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Chrome 67 to Counter Spectre on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS via Site Isolation

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Google
Security
  • Chrome 67 to Counter Spectre on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS via Site Isolation

    The Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, discovered earlier this year, caught everyone off guard including hardware and software companies. Since then, several vendors have patched them, and today, Google Chrome implemented measures to protect the browser against Spectre. The exploit uses the a feature found in most CPUs to access parts of memory that should be off-limits to a piece of code and potentially discover the values stored in that memory. Effectively, this means that untrustworthy code may be able to read any memory in its process’s address space. In theory, a website could use such an attack to steal information from other websites via malicious JavaScript code. Google Chrome is implementing a technique known as site isolation to prevent any future Spectre-based attacks from leaking data.

  • Google Chrome is getting a Material Design revamp – here’s how to test the new features

    Google has been promising a Material Design revamp of its desktop Chrome web browser for quite some time – and now we have our first look.

    An update to the experimental Chrome Canary browser on Windows, Linux and Mac, offers a preview of what we can expect when Google builds the changes into the main browser later this year.

  • Google Chrome Gets A Big Material Design Makeover, Here's How To Try It On Windows, Linux And macOS

    Google's dominate Chrome web browser is set to receive a big Material Design makeover later this year. However, if you want to give a try right now, you can do so by downloading the latest build of Chrome Canary. For those not in the know, Canary is the developmental branch of Chrome where new features are tested before they roll out widely to the public.

    As you can see in the image below, this is a total revamp of the browser, with a completely new address bar and look for the tabs interface. Tabs have a more rounded shape and colors have been refreshed through the UI.

  • Chrome 67 features Site Isolation to counter Spectre on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS

    Following the disclosure of Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities earlier this year, the entire tech industry has been working to secure devices. In the current stable version of Chrome, Google has widely rolled out a security feature called Site Isolation to protect desktop browsers against Spectre.

Mozilla and Chrome: Lockbox, New Site for Thunderbird and SeaMonkey Add-ons and More

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Mozilla Announces Firefox Lockbox, a Face ID-Compatible Password Manager for iOS

    After it made sure Firefox is one of the most popular web browsers on the desktop, Mozilla continues their quest to conquer the mobile world with new and innovative apps.

    Today, Mozilla announced that it had developed two new apps for Apple's iOS and Google's Android mobile operating systems, Firefox Lockbox for iOS and Notes by Firefox for Android. The two apps are currently available for testing through the company's Mobile Test Pilot Experiments initiative.

    The Firefox Lockbox for iOS promises to be a password manager that you can take anywhere, so you won't have to reset your new passwords when you forget them. While the app can sync passwords across devices, it's only compatible with passwords save through the Firefox web browser via a Firefox Sync account.

  • New Site for Thunderbird and SeaMonkey Add-ons

    When Firefox Quantum (version 57) launched in November 2017, it exclusively supported add-ons built using WebExtensions APIs. addons.mozilla.org (AMO) has followed a parallel development path to Firefox and will soon only support WebExtensions-based add-ons.

    As Thunderbird and SeaMonkey do not plan to fully switch over to the WebExtensions API in the near future, the Thunderbird Council has agreed to host and manage a new site for Thunderbird and SeaMonkey add-ons. This new site, addons.thunderbird.net, will go live in July 2018.

    Starting on July 12th, all add-ons that support Thunderbird and SeaMonkey will be automatically ported to addons.thunderbird.net. The update URLs of these add-ons will be redirected from AMO to the new site and all users will continue to receive automatic updates. Developer accounts will also be ported and developers will be able to log in and manage their listings on the new site.

  • A Vision for Engineering Workflow at Mozilla (Part Three)

    This is the last post in a three-part series on A Vision for Engineering Workflow at Mozilla.

  • Why Isn't Debugging Treated As A First-Class Activity?

    One thing developers spend a lot of time on is completely absent from both of these lists: debugging! Gitlab doesn't even list anything debugging-related in its missing features. Why isn't debugging treated as worthy of attention? I genuinely don't know — I'd like to hear your theories!

