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Google

De-Googling my phone

Filed under
Android
Google

I’ve been a professional Free Software developer in the GNU/Linux area for 14 years now, and a hobbyist developer and user for much longer. For some reason that never extended much to the smartphone world, beyond running LineageOS on my older phones (my current Sony Xperia is still under warranty and I’m fine with the officially supported Android), and various stabs at using the Ubuntu phone (RIP!).

On a few long weekends this year it got a hold of me, and I had a look over the Google fence to see how Free Software is doing on Android and how to reduce my dependency on Google Play Services and Google apps. Less because I would actually severely distrust Google, as they have a lot of business and goodwill to lose if they ever majorly screw up; but more because of simple curiosity and for learning new things. I want to note down my experience here for sharing and discussing.

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Mozilla and Chrome/Chromium News

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
  • Working for Good: Metrofiets Cargo Bikes

    The web should be open to everyone, a place for unbridled innovation, education, and creative expression. That’s why Firefox fights for Net Neutrality, promotes online privacy rights, and supports open-source tech around the globe. We strive to make the online community a better place. We also know people everywhere work tirelessly to improve their own communities. In this series, we’re profiling businesses that work to make the world better—and use Firefox to support a healthy, open, and safe internet.

  • Mozilla All-Hands Tips

    Twice a year, Mozilla gathers employees, volunteers, and assorted hangers-on in a single place to have a week of planning, working, and socializing. Being as distributed an organization as we are, it’s a bit rare to get enough of us in a single place to generate the kind of cross-talk and beneficial synergistic happenstances that help us work smarter and move in more-or-less the same direction. These are our All Hands events.

  • metricsgraphics movements
  • A Privacy-Conscious Approach to Sponsored Content

    Content on the web is powerful. It enables us to learn new things, discover different perspectives, stay in touch with what’s happening in the world, or just make us laugh. Making sure that stories like these—stories that are worth your time and attention—are discoverable and supported is central to what we care about at Pocket.

    It’s important for quality content like this to thrive—and a critical way it’s funded is through advertising. But unfortunately, today, this advertising model is broken. It doesn’t respect user privacy, it’s not transparent, and it lacks control, all the while starting to move us toward low quality, clickbait content.

  • Ryan Harter: PSA: Don't use approximate counts for trends

    Counting stuff is hard. We use probabilistic algorithms pretty frequently at Mozilla. For example, when trying to get user counts, we rely heavily on Presto's approx_distinct aggregator. Roberto's even written a Presto Plugin and a Spark Package to allow us to include HyperLogLog variables in datasets like client_count_daily.

  • TenFourFox FPR7b3 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 7 beta 3 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). This version includes some last-minute tuning to garbage and cycle collection frequency, a couple more hosts for basic adblock, and (the big change) a major fix to DOM keyboard events which caused some sites to fail to respond to keyboard input (like this Applesoft BASIC implementation in JavaScript -- thanks Martin Kuka&ccaron for the more easily debugged test case). There are also some additional security fixes and there will be a few more prior to release on or about May 8.

    For FPR8 the original plan was to get a decent implementation of CSS grid support working, but same-site cookies have risen in priority as they are now being required as a security measure on many sites including one I personally use frequently. If there is time left once that particular major upgrade is functional, I will then work on CSS grid and (as it slowly progresses) native date-time pickers. The FAQ is also dreadfully out of date, so I'll be spending some time on that too.

  • Chrome 67 Beta: WebXR Origin Trial, Generic Sensors

    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 67 on ChromeStatus.com.

  • Chrome 67 Beta Adds "Formdata" Event, Arbitrary Precision Integers

    Following the release of Chrome 66 earlier this month, Google developers working on the Chrome/Chromium web-browser have officially promoted Chrome 67 to beta.

    The Chrome 67 beta release comes with the Generic Sensor API for accessing generic sensors like accelerometer/gyroscope/motion devices, WebXR / VR improvements, web pages can now process mouse events, support for arbitrary precision integers, and other JavaScript/API enhancements.

Fuchsia and Android

Filed under
OS
Android
Google

Microsoft's Decline, NSA Back Doors, and Google's Patches for Chrome OS

Filed under
Google
Microsoft
Security
  • Microsoft Windows adapts as its business importance declines [Ed: Calling everything "cloud" to simulate 'growth']
  • PyRoMine Uses NSA Exploit for Monero Mining and Backdoors

    The ShadowBrokers leaked a whole treasure chest of hacking tools and zero-day exploits in 2017, attributed to the Equation Group, which is believed to be an arm of the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations unit. They target Windows XP/Vista/8.1/7/10 and Windows Server 2003/2008/2012/2016, taking advantage of a pair of vulnerabilities, CVE-2017-0144 and CVE-2017-0145. Microsoft patched these very quickly after the tools were made public.

