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Best YouTube Apps for Linux

Filed under
Google
Software
Movies

If you don’t like to use the official YouTube website and looking for some alternative ways to stream Youtube videos, this article has a list for you.

In this guide I will list all major desktop YouTube players available today for Linux users. While many popular apps like youtube-dl are available for downloading YouTube videos on Linux, this article will mainly focus on those apps that allows you to search and stream videos on a Desktop Linux PC without having to open a browser. In many cases, these apps will provide advanced functionality than official YouTube website where most of the options are hidden behind a login.

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Google Unveils Mendel Linux 4.0 for Its Coral SBC, Based on Debian GNU/Linux 10

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Hardware

Google announced over the weekend the general availability of Mendel Linux 4.0 "Day," the company's in-house built, Debian-based GNU/Linux distribution for its Coral Dev Board and System-on-Module (SoM).

Revealed earlier this year as a Raspberry Pi rival, Google's Coral Dev Board single-board computer (SBC) and System-on-Module (SoM) just received a much-improved, more stable and up-to-date Mendel Linux OS, which is based on the latest Debian GNU/Linux 10 "Buster" operating system series and ships with Linux kernel 4.14 LTS, Python 3.7, and U-Boot 2017.03.3, as well as upgraded GStreamer, OpenCV, and OpenCL components.

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Also: Google's Raspberry Pi-like Coral board gets new Debian Linux-based OS

Chromium and Mozilla: ARM, TenFourFox and Firefox Engineers

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
Web
  • Arm Has Been Working To Boost The Chrome/Chromium Browser Performance

    Arm engineers have been working to speed-up the open-source Chromium web browser on 64-bit ARM (AArch64) and ultimately to flow back into Google's Chrome releases. Their focus has been around Windows-on-Arm with the growing number of Windows Arm laptops coming to market, but the Chromium optimizations also benefit the browser on Linux too.

    Arm has been focusing on Chromium optimizations not only for the Chromium/Chrome browsers itself but also for software leveraging the likes of CEF and Electron that rely upon Chromium code for rendering.

  • TenFourFox FPR17b1 available

    TenFourFox Feature Parity Release 17 beta 1 is now available (downloads, hashes, release notes). SourceForge seems to have fixed whatever was making TenFourFox barf on its end which now might actually be an issue over key exchange. For a variety of reasons, but most importantly backwards compatibility, my preference has been to patch up the NSS security library in TenFourFox to support new crypto and ciphers rather than just drop in a later version. We will see if the issue recurs.

    This release fixes the "infinite loop" issue on Github with a trivial "hack" mitigation. This mitigation makes JavaScript slightly faster as a side-effect but it's because it relaxes some syntax constraints in the runtime, so I don't consider this a win really. It also gets rid of some debug-specific functions that are web-observable and clashed on a few pages, an error Firefox corrected some time ago but missed my notice. Additionally, since 68ESR newly adds the ability to generate and click on links without embedding them in the DOM, I backported that patch so that we can do that now too (a 4-year-old bug only recently addressed in Firefox 70). Apparently this functionality is required for certain sites' download features and evidently this was important enough to merit putting in an extended support release, so we will follow suit.

    I also did an update to cookie security, with more to come, and cleared my backlog of some old performance patches I had been meaning to backport. The most important of these substantially reduces the amount of junk strings JavaScript has hanging around, which in turn reduces memory pressure (important on our 32-bit systems) and garbage collection frequency. Another enables a fast path for layout frames with no properties so we don't have to check the hash tables as frequently.

  • Week notes - 2019 w47 - worklog

    Week Notes. I'm not sure I will be able to commit to this. But they have a bit of revival around my blogging reading echo chamber. Per revival, I mean I see them again.

    The Open Data Institute just started one with a round about them. I subscribed again to the feed of Brian Suda and his own week notes. Alice Bartlett has also a very cool personal, down to earth and simple summary of her week. I love that she calls them weaknotes She's on week 63 by now.

  • Marco Zehe: My extended advent calendar

    This year, I have a special treat for my readers. On Monday, November 25, at 12 PM UTC, I will start a 30 day series about everything and anything. Could be an accessibility tip, an how-to about using a feature in an app I use frequently, some personal opinion on something, a link to something great I came across on the web… I am totally not certain yet. I have ideas about some things I want to blog about, but by far not 30 of them yet.

Games: VR, ASYLUM, Dota Underlords, Hypnospace Outlaw, Monster Sanctuary and Stadia

Filed under
Google
Gaming
  • Valve are making the Index VR kit available in more countries

    If Valve want the new Half-Life: Alyx to be a success, they need to push VR into every possible country they can and they're working a bit more towards that.

    Announced early this morning (around 1AM UTC), the Valve Index is now being made available in Canada and Japan in addition to the availability in Europe and the USA. Half-Life: Alyx doesn't require the Index though, Valve did say it will work with any PC VR kit but this will probably give the best experience.

