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Season of Docs 2020 and Document Freedom Day 2020

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LibO
Google
OSS
OOo
  • Announcing Season of Docs 2020

    Season of Docs brings technical writers and open source projects together for a few months to work on open source documentation. 2019 was the first year of Season of Docs, bringing together open source organizations and technical writers to create 44 successful documentation projects!

  • Announcing Season of Docs 2020

    Google Open Source has announced the 2020 edition of Season of Docs, a program to connect open source projects with technical writers to improve documentation. Open source organizations may apply from April 14-May 4. Once mentoring organizations and technical writers are connected, there will be a month long community bonding period, beginning August 11. Writers will then work with mentors to complete documentation projects by the December 6 deadline.

  • Paint a Dove for Document Freedom Day

    Help us celebrate the Twelfth Anniversary of Document Freedom Day by making a paper dove!

    Download the dove template and the instructions from this link: https://tdf.io/dfd1, and once you are done with your dove take a picture of it and upload your photo using this link: https://tdf.io/dfd2.

Google's Latest Openwashing Efforts

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Google
OSS
  • Google Teams Open-Source Object Detection Tool

    Members from the Google Brain and Google AI teams have announced they have open-sourced EfficientDet, an AI-powered tool that allows for state-of-the-art object detection with more efficient use of compute power.

  • Google AI open-sources EfficientDet for state-of-the-art object detection

    Members of the Google Brain team and Google AI this week open-sourced EfficientDet, an AI tool that achieves state-of-the-art object detection while using less compute. Creators of the system say it also achieves faster performance when used with CPUs or GPUs than other popular objection detection models like YOLO or AmoebaNet.

  • Google launches open-source tool against USB keystroke injection attacks - Video
  • Google Open-Sources Pigweed, a Collection of Embedded Libraries

    Google filed a trademark for a “computer operating software” named Pigweed last month. While most of us were guessing it could either be a new name for Fuchsia OS or a brand-new operating system, Google has now shed some light into Pigweed – an open-source collection of embedded libraries.

  • Google open-sources Pigweed, a collection of microcontroller modules for device developers

    Google today open-sourced Pigweed, a collection of microcontroller modules designed for developers using 32-bit devices. They’re intended to enable faster and more reliable development on microcontrollers — i.e., the small computers embedded within single circuit chips. Assuming it works as advertised, Pigweed could accelerate the development of hardware in a range of industries, from smart home and manufacturing to robotics, automotive, and even telecommunications.

  • Google reveals Pigweed, open source modules for embedded development, not an OS

    Last month, Google was found to have filed a trademark for an “operating system” by the name of “Pigweed.” Today, Google is officially taking the wraps off of Pigweed, a collection of open source libraries or “modules” for developers who work on embedded devices — not an operating system.

    [...]

    So let’s take a look at the reality of what Pigweed is. At the project’s early stage of development, Pigweed is simply a collection of tools and libraries, which Google has taken to calling “modules,” each individually designed to help solve a problem faced by developers of embedded devices. More specifically, Pigweed targets developers who work with 32-bit microcontrollers.

    One module, “pw_env_setup,” is designed solely to help you get your computer ready for development as quickly and easily as possible, downloading the most common tools you’ll need and installing them in a virtual environment. Meanwhile, another module, “pw_watch,” automatically builds and tests your code when you save changes, constantly checking for any potential errors.

Life Without Google, Google Deals With Intel Defects, Google as a Standard and Google Removes Free Software From Search

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Google

                       

  • De-Googling My Life – 2 Years On

                         

                           

    I first started De-Googling my life back in September 2017. It’s now been nearly 2.5 years since I completed that process, so I thought it was time for an update.