    One of my theories is that debugging is ignored because people working on these systems aren't aware of anything they could do to improve it. "If there's no solution, there's no problem." With Pernosco we need to raise awareness that progress is possible and therefore debugging does demand investment. Not only is progress possible, but debugging solutions can deeply integrate into the increasingly cloud-based development workflows described above.

  • Bug futures: business models

    Recent question about futures markets on software bugs: what's the business model?

    As far as I can tell, there are several available models, just as there are multiple kinds of companies that can participate in any securities or commodities market.

  • Are You a Fan of Google Chrome’s New Look?

    Perhaps it’s just me, but I don’t think the look of Google Chrome has altered all that much since it blinked into life in 2009.

    But that will shortly change.

    Rumour has it that Google plans to debut a new-look Google Chrome ahead of the browser’s 10th birthday in September.

    And if you’re a spoiler fan, the new look is already available for testing.

    Now, we’re not talking a revamp based on the old ‘boxy’ Material Design here. Oh no. The visual rejig Is based on the rounder, softer and more tactile Material Design 2 (on full display in Android P and arriving piecemeal to the Chrome OS desktop).

Google Releases Open Source Tool to Containerize Java App Deployments

Filed under
Google
OSS

Google wants to make it easier for Java developers to containerize their applications.

The company this week announced Jib, an open-source Java tool that it says will enable developers to build Java containers more easily using tools with which they are already familiar.

In a blog post July 9, Google software engineers Appu Goundan and Qingyang Chen described Jib as a container image builder designed to handle all the steps involved in packaging a Java application into a container.

"Containerizing a Java application is no simple task," Goundan and Chen wrote. "You have to write a Dockerfile, run a Docker daemon as root, wait for builds to complete, and finally push the image to a remote registry."

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Also: How open source can transform the way a company's developers work together

Watch Desktop Linux Apps (like GIMP) Running on Chrome OS [Video]

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

Linux fans enthusiastic about Google’s effort to bring desktop Linux apps on Chrome OS owe to themselves to watch the following video.

In it, technology YouTuber Lon Seidman demos the current state of the Crostini project (‘Crostini’ is the codename for the “run desktop and CLI Linux apps on Chrome OS” feature we keep gushing about) on both an Intel Chromebox and an ARM-based Chromebook.

This latter demo, of ARM support, is of particular interest.

I had (wrongly, it turns out) assumed Google would restrict Crostini to running on its higher-end Chromebooks, like the pricey Google Pixelbook and the ‘spensive Samsung Chromebook Plus.

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When Firefox Meets Chrome and Former Mozilla CEO Meets Chromium

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • How to Install Firefox in Chrome OS
  • Brave should have its own User-Agent, but here is how you detect it anyway

    The User-Agent string is the name that web browsers and other web clients send to web servers to identify their make and model to the server. This data is primarily used for statistical and troubleshooting purposes. The Brave web browser isn’t brave enough to have their own User-Agent and instead tries to camouflage as Google Chrome.

    Brave is a very opinionated web browser. This makes it easy to reliably detect it even without a unique User-Agent, and I’ll spend most of the article advocating for why Brave should have their own User-Agent. You can skip to the last two sections if you’re only interested in the detection code.

    Brave actually had a User-Agent of its own in the first few months of its existence, but removed it in April 2016. The history books (git commit logs) show that Brave removed the “Brave/Version” component from their User-Agent string to make it more difficult to fingerprint the browser.

  • How Larry Page Inspired Young Sundar Pichai Into Making Chrome A Success Story

    When Google Chrome was first launched in 2008, Firefox and Internet Explorer users had a good laugh looking at the new browser since it had no extensions, no theme support, nothing that competitors provided to users. But, slowly, people started turning to Google Chrome, and they liked it instantly. It was the fastest of all, pages loaded immediately, and people believed it could evolve into something big (the minimalist design helped there).

    Presently, Google Chrome stands at the top in browsers market with 60.98% market share against IE and Firefox who hold 12% and 11% share, respectively.

