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Google

As a longtime Windows user, I made the switch to Chrome OS: How does it fair?

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

I’m a Google fan, but there has always been one product that I’ve been hesitant to try: Chrome OS, Google’s desktop operating system that powers all Chromebooks on the market. If you’ve ever heard anything about Chromebooks, chances are that you’ve heard the stereotype that it’s just a “glorified web browser.” I’ve been following Chrome OS for years and I know that there is so much more to it now—Android apps, Linux support, etc. But I never actually ditched Windows and exclusively used a Chromebook as my only laptop—until now.

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Season of Docs

Filed under
Google
HowTos

Google Linux-Based Consoles and Chromebooks

Filed under
OS
Google
Gaming
  • The first Android Q beta hints at Google's bold gaming plan

    Google has released the first beta of Android Q. It won’t give the software its official moment in the spotlight until the Google I/O conference in May, of course, but we already know some important information about its direction.

  • All signs point to a Google game console announcement at GDC

    Normally, Google showing up to the Game Developers Conference isn't a huge deal. The company does this pretty much every year—Android smartphones and Google Play are a pretty big gaming platform, after all—and it shows up with livestreams and blog posts and all the usual festivities. This year, though, is different. Google has been sending out vague teasers since last month for a GDC event, but as the date approaches, the company has been dropping more and more hints of exactly what it is announcing: Google is launching video game hardware for the Project Stream platform.

  • Google Chrome will soon support Nintendo Switch controllers

    Google Chrome may soon have native support for both the Nintendo Switch Pro controller and its Joy-Cons, according to an article from 9to5Google.

    A new commit in Chromium’s Gerrit source code, titled “Improve support for Nintendo Switch gamepads”, was discovered by both 9to5Google and Owen Williams.

  • Next@Acer event scheduled for April 11; new Chromebooks expected

    I also have a slight inkling on what new devices we might see announced but I’m still researching and checking with some sources, so it’s premature to share anything just yet. Stay tuned though.

Chrome Gets More DRM

Filed under
Google
Web

Google and Mozilla Funding for FOSS

Filed under
GNU
Google
Moz/FF
OSS
  • Topics for GSoC 2019

    It is time for GNUnet to run properly on Android. Note that GNUnet is written in C, and this is not about rewriting GNUnet in Java, but about getting the C code to run on Android.

  • Introducing Season of Docs

    Google Open Source is delighted to announce Season of Docs, a new program which fosters the open source contributions of technical writers.

    Season of Docs brings technical writers and open source projects together for a few months to work on open source documentation. 2019 is the first time we’re running this exciting new program.

    Join us in making a substantive contribution to open source software development around the world.

  • Apply for a Mozilla Fellowship

    Mozilla Fellows work on the front lines of internet health, at a time when the internet is entwined with everything from elections and free expression to justice and personal safety. Fellows ensure the internet remains a force for good — empowerment, equality, access — and also combat online ills, like abuse, exclusion, and closed systems.

    Mozilla is particularly interested in individuals whose expertise aligns with our 2019 impact goal: “better machine decision making,” or ensuring the artificial intelligence in our lives is designed with responsibility and ethics top of mind. For example: Fellows might research how disinformation spreads on Facebook. Or, build a tool that identifies the blind spots in algorithms that detect cancer. Or, advocate for a “digital bill of rights” that protects individuals from invasive facial recognition technology.

BMQ "BitMap Queue" Is The Newest Linux CPU Scheduler, Inspired By Google's Zircon

Filed under
Linux
Google

While there is the MuQSS CPU scheduler that lives out of tree as a promising CPU scheduler for the Linux kernel, it is not alone. Another option has been the PDS scheduler while now its author, Alfred Chen, has announced another new CPU kernel scheduler option he has dubbed the BitMap Queue.

The BMQ "BitMap Queue" scheduler started off from his existing PDS development experience and inspired by the scheduler found within Google's Zircon, the kernel powering their Fuchsia OS initiative.

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Google's Liberation of More Code for Illiberal Spying, Data-mining

Filed under
Google
OSS
  • New tool searches for misconfigured Google cloud storage

    GCPBucketBrute – the open source tool recently released by Rhino Security – allows pen testers to discover open buckets found on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). The tool can also determine if privilege escalation can occur on a particular cloud instance.

    “There are countless AWS S3 bucket enumerators out there online, but none (that we could find, at least) that targeted other similar storage services, such as Google Storage,” said Rhino in a blog post on February 26.