  • Google Releases Major Chrome OS Update for Chromebooks with New Meltdown Patches

    Google has released on Friday a new stable Chrome OS update for Chromebooks, adding new mitigations for the Meltdown security vulnerability, as well as numerous new features and improvements.

    Google updated its Linux-based Chrome OS operating system for Chromebooks to version 66.0.3359.137, a major release that introduces KPTI (Kernel page-table isolation) mitigation patches against the Meltdown security vulnerability for Intel-powered Chromebooks running on Linux kernel 3.8.

Should Have Installed GNU/Linux....

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Microsoft
  • Microsoft sends recycler to jail for reinstalling obsolete, licensed copies of Windows on refurbished PCs

     

    After doing everything in its power to put this amazing, brilliant, principled man in jail, Microsoft issued a statement smearing him and calling him a "counterfeiter."
     

    As JWZ puts it: "In case you've forgotten: Microsoft is still a vile garbage fire of a company."

  • Penguins in a sandbox: Google nudges Linux apps toward Chrome OS

    This indicates it's a feature aimed squarely at developers and system administrators – a world away from the education market where locked-down Chromebooks rule.

    "Signs point to other devices, even ones with ARM system-on-chips, receiving support in the future," wrote Miyamoto. "But perhaps not quite yet for 32-bit machines. There are also hints that some parts of VM functionality required to run Crostini won't be available for devices with older kernel versions."

    More may be revealed at Google's annual developer conference, I/O, starting 8 May.

  • Crostini Linux Container Apps Getting Full Native Treatment on Chromebooks

    Another day, another Crostini feature comes to light. So far, we have the Linux Terminal installer, Files app integration, and Material Design cues already rounding out the Linux app experience. As we continue to uncover clues by the day, it seems development of the Crostini Project is full steam ahead today is no different. Each clue we uncover continues to push the entire experience closer to something I believe will be delivered to developers and general users alike.

Fuchsia OS and Android

Filed under
Android
Google

Crostini for GNU/Linux Ubiquity

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • Linux Apps On Chromebooks

    Don't you sometimes wish that you could throw the entire development stack out and start again. Yes we all do, but we all also know that if we did no-one would follow us. The reasons we use the technology we do has very little to do with good engineering and nothing at all to do with good design. We sort of struggle on from where we are to get a little further down the road. It isn't even that we know what our end point is, it is more that we inch along to a slightly better place. Viewed from 1000 feet our progress must look a lot like a random walk.

  • Chrome OS will support Linux apps — with a dash of Material Design

    A commit to Chromium’s code has revealed more about Google’s plan to support Linux apps in Chrome OS with a dash of Material Design.

    Google’s annual I/O developer conference is just around the corner, and we’re starting to see the usual early hints at what to expect. We’ve known about Project Crostini, the codename for the project to bring Linux apps to Chrome, for some time — but the UI elements have remained a mystery, until now.

    The developers behind Crostini appear to have settled on the Material Design-inspired ‘Adapta’ theme for Linux. Google may choose to create its own bespoke theme which is even closer to Chrome OS, but for now, it seems this is what’s being used.

  • “Terminal” App Brings Crostini And Linux Apps One Step Closer To Chrome OS

    Developers continue to bring together bits and pieces of the still mysterious Project Crostini and this week we see more detail of what the end-user could see whenever the new feature is made available. Yesterday, Robby shared a sneak-peek as some new UI elements that will bring a Material Design feel to the container tech as well as evidence that Crostini will have access to the Files App on Chromebooks.

  • Crostini Seemingly Gaining Direct File Access In Chrome OS

    Google Chromebook owners who frequently have to work with Linux applications can attest that one of the biggest limitations of the Crostini Linux container is that it does not have direct access to the device’s file system, but it seems that this may be changing soon. The way things work now forces files generated in the Crostini container to stay there, and keeps users from using local files inside the container’s application. A workaround is available via SSH, but it can be cumbersome. A recent code commit in the Chromium repository points to Google using Crostini’s built-in SSH and a pre-built action library to create an easier solution, essentially giving Crostini file access privileges to and from the Chromebook.

Google Just Forked a Popular GTK Theme

Filed under
GNU
Google
GNOME

Rumour is that desktop Linux apps are coming to Chromebooks, and when they do they may look rather familiar.

Like, Adapta GTK theme familiar.

Reports earlier in the year revealed plans Google has to add Linux virtual machine support in Chrome OS via LXD containers.

We speculated at the time that the move could allow end-users to run desktop Linux apps on Chromebooks without resorting to existing Crouton-based hybrid-OS solutions.