"Chromebooks with Linux app support will soon be able to install Debian packages" and More Google-Linux Work

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Debian
  • Chromebooks with Linux app support will soon be able to install Debian packages

    Recent code updates indicate forthcoming support for no-fuss Debian .deb package installation on Chrome OS devices that support Linux apps. The forthcoming feature will bring a new flow for installing Linux applications through .deb packages. A string of commits shows that support isn’t simply being turned on, but that all the finicky elements like interacting with the terminal, checking dependencies, and authentication will be hidden from the user.

  • Google aims lower than Android Go with new $22m investment

    KaiOS is one of the fastest growing mobile platforms right now, bringing smart functionality to feature-phones in emerging markets. Google has evidently been paying attention, because the Mountain View firm has made a $22-million investment in the company.

  • LTE-enabled Samsung Chromebook on the way, suggest new commits

    Only days after launching the second version of the Chromebook Plus (V2), Samsung seems to be working on one more variant of the Chromebook. In fact, the South Korean giant is now venturing into the always-connected Chromebook market. XDA Developers have unearthed a Coreboot code commit which shows the introduction of a new SKU of Nautilus (which, if you’re not aware is the codename for the Chromebook Plus V2). The commit clearly shows configuration changes that mention LTE support.

  • Google Updates: More Linux Chromebooks, World Cup tags and 'Better Together'

    Another 18 Chromebooks will be able to run Linux apps soon. The plan to roll out the windowed apps, further making them a viable alternative to Windows, now takes in Chrome OS machines from Lenovo, Acer, Asus and Dell joining the frey.

Google invests $22 M in Linux-based mobile operating system KaiOS

Filed under
OS
GNU
Linux
Google
  • Google invests $22 M in Linux-based mobile operating system KaiOS

    Google has invested $22 million in Linux-based mobile operating system KaiOS. As part of its Next Billion Users initiative, Google will bring some of its core products — Search, Maps, YouTube, Google Assistant — to ‘smart feature phones’ that run on KaiOS. These apps will be developed specifically for the KaiOS platform, which is entirely web-based and uses open standards such as HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS.

  • KaiOS now 2nd most popular mobile OS after Android in india as iOS drops to third

    DeviceAtlas collects web traffic from hundreds of thousands of websites. In it's most recent Q1 2018 report the company found that Android is by far the most popular, and it continues to gain market share from iOS in some areas like Malaysia. There are few surprises here, as Sailfish OS remains the only viable smartphone OS alternative to the Apple and Google offerings.

    One interesting tidbit in the results are for Feature Phone traffic. The devices are still popular around the world, with Jio, Nokia and others pumping out millions of devices to the market each year. An example of such a device is the nostalgic remake of the Nokia 8110 "Matrix phone", which runs KaiOS. India is the largest source of traffic for these four devices, making for a whopping 88 percent of all feature phone traffic collected in the survey.

  • Google invests $22M in feature phone operating system KaiOS

    Google is turning startup investor to further its goal of putting Google services like search, maps, and its voice assistant front and center for the next billion internet users in emerging markets. It has invested $22 million into KaiOS, the company that has built an eponymous operating system for feature phones that packs a range of native apps and other smartphone-like services. As part of the investment, KaiOS will be working on integrating Google services like search, maps, YouTube and its voice assistant into more KaiOS devices, after initially announcing Google apps for KaiOS-powered Nokia phones earlier this year.

  • 18 Chromebooks get Linux app support

    If you thought Chrome OS was just a boring glorified web browser turned OS, then your impressions are woefully outdated. Next to still unofficial, or even unconfirmed, platforms like Google Fuchsia or Microsoft Andromeda, Chrome OS is shaping up to be one of the most exciting operating systems of late. That is, if you owned a Google Pixelbook or one of the more recent, more powerful, more expensive recent Chromebooks. Worry not because Google has just recently flipped the switch that will give even the cheaper and older ones some powerful features, namely Linux app support.

Latest on Crostini

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • Linux apps on Chrome OS coming to 18 more Chromebooks

    Eighteen more Chromebooks are getting support for Linux apps on Chrome OS, with laptops based in Intel’s Apollo Lake architecture now able to run the applications, via XDA Developers.

