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Chromebook and PCs With GNU/Linux

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
  • How to Install Ubuntu 17.04 with GNOME on Your Chromebook, Alongside Chrome OS

    Last year when I got my Acer Chromebook 11 (C740), I wrote a tutorial to teach you guys how to remove Google Chrome OS and install a GNU/Linux distribution of your choice, but things got boring.

    So after a few months, I reinstalled Chrome OS using a recovery image that Google provides on their website for this sort of things, which I wrote on a USB flash drive and booted from my Chromebook. Recently, I got bored again, and so I decided to install Ubuntu on my Acer Chromebook 11 (C740) using Crouton.

  • Is Chrome OS right for you? A 3-question quiz to find out

    Google's Chrome OS is one of the world's most misunderstood computing platforms. Chromebooks are foundationally different from traditional PCs, after all -- and consequently, there are a lot of misconceptions about how they work and what they can and cannot do.

    Since people are always asking me whether a Chromebook might be right for their needs, I thought I'd put together a quick guide to help any such wonderers figure it out. Whether it's you or someone you know who's curious, the following three questions should help shed some light on what the platform's all about and for whom it makes sense.

  • Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook Review: Built To Last

    Chromebooks are continuing to make an impact on the market and as a result, more Chromebooks are getting announced and almost on a monthly basis now. One of the most recent Chromebooks to be announced (April 2017) was the Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook. This is a Chromebook which looks to combine the standard Chrome OS experience with a device that is durable and hardworking. While also looking to ensure the price is competitive by Chromebook standards. In this case, the Lenovo Flex 11 Chromebook is priced at $279.99 for the baseline model.

  • Dell XPS 15 (2017) review: Kaby Lake and a 4K display make a difference
  • My story until GSoC 2017

    It’s almost 9 years I am using GNU/Linux as my default Operating System. The first time I used GNU/Linux was in 2008, when I wanted to crack the password of the computers of my school in order to install and play the games I wanted. So my first contact with GNU/Linux was through OPHCrack. I was absolutely impressed when I could get the password of the computers of my school in less than ten minutes. I was 14 and I think I wanted to be a hacker. Goals changed through time, though.

Chromium, Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Chromium Mus/Ozone update (H1/2017): wayland, x11

    Since January, Igalia has been working on a project whose goal is to make the latest Chromium Browser able to run natively on Wayland-based environments. The project has various phases, requires us to carve out existing implementations and align our work with the direction Chromium’s mainline is taking.

    In this post I will provide an update on the progresses we have made over 2017/H1, as well as our plans coming next.

    In order to jump straight to the latest results section (including videos) without the details, click here.

  • Browse Against the Machine

    I head up Firefox marketing, but I use Chrome every day. Works fine. Easy to use. Like most of us who spend too much time in front of a laptop, I have two browsers open; Firefox for work, Chrome for play, customized settings for each. There are multiple things that bug me about the Chrome product, for sure, but I‘m OK with Chrome. I just don’t like only being on Chrome.

  • Firefox hogs less memory and gets a speed bump in its latest update

    In an attempt to even the playing field with competitors, Mozilla Firefox stepped up its game Tuesday by releasing an update that will increase browser speeds and cut down on memory usage.

    Firefox 54 has opened up its upper limit of processes from one to four, although users can customize it to be more by entering “about:config” in the address bar and adjusting the settings themselves.

    This new version of Firefox feels faster and it scores higher on an online browser speed test than Chrome or Safari, even after opening 20 tabs, although it still gives the old loading sign on all of the pages. Firefox product vice president Nick Nguyen calls this upgrade “the largest change to Firefox code in our history,” according to his blog post detailing the changes.

  • [Older] Firefox memory usage with multiple content processes

    My previous measurements found that four content processes are a sweet spot for both memory usage and performance. As a follow up we wanted to run the tests again to confirm my conclusions and make sure that we’re testing on what we plan to release. Additionally I was able to work around our issues testing Microsoft Edge and have included both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Firefox on Windows; 32-bit is currently our default, 64-bit is a few releases out.