  • Supernatural horror adventure ASYLUM looks creepy as hell in the latest footage

    ASYLUM is an upcoming supernatural horror adventure from developer Senscape, it's high up on our list to check out when it releases and the latest footage is looking great.

    Released a few days ago is a new short video, with what Senscape say is entirely "100% in-game without any processing".

  • Dota Underlords adds Duos team creation and ranked play, next major update coming soon

    Dota Underlords is steadily getting better and another update is now out with some interesting new features for playing with a friend in the Duos mode.

    You can now get a persistent team for people you regularly team up with. Once you've played three matches with another, it will also unlock the ability for you to actually name your team. You'll be able to change your team name every three matches. Making it more interesting, it tracks some stats too like number of matches played and your record.

  • Completely bizarre 90's internet simulator Hypnospace Outlaw adds mod support

    Hypnospace Outlaw could easily win the award for the strangest game of the year, giving you a retro-futuristic look at the internet and now it's getting bigger.

    No More Robots and Tendershoot just recently gave it modding support, so now you can create pretty much anything in it. Webpages, images, wallpapers, soundscapes, entire zones, fonts, characters, file downloads and a huge amount more. They said it's now possible for someone to create their own full Hypnospace story.

  • Try out some monster catching in Monster Sanctuary, now with an updated demo

    Currently in Early Access, Monster Sanctuary might not be finished by so far it's turned out a lot of fun. They're giving more people a chance to now try it, with an updated demo.

    This demo update comes shortly after a big update to the full game, which included a whole new area to explore with Horizon Beach. A new story arc based around a treasure hunt, eight new monsters to collect (most of which water themed) along with new items and rare equipment. All sounds pretty great. You can also find the Monster Farm, a place to let all your creatures go out into the open and see them, which does look pretty sweet.

  • Some early first impressions of Google Stadia played on Linux

    Stadia has launched if you have the Founder Edition, our unit and code came a little late but it's here and surprisingly it all seems to be working well.

    This new game streaming service from Google is powered by Debian Linux and the Vulkan API, so I've been rather keen to what it has to offer. Keep in mind you will need a good internet connection for it and you do always need to be online, although it's supposed to keep your place for 15 minutes to help with drop-outs and changing devices.

    Quite a rough start, as they were clearly sending out codes slowly in batches. Something which wasn't explained properly. However, every Founder should now have access with them moving onto sending codes for those with the Premier Edition next week. I do hope Google learn to communicate better in future.

Google outlines plans for mainline Linux kernel support in Android

Filed under
Android
Linux
Google

This is an extremely long journey that results in every device shipping millions of lines of out-of-tree kernel code. Every shipping device kernel is different and device specific—basically no device kernel from one phone will work on another phone. The mainline kernel version for a device is locked in at the beginning of an SoC's initial development, so it's typical for a brand-new device to ship with a Linux kernel that is two years old. Even Google's latest and, uh, greatest device, the Pixel 4, shipped in October 2019 with Linux kernel 4.14, an LTS release from November 2017. It will be stuck on kernel 4.14 forever, too. Android devices do not get kernel updates, probably thanks to the incredible amount of work needed to produce just a single device kernel, and the chain of companies that would need to cooperate to do it. Thanks to kernel updates never happening, this means every new release of Android usually has to support the last three years of LTS kernel releases (the minimum for Android 10 is 4.9, a 2016 release). Google's commitments to support older versions of Android with security patches means the company is still supporting kernel 3.18, which is five years old now. Google's band-aid solution for this so far has been to team up with the Linux community and support mainline Linux LTS releases for longer, and they're now up to six years of support.

Last year, at Linux Plumbers Conference 2018, Google announced its initial investigation into bringing the Android kernel closer to mainline Linux. This year it shared a bit more detail on its progress so far, but it's definitely still a work in progress. "Today, we don't know what it takes to be added to the kernel to run on a [specific] Android device," Android Kernel Team lead Sandeep Patil told the group at LPC 2019. "We know what it takes to run Android but not necessarily on any given hardware. So our goal is to basically find all of that out, then upstream it and try to be as close to mainline as possible."

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Google and fwupd sitting in a tree

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Google
Hardware
GNOME

I’ve been told by several sources (but not by Google directly, heh) that from Christmas onwards the “Designed for ChromeBook” sticker requires hardware vendors to use fwupd rather than random non-free binaries. This does make a lot of sense for Google, as all the firmware flash tools I’ve seen the source for are often decades old, contain layer-on-layers of abstractions, have dubious input sanitisation and are quite horrible to use. Many are setuid, which doesn’t make me sleep well at night, and I suspect the security team at Google also. Most vendor binaries are built for the specific ODM hardware device, and all of them but one doesn’t use any kind of source control or formal review process.