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  • Google Engineer Shows "SESES" For Mitigating LVI + Side-Channel Attacks - Code Runs ~7% Original Speed

    Disclosed last week was the Load Value Injection attack affecting Intel CPUs and requiring new mitigations. While the GNU Assembler mitigation options were quickly added, on the LLVM toolchain side the developers there continue evaluating the proposed LVI mitigation along with another option that looks to mitigate more than just LVI. The "SESES" proposal looks more broadly at mitigating CPU side-channel vulnerabilities but with shattering performance hits. 

    As we outlined when benchmarking the GNU Assembler mitigations for LVI, the software mitigation impact can be quite significant. The assembler work is adding an LFENCE barrier instruction around loads, indirect branches, and RET instructions. The tests on Kabylake found that the mitigated performance overall was about 22% that of the performance without the LVI mitigations. 

  • Updated Basis Universal Yields High Quality Compression, 3~4x Smaller Than JPEG/PNG

    Google and Binomial announced a high quality update to the Basis Universal texture compression format suited for web use-cases. The new high quality Basis Universal codec aims to support the modern high quality format of today's GPUs while having transcoding support for falling back to older GPUs. Images compressed with the new format are three to four times smaller than sending a JPEG or PNG file. The quality of this updated Basis Universal implementation is much greater than what previously has been available while still seeing widespread adoption by the likes of Godot and other game engines and software packages. 

  • Google Removes Official Kodi Download Page After “Bogus” Copyright Complaint

    Google has removed the official Kodi download page from its search results, following a complaint from a copyright holder. The team behind the perfectly legal open-source software is disappointed that they're being inaccurately lumped together with pirate services. The same takedown notice also targeted the VLC media player, but those requests were rejected.

Chromium and LibreOffice updates

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GNU
LibO
Linux
Google

Due to the Corona (COVID-19) crisis, Google decided to postpone the introduction of Chromium 81 to the stable channel. Understandably due to the challenges created by sending most developers home for their own safety and protection, which is a cause for less efficient work schedules.
Instead, there is an increased focus on addressing security related issues in Chromium 80 and releasing those in rapid succession. After all, any crisis attracts the worst of humankind to mess with the more gullible part of the population and browser based phishing and hack attempts are on the rise.

And so, yesterday there was another version upgrade, and I built the new chromium packages for Slackware 14.2 and -current already. The chromium-80.0.3987.149 release can be downloaded from any mirror – or upgraded using slackpkg/slackpkg+ if you use that.

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Best Chromebooks for Linux in 2020

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GNU
Linux
Google
Hardware

Chromebooks tick a lot of boxes: they’re affordable, portable, and have enough processing power for all basic tasks, such as web browsing or document editing. Some even come with high-end hardware components capable of meeting the needs of software developers and other professionals.

Last year, at Google I/O in Mountain View, Google announced its intention to ship all future Chromebooks with Linux support right out of the box, making it possible for users to run just about any popular Linux distribution in a container, in parallel with Chrome OS.

There’s also GalliumOS, a fast and lightweight Linux distro for Chromebooks built on top of Xubuntu to provide a fully functional desktop. It integrates Google’s mouse driver to offer a touchpad experience similar to Chrome OS and features multiple Optimizations that improve responsiveness and eliminate system stalls.

As you can see, Chromebooks have a lot to offer to Linux users—not to mention their ability to run Android apps. To help you spend your money wisely, we’ve compared dozens of popular Chromebooks, and here’s our list of the best Chromebooks for Linux in 2020.

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Some good coronavirus news: Monster Google-Oracle API copyright battle on hold as bio-nasty shuts Supremes

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Development
Google
OSS
Legal

The ten-year monster battle between Google and Oracle over the use of Java APIs will be delayed until further notice – after the US Supreme Court announced it was suspending oral arguments over coronavirus fears.

The two sides were due to present their argument to the court on Tuesday, March 24 and there has been a flood of filings in the case in the past month. But on Monday, the Supreme Court said that “in keeping with public health precautions recommended in response to COVID-19, the Supreme Court is postponing the oral arguments currently scheduled for the March session (March 23-25 and March 30-April 1).”