    The methodology for the test is the same as previous runs, I used the atsy project to load 30 pages and measure memory usage of the various processes that each browser spawns during that time.

Google open-sources mobile-first computer vision models for TensorFlow

Filed under
Google
OSS

Google is helping smartphones better recognize images without requiring massive power consumption, thanks to a new set of models the company released today. Called MobileNets, the pre-trained image recognition models let developers pick between a set of models that vary in size and accuracy to best suit what their application needs.

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Young programmer turns love of gaming into a Google Summer of Code project

Filed under
Google
Interviews
Gaming

Recently I installed the GCompris educational software suite on a friend's Linux laptop. While researching information about the application, I found out about Rudra Nil Basu, a young programmer from India, who has blogged about his contributions to GCompris. Based on his work, he was selected to be a Google Summer of Code (GSoC) participant and will receive a stipend to continue working to improve GCompris.

I recently had the opportunity to ask Rudra some questions about how he's translating his passion for game development into making learning fun for young children and supporting open source software and source code sharing. Some questions and answers have been lightly edited for clarity.

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Chrome 60 Beta, New Firefox, Thunderbird Themes

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
OSS
Web
  • Chrome 60 Beta Rolls Out With VP9 Improvements, New Developer Features

    Chrome 60 Beta adds a Paint Timing API to provide more insight to developers about their "first paint" performance, CSS font-display support, improvements to the Credential Management API, the Payment Request API has been added to desktop Chrome, there's a new Web Budget API to allow sites using push notifications to send a limited number of push messages that will trigger background work, support for Web Push Encryption was added, and a range of other CSS/JavaScript features and APIs.

  • The Best Firefox Ever

    On the Firefox team, one thing we always hear from our users is that they rely on the web for complex tasks like trip planning and shopping comparisons. That often means having many tabs open. And the sites and web apps running in those tabs often have lots of things going on– animations, videos, big pictures and more. Complex sites are more and more common. The average website today is nearly 2.5 megabytes – the same size as the original version of the game Doom, according to Wired. Up until now, a complex site in one Firefox tab could slow down all the others. That often meant a less than perfect browsing experience.

  • Thunderbird Arc Theme Updated With Support for Arc Variants

    An update to the Arc Thunderbird theme add-on is now available for download, and brings support for the 3 Arc GTK theme variants.

Browsers: Chrome 61, Mozilla Against Software Patents, Firefox Photon, and Tor 7.0

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
OSS
Security
Web

Chrome 59 and Chromium

Filed under
Google
OSS
Web

Google releases open-source platform Spinnaker 1.0

Filed under
Google
OSS

Google is giving the open-source community another tool for continuous delivery and cloud deployments. This week, Google released Spinnaker 1.0, an open-source multi-cloud continuous delivery platform, which companies can use for fast, safe and repeatable deployments in production.

Back in November 2015, Netflix and Google collaborated to bring Spinnaker, a release management platform, to the open-source community. Since that initial release, Spinnaker has been used in several organizations like Netflix, Waze, Microsoft, Oracle, and Target.

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Web Browsers: WebAssembly and Mozilla's Open-Source Hackathon

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web

  • Goodbye PNaCl, Hello WebAssembly!

    Historically, running native code on the web required a browser plugin. In 2013, we introduced the PNaCl sandbox to provide a means of building safe, portable, high-performance apps without plugins. Although this worked well in Chrome, it did not provide a solution that worked seamlessly across all browsers.

  • Google Plans End To PNaCl Support In Favor Of WebAssembly

    The Portable Native Client (PNaCl) ecosystem hasn't been too vibrant for executing native code in web-browsers given its lack of adoption outside of Google/Chrome and other factors. With WebAssembly seeing much broader adoption and inroads, Google is planning to end PNaCl.