The requirement from Google has caused mild panic among silicon suppliers and ODMs, as they’re having to actually interact with an open source upstream project and a slightly grumpy maintainer that wants to know lots of details about hardware that doesn’t implement one of the dozens of existing protocols that fwupd supports. These are companies that have never had to deal with working with “outside” people to develop software, and it probably comes as quite a shock to the system. To avoid repeating myself these are my basic rules when adding support for a device with a custom protocol in fwupd:

I can give you advice on how to write the plugin if you give me the specifications without signing an NDA, and/or the existing code under a LGPLv2+ license. From experience, we’ll probably not end up using any of your old code in fwupd but the error defines and function names might be similar, and I don’t anyone to get “tainted” from looking at non-free code, so it’s safest all round if we have some reference code marked with the right license that actually compiles on Fedora 31. Yes, I know asking the legal team about releasing previously-nonfree code with a GPLish licence is difficult.

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Stadia Smells Like Vapour(ware)

Filed under
Google
Gaming
  • Will Google's Stadia Game Streaming Platform Be A Dud?

    On November 19, Google is expected to finally launch the company's long awaited game streaming platform, Google Stadia. Stadia is being heralded as the vanguard of a new push to eliminate your local game console, and shift all of the computing and processing power to the cloud. The shift to game streaming is likely inevitable, the only problem is that Stadia may be a little ahead of its time. And, like so many Google projects (like Google Fiber), game developers are apparently worried that Google may waffle on its commitment to the project...

  • Google Stadia's Upcoming Launch Looking Increasingly Incomplete

    Google Stadia is set to debut on November 19. That launch already had several caveats, however, including the fact that not everyone who pre-ordered the Founder's Edition bundle will receive their hardware in time for the platform's debut. Now the company has said that many of Stadia's multiplayer-centric features won't be ready in time for the game streaming platform's launch either.

    The additional information about Stadia's launch arrived during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with Stadia product director Andrey Doronichev and Beri Lee, who "look[s] after the Publisher experience on Stadia," on Reddit. Doronichev and Lee revealed that many of Stadia's features aren't ready in time for launch and said that several won't make their debut until some time in 2020.

  • Stadia looks to be very limited at launch and not just the amount of games

    The official launch of Stadia is only days away, so Google recently hosted a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) and we have some more details to share about it.

Slow Connections Discriminated Against: Google Stadia and Google Chrome

Filed under
Google
  • Google reveal Stadia will only have 12 games available at launch, more later in the year

    With the Stadia streaming service from Google launching on November 19th for those with the Founder's Edition or Premiere Edition, they're finally revealing what will be available.

    It will only have 12, yes 12, titles at launch and a few of them are sequels. They are: Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Destiny 2, GYLT, Just Dance 2020, Kine, Mortal Kombat 11, Red Dead Redemption 2, Thumper, Tomb Raider + Rise + Shadow and lastly Samurai Showdown.

    The only title you will get included in the Stadia Pro subscription (three months free with the Founder/Premier Edition) is Destiny 2, all others you have to pay for. If you stop paying for Stadia Pro, you lose access to any free games claimed and only keep those you've paid for normally.

  • Google Chrome To Begin Marking Sites That Are Slow / Fast

    Chrome has successfully shamed web-sites not supporting HTTPS and now they are looking to call-out websites that do not typically load fast.

    Google announced today that they will begin marking websites that are often either loading slow or fast. Chrome developers are experimenting with ways to show whether a website typically loads fast or slow so the user is aware even before they navigate to a given web page or web app. The changes will be rolled out in future Chrome updates.

Google's Open Hardware Charm Offensive

Filed under
Google
Hardware

OpenTitan

Filed under
Google
Hardware
  • Daily Crunch: Google announces open-source chip project

    The aim of the new coalition is to build trustworthy chip designs for use in data centers, storage and computer peripherals.

    The project will allow anyone to inspect the hardware for security vulnerabilities and backdoors. It comes at a time where tech giants and governments alike are increasingly aware that hostile nation states are trying to infiltrate and compromise supply chains in an effort to carry out long-term surveillance or espionage.

  • Google Is Helping Design an Open Source, Ultra-Secure Chip

    There are some parts of the OpenTitan design that won't be public, at least for the foreseeable future. These are all related to the actual physical fabrication of chips in a factory, categories like "foundry intellectual property," "chip fabrication," and "Physical Design Kit," among others. They hint at the immense challenges that exist in creating open source hardware—fabrication of which requires massive, specialized factories and proprietary silicon manufacturing processes, not just a laptop and an internet connection. If you don't own a silicon plant or have the leverage to convince existing fabricators to make OpenTitan chips for you, you won't be able to get them. And though device-makers have an incentive to save money on licensing fees with something like OpenTitan, silicon manufacturers who impose these fees may resist dropping them.

  • Google launches OpenTitan, an open-source secure chip design project
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