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Android P, Android Things and Mozilla Things Gateway

Filed under
Android
Google
Moz/FF
  • Android P to improve users' network privacy

    The forthcoming Android P release will protect the operating system's network processes against snoops and nasties.

    Android's problems lie in a folder and file inherited from Linux, the source of Android's kernel and its key structures: /proc/net.

    In a commit at Android Open Source, Google's Jeffrey Vander Stoep launched the apparently-prosaic process of “locking down /proc/net”.

  • Say Hello to Android Things 1.0

    Android Things is Google's managed OS that enables you to build and maintain Internet of Things devices at scale. We provide a robust platform that does the heavy lifting with certified hardware, rich developer APIs, and secure managed software updates using Google's back-end infrastructure, so you can focus on building your product.

    After a developer preview with over 100,000 SDK downloads, we're releasing Android Things 1.0 to developers today with long-term support for production devices. Developer feedback and engagement has been critical in our journey towards 1.0, and we are grateful to the over 10,000 developers who have provided us feedback through the issue tracker, at workshop events, and through our Google+ community.

  • Google Launches New Operating System “Android Things” For IoT Devices

    Google has tried to take some attention away from Build 2018 by releasing Android Things 1.0 – an operating system specially designed for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

    Android Things was first announced back in 2016. It will allow developers to take advantage of Google Assistant, Google Cast, and the company’s knowledge of machine learning.

  • Things Gateway - the Virtual Weather Station Code

    The Virtual Weather Station was written using Things Framework, a new communication protocol to connect devices with controllers based on Web technology. The Things Framework consists of a set libraries and modules written in various languages. Each library implements a server that offers the Web Thing API on behalf of the device running the server. The protocol is HTTP, so the server offers a Web interface by embedding a Web Server. That interface contains all the mechanisms to query or control the device and is, therefore, the embodiment of the Web Thing API.

Google: Chrome, “Seurat”, Google I/O 2018 and Android

Filed under
Google

Google and Microsoft

Filed under
Google
Microsoft
  • Security update for Chromium

    I have uploaded new packages for Chromium. The version 66.0.3359.139 is a security update addressing a critical bug (and some more bugs too) and you are advised to upgrade.

  • Fuchsia Friday: Where is Fuchsia at Google I/O 2018?

     

    Flutter, if you’re not familiar, is Google’s new cross-platform app development kit, designed to work natively on both Android and iOS. Earlier this year at MWC, Flutter moved out of alpha phase and into beta testing.

  • Google embraces, extends, and extinguishes

     

    What of Google’s role as a participant in open source? Sure, they make a lot of software open source, but they don’t collaborate with anyone. They forked from WebKit to get Apple out of the picture, and contributing to Chromium as a non-Googler is notoriously difficult. Android is the same story - open source in principle, but non-Googler AOSP contributors bemoan their awful approach to external patches. It took Google over a decade to start making headway on upstreaming their Linux patches for Android, too. Google writes papers about AI, presumably to incentivize their academics with recognition for their work. This is great until you notice that the crucial piece, the trained models, is always absent.

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  • Linux Containers [Crostini] For Samsung Chromebook Plus In The Works

    Linux container development continues to plow forward with each day that goes by. More feverish than the entire Android app initiative for Chrome OS ever was, the Crostini project seems to introduce new features into the fold on what seems like a daily basis.

    If you haven’t kept up to date with all that is going on with Linux containers on Chromebooks, you can click here to read all we’ve written on the matter and get caught up with the latest info to date.

    Now that we’re on the same page, there’s a wrinkle in this whole development cycle we’ve known was coming. Dating back years, Linux support has always been better and more-supported on Intel-based devices. As we are seeing more ARM devices in the works (especially one being made with the powerful Snapdragon 845), we can’t forget about the existing devices that are currently out in the market.

  • Windows 10 April 2018 Update Hitting BSODs with CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED Error

    We’re seeing an increasing number of reports pointing to BSODs experienced after upgrading Windows 10 devices to April 2018 Update (version 1803), and one of the most common stop codes appears to be CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED.
    Judging from user reports online, the said BSOD happens on a wide variety of hardware configurations and the error appears to be triggered by different tasks, like launching apps, such as Skype, browsing the web, playing games, or watching videos.

    At this point, there doesn’t seem to be a specific pattern that would help reproduce the bug, but some users on reddit speculate that the BSOD might be caused by the GPU. Some believe it’s a driver compatibility issue, though by the looks of things, reinstalling the drivers doesn’t make any difference.

Google: Swift for TensorFlow, Seurat for VR

Filed under
Google
OSS
  • Google Open Sources Swift for TensorFlow

    Originally created by Google, Swift for TensorFlow gives developers "the power of TensorFlow directly integrated into the Swift programming language."

    According to the project page, which is hosted on Github, "We believe that machine learning tools are so important that they deserve a first-class language and a compiler."

  • Google open sources Seurat, a tool for reducing mobile VR complexity

    This launch arrives alongside the release of the Mirage Solo, the first headset on the Daydream VR platform to make use of Google’s WorldSense positional tracking system. The headset is standalone and runs on a mobile chipset so it’s a lot more resource-constrained than headsets that connect to gaming PCs.

    [...]

    In the snippet above from a new Blade Runner title, Google says the Seurat program was able to take a scene with 46.6 million triangles and reduce it down to 307,000. This is especially useful for developers with existing renders that they’re porting from more capable hardware to the more strained mobile VR hardware.

  • Google makes VR positional-tracking tool 'Seurat' open source on GitHub

    Technology companies have been telling us virtual reality will change the world for decades now. While VR has become more popular in recent years, it is still a niche market. Virtual reality will probably become mainstream in the future, but until prices come down even further, it will remain a hobby for enthusiasts.

    With that said, Google is still banking on virtual reality, especially with its Daydream initiative. Today, the search giant is making a VR positional-tracking tool called "Seurat" open source. The code is being hosted on GitHub.

Google open sources gVisor, a sandboxed container runtime

Filed under
Google
OSS

Thanks to Docker, containers are everywhere now. But, while containers have revolutionized how we develop, package, and deploy applications, we've not done a great job of securing them. That's where Google has a new answer in locking down containers: gVisor.

Read more

Crostini Update: Linux Apps Show Up In Chrome OS Settings

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

So, earlier today Robby was showing me a Chromium commit that referenced enabling the Crostini UI by default on the Pixelbook. No surprise there as Google’s flagship has been the default testing ground for the Crostini Project and the implementation of Linux app containers for quite some time now.

Since the “Crostini” flag turned up on Chrome OS we have found multiple references to an actual menu item for the feature in the Chrome OS settings but until recently accessing the terminal app has only been possible through some hacking. Just last week, we saw the addition of the terminal app to the Chrome OS launcher but had yet to see Crostini’s front-facing UI in action.

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Google open sources gVisor, a sandboxed container runtime

Filed under
Google
OSS

Thanks to KubeCon in Copenhagen, this week is all about containers — and especially Kubernetes. Given that Kubernetes was born out of Google’s internal container usage, it’s no surprise that Google also has a few announcements at the show. Maybe the most interesting of these is the launch of gVisor, a sandboxed container runtime that aims to ensure a secure isolation between containers.

As the name implies (at least if you live in this world), gVisor is a bit like a hypervisor that provides the isolation between traditional virtual machines, but for containers. That’s especially interesting to businesses that want to ensure the security of their container workloads, something that’s still a bit of an issue in the Kubernetes world.

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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
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today's howtos and leftovers