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Meet Acer Chromebook Tab 10, World's First Chrome OS Tablet for Education

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GNU
Linux
Google

Acer unveiled on Monday the world's first tablet powered by Google's Linux-based Chrome OS operating system for Chromebooks, targeting schools and other educational institutions.

A day ahead of Apple's "Let's Take a Field Trip" educational event where a new, cheaper iPad will be unveiled, Acer announced Chromebook Tab 10, the first Chrome OS tablet, which promises to replace computers in K-12 classrooms across the globe, enhancing and expanding student learning thanks to the simplicity, speed, and features of Google's Chrome OS Linux-based operating system.

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Also: 64-bit, Reluctantly

Billions at stake as Oracle beats Google in latest Android Java API legal dustup

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Development
Google

Like it or not -- and most developers hate it -- the US Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2014 that APIs could be copyrighted. Because of that decision, the legal battle between Google and Oracle over whether Google had the right to use Java APIs in Android without compensation has dragged on for years. In the last go-around, Google won again because a jury found that Google's use of Java APIs was allowed because it constituted "fair use". Done? Over? Not so fast. Now the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Google's Java API work wasn't fair use.

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Browsers: Mozilla and Chrome

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Google
Moz/FF
  • Mozilla Presses Pause on Facebook Advertising

    Mozilla is pressing pause on our Facebook advertising. Facebook knows a great deal about their two billion users — perhaps more intimate information than any other company does. They know everything we click and like on their site, and know who our closest friends and relationships are. Because of its scale, Facebook has become one of the most convenient platforms to reach an audience for all companies and developers, whether a multibillion corporation or a not-for-profit.

  • Results of the MDN “Duplicate Pages” SEO experiment

    Following in the footsteps of MDN’s “Thin Pages” SEO experiment done in the autumn of 2017, we completed a study to test the effectiveness and process behind making changes to correct cases in which pages are perceived as “duplicates” by search engines. In SEO parlance, “duplicate” is a fuzzy thing. It doesn’t mean the pages are identical—this is actually pretty rare on MDN in particular—but that the pages are similar enough that they are not easily differentiated by the search engine’s crawling technology.

  • Send, getting better

    Send continues to improve incrementally. Since our last post we’ve added a few requested features and fixed a bunch of bugs. You can now choose to allow multiple downloads and change the password on a file if you need to.

    Send is also more stable and should work more reliably across a wider set of browsers. We’ve brought back support for Microsoft Edge and some older versions of Safari.

  • Chrome 66 Beta: CSS Typed Object Model, Async Clipboard API, AudioWorklet

    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 66 on ChromeStatus.

  • Chrome 66 Beta Delivers On Async Clipboard API, Web Locks API

    Following the Chrome 65 release earlier this month, Google developers have now catapulted the Chrome 66 beta.

Android/Google: Pixel 2, Xiaomi Kernel Source, David Kleidermacher on Security

Filed under
Android
Google
  • Google Pixel 2 Portrait Mode Tech Is Now Open Source

    The tech behind the portrait mode on Google Pixel 2  has been made open source by the company. For those who not familiar with it, one of the main draw to the algorithm in the Pixel 2’s camera app is excellent subject isolation without needing additional apparatus such as specialized lens or second camera.

  • Xiaomi releases Oreo kernel source code for the Mi A1

    Xiaomi promised that the Mi A1 would receive Oreo by the end of 2017, and the company hit a buzzer-beater by rolling out Android 8.0 to the Android One device on December 30th. But the kernel source code was nowhere to be found, a violation of the GNU General Public License, version 2 (GPLv2), and an affront to the development and enthusiast community. It's about two-and-a-half months late, but Xiaomi has finally released the Android 8.0 Oreo source code for the Mi A1.

  • Google Says Android Is as Secure as Apple's iOS and Wants You to Know That

    Google's Android security chief David Kleidermacher told CNET today that the Linux-based Android mobile operating system the company develops for a wide range of devices is now as secure as Apple's iOS.

