the web.

The 9 Best Google Analytics Plugins for WordPress

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Google
Software

Google Analytics is a website analytics service developed and maintained by Google for providing users with relevant statistics on how Internet surfers find and use their websites. The software offers features such as Return on investment (ROI) tracking, sifting and sorting website visitors with several dimensions, etc.

How does it work? To put things simply, it uses browser cookies to track user website workflow on websites and ultimately provide business owners with enough insight to make design and product decisions that will boost their portfolio. It is completely free of charge.

While Google Analytics is free, there are several plugins that make it a lot easier to work with even as a non-techie, and today, our focus is on the list of the best plugins you can use on your WordPress website.

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Google 'Kills' Flash and the Internet 'Turns' 50

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Google
Web
  • Goodbye, Flash

    Google Search will stop supporting Flash later this year. In Web pages that contain Flash content, Google Search will ignore the Flash content. Google Search will stop indexing standalone SWF files. Most users and websites won't see any impact from this change.

  • Google to stop indexing Flash for search

    Minus indexing, searches for Flash content will come up empty. If Google doesn't index it, in other words, does it exist? For the vast majority on the web - analytics vendor Net Applications said Google accounted for 75% of global search activity last month - that would be a no.

  • The Internet At 50: It Has Enabled Many Wonderful Things, But We Have To Fight To Keep It That Way

    Today has been declared the 50th anniversary of the internet, as on October 29th, 1969, a team at UCLA, lead by Leonard Kleinrock, sent a message to a team at the Stanford Research Institute (SRI), representing the very first transmission over the then ARPANET, which later became the internet. This seems like a good moment to think about all that the internet has enabled -- but also just how far we may have strayed from its early promise and how far we might still be able to go. On the historical side, Kleinrock himself has posts at both ICANN and the Internet Society, and both are worth reading. The ICANN post is all about that first message transmission...

  • 5 milestones that created the [Internet] 50 years after the first network message

    Much more traffic than that travels through the [Internet] these days, with billions of emails sent and searches conducted daily. As a scholar of how the [Internet] is governed, I know that today’s vast communications web is a result of governments and regulators making choices that collectively built the [Internet] as it is today.

    Here are five key moments in this journey.

  • Internet 50 years old today

    On 29 October 1969 the first message was transmitted over ARPANET, the forerunner to the Internet. UCLA student programmer Charlie Kline used the University’s SDS Sigma 7 computer to login to an SDS 940 computer at Stanford Research Institute at Stanford University in Silicon Valley.

Chrome 78 Arrives

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Google
Software
Web
  • Stable Channel Update for Desktop

    The Chrome team is delighted to announce the promotion of Chrome 78 to the stable channel for Windows, Mac and Linux. This will roll out over the coming days/weeks.
    Chrome 78.0.3904.70 contains a number of fixes and improvements -- a list of changes is available in the log. Watch out for upcoming Chrome and Chromium blog posts about new features and big efforts delivered in 78.

  • Chrome 78 Arrives With Dark Mode Enhancements, Native File System API, SMS Receiver API

    In addition to Mozilla Firefox 70 having been released on Tuesday, Google released Chrome 78 as the newest version of their web-browser.

    Chrome 78 brings a new File-System API for letting web app developers interact with files on a local device for use-cases like web-based programming IDEs, video editors, photo editing, word processing, and more. The Native File System API should be secure for ensuring web apps do not get unauthorized access to other files/folders on your system.

  • Google Chrome 78 for Windows, macOS and Linux is Now Available For Download

    Google has released a new update for the Chrome web browser for Windows, macOS and Linux. The Chrome 78 update is now Live and is available for download. The update will offer users customize options for the New Tab page, among other changes and additions. The update comes with several features and improvements as well.

    With the help of customize option, users can now select pictures from their media gallery and use is as background. On opening an new tab, users will be able to spot the cutomise option on the bottom-right corner. Furthermore, 'Shortcuts' are a set of icons, which are visible right beneath the search bar. These include the 'My Shortcuts' where shortcuts suggestions are provided to users on the basis of the websites they keep on visiting. 'Most visited sites', where shortcuts are segregated by the user and 'Hide shortcuts'.

  • Google Chrome 78 for Windows, Linux, and Mac Now Available for Download

    Google has just released Chrome 78 for all supported desktop platforms, namely Windows, Linux, and Mac.
    The new version of the browser comes with welcome improvements in key areas, including new customization options for the New Tab page.

    Google has been working on refining the New Tab page (NTP) for several versions already, and this latest release introduces new customization options, including more colors and themes to choose from.

    Another feature that Google has been working on for this release enhances the sync process between Chrome for PC and for Android.

NextCloud on Pi Adventures and Escaping Google

Filed under
Server
Google
OSS
Web

  • NextCloud on Pi Adventures

    I spent yesterday *finally* setting up a NextCloud instance of my own. It’s been on my todo since I installed fiber at home and got a decent Internet connection.

    I started out with Rasbian Lite and combined it with the NextCloudPi install script from ownyourbits. I then used certbot to install certificates from let’s encrypt before migrating the data directory using these instructions.

    After that it was happy account creation time, before realizing that I could not upload files larger than ~10kB. Very annoying.

  • Escape Google!

    Being practical most people are going to want to keep using Google services, but at least knowing what the issues are, how you can use privacy-enhanced versions or escape completely with your own services is good to know. While Nextcloud is so slick these days and with pre-packaged options it’s certainly fun just to try out, if not deployed as a full-time personal cloud solution.

    But it’s not all worrying about invasion of the privacy snatchers, we’ve plenty of down-to-earth tutorials and projects to keep you busy. We take another look at using Audacity to improve your YouTube audio and create effects, we test out of a bunch of server distros to see which is best for you in Roundup, there’s some lovely retro loving with a look at running ZX Basic and we look at building a wearable webcam from a Pi Zero. Enjoy!

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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Python Programming

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  • Randy Zwitch: Building pyarrow with CUDA support

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  • Python String Formatting

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Android Leftovers

New Manjaro Linux ARM 20.04 Released For Single Board Computers

With the successful shipment of Manjaro Linux ARM to Pinebook Pro, the Manjaro ARM team has released a new ARM v20.4 for single board computers. The latest version is a successor to the previous ARM 20.02 with major system changes. Manjaro ARM is an Arch and Manjaro Linux-based small distribution by a developer team from Manjaro Linux. The ARM edition is a dedicated operating system for devices using ARM architecture-based processors. Read more

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