It’s not yet known when the case will be rescheduled - a meeting on Friday should provide more details. The court’s statement also noted that its closure is “not unprecedented,” but then gave two precedents there weren’t exactly comforting:

“The Court postponed scheduled arguments for October 1918 in response to the Spanish flu epidemic. The Court also shortened its argument calendars in August 1793 and August 1798 in response to yellow fever outbreaks.” How reassuring.

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Also: Supreme Court Postpones Oral Arguments

Chrome 80 Against Firefox 74/75 Performance On Linux

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Google
Moz/FF
Web

Complementing the Firefox 73 vs. 74 vs. 75 Beta benchmarks on Ubuntu Linux from AMD Ryzen this week, here are those numbers side-by-side with the Google Chrome 80 web-browser for putting the performance into more perspective.

On the same Ryzen 9 3950X system with Ubuntu are the numbers for Firefox 73/74/75 both out-of-the-box and with WebRender force-enabled compared to Chrome 80 stable.

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OpenStreetMap: A Community-Driven Google Maps Alternative

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Google
OSS

You need to sign up for an account first – in order to be able to edit or add information to the OpenStreetMap. To view the map, you wouldn’t need an account.

Even though it’s a free-to-use map under an open data license, you cannot use the map API to build another service on top of it for commercial purpose.

So, you can download the map data to use it and host it yourself while mentioning the credits to OSM. You can learn more about its API usage policy and copyright information on its official website to learn more.

In this article, we shall take a brief look at how it works and what kind of projects use OpenStreetMaps as the source of their map data.

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WWW: Chrome OS 82, WebAssembly, JavaScript and Mozilla, Thunderbird and Instantbird Bits

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Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • The Linux terminal is getting a major overhaul and new features in Chrome OS 82

    It has been a busy morning here at the Chrome Unboxed office. Robby made the move over to the Dev channel yesterday and discovered a plethora of new and updated features. Some we’ve been expecting but others are appearing for the first time and a massive update to the Linux terminal is one of the biggest when we’re talking about the latter. For those taking advantage of Linux apps on Chrome OS, you’re familiar with the “terminal” app that looks pretty much like any Command Line Interface on any Linux distro. (Windows and Mac, for that matter.)

  • Google Bringing WebAssembly Extensions To Network Proxies

    In addition to WebAssembly's growing presence outside of the web browser thanks to various desktop run-times and interesting use-cases, WebAssembly is also popping up in other areas. Google has been working on WebAssembly support for extensions within network proxies typically reserved for C/C++ or the likes of Lua scripts.

    WebAssembly support has been pulled into their Istio service mesh v1.5 release with WASM extensions in the Envoy service proxy, popular choices for Cloud Native deployments. The Istio 1.5 release notes mention, "Wasm will give developers the ability to safely distribute and execute code in the Envoy proxy – to integrate with telemetry systems, policy systems, control routing and even transform the body of a message. It will be more flexible and more efficient, eliminating the need for running a Mixer component separately (which also simplifies deployments)."

  • JavaScript: The First 20 Years

    Our HOPL paper is done and submitted to the ACM for June 2020 publication in the PACMPL (Proceedings of the ACM on Programming Languages) and presentation at the HOPL 4 conference whenever it actually occurs. PACMPL is an open access journal so there won’t be a paywall preventing people from reading our paper. Regardless, starting right now you can access the preprint at https://zenodo.org/record/3707008. But before you run off and start reading this 190 page “paper” I want to talk a bit about HOPL.

  • Mozilla Addons Blog: Friend of Add-ons: Zhengping

    Please meet our newest Friend of Add-ons, Zhengping! A little more than two years ago, Zhengping decided to switch careers and become a software developer. After teaching himself the basics of web development, he started looking for real-world projects where he could hone his skills. After fixing a few frontend bugs on addons.mozilla.org (AMO), Zhengping began contributing code the add-ons code manager, a new tool to help keep add-on users safe.