    Google recently published its "Android Security 2017 Year In Review" report where the company talks about how Android security has matured in the last few years and how it fights to find new ways to protect Android users from malware and all the other nasty stuff you obviously don't want to have on your mobile phone or tablet.

Airbus ditches Microsoft, flies off to Google

Filed under
Google
Microsoft

The “decision that will shape our company” was confirmed by Airbus CEO Tom Enders in a memo to staff – seen by The Register – who said the business is gearing up for the next phase of “digital transformation”.

“We need technology that actively supports our new ways of working, modern digital tools that allow us to be fully collaborative, to work across our many different team, across border and time zones - to truly be one.”

With this in mind, “Airbus has decided to take a major transformative step by moving from the Microsoft Office environment to Google Suite,” Enders said.

“Choosing G-Suite is a strategic choice, a clean break with the past while assuring business continuity. Let’s embark together on this journey towards a truly collaborative enterprise,” he said.

For anyone living under a rock for years, G-Suite is a line of web-based computing, productivity and collaboration tools that were initially launched under the Google Apps for Your Domain brand in 2006.

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Google FOSS Releases

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Google
OSS

Open Sourcing the Hunt for Exoplanets

Filed under
Google
OSS
Sci/Tech

Google open sources machine learning tech it used to find new planets

Filed under
Google
OSS

Google will open source the machine learning technology that allowed it to discover new exoplanets, the tech giant announced in a Thursday blog post.

In December, Google announced that it had found two exoplanets by training a neural network to analyze data from NASA's Kepler space telescope and identify signals that could be coming from planets, our sister site ZDNet reported at the time.

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prove you are not an Evil corporate person

Filed under
Google
OSS

Google is known to be deathly allergic to the AGPL license. Not only on servers; they don't even allow employees to use AGPL software on workstations. If you write free software, and you'd prefer that Google not use it, a good way to ensure that is to license it under the AGPL.

I normally try to respect the privacy of users of my software, and of personal conversations. But at this point, I feel that Google's behavior has mostly obviated those moral obligations. So...

Now seems like a good time to mention that I have been contacted by multiple people at Google about several of my AGPL licensed projects (git-annex and either keysafe or debug-me I can't remember which) trying to get me to switch them to the GPL, and had long conversations with them about it.

Google has some legal advice that the AGPL source provision triggers much more often than it's commonly understood to. I encouraged them to make that legal reasoning public, so the community could address/debunk it, but I don't think they have. I won't go into details about it here, other than it seemed pretty bonkers.

Mixing in some AGPL code with an otherwise GPL codebase also seems sufficient to trigger Google's allergy. In the case of git-annex, it's possible to build all releases (until next month's) with a flag that prevents linking with any AGPL code, which should mean the resulting binary is GPL licensed, but Google still didn't feel able to use it, since the git-annex source tree includes AGPL files.

I don't know if Google's allergy to the AGPL extends to software used for drone murder applications, but in any case I look forward to preventing Google from using more of my software in the future.

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Kernel and Graphics: PDS, VKMS and Nouveau