  • Mozilla’s Giant, Distributed, Open-Source Hackathon

    Mozilla’s annual Global Sprint is scheduled for June 1 and 2. It’s an international public event: an opportunity for anyone, anywhere to energize their open-source projects with fresh insight and input from around the world.

    Participants include biostatisticians from Brazil, research scientists from Canada, engineers from Nepal, gamers from the U.S., and fellows from Princeton University. In years past, hundreds of individuals in more than 35 cities have participated in the Global Sprint.

CloudReady - Chromebook re-experienced

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google

I haven't done any extensive testing, but then, how much testing is really needed to run a bunch of Web apps. The whole idea is to have this cloud-based operating system, with easy, flexible access to your data anywhere you go. So if you judge this from the perspective of a typical desktop, you miss the point.

But that is the point. When I install something on a desktop-like form factor, I expect its behavior to match. CloudReady takes you away from that experience, and the transition is not comfortable. You feel very limited. This makes a lot of sense for schools, for instance, where you do want to lock down the devices, and make them simple for reuse. In a home setup, why would you go for just cloud, when you can have that plus any which desktop application on a typical system? After all, nothing prevents you from launching a browser and using Google applications, side by side with your desktop stuff. It's the same thing.

The notion of reviving old hardware is a bit of a wishful thinking. My eeePC test shows that it gets completely crippled when you run HD content in either Firefox or Chrome. An operating system based on Chromium OS will not drastically change that. It cannot do that. Maybe you will have better performance than having Windows there, the same way I opted for a Linux setup on the Asus netbook, but there are physical limits to what old hardware can accomplish.

And then, there's the whole question of cloud ... Most people might be comfy with this, after having used smartphones for a while, but I don't think this is anything novel or mindblowing. CloudReady works as advertised, it's a very cool concept, but ultimately, it gives you a browser on steroids. Google and Neverware have their own agenda for doing this, but for home users, there really isn't any added value in transforming their keyboard-and-mouse box into a browsing portal. So if you ask me, am I ready for the cloud, the answer is, only when it becomes sophisticated enough to match my productivity and freedom of creativity. And for you, do you want a simple, locked down, secure and entirely Google machine that isn't a mobile phone or a dedicated piece of hardware? The answer is 42.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • CRI: The Second Boom of Container Runtimes
    Harry (Lei) Zhang, together with the CTO of HyperHQ, Xu Wang, will present “CRI: The Second Boom of Container Runtimes” at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU 2018, May 2-4 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The presentation will clarify about more about CRI, container runtimes, KataContainers and where they are going. Please join them if you are interested in learning more.
  • Meet Gloo, the ‘Function Gateway’ That Unifies Legacy APIs, Microservices, and Serverless
    Gloo, a single binary file written in Go, can be deployed as a Kubernetes pod, in a Docker container, and now also on Cloud Foundry. The setup also requires a copy of Envoy, though the installation process can be greatly simplified through additional software developed by the company, TheTool. The user then writes configuration objects to capture the workflow logic.
  • Why is the kernel community replacing iptables with BPF?

    The Linux kernel community recently announced bpfilter, which will replace the long-standing in-kernel implementation of iptables with high-performance network filtering powered by Linux BPF, all while guaranteeing a non-disruptive transition for Linux users.