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GNU/Linux on Chromebooks

Filed under
Android
GNU
Linux
Google

Android/ChromeOS/Google Leftovers

Filed under
Android
Google
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More in Tux Machines

Tux Machines Privacy Statement

Summary: Today, May 25th, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into full effect; we hereby make a statement on privacy AS a matter of strict principle, this site never has and never will accumulate data on visitors (e.g. access logs) for longer than 28 days. The servers are configured to permanently delete all access data after this period of time. No 'offline' copies are being made. Temporary logging is only required in case of DDOS attacks and cracking attempts -- the sole purpose of such access. Additionally, we never have and never will sell any data pertaining to anything. We never received demands for such data from authorities; even if we had, we would openly declare this (publicly, a la Canary) and decline to comply. Privacy is extremely important to us, which is why pages contain little or no cross-site channels (such as Google Analytics, 'interactive' buttons for 'social' media etc.) and won't be adding any. Google may be able to 'see' what pages people visit because of Google Translate (top left of every page), but that is not much worse than one's ISP 'seeing' the same thing. We are aware of this caveat. Shall readers have any further questions on such matters, do not hesitate to contact us.

today's leftovers

  • S11E12 – Twelve Years a Slave
    It’s Season 11 Episode 12 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.
  • Porting guide from Qt 1.0 to 5.11
    We do try to keep breakages to a minimum, even in the major releases, but the changes do add up. This raises the question: How hard would it be to port a Qt application from Qt 1.0 to 5.11?
  • Thunderbolt Networking on Linux
    Thunderbolt allows for peer-to-peer network connections by connecting two computers directly via a thunderbolt cable. Mika from Intel added support for this to the 4.15 kernel. Recently, Thomas Haller from NetworkManager and I worked together to figure out what needs to be done in userspace to make it work. As it turns out, it was not that hard and the pull-request was merged swiftly.
  • What’s new in openSUSE Leap 15 – part 1
    openSUSE Leap 15 will be released on the 25th of May 2018! A new openSUSE release is always an exciting event. This means that I get to play with all kinds of new and improved software packages. I am aware that I can simply install openSUSE Tumbleweed and have a new release 4 or 5 times a week. But when using openSUSE Tumbleweed some time ago, I noticed that I was installing Gigabytes of new software packages multiple times per week. The reason for that is that I have the complete opposite of a minimum install. I always install a lot of applications to play / experiment with (including a lot of open source games). I am using openSUSE since 2009 and it covers all of my needs and then some. I am already happy with the available software, so there is no real reason for me to move with the speed of a rolling release. Therefore I prefer to move with the slower pace of the Leap releases.
  • GNOME Terminal: a little something for Fedora 29
    Can you spot what that is?
  • UBports To Work On Unity 8 / Mir / Wayland After OTA-4
    The UBports team have put out their latest batch of answers to common questions around this project that's still working to maintain the Ubuntu Touch software stack. Among the project's recent work has included getting QtWebEngine working on Mir and before their Ubuntu 16.04 LTS based release they still need to figure out Chromium crashes and to resolve that as well as updating the browser. For their first release of UBports derived from Ubuntu 16.04 "Xenial" they are still going to rely upon Oxide while later on should migrate to a new browser.
  • 8 Best App Locks For Android To Secure Your Device In 2018
  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 39
  • What's Coming in OpenStack Rocky?
    The OpenStack Rocky release is currently scheduled to become generally available on August 30th, and it's expected to add a host of new and enhanced capabilities to the open-source cloud platform. At the OpenStack Summit here, Anne Bertucio, marketing manager at the OpenStack Foundation, and Pete Chadwick, director of product management at SUSE, outlined some of the features currently on the Rocky roadmap. Bertucio began the session by warning the audience that the roadmap is not prescriptive, but rather is intended to provide a general idea of the direction the next OpenStack release is taking.
  • PostgreSQL 11 Is Continuing With More Performance Improvements, JIT'ing
    PostgreSQL 11 is the next major feature release of this open-source database SQL server due out later in 2018. While it's not out yet, their release notes were recently updated for providing an overview of what's coming as part of this next major update. To little surprise, performance improvements remain a big focus for PostgreSQL 11 with various optimizations as well as continued parallelization work and also the recently introduced just-in-time (JIT) compilation support.
  • Tidelift Secures $15M in Series A Funding
    Tidelift, a Boston, MA-based open source software startup, secured $15m in Series A funding.
  • Tesla disclosed some of its autopilot source code after GPL violation
    Tesla, a technology company, and the independent automaker are well known for offering the safest, quickest electric cars. The company uses a lot of open source software to build its operating system and features, such as Linux Kernel, Buildroot, Busybox, QT, etc also they have always been taciturn about the finer details and tech of its popular artefacts, such as Model S, Model X, but now Elon Musk’s company has just released some of its automotive tech source code into the open source community.
  • Open Source Underwater Distributed Sensor Network
    One way to design an underwater monitoring device is to take inspiration from nature and emulate an underwater creature. [Michael Barton-Sweeney] is making devices in the shape of, and functioning somewhat like, clams for his open source underwater distributed sensor network.
  • Security Researchers Discover Two New Variants of the Spectre Vulnerability
  • Security updates for Thursday

today's howtos

Games and Wine: Hacknet - Deluxe, Full Metal Furies and More