  • Google brings Linux apps to 18 more Chromebooks [Ed: complete with the usual bias of Microsoft sites]

    The firm now supports Apollo Lake-based Chromebooks from Acer, Asus, Lenovo and Dell including the Acer Chromebook 15, Asus Chromebook Flip 2313SA and Dell Chromebook 11 5190.

  • Google Announces Renewed Support for Linux Software Running on Chromebooks

    A few months back, Google announced that they were enabling some support for container-based Linux applications running on Chromebooks. While it’s possible to install an open-source GNU/Linux distro on top of Chrome OS, Google’s announcement seemed to indicate that users would be able to run these programs out of the box without installing a second operating system.

    Google’s own Pixelbook and Samsung’s Chromebook Plus were said to be early adopters of this technology. News then broke that Acer’s Chromebook 13 and Spin 13 would also be among the first units to ship with Linux application support. HP’s X2 will apparently be the first detachable unit that can run apps in this way.

  • Skylake, Apollo Lake Chromebooks Add Linux Apps Via Crostini

    Being that the Core chips of the Skylake flavor are probably the most available “power” Chromebooks at the moment, I was beginning to think developers were having an issue getting Crostini up and running. Whatever the reason, it looks like devices like the Samsung Pro, HP Chromebook 13 G1, Acer 14 for Work and others may soon see the addition of Linux apps in Chrome OS.

  • 18 more Chromebooks can now run Linux apps (ever model with an Intel Apollo Lake chip)

    There are a growing number of Chromebooks that can now run Linux applications thanks to Google’s Project Crostini. And when I say growing number, I mean that this week Google added support for 18 Chromebooks.

Linux app support is coming to at least 18 more Chromebooks

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • Linux app support is coming to at least 18 more Chromebooks

    Google announced Linux app support in Chrome OS back at I/O, but the Pixelbook was the only supported device at first. Devices from Samsung and Acer have gained support since then, but Google's latest code addition to Chrome OS points to a raft of Chromebooks getting Linux support very soon.

    Chromium developers have just added support for Linux apps on all Apollo Lake-based Chromebooks. Intel's Apollo Lake processors include Celeron, Atom, and Pentium parts. According to XDA, there are at least 18 Chromebooks with these CPUs, most of which are focused on education. They include the Lenovo Thinkpad 11e, Acer Chromebook 11, Dell Chromebook 11, and more. They'll all have Linux app support when the updated Chrome OS rolls out.

  • 18 Chromebooks from Acer, Asus, Lenovo, & Dell receive Linux app support

    Eighteen Chromebooks based on Intel Apollo Lake architecture, which includes many from brands such as Acer, Asus, Lenovo, and Dell, get Linux app support in one fell swoop.

    In a change that landed Wednesday morning, the developers switched on Linux app support for all Apollo Lake Chromebooks under the baseboards Reef and Coral. See below for a list of Chromebooks under these baseboards.

  • Skylake, Apollo Lake Chromebooks Add Linux Apps Via Crostini

    On just about a daily basis, I check the Samsung Chromebook Pro to see if “Crostini” has finally been enabled to bring me the new evolution of Linux app support. Sadly, I have been disappointed at every attempt. For good reason, the Kaby Lake generation of processors from Intel has been at the center of the Crostini project if for no other reason than the Pixelbook.

    Being that the Core chips of the Skylake flavor are probably the most available “power” Chromebooks at the moment, I was beginning to think developers were having an issue getting Crostini up and running. Whatever the reason, it looks like devices like the Samsung Pro, HP Chromebook 13 G1, Acer 14 for Work and others may soon see the addition of Linux apps in Chrome OS.

​Google doubles down on Linux and open source

Filed under
Linux
Google

With this jump in status, Google gets a seat on the Foundation's board of directors. This position will be filled by Sarah Novotny, the head of open source strategy for Google Cloud Platform. Novotny is a self-confessed geek. She has a long history of bridging the gap between the business world and the tech world. Before coming to Google, where she also heads the Kubernetes community, she was head of developer relations at NGNIX and program chair for the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCon).

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