  • The developer of Helium Rain gave an update on their sales, low overall sales but a high Linux percentage
    Helium Rain [Steam, Official Site], the gorgeous space sim from Deimos Games is really quite good so it's a shame they've seen such low overall sales. In total, they've had around 14,000€ (~$17,000) in sales which is not a lot for a game at all. The good news, is that out of the two thousand copies they say they've sold, a huge 14% of them have come from Linux. It's worth noting, that number has actually gone up since we last spoke to them, where they gave us a figure of 11% sales on Linux.
  • Want to try Wild Terra Online? We have another load of keys to give away (update: all gone)
    Wild Terra Online [Steam], the MMO from Juvty Worlds has a small but dedicated following, now is your chance to see if it's for you.
  • Arch Linux Finally Rolling Out Glibc 2.27
    Arch Linux is finally transitioning to glibc 2.27, which may make for a faster system. Glibc 2.27 was released at the start of February. This updated GNU C Library shipped with many performance optimizations particularly for Intel/x86_64 but also some ARM tuning and more. Glibc 2.27 also has memory protection keys support and other feature additions, but the performance potential has been most interesting to us.
  • Installed nvidia driver
  • Stephen Smoogen: Fedora Infrastructure Hackathon (day 1-5)
  • Design and Web team summary – 20 April 2018
    The team manages all web projects across Canonical. From www.ubuntu.com to the Juju GUI we help to bring beauty and consistency to all the web projects.
  • Costales: UbuCon Europe 2018 | 1 Week to go!!
    We'll have an awesome weekend of conferences (with 4 parallel talks), podcasts, stands, social events... Most of them are in English, but there will be in Spanish & Asturian too.
  • Tough, modular embedded PCs start at $875
    Advantech has launched two rugged, Linux-ready embedded DIN-rail computers with Intel Bay Trail SoCs and iDoor expansion: an “UNO-1372G-E” with 3x GbE ports and a smaller UNO-1372G-J with only 2x GbE, but with more serial and USB ports.

OSS Leftovers

  • IRS Website Crash Reminder of HealthCare.gov Debacle as OMB Pushes Open Source
    OMB is increasingly pushing agencies to adopt open source solutions, and in 2016 launched a pilot project requiring at least 20 percent of custom developed code to be released as open source – partly to strengthen and help maintain it by tapping a community of developers. OMB memo M-16-21 further asks agencies to make any code they develop available throughout the federal government in order to encourage its reuse. “Open source solutions give agencies access to a broad community of developers and the latest advancements in technology, which can help alleviate the issues of stagnated or out-dated systems while increasing flexibility as agency missions evolve over time,” says Henry Sowell, chief information security officer at Hortonworks Federal. “Enterprise open source also allows government agencies to reduce the risk of vendor lock-in and the vulnerabilities of un-supported software,” he adds.
  • Migrations: the sole scalable fix to tech debt.

    Migrations are both essential and frustratingly frequent as your codebase ages and your business grows: most tools and processes only support about one order of magnitude of growth before becoming ineffective, so rapid growth makes them a way of life. This isn't because they're bad processes or poor tools, quite the opposite: the fact that something stops working at significantly increased scale is a sign that it was designed appropriately to the previous constraints rather than being over designed.

  • Gui development is broken

    Why is this so hard? I just want low-level access to write a simple graphical interface in a somewhat obscure language.

OpenBSD and NetBSD

Security: Twitter and Facebook

  • Twitter banned Kaspersky Lab from advertising in Jan
     

    Twitter has banned advertising from Russian security vendor Kaspersky Lab since January, the head of the firm, Eugene Kaspersky, has disclosed.  

  • When you go to a security conference, and its mobile app leaks your data
     

    A mobile application built by a third party for the RSA security conference in San Francisco this week was found to have a few security issues of its own—including hard-coded security keys and passwords that allowed a researcher to extract the conference's attendee list. The conference organizers acknowledged the vulnerability on Twitter, but they say that only the first and last names of 114 attendees were exposed.

  • The Security Risks of Logging in With Facebook
     

    In a yet-to-be peer-reviewed study published on Freedom To Tinker, a site hosted by Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy, three researchers document how third-party tracking scripts have the capability to scoop up information from Facebook's login API without users knowing. The tracking scripts documented by Steven Englehardt, Gunes Acar, and Arvind Narayanan represent a small slice of the invisible tracking ecosystem that follows users around the web largely without their knowledge.

  • Facebook Login data hijacked by hidden JavaScript trackers
     

    If you login to websites through Facebook, we've got some bad news: hidden trackers can suck up more of your data than you'd intended to give away, potentially opening it up to abuse.