  • Google is staking its claim in the next big thing after cloud computing with a new line of AI-powered hardware for developers

    On its website, Google Coral has product listings for a $150 motherboard, a $75 USB device to bring AI to existing systems, and a $25 camera that slots into the board. The listings were first spotted by the Verge.

    "Coral offers a complete local AI toolkit that makes it easy to grow your ideas from prototype to production," writes Google in a blog post announcing Coral.

    In theory, it's more than a little bit like the Raspberry Pi, the pioneering $35 minicomputer, which is mega-popular among hackers as an easy and cheap way to build experimental hardware and other oddities.

  • Google open-sources GPipe, a library for efficiently training large deep neural networks

    If you’re in the business of training large-scale AI systems, good news: Google’s got your back. Google’s AI research division today open-sourced GPipe, a library for “efficiently” training deep neural networks (layered functions modeled after neurons) under Lingvo, a TensorFlow framework for sequence modeling. It’s applicable to any network consisting of multiple sequential layers, Google AI software engineer Yanping Huang said in a blog post, and allows researchers to “easily” scale performance.

  • Google AI division open sources GPipe neural network library

    Google open sourced GPipe, a scalable machine learning library designed to enable users to train large-scale deep neural networks faster, more accurately, and potentially with less compute power.

    The tech vendor made the library available on GitHub March 4, open sourced under the Lingo framework, a TensorFlow-based deep learning framework designed specifically for linguistic sequence models.

  • Google Open-Sources GPipe Library for Training Large-Scale Neural Network Models

    Deep neural network (DNN) models such as BigGAN, BERT, and GPT 2.0 have demonstrated that larger DNN models produce better task performance. These huge models are however becoming increasingly difficult to train. Google this week introduced GPipe, an open-source library that dramatically improves training efficacy for large-scale neural network models.

    In 2014, GoogleNet finished first in the ImageNet visual recognition challenge. The winning model consisted of four million parameters and achieved 74.8 percent accuracy. Three years later, Squeeze-and-Excitation Networks scored 82.7 percent to win the challenge with a model containing 145.8 million parameters — some 36x more than GoogleNet.

  • Is Google's New Lingvo Framework a Big Deal for Machine Translation?

    Neural machine translation experts weigh in on Google's open sourcing of Lingvo, a sequence modeling framework built on TensorFlow.

  • Google Open-Sources Lingvo Framework for Sequence-To-Sequence Modeling

    Natural language processing has made significant progress in the past year, but few frameworks focus directly on NLP or sequence modeling. Google Brain recently released Lingvo, a deep learning framework based on TensorFlow. Lingvo focuses on sequence-to-sequence models of language-related tasks such as machine translation, speech recognition, and speech synthesis; and significantly enhances code reuse and iteration speed. Lingvo-supported frameworks include traditional RNN sequence models, transformer models, and models that include VAE components. Lingvo is now open-sourced on GitHub.

  • AI Weekly: Google’s federated learning gets its day in the sun

    New versions of TensorFlow, including TensorFlow 2.0 with tf.keras as a central API and TensorFlow Lite 1.0 for mobile devices, were released, as was a $150 Coral board for edge TPU applications.

    Speed optimization for AI on mobile devices and a cleanup of TensorFlow’s cluttered APIs is more than cosmetic — these changes will shape how developers and businesses train AI systems. But the news that caught my eye was the release of TensorFlow for federated learning.

  • Google Makes Machine Learning Library Open Source

    To help developers train AI agents with strong privacy guarantees, Google just released a machine learning library called TensorFlow Privacy. The library, which is open source, can be downloaded on GitHub.

    Aside from training AI models with privacy, TensorFlow aims to “advance the state-of-the-art in machine learning with strong privacy guarantees.”

    [...]

    TensorFlow Privacy operates on the principle of differential privacy. This is a statistical technique to maximize accuracy while balancing user information.

    Differential privacy ensures that an AI model cannot encode information unique to a developer. This blocks all chances of a breach releasing a user’s identity.

    Instead of gathering and storing information to learn, differential privacy enables an AI agent to acquire knowledge from patterns that show up en masse.

  • Google announces TensorFlow 2.0 Alpha, TensorFlow Federated, TensorFlow Privacy, and the Coral development platform

    Google is fully invested in advancing the potential of artificial intelligence. The company has released a bunch of tools, documentation, tutorials, and platforms to help developers utilize machine learning for applications. TensorFlow is one of their most important projects in this field. It’s an open-source development platform, helping teams and individuals to train models via machine learning. At the 3rd annual TensorFlow Developer Summit, Google announced the first alpha release of TensorFlow 2.0. The summit also introduced a lot of other stuff, which we’ll summarize below.