    In the following months, he tackled increasingly harder issues, like using TypeScript with React to create complex UI with precision and efficiency. His contributions helped the add-ons team complete the first iteration of the code manager, and he continued to provide important patches based on feedback from add-on reviewers.

  • Patrick Cloke: Matrix Live Interview

    I was interviewed for Matrix Live as part of last week’s This Week in Matrix. I talked a bit about my background and my experiences contributing to Mozilla (as part of Instantbird and Thunderbird projects) as well as what I will be working on for Synapse, the reference implementation for Matrix servers.

  • Distributed Teams: Not Just Working From Home

    Technology companies taking curve-flattening exercises of late has resulted in me digging up my old 2017 talk about working as and working with remote employees. Though all of the advice in it holds up even these three years later, surprisingly little of it seemed all that relevant to the newly-working-from-home (WFH) multitudes.

    Thinking about it, I reasoned that it’s because the talk (slides are here if you want ’em) is actually more about working on a distributed team than working from home. Though it contained the usual WFH gems of “have a commute”, “connect with people”, “overcommunicate”, etc etc (things that others have explained much better than I ever will); it also spent a significant amount of its time talking about things that are only relevant if your team isn’t working in the same place.

ChromeOS, Chrome and Chromium-based Brave

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Google
OSS
Web
  • Installing the latest version of Inkscape on Chrome OS just got a whole lot easier

    We use Gravit Designer on the daily as our go-to vector editing and design tool but for a long time, Inkscape was always in the old tool bag. Problem was, using Inkscape on Chrome OS in the past required Crouton and the unofficial path to dual-booting Linux on your Chromebook. With the advent of the Crostini Project and Linux apps support, that has changed and for many, installing Inkscape free software on a Chromebook has been a game-changer for productivity. While we no longer use Inkscape, it is still an incredible vector editor and we recommend it for users who aren’t ready to make the jump to the pro version of Gravit that runs you $49.99/year.

  • Chrome OS 80 makes graphic intensive Linux apps so much better

    As we’ve seen in the past few months, Linux apps on Chrome OS have come a long way. There’s still work to be done and there are new features that are on the way or that have just launched, but the overall feel of Linux apps on Chromebooks is way more cohesive than it was just 6 months ago.

  • Chrome browser may get an official Snap package for Linux

    As of late, I spend a good majority of my time digging into Linux on Chrome OS and testing what works and what doesn’t. As the Command Line series takes shape, we’ve become a little keener to Linux-related commits in the Chromium repository. There’s so much that you can do with Linux apps on Chrome OS but the Crostini project still has its limitations due to the nature of the technology. Running applications in containers requires some workarounds for certain things that are normally native on full Linux distributions.

  • Brave Browser Has Reached 12 Million Monthly Active Users

    Brave, the popular crypto-integrated browser, has surpassed its previous adoption records.

    As of Mar. 5, Brave had 4 million daily active users (DAU) and 12 million monthly active users (MAU). Based on Brave’s previous usership statistics, this means that Brave attracted approximately 2 million monthly active users and 700,000 daily active users over the past three months.

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Python Programming

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  • The 7 most popular ways to plot data in Python

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  • Episode 3: Effective Python and Python at Google Scale

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  • Randy Zwitch: Building pyarrow with CUDA support

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  • Python String Formatting

    The string Formatting is a very important task of any type of programming language. It helps the user to understand the output of the script properly. The string formatting can be done in Python in various ways, such as using ‘%’ symbol, format() method, string interpolation, etc. This article shows how the string data can be formatted in Python by using different string formatting methods. Spyder3 editor is used here to write and run the script. Two types of formatting parameters can be used in Python. These are positional parameters and keyword parameters. The parameter which is accessed by the index is called the positional parameter and the parameter which is accessed by key is called the keyword parameter. The uses of these parameters are shown in the next part of this article.

  • 30 Days Of Python | Day 3 Project: A Simple Earnings Calculator

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  • When to use the Clean Architecture?

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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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