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Browsers: Mozilla and Chrome

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  • 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

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  • 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

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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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Open Sourcing the Hunt for Exoplanets

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

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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

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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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Chrome 65

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Clang is now used to build Chrome for Windows

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  • Clang is now used to build Chrome for Windows

    As of Chrome 64, Chrome for Windows is compiled with Clang. We now use Clang to build Chrome for all platforms it runs on: macOS, iOS, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, and Windows. Windows is the platform with the second most Chrome users after Android according to statcounter, which made this switch particularly exciting.

  • Google Finds Clang On Windows To Be Production-Ready For Building Chrome

    While Google has already been using LLVM's Clang C/C++ compiler to build the release builds of the Chrome web-browser for Linux rather than GCC and has also switched to using Clang on other platforms, this open-source C/C++ compiler has now been able to replace Microsoft's Visual C/C++ compiler for building Chrome on Windows.

  • Chrome on Windows ditches Microsoft’s compiler, now uses Clang

    Google's Chrome browser is now built using the Clang compiler on Windows. Previously built using the Microsoft C++ compiler, Google is now using the same compiler for Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android, and the switch makes Chrome arguably the first major software project to use Clang on Windows.

    Chrome on macOS and Linux has long been built using the Clang compiler and the LLVM toolchain. The open-source compiler is the compiler of choice on macOS, making it the natural option there, and it's also a first-class choice for Linux; though the venerable GCC is still the primary compiler choice on Linux, by using Clang instead, Google ensured that it has only one set of compiler quirks and oddities to work with rather than two.

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More in Tux Machines

U-Boot 2018.03 Released

Latest of Openwashing

  • Microsoft Promises Not to Sue Over GPLv2 Compliance Issues [Ed: Weird (almost white-washing) headline given that Microsoft has been caught in violation of the GPL many times before]
  • New partners join open source ship design platform
  • Management alone can't drive open culture change
    It would seem that targeted learning around how a non-hierarchical governance model practically works in a global organisation is required. This, in and of itself, is a learning expedition that needs to be highly personal. We have to be retrained to fail forward and without fear. We have to learn to criticize constructively, even our bosses. We also have to rethink things like typical management activities, job security and career pathways. Above all, we have to feel safe inside our organizations and that requires trust.

Games: Valve, Modernisation in Google Summer of Code, Trigger Happy Havoc

  • Valve's Latest Steam Client Adds 2X-Scaling Mode on Linux, HiDPI on Windows 10
    Valve released today a new Steam Client stable update for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, macOS, and Windows, bringing long-anticipated features and improvements, along with numerous bug fixes.
  • Modernization of games
    This year I have proposed a Google Summer of Code idea (we are in student applications period) for modernizing Five-or-More, a game left out from the last games modernization round, when most of the games have been ported to Vala.
  • Trigger Happy Havoc Might Just Be The Weirdest Game on Linux
    With a special developer GDC viewing party tomorrow, I wanted to get us up to speed on the insanity that is Trigger Happy Havoc right now. I’m gonna level with you. My first impression of Spike Chunsoft’s offering, based on the trailer, was a tall glass of double checking reality garnished with a sprig of WTF.

Red Hat and Fedora