  • Google launches TensorFlow 2.0 alpha with fewer APIs

    The world’s most popular open source framework for machine learning is getting a major upgrade today with the alpha release of TensorFlow 2.0. Created by the Google Brain team, the framework is used by developers, researchers, and businesses to train and deploy machine learning models that make inferences about data.

    A full release is scheduled to take place in Q2 2019.

    The news was announced today at the TensorFlow Dev Summit being held at the Google Event Center in Sunnyvale, California. Since the launch of TensorFlow in November 2015, the framework has been downloaded over 41 million times and now has over 1,800 contributors from around the world, said TensorFlow engineering director Rajat Monga.

  • Google previews TensorFlow 2.0 alpha with focus on simplicity and ML beginners

    At the 2019 TensorFlow Dev Summit today, Google announced a number of updates for its open-source machine learning library aimed at research and production. The TensorFlow 2.0 alpha provides a preview of upcoming changes aimed at making ML easier for beginners.

  • Google tool lets any AI app learn without taking all your data

    A new computing tool developed by Google will let developers build AI-powered apps that respect your privacy.

    Google on Wednesday released TensorFlow Federated, open-source software that incorporates federated learning, an AI training system. It works by using data that's spread out across a lot of devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to teach itself new tricks. But rather than send the data back to a central server for study, it learns on your phone or tablet itself and sends only the lesson back to the app maker.

  • Google is making it easier for AI developers to keep users’ data private

    Google has announced a new module for its machine learning framework, TensorFlow, that lets developers improve the privacy of their AI models with just a few lines of extra code.

    TensorFlow is one of the most popular tools for building machine learning applications, and it’s used by developers around the world to create programs like text, audio, and image recognition algorithms. With the introduction of TensorFlow Privacy, these developers will be able to safeguard users’ data with a statistical technique known as “differential privacy.”

  • The AI-Art Gold Rush Is Here
  • How an engineer’s accident at Google changed the art industry

    Why? To make this image, the artist group Obvious used the source code and data that another artist, Robbie Barrat, had shared freely on the web.

    Obvious had every right to use Barrat’s code and claim authorship of the work. Nonetheless, many criticized Christie’s for elevating the artists who played only a small part in the creation the work. This was generally read as a failure of Christie’s, particularly in the misleading way it promoted the work, rather than a need to rethink authorship of AI art.

  • Open-source HPC Workload Manager, Slurm Now to Have Improved Deployment Scalability on Google Cloud

    Google is now sharing a new set of features for Slurm running on Google Cloud Platform (GCP) including support for preemptible VMs, custom machine types, image-based instance scaling, attachable GPUs, and customizable NFS mounts. In addition, this release features improved deployment scalability and resilience.

GNU/Linux on Top of Chrome OS and Android Devices

Filed under
Android
GNU
Linux
Google
  • Audio playback for Linux on Chromebooks arrives in latest Chrome OS 74 Dev Channel release

    Google released version 74.0.3713.0 to the Chrome OS 74 Dev Channel on Monday and there are over 500 mentions of “Crostini”, the project that brought Linux support to Chromebooks. I’m still poring through the changelog, but I immediately noticed a mention of audio support. I tested it, and after a few commands in the Terminal as well as a few reboots, I got it to work.

  • Announcing Maru 0.6 Okinawa

    I am excited to announce Maru 0.6 "Okinawa"!1

    It has been a while since we've seen a new Maru release but I promise the wait was well worth it. Let's dive into some of the major changes that make this release so exciting.

    [...]

    As you can probably tell, these were rather limiting requirements. The number of devices with HDMI support is already small, but to make matter worse, the latest Nexus and Google devices dropped HDMI after the Nexus 5. That basically left Maru running on the Nexus 5 and the Nexus 7 (2013), which were our only officially supported devices for a long time. Clearly, if Maru wants to remain relevant it has to move past these limitations.

    In Maru 0.6 Okinawa, the game completely changes. I am very happy to say that we have a number of key improvements in this release that completely remove these requirements, laying the foundation to run Maru on nearly any Android device.

  • Maru 0.6 released

Google launches i.MX8M dev board with Edge TPU AI chip

Filed under
Google
Hardware

Google has launched a sandwich-style, $150 “Coral Dev Board” with an RPi-like 40-pin header that runs Linux on an i.MX8M with an Edge TPU chip for accelerating TensorFlow Lite. The USB stick version sells for $75.