  • PDS 0.98s release
    PDS 0.98s is released with the following changes 1. Fix compilation issue on raspberry pi. 2. Minor rework and optimization on balance code path. 3. Fix wrong nr_max_tries in migrate_pending_tasks. This is mainly a bug fix and minor optimization release for 4.17. The rework of balance code doesn't go well, it actually make more overhead than current implement. Another rework which based on current implement is still on going, hopefully be included in next release.
  • PDS-MQ CPU Scheduler Revised For The Linux 4.17 Kernel With Minor Optimizations
    Alfred Chen announced this week the release of PDS-mq 0.98s, his latest patch-set of this CPU scheduler against the Linux 4.17 upstream code-base and includes minor optimization work and bug fixes. The PDS scheduler stands for the "Priority and Deadline based Skiplist multiple queue scheduler" that is derived from Con Kolivas' former BFS scheduler with Variable Run Queue (VRQ) support. PDS design principles are to be a simple CPU process scheduler yet efficient and scalable. PDS-mq differs from Con Kolivas' current MuQSS scheduler.
  • Add infrastructure for Vblank and page flip events in vkms simulated by hrtimer
    Since the beginning of May 2018, I have been diving into the DRM subsystem. In the beginning, nothing made sense to me, and I had to fight hard to understand how things work. Fortunately, I was not alone, and I had great support from Gustavo Padovan, Daniel Vetter, Haneen Mohammed, and the entire community. Recently, I finally delivered a new feature for VKMS: the infrastructure for Vblank and page flip events. At this moment, VKMS have regular Vblank events simulated through hrtimers (see drm-misc-next), which is a feature required by VKMS to mimic real hardware [6]. The development approach was entirely driven by the tests provided by IGT, more specifically the kms_flip. I modified IGT to read a module name via command line and force the use of it, instead of using only the modules defined in the code (patch submitted to IGT, see [1]). With this modification in the IGT, my development process to add a Vblank infrastructure to VKMS had three main steps as Figure 1 describes.
  • The State Of The VKMS Driver, Preparations For vBlank & Page Flip Events
    One of the exciting additions to look forward to with the upcoming Linux 4.19 kernel cycle is the virtual "VKMS" kernel mode-setting driver. The driver is still a work-in-progress, but multiple developers are working on it.
  • NIR Continues To Be Prepped For OpenCL Support
    Longtime Nouveau contributor Karol Herbst who joined Red Hat several months ago has been working on Nouveau NIR support as stepping towards SPIR-V/compute support and this summer the work very much remains an active target.
  • Nouveau Gallium3D Moves Closer Towards OpenGL 4.5 Compliance
    While the RadeonSI and Intel i965 Mesa drivers have been at OpenGL 4.5 compliance for a while now, the Nouveau "NVC0" Gallium3D driver has been bound to OpenGL 4.3 officially. This Nouveau Gallium3D driver for NVIDIA "Fermi" graphics hardware and newer has effectively supported all of the OpenGL 4.4/4.5 extensions, but not officially. Originally the NVC0 problem for OpenGL 4.4 and newer was the requirement of passing the OpenGL Conformance Test Suite (CTS), which at first wasn't open-source. But now The Khronos Group has made it available to everyone as open-source. Additionally, the proper legal wrangling is in place so the Nouveau driver could become a conforming Khronos adopter under the X.Org Foundation without any associated costs/fees with Nouveau being purely open-source and primarily considered a community driver.

DistroWatch The Best Website For Distro Hoppers

The DistroWatch features release announcements of new versions of hundreds of Linux and other distributions. It does host reviews of distros, podcasts, and newsletters. DistroWatch first published by Ladislav Bodnar, the founder, and maintainer, on May 31, 2001. DistroWatch initially focused on Linux distributions. But later based on user requests, it went on adding different flavors of operating systems like BSD family, Android x86, Oracle Solaris, MINIX, and Haiku etc. The DistroWatch presents detailed information at one place in a very convenient manner. At the time of writing this article, the DistroWatch hosted information of more than 300 active distributions (referring the list of distros populated under drop-down feature on the first page of the DistroWatch) and more than hundred in queue. It is said that the DistroWatch lives out of advertising and donation. LinuxCD.org is the first to advertise on the DistroWatch site. Read more

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS Amazon Linux AMIs Now Support Amazon's SSM Agent

As of July 2018, Amazon's Linux AMIs (Amazon Machine Images) that are based on either the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating systems now come pre-installed with the AWS Systems Manager Agent (SSM Agent), an Amazon software designed to run on hybrid or Amazon EC2 instances in public and private clouds on AWS (Amazon Web Services). "With this new feature release, AWS Systems Manager Agent is installed by default on all instances launched or built from Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (2018.07 and later) and 18.04 LTS (all versions) AMIs," said Amazon. "By having the agent pre-installed, you can quickly start using AWS Systems Manager features such as Run Command, State Manager, Inventory and Patch Manager." Read more

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