Google unveiled its embedded oriented Edge TPU version of its Tensor Processing Unit AI chip in July. More details quickly followed on its Linux-driven Edge TPU dev kit and USB stick version of the Edge TPU chip called the Edge TPU Accelerator. Now Mouser has opened pre-orders for both devices selling for $150 and $75, respectively, with shipments expected soon.

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Brave and Mozilla Firefox

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Why I chose Brave as my Chrome browser replacement

     

    This year, I’m pretty sure I’ve found the ideal Chrome alternative in the Brave browser. If your reasons for sticking with Chrome have been (a) extensions, (Cool compatibility, (c) syncing across devices, or (d, unlikely) speed, Brave checks all of those boxes. What’s more, it’s just one of a growing number of really good options that aren’t made by Google.

  • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 54

    Firefox Account is experimenting with putting an avatar next to the hamburger menu. It will give users visibility on their account, sync status as well as links to manage the account. Targeting landing & beta uplift this week!

  • QMO: DevEdition 66 Beta 14 Friday, March 8th

    We are happy to let you know that Friday, March 8th, we are organizing DevEdition 66 Beta 14 Testday. We’ll be focusing our testing on: Firefox Screenshots, Search, Build installation & uninstallation.

    Check out the detailed instructions via this etherpad.

  • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Indian government allows expanded private sector use of Aadhaar through ordinance (but still no movement on data protection law)

    The Court had placed fundamental limits to the otherwise ubiquitous use of Aadhaar, India’s biometric ID system, including the requirement of an authorizing law for any private sector use. While the ordinance purports to provide this legal backing, its broad scope could dilute both the letter and intent of the judgment. As per the ordinance, companies will now be able to authenticate using Aadhaar as long as the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) is satisfied that “certain standards of privacy and security” are met. These standards remain undefined, and especially in the absence of a data protection law, this raises serious concerns.

    The swift movement to foster expanded use of Aadhaar is in stark contrast to the lack of progress on advancing a data protection bill that would safeguard the rights of Indians whose data is implicated in this system. Aadhaar continues to be effectively mandatory for a vast majority of Indian residents, given its requirement for the payment of income tax and various government welfare schemes. Mozilla has repeatedly warned of the dangers of a centralized database of biometric information and authentication logs.

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More in Tux Machines

Security: TrendMicro, Mozilla's Firefox Monitor and Capsule8

  • New Linux malware mines crypto after installing backdoor with secret master password [Ed: Skips the part about it having to be installed in the first place (not the fault of Linux)]

    Cybersecurity researchers have identified a new strain of Linux malware that not only mines cryptocurrency illicitly, but provides the attackers with universal access to an infected system via a “secret master password.” TrendMicro’s latest blog also reveals that Skidmap attempts to mask its cryptocurrency mining by faking network traffic and CPU-related statistics.

  • Linux malware masks illicit crypto mining with fake network traffic

    A new cryptocurrency mining malware targeting Linux systems has demonstrated how complex this type of malware has become. Known as Skidmap, the malware is not only harder to detect, it also gives the attackers unfiltered access to the affected system.

  • What to do after a data breach

    You saw the news alert. You got an email, either from Firefox Monitor or a company where you have an account. There’s been a security incident — a data breach. And your account has been compromised. Getting notified that you’ve been a victim of a data breach can be alarming. You have valid cause for concern, but there are a few steps you can take immediately to protect your account and limit the damage.

  • Capsule8 Protect Earns HIPAA Compliance Certification

Graphics: CUDA, Radeon and Vulkan

  • HIPCL Lets CUDA Run On OpenCL+SPIR-V

    Based off AMD's GPUOpen HIP as part of their ROCm stack, researchers at Tampere University in Finland have created HIPCL as leveraging HIP as well as POCL for routing CUDA codes to run on any hardware supporting OpenCL+SPIR-V. HIPCL provides a path of running CUDA on top of OpenCL, permitting the OpenCL driver also supports the SPIR-V intermediate representation. The OpenCL implementation also needs to support Shared Virtual Memory (SVM) so that actually rules out using NVIDIA's own driver for taking this route in place of their actual CUDA driver. HIPCL also relies upon a patched version of the LLVM Clang compiler.

  • Radeon RADV Vulkan Driver Tackling NGG Stream-Out

    One of the areas the RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV/AMDVLK Vulkan drivers have had a challenging time promptly support with AMD Navi GPUs has been the NGG (Next-Gen Geometry) functionality but it's slowly getting worked out. The NGG engine support has required various fixes to the graphics drivers, Navi 14 NGG support is borked, and various other Next-Gen Geometry support issues in the Navi driver code. At least on the software side the open-source developers have continued to improve the support and today the latest improvements arrived for the Mesa RADV Vulkan driver.

  • Radeon Navi 12/14 Open-Source Driver Support Now Being Marked As "Experimental"

    In an interesting change of course, the open-source driver support for AMD Radeon Navi 12 and Navi 14 GPUs is being flagged as experimental and hidden behind a feature flag. Back at the start of August AMD sent out their AMDGPU Linux kernel driver support for Navi 12 along with Navi 14. That Navi 12/14 support has since been queued up for introduction in the Linux 5.4 kernel along with the new Vega-based Arcturus GPU.

  • Vulkan 1.1.123 Released With Two New Extensions

    Vulkan 1.1.123 is the latest weekly update to this high performance graphics API and it's formally introducing two more extensions. Besides the usual variety of documentation clarifications and corrections, there are two new Vulkan extensions with version 1.1.123.

Purism: A Privacy Based Computer Company

It all started when Todd Weaver, Founder and CEO of Purism, realized Big Tech could not be trusted as moral guardians of his and his children’s data. The current paradigm of corporations data hoarding is, as Todd describes it, built on “a tech-stack of exploitation”–and not by accident, but by design. Companies such as Google and Microsoft–and especially Facebook–intentionally collect, store and share user data to whomever they see fit. In recent events, the California Consumer Privacy Act, which becomes effective on January 1, 2020, will make residents of California able to know what personal data is being collected about them, know whether their personal data is sold or disclosed and to whom, say no to the sale of personal data, access their personal data, request a business delete any personal data information about a consumer collected from that consumer and not be discriminated against for exercising their privacy rights. This sounds good, and it is, but not according to Big Tech. Big Tech such as Facebook hired a firm to run ads that said things like “Your next click could cost you $5! Say no to the California Consumer Privacy Act”. Big Tech does not care about privacy, they care about their bottom line. This is where Purism comes in. Purism is a privacy focused company. Their devices, the Librem5, Librem13 and Librem15 run PureOS–a GNU/Linux distribution that puts privacy, security and freedom first, by design. It includes popular privacy-respecting software such as PureBrowser. The OS helps you “Surf the web safely without being tracked by advertisers or marketers” and allows you to easily encrypt your entire OS and data with your own encryption keys. This is huge, especially if you understand how much of your “private” data is actually being shared. Read more

Benchmarks: Linux Boot Times, 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation and New PTS Release

  • A Look At The Speedy Clear Linux Boot Time Versus Ubuntu 19.10

    Given the interest last week in how Clear Linux dropped their kernel boot time from 3 seconds to 300 ms, here are some fresh boot time benchmarks of Clear Linux compared to Ubuntu 19.10 on both Intel and AMD hardware. The systemd-reported boot time was compared between the latest Clear Linux and Ubuntu 19.10 daily images. Ubuntu 19.10 was used for offering the bleeding-edge packages and being more in line to what is offered by the rolling-release Clear Linux. As well, Canonical has been working on some boot time improvements for Ubuntu 19.10.

  • 16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation Looks To Offer A Decent Performance Oomph

    When it comes to ARM-powered workstation boards there hasn't been a whole lot to get excited about with the likes of the Socionext 96Boards Developerbox being quite expensive and not yielding good performance or featureful boards compared to alternative Intel/AMD/POWER workstation/enthusiast boards. One of the more promising ARM workstation boards we have been following is the HoneyComb LX2K (formerly the "ClearFog" board) and it's looking like it could end up being a decent offering in this space. The HoneyComb LX2K / ClearFog is the 16-core mini-ITX workstation board we have been following since earlier this year. They have been aiming for this 16-core ARM workstation board for $500~750 USD and it looks like they will actually strike on the lower-end of that price-range.

  • Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 Released With New Result Viewer, Offline/Enterprise Benchmarking Enhancements

    Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 is now available as the latest quarterly feature release to our cross-platform, open-source automated benchmarking framework. With Phoronix Test Suite 9.0 comes a rewritten result viewer to offer more result viewing functionality previously only exposed locally via the command-line or through a Phoromatic Server (or OpenBenchmarking.org when results are uploaded), new offline/enterprise usage improvements, various hardware/software detection enhancements on different platforms, and a variety of other additions.